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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/19/2018 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Picked up a 6-month contract in Redmond. Okay, but not great. $15/hr, full time. It's a livin'
  2. 5 points
    Just cut a 130 foot tree hanging over the house that was going to cost $6,000+ for a professional crew, + I didn't crush the house, myself, or anyone, yay! The arborists layed the scaremongering shit on thick too, "Your family is going to die in there within a month if we don't cut it RIGHT NOW! DO YOU WANT THAT ON YOUR CONSCIENCE?!" Two 1/2 in. braided poly rope: $20 4-ton power pull: $40 Handful o' Nails: $10 2x4 from broken-ass porch: $Free-as-fuck 15-in shit e-chainsaw: $50 Saving $5880 and declaring independence from assholes: priceless.
  3. 5 points
    All of you who are on FB and Twitter probably already saw this... If not: Meru's music project was released today! It consists of an album (free to download), a music video, website (including easter egg) and a bunch of photos. Check it out: ryakomusic.com Here's the video: It's been a massive creative endeavor alright, for both of us. I did a lot of the programming for the site etc, as well as all the photography. But of course the music is all Meru and that's like 99% of the project! So check it out and feel free to spread the word.
  4. 5 points
    Speaking of ... I've been helping Meru with a massive creative endeavor, which is now finally getting quite close to being released. There'll be an update on this soon.
  5. 4 points
    So I did a thing, where I make sounds and noises, in front of strangers, on a stage. @db shot the video
  6. 4 points
    The cake was a hit! I got specific compliments for the filling we brought home ONE piece
  7. 4 points
    I have more to say on this topic so buckle up. You know the thing that pisses me off about the idea of someone using "cuck' or "cuckold" just all the time? What pisses me off about that whole community that uses that word with impunity, as an identifier and as an insult? What is it saying about women? That we're just all a faceless same-as-the-next-one mass of female parts and a hate-on for men. That our entire purpose is to sleep with as many "alpha" men as possible, ignoring the rest of the male population, until we need a stable home and then cuckolding whichever "beta" guy we con into being our partner with "alpha" guys. Like what the FUCK. That is not fucking good. That is horrific. And then there's the whole other factor of that community being the internet equivalent of cutting lines in your arms or burning yourself with cigarettes. It's SO fucking toxic. So when I see someone that I have known for so long, like you xen0, using words and phrasings and descriptors that are so common in that community - it worries me. Because I know that you don't think that, for instance, *I* (as a married woman) am out here cuckolding my husband and fleecing him for everything he's got while always being on the lookout for the next guy. But I worry that if you, or anyone, is finding community in those fucking spaces, that because of being surrounded by it... you WILL start to think like that. And that's where the Gilead shit starts. So please. Don't. Use. That. Word. And distance yourself from the spaces where it IS being used and the people who are using it.
  8. 4 points
    Four of the six (yes... six) cats we have now. Z-boy is holding Kaha, Stone is the white one, Lightning is the orange and grey one, and the completely-orange guy is Flame. There's also Nokea (who looks very similar to Stone but where Stone is grey, Nokea is gold) and the Momma Cat, Lovely. 😅
  9. 4 points
    Got recruited for a job as Communications Director for a State Assembly candidate. Maybe if we can raise enough money I can even get paid! This is a somewhat more ramshackle group (that hasn't caught the eye of a tech fundraiser, alas) than my last campaign, but it's another great cause, that with luck will have a better outcome.
  10. 4 points
    Hi. I remembered this place exists.
  11. 4 points
    So GR, Arkan and I had a cool meetup with the Gibson today. This apparently may be the only time Bill has publicly said "Mother fucker", and with full 70's-Ramones-punk attitude, according to the French hot dog.
