Back to the future

One of those apparently brilliant but on reflection ghastly ideas was posted on Contemporary Nomad the other week, a post about Future Me. It is a website where you can write an email to yourself and specify when it is delivered, weeks, months, years into the future.

You can choose to make your emails public or private, and Olen Steinhauer has selected a couple of examples. Funny or painful? You tell me.

June 2010

"Dear Me

So have you retired then? Have you written that novel you were always going to write when you had the time? Did anyone read it? Did anyone publish it?

And little Johnny, he did marry Princess Eugenie, didn’t he? And Sally became the first woman president of the USA like you always said?"

Ok, I’ll stop there, but you get the picture.

Future Me website is here. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Polygon 21 June

Polygon puzzle
Using the given letters no more than once, make as many words as possible of four or more letters, always including the central letter. Capitalised words, plurals, conjugated verbs (past tense etc), adverbs ending in LY, comparatives and superlatives are disallowed.
How you rate: 10 words, average; 14, good; 17, very good; 21, excellent.
Click here for rules and tips on how to play Polygon
Source: The Times.
Answers in the comments.

Silence of the grave

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason is the last translated book that will win the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) gold dagger award. Since losing BCA sponsorship, the organisation is changing the rules so that from this year only books written originally in English can win. On this occasion, the translator from the Icelandic, who has done a brilliant job, is Bernard Scudder.

I’ve been wanting to read Indridason’s book since it won in 2005, but have waited until its UK paperback publication. In the meantime, I read an earlier book by the same author, Jar City (also called Tainted Blood), which I enjoyed very much, although the denouement was unconvincing. There is something about Scandinavian detective fiction to which I (and many others, clearly) strongly relate: Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum and, yet to be read by me but in the queue, Liza Marklund.

Back to Silence of the Grave. Some old bones are discovered at a child’s birthday party, and Erlendur and team are bought in to investigate. At the same time, Erlendur’s daughter Eva Lind half-reaches out to him in final desperation. The police investigation of the people who lived on the hillside at the time the body was buried, together with Erlendur’s attempts to help his tragic daughter, are told with remarkable depth, illuminating the effects of despair — despair leading to spousal abuse, to emotional detachment and abandonment of a marriage and children, — all told from every perspective (child, parent, abuser, abusee, child within parent, etc) with enormous empathy for (most of) those concerned. Eventually, the mystery is solved, and despite plenty of sadness in the stories told here, in the end there is hope. Not too much, just enough.

See here for a summary of the various CWA awards and tables of past winners in all categories.

See here for an article in the Bookseller about the new "no translation" CWA rules.