91 thoughts on “Your Scratch Pad 9/8

  1. First!

    Hoping OGH continues to improve.

    (Now I’d better go and catch up on the previous scroll.)

  2. This is my preemptive

    OH YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME

    for when I forget to tick the box at the bottom of this post.

  3. Soon Lee takes the fifth by stealth, this moose can only hope that when Dawn Incognito was shooting the shit there was no return fire, and this moose will attempt second fifth.

    ETA: Yay! Second Fifth. Now I’d better get some work done.

  4. Good morning, good morning.
    My dreams last night included trying to get out of the Carcosa subway system. It was clean and polished, and utterly crazy to actually try to navigate.

  5. Soon Lee on September 8, 2016 at 2:03 am said:
    Re: thread title.

    Did you hear about the cryptographer who never brought dates back to his place again? It was a one time pad.

    That’s terrible. I shall now inflict it on all my friends.

  6. Some recent occasions here, I’ve carefully ticked the box first, and got no apparent result. I kept waiting, though, and after a rather longer than expected interval, it turned out I had indeed gotten it right. No idea if that’s what’s happened to anyone else, of course.

  7. Sigh. You know that you have cats when you glance at your desktop and notice that one of your folders has been renamed “nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn]rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrv kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkppppp”

    (In case that doesn’t display correctly, that is 20 “n”s, a right bracket,77 “r”s, a “v”, 74 spaces, 21 “k”s, and 5 “p”s.)

  8. Did you hear about the cryptographer who never brought dates back to his place again? It was a one time pad.

    Um–“Cipher, I hardly knew her?”

  9. Today’s Read — Love and Peace with Melody Paradise, by Martin Millar

    Not SFF, although the author also writes SFF books. A bunch of hippies attempt to hold a festival, with comically disastrous results. I’m very fond of Martin Millar, since his pose of misanthropic cynicism concealing an iron core of romanticism appeals very much to my sense of humor. I’d put this solidly in the middle of his oeuvre, more memorable and funny than some of his short early novels (which are usually still quite good), but not quite hitting the peaks he did with the Lonely Werewolf Girl series or with “Suzy, Led Zeppelin, and Me”. That’s enough for me to give it a solid thumbs up.

  10. Today’s Meredith moment (waves to Meredith): Under the Empyrean Sky by
    Chuck Wendig is 99p on Amazon UK today. I know nothing about it though – anyone read it?

  11. “Today’s Read — Love and Peace with Melody Paradise, by Martin Millar”

    This too shall be mine.

  12. I take anything the NYT says about print vs ebooks with a large grain of concrete, wrap it around the concrete, and throw it down the end of the garden… they couldn’t even tell that story straight at the right hand of god the father.

  13. Another Meredith moment (waving to Mark Kitteh and Meredith):

    No Harm Can Come to a Good Man by James Smythe is 99 cents at Amazon.com, Kobo, and thus probably other U.S. etailers as well (publisher: HarperCollins, which uses DRM). Anyone read it? Good/bad/meh?

    This got on my “look into this” list in February 2015, where it languished. I have an old bookmark for a Strange Horizons review, which makes it sound good. Okay, I’m not that into political drama (accurate description???), but this kind of SF hook always intrigues me. I guess I should read the sample quickly! But I’m interested in Filer thoughts, if anyone’s read it.

  14. @Soon Lee,

    Did you hear about the cryptographer who never brought dates back to his place again? It was a one time pad.

    I guess that’s one way to make sure you never have to give a significant other a copy of your key.

  15. Book rec: Breath of Earth, by Beth Cato

    I’d never read anything by this author before, although her novella Wings of Sorrow and Bone was nominated for a Nebula this year. This book surprised me: it’s a steampunk alternate history set at the time of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. It’s a mighty impressive piece of worldbuilding, with a diverse cast, and after a slightly awkward first chapter (due to the necessities of setting up her dense, layered world) it becomes a crackling good story. Definitely going on my longlist.

  16. Just wanted to pop in and raise a glass to Star Trek on its 50th anniversary. It was my gateway into fandom as I’m sure it was for many others. Live long and prosper, all!

  17. @Darren Garrison: “You know you have cats…”. I’m not fluent in cat, but I think that translates to, “It has come to my attention you are not paying proper attention to me!”
    I suspect one of my cats wants to pub her own zine as she frequently walks on the keyboard while I’m trying to write on my apa zine.

  18. @Bartimaeus

    Well all of those sound interesting. I can guarantee I’ll be getting the Hamilton and Reynolds as I’m already a fan but all the rest tickle my interest at least a bit.

  19. [random outburst]

    YAY my copy of The Cuckoo’s Song arrived today YAYYYYYY!

    [/random outburst]

    Also my Asus warranty replacement laptop… which appears to be in every way an improvement over the one it’s replacing. For instance, it’s an i7 where the previous was an i3, which I think possibly makes it worth losing the souvenir stickers* I’d affixed to the previous. The main thing is, will the battery connection malfunction after three months again? They were very clear I will not get a warranty extension.

    Oddly, it comes with a slip of paper advising me that this is a refurbished laptop whose recovery partition had to be destroyed to protect the data of whoever had it before, and that if I wished to recreate a Windows 7 recovery partition, this was how you did it… Windows 7? The machine’s supposed to have Windows 10 on it. I suppose if I’m very, very lucky…

    (No, I haven’t turned it on yet. Did not have time or energy last night to deal with HI I’M YOUR NEW WINDOWS 10 BOX I HAVE OODLES OF WAYS TO HLEP** YOU OUT LET ME SHOW YOU.)

