Liquorature Gathering #025 – “The Fionavar Tapestry” (Guy Gavriel Kay)
Date: February, 2011
Host – Lance
Whisky: Bruichladdich Manzanilla 12 Willow Park Exclusive
Rum: Bruichladdich Renegade Grenada 11 Year Old, Angostura Dark 5 yr old, Favell’s London Dock Navy rum
The fantasy flag is waved in the Liquorature camp with more fervent fanboy-ism than even I (Surujbally’s appointed ‘Hippie’) can muster for all things Ardbeg. And that is saying something. Mention Lord of the Rings, Goodkind, Jordan or Fionavar and you’re nearly guaranteed to have someone spurting in their pants and someone else ready to launch into ‘the Great Debate’ (whether or not LotR can be considered for Liquorature selection…BTW, I weigh in with a resounding NO!).
While five out of eight of us are big fans of the genre, the remaining three are lukewarm (at best) in terms of reception. Interestingly, all three of us that seem to have an allergy to fantasy have either a predisposition towards Ayn Rand, or an outright rejection of illogical leaps of faith (ahem… ‘Mr. A-is-A). To us non-converts, the prevalence of dues ex machina and resolution through means beyond physics is simply…too foreign.
To be fair, however, we have tackled a couple of fantasy works now, and I take away positives from both.
Let’s chat about the edible and quaffable now.
Lance’s curry (‘fess up, boy! ‘Twas the wife who dunnit, wudnit?!) dishes were spectacular. A certain someone visited the spread three times, finally moving on to filling a mug with this spicy goodness, as we’d dirtied all of the dishes. Must confess, though it wounds me and burns like an untreated STD (uh…or so I hear), rum actually works just right with curry. The sweet and spice harmonize well.
Methinks Lance should share his recipes, as did Pat with his man-chili. I’d love to have these dishes more frequently. Perhaps I simply need to sit in for dinner more often, huh? The only downside is the cavity-inducing grog he serves up to guests. Coruba, anyone?
After we finished stuffing ourselves on this Indian bounty, I quickly shifted back to a man’s drink and popped the cork on Lance’s whisky sacrifice for the event, Willow Park’s exclusive Bruichladdich Manzanilla. Bauer would have liked this one. Thankfully a few of us have bottles we can share with him when next he makes it out (Miss ya, buddy).
This was a night full of bloody great conversation. The laughs were non-stop. Sweet medicine after a hard week at work. At one point with tears flowing down our cheeks, Lance mentioned how needed this was and referred to it like a refreshing rain (or some such poetic gibberish). All kidding aside, the point was taken. Think we all let our shoulders sag a bit this night. You could almost hear the knots in people’s backs releasing.
Confession. Lance picked me up a copy of ‘The Fionavar Tapestry’ about a year and a half ago now. On two separate occasions I picked it up, but quickly set it down again. Just not in the right frame of mind for it. His selecting it for our February pick was actually somewhat of a relief for me (though a few others groaned under the weight of such a massive undertaking), as I finally had forced motivation to read it, and could no longer insult Lance by not reading the gift he’d given me.
So, let’s see…A few freakin’ loved it. At least one said, ‘no, nae, never’. The rest sat in a camp that weighed flaw against appreciation for scope, visuals, story-telling and originality (which was also a sticking point for some others). Overall…quite a positive reception really. I concede to appreciating it much more than when I started, and can say I am glad for having read it. All true analysis stays within the group. Read it yourself if you care to speculate as to what we may or may not have liked. Anyone who has read it…drop a line here on Liquorature. Love to engage on this one.
In the end, I think everyone was simply in the right mental space to have a great night. It turned out to be just that.
The randoms: Obama, the mage…Newman, the wizard…Rum and the special olympics… “Dammit, I got a svart in my bowl” …score many baskets…like a liger…the Hoff…Mandingo’s baseball bat… “Mandingo…whatta guy” …”The was f*ckin’ rad, let’s eat pizza”.