cdave: (Angry)
Complaining about bad physics in time travel movies is pointless (but good fun afterwards), but there's a character reaction that always breaks my suspension of disbelief.

There's a trope in time travel stories where the viewpoint character jumps back into to their own body, changes the past, and then returns to their body in present day. They only retain memories of the original timeline, but the world around around them has changed. I've seen it in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Project Almanac. The thing that annoys me is how their friends respond to their return.

Example timeline (story protagonist's perspective):

α timeline year 2000 Bob α (age 20) Bob's best friend Alice gets killed
α timeline year 2001 Bob α (age 21) Bob becomes a scientist and start work on a time machine
α timeline year 2011 Bob α (age 31) Bob leaps back in time
ß timeline year 2000 Bob α (age 31) MIND in Bob ß (age 20) BODY Bob saves the world, and leaps home
ß timeline year 2011 Bob α (age 31) Bob finds that (with no memories of these changes) he's a millionaire now, married to Alice!

Alice finally gets to thank Bob for saving her life.
Thus the movie ends happily. But it never rings true for me. What if we think about what Alice has experianced? This should be simpler, as she never travels in time.

Example timeline (friend's perspective):

ß timeline year 2000 Alice β (age 20), Bob α (age 31) MIND in Bob β (age 20) BODY Alice β sees Bob save the world
ß timeline year 2001 Alice β (age 21), Bob β (age 21) Bob β has no memory of saving the world
ß timeline year 2002 Alice β (age 22), Bob β (age 22) Alice β falls in love with, and marries Bob β. They set up a company together.
ß timeline year 2009 Alice β (age 29), Bob β (age 29) Alice β and Bob β company is doing so well they become millionaires
ß timeline year 2010 Alice β (age 31), Bob α (age 31) Bob α returns to “his body” replacing Bob β.

The question is would Alice β be glad to see Bob α or devastated at the loss of her husband and business partner?
cdave: (Comics)
Let's look at the Evil League Of Evil's Sad Puppie's demands:

Larry Correia

First and foremost, you guys need to decide, once and for all, what the Hugo Awards really are. There are two choices.
It is the most prestigious award which represents the best works in all of fandom.It is a little award, for one little group of people, at one convention.
You can’t have both. Pick one, stake your flag on it, and we will proceed from there.

Brad R. Torgersen

So the totem is ours too. We have claim on it. It is “the most prestigious award” for everybody. And everybody agrees on this.
Either that, or change the branding, and call the Hugos, “The little award, for the little crowd at Worldcon.”

So it's clear they're simply asking for offical hugo award administrators to stop using the word "prestigious" on the one place it apears on their offical site.

The Hugo Awards about page

The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also responsible for administering them.

They're just asking for an edit to one page. Unless that's just a smokescreen to make it look like a barely resonable argument, and not what the puppies really want.

Not to mention that one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.

emphasis mine.
cdave: (Default)
Ooh, apparently the British Science Fiction Association's survey of authors is winging it's way to me. Covering the results of two surveys, twenty years apart, and covering over 120 writers.

Didn't even have to ask for it, it's just a bonus to members :)

Sample survey response here.


Jan. 7th, 2010 10:17 am
cdave: (books)
Calling all authors. Seen this twice in 24 hours, via comics and SF.

I'd advise any published UK authors reading this who haven't registered for PLR to do so, as at over 6p a loan, that's a pleasant post-Xmas bonus.

Via J.N. Fenn's Garret.

RT Public Lending Rights, meaning you get a payment every time a book with your name on the title page gets loaned from a library
RT All the info you need to sign up is on their website:
RT Incidentally, you can't get away with just going into a library and writing your name on the title pages of all the books in biro.
RT Apparently.

Via @VictorianClam Laura Howell
cdave: (Default)
I was walking past Oxford Circus, when I saw an unusual busker. There was two guys each with a set of plastic buckets up turned round them in a semi circle, seating on another bucket. One of them was bashing away with a set of drumsticks, using rim shots and different volumes to create different sounds. After a bit his mate picked up the rhythm and the two of them improvised an awesome bucket solo.

On my internet travels I've seen a couple of comments recently on how genre stuff isn't taken seriously by literature geeks.

These two things are more connected than you'd think.

I took GCSE music largely because it meant I got to muck about with computers. I'd never really learned to play music, and scrapped past the performance sections. But for the compositions, I had a access to MIDI keyboards, drum modules and a compute with cubase.

For one of my compositions, I decided to muck about with the drum module, and wrote a whole piece that was nothing but drums. Lots of drums. Starting with a few riffs, and layering them over each other, building up in complexity, matching the tones of the drums to make a sort of melody. Anyway, it was okay.

One day I sat down and someone had swapped the drum module out for a keyboard without me noticing. So instead of the melodic drums, I got atonal staccato piano. Which I intrigued me, so I used that as the kicking off point for my next piece. It was a different piece, but built the same way the drum piece had been, containing just about the same amount of complexity, and "story".

