Brian W. Aldiss (1925-2017)

Aug. 21st, 2017 16:39
supergee: (nebula)
[personal profile] supergee
The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts has lost a Permanent Special Guest, and the field as a whole has lost one of its widest-ranging geniuses: universe-spanning imagination (Galaxies like Grains of Sand), Joycean psychedelia (Barefoot in the Head), beautiful decay (The Long Afternoon of Earth), alternatives to humanity (The Malacia Tapestry), world building (Helliconia), history of the field (The Billion Trillion Year Spree), and even a mimetic best seller (The Hand-Reared Boy). My idiosyncratic favorite is The Shape of Further Things, a meditation on diverse topics written around the time of the moon landing.

Brian Aldiss (1925 - 2017)

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:14
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
David Langford reports that Aldiss died in his sleep.

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 08:53
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
So the other night I was reading in bed and, out of the corner of my eye, kept glimpsing a bald man lying down next to Sora...

cut for photographic proof )

Music meme: day 21 of 30

Aug. 21st, 2017 12:50
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
A favourite song with a person's name in the title: Several options for this one, but I'm going with Hey there Delilah by Plain White T's. I generally really like songs that tell a bit of a story, and I can imagine the characters in this one so vividly. I like the balance of emotions; it's a sad song about missing a lover, but it's also optimistic and the music is at least somewhat catchy. And I like that they're apart because they're both pursuing their careers, it's not some passive muse waiting for her artist boyfriend to come home. It's not my usual musical style; indeed I discovered it simply by listening to chart radio like some young person who's in touch with the recent music scene.

Besides, I've been in long-distance relationships pretty much my entire adult life, so I can really relate. But no longer; I haven't posted about this in public yet, but in a couple of weeks I'm properly moving to Cambridge. So I'll be living full time in the same house as my husband and the same town as my Other Significant Others. And I won't be spending every Friday and Sunday evening commuting. I'm really really looking forward to this next phase in my life, but also at the moment up to my ears in arranging the move, and quite emotional about leaving the situation I've been settled in for 8 years.

This weekend I lead my last Shabbat morning service with my lovely community. They are understandably nervous about the future without me, and I will miss them absolutely terribly. I talked a bit about Re'eh, making sure that there's no comparison between Moses saying farewell to the Israelites and me saying farewell now. I discussed keeping sanctity while you're living in an imperfect situation, far away from Jewish centres. What compromises can you make (eating meat without making a Temple sacrifice) and what lines can't be crossed (worshipping in Pagan sites)? Then it will go well for you and your children after you, for all of time, because you will do what is good and right in the eyes of the Eternal your God. And we ate cakes made by my sister and the community gave me some really nice silver Shabbat candlesticks with engraved stands.

[personal profile] jack came up to help me sort the flat out. In lots of ways the decision making is the harder part of packing than the physical labour, so having my husband with me was an amazing help. I am really looking forward to living with him and properly sharing the work of running a household, because we're such a great team. Not just one day in the distant future when our dreams come true, but next month:
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

video embed )

Daily Happiness

Aug. 21st, 2017 01:17
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I already finished most of that paid translation job, so I don't have to worry about spending a lot of my day off on it.

2. Tonight's Rick and Morty was pretty good. I liked the Rick and Jerry plotline a lot. (I love Jerry, so I'm glad that him and Beth being separated hasn't meant he's totally out of the picture.)

3. This Molly!

Pony Science

Aug. 21st, 2017 00:02
frith: Violet unicorn cartoon pony with a blue mane (FIM Twilight read)
[personal profile] frith
Rockology [70]

Seems like the only science most bronies can come up with is chemistry and fancy mathematics. What of ecology, physical and cultural equinology, brain function, thermodynamics, taxonomy..? On second thought, collecting insect specimens would be quite gruesome in Equestria. I went with rockology, not that I have much of a clue as to what that entails. I think multiple trips to the local hard apple cider brewery are part of the curriculum. Also, it's much easier to draw one pickax than it is to draw all that glassware.
umadoshi: (tomatoes 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--The Sparkler Monthly Year 5 Kickstarter has only 48 hours left to go, and still needs about $5000. They've made a lot of progress over the weekend, and last year was a nail-biter too (and they made it), but ugh, this is stressful. Here's a post at Panel Patter outlining the awesomeness of the company and magazine, if you're on the fence or haven't taken a look but might be interested!

--I didn't make further Defenders progress over the weekend, so I'm still only three episodes in. But I did get StarCraft Remastered up and running!

--The one thing I miss about having a CRT monitor (yes, I hear myself) is my old document holder, which can't be readily used on a flatscreen. I've been poking around online this weekend (Amazon, Staples, Newegg), and there are so few options for holders that actually attach to the monitor and hold the document you're typing at eye level. [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose looked at the first couple of possibilities I found, and one looks like it needs more of a frame around the actual screen than my desktop monitor has, and the other sticks with something he thinks isn't likely to hold well on this monitor. I have great confidence that he can rig something up and make it work, once we go over the possibilities I've found so far, but I'm baffled by how few options there seem to be. (But maybe my dislike of having the document holder down on the desk--too low, and eating up a footprint of space on the desk surface--isn't widely shared.)

