Chat Log: September 4th, 2011

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[10:14] #knownspace> sean: On 9/2/2011 9:37 AM, Sean Sullivan wrote:
[10:14] #knownspace> sean: > Anybody we know there?
[10:14] #knownspace> sean: >
[10:14] #knownspace> sean: I don't know of any Niven Listers there, but I know about two dozen writers & probably twice that many steampunks that are there.
[10:18] #knownspace> sean: From Dan Hollifield
[10:18] #knownspace> sean: He lives about an hour outside of Cat-lanta.
[10:27] #knownspace> Akiraa: this saturday will be the monthly chat?
[10:27] #knownspace> sean: yep
[10:28] #knownspace> sean: xeno had asked about Dragon Con yesterday
[10:32] #knownspace> sean: Dan wandering into the room in a bit
[10:46] Dan has joined #knownspace
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[12:16] #knownspace> sean-: Playing with the ferret
[12:16] #knownspace> Dan: OK
[12:16] #knownspace> Dan: Trying to ID people in a Senior Class photo that's really too small to show enough details.
[12:17] #knownspace> sean-: We are at Julie's
[12:17] #knownspace> Dan: K
[12:20] #knownspace> sean-: Still have to take on fuel, get tennis balls and make a beer run
[12:20] #knownspace> Dan: Lyn was talking about sending me on a beer run before I get busy doing something I won't want to interrupt. :)
[12:37] #knownspace> sean-: well, gotta shut this laptop down and prep it for transport.
[12:38] #knownspace> Dan: K
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[13:36] #knownspace> NickE: greetings programmes
[13:36] #knownspace> Dan: Hiya!
[13:36] #knownspace> NickE: Hi dan
[13:37] #knownspace> NickE: will be AFk in a while during Dr Who (and dinner)
[13:38] #knownspace> NickE: how goes it?
[13:38] #knownspace> Dan: Not a problem. I'm looking forward to seeing tonight's Dr. Who, myself. Some friends will send me a copy about an hour after Confidential ends its broadcast. I usually watch the Confidentials first. :)
[13:39] #knownspace> NickE: well it has to be better than Torchwood, which has been frankly crap
[13:39] #knownspace> Dan: Ah well, my anthology of spaceport bar stories was rejected by the 1st publisher, but it will be submitted to another publisher soon.
[13:40] #knownspace> NickE: I'll always giv Who teh benefit of teh doubt
[13:40] #knownspace> NickE: AH, shame. Still I guess thats par for the course
[13:40] #knownspace> NickE: beb
[13:41] #knownspace> NickE: brb even (typing worse that usual today)
[13:41] #knownspace> Dan: I've been enjoying Torchwood, but it has been paced far to slow. I think the whole thing could have been done as 5 episodes in-arc, with 5 stand-alone episodes to space it out.
[13:43] #knownspace> Dan: Of course, England has the distinct advantage of seeing Torchwood without all the sex scenes that really derail the plot. :)
[13:44] #knownspace> NickE: 3 eps would have been about right IMO. It's stretched beyond belief iMO
[13:44] #knownspace> NickE: your kidding right. We get all the bloody sex in place of plot too!
[13:45] #knownspace> Dan: I'm not sure 3 would have done the concept justice, but that's neither here nor there. :)
[13:45] #knownspace> NickE: but the concept is just Death Takes a Holiday - but yeah, pacing seems to be the main complaint
[13:46] #knownspace> Dan: I thought the British editions had the sex cut out! We've had 2 eps that had extensive porn included.
[13:46] #knownspace> NickE: I got oissed off with teh whole season spolier trailer at teh end of ep 1
[13:47] #knownspace> NickE: 7 minutes of Jack bonking some bloke in teh 20s (yawn). BTW, you get the eps 6 days before we do
[13:48] #knownspace> Dan: I prefer the sex lives of characters in SF be implied & off-screen rather than wasting my time by showing me each shag & BJ.
[13:48] #knownspace> NickE: Torchwood always had teh sex, but it was mostly implied and occured off screen
[13:48] #knownspace> NickE: exactly
[13:48] #knownspace> NickE: wish theyd stuck to that. The way they are doing it now is just plain lazy
[13:49] #knownspace> NickE: precious little SF in this series anyway
[13:49] #knownspace> Dan: I would have edited out bot the hetro & homo sex. Quite frankly, give me plot development with a hint of romance.
[13:49] #knownspace> NickE: indeed
[13:51] #knownspace> NickE: doesn't bother me as such, but it ought to at least be relevant to teh story - this recent one was just another "one of Jacks ex lovers wants him dead" or at least captured. Been there, done that.
[13:51] #knownspace> Dan: But then, I've always found porn to be just a little bit boring.
[13:51] #knownspace> sean: Training films?
[13:52] #knownspace> NickE: depends what kind of training :-)
[13:52] #knownspace> sean: :0
[13:52] #knownspace> sean: so much for my control of the shift button
[13:53] #knownspace> Dan: Well, I did learn a lot from watching the lesbians forplay & such, but that was back in my 20s.
[13:53] #knownspace> sean: I have had exactly one sip of beer. this does not bode well.
[13:53] #knownspace> Dan: Take larger sips!
[13:54] #knownspace> NickE: kind of of the opinon taht if you want porn, it isn't exactly difficult to find. I object to being given soft porn in place of story when I'm effectively paying for it via licence fee
[13:54] #knownspace> Dan: Exactly, Nick!
[13:55] #knownspace> sean: I agree.
[13:55] #knownspace> NickE: debaing whethe to crack a beer toningt - had a bit of a wine head today (own fault :-)
[13:55] #knownspace> sean: with my giganews account, I can download any type of porn I want in minutes. Give me story
[13:55] #knownspace> NickE: I will probably weaken :-)
[13:56] #knownspace> Dan: However, I do admire that the porn industry has driven the development of so many modern technologies. :)
[13:56] #knownspace> sean: anybody know anyone at Dragon Con this year?
[13:56] #knownspace> NickE: hh
[13:56] #knownspace> NickE: heh
[13:56] #knownspace> NickE: yes
[13:56] #knownspace> sean: Xenovalent is there and was asking about possible hook ups
[13:56] #knownspace> NickE: many Signal mates there
[13:56] #knownspace> Dan: Indeed, but a full list would take a bit of research.
[13:57] #knownspace> NickE: faint possibility that I may make next years, but realy only faint (still paying fir 2010s!)
[13:57] #knownspace> Dan: Friends of mine are running the Alternate History Track, for instance.
[13:57] #knownspace> sean: Go to LibertyCon instead
[13:58] #knownspace> sean: Dan and I will be there
[13:58] #knownspace> NickE: no surprise :-) Had a look at teh programme - looks really good
[13:58] #knownspace> sean: as will Larry and Jerry
[13:58] #knownspace> Dan: Larry & Jerry will be there!
[13:58] #knownspace> NickE: ooh - but I may need to take son no. 2, so D*C may be the one he chooses (only possibility at the moment)
[13:59] #knownspace> Dan: My wife & I are regulars at LibertyCon, and low-level royalty at AnachroCon.
[13:59] #knownspace> NickE: nice
[14:00] #knownspace> Dan: We're just one tier below the Con Committee for AnachroCon.
[14:00] #knownspace> NickE: ok, will be AFK for a bit, Who is about to start. Back in a while.
[14:00] #knownspace> SeanS: I have tried to go twice and both times a fast rising river has kept me from going
[14:00] #knownspace> Dan: Enjoy, Nick!
[14:01] #knownspace> SeanS: I will download it later, Nick
[14:01] #knownspace> SeanS: Scheherazade provides.
[14:01] #knownspace> Dan: LOL!
[14:02] #knownspace> SeanS: thats who posts the Who eps I download to alt.binaries.drwho
[14:02] #knownspace> SeanS: isnt that a genie or something?
[14:03] #knownspace> Dan: Ah! The storyteller character from "1001 Arabian Noghts."
[14:03] #knownspace> Dan: Nights
[14:03] #knownspace> SeanS: I thought it was something like that
[14:04] #knownspace> Dan: Harem-girl & dancer for some Arabian sultan whose name escapes me.
[14:04] #knownspace> SeanS: Max is looking at me like 'Dad, I saw you pack the cooler. Grab your floppy hat and shades and throw ball for me
[14:04] #knownspace> SeanS: '
[14:04] #knownspace> Dan: It's been nearly 40 years since I read "1001 Nghts."
[14:04] #knownspace> SeanS: been a long time here as well
[14:06] #knownspace> Dan: My folks had a 10 volume set of classic liturature put out by the Collier's Encyclopedia people. Abridged & edited for kiddies, I know, but still quite a good set of stories.
[14:06] #knownspace> SeanS: I bet
[14:07] #knownspace> SeanS: my intro to sci-fi was my cousin's complete set of ee doc smith and all the Heinlein juveniles
[14:07] #knownspace> Dan: Every thing from Tom Sawyer to Saint George, with Grim's Fairy Tales & other stuff besides.
[14:08] #knownspace> Dan: Mine was Verne & Wells from the school library in 4th grade, & Tom Swift Jr. at home.
[14:08] #knownspace> SeanS: i read all of the lensman stuff then couldnt get into skylark. basically the same stuff
[14:08] #knownspace> SeanS: I should find a big anthology of Heinlein and make Evan read i
[14:09] #knownspace> SeanS: t
[14:09] #knownspace> Dan: I actually like Skylark more than the Lensman books, but then I like Campbell's version of moth even more. The Arcot, Wade, & Morrey stories.
[14:09] #knownspace> Dan: moth=both
[14:10] #knownspace> SeanS: I think if I had read skylark first i wouldnt of gotten into lensman
[14:11] #knownspace> Dan: I've got e-books of all the A,W, & M stories, but I first read them all as hardbacks from the college library back in '76 & '77.
[14:11] #knownspace> SeanS: how about the John Grimes books?
[14:12] #knownspace> Dan: Same time period that I bought the paperback reprints of the Skylark & Lensman books.
[14:12] #knownspace> Dan: Grimes? Don't recall those ATM.
