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About Wilbur

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  1. Bradshaw called his own plays, and the 1970s were a run-first and then run-second era, so he only got to throw about 1/3 or 1/4 of the time modern QBs have an opportunity to throw. Meanwhile Eli played for offensive coordinators that would not really be considered top notch. A lot of times I thought that perhaps the confused look on his face was due to the nonsense he was hearing from his helmet radio.
  2. I agree with Proudfeet that the Blazers overachieved last year, and even more so with Argonath Diver that Whiteside is a net negative on any on which team he plays. When Whiteside left the Heat, they immediately got better, and only 90% of that was the arrival of Jimmy Butler. The fascinating thing about Portland is the arrival of Melo. This portion of his career seems to bear out the notion that the presence of Melo on a team has no bearing on whether they win or lose. He will score his points and play little defense, and despite the beauty of his offensive game, it won't actually make any difference whether he was there or not. If you enjoy seeing some pure step-back jumpers and low post mano-a-mano, the Blazers are what to watch, but if you are a Portland fan, it is all just empty calories.
  3. Wilbur

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    I just finished Quillifer (2017) by Walter Jon Williams, and it was a very pleasant book indeed. WJW wrote a lot of sea tales under a pen name, and as a result both his naval battles and his land battles are very professional. When added to his other many talents as a writer and observer of men, the results are positive and very readable. The world-building is also very good, just enough to be present and not so much that overwhelms the reader. It makes me think of an Elizabethan England in a pagan world from GRRM, mixed with Sharpe's Rifles by Bernard Cornwell, with a dash of Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser, and a splash of Midshipman Bolitho by Alexander Kent, infused with the financial chicanery of Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle. The story itself is picaresque a la Flashman, but the protagonist is not quite so carnal or cowardly. I look forward to reading Walter Jon Williams' next work, Quillifer the Knight (2019).
  4. Wilbur

    Lois McMaster Bujold World of the Five Gods

    I second the idea of publication order, although the enjoyment of the latter books and novellas is not necessarily dependent upon prior knowledge of the earlier stories. There are a few references which add to the reader's understanding in the latter books.
  5. Game of Zones is BACK, and it is Season 7, the final season. The Horse who does horse things - no!
  6. Wilbur

    Football: Brendan has the last laugh

    What game is this referee watching? He certainly seems confused about what is happening between Liverpool and Flamengo.
  7. Wilbur

    Still Looking for a Good Space Opera Series

    Walter Jon Williams' Dread Empire's Fall series is pretty good. The Praxis (2002) The Sundering (2003) Conventions of War (2005) Investments (2008), novella Impersonations (2016) The Accidental War (2018) I just started on The Accidental War, and it has some pretty funny commentary on the most recent banking crisis wrapped up in a galaxy-spanning war, with added space exploration and yacht racing.
  8. Wilbur

    Football: Brendan has the last laugh

    Press Association are saying that ManUnited had been tracking him long term with an eye on a summer 2020 transfer, but they weren't aware of his 7.5mil transfer clause.
  9. James Dolan is one of those characters that even Game of Zones can't parody, they can only portray him as he really is.
  10. The former thread on these books is closed Since LMB is still writing them, here is a short reminder that they are excellent books and novellas, and that she published the seventh Penric novella this year, The Orphans of Raspay. The novella is short and sweet and everything you might like in a Penric story, although I did miss the supporting characters who usually inhabit her works. The author seems to be exploring the idea of a benevolent providence in these books, and it would be nice if the real world also worked that way. Sadly, this one seems to only be available in ebook format on the thrice-cursed Amazon Kindle Reader. This means you pay Amazon four bucks to sit in front of your screen and read the book - you cannot download it and take it with you. I hope that LMB is collecting some good coin from this method of publishing, but damnation is it annoying. Grover Gardner doesn't seem to have read the audiobook yet. https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-Raspay-Penric-Desdemona-novella-ebook/dp/B07VFPQ711
  11. I like these questions! My impression from reading "The Churn" was that "Amos" is actually younger than Holden given the time period and contemporaneous events mentioned, but I could be mistaken. With respect to picking Singh as a leader, my impression is that Duarte is a "refurbished" human, like the little brother in "Strange Dogs" after the dogs bring the little boy back to life. The first chapter of Persepolis Rising from the Paulo Cortazar perspective led me to believe that while Cortazar is experiementing with the human-protomolecule hybrids in the pen, there is also strange dog-related technology under control on Laconia as well. Duarte is very old at the beginning of Persepolis Rising, yet he is also amazingly fit and vigorous. Cortazar definitely thinks of him as having had some sort of alien treatment to extend his life, but not the result of the work in the pens. Given the lack of affect from the post-dog-treatment sunbird mama in "Strange Dogs", I assumed that Duarte is similarly affected. Singh had made a "logical" decision to turn in his immediate superior, and thus Duarte picked him because Singh has a track record of by-the-book behavior. Another contributing factor to my mind is the totalitarian society Singh comes from, where blind obedience and loyalty to the state is the correct point of view. The cultural clash between this worldview and that of Belter society is too great for Singh to resolve, and perhaps Duarte could not predict how parochial the younger generation had become.
  12. Wilbur

