The Sword and Laser discussion

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Podcasts > #372 - Hmmm... hmmm.

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1680 comments Mod
We’ve got Hugo nominations open! And a new Heinlein novel. I mean “new” to everybody but him, we guess. Plus, we kick off In the Company fo Others by Julie E. Czerneda.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/33203318
http://swordandlaser.com/home/2020/1/...
https://soundcloud.com/swordandlaser/...


message 2: by TRP (last edited Jan 16, 2020 10:02AM) (new)

TRP Watson (trpw) | 202 comments Tom's pronunciation of Southwark (suh-thuk) is pretty correct.

A possible trick with English place names is to remember that they have probably been around for 100s of years so any lip & jawbone gymnastics tends to get edited out by the locals.
This doesn't help with the actual pronunciation but if it feels awkward to say, you might be saying it wrong.
It is also possible that somebody decided to gussie-up the spelling of places so they would look cool and complicated on signs and maps.
So the fancily-spelled Leicester and Worcestershire have probably always been just said as "less-tuh" and "wuh-stuh-shuh"
Similarly the surnames Cholmondley and Featherstonehaugh are pronounced "chumlee" and "fanshaw"


message 3: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (spriggana) | 86 comments Hugos are not strictly sf, last year the count had been 4 sf and 2 fantasy novels, the previous years it has been 5/1, 4/2 and 2/3 (the 6 finalists are a recent change from 5).


message 4: by Jan (last edited Jan 16, 2020 12:14PM) (new)

Jan | 389 comments How about shaking it up by going with all the Hugo Award Nominees in one month --- for the Best Novelette! :-P

The advantage could also be that you can usually get those novelettes for free somewhere online...

Just a thought.

EDIT: Oh god! I am blushing so hard right now! Thanks Veronica, thanks Tom!
--- NotDara


message 5: by Tamahome (last edited Jan 16, 2020 02:02PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments Since Hugo can be fantasy too, just do it 6 months in a row, so each person only loses 3 choices. Or do Nebula instead. Then have a coop podcast with The Incomparable podcast to discuss them.

Sample this: Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTeg1...

We know you're really Dara, Jan!


message 6: by Richard (last edited Jan 16, 2020 03:10PM) (new)

Richard | 99 comments One possible wrench in the plan is if a nominee is a later book in a series, as two of last year's six were. I think ultimately we just need to wait for the list and see if it's doable.


message 7: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1680 comments Mod
Tamahome wrote: "Since Hugo can be fantasy too, just do it 6 months in a row, so each person only loses 3 choices. Or do Nebula instead. Then have a coop podcast with The Incomparable podcast to discuss them.

Samp..."


OMG I just made that joke on Twitter before seeing this!


message 8: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1680 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "One possible wrench in the plan is if a nominee is a later book in a series, as two of last year's six were. I think ultimately we just need to wait for the list and see if it's doable."

good plan


message 9: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (elzbethmrgn) | 275 comments Or, since the Hugo reads was Veronica's idea (which I'm not against, tbh), Tom can pick all the Swords for the rest of 2020. It would be kinda cool to see what you'd pick for Swords, Tom!


message 10: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1334 comments regarding the quantum "whooo" application, Ted Chiang has a short story on the subject in Exhalation: “Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom."

Greg Egan did it years ago with Quarantine..

Note: The same effect can be gained more simply by tossing a coin.


message 11: by Tamahome (last edited Jan 17, 2020 07:57AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments Veronica wrote: "OMG I just made that joke on Twitter before seeing this!"

That makes Arsenio Hall go "hmmm" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzzGj...


message 12: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Jan 17, 2020 01:24PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
Iain wrote: "regarding the quantum "whooo" application, Ted Chiang has a short story on the subject in Exhalation: “Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom."

Greg Egan did it years ago with [book:Q..."


I'm not a fan of the multiverse theory. If it were true, then 99.999 (with 9 continuing to infinity) percent of all universes would not have any humans in it.

I look at the theory as nothing more than a crazy thought experiment.

I do believe there may be other universes. But completely independent of anything in ours (maybe even different physics) and not infinite.


message 13: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1334 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Iain wrote: "regarding the quantum "whooo" application, Ted Chiang has a short story on the subject in Exhalation: “Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom."

Greg Egan did it years ago..."


The professional term for theories like this is quite technical. (view spoiler)


message 14: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
In Theoretical Physics and Quantum Physics the cream of the ideas, usually, rises to the surface. But so do, unfortunately, the odd turd ;-)


message 15: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments Iain wrote: "I'm not a fan of the multiverse theory. If it were true, then 99.999 (with 9 continuing to infinity) percent of all universes would not have any humans in it.