[14:12] #knownspace> SeanS: by Bertram Chandler. the Rim stories
[14:13] #knownspace> Dan: Ah! I think I have only one of those in paperback on my shelves. Wasn't ABC one of the Lovecraft Circle writers as well?
[14:13] #knownspace> SeanS: not sure
[14:14] #knownspace> SeanS: OK, I have held up the lab long enough... too the water. Here be god
[14:14] #knownspace> Dan: Lovecraft had a big influence on lots of writers.
[14:15] #knownspace> Dan: Thanks. I'll try not to destroy humanity by fire or flood whle you're enjoying your day at the beach. LOL!
[14:16] #knownspace> SeanRiver: heh
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[14:32] #knownspace> Akiraa: would a closely-packed star cluster be a good background for scifi?
[14:32] #knownspace> Akiraa: a slower than light civ
[14:32] #knownspace> Akiraa: preferably human
[14:33] #knownspace> Lensman2: Asimov's "Fall of Night" was set in a star cluster. I'm sure there are other stories.
[14:33] #knownspace> Dan: Not really. Any cluster of stars packed close enough to make STL travel a reality would be setting off novas every few weeks.
[14:33] #knownspace> Akiraa: a tech level with fusion power at most
[14:33] #knownspace> Akiraa: so travel speeds no greater than 0.4c
[14:34] #knownspace> Akiraa: realistically, 0.1c
[14:34] #knownspace> Dan: Anything less than 1c leads to use only by generation ships, as I recall.
[14:34] #knownspace> Akiraa: well, a closely packed star cluster
[14:34] #knownspace> Akiraa: say 0.1 ly average distance
[14:35] #knownspace> Lensman2: But what's the minimum distance on stars? A light year? Half a light year? Still gonna be pretty slow travel between them. Of course, if you assume travel at near-lightspeed, then time dilation makes for relatively :) short trips. But the same can be said of stars farther apart, if you're traveling that close to lightspeed. At that point, the problem is that time is passing much faster...
[14:35] #knownspace> Akiraa: that's still 6.3K au
[14:35] #knownspace> Lensman2: ...for those on planets. Perhaps the travelers don't care, but commerce and business *do* care if your voyages are that slow.
[14:36] #knownspace> Akiraa: one year voyages between stars
[14:36] #knownspace> Dan: Well, look up the distances in our solar system as expressed in light-minutes, hours, & days to better estimate the distance between stars that you need for the story.
[14:36] #knownspace> Lensman2: 0.1 C? And only one year voyages? No. Ain't gonna happen.
[14:37] #knownspace> Akiraa: it would take 6 months to and 6 months back for the old Portuguese gold gallions
[14:37] #knownspace> Akiraa: to sail to Japan and back that is
[14:37] #knownspace> Dan: I thought stars got unstable if they were closer than about half a LY?
[14:38] #knownspace> Akiraa: you would get unstable oort clouds
[14:38] #knownspace> Akiraa: but they could be in a tight swarm like that
[14:38] #knownspace> Akiraa: globular clusters
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[14:39] #knownspace> Hippy: Good afgternoon, everyone
[14:39] #knownspace> Dan: Afternoon!
[14:39] #knownspace> Hippy: How is Georgia on this hot day?
[14:40] #knownspace> Dan: Humid, but not too hot.
[14:40] #knownspace> Dan: We've got some possible rain moving in for the weekend & early next week.
[14:40] #knownspace> Hippy: I'm in sunny and humid Orlando at the moment, which is redefining 'armpit' in my world view :)
[14:41] #knownspace> Lensman2: Googleing a bit, I see one description of a Hubble image that says the stars in the core of a cluster average only 1/3 of a light-year apart. Okay, so closer than I thought.
[14:41] #knownspace> Akiraa: the one disadvantage of a cluster is the oort clouds are likely scattered
[14:41] #knownspace> Akiraa: so less icy moons
[14:41] #knownspace> Dan: Akiraa, look up the speeds of unmanned missions to the outer planets. Then you can extrapolate speeds necessary to get to stars at whatever distance you like.
[14:42] #knownspace> Lensman2: Dan: Depends on the star as to how close they can be. Remember, most stars are part of a system of two or more stars, so most stars have a single relatively close companion.
[14:42] #knownspace> Lensman2: Welcome Hippy!
[14:42] #knownspace> Akiraa: hm... it could also work for a solar system with lots of ice moons and one-two brown dwarfs orbiting very widely
[14:42] #knownspace> Hippy: Hi, Lens
[14:42] #knownspace> Akiraa: that system could extend to one light year
[14:42] #knownspace> Lensman2: Or I should say, most stars have at *least* one relatively close companion.
[14:43] #knownspace> Dan: "Firefly" used the best arrangement for sub-light speeds. A huge system with many terraformed planets & asteroids.
[14:43] #knownspace> Akiraa: they would have orbiting asteroids at the very least
[14:43] #knownspace> Lensman2: Most stars in a cluster are of similar type. It's the large, hot ones that tend to blow up if they are surrounded by too many bright stars, I think.
[14:45] #knownspace> Lensman2: At least in theory, one star system could have eight stars. You can have close binaries and distant binaries, so you can have two close binaries orbiting a common center, for four. And if two of those systems are close enough to orbit a common center, that gives eight. One system of seven stars has been observed.
[14:46] #knownspace> Dan: Hmmm... How fast can a manned ship safely travel? Gotta have a dust shield of some kind to counteract high-speed impacts of micro-meteors & dust particles...
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[14:46] #knownspace> Lensman2: So a massive system like that could give you something like the "Firefly" universe.
[14:46] #knownspace> Lensman2: Dan: All depends on how good your radiation shielding is.
[14:46] #knownspace> Akiraa: well, I think terraforming is untenable
[14:47] #knownspace> Akiraa: I'd see it perhaps as breeding plants to grow airy enclosures
[14:47] #knownspace> Dan: Nothing is untenable if you have enough money to throw at it, LOL!
[14:47] #knownspace> Akiraa: so the planets would be covered in these kinds of overlapping domes filled with air
[14:47] #knownspace> Hippy: Damn these disconnections
[14:47] #knownspace> Lensman2: "Firefly" type terraforming of small moons is only possible with near-magic technology. Planetary scale artificial gravity to hold an atmosphere, for example.
[14:48] #knownspace> Dan: It'd be easier to build a Ringworld, in other words?
[14:48] #knownspace> Akiraa: maybe that's what the Engineers were thinking
[14:48] #knownspace> Hippy: Or the gravitaional constant is in a state of flux
[14:48] #knownspace> Lensman2: But sure, domed cities are a staple of SF. We don't have to get into "Firefly" type science fantasy, we can get a lot more realistic.
[14:49] #knownspace> Lensman2: No, you can't build Ringworld without /scrith/ or a stasis field or something equally impossibly strong.
[14:50] #knownspace> Dan: Hyperspace & Warp Drives make writers lazy, sometimes.
[14:50] #knownspace> Lensman2: And even if you have something that strong, Ringworld is a truly formidable engineering project.
[14:50] #knownspace> Akiraa: not domed cities, but rather plant bubble canopies
[14:50] #knownspace> Akiraa: engineer a plant that can grow in near vacuum
[14:50] #knownspace> Lensman2: You notice Niven never really got into *how* it was built. Without mass transmutation, how *did* they make that much mass of /scrith/, anyway?
[14:51] #knownspace> Hippy: The sub light stories tend to presume that action just halts while the fifty year trip to the planet goes on. FTL just holds dramatic unity together
[14:51] #knownspace> Akiraa: the plant grows and accumulates oxygen in bubbles
[14:51] #knownspace> Akiraa: the inner bubbles are pruned periodically, to leave a larger enclosure
[14:51] #knownspace> Hippy: Lens, doesn't it discuss the quantiyt of material needed for scrith in Ringworld's Children?
[14:51] #knownspace> Dan: I *think* that domes on asteroids would be easier & cheaper than hundreds of years of flight time to close solar systems.
[14:52] #knownspace> Lensman2: Hippy: Yeah. Or the story is centered on the ship itself, as in Heinlein's /Orphans of the Sky/.
[14:53] #knownspace> Hippy: Or this year's Hugo winner for 'Best Short story'. Grrrr....
[14:53] #knownspace> Lensman2: Hippy: Yes, a bit. Almost no details on the construction, though.
[14:53] #knownspace> Hippy: True
[14:53] #knownspace> Akiraa: terraforming would need to have something quasi-biological propelling it along
[14:54] #knownspace> Akiraa: terraforming in the sense of domes rather than open atmospheres
[14:54] #knownspace> Dan: Accurate maths is why I find Steampunk & alternate universe stories easier to write. LOL!
[14:54] #knownspace> Lensman2: Domes on asteroids? You might as well have a bubble floating in free space. Not enough gravity to bother with on most asteroids. Well, I guess if you pick a rocky asteroid it can be pulverized to make soil.
[14:54] #knownspace> Akiraa: Lensman2, yes, but you can gather resources locally
[14:54] #knownspace> Hippy: Dan, it's the game where you make all the rules
[14:55] #knownspace> Akiraa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_tree
[14:55] #knownspace> Dan: Well, asteroids Luna-sized or better would make things easier.
[14:55] #knownspace> Lensman2: One of the Tnuctipun artifacts was "air plants" that were found floating in bubbles. Not clear if they made their own bubbles or not.
[14:56] #knownspace> Dan: Hippy, you're right. Stories wher I can be a convincing God are far easier than those where I have to respect reality. LOL!
[14:56] #knownspace> Hippy: Tnuctip biologyical engineering is near-magical, too
[14:56] #knownspace> Hippy: The only rule, Dan, is that you're internally consistent
[14:57] #knownspace> Hippy: You can even break that by sayinjg 'Everyhting I said before was a lie'
[14:57] #knownspace> Lensman2: But it's far easier to genegineer humans to fit a low-G environment. "Successful species differentiate". Ours will differentiate by artificial selection, not natural selection.
[14:57] #knownspace> Hippy: At what point do these new humans stop being human?
[14:57] #knownspace> Dan: That's easy with alternate universes. Bringing actual physics into the equasion makes things devilishly difficult.
[14:58] #knownspace> Lensman2: "Everything I said before was a lie." To quote Norman Spinrad from "Down in Flames", "And when the fans threaten to lynch you, just say it's only a story."
