JReynolds

JReynolds

  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    ISTR that someone said that Balder never actually did anything other than standing around being pretty. If you wanted something done, Loki was your go-to guy. (This may have been in Joanne Harris's The Gospel of Loki. Since that novel...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    Les Miserables might not have had SO treatment, but Sir PTerry's Night Watch can be seen as a deconstruction: Night Watch has a number of influences from the book and musical Les Miserables, but these are a lot less obvious...
  • Commented on Holding pattern (part N ...)
    It seems to me that the WEIRD society problems you describe are due to all or part of their populations not having a stake in the government. The 1837 rebellions in what would become Ontario and Quebec were caused at...
  • Commented on Holding pattern (part N ...)
    How necessary is public engagement to a functioning modern state? In most western countries, there is at least an illusion of control of government by the public in terms of periodic elections (although the reality of who actually controls government...
  • Commented on Silence this week ...
    Re: 'grep'. Today's xkcd comic has an alt-text of interest: "I searched my .bash_history for the line with the highest ratio of special characters to regular alphanumeric characters, and the winner was: cat out.txt | grep -o "\\\[[(].*\\\[\])][^)\]]*$" ... I...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    One of the points made in the article Twilight of the Books was that illiterate people may have thought differently from literate people. It's difficult to prove that oral and literate people think differently; orality, Havelock observed, doesn't "fossilize" except...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Barbara Hambly's Sisters of the Raven series is similar. Background: Magic could only be done by men. Suddenly, men's magic rapidly weakened, and women could for the first time do magic. Needless to say, in a patriarchal society, this didn't...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    +1 on Baru Cormoront. It is an excellent, highly disturbing book. "The greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." -Steve Biko...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    The Order of the Stick came up with something along those lines (2nd last panel). OOTS is an entertaining webcomic that is heavily inspired by AD&D....
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    +1 on the whole Medieval Army Problem. I'm working my way through the excellent Divided Houses, which covers the middle years of the Hundred Years War (1369 - 1399). Time and again in the book, you see the nobility of...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Genevieve Cogman
    I read Sorcerer to the Crown yesterday (The Invisible Library isn't in Canada yet). I strongly second Charlie's endorsement. It was lots of fun....
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Things that really turn me off of a novel: a) Characters that have no motivation save to advance the plot. b) Authors who can't write believable dialogue for their characters. c) Stuff that doesn't make sense in the context of...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    Regarding how 'women can never fight! No, really! Kameron Hurley's Hugo Award winning essay We have Always Fought is a really good corrective. It seems that people throughout history (including the History of Right Now) have edited women out of...
  • Commented on The Future Is Not American
    It's likely that Picard grew up in The Duchy of Grand Fenwick. The DGF is (1) a wine-producing region; (2) bordering southern France; (3) English-speaking. For true sfnal kudos, the even beat the USA and USSR to the moon in...
  • Commented on A Storm Of Stories
    To put it in perspective, assuming 8 hours a novel, you'd need 32 years reading non-stop - no sleep, no food, no toilet breaks - to read this year's output of fiction alone. This sounds like a job for Harriet...
  • Commented on Chilling Effects
    Hi Linda, I saw your Big Idea piece over on John Scalzi's blog. In combination with Judith Tarr's post here, I thought: "Why not check this out?" I bought your two currently published Red novels, and enjoyed them both greatly....
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances, Amsterdam, Seattle and Spokane
    On topic, I hope the visit goes well. I wish I lived closer to Seattle than Toronto. Off topic, inspired by Pulp Fiction: -------------- Martin: [talking about Mia, Marsellus Wallace's wife] I think her biggest deal was she starred in...
  • Commented on Reminders
    I read Tor's excerpt. It whetted my appetite for more....
  • Commented on Second childhood?
    Yet another reason to like Questionable Content: OGH makes an appearance! http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2394 I meant to ask you Charlie: how was the wedding?...
  • Commented on Book Launch
    I'm looking forward to this book, Charlie. I won't be able to make it to Edinburgh, though....
  • Commented on Second childhood?
    I'll second the recommendation for Flaky Pastry and Dumbing of Age. FP just celebrated its tenth anniversary! I haven't seen anyone recommend Two Guys and Guy yet, but it's pretty darned funny. One of the main characters is a perfect...
  • Commented on Inverted realities
    Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road is an excellent example of the working out of a wendigo myth, set in the grim reality of WWI and its immediate aftermath....
  • Commented on Briefly
    Knowing what I knew from reading the six books of MP1.0, on this reread I was able to say: 'ooh, Miriam got this wrong,' or 'Colonel Smith was wrong when he thought this' and once 'Dr. James was wrong when...
  • Commented on Briefly
    Good luck, Charlie! I just finished the three-volume Merchant Princes. I'm looking forward to DS....
  • Commented on Escape from the planet of the Ice Giants
    Your mention of Beria reminded me: Stalin once misplaced his reading glasses, and told Beria. A few days later, Stalin mentioned that he'd found the glasses behind the sofa. "That's impossible!" exclaimed Beria. "We've already had six people confess to...
  • Commented on On the road again!
    Yay! Harry Connolly is back! His new series is almost at the top of my 'to be read' pile. James...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Ah yes, freedom: Freedom means you're free to do Just whatever pleases you. If of course, that is to say What you will is what you may. - Now that we're wandering a bit OT, does anybody have any thoughts...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    Another reminder for me that Canadian politicians haven't cornered the market in stupidity....
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    One of my problems with thrillers (and some SF) is the inclusion of Gigantic Global Conspiracies as necessary plot points. As one example, Zven Tenag'f Arjfsrrq gevybtl required a huge conspiracy to keep pumping out the new nastiness every few...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    In your Merchant Princes series, you had two (three if you count the Dead Paris Hilton line) alternate histories. Both the Gruinmarket and New Britain were less advanced technologically than OTL. Can you think offhand of any events in the...
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