The switch

Jun. 28th, 2017 07:32 pm
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For Angela, the new lie that kept showing up in her life was that people would still love her even though she had changed. Her new body wouldn’t unsettle her friends, she’d been told.

She lay back on her charging couch, raising an arm and looking at the reflection play along it from her bedside table’s lamp. The warm lightened glinted off the ridges of the small cooling vents along her forearm, like harmonica holes dotting the lines of her muscles. Utterly silent. No servomotors whirring to betray her movement like in the older models.

The people that had sold her the new body had assured her that her old flesh-and-blood friends wouldn’t fear her shift to immortality. But they lied. Of course they did. They wanted her to buy.

It was Saturday. Angela usually had to triage her social calendar on Saturdays, perhaps foregoing an event to take pity on a friend she hadn’t seen a while. Sometimes she had to choose between two or three equally lascivious parties.

This was the first Saturday in ten years that was empty of invitations.

Her brain was angry but her body was remaining calm. That was a new sensation. It was something that had been talked about in the pamphlets she’d read. A silicate dissonance, it was called. Emotions firing in the meat of her mind but not controlling her pulse rate or blood pressure.

Her heart was a whirring egg now and her blood was synthetic so that was to be expected. Adrenaline had been replaced with response time enhancers and threat-assessment programs. She’d react quickly to physical threats but without the feelings of panic. No jolts of terror to spur the biology.

Her body was capable of everything her former shell was except for a few adjustments. She’d removed the need for toilets as option number one. She still needed to bleed off heat and switch out old fluids but that could be done discreetly and, if need be, monthly.

Recharging was a necessity but a loss of consciousness while doing so was not.

She thought she’d be a commodity to her social group. The first to dive into the waters of eternal life. She thought she’d be sought after sexually. Curious people would flock to converse with her.

But no. The primate mind was still too strong.

And it was a one way trip.

Angela sighed. An affectation left over from her old body. Perhaps she’d just have to wait until more of her friends crossed over. Or else she’d have to make new friends in what the switches before her had nicknamed the hereafter.

She promised herself to call up the transformation counsellor in the morning, sent mental commands for the lights to dim and the fire to turn on and decided to catch up on old movies.






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The Parisian Tropics

Jun. 28th, 2017 10:00 pm
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Emile Zola, in his classic novel Le Ventre de Paris, references quite heavily the smell of Parisian fish markets in the summer. Whilst I have managed to avoid such odours, as he describes in glorious detail, the alternating heat, humidity, and thunderstorms has turned the visit this city into a rather unexpected experience. Nevertheless, we were blessed on Sunday with a meeting with Gianna V., a local whom I've known online for several years with a mutual interest in Glorantha. Gianna took us for a walk along Le Petite Ceinture a former railline reclaimed public nature walk. The walk ended with a visit to a book market where I found myself in possession of several hefty art history tomes.

After that we visited Montparnasse Cemetery, final resting place of many famour people. We visited a good number of sites, but in particular I felt special respect for the sites of Simon de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Dreyfus, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, and Jean Seaberg. Each of these are individuals who have had a major effect on my own intellectual and aesthetic development; I could write extensively on each. For now, just these words of recognition will have to do.

The work-week began with a visit with Loic N, at the L'Institut du Calcul et de la Simulation on their HPC operating environment and the impressive cross-disciplinary work that they do. The university was next door to the medieval Musée de Cluny so managed to get a good dose of that end of the historic spectrum as well. The following two days have been at the Conference Teratec at Ecole Polytechnique Paliasseau, some distance from the inner city. A good-sized (1300 attendees) the conference show-cased the major projects undertaken in France's HPC environment in their quasi-syndicalist approach (business, academia, and government working on mutual projects). With dusk not occuring until around 10pm or later, much of the evening has been spent on semi-random public transport trips, eating at simple restaurants, and just walking; an especially pleasant discovery was a large park and gardens, Parc Montsouris. It's good to know that the Parisians have dedicated a park to mountain mice.

storm

Jun. 28th, 2017 10:16 am
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We’re not built to withstand the storm.
We change every time we survive a crisis.
We are shuffled to one side into a new person after every intensity.
Now that we know that:
(We lack a center
that every test changes us and doesn't cement our certainty
that every crucible merely rearranges our atoms
and doesn't refine us to a more concentrated particulate)
We avoid the situations.
We no longer seek the prow in a storm.
We suffer from survivor’s guilt on a genealogical scale.
A humanity-wide scale.
And it feels like the only antidote to the horror is ignorance.
The inability to affect real meaningful change causes the need for a form of permanent hibernation.
A chrysalis of affected indifference that will never butterfly.
An act.
And we lack the strength of character to choose otherwise.
Our tears are a drink for some.
Our failure is hated by most.
And we are getting weaker, both with age the knowledge that they're right to feel the way they do.
So we choose to become shadow.
To be in the current of the river.
To live beneath the notice of the pure of heart.
We have a lack of purity now.
We are not deeply polluted. We are not rotten.
But we are no longer pure.
Our insides are not dirty but we can no longer ride certainty to a goal.
Our focus always has a reason for plus or minus.
We have thrown ourselves against life's wall and it has appreciated it.
Like a laughing Viking.
We feel like we can no longer be instrumental.
We pass the torch by giving away our fire.



