Paradoxes in Pictures

Kage Baker loved days when lots of interesting things cropped up in the news.

She didn’t like being interrupted to learn about them – I saved ’em up for mealtimes and long drives, usually. And those times when Kage would throw herself into her wing-back chair, howling I’m bored! Amuse me! Tell me stories! What happens next? To which I would maturely reply How the hell should I know? You’re the storyteller. Hey, did you know pigeons have magnetic rocks in their heads?

It was different when she ran across neat things herself, as she often did in her daily wandering through the fringes of the Web. Then, she’d crow with delight or yell with disapproval, and make swift notes to remind her later of whatever had so struck sparks from her at first reading. Sometimes, of course, she couldn’t decipher the notes when the time came to use the tidbit – she would spend a happy time tracking it down again; or, when it was totally incomprehensible, she’d take a stab at what the notes might have meant. It was usually pretty amusing. Lewis’ adventures  were always especially prone to Kage not remembering what the hell she meant when she made the original plot notes … which is the actual source of the moniker “Princess Tiara Parakeet”.*

Today, I came across a doozy of a news gem, one which would have absolutely required a story. It would have had to be a Mars story, and fitted with great care into the Universe of Mary Talbot and the Empress of Mars: because the fate of the Ephesian Church has already been pretty well delineated there … but there must be a way to incorporate it.

The redoubtable Curiosity rover on Mars has uploaded a photo of – the figure of a lady. Possibly a Lady, as in the Diana of Luna; exactly the sort of thing the Ephesians of Kage’s stories would have wanted to find on Mars. Here it is, in a photo not especially retouched or otherwise self-fulfillingly enhanced:

Lady On Mars?

Lady On Mars?

She seems to be 3 to 5 inches tall. I must admit, the figure does have a certain resemblance to a Cretan snake goddess, or maybe Cathy wandering through the heather. Dejah Thoris she is not; she’s wearing clothes … personally, I think she’s an especially romantic and lovely artifact of photographing sand and stone in low light.

But does it matter? The image is beautiful, and it belongs in stories. I’ll have to write it into the ongoing saga of Marswife, which will one day grow up into a real novel. (If I’m lucky and determined.)  In fact, I’d love a version of this photo for cover art. Don’t you think so, Dear Readers?

In semi-related news, today I got a phone call from my primary caregiver doctor, demanding I get  into his office ASAP.  My ultrasound picture was weird. I rushed in;  he took several vials of blood – all to be processed for various kidney function tests – and handed me a completed authorization and rush appointment with a nephrologist. So, on Friday, I am going to meet Dr. Nguyen, to try and explain my idiot right kidney.

The ultrasound showed two paradoxical findings.  1) the right kidney appears to be basically the normal size, only slightly larger than the left one. However, it shows that 2) it also exhibits severe hydronephrosis – which basically means, it’s bigger on the inside. It’s probably hollow … which is not normal for a human kidney; though it is a disease of sheep. At least  in Terry Pratchett novels. I evidently have a Tardis kidney.

Time alone will tell what my next renal adventure will produce. In the meantime, I have to incorporate the Lady of Mars into a novel, and finish it.

Man, it’s never dull around here … More news as it happens, Dear Readers.



About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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3 Responses to Paradoxes in Pictures

  1. mizkizzle says:

    “Cathy wandering through the heather.” LOLZ!
    Question: Did Kage name Lewis after RLS, whose middle name was originally spelled that way?


    • Kate says:

      Nope, Lewis’ name came out of a brain-storming session – on the third round of cocktails, by the light of the Lamps of the Weird. Probably because for a brief time, he was called Clarke …


  2. Brad Campbell says:

    In the photo, near the middle right side, there seems to be a dark silhouette of a person with a BIG ear and a BIG nose, and no chin…he’s looking away from the lady….a Martian, perhaps?


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