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About Werthead

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    Social Justice Robot from the Future
  • Birthday 01/22/1979

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    Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom

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  1. Werthead

    Star Trek Discovery #3

    Calypso was also excellent, really Inner Light/The Visitor level of stuff. Michael Chabon writing Star Trek is extremely exciting (and he'll apparently be lead writer on the Picard series).
  2. That is magnificently condescending. Some of us have been reading SFF for 30+ years, written a history of the genre and have forgotten more about the genre than others on this forum will ever know, but can still say that ASoIaF is certainly among the upper tier of the genre for its character focus, dialogue and thematic development. It's just cool and edgy to hate on it now since it became enormously successful. Because there weren't any dragons in the original outline, but Phyllis Eisenstein urged George to put them in. George started writing A Game of Thrones in 1991. Robin Hobb started writing Assassin's Apprentice in 1994. So if George was taking his ideas from Hobb, it was through the medium of time travel. Also, the Fool is not a dwarf. Have you read Hobb's series? A WMD set off 8,000 years ago which has come back to blight the world again and needs to be dealt with. However, I do not anticipate them being a major force in the series denouement because that would be going against one of the core themes of the series, that the worst monsters are people. He does. Maybe not as much as he should have, but it is noted in the later books that he has lost weight. The worldbuilding in ASoIaF has suffered serious retconning, because George wasn't interested in it and put in place a fairly loose framework originally which he realised later on had to be far firmer and more detailed to support the narrative. This has led to problems, although no particularly fatal ones. Characterisation is a ridiculous criticism to level against the series. George's gift is creating well-realised, fully-fleshed out, three-dimensional characters in a very short space of time and having them act in accordance with their own motivations in a consistent and logical manner. Very few other authors full stop, let alone in the fantasy genre, manage to do the same thing. In evolutionary terms, the odd seasons have only been around for a blink of an eye (8,000 years, but possibly only 4,000), so evolutionary processes have not really started adapting, whilst Helliconia has had 8 million years to adapt to the capture of the Batalix system by Freyr.
  3. Werthead

    Atlas of Ice and Fire

    Updated with the voyage of the Sun Chaser. This was a pain in the backside because GRRM didn't give the fleet enough time to get very far from Westeros: 12 days before becoming becalmed, then hit by 4 storms in 4 days and then they reach the islands, which puts the islands really not that far from Westeros at all (1,200-1,500 miles, perhaps). That's less of an issue for the islands, but certainly a bigger one for Lady Meredith getting back to Westeros afterwards, as it becomes less plausible that they missed the Summer Islands and wound up on Sothoryos. The only conclusion I can come to is that they were blown way off course to the south by the storms that are mentioned.
  4. The EuroCon hotel situation and memberships should be sorted out this week. Still waiting for an official date when we'll be announcing the GoH.
  5. The PM of the UK is being kept in power through a dubious deal with a grubby party that used to effectively be a terrorist organisation (although I forget, it's fine to sit down with terrorists when it's the Tories doing it), so the "democratically-elected PM of the UK" bit is highly questionable. She's Prime Minister through a quirk of our system, the same way Trump is President of the US only through a quirk of theirs. Neither are democratically-elected through an expression of the overall majority will of the people. The main reason for it being a non-starter is actually to do with us: our repayment agreement with the EU is currently based on us not fielding any MEPs for this election and them taking part in EU Parliament business afterwards. If we are to stay for another year or whatever, we would need MEPs to deal with business impacting on the UK in that time. The longer the extension, the longer that Britain is a member of the EU and ergo the larger the settlement bill. They do, but not under these current circumstances. If Brexit goes badly wrong, they don't want the blame. Their strategic stance is for May to carry it through, it be a disaster and for them to pick it up again afterwards and be seen as heroes for saving the day.
  6. Vince Cable made a shrewd move today, by saying that the Lib Dems will not support any future no confidence votes unless Corbyn commits to a second referendum. The Lib Dems only have 12 MPs, but that's enough to sway the arithmetic even if a dozen Tory MPs later rebelled against the government (which still seems unlikely).
  7. Bit of a nothing statement. Emerging news that Brexiter cabinet members headed by Liam Fox are floating the idea of requesting a 12-month extension to Article 50 to negotiate a "managed No-Deal".
  8. No, the option is on the table but it is not official party policy at this time. The PM is to make a statement in an hour's time. Not sure what that could be, apart from more grandstanding. Either that, or her meetings with the party leaders were because of some radical step she plans to take (like a GE or a second referendum, neither of which seem plausible coming from her at this time).
  9. Yes, the numbers are there if Labour are whipped to support a second referendum and they all complied (they'd probably lose 4-6 which could be a problem) and if more than a dozen (might be closer to 20, I really can't be arsed to look it up, but it's in that ballpark) Tories voted to support it. The problem right now is that it isn't Labour policy, so even if a random MP did try to float it, it would likely fail on the number of tow-the-line and Brexit-constituency Labour MPs who'd vote with the leadership (presumably) against it.
  10. This is the problem with our somewhat weird electoral system: a Remain vote could carry a majority of the overall population in the country whilst the FPTP system meant it dooms a large number of MPs. The entire archaic system needs an overhaul, which of course is not going to happen in the near future.
  11. Yes, he does keep saying this despite the German car industry saying, "Nope," and losing easy access to the British market might hurt, but if you're after a mid-to-top range German car you'll probably pay the extra anyway.
  12. "Not enough of a majority for a second referendum" is only true right this second, with Labour not formally supporting one (although many Labour MPs would back one in a vote). The SNP, Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru have all pledged to support a second referendum and six Tory MPs have publicly backed it, with the understanding that there may be another dozen to twenty (and potentially a lot more) who would support a second referendum if no other option presented itself. So the key is Labour swinging behind it. If they do, they could carry it over the rest of the Tories and the DUP. There's also been a shift in the attitude to Brexit Ref 2 from some Brexiters (notably Farage), who have started saying that if there was one it could be a good thing, as they could win with an increased majority which would provide a mandate for No Deal, so it could gain a lot more traction. The key part today isn't the no-confidence vote, which May should squeeze through, but what happens when she does. The expectation is that Corbyn would then have to endorse a second referendum as really there's nothing else he can do.
  13. Going by the stats, this is the worst defeat by a sitting government ever (Corbyn incorrectly said since 1924, but that defeat was by only 160 votes), meaning that Brexit is now the biggest (peacetime) political crisis faced by a British government ever. That's extraordinary.
  14. This may come to pass, but there's a lot of fear from Leave-voting constituency MPs that voting for a second referendum would be seen as a betrayal (especially if Remain then won, but not from those constituencies) and they'd get booted out at the next election anyway.
  15. The result just logjams Parliament. So May's deal is dead, the EU won't renegotiate but we can't have a No-Deal situation, so Article 50 will be revoked or extended and then what? Complete paralysis until 2022? That seems untenable. There is a small chance that May might lose tomorrow night's result, but it would require several Tory MPs to rebel or not show up, and I can't see any Conservative, even the most ardent hard-Brexiter or Remainer, wanting to risk Corbyn getting into power.