[14:58] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes, but that's true of any of the hard sciences. Nowadays, hard sciences are dull. So you have to speculate using soft sciences
[14:59] #knownspace> Akiraa: fantasy is the real money-maker, right?
[14:59] #knownspace> Akiraa: (and vampires, but that's a fad)
[14:59] #knownspace> Hippy: J K Rowling says 'Yes'
[14:59] #knownspace> Lensman2: Hippy: What makes a human human? How many stories have been written to address that question? /Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/, /The Bicentennial Man/... many, many more.
[15:00] #knownspace> Hippy: I forget what 'The Bicentennial Man' is about
[15:00] #knownspace> Akiraa: Eric Schmidt would say: "If Google engineers got to decide what movies got made, we'd have a lot of really bad sci-fi"
[15:02] #knownspace> Lensman2: ./The Bicentennial Man/ is an Asimov story about a robot who slowly makes himself more human over the course of the story. On his 200th birthday, the courts declare him human. Not exactly a riveting story; more a thoughtful one.
[15:02] #knownspace> Dan: Bicentennial Man is about an Asimov robot's quest to become truly human.
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[15:02] #knownspace> Dan: Bicentennial Man is about an Asimov robot's quest to become truly human.
[15:02] #knownspace> Akiraa: bicentennial man would make a transhumanist cringe
[15:03] #knownspace> Hippy: Why is it disconnectring me??? Ah, well
[15:03] #knownspace> Akiraa: being able to die is not a feature defining for mankind
[15:03] #knownspace> Lensman2: I didn't think much of the story. But didn't it win a Hugo, or a nomination? I guess other fans liked it a lot more.
[15:03] #knownspace> Akiraa: it's a feature of all things
[15:03] #knownspace> Akiraa: you don't die of disease, but there are always freak accidents or murder
[15:03] #knownspace> Dan: Ah, but not being able to die was a defining feature for Asimov's robots.
[15:04] #knownspace> Akiraa: statistically, that's impossible
[15:04] #knownspace> Lensman2: It can be argued that some microbes which reproduce asexually never die.
[15:04] #knownspace> Akiraa: eventually something happens
[15:04] #knownspace> Dan: Rust?
[15:04] #knownspace> Akiraa: or even they can get bored and end it themselves :)
[15:04] #knownspace> Dan: :)
[15:04] #knownspace> Akiraa: a meteor could punch a hole in the hull
[15:05] #knownspace> Lensman2: Reproduce by fission, one becomes two... so the individual lives on, potentially forever.
[15:05] #knownspace> Akiraa: landings are nowhere near safe
[15:05] #knownspace> Akiraa: someone may want to kill you
[15:05] #knownspace> Lensman2: But reproducing sexually is a lot more fun. :)
[15:07] #knownspace> Akiraa: a robot would have a deep sense of mortality even if he could live forever, with memory backups and physical body replacements
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[15:08] #knownspace> Akiraa: when you think in terms of 10Ks of years
[15:08] #knownspace> Dan: Off-topic: my spaceport bar series was rejected by the 1st publisher I sent it to. SF with humor is difficult to sell. Also OT, I find myself locked into attempting to write a steampunk narrative to fit inside a musical composition. Sort of like Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, but using a different mythology. I've got to fill 75 minutes of music with a story about airships and steampunk
[15:08] #knownspace> Dan: worldbuilding.
[15:08] #knownspace> Lensman2: Why a "sense of mortality"? A robot has only those simulations of emotions which are programmed into it.
[15:08] #knownspace> Akiraa: a sentient one would
[15:08] #knownspace> Hippy: Wow, it's good to be back!
[15:09] #knownspace> Lensman2: Hippy, come when you can stay awhile!
[15:09] #knownspace> Dan: Humans project themselves into tech even when it isn't logical to do so, Lensman.
[15:09] #knownspace> Hippy: No way, Lens! I'm here in case Larry comes in!!
[15:10] #knownspace> Lensman2: Dan: Yes, they do.
[15:10] #knownspace> Lensman2: Dan: So crib shamelessly from "The Rocketeer" for your story.
[15:10] #knownspace> Akiraa: Lensman2: if you would live for 100K years, you'd inevitably get into a few close calls
[15:10] #knownspace> NickE: back
[15:10] #knownspace> Akiraa: and living that long would require a nearly paranoid personality
[15:11] #knownspace> Akiraa: from the outside it would look even cowardly
[15:11] #knownspace> NickE: Marvin
[15:11] #knownspace> Dan: Can't do that, Lens. I have to come up with my own story. Thankfully, there isn't a deadline involved.
[15:11] #knownspace> Akiraa: like a Puppeteer
[15:11] #knownspace> NickE: "any sufficiently intelligent being must be paranoid" :-)
[15:12] #knownspace> Akiraa: "living for long enough"
[15:12] #knownspace> Hippy: That's what they want you to think
[15:12] #knownspace> NickE: heh
[15:12] #knownspace> Lensman: I'm not talking about *being* mortal, I'm talking about "a sense of mortality". Why should a robot care if its existence continues or not? A robot would only "feel" a need for self-preservation if it was programmed into it. Remember the end of /The Magic Goes Away/? People whose emotions are stripped away by a god decide to die, because there's nothing compelling them to artificially extend...
[15:12] #knownspace> Lensman: ...their existance.
[15:13] #knownspace> Lensman: Of course, Asimov has the Third Law to force robots to protect themselves from harm.
[15:14] #knownspace> Hippy: But could a robogt devlop a desier to live? I mean, if you program it to solve problems, to imagine or extrapolate, mightn't it come up with a desier to live independently?
[15:15] #knownspace> Akiraa: the robot could change its own programming
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[15:15] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: Well, I think a 75-minute story about airships and the people who crew them just cries out for an epic storyline, that's all. Every story has a conflict; it wouldn't be a story if there was no conflict. If it's steampunk, might as well make it an epic conflict!
[15:15] #knownspace> Hippy: Actually, I don't think Asimov ever consikdered that
[15:15] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi guys.
[15:15] #knownspace> Dan: A being needs biological glands to have feelings. A real robot wouldn't have anything but programming to work with.
[15:15] #knownspace> Hippy: Hi, dmac
[15:15] #knownspace> NickE: hi
[15:16] #knownspace> dmac44: Any topic yet?
[15:16] #knownspace> Hippy: Nope
[15:16] #knownspace> Dan: Imagine if Google became sentient/sapient.
[15:16] #knownspace> dmac44: Anyone read Outies yet?
[15:16] #knownspace> Hippy: It would be a boring conversationalist
[15:16] #knownspace> Hippy: In fact, it would jusgt be concerned with popularity
[15:17] #knownspace> Hippy: No, dmac. I should probably get that
[15:17] #knownspace> Akiraa: Dan, a robot would perhaps have more control over their personality than a human
[15:17] #knownspace> Lensman: At some point, the difference between a simulated emotion and a real one is "A difference which makes no difference *is* no difference." But yes, something which uses a "positronic" brain will never feel the kind of emotions that our hormones and reptile brains cause us to have.
[15:17] #knownspace> Hippy: What if wikipeida began to write its own articles, to amend itself?
[15:17] #knownspace> Dan: Well, there is a posted topic, but Akiraa was asking for brainstorming details on a story. Which I found far more interesting than the posted topic. :)
[15:18] #knownspace> Lensman: What is "Outies"? Is it about belly buttons? ;)
[15:18] #knownspace> dmac44: Hippy: I'll just sit back and listen for a bit.Well maybe. I'm not recommending it.
[15:18] #knownspace> dmac44: Outies is the sequel to Gripping Hand
[15:18] #knownspace> dmac44: Written by Pournelle's daughter
[15:18] #knownspace> Lensman: Actually there are about three topics at the moment.
[15:18] #knownspace> Hippy: Ah. . .well, perhaps I won'gt get it
[15:19] #knownspace> NickE: thought about getting it, but holding off for now
[15:19] #knownspace> Dan: Outies is a story by Jerry's daughter (? Is that right) that takes place in the Mote universe, as I remember it.
[15:19] #knownspace> NickE: yes
[15:19] #knownspace> Dan: Nick! How was Who?
[15:19] #knownspace> Lensman: I suppose I'll have to get it for completeness's sake. Is it in hardcover? If so, I'll wait for the paperback.
[15:19] #knownspace> dmac44: Dan: Starts after Hand leaves off. Recons and inconsistencies.
[15:20] #knownspace> dmac44: It came out last March in paperback and Kindle.
[15:20] #knownspace> NickE: WHo: OK, but a bit of a filler episode IYKWIM
[15:20] #knownspace> Hippy: It's an ebook, Lens
[15:20] #knownspace> Lensman: Bleh. Only an author who creates a universe should be allowed to retcon.
[15:21] #knownspace> Akiraa: retcon?
[15:21] #knownspace> NickE: I'ev finall ordered Betrayer
[15:21] #knownspace> NickE: retrospetive continuity#
[15:21] #knownspace> Hippy: Is it a a retcon? I thought it just added material
[15:21] #knownspace> NickE: ie. like Crisis in teh DC universe
[15:22] #knownspace> Lensman: retcon= retroactive continuity. Like in /Betrayer of Worlds/, where we are told everything we were told about Louis Wu in /Ringworld/ was a lie. Dunno about anyone else, but Fred and I are decidedly not happy about that.
[15:22] #knownspace> dmac44: It looks to me like its set up for a sequel. To answer retcon question I'll have to give away spoilers.
[15:22] #knownspace> NickE: (and all the subsequent and curent reboots)
[15:22] #knownspace> Dan: Yeah, retcons are pretty much just rationalizing fuck-ups.
[15:22] #knownspace> NickE: oh shit. Not read it yet!
[15:22] #knownspace> Lensman: I don't really think I'm spoiling anything by saying that.
[15:22] #knownspace> NickE: waitin for it to arrive
[15:23] #knownspace> Akiraa: Lensman, ah, like a character of a soap opera "waking up, realizing the last 5 episodes were just a dream" :p
[15:23] #knownspace> Lensman: But if that was a spoiler, then I apologize.
