The BBC has a nice animated display and information on the Cassini mission.

Made in Taiwan

Lurking underneath the streets of the Old Town last night in the subterranean Whistle Binkies (where Alex and I once entertained Mr and Mrs Ariel) for my former colleague Fiona’s leaving do as she’s about to head off to Taiwan to teach English. Fi is also one of our leading Geekettes, still heavily involved in organising the Edinburgh University SF group even after she graduated and a regular at the SF Book Group which Alex and I run at the bookstore (guessing she may miss the next few as its rather a long way to commute).

I was also introduced to a Greek friend of Fiona who is doing a PhD in comparative literature and is especially interested in authors who write either for adults or kids but end up being read by both, such as Phil Pullman. She was quite pleased when I told her that she should come along to our book group in that case since July’s meet will discuss the great ursula Le Guin who fits neatly into that crossover between adult and children’s fantasy. And August’s meeting is Diana Wynne Jones, so same again. And since we’re doing Gaiman’s The Doll’s House from the Sandman series in September I guess we have yet another author who has written for both audiences. Actuall, now I think of it, we’re planning Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for October and gee, there’s another writer who straddled the world of adult and children’s fiction (and poetry in the case of dear RLS). I hadn’t actually considered this coincidence until she told me she was carrying out this study, but it’s quite interesting. And considering Whistle Binkies is sandwiched between the underneath of the Old Town street and above the Undercity where the ghost tours walk and nefarious deeds were once rampant it was a fitting place to talk about fantasy and how children and adults both react and interact with the literature of the genre.

Much later, after midnight (yes, I drop this in just to annoy my English chums who still suffer under their dreadfully uncivilised pub hours – I can drink to 3 or 4am without having to go to a club, heh heh!) the band which had been playing a lot of very 50s-style rock’n’roll (kind of appropriate given the amount of Elvis material in the media recently) and the bar staff put on the music system as the band finished. A mixture of material with a lot of White Stripes in there but suddenly a very appropriate song given the occassion as on came the LAs with There She Goes… Have a nice trip, Fi, and do try to avoid being invaded by China.