Two

March 27, 2017

Greenings Thirders

Welcome to the eyes of March.  We understand they are smiling.  We’re not sure why.  This is one of those periods that is just packed full of cultural significance.  There are murders, parades, ashes, green beer, bunnies, cross hangings, little  people with pots of gold, resurrections, and lots of chocolate eggs.  We honestly have no idea how all these things are connected although we are sure they are.  Sometimes we wish you would just go back to the old festivals as things were much easier to understand then.  The other thing is that, evidently, this period comes in like a liar and goes out on the lam.  While that sort of makes sense we don’t see the social relevance.   Frankly, we are looking forward to April, a time period where you celebrate weather and what it does.

Killing Pretty, Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager, ISBN 978-0-06-23731-06, $25.99, 387 pgs.

We’ve noticed a trend in that your species spends a great deal of time writing about hell and other places where you believe you will be sent to be punished for leading a less than pure life while actually on the planet.  And, yet, the lives you lead while on the planet are not even close to adhering to the tenets that would keep you from being sent to such places.  And no one killing prettyembodies this more than Sandman Slim, an individual who was cast into hell, fought in the hellish arena, killed to get out, killed once out, killed until he became the ruler of Hell, killed to get out of that, killed one of the manifestations of Gods, possibly killed Elder Gods, and definitely killed any number of vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, witches, warlocks, and assorted bad guys, including a few insurance salesmen.   We like Sandman Slim.  We think he is the best thing to come to civilization since the quantum disintegrator.  And remember, just because we say a thing does not mean it can be a thing.  Think of Romulan Ale.  The only thing better than the Sandman are his friends and he seems to have a lot of them and most of them are not human. We’ve been to LA a few times but never when the stuff that is going on in these books seems to be taking place.  Still, we like it as well.  We’d say more but that would be telling.  Go out and buy yourself a copy or two.  You will thank us.

The Perdition Score, Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager. ISBN 978-0-06-237326-7, $25.99, 375 pgs.

Okay, we’re telling.  This is more in the way of Sandman Slim.  This time though he’s got Angels perditionon his hands.  And not happy Angels but the pissed off kind.  We’ve never seen an Angel although we are pretty sure we’ve come through Heaven once or twice on the way here.   So, this is a complicated one, involving, black liquid, powerful sorcerers, goons, a group that bets on everything, insurance for the dead or about to be dead, vampires, and personal intrigue related to romance.  We still liked it.  This Kadrey fellow, who looks like he just barely missed the cut in a hell’s angels movie, has a way with words.  We’re not sure we’re believing that he’s had all these experiences though.  We believe that he is conflating his own and many other’s experiences and labeling than all as Sandman Slim’s.  This is fine. Less people to keep track of.  Especially since so many of them die.  We enjoyed the whole thing and would like to have more.  We think you will agree.

Cold Welcome, Elizabeth Moon, Del Rey, ISBN 978-1-10-18873-18, $28.00, 431 pgs.

You write about a lot of planetary systems we have never heard of.  Sure you call things funny names but we’ve been checking the star positions and there’s not much there where you say things should be.  Maybe you are just off.  It does not take much we understand.  Any hows,cold this is all about the planet Slotter Key (see what we mean by the name thing?) Slotter Key is the home of the Vattas.  This is important because Space-fleet commander Kylar Varra is returning home to do some family business.  Unfortunately, she is sold out and the shuttle she is on crashes into the cold ocean near a continent that is uninhabited for apparently mythical reasons.  She survives, along with most of the crew and passengers of the shuttle and manages to make landfall.  But, the question is, are those who set up her crash still with her?  And what about the secret base they discover?  Sure, it keeps them alive but those who built it could return at any moment. And, while she is a commander, she is a space commander and not necessarily a land commander.  The intrigue all plays out as the group tries to stay alive in the hostile environment.  We liked it.  We like most of this Moon person’s work.  You will probably like it too.

A Night Without Stars, Peter Hamilton, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-345-54722-4, $32.00, 702 pgs.

Hey, there are a lot of pages in this one.  Purely on a page per penny cost ratio it’s a steal.  Of course if you steal it the ratio goes way down.  This is a novel of the Commonwealth.  No, not Massachusetts, but the one in space. It was a while before we figured this out for ourselves so we give you this now so you won’t have to go through the wondering.  The Commonwealth is evidently a big place.  And yet it is a place we are not familiar with.  But, the universe is large night without starsand we have not seen all of it.  The action this time is set on the planet of Bienvenido.  Not that it matters since everyone who finds a planet gives it a different name.  Except for the Zilph who just number everything.  Somehow, this planet, which has been inside the Void, has been expelled and is now roaming the universe on its own.  This has not changed the conflict between the two inhabitants of the planet however—the humans and the Faller.  The Faller are trying to get rid of the humans and can mimic pretty much any living organic creature, which comes in handy when you are trying to infiltrate a species.  The humans do what they do best—destroy things.  Into all of this comes a baby.  But not a normal baby.  This baby grows at an incredible rate and contains much of the knowledge of the Commonwealth.  The humans who have her believe she will lead them to victory against the Fallers.  The humans fighting the Fallers believe she must be destroyed as she endangers their way of life. Since she is human, more or less, the Fallers want her dead.   Just another day on Bienvenido evidently.  We have liked this Commonwealth stuff and would like to see Hamilton’s original notes so we could go visit a lot of these places.  You probably would like that too.  In the meantime you can read about it and yearn.

