Linda’s Memory

Memory
By Linda Nagata (2010)

A quest, a puzzle, and multiple lives: On an artificial world with a forgotten past, floods of “silver” rise in the night like fog, rewriting the landscape and consuming those caught in its cold mists. Seventeen-year-old Jubilee knows that no one ever returns from the silver–but then a forbidding stranger appears, asking after her beloved brother, lost long ago to a silver flood. Could he still be alive? And why does the silver rise ever higher, threatening to drown the world? Jubilee pursues the truth on a quest to unlock the memory of a past reaching back farther than she ever imagined.

This was  a strange  experience to read. The plot can be exceedingly slow, normally I would abandon such a book. But somehow it just kept drawing me on. Essentially it’s a long road movie, a quest to understand what’s happening to a world. Having read the ‘Red’ series; this is like a completely different author. Maybe it’s an early book (it could do with a good edit as it’s about 130,000 words long) with a different voice. I would only recommend this to someone who  has read and enjoyed other Linda Nagata novels.

Warcraft: The Beginning

Warcraft (alternatively known as Warcraft: The Beginning)is a 2016 American fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones, Charles Leavitt and Chris Metzen. It is based on the Warcraft video game series and novels set in the world of Azeroth. The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu. The film portrays the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs and takes place in a variety of locations established in the video game series. The film was first announced in 2006 as a project partnership between Legendary Pictures and the game’s developer, Blizzard Entertainment.

It’s only got 29%  on rotten tomatoes, but it’s certainly not a bad film. Anyone looking for an old good vs evil plot will be disappointed. The Orcs are portrayed as equal to the Humans in deceit and heroism.  The CGI is outstanding, with large sweeping vistas and detailed city-scapes. The best thing about the film is the action, which has a real thump and intensity to it. The costume and art design is very faithful to the games. The story is about the Orcs leaving their land and invading the Human realm through a portal. It’s 2 hour length is well paced and the ending leaves space for a sequel. 

 

Starcraft Ends

Finally, after almost 20 years I have finished the main story arc of this popular strategy game.

The original game was released in 1998 and I probably started playing it soon after.  Starcraft 2 came out on July 27 2010 and I played it about a year later. Then came ‘Heart of the Swarm’ , released March 12 2013. The final part of the trilogy was ‘Legacy of the Void released November 10, 2015.

Now it’s all over (almost), there   is Nova Covert Ops a nine game mission pack. But with parts 2 and 3 coming out in Dec 2016, I can wait for everything to be released first.

In addition to the games, I have also read the following books:

Golden, Christie – StarCraft – Dark Templar #1 – Firstborn
Golden, Christie – StarCraft – Dark Templar #2 – Shadow Hunters
Golden, Christie – StarCraft – Dark Templar #3 – Twilight
Grubb, Jeff Star – Craft 1 Liberty’s Crusade
Mesta, Gabriel –  StarCraft 2 Shadow of the Xel’Naga
Hickman, Tracy – StarCraft 3 Speed of Darkness
Neilson, Micky – StarCraft 4 Uprising
Rosenberg, Aaron – StarCraft 5 Queen of Blades
DeCandido, Keith RA – StarCraft 6 Ghost – Nova
McNeill, Graham – StarCraft 7 I Mengsk
Dietz, William C – Starcraft II 1 Heaven’s Devils
Golden, Christie – Starcraft II 2 Devils’ Due
Golden, Christie – Starcraft II 3 Flashpoint

So until Nova, it’s goodbye the Jim Raynor, Artanis and the Queen Bitch of the Universe, Sarah Kerrigan.

 

 

 

 

 

Tech News

From 2006

Mr Brian Harcourt of Mayfield, South Canterbury has just
invented a remarkable new computer product. This as yet unnamed
device consists of two small directional microphones and a
microchip. The microphones are attached to each side of the
monitor, and the chip is mounted inside the computer.

