Earthsea in Clorox by Ursula K. Le Guin: “As an anthropologist’s daughter I am intensely conscious of the risk of cultural or ethnic imperialism — white writer speaking for nonwhite people, co-opting their voice, an act of extreme arrogance…. Ged isn’t a petulant white kid.

It’s like casting Eminem as Jim in Huckleberry Finn.”

The amazingly-still-alive Ursula Le Guin comments on the celluloid massacre of her books. Grill’s reading list assignment; The Dispossessed, again showing off Le Guin’s deliberate colour-blindness and liberal internationalism.

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Atomic tomatoes are not the only fruit: “The Chinese news agency Xinhua stated that, ‘in China the radiation effect is always positive, leading to bigger and better vegetables that will revolutionise agriculture.'”

Right, I’m flying to China so I can be exposed to radiation and become SuperGrill, able to sear food and remove fat in seconds. I’m afeared of my Nemesis George Foreman, but I’m hoping my sidekick Muhammed ‘Chemical’ Ali will be able to spike his hotplate…

Lucian of Samosata (A.D. c.120-180): “Amongst them, when a man grows old he does not die, but dissolves into smoke and turns to air [a convenient ploy for disposing of dead aliens also used in more recent science fiction, such as ‘The Man Trap’ and ‘Catspaw’ episodes of the original Star Trek series]. They all eat the same food, which is frogs roasted on the ashes from a large fire; of these they have plenty which fly about in the air, they get together over the coals, snuff up the scent of them, and this serves for their victuals. Their drink is air squeezed into a cup, which produces a kind of dew.”

The first Sci-Fi perhaps? Lucian of Samosata wrote speculative fiction about the inhabitants of the moon about a hundred years after the other great raconteur…

I’m all nervous. I’m, tentatively, starting in a relationship at the moment and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had one that’s lasted more than a few sweaty gropes, so my nerves are all-a-jangle all the time. Through a pervading sense of alienation through my youth, I’ve grown up as a wholly independent person who can be entertained by the smallest of things, which gives me an odd tolerance and hence predilection for the utterly boring. However, merely because I’m living through a situation a little different from the norm, it feels oddly wrong to be sharing the majority of my time with another individual, even though I want to.

I also keep finding myself grimacing to myself whenever I think about the future. I have a problem with the future, a real tooth-grinding, lip-curling problem. I just can’t handle the concept. I think it might be that whenever I think of a possible scenario in the future, whether different from my current lazy-arse immensely secure position here or not, I feel a little twinge of terror at the narrowing of the scope of future life opportunities available. Oddly, when the actuality of change comes about, when the scene I’m living through shifts and twizzles like a rotating stage, I tend to be quite good at coping with it (if a little confused) possibly because of the total relief derived from such a removal of tension.

Perhaps it’s the pressure of expectation again; another thing I simply can’t take is the friendly, vicarious, wishes of family and friends for you to do well in whatever you do (though obviously they’d prefer you to do well along so-and-so lines, because it’s grand to know someone who works for The Times.) I hate disappointing people, but I hate them forcing an obligation on me to make them happy by altering who I am. I’m keen to create my own ideas and opportunities to entertain them, but not necessarily at the expense of said narrowing future.

Anyway, it’s just nerves. I’ll work through it, one way or another.