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About williamjm

  • Birthday 04/29/1981

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    Cambridge, UK

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  1. Two of my colleagues gave a presentation in a group meeting at work on a tech conference they went to in Atlanta. They mentioned that the conference was sharing the hotel complex with a Furry Convention so we got a very sanitised explanation about furries.
  2. Guns of the Dawn does feel a bit different to his other books, one of Tchaikovsky's trademarks is the inventiveness of his world-building but it's not really the focus of this one. I think Emily is one of my favourite characters out of his books, she does go on quite a journey through the story in terms of character development.
  3. Just think how many more tickets they could have sold to fans who wanted to catch all the variations... I think it may be for the best if no-one suggests that to them.
  4. He is absurdly prolific, I've read a lot of his books but struggle to keep up with him - I haven't read Elder Race yet, for example. Out of them I'd particularly recommend Children of Time, Guns of the Dawn and Dogs of War. The first thing I read by him was his 10-volume Shadows of the Apt series, I thought the imagination of the world-building was fascinating throughout the series. It's not got the consistency of his later books, I think he was still learning his trade in the earliest books and it has some pacing issues at times and sometimes the plot got a bit repetitive but I've got many fond memories of it.
  5. I felt that he was more convincing as a 10-foot tall blue alien than he was portraying a human being.
  6. Despite all that, still a better Lib Dem leader than Nick Clegg.
  7. The race had another good battle between Verstappen and Le Clerc in the first few laps and then another burst of excitement towards the end with a long forgettable section in between. After the first three races it felt like Le Clerc was on the verge of running away with the Championship but Verstappen is definitely back in the hunt now.
  8. I watched the film earlier today, it's not my favourite MCU film but I enjoyed it. For a lot of superhero films it feels like they could have been directed by anyone but this is unmistakeably a Sam Raimi film, perhaps even moreso than the Spiderman films. There was definitely some inspiration from the Evil Dead films for a lot of the shots, and it does give the action scenes a different feel to the other MCU films. I did wonder if they persuaded Raimi to direct it after explaining that it was a story about an Evil Book. I think the characters are perhaps the weaker element of this, Strange is an interesting character but not a likeable one, America didn't get much in the way of character development and although the rest of the cast had some great cameos none of them get a huge amount of screen time. I think Wanda makes for a better villain than we get in many MCU films, since we do know the backstory of how she ended up turning to the dark side. I thought it was interesting that while the film suggests every Strange has similar issues and are never really happy the alternate Wandas can be if they don't go through the trauma of losing Vision and what came afterwards. One plot point that felt a bit odd was Wong telling Wanda about the original source of the Darkhold. As the Sorcerer Supreme I think that's the sort of information he should be keeping from her no matter what she threatens to do, the other sorcerers have shown their willingness to die if it stops her. I think it could have worked better if Wanda had used her powers to trick him into a revelation.
  9. Since she mentions the Wakandan ancestral plane I think it's explicit that it's not the only afterlife.
  10. Nobody is going to invade a country with that many nuclear weapons.
  11. I finished P. Djèlí Clark's Master of Djinn. I liked the book's imaginative setting, an alternate early-20th Century Cairo with a lot of supernatural (particularly the djinn of the title) and steampunk elements. Parts of the setting and backstory, particularly the Thousand and One Arabian Nights influence did remind me of S.A. Chakraborty's Daevabad trilogy, although despite sharing some plot points it's structured as a murder mystery rather than an epic fantasy. I liked the characters and the initial set-up of the mystery but I think there is an issue with the plot where it felt too obvious who the culprit was from relatively early on but it takes most of the book for the investigators to figure things out and they rely a lot on other characters deciding to explain things to them. It's an enjoyable read but I think some aspects could have been better and if there are sequels I'll be interested to see whether they can improve on those areas. One oddity is that although this is the first novel in the setting I think some key plot points work better having read the short story A Dead Djinn In Cairo.
  12. It may change but other than Sunak (who seems to be out of contention now anyway) I haven't seen any of the other likely contenders being implicated in the parties. It does feel like the situation would be an advantage for someone who had been a backbench MP during the lockdowns and therefore feels like more of a change from the current regime.
  13. The Lib Dems lost my local seat to Labour. I think overall Labour in particular have a mix of gains and losses. Labour seem to have done well in Scotland (overtaking the Tories to become the main opposition party) and Wales also, although perhaps some of that could be down to the local parties rather than what Starmer is doing. I think the summary for the various parties is that the Tories have done poorly just about everywhere, although perhaps not quite as badly in some parts of the North. Labour have had some great successes but also some mediocre performances elsewhere. Lib Dems and Greens will be happy with their gains while the SNP remain dominant in Scotland.
  14. According to the BBC News live feed the Tories have managed to lose a council that didn't even have any elections happening, which is a neat trick:
  15. I remember that line but hadn't made the connection with Black Panther. I think it could easily have had another couple of episodes, although perhaps better to have too few than too many.
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