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Rule 34: Part Three

(Note: this chapter contains pungent language)

TOYMAKER: The Leith Police Dismisseth Us

It's four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon: Have you got somewhere safe to hide?

You're in the shed, guts churning and palms sweating as you set up the run that Gav's put on you for tomorrow.

It's a' the fault of that fucking cunt down at the Cash-For-No-Questions shop on Leith Walk. He wouldn't offer you more than fifty euros for the telly even though you could show him a receipt all legal-like to prove it wisnae hot. And he wouldna even look at your mobie. Or your bike. And the thing is, unless you get your hands on three large by Tuesday, you're getting malkied.

You owe the Operation's tax farmer three hundred euros for Services Rendered: and the Operation disnae take "Noo, ye ken I got knocked back by thi' bastid wot bought it" for an answer. Nor does the Operation play well with "A big boy did it an' ran away", "The dug ate ma hamewurk", or "Pay you next Tuesday?" The Operation's approach to dealing with Intellectual Property Violations is drastic and memorable—you've seen the vid of that yin from Birmingham what crossed them, even signed a fucking contract on paper to say ye kenn't what ye was getting intae. Fact is, you're their fabber franchisee for Pilrig, and if ye couldna keep a float to cover your credit, you shouldna have fucking signed the piece of paper, ye ken?

It's nae your fault you're hard up. There's a recession on, you're long on feedstock, and your car got crushed cos ye couldna afford the insurance after that eppy bastid Tony and his fucking jakey friend ripped off your stash reet after you paid the overdue council tax (it was that or they were gonnae send the sheriff's court officers round; that would never do if them cunts keeked whit you'd hid in the shed). And then fucking Big Malc gouged you for three days' fab time an' gave you a right gubbing when you asked to be paid—

None of which matters, likesay? The Operation's gonnae have their half kilo of flesh.

The shed at the back of your mum's hoose is cramped, dark, and dingy, surrounded by thigh-high grass and weeds land-mined with cat shit from the feral tom what lives next door. You took it over after your old man died, chucked the rusting lawn-mower and ran a mains extension oot the kitchen window—that, an' drilled through the brickwork under the sink and plumbed in a water hose. The fab needs water and power and special feedstock, and lots of 'em; like an old-time cannabis farm, back before they decriminalized it. You tiled the shed roof with stolen polymer PV slates (not that they're good for much this far north of Moscow) and installed shelves to hold your feedstock supplies and spares. It took you a year to scrimp and cadge and steal the parts you needed to bootstrap the hingmy. You could have saved for half that long and bought a shiny wee one in John Lewis, with the DRM and the spyware to stop you making what you will; but if you'd gone down that road, no way would the Toymaker take you on.

Which leaves you needing three big in four days, and nowhere to turn but Gav.

Not that there's aught wrong with the colour of Gav's money, but he's of a kind with Big Malc; a local business man, higher up the food-chain than most of the neds round these parts. There's something of the night about him, and the way he fucking girns without showing his teeth creeps you out, like he's fucking Dracula, likesay? And what Gav wants you to make for him, you really didna wanna get dragged inter that stuff. You could get lifted for this shit, eat some serious prison time, and all for three big? The fucking fuck.

There's a dump down in Seafield with a side-line in homogeneous graded sinter process metal powders; a grocery store who sells interesting polymers disguised as bags of bread flour. Cheap no-name pay-as-you-go data sticks and VPN software that disguises the traffic as noise overlaid on fake voice channels . . . This stuff isn't rocket science anymore, it's not hacking anymore, it's just illegal as hell because it pisses off the Money. The law disnae appreciate the likes of you schemie scum, like the nice security man called you between the second and third drive-tasing, that time they caught you shoplifting in the St. James Quarter. The law especially disna like your kind owning 3D printers, fabbers capable of taking a design template off a pirate website somewhere and extruding it into the real world to an accuracy of a few microns. The good law-abiding folks—they're welcome to run off Rawlplugs and coffee coasters and plastic Nessie tat for their weans. But the Polis don't like unmonitored fabs. They could be making anything: plastic chibs that dinna show up on metal detectors, meth-lab-in-a-brick solid-state drug labs, home-brew handguns—or what Gav is buying.

"Here's the photies," Gav told you in his flat English accent. He seemed to savour the words: "Fifteen shots each of the subject." He slid an ancient memory stick across the table-top towards you, its surface rubbed down to anonymous white plastic by age. You made it disappear hastily. "Stitch 'em up and render the parts to scale—there's a model there. It needs to be ready by Sunday night. Mozzy will pick it up and pay you at six sharp."

"Eh, but ye ken it's a big load of work? It'll take twenty-four hours to fab 'em, likesay?"

"So? You'd better get started. Likesay."

You bite your tongue. He's takin' the pish, but the way he smiles tells you he kens he's got your number. Cunt.

Gav's buying on behalf of someone who'll be really embarrassed if his habit comes out, that you can tell. The stick feels like it's burning a hole in your pocket as you walk home from the pub. The job's simple enough, but if they catch you with it . . .

Someone's been naughty with their phone. They've been taking pictures. Innocent enough, and they've been careful, no upskirt perv service shots that might tip the Polis off; but once they've got enough angles it's over to you (via Gav). There's software that'll stitch together a polygon map from a bunch of images, working out the perspectives and textures from all the angles. And once you've got the skin, you can drop it over a model of a doll and send it to the printer. Which will generate the pieces of a hard plastic skeleton surrounded by textured, colourized, soft plastic skin that the customer can squeeze and suck without any risk of screaming or telling, ready to clip together around servo motors to animate and sensors to react: and the beauty of it is that she'll never know, this four-year-old whose animatronic double is going to star in some paedo's sex life.

Well, it's no' like you can ask Gav: and anyway, you need his money. Otherwise, you won't be able to pay off the Operation.

