May 7th, 2005

Boss Coffee

Five kinds of weird.

China Mieville's Perdido Street Station is a seriously weird book. Mieville apparently regards it as fantasy, and in some ways it reads as fantasy, but it could also be considered science fiction. Enough stuffing the story into a pigeonhole, though. The story could be considered a quest, but there's a lot more going on than that. Anime fans will recognize a lot of familiar tropes: the corrupt, vicious and yet bumbling government, the blending of science and magic together so you can't really tell where one picks up and the other leaves off, to name the major ones that jump right out at you. I was also reminded of M. John Harrison's The Centauri Device, which likewise depicts a group of antiheroes engaged in apocalyptic struggle in a seedy, grimy, nasty universe the likes of which are seldom seen in American SF. That having been said, the story is gripping and horrific, with desperate measures and super-science being employed on a scale that would have had Doc Savage and Blackie DuQuesne alike nodding in approval.

I'm going to have to keep an eye out for Mieville's other stuff. New Crobuzon is an ugly, ugly city, but there's some awesome stories going on there.
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Home hardware update

I have given up the P-Machine for dead; all that remains now is to extract the hard drive and stick it in an external case so the Killer Satellite of Love (the old Toshiba laptop) can access it. Of course, that won't solve the printer problem...the KSoL refuses to see the Laserjet through the USB ports and stubbornly keeps trying to shovel print out the normal printer port...which has nothing hooked into it. Stupid Win98. I'm almost tempted to install Win2K Pro onto the KSoL but I'm afraid that would cause more problems than it would solve at this point. In addition to the printer weirdness, the floppy drive is apparenrtly shot and it looks like either the speakers or the soundcard went the way of the screen. Oh, well, it types, it posts to LJ, everything else is bullshit. ^^
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