Posted by Sari
Category 7, SF Short Story Collection: Den Fantastiska Julen (ed. John-Henri Holmberg)
This is a re-read of this excellent collection from 1985, edited by the Worldcon 75 guest of honor, John-Henri Holmberg. A swedish speaking friend recommended this for me years a go, and I have read and re-read bits and pieces of it on most Christmases. If this collection was being done today, one would defenitely make note of that all the stories in this anthology are by men, and I assume that even in 1985 a little work could have been put into a more representative sample. But on the other hand, SF stories about Christmas is a bit of a nieche genre, and the stories in the collection are, though representatives of their time, all strong ones. My favourite is John Christopher's Julrosor (Christmas Roses), a melancholy story about space travel in solar system.
Category 31, A biography of a person connected to SF: James Doohan and Peter David: Beam Me Up Scotty
We have almost all autobiographies of TOS-actors. DeForest Kelley never wrote one, and we don't have Nimoy's first and more famous one "I Am Not Spock", just his later one "I Am Spock". I picked Doohan's because his life seemed quite interesting outside Star Trek. This is actually written by Peter David based on hours upon hours of interviews with Doohan. It is chatty and anecdotal and because it is transcription, not stylistically terribly interesting.
But Doohan did have an interesting life. He fought on Juno beach on D-day and was wounded the next night. His life was saved by cigarette case given to him by his brother, but he lost a finger - you can catch it in the Trouble With Tribbles where he is carrying a whole lot of them in his arms. After being wounded, he joined Air Observation unit and flew planes for the rest of the war. Apparently he once weaved between telephone poles with his plane just to show it could be done. After that, rest of his life, even the Star Trek bit seems a bit tame. The autobiography has episode by episode recollection of his time on Star Trek series and movies, and has a poignant ending where he sort of makes peace with his estranged alcoholic father. Enjoyable, if you are into Star Trek.
Darjeeling, a (mainly) black tea from Bengal is one of my favourites, and Darjeeling Muscatel, the second flush picked after certain flies have fed on the tea bushes, is really tasty. Ask ten persons what muscatel tastes like you get ten different answers. The common denominator is something sweet, fruity and a bit burnt. Honestly, I don't think I could get muscatel flavour right in a blind taste test, but this tea, a gift from a friend is absolutely lovely. It is delicate and a bit sweet but the flavours are those of tea, not other flavourings.