The fab's still warm from that bampot Malc's job, so you start by stuffing fresh cans of feedstock up its arse—this job's a hybrid, multiple plastics in the same structure and a skeleton made using the special brew that's been doing the rounds these past couple of months. The work-space is clean, and there's no crap lying around from the last run, which is good, and it's big enough that if you twist the model just so, you can make it in one run.

So you cable your laptop up to the fab, stick your special dongle in its side, swipe your thumb print across it for access, and log in to Evil Santa's workshop to download the templates for a bad night out in toytown.




Early afternoon.

You blink yourself awake in gritty-eyed confusion, stirring from sleep on the living-room sofa. You're surrounded by the detritus of a chaotic Saturday night; greasy pizza box upside doon on the carpet, empty tinnies of Zywiek Super rolled under the TV console, game controller dumped in the ash-tray in a confusion of dowts—you swear under your breath: "Jesus Fuck."

Ye didna get to bed in the end; microwave pizza and cheap Polish beer fuelled you on an epic raid in Axe Cop 14. You and the Grief Street Gang tooled up on what's left of your stash of Provigil and chopped seven shades of shit out of the Baby Panda Squad in return for—

For—

Shite. It's three o'fucking clock in the afternoon! Yon cunt Mozzy's gonnae be round in a couple of hours. The fucking fab's gonna be chirping its heart out, feed me, clean me, the usual after job shoe-shaggy it insists on. You gotta get the cargo bagged up and the hell out of your hoose in case that fat twat Mozzy skelps you. You're gonnae plant them underneath an abandoned car in a back alley somewhere, demand the money up front in return for directions, likesay? Not good to be caught out the same way twice.

You roll off the soiled sofa, gurning, and stagger out to the lavvie. The keekin-glass shows you an orc with eyes like red-rimmed piss-holes in a block of lard. Jaxxie, this is your life! Loser, tosser, fabmonkey to the gentry of the night—it's a' there. You look away hastily, stumble out and through the grimy kitchen to the backdoor and the shed.

The shed. You open the door and step inside. First up, you ken it smells wrong. Fabbers have their ain smell; not humming, like, but a goosh of hot plastic and metal. When it's working hard plastic, there's a lot of hot metal, and steam from the chiller circuit. This is like all soft placky. Which is wrong. So you hit the light switch.

Something's gone very wrong with your fabber.

The red supply blinkenlights are pulsing manically across its front, and the lid's come open. Not only that; it's rising on a fucking pillar of multicoloured hingmies pushing their way out of the extrusion cell like a loaf of bread that's risen too far. Fuck, the fucking fucker's fucked! You grab the handle on the lid. A lime green hingmy pops up at you and you clock what it is, and that's when you realize that no, the fucking fucker isnae fucked, it's you what's fucked.

The evidence is all over the screen of your lappie, which, fucking eejit that you are, you left online when you went inside last night.

You grab the lime green plastic dildo. It's an anatomically correct cock, but it's the wrong colour, only about eight centimetres long, and there's something embossed on it—a URL. As you squint at it, another wee plastic cock—this one cherry red—topples off the mound that's rising from the fabber's guts and bounces across the floor. "Jesus fuck." You stare at the lappie in horror. About sixty dozen overlapping windows are warning you that spyware has been detected, inviting you to download an antivirus package from the app store of a fly-by-night scamware vendor in Hainan. You ken it's the same site as the URL on the dildo. "Jesus fuck," you repeat.

It's ransomware, pure and simple. 

"Tha' dug ate ma' hamewurk."

Never mind Gav and his minions. Tomorrow you're gonnae meet the Operation's tax farmer, who expects you to pay up for your key to the dark gates of toyland.

Twenty-seven hours to lay your hands on three large. You are so fucked.




Hello.

We interrupt your scheduled browsing to bring you news of an unfortunate incident.

Stuart Jackson, aged twenty-two, a resident of Hamilton Wynd, Leith, has just visited our local business-development executive, the Toymaker—that would be me—to plead for assistance in restructuring his debt.

Perhaps you are thinking that the Operation is unduly harsh in its treatment of defaulters. And it's possible you have some sneaking sympathy for Jaxxie, a secondary-school drop-out struggling to make his way in a cruel and bewildering world that has written him off as being of no conceivable value.

Well, you'd be wrong.

This vale of tears we live in holds a virtually unending supply of Jaxxies, eager neds ready and willing to sell crack to their grannies and jack their neighbours' laptops to pay for the next bottle of Bucky. Jaxxie is distinguished from the rest of them solely by a modicum of low cunning, a propensity for graft, and a minor eye for space-filling structure that—if he had applied himself to his Standards and Baccalaureate—might have found him a place on the rolls of a distance-learning institution and ultimately a ladder up to what passes for a respectable middle-class profession in this degraded age of outsourcing.

But Jaxxie is lazy. Jaxxie disnae enjoy the learnin'. Jaxxie is a petty criminal who pays his way by acting as an outlet for the Toymaker's bottom-tier products. And Jaxxie slept through his Economics classes in school.

As you have doubtless realized by now, the Operation's products are all illegal; this imposes certain regrettable cost externalities on us—you can't buy insurance and police protection for your business if what you manufacture ranges from MDMA labs to clitoridectomy kits.

We have learned over the years that it is necessary to take a stern but honest line with junior franchisees who ask for business-development capital loans, then default on their line of credit. In our world of unregulated free-market enterprise there is no "society" to off-load business externalities like insurance onto, no courts to settle disputes equitably, and no presumption of goodwill.

We have given Jaxxie every opportunity to pay off his debt on time. We even steered business his way—when he was too lazy to get on his bike and look for work—by way of our local salesman, Gav. Despite having a suitable contract dropped in his lap, Jaxxie still managed to drag defeat from the jaws of victory. This is the point at which our patience would normally be exhausted: We are not a welfare scheme, and we cannot afford to continually make allowances for incompetence when it impacts the bottom-line.

