Peter S. Beagle in Green Man residence

Mackenzie this, and Mackenzie that -- I swear I do not understand why a man can't be left alone for a half a minute to finish the thoughts that come of a morning's walk, even if he is in the door now, seated at his desk. And it was such a lovely morning, too, with just enough spark in the light and tremor in the air to make you sure a great day was arriving, all unexpected. Like you were about to trip over a Christmas package that had been set aside and left unnoticed for eight whole months. Just like that.

Ahh, you can't blame me for getting poetic, not with that Peter S. Beagle fellow hanging about the last few days, spreading his papers over two whole tables in the Robert Graves Memorial Reading Room. I gather he's come to think of Green Man as a bit of a home away from home. Call it an author's twofer: nights in the pub, drinking beers by ascending order or darkness, signing books, singing songs, and generally making merry, then days deep in my library stacks, digging away at one thing or another, scribbling down notes and bits of prose, filling up those yellow legal pads he favours.

I gather there are three different novels nearing the finish line, and a stack of new stories. Let's see... there's a Summerlong polish going on (our own Cat has read an earlier draft of this novel, lucky sod, and speaks highly of it). That one's a take on Persephone and Hades, but being who he is, the man can't make it any P & H you've ever seen before. Then there's the finale of I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons to wrap, so Firebird can publish it next summer, and a charming little book called Sweet Lightning due out eventually from Tachyon. That one ought to please folks, most specially if they like baseball as much as Beagle does. Not my game, but those as love it do.

What? Well I can't help looking over his shoulder, can I? Not since he won those awards last year and I finally got around to reading him. There's not a finer writer working in fantasy today, I swear, and I'm not just saying that because he once bought me more rounds of Heavy than I could drink, a feat no one here would have thought possible.

The book reading contest mentioned last edition seems to be going strong, with many of the staff nose deep in the final volume of the Harry Potter series. I've seen a few biting their tongues (literally) as they can't believe the ending. (One fey member of the staff has ears that are still twitching!) But me, I'm ignoring the whole bloody Potter thing, and spending my summer reading Beagle. He's a headier brew