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  1. Today
  2. Finally got a copy of "Agency". Imma read it real slow.
  3. Yesterday
  4. I got cold called (erm... cold emailed?) by a recruiter from Facebook. Dang. Did a prelim phone screen, and he seemed to like me. Uhhh... This would pay a lot of money, too 😮 well, "a lot of money" by my standards, actually a bit below average for a tech thing 😮
  5. Last week
  6. (IDK how many of y'all reading this are familiar with engine layouts, but basically a lot of front-wheel-drives turn the engine "sideways", so half the cylinders are at the front of the engine bay (and easy to reach!), but the other half... are way fucking buried)
  7. MEANWHILE my brother and I changed a spark plug on our 1999 Buick. Buick with a transverse V engine. It was one of the spark plugs between the engine and the firewall. Hoooo boy, I sure do love transverse engines, now after like a half-dozen worker-hours of performing lathroscopic surgery to get that one damn spark plug out
  8. My parents are basically giving me one of their cars to use when I move out in the upcoming weeks. I realize a 55K mileage, 2007 Kia Spectra isn't quite a new BMW for your 16th, but I still do appreciate the fact I get any car, at all, gratis, is a sign of privilege. It's an incredibly normie-looking car (which I don't mind). I keep, like, going up to other small, grey sedans in grocery store parking lots, clicking my remote.
  9. Okay, I promise. No more overdoing social media for a while. But I want this one, need this one, just this one. <Looks left.> <Looks right.> Like those old 'MAD' magazine books I got as a kid, this is James Bond's "For Your Eyes Only" (Sony, Sheena Easton, I have Bill Conti, Michael Leeson), except it's about Video Game Streamers and Obsession. * * * For my eyes only, a long list of emotes. For my eyes only, I chat room on the twitch. You can guess, obsess my game, Tetris speed drop my soul - Hand me your gun; I’ll wall jump leave down hole. For my eyes only, only for me - You’ll see moderator tag, glee, on your second screen tree. For my eyes only, only for me - I bang the table with my knee, I drop my mouse, trip my knee: Only for me, only for me. For my eyes only, video rain is wet, Wind as pixels met, mud that’s fake slippery. These screen names slide down, scroll, read Tracy, Kissy-Chan, freak, And all of us rock music through these creeks. For my eyes only, only for me - We good charity power stream, warning lights blink blow out. For my eyes only, only for me, Obsessive like a game play called, executed without a doubt. Only for me, for my eyes only.
  10. Earlier
  11. one of the feral rabbits that hang out in my yard got run over sorry to see you go, cute lil' garden destroyer
  12. It's Canadian 4th of July, folks #PrimeroDeJulio 🍁
  13. Decided I'll move out of my parents' house, again, to Olympia. To wrap up my college degree.
  14. The Last of Us Part 2 — Possibly the most affecting piece of media I've consumed in the last decade. And that includes The Last of Us original video game. Gorgeous scenery, powerfully drawn characters, smooth and seamless gameplay mixed with essentially becoming part of the movie during cut scenes… there's really nothing to say except this is an absolute masterpiece.
  15. Well if that's not a dong gourd, I don't know WTF is!
  16. lol. no one wanted to get that close....
  17. Damn, now I want to read Seastead but I guess she's hidden them all because her agent is trying to sell it as a book. 🤔 Re-read Neal Stephenson's Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller and I still love it. Sangamon is a complete asshole of a character but the fact he also owns it completely makes him very likeable somehow. Currently reading The Network Effect, the latest Martha Wells Murderbot novel. So far, so good albeit with a very confusing start to it. EDIT: And indeed it was a pretty satisfying ending!