I look at the theory as nothing more than a crazy thought experiment."


You don’t even need multiple universes to have a wacko gedankenexperiment.

Consider: the universe is infinite, but information isn’t. Which implies that patterns repeat exactly. So somewhere out there exists an Earth identical to ours in every detail where versions of us are having this exact same conversation. Maybe it happened a billion years ago or perhaps it will occur next Tuesday, but the math says it’s so.


message 16: by Jan (new)

Jan | 389 comments But, but - hear me out! - if the values of natural constants have to be so precisely like the ones in the (in our) universe for us to even exist - doesn't have to be there a multiverse to explain we exist? If any natural force were only slightly different - we wouldn't exist. But we do. Isn't that only explainable by assuming that there's a multivese of (failed) universes?


message 17: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments Jan wrote: "But, but - hear me out! - if the values of natural constants have to be so precisely like the ones in the (in our) universe for us to even exist - doesn't have to be there a multiverse to explain w..."

Not necessarily. Maybe we just got lucky, first time out of the gate. That’s just as plausible. Also, an infinite number of failed universes means there’s also an infinite number of hunky-dory universes, which means the precise ratio of this’n’that suitable for life to arise is equally as common as any other mixture.

And within those innumerable “just so” universes there are Earths where dinosaurs never got wiped out and are still the dominant lifeform. Or Cro-Magnons became the surviving hominid. Or dinos *did* get the axe but mammals did, too, leaving birds as the rulers of the world. Or the mixture was such that silicon-based life arose instead of carbon-based. Or, or, or....


message 18: by Jan (last edited Jan 17, 2020 06:27PM) (new)

Jan | 389 comments Trike wrote: "Not necessarily. Maybe we just got lucky, first time out of the gate.

It just feels so ... unlikely? One shot, and infinitesimal chance - and we are still here?


message 19: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "Trike wrote: "Not necessarily. Maybe we just got lucky, first time out of the gate.

It just feels so ... unlikely? One shot, and infinitesimal chance - and we are still here?"


That's the Lottery Fallacy. The odds of me winning the lottery are millions to 1. The odds of someone winning is almost certain.

The odds of us being here, the universe and planet being just right to allow our existence, us becoming sentient and surviving are almost impossible. But the odds of something being here at this time is highly probable. We are just the lucky species that won the Earth based species lottery.


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2354 comments Evidence of the multiverse? Tom and Mirror Tom...




message 21: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2354 comments Veronica and Mirror Veronica... Um, pretty much the same in both universes?




message 22: by Jan (last edited Jan 17, 2020 07:51PM) (new)

Jan | 389 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "That's the Lottery Fallacy. The odds of me winning the lottery are millions to 1. The odds of someone winning is almost certain."

Yeah, that was exactly my argument FOR a multiverse ;-)

But the argument here was that there was only one shot which lead to the one universe that had all the constants at levels that allowed any kind of matter, stars, planets and life to develop.

Edit: Those Mirror Universes lack goatees!


message 23: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
Sword and Laser mirror universe.




message 24: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments In an alternate universe I’d be able to sleep after seeing that.


message 25: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments Jan wrote: "Trike wrote: "Not necessarily. Maybe we just got lucky, first time out of the gate.

It just feels so ... unlikely? One shot, and infinitesimal chance - and we are still here?"


You’re not here. This is all imaginary.


message 26: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments Woah. What alternate universe did this thread go to?


message 27: by Jan (new)

Jan | 389 comments So I AM Dara?


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1861 comments Jan wrote: "So I AM Dara?"

Of course you are. That's why Veronica always says Dera/Dara/Jan every time she mentions you.


message 29: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments Whooo are you? Who Who? Who Who? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNbBD...


message 30: by Trike (new)


message 31: by Richard (new)

Richard | 99 comments We are legion, we are Dara.


message 32: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments “The Tet sent troopships down, doors opened, and out you came. Sword & Laser’s Dara, thousands of you, memory wiped, programmed to kill. They had taken one of our best, turned her against us. No soul, no human anything. But Tet, what a brilliant machine. Feeding off one site after another, for news.

“Then one day, I saw you set down. Another news item to share. But on Quick Burns that day, was a book. You picked it up, studied it. And I thought I saw a way. When you pretended to be Jan, posted here, I knew. You were in there, somewhere.”

https://youtu.be/aeNc6FjTNWs


message 33: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1334 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Jan wrote: "Trike wrote: "Not necessarily. Maybe we just got lucky, first time out of the gate.

It just feels so ... unlikely? One shot, and infinitesimal chance - and we are still here?"

That's ..."


The big problem with universes branching due to quantum choices is conservation of energy.

