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About williamjm

  • Birthday 04/29/1981

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    Cambridge, UK

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  1. Out of recent shows I think Andor definitely stands up to those three. I don't know if I'd say Jupiter Ascending was a good film necessarily, but at least it had some imagination and I'd rather than watch it than something turgid like Rebel Moon. If you're going to make a daft space opera why not do crazy things like have Sean Bean play a bee? I thought John Carter did manage to capture some of the spirit of pulp science fiction. It's also a bit silly, but if your pulp science fiction about travelling to Mars isn't a bit silly then you're not doing it right.
  2. It is a bit lacking in gravitas. We do have a few billion years to come up with a good name for the merged galaxy, hopefully we can manage something better than Milkdromeda or Andromeway.
  3. The Andromeda Galaxy is heading towards us at about 300 km/s and the prediction is that it will collide with the Milky Way in about 5 Billion years.
  4. I liked it. I think saying that Ancillary Justice is still her best book is accurate, but I thought Translation State was the best book she'd written since the Ancillary trilogy. I think it's perhaps inevitable for an award like the Hugos that the nominations won't necessarily represent the full breadth of the genre because most of the nominators probably only read a limited number of new releases in a year and they are likely to prioritise books by authors they are already fans of.
  5. 10 years would be enough time for Liz Truss to be Prime Minister 81 times.
  6. Flying across the Atlantic to a convention without already having a membership for it is definitely suggesting he was more interested in making a scene that actually taking part.
  7. I read Josiah Bancroft's An Empyreal Retinue, a short story collection set in the world of his Babel series, although some of the stories are more like 'deleted scenes' from the series rather than stories in their own right. One of the fascinating things about the series was discovering new part of the titular tower and I think Into the Misanthropolis, which explores a dystopian ringdom of bureaucrats, was one of the highlights. The title story, which is the only one to be set after the events of the series, probably has the most interesting narrative. I think fans of the series should find this collection interesting, but it's not really essential. I've now started Daniel Abraham's Blade of Dreams, the second book in his Kithimar trilogy. The biggest issue I had with the first book was that I didn't really like the characters that much, I think so far that this one might work better for me.
  8. I did see it suggested online that Trevor could have been away at college during the events and the film wouldn't really have lost anything.
  9. I watched Ghostbusters : Frozen Empire. I enjoyed the film, although it did have some flaws. I do like the new generation cast introduced in Afterlife, but the size of the cast did seem to be getting a bit unwieldy because many of the characters from the original film are given more to do in this one and there are also some new characters introduced. The number of nostalgic callbacks does threaten to distract from the plot at times, I think they could have cut back on a lot of that. Dan Aykroyd has an important role in the plot but I don't think Bill Murray's scenes were adding much.
  10. The 2024 Hugo nominations have been released: https://glasgow2024.org/hugo-awards/2024-hugo-award-finalists/ Two of the books I nominated are on the best novel list (The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi and Translation State), I haven't read any of the others yet. I see that Xiran Jay Zhao got included on the Best New Writer list after being one of the people removed from last year's nominations, it seems that they sensibly decided to waive the normal rule about eligibility expiring after two years. Tchaikovsky has been nominated for Best Series again this year for a different work, his Final Architecture series, so does have an opportunity to get an untainted Hugo.
  11. I read Morgan Stang's Murder on the Lamplight Express, the second in her series about a monster hunter employed to deal with supernatural threats who finds her hunts sometimes interrupted by having to solve a mundane murder mystery. As the name suggests this time the murder is aboard a luxurious sleeper train where, inevitably, all the travellers seem to have their own secrets and possible motives for murder. It's a fun pastiche of mystery novels with a fast pace which manages to cover a large number of subplots. I also like the way the world-building gradually reveals how different this world is to our world. Then the sad news of Vernor Vinge's death reminded me that although I've read most of his work I hadn't read one of his most famous stories. True Names is often cited as inventing the cyberpunk genre and it is remarkably prescient for a story written in 1981. Many parts of it still feel very topical, particularly with recent developments in AI. Although some details are dated (such as its idea of how much computing power would be unusually large) I think the basic premise still works well today and there are a few unexpected twists along the way. I think the events are a logical extrapolation of things introduced in the first two books but I definitely enjoyed it less than the earlier books in the series.
  12. Sainz definitely couldn't be doing any more to advertise his abilities. Of course, he benefited from Red Bull's reliability problems but he still looked in control throughout. It would have been interesting to see whether they could have been competitive with Verstappen during the race, I suspect Max still comes out on top but it might have been closer than the other races this year.
  13. They really dominated Wales today. It's a young team as well so they've got a lot of potential for the future.
  14. North must have quite a high percentage of the total caps in the current Welsh side.
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