The Final Day, William R. Forstchen, Forge, ISBN 978-0-7653-7673-2, $36.99, 348 pgs.

The world is a mess thanks to an EMP that has laid waste to most of the elthe final dayectronics on the planet.  Initially we scoffed at this since any race soon out of the electronic box learns to protect against this very thing since if you don’t any wandering electromagnetic space whale can burp in your vicinity and take you right out.  But, we discovered that all of your electronics are not shielded in any way.  Oh well.  This is obviously a cautionary history since we can travel the planet and see that none of this is actually happening.  That being the case we forgive the few things that did not really ring true to us.  Then again a lot of your behavior does not really ring true so who are we to say anything about that.  We enjoyed the premise and we think it is a foreboding warning about a potential future for you.  A grim future.  Just the kind you seem to enjoy.  It is also a follow up on a previous work that detailed the immediate effect of the aftermath of the EMP.  We liked that one too.

 


Greenings (again) Earthers

March 7, 2011
Actress Milla Jovovich participating in a pane...

Image via Wikipedia

We are here once more to report on our findings after a thorough review of your video records, or, as thorough as we could manage after Klaarg’s run in with an electronic parking meter that he thought was a uni-wheeled utility robot, which made him late with the pizza. I suppose also that we need to reconvert our titling as so few of your records exist on video anymore. We should probably swap over to utilizing the phrase digital record but we do so love tape and film, no matter what James Cameron or George Lucas say.

In any point, we were discussing–Klaarg, Hmmmenmmmenefra, Decarlo (don’t ask), and myself–your penchant for trying to envision a deeper and darker future for yourself. Your pundits call this a post apocalyptic shadow. We call it a lack of vision or, simply, a species wide depression. We think, perhaps, that you are beginning to actually see how limited you are as a species and you are not encouraged by it. Thus, all of these post apocalyptic films that are dark, depressing and, essentially, expressing your special suicide. Wait, because we know some of you will misread the previous sentence we need to expand. We do not mean special as in different or nice, but special as in, related to species. Put the emphasis on the first e and make it long. Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way perhaps you can explain to us why, in all of your apocalyptic movies, the first thing your species seems to do, post apocalyptically speaking, is destroy what little useful stuff actually remains?

We think there may actually be some kind of religious aspect to this but we can’t really explore that vein due to the loss of Bla’haauggh, our religious mythologist, who stepped into the sonic shower and turned the setting to dust instead of exfoliate. We have fond memories of Bla’haauggh and see him whenever we go to a zero gravity state (It’s really hard to get all the dust out of the mother ship, no matter how hard you try and it’s not like Klaarg will let us let loose a Roomba).

So, here we are, with a pile of somewhat dusty DVDs that we’ve viewed and studied in order to get some glimpse into why you do the things you do. Luckily we got a good bunch this time and learned a lot. For example, in “Resident Evil: Afterlife we learned that it’s not a good idea to let big corporations run things–at least on Earth, since Interstellar Trans runs pretty much everything to do with bi-dimensional, extra-solar voyaging from our end of the universe. But, we are talking of you and not us. In this documentary we learn that your phrasing of being a corporate drone might be truer than we had thought since many of the corporate employees in this video were not just drone like but downright zombie like. Sure, Milla Jovovich does her best to lighten things up but remember we are dealing with a plague of zombies so how much lighter can things get? Still, she tries. Perhaps she should shower more?

Monsters Special Edition + Digital Copy [Blu-ray] is not so much about monsters as it is about how silly you Earthers get when you take a simple idea and let it run away with you. In this video we are supposed to believe that one of your own spacecraft returned to your planet and somehow scattered alien life across a large part of Mexico which, in an oddly prescient review of the whole Arizona mess, caused Americans to build a huge wall between the two countries. Well, we have to tell you, alien life does not just fall from the sky willy nilly. Nor does any self respecting sentient just jump onto the first probe that comes along. You have a lot to learn.

As we mentioned earlier, and as we mention again because we know of your tiny ability to retain information in a linear form, we lost our religious mythologist so we have been making do as best we can. Hmmmenmmmenefra has been filling in admirably we must admit but we still wonder what gaps there might exist in the knowledge that a sustenance provocator who was formerly an interstellar radio manipulator (he lost his calling when everyone switched to cable) brings to the effort. Still, when all you have is an ex-communicator you go with it. So, while we are sure there is meaning that we are missing we are also sure that none of that is here. Consider what we gleaned, for example, from The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu. We found your Cthulhu religion very reminiscent of the slithering overlords of sector A3B. The main difference being that the sentients in that sector did not survive the worship demands put upon them while you, as a species, still seems pretty oblivious. Ah well, perhaps ignorance is bliss.