    Literature Of Old: Plutarch, Appian, Herodotus

    Alcibiades is such an interesting character individually and in the history of Athens. Like a lot of the historical characters mentioned above, you can read him as a hero or as a villain, and neither one is probably wrong. With the several different historians or philosophers who wrote about his life, his story is one of the most well-rounded. Xenophon's books are both very interesting, and the encomium is just as revealing of Greek culture as it is of the lives of the Persian monarchs, given his reactions to the things he describes. One aspect of classical literature and history that most fascinates me is my own perception of the Greek historians and the Roman historians. For me, reading of the Greeks, from Ancient through Classical to the Alexandrian period, always seems a little like mythology. On the other hand, reading the Roman historians (Sallust, Tacitus, Livy, etc.) feels a lot more like a contemporary account of news. Perhaps it is because the recently-concluded American Century took a form so similar to late Republic and then early Imperial Roman times, but the Roman histories have an immediacy and recognizability that the Greek ones do not. I don't say that they are better than the Greek, or that I enjoy them more, but the Greek histories just seem to have a sheen of the exotic/foreign/distant that the Roman ones do not.
  13. Do you currently subscribe to Analog / Asimov's or the MFSF? Those three that you mentioned would seem to provide a suitable introduction to a lot of new authors and ideas each month. Over the decades the quality of the content has varied across all three as editors came and went, but none of them ever really dropped below "meets expectations". Another good source would be the various incarnations of the Year's Best SF anthologies, which are a good place to experience the work authors you might not have read othewise: 1966-1971 1972-1990 1972-1987 (Carr) 1996-2013 (Hartwell / Cramer) 1984-2019 (Dozois) And Fantasy has an equivalent, 1975-1988 And if you are truly serious about delving into the depths of stuff you haven't read before, peruse the pages of Good Show, Sir and actually read the books featured in its rogue's gallery of terrible cover art. I have read several of the books I have seen on GSS over the years, and they are not what I would have picked otherwise.
  14. Wilbur

    Elizabeth Moon Palladin's Legacy series

    Elizabeth Moon seems to give her characters, particularly her female characters, a lot of agency within the story, and she is a writer whose style is flowing and easy to read. This is simply and overtly true in the Deed of Paksenarrion and Legend of Gird books, and becomes more subtle and sophisticated in her Paladin's Legacy novels. Her science fiction books also show this refinement in approach and style, from the Familias Regnant series where Bertie Wooster's aunts own and operate the story, to the Vatta's War novels of greater complexity. If you start to stall within her earlier works, be encouraged that her later stuff shows her maturing skills and rewards attention. She also provides about the most accurate and complete view of military life of anyone who isn't Glen Cook, without necessarily glamorizing it or glorifying war, even though the plots of her stories often contain war. Wounds and illness are particularly well done IMHO. Her work might seem tightly focused on the broad themes of traditional conflicts of high fantasy or space opera, but a second reading shows that she is thinking and causing the reader to consider how cultures and peoples can come together and reintegrate during or after a struggle for supremacy or territory, and she does a tremendous job of illustrating how compassion and compromise are the ideals of a real hero. Moon also has a truly excellent touch in dealing with the struggle of personal loneliness as demonstrated fully in both Remnant Population with an aging protagonist and in The Speed of Dark with an autistic protagonist. For me, her sensitivity and creativity in addressing people who are on the margins is second only to Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End. I strongly recommend all three of these works.
  15. Is there talk of such a thing? The NBA season is way too long, grinding players down and making the playoffs less interesting because half the players are carrying injuries. Think of how the 1987 and 1989 Finals were so badly marred by absent or hurt players. Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to see a 30-game first half that ends at Thanksgiving, followed by a Christmas tournament, followed by the second half of the season lasting 30 games that re-starts in January, with the Finals back in May where they belong. The Christmas tournament I envision is played entirely at the Palestra or some place similar, single-elimination with some big cup and cash prizes, and the winner gets an automatic bid to the playoffs. I know in today's commerical world this would never fly - the Palestra is too small, the league wants the money generated by all the games, etc. But the basketball quality would probably improve.