dr_mitch

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dr_mitch
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  • By the way, in the UK the clocks go forward tonight. So that means for my friends across the Atlantic where the clocks have already gone forward, there's a different time difference.
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 28
  • It was great this time. We had both @Apocryphal and @clash_bowley. It could be a useful book club recruiting ground if you don't mind the club being flooded with mainly middle-aged British men.
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 28
  • Finished my reread. It prompted me to read October Man, a linked book set in Germany, by the same author.
  • I'm shocked and stunned I had never heard of this game. I know dart cricket, but that's completely different. Maybe I'll work it into a Liminal supplement. Thank-you Richard.
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 24
  • Today I cobbled together a website. https://mitchesterarms.com/
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 23
  • > @Apocryphal said: > (Quote) > 5pm EST Important clarification. ;)
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 21
  • Next week, same time?
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 21
  • No real difference - it's just that if there are more than say 6 or so people, we'll be spread out over different virtual tables, otherwise it will get unwieldy. You should be able to see who's there when you click on a link before you join. I think…
    in Virtual Pub Comment by dr_mitch March 19
  • I'm *always* happy to read more LeGuin.
  • @WildCard that's a really interesting take. I think that is the element from which a dystopia could be drawn - the absolute ease of pretty much everything, the lack of need to struggle for, well, everything, and the corresponding lack of meaning. …
    in Question 1 Comment by dr_mitch March 15
  • I don't think Gurgeh's ennui was being stoked. But it was certainly observed, which made him especially suitable. He probably wasn't the only game player being observed by a long way.
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 10
  • Actually, yes, that's it @RichardAbbott. It's a relatively _safe_ way to intervene if things go wrong.
    in Question 5 Comment by dr_mitch March 10
  • I think that's what Contact has calculated. But there's a risk they could be wrong. One of the later Culture novels, Look to Windward, is about consequences when they should get it wrong. Come to think of it, Use of Weapons also involves careles…
    in Question 5 Comment by dr_mitch March 10
  • Well, I think in this book I don't believe in coincidences any more. A fine point that I hadn't thought of.
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 10
  • Funnily enough, earlier this year I reread Asimov's robot novels, finishing with Robots and Empire where the zeroth law was introduced. In terms of self-driving cars, from my understanding the big problem is whether the car should risk harming t…
    in Question 5 Comment by dr_mitch March 8
  • I suspect the Minds take a long view as well. Will thinks be better in the immediate aftermath? Probably not. Will things be better in say a hundred years? Probably yes. And there is a case for benevolent intervention. To me the disturbing thing …
    in Question 5 Comment by dr_mitch March 8
  • Yes, if Mahrin Skel was a set-up, Chamlis is complicit. I don't want to think that as I quite liked Chamlis, but the conclusion is inescapable.
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 8
  • @clash_bowley that's *precisely* what I was trying to get at with this question. I assume the Minds have thought about it considerably, but even the Minds are not infallible.
    in Question 5 Comment by dr_mitch March 8
  • I like the idea of a spy novel. I also really like the idea of a monthly book spinning out from a previous monthly book (Brave New World made me want to offer the Culture as a contrast/antidote).
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 8
  • It has only just occurred to me that Flere-Imsaho as Mawrik-Skel on the Orbital was potentially already working for Contact and performed the blackmail as a way to recruit Gurgeh not for his own ends, but with the story of being booted out a cover s…
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 7
  • One thing I noticed this read is that this is the most unambiguously pro-Culture of any of the novels. In all of them the Culture is on the side of the angels, but it's still somewhat ambiguous. I agree fully that Mindjammer is very Culture-like.…
    in Question 7 Comment by dr_mitch March 5
  • I liked Gurgeh. Flere-Imsaho was fun, both in his original identity and in his new identity hiding his abilities (still taking what, with hindsight, was some relish in manipulating Gurgeh). For me a high point was when Gurgeh was on the verge of giv…
    in Question 6 Comment by dr_mitch March 5
  • Arguably the Minds can be thought of as angels. Hmmm...
    in Question 5 Comment by dr_mitch March 5
  • Excession is interesting. I didn't much like it when I first read it, but on a reread I found it far better. Not so much for the main story but the smaller stories and characters out there. As for the universal presence of machine intelligence, a…
    in Question 4 Comment by dr_mitch March 5
  • For what it's worth, I've read the book a few times and found it quite satisfying.
    in Question 3 Comment by dr_mitch March 5
  • For me it's definitely utopian. Effectively unlimited resources makes it almost easy. And there are very few constraints on freedom. There's also plenty of art going around, and people seem able to find purposes. There's no starvation, disease, etc.…
    in Question 1 Comment by dr_mitch March 5
  • Oho, that's superb!
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 4
  • @RichardAbbott I really liked the Gurgeh vs Nicosar game, and the way Gurgeh felt a profound connection with Nicosar, like they were making art together - and Nicosar felt nothing of the kind.
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 3
  • @NeilNjae right, there's three levels I can think of here. There's Gurgeh, the game player extraordinaire. Who goes on to play Azad. There's Flere Imsaho playing Gurgeh. And then there's the Culture playing Gurgeh and the Empire of Azad. The game…
    in Question 2 Comment by dr_mitch March 3
  • Better late than never, the questions are up! https://www.ttrpbc.com/categories/86-%28february-2020%29-the-player-of-games-by-iain-m-banks