(The above means I fell into the rabbit hole of desk organizers etc. on Amazon. O_O I seem to have escaped alive.)

--AFAIK Nova Scotia won't see much sign of the eclipse tomorrow. I hope all of you who're able to see it, and who're excited about it, get a good look!

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are new enough at the whole gardening thing that it didn't occur to either of us to check on the plants after the weather yesterday. Although I suppose a lot of the reason for that is that the weather didn't seem that bad? It was windy and quite rainy, but it didn't seem that windy, and the rain seemed like it'd be good for them. *sighs* But no, a couple of the tomato plants, including the towering Sungold, toppled over. In the Sungold's case, the Smartpot stayed put but the halo and rootball tipped out. o_o

I didn't get a look at it then; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose went out without me at first when I was still hoping it'd be a case of tipping the plants back upright. I'd just been in the shower, and it was dark, and I knew the mosquitoes--which, as we've established, find me tastier--were out. But [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose didn't come right back in, so I put on a thick hoodie, hood and all, and zipped it up so only my hands and face and the tops of my feet were bare.

Hopefully the plants will be okay, now that they've had more supports added. We'll take another look tomorrow when there's light. But at the very least, I definitely have mosquito bites on the backs of both hands and the tops of both feet. Ugh. Sounds like we may have similar numbers of bites despite [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose having been outside easily twice as long as I was.
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
Fun read, but I'd expected better: the book can't decide whether it's comedy science fiction or political thriller. The SF part is well-handled, but the political stuff confuses me; I briefly considered drawing a diagram while reading so that I could keep up with who was working for whom. One moment you're reading some lovely SF about sheep DNA and the brains of the dead being uploaded into intelligent agents. Then you're suddenly pitched into the middle of a fight scene which looks like it dropped out of a Wachowski film; it doesn't work half as well in print.

But the biggest problem with this book is the sexism. In almost all the story there is *one* major female character, Robin. She and all other women are referred to by their first names; all the men are referred to by their surnames. Robin is described well, as seen by the male viewpoint character, and there's a lot of action *involving* her. But she rarely does anything that affects the situation; for much of the story she's just a McGuffin.

To its credit, it has the best opening line I've seen in years: "Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident. But he was ready to find out."

Critter Pictures

Aug. 20th, 2017 16:29
frith: Yellow & pink cartoon pony with her hoof over her mouth (FIM Fluttershy full body)
[personal profile] frith
[personal profile] pyesetz said I don't post enough critter pictures from work. Could be true! I haven't been taking as many pictures, I mostly work with farm animals that live in small, bare enclosures. I blame the "miniature farm" concept. So, not often photogenic and on top of that, my camera was giving me grief. I have a new camera now, a Powershot with a 25x optical zoom and a working flash - "SX620HS". Here's hoping SX doesn't stand for 'sucks'.

On good days, when his teeth don't hurt, the bear takes midday naps.

Bear_nap

Last Monday, I found takers for the four free tickets management gives us and I gave a fast (2½ hour) walking tour of the zoo. It gave me the opportunity to see areas I hadn't visited in a while, like the high platforms built for the jaguars in what used to be the spectacled bear exhibit (AKA the ex-tiger exhibit AKA the ex-lion exhibit).

Jaguar01

It was a short tour, but we did manage to see more than half the area before they got their fill. They mostly wanted to see cats, but we stopped to gawk at other things, like good tourists.

marabu_08

I took pictures of uninvited vertebrates making their home in exhibits meant for other critters. Mallards breed in the tall plants at the edge of the goose and flamingo ponds where there's all-you-can-eat waterfowl buffets all summer.

malard

Woild cottontail on the rocks, just out of reach of curious zebras.

Ctntail_002

Find of the Week: Goth Girl

Aug. 20th, 2017 21:57
green_knight: (Never Enough)
[personal profile] green_knight
I picked up the first of these in a supermarket the other day because I could not resist the eight-poster bed, read it yesterday, and today picked up the next two volumes. They are

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death
Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright

by Chris Ridell.

Young readers (the alleged intended audience) will probably enjoy them - they're not quite graphic novels, but they have a lot of graphic elements[*], and very silly plots - but well-read, pun-loving adults with a good grounding in literature and contemporary British culture will probably enjoy them even more.

Since I started reading them the air has been punctuated by laughter every now and again when a penny drops. I am halfway through book two, and there seems to be a puddle of pennies at my feet...


And now I shall return to the statue of a sulking-looking seamonster known as 'Mopey Dick'.

[*] extra points for innovative use of footnotes

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