mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
I'm currently reading Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh, largely coz she was a lot of fun at Conscription.

It's basically a "paranormal romance" about a female vampire hunter who gets involved with an angel while hunting another angel. While Nalini can write, and I'm enjoying it as I would a TV cop show, the book is as cheesy as you might expect such a thing to be, very much in the Laurel K. Hamilton style (except less actual sex).

The book also could have done with some better proof-reading, there's a couple of places where the flow of the book stumbles, and it looks like words are missing. The latter is a little disappointing seeing as Nalini is on the New York Times best-seller list, you'd have thought the publisher could have afforded to take appropriate care.

Nalini really does understand how power is sexy though, and although it's cheesily over the top, if the things she described were real, the actions of those involved are highly appropriate. I could imagine being any of the male characters, who, except for the hero's father, are either angels, vampires, or hunter, and would take the same actions they do were I playing that character. In fact, that's the feel the book gives me, of playing a classic, (cheesy), high level, Masquerade game.

Having stopped reading to walk from train to work, I turned on my iPod and the oracle gave me the Macy Gray/ Fatboy Slim collaboration Demons. The chorus line seemed appropriate to the point in the book where I'd stopped :
All of your demons will wither away
Ecstacy comes and they cannot stay
You'll understand when you come my way
'Cos all of my demons have withered away
The oracle followed this with Depeche Mode's I Feel You
I feel you, your sun it shines
I feel you within my mind
You take me there, you take me where
The kingdom comes
You take me to, and lead me through
Babylon
Which also seemed relevant, especially if, in both cases, you do what my mind does and assume that the word "come" is being used in it's orgasmic sense. I like how my random music reflects my reading of soft-porn with angels in it. Actually I've always thought that so-called random (or even pseudo-random) processes are the most likely to be affected by woo-woo mind powers... damn now I'm channeling my old CoX character.

This book makes me want to play a nastily sexual vampire again. I think I haven't been doing enough role-playing lately...
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
I had a blobby weekend of watching Battlestar Galactica. I got through just over three discs, a bottle of coke half a bar of chocolate and most of a tube of Pringles. I'm now on disc three of season two. Just after the flight of the Laura. I was very impressed with the Kobol sequence at the end of the first season, and I really enjoy how the show explores various aspects of humanity, faith, love, loyalty, etc.

I took a little time off from Galactica to kill a few more Combine troops in some Source mods I downloaded. The major issue I've found so far with them is that they all seem to reach a point at which it is impossible to get through a mass of enemies, and I get tired of continually being fragged by superior numbers no matter how well you actually fight.

It was also nice sitting inside looking out at the continual rain, watching the police reports of black ice, gale force winds, flooding, and accidents, flow in.

I suggest people pirate" The Pirate's Dilemma (or download it and pay nothing). While it contains little new for those of us in the culture, this treatise on the problem of property in a world full of replicators, written by ex-pirate radio DJ Matt Mason points out that the solutions are already being created despite the regulators, and takes us on a fun trip from punk capitalism to the titular dilemma, which equates the issue to a hoary old logical and social issue, the Prisoner's Dilemma. I enjoyed it anyway.

It's especially appropriate since I'm currently reading K.W. Jetter's Noir, in which the hero (iconically named McNihil) is an ex-member of The Collection Agency, the RIAA/MPAA taken to it's ultimate extreme, harvesting the brains and spinal columns of copyright violators. I have no idea what Vetter's views are but the character's internal rationalization tries, and to me, fails to rubbish the concept of information wanting to be free. I'm interested to see what happens, but it has some nice concepts, like the aptly named Noh flies, swarms of semi-intelligent microbots that destroy any flying vehicle that gets too far off the ground, and "the Gloss", or "Greater Los Angeles" which includes all cities on the Pacific Rim linked by the encircling high-speed monorails.

Interestingly, while the book directly discusses the concept of noir directly thru the mechanism of having an author as a character, the book so far reminds me more of a slightly raunchier novelization of Judge Dredd. Also, the book so far misses what to me is the main point of noir, the idea of a flawed character trying to do what is right even if the world is against him, and the main character has not (so far) done that, even if we ignore that the main character's morality is different than mine.

