April 23, 2019, 07:18:40 AM

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Messages - tebakutis

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What Becky Chambers books have you been reading?

All of them  :)

There's a slice of life quality to her stories - characters are growing up, changing their social lives, relationships and moving on. There is emotional growth, maturing and while they face up to problems, difficulties the degree of danger, physical harm is not the same as some other books mentioned as putting characters through the wringer. I hesitate to say this, but they are more realistic than some books mentioned - the wringer is more easily identifiable.

Which is, if nothing else, my opinion :)

I really enjoyed The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and agree with all of this. Ms. Chambers is a very talented writer and she makes what would otherwise be the mundane events of her character's lives fascinating. No need for a big bad - just people dealing with the stuff people deal with (in spaaaaaaaace!)

Have we all made peace now with just getting a filmed ending not a book ending to this series?

Yep the show will be my canon now.  I doubt that I ever read any of the future books unless I hear (from people whose taste opinions match mine) they are absolutely amazing. I did not like the last two at all and the long delay is not giving me any reason to think this one will be different.

Same. I decided this a couple of years ago. I lack the patience to wait for two (three?) more books, given they seem to come out once every 6 years or more. I'm looking forward to the last season (starts this Sunday, woo!!!) and then, 30 years from now when all the books are finally out, I'll browse the wikipedia to see what Mr. Martin did differently in his books that on the show. But I have no plans to read Winds of Winter or any other books at this point (assuming they even ever come out).

I get the feeling Martin has grown bored with the series, since he has managed to do so much OTHER stuff in the time Winds of Winter hasn't gotten done. And that's fine. I hope he gets to spend his remaining years enjoying his success and doing what inspires him. The show will give me closure on the books.

Today I did the cover reveal for my next book on Twitter and Facebook, but couldn't resist the chance to share it with you fine folks.

This cover art is by talented artist Shen Fei, who's work can be found here: https://www.deviantart.com/shenfeic

From the Back Cover
As a feared and respected bounty hunter, Mackenzie Flores enjoys the finer things in life: a dependable rifle, a clean glass of dirty whisky, and a reputation that leaves her flush with contracts and the freedom to pick and choose her jobs. At least until the Supremacy blows up everything she owns and takes her girlfriend away.

To rescue the woman she loves, all Mackenzie has to do is take down three crime lords, one planet of super soldiers, and a human trafficking base on the moon. Fortunately, she has powered armor and smart bullets. Unfortunately, they’ve all gone missing.

Praise? for Supremacy's Bounty
"If you like this sort of thing, this is something you'll like. And the best part is, now Eric thinks I've read his book." - David Alan Mack, The New York Times author of the bestselling Dark Arts series.

"A much better title than "Son of Supremacy" or "Supremacy II: The Quickening." - Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft series.

“Oh God, he wrote another one?” - Mike Kern, author of Dark Winter

"Never has a well-armed duo been so clueless, yet so lovable." - T. C. Weber, author of Sleep State Interrupt

"Action, comedy and heart, all mixed into one and then wrapped in badass powered armor." - A.Z Anthony, author of Servant of Rage

Purchase and Pricing
The release date is tentative (Summer 2019) and will start off at $3.99, though there will likely be a special of some sort.

Sample Chapters: Coming soon!

Amazon E-Book: Coming soon!

Paperback: Coming soon!

And now a super talented modder has added a full VR Body to Skyrim, with reverse IK (you do NOT have a body by default). F***ing incredible.


Wishing you the best, @JMack.

Just got back from seeing Captain Marvel in the theater. As always, Marvel does excellent movies. Really enjoyed it!

And now I want a spin-off where Agents Fury, Coulson, and May investigate X-Files in the 90s (May was not in the movie, sadly, but young Coulson was!)

For those who read ebooks on Kindle, Amazon is apparently doing a crazy blowout of a ton of SFF this month. All six of Marko Kloos' Frontlines novels (which I adore, and highly recommend to anyone who enjoys action-oriented SF) are on sale for $0.99. Can't beat the price!


General Discussion / Re: Friday Night Music Thread
« on: March 01, 2019, 06:17:29 PM »
The complete soundtrack to the popular MMORPG Black Desert is amazing for writing or just chilling out. The first song, in particular, just grabs you from the moment it starts and makes you want to go out on an adventure.


[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Voting Thread
« on: March 01, 2019, 06:15:46 PM »
Hey, congrats Bradley!

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 28, 2019, 09:52:08 PM »
It is part of the point when discussing their motivations. Its not part of the point every time you mention their existence. The sentence in question would have been perfectly clear without the mention of ethnicity, which means it wasn't needed.

That's an interesting perspective, and I'll consider it in the future.

