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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 02:30pm on 02/09/2009
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 09:19pm on 01/09/2009
It's been a while...

Previously... )

House of Suns Al Reynolds

Very nice far-future hard SF with timescales in the millions of years. Could have been written for me, but the Al is an astronomer. Recommended.

The H-Bomb Girl Stephen Baxter

Alternate history and time travel in Cuban Missile Crisis Liverpool, with the Beatles lurking in the background. Written as YA but with adult depth. Arguably the best thing SB has written. Definitely recommended.

This is Not a Game Walter Jon Williams

WJW relaunches his career for the second time thanks to publisher hassles with a near-future cyberplot that Stross would be proud of. Hopefully WJW is now back on his feet as this was really good!

Palimpsest Catherynne M Valente

Interesting novel about a sexually transmitted city (to use the author's own description). Definitely not my usual thing, and I found the writing at times to be over-rich. I know there are people who would love it, and while it didn't fully work for me I could certainly appreciate it.

Winterstrike Liz Williams

I wanted to like this more than I did, but the plot seemed to be driven too much by revealed powers of the characters that we didn't have any hints of beforehand. Specifically the demothea seemed so powerful they should never have been defeated in the first place. I guess I'm not understanding exactly what Liz is driving at with this book.

Wireless Charles Stross

Excellent new short story collection from Stross, including old favorites, like A Colder War and a wonderful new take on the time police in Palimpsest. Hmmm - where have I heard that title before...?

Astropolis Sean Williams

Interesting far-future space opera that didn't entirely work for me. You don't have journey times that last 10000 years and then arrive in the nick of time to save one major character, meet up with another in the right place and save a third from prison. There's good potential here but he didn't quite work out some of the implications, unlike Reynolds. this is the first of a trilogy but I think I'll give the others a miss.

Matter Iain M Banks

Another Culture doorstop dealing with a very unusual Big Dumb Object. The story stars pretty slowly and the courtly language of the 'fantasy world' characters got on my nerves a bit, but the pace inexorably quickens to a huge and mostly unexpected world cracking finale.
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:54am on 31/08/2009
The No. 10 petition for a public apology of the treatment of Alan Turing has been covered by the BBC. Hopefully this will help more people know about the story behind the man and his eponymous machines and test, and attract more people to the petition.
purplecthulhu: (Lack of internet...)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:37am on 29/08/2009
According to BBC News Online the government want us all to get online. But this announcement comes in the same week it emerged that (dark) Lord Mandelson wants to give himself the power to cut people (and everyone else using that account) off the internet if they are suspected of downloading copyright material (suspected - no legal procedure to establish guilt or innocence required).

Call that joined up government, 'cos I don't!
purplecthulhu: (anya rabbits)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 03:29pm on 27/08/2009
Amazon has a special section described as WTF:

http://www.amazon.com/tag/wtf/products/ref=tag_gam_ptcn_istp

Chicken Poop Lip Balm? Inflatable Party Sheep?????

This from William Gibson and allegedly via Paul MacAuley...

Can I wash my eyes out now?
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 02:08pm on 24/08/2009
Rather amusing video here explaining why climate camp won't tell the police where it is.

The police want to know so that they can ensure people's health and safety through their presence.

Summarized response - the only problem to health and safety at past climate camps has been the police presence so, if they want to make a positive contribution in this area, the police should stay away.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:25am on 23/08/2009
If you really feel that the release of a convicted man to die at home with some dignity and peace is "detrimental to the cause of justice", "makes a mockery of the rule of law", and "gives comfort to terrorists", then what are you going to do about the ex-IRA terrorists and terrorist funders of Noraid who have lived free from prosecution in the US for decades?

Don't you think giving them sanctuary for decades 'gives comfort to terrorists" and "makes a mockery of the rule of law"?
Mood:: 'angry' angry
purplecthulhu: (cycliong)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 07:05pm on 20/08/2009
Time in, just over 40 minutes, time back, pretty much 40 minutes on. Pretty good! I had one nasty pot hole incident on the way back with a large hole at the junction of Theobald's Road and Rosebury's Avenue. Cars on both sides going at significant speed and a hole which seemed huge dead ahead. I gritted my teeth, held my course and bumped over it. It wasn't nice, elicited some hard language but I survived and got some sympathy from the cyclist ion front whop said they'd reported the pot hole the day before. I think I'll be doing that soon myself!

The suicidal tourists were out in force today, with a veritable phalanx of them at the bottom of Constitution Hill. And... horrors!... some fool has given them bicycles! I saw a whole family of them, from grandad to kids about 7 wobbling along, looking utterly unprepared, and trying to work out the rules of the road. This can't end well...
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 02:25pm on 19/08/2009
Thanks to Charlie for linking to the yearly reminder of things the new intake of undergraduates have known provided by Beloit College.

Some scary examples...

Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1991:

Gene Roddenberry, and Freddie Mercury have always been dead

Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister

Official racial classifications in South Africa have always been outlawed

And there are plenty more on their site!
Mood:: 'surprised' surprised
purplecthulhu: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 08:29am on 19/08/2009
There is this urban myth that goes around that you need to write a million words of shit before you can start writing friction competently. Looking at my LJ stats is interesting in this context...

Since 2002 I've posted 1363 entries (not including this one) and made nearly 11000 comments. Assuming an average of 100 words per post and 10 words per comment that's over 200000 words of my million, and could be a lot more. Add that to something like 10 years of writing APA submissions and I may be a lot closer to the million that I'd thought...
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative

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