But Jaxxie's debt is not substantial. Furthermore, we are aware that he is willing and eager to repay it, and would certainly have done so on time had not "the dug ate ma hamewurk." We are therefore pleased to announce that we are going to exercise the prerogative of mercy on this occasion.

Jaxxie: We hope you will take this punishment, which is intended to teach you a valuable lesson, in the spirit in which it is intended. It may strike you as unpleasant and draconian—but consider the alternatives! We have a franchise relationship model to defend. As it is, your punishment will not hurt much. You'll make a full recovery. And it won't even impair your ability to continue in your chosen profession.

Just don't fuck up and make us come for your other kidney.





Where to preorder:

Amazon US: [ Hardcover edition ][ Kindle edition ]

Powell's US: [ Hardcover edition ]

Amazon UK: [ Trade paperback edition ][ Kindle edition TBA ]

Signed copies: Transreal Fiction in Edinburgh will have signed copies of "Rule 34" and can ship them internationally. For details, email Transreal Fiction. (Note: signed copies may be back-ordered between July 20 and August 20 because I'll be traveling overseas and stocks may be low.)

76 Comments

1:

The Scottishness is getting more intense...

2:

God, every part is getting more intense and interesting.

3:

This one is more of a ned - he's not exactly going to be using the Queen's English. His street slang is going to reflect his locality.

4:

"Axe Cop 14" MMO rules.

5:

That's not the problem. The voice shift from Jaxxie to the Toymaker is abrupt and effective, and the Toymaker is the sort of cool amoral criminal/corporate shark that Charlie's proved himself good at writing before. *That's* not the problem.

The problem is that Jaxxie's voice is incredibly erratic. One moment it's "the fucking fuck".. but the very next sentence is pure Stross, "a side-line in homogeneous graded sinter process metal powders". That line is not in Jaxxie's voice, but it's surrounded by sentences which are.

And this keeps happening. Unfortunately it renders it very hard to read Jaxxie's stuff: WSOD is being broken every other paragraph by another lurching shift of voice. The High Stross voice is great stuff, in its place, but I don't think that the sentence right next to "three big in four days" is that place.

6:

I agree with JDC - mother-effin AXE COP! Funny.

7:

Hmm ....
Copyright violation and Pirated Designs huh?

We are getting there (again).
OGH's perception of some parts of the near-future are quite scary.

8:

The problem is that Jaxxie's voice is incredibly erratic. One moment it's "the fucking fuck".. but the very next sentence is pure Stross, "a side-line in homogeneous graded sinter process metal powders". That line is not in Jaxxie's voice, but it's surrounded by sentences which are.

That doesn't bother me a bit. Just like Joe the Mechanic can say, "The last guy who worked on your car was a fuckin' asshole who mounted your pressure release valve incorrectly so your goddamn radiators now completely fucked..." Jaxxie will know the technical issues related to his job even if he is an illiterate idiot - and yes, that's how my mechanic talks.

9:

Yeah I understand how it might be slightly confusing form of expression for Charlie to use for this character. I have to disagree with the "not in Jaxxie's voice" premise.
Originally coming from a background similar to Jaxxies (raised on a rough estate in north of England, signed off to a 'prison holding pattern' comprehensive, where you had to fight to be allowed to listen to lessons, Got into computers and graphics which changed my life trajectory, Ba Hons degree, but didn't really do the 'going full middle classed' thing) I more than understand if you grow up in a social milieu like Jaxxie and you develop some sound technical knowledge you kind of end up with two distinct voices, internally at least. One that expresses your raw emotional reaction to things which is largely a product of your early socialisation and background and another technical voice which is the only way you have to think of and particularly discus with other cognoscenti technical issues.
No matter how emotional and irritated I am about a software house error in the implementation of an inverse kinematics animation routine, thats repeatedly causing terminal gimbal lock in a 3D anim prog. I have no other functional language with which to reflect on this as an issue, and certainly have no other language to talk to other animators or the companies technical support line with.

Further I personally know several individuals who fall squarely into the 'uneducated under-class' demographic.
Who have been regularly both amazed and slightly contemptuous at finding me "reading a book for no REASON". Who can relate highly detailed information on the biochemical and light spectrum requirements of Cannabis plants at all stages of development. Including details of photolytic reactions of various compounds. They may add the odd 'fuck this' or 'bollocks that' but mostly they will respond in fairly precise hydroponic jargon. Then they'll go straight back to screaming abuse at the footie match on the flat screen TV in our local.

So whilst it may be a little difficult to read and comprehend I'd disagree that the voices don't or can't both belong to Jaxxie.

10:

Just ordered the book, can't wait until it gets here!

11:

Oh man, I want Charlie to record an audiobook of this.

12:

I'd quite like someone to record an audio-book. But there are very few authors who have the skills to do it well — Neil Gaiman is the only real exception for me — and I'd prefer a professional for this, particularly since it requires a whole bunch of Scottish accents and Charlie's own accent is English.

That way, Charlie gets more time to write.

13:

A well-done audiobook version would be /wonderful/, I agree.

14:

That does beg the ?Question? of just Who .. Whom? .. among all available Readers Aloud has the necessary abilities to Perform "Rule 34 " properly?

I'm not a fan of Spoken Books and so I have little experience of being read to. I learned to read by means of my Mam teaching me the alphabet and phonetics to link the letters together and thereafter it was as if something had said .. READING .. Remember That? and so she left me -age 4 - with a few books that she hadn't read aloud to me and ..as I recall .. sheer irritation did the rest .... to Mrs Thompson's frustration when I came to infants school at age 5 equipped with the ability to read and an acute dislike of having ' Noddy ' books - ghastly things! Oh how I hated being talked down to - READ TO ME - for she did love to read to her class and I was a disruptive, but silent , influence. Or as Mrs T did say .." You are Very Clever Young Man but you suffer From LAZYITTUS !!!! "

And so these many years later, and not having read the book - HA!! Young Stross you shan't catch me that way, I'm waiting for my Pristine and pre read clue free copy from The Bookdepository - I can say ... who could do it?

