Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    One subtext in Libertarianism is a strong reaction *against* (other) anarchists, so that's not going to happy easily. Scratch a large minority/active majority of self-identified libertarians (in the US) and what you get is something very ugly. It starts out...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    A Morris Minor is about 750kg and I used to get 40mpg out of mine, with its 1950s-design engine and carburettor and points ignition and all. Er, no: 25mpg was typical, on the 1 litre engine. (Data source: a Morris...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The problem is travel distance. With a gas-powered car and a couple of drivers, you can get across the US (~2700 miles) in about four days of reasonable driving (700 miles/day). If your electric car is limited to 400 miles,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Actually, when you buy an EV car charger, you get to choose how long the cable is, so you can, in fact, run a cable out to the street. Here's a side-street where I often park my car. It's about...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    And that's without battery tech going non-linear in the next 10 years. Imagine if someone comes up with a process that promises a "moores law" for battery tech. Not only is that not going to happen, that can't happen, because...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Foster and Partners. I see they constructed a new "Reichstag" building in Berlin. Is that why you chose them? I chose Foster + Partners because if you know anything about London and architecture in the past 40 years, you'd know...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE The reason for the relative silence and lack of new blog updates this time is that I've just spent seven consecutive days steaming over edits to "The Labyrinth Index". Which is now just about ready for production. Next...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Why do you think it declined when it did? Because it was based on spurious numerology (around a big calendar roll-over). See also Norman Cohn on the Apocalypse in mediaeval Europe. It's not just Christians who do this sort of...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    "Esperantization" is a word I use to describe the process wherein a thing of the Future becomes a thing of the Past without ever being a thing of the Present. Happens all the time. Food pills are the classic 50's...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Ahem: you get to see a lot more of the Mandate in "The Labyrinth Index". Hint: he's commissioned Foster + Partners to build him a giant glass and chrome Tzompantli on the site of Marble Arch in London. (Ahem: click...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Eh? Hybrids are all over the place right now; I'm not really in the market for a new car, but if I was looking to replace my Volvo with a new one it'd be almost impossible not to buy a...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    That book is virtually the antithesis of my OP about world-building. It takes the "tech the tech" model for Star Trek technobabble to its logical conclusion. Characterisation and interpersonal interactions are good. Science/tech/worldbuilding? Aaargh. (This is my aspie side rolling...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Vernor Vinge really kicked it off circa 1988 with "Marooned in Realtime", and his non-fic Singularity paper in 1992. By 1995 with WIRED in print (second issue cover story: the cypherpunks) and the EXTROPY-L mailing list there was a community...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Ahem: There's a Tesla showroom up the road from me. If I was particularly curious I could arrange a test drive whenever. I see them on the street fairly regularly. (You will note, I am not in California or New...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Anyway, nanotech hasn't innovated a magic wand or gray goo yet I ran into Drexler in a beer garden in Oxford a couple of years ago. He's ... slightly embittered ... about the way "nanotechnology" was co-opted as a term...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I'm still trying to fit the rise and decline of Singularity SF into the theory above. That's easy; Christian millennarianism. Happened circa 950AD-1050AD, with occasional outbreaks before and ever since (usu. when someone coughs up a revised deadline for the...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    OK - they have theor uses ... but, let's jst suppose I want to type an emoji into here. HOW? You can't. The blog software/platform more or less predates emojis and assumes you're using ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1), an 8-bit subset...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    WTF is wrong with WORDS? Are you familiar with ideographic languages? Chinese? Japanese kanji? Ideographic text is semantically denser than text using a syllabary or alphabet system. It takes a lot longer to learn an ideographic system (thousands of symbols...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    There's a good point. What happened to them? Will they reappear? Confession: I forgot about them while writing EMPIRE GAMES — middle-aged memory rot, combined with keeping too many balls in the air. If I ever need to write a...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    You're quite correct about the whole Commonwealth espionage deficit. As far as ARMBAND and activating inactive carriers of the world-walking trait goes, the Commonwealth is working on it, but is a couple of decades behind the necessary biotech to make...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    At the risk of derailing, Charlie - has the Clan done an diplomatic efforts with other countries in Timeline 2? At 485 comments in we're way past the point of derailment, so here goes: The USA has ARMBAND and also...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    ISTR a 20 megaton bomb missing from US stockpiles for decades, and *set to go off* in a US city. That's not a Chekhov's Gun; that's a deliberate blank round. (Purpose in narrative: to demonstrate that there are some really...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Yes, but it's very much an existing sub-genre (serious steampunk, with Lovecraftian overtones)....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Also wrong thread but does the Clan/NAC realise how provactive JUGGERNAUT is? Do you really think I'd have put that gun on the mantlepiece in book 1 and polished it lovingly in book 2 only to refrain from pulling the...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Any engine capable of accelerating a ship to 0.8c in a usefully short time is going to be handling elephant shitloads of energy, and it only takes a very tiny percentage of that to go into vibration for things to...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Mostly because it turns out that 1960s Europe is more alien of a place to me than a galaxy-spanning alien civilization. And now you know how many Brits feel about parts of the USA! (The cultural disconnect is only made...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    And I agree most of the expensive MBAs are WOMBATs. You know - Harvard, Wharton, Stanford. Expensive MBAs aren't so much about the course content as they are about making contacts with classmates who will end up in C-suite territory...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    It'd be really interesting to get OGH, Ken MacLeod, and Elon Musk together for a discussion about Banks and The Culture. Disagree. I think Musk is probably an SF fan, in that part of his time that isn't eaten up...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    One wonders how much of that was delayed reaction to the religious "fervour" & fanaticism that had bloodily swept Scotland only 50 years earlier ... (?) Not even much of a delay — the last execution for the crime of...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    make sure to include David Gerrold; we might finally see the end of the Chtorr novels! Ahem: as of two years ago he'd written them and they were in the process of being edited. They'd expanded somewhat with time and...
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