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Monday Madness

I'm pleased to report that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have completed their (always delicate) cranial-rectal extraction operation. (Hat tip John Scalzi). For those not following the brouhaha, Andrew Burt decisively lost his bid to be President of the organization.

In other news, I finished reading Chris Roberson's latest novel, The Dragon's Nine Sons. It's a retelling of the "Dirty Dozen" movie, set in an alternate future where the Chinese Empire and the Aztec-based Mexica Dominion control the world and are at war with each other. The novel's interesting enough, and the alternate history is fascinating. However, I do have a problem - in the book, all Mexica technology requires a human sacrifice to start. Various sensors and sacrificial altars are hard-wired into the equipment.

I grant that the Aztecs were pretty damn bloodthirsty, and enjoyed sacrifice, but this setup is entirely too impractical. Nor is it really needed to advance the plot. But in the grand scheme of things, it's a quibble with an otherwise entertaining book.

Word Count for Space Rescue
Complete (46,281) Goal (80,000)
57.85% complete
Since Last Post = 3,000 words

Things accomplished in fiction: the plan has been explained, and has become the first casualty of war. Funny how that happens.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
baron_waste
Apr. 28th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)

Imagine a culture that would regard our use of keys to start equipment like tractors and forklifts and cars and elevators to be equally weird. You get in, or sit down, and start it up! What's with the funny-shaped sliver of metal? Oh, well, it's necessary to make sure evildoers don't do evil with the equipment. Right. Isn't that where we came in?

bdunbar
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
I found it interesting that military equipment does not require a key to start.

This is sensible - who wants to find out you can't start your tank just because Private Schmuck dropped the keys in the mud - but startling at first.

In terms of 'evil' you could probably do more with an M1A1 and my '97 Escort.
chris_gerrib
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
Naval warships don't require keys to start, nor do commercial airliners.
bdunbar
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
Naval warships don't require keys to start

Man - I thought the CPO in charge of the mess aboard the Fairfax County was irate over missing _forks_, I can imagine a guy like that blowing a gasket because the keys to the ship were missing.

FWIW - after he got to berate 300 Marines over missing flatware and threaten our liberty ... turns out one of his guys had stolen the damn things. He didn't take the ribbing and the kidding very well the next day.
bdunbar
Apr. 28th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
in the book, all Mexica technology requires a human sacrifice to start. Various sensors and sacrificial altars are hard-wired into the equipment.

Wow.

And I thought we had inventory problems at the plant - imagine JIT when the key component is a live person?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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