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RE: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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  • Fisher, Matt
    Joan, ... Looking over the list of finalists from that year (I was on the committee), my recollection is that I found several of the titles just as weak (in
    Message 1 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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      Joan,

      > I read Stardust while I was in San Diego. I understand that this title
      > won a Mythopoeic Fantasy award. What I don't understand is
      > how it won a
      > Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. I found the novel flat, uninspiring, and not
      > particularly well written.
      >
      > Were the other nominees that year really that bad?

      Looking over the list of finalists from that year (I was on the committee), my recollection is that I found several of the titles just as weak (in different ways)...particularly the Klein and Stoddard.

      My personal top choice that year was the McKillip (if my memory is correct), but I honestly don't remember where I placed Stardust.

      Matt Fisher
    • Jack
      ... Actually each was better than Stardust with The High House the most mythopoec. 1999 (Adult) * *Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess * Someplace to be
      Message 2 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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        >I read Stardust while I was in San Diego. I understand that this title
        >won a Mythopoeic Fantasy award. What I don't understand is how it won a
        >Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. I found the novel flat, uninspiring, and not
        >particularly well written.
        >
        >Were the other nominees that year really that bad?

        Actually each was better than Stardust with The High House the most mythopoec.

        1999
        (Adult)
        * *Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
        * Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint
        * The History of our World Beyond the Wave by R.E. Klein
        * Song for the Basilisk by Patricia A. McKillip
        * The High House by James Stoddard

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Matthew Winslow
        ... While not Gaiman s best work, I ve always enjoyed reading it. I don t find it flat or uninspiring at all. It s what it purports to be: a fairy tale. To
        Message 3 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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          Joan Marie Verba [verba001@...] wrote:
          > I read Stardust while I was in San Diego. I understand that this title
          > won a Mythopoeic Fantasy award. What I don't understand is how it won a
          > Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. I found the novel flat, uninspiring, and not
          > particularly well written.
          >
          > Were the other nominees that year really that bad?

          While not Gaiman's best work, I've always enjoyed reading it. I don't find it
          flat or uninspiring at all. It's what it purports to be: a fairy tale. To
          expect more I think diminishes the value of the work.

          Joan, did you read the print-only version or the 'graphic novel'? The Vess
          illustrations really bring the story to life.

          --
          Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
          "I have a whole rational theory against skiing. What does skiing mean? It
          means that you go up to go down. So why don't you stay down the whole time
          and read a good book?"
          --Slovoj Zizek
          Currently reading: Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
        • Stolzi
          I thought THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD BEYOND THE WAVE far the most mythopoeic, very Lewisian, though it had weak points. THE HIGH HOUSE was a wonderful concept
          Message 4 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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            I thought THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD BEYOND THE WAVE far the most mythopoeic, very Lewisian, though it had weak points. THE HIGH HOUSE was a wonderful concept but not well-written.

            Just mho -

            Diamond Proudbrook
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Jack


            Actually each was better than Stardust with The High House the most mythopoec.




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Joan Marie Verba
            ... I enjoy a well-written fairy tale. I own collections of fairy tales. I enjoy a lot of novels based on fairy tales. I didn t enjoy Stardust. ... This was
            Message 5 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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              Matthew Winslow wrote:
              >
              > While not Gaiman's best work, I've always enjoyed reading it. I don't find it
              > flat or uninspiring at all. It's what it purports to be: a fairy tale. To
              > expect more I think diminishes the value of the work.

              I enjoy a well-written fairy tale. I own collections of fairy tales. I
              enjoy a lot of novels based on fairy tales. I didn't enjoy Stardust.
              >
              > Joan, did you read the print-only version or the 'graphic novel'? The Vess
              > illustrations really bring the story to life.

              This was the "print-only" version.

              Joan
              ******************************************
              Joan Marie Verba
              verba001@...
              http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
            • Walkermonk@aol.com
              In a message dated 8/3/2004 12:55:18 PM Central Daylight Time, mwinslow-sf@firinn.org writes: While not Gaiman s best work, I ve always enjoyed reading it. I
              Message 6 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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                In a message dated 8/3/2004 12:55:18 PM Central Daylight Time,
                mwinslow-sf@... writes:
                While not Gaiman's best work, I've always enjoyed reading it. I don't find it
                flat or uninspiring at all. It's what it purports to be: a fairy tale. To
                expect more I think diminishes the value of the work.
                --

                I too found this book to be enjoyable. I had no expectations about what it
                should be when I started it, mostly because I didn't read it for any reason than
                curiosity. It isn't his best, true, but still fun for me.