[15:23] #knownspace> NickE: will reserve judgement till I've read it, but not keen on many retcons
[15:23] #knownspace> NickE: I'd cal that a spoiler
[15:23] #knownspace> Dan: I'm forced to believe the "of Worlds" books are taking place in an alternat timeline so as not to spoil the original works for my reading enjoyment.
[15:24] #knownspace> NickE: my fault for delaying reading it tho
[15:24] #knownspace> NickE: tend to agree - just reread RW and have reordered RWE as my copy has vanished
[15:25] #knownspace> Lensman: I don't object to the sort of retcon where the author introduces facts not previously known. That's not so much *changing* what happened in the previous story, as explaining that the situation is actually more complex than what was understood there. E.E. Smith did that, a lot. Sometimes it was okay, sometimes it was just cheating.
[15:25] #knownspace> NickE: have to say, while I have enjoyed them, I have waited for the paperback for Betrayer
[15:26] #knownspace> NickE: Well, RWE was exactly that kind of retcon - adding ins stuf to deal with the instability
[15:26] #knownspace> Dan: I always wait for paperbacks. I have no shelf space nor budget for hardbacks. LOL!
[15:26] #knownspace> NickE: no issue with that
[15:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: I'm reluctantly coming to the same conclusion. I really, really enjoyed how /Fleet of Worlds/ fills in some gaps, but the others have gotten progressively farther away from Known-Space-as-we-know-it.
[15:26] #knownspace> NickE: me either at the moment
[15:27] #knownspace> dmac44: I like new facts as long as they're consistent with previously published material. It's the changing of the basis that I don't like.
[15:27] #knownspace> Hippy: I did pick up 'Moon Maze Game' so that's on the pile to be read
[15:27] #knownspace> Akiraa: engineering a consistent and complex universe is a very hard problem
[15:27] #knownspace> Akiraa: impossible actually
[15:28] #knownspace> NickE: especially the more you write in it
[15:28] #knownspace> NickE: perveresely
[15:28] #knownspace> dmac44: I think someone once said that Writers are Jealous Gods. With the Power comes the responsibility.
[15:28] #knownspace> Dan: I *like* the "of Worlds" books, but taking them as canon is difficult & conflicts with my enjoyment of the original meta-history.
[15:28] #knownspace> Lensman: Some of the retcons in RWE were okay, like the flup tubes. Some, like the attitude jets, were... less convincing. What, you just didn't notice they were there? You flew by the spaceports and you noticed the rim transport system (which was retconned twice!) but you didn't notice the giant attitude jets? Hmmm...
[15:28] #knownspace> Hippy: Because you want to altger your assumptions to make a good story. Your not under any obligation to do that, though
[15:30] #knownspace> NickE: well yes, but it was still very much in teh style of RW and that let me forgive much as well as it being a damn good yarn
[15:30] #knownspace> Dan: My Bethdish stories are only internally consistant because I outlined all 11,000 years of the recorded history of the planet before the first story was ever written.
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[15:30] #knownspace> NickE: wb
[15:31] #knownspace> Dan: Plus the highlights of the previous billions of years of backstory for the recorded history.
[15:31] #knownspace> NickE: :-)
[15:31] #knownspace> NickE: being a thorough god is probably wise :-)
[15:31] #knownspace> Hippy: Intere - damn! Oh, for a good old-fashioned Aussie Internet connecgtion. . .
[15:31] #knownspace> Lensman: Authors are a lot more interested in telling a good story and/or getting a paycheck than they are in obsessing over trivia the way we obsessive fans do. And that's a good thing, of course. Imagine if Conan Doyle delayed sending off his latest Sherlock Holmes manuscript to pore over it with a microscope, like the Baker Street Irregulars do? We'd have gotten maybe 4-5 Sherlock Holmes stories...
[15:32] #knownspace> Lensman: ...total, not multiple volumes!
[15:32] #knownspace> Akiraa: there's always the escape hatch of multiple histories
[15:32] #knownspace> Dan: But that's just me. I was influenced by Niven, Heinlein, Cordwainer Smith, Doc Smith, Verne, Wells, Andre Norton, & Campbell as I was inventing that universe.
[15:33] #knownspace> NickE: yeah, the fannish propensity for pullings stuff apart to see how it works...
[15:33] #knownspace> dmac44: Crowdsourcing through a group like this might help though. Require fast turn around times. Some authors do that.
[15:33] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Have you considered accessing this chat via a different method? I use ChatZilla, which is an add-on for FireFox, and I never have the problem you are having.
[15:34] #knownspace> Dan: Or as I access it, VIA an updated version of mIRC, Hippy.
[15:34] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: Plotting things out in advance is always good. Of course, that means you can never add anything major later on. So, both good and bad.
[15:35] #knownspace> Lensman: Were there any important announcements last month, when I missed chat?
[15:35] #knownspace> NickE: um Bowl of Heaven is either in final draft or with publisher I think
[15:35] #knownspace> Lensman: Thanks Nick.
[15:36] #knownspace> NickE: cant recall off hand, but we had Larry, Jerry and Ed all in at the same time
[15:36] #knownspace> NickE: briefly, but interesting!
[15:36] #knownspace> Dan: Lensman, I have changed the timeline a lot over the past 2 decades. But you're right: Better ideas are difficult to blend in.
[15:37] #knownspace> NickE: the logs should be up soon if not already
[15:37] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: But of those authors, only Heinlein and possibly Cordwainer Smith outlined their series before they really got into them. For the others, they grew like topsy! Well, of course Lensman was not, but then it was essentially one long story broken up for purposes of publication.
[15:37] #knownspace> Dan: Writing within the rules I established as a 20 year old is getting more difficult as I reach my mid 50s.
[15:38] #knownspace> Lensman: Jerry! Jerry was in chat? Well, I'll have to read the log. Sorry I missed that.
[15:38] #knownspace> NickE: yep, big surprise
[15:38] #knownspace> NickE: Larry convinced him
[15:40] #knownspace> Hippy: .me back
[15:40] #knownspace> Dan: People were asking questions about "Escape From Hell" that only Jerry could answer, so Larry e-mailed him to say "Get your ass in here and HELP ME!" LOL!
[15:40] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: Well, that's good that you can still maintain flexibility even with an extensive outline. Heinlein's, for example, gives the appearance of being set in stone once written. Perhaps that's a misjudgment on my part.
[15:40] #knownspace> Hippy: That was fun
[15:41] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Read back, you had two suggestions for accessing this chat in a more stable manner.
[15:41] #knownspace> Hippy: Thanks, Lens. I shall
[15:41] #knownspace> Dan: Any writer whose early outlines are set in stone is losing out on all the fun of gaining maturity as they age. Or at least that's my opinion.
[15:42] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, I would gthink that working within your rules is a challengve. Flouting them is indulgent
[15:43] #knownspace> Hippy: Howeverf, the story is the important thing, as Jerry Pournelle observed last month
[15:43] #knownspace> Dan: It isn't so much as "flouting" as it is deciding that one has set un-need limits too early in the process.
[15:45] #knownspace> Lensman: If you decide you don't like the rules, then create a different universe to explore different ones. Heaven knows Larry has lots of universes! And lots of one-offs.
[15:45] #knownspace> dmac44: I think it depends on the significance of the changes. As I mentioned before, for me it's whether the basics remain the same. If not, start a new universe.
[15:45] #knownspace> Dan: Sort of like finding out that opinions one held at age 12 turn out to be mistaken once one reaches 40.
[15:46] #knownspace> Hippy: Yeah, I'm finding that out ;)
[15:46] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan, I think that happens to the best of us. :)
[15:46] #knownspace> Dan: Happened to me, too! LOL!
[15:46] #knownspace> Lensman: What a coincidink!
[15:48] #knownspace> Lensman: Interesting no one has addressed the "official topic" today. I always find it interesting to hear fans who had a "conversion experience". Me, I got into it gradually at an early age. I don't remember what first attracted me to SF, but I had an early interest in science, and so it seemed perfectly natural for me to gravitate to those types of stories when I got old enough to read them.
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[15:49] #knownspace> Lensman: I can name the first "real" SF story I ever read: /Starman Jones/ by Heinlein. But my experience was "Hey, finally here's an author who gets his science *right*!"
[15:50] #knownspace> Lensman: Not quite sure what age that was. Possibly 11.
[15:51] #knownspace> Dan: For me it was Wells & Verne in the 4th grade school library, plus my folks buying me Tom Swift Jr. hardbacks & Dig Allen, Space Explorer hardbacks once I was old enought not to chew on the books.
[15:51] #knownspace> Hippy: FTL travel and all :)
[15:51] #knownspace> dmac44: I discovered Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke in 8th grade. I was interested in science and that book fit. I read everthing I could get my hands on after that.
[15:51] #knownspace> Lensman: I know that by 13 I considered myself very much a fan of SF.
[15:52] #knownspace> Hippy: After seeing a convention full of fans I no longer consider myself one :(
[15:52] #knownspace> Lensman: Fortunately my grade school had most of the Tom Swift Jr. books, so I was able to devour those relatively quickly.
[15:52] #knownspace> Hippy: However, my first SF story was called 'Klumpok' at age 8
[15:52] #knownspace> Dan: I was 10, and the first book I checked out of the school library was Journey to the Center of the Earth. The 2nd was An HG Wells Omnibus. By that time I already had about a dozen Tom Swift Jr. novels, at home, too.
[15:53] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Maybe you just went the the wrong convention. There are literary conventions, and there are media cons.
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[15:53] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi Larry.
[15:53] #knownspace> Dan: Hiya, Larry!
[15:53] #knownspace> Hippy: No, this was in Reno justg the other week :)
[15:53] #knownspace> Lensman: Welcome, Larry!
[15:53] #knownspace> Hippy: Hi, Larry!
[15:54] #knownspace> Dan: Hippy, LibertyCon is a literary con. Dragon Con is a media con.
[15:54] #knownspace> Larry: Sorry I'm late. I spent half a hour pursuing the wrong path. Entertaining, though.
[15:54] #knownspace> Hippy: What's WorldCon, then?
[15:54] #knownspace> Lensman: WorldCon is a literary con.
