Literary musings of a Lisper - Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Paolo Amoroso's weblog. Main interests: Lisp, astronomy (Moon), space exploration (Apollo and early manned programs) Calendar of past entries | Related links xml

Literary musings of a Lisper

Monday, August 15, 2005

Look at the pictures in books on the history of physics in the early XX century: many of them show groups of physicists having a lot of fun at the tops of tall mountains. Being lazy and climbing-impaired, I could never feel comfortable with the recreational activities of those scientists. And I indeed finally dropped out of physics at university.

After moving to computer science and Lisp, I thought I was safe. But I soon realized that the recreational activities of Lispers are even scarier: they are artists. There are poets like Richard Gabriel and painters like Paul Graham. If I wanted to be accepted by Lispers, I had better do something at least remotely related to art.

Mystery writer Mary Anna Evans finally gave me an opportunity. In early 2003, she posted a query to the HASTRO-L history of astronomy (an old interest of mine) mailing list to which I am subscribed.

As part of the research for her second novel Relics, she was looking for advice on astronomical elements that would have played a fundamental role in the plot. To those who would contribute useful information she offered a signed copy of her first novel, Artifacts.

I took part in that brainstorming, and Mary finally selected a group of six HASTRO-L subscribers who provided valuable information. I was among them, and some time later received my signed copy of Artifacts.

A few weeks ago Mary's second novel Relics was finally published, and I have seen the fruits of my hard brainstorming work. Okay, it was not that hard, but I just wanted to stand on the shoulders of giants...

So, what did I suggest? I can't tell you because it would be a spoiler. Besides, I should kill you -- and Mary would probably kill me.

Relics is the second novel in the Faye Longchamp archaeological mystery series. Main character Faye Longchamp is an archaeologist and a geek.

Mary is a geek too (she has degrees in engineering and physics -- I wonder whether she also likes climbing; never mind...), and pays a lot of attention to detail and accuracy. She brings the reader next to Faye on the digging field and her investigations of murders.

I enjoyed both novels very much. The characters are interesting, their actions realistic, and mystery accompanies the reader throughout the novels. Reading Relics was like meeting my old friend Faye.

And I finally did something remotely related to art. If you want me to talk at your local Lispnik event, please arrange with my agent and be sure to have a limo handy.

See you in Arcadia.

Copyright © 2005 by Paolo Amoroso

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