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So, I moved house last week. Broadband is up, my office is slowly coming together out of a pile of boxes, and I didn't quite manage to kill myself in the process. I'd like to have more to say about it but I think I'm due about a week of lying on the sofa gasping for breath first, and then I've got one novel to give a final polish to and another that's due a substantial rewrite.

Once I've recovered from the move I'll try and get back to you with some prognostications on a topic of earth-shattering importance, such as: Why is it that I can find a metric shitload of IEC power cables (that I mostly don't use any more) but none of the useful stuff I need to hook the stereo up in the living room? (No, don't answer that: it's a rhetorical question.) And why is it that the only DVDs I can find are the complete first and second seasons of The Ren and Stimpy Show? Moving is an experience so profoundly surreal that I suspect only the late Douglas Adams could do it justice ... I should have done it years ago, if only for the hallucinogenic focus it applies to your environment.

Meanwhile, here's a short story to be getting on with.

19 Comments

1:

And how is furry little miss Underfoot after the move?

2:

Oh, the cats are fine. There are two of them -- Mafdet, the one in the photo, and Frigg, who is black, nervous, and usually hides at the back of the darkest closet she can find. After some initial nervousness they explored the new place and seem to have taken to it happily; they're both 100% indoor cats, so their world has just gotten a little larger.

3:

Ah, your cats got you to buy them a bigger house...

4:

As good a P. G. Wodehouse / Stanislaw Lem collaboration as the classics:

* Jeeves at the The Futurological Congress

* Memoirs Found in a Butler's Bathtub

* The Robot With Two Left Feet

* Carry On, Solaris

* How the Singularity was Saved

As the clones say:

"... the milk of human kindness is plainly short by several gallons..."

5:

Jonathan,

Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, because it's morning here and I'm not up to working level on my coffee yet, but I can't figure out what your post was in response to. Not that it wasn't fascinating; I'd love to read some of those books, but my mind is being rather linear this morning, and has rather grumpily insisted on some sort of logical progression here. It'll be less concerned with the rigid corset of logic when the caffeine level is higher.

Unless you were just responding to that bit about "the hallucinogenic focus it applies to your environment."?

6:

Bruce: you didn't read that story I linked to, did you?

7:

Oh, right, I told you I was slow this morning. Trying to get eclipse installed properly in a 64-bit Linux distro (which requires re-downloading the eclipse tarball and copying some of the files over the Ubuntu installation), while also downloading a VMware server tarball over a flakey connection (downloads of large files fail five or six times before finally succeeding) and perusing my mail and RSS feeds in between download restarts and attempts to get this new USB snooper working on the stripped-down church organ in my cube; it's all just too much for an under-caffeinated brain. As Bullwinkle might have said, "No doubt about it, I have to get a new frontal lobe!"

So, sorry for not spotting it, Charlie; I'm reading it now (in between dowloads). Nice extrapolation of existing trends there, though I wonder how sexual mores can possibly have evolved so as to completely eliminate the herbivert minority. You'd think the plant-lovers would survive anything.

8:

I just checked with New York Life, and they don't offer a collapse-of-civilization policy. Which is rather distressing now that I think on it, though I can see how they feel that since they would likely be overtaken by any sudden absence of civilization at the same time I would, offering a policy would be kind of pointless.

Bruce: Herbiverts might not survive the end of plants.

9:
Herbiverts might not survive the end of plants
Good point. And even if it's only the metaphyta that go away, it's kind of hard to get passionate about one-celled organisms of any kind.
since they would likely be overtaken by any sudden absence of civilization at the same time I would, offering a policy would be kind of pointless.
But why wouldn't an insurance company be willing to take your premiums for something they'll never have to pay up on? That's just not the capitalist way!
10:

You really do have a lot of stuff.

Better to try to live without so much. As an experiment, put everything you own into storage, and take out only what you need. Anything left in storage after 12 months, you put up on ebay.

Once youve done that, you have to apply conservation of stuff laws to your living space. For every new item that comes in, an old item has to go out.

11:

Oh, right, I told you I was slow this morning. Trying to get eclipse installed properly in a 64-bit Linux distro (which requires re-downloading the eclipse tarball and copying some of the files over the Ubuntu installation), while also downloading a VMware server tarball over a flakey connection (downloads of large files fail five or six times before finally succeeding) and perusing my mail and RSS feeds in between download restarts and attempts to get this new USB snooper working on the stripped-down church organ in my cube; it's all just too much for an under-caffeinated brain.

Can't. Move. With. All. The. Dick-Waving.

Send. Helpppp....

12:
Can't. Move. With. All. The. Dick-Waving.
So how else do you keep time to the music?
13:

The short story mentioned in this diary entry seems to be a pendant to Charlie's novelette "Trunk and Disorderly" in the January 2007 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction (which you still may be able to find at newsstands if you hurry).

14:

Since the thread where it was discussed is now closed, pursuant to Charlie's explanation of Why-To-Order-Direct-From-Small-Presses-Rather-Than-Amazon, I ordered a copy of The Atrocity Archives for an Xmas gift direct from Golden Gryphon. I got a gratifyingly human thank you with the fulfillment email.

15:

I got a gratifyingly human thank you with the fulfillment email.

You only think it was human. They outsourced to a bunch of Deep Ones that tapped into the transatlantic cable.

Surely the "Happy Coming-Of-The-Great-Old-Ones" was a clue?

16:

So that's what happened to the CANTAT-3 cable on Saturday night, causing Iceland to fall off the edge of the Net? It was the squid, clearly.

In fact, I recall reading in Andrew Parker's In the Blink of an Eye about his identification of the creature that bit through a Telstra-C&W cable in the Indian Ocean - they sent him the severed ends of the wire, and he searched the Australian Museum's collection of squid fossils until he found a beak that fit.

17:

“Three moves equal one fire.��?
-- attributed to Ben Franklin

18:
he searched the Australian Museum's collection of squid fossils until he found a beak that fit.
What a great idea for a TV series: CSI, Innsmouth.
19:

Well, Charlie *is* running out of spy writers to rip off^H^H^H^H^H^H^H pay homage to.

Specials

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on December 18, 2006 12:56 PM.

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