15:

Riveted. I'll keep an eye out for hardcover. Funny our Objet (3D laser) printer is downe right now...

16:

I've just checked my order ...


" Order No. BDG-434-3545099815 placed 09 Feb 2011 (08:18:11) on BookDepository.co.uk
Order status | Processing Delivery: Free worldwide delivery Total order value £12.47

Delivery address for this order *******
Rule 34

Rule 34
By (author) Charles Stross
Qty: 1

£12.47 Save £4.16 RRP £16.63

Item status Awaiting publication Delivery: Free worldwide delivery Total order value £12.47 "


Ho Hum ..main page gives " Rule 34 (Hardback) By (author) Charles Stross

Free worldwide delivery
Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock and you don't have to register "

Maybe they have run out of pre-ordered 'Grey Market ' already imported stock? Of which same I am a customer?

Main page has lost the 'countdown ' to publication counter. Not good.

17:

Personally I'd like to hear the audio book voiced by Billy Connolley. For those who have only seen or heard his stage act you should know that he has way more talents then that. Failing that and if it's dodgy scottish accents you want I hear Gordon Brown is out of a job...

18:

Billy Connolly would be excellent (he was very good in "Mrs. Brown"), along with Craig Ferguson perhaps. Though they tend to have a bit too much fun when they get together, not much reading would get done.

19:

Trainspotting redux.

Charlie, I don't like all of your stuff but this is fucking excellent. Dunno when it'll filter down to NZ but when it does, I'm buying a copy.

Great story.

20:

I really think (and hope) that Charlie is hoping his new masterpiece will be serially denounced by "religous leaders" everywhere - resulting in massive sales!

21:

On the topic of audio-books,

my first contact with them was a pack of cassetts with Snow Crash on them bought on a whim, bit dissapointing. But i don't count that one, because i read the book before too many times.

So i'd have to resort to my second audio-book exp., namely Metatropolis, audible.com freebee: Awsum!!! (Thx Scalzi!)
Later bought the hardcover, follow-up hardcover and audio-book for that.

Sometimes audio-books work, most times it doesn't...
Depends on the reading, obviously, not having to read yourself and still getting the authors words with your eyes closed/resting can be so relaxing...

With that reminder, i'll get back to recording my spoken reading of the book de-jour for my local com of vision impared ppl. :/
Be happy you have working eyes! Every. Fkn. Second!

(No, haven't read any chapter of r34 yet, waiting for my preorder, *curse*.)

22:

My first experience of an audiobook was Tim Curry reading from "Sabriel" by Garth Nix.

Wow. Just fucking wow.

That being said, the guy who played Dr. Frankenfurter would be perfect for reading Rule 34.

Charlie, you must make this happen. I'd pay extra.

23:

My first experience of an audio book was Tim Curry reading from "Sabriel" by Garth Nix.

Wow. Just fucking wow.

That being said, the guy who played Dr. Frankenfurter would be perfect for reading Rule 34.

Charlie, you must make this happen. I'd pay extra. Charlie's readers, you must bug the publisher until this happens.

Make it so.

24:

OK, the cast gets more populated, and of course it's some of the usual suspects; using a 3D printer to make sex toys might explain the title of the novel, BTW, can you have sex with your fab? And is there already porn of it on 4chan?

Speaking about the square sociolect Jaxxie uses, I don't see that much of a problem there, to the opposite, I find it somewhat authentic. Having the unquestionable pleasure of knowing some case modding guys or some, err, "hackers" (beware of the ones who use this term on themselves, for Dunning-Kruger is a harsh mistress) and also having had the more questionable pleasure of being the cohab of one of our local pot-smoking, DVD- and PSP-cracking never-do-wells[1], I was somewhat chuckling at some points. Also note we should never underestimate the technological expertise of blue-collar (or even McJob, for that matter) workers.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_n8_v106/ai_20147992/

Concerning the big picture, we could try guesses; there is a heterosexually challenged police officer who has to look into a strange case that would likely make it into my toilet lecture by way of the Journal of Forensics, like the naked guy in the lion cage,

http://www.springerlink.com/content/g1ggmr071eaqwtu1/

The case in question may be a suicide, an accident or a simultaneously clever and degrading way of hiding up a murder.

We have a member of a certain also heterosexually challenged minority (though I think contrary to popular belief, this minority is quite vocal, see, unmarried religious zealots with some serious issues anythink that doesn't fit into a narrow heterosexual patriarchal worldview, err) that get's appointed as the kinda honorary consul of some nice Central Asian country; leaving aside the question if the Great Game is still played in those days (maybe Russia, with the US licking its wounds, against China, Britain abstaining), it's always nice for a mob to have some connections in a country

a) not part of EU, but somewhat in the neighbourhood (come on, Kazachstan is in the UEFA), so no European Arrest Warrant.
b) ambivalent towards international treaties, guess what, Kyrgyztan is neither a member of the BIEM or the CISAC (Kazachstan is a member of the latter, Russia of both), so dual criminality might not be the case with fabbing copyrighted material, and some monetary support in certain parts of the local body politic would make them creative ("We can't get him to pay the fine for bootlegging dildos in the likeness of Rocco Siffredi's member, you know, we would *gasp* profit from inchaste behaviour." "So why don't you prosecute him for inchaste behaviour?" "Sorry to say, your human right lawyers didn't want us to implement those parts of sharia...")[2]. But then, Kyrgyztan seems to be a member of the WIPO, don't know about Issyk-Kulistan, though.
c) a new regime, so any previous legal matters are not that binding.
d) no IT infrastructure to speak of today, so guess what, everything there is goint to be new, shiny and standard issue.
E) a nice, big, deep lake, Issyk Kul[3] is about 668 metres deep, making it no. 7, and it never freezes, so dealing with uncooperative business partners is an all-year business.

