Phill

Phill

  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    For anyone interested in the history of railway safety, Red for Danger by LTC Rolt is an excellent read. A friend of mine was one of the last operators at Hammersmith signal cabin on the London Underground. A huuuuge edwardian...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    The plot point from book one about infovores finding nukes quite tasty...I can imagine some spivvy mate of a senior tory (or some of the middle managers I've endured under) coming up with an incredible, foolproof, get rich quick scheme...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    "You could locate it in one of Edinburgh's extinct volcanoes... ...the film writes itself (badly, probably)." Is it 90 minutes of some poor bastard trying to drill basalt?...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    Regarding the Granny Smith/Ipod thing. One photo shows an eating apple, sure. But the next shows a white rectangle, with iPod written on it. The fruit behind it is almost completely hidden. I'm not convinced that this really proves anything....
  • Commented on The Laundry Files: an updated chronology
    That raises an interesting possibility for Laundryverse diving. Just open a portal in your mouth to somewhere with breathable air, then go swimming. Could also work in the Merchant Princes, if ARMBAND can be scaled down......
  • Commented on All Glory to the New Management!
    OGH @ 96, "if a lion could talk..." Also, you couldn't trust a word they'd say......
  • Commented on Dead plots
    JBS @171: Maybe the path with conspiracy fiction is to make them less outlandish, make it about the real incompetence and fraud that happens as above. Raise awareness of what they should be worried about. Perhaps with a dash of...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    Olivier Galibert @44: That is always mentioned as the reason the magical people keep very, very quiet. Although the last book seems to have ended that. Uncle Stinky @51: Been reading Private Eye since I was a teenager. Depresses me...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    Maybe the pandemic will lead to socialism becoming more popular? It has done a good job of revealing the flaws in the capitalist "work hard and you'll be fine" philosophy. Their poster children, the small business owner who built up...
  • Commented on Roll the dice
    Surely, in the post-new management Laundryverse, D&D would be highly illegal? Both from a risk of accidental magic, and a censorship point of view. This would make the hardcore who continue pretty odd characters in their own right, not to...
  • Commented on Three pieces of news about the Laundry Files (UPDATED!)
    Terry Pratchett did a very interesting take on Sweeney Todd in Dodger. Waterloo veteran barber surgeon who saw some baaaad shit....
  • Commented on Three pieces of news about the Laundry Files (UPDATED!)
    "Angleton always looked like Sir John Gielgud in my mind's eye. Probably not ideal for the role, being dead and all." Angleton is a reanimated corpse, so I'd say being dead makes him perfect....
  • Commented on Three pieces of news about the Laundry Files (UPDATED!)
    Wonderful second bit of news! Will this be a novella, or a full sized novel?...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    "...between Unicorn Brexit, Mermaid Brexit, and Eating Turnips In The Dark Brexit." I was rather hoping for Mad Max Brexit actually. I've not spent 2 years building this fleet of implausibly outlandish, post apocalypse vehicles for nothing you know!...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    May is only in power because no-one else is stupid enough to want the job-hence the farce that was the tory leadership contest. She's a walking corpse after her supposed deal has failed to get support. With parliament having rejected...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    I reckon they'll revoke article 50. They might get an extension first, they might not, either way it is clear that there's no-one who wants to do anything as risky as form a plan, any plan, and enact it. If...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Page 306: "...four Rolls-Royce Olympus engines...that power the Royal Navy's shiny new aircraft carriers" Assuming you refer to the Queen Elizabeth class, they actually have two RR MT30's, which are derived from the Trent 800. The old Invincible carriers had...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    I did wonder, when I read the bit about the failed rubber. Surely Bob would have had the snip by now?...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    RE Western hydraulic drive diesels, the East Lancs railway were running a hymek round with an engine out a Western for a bit a few years ago. I seem to recall that the North British built Warships, like many early...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    The merits, or otherwise, of boarding school literature are exactly what make it so ripe for a send up. A lot of my reading growing up were, a tad embarrassingly now, Enid Blytons various improbable boarding school books, Jill Murphys...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    Yep, when I looked round whilst applying it was on the old Abbey site-it really was every school from every boarding novel ever written. Then spent the first year in said cardboard campus hearing all manner of tales from our...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    My eyes lit up at the thought of a boarding school romp. I did my A levels at a military ran boarding college, somewhere in the Midlands. Sadly, no centuries old buildings, secret passages, sunken ballrooms and ghosts-that was the...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Readers wishing to learn more about rail safety should track down the out of print "RTed for Danger" by LTC Rolt. Regards the downgrade of the safety system. As long as the silver package conforms completely to whatever the minimum...
  • Commented on New publication dates (and audiobook news)
    I still stick to paper books. Easier to hide in a drawer at work for when the machine is on a long cycle, can be stuffed in a jacket pocket for train journeys, less traumatic to lose, and if you...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    You're not in charge of doing crosswords are you...?...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    "The Chinese branch of the world-walkers would probably be useful here if any of them are still around." There's a good point. What happened to them? Will they reappear? Regards using them to interface with TL2 China, they would never...
  • Commented on I get book covers
    As we machinists say when managers want something precise and fiddly doing yesterday-do you want it now, or do you want it right? I shall wait eagerly but patiently. In the meantime, wish you all the best....
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    Whitroth: Yes, encapsulated white asbestos is safe if left alone. The rest isn't, and has caused enormous misery to workers, people who came into contact with loose asbestos insulation (such as the pipe lagging in the photo I mentioned). Nowadays...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    True, in fact the Victorians made much greater improvements in living standards, morals and public safety than they get remembered for now. I've not long ago read one of my Dads charity shop finds. Atomic Energy, by Egon Larsen, published...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    Steampunk with plausible physics...given the rather lax attitude to safety, imagine if the victorians worked out atomic fission? A working class riddled with tumours and mutations would be a touch dystopic though....
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