    * The one I’m most heartbroken to lose is the one from Leeds Roller Derby. It isn’t every day that a team from the UK is in town for a Denver tournament (Mayday Mayhem) and comes up to Boulder for a warm-up scrimmage. John says he still has his sticker, but I saw it, and it’s all scrumpled up at the bottom of his computer bag. *sigh*

    ** Misspelling used advisedly.

  20. Bummer, it looks like Revenger by Alastair Reynolds won’t be available in the US this month. The UK ebook and hardcover are coming out next week, but for US I could only find a Feb 2017 paperback.

  21. Has anyone read “After the saucers have landed”?
    The Dick did well for me these past Years, but some nominees were just weird… Im intriued by this one, but like to get some comments first. So, anybody?

    Yes, you in the Fifth row!

  22. Finished Obelisk Gate yesterday. For all of Jemisin’s declarations about the difficulty of writing a long story arc, I find her pacing excellent so far. Very satisfying read.

    Started Ninefox Gambit yesterday. Interesting, weird, and more than a little confusing.

    Pardon the unnecessary double spaces. My new phone’s keyboard is a jerk sometimes.

  23. kathodus on September 8, 2016 at 12:41 pm said:

    Started Ninefox Gambit yesterday. Interesting, weird, and more than a little confusing.

    Just finished Ninefox Gambit. Bounced off it initially but then went back to it and enjoyed it.

  24. omg
    I just received this in my emails:

    Special Post-Interspeech Talk at UC Berkeley
    Tuesday, September 13, 5:00pm, 1303 Dwinelle

    Melody in Human–Cat Communication (Meowsic):
    Origins, Past, Present and Future

    Robert Eklund
    Associate Professor (Docent) / University Lecturer (Lektor)
    Linköping University, Sweden
    http://roberteklund.info

    [see the cats & listen to Robert play lute as well!]

    Well, I know where I’m going to be Tuesday.

    ETA, follow-up email:

    ABSTRACT

    The recently funded, five-year, project Melody in Human–Cat Communication (Meowsic) has received vast media attention, both nationally and around the world. The project members (especially Susanne Schötz, Lund University and Robert Eklund, Linköping University) have now — even before the project has officially started up — done over forty interviews which have resulted in well over 100 articles in magazines, newspapers and websites. Just to mention a few, we have been covered by National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC 5 Live, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, as well as Swedish radio, TV and press, Norwegian radio and online all over the world, including Chile, China and Vietnam.

    This talk will describe how it all got started (with a comparative paper on purring in the cheetah and the domestic cat in 2010), and how several studies and papers during the past five years on purring and agonistic vocalizations in different species of felids, as well as a few papers on human–cat interaction, have finally resulted in a five-year project that will study prosody in domestic cats and their owners, including (possible) vocal learning and dialectal variation.

  25. @Peer: I was very impressed by After the Saucers Landed. I’m a bit surprised it didn’t win the PKD award, as the adjective phildickian could have been coined for this book.

    Having said that, it’s not for everyone: it is very, well, phildickian, and amid all the weirdness and 1950s UFO kitsch, it’s fundamentally concerned with questions of identity. It does have a coherent plot, and answers some (if by no means all) of the questions it raises, and I thought the conclusion was just about perfect.

    (Looks around in confusion.) Wait… I thought I was the guy in the third row.

  26. I’ll second the good words for Beth Cato. Local to AZ author who is putting out good fiction. She did grow up in California and made use of some of the little known history from that time in the development of her world.

    For another good alternate history/steampunk/fantasy take set in the African Congo at the turn of last century, check out Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, out this week.

    Finally, Lois McMaster Bujolds “Penric and the Shaman” is out in ebook (with a Subterranean Press limited edition up for pre-order). It is set after Penric is done with his schooling, and delves into the Gods of the world and how they work to make things happen. A worthy follow up to the first novella.

  27. @Kathodus/Camestros

    Ninefox Gambit (9fG?) is definitely a tricky book to dive into – I had to get my brain calibrated correctly and that took several chapters – but as you say very rewarding in the end.

    @Lee Whiteside

    +1 on Penric and the Shaman – she took it in an interesting direction, I thought.

  28. Mark on September 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm said:
    @Kathodus/Camestros

    Ninefox Gambit (9fG?) is definitely a tricky book to dive into – I had to get my brain calibrated correctly and that took several chapters – but as you say very rewarding in the end.

    I believe my formation instinct was possibly damaged by calendrical rot initially and hence confused by heretical exotics then I got into the book.

  29. Soon Lee on September 8, 2016 at 2:03 am said:

    Did you hear about the cryptographer who never brought dates back to his place again? It was a one time pad.

    I’m used to hearing (and saying) this as:
    Date: Is this your apartment?
    Cryptographer: No, it’s a one-time pad.
    but Christian Brunschen’s

    I guess that’s one way to make sure you never have to give a significant other a copy of your key.

    is a nice finesse.

  30. Current reading: Heavy Time, C J Cherryh on the go and This Is Not a Game, Walter Jon Williams at home.

    I read Heavy Time decades ago so it’ll be interesting to see how it stands up.

  31. I was just looking in the “trash” and there are about a dozen comments that look like they should have been posted. But maybe the authors deleted them. Or wrote subsequent drafts of which these are the discards.

    In short — if you had a comment that never came out of moderation let me know. “Trash” is a different folder than the usual queue.

  32. @Daniel Dern, I’m glad there’s someone who can decipher this somewhat cryptic humour 🙂

    (Some of my favourite jokes can only be understood by a very limited audience – and among those the ones who appreciate them is … well, let’s just say, it is a very proper subset!)

  33. @lauowolf thanks for the pointer. Wish I could go, but the Speech Synthesis Workshop starts that day.

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