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The Book of Na'Lon

or rather, Inane Ramblings of an Expatriot

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Abortive girlie shopping trip
I bought myself a pair of girlie pink trainers on Friday. I was very pleased with them and in the shop they felt so comfortable.

On Saturday, I tried them on again and realised that actually, they didn't fit at all. So I took them back to the shop. I looked around a few more shops to see if I couldn't find some other pink trainers that fitted, but no such luck.

Instead I bough myself season 2 of Dark Angel on DVD (for about half the price it usually is :-)), and I also bought the William Hurt mini series of Dune, which the Marquis and I have already watched. I rather liked it and was amazed that somehow they'd managed to make Paul Atreides marginally more sympathetic than in the book.
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Vernor Vinge has one of the all time fun alien species, including the wonderfully named Peregrine Wickwackrum. But Pham is incredibly irritating. In fact though I enjoyed "A fire upon the deep", by and large all the parts that weren't about the cool aliens were rather dull. I never bothered reading any more Vernor Vinge, because I was told to expect more Pham without any more of the fun alien species... The Tine are right up there with the hani and the atevi as my favourite aliens.

I would give A Deepness in the Sky a go. I didn't like the spiders as much as the Tines - but Viala liked them very much. There is more Pham, true, but there's also a lot of wonderful cool ideas in the book - including one of my all time favourites: "focus". Focus is a drug that basically makes people pathologically monomainiac - they focus on working on one obsession and lose all interest in other functioning and any of their previous relationships. When given to someone that's already talented at something, Focus makes them a genius programmer, translater or whatever, but they have to be fed and looked after by other staff as they won't do it for themselves. The book raises the interesting issue that whilst focus is a form of slavery, those under the influence of it feel very fullfilled.

Of course, "focus" is a very interesting exaggeration of RL geekish tendences. (And I would say therefore a neuroscientifically plausable drug! :eek).

I don't know why you would be able to relate to this concept.

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