I had a thought this morning while listening to David Bowie's 1984, which has probably occurred to others before, but what the hey, as Jack White would sing, I've said it once before but it bears repeating. Basically George Orwell's 1984 was predictive. He predicted it twenty years too soon, but then futurists usually under-estimate the time required to reach something. Because the US in 2004 and now bears remarkable similarities to the world of 1984, an interminable war against vague enemies, travel restrictions, thought crimes in everything but name, massive surveillance programs, government attempts to convince people not to have sex, and the government condoning torture.

Last night I made another another bean and tofu curry, and enjoyed eating a heaped bowl of it. The rest has gone into the fridge for meals later in the week.

My colleague G passed on this collection of memorable adverts, so I thought would too.

Today is Thursday, and I'm probably going to briefly pass through Fidel's, then go and have a drink with Nicki Hager, and end up at TNC.

It's July already. And I'm pondering whether, if electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
mundens: Pixie -like angel with fiery wings (Burning Angel)
is the title of a Garth Nix story available for free download from Nightshade Books, who are the publishers that have been catching most of my discretionary fiction spending recently.

They've also made John Armstrong's novel Grey available, supposedly because Armstrong has been nominated for the Campbell and they're hoping Hugo voters will get a chance to read it and evaluate it.

Nightshade also publishes a collection edited by John Armstrong, entitled The Living Dead, which looks like it might have to be a text book for zombieology classes.

In other news, the ACC building in Molesworth St has been evacuated because a mail worker discovered white powder in a mail delivery.

Help! Desk!

May. 7th, 2008 03:33 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Whilst surfing around seeing if I can put Cory Dotorow's Little Brother on my phone, I discovered this wonderful Norwegian skit on the difficulties people have with new technology.

I'm finding my left foot hurts in the cold like it's been subject to bastinado. However, on applying warmth, it feels better. I'm wondering if I got a hairline fracture from somewhere in the past and it's basically just a form of rheumatism. Damn, bodies are a nuisance! Why can't you pull them apart and fix them like cars and computers? I hate having to go and get some tradesman to work on my stuff. Who designed this silly hardware anyway? Why can't I get an upgrade?

Started reading Greg Eagan's Diaspora last night. OMFG, that has got to be the absolute worst way possible to start a novel! Yeah sure, so now we know all the stuff that Egan thought about around designing his AI's, but why the hell do we care? Anyone who knows anything about the concept could have written that intro chapter, it's not anything new, and hasn't been since about the late eighties, well before Diaspora was published. I suppose it makes sense in that the lead character didn't have sentience at that point, but while i could easily follow it all, it was dense and turgid and almost put me off continuing to read. Still aren't sure if it was worth the effort, but we'll see.

Oh, happy birthday[livejournal.com profile] elfs and belated one to [livejournal.com profile] keptinacan, forgot to say so last night !
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Been poking around the web on a lazy Friday arvo, having handed off my estimates and time-lines to my manager earlier, and now having nothing to do.

I found this list of free on-line novels, in all genres, and I also discovered Ideomancer, a magazine iof speculative fiction. I certainly will not be short of reading material. If only I was able to convince myself to spend more time reading.

I've almost finished The Algebraist, and so far I've found it quite hilarious, though rather facile in places. I believe I shall have to subscribe to the Mercatorial religion of The Truth if only to annoy people. It's nice to know that Banks likes whiskey.

People may remember the J.K.Rowling suite against the publisher of a concordance, recently Scott Card has lambasted Rowling for falling for her lawyer's arguments, and in the process has taken a tongue-in-cheek swipe at Rowling stealing the plot of Ender's Game for Harry Potter :
A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.
Heh!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Forever)
Via gizmodo,, I'm pretty sure a number of my flist would love this :
a "secret staircase" made of English oak, lined with books left, right and center, leading to a loft bedroom in a Victorian 1898 apartments block.
I can haz?
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Ninja hamster)
I have thousands of books. Once, we considered creating a library of role-playing books and games and making it available on line so that some of those books I own actually get used by people. But the stumbling block was cataloguing it all and creating the necessary database to make it searchable and keep track of everything.

[livejournal.com profile] grandexperiment, I think, suggested press-ganging my sons, but even so it would be a huge task! But other people have this problem, and here's a pre-packaged solution that I may take advantage of soon!

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