  12. 4 points
    OG WGB is back
  13. 3 points
    Since the oldest Minibot (aka Baby Razorgirl) is turning seven tomorrow, today I created a cake! My brief as per M was: a layered chocolate cake, with purple buttercream, a panda, her name, and green bamboo around the sides. SO. I made two layers of Bean Brownie Cake: 6 eggs 1 drained/rinsed can of black beans 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons yogurt (plain, vanilla, Greek - whatever you have!) 1 - 1.5 cups of sweetener (I used Splenda and add it to taste) Blend together and bake in two 8-inch round layers (350 for 25 minutes or so, until it tests done). Then I decided that it would be fun to have a filling other than more buttercream, so I made creme pat. It was my first attempt and I think it turned out well! I halved this recipe and used Splenda instead of sugar. I made vanilla Splenda buttercream and colored it with neon food coloring And then, decorated! The panda has mini chocolate chips as well I tried to keep it a surprise from Miss M at first but she was so excited she couldn't stay away and supervised the decorating process - and then proceeded to watch a "Cake" episode of The Great British Baking Show (I use Splenda instead of sugar and make non-wheat-flour versions of foods to fit TM's food restrictions for his health and to fit better into the macros I'm trying to stick to for weight loss. We're completely used to it after eating like this for... well, TM has for 7+ years now!)
  14. 3 points
    Rain rain rain rain raining AF! They predict up to around 3 FEET of rain in some areas. Barely any wind still, but slightly picking up. Thankfully we're on porous lava rock that drains very quickly or we'd probably have flooding. Hilo (older, lower, flatter part of the island) is definitely having flooding.
  15. 3 points
    After 4 weeks off work and in California and Florida seeing WGB folks, chilling near the beach drinking beer and disconnecting from everything I am heading back to Maryland. I will try and post here more now that I see more of us are still kicking around (and I got a moderate dose of guilt from Minx )
  16. 3 points
    This post is going to go a little off-topic, but I think it's relevant to understanding this wave of fascism sweeping everywhere from the US to the UK to Austria and even Germany. Building the alternative is a necessary part of the strategy, I think. I possibly have a more extreme view than some, but I am not betting on our already extent neofeudal capitalism-dominated cyberpunk dystopia getting any better of its own accord. To me that's like hoping that megabanks would "self-regulate" in the early noughties. That's why GR and the kids and I no longer live in an American City (tm), and are no longer even thinking of moving to one, ever. I was teaching fulltime, and a one bedroom in the ghetto part of the city was about 70% of my salary. Healthcare for a family of four was 100% of my salary. We lived in my parents closet. I finished Neofeud, working on a 6 year-old laptop, sleeping in the back of a rusting Mazda Tribute, eating spoonfuls of peanut butter with GR and the minibots. That's reality. Again, not sitting on my ass, not playing video games all day, not eating any fucking avocado toast: teaching full time and working with homeless/immigrant/non-white kids, and still homeless. Because nobody gives a fuck about people who do anything useful in our society. They payed me shit, then the rich guys with cufflinks come down for some photo-ops with me teaching some brown kids how to do indigenous gardening / robotics, and then use that fake-philanthropy to fence more money into their yacht-funds, or get themselves re-elected, while paying me enough to starve. Most of the people my age were in basically a similar situation. There was no hope for any future for GR and our family, there, which is why we moved on top of an active volcano spouting 3000 degree lava a few miles from the house where the rich people dare not do their vulture capitalism bullshit, in a condemned house with brown tap water that smells like dog piss (I managed to fix that up finally). Everyone I know back in the city is either homeless and working one job, living in a parents closet at 37 working three jobs (wife and grandma grampa all working too), or has enough money for a flat and hates themselves cause they're selling empty multi-million-dollar condos to Chinese billionaires driving up real estate and making more homeless people, is a corporate lawyer making sure Apple has more money it doesn't spend, or is running the infrastructure for a Surveillance Capitalism shithole like Jack Dorsey's site, Facebook et. al.. That pre-WWII inequality, more than anything else, is what's driving everyone to either fascism or socialism/communism (resulting in street fights between swastika-wearing white dudes and hammer-and-sickle antifa across the country from Portland to Charleston. It's also leading to worker cooperatization, democratization of workplaces -- ideally more of that will happen as it's another form of building the capitalism-alternative). Two of my friends, about my age or younger, have already committed suicide, after trying for a