                Grace Walker Monk


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Walkermonk@aol.com
                In a message dated 8/3/2004 1:03:02 PM Central Daylight Time, Stolzi@comcast.net writes: I thought THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD BEYOND THE WAVE far the most
                Message 7 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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                  In a message dated 8/3/2004 1:03:02 PM Central Daylight Time,
                  Stolzi@... writes:
                  I thought THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD BEYOND THE WAVE far the most mythopoeic,
                  very Lewisian, though it had weak points. THE HIGH HOUSE was a wonderful
                  concept but not well-written.

                  Just mho -

                  Diamond Proudbrook
                  ---

                  Just to show how different books affect different people -- Mary, my dear
                  friend, liked THE HISTORY. I really really didn't. I liked STARDUST. Others
                  didn't. Regardless, isn't it nice that we can read them all and discuss them? :-)

                  Grace Walker Monk


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Matthew Winslow
                  ... Um, my apologies if this came across a bit agressive. I ve been battling a troll on another list I m on and I guess I was still a bit punchy when I wrote
                  Message 8 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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                    Matthew Winslow [mwinslow-sf@...] wrote:
                    > While not Gaiman's best work, I've always enjoyed reading it. I don't find it
                    > flat or uninspiring at all. It's what it purports to be: a fairy tale. To
                    > expect more I think diminishes the value of the work.

                    Um, my apologies if this came across a bit agressive. I've been battling a
                    troll on another list I'm on and I guess I was still a bit punchy when I wrote
                    the above.

                    --
                    Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
                    "There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale
                    returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment in fact."
                    --Mark Twain
                    Currently reading: Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
                  • Berni Phillips
                    From: Fisher, Matt ... committee), my recollection is that I found several of the titles just as weak (in different
                    Message 9 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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                      From: "Fisher, Matt" <matt.fisher@...>


                      > Joan,
                      >
                      > > I read Stardust while I was in San Diego. I understand that this title
                      > > won a Mythopoeic Fantasy award. What I don't understand is
                      > > how it won a
                      > > Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. I found the novel flat, uninspiring, and not
                      > > particularly well written.
                      > >
                      > > Were the other nominees that year really that bad?
                      >
                      > Looking over the list of finalists from that year (I was on the
                      committee), my recollection is that I found several of the titles just as
                      weak (in different ways)...particularly the Klein and Stoddard.

                      Sometimes the award winner is a compromise book. I wasn't on the committe
                      that year, but I recall discussing the stuff at the time and while _The High
                      House_ may have been mythopoeic, some people didn't find it a very good
                      book.

                      The former awards administrator told me that someone once actually nominated
                      a book for the award with the stirring recommendation of, "It's not very
                      good but it's very mythopoeic." This was quite some time before 1999 so it
                      was not any of the nominees that year.

                      I liked _Stardust_ quite a lot the first time I read it. I re-read it
                      recently (since I was re-reading Gaiman's stuff for Mythcon) and had the
                      reaction you did this time, Joan. I did not enjoy it anywhere near as much.

                      Berni
                    • Deidre
                      ... Neil and Charles collaborated on this graphic novel, if that s one wishes to call it. The pictures and the story just go together perfectly IMHO. I can t
                      Message 10 of 22 , Aug 3, 2004
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                        At 01:13 PM 8/3/04 -0500, Joan wrote:
                        >Matthew Winslow wrote:
                        >
                        > > Joan, did you read the print-only version or the 'graphic novel'? The Vess
                        > > illustrations really bring the story to life.
                        >
                        >This was the "print-only" version.

                        Neil and Charles collaborated on this graphic novel, if that's one wishes
                        to call it. The pictures and the story just go together perfectly IMHO. I
                        can't imagine the story without those pictures. Please try it again in the
                        "illustrated" version. I would like to hope that you would think better of it.

                        Btw, Vess is one of my favorite artists and Gaiman is one of my favorite
                        writers, so I have always thought that their work together is magical.
                        Mythopoeic, *shrugs* I don't know, but their work, together and separately,
                        does resonate with me.

                        Deidre
                      • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                        I was on the committee, and gave *High House* a high vote. I don t recall where I placed Gaiman. I remember I liked it, marginally, but liked at least three
                        Message 11 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                          I was on the committee, and gave *High House* a high vote. I don't recall
                          where I placed Gaiman. I remember I liked it, marginally, but liked at
                          least three others better: Stoddard, McKillip (one of her good ones) and
                          the Kline. I think I liked the Kline better than McKillip and Stoddard
                          best of all. (But I may be remembering things wrong.) ---djb

                          Original Message:
                          -----------------
                          From: Jack jack@...
                          Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 13:01:35 -0400
                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman


                          >I read Stardust while I was in San Diego. I understand that this title
                          >won a Mythopoeic Fantasy award. What I don't understand is how it won a
                          >Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. I found the novel flat, uninspiring, and not
                          >particularly well written.
                          >
                          >Were the other nominees that year really that bad?

