So, the late Ian M Banks wrote a number of books set in, and telling stories about, The Culture. The Culture is a post-scarcity utopian society, in which some of the citizens are humans, and some are AIs. Some of the AIs inhabit ships. Some of the AIs are smart on a level that human beings can't even comprehend. Some of those AIs inhabit Ships that are powerful on a level that human beings can't even comprehend [...]I suspect I would be Just Another Scientist With A Bright Idea. That, or See The Galaxy, They Said.
And, of course, since a Mind takes a Ship on effectively as its own body, the Mind gets to name itself. And Minds usually have senses of humor, leading to ships named things like Just Read the Instructions, Funny, It Worked Last Time, What Are The Civilian Applications?, and I Blame My Mother.
Originally posted here on October 26th, 2010, it is set in the midst of the apocalypse. I think, of all of the stories from that era, it gives the best feeling for the setting while being a decently-written story as well.
The halls of the internment camp - voluntary relocation center - were nearly empty. In the first couple weeks here, they’d been full and bouncing, as people, antsy in the confined space, a repurposed abandoned high school building, had wandered from room to room, visiting, meeting new people, just looking for an excuse to get out of their barracks...
Me: Pauses in the middle of removing some dead bits from front yard bush on the way in, removes earbuds. Yes?
Dude On The Street: You're beautiful.
Me: Er, thanks. Registers that Dude is quite cute himself, if randomly burdened with large sports bag and a hockey stick.
Dude On The Street: Want to go on a date with me?
Me: Is bemused, and a touch flattered, but already in a relationship. Er, sorry, but I already have a boyfriend.
Dude On The Street: Well, sorry I don't have white skin! Flounces.
Me: But I do actually have a boyfriend already!
What even, Dude. I wish I'd had a better comeback for you than the ridiculous impulse to assert the reality of the boyfriend I'd just come back from dropping off at his place. I wish I had Betan earrings so we both could have avoided that conversation in the first place.
The Faerie Apocalypse is the broader universe in which Addergoole and Doomsday Academy are set, the brief premise of which is that fae-like creatures with magical powers walk among us and, in 2011, they enter into a massive war with other fae-like creatures, triggering an apocalypse which wipes 90% of humanity (and fae) off the globe.
Its landing page is here: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/93
As always, I will write the following Patreon stories:
$5 level - a Patron-only microfiction (or, in this case, micro-continuation)
$20 level - a Patron-only flash fiction (or about 750-1250 words of continuation)
$30 level - if I gain any $7+ Patrons, they may prompt for a private continuation.
And, if we get up to $40 (one more $5 Patron & one $1 Patron! or 6 more $1 Patrons!), then we can talk about the Patreon Serial!!
Check out my Patreon here - https://www.patreon.com/aldersprig?t
Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see in fae apoc!
She packed a bag.
She didn't need to; she was teleporting to the area, and returning, she assumed, within a few hours.
But there was a certain feeling of parallel that she couldn't ignore, and so Cya packed a go-bag. Clothes, easy to hand-wash and line-dry. Medical supplies. Two days' food. A source of fire, an emergency blanket... pencils and a notepad.
On a day over a hundred years ago, she had packed a very similar bag. She'd done so countless times since, for herself, for children and grandchildren and great-great-great-great grandchildren, Kept and students and friends.
( Read more... )
If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. I've had a few requests for this and the results have been awesome so far. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.
Underlined prompts have been filled.
AS YOU LIKE IT BINGO CARD
|music||make new friends||walking||respect limits||personal time|
|outdoors||familiar food||rejuvenation||catching up with friends||do something new|
|dinner out||breathing exercises||familiarity||comfort||hobbies|
|sunny day||helping someone||fun||reflection||nurture self-worth|
Doomsday Academy is an 8-year educational institution covering from ages 10 to 18.
The classes cover a spectrum of traditional and modern class subjects, including Math, Survival, Literature, Law, and Science. In addition, a variety of extracurricular clubs cover subjects from Theatre Arts to Fiber Arts to Martial Arts. Sometimes, students who are Addergoole-bound attend Doomsday until they are called to Addergoole; often, Addergoole students will send their non-Addergoole-promised children to Doomsday.
