Make Up a Guy
Charlie's Diary
by qntm
3w ago
Then Bioy Casares recalled that one of the heresiarchs of Uqbar had declared that mirrors and copulation are abominable, because they increase the number of men. — "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", Jorge Luis Borges, tr. James E. Irby the guymaker is a chaotic diety. with the ability to create human-like "guys" i could do something productive but instead I choose to make weird people who I get to watch do weird things. there is rarely an agenda behind any given guy other than "heh. funny" — Twitter user @makeupaguy Imagine that you could push a button and create a new person. Or imagine that y ..read more
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New guest blogger: qntm
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
3w ago
My first new year's resolution for 2023 is to start inviting guest bloggers to post on my blog again—I slackened off after 2018—so here we are! First up in 2023 is qntm. He self-describes thuswise: qntm has been writing science fiction for most of this millennium. He has self-published five books so far, the first four of which are novel-length serials originally born on the web. Ed, Fine Structure and Ra were first posted on the persistently uncategorisable mid-2000s Web 2.0 project, Everything2. There Is No Antimemetics Division originated as a series of tales set in the collaborative sci-f ..read more
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WTF
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
1M ago
I thought I was unshockable. But if this is real—I think it's most likely a hilariously bleak piece of internet satire, but there's an outside chance it's what it says it is—well, I don't want live in a world where there is a real market for this kind of thing. Anyway, I present to you: The Billionaire Bone Bureau. PS: they advertise on Twitter. PPS: my fingers are itching to write them into a horror story, but only if it's confirmed as real. I mean, you just know supplying them is a profit centre for the Wagner Group, right? (What's your most shocking find on the internet? No limits ..read more
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Decision Fatigue
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
2M ago
Trying to keep up with the news this month is hard. Trying to derive patterns from the news in order to blog about them coherently? Even harder, leading to decision fatigue—but I'm going to have a stab at it ... The big buried lede of the past decade is that authoritarian conservatives network internationally as pervasively as the soi-disant "international communism" they railed against from the 1920s through the 1960s. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine it's become glaringly clear that authoritarianism is the preferred governmental mode of petrochemical resource extraction economies (money ..read more
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Strong and Stable!
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
3M ago
(I'm going to be quiet on the blog for a while: recovering from COVID and I have to check the page proofs to Season of Skulls in the next couple of weeks. SoS is on track for publication in May next year, so at least something is going right ...) So, La Trussterfuck's career is approximately over. At 45 days, she's the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British parliamentary history; she's been in and out of office so fast there hasn't even been time for an episode of Doctor Who to air during her tenure (caveat: there's a Doctor Who special due this Sunday and she's not out-out until they elec ..read more
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Chicon 8 schedule
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
5M ago
Next month I'll be attending Chicon 8, the worldcon, my first overseas SF convention since September 2019, right before COVID19! It'll also be my first SF convention on US soil—and first book signing there—since February 2017. Here's my draft schedule, by convention day. Thursday, 1 September Table Talk, 1pm, Crystal Foyer This is what they're doing instead of Kaffeeklatsches/literary beers these days (masking is mandatory at Chicon 8, for obvious reasons) Panel: Beyond our Assumptions, 5:30pm, Randolph 2 Human-built systems, such as capitalism, are neither immortal, nor inescapable. SFF o ..read more
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Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
8M ago
It's been a long time—a couple of years—since I last posted a blog entry describing a book I will not write, because mostly I either wrote them or I just stopped having so many wasteful ideas. But I had a mild case of COVID19 in late May ("mild" belongs in scare quotes; it kicked my ass worse than influenza, and the lingering gastric effects are horrible, but I didn't need antivirals or hospital treatment, so yay vaccines?), and I downed tools and haven't gotten back to work yet, which is annoying to me but continuing an existing project while cognitively impaired is a really bad idea. (You ge ..read more
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The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
9M ago
(In other news, I finally send off the novel manuscript I've been working on for the past 18 months. Taking a couple of days off before getting back to work on a novella I started in 2014 ...) (Disclaimer: money is a proxy for control or power. I'm focussing on money rather than political leverage only because it's quantifiable.) To you and me, a billion dollars sounds like a lot of money. It's on the order of what I (at peak earning capacity) would earn in 10,000 years. Give me just $10M and I could comfortably retire and live off interest and some judicious siphoning of capital for the rest ..read more
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Hugos, 2022
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
10M ago
The Merchant Princes series is on the shortlist for the Hugo Award for best series, winner to be announced at Chicon 8, the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, this September 1st-5th. I'd like to congratulate all the nominees, in all the various categories: the full list is here. For the first three omnibus books in the Merchant Princes series, you can do worse than start here; for the Empire Games trilogy—originally pitched as Merchant Princes: The Next Generation—you can find it here. (Links go to Amazon ebook format, US store: you can find 'em elsewhere, in the UK and EU as well ..read more
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Bad news day
Charlie's Diary
by Charlie Stross
1y ago
Russia invades Ukraine; need I say any more? Well, yes: Vladimir Putin is 69 and rumours last year suggested he'd been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He's been the Russian Federation's Prime Minister or President for 23 years, and high office combined with executive power tends to drive office-holders completely out of touch with external reality in about a decade. I'm also going to note that Putin's politics seems to echo a bunch of ethnonationalist tropes from Aleksandr Dugin, a deeply dangerous ideologue who drank the Kool Aid Julius Evola was passing around. (Esoteric fascist neoreacti ..read more
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