After too long an absence from other scholarly venues than the one I edit for, I got to finalize the texts of two papers today, OKing the final tweaks from their editors.
Both are fairly short, but it's good to have them out. And for one of them, it means I get to be in this.
Also, I've gotten the reading text of the paper I'm giving at a conference next week down to 25 minutes, by cutting out everything that could possibly be considered extraneous. When I gave it at Mythcon last year, it was nearly 50 minutes, but I had an hour slot. This time I have half an hour, so it'll just barely fit if I talk fast.
Among the things I cut out was this:
"Early science fiction was often breezy about the problem of people on other planets speaking different languages than ours. In Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus, for instance, the protagonist discovers on arriving that he's somehow grown a new organ that the natives have, which conveniently allows them to read minds and instantly learn each other's language, thus bypassing entirely any question of translation. This is the sort of thing that Douglas Adams was parodying when he invented the Babel Fish."
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