Liquorature Gathering #015 – “Wizard’s First Rule” (Terry Goodkind)
Date: April, 2010
Whisky: Cragganmore 12 y.o., Scapa 16 y.o., Dalwhinnie 15 y.o.
Rum: El Dorado Demerara Distillers Single Barrel 10 y.o., Santa Teresa 1796 (encore presentation)
So…our first foray into fantasy was a rousing success. Both in terms of reception to the title in question, and for hatching a lively discussion. Well picked, Scotty. The evening was a blast. Festivities were underway sometime around 8:00. With a couple of stragglers a little later than our 7:30 curtain call, a few of us were chomping at the bit to crack open a bottle. Scott’s selection of malts took us from Speyside, through the Highlands to the Islands. A fine range, and much to Robert’s delight, I’m sure…no peat monsters lurking. It was a gorgeous eve in which a few of us strolled the distance to/from Scott’s place, so some lighter bevvies were an ideal decision. The rum? Hey…what can I say…never made it that far. Lance will sate your curiosity with a review in the near future, I imagine.
This month’s gathering saw our first guest. An old friend of mine, Chris, joined us for the eve. I ran into Chris a couple months back, after not having seen him in a while, and while catching up told him of our little collective. He said he had been trying to form or find something like this, but that most of friends were…Neanderthals (I believe was his term). I told him I would see what we could do about having him sit in for a session.
I am always impressed when someone can walk into a room filled mostly with strangers and fit in comfortably with no noticeable lags in conversation or awkwardness. Such was the case this evening. While he interjected thoughts and insight throughout the discussion, I also noticed Chris having many side-conversations with the Liquorature folk. There’s a sort of pressure involved with being the guy to bring a guest, but the pressure was eased early, as Chris fit in well. Thanks to the crew for making him welcome. You are truly all gentlemen and scholars. I should also note…a fear I’ve had (and shared with Robert at least) regarding having more than our seven-man crew appears unfounded. My concern lay mainly in whether we’d all be able to speak with so many in the room. Tonight proved otherwise, and I believe is a testament to the level of respect we all show one another.
Scott’s book was quite well received. Though I am a newb to the world of fantasy, most of the others definitely are not. It was enlightening to see their take. High marks from most, and at the very least there was a healthy level of appreciation, if not outright favoring opinion. The criticisms raised were poignant, and comparisons against some of the benchmarks in fantasy lit were informative. The aspects of the book which garnered the most appreciation from us actually seemed to be the parts that most deviated furthest from tradition. A few of us have since picked up, or continued reading on in the series. Sigh…only eleven more books or something.
The night was rounded off with some chatter about other books, other beverages, travel, history of video games and…what Liquorature night would be complete without those torturous forays into discussions of Star Trek and old school Wrestling? The boys love to rag on me for my absolute revulsion of all things related to either.
As always, a ridiculous dose of humor, mockery and sarcasm were prevalent. Clint’s reaction to Bauer’s ‘Hot For Teacher’ comment will go down in the annals.
Chris’s inclusion and subsequent natural fit…Clint’s whisky shower…someone finally mentioning Salman Rushdie without Lance bursting into flames…Bauer’s new ridiculous hat…discussions of how sexy Mr. Goodkind is…listening to the frogs in the pond (I used to live in Scott’s place…and miss those sounds at night)…and a great conversation.
One last thing…
I see the dynamic of the group changing slightly. For the better. Those that were a little reserved initially, now speak up much more. We’re also building up a decent ‘back-library’ of reference points for our discussions. I like how this is developing.
Until next time…slainte!