Showing posts from September, 2014

What I'm reading: 2312

When I finish a book I'm always straight onto the next one, so I'm writing about this book having started it recently. It's 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson. Here are some linked thoughts on it.

It's set two centuries into a future where the solar system is being colonised - planets, moons and asteroids. This is not a new theme, but I've read another book? about this recently so from that unrepresentative sample, it appears to be a popular topic. When I was younger happily read books about hyperspace and faster than light travel, and although I can't remember for sure, I probably assumed that someone would invent a way of doing it, or maybe I didn't care that it was actually impossible. Now that we're well into the 21st Century and physics has got pretty deep into the atom, and far back in time, it looks like nothing's going to happen on that front anytime soon. Travel to the nearest exoplanet is approaching feasible (conference on charlie stross's…

Meeting Maggie Philbin and Stephen Fry in my living room

Tomorrow's World (along with Top of the Pops) made Thursday evening the best TV evening of the week (in fact the best evening of the week, but that's another story). We would be shown some really cool new inventions, many of which had great potential to change things. I don't remember many of them appearing in normal life though. When I worked for a small electronics company I understood about how much is involved in bringing things to market, and making them on a big enough scale to make enough money to make more.

I remember when the Walkman was first shown, something which did change how music was listened to. My memory of the way it was presented, which many be flawed, was that the revolutionary part was not the small tape mechanism, but the headphones. The inventors had found a way to get good quality sound from a tiny speaker, because after all, who wants to walk around with a big pair of headphones on?

I also remember when the digital camera was first shown. Although…

Re-entering fandom

Until I went to Worldcon I hadn't done anything you could call fannish for many years. The closest thing I got was reading the blog of someone I've been following for years. I discovered them on a blog directory (yes, such things existed) when I was looking for local people who also blogged. I knew them as Coalescent but I didn't know much about them. The blog was mostly book reviews

In hunting around the internet after Worldcon I found that he, for it is a he, is Niall Harrison, editor of Strange Horizons and he lives in Oxford, which is sort of local.

The Hugo Awards, voted on and awarded at Worldcon, includes entries for best fanzine. I wrote previously about how doing a fanzine required "confidence and work". That was in the days of paper, but now we have digital publications a blog counts as a fanzine, for the winner was (look a digital link) A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher. It has previews of cover art, guest articles, reviews, and other good stuff.

The seventh wave is not the biggest

Listening again to the Ninth Wave suite on Hounds of Love, and inspired by xkcd's graphs I drew this based on searches on

Those slightly wiggly lines are drawn with more skill than it looks.

Raw data for those really interested.
1 132227
2 105959
3 75735
4 119380
5 71926
6 67014
7 108539
8 74096
9 64234
19 69869