decade to get any kind of gainful job, in multiple careers, but only finding gig-economy serfdom. One of them is the voice actor for King Warren in Neofeud (yes, the voice actor who played King Warren is dead. Took his own life). I've got a guy who drops into my streams often, super smart, is in like the top 10% of machine-learning programmers -- couldn't find a job after a year cause they only hire the top 1%, and is now super into Incel / Redpill culture instead (I try to tell him to get off that proto-Nazi misogynist bullshit, but hey). One of GR's brothers got married -- him and the wife both work full time, they live in a tiny studio above a barn, drive a crap Toyota. They probably want kids, but affording that is nowhere on the horizon. He's getting real into some alt-right stuff. Most of the people my age and younger that I know are either becoming Nazis, pseudo-Nazis, or are full communist, pro-antifa, or even further left. IMHO, there isn't any hope to just muddle through in the middle, certainly not in the medium term. For most millennials and Gen-Z, there is no 'sell out' option. Capital is failing to buy complicity with the promise of a roof, car, food, and healthcare, and the result is just more depression, more rage, more seeking alternatives. Twitter and Facebook etc. are just making bank on fomenting mostly the Nazi end, and selling their eyeballs to water filter companies, political actors, or whoever else will pay them money to manipulate people. The current president is just an opportunist who rode the wave of rage. Half the country is at or near poverty, can't find $400 when the car breaks, and more than half of US families can't afford, or *qualify for a loan* for the cheapest new car. 37 cities have poison drinking water. There's a fucking hookworm epidemic in much of the country because infrastructure is falling apart. It's telling that this is the most liked and re-shared toot I have ever posted, basically anywhere (Mastodon or Twitter): I had so many people tell me personally that this was their literal experience, it was depressing. But also affirming of what I know to be true, as hard as they try to paper over with some fucking 4% horseshit unemployment number. Anyway, who the fuck knows how all this plays out, but what I do know is that it wasn't any candidate(s) or even Twitter itself that is the root of the growing Nazi waves. You could get Trump gone, Twitter implode, and all that other shit would still be true. Nazis are the bacterial infection in the wound. Incels, suicide rash of young people cause the future is hopeless? Another infection. I honestly am terrified for the world the minibots are going to inherit, and can see why young people would think its crazy to bring children into this fucked up world -- if they could afford it at all, which they mostly can't unless rich parents. You could even 'cleanse' the Nazis, but if you leave that giant fucking inequality gash wide open in your leg, growing bigger by the day, sooner or later, you're going to get another infection, one that possibly kills you. (I feel like I've been saying this sort of stuff for like more than a decade, like back on the old board, but now I just sound less insane, lol) Anyway, what can we do? Nazis have to be punched, deplatformed. Jack Dorsey needs to be called out for a Nazi fuck he is. But that's just a temporary splash of hydrogen peroxide. Then comes the real work. Cooperatives (companies run democratically, as opposed to by a handful of rich shareholders) i.e. Mondragon, credit unions, coop stores etc. need to be supported. If you're in a capitalist corporation or business, see if there's any way to push for collectivization. Silver Spook Games has no employees currently, but if I ever grow the team, I intend to make sure everyone gets a fair cut. (As opposed to Amazon, where Jeff Bezos gets 2.5 MILLION times the lowest paid worker -- Mondragon's CEO *cannot* make more than 8 times the lowest paid worker, and employee happiness is leagues above Amazon, whose workers are paid starvation wages and die in their sweatshops cause Bezos won't open the door). Support collectivization of Amazon. And Google, Microsoft, etc.. (I actually have a couple friends working at Google (one is a Neofeud fan) who has come around to getting on board with this.) Join and use Mastodon, a decentralized platform with no capitalist interest pumping out Nazis for $. Support strikes, worker organization, and other actions. Support socialist candidates - like Ocasio Cortez. Support anything that will close the inequality gap, but more importantly IMHO, accelerate the demise of capitalism as the dominant force (cause it's doing a pretty good job of destroying itself already, but that may not be enough). Because if AI/Automation really hits, and near-full automation of military tech arrives *before* that, removing all humans from the pulling of triggers and dropping of hellfire missiles... It's sociopaths with Terminators, and then we're all fucking dead. Or living in The Peripheral, Gaza Planet, or worse. But let's just hope that doesn't happen by trying to stop it! Which is why I am with all the furry queer catgirl communists nowadays.
