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review 2018-10-20 12:44
RIP Ritchie (1941-2011): "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan and Ritchie
The C Programming Language - Brian W. Kernighan,Dennis M. Ritchie

//Cenesis, chapter 1
int main()
puts("In the beginning, when Ritchie created the Unix and the C");
puts("and the UNIX was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters");
puts("Then Riche said: hello, world, and there was code");
puts("Riche saw that the code was good. Ritchie then separated the code from the bug.");
puts("Riche called the code “day,” and the bug he called “night.”");
return 0;
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


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review 2018-10-18 16:16
Ancient Rayguns: "Mirrorshades" by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling et al
Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology - Greg Bear,William Gibson,Paul Di Filippo,John Shirley,Bruce Sterling,Pat Cadigan,Rudy Rucker,Lewis Shiner,James Patrick Kelly,Marc Laidlaw,Tom Maddox

(Original Review, 1985)

Isn't that just the thing? With the digital world, social media and the online life, comes an entirely new kind of creeping, monolithic conformity. When everywhere you go cookies are recording your choices, advertising companies can predict your needs and your boss is your friend on Facebook, you need to be careful about what you download on Kindle. Writers and publishers too are constrained by this social coercion and so we end up with a homogenised world. Writers are only allowed to be creative within strictly policed generic parameters.


If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2017-08-16 00:00
The Third World War, August 1985: A Future History
The Third World War, August 1985: A Futu... The Third World War, August 1985: A Future History - John W. Hackett,John Strawson Written in the '70s, looks at what a nuclear war could be like in the far future of 1985.
Partly it's a gripe against cost & personnel cutting that was going on, other parts look at the sea, land and air forces and the role they would play.

It's an interesting book, obviously some of the predictions didn't happen as expected. It suffers from being really dry in its presentation. Lots of lists of the type of vehicles and weapons in use by the NATO and Warsaw Pact forces.
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review 2017-07-13 00:28
Love, love, love
Red Tornado (1985) #2 - Tom Ziuko,Frank McLaughlin,Carmine Infantino,Kurt Busiek

Well, well, well.   This is turning into not only a story about one of my favorite characters, but also a hurt/comfort story, which is one of my favorite tropes.   The Construct uses Tornado's every ally to turn the Tornado against humanity.   Since The Construct is able to control organic life, this is possible in the worst of ways: The Justice League condemn him, despite his attempts to help humanity, while the woman he loves and the girl he's saved from a war torn country, a girl he's become very close to, seem to turn against him.   


The Contstruct is another AI run amok, and he considers organic life inferior.   Tornado is the only other artificial life form he knows.   The Construct finds it infuriating that Tornado fetishizes humans: he yearns to be one, and values their life, even above his own.  The Construct wants to use the people Tornado cares for to turn against him, so that he will turn against them as a result.   


I like seeing my favorite characters brought low, especially when I know that things will turn out well.   (I happen to know that it will, given the Red Tornado series, and his appearances in the Justice League, that come long after this.)  This is the anticipation of having the pleasure of reading about how it will turn out well.   (Although I'm not against an angsty ending.  I tend to get too sad when the favorites are killed off, because they're dead, and obviously, I can't get more stories about them.   Even though I know it's often only temporary, I don't really enjoy those stories.   Tornado has a nasty habit of getting killed and a rather more pleasing habit of coming back from death, but I'm still hoping that doesn't happen in this mini-series!)


Anyway, this is a little old fashioned, both in writing and art.   Even the eighties comics are vastly different from the modern comics, and I tend to prefer the more modern comics.   Despite this, I'm absolutely loving this series!

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review 2017-07-02 12:07
Loving this series
Red Tornado (1985) #1 - Kurt Busiek,Tom Ziuko,Carmine Infantino,Frank McLaughlin

I meant to buy this a while ago, but I flaked.   Well, and then I decided I was enjoying the newer DC titles than the older ones.   But I got this on the buy $30, get $20 off promotion at Comixology.   (I got an e-mail with a code, so I think you already had to be a member, get that e-mail and then you had a day or so to use the coupon.)


I bought the whole thing figuring this was pretty much free at this point, and boy, am I glad I did.  I've been struggling to get interested in reading, I've been struggling to finish all the comics I have from last Wednesday, so this has been going slowly, but I do plan on reading the rest of this four issue mini-series, hopefully soon. 


Much of this issue deals with the Red Tornado struggling to feel more human in his guise of John Smith, a man who takes temporary jobs from an agency in which Kathy Sutton works.   There's mention of them falling in love, but this pretty much fast tracks to them dating and hanging out with an orphan named Traya, whom they, ah, borrow from the orphanage?   Plot hole, but I didn't question it too much, partly because I know the background: Red Tornado saved Traya from her war torn country and brought her over to America.   He very well could have asked for this arrangement, and gotten it because of the status Tornado has as a former member of the Justice League.   (And also seems to be setting up Tornado marrying Sutton and adopting Traya.)


The other part of this story is one more aligned with most superhero comics, in which The Construct, an AI that wants to destroy all organic life and has been controlled by the Justice League thus far, plans his vengeance.   He is particularly upset at Red Tornado, whom he considers far superior to any organic life, and yet desires to be more them.  


Both storylines are compelling, and I've been having trouble finding anything at all that centers on the Red Tornado.   This was just what I needed. 

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