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Psychophant last won the day on June 5

Psychophant had the most liked content!

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About Psychophant

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  • Birthday 10/01/1966

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  1. No, it is just what it says in the tin. Pity I missed the opening of the new Archaological museum, and now I do not know when I will get back. Some more street art.
  2. I hope they are visible now. Problems with Google photo
  3. Started the Ack-Ack-Macaque omnibus, that combines all three novels and a short story, and it is too much monkey for me. The first novel is very good, the second starts to be repetitive and even worse, I really, really hate infinite accessible parallel universes. I blame Heinlein. So I stopped halfway the third and may finish it later, when I am less burnt-out. So I read a couple of Spanish books, reread the first two books of Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay, and Whispers Underground, the third novel in Ben Aaronovitch The Rivers of London series, that took out the bad taste the second left me and that had kept me out of the series for years. I will give an opportunity to the rest, as soon as I have made some place in my shelves and I can start buying books again. I used to donate books to the local library, but they indicated me that the kind of books I donate are not what they want for permanent collection, so they will most likely get sold cheaply, so now I donate them to a NGO that resells them at 1-5 €, depending on the book and the state. Unfortunately they are closed due to the lockdown, so I will see next week if they open again or not. I may buy some books at the same time.
  4. He is one of the few posters that I believe everybody liked. A true gentleman. We exchanged some e-mails in 2008 about writing for Mythaxis, but I was not fully sure of my writing in English. And we met every time (except last time, of course) there was a board meet in London. I really looked forward to those brief talks, because he always had so many things going on. I dare to say I am a better person for having met him. He will be remembered fondly.
  5. One closer to home, from June last year. Gil Williamson, aka Gil here and in the original board. The new Mythaxis has an in Memoriam piece and I think it fits here. Rest in Peace
  6. Working normally (I have a big office, 14 sq. m, roughly 150 sq. ft. ) as I am 3 meters away from the door. I am mostly alone in my floor, and my wife, who is working from home, takes the good table. Minimum human contact that is not through a screen, however. Our region has not been heavily hit, compared to the bigger cities, and my parents who are both high risk are still well. I got a serological test last week (work related, as we are an essential industry and have been working at high intensity the whole lockdown) and I am negative, so the caution has paid off, but I may yet get it in the coming rounds. So I got a haircut yesterday, a luxury these days. Got a lot of PPE from our agents in Asia, as it was almost impossible to find in Europe. Except from the bare minimum for truck drivers and exposed personnel we donated all of it to the local hospitals. It felt strange getting from Indonesia a box with 1000 FPP2 masks when the nurses were recycling theirs for weeks. Dislocation of expectations.
  7. I was expecting to spend most of the lockdown playing games, but I have been reading books instead. And in the same way most books I read are reread, I have also spent quite some time replaying games, mainly great space sandbox games (Obvious, in lockdown). Fallout 4, Skyrim... The only game I have finished is also an open sandbox game, but isometric, Seven. Quite good once you get used to the interface and the limitations of the viewing area. A master thief gets possessed by a demon (an AI from the past) and gets tied up in the search for what is functionally a Fallout vault. Not much dialogue or people interaction, and lots of skulking and backstabbing, but a nice difficulty ramp and a small independent gem. Waiting for the yet delayed Cyberpunk, from CD Projekt Red, but I am underwhelmed by most of the games I have tried lately.
  8. Like many others, I have read a lot during the lockdown, though I have reread more than read new books. Partly because I am boycotting internet purchases, in order to help when it is possible the local stores. And partly because most of the books I have in the "To read" pile are books that do not attract me, which is why they are still there. Rereading requires less energy than reading and certain books are comforting these days of uncertainty. So I have read several books about that London I cannot visit (Ben Aaranovitch, Kate Griffin, China Mieville or Nick Harkaway). Also as many others, I have been using the extra time to rearrange the book shelves, specially as I am donating books to a NGO that resells them for local projects, and I do not have enough space, so all books I am sure I will never reread again will go. That also has rediscovered many books to re-read, either because I miss them, or to decide if they have to go or remain. And also some books that I did not even know I had them, and that I had not read. One of those is Joe Haldeman's Forever Peace, a non-sequel to his powerful, although somewhat dated, Forever War. Even though it is from 1997 it is still quite appropiate, with a North South insurgency war which the North fights only with drones and always in almost enemy territory,. I will not spoil the plot, though I found it weaker than the whole drone situation and how post-scarcity in part of the world would work, just now when many western countries are toying with universal income as a response to the economic fallout of the epidemic. Well written and thought provoking, but showing its age in some aspects. I liked more the set-up than the resolution. Earlier I finished Ann Leckie's Provenance. Although it takes place in the same universe as the Ancillary books, this is a totally different book. Smaller in scope, focusing in several human cultures and an alien one, with an emphasis in people rather than politics and AIs as in the trilogy. Physically also the character is totally different, I could not help it but imagine the novel as an Audrey Hepburn romantic movie, full of misunderstandings but with most people inherently nice. As such, I really enjoyed the dialogues between the different cultures, and how they are not just transplanted earth stereotypes. The gender uncertainty is also played with in a fascinating way, though it is often difficult to follow. A nice short read, with believable cultures and a general positive attitude that is very refreshing. I have also read Dale Furutani's Matsuyama Kaze trilogy (Death at the Crossroads, Jade Palace Vendetta and Kill the Shogun), that I had in omnibus form in French and had not yet read. The books are all connected by the common thread of looking for the daughter of his lord. However they are very different. The first one is a mystery novel, presenting quite well the rigid caste system and its limitations. For me it is the best of the three. The second is an action novel with swords, and even an unnecessary ninja. The last one is a mix of action and high politics, with Tokugawa Ieyasu as one of the main characters and a tricky ending. They go well together but I think it is impossible they will please all readers. From a small village mystery and facing some bandits to a conspiracy against the shogun, they go from realism to action gratification, as well as a kind of checklist of Japanese action films: ninja, gamblers/gangsters, daymio conspiracies... and more. Still, a nice read, slightly spoiled as the quality goes down as you advance. Recently (relative as my last report here was in January) I have also read Alistair Reynolds' Revenger. The beginning of a new series, it is also quite self-contained, so I think I will wait before getting the following book in the series. It is not bad, but it is not great, either, and in the last third I lost most of my emotional interest in the characters. It is not justified by the plot, as they are consumed by revenge, but I just did not like where they were going, even if it is appropiate. The science is good for a Space Opera. The extreme future living on the ruins of the past has a long tradition, and it presents the world quite well, without unnecessary info-dumps. The universe is more promising than the characters, and it may well be what brings me back. But not now.
  9. I forgot the rent. My niece has a hedgehog. And we still have a Russian tortoise.
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