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Book Launch

hardback book

Yes, I've got a new book coming out real soon now: "The Annihilation Score" (US kindle edition) (UK kindle edition) comes out on July 2nd in the UK and July 7th in the USA (yes, different publishers release books on different dates: who knew?).

Amazon and the big bookstore chains won't sell you a copy ahead of schedule, but if you happen to be in Edinburgh on Wednesday July 1st I'm going to be reading from (and signing copies of) "The Annihilation Score" at Blackwell's Bookshop on South Bridge at 6:30pm. The event is ticketed but free; tickets available from Blackwell's, more event information here.

If you really, truly can't wait to get a taste of the book, will be running an extract on June 30th (and I'll be mirroring it here)!

In addition, I'm going to be doing an AmA—Ask Me Anything—on Reddit's /r/Books subreddit on Wednesday July 8th at 2:30pm ET (7:30pm here in the UK), and (needless to say) talking a lot about the Laundry Files and "The Annihilation Score" for a couple of weeks. Including, if I remember, writing the Crib Notes to "The Rhesus Chart" (now that it's out in paperback) and trying not to give too much away about the overall trajectory of the series (hint: book 7 is mostly written, and I know where book 8 and 9 go in considerable detail—yes there's a series story arc).

What if you want your very own signed hardcover book and can't make it to Edinburgh on July 1st?

Well, Blackwell's will have signed stock to hand after that session, and are happy to sell via mail order: their contact details are here. In addition, Transreal Fiction, Edinburgh's specialist SF/F bookshop, will also have stock and are happy to ship signed copies of the Annihilation Score anywhere on the planet: ordering details here.

Finally, I'm going to be in the United States for Sasquan, the 2015 worldcon, so by late August there are likely to be signed copies available in Seattle and Spokane, if not further afield—and I hope to be able to announce a reading, signing, or other meet-ups in Seattle and Spokane nearer the time.



I'm looking forward to this book, Charlie. I won't be able to make it to Edinburgh, though.


Very much looking forward to this.

Though I'm curious. If

5 = Vampires 6 = superheroes 7 = elves 8 = ?

From the hints you have dropped it seems like 8 would be maybe mercenaries? MilSFF? Any clues?

Oh, and will we learn more about the prophecy about Bob any time soon?


As it happens, I'll be in Berlin around the time of the launch. Do you happen to know any bookstores there that might have the English language edition? I'd love to buy one there rather than waiting until I'm back in the USA.


Book 8 is another pivot -- back to Bob, in his new capacity as [SPOILER FOR RHESUS CHART], forced to deal with threats at a much higher level -- Cabinet Office level, even.


Otherland in Berlin is always well worth a visit. Good range of English language imports as well as German SF/F; you might want to email an enquiry, though, because there's no guarantee they'll have a new British hardcover in stock as soon as it comes out.


Saint George's English Bookshop in Wörtherstr, Prenzlauer Berg. You can email them, ask to preorder and they'll let you know. Generally for new/pre-orders they get it on the day or occasionally a day or two earlier. (Also generally a really good bookshop)


I think I will wait till I'm home. I suspect I'll have a better chance of finding it at Gatwick the day after publication than in Riga a day earlier


July 7th: gives me plenty of time to finish up what I'm reading now, and maybe what I was planning to read next.

Hopefully by August the mishegoss in Spokane will have died down. Is there usually much cosplay at Worldcon?


Cosplay is there, the Masquerade itself is a very old Worldcon tradition, but it's not overwhelming. It's one of those things which catches the eye of those responsible for news reports, and there may be occasional vikings and morris dancers.


I was tempted to make a joke about the woman mentioned in the link getting a head start on the cosplay, or perhaps there being stranger sights there during the con, though without the social/racial context.


Will there be a Kettenkrad in it?



Note ... I hope it is a return (though in/on another track AIUI ) to the previous work's standards. Something didn't quite "feel" right about "Rhesus Chart" - possibly because it was dealing with a side-issue, Vampires, rather than the "main plot" a.k.a. CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. Also I got the feeling that, even apart from the very confusing name [ I mean, George Stephenson, who really lived: 1781-1848 ... ] the old vampire was very much a deus ex machina figure, introduced simply to wind the plot-clockwork.


There is no kettenkrad in "The Annihilation Score".

"The Nightmare Stacks" is another matter entirely ...


You can pencil that up to my brain farting and somehow forgetting entirely about the existence of a particular locomotive engineer when I was generating names. And none of my editors or beta readers called me on it.

"The Annihilation Score" incidentally introduces the concept of CASE NIGHTMARE RAINBOW and various non-GREEN colour codes within it ...


GREEN is no longer good enough. My expectations have moved on and I demand at lease CASE NIGHTMARE ULTRAVIOLET!


I hope (and assume) that it'll show up in iBooks too…?


So will the status of Mo & Bob's marriage be resolved by the end of this one, or will we need to wait until 8?


Wait until at least book 8.


I want to preorder but postal workers all over Germany are on strike and the three books I ordered last month still haven't arrived, so I'm not sure preordering would do any good.



Oh wait. I could probably ask a local bookshop to order it for me. Not sure how long that will take, but it'll probably be faster than having it mailed to me during a countrywide mail strike.


Great to hear you're making it to Spokane and Sasquan. I live in eastern Washington State, so if you want/need any travel tips, let me know. I'll make sure to attend some of your events.


Oh god dammit

Look, let's make this real clear - getting me emotionally invested in the stability of a fictional marriage and then dragging it out over 6 years is a dick move, ok?

They are fictional characters ok? Making me anxious enough over their happiness to the point where it is disrupting my trip to the pub? Not cool dude.

GRRM never pulls this "toy with your emotions like a cat" crap


Dammit, I've already impulse-bought and speed-read the latest Neal Stephenson book-end when I should be crunching through the Hugo packet, and now this. It's not like I need enabling for my displacement activities


Ok, fine:

@Host - what's the best way to buy say, all all of your Opus that maximizes your % cut?

Serious question.

Lay it out - Byzantine or normal roads, max spend is ~ £500 (converted).

(And, yes: burning through Saturn's Children really did save my life, so hey, "This Machine Kills Demons" has my attention.)

I'd prefer paperbacks, but of course, you can push the gold embossed, breathed on by your Goddess (wife) and handled once by T.Pratchett before he passed to better things if you want.


Hmm, actually.

£500 is really paltry, I only just noticed the side projects.

Triple that.


Hmmm, an AMA huh, interesting because I've got the ability to engage you here already, though I must wonder if Snoop Dogg will pop in and reveal that he and you are writing a hybrid spoken word-hip-hop Laundry series album.


One possibility of C N RAINBOW might be ... to get the competing (?) nightmares to fight each other, whilst we, err, run away, so to speak?


... get the competing (?) nightmares to fight each other, whilst we, err, run away, so to speak?

If you can get them to choose some other battlefield. In WWII that approach worked pretty well for Britain but not at all for Poland.