And we have a ned who got seriously screwed in an organ deal, 300 pounds for a kidney, yeah, come on, contrary to popular belief open fire and living next to an unofficial garbage dump in India is not more healthy on your organs than doing the Ali G.

As mentioned, we can take guesses, maybe the guy with the milking machine was part of some scheme and his accidental death lead to some problems for his partners, maybe with Jaxxie as the replacement; or somebody wants to know where his money is; maybe he was part of the toymaker association but got too greedy, though that is unlikely for somebody topdog, maybe he got qualms and wanted to quit, though we are talking about the kind of business that includes selling mephedrone to 14-year olds, and if the regular line of work include custom made sex toys for pedophiles ("Hey, my lawyer says we can plead for 'unorthodox experimental therapy'."), I don't want to see what gets you squemish there, maybe somebody else got the qualms or plotted revenge (guess what, I'd be pissed if I was diagnosed with an atypical form of PD sharing some of it's features with borderline personality disorder that seems to be highly confined to past users of a dopamine serotonine releaser marketed by said individual as a bath salt[4])

But as said, these are just guesses.

[1] Anybody with an IQ of about 130 capable of missing their Realschulabschluß because they played World of Warcraft allnight gets marked for serious respect and even more serious issues; long story short, having a free room in your appartment is lots of fun when your landlord gets talked to by a social worker...
[2] Or the even more popular "It can't exist, therefore it doesn't exist, therefore we can't fight it."
[3] BTW, the Iranian "-istan" for "country" is in for some lulz; there is a place called Gulistan in Afghanistan, well, that'd make for some Laundry tie-in...
[4] Looking up Tryptophan hydroxylase on OMIM to verify the effects of lowered serotonin was interesting; seems like knock-out leads to suppresed respiration in newborns, which figures well with serotonin implicated in SID; problem is, mothers with this knock-out were somewhat err, disturbed in the maternal care department...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim/607478

25:

You're right on the spot, but, on a side note OMG, it seems that most asylum applications to the EU (+Canada, US, Australia and NZ) don't seem to be coming from the *istans but countries like Serbia, China, Iran, Iraq, Russia!, Turkey!, Mexico!.

http://www.unhcr.ch/fileadmin/unhcr_data/pdfs/publikationen/2010AsylumTrendsIndus.pdf?PHPSESSID=e9e11341ef916e0a8d616eb711dd6f45

p17.

26:

Sitting across the cafeteria after attending the panel on Feminist SciFi. Thus far a most interesting EuroCon 11.

27:

Err, I'd have to look this one through, but leaving geographic/demographic reasons aside (most of the Mexican applicants went to the US, some to Canada and about 8 to Spain, most of the Russians went to Poland, many of the people from the Balkan went to Germany, people from China seem to prefer the US[1]), where people from the Central Asian countries adhering to the -istan naming convention would have to either pass Russia, Iran or Turkey, there is always the Haitian model for autocratic gouvernment; no investment into education leads to no young educated folks demanding political change(so no political opposition) or able to get work abroad(no economic incentive to leave).

[1] "I want tenure and five post-grad student, at least three of which Chinese"

28:

Am I the only farm boy here? Whatever it was it was not a milking machine. They suck. It was a injecting or feeding machine, and dammed if I know what it was really was for. Do I need more suspension of reality? Also I did not see much (any?) in the way of homosexuality reported on the dead guys doing. Weird sex yes, but so far it was fetishism with no help. Being close to the center of the USA maybe I'm not up to your foreign ways and missed something.

29:

Love the crime angle on fabbing - I'd never thought of that side of things! And when you add in the potential for each to make more of itself... *shivers*. Awesome near-future crime SF, with OGH's trademark wit, insight and knack for characters; exactly what it says on the ... cover.

I have pre-ordered the book since reading the first two chapters, but I would have bought it anyway once it was out - sorry for skewing your figures. Will there be a poll on what people thought of this experiment at the end?

30:

It was my understanding that mickey was playing lucky Pierre with hydraulic prostetics, with a clistir in the primal mouth (biologists get kinky, and yummy, the prostate) and the milking machine at, err, the urogenital end. Nickelodeon, you detroyed my life...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq_vqDtWRLY

Urology and proctology taken care of, the second mouth of the deuterostome was plainly gagged.

How this might be fatal I don't know, maybe cardiac arrest (to quote Fry, "I never though I'd go this way, though I always hoped...") or rupture of the colon followed by general sepsis (ugly). Or just classical (whatever-)erotic asphyxiation. OK, now run for the mental bleach.

31:

OK, it's plain that my lack of worldly experience is showing: people really do talk like that :)

(But I'm afraid this is now colliding in my head with _The Restoration Game_. I'm not sure why, but it's most disorienting. Jaxxie really wouldn't fit in there very well.)

32:

Now that I think about it, not that I want to, the intestine will absorb water and meds. I don't know about nutriments. But he could have been kept alive for a long time, maybe. Making a point? People take lots of pain with out dying. But imbalances from too much water in the system kills people.

33:

Not sure if this has already been pointed out but I just spotted it:

http://verydemotivational.memebase.com/2011/06/16/demotivational-posters-this-book-2/

34:

At the risk of becoming the kinky German (hey, erald, AFAIR you're Austrian, that's your job *g*), there is more about the application of enemas than you ever wanted to know:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enema#Precautions

As for the sexual predilication, there is even a name of it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klismaphilia

Oh, BTW:

"There is usually no question of treating klismaphilics since there is almost never any desire to be 'cured'."

If you excuse me, I have to go to my domina, 'cause I have been a naughty boy indeed...

35:

hey, erald, AFAIR you're Austrian, that's your job

+1

36:


I have been told that the French are very Keen on Suppositories for the administration of medically Prescribed Medication... probably Administered by Women dressed in Traditional Nurses Uniforms and adopting STERN, and - shall we say ? - DISCIPLINED Expressions.