The microphones pick up any noises made by the computer operator and relay these to the microprocessor. After processing, a suitable
response is computed and played through the computer’s speaker.
Results were interesting to say the least, try whistling and the
computer will respond with a counter-melody. Shout obscenities
and it replies with “You could be arrested for saying that in
public. The software knows 600,000 words if the English language
(including the naughty ones). Some responses include “Shouldn’t
you read the instructions first ?”, “How would I know that, I’m
just a dumb machine” and “If you did that to your child they
would lock you up for eternity (which is a sod of a long time).
In fact it is possible to have a limited conversation with your
computer (but you probably know that already). Experiments at a
local secondary school have been generally successful. “This is
great” a teacher claims, “with this device I don’t have to answer
a lot of stupid questions all the time, the computer does it for
me. The problem is that some students will believe the computers
more than the teachers”. after some thought she added “I suppose
that we always talked to the computers, it’s just that they now
answer back”.

After several weeks of trials the project has been
abandoned because of complaints from the teachers union. They
think it could put them out of a job. Mr Harcourt has refused to
give up. He has taken his invention to England where he plans to
put his idea to Clive Sinclair.

(c) 28/2/2006

 

At 60

Written for a relative who was having a 60th birthday in 2006.

10 Things good about turning 60

  1. Making the ‘6’ look like a ‘5″
  2. Getting more respect from your children
  3. Still being the youngest of your siblings
  4. Still NOT a grandfather
  5. Any slowing down can be attributed to ‘getting ready for retirement’
  6. Getting less respect from your children
  7. Friends now show you to the softer seats
  8. You now have an excuse for bad behavior
  9. A greater proportion of the ladies now look younger and sexier
  10. NO MORE DISH-WASHING

2015 Nebulas

 

Novel

Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)

The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
My Review

Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Started the first book, never finished it

The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)

Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Read it, would recommend it

Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen (Tor)

Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)
Novella

Wings of Sorrow and Bone, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager Impulse)
“The Bone Swans of Amandale,” C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans)
“The New Mother,” Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s 4-5/15)
“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn,” Usman T. Malik (Tor.com 4/22/15)
Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
“Waters of Versailles,” Kelly Robson (Tor.com 6/10/15)

Novelette

“Rattlesnakes and Men,” Michael Bishop (Asimov’s 2/15)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead,” Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
“Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds,” Rose Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/11/15)
“The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society,” Henry Lien (Asimov’s 6/15)
“The Deepwater Bride,” Tamsyn Muir (F&SF 7-8/15)
“Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 6/15)

Short Story

“Madeleine,” Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed 6/15)
“Cat Pictures Please,” Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
“Damage,” David D. Levine (Tor.com 1/21/15)
“When Your Child Strays From God,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 7/15)
“Today I Am Paul,” Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld 8/15)
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)

 

And the Winners Are:

Novel

  • Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

Novella

  • Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)

Novelette

  • ‘‘Our Lady of the Open Road’’, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 6/15)

Short Story

  • ‘Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers’’, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)

 

2015 Hugos

Best Novel

  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie 
  • The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Best Novella

  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
  • The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
  • Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson
  • Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

Best Novelette

  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)
  • “Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
  • “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
  • “Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
  • “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

Best Short Story

  • “Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
  • “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
  • “If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)
  • “Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
  • Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 American neo-noir crime comedy film, written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, a Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler. After he is assaulted as a result of mistaken identity, The Dude learns of a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski who was the intended victim. When the millionaire Lebowski’s trophy wife is kidnapped, he commissions The Dude to deliver the ransom to secure her release. The plan goes awry when the Dude’s friend Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) schemes to keep the full ransom. Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi also star, with David Huddleston, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Elliott and Tara Reid appearing in supporting roles.

It’s easy to see why this is a popular film. Jeff Daniels is great as the stoner chilled out duke. John Goodman rocks as the aggressive friend. It taps into many of the myths Americans have about themselves, from the car culture to the western end that Sam Elliot provides.

 

24 Day 2

The second season of the American drama television series 24, also known as Day 2, was first broadcast from October 29, 2002, to May 20, 2003 on Fox. The season begins and ends at 8:00 a.m.

This season can essentially be broken into two acts:

The first act involves CTU attempting to stop a Middle Eastern terrorist cell from detonating a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles.
In the second act, Jack and the CTU try to prevent a misdirected retaliatory strike from the U.S. by investigating a possibly forged piece of evidence, as the strikes might touch off a world war if successful.

This season pushed the melodrama up another notch. Lots of close shots of people whispering and conspiring. Jack surviving torture then a few hours later taking on a crack team of assassins. The absurb-o-meter really gets cranked up to nuclear proportions in this season.