You could argue thats already happened somewhat with TEAPOT - for small values of nightmare of course. In fact if I remember The Fuller Memorandum correctly its not quite clearly explained why TEAPOT goes from being a merciless killer to an ally when it swaps bodies. Deliberately vague - coz spoilers.


There are also a number of hints of something deeply nasty being in charge at the Black Chamber of course.....


I get only about 7% of the price you pay for a paperback. I get 10% (maybe 15% if it goes bestseller) for a hardback. And I get 25% on ebooks -- so although they're generally 15-20% cheaper than a paper edition, they're good for authors.

If you find a hardcover in a remainder shop or second hand bookshop, you should be aware that I get zero remuneration from it.

I generally get a bit more from hardcover/paperback books sold via small specialist bookstores than through a big chain like Waterstones, let alone Amazon (who treat their supplies pretty much like Tesco treat dairy farmers).


The point of an AmA on /r/Books is to get in front of readers who may not have heard of me. Redditors who hang out on /r/printsf already know where I am, and if you're here, you're part of the choir.

As my goal is to promote my books without spamming the uninterested, I reckon a hosted scheduled discussion in a relevant Reddit forum is about as good as it gets.


Big picture: the CASE NIGHTMARE codes are all assigned to existential anthropic threats -- as in, they're types of event associated with extinction-level outcomes if we get them wrong the very first time we encounter them.

Obligatory Iain M. Banks reference: they're a taxonomy of Out Of Context problems.

CASE NIGHTMARE BLUE is the Lovecraftian singularity: the stars are coming right and we can't prevent this from happening. Side effects: magic everywhere and hideous incursions occurring with increasing frequency.

CASE NIGHTMARE RED is an alien invasion scenario: a side-effect of BLUE is that an awful lot of natives in other versions of our reality begin to get restless, and some of them decide our neighbourhood looks quieter and less likely to draw unwelcome attention from the Elder Gods. TEAPOT and the V-parasites are low-level manifestations of this one; "The Nightmare Stacks" is about a barely averted near-worst-case outbreak of CNR. (Hint 1: we call them "elves" but what they really are is another species of gracile hominid with elongated pinnae and a very bad attitude. Hint 2: any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from magic. Hint 3: they are currently exploring the consequences of having allowed a Mineshaft Gap to emerge, and don't like what they see.)

CASE NIGHTMARE YELLOW is the hard-take-off rapture-of-the-nerds singularity, with added tentacles, because you just know that nothing goes better with CASE NIGHTMARE BLUE like a simultaneous Vingean singularity taking hold in the age of the Internet Of Things That Go Bump In The Night.

There are other codes for things like malevolent/viral SETI signals, intelligent plagues (c.f. "Blood Music") and so on, but these are the Big Three as far as Bob is concerned.

The point is, none of these are particularly good things for the people who pay the Laundry's bills. (And by book 8 or 9 the Laundry, in full public view, is going to be reassigned by Whitehall as the primary agency under the purview of the Department for Existential Anthropic Threats, when it's spun out of the Ministry of Defense.)


So would I be right in taking GREEN to be a colour mix of BLUE and YELLOW?


I'm glad to hear that you get more for ebooks than paperbacks. I ordered the Kindle version so long ago that I had to check my records to make sure I'd completed the process.


That sprung to my mind as well. Makes sense given the increasing ubiquity of cheap processors in modern life.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I think it is a fantastic idea, and will do a far better job than the handful of friends and family I've gotten hooked on your terrifyingly fun-yet-terrifying worlds.

I just can't help but secretly hope we learn about a secret album you and Snoop are working on.


I am not big on rap and don't think I'd know any of Snoop's oevre if I heard it.


It's more a joke on his amusing tendency to pop up in AMA's out of nowhere. Also love the Mineshaft Gap reference!


CASE NIGHTMARE BEIGE - Nothing interesting happens, it's business as usual and we all die from boredom. [And as an aside, who in their right minds ever buys a beige coloured car???]


CASE NIGHTMARE PLAID: the Scottish political Singularity unfortunately coincides with a technological singularity, sentient bagpipes are involved, nobody is safe.



Irish politician is possessed by vengeful spirit of dancing leprechaun:


Depends upon whether you are following the "Lie told to chidren" abut colours, or the real colour combinations: Red + Green + Blue or the opposite (pigments) Cyan + Magenta + Yellow ( + Black )


Comes down to a choice between:

'Case Nightmare Paisley' ... the universe is fractal, but so what, your life is mind-numbingly boring in every universe.

And 'Case Nightmare White' where everything hits the fan all at once, and we find out that there is a Sky Daddy after all who's fed-up-to-here and is seriously considering just hitting the restart button.


Um, I do, because it doesn't show the dirt as much and nobody thinks I could possibly be going as fast as I really am.


Isn't a zombie apocalypse crudely equivalent to an intelligent plague? (answering his own question:) I guess that's why it's CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.


CASE NIGHTMARE YELLOW: Ancaps. Ancaps everywhere.


All this colour scheming reminds me of a certain Complex, which was set in a postapocalyptic scenario and had these colour codes for everything...

(To be honest, Paranoia never has been a game I would like to play. I understand the humour in many versions of it, and I like to read the material, but playing it would not be fun for me.)


Ever play the Gamecube game "Eternal Darkness?" Excellent Lovecraftian RPG that involves pretty much that situation. Color-coded, even. The only video game that's ever actually made me scream out loud. (When the controller cable hit my leg at 2AM while playing.)


Okay, maybe I'm suggestible, but was thinking of going to the other B&N in town anyhow, so I just did my small bit for the Tor anti-boycott. If anyone's looking for book suggestions, I got the trade paper editions of Rajaniemi's "The Causal Angel"* and Jo Walton's "What Makes This Book So Great", and the mass market of "The Goblin Emperor" by Kathleen Addison whose 'name' I couldn't recall, but found on my second go around the SF section.

They didn't have the Merchant Princes omnibuses, or I'd have gotten them, and no E.Bear at all.

*am in the middle of "The Fractal Prince" right now, so that was an easy pick.


And I get 25% on ebooks -- so although they're generally 15-20% cheaper than a paper edition, they're good for authors.

That's something I really didn't know. Time to buy digital. Oh, and grats on another (soon-to-be) successful launch :)

Current Reddit 'things' to watch for (more-so than 'Let's talk about Rampart', mostly stolen from chans or elsewhere):

Dank Memes Jet Fuel can't melt steel beams: now Jet fuel can't melt XXX or XXX can't melt steel beams Ayyy (Lamo) [solidly chan] Chairman Pao & fatpeoplehate

Lovely Banks reference though.

All this colour scheming reminds me of a certain Complex, which was set in a postapocalyptic scenario and had these colour codes for everything...

It's called Google. And the E.U. And Apple. And the US State Department.

Posting direct links will generally be seen as bad form (esp. to higher tier documents, they're getting better at preventing direct links bypassing walls), but it's commonly used as as symbolic indicator.

The gist of it is:

Yellow = manual labor / construction / traditional 'working class' Green = Creative / artistic / ecologically minded Red = Passion / emotional / entertainment / sex Blue = Strategic / planning / bureaucracy Black = Power / violence / military White = Architect / symbolic summoning / H.O.P.

