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I'm doing a reading/signing event at Pandemonium Books and Games in Cambridge, Mass., tomorrow evening (that's Tuesday) from 7pm. Afterwards I'll probably be heading on to the Cambridge Brewing Company on Kendall Square.

It has been a really busy few days at Readercon, and I am looking forward to crashing and burning for a few days afterwards. The weather here is crazy-hot, but then, I gather it's crazy-hot back home, too.) And the drivers in Boston? Just say no — or rent a tank.

I shall blog again properly when I rediscover wherever I hid the stash of spare brain cells.



Crazy hot? Try Melbourne in January last year - it reached over forty degrees Celcius for three days running. The high of 30 degrees on the 31st of January was a huge relief!

I doubt I'll ever complain about it being too hot at 35 degrees again.


I sir, take your challenge, and raise you 48C in Adelaide over summer.


Or use the next best thing like i do, A Semi.


Not only does Jonathan Strahan's latest podcast name-check Charlie, but there is bonus crypto-aviation with Gary K. Wolfe, Elizabeth Hand, and Peter Straub


If they came with air, I'd suggest a Scorpion; small, light and fast enough to be handy in town and keep up with traffic on the freeway, but still big and tanky enough to run out winner in an argument with a semi-truck. ;)


It's not crazy-hot in Edinburgh, more "refreshingly warm" right now (just miserable last Saturday - the haar never lifted, it just drizzled).

Paws@6 - Nah, Scorpion's overrated. The driver bakes in hot weather (according to a friend who used to drive one for a living), and it's still only seven tons of aluminium with a petrol engine and an appalling NCAP rating. The luggage space is rubbish, you've got to climb in and out through the sunroof, and the reason it got binned was the main armament leaked toxic fumes back into the turret...

If you want a tank, get one of those nice Israeli Merkavas or Namers. They've got a door in the back so you don't have to climb in through the top, and enough space back there for luggage and passengers :)


And also, that top speed is pretty abysmal. Good for a tracked vehicle, but (assuming you're not on the M6 through Brum), it's going to be the slowest thing on the road unless you put it on a tank transporter.

(And have you seen what the M6T toll charge is for tanks?)


Take the governor off the Scorpion engine and it'll do about 75mph on tarmac; the RAF Regiment framed the speeding tickets they got when using the M4 to return from an exercise.

I agree about the Merkava for luggage space, a decent back door, air con, oh yes and pop-up headlights, though. Or a Chieftain since it's got a built-in tea urn?


The toxic fume problem was that the (76mm?) gun was a WW2-vintage high velocity anti tank design (17 pounder, I think) and lacked a bore evacuator (the bulge on most modern tank barrels) so that carbon monoxide came back into the turret when the breech was opened.

A lot of Scorpions were refitted with the turrets from the Fox reconaissance car with 30mm gun. (This is why the Fox is quite scarce, most of the turrets were removed when they were withdrawn from service.)


Back when I was in grad school one of my classmates was an FBI agent who had driven in Bangkok and Tehran but he considered Boston to be the worst place to drive in the world


I couldn't swear to exactly which gun was the base design, but you're exactly right about the basic problem being fumes drawn back through the breach into the turret.


My solution to crazy Boston traffic is to bicycle everywhere. Nobody messes with you if they think you're batshit crazy, and they think you must be if you're biking in this traffic, so it's not actually crazy to bike around Boston.

Of course, it probably helps that I am batshit crazy, but that's a discussion for another time.



Was the italicized "I {really} don't like dogs" in TFM a Quiller swipe/homage? If I had seen "snivelling" and "organism" on the same page I would know it for sure!

Thanks for another great book!

See you as Boskone.

Tom Porter


Blackmail aka photos



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 12, 2010 9:24 PM.

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