Derik Badman's Journal

2019-08-12 08:09

Another night of sleep interrupted by a fairly long period of wakefulness a few hours in. That's been happening more lately, after a long time of not having that issue. I'm not sure what it is. I didn't have extra coffee yesterday (which I was suspecting was the cause, as I've been making afternoon coffee after lately); I didn't drink a lot (1 gimlet, 1 beer, and the latter was pretty early as I sat out on the porch in the light and read my book); but there I was at 3am awake and not going back to sleep.

The other day in one of his daily posts about Road House which I read every now and then (I still haven't actually seen that movie), Sean Collins wrote, in re a sex scene in the movie " If you’re laughing out of sheer delight during sex, something has gone very very right for you, that’s one thing." "209. The Pout/The Laugh" Then in The Book of the Long Sun one of the characters who works in a whorehouse says something about men who will hurt you if you laugh at them. Those things just came together into my head this morning as flip sides.

I started back into The Book of the Long Sun, after taking a short break when I finished book 1. I was going to give it longer to breath and read something else (like some more Tiptree stories), but I just kept thinking about it. The first book ends with a few important revelations, that start the process, continuing in book 2, of expanding the world, both as a setting and for the protagonist. Through the first book, Silk, an augur, talks and thinks about the gods, and it being a science fiction novel (and knowing how New Sun went), I knew there was going to be some technical explanation for them at some point. The end of book 1 and then an early chapter in book 2 start that process, and seem to confirm my suspicious earlier that they gods are some kind of AIs (in sans-serif font that looks too much like multiple guys named Al).

The plot also seems to be moving to get Silk out of the neighborhood that is his home and the primary setting of book 1, which is a common trope in fantasy literature, going out into the world on an journey/adventure. I'm curious to see if Wolfe is leading to some kind of outward expanding journey or if the focus will stay rooted in the original setting.

My other ready yesterday was Go with the Clouds North-by-Northwest vol.1, a manga by Aki Irie. The genre falls squarely into a mix of manga tropes: teens, detectives, mysterious powers, mysterious girl. The protagonist is an older teen who can talk to inanimate objects (smartly, the author doesn't show us what the objects say). He's Japanese but living in Iceland, which gives the author the chance to show some Icelandic landscapes, though so far not much else feels particularly specific to the settings. I'm intrigued enough so far, because many of the tropes are used in a restrained way (like that mysterious power), and I quite like the art, the landscapes, the use of hashing, and admittedly the bit of fanservice is nice too.

I also did some work making my own static site generator to fit my needs. It's giving me a chance to a learn a few things, like dealing with the filesystem, but also goes pretty fast thanks to some specific libraries that do some heavy lifting (markdown, templates, front matter parsing).