BTW, someone on Twitter actually summed up what motivates Trump supporters (and the GOP in general) far better than I managed too, so I thought I'd post it here. I feel this does a better job of encapsulating both the reality of Trump's base, and my thoughts on the matter.


This tweet was in response to a GOP (Trump supporting) governor lashing out at the idea of eliminating the Electoral College, which gives a small minority of (largely regressive, largely white voters) an outsized influence in who gets elected in our country.

This is the heart of the white reactionary backlash: if we are forced to be on equal footing with other people, we lose. If we're not on top & in charge, we're "forgotten". If we don't get to abuse you any more, we're the victims. The core animating force on the right, in a nutshell.

The reason I keep harping on the ethnicity of those who believe this is because I believe it's important to call out the racism inherent in their beliefs and statements.

I follow a gentleman named Charles Blow who said it best. He pointed out that ultimately, it's not the responsibility of African-Americans to "solve" racism, nor to call out racists and discourage them. It's the responsibility of white people, even those who aren't racist, to call out other whites who are. If a white person doesn't call out other whites on their racism (to avoid discomfort or allegations of "reverse racism", a favorite right-wing bludgeon) then they are passively participating in and supporting the overt racism of Trump and his supporters.

Thanks everyone for poets and PMs.  No change for my dad at this point.
But to add insult to injury, my mother-in-law of 34 years is about to pass away after 8 years in Alzheimer’s. My wife and her 3 siblings are gathered round watching pneumonia and sepsis make a slow march through her body.

I just hope things work out for both my dad and my wife’s mom with a minimum of discomfort for them, and peace for us all.

Sorry to hear about all of this, Jmack. My parents are both healthy (thus far) but have each reached retirement age (65+!), while my wife's parents are in their 70s. We will be dealing with similar issues very soon on both sides of the family, and I'm not looking forward to it.

One thing my Mom recently said to me (after caring for my grandmother for several years as she suffered through several very bad setbacks and a great deal of stressful, and ultimately fruitless, therapy) is that we have an industry in the US that is set up to prolong life as long as possible, regardless of the quality of that life. She witnessed my grandmother repeatedly being encouraged to endure painful rehabilitation, even in her 90s, that ultimately left her stressed out, confused, and in pain, all with the goal of extending her life an extra year or so (and, by extension, sapping as much of her money as possible to retirement homes, doctors, and insurance).

As my mother reported it, when they FINALLY exhausted the last remedy, my grandmother spent her last two weeks in hospice care, where all efforts were made to make her comfortable and none were made to prolong her already long life. She passed peacefully and in no pain, and by my Mom's account was far more happy and content.

Given this experience, my Mom has already been very clear that she will not accept the same sort of care at the end of her life. When she begins to decline, she has made it very clear that she wishes to be put into hospice care, made as comfortable as possible for however long is necessary, and allowed to pass naturally without enduring years of expensive treatments and painful (and ultimately fruitless) physical therapy that will also drain the finances she wants to leave behind for us. This makes a great deal of sense to me, and I will probably choose the same route for myself when I finally advance into old age.

I'm not telling you this to suggest any course of action, just offering what I hope is some similar life experiences. Even having only met you once, I wish you and your family all the best in dealing with this painful time.

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 28, 2019, 04:48:32 PM »
I am fairly sure you don't appreciate me calling you out on this and I am acutely aware of the irony of doing so.
Had we been discussing a dictatorship in Africa I still maintain you wouldn't have made the distinction had they have been black. I am aware you are correct but I don't believe you are right.

That's fair. While I don't agree, I very much appreciate you being civil and calling me out on something you feel is over the line. Please continue to do so and keep me honest.

When I point out that the vast majority of Trump supporters are angry white people, it's because THEY have chosen to loudly make their ethnicity part of their support for Trump. As they see it (and have been quick to point out) if you aren't white and straight, you should be not seen and not heard, like in the 40-50s (Make America Great Again!) they desperately want to go back to.

I'm kinda with Rostum on this one. If the ethnicity isn't necessary to the point in hand, it probably shouldn't be brought up - like in the original case. That said, I was also raised on the "You can say whatever you like about your own race" principle.

That said - having spent a lot of time in Western PA recently - I don't think they're really imagining it being a worse world than their parents got. And while there is plenty of racism there, they don't particularly blame immigrants for things being worse.

I think this is where we differ. I believe the ethnicity of Trump supporters IS part of the point, because they (or at least a large chunk of them) have made it so. When Trump's supporters have been very clear and vocal that they support Trump because is finally putting the non-whites and liberals in their place (and restoring the "proper" order of whites being in charge) their ethnicity is part of the discussion - because they have made it so.

When one of the primary motivations for (white) Trump supporters to support Trump is their racism against non-whites, I see no problem in calling out that the vast majority of these people for their racist motivations.