  17. 3 points
    You're getting experience, which will look good on your resume. Also, the connections you make at this job could lead you to another one. So there is extra value there that might not be easily expressed in a $ amount.
  18. 3 points
    Anyway, the job is actually pretty okay thus far. I'm still whining about the pay rate (an okay $15/hr, but remember actual devs can easily earn six digits per year), but the job isn't half bad. When I move to evenings, the commute will even be fairly quick (because I'd be driving opposite the rush hour direction). I get to work with an Ohmmeter most of the day, and there are a bunch of other nerdy tools and people around, so, yeah, it's an okay job.
  19. 3 points
    Yeah what little 3D I have done was mostly in Blender. It's pretty good and you can't beat free! Woohoo my game Neofeud is in the top 25 cyberpunk games! When the game sites start throwing you on the listicles in the run-up to CP 2077, that's how you know you've arrived lol. http://www.gamersdecide.com/pc-game-news/best-cyberpunk-games-pc
  20. 3 points
    The Expanse Season 3 second half, going deep into panspermia-pocalypse and superintelligent alien mindfuckery with microtubules encased in weird, writerly Chandler-esque noir lingo. Deeply here for it!
  21. 3 points
    Hardware wasn't too bad - all push-fit double-ended leads, the components (including the step motor) screwed or taped to a piece of plywood. The end-user will set it into his model railway kit. The software was fun. Long time since I enjoyed a project so much.
  22. 3 points
    ANYWAY. I got accepted for the paid, week-long eval for the remote software testing job. So, I'm in a decent-enough mood despite being a loser (If I do well in the evals, *then* I actually become an employee, though, yes, I *am* getting paid to do the evals by themselves).
  23. 3 points
    re-Binti, I had some issues with it, the latter volumes not really being stand alone, the 2nd particular being an issue, but as a whole I generally enjoyed, something pretty atypical and engaging, if flawed. The Vorrh - Brian Catling - First of a trilogy, by apparently multi media artist dabbling in novels. The 1st volume has Alan Moore quote on cover, which is what caught my attention. The work has been compared to Moorcock, Mieville and the like, and has had various weird mixed reviews. It is about 500 pages and not sure it is something that can be readily summarised or entirely what I made of it. I started reading this on my kindle at same time as I started reading Vellum, and with all the weird myth and angelic stuff found distinct parallels. The Vorrh is a vast and mysterious forest in Africa, where it is suggested the Garden of Eden lies at the heart, where Adam has returned the land that surrounds the garden, lost angels haunting the surrounds. British colonialists arrived, convincing the local tribe of the glories of empire, and a European city was rebuilt brick by brick on the outskirts to enable logging. A British soldier gets lost to the woods, disciple of the tribes priestess, one of the men he converted to be a policeman, only to lead a rebellion, is sent to kill the soldier. A Frenchman, novelist and "pervert", is broken when he makes the mistake of taking his adventuring from the page and into the great forest. A woman finds a mysterious cyclops in the house she thought abandoned. There are some overlaps, strange encounters and mysteries, but also other threads that seem to be less relevant. Some of the sections are good, and probably on the whole I enjoyed, but it is rambling, perhaps directionless, not sure it entirely coheres into something that works as a piece. Though perhaps one needs to take on the whole trilogy to do so? Who knows. Book 2 has recently been published. Small Change - Roan Parrish - one of those random purchases that comes from following too many authors on twitter, who RT other authors on twitter. I gather Roan's goal is to write romance novels in every genre. Not sure what genre this counts as and in the end appears to be a spin off from a series of other books. But yeah, a romance novel, which in principle I'm not adverse to, though only read a handful that would likely be classified as such. Those usually being ones with artists, musicians and the like as main characters. Like this one, I find that novels like these tend to be particularly interesting as character studies - so much of what drives the story is character, perhaps more so than any other kind of story? Small Change is the "most queer friendly tattoo shop in Philly" and owned by workaholic artist Ginger. Down the street there is a new coffee shop, where she meets the too good to be true proprietor Christopher. Will they won't they, you bet they do. Looking at Roan's other novels related to this one I seem to have happened on the mainly straight one, others being mainly male/male relations, though the cast is pretty (consciously) diverse. It is an easy read, largely sweet, perhaps too much at times - tension not quite there, too good to be true, some of the emotional