Each fae student learns magic from their Mentors and from other teachers who are proficient in the student's best Words. The school is primarily for fae students, but they do occasionally have a human student. There are three additional schools in Cloverleaf for human students, one per circle.
Doomsday Academy is housed in a series of buildings built to look like Victorian houses (and church), including three classroom buildings, a dining-and-gathering hall, the dojo, the greenhouse, and the Library. Young students live in a single dormitory; older students live in houses with their cy'ree. Students in their last few years at Doomsday can choose to live in apartment-style housing with their crew. Buildings run along either side of a narrow foot-road, crossing a wider foot-road, in a block of Cloverleaf off to one side of the main road and near a park. There is plenty of green space.
Uniforms are grey, black, and white, with grey-black-and-white plaid; students can choose between pants, skirts, or kilts, sweaters, button-up shirts, and vests (in any combination), with kimono as an alternative option.
Each Mentor's cy'ree has their own color combination and an accessory they add to the uniform, replacing tie and socks with the cy'ree color.
Professors and their cy'ree colors, when known, are listed below
( Read more... )
Clubs are as follows:
( Read more... )
Notably, it was built almost entirely by magic, and as such the walls show no block marks, no seams.
Built about 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Helena, Montana - to take advantage of the prewar hydroelectric dam there - Cloverleaf takes the shape of three large (approx. 1 mile diameter) walled circles, touching at one edge.
Two of these circles hold farmland; the third holds the city of Cloverleaf, itself taking the shape of three overlapping walled circles with a very tall tower in the center (where the three circles overlap). Three gates pierce the outer wall, one for each inner circle, and from those gates to the Tower in each circle runs a wide "Main Street."
Each Main street is lined with inns and restaurants close to the gates, stores and shops and light industry (home crafts) in the middle of the circles, and apartment buildings then factories (still rather light industrial - think fabric, grain mills, stuff I haven't quite figured out yet) closest to the Tower.
On the wide sidewalks on Main Street, street vendors abound, often taking over much of the street as well.
Most traffic is foot or horse-and-carriage; cars are rare although jury-rigged car-to-carriage/wagon set-ups are not uncommon, esp. in traders coming from the outside.
Fae are common, welcome, and visible here. Guards are visible at the front gate -- they check in all guests with a level of interest that ranges from "casual hello" to "three-hour interrogation." They also patrol the city, and so, while there is crime, it is not rampant.
Off Main Street, streets branch to either side in a very regular pattern. There are quite a few parks and green spaces, punctuating neighborhoods of houses, many of which have a certain sameness to them and a very pointedly stone construction: stone buildings with slate roofs, many painted or tinted in brilliant colors. Yards are big by pre-War city standards, big enough that you could, if you want, subdivide each yard and put a second house on it. Houses are small by pre-war Suburban standards but large enough to comfortably house large families.
Every house has running water and electricity; phone is not a thing and neither is TV but there are radios and radio programs. The library is huge and full of a very random, completely un-curated selection of "anything we can find." There is also an art gallery - similar collection style - and a history museum.
Much of what is available is industrial-era technology, and there are a lot of scrounged and repurposed items, especially metal things.
Fashion is driven by a few very visible people, and has a sort of Turkish-meets-bazaar-meets-medieval feel much of the time. Cotton, linen, and wool are produced in/near Cloverleaf; the dyes are still mostly natural, except those things Meentiked up magically.
The Clover is the unit of currency; a 100-C bill is approx one day's salary for a basic job.
The political system is a representative democracy under an unelected benign dictator; each circle has (at the beginning) 2 representatives into a council. There is also an appointed Administrator who works much like a VP/Speaker of the House. Economy is lightly taxed capitalism with basic needs for all citizens, the guard system, and maintenance of the city paid for by tax revenue.
Citizens are provided free basic hotel-style housing; there are no homeless in Cloverleaf (unless they want to be. Still working on that). Very basic food/clothing needs are also provided.
Cloverleaf does not, as far as I know, have an army.
