Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

 
22. “Jeff Beck” by Lewis Shiner Strange little story in the ‘be careful what you wish for’ vein when - I’m not sure - but gaining the ability to play guitar like a master doesn’t make for effortless fun, because your standards and aspirations are raised correspondingly higher. Also, blowing your savings on a guitar is bad for your...

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

 
21. “Sallie C.” by Neal Barrett Jr. Not science fiction. In an isolated desert hotel the paths of the Wright Brothers, the Rommels, Billy the Kid, someone named Pat Garrett and a Native American stereotype briefly intersect. Felt like the main appeal was in recognition and revelation, but perhaps someone with a particular interest in those figures might have drawn more from this...

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

 
20. “Video Star” by Walter Jon Williams Another cyberpunk heist story. I don’t find these interesting, despite that they possibly (worryingly) represent well where the world is heading. Although, I am the teensiest bit of a sucker for “one last job and then I’m out and clean” types, probably because they invite tragedy and I spend the story wishing for a better...

LED Streetlights

 
As much as I want LED, solar powered street lights, I keep thinking about a problem many southern dwelling designers never considered.  Snow. A few years ago -- far before LA's switch -- Wisconsin tried to switch to LED bulbs for power savings in their existing light fixtures. It was working great until a front of wet, sticky snow came through. Snow stuck to the fixtures, eventually covering the light and making it useless.  Why wasn't this a problem before? After all the light...

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

 
18. “And So To Bed” by Harry Turtledove What if Native Americans didn’t exist, but the Americas were populated by enduring megafauna and some other hominids (possibly australopithecus? [ed: homo erectus]), which white people enslaved? And what if Samuel Pepys were inspired by his interactions with them to propose a theory of common descent in 1661? This is one of those story ideas that would leave me far less uneasy and more engaged if it did not entail the erasure of vast swathes of real...

That moment you look around and see the mess you're in

 
It occurred to me this morning that I've more or less stopped socializing the last few years, the last year in particular. I rarely see friends, I spend my weekends buried in projects or house upkeep. When I do see friends I'm so burned out and exhausted that I'm not all that talkative. It's understandable given that I've worked a job that I've long since stopped finding interesting. Instead of providing me engagement and interest, it merely saps my energy. I try to get some of that back in my off...

title

 
A thing which happens more than once is I find out at the last moment about major household stuff like impending modifications to the building or expected guests who must be prepared for, or some other such thing. And it is distressing to me not only because unexpected impending disruption and not only because I feel I have been left out and no one saw fit to actually inform me of what was going on. But especially because when I say I did not know and have not the faintest stirring of memory on the...

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

 
17. “Chance” by Connie Willis Urgent, disjointed tale in which maybe two periods of the narrator’s life overlap. This is another story which felt like it could have been placed in a non-genre collection. Actually, this story is so wide open to interpretation I feel almost as if I may as well not have read it - too much freedom to decide ‘what happened’, what it means. Although contrariwise, I would not have imagined that segment of possibilities without having read “Chance”.

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

 
16. “The Prisoner of Chillon” by James Patrick Kelly This felt incomplete, like there was something I was supposed to bring to the story that I don’t have. Was also amused that by certain strict definitions (which I do not personally adhere to), this story is not science fiction because the actual narrative - a heist gone wrong, having to lay low with the mysterious figure who arranged the job, the interpersonal tensions which play out subsequently - do not actually depend on the speculative...

A day out

 
Busy sort of day. Facelasering appointment appointment in the morning, over-slept so missed breakfast. Did get to listen to many episodes of Planetary Radio and Philosopher's Zone however. And delicious hamburger for lunch. Then back home to pick up the scrip for my blood draw which I'd forgotten at home, except it really was in my bag I just couldn't find it. And, since I had to be out so much today, took the opportunity to tour some local libraries for the sake of upcoming assignment. I'm supposed...