Still a bit rough around the edges, but my Gemini conversion for my Les Misérables …

Still a bit rough around the edges, but my Gemini conversion for my Les Misérables commentary is up! The blog is now available both on the web and via Gemini.

It features commentary from two full read-throughs (in different translations) plus reviews of movie, stage, radio and comic adaptations.

Gemini: Re-Reading Les Misérables
Web: Re-Reading Les Misérables

#books #gemini #LesMiserables #LesMis #gemlog

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New round of #introductions for all the new people joining the Fediverse!Hi, I’m Kelson …

New round of for all the new people joining the Fediverse!

Hi, I’m Kelson (he/him), a computer programmer in the Los Angeles area. I talk about all kinds of things here: /#fantasy, , actual , , , , random day-to-day stuff, etc.

I also post photos – mostly cityscapes/landscapes, nature, random interesting stuff I’ve spotted IRL – on Pixelfed (@KelsonV) and more “serious” photos on photog.social (@kelsonv)

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Balooon-based floating telecom relays always make me think of an element in Robert Charles Wilson’s “Spin”

Balooon-based floating telecom relays always make me think of an element in Robert Charles Wilson’s sci-fi novel, “Spin,” in which a mysterious membrane appears around earth that drastically slows down time inside. (A simulated sun maintains the day/night cycle) This effectively cuts the world off from outer space, including orbiting satellites. The world settles on high-altitude balloons as a replacement.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/internet/internet-balloons-and-drones-look-to-rise-in-the-5g-era

#telecom #books #scifi

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It’s a really interesting book, especially once people realize that they can still launch probes or spacecraft out, just can’t receive any transmissions back. And when they realize that they can take advantage of the different rates of time on Earth vs. outside.

There are two sequels, Axis and Vortex, which are very different. Worth a read, but I think Spin was the best of the three.

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@hafnia Yeah, they had some interesting ideas – the chain of worlds, the floating civilizations, the different ways of linking people together cybernetically – but IMO the stories weren’t anywhere near as good.

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The Les Miserables Reading Companion podcast has gotten to the infamous chapter on the Paris sewers.

The Les Miserables Reading Companion podcast @readlesmispod@twitter.com has gotten to the infamous chapter on the Paris sewers. There’s a surprising amount of political context that contemporary readers would have caught.

https://readlesmis.libsyn.com/ep50-v2-human-waste

#LesMiserables #LesMis #books

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On Twitter

Dark Forest spoilers (3/4 through)

Fascinating as the Year 200 setting has been up to this point, the naivete & overconfidence has been maddening.

You *know* the enemy has vastly superior technology & knows way more about physics than you do. You don’t send your entire fleet to intercept one ship that you’ve decided is harmless based on the fact that *your tech* couldn’t be destructive enough based on *your* knowledge of physics.

#books #DarkForest #amReading

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Awakened hibernators seem to be more…paranoid? Cautious? Perceptive?

I guess the idea is that those who grew up in this era figure humanity has already faced the Great Ravine, we can face *anything*, while those who lived earlier don’t have that overconfidence.

Or maybe the Imprinted tech is out there, the polarity fixed, and in wider use than anyone thought.

But it’s still been frustrating pages & pages of “when will the big dummies figure it out?”

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Oh wow: Colleen Doran adapts Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples.”If you haven’t heard of …

Oh wow: Colleen Doran adapts Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples.”

If you haven’t heard of the short story, it reverses the Snow White/evil queen tale into one where the new queen is desperately trying to protect her kingdom from her evil stepdaughter.

Think of other legends that involve pale skin and cutting out hearts…

#comics #horror #books

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Each time I’ve read Les Misérables, I’ve had a greater appreciation for the chapter on …

Each time I’ve read Les Misérables, I’ve had a greater appreciation for the chapter on argot. The first time I skipped it. The second time I decided I hadn’t missed much. The third time I could see what Hugo was doing thematically:

https://www.hyperborea.org/les-mis/book/slang/

The latest episode of the Les Mis Reading Companion is on that chapter, and they give it even more context, illustrating how language can be used for gatekeeping…or rebellion. https://readlesmis.libsyn.com/ep39-iv7i-iv-argot

#books #linguistics #LesMiserables

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A Wheel of Time TV adaptation is finally happening!

A Wheel of Time TV adaptation is finally happening!

TV is definitely the format for it – it’s too sprawling for movies. And unlike another epic fantasy series I can think of, the story’s already done. (Early GoT convinced me that this sort of thing *could* be done on TV)

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/2/17928400/amazon-video-robert-jordan-wheel-of-time-neil-gaiman

#books #fantasy #WheelOfTime #TV

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I probably should’ve posted that here, but I’m never quite sure where to post stuff that overlaps topics (like TV adaptations of books).

Anyway, I really hope this turns out to be good. My wife & I have talked on many occasions about which books might make full seasons or half-seasons or should be interleaved if someone did a GoT-style TV adaptation.

And casting… OMG we were fan-casting back when the Buffy cast were in the right age range.

