Cleaning up the SF/Fantasy Section

sf catThe other day I tackled a job I’d been dreading. Only because it offered procrastination on a job I dreaded more.

So now we know: when it comes to cleaning and culling the Science Fiction and Fantasy shelves versus doing laundry, SFF wins.

Not casting aspersions, CJ Cherryh needed some serious attention along the spines. It’s the hazard of being shelved low in a cat-fostering bookstore; hair accumulates. And of course, the cats WOULD gravitate to Cherryh….. (Inside joke: for those who haven’t read her, she has a feline world thing going. I suppose if we had staff unicorns, they’d hang with the Anne McCaffreys. But do unicorns shed?)

And then there was alphabetization….The SFF shelves line the walls, but one sticks out, chest-height, at a right angle into the room. So, should A – or, as it’s known in the biz, Asimov, Anderson, Anthony – start on the wall or the sticky-out shelf.

It would have made more sense to plan this from the get-go, but not until I hit the Hubbards and Forgotten Realms (for some reason side by side in my mismanaged universe) did I decide the series would fit on that low shelf. So sensible, so orderly, so non-chaos-theory!

Until one tries to decide what a series is.

Star Trek, TekWars, Dragonlance – sure. But what about Jordan’s Wheel of Time, or Martin’s Game of Thrones? A chance to put him alphabetically next to, oh, say Meuller’s lesser-known trilogy would afford opportunity to see it while hunting famous people.

Yeah, we book sellers are sneaky like that.

But then there are the space issues (heh heh). Herbert’s Dune is the 1970s¬†Hunger Games more’s the pity – but it’s just too MUCH to get all that shelf space devoted to it. So I double-stacked him in the series section.

It felt a little like sending a has-been to the minor leagues. Spaceball? Hmmm…..

Anyway, I got all the way to L (aka Lackey and Lawhead) before I had to decide again. Jack Whyte went to series, but Lawhead? He’s esoteric: Christian themes, fantasy SF combo… Should I put him next to Bradley in series? Oooh, talk about a catfight. Bradley’s lusty Merlin next to Lawhead’s lawful good guy? Eeek.

So yes, I admit my organization of the SFF books became rather random and “because I say so” toward the end there. Burroughs isn’t in series, but Tolkien is–next to Star Wars, poor sweet elves.¬†Pendleton’s bad-guy survivor series is, Axler’s Deathlands isn’t.

Because space dictated it. Space, the final frontier? More like the final border. There’s only so much room, guys.

But I must admit, all this arranging got me in the mood for some fun, campy, spacing out. When I picked up my cat afghan crocheting that evening, I started in on Firefly, which is silly, and sweet, and has GREAT music. A friend described it as “intellectual, plus all the guys wear tight pants.”

Go by, mad world.

There Must be 50 Ways to Kill a Camel

jodiSo I have this friend, Jodi, who has a real dramatic flair. That’s her, on the left, in her wedding dress. Her wedding (as beautiful as it was reflective of her personality) opened with the theme from 2001, if that gives you any clues.jodi dance That’s her dancing with Anthony-the-sweetheart-groom. And yes, that’s a Battlestar Galactica tattoo on her back. She got it special for the wedding.

At the paper where she is a reporter, Jodi’s coworkers reaaaaaly got into that commercial about Hump Day. Apparently a camel walks through the office asking people what day it is, on Wednesdays, because that’s halfway through the week? Who comes up with this sh–anyway, Jodi let fly with an online tirade about Hump Day–and being a very intelligent woman and a wordsmith, Jodi can tirade with eloquence that sticks to you.

Not ten minutes after reading her FB post about Hump Day and its horrors, I walked out of my college office and found a camel on the sidewalk. camel


So my friend Elissa and I did what came naturally: mailed it to Jodi in an anonymous package, timing it to arrive on a Wednesday. The postal service being what it is, it arrived on a Friday, and when Jodi got in from work, exhausted and looking forward to a weekend of freedom, she let us know how pleased she was at being sent this gift. How did she know it was us? Well, Jodi is very smart…

camel scissors camel nail file

camel dogThere must be 50 ways to kill a camel.

We are reliably informed that the camel is still alive, living on Jodi’s desk at the paper, and that on Wednesdays her coworkers delight in playing with it. This makes Elissa and I very happy. We expect more death pictures soon. camel microwave