The external examiners gave the staccato piano piece over a grade higher score than the drum piece.
cdave: (books)
At a recent BSFA interview I asked Jaine Fenn if she had heard about Charles Stross applying Bechdel test to his books, as her first novel was one of the few I had read recently that did have women talking to each other about something besides a man. She said at the time that she hadn't heard of that test, but hadn't written a strong female lead by accident. She's just realised that her next two novels don't pass.

I need to update my reading list for the year. It's tempting to apply the test to all the books as I do so.
cdave: (books)
The perils of being a science fiction author.

Charles Stross's tentative sequel to Halting State has had to be scrapped once again due to reality preceding art. Another major financial scam has come to pass.

Still I guess it's better than being pre-empted by Dilbert.
cdave: (Default)
Quoth el reg:
Next week's sees the British National Science Fiction gathering in Bradford, where the great and the bearded will be discussing the RepRap project for self-building machines amongst other things

In Ansible's "As Others See Us" style.

So since I don't have a beard, I must be one of the great!

Cry Baby

Mar. 14th, 2009 02:01 pm
cdave: (Default)
The BBC's Radio SciFi season is coming to an end on Listen Again.

Don't have time to write up too much, but I just wanted say there's only too days left to listen to Cry Babies by Kim Newman.

Takes the idea of cryogenically freezing an embryo to a ridiculous extreme, and in the process asks some important questions, while having a protagonist I really empathise with.

As the ignoble awards put it in their motto "first it makes you laugh, then it makes you think". Just what I want from an SF short.
cdave: (Default)
Any Douglas Adams fans should have a very close look at what Cyan's reading in Today's Nemi.

Also on today's issue, they have a coupon for two free tickets for tomorrow's screenings of a film involving Viking reeanctors, and Treckies: "Faintheart". However I'm not around tomorrow, so won't get to see if this any good.
cdave: (Default)
Thinking about it, the way I cook, and the way I read have a lot in common.

In SF I tend to read more Science Fiction than Fantasy. On the basis that while I love good fantasy or sci-fi, I really loath bad fantasy, but can (and often do) enjoy "bad" sci-fi. If the writing, or characterisation is atrocious, there's usually a decent idea, or at the very least some fun action. A fair chunk of my to be read pile (and a very large percentage when I really started buying stuff at uni), is stuff I'd never read a review of, and just bought based on a 20 second look at the cover.

Similarly with cooking, I'd rather by a bunch of interesting ingredients and wait for inspiration to strike when in the kitchen, than try an follow a recipe. While I do appreciate a really well cooked meal (and am capable of knocking together a respectable dish), I also enjoy a hastily thrown together mishmash. And frankly that's easier. Probably round 90% of them turn out to be okay, 5% great, and 5% not so much.

I'd like to think that makes me optimistic, as I'm seeking to maximise enjoyment, with minimal effort, but maybe it's pessimistic as I'm not putting in the effort to seek out the exceptional.
cdave: (Default)
Ideas seen first in science fiction, sneaking into the real world. Number one (in a series of one probably).

Face scanners to spot truanting kids. 2009.

Seen in Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. 2008.

{edit: If these systems work by measuring pupillary distance, could you fool them by going cross eyed?}
cdave: (Anime)
I know I say I usually just wait until a draft post is out of data and abandon it. I was trying to get that last one posted before the exhibition closed, but failed. At least partially due to spending the last couple of evenings working on a costume for Sunday. Anyone going to the expo?

Speaking of which anyone fancy a grand cosplay ball? I've got my ticket.

Oh, and is anyone planning on going to Novacon and want to share a room?

Craig Gidney, (who ran the Tanith Lee novel discussion at Orbital) is in a spot of financial bother and his publisher is selling pre-orders of his book and giving the whole amount to him, not even covering costs.

One last sfnal thing: I see from issue #6 of Captain Britain & MI:13 the the Cabal have clearly been at work on [ profile] paulcornell2 is it features a villain called [ profile] drplokta.
cdave: (Default)
Went to see WALL·E last week. It's brilliant. The best thing I can say about is: that about 3 hours after seeing it, I suddenly remembered that it's supposed to be a kids film (I've been watching a lot of Ghost in the Shell recently, so animation does not equate with kids film in my head)
Went to a treetop adventure place over the weekend. Part of a chain called Go Ape. Seriously good fun. A couple of hours of Rope ladders, treetop bridges, zip lines, and Tarzan swings into cargo netting. It really deserves a better write up, but I don't have time right now.

Icon love! Seen here, based on these T-shirts.
I hate the cost of transatlantic shipping.
Science is like a good friend: sometimes it tells you things you don't want to hear.
From Charlie Brooker's TV rants seen at [ profile] andrewducker's


cdave: (Default)

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