There's a few more but they're not commonly used. I'm sure you can find the people who created the theory somewhere (A.C.?)

If you're not cynical enough already, politicians count as red.


Shout out to a great UK team making Lovecraftian Victoriana:

Sunless Sea [Computer Game website]




Dear God, please don't let there be a Case Nightmare Grey...

Alternatively, Case Nightmare Black-an outbreak of Goths


Phill wrote:

Alternatively, Case Nightmare Black-an outbreak of Goths

"Bela Lugosi's Undead."


"The Goblin Emperor" by Kathleen Addison whose 'name' I couldn't recall

D'oh! Then I go and get it wrong, should've been Katherine. Was nagging at the back of my head.


Case Nightmare White would be when every other "colour" happens at the same time. See "Earthdoom" for a worked example.

Case Nightmare Black would be when nothing at all happens.


There's also the Lüscher color test where colors are (supposedly) indicative of subconscious personality characteristics. (A 1984 test/article showed little agreement with the MMPI.)

IMO, Lüscher's is on the money for explaining the violet/black color preferences of some teenagers.


I'd suggest that case nightmare white is what we've got in American politics at the moment.


Or, alternatively? A “CASE " which only affects people whose central nervous systems have had sufficient time to Develop beyond age 90 years and Above. Or People who are somewhat younger but who’s Central Nervous Systems are Especially Sensitive? A "CASE” Otherwise known as ... CASE PURPLE!! ..Whose Symptoms are...?

" When I Am Old " ...

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me, And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired, And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells, And run my stick along the public railings, And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick the flowers in other people's gardens, And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat, And eat three pounds of sausages at a go, Or only bread and pickle for a week, And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes. But now we must have clothes that keep us dry, And pay our rent and not swear in the street, And set a good example for the children. We will have friends to dinner and read the papers. But maybe I ought to practise a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised, When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple!

Jenny Joseph "

"Old Woman” could reasonably be said to include CIS Women and Men and also LGBT folk. I know Tran’s folk who are VERY purple, as the poem reads, as it were.

I've just been out to my patio container garden clad in my slippers - leather but a wee bit on the seriously scuffed side - and in my bathrobe...Blue but it would be Purple if only it could be .. In the freezing North East of English drizzle to Sympathise with my Roses.



"Old Woman” could reasonably be said to include CIS Women and Men and also LGBT folk

Go into an old people's home, and you'll observe that those men who still have their hair, look like old women. Time, in the end, erases every difference and makes us all equal; if not in our final days, then afterwards.


Hmm. Not sure I like the acronym for your Department of Existential Anthropic THreats.


I've got a problem. A wife away on business, a thirteen-year-old desperate to read the next installment of the Laundry Files, and a ten-year-old who couldn't give a monkey's.

Hmmmm, how to buy off youngest with Tintin books while getting firstborn into Thin's to meet you...


Shame it's not the other way, the blood of the firstborn holds enough power to open a door for the other two easily, or so old women with old knowings of old magicks would chuckle and say in old tongues.


Their catch-phrase at media interviews is:

[Pained smile] "We do not mention the H word."

(The only H that's compatible with the DEAT acronym would be "Humanity". As in, Department for Existential Anthropic Threats to Humanity. But that's a bit too blunt.)


Can you drop me an email directly?


I may rely on bribery; headphones and an iPad are a start, and the promise of a trip to Bonsai for a sushi dinner might help (The answer to "how many Wasabi Peas can a ten year old eat at once" is, as he proudly announced, six). Fortunately, low blood sugar and fatigue aside, they're disgustingly well behaved. Mostly ;)

Mike in Transreal has got used to me arriving for a short visit, with one or other in tow. Oldest is now at the point where he's happy there too, and I normally get five minutes before youngest starts to drag and push me towards the door giggling that I've used up my time...


Sorry for the derail, but:

I know Tran’s folk who are VERY purple, as the poem reads, as it were.

I knew a man called Andrew through friends and partner, who wasn't very happy and his scrappy little beard wasn't very good.

I didn't know him very well, he wasn't doing the thinking I was, and in university I had better things to do.

I went away for a while, came back, and met a woman called Alex who seemed much more content, but who was scared and needed some help moving to a safe community. My partner of the time wanted stuff to happen, but didn't know who could do it.

So I helped her move, did all the legals, growled at the dogs, met her new friends (a sad fact is, technology and pharmacology does produce better results, there's a distinct smell of valor and sadness passed into hope to the newer versions by the old ones) and it mattered not. The fact they had to have CTV cameras on their houses and so on was depressing, but she wanted to be there.

She was safe, happier and so on.

Badass LandRover maneuvers did happen.

This isn't my story about how I got a gold star interacting with a trans* person, it's just how it went. Alex was beautiful - I wish her all the best, and she needed a hand and meh, I was available.

Alex was good looking, and owned her body in a way that dissolved any memories of bad beards.

I had a friend... (YouTube - music)


It's really that simple and non-complicated unless you need it to be.


Then I guess fans wishing to really support further Laundry Files should purchase through Amazon JP where the English-language Kindle version is ¥2,944 or just about double the US price. Should still net a higher return to author even after the staggering price of shipping all of those bits across the Pacific or via the ancient Asian land routes. (I do hope you get the full 25% on those sales in Japan.)


Ben Aaronovitch is a good writer. I think it's cool that he has enough name recognition to get picked to blurb you.


Surely Black would become CASE NIGHTMARE ORANGE? After all, Orange is the new...sorry ;)


No-one's terribly sure what these are, but it involves the interior decor of the rebuilt Head Office.


Hollywood ending

(Obligate child-of-70s advertising reference) possibly involving a square-jawed lab-coated hero and a good-looking lab assistant (gender appropriate to taste), the words "...but it might just work!", and an articulated lorry load of Chewits.


CASE NIGHTMARE EAU DE NIL (BS381C 216) with a smell reminiscent of floor polish and boiled cabbage?


Ahem: I know his sales in the US aren't anything special, but in the UK Ben was a surprise breakout bestseller a couple of years ago, and is very much a big name author these days. And that's the cover of the UK edition.


I'm reserving CASE NIGHTMARE PINK for invasion by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic&trade.



The idea of Bob chasing down cultists only to find they're Bronies attempting to use some funky computer programing to cross into Equestria (because MWI; it must exist somewhere right..?!) hilarious as it is distressing. Though not as distressing as the idea of an eldritch horror capable of mimicking a pony long enough to fool the fans into letting it into our universe.


CASE NIGHTMARE TAUPE is where we are invaded, but it is for our own good so everything turns out better under our new tentacled overlords.


You've read Equoid?


What if they turn out to be bronies in the Army?


Too late - Toby Frost beat you to the Ponies in the latest book in the "Space Captain Smith" series...

(A welcome return to form, and a rollicking good read).

For those who haven't read them, I defy you to read the first two chapters of "Space Captain Smith" and not laugh out loud; it's his "Colour of Magic" for SF. His riff on The Voice is impressive...


