Holly had a bit of a shock...

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:31 am
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[personal profile] seawasp
... and she has to tell Trayne about it in Chapter 15 of Princess Holy Aura

he knows when you're awake

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:52 pm
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[personal profile] cmdr_zoom
I've just become aware of a new (~10 years old) Christmas marketing gimmick "tradition", the Elf on the Shelf.
My first reaction - and it seems, from some of the articles I've found, I'm not alone - was:
"It's never too early to start indoctrinating your children to accept our post-privacy world of omnisurveillance."

Fighting monsters is easy...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:45 am
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[personal profile] seawasp
... compared to going to high school (again!) for Holly Owen in Chapter 14 of Princess Holy Aura

Age of Rusty Reviews

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:37 pm
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[personal profile] bluegargantua


   I managed to pick up the pace on my reading so it hasn't been a month since the last review!

  First up Age of Assassins by RJ Barker.  As I've said, I prefer my heroes a bit on the older side these days because I am and I enjoy reading about characters who aren't driven by teenage emotions.  You Die When You Die was a pretty good book but the teenaged protagonist was a chore to read sometimes.  That said, here we are with another book about a young teenager trying to figure out this grown-up thing.  This is complicated by the fact that he's being raised and trained by Merela, a professional assassin.

  The book's setting has a Dark Sun vibe, people can use magic but it draws on life force so if you want to do a big magical spell, you can, but a huge section of land will become barren and lifeless.  Luckily, you can reverse that.  Unluckily, you reverse it by spilling blood onto the "sourlands" magic leaves behind.  So there's a pogrom out for people talented in magic and pretty rough existence for everyone else.

  Girton, our hero, and his master infiltrate a castle on a mysterious mission.  The mysterious mission is a set-up.  The local queen needs an assassin to prevent another assassin from killing her son.  The queen has plans for her son to take over not just the local kingdom but to marry into the High King's family and take over from there.  The son is a jerk and not terribly popular and the grandson of the previously deposed king is around.  So there's intrigue aplenty.

  Girton, of course, is just an apprentice so he winds up doing a lot of grunt work and even when he finds the important clues, he doesn't realize it until Merela puts it together.  That's not to say he's stupid or incompetent (he doesn't kill without reason, but he does kill), just that he's a teenager and there's a lot he still doesn't know.  It's a bit like a Nero Wolfe mystery in which Archie does a ton of running around and then Nero just looks up from his chair and tells you the solution.

  All in all, it was an ok book.  I'm curious to try the next one in the series, but I wasn't super blown away by it.  Certainly a good source for plots in a LARP or RPG.

  Next I read Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill and it's probably one of the better books of fiction I've read this year.  Not terribly literary, but It really sucked me in and held my attention with good characters, dialog, world-building, pacing, and even the deeper themes it touches on.

  In this book, the robots rose up and killed all of mankind (and most of the life on the planet).  The story follows Brittle, a service robot who used to work for humans and now scours the Sea of Rust, the upper Midwest of the US where the freebots try and eke out a living.  Freebots?  Oh yes, because after the robot uprising, the giant mainframe AIs said "download yourself to our servers and let us use your body.  join the One. resistance is futile".  For the most part, resistance has been pretty futile and robots who don't want to be part of one of the major mainframes are out in places like the Sea of Rust trying to keep their heads down and keep a supply of spare parts handy.

  Brittle does a lot of this -- she follows malfunctioning bots out into the wild and when they shut down, she loots them for parts -- either parts she needs or parts she can trade to get what she wants.  Coming home from a successful mission, she gets ambushed.  She survives but gets injured in the process and now she needs to secure a new core for her model or she'll go mental as well.  About this time one of the mainframes makes a major push into the Sea of Rust.

  The book alternates a bit between Brittle's narrative about what's going on and Brittle describing the rise of the AIs and their overthrow of the humans.  That sometimes annoys me (it seems like your padding the page count), but it was pretty well done here.  Although the book plays out like a robot Western or Noir, there are quieter moments where robots probe interesting philosophical questions that lead you down very different and very similar paths when your a robot and not a biological being.  Oh, and yeah, Brittle is a she and why that is so is one of the interesting questions they deal with.

  It was a solid book and I highly recommend it.


Changing my personal email address

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:42 am
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[personal profile] robotech_master
I had hoped I wouldn't have to take this step, but it's become necessary. I'm changing my main email address after 20+ years.

Back when I was at college, I got an email address on an Internet friend's Linux box, as an email address I could keep when I left school and wouldn't have to keep changing. And it's the email address I've been using for 20 years, robotech@eyrie.org. I used to read and send email religiously via Linux shell readers like mutt.

But then Gmail came along, I snagged a beta invitation, fell in love with the interface, and had my eyrie mail run through a spam filter to pare down the spam and forwarded on to Gmail to read that way.

But the problem arose due to spam. Because the spam filter didn't catch all the spam, Google started tagging spam email that came through eyrie as being spammy, because it came through eyrie. It's finally gotten to the point where I'm seeing many legitimate emails get filtered into spam, including emails from my parents!

It's also gotten to the point where it's affecting the personal email of the fellow who owns eyrie. Consequently, he's going to cease permitting emails to be forwarded on to Gmail from Eyrie. That means I'll have to either read my email solely via mutt in the shell, or just start using my Gmail address as my "main" email. Given that I already use my Gmail address for a number of things such as signing into my Android tablets and Google services, it seems like I might as well just go ahead and make that my primary identity.

So, if you have me in your contacts, please change my email address to robotech.master@gmail.com and send to me directly there. I'll still check my email at Eyrie, though not as often, and may miss things there.

A question for the ages

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:05 pm
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[personal profile] cmdr_zoom
"Is there, like, a secret evil that will be released if DC and Marvel comics are ever both good at the same time?"
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[personal profile] cmdr_zoom
Every now and then, looking through my browser bookmarks, I'm struck by how my habits and interests have shifted over time (and continue to do so). Sites I once visited daily, or hourly, now go untouched for months or years; some have vanished off the net entirely, save for what's preserved in the Internet Archive or my own hard drive. Games and books and (web)comics and television series that I was once a devoted fan of now sit upon the metaphorical shelf, buried layers deep in subfolders (not unlike their physical equivalents in storage boxes). And sometimes, I dare to go digging through the strata.

And then there's the miscellany and ephemera, sites found along the side of the road in my wanderings that don't fit neatly anywhere, or would take "too much time" to put where they do, or were never meant to be of lasting interest or use beyond a hypothetical later or return visit. Loose ends, projects and threads I meant to follow up on; YouTube videos I intended to find time to watch... someday.

Times change, the net changes, and so does the person between keyboard and chair. Games, shows, sites and fandoms, wax and wane and sometimes pass into (hopefully fond) memory. That's life; sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but mostly it just is.

You can't wait, you say?

Sep. 14th, 2017 12:35 pm
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[personal profile] seawasp


... well, you don't HAVE to! Princess Holy Aura is now available in its eARC form!

I'll still be posting chapters for a while, for those who don't want to buy eARCs.

It's time ...

Sep. 13th, 2017 06:50 am
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[personal profile] seawasp
... for Princess Holy Aura to take on her second adversary -- and this one's a lot nastier than the first, as we see in Chapter 11
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