tweaks have some power but aren't perhaps earned enough? On the whole I enjoyed. Borne - Jeff VanderMeer - so I've had this sitting on my to read pile for a while - the pitch of giant flying murder bear doesn't actually do it for me - and once I started reading it, it took me a while to work through it. I had fairly mixed feelings. The whole post-apocalyptic city, with giant murder bear and murder bear proxies, the cast of barely surviving people is all just too bleak. For me there is very little to alleviate the relentlessness of that. Sure the Borne stuff with Rachel has a charm, much of the writing is really good, the little foxes that follow Borne, the weird stuff inside the company building is cool/interesting, but I'm just not sure I can say that I enjoyed it. actually, let me rephrase that: I didn't enjoy this. Nefarious Doings - Ilsa Evans - not sure where this came from, been on my kindle for ages, and deciding to read it was something of a spontaneous act and need for a change of speed. An Australian murder mystery series, this being book 1 - a failed novelist and small town newspaper columnist decides to investigate the murder of a man found dead in her mother's burnt out home. With cast including her 70 something mother, her sister, and five daughters, there are a lot of strong women characters to enjoy. Easy read, page turner, and some pleasing humour amidst the family banter. The Only Harmless Great Thing - Bo Bolander - one of the latest tor novellas, just under 100 pages. Seen some hype for this - her friends talking it up a lot on twitter, but also a fairly rave review in last week's Warren Ellis' newsletter. It is a curious mashup - origin myth of elephant matriarchy establishing stories, of alternate history where the radium girls extended to radium elephants, and the future where the question of how to mark a warning for the future where our current understanding of hazard may not carry through. Interesting ideas, well enough written, but it felt under realised, a little too reliant on the "ta da!" of the idea and not enough in bringing it to life. It was fine, decent read, but I was underwhelmed. Howl's Moving Castle - Diane Wynne Jones - had this sitting in my reading pile for a while. It was niece's birthday this week - so I bought her "The Girl Who Drank The Moon", which I've already noted I loved, but also spotted Waterstones had this in the same section, so bought this is as a complimentary companion piece. Then figured I might as well use that as an excuse to getting round to reading my own copy as anything else. I've seen the film and enjoyed it as I do most Ghibli films, and hadn't heard of DWJ prior to that and this is the first of her work I've read. I enjoyed it a lot, even knowing the general outline of the story from the film - not exactly the same, much more in the book, but same idea. For those who don't know: Sophie is a teenage girl cursed by the Witch of The Waste to become an old woman and not be able to tell anyone she has been cursed, stumbling into Howl's moving castle she hopes the Wizard Howl can help her, while getting sucked into his hectic lifestyle, hilarity ensues. Warm, fun, enjoyable. "Ada King" by E.M. Faulds and "Tropic of Kansas" by Christopher Brown. Both, in ways, have parallels, and are interesting companion pieces. Both near future, collapsed societies (though actually not sure either expressly state when they are set, but it is an impression that I had as a reader), fragmented states, environmental impact and forms of resistance. Ada King is a child prodigy of a overbearing controlled state. The story follows her and two men affected by that state and others that are like it. By the climate change that has created a need for a raft city, where the three characters end up. Drone strikes, hidden cities, AI submarines, new forms of AR/VR/web. I'd suggest it was somewhere between Snow Crash/Diamond Age and Infomocracy. A fun read, good page turner. Tropic of Kansas could actually be set now. It is an alternate history, in that there are little details that clearly deviate from our timeline - the successful assassination of Reagan, the failure to resolve a hostage crisis with Iran. But the details of President seizing power and extending his terms, failed attempts to stop him leading to near civil war. Robots devouring agriculture, the power are the underground, the enemy, government workers are subject to loyalty tests and punishment. The story follows Sig, child of protestors, who has a penchant for getting in and out of trouble. And Tania, a government employee blackmailed into finding Sig, her foster brother. At times this is really dark, perhaps gets a little flukey in how situations are resolve, maybe goes on a little, but is a good/important read. I'd put this somewhere between The Water Knife and Infomocracy. Been thinking, and I'm conscious while I didn't enjoy Borne - I didn't hate it or strongly not enjoy - but didn't find it uplifting in its grimness, one could put both these books, and books like The Water Knife in the grim category. The