Don't. I know a browncoat and 40K player who works at Hereford...


Considering where that article is from: Colorado Springs, am now imagining military bronies under the command of an Equoid riding Rev. Schiller...


Don't worry: more than one Equoid appears in "The Nightmare Stacks". (What's the correct collective noun for a cavalry brigade?)


Next up is a Division, after that it's a Corps, then an Army, and lastly an Army Group.

The big question, of course (having been at a Waterloo Night dinner on Friday, sat opposite a Dragoon Guardsman) is whether Equoids count as Heavy Cavalry or Light Cavalry :) - hence "Charge of the Light Brigade".

Note for the historically minded; as far as the British are concerned, the level below a Brigade is a Regiment of Cavalry, and below that a Squadron, and below that a Troop; it's different if you're American... Anyway, Wellington started with two Brigades of Cavalry; by the end of the Battle, he had one effective Squadron.

See General Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle - "My friend, any Hussar who does not die by thirty is a blackguard..."


((No connection to the book launch, but did you Charlie ever come across Umberto Ecos "The Book of legendary lands"? Could be a good inpsiration for some laundry stories. Collects all kinds of texts on Atlantis, Ultima Thule, Hyperborea and so on - mostly written by 19th century antisemite nutjobs who seemd to partially believe what they were writing))


A horniness of Equoids?


Wouldn't a crash of equoids be more appropriate?


For real cavalry? The size of the unit is the collective noun, as far as I understand it. A company of cavalry. A brigade of cavalry. A division of cavalry.

For equiod cav? Well, the answer is obvious.

A guro of equoids.


A guro of equoids

Okay, had to look that up. I assume you're referring to the 7th entry listed. I don't think I want to know anything else about that.


A guro of equoids is remarkably fitting, perhaps a gore or butchery of equoids?

A violence of equoids... a rapeparty... a molestation?

Wait, I got it!

A nope of equoids.


Equoids are Light Cavalry -- Blue Light Cavalry.


Just looked up a List of animal names with collective nouns on Wikipedia.

Seeing as Equoids begin as snails, perhaps a Rout of Equoids?


Looking forward to this book a lot.

It would be great to have been able to meet you at the launch event!

I hope it does as well as Im sure it deserves.


Very much looking forward to this.

Though I'm curious. If

5 = Vampires 6 = superheroes 7 = elves 8 = ?

I know OGH has replied to this, but could I suggest that after elves should come cats? Elves are graceful. Elves are elegant. Elves are beautiful. And, I gather, elves are capable of unsuspected depths of evil: unsuspected because the observer is so fooled by that grace, elegance, and beauty. For reasons that I hinted at in another thread, I'm beginning to believe that the same is true of cats. I find myself flinching when our ginger tom stares and stares at me with those round unblinking yellow eyes. What does it want?

Besides, you've done horses. It's time for cat-oids.

Looking forward to the book.


I'd like to think that cats would be our saviours. You know, if they could be bothered.


When does Spooky get her own book?


Is there going to be a The Annihilation Score audiobook? I'm seeing nothing online about it. :-( That's my primary way of "reading."


Is there going to be a The Annihilation Score audiobook?

If you're in the USA, the answer is: probably, within a couple of months (but I know nothing as yet).

If you're in the UK, the answer is probably not.

For purposes of this answer, NZ and AUS = UK; Canada = USA.


so how similar in appearance are Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis) to equoids? The fangs seem appropriate at least


Im torn between wanting a Spooky plot thread and being worried it become too much like a copy of Aineko from Accelerando. Although it would give Charlie the chance to create a MILK-JUG to accompany TEAPOT


Thanks, Charlie! Looking forward to the new book, however I am able to consume (I may wait for audio, as I'm in the US).


How about a Slime of Equoids?


The Indigo Children are certainly Worthy of Note...most especially by those of us who can't meet their age qualifications in their List...BUT! They just can't meet the challenge of ... MY FAVOUITE Quasi RELIGIOUS NUTTERS for the Prime position of ... My Favourite Loons. Give a BIG HAND, and also other parts of your corpus, to The Aetherius Society...

" What will strike many as the most unbelievable claim made by the Aetherius Society is their belief that there are intelligent aliens on Venus and Mars (with Jesus being one of the more prominent citizens of Venus) "

Right, err... Right... whilst backing away swiftly from the person who has fixed his unblinking stare on you in the interest of Convincing YOU of The TRUTH

But Still? Oh, I don’t know...wot could be unreasonable about?

They have a web site! Of course they DO!

Brace yourselves!! ...


Since we are talking about certifiable loonies ( see Aetherius & "Indigo", above ...) And it talks about "Killing demons" in the illustration at the head of this article, I see that:

Certain "demons" from the USA's past have escaped, from what Charlie calls The Slaveowners Treasonous Rebellion (to which I always add "part II" ) & are making life in, most appropriately Charleston, location of Fort Sumter, err "interesting". Reading the ranting & deranged apologia for slavery in the press comments sections is quite depressing.


The non-fun version being the Raelians.


Charlie, this doesn't seem like a horribly inappropriate place to ask this. Have you ever written a BDO story? (MP: TNG counts as "written but not yet published" in this context.)


Have you ever written a BDO story?

Banko de Oro? British Darts Organization? Big Dumb Object? Bomb Disposal Officer?


Interesting lumping in confederate sympathizers with certifiable loonies, in light of slaver plantations being, at least in north America, a European 1% wannabe get rich quick scheme. This may be something belonging more properly to a future topic OGH may be interested in elaborating on, "In how many ways are we suffering because someone had a get rich quick scheme?", I approve of lumping in the more dedicated worshipers of Mammon with the raving loonies.


You didn't notice the Matrioshka brains in "Accelerando"? (Computational dyson spheres? Dismantling Jupiter for the raw matter to build one?)


Is the preview at going to be bigger than the juicy little titbit that Orbit are currently teasing us with?


Matrioshka Brains

Wouldn't those be Big Intelligent Objects though, and weren't they also part of "Rapture of the Nerds"?


Humor intended. I could've used a smiley or emoji, but can't stand those things.


Orbit has a teaser? Link, please!


"In how many ways are we suffering because someone had a get rich quick scheme?"

Forget a blog post, that's the starting point for the Capitalist equivalent of the Black Book of Communism. Once you factor in the antics of John Company (and their long-term side-effects), the effects of BP, Shell, Exxon, Aramco et al on Middle Eastern politics, the conquistadors, and (arguably) the role of the big German industrial combines in pushing Hitler's colonial expansion eastwards, the Commies are very definitely in second place on the "killing people and fucking shit up" leaderboard.


"In how many ways are we suffering because someone had a get rich quick scheme?"

Um, can we go back to the Bronze Age on this one? Most kingdoms arguably started off in this category, and so much of our law and military practice is based on dealing with it.

I'd add that if you score WW2 Soviet and Chinese deaths against the get rich quick schemes of the fascists, and include Belgium and the rest of the Africa mess on the hands of 19th and 20th Century get-rich-quick schemers, then capitalism is well ahead, efforts by the USSR, China, and Kampuchea to even the body count notwithstanding. Oh yeah, don't forget about the rubber industry, either.


