4.24.2013

I'm gonna pop some Xenos, only got twenty rounds in my bolter

Soooo there's a rap song by a guy named Macklemore and his friend Ryan Lewis called "Thrift Shop". The song is an ode to well, thrift shops and how they're good places to get clothes and whatnot on the cheap, and encourages people to find their own style rather than following popular trends (such as blowing a load of cash on a t-shirt just because it's "limited edition" or "vintage"). I'm not a fan of rap in general - with the exception of nerdcore hip hop. Yes, that is a thing - and prefer rock music, but from time to time, one will pop up that's enjoyable.

(Fair warning, there's some adult language in the song, so you might not want to watch it while at work, school, or in the presence of children, bosses, co-workers, and priests)




In any case, I've found myself sometimes singing the chorus ("I'm going to pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket") and the other day on Tumblr, I came up with a version for the Space Marines from Warhammer 40k, which happens to be the title of this post. Someone else offered additional 40k-ish lyrics:

Drop into the field be like ohfuck that’s a big WAAAGH!,
So pumped to wreck some shit with a mag in my Boltgun,
Orks start to die, their brains all pulpy,
The Warboss be like “Damn that’s a cold ass Astartes!”

(via thunderwarehouse)
 This isn't even the weirdest scifi related thing I've done on Tumblr either. I think the same day I started a discussion on Data's balls. It started out as a joke, but actually turned into a real debate. Last night, I started another about whether or not zombies still have functional digestive system and that started out with me wondering if zombies pee and poop!

In case you're wondering, probably not. The best answer was that zombies simply eat until their stomachs burst. That in turn led to the larger issue of whether their organs still functioned. I don't think so, otherwise you could kill a zombie by shooting it in the chest and destroying its heart.

I honestly have no idea how I come up with that stuff.

4.13.2013

I have a bad feeling about this: SyFy's going to make miniseries out of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End and Larry Niven's Ringworld

These two bombs are going to create a disturbance in the Force so massive, it would probably give the Jedi strokes. SyFy's done this before with Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea and well, it failed so horribly, that Le Guin has referred to it as "Frankenstein's Earthsea". I've never watched it (thank the Living Force), but one review paints a picture of a series that was processed into a sub-standard fantasy miniseries, which is par on course with all their other fantasy offerings.

While I've never read Childhood's End (a gross oversight on my part which will be remedied) or Ringworld (a deliberate choice because I have qualms about Niven himself), I'm cringing like a motherfrakker at what fate will befall them and what we'll actually see on TV. My guess, the aliens in the former won't look like demons, but humans in Nehru suits or generic "scifi" jumpsuits. Meanwhile, the aliens in the latter will be of the cheapest CGI possible. Who knows, SyFy might surprise us and break a $20 and splurge in that area.

4.03.2013

A sad day for all: writer Iain M. Banks announces he has terminal cancer

From his website:
I am officially Very Poorly.

After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.

I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn't gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it’s extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.

There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we're balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.
Lastly, I'd like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved - and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed - has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.

A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it’s ready.

Iain Banks
I hate cancer.

I'll admit right now that I haven't read any of Banks books. I have three of his Culture novels - The Player of Games, Excession, and Matter - and always planned on reading them. I was attracted to them because of the way people on an internet forum years ago gabbed about them and when I finally looked them up, my mind was blown by this man's imagination. He made Star Trek, Star Wars, and the other bread and butter scifi universes look like stone age civilizations compared to what he writes.

I hate cancer because like too many people, I know what it's like to see a loved one stricken with the disease and to lose someone to it. My mother is a cancer survivor and my paternal grandmother died from it. I can't even begin to imagine what Iain M. Banks is going through, but he and nobody else should have to suffer from a disease that with all the medical science and wealth of an entire planet, should have been vanquished a long, long time ago.

Like I said, I have several of Banks Culture books, but have never read them. Until now. I'm setting aside all of my current reading and focusing solely on those. It obviously does nothing for Banks, but it's the best way I can think of to honor him.

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