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heavyboots

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heavyboots last won the day on July 8

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    Board Day: 01/14/2003
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  1. Fairly impressive custom etched knife!
  2. Been double-jab vaccinated for a couple months at this point. It's weird but life is definitely getting back to "normal" here. Eight hours days back at the office commence tomorrow. Some restaurants now have servers wandering around without face masks, concert and movie places starting to open back up. Personally I am still avoiding eating indoors and not really down to see an indoor concert or movie any time soon either (5% chance of getting a flu-like version of COVID is still 5% higher than I really want), but I do feel pretty safe just stepping into a supermarket or whatever for 10 minutes without a mask if they don't require it. OTOH, there are also places still requiring you to hand sanitize before entering and full face masks inside, so the normality is not quite evenly distributed yet.
  3. Gamechanger by L X Beckett — Excellent example of solarpunk / cli-fi sort of in the same category as Karl Schroeder's Stealing Worlds. The premise is we have a society where we've managed to tame the threats of kleptocracy and toxic social media with app assistants running our lives, monitoring our health and encouraging everyone to be positive and pitch into the still monumental task of saving the world from death by global warming and a crashed biosphere. You can stroke or strike anyone and the higher your social "karma" the less ads and interference you get from the digital sphere. Be too much of a troll and you end up in social media purgatory where you are still afforded the basics but every request brings you ads and social education interruptions first. Enter Rubi Whiting, a high-flying young Bounceback generation woman trying to switch career tracks from game player to social worker/lawyer who gets a very strange client who is trapped on the lowest level of the digital sphere and unable to make himself conform well enough to step up, but who also seems strangely powerful in his ability to crack digital systems… is he a demented senior citizen? An AI? At any rate, well worth a read IMHO. A fun story with great characters to root for and against and lots and lots of fascinating suggestions for how to get out of the current hole we've dug
  4. Very sad news. She was always amazing good fun on Top Gear. https://news.sky.com/story/sabine-schmitz-dead-top-gear-star-and-queen-of-the-nurburgring-racing-driver-dies-aged-51-12248488
  5. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorofor. More short novela stuff! A lot of her usual themes, but this one was a little more enjoyable than most of her stuff recently has been for me. Small girl inherits terrible powers and roams the countryside as something of a living legend while trying to figure out what her origin story actually is. I think she managed to connect this one back to some actual sci-fi elements more strongly than usual, which did help.
  6. I feel like Fleet of Knives was a bit of a poor effort on his part. I managed to read through it without too much trouble, but was much happier with the third book and the first. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi — A novela really, but still pretty enjoyable. This is one of those "If you change one rule about how the world works, what are the consequences" books. In this case, suddenly anyone who is murdered wakes up in their home rolled back whole and intact to a few hours or days before they were killed but with all the memories right up until their death. It was actually quite entertaining in a "let me tell you a story" kind of way. Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard — Another novela, this time set in her weird oriental-feeling Empire with ships-as-people and murders afoot. Unfortunately I didn't like this nearly as much as The Teamaster and the Detective though? But not a terrible book, just not really my cup of tea (as it were).
  7. I personally don't think there's a lot of need to reread REAMDE. It's almost standalone, IMHO. Like it doesn't hurt to remember some of the characters and their past connections but honestly, quite a bit of time passes quite rapidly and the circumstances all change pretty quickly as a result. I just finished The Trials of Koli by M R Carey. Really good but really a cliff-hanger! Lots of crazy stuff happening on a post-apocalyptic Earth where the remaining humans have been reduced to small, primitive tribes gradually succumbing to the much more aggressive plants and animals that were bred during the climate change jackpot or something—it's not very clear. The primary characters are on a quest to reach London where they hope to find tech to fix their ailing machines and possibly a way to unite more people in one place to create a bigger gene pool. Hijinks ensue…
  8. Dead Lies Dreaming by Charles Stross was decently good fun.. Laundry universe but not familiar Laundry characters. And some interesting tricks up his sleeve. London real estate, the Necronomicon, ambitious artists and thieves and personal assistants and a caper. What's not to like?
  9. Persephone Station by Stina Lecht was pretty good in a Melissa Scott kind of way. The planet feels just slightly alien and the characters just slightly foreign but the humanity is in full effect. Last ditch mercenary stand, protecting an alien race from being overrun was central to the plot for what it’s worth. Lotta evil corporations and crime syndicates too.
  10. So hard to stop at only one Crack Company book, haha! And I didn't know Swanwick had released another Dark Faerie book. Will have to look for that!
  11. Damn, mojo to The Girl. That's some sucktacular luck on the parenting spectrum.
  12. Deepest condolences, GR.
  13. Player 2 by Ernest Cline — OK, it's still deep nerdcore 80's retro fantasy, but it was at least reasonably fun. I rolled my eyes here and there, but after how freaking absolutely terrible Armada was, I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. We pick up where book one left off as our hero discovers that being rich and powerful makes being an asshole infinitely easier too. Plus, more also-er, he finds out that the company he inherited has tech squirreled away to make full brain interface possible, but only for 12 hours and that the founder has left it up to him and his buddies to decide if the world is ready for said tech or not. Hijinks ensue…
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