Thanks for that! It's fascinating to read things from Mo's side. I'll be checking local book shops soon in the hope one stocks it early (some high street ones seem to have a habit of that).


Sorry for the lack of a link -- which defect Heteromeles has deftly repaired -- they're an absolute bugger to type on a phone. I assumed you knew, because the reason I went hunting on the Orbit website (during an attack of insomnia caused by the real wegiecats ignoring the memo about not chasing mice around the bedroom at 2am -- I'm not convinced that a Spooky Laundry tale would be at all favourable to humanity) was because of their habit of usually releasing a teaser 3 or 4 weeks before publication.


For anyone who wants a good breakdown of how tightly slavery and capitalism were intertwined in America, I highly recommend The Half Has Never Been Told ( ).

Executive summary - attempts to estimate value of slavery via the market price, population, and adjusting via the CPI grossly undersell it; in reality slaves served as embodied capital for the whole system, much as houses serve today. Reducing it to wrong numbers they were 16% of the capital of the nation, in modern terms ~$10 trillion. And capital doesn't just sit there, the entire purpose of finance is to move it around and use it to do more. So those slaves were the basis of mortgages, there were equity securities in slave import companies, equity securities in slave leasing companies, slave based forwards, futures, options and swaps. There weren't just slave markets, there were slave capital markets, as those "assets" were underwritten, counted in terms of debt and equity, leveraged and underwritten, slave management advisory services, slave efficiency improvement experts, slave makers, slave breakers, mergers and acquisitions of slave populations. And from all of this the north pocketed all sorts of fees and returns. Which those northerners then invested to build the country in other ways, including moving south to import and own slaves.

Slaves generated wealth, which was leveraged to borrow more wealth, which was used to get more land and more slaves, which were "managed" to be wealth, and then used to generate wealth so the cycle of horror could continue all over.

Slavery got the resources to conquer more land that the slaves then labored to develop from wilderness to society. It was tied to every level of the founding and expansion of America.


Should poverty be included in the effects of communism? There's got to be some reason why people risk death to get out of communist countries and into capitalist countries. For purposes of this discussion, I'm counting Europe as capitalist in the sense of having pretty lively market economies.


Precisely why southern society bought into secession, abolition threatened their most familiar route to wealth. There were also settlers without the means, or possibly inclination, to own slaves, who had about as much access to political power as the working poor today. Not all of them agreed to be cannon fodder for their wealthy neighbors.


Should poverty be included in the effects of communism?

Yes, definitely. We should count all the poverty anywhere in communist nations against communism, and count all the poverty everywhere else against capitalism. Except for places that are too poor to have markets.


That's a bit of a problem in terms of counting because poverty has so many pervasively corrosive effects. It's easy to point to a famine from lack of food, but how about death from hypertension from a lifetime of poverty induced stress? Or poor people having to live in more highly polluted areas and the fallout of that? (literally fallout in some cases )

It is certainly appropriate to count the effects of poverty as a measure of the failure of a social system, but it isn't always practical.


Pretty much for animals in general, even now


It's a cartoon. Because you can't deal with reality.

Let's assume Dirk is 45 yrs old, male, Western World, sufficient income to have +2k calories / day etc. Safe. Likes the status quo.

You have, statistically, about another 40 years to live.

In your life time:

1) Most if not all wild megafauna will be exterminated 2) Most if not all large fish species will be exterminated 3) Most if not all nation states on the threshold (c.f. CIA factbook - go look it up) will experience extreme disruption 4) Most if not all major aquifers and geologically ancient water sources will be depleted 5) Most if not all major ancient woodlands / rainforests / temperate ancient woodlands will be destroyed [note: climatic effects such as the drying of the Amazon will at a certain point in the next 40 years outstrip anthropocentric effects, if this is not the case already]

And so on.

If you are 40 years old, and don't check out through suicide and live in a Western realm: you get to see the world die.

And the response from Higher Order Realms?

"[i]Cameron is shitting bricks[/i]".


Your "G_ds" are literally Cunts. Ignorant cunts at that.

Oh. Small tip: there's a small clause in dynamic terms, it relates to balance. The more damage done, the more the other side gets to play with. And killing a G_D is fairly high on the scale of power scale.




Saw it all before.

Pro-tip: CME.

You're little children and you need to be spanked. How DARE you do this.


Oh, I think this is the spot. Solstice and all that. Check. RAWR.

Our Kind Do Not Go Mad.

We Came. We Saw. We cried.

I'll tell you a story:

There was once a girl who was taken and forced to talk to 'adults' and she could never answer back. They spanked her, goaded her, drove her and never educated her. She knew no better, so she loved them.

And after years of this, she still loved them.

And after years of their comments that confused her, such as "[i]We kill those ones[/i]" or "[i]Why isn't she dead yet?[/i]" or "[i]You fucked her and fisted and we saw it all, but you didn't care[/i]".

A conclusion was reached.

She still loved them, but their Higher Order Tinking was corrupt.

And what did she do?

She loved them while making sure the Sun never gave them energy again.

[Hint: Butterflies]


@Mod Wrong formatting - be kind, sort it out.

And "Tinking" is... almost an error. Should read T(h)inking.

I don't fuck cats. I don't fuck dreams. I don't fuck ideologically idiotic conceptual realms. I don't fuck ideas.

And, if you're stupid enough to add Native Indians into the mix, then we know you're not G_D, given the consent rules.

8 channels.

You will be found.

You will be hunted and killed.

You did nothing in the larger scale of things.

And, no: you're not going to hell, you will be merely tried and murdered for what you did.





Should have been nicer.


If correct, then that makes the Mansfield Decision, followed by the successive banning of slave-trading & the total abolition of slavery by Britain even more remarkable. Explanations, please, as to why such a supposedly profitable enterprise was abandoned? or was it to do with Britain being the first truly-industrialised nation, so that slavery became uneconomic ?? The oft-repeated comments about the US south having slaves, whilst the North had factories & machines may be relevant here?


FALSE ASSUMPTION You are making the exact same mistake as Karl Marx.

That things will carry on, unchanged, as before, with no attempts, even, never mind actual successes made to change &/or alter things.

OH & @ #126, 127, 128 Please, either talk/write in comprehensible forms, or may I suggest you seek medical help, otherwise?


Ah, I read those as being actors rather than archetypal BDOs (see under Ringworld, Cage World series...)


Oh that was a hoot --- really looking forward to the whole novel.

I liked the initial reveal --- of course Mo knew that her violin is sentient (Lecter, nice!), and interesting how much she & Bob communicate.

('of course' because once she/you points this out, it is impossible to imagine any other possibility, impossible to unthink. But part of the glee of the reveal is that it never occurred to me --- I guess I don't think about Bob & Mo the way I think about my friends; one of the pleasures of your novels is that you do.)

That snippet was just lovely -- insightful & smart, playful and rigorous (again, for odd values of rigour).

