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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/16/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
  2. 3 points
    "Been done better by better people than her. "
  3. 2 points
    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...
  4. 2 points
    It's one of those days where I love the internet.
  5. 2 points
    The propellers around the ends of her arms began to slow down and Ivanka glided down from the saucer. Softly, she landed on the surface of the planet. "So this is Earth," she thought. "It will be mine," she said, her lizard tongue writhing against her cheeks.
  6. 2 points
    This was kind of interesting to watch/listen to actually. Doesn't address the feel each one has for the pianist, but interesting to hear the differences in sound.
  7. 2 points
    Pigkilla and I played last weekend in Joshua Tree. I've uploaded the two new songs I did to my UXdB soundcloud (I also have a bittersweetdb soundcloud)
  8. 2 points
    oooh, dang this SF software engineering thing sounds sweet. I'm feeling uncharacteristically optimistic at the moment. I'll let y'all know how it all ends up, one way or the other
  9. 2 points
    Happy Birthday, DB!
  10. 2 points
    i am 45, and my net worth is less than 20k. IDGAF.
  11. 1 point
  12. 1 point
    I mean... I've been homeless, but current times have me seriously considering just randomly attacking junkies.
  13. 1 point
    You really miss that smell of pepper spray don't you?
  14. 1 point
    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...
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    Florida rainstorm. Here in Maryland if it thunders at all people think it is some sort of bomb going off.
  17. 1 point
    *A single* thunder clap in the Seattle area makes everybody be all like "Whoa! Was that thunder!?"
  18. 1 point
    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!
  19. 1 point
    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.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    The grands sounded better to me than the upright, but I think that's the point. Between the grands, while, to my ear, there were tonal differences, one didn't sound drastically better then the others. Especially not for the differences in price.
  22. 1 point
    Children of Ruin by Adrian Tschaikovsky — Second in this series, this time we visit a planet where octopi, so BEEEEEAK! 😹 Quite good once it gets going, and some interesting ideas about how uplift might work in a creature that's very smart but very wilful already. Agency by William Gibson — Thanks to having placed an Abebooks "watch" on this, I scored an ARC for cheap and just finished it yesterday. Really, really great! Was hooked pretty much from page one on and enjoyed it thoroughly all the way through to the end. Acknowledgements TK still, so I don't know what he was gonna say about Arkan yet. 😛 But at any rate, it definitely lived up to expectations and I have some interesting thoughts one where this might expand into a trilogy? 🤔 Will be interested to see the discussion of that once more people have had a chance to read it.
  23. 1 point
    Same day flights would be easiest but check for hotels near your interview on booking.com. When we were there in May, the Club Quarters hotel had an OK rate available. Or if you stay overnight and fly home next morning, an airport hotel might be a good deal for you. Good luck!
  24. 1 point
    I was driving for an event rental company, and servicing a group of events along the coast...
  25. 1 point
    I once drove a 27 foot USPS mail truck along hwy 101 from Eugene, Oregon to Portland. I'll never do that again. I had all of about 3 inches clearance at some times, with a cliff on one side and oncoming traffic on the other...
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    I'm Facebook friends with Everett, too
  28. 1 point
    well, every consumer-facing thing, rather, not just fast food
  29. 1 point
    Now that's a solid burn. 😹
  30. 1 point
    I just remember how the biological parents of Ike (Kyle's adopted brother from Canada) gave him up because Canada was suffering from the "Cola Wars".
  31. 1 point
    Atwood has some crazy-assed chicken-wars shit going on in her MaddAddam series....
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    Right? I've never understood the conflicted interest of attempting to reconcile the two. But, I mean... they're all pretty much ridiculous juvenile fantasies.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    Again the scale is very different. Industrial systems like the southern plantations or south American resource extraction are limited only by the amount of labor they can bring to bear. Systems like Sparta required slaves to support the population directly, but Sparta wasn't growing stuff for export so there was an upper limit on the number of slaves needed. Slaves in societies like this represent a cost while for industrial systems each additional slave creates greater profit.
  36. 1 point
    "Serial monogamist" is what they call Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, LOL It's the cheating on the current woman with the next woman part that bothers me. I mean if I had been the previous gf who is now late 30s and never had the family she really wanted to have because she fell in love with the wrong guy, that wouldn't be my biggest problem, probably! But luckily I'm not. And a woman who goes with an attached guy is just asking for her own future humiliation, and being part of someone's cheating is a Bad Thing in my book. I don't know. It's all very sad, to me.
  37. 1 point
    I moved to Europe to further enable my travel and gig habits
  38. 1 point
    my point with number 2 is, IDK... *I* could doing okay, probably, in a grim meathook 19th Century sorta labor environment (or, 21st Century for places like a FoxConn factory). But, damn, plenty of people could not/can not, and that's just too cruel.
  39. 1 point
    My local fish guy has a weird sense of humor.
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Well, there's that too...
  42. 1 point
    A New Yorker that moved to florida told me he got why southerners talked and did things slowly his first summer down there, "It's too hot to do anything fast!"
  43. 1 point
    They track your stow rates at Amazon (how fast you place each package into the correct bin). I am consistently above-target, and above average: I think, TBH, the average rate for the warehouse is below-target. This makes me think I should actually slow down to not "throw the curve". Anyway, but I am *not* shirking work that way: my idea is to spend time optimizing the bins for whomever comes after me. Like, by my own volition, I'm being a goddamn socialist/redistributing the fruits of my labors. SOME OF THE WORKERS, THO, goddamn! I don't mean they are lazy (in most cases, far from it!). I mean, some of the people expected to do the same job as me are... do not have nearly the same physicality I possess. I realize I'm fucking fat, but I also am moderately strong, and have actually okay stamina. But, like, you get these 60-year-old ladies, immigrants, all of 5-foot-2 and 130 pounds. Expected to keep up with me. Expected to move close-to-50 pound bags off of, like, the top shelf of the racks (like 6 feet up, or something). Goddamn. I really think there is flat-out not enough workers with the innate ability to even do this work at the rate Amazon seems to expect.
  44. 1 point
    Oops.... wrong thread.
  45. 1 point
    The Clintons need to sue this asshat for slander, libel and terroristic threats.
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
    For the last year I have spent 4 hours a day on a metro bus. Not doing that will improve my mental health.
  48. 1 point
    There it is, I'll have to find a way to watch, just based on this still. "Bleak Street".
  49. 1 point
  50. 0 points
    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.
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