After days and days of being vaguely discomfited about life, lj, and the like (note to self: it's not enough to avoid getting involved in them; do not even read about lj feuds, wars, firestorms and/or other vast and hurtful dyspepsias, for it turns one's outlook grey and unhappy), I am pleased to announce to a world that breathlessly follows my every vagrant thought, that I found something today, on my bookshelf, which made me smile.
(Youngsters, the previous sentence was written by a professional. Don't try something that windy and unwieldy at home.)
And just what was it that made me smile?
When I was much younger,
(Note to self: stop using parentheses so damned often.)
Where was I?
When I was much younger, I bought books with a ferocious, and uncritical, hunger. In that time, I somehow acquired two Agent of T.E.R.R.A. books, the name of whose author - Larry Maddock - I sensed, even in my youth, was a pseudonym. I have since learned ("since" being just a minute ago. I love Google.) that his real name is Jack Owen Jardine. And he wrote a couple of ripping yarns in The Golden Goddess Gambit and The Time Trap Gambit. This gentleman has a nice little overview of the four-novel series, although I think I enjoyed the ones I read a little more than he did. Both books had unexpected flashes of brilliance, a lot of humor, and occasionally upsetting moments of pathos and sorrow. Yeah, despite being spy-skiffy mashups.
I almost never get rid of books, so both Agent of T.E.R.R.A. books, complete with hero Hannibal Fortune and his protoplasmic partner Webley, were still in my collection today, when, standing next to that section of the bookshelf, I indulged in a bad habit. You see, if I stand next to too much fiction - it happens with nonfiction, too, but with less regularity - I'll pull a book out, and open it to any old page, start reading, and forget that what I originally wanted to do, before I stopped moving for an improvident moment next to the bookshelf, was take the empty club soda can in my left hand to the recycling bin.
And so I delved into The Golden Goddess Gambit, about whose plot you needn't bother your various pretty heads. All you need to know are three names I discovered upon reading.
- Hannibal Fortune's colleagues: a bearded weapons master named d'Kaamp, and his boss, Pohl Tausig. Why hadn't I caught those skiffy in-jokes before now?
- One of Hannibal Fortune's fellow time agents: name of Harkness. I kid you not, fellow Who fans. I laughed out loud, and can not, at this point, shake the thought that Uncle Rusty must have gotten his hands on this book at an impressionable age.