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One for immortalradical and snowking both, I think: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. "Welcome to New London. The time is 2103 to 2104, and the game is afoot!". WITH ROBOT WATSON. Other Holmesian fun: a story at BBC Cult written by Kim Newman. EDIT: Jonathan Strahan points out that there are other Holmes stories on the site by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Paul Cornell, Christopher Fowler and Dominic Green.

karentraviss writes about respecting the reader: "Dissing popular and media fiction isn't just insulting to writers: it's actually contemptuous of the readers who buy it. Sneering at their choices tells them that they're too stupid to know any better.  If they were smarter, they'd know they should be reading Literature, or maybe they've tried and just couldn't manage it, poor sods." Charles Stross debates: "Every media tie-in book published is potentially one less book set in a universe of their own imagining by the author who wrote it.". matociquala has further comments, with reference to the geek hierarchy, here.

The mass market paperback edition of City of Saints and Madmen has a different cover to the hardback/trade edition. I don't like it so much.

24 season 4 has started: "Who will the really big bad be? I don't know, but I'm hope hope hoping it's aliens. Jack Bauer vs aliens." I think we can all agree, that would be cool. There's a preview/trailer/mini episode thing set between seasons 3 and 4 to be found here. [via tizzle_b]

The Guardian reviews Graham Joyce's new novel, The Limits of Enchatment. "The Limits of Enchantment is an intricate, involving dramatisation of a battle in English history that still continues today, just about, although there now seems to be hardly any doubt about the winner: the conflict between folk wisdom and modern science. [...] This remarkable novel should scoop Joyce out of the dusty corners of bookshops and introduce his work to a much wider readership." Also in review, less favourably: Belle de Jour's book.

An article about 'Feral Cities' from the Naval War College Review. "Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles. Once a vital component in a national economy, this sprawling urban environment is now a vast collection of blighted buildings, an immense petri dish of both ancient and new diseases, a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power..." [via Matt Cheney]

The best thing to come out of the great LJ blackout of 2005.
> Sneering at their choices tells them that they're too stupid to know any better.

And this is wrong how exactly?

It is done because it is easy. It produces books which sell. It does not produce books which are great works of art. It is classic high brow low brow argument. Can I be bothered to read Karen's argument? no
And this is wrong how exactly?

Well, it makes you sound like a twat for one. It's just replicating people who say SF cannot produce great works of art, only you're using different values of brow. Go you!
It's not clear to me that producing a really good work of 'popular' art is any easier or simpler than producing a really good work of 'literary' art. Are you saying that it is?

It's also not clear to me that a really good work of 'popular' art is inherently less meaningful than a really good work of 'literary' art. It may tackle more universal themes, but that doesn't make them lesser.

I think in most cases, it's mostly in the execution. It's quite possible to have brain-meltingly bad popular fiction (*cough*TheDaVinciCode*cough*), but then it's quite possible to have brain-meltingly bad literary fiction. It's a difference of subject, and possibly degree, not quality.
24 Season Four has started? But it's not allowed to!

I'm only half way through season three!
Watch faster! :p
Its starting on Sky One at the end of this month, if you have that. Better do some 24 evening :-D
The best thing to come out of the great LJ blackout of 2005.

I remember another filk created with that song. It had something to do with Lindsay's pants in it.

... I don't want to know!

(Though let's face it, there are probably others around here who do.)
Interesting, makes me want to reiterate a recommendation for Ghost in the Shell 2 for obvious reasons (well, it'll be obvious if you watch the film).

While they make mention of Mogadishu, and Mexico City, and Jo-burg ... it's fascinating to see they make no mention of Sarajevo. Seems to me that whilst Sarajevo might not be the metropolis they had in mind, it is a very modern example of how something as local as a street fight can magnify regionally, and draw in global interests...and is perhaps an example of what can work.

I suppose the alternative method for dealing with a 'rogue city' would be Russia's approach to Grozny. :-/
The other thought, of course ... Macleod's Star Fraction and its ilk...
8). When i saw that link, i knew a post from you couldn't be far away. Zac, you are a stone cold speculative geopolitics whore, and you know it.

To expand on Zac's point about Mogadishu, though - no government, 150 Mb/s to the kerb (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4020259.stm) (although it's probably a facto for kb/s; still, not bad).

One error i have to correct, though - the article states that "Nor is urban pollution anything new — London was environmentally toxic in the 1960s". Please! London has been environmentally toxic since the mid 19th century!

Overall, i love the article. It has essentially no bearing on the US military, and particularly not the navy (the points they come up with are more or less completely specious). It's painfully obvious that the author is just a huge cyberpunk fanboy, and wanted to write an article seriously suggesting that urban deimotopias could actually emerge - cool! He's virtually wetting himself over the "subterranean spaces". The disproportionately short length of the 'Feral cities and the US military' section makes me wonder if it wasn't stuck in to replace something else, something the author had put some effort into, but which the editor considered unpublishable - i suspect either cybernetically enhanced urban elite troops, or else flesh-camouflaged infiltration androids.

-- tom
Re: 'Feral Cities' by Anonymous :: Expand
Dissing popular and media fiction isn't just insulting to writers: it's actually contemptuous of the readers who buy it. Sneering at their choices tells them that they're too stupid to know any better.

Of course. And the reason is because this is a fact. Very disappoiting to read this from a writer who seemed quote interesting.
Reading some of the posters in karentraviss's discussion thread, I was reminded of the sort of inverted snobbery that some folk have that means they almost have to believe they're being looked down on. Reminded, in fact, of the media fans who either didn't come to, or didn't enjoy, the "-asm" series of cons we ran in the early nineties because they were convinced that we were a bunch of horrid fannish literary types and they'd be Looked Down Upon Just Because.

And then, of course, I come back to this thread later on and see alexmc and ninebelowdoing exactly that....
I have a right to sneer at people's reading choices and they have a right not to give a shit. If this keeps them away from cons then Christ knows how they cope in the real world.

I don't spend my life going round sneering at people but that is exactly the response Traviss's inane piece engenders. Some books are better than others. Get over it.
Sneering at their choices tells them that they're too stupid to know any better.

The most ridiculous thing about that article, imho, is this entire concept that people's reading choices need to be respected by others. What for? Respect your own choices, or don't, and leave other people out of what is essentially a personal predilections and a private activity.

I don't care if people diss what I am reading, I don't care if people think I am wasting my time by reading sf, or poetry, or politics.....and I don't expect them to get all excited and reverential over my choice of reading material either. But at the same time, don't tell me that I can't judge the books I read - if I have spent a certain number of hours on a book, it is my right to discuss it, provided I wish to discuss it. And to say that I cannot say nasty things about a book I found ghastly, just to ensure that some unknown fan somewhere doesn't feel slighted, well, that is a gross infringement of my freedom of speech and expression.....After all, I am not sitting here and bleating that they all have to love what I love, otherwise they are offending me/sneering at me....