Monday, February 25, 2013

Song of the Moment

This one shuffled up on my trip home this afternoon.  It takes me back quite a way...
"Find a way to my heart, and I will always be with you."

Quote of the Moment

"Every time you tip Chuck Norris kicks a Justin Beiber fan in the face." — on a jar at the bar in a Banner Elk restaurant.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It was the Dawn of the Third Age of Mankind...

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the airing of Babylon 5: The Gathering. I don't have time today to go into what the show meant (and means) for me. I will just say that it remains the best American serial sci-fi epic I have seen. And my e-mails still say "faith manages" at the bottom.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brightshadow Memos: Deflection

We are happy to report another successful outcome. The energy impulse projections were spot on, and the deflection operation went without any major problems. Of course, as you have seen, there was one unintended wrinkle due to the composition of the asteroid, but no major damage occurred, and we will continue to develop the systems to allow the greater focus needed to prevent such fragmentation.

General media reports on the asteroid have followed the other "near miss" patterns we have seen, and though there was some note of the record-setting closeness, there was no call for alarm at any time. They also completely discounted the meteoric impact from the asteroid fragment as unrelated.

As for the rumor going around the local office about the fragment deliberately targeting Russia, I can assure you that story was just Vasily trying to get a rise out of some of the old-guard folks. We do not have that sort of fine control over the effects in any case. We will of course, continue to work on it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Some days...

Some days the job feels like a slog. Endless details, oppressive ambiguity, the never-ending cycle. When you stare into the face of the problem-of-the-moment, and see the easy way to just make it go away... and you don't do it.  You hunt for the deeper solution, the elegance you know is there if you can find it... and then the clouds part and it's right there.

Yeah, it's all about that moment.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bookworming: The Weird

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, Jeff VanderMeer, ***
This anthology is an overview of "weird fiction", and it is quite the tome. It was my 2012 selection for something to read during October. I neglected to take into account its sheer size. As with most anthologies, there were stories that I took to and those that I didn't care for. Most of the works fall squarely into the horror realm, though not all of them. It contains stories from the famous masters, from King to Lovecraft, and to its credit several authors from countries outside the usual American/European axis. Generally good reading, but often quite heavy going as the weird by its nature requires something of a deliberate pace.

I am not educated enough to speak to how comprehensive an overview of its chosen mode it provides, but it certainly has a good selection of authors to choose from, with enough different story types that you will likely find something you have not encountered before. The one caveat I have is this: it lives up to the subtitle. This is dark, often unsettling (or unsettled) stuff. It took me months to finish for much the same reason I can't marathon episodes of the original "The Twilight Zone". It's heavy reading. Which, I suppose, is rather the point.