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  1. Last week
  2. there is that. but also the indulgent repetition was... reduced, if not absent. Meantime. Magic For Liars - Sarah Gailey - this is Gailey's debut novel, after a couple of Hippo Western novellas, and various short stories. It is a bit of a mixed bag, genre wise (but then, it isn't like one could describe Hippo Western as an obvious genre choice...). Magic is real, and Ivy isn't magic, but her twin sister is. Add to that the death of their mum through cancer, and the last 17 years have been a fucking mess. Still, she just about manages to make a living as a PI, with the same old same of cheating spouses and minor fraud. Until the headmistress from the local school of magic turns up - there has been a murder! Of course, the school is also where her sister teaches. So on the one hand this is a detective novel; there is a body, suspects, interviews, clues, and all that. But also a magic school novel, for all that Ivy tries to remain blase, to assume a role, the bratty kids are committing magic all around her, wasting it on the most mundane shit, then there are the talking books, and a Chosen One. Though, at the heart, despite the wonder, it is about a fucked up woman, in a fucked up situation, who is forced to face the extent of the fucked uppery. Very much an easy read, I think it was in some ways deceptively easy reading, given how much it is pulling off and just how audacious that process is in the end.
  3. I mean... I've been homeless, but current times have me seriously considering just randomly attacking junkies.
  4. Because fuck me I *do* have another opportunity coming up, that I think should be super-easy for me to get, but (greedy me) I'm mildly annoyed that, like, it pays so fucking low for a tech shit. (Between 50K and 60K: you can get, like, six digits coming fresh out of school, for other jobs). Still better than getting $30K / year at a warehouse!
  5. I literally lost out on a job opportunity this past Tuesday due to SFO rebuilding one of their runways, and delaying my flight for nearly four hours. I ended up just cancelling, and not even visiting San Francisco.
  6. Found out that the guy I performed CPR on last year OD'd again. This time I wasn't there, and he died. I literally pumped another year into him, and he squandered it on heroin. That shit's the devil.
  7. lol.... Yeah, no. I've decided against it. Not so much the pepper spray, but the memories of knives and guns... ...and syringes.
  8. Huh, looks as though I didn't post about The Poppy War here, though I did on the other forum I post reading comments on. OK. The Poppy War by R.F. (Rebecca) Kuang. It got something of a buzz, but I was put off by a few comments. I caught her speaking at the Edinburgh SF/F/H book festival Cymera, and she came across pretty well. So I gave it a go. It is a mixed bag, the first half I enjoyed, the second less so. The first is her in school - having worked out she can avoid being married off by her adoptive parents by passing the tests that get her into military academy. Second half is war breaking out and things getting nasty. There is magic, though honestly not enough for my liking. The war stuff is problematic, many of her choices are problematic, some of it is hard reading. But I caught her again after I finished reading, promoting the second book, and it was interesting to hear her talking in a way that validated my impressions. The war stuff isn't supposed to be easy, she isn't supposed to be a hero who knows what she is doing, so the horror and bad choices are very deliberate. Also interesting how she talks about it being her study of trying to understand how China became the country it is now, through writing fantasy novels exploring history/politics clearly influenced by Chinese history. The Rise and Fall of DODO - Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland - Bought this a while ago, on kindle, because Neal's books are just too damn big for paper. Heard some good stuff about it, got some good recommendations, bumped it up my reading list. Had intended it to be holiday reading in August, but Poppy War took longer than I expected. So it was late on in the holiday by time I started, but even though it is about 800 pages I pretty much ripped through it. A language expert is recruited from a failing university position by a secret government agency, as she translates the documents in obscure languages she realises they are all about witches and witchcraft. From which they piece together that magic stopped working in 1851 due to a number of scientific developments. With a Schrodinger like experiment they discover they can recreate magic, though only in the box. Which leads to a witch turning up to help them out, and to a series of complicated (Stephensonesque) time travel adventures. Things expand and get out of hand, allies are made, secret plots are plotted, and things get complicated. The narrative is largely from the academics journal, but as it progresses there are letters, intranet posts, and the like, introducing different POVs and time views. I found it to be well done and a lot of fun, presuming Galland's influence managed to temper some of Stephenson's