[15:55] #knownspace> Larry: I've been to 2 Dragon Cons. Enjoyed both. Just got back from WorldCon.
[15:55] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes, that was one eye-opening thing
[15:55] #knownspace> Dan: Yeah Larry, Sean's ISP changed his chat room address since last month's chat.
[15:56] #knownspace> Lensman: I've never been to Dragon Con. But I hear it has a small literary con buried in it, or at least used to.
[15:56] #knownspace> Larry: Found out what I need to do. Go to a cartoon to get a heading, then work from that.
[15:56] #knownspace> Lensman: Yeah, I had to use a different URL to access chat this month, too. We should take Sean to task for not mentioning that in the announcement.
[15:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Not sure if "url" is the right term here.
[15:57] #knownspace> Larry: What got me to reading Sci Fi: I had fannish uncles, and I'd outgrown fairy tales.
[15:57] #knownspace> NickE: wup Hi Larry
[15:57] #knownspace> Dan: I want to start going to DragonCon, since I only live 90 minutes drive away from Atlanta, but I can't afford it right now. Plus, the thought of 40,000 people in one building makes me feel like I'd need bodyguards, LOL!
[15:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Anyway, the string of letters and numbers which I plugged into FireFox to get here.
[15:58] #knownspace> NickE: D*C is fun
[15:58] #knownspace> dmac44: Yeah, the Java Applet on the website didn't work for me this month. I went to Eris.
[15:58] #knownspace> Lensman: I've been told Dragon Con is divided up into different sections, which is how you can have a con-within-a-con. Perhaps Larry can tell us if that's still true.
[15:58] #knownspace> Hippy: MIRC got me in with the same server name, but the connection is sporadic
[15:58] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, the term is IP Address, and Sean *did* mention it. The only thing he didn't mention was that it had been changed without his permission.
[16:00] #knownspace> Dan: I've got about 200 friends at C*C right now. Some I have met in person, and some I only know online.
[16:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Thanks Dan.
[16:00] #knownspace> Larry: It's been too long since I saw a Dragon Con. I have no answers.
[16:00] #knownspace> NickE: Lots of different tracks - much like a world con, but bigger
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[16:01] #knownspace> NickE: too much to see, but all is good
[16:01] #knownspace> Dan: Larry, several of us are planning to be at LibertyCon next Summer to meet you & Jerry. (In my case, for the 2nd time.) But please don't find any reason to cancel! LOL!
[16:01] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, it astonishes me that DragonCon and ComicCon are much bigger than WorldCon. I guess book readers are in decline. :(
[16:01] #knownspace> NickE: and yes, I got (from my singl sample) that some tracks are almost self contained
[16:02] #knownspace> Larry: I have daydreamed about attending a worldcon several times via time travel, to see it all. Dragon Con must be more so.
[16:02] #knownspace> NickE: I'd gree
[16:02] #knownspace> NickE: a Harry Potter style time turner would be handy
[16:02] #knownspace> Dan: The D*C Alternat History track is run by friends of mine who started up Atlanta's steampunk con, AnachroCon.
[16:02] #knownspace> Lensman: LOL! Yes, WorldCon is much too big for one person to see it all. We each have our own convention, unlike anyone else's.
[16:02] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh, LibertyCon is a year off? I might be able to sace up then
[16:03] #knownspace> Dan: Yeah, Hippy. Liberty is in July, In Chattanooga, Tennessee. Please be there!
[16:03] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, since you asked nicely. . .
[16:03] #knownspace> Dan: :)
[16:04] #knownspace> NickE: brb
[16:04] #knownspace> Hippy: And, since I was very quietly spoken at the Niven kaffeeklatsch in Reno, I will learn to speak more LOUDLY
[16:04] #knownspace> Dan: I'm a nice guy, even when overly intoxicated - As Larry found out at the last LibertyCon he & Jerry attended.
[16:04] #knownspace> Hippy: :)
[16:04] #knownspace> Hippy: I apologise to you, Larry, for that
[16:06] #knownspace> Dan: Larry, to jog your memory, I was the guy in the cowboy hat that stood against the safety fence to accost you & Jerry whilst you were swimming in the pool.
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[16:07] #knownspace> Hippy: These disconnecgions remind me of being overly inotixicated :)
[16:08] #knownspace> Larry: Dan, I remember.
[16:08] #knownspace> Lensman: That would drive me crazy, Hippy. The one time it kept happening to me, I gave up and left.
[16:08] #knownspace> Lensman: You've got more patience than me, I think.
[16:09] #knownspace> Hippy: I'm not on my own PC, so Im limited in what I can do to fix it. But I can read the log later, I suppose
[16:09] #knownspace> Lensman: Larry: So, /Bowl of Heaven/ is in final draft? Or at the publisher?
[16:09] #knownspace> Dan: I think the biggesk kick of the whole con was seeing how happy you were to be there, Larry. You were so obviously having loads of fun! Oh, and the most important lesson I observed in the autograph line: Never Waste Jerry's Time!
[16:09] #knownspace> Dan: :)
[16:11] #knownspace> Larry: Bowl of Heaven is complete but we're fiddling with it.
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[16:12] #knownspace> NickE: Hippy, tried Eris yet?
[16:12] #knownspace> NickE: (I used to have this problem way back)
[16:12] #knownspace> Hippy: No. This isn't my PC so I don't want to go downloading stuff from all over
[16:13] #knownspace> NickE: eris is a flash client - no downloads
[16:13] #knownspace> Hippy: mIRC is stable when I'mj home, so I think it's the ISP's fault
[16:13] #knownspace> NickE: (well, no premanent ons)
[16:13] #knownspace> Hippy: Anywya, I seem to be gettig back on fairly fast
[16:14] #knownspace> NickE: thats true
[16:14] #knownspace> NickE: :-)
[16:14] #knownspace> Hippy: I just hope I don't seem tude in missing any replies I get :)
[16:14] #knownspace> Dan: Larry, have you any idea when your new works are hitting paperback? I can't afford hardbacks, sorry!
[16:16] #knownspace> Dan: Damn, Hippy ripped the duct tape! LOL!
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[16:17] #knownspace> Hippy: Time to sacrifice a v irgin to the IRC gods
[16:17] #knownspace> dmac44: or a chicken
[16:17] #knownspace> Dan: Two Chickens!
[16:17] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, a young, shy ckicken who into Star Trek
[16:17] #knownspace> dmac44: Three, do I hear three chickens!
[16:18] #knownspace> Dan: Oh dear, Saturday Night Live has never been the same since they ceased having muppets as regular skits. :)
[16:19] #knownspace> Dan: Oh well, I just dated myself. But at least I showed me a good time, LOL!
[16:20] #knownspace> Dan: Thank you. I'll be here all week, Try the veal...
[16:20] #knownspace> dmac44: LOL
[16:21] #knownspace> Dan: Hey, I'm an OLD GUY. I remember Dean Martin when he was young. & Jerry Lewis when he was funny.
[16:23] #knownspace> Dan: So, who else wants to reveal what got them into reading SF as a kid?
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[16:24] #knownspace> Dan: Hippy, your ISP seems to be crap today. I'm sorry.
[16:26] #knownspace> Larry: just got back from getting a snack.
[16:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Jerry Lewis was funny once? <Lensman ducks>
[16:26] #knownspace> Dan: OK serious question: Why are the Flash Gordon movie serieals more fun to watch than the Buck Rogers serials, when Buster Crabe is the star of both?
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[16:27] #knownspace> Larry: New works in paperback: I don't keep good track. Hey, publishers don't do that in secret.
[16:27] #knownspace> Hippy: Yeah. There might be somethning I can change in mIRC, but I don't know what it is
[16:27] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: I think the FG serials had a better budget. But possibly more important is Charles Middleton as Ming. A melodrama needs a good villain, and Ming was possibly the best of all the adventure serial villains. Really great screen presence.
[16:28] #knownspace> Larry: I also remember jerry Lewis as funny.
[16:28] #knownspace> Lensman: Well it used to be that the pb followed the hc by a year, more or less. I think that seems to be holding with the ...OF WORLDS books. Dunno about the others.
[16:28] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, I'll think about that answer. I believe you might have a point. The Buck Rogers villians seemed to be less interisting than Ming.
[16:29] #knownspace> Lensman: Killer Kane is rather pathetic as a villain.
[16:30] #knownspace> Dan: I agree. He didn't seem as good a foil as Ming did for Flash.
[16:30] #knownspace> dmac44: Got to step away for a bit but I'm going to stay logged on.
[16:31] #knownspace> Hippy: I"ll b e here but can I stay logged on????
[16:31] #knownspace> Dan: LOL!
[16:31] #knownspace> Hippy: Maybe it's because this is a wireless connection
[16:31] #knownspace> Lensman: And I speak as a Buck Rogers fan. A Snidely Whiplash clone, complete with curled mustache. Yawn.
[16:31] #knownspace> Dan: Ah!!!!!
[16:32] #knownspace> Dan: The wireless connection might be the real villian in Hippy's disconnection problems!
[16:32] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes. I"ve noticed that cellphone connnections here are. . .'Inconsgtant Phone' comes to mind
[16:32] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, the more I consider it, the more I agree with you.
[16:32] #knownspace> Lensman: BUT I'm thoroughly enjoying the Hermes Press reprints of the BR strips! A compete set, starting from the first. I have the first four volumes, plus the first Sunday color volume. I think the next volume of both is out, gotta save my shekels.
[16:33] #knownspace> Dan: I forget the artist on those, Lens. Please remind me.
[16:33] #knownspace> Hippy: This gives me hope for seeing an electronic version of a complete 'Astounding Stories' one day
[16:34] #knownspace> Lensman: Started with Dick Calkins. My favorite came decades later: Rick Yeager.
[16:34] #knownspace> Dan: Thank you! I'm so bad with names.
[16:35] #knownspace> Lensman: Calkins was never a Great artist, like Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon) or Russ Manning (Tarzan).
[16:36] #knownspace> Lensman: But Calkins was often highly imaginative.
[16:36] #knownspace> Larry: Generic: what KEEPS you reading SF? The futures we predicted mostly didn't happen.