There are many physics ideas that lead to multiverses but this one doesn’t make much sense...


message 34: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
That's one of many problems. Also "in the theory" infinite universes would take the same branch, and infinite universes would take the alternate branch, and infinite universes would never have that branch at all. You can get away with a lot of quantum crap when you add infinity into the equation.

Just because maths says it's possible doesn't make it so.


message 35: by Silvana (last edited Jan 20, 2020 05:02AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1627 comments I'd be open to read all the nominees throughout this year either before or after the ceremony.

And by the way, even fantasy novels could win the Hugos (see NK Jemisin's trilogy) so not all will be SF. Some of the strong contenders this year is fantasy.

Consider novellas also as alternates/options for picks since they are shorter and many are standalones.

Some novels/novellas might be part of series so they are not ideal for monthly picks. I suggest having three books and maybe add a novella or two and take turns in picking them during the course of May to December.


message 36: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1334 comments Silvana wrote: "I'd be open to read all the nominees throughout this year either before or after the ceremony.

And by the way, even fantasy novels could win the Hugos (see NK Jemisin's trilogy) so not all will be..."


The Fifth Season does not counts as straight fantasy as it has a very strong SF thread (far future earth genengineering, terraforming...)


message 37: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments Iain wrote: "The Fifth Season does not counts as straight fantasy as it has a very strong SF thread (far future earth genengineering, terraforming...)"

Well, for me... you know what? Nevermind.


message 38: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments Silvana wrote: "I'd be open to read all the nominees throughout this year either before or after the ceremony.

And by the way, even fantasy novels could win the Hugos (see NK Jemisin's trilogy) so not all will be..."


Could also say “we’re not reading anything by an author who’s already on the bookshelf.” That might cull a few from the list.


message 39: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Richard wrote: "We are legion, we are Dara."

FINALLY I WIN!


message 40: by Jan (new)

Jan | 389 comments Who are you and why are you impersonating me?!


message 41: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1334 comments Trike wrote: "Iain wrote: "The Fifth Season does not counts as straight fantasy as it has a very strong SF thread (far future earth genengineering, terraforming...)"

Well, for me... you know what? Nevermind."


Pokes sleeping bear with stick.


message 42: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1327 comments Well my Hugo ballot is done for 50% of the categories. Best Novel, Best Novella, Novelette and Short Story. Best Series, Best Long and Short Film & TV category. Sword & Laser for Best Fancast of course. I am going as New Zealand has been on the " I Wanna Go There" list for a long time.


message 43: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1627 comments Trike wrote: "Iain wrote: "The Fifth Season does not counts as straight fantasy as it has a very strong SF thread (far future earth genengineering, terraforming...)"

Well, for me... you know what? Nevermind."


+1

And yes let's read new authors not in the shelves!


message 44: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6784 comments Mod
I must admit I kind of zoned out a bit during all the plans for the how we might read all the hugo nominees, but I did hear something about "skipping March Madness" which would make me very sad if that happened.

Also thanks for the shout out about the S&L Worldbuilders group. And thanks again to everyone who donated!


message 45: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8477 comments I solved it: audiobooks.

Most of ‘em are between 12 and 18 hours long. So 6 nominees means somewhere between 72 and 108 hours. That just means BINGE WEEK.

No TV, no podcasts, no competitive dance parties from your Spotify playlist — just audiobooks 24/7.


message 46: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3949 comments Not sure it was a serious suggestion, but if it is...do we really want to give up half the year reading the Hugo nominees? I kinda feel like the people who want to read those already do. They're called Hugo Voters and self select by attending or supporting the Worldcon.


message 47: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2354 comments The final ballot for the Hugos is expected in early April, so there's no conflict with March madness. Worldcon is at the end of July. If we have a March madness pick for April, that leaves May, June, July for Hugo ballot picks. There were six nominees last year. If there are six for 2020 we could have three months of a Hugo pick and a Hugo alt pick. I don't know when Hugo voting ends, but that shouldn't matter. Have we already read any potential nominees?


message 48: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 321 comments Mark wrote: "...Have we already read any potential nominees?"

I believe the only 2019 published S&L picks were Vessel and Seven Blades in Black.


message 49: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2354 comments That looks correct. I liked Seven Blades in Black more than Vessel. I don't think either merits a Hugo nom.


message 50: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Jan 21, 2020 12:05PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
My suggestion.

Once the list is finalised we narrow down the list.
-Remove any books we've already read.
-No sequels.
-No authors we've already read.

Then have a poll of the remainder and just read the top pick as a S&L pick. What ever's left we can read 1 per month as an alternate pick throughout the year.


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