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Seen on my timeline

Jun. 28th, 2017 12:41 pm
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Note: link leads to facebook.

[added: link nuked due to pay issues and reaction to questions about pay]

Lindy Mechefske posts
Thrilled to be working with Ruth Wood on an anthology of transgender stories. We are interested in stories from anyone under the transgender umbrella as well as stories from the people close to them. We are looking for stories from people anywhere in the world so please share this widely. Submission details below.
PLEASE SHARE WIDELY! Read more... )

Fig and Ibid on their current home

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:31 pm
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Fig thinks everything is the best thing ever, especially the completely adorable orange cat. Who would like the stranger to stop gazing affectionately at him.

Ibid, on the other hand, won't come out from behind the toilet.

Bundle of Holding: Mutant Chronicles

Jun. 27th, 2017 04:55 pm
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Freelancer! From the distant future the Factions bring you our Mutant Chronicles Bundle featuring the 2015 Third Edition of Mutant Chronicles, the dieselpunk techno-fantasy RPG of future darkness from Modiphius Entertainment. With its fast-playing, cinematic "2d20" system designed by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire), Mutant Chronicles 3E is a thrill ride across a Solar System beset by megacorporate intrigue and the invasion of a terrible alien force.

Local news

Jun. 26th, 2017 10:34 pm
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Mosque approved despite pleas to think of the little turtles and an odd assertion that the mosque would produce more sewage than "normal " spiritual use.

The exgf's cats meet Fig

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:42 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Ibid has a ... troubled history with Nigel so we're holding off on that.

No histrionics but somehow Rufus established himself as a cat Fig needs not to annoy, whereas Nigel is someone Fig will happily follow around.

Also, Fig made himself sick eating daisies, then tried to eat one again.
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I finally found out where I misshelved this.

(no idea what review series I can fit it into)


Dumb Calibre/Kobo question

Jun. 26th, 2017 03:20 pm
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I can see my Kobo has about 300 more titles on it than my laptop Calibre does (because I got the Kobo well before the laptop). How do I move the titles that are on the Kobo to Calibre?
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One issue: I really suck at giving people their free reviews. Would appreciate pointers on how to suck less.

Free comic book collection

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:34 am
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There is an interested party. Will update if this changes.

Jasmine's closets are filled with the late MV's comic collection. She's been trying to find home for the 30 cartons of comics for the last decade. If anyone would like them, they are free for the picking up (in bulk, not piece meal. Sorry.).

If she cannot find a taker in the next week, they are going out to recycling.

Please contact me here or at jdnicoll at panix dot com for more details.

Clarification: you can take individual boxes if you like. You just cannot take individual issues.

L'esprit d'escaliers

Jun. 26th, 2017 07:06 am
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Half of my life is conversations I was too afraid to have
Conversations I rehearse even though the moment to have them has long passed
Once in a while I get it right
I say what needs to be said
When it needs to be said

But sometimes
When I'm alone
I tell
The walls
That I love them
In clear ways that can't be misinterpreted
or
I am articulately angry at
Deserving people
Mute people
Shocked into silence by my eloquence and given insight by my clarity
A fantasy world
Of triumphs
Of clear communication
Of victories leading to victories
That make my real wins
My here-in-the-flesh successes
Fade
These conversations ghosts are powerful and sway reality
Much more than they should
And I can't decide if they are wise
Or stupid
Fuel for my engine
Or sugar in my gas tank



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the path

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:33 pm
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There used to be a trail
Through the woods
A shortcut I took often as a child
A shortcut I reveled in
A shortcut I made long in my memory
Long with dawdling, running, swinging from branches, climbing.
Deviating off the grid in transit
A right turn off the street through some bushes and through into
Emerald trees jungling thickly with summer, translucent leaves dappling sunlight through a thousand feathering gateways, letting almost no light touch the ground
Multicolored patchwork autumn fireworks, stinking of death and rot but somehow more alive that ever.
Through quiet black fingers reaching up through winter's white ground, my footfalls muffled into silence
And spring's teases of young life exploring renewal

There used to be a trail here
And now it's gone
Now, at this spot, it's only forest by the road and there is no path
Overgrown with disuse
Or maybe I just can't
See it
Anymore



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