It does have a Leo.
edits: Within ~20 years of its founding, Cloverleaf has a weather-moderation system intact. It does not entirely eliminate weather in the city, but what it does is raises the wintertime temperature sufficiently that longer-season crops can be grown, and that the punitive northern winters aren't nearly as punitive.
Also, a mile away from the city or so on the non-river side, there is a hundred-acre forest butting up against and climbing the side of the foothills. Its trees are arranged in a disturbingly regular grid pattern, but it otherwise gives off the feeling of a very natural forest - plenty of plant diversity, wildlife diversity, undergrowth and such.
As the years go on, the forest is expanded by about a acre a year, with trees that are speed-grown up to the ~40-year-age mark and then allowed to go wild. There are probably also more naturally planted trees, as Cloverleaf citizens are allowed to hunt and farm this woods, but encouraged to maintain it as a long-term resource.
Today, The Lancet released the results of a large field trial of a vaccine against Ebola [...] The results were so good that the trial itself has been stopped, and the vaccine is now being used to control the spread of the disease.
Atul Gawande @ the New Yorker: The Score
The question facing obstetrics was this: Is medicine a craft or an industry?
Stephen Engelberg @ ProPublica: Editor’s Note: ‘Dr. Abscess’ and Why Surgeon Scorecard Matters
[Surgeon Scorecard] marks ProPublica’s first attempt to make data available about surgeons.
Jaime Lowe @ NYT Magazine: ‘I Don’t Believe in God, but I Believe in Lithium’
Scientists say it took three minutes following the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, for the first three elements to emerge — helium, hydrogen and then trace amounts of lithium, atomic number 3.
Peter Watts @ Rifters: No Brainer.
Lewin’s paper reports that one out of ten hydrocephalus cases are so extreme that cerebrospinal fluid fills 95% of the cranium. Anyone whose brain fits into the remaining 5% should be nothing short of vegetative; yet apparently, fully half have IQs over 100.
The Daily Report
Apologies to John Z. Upjohn and his readers for the lack of a new Liberty chapter on Wednesday, but I was busily backing up hard drives in preparation for the Windows 10 launch, which as I mentioned has gone fairly smoothly for me.
I mentioned “internet hiccups” in my update post yesterday, and it turns out it wasn’t a coincidence of timing, but neither was it anything terribly dire. My new computer came with a wireless networking card built-in, something I had never noticed before because my office nook is way too far away from the cable hook-up to get decent wifi reception, so I have a USB repeater cable that goes out into the hall, twines around the banister, and then dangles down to where the signal’s clear.
Windows 8 made that the default network adapter as soon as it detected it. After the upgrade, it was trying to use the on-board adapter. I figured that out just before going to bed last night. I couldn’t figure out how to change that, so I disabled the card. This morning things are working fine.
I’ve probably been a little overly cautious about doing stuff on my computer while it does things like copying a backup or installing the update (which even comes with a cheery—by Microsoft standards, anyway—invitation to keep using your computer while it’s working), but the computers I grew up with were a bit more touchy and temperamental. The few things that hadn’t backed up to the cloud before my previous computer bit it have made me a little jumpy.
The State of the Me
Plans For Today
It’s possible I might have a family tech support call to take today, though it’s supposed to just be a quick drop-off of a thing I can hopefully take care of over the weekend. Supposed to be. That’s a bit of a wild card. Given that it’s Friday and thus posting day with that in the mix, I’m not making any other plans beyond tying together the chapter and putting it up.
As of this moment, Fae Apoc (Setting) and cats (motif) are neck & neck!
If you haven't already read it, the last installment of Regine visits Doomsday is up, as is the next installment of the Narnia/Valdamar "Pevensies Visit Valdemar" fanfic.
And when you're done with that, check out inventrix's new serial, Red Crow Company and lilfluff's Unused Trope Bingo Card Revival Prompt Call!
Sorry for the blog being dark the past few days. I’ve been working on getting both my laptop and my desktop from Windows 8 to Windows 10, and working on stuff on my phone while they download and set up. It’s been pretty smooth so far, though there have been some odd internet hiccups that might well be a coincidence of timing. Everything else seems to be noticeably faster, which I wasn’t really expecting. I’m definitely liking it better than 8.