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 25, 2019, 04:14:49 PM »
BTW Eric you keep referencing 'white' I don't think you would do this if they happened to be black. There is no such thing as reverse racism, just racism. While I have no love for the people you are labelling as such I feel it detracts from your arguement.

I appreciate you calling me out on that, Rostum, and it's a good thing to be cautious of, especially given how politically charged the US is right now. However, for me to say that Trump's base is mainly old, racist white people isn't me generalizing. It's an unfortunate and easily provable fact.

Trump and his advisors honed the core message of his campaign (and continue to hone it even now) to appeal to a large segment of the US population who feel they've been denied the wealth and privilege their (white) parents and grandparents enjoyed, largely due to a political, legal, and financial system stacked heavily in favor of white people as a result of a long history of segregation and racism following the abolition of slavery. Many of the children and grandchildren of those who grew up enjoying that advantage over others feel their current circumstances (not as rich as their parents) are the result of non-white people getting "unfair" advantages and the United States actively discriminating against all whites (to someone born with privilege, seeing others get a fair shake feels like oppression). They see no connection to the ultra-rich screwing everyone who isn't rich over.

It is true that there are Trump supporters who aren't white (and he makes sure to put them front and center on stage, if he can find them) but they are a tiny minority by comparison. I'm not generalizing when I say a huge part of his base are racist white folks. I'm stating an unfortunate fact that came about for a number of reasons, including the United States' incredibly problematic history of slavery and segregation.

Go ahead and do a Google Image Search for "trump rally" if you'd like to see what I'm talking about. You'll find dozens of shots where you can count the non-white folks in each shot on one hand. It's just a sea of angry white people, and all of them have bought into Trump's racist message that THEY are being oppressed.

Trump's base (and the GOP's base, for that matter) are by and large white folks, and appealing to the racist nature of these people (who feel left behind by industrialization and diversity) is a huge part of his shtick. "Make American Great Again" might as well be code for "Make America White Again". Trump is telling them he wants to take things back to the 50s, when non-whites and LGBT folks knew their place, and his supporters hear that message loud and clear. They feel like THEY are being oppressed, and Trump will fix it.

For better or worse, Trump and his crew have made "being white" part of their appeal to voters, and the basis of their MAGA slogan. It's why Trump's speeches at his rallies are all laser-focused on tales of "immigrants" (non-whites) stealing the jobs of "real Americans" (white people) while bringing in drugs and killing "good Americans" (again, white folks). Trump and his flunkies (Bannon, Miller, Sanders, etc) chose this line specifically to appeal to poor white people in areas that have suffered economically, and people who are afraid of the increasing diversity in the US. And those people have responded by supporting Trump with a cultlike intensity.

"Brown people are coming to take your jobs and kill your children" is literally the rallying cry Trump is using to justify their stupid border wall to their base. It's why his supporters are okay with throwing babies in cages ... these children are "illegal immigrants" e.g. non-white. Looking at interviews with Trump supporters, you'll also notice that the vitriol Trump supporters throw at immigrants isn't directed at Russian or Canadian or Irish immigrants (light-skinned) but instead at immigrants with dark skin.

Racism (specifically the racist history of the United States, a country built on slave labor to benefit rich, white males) is built into the Trump campaign as a core plank of its appeal to its voters, which is why I think it's perfectly justified to call out that the bulk of his supporters are white and undeniably racist.

And yes, as a white man myself, it took me a long time to recognize the privilege I was born into and have enjoyed literally all my life. Fortunately, I had parents who raised me in a diverse area with diverse viewpoints, and who themselves have never subscribed to the toxic messages many of Trump's supporters grew up with. If I'd been born in a poor area and grown up with my parents telling me anyone who wasn't like me was the reason I wasn't rich and successful, I very well could be one of those morons screaming my head off at a Trump rally.

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 24, 2019, 08:23:03 PM »
So apparently the Mueller report is due to drop within days. Finally. Any predictions on what will follow?

Unfortunately (as much as I'd like that to be true) this is false info. Mueller's team has directly said they do not plan to wrap up any time soon. I'm not sure where it came from.

Sadly, I feel that even the release of the Mueller report will only be the beginning of the investigations. I feel now that Trump and his cronies will have the entirety of his term (up until 2020, when he loses the election) to continue to enrich themselves and screw over literally everyone else.

Many of them will eventually go to prison (or just die, being old white farts) but the damage they've done to our courts, norms, and government will take decades to fix. And the MAGA crowd will be cheering our doom all the way.

Links, Competitions and 'Stuff' / Ong's Hat - Probably the first ARG
« on: February 21, 2019, 06:49:00 PM »
I read a truly cool story today about a very early alternate reality game/conspiracy that is still around in various ways. For anyone interested in game design or the spread of Internet conspiracies, it's a very interesting read.


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