" Suppositories – Why The French Have It Right! "

http://mickirose.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/suppositories-why-the-french-have-it-right/

37:

Joking aside, suppositories can be a better way of taking drugs slowly to keep them in your system. And maybe it's easier on the kidneys? And it's hard to OD that way. But it seems Marlene Morrow managed that. Without any help from JFK!

38:

Err, why am I thinking of 'one man's slow descent into Australia's SM scene'[1] again?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUrUrA27Wnw&feature=related

Thing is, the colon is a nice way to circumvent some of the detoxfication/drug inactivation systems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectal_(medicine)

That might explain it's popularity with some of the, err, non-medicinal drug crowd (that, and that mine is not the only semantic network where "crystal meth" or your other horror hard drug of choice and promiscuous hard sex orgies are quite close[2]).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_injection#Alternatives

On another note and somewhat off-topic, Sacher-Masoch might be Austrian, but his ancestry was Ukrainian on his mother's side. Though there his works are more about about furs, not about leather boots[2].

[1] It even got its own fetish fuel page ( http://fetishfuel.wikia.com/wiki/Farscape ) and Aeryn's actress looks the part[1a].
[1a] Come to think about it, my cohabitant calls this one of the unhealthy obsessions I'm suffering from. He is quite wrong. Especially about the suffering part.
[2] OK, and waiting at some RAF bomber-target practice makeshift rebuild city's railway station waiting for somebody to pick me up, being pissed, listening to NIN and watching some bored goth girls go by, err, do I have to elaborate?[2a]
[2a] Yeah, that is just one other of my unhealthy obsessions.
[3] Come to think about it, I have a lot of unhealthy obsessions[3a].
[3a] Well, this specific fetish is more of a friend of mine, but "russian leather boots" get me to this quite quickly:
http://thigh-high-boots.fetishmy.com/9/thigh-high-red-leather-boots/

39:

This is getting to be a ink blot test. Not that there is anything wrong with that!! And that's a famed American TV punch line.

40:

Various points:-
As others, I don't have an issue with a ned who needs to say something technical having 2 distinct voices in 2 adjacent sentences.
Audiobook suggestion - I know he'd be fvcking expensive, but Dougray Scott?

#28 - I'm not entirely sure what your point is, but sucking and blowing techniques are used for forming blister packaging and hollow (normally vinyl plastic) objects with formed detail on one face. Websearch (inc Fleabay) for vinyl figure kits.

41:

Not just American TV ;-)

See "The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt".

42:

I got through Welsh's "Filth" and I gather how 3-D printing may turn out. But I'm afraid my suspension of disbelief came crashing down when "3 large ones" meant 300 euros. Sorry, but I just can't wrap my head around Scotland joining the Eurozone.

Yours in disbelief,
.
.
.
.
.
.
;-)

Counting the days...


43:

@ 42
Especially, given present circumstances, either Greece exits the Euro, or the Euro crashes.
Um, errr .....

44:

Not joining the Euro is looking like somethng that Greedy Gordon and Tony B Liar actually got right, but a stopped analogue clock is always right twice a day.

45:

Would that be Tom Sharpe's Mr. Wilt? The poor sob. All Sharpe's books are sharp.
As far as I can see the Euros trouble is that Greece, and many others bought AAA bonds from our biggest banks. Ones that were duds and the worlds biggest cash con.
Our Neo-Cons are so happy. All of you were doing so much better that the America they made was. Makes me wonder.

46:

That's the Problem, and the Adventure of Near future S>f.,


The late Great Bob Shaw once told me that he had once submitted a short story wherein the failure of Climbers to Conquer Mount Everest was explained by the presence of an ALIEN base atop of the Mountain ..unfortunately MT Everest was Conquered in the run up to publication ...ah, weel ..you can't win 'em all.

47:

Greg @43: "... either Greece exits the Euro, or the Euro crashes."

I don't see either of that happening. Greece is a tiny part of the Eurozone's economy (smaller than Austria, for god's sake), which is why they could misbehave for much longer than they could have if they had retained the Drachma. They are seriously overextended financially. If it weren't for the Euro they'd be bankrupt already, and no amount of protesting is going to change that fact.

The Germans and the French on the other hand can't easily drop them either, because all those shiny contracts their companies have with the Greek government would be worthless immediately, which is impossible as long as these companies have any say. I think a discontinuation of support is unlikely even if there were widespread popular protest against it.

If Spain or Italy were in serious trouble that would be a different story altogether, but Italy seems to be doing rather nicely recently and Spain seems to be over the worst as well.

All in all Germany is back in an area of solid growth, France is doing pretty well, Italy exceeds all expectations, and the rest of the European nations are basically just along for the ride (where smaller net payers like the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland or Austria never had any problems to begin with).

48:

Let's see what we've had so far...
Spamming
Murder
Illegal dealing in drugs
Fraud
Intellectual property theft
Patent violations
Environmental crimes
Murder
Loan sharking

That's quite a bit for three chapters :)

49:

http://www.buzzflash.com/ is a very good clipping service of what's going on in America.

50:

"Reactor Design Chosen - Not Because It Was Safe - But Because It Worked On Navy Submarines" LIKE I SAID. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/06/american-nuclear-policy-is-insane.htmlNuclear

51:

A good voice for the audiobook would be Peter Capaldi (plays Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It), if he isn't busy elsewhere. I've a copy of The Wasp Factory which he does a fine job of. I think his accent's more Glasgae than Embra, but I'm sure he could manage.

52:

What about James Cosmo? He played Big Ger in some of the Tv adaptions of Rebus, so can clearly do the accent, and I'd buy an audiobook of Rule34 that he'd read just because he'd read it.

53:

A.Nuran @48: "Intellectual property theft"

A bit lengthy, but seriously worth watching beginning to end, deconstructing the very idea of "IP":

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=669200964006594520#

54:

Italy is very good at exceeding expectations, they're used to it. If the soothsayers were right, Italy should have been a smoking economic crater long before this kerfuffle.

