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Back home (again)

More news as/when my head remembers which time zone it's in. (Did I mention, I don't do all-nighters well? Red-eye flights do my head in, especially when the plane is flying west-to-east with a tailwind so vicious its ground speed is somewhere north of 700 miles per hour, resulting in such a short flight that I don't get to sleep.)




Not to mention the relativistic time-dilation effects.


I also got my head done in by being given the Skylark (Edward E. Smith) memorial award for 2008, but that's another matter. (And not front page news: it's not a literary award, rather, it's an award for an SF professional who's also an SF fan who contributes something to the community. Ahem.)


Congratulations on the award and on re-entry to the EC.


From that NEFSA page:

"Doc Smith attended many conventions and participated in them as a pro and as a fan. He was one of the earliest enthusiasts in what are now called hall costumes and often dressed as characters from his stories -- the good guys, of course."

Charlie, which character from your writing would you dress as, if doing so would bring World Peace? And it doesn't have to be a "good guy."


Josh, I'd dress up as the Easter Bunny or Marilyn Monroe if it would be guaranteed to bring about World Peace. And I am not the costuming kind. (If world peace was actually for sale, I'd be willing to consider paying any price, up to and including a human sacrifice. And yes, I am familiar with the le Guin parable.)


Don't people who try to bring about World Peace have a nasty habit of doing anything but (or establishing organisation who do anything but).....

I now have to get the image of Lord Stross of Lothian as Marilyn Monroe out of my head. Any recommendations?


Kevin: Yup. (That's why I'm not exactly taking the proposition seriously ...)


Glad to hear it we needn't look out for you on the next edition of Celebrity Impersonators. The Royal Mile during the Festival time is bad enough as it is.

Unfortunately I now have the image of you singing "Happy Birthday" to President Hillary. I fear the Laundry may soon come knocking. Someone please pass the Ardbeg.


Okay, let's set more realistic goals: what characters would you be willing to dress up as for publicity to increase your book sales? Besides Bob Howard, of course. :)


So is the idea he dresses up to increase the sales, or threatens to dress up if his sales don't hit the target?

By the way, Marilyn is now being accompanied by Bill C. in drag as some dame called Josephine playing the saxophone. (The Ardbeg's not working...)


Kevin... I prescribe vodka, one pint to one quart.

If that fails try a cricket bat *or a two by four if that is easier to come by) and striking yourself repeatedly in the forehead until the disturbing images go away... Or until they cease to be disturbing, either way.


Charlie, it's probably worth confessing that I've been taking your name in vain on the most recent thread on Making Light.

I'm sorry. Accelerando made me do it.


Now you're de-zonked from time-zones, can I repeat a question, that got lost in train-travel triva?

re: Halting State ....

… just finished “Halting State” – and got a moment of real surprise at one point …..

I was reading it in the kitchen, whilst radio3 was playing. I’d got to the point where the clear-up after the warehouse raid is in progress, and the characters are talking about terrorists (muslims) who are in rejection of the modern world. Meanwhile the radio was going on about the newly-available various ways of obtaining high-quality music over the net – up to and better than vinyl quality – much better than the overcompressed stuff some CD’s have, for instance.

Are the muslim terrorists, and come to that, the fundie Christians actually fighting against the singularity?

I think the picture you painted in “Accelerando” is in a way, much too optimistic.

Passing through the big S is going to be a sort of rebirth – and I’m reminded of what R.A.H. said in ”The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”: You are witnessing the birth of a new nation (the Moon), but all births are accompanied by some blood and pain.

And it might abort, and the blood-and-pain is going to be extensive.

I’m old enough to have done actual FORTRAN IV programming on 80-character punch-cards, and I have difficulty keeping up at times (I don’t do programming any more – a pity, as I would be better-paid) and a LOT of people are going to try to resist.

It will be as futile as resisting a Vogon constructor fleet, or trying to stop railways in the 19th Century.

What is worse, I have a horrible suspicion that we are going to get the big S at the SAME TIME as WWIII, given that, at present, gross military force seems to be the only thing that the warriors of “god” recognise. We can always hope that more subtle means, and overwhelming techie superiority will win the day, without too many millions being killed, but I am not sanguine over the prospect.

Any thoughts?


G. Tingey @13: no comment. (I am currently in the early stages of planning a sequel to HALTING STATE ...)


A sequel to Halting State, that news has made my day. Thanks Charles


Pete G: don't hold your breath -- if it happens, I won't get to write it until next year and it won't be in print before 2010.


Greg@13, please take the SmartQuotes out of what you write. Having lots of question marks in strange places through your writing makes it hard to read. And punch cards? Ha! My first programs were input via paper tape!


A SEQUEL to "Halting State"


Please answer other q's IF/when you get time - but keep writing .....