Jun
09
2018
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Book of the Week: The Magic Goes Away.

Larry Niven’s The Magic Goes Away is an extended metaphor for resource depletion, seen through the lens of 1970s-1980s environmental pessimism, of course.  This much is known. But it will still be taught in literature classes a hundred years from now, while other suchlike metaphors have been justly exiled to the dusty hells of graduate thesis footnotes, because Larry Niven can in fact write.  Not to be impolite, but there are authors out there who seem to favor other qualities above the ability to write well.  Not as many as I might like*, but they’re out there. (more…)

Apr
07
2017
3

Book of the Week: Dream Park.

I’m surprised that Larry Niven and Steven Barnes’ Dream Park hasn’t made the list yet.  It pushes the right buttons: near-future, filk singing, and LARPing as a competitive sport.  Good stuff, good stuff.  And the sequels don’t suck, either.

And so, adieu to The Deed of Paksenarrion. (more…)

Jan
25
2017
1

Arrival/Needful Things production team 21 Laps to do Larry Niven’s Inconstant Moon.

Oh, 2017. How much nicer you are to me than that last, horrid year was. From Hollywood Reporter:

After nabbing a spaceship’s worth of Oscar nominations for Arrival, Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps banner are jumping back into the elevated sci-fi drama genre.

Fox 2000 has preemptively picked up an untitled pitch that is based on Inconstant Moon, a short story written by Larry Niven, the author behind the sci-fi literary classic Ringworld.

(more…)

Aug
17
2015
4

Book of the Week: Ringworld.

I’m a little surprised that Ringworld hasn’t come up, yet. Maybe I’m assuming that those of you who are science fiction fans are all Niven fans already.  Anyway, it’s the best damn pastiche of the Wizard of Oz you’ll ever read.  No, seriously, Larry Niven himself has had this insight (WARNING: TV TROPES LINK).

And so, adieu to The High Crusade.

Jul
12
2010
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#rsrh Online Left, meet Niven’s Fifth Law.

It has long been my private contention that the intellectual Left’s stranglehold on academia has been a boon for the science fiction community: if you’re a lyric poet, an economist who takes Hayek seriously, and/or a historian who spits at the sight of any book with ‘People’s History’ in it, and you can write, there’s a place for you somewhere in the speculative fiction field.  I mention this not for any real reason except as an intro to the aforementioned Law by Larry Niven:

Psi and/or magical powers, if real, are nearly useless.

More specifically: this One Nation thing will not work for the same reason that the Brownbaggers didn’t work, or the Coffee Party didn’t work, or any of the other cargo-cult projects that the Left have embarked on to ‘counter’ the Tea Parties didn’t work.  It will not work because it is a cargo cult project: which is to say, it is an attempt to use the Law of Similarity by creating as many trappings of a populist movement as can be arranged, in the hopes that it will somehow attract actual populists.  In short, it is efffectively a magic spell.

And as Niven noted: if magic worked that well, society would be already using it to do things.

Moe Lane

PS: Yes, I understand that they have no choice in the matter: if they tried actually building a populist movement, the Left would rapidly run up against the problem that populist sentiment right now is pretty heavily anti-government interference – which is to say, anti-Left.  So what?  It’s not my fault that there are people out there who are emotionally invested in the big-government fallacy.

Nov
22
2009
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Book of the Week: Take Back Your Government.

This one via Instapundit, and I’ve heard of it in the past:Take Back Your Government, by Bob Heinlein. I’d say “Yes, the Bob Heinlein” – except that nobody would dare write under the same name. It’s a practical treatise on local electoral politics that I suspect a bunch of people would like to read right now.

And, it being Sunday, we say goodbye to Destroyer of Worlds.

Nov
15
2009
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Book of the Week: Destroyer of Worlds.

I was originally going to go with Going Rogue: An American Life, solely on the basis that I actually bought it (I typically ignore partisan political books); except that I’ve already slapped it up there on the sidebar and a nontrivial percentage of my readership doesn’t really give a damn.

So… Larry Niven’s Destroyer of Worlds, which replaces Lovecraft Unbound.

Moe Lane

Jul
12
2009
1

Book of the Week: Where the Deep Ones Are.

Yes. Where the Deep Ones Are is precisely what you think that it is.

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And this is why Ken Hite has a devoted following, and you should get him to write things for you.

Moe Lane

PS: Obviously, this replaces Juggler of Worlds.

Feb
28
2009
7

Tea Parties using Web 2.0 to organize, expand.

Yes, I used “Web 2.0” to describe something. Sue me.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers. I do actually have a suggested link for you, this time: a little project that you may or may not find amusing…

Instapundit linked to an article about the Tea Parties, and the tech that they’re using:

Anti-stimulus tea parties light up Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and social media

In the latest example of how user-produced media can capture so-called “massively-shared” events in a way mainstream media can’t, a wave of images, blog posts and videos from a nationwide protest has been washing across the Web. The protests, dubbed “tea parties” by participants, were held Friday in several U.S. cities including Portland and Washington, D.C. as a response to what demonstrators see as unfettered spending and encroaching government as represented by President Obama’s economic recovery plans.

[snip]

Though even a year ago it would’ve been a slow and difficult process to chronicle a widely scattered protest such as this, the online community is now mastering the art of high-speed media sharing, a trend that can unite geographically disparate communities via the Web. Much of the sharing is now facilitated by the fast-growing messaging site Twitter, where today the keyword “teaparty” was one of the most frequently used terms. Users sent out a flurry of updates about attendance, links to photos on Flickr and Photobucket, and videos on YouTube and other sites.

The protests appeared to be rather small and did not attract much coverage in the mainstream new media. But interested observers had a remote window into the activities taking place in cities such as Tulsa, Okla., Austin, Texas, Nashville, Chicago, Lansing, Mich., Houston, Hartford, Conn., and Los Angeles, where a group that gathered this morning on the Santa Monica pier. (This blog reports that, as a part of that action, former “Saturday Night Live” actor Victoria Jackson read the definition of “socialism”).

(more…)

Jan
23
2009
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At this rate, they’ll be doing something almost perceptible…

…to subatomic particles by the time that I’m dead:

Teleportation Milestone Achieved

Scientists have come a bit closer to achieving the “Star Trek” feat of teleportation. No one is galaxy-hopping, or even beaming people around, but for the first time, information has been teleported between two separate atoms across a distance of a meter – about a yard.

This is a significant milestone in a field known as quantum information processing, said Christopher Monroe of the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, who led the effort.

(more…)

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