Nix

Nix

  • Commented on Burn The Programmer!
    I hope you've read Rick Cook's _Wizard's Bane_, which covers more or less exactly this from the opposite angle: programming might look like spells but at least it's passing systematic, and that's more than you can say for most fantasy...
  • Commented on Book day!
    So I've been trying to figure out a retcon for this unfortunate confusion between the Sleeper and the Black Pharaoh: it seems troublesome to have people considering two antagonists to be the same entity! A possible solution emerges from the...
  • Commented on The Day After
    Also, being a long way from anywhere seems like a good idea when you have a man with no impulse control in charge of thousands of nuclear weapons....
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    Aside: I'm sure I'm not the only lurker who reads the comment threads until Catalin's latest nom de filter evasion pops up, and then stops on the grounds that the entire conversation has just been derailed by a free-associating poster...
  • Commented on The Nightmare Stacks: US Launch
    Kindle firmware (post 5.4.x, I think, so all Kindles currently on sale: all the touch-sensitive Kindles must be running this firmware if they can still connect to Amazon) can also display footnotes in a pop-up footnote window -- except in...
  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    I'd have said your fascism comment was overrated, but in the small Cambridgeshire city I live in (middle-class central), on Friday, I stumbled going down the hill and a sweet little old lady on a mobility scooter nearly ran into...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    Minor unrelated side comment: it's not terribly accurate to call the Westermarck effect a 'taboo'. Taboos are cultural: you, at some level, have to consciously decide not to do whatever it is the taboo decrees. The Westermarck effect doesn't seem...
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    Of course something human could remain sane and conscious for an eternity. It would merely need to enter a periodic state, i.e. looping, forever... Doesn't really sound *desirable*, mind you. (This was the -- self-chosen! -- fate of Peer in...
  • Commented on Attention Conservation Notice
    Greg, chatbots? Oh, they're very new, the first chatbot was written in 2014 or something when some corporation was founded around them. The Economist told me so, so it must be true, and my illusion of seeing chatbots in the...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    Quite. I also note that Pigeon is willing to call self-driving cars harmful because they might impair drivers' ability to drive (however dangerously), without once considering the significant number of people currently unable to drive (too old, too impaired, too...
  • Commented on Burnout, creativity, and the tyranny of production schedules
    Liz, I'm sure I'm not the only person here who would always be happy to read anything you wrote. Hell, if you wrote the back of a cereal packet I'd read it, in the near-certainty that it would be good....
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    I'm sorry to say that this sort of thing (ill with X / did Y / X went away) is not enough to indicate that Y cures X, or even that Y doesn't make X worse sometimes, nor even that...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Whales and dolphins are not thinking with those bigger brains. If all else is held equal, brain size tends to scale with body surface area, because surface area means more skin to have a sense of touch on, more or...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    There are plenty of ways to form minerals only in one solar system -- or, rather, only under one set of conditions. Earth has literally *thousands* of minerals which don't exist anywhere else in the solar system, because they require...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Antibodies are actually inheritable, in one specific and short-term sense -- babies get antibodies in their mother's milk. (But they don't get the B cells, so they can't make more -- it's a stopgap, not inherited immunity.)...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Black holes and people mixed just fine in Geoff Landis's _Approaching Perimelasma_. OK, they were such remote posthumans that they did things like diving into stars for fun, and even there an extremely heavily modified and stripped-down copy in a...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    I note that proton-boron-11 fusion is insanely difficult: we're talking a slow fusion rate and 6-billion-K reactor temperature at *least*. This is not the stuff that anything but nightmares are made of. Nobody sane would want to use this reaction...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    No, the movie Moon had a company which *claimed to the protagonist* in an obvious propaganda film to be mining for helium-3. All he knew for sure was that he went out periodically, picked up canisters, and fired them off...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    Tyop report coming up. In _A Succession of Bad Days_ it becomes clear that Halt is... really quite different from the Lady, yes. But in _The March North_ this is less clear: I can imagine the Lady terrifying a [censored...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    Having just read the first 75% of _The March North_ (fabulous: Graydon, if you want some typospotting I have found a few), what it reminds me most of is Glen Cook's Black Company novels. James Nicoll also made this comparison,...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    Susan, speaking as an ex-identical-twin (30 weeks) there are much bigger problems with twinning than that, particularly cases where identical twins share a placenta. The thing is, this means that before birth they share a blood supply, but *not* a...
  • Commented on Nom de Teleport
    Well, CatinaDiamond has done one surprising thing: managed to make me dislike both Accelerando *and* the Culture slightly, by implication. Which I thought was next to impossible. Honestly, I'd rather live in a dictatorship of the facts than have to...
  • Commented on 21st Century: a complaint
    FWIW, Charlie, I at least have essentially stopped reading this blog's comments entirely because of CatinaDiamond's endless tiresome derailing mystagogic blatherings. Certainly, if I do read a comments thread, I stop dead as soon as that poster appears. I doubt...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    You're reading _Pandora's Star_, right? You know how many more books there are in the Commonwealth series-of-series? Five --oh, and a sixth coming, since #6 is the first half of a prequel to #3, #4 and #5. All these books...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    ... and that very video was inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson's work in _2312_, itself set in the Accelerando first mentioned in his _Blue Mars_. A large part of _Blue Mars_ deals with... the problems of aging! The circle is...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    Nile, KSR's Mars trilogy is nowhere near as depressing as his earlier _Icehenge_, which has people routinely forgetting everything they did earlier to such an extent that they-a-hundred-and-fifty-years-ago may well be entirely different people....
  • Commented on Apology
    I'm less amazed that you came back from Eurocon with a bug and more amazed that people exist who *didn't* come back from the Worldcon with one. The ExCel Centre is basically a petri dish for disease, even when it's...
  • Commented on Down tools
    James: as a Brit born in 1976, I'd never heard of Trumpton before this thread (though obviously had heard of the other two, and even read Cold Comfort Farm): and it predates me by less than a decade! Children's TV...
  • Commented on Gods and genre
    When I see people who talk about Le Guin and 'genderbending' in the same sentence, I see someone whose only exposure to Le Guin (whose name they cannot spell) is _The Left Hand of Darkness_. As far as I am...
  • Commented on Some rambling thoughts on region restrictions
    Ian S, voice is 'higher bandwidth' than text to you? How slowly do you read?...
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