[16:36] #knownspace> NickE: ooh good q
[16:36] #knownspace> Dan: I admire those comic artists who poured so much detail into their strips.
[16:37] #knownspace> Hippy: What keeps me reading is that Larry keeps writing
[16:37] #knownspace> Lensman: Anyway, I like the stories from BR more than FG. Buck's adventures were slightly more "real SF". Flash was pure unadulterated science fantasy.
[16:37] #knownspace> Hippy: Plus there are occasional authors like Connie Willis that keep my interest
[16:37] #knownspace> Hippy: And of course I can re-read old favourites
[16:37] #knownspace> Hippy: Hmm. Three sentences and still here!
[16:37] #knownspace> NickE: just cos we aren't all scooting about in personal jetpacks or using JumpShift booths doesn't make em bad stories
[16:38] #knownspace> Lensman: What keeps me reading? I like having my imagination stretched. New ideas in SF may not be as common as they used to be, but they still do crop up.
[16:38] #knownspace> NickE: agreed
[16:38] #knownspace> Dan: What keeps me reading SF is that there are always newer futures coming along like streetcars. So many people writing so many excelent stories.
[16:39] #knownspace> NickE: that too
[16:39] #knownspace> Larry: Agreed. SF writers keep getting better.
[16:40] #knownspace> Lensman: And once in awhile you read something like /Ringworld's Children/, which has so many new ideas packed into one story that most authors would write an entire series to stretch that out!
[16:40] #knownspace> Larry: Today's writers reach further.
[16:40] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Betrer' in what sense? They seem to be better in the sense that they would get A's in a writing course, but are their stories any better as stories?
[16:41] #knownspace> NickE: more complex I think
[16:41] #knownspace> NickE: not always to teh advantage of teh plot :)
[16:41] #knownspace> Hippy: Does anytbing written today capture the magic of 'A Martian Odyssey', for example?
[16:41] #knownspace> NickE: but it often works well
[16:41] #knownspace> Larry: I meant as SF, as extrapolation from what we know. We know more, hence can reach further.
[16:41] #knownspace> Lensman: I miss 250 page novels. I really do. /Ringworld/ being a notable exception.
[16:41] #knownspace> Hippy: Now, that's true, Larry
[16:42] #knownspace> Dan: Hippy, the only version of "better" that matters is "this entertains me more than that other thing does."
[16:42] #knownspace> NickE: heh
[16:42] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, Dan, in thar case the field is not getting better (IMHO)
[16:43] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, on the other hand, "Dune" is my favorite short story, LOL!
[16:43] #knownspace> Lensman: Generally I find modern novels less entertaining. A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Padding a story out to take longer to get to the end generally does not make it better; rather the opposite.
[16:44] #knownspace> Xenovalent: Mike Resnick said pretty much the same thing today
[16:44] #knownspace> Hippy: On the other hand, some stories are so short you have no time to get into them before they're over
[16:44] #knownspace> Larry: Bob Gleason taught me (and Pournelle) how to cut. We write lean.
[16:44] #knownspace> NickE: yeah, real editing seems to be sporadic
[16:44] #knownspace> NickE: and it works all teh better for it
[16:44] #knownspace> NickE: (lean writing)
[16:45] #knownspace> Lensman: Real editing has pretty much disappeared for established authors.
[16:45] #knownspace> Dan: I believe that a story should take as many pages as needed to tell the tale. A thousand words or a million, it depends on the story itself as to how many words it takes to do justice to the idea.
[16:46] #knownspace> Hippy: Lens, I don't know about that. Isn't David Hartwell doing Niven and Benford at the moment?
[16:46] #knownspace> Hippy: And editing needn't always trim stories. Sometimes an editor points out that you need to expand here to make the story make sense
[16:47] #knownspace> Lensman: Sure, not all stories should be the same length. To some extent /Ringworld/ is a travelogue, so it justifies its longer length. But /Ringworld's Children/ is much shorter than /The Ringworld Throne/, and I think it has a lot more to say, and it does it with considerably fewer pages.
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[16:48] #knownspace> Hippy: I feel like Punch in 'Punch and Judy'
[16:48] #knownspace> Hippy: Hi, SB
[16:48] #knownspace> Hippy: Oof!
[16:49] #knownspace> Dan: I couldn't resist.
[16:49] #knownspace> Hippy: Anyway, another thing about continuing to read SF is. . .look at the alternatives
[16:49] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: I could be talking thru my hat. I get the impression that what Larry writes by himself these days, or with Ed, doesn't get edited much... or need to be. Perhaps other authors do still get edited.
[16:50] #knownspace> SolBelter: Responding to topic posted - my mom's Galaxy and Astounding issues in mid-1950s when I was six
[16:50] #knownspace> Dan: Oh Lord yes! Unless you want to read endless variations of Twilight "novels", SF is still king of the hill.
[16:50] #knownspace> SolBelter: at hippy - yes re alternatives - my other reading is non-fic
[16:50] #knownspace> Hippy: I think David Brikn is coming out with a 2500000 word tome that will cost $640 to post from Amazon. I wonder if that's been edited?
[16:51] #knownspace> Lensman: Is Mark Firestone here? (I don't think so, but he has so many aliases...)
[16:51] #knownspace> Hippy: I'm Mark Firstone and so is my wife
[16:51] #knownspace> Lensman: A 2.5 million word tome? That's... pretty big.
[16:51] #knownspace> SolBelter: re early sf, then I discovered the Winston SF series at school library
[16:52] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, my spaceport bar stories are going through a full re-edit by an established pro writer even as we speak... Oh wait, she's at DragonCon. Well, next week she'll have a list of rewrites for me to begin with, again...
[16:52] #knownspace> Hippy: Oops. 0.25 million I meant
[16:52] #knownspace> dmac44: David sometimes uses crowdsourcing, that is he let's a few people read the novel and provide feedback before the final version. That's a form of editing.
[16:52] #knownspace> Lensman: Ah. I wondered if you'd slipped a decimal point there, Hippy. 2.5 million words wouldn't be published as one volume.
[16:53] #knownspace> Dan: Unless it's a David Webber story!
[16:53] #knownspace> Hippy: It might as an ebook, thnough, which is a chilling vision of things to come
[16:54] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: I hope you realize I was speaking in glittering generalities. I've heard the same from others; that most editing done by publishers these days is copy-editing, rather than actual editing. Gone are the days when magazine editors would add or rewrite entire sections of an author's story, uncredited.
[16:55] #knownspace> Dan: I've heard co-authors complain that Davis writes quarter-million word story *outlines!*
[16:55] #knownspace> Dan: David
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[16:56] #knownspace> Hippy: With a single bound, he entered into the room. 'Unhand that SF writer!'
[16:56] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, point taken. I'm working with Stephanie Osborne. She's a good friend and is teaching me how to self-edit before she has to copy-edit or line-edit.
[16:57] #knownspace> Lensman: I like some of David Weber's stuff. I *love* the first five or so Honor Harrington books, and his contributions to the "1632" series. But Great Ghu! someone needs to check his tendency to write longer and longer as a series progresses.
[16:57] #knownspace> Dan: My biggest fault is overly-long paragraphs, so far.
[16:58] #knownspace> Hippy: Give her a copy of 'Big Sur' by Kerouac and ask her to rethink thatg
[16:58] #knownspace> Hippy: God, my typing is. . .
[16:59] #knownspace> Hippy: Please say your answer in the form of a question
[16:59] #knownspace> Dan: David is a lovely fellow in person. Like Larry, he manages to show that he enjoys the company of his readers & fans.
[16:59] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: Pardon my ignorance, but are you talking about the publisher requiring that you re-write the stories before publication? Or are you talking about you yourself finding some collaborator/mentor to help you improve your stories?
[17:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Better than the average Internet geek?
[17:00] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, Stephanie has appointed herself as my Mentor, because she enjoys my stories and thinks that I have earned a shot at the Big Time.
[17:02] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: That's what I thought. Perhaps I should have been more specific; it's editing by the publishers that seems to have declined.
[17:02] #knownspace> Dan: Doctor Travis Taylor was her Mentor, and she's passing along the teachings to me. Of course, I try and learn from every writer whose work I enjoy. Larry taught me that thinking big can be a virtue, for instance.
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[17:03] #knownspace> Lensman: I know even from my brief experience at coordinating the Ringworld 40th Anniversary for Tor.com, that when it comes to people who aren't established writers, two heads are often better than one.
[17:03] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Ello, 'ello, 'ello, what's all this then?
[17:04] #knownspace> Larry: Thinking small can be useful too. There are only six full characters in Ringworld.
[17:04] #knownspace> Lensman: Who is the sixth? The Ringworld itself?
[17:04] #knownspace> SolBelter: at Lensman - you sure were in my (non-writer) collaboration with you re 40th Anniv article! thx again!
[17:05] #knownspace> Larry: Chiron, Seeker, and the obvious four.
[17:05] #knownspace> Hippy: Halrloprillalar?
[17:05] #knownspace> Lensman: SB: You're welcome. Hey, I can use an editor too. Fortunately I have a friend who's a professional publishing consultant, and he writes better than I do. Better grammar.
[17:06] #knownspace> Larry: Seven
[17:06] #knownspace> Hippy: Yep
[17:06] #knownspace> Lensman: Rats, I had written "Chiron" and erased that and guessed the Ringworld.
[17:06] #knownspace> Lensman: Oh, I forgot about Seeker.
[17:07] #knownspace> Lensman: I'd count Seeker but not Chiron, myself. But Larry is the pro!
[17:07] #knownspace> Dan: Michael Z. Williamson taught me that paying attention to tiny details can be fun. John Ringo taught me that you can't take yourself too seriously or you'll screw up. Ben Bova taught me that outlines are only suggestions. Cherrie Priest taught me that the writer has to have sas much fun as the readers do, etc.
[17:08] #knownspace> Hippy: I'd've left Seeker out at first, but yes he us a proper character. Chiron is about the same as Ftanss, the Kzin diplomat
[17:08] #knownspace> Hippy: IMHO
[17:09] #knownspace> Dan: I do try to learn something from everyone whose books I enjoy.