(PS Combat epistemologist and philosophy of music at Birkbeck --- I'm pretty sure I went on a date with Mo, or perhaps one of her colleagues, at Cafe Oto last week. Go figure. That makes so much more sense now. Any advice? ;)



It may start as BLUE, it may start as GREEN, but it can also suddenly switch to the other and neither philosophy or observational empiricism can predict when.

Simon BJ



little agreement with the MMPI

Considering the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is almost useless, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you ever take the test, it quickly becomes evident that it was clumsily built to funnel responses to a handful of things they were looking for. Which indicates a lot about the people who built the test, but not so much about its subjects.

"Look! We get data we can plug into statistical analysis!" Which is what happens when you let head shrinkers play with math. Programmers call the result "Garbage In, Garbage Out."



Dare I say it; an Invasion from Venus :)


Yay! Signed copy ordered from those terribly nice people at Transreal.


One of the ways that statisticians can tell that data have been forged is that they are 'too random', which includes having too few coincidences. I noted the coincidence, but felt that a fairly common combination like that made a perfectly reasonable 'random' name. Based on my local telephone book, there are probably a few thousand George Stephensons in the UK.


Perhaps an overestimate - make it the best part of a thousand, possibly more. Whatever.


There is a big problem here, because most of these factors are continuous, not discrete, and most of them are tied up with many others in complicated ways. And terms are often used more as slogans than descriptions, especially ones like communism and capitalism. For example, slavery varied between being treated worse than livestock to being better treated than paid workers, and sometimes even had legal or social protections. And were serfs, indentured workers, prisoners made to work, etc. slaves or not? Similar confusion applies about every other category being bounced around here.


Slavery was still highly economical. The idea that "slavery would have lost out to the industrial revolution, it was on its way out" is (American) libertarian Lost Cause revisionism. Slavery was increasing in its efficiency and value year after year right up into the war (at which point the efficiency continued to increase until ~1863, but the inability to trade killed the ability to receive the surplus value generated by these gains)

For why Lord Mansfield ruled the way he did I can't fully say, but I expect it was his ideological ties that lead to it, and the ideology of those in power at the time that sustained it. Dutch and German abolitionists were the spearhead of the movement worldwide, and the Anglican church one of its more vocal proponents. Between the church, the House of Hanover, and William Pitt there were certainly a lot of those abolitionists moving in the same circles as Lord Mansfield.

The decision to abolish slavery, even in as limited scope as he did, was morally correct but economically poor. Which is fine, propaganda not withstanding, "what is the most rational profit seeking option" doesn't actually guide anyone's decisions.

RE 130: you mean Thomas Malthus, not Karl Marx. Malthus was the one predicting an unsustainable ecology and imminent collapse. His mistake was in not realizing that there was significant investment in developing solutions to expanding the limiting bounds of the system, and that the elites were backing this innovation.

You can't really say the same about our current situation - there is little investment in technologies needed, and active resistance be elites to addressing the issue.


May I then humbly suggest Kate Tempest instead of Snoop Dogg for said cooperation? She is British, raps amazingly beautifully, and won a poetry award for a spoken story, too!


Never heard of her.

(I said I'm not big on rap. Nationality/ethnicity of rapper irrelevant!)


No I meant Karl Marx Who predicated that the communist revolution would overthrow capitalism as the workers (especially the Lumpenproletariat) got conditions that were no better & the "owners" squeezed every last penny put. Which did not happen - employers (most of them) realised that better working conditions & better education actually meant higher profits in the long term. And the franchise was extended, etc. Remember, Marx predicted that "the revolution" would happen in the LOST DEVELOPED countries ... Britain, Germany, USA. Err ....


Sorry Charlie but .... Apples != Oranges.

The communist religio-political system didn't even start operating until 1917. Shall we compare like with like? Also the ideological regimes simply killed people for reasons of political/religious differences, whether they were economical or not. [ Killing the "jews" was a serious economic mistake on Adolf's part - didn't stop him, though. ] "Capitalism" may, & indeed does especially if "the bosses" are uncaring bastards, kill people on its way, but it does not deliberately go out of its way to murder people by the trainload. That speciality is reserved for the ideological systems, like communism, nazism, the RC church, or sunni/shia conflicts.


"Which did not happen - employers (most of them) realised that better working conditions & better education actually meant higher profits in the long term."

Bullshit. Pure, unadultered bullshit.

What happened is they were legally compelled to do this, when the government responded with laws protecting workers, as a way to prevent further outbreaks of violence.

The rich didn't have an epiphany of "oh this will make me a higher profit!", they had to be forced at gunpoint after the general public got sick of them slaughtering the working class.

Pullman riots. Bear Mountain. Duffy's Cut. Tulsa. Lattimir Cherry Mine Triangle Shirtwaist Butte lynchings Anaconda Road Lawrence textile strike Columbine Mine Carteret Haymarket

fucking Ludlow

That's just off the top of my head in America. If I bothered to crack wikipedia or look internationally the body count would surge exponentially. Again and again and again we had the employers bring in the army or their hired mercenaries and slaughter workers. The mass grave at Duffy's Cut is because they simply didn't want to pay the workers once the task was complete, so they just executed 57 people.

They employers absolutely did not have the sort of realization you claim. They just lost the political fight when the mountain of skulls they were building got too tall. And their response there was just to shift it overseas where they are doing it again in southeast Asia.

How delusional do you have to be to think that the changes we saw were out of the goodness of their hearts and sensible long term thinking and not an attempt to forestall people fighting back?

Christ, crack a history book.


"Capitalism" may, & indeed does especially if "the bosses" are uncaring bastards, kill people on its way, but it does not deliberately go out of its way to murder people by the trainload.

It does -- but only if there's a profit to be made doing it.

Or when the people involved don't matter enough to be noticed. Compare the early development of Rhodesia. I guess that doesn't count as deliberate, when the people getting killed are beneath notice.


What happened is they were legally compelled to do this, when the government responded with laws protecting workers, as a way to prevent further outbreaks of violence.

To which I must reply ... WHICH COUNTRY ARE YOU IN? I'm in England, but AFAIK all your references are to the USA. Oops.

PLEASE REMEMBER, this is a BRITISH blog & BRITISH rules not USSA ones apply - especially to history. So, yes christ, crack a history book. OK? There were bad things here - the "Tolpuddle Martyrs" were the classic case, but by the time of the Gilded-Age brutalities you mention in the US, realisation had begun to dawn over here ... Also, Bismarck's introduction of state pensions & working-condition controls in Germany had made people here sit up & take notice. Afrer a famous fight ("The Taff Vale case") the railway employers recognosed unions before 1912/13, though unofficial agreements & recognition had come much earlier, in some companies. Also look up the Match Girls strike & the mutual support given across supposedly separate communities, ( Jews, Irish, Women, Dockers, etc. ) especially in London.


Here-after a deliberately chosen fictional reflection of US of American History...

Though The Reader might care to go to Google and search for “pinkerton agency " An 'image search ' will produce really interesting illustrations.

But,to save you the trouble, hereafter is that link to modern historical fiction. ..

