Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Besides removing the letter 'u' from "colour" and "humour" to make them "color" and "humor" what else has to be done to modify the spelling and grammar? Not just spelling; a bunch of British and American grammar and idiomatic usage...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    AIUI the only people offended by "Holocaust" are (a) neo-Nazi holocaust denialists, and (b) members of other persecuted groups who see it misapplied to just the genocide of European Jews, erasing their experience. Roma/Gypsies were targeted, as were Slavs, homosexuals,...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I'm guessing it's more likely that somewhere in Tolkien it is made clear that Orcs are not green, so by making them green and pointing to the 17th century coinage the gamescos are immunizing themselves against trademark litigation. (The Tolkien...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Agreed. It's like taking the existence of Oskar Schindler as a mitigating factor for the Shoah....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Of course nowadays we have that "greenskin" thing. I think it's because of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40K games from Games Workshop, originally - they both have orcs which are mostly green. In the fantasy version, there are for example...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Oh, I'm sure they could. They just rejected solutions of the form "start the worldbuilding now, and see what's spun off it in 40 years' time". Because that's not their job: editors edit existing work and manage publishing workflow, that's...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Another point is that the fundamental change of the Potterverse wasn't really the story (although I do love it), IMHO, it's that it got sold through Scholastic, which was a children's educational publisher, and that only because it was turned...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Tolkien re-used a few pre-existing tropes -- dragons, for example (Smaug) -- but much of his Middle Earth was populated by beings he put his own spin on, or invented completely (Orcs, hobbits). And they subsequently served as the source...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Wonder whether these disasters are part of the reason Aussie pols are reluctant to accept/do anything about CC/GW, i.e., previous scientists' recommendations/solutions only made things worse. Nope, it's all about coal. China pivoted towards a more open industrial policy in...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    As I think I mentioned, I now have (in addition to the herd of Macs) a Windows 10 sub-notebook. One of these (16Gb RAM, 512Gb nvme SSD, LTE and wifi). It's about the same size and weight as an iPad...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    There seem to me to be 3 main objections people have to Linux as an alternative to Windows. Nope, you missed the biggest one: "I am an IT manager responsible for machinery that keeps $CORPORATION running. We need support, training,...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    The idea that a carnivorous giraffe with a beak like Concorde needs to be able to take off like a pigeon to avoid attacks is just a little bizarre. It's not much less so as a requirement for the survival...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Lower gravity does, however, mess with the scale height of your atmosphere, and ensures that unless your sun is particularly reddish and dim, you're going to get lots of solar UV stripping of hydrogen ions from the ionosphere, leading to...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    five other common gases of low enough density to provide buoyancy. One of them is only marginally so, and goes bang; another of them also goes bang; one has a problem with hydrogen bonding, so you usually need increased...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    A Zeppelin would probably not get off the ground if its gasbags were filled with helium as a lifting gas Kindly explain the non-existence of the USS Shenandoah and its successors. Hint: hydrogen is a dimer, helium is a monomer....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    (Earlier lengthy reply eaten by internet cookie monster.) Q1: Airships are pretty basic and will work anywhere there's an atmosphere made of stuff significantly denser than hydrogen. Sometimes with weird effects! (Earth surface temperature and pressure air -- 80% N2,...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Now, for real fun, go for a secondary-world setting where there is a close relative of bamboo that is really light and doesn't absorb moisture when properly cured, an engineer who thinks like Buckminster Fuller (think tensegrity structure, rather than...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    As for flying battle steads, I see that people want something the equivalent of a WWI battle zeppelin. It's worth looking at what they did with those lovely machines, before taking one into battle. I note that it took a...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    For me, cauliflower is the worst of them -- just the smell alone is nauseating. For some reason the aroma reminds me of diarrhoea. (Probably childhood conditioning, but you are not going to get me eating that stuff.)...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    NOTHING at all wrong with Brusseles Sprouts Yes there is: they're cultivars of the satanic demon vegetable from hell, Brassica oleracea. (As is mustard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and a bunch of other vomit-inducing inedible so-called "foods".) Seriously, the brassicae are...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    I note that alopecia is a side-effect of Dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis, which is an autosomal dominant genetic condition. This suggests that generically engineering humans to be completely bald might be possible (albeit possibly with other effects, e.g. loss of fingerprints...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Welp, the Aviation Herald has amended their report title to reflect a missile hit, so that's credible enough for me at this point. (AvHerald is not prone to sensationalist rumourmongoring.) Precisely how it happened and who was responsible is now...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Incidentally - what's in it for Muirdoch? Remember it's the Murdoch family. As I understand things Rupert, the patriarch, has stepped back a long way in the past couple of years, but a lot of the day-to-day running of the...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Psionics was a crappy attempt to retrofit a veneer of scientific plausibility on religious trappings like an immaterial soul via mind/body dualism. It was a busted flush by the late 80s/early 90s; ironically the Koestler endowment (a chair in paranormal...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    How do people feel about "Clarke's Third Law" magic, where there is some unknown technology underpinning the magical effects, but people don't understand it on that level Ah, you mean Microsoft Windows, right? (Seriously, "it's magic" is how most people...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    No. And this subject is closed....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    How do you view Five-Twelfths of Heaven by Melissa Scott? I rate it as wildly imaginative (especially for the time it was written -- late 1980s, IIRC), and also picked a uniquely different strain of magic to play with:...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    On the subject of the crashed Ukrainian 737, ignore the mass media speculation about a shoot-down. One of the best sites for this sort of situation is the Aviation Herald, which documents (exhaustively!) investigations into civil aviation incidents and accidents...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    You're thinking of older British warehouses, which tend to be sturdy brick buildings with decent window area for illumination and stuff like staircases as well as wells, winches, and loading docks, thrown up by Victorian engineers who didn't have computers...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    In the UK, your derelict warehouses -- at least, older ones -- tend to be rebuilt and turned into apartments: the land is worth more that way. There's also the crazy legislative nonsense that makes brown-field development (i.e. knocking down...
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