  18. Well, everything is fire, so we keep on reading to keep on sane. Which of course, doesn't help when SFF/Comics authors, editors, etc are being outed as ranging from deeply problematic to worse. With that, I note Paul Krueger who did Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, which I posted about last month has been outed in the problematic category. Then ironically, I just got round to reading The Lies of Locke Lamorra by Scott Lynch, which to some extent is a contemporary genre benchmark, recommended to me loads of times over the years since it came out. Not my cup of tea specifically, but I did pick up cheap years ago, and finally got round to reading this month as a friend said she was enjoying a lot. And I did enjoy a lot. On other hand, yesterday's news is that Lynch and his wife Elizabeth Bear are problematic. While there is debate about whether their accuser is equally problematic, and I don't know the details, that doesn't mean everyone being problematic cancels out any of them being problematic. We all come to our own decisions, but I certainly don't want to be in the position of recommending books knowing that the people responsible should perhaps not be supported in any way. Onwards.... The Bitter Seed of Magic - Suzanne MacLeod - I really need to be better at keeping track of my keeping track of what I have read. This is the second time recently I've looked at my obvious shelves and seen how far I am into a series and then bought the next volume based on that, only to find that I have already read it. So yeah, I had read this back in 2016, and it is obviously hiding on some overflow cranny, while books 1 and 2 are more clearly visible. MacLeod is one of the UK paranormal romance/urban fantasy authors who doesn't seem to get talked about a lot, and she isn't necessarily the top of her field, but they tend to be enjoyable/entertaining. Which is why I decided to fill the gaps in reading this series. Genny works for Spellcrackers.com, she is not magic, but can break magic. She is pure sidhe, though her father was a vampire. She is also suspected of being the cure for a fertility curse against the sidhe. So lots of stuff about fertility, the curse, um consent, dubious politics, witch in-fighting, troll police officers, goblins that love blinky shoes, and hot hot men. Despite having read before I stuck with it, it was fine, though the swooning was a bit much for me, and some of the fertility/consent stuff got a little...intense? The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin - I've enjoyed Jemisin's shorts, but never read a novel. Part of the problem is the hype, the fact that I tried to read the extract from book 2 for voting on Hugos, which put me off, and that tonal/second person thing which at times jolts me. But I stuck with it, got my head into it, didn't find any of the problems I was afraid of once I got going. In someways the epic fantasy tag is also part of what put me off, and the bleak. And yeah, it is about the end of the world, but there is a factor where it is a world where there is a long history of endings. It could also be said that it post-apocalypse science fiction, numerous climate change disasters, cultures build up over time, after disaster, the stray technologies of dead civilisations, and the fact that while the countries/continents are unfamiliar, they do refer to it as Earth. The book follows three voices, each of the women narrating cover different generation, different events, but they are all Orogenes. Orogenes being the polite term for people who has earth/seismic/tectonic abilities, with some associated displacement/power law that affects temperature. The precise nature of this isn't 100% clear and doesn't need to be, the discrimination and enslavement of them is more relevant to the plot. Damaya is a child, her powers have been discovered and she has been collected to go to the "university" where her kind are trained/controlled, and if they fail they are destroyed. Syenite is a graduate of this "university", climbing the skills ladder, and going on a supervised mission with a ridiculously powerful mentor. Essun is older, hiding in a community, her life collapses just as the latest Fifth Season arrives - she has been discovered, her son who has inherited her power has been murdered by her husband (which is the first chapter!). We follow the three and the world and their lives come together. And unsurprisingly, given the acclaim, it is good, and it is worth a read, and I do already have the other 2 volumes sitting here, ready for soonish follow up. Redwood and Wildfire - Andrea Hairston - I picked up my first Hairston novel in one of the StoryBundles, and it is currently available in the StoryBundle "Pride" collection. I love "Will Do Magic For Small Change", I found it intoxicating and engaging and exciting, but in that peculiar small way that particularly works for me. And I picked this up as a result, the characters Redwood and Wildfire are old in the 1980s of Small Change, here it is back in the 1898-1913 kinda range, when they are young. Which makes it a different kinda novel, and less obviously my cup of tea, but still has a lot of the same charms and worked really well for me. Both these novels start with death, in R&W Redwood's mother is lynched while Redwood, a child, flees through the woods with her family. Wildfire witnesses the murder and is haunted by it his entire life, how powerless he was, how Redwood's mother was always good to him. And this is a story where haunt is literal, through the years there are conversations with ghosts, sinister haints in the night. The novel alternates between the two titular POVs, following their trials in Georgia, the racism, the poverty, then Redwood's determination to become a