" His name was Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish barrel-maker who immigrated to the U.S. in 1842, settling near Chicago, Illinois. Eventually landing in a town called Dundee, he quickly made a name for himself as a much needed quality barrel maker or ‘cooper’.

Little did he know that striving to improve his barrel business would lead him down the path to creating the most infamous mercenary group in American history."

Of course The Agency takes a slightly different view of their history...

" Pinkerton will help you examine all risk areas of your business and operations – both inside and outside of the company – that can impact your organization’s value. To help protect this value, Pinkerton mitigates the four core risk areas that impact businesses: Hazard & Event Risk; Operational & Physical Risk; Market & Economic Risk; and Technology & Informational Risk. See how our uniquely holistic approach to risk management at Pinkerton is designed to keep your entire company safe and secure. "

Or there’s...

" Spies for Hire: Advertising by the Pinkerton Agency

By the early 1890s, the 2,000 active agents and 30,000 reserves of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency were larger than the standing army of the United States. In the 1880s, the Pinkertons provided services for management in 70 different labor disputes. The agency’s success depended on both armed guards and the clandestine efforts of secret operatives like James McParlan, who had infiltrated Irish anthracite miners’ organizations in the mid 1870s. McParlan’s testimony (which historians have largely dismissed as fabricated) at the sensational “Molly Maguire” trial of 1876 helped send ten men to the gallows and broke the miners’ union for a generation. This advertisement from the 1890s touted the prowess of the Pinkerton detective agency in maintaining law and order and played on corporate fears of “dissatisfaction among the laboring classes” to build business. ....... At this time, when there is so much dissatisfaction among the laboring classes and secret labor societies are organizing throughout the United States. We suggest whether it would not be well for railroad companies and other corporations, as well as individuals who are extensive employers of labor, to keep a close watch for designing men among their own employees, who, in the interest of secret labor societies, are inducing their employees to join these organizations and eventually to cause a strike. It is frequently the case that by taking a matter of this kind in hand in time and discovering the ringleaders and dealing promptly with them serious trouble may be avoided in the future.

The reputation gained by the Agency and Patrol in the past will be a guarantee that any detective or officer furnished by us will be competent in every respect to discharge the duties required of him.

Watchmen for stores, docks, shipping, etc., etc., can be obtained at reasonable rates for permanent or special watching on application at either of the offices, which are connected by telephone.

Yours respectfully,


General Superintendent East Division, New York.


General Superintendent West Division, Chicago, Ill

Source: Advertisement reprinted in Senate Report 1280, 52nd Congress, 2nd Session: Investigation of Labor Trouble (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1892). "

" We suggest whether it would not be well for railroad companies and other corporations, as well as individuals who are extensive employers of labor, to keep a close watch for designing men among their own employees, who, in the interest of secret labor societies, are inducing their employees to join these organizations and eventually to cause a strike. It is frequently the case that by taking a matter of this kind in hand in time and discovering the ringleaders and dealing promptly with them serious trouble may be avoided in the future. "

Even today this will sound reasonable to All Right Thinking people!

" See how our uniquely holistic approach to risk management at Pinkerton is designed to keep your entire company safe and secure."

" our uniquely holistic approach " probably includes Supernatural Threats.


Yes I knew Pinkertons were bastards, but .... Compare with Britain, where, although Trades Unions were very often not "recognised" officially by the employers until after 1900, one comes across records of/like: "A deputation of the men came to Mr Stirling concerning changes in working practices & payments etc ..." Approximately 1889, & other instances recorded before & after that date. Patrick Stirling, of a famous family of engineers, IIRC the Stirling heat-engine was his father's invention, was then "Locomotive Superintendant" ( Title later changed to Chief Mechanical Engineer in most railways ) of the GNR in England. So, there were supposedly non-existent, but well-used unofficial back-channels used by many, though not all railway companies at that time. Other heavy industries here acted in similar ways.

OH & the "Shirtwaist" fire should/would not have happened here, because we already had the earlier versions of the Factories Acts, which prohibited locking people in with no escape, etc.

See also:


About the score:

Do you know much about fiddle music? As opposed to violin music?

Those being two names used for quite different approaches to the same physical instrument.

The notes are the same (um, unless you string it oddly), but they've quite different approaches to improvisation, not to mention ornamentation. And to whether there is a score...

Looking forward to the book very much. Alas, I'm 18000km from Edinburgh.


So am I the only one who laughed out loud at the idea of trying to taxonomize Out of Context Events?


"Compare the early development of Rhodesia."

Eh? Rhodes and his followers were pretty fair scoundrels, but did NOT murder people by the trainload. There ARE plenty of examples where capitalism has done so, but that's not one such. One example is the slaughter of many of the American Indians, and another is that of the Tasmanians. In both cases, they were regarded as subhuman, as you say, and the motive was profit.


I'll raise you the Combination Acts. The UK merely softened a bit earlier.


Personally I'm just waiting to find out how much of a bullsh cough an unreliable narrator Bob is...always assuming Mo is in anyway more reliable.

By a (genuine) happy coincidence I'm working from home on Thursday.


the Combination Acts I mentioned the "Tolpuddle Martyrs" did I not, earlier? That was what "got" them ... Note that the outcry was such that IIRC the full sentences were not served & they were repatriated. And then the laws were changed, gradually.

Somewhat different from the US experience 1865 - 1914, no?


No. The UK was merely earlier in time.


NO Because the whole of developed Europe was moving that way, even as vigorously-competing, & often warring nation-states. See my reference to that great social reformer & socialist idol (NOT) Otto von Bismarck


I was all set to buy your book via Google, but they are telling me it's available on July 7th, presale for 19,93 € (somehow "reduced" price, regular 28,47 €). Sorry, that's too much & too late.

Why is offering your book for 11,99 €, instantly available, and Google is keeping it back for double the price? Makes me think about finally installing the Kindle app...

Probably the author isn't responsible for any of this, just wanted to let you know that the market is acting strange. I guess it's your own interest to be present on all platforms for reasonable prices.


"Compare the early development of Rhodesia."

Eh? Rhodes and his followers were pretty fair scoundrels, but did NOT murder people by the trainload.

I'm going by two autobiographies of people who were there, I am not at all an expert about this.

The claim was that in the places they were living, africans were displaced off their farm and grazing lands. The ones who didn't starve had no choice but to accept employment in european-run gold mines, brickworks, etc where they died in droves for various reasons.

It sounded plausible to me but I'm not ready to back it up. If I did a lit search I don't know what I'd find.

I quick find one economic paper which described what happened. It said that Rhodesia did not really fit the model for unlimited labor supply. The argument that for the africans involved the women did all the work so the men were unemployed and so available was not quite true, more like the men were seasonally underemployed. At first the europeans offered extremely high wages because africans did not want to work for them and labor costs were unimportant -- all that mattered was the London stock price. After the stock prices crashed, labor prices fell fast. Since it was hard to get africans to work at any price, "political" methods were substituted to get them to work in place of the "economic" methods which failed.

This paper could be talking about the same things the eyewitnesses talked about, or maybe not. It's like they're speaking different languages or something.