55:

You have to wonder, though, don't you. I mean did the Cavaliere REALLY sign the pact with somebody else's blood?

How is it this guy gets elected and reelected in an otherwise perfectly nice country?

56:

Just about anything having to do with aid or loans to countries must met the approval of some Americans. It's not that it's illeagal not to, it's just not done. They are Neo-Cons. To get aid you must sell things that are owned by the State to investors. From outside if they are the ones who bid. And American investment bankers are bidders. Things like water supplies. That's what's been going on in the Third World for decades. Now Greece will not do it. And they are going to make her follow their principles. Maybe they dare not.

57:

It's the same with me, especially since most of the Italians I know (somewhat to the right of the middle[1], whatever this means with me as an observer) don't seem to be to fond of the guy either.

But then, leaving the obvious aside (that guy has a media monopoly), my superficial idea was he was the biggest common part, which might mean something if the demographics of his followers include

- Postfascist (part of Alleanza Nazionale)
- Islam, eh, Christian Democracy (again, Alleanza Nazionale, and Forza Italia)
- Economic Liberalism (again, Forza Italia)
- whatever (sorry, Lega Nord is a story on itself)

Besides those, the PdL has some smaller parties in it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_Freedom

So maybe 'showman, not a politician' is a feature, not a bug.

And then, the last vote was maybe more against Prodi, not for the Unspeakable:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Italian_political_crisis

BTW, the trouble with the UDEUR reminds me about the fun that was the Italian DC,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Democracy_(Italy,_historical)

where I don't know how some of the fun in Italy on the right emerges from the dissolution of the DC and the problem that besides guys who take the C a little bit too serious, there is only the Unspeakable. Oh, and the Postfascists. Which might explain some og the success of the Unspeakable.

And besides, keeping the Unspeakable PM is a good way of keeping the country in news. This is Italy, for god's sake[2].

Maybe somebody could elaborate, but IMHO knowledge about Italian politics is like Mythos points; bad for your SAN...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkDp-6t-keA

[1] The most outspoken were in favor of Lega.
[2] Yeah, that's substituting prejudice for discussion, I know.

58:

Rubbish.

The USA won't be bailing Greece out. That's the EU central bank's job, and they'll be taking the funds from German pockets, which is what all the noise is about (hard working German taxpayers Chancellor taking an exception to propping up Greek tax evaders).

59:

I seem to recall that one Silvio Berlusconi was fingered as being a member of Propaganda Due, the secret right-wing political masonic lodge that operated from 1877 to its exposure during a police investigation in 1981.

The history of P2 reads like a bad conspiracy theory-based thriller, except that it happens to be true and quite a few people did serious prison time for their activities.

Per wikipedia,

P2 was sometimes referred to as a "state within a state" or a "shadow government". The lodge had among its members prominent journalists, members of parliament, industrialists, and military leaders—including Silvio Berlusconi, who later became Prime Minister of Italy; the Savoy pretender to the Italian throne Victor Emmanuel; and the heads of all three Italian intelligence services.
If P2 had an equivalent in the United States, it would explain everything about the last half-century.

60:

Charlie @58: "...they'll be taking the funds from German pockets..."

I think that's just for show. Seriously, the "rich" countries in the Eurozone NEED the "poorer" countries. The Euro would be through the roof otherwise. Remember, when the Euro got started you had 0.7 USD to the Euro. The last, and I have to put that in quotes "crisis", the Euro was 1.3 USD. If it weren't for Greece, Spain e.t.c, there is no way we could maintain a low exchange rate (towards all other currencies) while never risking internal devaluation without running into real trouble.

It's not for the goodness of their hearts that it's put up with. Smaller countries, (like the on I live in) profit greatly from this, too. While we are never responsible, we still reap the benefits.

61:

How about a religious organisation pursuing the same sort of agenda?

62:

If P2 had an equivalent in the United States, it would explain everything about the last half-century.

Would this here do?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fellowship_%28Christian_organization%29
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525

63:

Well, it might explain some things, though the list contains about 900 names, and not all of them are PMs. But then, it seems like Gelli shares some of the goals of the Unspeakable and thinks him implementing his ideas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licio_Gelli

Funny thing is, some of the other members seem more akin to, err, 'social democrats'[1], but they nonetheless jumped the Unspeakable's bandwagon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabrizio_Cicchitto

Which might mean the PdL is something like a continuation of the goals of the P2, or both P2 and PdL attract a certain kind of opportunist, aka the Unspeakable and Cicchitto.

So maybe P2 is not so much an explanation, but a symptom of the Unspeakable's system, trying to get protection from

BTW, suspecting conspiracies, both right and left, was another thing most of the mentioned Italians agreed on, but then, believing into conspiracies might correlate with a cognitive style good at detecting threats, but bad at integrative analysis, which might correlate with being right of the middle, or like. Err.

http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1984-14918-001

or for the pdf,

http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/tetlock/Vita/Philip%20Tetlock/Phil%20Tetlock/1984-1987/1984%20Cognitive%20Style%20and%20Political%20Belief%20Systems.pdf

But if you believe in conspiracies, you are apt to create your own conspiracies to counter them; enter P2 and Group 17.

OTOH, masonry in Italy has quite a history, even I know who Garibaldi and Mazzini are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Oriente_d'Italia

If you excuse me, I have to fetch my haloperidol...

[1] "Wer hat uns verraten, die Sozialdemokraten", yeah

64:

Come to think of it, the whole story gets me to loose even more sanity points; the Unspeakable got sentenced for false testimony regarding his membership in P2 in 1990:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi#False_testimony_regarding_membership_of_the_.22Propaganda_2.22_.28P2.29_masonic_lodge

Which was 4 years before he got MP. And even with his media monopoly, the Italians can't be in this kind of news bubble. But then, one of the tactics of the Unspeakable has always been to paint his enemies as Soviet communist, which might make for some immunization.

