Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Forest House

I finished Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Forest House last night. It's the first time I've read her, and the book is engrossing. Her rich characterizations make me understand why so many fantasy writers are fans and emulators. I enjoyed it and am waiting impatiently for The Mists of Avalon via InterLibrary Loan.  Still, some things about it disappointed me.

1.) I didn't buy Arganos' inability to tell Eilan and Deida apart all their lives. He's was Deida's father.  It felt like a "God in the box" trick.  I bought it when Deida was mistakenly chosen for the Forest House by Lhiannon, since she didn't know either of them well at that point. 

2.) If the whole of Eilan's "work" for the Goddess was in giving birth to Gawen and founding the house of priestesses on the Isle of Apples, why didn't she send Gawen with Caillean? I know she loved him and wanted him with her, but Bradley makes the point that his safety is the Druids' power over her-- she would surely have ended the threat and the leverage when Caillen left.

3.) IMHO, it felt like a book without an ending. Despite the logical points that can be made about the survival of Gawen, the second House of priestesses, etc-- it took half a day's digestion for me to concede that she'd actually ended it, rather than just stopping.    This would be OK for a writer known to pick up the next book with practically the next breath of the same character, i.e. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. But my understanding is that Bradley's novels are commonly as much as a generation apart.

In spite of all that, don't let my nitpicks keep you from reading Marion Zimmer Bradley-- She is gifted worldbuilder and storyteller. If you read The Forest House, and can make cases against my complaints, I'd love to hear them!

 

2 comments:

BLANCHE said...

Nice blog. Have you seen your google rating? BlogFlux It's Free and you can add a Little Script to your site that will tell everyone your ranking. I think yours was a 3. I guess you'll have to check it out.

Computer News
Microsoft lawsuit is called a 'charade'

In a simmering legal tussle, Google, the Internet search company, is asking a judge to reject Microsoft's bid to keep a prized research engineer from taking a job at Google, saying that Microsoft filed a lawsuit to frighten other workers from defecting.

Microsoft sued the research engineer, Kai-Fu Lee, and Google last week, asserting that by taking the Google job, Lee was violating an agreement that he signed in 2000 barring him from working for a direct competitor in an area that overlapped with his role at Microsoft.

"This lawsuit is a charade," Google said in court documents filed before a hearing on Wednesday in Seattle. "Indeed, Microsoft executives admitted to Lee that their real intent was to scare other Microsoft employees into remaining at the company."


Google countersued last week, seeking to override Microsoft's noncompete provision so that it can retain Lee.

"In truth, Kai-Fu Lee's work for Microsoft had only the most tangential connection to search and no connection whatsoever to Google's work in this space," Google said in court documents.

The judge in the case, Steven Gonzalez of Superior Court, who heard arguments in the case on Wednesday, said he expected to issue a ruling on Thursday.

Google's filings include details about a conversation Lee had with Microsoft's chairman, Bill Gates, suggesting that his company was becoming increasingly concerned about Google's siphoning of talent, and perhaps intellectual property.

Lee said Gates told him in a meeting on July 15, referring to Microsoft's chief executive, Steven Ballmer: "Kai-Fu, Steve is definitely going to sue you and Google over this. He has been looking for something like this, someone at a VP level to go to Google. We need to do this to stop Google."

A Microsoft spokeswoman, Stacy Drake, declined to comment on Gates's statement directly.

"Our concern here is the fact that Dr. Lee has knowledge of highly sensitive information both of our search business and our strategy in China," she said.

Lee said Google did not recruit him and had not encouraged him to violate any agreement he had with Microsoft.

Microsoft countered that Lee's job with Google gave him ample opportunity to leak sensitive technical and strategic business secrets. Microsoft noted that Lee attended a confidential, executive-only briefing in March, which was labeled "The Google Challenge."

"In short, Dr. Lee was recently handed Microsoft's entire Google competition 'playbook,"' Microsoft said.

Lee joined Microsoft in August 2000 after he helped to establish its research center in China. At one point, Microsoft said, he was in charge of the company's work on MSN Search.

Microsoft and Google, along with Yahoo, are locked in a fierce battle to dominate search, both online and through desktop search programs. Google has begun offering new services, including e-mail, that compete with Microsoft offerings.


Microsoft said it had paid Lee well in exchange for his promises to honor confidentiality and noncompete agreements.

The company said that Lee made more than $3 million during nearly five years at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and that he earned more than $1 million last year.

Microsoft asserts that there is "an extremely close between the work Lee did at Microsoft and what he will be doing at Google.

Google argued otherwise, insisting that Lee is not a search expert and noting that his most recent work at Microsoft was in speech recognition.


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DVD Burners

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