                          Actually each was better than Stardust with The High House the most
                          mythopoec.

                          1999
                          (Adult)
                          * *Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
                          * Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint
                          * The History of our World Beyond the Wave by R.E. Klein
                          * Song for the Basilisk by Patricia A. McKillip
                          * The High House by James Stoddard

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                          Yahoo! Groups Links






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                        • Jack
                          ... The two Evenmere novels, The High House and The False House, were released in limited editions a few years.
                          Message 12 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                            >I was on the committee, and gave *High House* a high vote. I don't recall
                            >where I placed Gaiman. I remember I liked it, marginally, but liked at
                            >least three others better: Stoddard, McKillip (one of her good ones) and
                            >the Kline. I think I liked the Kline better than McKillip and Stoddard
                            >best of all. (But I may be remembering things wrong.) ---djb

                            The two Evenmere novels, The High House and The False House, were released
                            in limited editions a few years.

                            http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_stoddard_highhousesoulwave.html
                          • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                            ... From: Jack jack@greenmanreview.com Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 12:44:55 -0400 To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman ...
                            Message 13 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                              Original Message:
                              -----------------
                              From: Jack jack@...
                              Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 12:44:55 -0400
                              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman


                              >I was on the committee, and gave *High House* a high vote. I don't recall
                              >where I placed Gaiman. I remember I liked it, marginally, but liked at
                              >least three others better: Stoddard, McKillip (one of her good ones) and
                              >the Kline. I think I liked the Kline better than McKillip and Stoddard
                              >best of all. (But I may be remembering things wrong.) ---djb

                              >>The two Evenmere novels, The High House and The False House, were
                              released
                              >>in limited editions a few years.

                              >>http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_stoddard_highhousesoulwave.html

                              Have them both. Thank you. ---djb


                              The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                              Yahoo! Groups Links






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                            • Jack
                              ... Stoddard s very proud of the job the publisher did on them. He didn t make anything off these editions, but they flew him to Nashville (I believe) and he
                              Message 14 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                                >>>The two Evenmere novels, The High House and The False House, were
                                >released
                                >>>in limited editions a few years.
                                >
                                >>>http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_stoddard_highhousesoulwave.html
                                >
                                >Have them both. Thank you. ---djb

                                Stoddard's very proud of the job the publisher did on them. He didn't make anything off these editions,
                                but they flew him to Nashville (I believe) and he had a great time discussing the design with the SoulWave
                                folks.
                              • Stolzi
                                I remember being really p.o. ed about STARDUST because he threw in a sex scene I thought was gratuitous, and thinking that for a parent with young children,
                                Message 15 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                                  I remember being really p.o.'ed about STARDUST because he threw in a sex scene I thought was gratuitous, and thinking that for a parent with young children, this would otherwise have been a fun book to share with the kids but now it wasn't.

                                  At the Mythcon he said he tried to write a pre-Tolkien fairytale in STARDUST, but I don't think he succeeded, as I remember the book, though it's been quite a while now, I think it could well be compared, not with the LOTR, but with Tolkien's shorter fairy tales and seem much like them.

                                  Diamond Proudbrook.


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Jack
                                  I remember being really p.o. ed about STARDUST because he threw in a sex scene I thought was gratuitous, and thinking that for a parent with young children,
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                                    I remember being really p.o.'ed about STARDUST because he threw in a sex
                                    scene I thought was gratuitous, and thinking that for a parent with young
                                    children, this would otherwise have been a fun book to share with the kids
                                    but now it wasn't.

                                    Was Stardust wriiten as anything but an adult novel? I though the sex scene
                                    made sense in terms of the plot as it had developed up to that point.

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Stolzi
                                    Well, I think it s billed as a fairy tale for adults, but when has that stopped sharing a good book with one s children? How many of you here handed LORD OF
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Aug 4, 2004
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                                      Well, I think it's billed as a "fairy tale for adults," but when has that stopped sharing a good book with one's children? How many of you here handed LORD OF THE RINGS to the little darlings as soon as you thought they could absorb it? Or how many had children who found it for themselves? :)

                                      Diamond Proudbrook
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: Jack
                                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 2:30 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman


                                      I remember being really p.o.'ed about STARDUST because he threw in a sex
                                      scene I thought was gratuitous, and thinking that for a parent with young
                                      children, this would otherwise have been a fun book to share with the kids
                                      but now it wasn't.

                                      Was Stardust wriiten as anything but an adult novel?


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                      Er, I must make a correction; I have both *High* and *False* in regular MMPB editions, not the new ones you referred to, though I d sure like to take a look
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Aug 5, 2004
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                                        Er, I must make a correction; I have both *High* and *False* in regular
                                        MMPB editions, not the new ones you referred to, though I'd sure like to
                                        take a look at the illustrations.

