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Psychophant last won the day on January 8

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About Psychophant

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  • Birthday 10/01/1966

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  1. It is not really new, as most translations are made years after the Japanese publication (except for Murakami, of course). But Foyle's was promoting it last summer when I was in London. I liked Vandermeer's City of Saints and Madmen in a queasy, uneasy way. But the following books, Veniss Underground and Shriek left me quite cold, so I have not read anything he wrote after that. Maybe I should give him another chance. But as Frank Zapa said, "So many books, so little time." On the other hand, as Murakami makes Nagasawa (Norwegian Wood) say, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” I am on a strange Japanese mood, because we had decided to return to Japan for our 20th anniversary, but it is likely we will do something different. So I am in the middle of Dale Furutani's Matsuyama Kaze trilogy, in French, and also got as a present a Spanish book doing an in depth analysis of Hokusai's 36 views of Mount Fuji.
  2. I am quite behind in my reading, and even more in my reporting. Got Uprooted six months ago. Really liked it as a darkish fairy tale, mixed in with Polish self destructiveness. Killing Commendatore, from Haruki Murakami. On the surface it seems a typical Murakami novel, with a guy in his thirties lost and bewildered that just plods along being nice. But there are other currents, and it is probably the most explicitly sexual of his works. The fire at the end seemed too neat an ending, but in any case you have to choose your own interpretation. I do not remember if I mentioned Men without women, a collection of short stories. Maybe too similar, but he handles the format very well. Following with my second favourite Japanese writer, Hiromi Kawakami. I just read her The ten loves pf Mr. Nishino, where she presents a male character from the reminiscences of ten women that loved him, and at the same time presenting ten different pictures of Japanese gitls and women. Quite different from Murakami style. I still prefer he better known book, Strange weather in Tokyo. Tim Powers' Alternate routes, a kind of revisit to his California ghost stories, but with a twist, as the power source are the highways. Weak, which is a pity in a writer I like a lot, but with some moments of greatness, Similar in that respect to his previous novel, Medusa's web. To wash the bad taste I ended up rereading the California series: Last call, Expiration date and Earthquake weather. I also got as a present Martin's Blood and Fire, a kind of history book on the Targaryens, and as dry and unexciting as most history books.
  3. Psychophant


    As expected, there is an excerpt of the Locus interview in their website.
  4. Watchmen is very good, indeed, and it was great to see Jeremy Irons chewing the scenery. A bit disappointed in Carnival Row, but it is nice to watch, at least. And Amazon seems willing to fight HBO with some of its weapons, celebrities and sex. Cardinal manages to keep the interest in the 3rd season, and it still seems more Scandinavian than Canadian. Preacher's ending was so over the top that I actually had to force myself to watch the last season, just to see how it ends. Quite as expected, which was a final down. If I could choose I should have stopped watching at the end of the second season. Really loving a Spanish series, Foodie Love, but I do not know how easy it will be to catch in this overhwelming new world series. It is HBO, so it should be at least possible. In cinemas, this evening we will pay the toll to Disney for Star Wars, and quite enjoyed Last Christmas, even if it is quite different from Love, actually, which is how it was presented. Emilia Clarke is succeeding in separating herself from Daenerys shadow, and the story is goofy enough to work, and showing the parts I like best of London also helps. Talking of Love Actually, here is the 14 years later made for charity. My wife absolutely loves it, and it is in high rotation during Christmas, so I have seen it twice already this year. Emma Thompson did not take part because she was in mourning after Alan Rickman's death. Red Nose day has some strange location requirements in Youtube, so here is in Vimeo.
  5. Hardwired (Tracy Chapman, 2002) Your wants desires Needs and wishes Will be duly noted Processed filed and cataloged Labeled and encoded Turned into sitcom dialog And advertising slogans We've got a box to put in your brain Hard wired for downloading All the secrets and the mysteries You've been selfishly withholding The dreams and hopes That once were yours Will now be collected and dispersed So the first to come with cash to spend Will be the first one served We've got a box to put in your brain Hard wired for downloading All the secrets and the mysteries You've been selfishly withholding Make you think you like to be watched Displayed on the auction block Invaded in your own home Stripped naked on the television Humiliated in front of millions We've got a box to put in your brain Hard wired for downloading All the secrets and the mysteries You've been selfishly withholding We've got a box to put in your brain We've got a box to put in your brain We've got a box to put in your brain We've got a box to put in your brain Your wants desires Needs and wishes Will be duly noted
  6. Psychophant

    Tour dates!