historic excess. The Murders of Molly Southbourne - Tade Thompson - I had kinda been avoiding this, generally avoiding violence/war at the moment, life is hard enough! But having enjoyed the two Rosewater books I decided to take a punt on this novella, and there is more to it than the cover/first few pages suggest. Fortunately. Molly wakes up in chains, beaten and bloody and confused. Molly comes in to see how Molly is doing, bearing her own wounds and injuries, but not in chains. Eventually Molly sits down and tells Molly the story of Molly and her many deaths. Every time Molly bleeds a new Molly will form, each will be fine to start with, but without fail will become murderous. To a degree this was fine when Molly was young, home schooled on her parent's farm. But as she got older it is was more of a rollercoaster and she had to make a life for herself, and perhaps find out who she is. It is decent little page turner, a novella so quick, but also feels like an incomplete set up in someway. Which of course is partly accounted for by The Survival of Molly Southbourne, a second novella, which has recently been published - I've got it on my kindle already, so I'll likely get to it soon. Permafrost - Alastair Reynolds - another novella. The world is catastrophically fucked. An old woman, working as a teacher in one of the dead end of dead end towns finds herself recruited by the agency who are currently effectively running the world. Partly because her mother was a famous mathematician who did work on what might prove to provide a form of time travel. The possibilities are limited, they can only travel to a period where certain devices existed and only while they were running, and more that they can pilot a person who is there than go themselves. But if they can do that, then maybe they can change the barest thing that won't change the world, but might just provide enough hope that the entire population won't just die out. An odd little piece, feels quite atypical as far as time travel pieces go, from the technology, the AI presence, the Russian background of the characters/story. Amnesiascope - Steve Erickson - as opposed to Steven Erikson, which isn't confusing at all. I've read one of Steve's books before, though can't remember which. Think it was here that someone recommended him way back? He writes odd works, kind of contemporary, not hard genre, but slipping into genre peripherals. This piece is kind of a hysterical dialogue of the end of the world - I use hysterical, as that is the word the narrator uses to describe a type of cinema her reviews for the newspaper. After an earthquake LA is permanently on fire, has broken into sub-time-zones, and has a similar weird detached end times feel to the likes of Dhalgren or Black Wave. Which is something I appreciate, but to a degree becomes hard to pin down plot, and you just have to ride it out. The narrator is a novelist, makes a living from writing film reviews, his girlfriend is an artist, he writes the script for her erotic film, they kidnap strippers, a film he made up in a review starts to stalk him. Odd stuff happens and it all flows in an uncertain way. Not for everyone...
  9. I absolutely love my current employment situation, but due to my experience in security and loss prevention, a local firm has made an offer that is a huge in regards to the pay rate differential. I don't like the thought of running a security team again, but am considering it. The starting wage is 25% more than I am currently pulling in...
  10. Florida rainstorm. Here in Maryland if it thunders at all people think it is some sort of bomb going off.
  11. Boogerhead

    Woah News

    F-35s and F-15s just obliterated an entire Iraqi island to root out ISIS fighters
  12. *A single* thunder clap in the Seattle area makes everybody be all like "Whoa! Was that thunder!?"
  13. I think for AZ as a whole, we average 600k lightning strikes a year from what I could find with a quick DDG search. I also ran across a report from August with about 20 tree fires in the Phoenix Metro area from one monsoon. But yeah, it can be pretty intense when a big storm rolls through!
  14. This has been so funny to watch, all the little Swifties getting reverse generation-gapped. Most of these twits are like "Who are 'Tool', some new band?" Freakin' hilarious....
  15. 2019 Those ten seconds before you fall asleep When you can draw geometry from will, Yet faces perfect detail wait there deep Inside a thought forgotten song, that’s still. This is to worship, fundamental love As wonder, the start of science, no end. The stars are better than me, hint to shove Image quality higher than me, lend. The rest of life is this small time wrote large, An imitation, good and bad, a mark To meditate the creative, to charge Returning judgement, someone else’s spark. Doll who? High five me. Good work. Grab my hand. There is a bottle for us to share, stand.
  16. 200+ strikes in less than an hour in the muni area, 1750+ in western washington during the same time frame. That was a once in a lifetime storm for this region.
  17. Earlier
  18. LOL, yeah you guys don't usually get the heavy lightning storms up there, eh?
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