                                        I love illustrations best when they act as "jumping off points" for the
                                        imagination of the reader; I love Ted Nasmith's work for another reason:
                                        because it captures as close as humanly possible, the images *I already had
                                        in mind* as I read JRRT's work. ---djb

                                        Original Message:
                                        -----------------
                                        From: Jack jack@...
                                        Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 12:53:12 -0400
                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman


                                        >>>The two Evenmere novels, The High House and The False House, were
                                        >released
                                        >>>in limited editions a few years.
                                        >
                                        >>>http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_stoddard_highhousesoulwave.html
                                        >
                                        >Have them both. Thank you. ---djb

                                        Stoddard's very proud of the job the publisher did on them. He didn't make
                                        anything off these editions,
                                        but they flew him to Nashville (I believe) and he had a great time
                                        discussing the design with the SoulWave
                                        folks.



                                        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                        Yahoo! Groups Links






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                                      • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                        ... From: Stolzi Stolzi@comcast.net Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 13:58:10 -0500 To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman ... I
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Aug 5, 2004
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                                          Original Message:
                                          -----------------
                                          From: Stolzi Stolzi@...
                                          Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 13:58:10 -0500
                                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman


                                          >I remember being really p.o.'ed about STARDUST because he threw in a sex
                                          >scene I thought was gratuitous, and thinking that for a parent with young
                                          >children, this would otherwise have been a fun book to share with the kids
                                          >but now it wasn't.

                                          I thought it inappropriate. Sometimes I wonder what audience Neil's trying
                                          to hit. If it's a "Fairy Tale for Grownups" it should be so labeled,
                                          either in a blurb or part of the title. The violence is often quite
                                          reminiscent of normal fairy tales (before they got bowdlerized).

                                          >At the Mythcon he said he tried to write a pre-Tolkien fairytale in
                                          >STARDUST, but I don't think he succeeded, as I remember the book, though
                                          >it's been quite a while now, I think it could well be compared, not with
                                          >the LOTR, but with Tolkien's shorter fairy tales and seem much like them.

                                          Good point. ---djb


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                                          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
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                                        • Joshua Kronengold
                                          ... Me. More to the point, at this point, he s hitting the audince of people who like Neil Gaiman s work, along with anyone who s only been clued in recently.
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Aug 5, 2004
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                                            dianejoy@... writes:
                                            >I thought it inappropriate. Sometimes I wonder what audience Neil's trying
                                            >to hit.

                                            Me.

                                            More to the point, at this point, he's hitting the audince of people
                                            who like Neil Gaiman's work, along with anyone who's only been clued
                                            in recently.

                                            But even with Stardust, I don't think he's going for a child
                                            audience--maybe with works like "The Day I Sold My Father For Two
                                            Goldfish" or something.

                                            --
                                            Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
                                            --^-- "Get your mind right and you can make a stick /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
                                            /\\ your wand and the sky your hat and a puddle |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
                                            /-\\\ your magic..." -- Granny Weatherwax '---''(_/--' (_/-'
                                          • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                            ... From: Joshua Kronengold mneme@io.com Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 18:04:39 -0500 To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman ... I
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Aug 6, 2004
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                                              Original Message:
                                              -----------------
                                              From: Joshua Kronengold mneme@...
                                              Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 18:04:39 -0500
                                              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Stardust by Neil Gaiman


                                              dianejoy@... writes:
                                              >I thought it inappropriate. Sometimes I wonder what audience Neil's trying
                                              >to hit.

                                              >Me.

                                              >More to the point, at this point, he's hitting the audince of people
                                              >who like Neil Gaiman's work, along with anyone who's only been clued
                                              >in recently.

                                              >But even with Stardust, I don't think he's going for a child
                                              >audience--maybe with works like "The Day I Sold My Father For Two
                                              >Goldfish" or something.

                                              I need to re-read *Stardust* again. However, in terms of audience, I agree
                                              that this is what NG's doing: he's found his target audience, which are
                                              essentially "Neil Gaiman fans." I don't consider *Stardust* a child's
                                              story, and that was my point.

                                              I'm very fond of Gaiman's Sandman, and I also think that he's most powerful
                                              when he's writing short stories. His novels are fine, but they don't have
                                              that extra "punch," though they do make you think. ---djb

                                              --
                                              Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\ _,,,--,,_
                                              ,)
                                              --^-- "Get your mind right and you can make a stick /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'

                                              /\\ your wand and the sky your hat and a puddle |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\

                                              /-\\\ your magic..." -- Granny Weatherwax '---''(_/--' (_/-'




                                              The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                              Yahoo! Groups Links






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