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I don’t plan on re-reading the series at this point, though. 14 looooong books that I’ve read already (and of which the middle four were…well, middling). I’d rather take that time to read something new, or re-read something shorter, or both.

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Finished reading Night and Silence, the latest October Daye book by Seanan McGuire. Toby’s family …

Finished reading Night and Silence, the latest October Daye book by Seanan McGuire. Toby’s family keeps getting more and more complicated. And I’m concerned about the consequences of one character’s last-ditch rescue effort.

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I found this old post I wrote on how Marvel or DC would have milked Lord of the Rings…

I found this old post I wrote on how Marvel or DC would have milked Lord of the Rings as an “event” comic book, with tie-ins, spin-offs, and character spotlights…

…and realized it’s not that far off from what the Hobbit movies actually *did*.

What If…Lord of the Rings had been an “Event” Comic?

#comics #LOTR #LordOfTheRings #books #fantasy

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Three-Body Problem ch 22

I don’t quite buy the game as a recruiting tool.

They’re supposedly all about replacing human society with the aliens’ (one way or another), but the game doesn’t tell you much about that society except that it’s persistent, can hibernate for eons, and coming for us.

It conveys key facts about their environment and biology, but doesn’t present a culture to emulate. Unless it’s in the chapters Wang misses?

#SFFBookClub #ThreeBodyProblem #AmReading #books

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Or is the vagueness itself part of the appeal? Anyone dissatisfied with the world as it is can project their own ideals onto the aliens?

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I love the idea of using NPCs to simulate a computer in-game. It reminds me …

I love the idea of using NPCs to simulate a computer in-game. It reminds me of the working CPU models made in Minecraft with redstone, except more creative because NPCs aren’t designed for circuitry.

I also like the way the author mixes up the narrative structure, with documents, a personal statement, and of course the game interspersed with the regular narration.

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Now that I’ve gotten through another cycle of the VR game story, it’s become more …

Now that I’ve gotten through another cycle of the VR game story, it’s become more intriguing. Presumably we’re going to work through a bunch of cosmological models as it goes on.

I’m also really curious as to how the trick with the cosmic background radiation is supposed to have been managed.

And of course, is the countdown really leading to something, or is it, as Shi suggests, just a way to mess with Wang’s head?

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Three-Body Problem ch5-7

Three-Body Problem ch5-7:

The mystery, the questions about the nature of fundamental laws of physics (i.e. are they actually fundamental?), and the countdown have all been fascinating.

I’m up to the introduction of the VR game that lends its name to the title, and for the first time I feel like the story is getting bogged down.

I know it’s symbolic. I figure it’s a way to get ideas across to the players without discussing them openly. But it’s still dragging.

#sffbookclub #amreading #books

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I find it bizarre that a book that criticized excesses of capitalism would have been …

Three-Body problem ch1-2, Silent Spring:

I find it bizarre that a book that criticized excesses of capitalism would have been characterized as counter-revolutionary, capitalist propaganda.

But of course both capitalism and communism are quite capable of environmental destruction. Rapacious state, corporation, or individual, it’s a universal human failing, like the image of an iceberg in the ocean that Wenjie imagines, independent of ideology.

#sffbookclub #environment #amreading #books

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To clarify: I don’t disbelieve it. I would not at all be surprised if it had actually been portrayed this way, particularly knowing China’s environmental record.

I’m just saying it’s a weird contradiction. One more thing I have to wrap my mind around to read a story set during the cultural revolution.

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Finished re-reading Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire. Imagine all the hitchiking ghost stories you’ve …

Finished re-reading Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire. Imagine all the hitchiking ghost stories you’ve heard are true, and they travel the ghosts of long-dead highways.

It’s told episodically as a collection of stories about the same ghost, what she does, how she died, and her quest to stop her killer.

It made me think about the difference between a horror story and a ghost story. I don’t like horror much, but I do usually enjoy ghost stories quite a bit.

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I realized why Sparrow Hill Road is taking longer than I expected to read, even …

I realized why Sparrow Hill Road is taking longer than I expected to read, even though it feels like it’s going quickly: because it’s structured as a series of related, but complete ghost stories, I hit a breaking point part way through my lunch hour instead of continuing to read as much as I can until I need to get back to work. I’m probably reading 2/3 as much each session as I would otherwise.

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Hello, my name is Kelson. I’m a computer programmer in the Los Angeles area…

#reintroductions #introductions Hello, my name is Kelson. I’m a computer programmer in the #LosAngeles area. I like #scifi, #fantasy & #comics (behind on a lot, keeping up w/ #TheFlash, Saga & #JessicaJones). I tend to talk about #webdevelopment and #tech, and I still have a #blog.

I also talk about #books at @KelsonReads (currently reading Sparrow Hill Road) & post scenic #photography at @kelsonv

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I don’t remember where I saw the link (might have been here, but I thought …

I don’t remember where I saw the link (might have been here, but I thought I’d share it in case it was somewhere else), but this is an interesting article on China’s SETI efforts and historical clash of civilizations through the lens of Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem and its sequels.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/what-happens-if-china-makes-first-contact/544131/

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