Amy's Page 'o Stuff

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Amy Sheldon

Amy as a leetle bitty kid with no front
teethI am really afraid of heights. This is the real thing - genuine Vertigo-style panic. But I'm also the oldest of four, so I knew that if anyone (especially the two younger brothers) ever found out, my life would be a living hell. Thus through my entire youth I was driven to volunteer for any task that required getting up on a ladder, I took any bet that involved scaling walls, and I always climbed to the top of the rope in gym class. I still feel sick when I remember hanging backdrops from the rigging for a high school production of Pippin.

My liberation finally came in college. Way up on top of a light tower, watching as a stage hand adjusted the lighting for a Molly Hatchet concert, it suddenly came to me that I didn't have to do this! The only person who cared that I was afraid of heights was me! I did one more stupid thing (parachuting) (and no, I didn't enjoy it. I was rigid with terror through the longest 30 seconds of my life.) and ever since then I've stayed firmly on the ground. It has been wonderful.

I've been a dedicated reader of science fiction since I picked up Space Cat Goes to Venus back in first grade. Having lost touch with the fantasy side of the genre sometime in the early eighties, I decided to use the collective wisdom of the Internet to help decide which of the hundreds of new authors who had appeared over the last decade were worth reading. Thus was born The Recommended Fantasy Author List.

Although sf and fantasy do make up the bulk of my recreational reading, they aren't the only books out there. Broaden your reading horizons! Look outside the sf section of your bookstore! There's a lot of really good stuff out there.

What I've Been Recommending Recently:

In Trouble Again by Redmond O'Hanlon.
Gonzo travel into darkest Amazonia. Big Fun. Highly recommended.

The Immense Journey by Loren Eiseley.
Essays by naturalist/poet Eiseley. Gorgeous prose, scrupulous scholarship, and fascinating subjects - everything he wrote is worth reading and rereading.

The Fisher King by Anthony Powell.
Powell's magnum opus is the 12-volume "Dance to the Music of Time," but for those who don't want to make that kind of committment without first testing the waters, this novel is a good introduction. To quote critic George Craig of the London Times, "...the collapse and realignment of relationships, the presence of death, the fascination with conversation, the preference for a narration drawing on partial or inadequate witnesses, the mixing of sober and ridiculous: these are features familiar to Anthony Powell's readers."

I'm writing this from the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. I work in the human resources department of a local university. I'm assuming that I'm going to live to one hundred, which means I have another ten years to go before I'm middle aged. Is that enough biography?

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