Collapsing Empire Review

Written by Craig on July 8th, 2017

The Collapsing Empire, Scalzi. Yes. Perhaps because it was written before November of 2016, but at least as likely because Scalzi is Scalzi, this book has a pleasing amount of fun in it. The introduction of the chief of staff character, in particular, is an early positive delight.
Mechanically/editorially fine, though there are roughly as many incorrect who/whomevers as correct. It’s possible that different characters got it right and wrong, and Scalzi is more subtle than I’m giving him credit for; I’m not willing to go back through and collect evidence one way or the other.
Plot-wise, I was troubled at a far-future human society in which it’s still possible for conception to occur without both partners wanting it to. I guess more depressed by that notion and troubled that—despite at least one organically available option I would have grumblingly bought—no explanation of that sad state of affairs was given (again, unless I missed something). Nevertheless, if you enjoy Scalzi, you will very likely enjoy this.

 

Things we don’t have to do anymore

Written by Craig on January 8th, 2017

Not that forced perspective is entirely dead, but I can’t imagine anyone building this set anymore.

 

Look Both Ways Review

Written by Craig on May 21st, 2016

Look Both Ways. Good. I was pleased to learn from watching this movie that I can still enjoy something with relatively sedate pacing. I chose this due to a recommendation in a Maltin on Movies episode. I didn’t note anything about the recommendation other than that the film was one of Maltin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, and it’s entirely possible that it is.

 

Unpaid Corporate Shilling

Written by Craig on April 16th, 2016

I feel so whorish saying it, but I’ve really had some excellent customer service from American Express. Second-most recently was something of an exception, as they apparently didn’t think that I’d be buying a new iPhone 5 minutes after they first became available, but that was easily rectified.
Most recently, they sent me email about some other suspicious charges they had blocked, and those charges were, indeed, fraudulent. So it’s new-card time, and they just sent me email with all the merchants that look to them like folks I need to update my card number with, probably saving me a bunch of statement crawling. Not a huge thing, and not even the most outstanding thing they’ve done for me, but it’s the kind of thing that inspires loyalty.

 

Blindsight Review

Written by Craig on January 29th, 2016

Blindsight, Watts. Yes. This was just fine, despite misspellings (“miniscule” multiple times, “ordinance” when “ordnance” was called for), and the inescapable feeling that the book was, every few pages, asking “Did I just blow (what you think is) your mind? Well, did I?” And maybe if I hadn’t read so much Hofstadter, and Bruce Sterling’s “Swarm” (from 1982!), and Peeps, my mind may have been more susceptible to the proposed blowing. As it was, I just noticed how much Watts liked the word “blister”.
Followed by Echopraxia, which I’m at least going to look at.

 

Another coinage claim

Written by Craig on November 6th, 2015

Having coined the term “Buddha attack” some time ago, I now hereby claim coinage of “Reflexpect“: to reflexively expect.

 

Truly Lovely FP video

Written by Craig on July 3rd, 2015

The terrific Richard Wiseman has made a terrific video demonstrating some terrific forced perspective.

 

Because we haven’t showcased FP in a while

Written by Craig on April 9th, 2015

Reblogged from Geyser of Awesome, who retumbld it from Kuriositas. A good collection.

 

Giving in to the Mobile Hegemony

Written by Craig on March 11th, 2015

So, I got email from Google, whining about how this site wasn’t mobile-friendly, despite it working just fine for my tastes from my hand-held device. Rather than lose whatever tiny ranking I still have, though, I opted to add the Jetpack Plugin and activate its built-in mobile theme. And, really, it could be worse.

You’re welcome, I guess.

 

The Peripheral Review

Written by Craig on February 15th, 2015

The Peripheral, Gibson. Yes. It’s refreshing to see Gibson returning to Prophet-of-Cyberspace mode from Tom Clancy mode. The epigraph is from Wells’s Time Machine, and Gibson’s take on the topic is as clean as they come.