August 11, 2016

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 9:50 am

…In our journeys from one end of the Gaean Reach to the other and, on occasion, Beyond, we discover nothing to indicate that the human race is everywhere and inevitably becoming more generous, tolerant, kindly and enlightened. Nothing whatever.

On the other hand, and this is the good news, it doesn’t seem to be getting any worse.

Jack Vance, Araminta Station

August 8, 2016

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 2:06 pm

When you can’t bear something but it goes on anyway, the person who survives isn’t you anymore; you’ve changed and become someone else, a new person, the one who did bear it after all.

Austin Grossman, Soon I Will Be Invincible

August 3, 2016

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 8:08 am

He laughed, then went on. “Musical notes do have at least one supernatural power. They can levitate, fly up through the air. Of course words can do that, too, but not as well.”

“How do you figure that?” she asked over her shoulder.

“From cartoons and comic strips,” he told her. “Words need balloons to hold them up, but notes just come flying out of the piano or whatever.”

Fritz Leiber, Our Lady of Darkness

June 15, 2016

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 8:53 am

The Earth spins about her axis with a surface velocity of close to a thousand miles an hour at the equator, which translates to about sixteen miles per minute or a quarter mile per second. The Earth also revolves around the sun at a velocity of approximately eighteen and a half miles per second.

But our sun, too, is moving, for our Milky Way Galaxy is rotating, and so the sun is carried around that galactic axis at the rate of about a hundred and fifty miles per second. Just as Earth’s motion about the sun is about seventy-five times as rapid as the motion of a spot on Earth’s surface about Earth’s own axis, the velocity of galactic rotation is about eight times as great as that. Yet even this is relatively insignificant. The known universe is expanding, so all matter is in motion with respect to Galactic Rest. In that sense, we are traveling at approximately half the speed of light, or ninety thousand miles per second.

Piers Anthony, Bearing an Hourglass

May 18, 2016

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 9:14 am

You may need a bit of adjustment, but it’s nothing serious,” the doctor said, after listening to his lengthy narrative.
“Nothing serious?” Luo Ji opened his bloodshot eyes wide. “I’m madly in love with a fictional person from a novel of my own creation. I’ve been with her, I’ve traveled with her, and I’ve even broken up with my real-life girlfriend over her. Is that nothing serious to you?”
The doctor smiled tolerantly.
“Don’t you get it? I’ve given my most profound love to an illusion!”
“Are you under the impression that the object of everyone else’s love actually exists?”
“Is that even a question?”
“Sure. For the majority of people, what they love exists only in the imagination. The object of their love is not the man or woman of reality, but what he or she is like in their imagination. The person in reality is just a template used for the creation of this dream lover. Eventually, they find out the differences between their dream lover and the template. If they can get used to those differences, then they can be together. If not, they split up.

Cixin Liu, The Dark Forest

May 16, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jared @ 9:15 am

Without the fear of heights, there can be no appreciation for the beauty of high places.

Cixin Liu, The Dark Forest

April 5, 2016

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 5:20 pm

Most people, on waking up, accelerate through a quick panicky pre-consciousness check-up: who am I, where am I, who is he/she, good god, why am I cuddling a policeman’s helmet, what happened last night?

And this is because people are riddled by Doubt. It is the engine that drives them through their lives. It is the elastic band in the little model aeroplane of their soul, and they spend their time winding it up until it knots.

Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

December 2, 2015

Filed under: Killing time — Jared @ 8:31 am

I wouldn’t bother wasting time with the article itself but there is a nice list of decent short form hard science fiction at the bottom.



October 14, 2015

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 11:13 am

By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Filed under: Bits of books — Jared @ 11:06 am

Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,
unasked and unheeded.

Maya Angelo, Awaking in New York

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