    Bristol looks impossible to me, as I should be in Frankfurt for work. I wonder if there will be something in London the 1-2, as I doubt he will hang on till the 8-9. The week after Brexit. That may add some extra wrinkles. We will have to wait for other announcements.
  7. Psychophant


    Another one, from Publisher's Weekly
  8. Psychophant


    They will be coming. The first one I have found is not very flattering, from Kirkus Review.
  9. Actually it may beone of the inspirations for Pattern Recognition, as the actual recovery was in 2000 and the tank is exhibited in a museum (Gorodenko) since 2007. The tanks is a T34 M43 (model 1943, the last one armed with a 76.2 mm gun), that was used till the end of the war. It has German markings and coloring, which is not so unusual as the Germans were experts in using captured equipment and they had several factories producing 76.2 ammo for the huge numbers of Russian guns they captured in 1941. They used it in the defence of the Narva line in the summer of 44 and probably sunk it in a lake to keep it from being used again by the Russians after the front collapsed. The lake later became a bog, and as a proof of the reliability of the T34, after 60 years under water and peat, the diesel engine started without changing parts, just cleaning. Here is a video with time stamp.
  10. Psychophant

    Tour dates!

    All condensed in one grueling week. I hope he gets a rest before tackling Canada and/or the UK. As usual I will consider visiting London for this, if Great Britain has not imploded in the meantime. The USA is a bit too far for a casual trip.
  11. They also ressurrected the old cyberpunk game from 1988, got some American input to smooth down Polish style into a generic west coast US dystopian city, and even got Keanu on board. Quite an achievement. And they have delayed it to April, at least for now. He will be paid in that there will be references and many people will mention him and his works, so there may be some extra sales, but at least the original Cyberpunk game owed as much to the first Walter John Williams novels (Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind), John Shirley's books and Blade Runner for the visual imagery. I am not sure the young people will connect so much, but it will be a weird memory trip for those who lived the days before cyberpunks became commodified. Even if a big budget game is nowadays the biggest commodity, reaching audiences exceeding books and film. Like HB, I would not be so optimistic if other studio was behind this (just consider the Deus Ex reboot, profesionally done but terribly bland, story-wise). Like so many Hollywood film, story/script is where many of these mega-productions fail, and what makes works like TM shine. Projekt Red has delivered in the past (checking in Steam, I have spent over 800 hours in their Witcher games), so I trust they will deliver again.
  12. Psychophant


    In some time they will probably post excerpts in the website, as they did in 2003 and 2007. Otherwise I am waiting to see if one of his russian hacker fans the usual suspects puts it all online.
  13. Psychophant


    I think it is the first time I like the USA cover more than the UK. But this feels like republican rally for someone whose name starts with a "A". Maybe it is more subtle than it looks, like the Pattern Recognition hardcover.
  14. I have all the Stephenson's prior to Dodo. And I really liked Anathem, though I think he hit his peak with the Baroque circle. I think I gave away his collaborations with his uncle, but I have the rest, a big pile of dead wood. No updates on reading. Got hooked on Stellaris and only read a few pages the week-end. And they were om a from a French book, Matador Yankee, which I doubt will be translated to English.
  15. Strangely enough here they are disappearing, which I like because it keeps jobs and I did not like to work for the superstore. People disliked them, so they are usually empty, so the controller will usually be over your shoulder because he/she has nothing else to do. That sais, here credit card fraud is big, so the main role of the controller is checking the credit card with an ID, which again destroys any time savings you might get from the self.checkout itself. They are advertised for less than ten items, so that may be a factor. That said, most people still do a significant share of their food shopping in small stores, so automation is not (yet) welcome. In my case we have four bakeries, three fruit/vegetable shops, two butchers and two fishmongers within five minute walking distance
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