singer, to take to the stage. Up to Chicago, performing, getting involved in the early days of music. Redwood is inherited hoodoo from her mother and has strange abilities to change reality, mildly mostly, though sometimes in a big scary way. Wildfire is half Irish and half Seminole, and has inherited a certain magic of his own from his ancestors. Throughout they are both haunted, but both empower each other, and there is a certain will they won't they, how will they find any kind of happiness. At times the misery can feel like it is a constant, but the magic and joy tend to cancel that out. I enjoyed a lot, and while I don't believe there are other novels in this world, I will be looking to pick up her imminent new novel, and her debut science fiction novel, at some point. Annabel Scheme - Robin Sloan - Scheme was the debut novella by Sloan, which I guess I read after coming across his first novel about a weird book shop. Scheme is a detective, of sorts, weird and occult, in a quantum altered San Francisco. Very Jeff Noon kinda story. I just re-read this because Sloan returned to the character for a San Francisco newspaper serial, featuring the latest adventure of the detective in 15 parts. The archive link is here: https://www.robinsloan.com/notes/newspaper-serial/ Seastead - Naomi Kritzer - I saw this being talked about on twitter the other day, a series of intereconnected stories/novellas published 2012-2015 in F&SF. I worked out I had 4 of the 6 stories, so sat and read those all together. Turned out I had read most of them at the time, but it was nice to read as a kinda novel. Beck is a 16 year old on a series of autonomous man-made islands off the coast of America, and it turns out she was abducted by her father, and her mother is not dead. The rich abuse the poor with bond contracts, and Beck gets involved in helping, which pisses folk off, there is retaliation, she gets drawn in further. Etc. Really solid near future SF, even if it is a few years old now, I really enjoyed these. With that, I have also been generally catching up on F&SF, Lightspeed and Asimov's issues. Not driving to work is killing my fiction podcast listening, but trying to compensate by reading issues. We don't tend to talk about shorts here much, and it isn't always especially easy to cover individual pieces. And I tend to do my annual summary anyway... With that... I've been reading "Swimming Among The Stars" by Kanishk Tharoor, which is a collection of short stories that has been on my wish list for a while, and I finally picked up. I've read a handful, taking my time working through them. They tend towards the quiet, the understated, at times a little melancholy, but with that the writing is really lovely. The title story is about the last speaker of a language, her realisation that is the case is she is interviewed by university team, and her thoughts on how words would be translated (a person swimming among the stars would be an astronaut). There is an elephant delivered to Morocco as an unexpected gift from India, the UN displaced by climate change, and so on. Looking forward to enjoying the rest. The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again - M John Harrison - Having not been to book shops or really buying physical books, and trying to catch up on my backlog, I did take the decision to treat myself to this in hardback, pre-ordering a few weeks ago, so it arrived last Saturday, despite official publication apparently being only a couple days ago. If you aren't familiar with Mike, then that title will likely be deceiving, because nothing as obvious as a sunken land rising happens in this novel. But if you are familiar with Mike then you'll probably have an idea of what to expect, even further some of this material may be familiar, having been odd extracts on his blog over the last few years, and I'm sure odd stories in his collection/other places. Which adds to the odd sensation of reading this novel, and this is a novel of odd sensations. While Mundane SF was used as a term a few years ago, likely little of it was as Mundane as this. As we alternate between Shaw and Victoria, a not quite couple, we get bogged down in the minutae of their broken lives, the squalor of their thwarted ambitions. The lacklustre nature of their relationship and the communication between them being a particular demonstration of who they are and how they are going nowhere. With that comes an edge of unease that the two of them are adjacent to, that they half witness, perhaps suspect, but dismiss and deny. Voices in the night, references to water babies, they both have glimpse coincidences that only the reader can piece together as coincidences. There are parallel encounters, the fact they both end up living by the water, they see things, hear things, have conversations that would be knowing if either of them had a clue. And it is all peripheral and glimpsed, which is what Mike excels at, the sense of did something even happen, was that a dream, or something else. So is the ending satisfying, did it all make sense, was it worth it? To a degree that will come down to the reader and the experience they found in reading it. But, don't be surprised if my work in progress bears a piss poor resemblance to the spirit of this work.
  19. Yeah, they didn't… I was really hoping someone would come down on them with the ordinance but
  20. Was that rhetoric? 'Cause you know they won't....
  21. from: https://pbfcomics.com/comics/sir-leopold/
  22. Glad you made it through Boog! As for AZ, I do believe our Cheeto in Chief is about to holding a super-spreader rally here tonight… 🙄 It will be interesting to see if any of his supporters respect local city/county mask restrictions. 🤔
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