65:

"To get aid you must sell things that are owned by the State to investors. From outside if they are the ones who bid. And American investment bankers are bidders. Things like water supplies." That's not bailing anyone out. It's legal extorshion.
They made the Congo stop medical aid. They said the Congo may, that's may, not has been able to pay back loans and pay for saving many lives. So the medical aid was stopped and the people who were really making the Congo better were out. And the next ones knew to pay off banks first.
I can't see P-2 having a thing to do with this mess. That was then, this is now! I can see the dud AAA bonds from the biggest banks in america doing it.

66:

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is being sued by a division of the US Government for millions of dollars over failed US mortgage bonds – residential mortgage-backed securities;... http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2011/06/21/rbs-sued-over-us-mortgage-bonds/

67:

There is an argument that the Greek government has been pretty dodgy, financially, and there are a lot of governments who really don't want to give traction to the idea of investigation and prosecution.

68:

Well the fact is I can't really say what the Greek government has been up to. So if you say so, I can't say no. But those AAA bonds were there. And not only there.

69:

Not saying it isn't ridiculous. Just cataloging the technically illegal acts in the snippets provided. Blasphemy and failure to carry a goldfish on public transit unless the goldfish is lying down are also foolish offenses. They're still on the books in many places.

70:

There's an interesting article in Der Spiegel reminding Germans that their country is only an economic powerhouse because it is Europe's biggest debt transgressor and bailout recipient.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,769703,00.html

71:

The Fellowship want to grow up to be P2.

P2 isn't a uniquely Italian problem; Turkey has/had it's own equivalent in the shape of the Ergenekon organization (which hopefully has been mopped up now) -- an extreme right-wing/quasi secret organization with very high-level military links (Turkey has been under military rule within recent memory), connected to acts of terrorism intended to pursue a "strategy of tension" with the left and/or islamists (just like P2's involvement in right-wing terrorism in Italy in the 1970s).

The USA has enough of an open society that it would be quite difficult to maintain the secrecy of a deep state. I suspect that instead of such a structured top-down conspiracy there's a jelly-like bunch of little social circles running on convergent shared interests and back-room deals that gives rise to the emergent appearance of rule by an oligarchy without any such cabal actually existing. (Which is what drove the KGB into such a tizzy in the 1950s -- they were ordered to find the ruling conspiracy behind America by the planners, who just couldn't believe such a wealthy and powerful nation could operate without a command layer at the top consisting of people like them.)

72:

But P2 also shows a problem any secret conspiracy is going to have; even in the years before Gelli's list surfacing, there was talk about staging of terrorist attacks etc., when you look up the list, those guys knew what they were talking about, the were members of P2, like Cicchitto or Pecorelli[1]. Which leaves some interpretations:

a) mudding the water; by creating 'conspiracy theories', any evidence gets dismissed as paranoid ramblings.
b) internal factions; maybe some of the guys bought the ticket only half-way and wnated to alert to the hardliners.
c) blackmail; what better way to learn about the skeletons in the closet than joining the conspiracy and reminding people what you know and could talk about.
d) eating the cake and keeping it; joining the conspiracy and getting ahead, feeding some news to the press to distance yourself from said conspiracy when everything fails.

(Other scenarios welcome.)

OH, and don't talk to me about the links between P2 and the Vatican, where suspecting everybody shy of surpassing Pope Pius X in anti-modernism a mason is an all-time right-wing Roman Catholic favourite...

[1] In other news: Thatcher confirmed Leninist mole; secret memoir of Nixon hitting the road with Bob Woodward and Hunter S. Thompson hits bestseller list.

73:

jelly-like bunch of little social circles

If you read the personal account of Sharlet, who staid there, that's exactly what "The Family" is.

And nothing else is needed.

All you need is a number of people who trust each other, mutually reinforcing preexisting ideas that perfectly fit the cultural background.


Energekon is powered by slightly different emotions. Nationalism, Turkishness and military obedience. But that's not half as dangerous.


In the case of the Family insulation towards all forms of doubt is a lot stronger.

It's personal:
This oil executive is a true Jesus brother. Have to help him.

It's boy-scoutish:
If it oozes morality, it can't be wrong.

It says, what every Godly American says:
The Dissenters on board of the Mayflower would sound identical.

There's a known baddie:
Commies everywhere. Have to fight them. For Jesus.

There's money sloshing around:
A true sign of Guidance.


All this works so perfectly, there is really no strict organisation needed. Nothing beyond pure jelly.

74:

"jelly-like bunch of little social circles running on convergent shared interests and back-room deals"

You got this right. What we have in the States are people who went to the same few schools from start to finish. And think alike. They understand each other and the World they want. They are like a school of Piranha. When there is blood in the water they act the same.
Politically there are two, at least, groups. The new Cowboys who what they want now. And the old timers whose family money may have been made from slaves and opom so long ago their money is clean.
The cowboys are running the USA now. The Old Timers are a little worried they will mess up things for them, But like the new money and power coming their way. In any case a small part of the top 1% owns almost all the real value of the country.

75:

I've just recieved a notification from the book depository ..it probably arrived yesterday but I've been having FUN computer problems that I've only just solved ...

" Your pre order is in

"Dear A

I am pleased to let you know that we have just received notification that your pre-ordered book has been made available by the publisher.

Order number: *********
Book title Quantity Item price Total
Rule 34 1 12.47 12.47 "


So it looks as if I am on their 'Grey Import ? " pre-order list for the hardback ..sez He cautiously since I will only believe it when I have it in my hands.

Their listing as of a few minutes ago was ..

" Currently unavailable
We can notify you when this item is back in stock and you don't have to register "




76:

I suppose at this stage it makes sense to stop referring to Euro as a reference to a currency in Europe several years from now, I'll top-of-the-hat to Bill Gibson and jokingly suggest a variant of NuYen, or 'Neuro', short contractions of Neo, Euro and Neurosis.

I mean, the era of Euromancy (as a variant of Necromancy) is ending - I'd rather be a Neuromancer (in reference to BitCoin).

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