[17:09] #knownspace> Lensman: "Outlines are only suggestions." Yeah. I haven't written much fiction myself (nothing worthy of publication), but my stories always take off in a direction I hadn't planned. Quite contrary, they are, especially when they veer sharply away from the clever ending I'd planned.
[17:10] #knownspace> Dan: The best stories often happen when the characters take over and lead the writer off into a direction they'd never have gone before the writing started on that story.
[17:10] #knownspace> Lensman: Chiron walks on, does the "blackboard" scene, leaves and isn't seen again.
[17:11] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, isn't seen again until... but that would be telling!
[17:11] #knownspace> Hippy: Hroth and Ftanss tgell us about Kzinti names and some of their diplomatic rrelations and then walk off, too
[17:11] #knownspace> Larry: You're (all) right. Chiron barely counts. Six characters.
[17:12] #knownspace> Dan: Writing question for Larry: Do you enjoy it when your characters come to life and twist your planned story far afield from what you originally intended?
[17:13] #knownspace> Larry: See "Small Wonder" with Matthew Harrington, in a year or so. That went wildly off course from my original intent.
[17:13] #knownspace> Larry: Yes, I love it when my characters take over.
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[17:14] #knownspace> SolBelter: Harrington! I just read M-Kzin Wats 12, and his story shocked me 'Peace and freedom'...
[17:14] #knownspace> Dan: Thank you! I'm not insane after all! Or maybe I am, but it doesn't mattet as long as my readers like the end product.
[17:14] #knownspace> Dan: matter
[17:14] #knownspace> Hippy: In the afternoon heart of this chat room, Hippy flicked into reality
[17:14] #knownspace> SolBelter: stories veering seems to imply an internal logic that is strong
[17:14] #knownspace> SolBelter: perhaps a better story
[17:15] #knownspace> Dan: Hippy, I'm rapidly running out of duct tape!
[17:15] #knownspace> SolBelter: or more convincing
[17:15] #knownspace> Hippy: Save it for your hamsters, Dan :)
[17:16] #knownspace> Lensman: Forget the duct tape. Bring up the /cziltang brone/! We'll embed him in the wall, and... Oops, that's fatal. Well, nothing's perfect!
[17:16] #knownspace> Dan: I have cats. I don't have hamsters. However, I have a large collection of Plot Bunnies in various cages, too.
[17:16] #knownspace> Larry: The trick is to be writing toward an ending. If a better end appears, take it. Book will still read as if aimed at a target.
[17:17] #knownspace> Hippy: And hyou can go back and mess with the beginning, as you've said
[17:17] #knownspace> Lensman: LOL! "Flicked into reality". Well said, sir.
[17:17] #knownspace> Dan: Thank you, Larry. I'll keep that in mind. Seriously, I will!
[17:17] #knownspace> SolBelter: Off-topic: 30 years ago I started my sporadic campaign to rescue Larry Greenberg from Lazy 8 III...and Harrington did that but OMG!!! Be careful what u ask for. grin (no spoilers)
[17:17] #knownspace> Hippy: Lens, I try for a Niven quote every chat :)
[17:18] #knownspace> Dan: 1st writing lesson: Make sure your wife has enough booze so that she doesn't interrupt your writing process... :)
[17:19] #knownspace> Lensman: Oops, I see I'll have to get a copy of MKW XII...
[17:19] #knownspace> Hippy: SB, sounds like it's worse than what happened to that ARM in. . .Don KIngbsbury story. . .'Eater opf Grass. . . .my books are 12000 miles away. . .
[17:20] #knownspace> SolBelter: don't recall, Hippy, but I wont spoil it
[17:20] #knownspace> Dan: Hippy, any bok that isn't within arm's reach cannot be used as a reference material when the writing fit is upon you.
[17:21] #knownspace> SolBelter: at Dan, thus a use for ebooks...
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[17:21] #knownspace> Dan: My office at home is lined with bookshelves, and I have 3 laptops powered up and ready to search for multiple online references whilst writing a story.
[17:22] #knownspace> Hippy: The ambulance stopped with a jerk and I got off
[17:22] #knownspace> Lensman: With or without the jerk?
[17:22] #knownspace> Dan: Which Jerk?
[17:22] #knownspace> Lensman: .<Lens high-fives Dan>
[17:22] #knownspace> Hippy: If I have to explain every sophisticated witticism we'lll be here all night
[17:23] #knownspace> Dan: Try the veal...
[17:23] #knownspace> Larry: You won't, Hippy.
[17:23] #knownspace> Dan: The voice of Henny Youngman echoes in my brain.
[17:23] #knownspace> Hippy: Ooh, look, this time it wasn't me
[17:25] #knownspace> Hippy: Tsk, tsk, SB
[17:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Two demerits, SB.
[17:27] #knownspace> Dan: *THREE CHIKENSZ!*
[17:27] #knownspace> Lensman: Obviously the first edition was set in a slightly alternate universe from Known Space.
[17:27] #knownspace> Hippy: Of course, if you flick westward fast enough. . .you could see a kind of pseudo-dawn
[17:28] #knownspace> Dan: Or the 1st edition Known Space is a Mirror Universe.
[17:29] #knownspace> Lensman: "Journey to the Far Side of Known Space" ;)
[17:29] #knownspace> Lensman: (For Gerry Anderson fans)
[17:29] #knownspace> SolBelter: 'the polarity is the same!'
[17:29] #knownspace> Dan: And to think that the chat started off with Akeriaa asking questions about the structure of a small galactic cluster for a story he wanted to write!
[17:31] #knownspace> dmac44: Lens: Don't you mean Gary Larsen?
[17:31] #knownspace> Lensman: Interesting question: How much can you reverse in a "mirror universe" and still allow characters from one to visit the other?
[17:31] #knownspace> Lensman: dmac: No, I was referencing "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" aka "Doppelganger".
[17:31] #knownspace> dmac44: Thanks.
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[17:33] #knownspace> Dan: "Sphizzics ain't me strong suit," said Popeye as he watched repeats of Carl Sagan...
[17:33] #knownspace> Lensman: In Blish's /Spock Must Die/, the mirror Spock has to set up a complex chemistry lab to convert the normal universe's right-hand-spiral basis for food molecules into left-hand-spiral ones. He gets no nourishment from eating that universe's food.
[17:33] #knownspace> Lensman: Or maybe I have left/right reversed. ;)
[17:33] #knownspace> SolBelter: 'sphinach is' said Popeye
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[17:34] #knownspace> Dan: LOL!
[17:34] #knownspace> dmac44: Lens: It's all relative.
[17:35] #knownspace> Dan: Thinking too fast to type, now. Occupational hazzard, I suppose.
[17:36] #knownspace> Dan: OK, Who wants to take up a collection to buy Hippy a new ISP that doesn't suck?
[17:36] #knownspace> Dan: :)
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[17:36] #knownspace> Lensman: In "Doppelganger" they did briefly consider whether or not polarity was reversed between the tech of the two Earths, but decided they couldn't determine that, so left it alone. The fallacy there is that electrons are always gonna flow one direction, so whichever that way is, is "negative".
[17:36] #knownspace> Hippy: If this was real life I'd be living like a strobe light
[17:36] #knownspace> Lensman: Or is what we call "negative polarity", anyway.
[17:37] #knownspace> Dan: I'm fresh out of duct tape, Dude. You're on your own!
[17:38] #knownspace> Dan: If Staples runs out, there's always Office Depot.
[17:38] #knownspace> Hippy: I'm learning a lot about American office supplies
[17:39] #knownspace> Dan: Oh! Superglue!
[17:40] #knownspace> Lensman: http://www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00012/npn_clwnasa030708b_12515c.jpeg
[17:40] #knownspace> Dan: "I've reversed the polarity of the neutron flux!"
[17:40] #knownspace> SolBelter: ok, now my cursor is where it should be - sorryh
[17:40] #knownspace> SolBelter: maybe i saw an alt-univ version of Doppel?
[17:40] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: It's okay, I've decided I'm wrong on the whole polarity thing anyway.
[17:41] #knownspace> Lensman: "Stop-- reverse that!" --Willy Wonka
[17:41] #knownspace> Dan: SolBelter, that's *why* they call it a "cursor!"
[17:41] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes, I wasn't sure how I got in on the polarity question. I just accept these science things
[17:41] #knownspace> SolBelter: especially on a laptop with a toichpad bouncing my cursing cursor :))
[17:41] #knownspace> Lensman: Er... that should be Solbelter, not Hippy.
[17:42] #knownspace> Hippy: It's okay, in our universe we're the same person
[17:42] #knownspace> Lensman: LOL
[17:42] #knownspace> Hippy: And also Mark Firestone
[17:42] #knownspace> Hippy: Mark is a kind of rotating consciousness that becomes one of us from time to time
[17:42] #knownspace> Hippy: There are certain legal complications to this, of course
[17:43] #knownspace> Hippy: For example, constant evictions from premises he rents but doesn't tell us about
[17:43] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, "Doppleganger" made a mistake from the get-go by having the alternate Earth just orbiting on the other side of the sun. So, no "rip in the fabric of space" or alternate universe, as in "Mirror, Mirror". Not good SF.
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[17:44] #knownspace> Hippy: NOw, whyu cna't the altyernate Earth oribt 180 degrees around the orbit? I've never understood the objection
[17:45] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Because only the Trojan positions, 120 degrees apart, are stable. In any other configuration, the planets would drift to different positions.
[17:45] #knownspace> Hippy: Ah, okay
[17:46] #knownspace> Hippy: So eventually they would drift till theuy occupied each other's Trojan point, so to speak?
[17:46] #knownspace> Lensman: But it's worse than that. We'd notice the presence of a large mass opposite the Earth, because of its perturbations of Venus and other planets.
[17:47] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Either that or go into different orbits entirely.
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[17:47] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh, yes, but that explains that it hadn't happened, not that it couldn't
[17:47] #knownspace> Hippy: So, three earths, or even chickens, would be stable?
[17:47] #knownspace> Dan: Yes, and using correct Trojan positions the alternate Earth would be visible to us.
[17:48] #knownspace> Lensman: Well that's true, theoretically there could be three planets of roughly Earth mass in our orbit. But it seems to be a low-probability event, as there are no planets in the Solar System that are configured that way. Jupiter's Trojan asteroids are all extremely small compared to Jupiter's mass.