cli-fi, the climate collapse, the grim meat hook future scenarios. But Borne was hard to relate to and stripped it down to really scraping through rubble to barely survive on a day to day basis, I mean it is fucking grim, regardless of comic relief and at times light tone. But I find these other books I can relate to more, take more from, they have different scales. Maybe because I can get more out of failed states and fighting tyranny than the flying murder bear scenario? Anyway...as you were. All Systems Red - Martha Wells - Friend insisted I read this. I'd been conscious of some hype around it, some gushing reviews. But wasn't sure it was for me. But it wasn't what I expected. A lot of talk is about a robot that sits around and watches TV programs all the time, other wise it would go on a killing rampage. And yeah... I guess that is in there, but it is an aside, not the plot. Set in a future where a range of new planets have been found, a couple of groups are surveying a particular planet to determine whether they are going to put in a bid for territory. As part of the rules of the company they are dealing with they have to have certain level of security, bought from that company, and including the self-styled murderbot. Though, the murderbot's role here is to protect a particular group of scientists. Quickly things start to go wrong and in a way that rules out coincidence - someone is trying to kill them! One of tor's novellas, so a quick read, though i think it is also the first hit to get you in with something like 3-4 full length volumes apparently imminent, following the further adventures of murderbot. I enjoyed, it was a good page turner, and not what I expected. Forest of Memory - Mary Robinette Kowal - another novella from tor that got a similar response. I've bits and bobs by Kowal, but nothing of novella/longer length. I know a lot of what she does has more historical setting, so wasn't sure this would be for me. However, it is, very much so - near future tech thriller on a human level, very much my thing. When everything can be fabricated and reproduced, authenticity becomes a fetish, which is where Katya comes in - sourcing actual historic artifacts, with history/story, and capturing in the moment moments on live logging systems. Returning from a buying trip she comes across something she shouldn't and as a result is abducted, taken offline, which freaks her out and is missing for days. Ironically this creates enough of a unique experience that someone has paid her to recount her undocumented experience for money. Under The Pendulum Sun - Jeannette Ng - picked this up in the recent 99p kindle offer, conscious some of folk i know know her from cons/twitter, and book has had decent reception. While it wasn't bad, in the end it wasn't for me. The pacing was too slow, not enough seemed to happen, I became increasingly frustrated and put off by the lead characters. A woman heads to the land of the fae in pursuit of her missionary brother who has gone out of touch. So I'm expecting something about the fae and missionaries forcing their way into places they aren't welcome. Rather it becomes too focused on English quaintness, tea and knitting, and the manners in the relationship between brother and sister. There are weird elements here, odd encounters, but they came across as lacking something. There is interesting material, the nature of the fae, whether they have souls or are children of god, the nature of their apocrypha. But in a period where I've read Vellum and The Vorrh, those had parallels along those lines, and were ultimately much weirder and darker and engaging. Which probably isn't fair to Pendulum, but certainly if you put it beside those it is politely mundane weird. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart Turton - a 500 page slab of a debut novel, sent to me by a friend in hardback, again insisting I read. And yeah, this is good, I thoroughly recommend. The time period is never entirely clear, though assumption we're looking notionally at post WWI. A crumbling mansion, the good and great having fallen on hard times - 19 years ago a child was murdered - now all those that were there that weekend are back, for the return of the dead child's sister from exile in Paris, the titular Evelyn Hardcastle. At 11pm Evelyn will die. Again. Again. Again. Our narrator wakes up, confused and with little understanding of what is going on. As things are pieced together we understand he isn't in his own body, and is one of those trapped in this house till someone solves the murder. Classic period piece who dunnit, with marital scandals, upstairs/downstairs strife, nasty "habits", and too many people who aren't how they first appear, leading to blackmail and revelation. But as the murder is investigated there is something much more science fictional going on, and I was really impressed by how well the author holds it all together, builds it up, and manages to get away with twists. Not entirely perfect, a glitch here or there - apparently some have found it hard to follow - it entirely made sense