Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    "Spirit of the Age" by Hawkwind....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Yeah well, the opening verse would I think get it pigeonholed for paedophilia these days ......
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Yeah nope, that song is totally cancelled. Creepy AF, if you read the lyrics these days....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    As planetary cores cool, nutrient cycling slows down, so the soils tend to be poor. Areas with old soils, such as parts of Australia and the Venezuelan tepuis, are host to lots of carnivorous plants. Oh great. As the mobile...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Um, no. Traveller the game was first published in 1977. That was 45 years ago. It's retrofuturism now, but it wasn't created as retrofuturism then. I remember playing black box Traveller shortly after it came out and it was totally...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Beryllium metal -- some alloys, anyway -- is also incredibly light. We don't use it in place of aluminium because of the toxicity issue, but it is used in some exotic roles that require light weight -- e.g. some components...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    See also the Niven novel "Destiny's Road" - where vital trace elements are needed for the colonists? Yeah, and I wish I didn't: the biology was facepalm bad....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Yeah, saw a biomechanics video on YouTube which reached much the same conclusion about how to ride an Azhdarchid. Bin chickens: just say no! (I've seen them in the botanic gardens in Sydney, robbing tourists of their sandwiches. The tourists...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    I read a ton of Heinlein when I was young, but something about IWFNE kept me from getting past about 50 pages, even after three tries.* Yeah, like maybe the fact Heinlein was deathly ill and expecting to die...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    You should find some similarly-interest gamers, get a reissue copy of original Black Box Traveller, and try it. It's fun, although it's spectacularly easy to die before you even finish character creation, and the in-person combat rules mean that every...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    With all due respect, Pigeon, you are not exactly typical of my readership....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Callahan was really based on Tony Blair, but with overtones of Trump. Really, he's horrible all round. Bonus points for spotting the passages where Callahan quotes Dame Shirley Porter verbatim (of notoriety from the Westminster housing scandal in the 1990s...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    There's a long tradition of SF about bloke from our time (FSVO "our") who is frozen/falls asleep and wakes up in The Future. From Rumpelstiltskin through to H. G. Wells' The Sleeper Awakes and then the likes of Buck Rogers...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    I assure you, I couldn't write a proper Biggles pastiche with a straight face....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Greg, if you'd bothered to click on the highlighed word "Muse" in the blog essay, you'd have been taken straight to the OGLAF comic you're thinking of....
  • Posted Books I will not write: BIGGLES!! to Charlie's Diary
    It's been a long time—a couple of years—since I last posted a blog entry describing a book I will not write, because mostly I either wrote them or I just stopped having so many wasteful ideas. But I had a...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    Yeah, I read that: Patten would know -- he came within spitting distance of becoming a Tory Prime Minister (if he hadn't been unseated in a surprise upset in 1992 he would have been Chancellor next, a normal stepping-stone to...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    I suspect C is very aware of his image; in opposing the Rwanda deportations he's siding with the majority of the population who either DGAF about immigration or actively despise the Home Office. It's a policy fabricated entirely to placate...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    Never trust the confident generalist. Circling neatly around to one of the other strange attractors in these here comments: the UK, since 2010, has been run for all but a couple of years by a clique of confident generalists --...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    It's the quantity of water that's the problem, not where to put it! (Also keeping it from freezing and blowing out a tank wall, but that's solvable.) A cube of water 1 metre on an edge has a mass of...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    The main issue with travel outside the Van Allen belts is high energy cosmic rays, in the >5GeV range. We're safe from them down here because we're inside the Earth's magnetic field and underneath an atmosphere equivalent to a 10...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    Yeah, a lot of the sale of big SUVs and pick-up trucks in the USA is driven by utterly perverse tax laws -- a "truck" with a kerb weight of over 4000lbs is a "commercial vehicle" and is thus 100%...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    LDEF, lumps of Skylab, several Dragon capsules and a multitude of Soyuz capsules would firmly disagree with you. Shuttle, Soyuz, and Dragon all orbit inside the Van Allen belts, which protects them from most high energy cosmic radiation (and most...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    That isn't a parking-protected bike lane. This is a parking-protected bike lane! (In Amsterdam.)...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    So I think we can safely assume that almost all of the cargo will be in pressurized, somewhat shielded and probably also heated compartments. Yup. However, how pressurized, with what gas, and at what temperature, are all interesting variables. For...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    AFAIK, Elon Musk never claimed his Mars colony is supposed to be self-sufficient. If it's not self-sufficient then by definition it can't be a solution to the "the Earth is too fragile to keep all our eggs in one basket"...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    I would be happy to do that, except that having to share the road with SUVs Yes, agreed. I can speculate about a transition and how to achieve it, but it'd be politically unacceptable to the existing SUV drivers and...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    On opening car doors and injuring passers-by ... The Dutch have a solution which they're teaching in driver education. When you open a car door from inside the vehicle, always open it with your opposite-side hand. That is: if opening...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    Portland has recently started putting bike lanes between the sidewalk and the car parking lane. This only really works if there's a raised kerb between the bike lane and the car parking lane. Otherwise you get jerks parking in the...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    Eh. You know Stockholm Syndrome appears to be false -- a socially useful myth created to deny agency to victims of violence (who were trying to survive a deadly situation, not actually bonding with their captors)?...
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