Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    JBS: Yellow card. Reason: see the bold warning I added to the top of the original blog piece. (Also, you're getting unreasonably irate.) Stop talking about that goddamn movie or I will start deleting your comments....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    it happened because he and his people didn't have the cojones to tell LBJ, when the latter asked him, that it couldn't be won on any acceptable terms You're not accounting for the Abilene paradox, whereby a group of people...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    In "Methuselah's Children" a starship takes off from the Moon, lands on Earth, takes up 100,000(!) refugees, takes off again and leaves the Solar System -- all without refueling of any kind, and apparently without pesky issues like air resistance....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Was that the case back in the 80s and 90s, when those films were made? Not really: it's very much a thing that emerged with the odious alt-right since 2008....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    That being said, lots of the components of power armor already exist, mutatis mutandis If that's the sort of thing that rocks your boat, your best recent example in fiction would be The Red: First Light by Linda Nagata (first...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    On the note of Heinlein's literary status per the Stephen King test ("the best kind of literary prize is royalties", or words to that effect), Heinlein scooped a million dollar advance for "The Number of the Beast" circa 1978-ish. And...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    of 60 or so people convicted to be hung, the death penalty had not deterred them from their crime The UK's Home Office did a similar study somewhat earlier; back when the death penalty was applied to pickpockets, a survey...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    In re Sykes-Picot: anyone know sf about living with the consequences of bad treaties or other arrangements from very long ago? Well, the Arabesk trilogy by Jon Courtenay Grimwood -- which I highly recommend -- deals with a Middle East...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Yeah. There's also a couple of complicating factors emerging from the USA being the hegemonic thalassic empire of the age: a) the USA has developed a foundational mythology about being plucky rebels against an Empire. But this is a terrible...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Finally, you take Heinlein's mobile infantry concept, which is daft. The soldiers jump huge distances with exoskeletons and jetpacks. Normally that spells "TARGET" to any sane soldier (comments from the real veterans?), but let's go with it. Your excuse --...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    (Veering off topic around comment 200, not 300, because this thread has already chewed over the admittedly lightweight OP ...) the fundamental strategic error of the post 9/11 world was not making an extensive effort to prune back the Saudis,...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Remember the horrifyingly bad pun (or dad joke) at the end of Star Beast? And how Heinlein in 1954(!) smuggled a John Thomas into a book published by Scribners' kidlit imprint?...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Greg: It took how long to bring about implosion of the CCCP? Fall of Kruschev to 1990? ( about 26 years ) Or from the appointment of Andropov in 1982 ( So 8 years ) ? Where are we on...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    he wrote the book because there was a "no nuclear weapons" campaign which worried him. Now that's an interesting piece of timing! "Starship Troopers" dropped in 1959, the year of Sputnik. At that time the CIA was screaming at Eisenhower...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Just to be obnoxious, I'll pose the alternative: he's a writer trying to make a living. This is absolutely true of Heinlein all along. He started writing short fiction for the pulps because his Navy pension was too small to...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Your memory of Star from "Glory Road" matches mine. (Parenthetically: I did my obligatory Heinlein homage novel -- "Saturn's Children" riffs extensively off "Friday" -- so feel no obligation to go back for seconds. But if I did, I'd probably...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    depending which Heinlein book you pick up and take too literally you could end up an Imperial Monarchist (Glory Road) Eh? Glory Road isn't about imperial monarchism; if anything, Star's role is to handle arbitration and dispute resolution along the...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Other than that, great. Now do Farnham's Freehold. I am not touching that bait! It is stinky and writhing with maggots— Okay, hold your noses. "Farnham's Freehold" was published in 1964, which means it was written some time prior to...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Democracies usually collapse not too long after the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses … for a while. Either read history or watch the daily papers; it is now happening here. And this, in my opinion,...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    If RAH had been born in 1977, rather than 1907, would he have swallowed the Big Lie about DJT actually winning in 2020? I hope not. But we can't know. I'm pretty sure we can know. Just comb Baen's author...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    There are a couple of upcoming Falcon Heavy flights scheduled: mostly USSF/DoD payloads. What happened was, Falcon 9 block 1.5 payloads are nearly double that of the original Falcon 9 1.0 model, and overlap with the original market for Falcon...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    1. The STS promised 50 flights a year, which gives a launch of about once every 7 days. Yep. And SpaceX are currently at a launch every 9 days so far this year, so within spitting distance of the Shuttle's...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Graeber died last year: Bullshit Jobs was published in 2018. I imagine if he was still alive he'd be contemplating a second edition, taking into account the lessons of the past 18 months (which have bought the linked phenomena of...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Incidentally, while Googling for the chapter headings I just discovered the full text here. Presumably this is legal. It's not legal for that to be on the public web, but it's almost certainly incompetence rather than malice. It appears to...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    I suspect USSF/USAF have security concerns about putting Someone Else's fairing in close proximity to a classified payload. They might insist on SpaceX's fairing production and installation systems being security-cleared to their standards, which would probably not be cheap and/or...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    The maximum tip velocity only varies with the strength and density of the tether material. The limit is a bit over 3 km/s using spectra 2000 which was the best existing material about 3 years ago That's high enough to...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Naah, forget balloons and centrifuges: if your goal is to put 50-250kg lumps of construction material into orbit at 90 minute intervals, your best bet is to dust off the plans for Project Babylon, the fourth-generation descendant of Gerald Bull's...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Many had a process or someone around that would deal with putting all that kinetic energy in a room in a building full of people See also ultracentrifuges (the biochem lab kind, not the uranium enrichment kind). Rotor head massing...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    You have a genetic marker for a "THING" for which 99% of the people who have this marker die before they turn 30 years old. You're 25 and need a kidney transplant. What is the decision? You've heard of QALYs,...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    To me a bigger deal is they just launched a brand new booster. After 20 used ones in a row. I note that Falcon 9 launches throw away the upper stage, so they're not 100% fully reusable. But Shuttle launches...
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