to me and I was here for this. Escapology - Ren Warrom - OK, I'm going to admit to myself, I will probably not finish this. It is sitting on my kindle at 60% and has been for a while. And every page of it was a slog to even get that far. Escapology is a post climate collapse cyberpunk adventure, which ticks so many of my boxes and should totally be up my street. But I was hesitant. I read a story Ren set in same world and enjoyed it a lot. So was like OK, lets give it a go, and I got both the novels in the series. Filled with psychotic gangsters, the best hit woman ever, the best hacker ever, and big family owned AR/VR systems, it is all classic stuff. And all cranked up to 11. But sadly that isn't a compliment. The writing just felt hyperbolic to the point of incoherence, like being slapped about, and not in a good way. Then there were aspects that made me uncomfortable, the way it is revealed that one of the characters is a trans man, and how that character is then treated. And OK... there is an aspect of well that just proves that the bad guy is a bad guy, doesn't it? Fuck that shit. So yeah, didn't enjoy, difficult read, gave up. Autonomous - Annalee Newitz - the partner of Charlie Jane Anders, both becoming authors having established IO9 together. Never a fan of IO9, never clicked with me, so that isn't a factor for me, but just making observation in case others want to make the connection. This has been getting interesting press, wasn't sure from some of the descriptions whether it would be my cup of tea. But should be something worth giving a go, so I did. Think I bought this at same time as Escapology - using gift vouchers. In ways there are similarities, post-cyberpunk kinda deal. Judith "Jack" Chen is a drug pirate, extrapolating today's environment of patent extortion when it comes pharmaceuticals, Jack liberates drugs and makes them available to regular/poor people instead of only being available to the rich. Unfortunately, a beta-drug that she has reversed engineered turns out to have brutal side-effects and she has to find someway to resolve the situation. More unfortunately, the other half of the narrative is from the POV of an indentured military grade robot, who is the robot partner of an agent tasked with capturing Pirate Jack. The plot/themes throughout of patents and robot autonomy are interesting and engaging - the extension of well if robots can be indentured and earn their autonomy, then why can't humans provides an extension into human slavery. To start with I found the tone a little funny, something felt off from a writing point of view, not sure what, couldn't pin it down, but once I had some momentum I was less aware of it. I did have mixed feelings in the end, though having finished at the weekend I find I am still thinking about it. The mixed feelings mainly stem from the way that violence is handled - in someways I can see it as a demonstration of police brutality and casual authoritarian approach to "the enemy", but I'm not entirely convinced that is the intent or that it is pulled off. The Lamb Shall Slaughter The Lion/The Barrow Will Send What It May - Margaret Killjoy - another of those novella sets from Tor, part 2 Barrow having just been released this week, I decided to spring for both at once. They have an Alan Moore quote, among others, that talks about how punk these are, and while I do take Moore quotes with a pinch of salt it was perhaps enough for me to read more into what these actually were. The two follow Danielle Cane, an anarchist, hitch hiking punk. At the start she arrives in a ghost town, deserted by collapsing industry, converted into a squatters paradise - home to punks, hippies, and anarchists, covering a range of gender, orientation and relationship spectrums. Of course, it has the typical problems this type of community faces - half of them want to worship the blood soaked stag demon spirit, the other feel that maybe they should do something to banish it before it kills them all...The second starts straight off the events of the first, a road trip where the friends from book 1 arrive at another decrepit town, that just happens to have a resurrection problem. I liked these, more understate than they might be - they could be big Urban Fantasy/Romance books, the elements are there, but for me the characters feel more human, from the arguments to the panic attacks and doubts. But there is also something that felt more genuinely unsettling and wrong than many of those kind of books achieve, particularly in the first part, with the whole spirit/demon presence. Both books in the 130-150 pages range, which I'll say again is a deeply satisfying length - something that you can read quickly (pretty much a day each) and be fully engaged and appreciative of. and yeah, i got behind on my posting again, though was making notes as usual as i was going along, but no doubt this ends up as a monster post. well, shit.
  24. 3 points
    I;m thinking about thos Beans
  25. 3 points
    Isn't this the annual "we need to renew the domain registration" thing? Seems very familiar.