Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Posted Evolver to Charlie's Diary
    I'd like to give you a happy fun thought experiment to chew on. It's 2016. And it's been a bad year. Let's imagine that it's about to get infinitely worse for everyone, and by December 31st, 2016, the human species...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    1. Check your spam folder in case your copy ended up there. 2. If it didn't, you probably (a) input your email address wrong, or (b) used smart quotes, accented characters, or something else that isn't strict old-school ASCII in...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE NO MORE FILM/TV SHOWS. IMR is a standard trope in visual media; using it is fundamentally uninteresting. And anyway, I don't do film/TV. If you insist on commenting just to mention another movie I'll start deleting comments. YHBW....
  • Posted Suspense is the key to Charlie's Diary
    In a discussion elsewhere on the interwebbytubes, the subject of in media res openings came up. An in media res opening is one where a story starts with a bang, a climactic action sequence -- then cuts away to a...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    9Just home from Berlin) Counterpoint because it's disheartening (I'm fed up with) seeing only the bad apples glamorized. How about non-charismatic normal people whose actions showed that it doesn't take a superhero to change the world. ... Mother Teresa Stop...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Yeah; speaking of which, how about the Dread Pirate Moses Cohen, a contemporary and advisor of the buccaneer Henry Morgan?...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    ... And not to forget SS-Obersturmbannf├╝hrer Otto Skorzeney, "the most dangerous man in Europe", and his bizarre post-war twilight as a Mossad hit-man....
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Paraguay is always good for insane larger-than-life people. How about Eliza Lynch, courtesan turned de facto first lady of Paraguay who arguably caused the War of the Triple Alliance (the bloodiest war in Latin American history) by persuading her boyfriend...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Oh my, yes, de Wiart was definitely a bit bonkers, in the Mad Jack Churchill dimension: He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War [and three or four other smaller colonial wars]; was shot in...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    I will grant you all of those characters, while noting that Mad Jack Churchill is just another example of the fact that if your name contains two or more of the words "Mad", "Jack", and "Churchill" you are probably an...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Okay, Joe Carstairs definitely goes on the list! I note that a lot of these characters had a large degree of privilege in their backgrounds -- certainly the privilege of gigantic gobbets of money falling from the heavens, in the...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    I already did Roman von Ungern Sternberg in "The Fuller Memorandum". (And Edward Younghusband in "The Concrete Jungle", and Arthur Ransome in passing in "The Fuller Memorandum", along with a certain irritating secretary to the CNO ...)...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Well, if you want unblocking you'll have to tell me who you are on twitter, and why I should listen....
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    the fallacy of the "fair and balanced" opposite way of doing this, which is to make everything equivalent when it's not, i.e. climate change propaganda Yeah. See also the false equivalency in the current US election "debate"; AP and the...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Greg, yellow card. Catherine is making a lot of sense at present and you are picking on her destructively, rather than engaging constructively. Stop it. Some of us want to read what she has to say....
  • Posted Sometimes I don't know why I bother! to Charlie's Diary
    (Blogging continues to be sparse because, although I just sent in a final draft of "The Delirium Brief", I'm hard at work on other projects—notably my 2018 space opera, "Ghost Engine", and my 2018 Merchant Princes universe novel, "Dark State"—and...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    So, yeah: the USA is basically a well designed Hell at this point. Not entirely accurate. I've spent 1-2 years there over the past decade so I think I'm reasonably well-informed, for a visiting foreigner; what the US is designed...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    You're mistaken (point of fact) about ~10% of the US population using insulin to combat diabetes. Insulin is primarily used in Type I (autoimmune, childhood onset) diabetes which is relatively rare; the common variety is Type II (insulin insensitivity) diabetes...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Happy that nobody got hurt (because nobody was nearby) but, snort. Random static discharge? You misunderstood. The explosion occurred during fueling for a static test -- i.e. a routine pre-flight test (for Falcon 9 flights) where the booster is fuelled...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    does one ever encounter the Djinn in corporeal manifestation in the current era? Sure: it's called ISO9000! Be very careful what you wish for....
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    NEWSFLASH I have changed my Twitter handle to "Mister Earbrass" for the day because I just emailed my editors a final submission draft of "The Delirium Brief". (And get to take the rest of the day off work for good...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Hmm ... One can conceive of a USB device designed to plug into a work PC and present itself as a keyboard and mouse. Said device would be the "replay" half of an attack on Keystroke Dynamics monitoring; first, the...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Yep, except as a non-smoker ......
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    have you ever considered working with a performance psychologist? If I did that, then what I do would officially have stopped being Fun and turned into Job. So I'd have to quit, and look for a different way to earn...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    The best-of-breed writing tool at present (for novels) is probably Scrivener, specifically Scriv for macOS (the Windows/Linux version lags a major release number in functionality and the iOS version is still at version 1.00, very good but essentially an MVP)....
  • Posted Writer, Interrupted to Charlie's Diary
    I'm taking an hour out from polishing and sanding the final draft of "The Delirium Brief", the eighth Laundry Files novel (which is due to hit my editors' inboxes this Wednesday) to just mention something that bugs me which came...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Another idea to safe water (not really plausible - spot the chicken and egg problem): Oxygen is even more abundant that on earth, so there's a thick ozone layer that slows water loss. Above a partial pressure of oxygen of...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    You don't get a huge storm under the noonday sun on Proxima B unless the air has shed all its water to make those clouds in the first place. The air that flows away from that huge storm will be...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    OpenOffice development went to Oracle during the Sun take-over; the folks who were serious about it walked, forked the codebase, and named their fork LibreOffice. Generally the code quality of LibreOffice is way ahead of OpenOffice these days, and it's...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    I do wonder what the crossover between VR and ageing is going to look like. At some point I expect it will be possible for quadriplegics to use VR, which will mean you can just immerse yourself in VR let...
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