We had more to say. We almost always do. But, if we put it all in one report they would expect us back sooner and we’re afraid we might miss something really important. You will produce something really important as a species sooner or later, won’t you? Do it soon or we’ll miss it. Thanks. And when in doubt send Spooze.


Welcomings for Inputs

September 14, 2010
Teddy bears lifted to 30,085 metres above sea ...

Image via Wikipedia

If we had known that so many of you would have responded to our previous report we might have taken more care to not say as much as we did. Too many instants have passed since then and the laws of temporal dynamics forbid us from rectifying it. Klaarg is still on probation for the last time we broke those laws and, even though we are stuck way out here in the spiral arm and probably safe from any interventions, we do not feel it is worth it to take a chance. They are out there you know. So, since we can not return in time to take another stance let us instead work to resolve some of your Earther issues.
*First, we know nothing about black helicopters. We have a Mark IV mothership and use the shuttles when we need transport. We would not even know which buttons to push to close the doors of these black helicopters never mind find the ones to make them move.
*Second, we thank all of you who volunteered for probing but we are finished with that arm of our research. We were only allowed to probe a very specific number of Earthers as part of our studies and those had to be limited to very specific parameters concerning intelligence and geography. So, please, read our communication membranes: No New Probing.
*Third, we need to remind you that we know nothing of robots.  We can not tell you about robots from your future, robots from your past, robots who may have been vice presidents, or robots that are currently working in the fashion industry and need to be stopped.  Klaarg would like us to remind you that the only good robot is a non-existent robot.
*Fourth, we know nothing about Area 51.  We did spend some time in Area 52, which was nice and kind of vacationey, and we did spend a few hours at District 9, and two days in Section 11, subsection 4, but this Area 51 you continually yammer about is unknown to us.  Fifth, we are here to study human behavior and not affect human behavior.  It is part of the extra-solar policies to  personnel, sort of a main directive if you will.  And it is a real one, not like that silly thing in those Star Trek Diaries where they blather on and on for twenty minutes about how important it is and then immediately turn around a break it with no consequences.  Trust us, there are serious consequences when you interfere with primitive civilizations.  And we should know.

In any case, now that we have fixed you all about this, we can move on to more important issues.  Videos we have watched!!

We have always been huge fans of planetary bombardment and collision.  So, when we saw Starcrash we knew we had to watch it. We were disappointed on a number of levels. First, there were no stars crashing, or even careening, just some woman in a skin-tight space suit cavorting with a fuzzy haired man and a robot. (And boy was Klaarg upset about that. It took us two days to get him to come out of the pre-sentient storage bay.) We are also pretty sure that bikinis in space are a bad idea. Then again, you Earthers really know nothing of space so you will perhaps find this out for yourself, assuming you survive the coming ice age.

No sooner did we get Klaarg seated and full of popcorn than we put in Bladerunner. Who knew that when they spoke of replicants they meant robots. We’re not sure where Klaarg went this time and we think it might be best to wait until we are finished with movie night to go look for him as he will not be a happy camper. In any case, to return to our work, we found this documentary somewhat fascinating. We believe we have seen it before but we were captivated anyway. We liked the way you continue to see your future as dark and despairing, albeit most of you seemed to have survived the cataclysms. We are also beginning to think that your fascination with robots is as unhealthy as Klaarg’s fear of them. Why do you constantly envision futures that are so full of them–and usually they are going wrong? Either learn to build good robots or just utilize genetic manipulation.

We, like many of you we bet, just love a good prison movie. This is why we picked up Convict 762. Unfortunately, the way we get our videos precludes their coming to us in boxes or cases so we almost never get a visual clue about what we are about to watch. This is usually a good thing since most of your movie documentaries are really not all that well done and your marketing ability often surpasses your creative ability. We mention this because Klaarg had managed to stuff himself into the research arena and heard us talking about the title and managed to actually do a subliminal authenticity search based on the name and thus managed to see the box cover–which, much to our embarrassment and chagrin–contained a cyborg, or, as Klaarg likes to scream out, a ROBOT! We just hope we have nowhere to go for the next month or so because Klaarg is the navigator and we think it will take him that long to come out of hiding. The movie was also pretty bad, a bunch of Earther young women flying around space, making bad choices and ending up on a penal colony, looking for rocket fuel. We think they though the penal colony meant something else. It is the only real answer for why they would go there. After a bunch of other bad decisions, due mostly, we think, to bad writing and lack of imagination, and a lot of deaths, one of the young woman manages to leave the colony with two penals aboard and everyone is happy. Or are they? It is unclear exactly what is going on at the end even though it involved a robot and that usually bodes ill for organics in your future imaginings.

Well, we have to go and look for Klaarg. We don’t expect to find him but he gets really upset if we don’t look. Until next time we remind you that Spooze is best served at room temperature, unless, of course, you are from a vulcan planet, in which case you should refrigerate.