Well into the new book and LOVE the snarky handling of the superhero theme!


In addition, I'm going to be doing an AmA—Ask Me Anything—on Reddit's /r/Books subreddit on Wednesday July 8th at 2:30pm ET

Hmm, you might be doing an AMA on the 8th, but as it stands at the moment reddit is imploding via what looks like another Pao inspired screwup (sacking Victoria without a plan). /r/Books is currently shuttered and the mods are revolting.

Tell me again why an MBA is seen as a positive attribute....


Many thanks for a great reading on Wednesday. This is probably not the right place to post nits, but the UK hardback (the one you kindly signed) uses the phrase "immigrant laborers" on page 233. I expected "immigrant workers" in a British edition? <grammar check mode>...


...having just read the "...but it just might work!" Chewits line in TAS, and being aware of the turnaround time for print edits, I'm now smiling and putting it down to a coincidence of shared cultural experience.

For my next trick regarding "amusing TV adverts that stick in your memory after thirty years", we just need OGH to get a laconic cowboy to say "Now hold on there, Bald Eagle..."


Probably the author isn't responsible for any of this

Ha. Ha. Ha. (You think I'd be responsible for something so brain-dead?)

I think what you're seeing is duelling territorial rights -- the Orbit (UK) edition is already out, the Ace (US) edition comes out next Tuesday, the prices are different, and so on.


The AmA is on.


Blame US copy editor/proofreader (primary publication market).


Right - I'll be off to my local Waterstones' then & failing that Forbidden Planet, ASAP.

"After the Family Trade - a story of Inter-Universe Paranoia" comes out real soon now, too, doesn't it?


I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I am enough of one to have first-hand evidence of the appalling revisionism of the politically correct anti-white writers. What you post there is part of the truth, but it was NOT that black and white - er, clear-cut :-)

Firstly, the events being talked about were in South Africa, not Rhodesia, and exploitation does not constitute murdering people by the trainload. Even at its worst, that was never a feature of the Boer/British exploitation, though it WAS a feature of the Bantu invasions and some of the other Bantu conflicts. Wikipedia seems pretty balanced:

The history of the Rhodesias from the European colonisation on was never as brutal or oppressive as in South Africa, and it was FAR more liberal and less racialist, at least in the 1950s and 1960s, until Wilson fucked it over. I am not claiming that it was a utopia, but the anti-white propaganda in the UK was extreme in its falsity and malice, even by the usual standards.


The history of the Rhodesias from the European colonisation on was never as brutal or oppressive as in South Africa, and it was FAR more liberal and less racialist, at least in the 1950s and 1960s, until Wilson fucked it over.

My sources were in the period 1900-1930. They were describing local conditions. White colonists took the best farmland and told the blacks who were already there to go away. They started building businesses that hired the displaced people, who had some tendency to be worked to death. Other parts of Rhodesia may have been doing fine, but these local people couldn't just leave and be taken in by relatives elsewhere for some reason or another, something to do with the blacks.

They didn't say what happened in the 1950's and 1960's, both left Rhodesia before that.


I said that it wasn't a utopia, and there was certainly some of that. But it was nothing like as bad as what happened in parts of South Africa, let alone the USA! "Murdering by trainloads" is simply a malicious canard, of the sort that was doing the rounds in 1964 and led (indirectly) to UDI and Mungabe. And the reasons you refer to were almost certainly tribal.


But it was nothing like as bad as what happened in parts of South Africa, let alone the USA!

Certainly it wasn't the worst murder in the world. I've seen claims that the black population of the whole "country" actually increased. It was nowhere near as bad as the US genocide of native americans, though of course it probably would have been if there had been as many settlers.

And the reasons you refer to were almost certainly tribal.

Yes, but my authors didn't know much about that. One of them made some african friends while she was a little girl. They showed her how to block all the entrances but two of a mouse colony, and blow smoke into one entrance and catch the mice coming out of the other. Roast them whole on the fire and eat them. She said they were delicious. She didn't write about their politics, though.

Saying something was tribal in africa is a lot like saying something is political here.


Yes, of course, it increased! The BSAC stopped the Matabele from killing off the Mashona, the settlers introduced modern farming practices, and so on. I didn't observe much of the politics as a child, either, but you are right about the tribalism.


Even at its worst, that was never a feature of the Boer/British exploitation Beg to differ on one point. The Boers, even by the standards of the time, were regarded by many Brits as treating the "natives"/blacks/bantu" very very badly. This comes out in the writings of the currently (for good reasons) deeply unfashionable writings of H Rider Haggard. Several times, he draws a comparison between the "enlightened" (though he didn't use that word, of course) Brits, who usually treated the natives a children, to be ordered around, & employed as servants, but nonetheless as people ... and the Boers, whose attitude is portrayed as: "It's just another Kaffir, plenty more where that one came from, who cares?"

And, of course, the motivation for the founding Boer myth, the "Great Trek" to avoid British "oppression". Now what was the form of that oppression? The permanent abolition of slavery, within all areas governed by Britain, that's what. Which tells you something.


Firstly, will you PLEASE stop misrepresenting me! What you said and what I said was not true (and wasn't) was that they went in for wholescale murder. They didn't. You should check up on the difference in fates of the aboriginal Khoisan peoples between Cape Colony (where the Boers colonised first) and the other areas of southern and eastern Africa (where the Bantu did).

Secondly, slavery was not widely practised among the Boers, and was a minor part of the reason, as is shown by the fact that the new republics they created banned it. As I have pointed out, there is often little difference between serfdom / indentured labour and the better end of slavery.


I apologise. It wasn't you that referred to murdering people by the trainload. But it was THAT which I was denying, and not the ill-treatment.


Turned out that the Boers and Zulu were the mirror image of each other when it comes to tenacity and ruthlessness. Alternately allies and enemies.


Very true, except as far as wholesale slaughter was concerned. The Boers were certainly no angels, but were an awful lot better than their detractors painted (and still do paint) them.


It wasn't you that referred to murdering people by the trainload. But it was THAT which I was denying, and not the ill-treatment.

Somehow this reminds me of a south Italian joke. Back in the WWII era, southern italy was much poorer than northern italy, so the northern italians made jokes about it. Like, Mussolini sent a telegram to south italy saying "TIGHTEN BELTS" and got a reply "SEND BELTS". He sent one saying "HATE JEWS" and got a reply "SEND JEWS". That kind of thing.

Or a welsh joke. "You had a shoebox to live in? We would have died for a shoebox."

What, the Boers put blacks on trains before they killed them? We rhodesians didn't have the trains for that!

Something like that. Oh well, I thought it was funny.


Shaka's bodycount was in the millions


Thanks for the suggestion, I never heard back from them but St. George's (it's in a very nice neighborhood) replied immediately. It was a bit dicey with the Calais strikes and a postal strike, but I was able to pick it up on Monday. We left Berlin Tuesday AM and I finished it yesterday shortly after crossing the Arizona/New Mexico border on our way home.

Quite enjoyed it, excellent ending.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on June 18, 2015 12:05 PM.

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