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Psychophant

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Everything posted by Psychophant

  1. 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 a
  2. 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.
  3. Psychophant

    Reviews

    Another one, from Publisher's Weekly
  4. Psychophant

    Reviews

    They will be coming. The first one I have found is not very flattering, from Kirkus Review.
  5. 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 s
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. Psychophant

    Antici...

    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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 shar
  12. I disliked Reamde and hated Seveneves, so I never got Dodo. I may be getting some Stephenson next time I am in London. Or in Barcelona. Meanwhile I am really enjoying Murakami's Killing Commendatore. It is like he is writing infinite variations of the same excellent novel, of male confusion, loss and discovery. With different props and locations. However I would like that as he gets older he explored elder people worries, ratyher than his typical confused male in his early thirties. I think Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage had what I think was his eldest charact
  13. I would say it is easier to take a moral position in the service sector than in manufacturing. Specially in the current "almost free trade" situation. I sincerely would prefer a world where long supply chains are the exception rather than the norm. Some companies are starting to work on that, but it may need the collapse of a couple more shipping giants. Carbon footprints are getting huge, as many areas of the world are not self sufficient in some critical products. Or the strange stupidity that makes cost-efficient to ship raw materials from USA to Mexico and then ship the finished goods back
  14. Closed down the Coastal cruise that is the high point of this year holidays. To escape the local effects of climate change (this week we have maximums of 40 to 44ºC, 108-115ºF) we are going to Norway. It is intended also as a touchstone for my wife's dream trip (and I like it too!), crossing Canada by train and then taking a cruise up the coast to Alaska. Next year we should return to Japan but she is considering this as a better option for August, if she cannot move part of her holidays. Japan in August is a subtropical nightmare.
  15. I had not seen this video before, so I suppose others haven't. Though it is from 1990, it was released in 2013, when the old board was dying. Sound quality is awful, but that is also another part from the period that we have forgotten in this new crisp era of excellent sound quality.
  16. 20 year after the initial coining run of euros, it was expected that all the coins from the different countries would mix up and make people realize we are all together. So checking the huge coin pile I have for the coffee machine in my desk, I got some curious results: 2 €. Spain 2002; Belgium 2002; Germany 2002 (x2); 1 € Spain 1999, 2001, 2002 (x2), 2007, 2008, 2011; France 1999; Italy 2002, 2006 50 cts Spain 2000, 2001 (x2); Belgium 1999; France 1999, 2001, 2002; Germany 2002 (x4); Holland 2000, 2001; Malta 2008 20 cts Spain 1999, 2009, 2018; Germany 2002 10
  17. It is possible. Objects with a little bit of our work in them, maybe. But the USA is not a big customer for us, and neither is Asia. So yes, if it is tires or luxury shoes from Europe. Or high performing mountain boots. Or fancy tiles. We have a small role in the inkjet printing for them, as well as some fancy enamels. And a sizeable proportion of the white paint around the Mediterranean, from Israel to Iran, passing by Greece and Syria, notwithstanding wars and sanctions. Not so likely in the US, but if you are having flavored chips in the Mediterranean, or even Eastern Europe, or a machine c
  18. Maybe we could get a book cover for agency, such as this...
  19. This one has only a very Peripheral (Hah!) link with Agency, as it could have been without Trump, but I like it a lot, and still informs a lot about Twitter, his writing and time, and even the Jackpot. 13th August 2016. Business Insider. Really a late one about Peripheral, but it really touches a lot of things.
  20. Back from three days in Italy, visiting shoe sole manufacturers, plus Vibram which is in a class by itself. I am always impressed by the R&D department with artificial icy slopes, rocks, marble, climbing walls, etc., and young engineers acting as testers. They do that seriously, but then you have other companies making soles for 1000 € shoes (Prada, Gucci, Tod's, Chanel...) that depend only on the skill of an overworked chemist. And paid at less than 5€ the pair of soles. One of the differences is that Vibrams designs the soles and the others are designed by the brand and they have to find
  21. For me this is the definitive version of this song.. Dylan is almost always better in covers.
  22. Psychophant

    Interviews

    We are few and distracted, and most of the information comes from ephemeral social media. Here is a place to list all the semi-permanent interviews and declarations linked to Agency, starting of course with those before publication, but also to include those that will appear later, specially as I am not sure we will get a promotional tour this time. I am also surprised that they are all from 2017, and in many cases linked to Archangel (I omitted some that only focused on the comic). There are also many articles written by using the Twitter posts information, but I do not consider that worthy o
  23. Psychophant

    Antici...

    Anticipating the book tour, from the last one in 2014. I wonder if he will cross the pond this time, as he is six years older...
  24. Psychophant

    Excerpt

    Not a real excerpt, but we take what we can... We also know that a later chapter is The Denisovan Embassy. I suppose that as we approach the launch date we will get more tidbits.
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