August 23rd, 2008

20111112, Marilee

I Visited Luke

He's in the Gainesville Rehab because there wasn't room in the Manassas one, but it's only about 15 minutes away. I was startled by how confused he was. I said "Happy Birthday" and he told me happy birthday. He kept trying to take things apart in his hands -- the nurse call button, his clothes, etc. -- and he clearly didn't know who I was. I went out to talk to the RN in charge of the whole place and while I didn't expect her to tell me specifics, she said he had been confused most of the day, coming alert when PT had him up to walk. I went back and he wanted to watch TV and I asked him what he wanted to watch and he said news, so I clicked until I got to C-Span showing Biden's VP candidate acceptance speech. I asked "Do you think you'll be up for voting in November?" and all of a sudden, his voice was clear, his eye twinkly (one is prosthetic), and he said "I sure hope so!" And we talked for about a minute about how awful it is to get so confused and then he slipped back into it and started undressing. I decided I wasn't helping and came home.

ETA: The nurse had also mentioned he kept putting the call button in his mouth and I just realized probably why: he smokes here. I called and told them, not that they should let him go out and smoke, but if they know why, they may be able to handle it better.
20111112, Marilee

The Guild of Xenolinguists by Sheila Finch

I read her book Reading the Bones first and this is the collection of the lingster stories. Most of them are from the late 80s to the late 90s, but two are from 2007 -- one published in F&SF that gives the founding of the guild and one otherwise unpublished. I really like these stories. They don't all have happy endings, but the idea of how to talk to aliens with the social and cultural differences all around are fascinating. It turns out that the last story in this book is the novella Reading the Bones and I suspect that means I'll give the book Reading the Bones away. I didn't think expanding it made it a better story.

This book has a foreward by Ian Watson and an afterword by the author herself. The afterword was more interesting. She has mentions of Watson and Suzette Haden Elgin in the stories as "proto-linguists" but otherwise stays well in the future. Three of the stories are linked to a particular waterworld, but otherwise, they're not related other than the linguists and the Guild.

I highly recommend this book.