[17:48] #knownspace> Dan: "Correct Trojan Positions" sounds like a sex manual! I suppose we'll see that next week on Torchwood!
[17:49] #knownspace> Lensman: Well I could say "correct Greek positions". ;) Oops, that's worse.
[17:50] #knownspace> Hippy: It's a pain in the
[17:50] #knownspace> Lensman: I hesitate to speak on the subject of a Klemperer's rosette. One fan insists that the configuration is inherently unstable. I don't know if he's right or not.
[17:50] #knownspace> Dan: "Hello, my name is Don Juan. Today I'll be taking you, roughly, from behind..." said David Tennant.
[17:51] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes,the tone of this chat is rapidly deteriorating
[17:51] #knownspace> Lensman: Apparently an odd number of planets (five, as in /Ringworld) is unstable. I don't know if six (as in FOW) is stable or not. He insists it isn't. I ain't a mathematician.
[17:52] #knownspace> Dan: It's a Ring(world) Tone.
[17:52] #knownspace> Hippy: I am rendered speechless. I am without speedch
[17:53] #knownspace> Dan: That's OK. It'll make it easier for you to catch up next time you're disconnected.
[17:53] #knownspace> Hippy: Which should be any minute now
[17:54] #knownspace> Dan: "Speedch?" Sounds like a game from Harry Potter.
[17:54] #knownspace> SolBelter: speedch is speech in an accelerator field
[17:54] #knownspace> Dan: I've learned to value typos. The make such interesting terms in a story!
[17:54] #knownspace> Hippy: No, they're healthi inspectors from Draco's Tavern
[17:55] #knownspace> Lensman: I think Larry has said something about the value of typos, too.
[17:55] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes, inat excellent piece on the words in science fiction that you can read on the website
[17:56] #knownspace> Dan: Oh dear! Larry, were there ever any hookers in Draco's Tavern? Sorry if that's a weird question, but the very concept has my mind boggled!
[17:56] #knownspace> Hippy: Never was truer word spoke than when he described every euphemism creating a euphemism of its own
[17:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Yup. "Words in Science Fiction"
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[17:58] #knownspace> Hippy: Hippy kicks gthe door of Draco;s Tavern open. Hmm. Awfully breezy in here. Slight pause whilst I adjust my accoutrements
[17:58] #knownspace> Lensman: In any realistic SF story, hookers could only appeal to one species. Rather limits the clientele, eh?
[17:58] #knownspace> Dan: Oddly enough, that isn't a concept that I've explored in my own spaceport bar series. How *does* a prostitue of any species cater to the desires of an alien (to them) species? Or is this a question better asked of Spider Robinson?
[17:59] #knownspace> Hippy: there are a few websites I'd like to show you, Lens
[18:00] #knownspace> Hippy: In a City Builder bar, let's say, hookers of many species would do a roaring trade
[18:00] #knownspace> Dan: Cosplay Deviants?
[18:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, they might appeal to bestiality buffs. But again, that's rather limiting the clientele. So why would they try to work there, where the prospects are so limited?
[18:00] #knownspace> Hippy: It depends on how lucrative it is, Lens
[18:01] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: Well, there are furries. ;)
[18:01] #knownspace> Hippy: Indeed there are. How abougt some masochist who says to two puppeteers; 'Poke away, but it'll costs you'
[18:01] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy: But that's different. Rishathra isn't bestiality.
[18:01] #knownspace> Hippy: Would a puppeteer pay to dance with a couple of humans?
[18:02] #knownspace> Lensman: According to Carol Phillips, he might!
[18:02] #knownspace> Hippy: There you are, then
[18:02] #knownspace> Hippy: Kzin are big and furry so some humans would pay to at least sleep with them, even if coitus isn't possible
[18:03] #knownspace> Larry: noi hookers in the Draco Tavern...yet.
[18:03] #knownspace> Dan: Well, it seems so normal for human bars to have hookers who cater to multiple human predilictions. How odd it would have to be to go to a bar that *didn't* have any hookers of *any* species? In a spaceport bar, would the hookers need to be polymorphs?
[18:03] #knownspace> Hippy: It's worth philosophising about prositution to see if we can give Larry and idea to put them kin there
[18:03] #knownspace> Lensman: I think Larry pretty firmly addressed the question of "sex with Kzinti", and the answer is "No!"
[18:04] #knownspace> SolBelter: the sentient cat, Raul, in 'American Flagg' comic's favorite reading was 'Interspecies Romances'...
[18:04] #knownspace> Hippy: But you're not zlwahys paying a hooker for coitus.
[18:05] #knownspace> Lensman: There will always be aberrations. Bestiality probably isn't limited to humans. But it's got to be rare. Evolutionarily, it's a waste of energy.
[18:06] #knownspace> Larry: I'll think on this, but I'm dozing off. Fare you well.
[18:06] #knownspace> Hippy: Lions rape other mammals, baboons have sex with smaller monkeys, I seem to remember something about a sodomising kangaroo...but that was in Adelaide
[18:06] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, I actually *know* people who would enjoy the... oddity factor of attempting to cater to the BDSM quality of sex with Kzin - as long as they didn't wind up a meals afterwards.
[18:06] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Bye, Larry!
[18:06] #knownspace> Hippy: This has been spasmodically delightful!!
[18:06] #knownspace> Dan: Good evening, Larry!
[18:07] #knownspace> NickE: bye Larry!
[18:07] #knownspace> Hippy: I'm under some pressure here to adjourn for tea, so see you all on a stable connection nexty month
[18:07] #knownspace> Lensman: If you just want cuddling, like some furries do, then sure. I suppose one might argue that since interstellar travelers are almost always rich by human standards, it might be worthwhile to hang out a Draco Tavern looking for a client. But it wouldn't be like the normal hooker trade. It wouldn't be a case of "turn the trick as fast as possible and get back to the street corner". It would be...
[18:07] #knownspace> Lensman: ...more of a courtesan; find a rich patron and cultivate that one.
[18:07] #knownspace> Dan: Not a POV I can understand, but yet I do know them and am tolerant of their predilictions.
[18:08] #knownspace> Dan: Rishing with danger, so to speak. They'd love that!
[18:08] #knownspace> Lensman: Humans are evolved to be "in heat" all the time. Kzinti are not. Even if a Kzin had a perversion that direction, it doesn't mean he'd be interested in pursuing it often.
[18:09] #knownspace> Hippy: A human hooker slides up to a gligstith....etc and asks if he prefvers white meat or dark
[18:09] #knownspace> Hippy: Off for a quick cloning and she's back in the bar in a few minutes while the glig chows down
[18:09] #knownspace> Dan: As long as the Kzin had ready cash, the hooker would be willing.
[18:10] #knownspace> Lensman: A footnote from my "Kzinti" Concordance entry:
[18:10] #knownspace> Lensman: Concerning Kzinti, Niven states "Large warm-blooded animals that have to fight don't have big impressive dongs. There's no flexibility in their mating habits (We have some partial understanding of why humans are an exception.)" ("Introduction", Man-Kzin Wars IV pp. vii-viii).
[18:10] #knownspace> Hippy: Anyway, good fun as always so I'll see everyone next month, God willing and the creek don't rise
[18:10] #knownspace> Lensman: Bye, Hippy!
[18:11] #knownspace> Lensman: "Quick cloning". Hmmm. Yah, okay, if you have the tech.
[18:12] #knownspace> NickE: MKW IV is a bastard to find
[18:13] #knownspace> NickE: I've found a few online and will get it at some point but it's been a reall bugger to track down
[18:14] #knownspace> NickE: and prices for some are plain silly
[18:14] #knownspace> SolBelter: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Kzin-Wars-IV-Larry-Niven/dp/0671720791/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315088017&sr=1-1
[18:14] #knownspace> Lensman: Nick: http://used.addall.com/
[18:14] #knownspace> Lensman: 157 listings, altho some will be duplicates.
[18:14] #knownspace> Lensman: Seriously, bookmark that site. A book collector's best friend.
[18:15] #knownspace> NickE: yeah and then import from the states hits you (I'm in teh UK)
[18:15] #knownspace> SolBelter: the amazon used start at a penny plus the 3.99 shipping...
[18:15] #knownspace> SolBelter: oh- d'oh!
[18:15] #knownspace> NickE: Abe books UK has some, so i'l prolly get it from there
[18:16] #knownspace> dmac44: Back but have to go. Next month ....
[18:16] #knownspace> NickE: ttfn
[18:17] #knownspace> SolBelter: ok gentlebeings, take care and have a good weekend!
[18:17] #knownspace> NickE: niht sb
[18:19] #knownspace> Lensman: Nick: Okay, changing preferences to those sites which are obviously UK, I get 28 copies. Likely some of those other sites are UK, too, if I'd bother to look. And if I were in the UK, it would definitely be worth my time to do so!
[18:20] #knownspace> Lensman: The one-cent price always struck me as odd. Somebody told me they make their money from the handling fee. I guess, but it still seems odd.
[18:22] #knownspace> NickE: I know - its just - it's like sourcing Batman 411. I know I can get it, but I want to find it in a rack somewhere rather than pay a tenner for a comic that cost 60p when it came out
[18:23] #knownspace> NickE: I never had any bother locating all the other MKW books brand new, but IV somehow seems never to have shipped over here
[18:24] #knownspace> NickE: It's one of those "gap" things where half the fun is in the finding a bargin :-)
[18:32] #knownspace> Dan: OK friends, time for me to go do other things. Hugs to the huggable, and give my respects to your mates & spawn. Hope to see you next time I have the day off when that time rolls around!
[18:33] #knownspace> Dan: Lens, you're moderator until Sean returns.
[18:33] #knownspace> NickE: ttfn Dan
[18:34] #knownspace> Lensman: Oh! The responsibility!
[18:34] #knownspace> NickE: heh
[18:34] #knownspace> Dan: Love to all!
[18:34] #knownspace> Lensman: "Lensman's load" ;)
[18:34] #knownspace> NickE: LOL
[18:50] #knownspace> NickE: goonna hit the hay
[18:50] #knownspace> NickE: night all