08/27/19 – Hollow, A Shell




I think a lot of us would do better if w learned to punch ourselves. Inversely, I think a lot of us would do better if we stopped.

Plus a little silliness. The $14,000 stretch goal for the Kickstarter campaign means everyone (who ordered a physical object) gets a band-aid dispenser! Which amuses me to no end.


  1. Tom W.

    Christopher, as a cartoonist, let this be a lesson to you to be careful what monsters you create. They may need to punch you out at some point.

    I once had a rather steamed character break through the fourth wall to insult me, his creator, which was quite a surprise.

    I’ll get my Kickstarter order put in soon. Perhaps it will be the one to reach Bikkie’s stretch goal.

    1. 0z79

      It’s kinda weird how they take on a life of their own, isn’t it? Like, your fingers can NOT type the words or actions if they’re too OOC for them, because while you would do or say that, -they- would not.

      1. TB

        I’ve written three books, and while some characters behave themselves, I’ve had quite a few take off in their own direction. I think this is true for most writers.

        Terry Pratchett, one of my personal favorite authors, wrote dozens of books in the same universe, and it’s a lot of fun to see minor characters in early books work their way onto the center stage and become complex and capable of carrying entire stories on their own.

        One or two characters even started out just as a way to tell a joke, or as a humorous throwaway line. A little musing about Tooth Fairies in “Soul Music” turned into the entire book “Hogfather.”

    1. Peter Rogan

      That’s not strain — it’s frustration, and it is well-earned.

      I haven’t forgotten that Yuri was once a happy-go-lucky otaka-girl who was happy to have an actual alien show up at her house and charmed enough to ask him what he wanted from her. Nogg’s response was to stun her and abduct her before even bothering with the translation matrix. There may be more clumsy introductions in science fiction, but I can’t think of many that top that. I mean, when The Hindmost sent agents to kidnap Louis Wu for a similar jaunt in “The Ringworld Engineers” by Larry Niven, those agents thought that he would be easy pickings with his pleasure centers wired up, but he killed them with martial arts before returning to his artificial bliss. Later agents would succeed, but they were, after all, now acquainted with who and what they were dealing with. Not the same as Yuri’s experience. At all.

      –Oh, and BLOOD!!

      1. Pedrocelli

        Ringworld! Loved those books.

        (carried over from yesterday . . .) Larry Niven used “grock” quite a bit too, I think. He also used Tanj which deserves to become a popular slang word – it works so well.

        1. Peter Rogan

          “There Ain’t No Justice” didn’t have the same appeal as “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” It had no chance whatsoever against more modern acronyms like FTW. Still, ‘Tanj it!’ has a nice sound, doesn’t it?

        2. Gregg Eshelman

          Have you read all nine Ringworld books? Four by Niven alone. Four prequels have been written with a co-author. If you’ve read the rest of Niven’s Known Space novels and short stories, the Ringworld prequels will give you a “backstage tour” of alternate points of view of many of the events in them.

          The ninth book serves as a sequel to both the original tetralogy and the prequel tetralogy – and finally answers what the Ringworld was really built to do.

        3. Gregg Eshelman

          We don’t have the droud yet but we do have deep brain stimulation. No tasp either, but slight and temporary alterations to mood have been done with external magnetic fields. Experimentation in that was prompted by some people saying they felt better or different in some way for a short time after having MRI scans of their brains.

          So while it may be possible to someday remotely give people a shot of happiness, it’s unlikely it would make anyone instantly addicted to where they’d get wires implanted into their brains and a socket installed to get instant, drug free, artificial happiness.

          What Niven didn’t address with this technology is what if someone wired up a person’s brain areas for fear instead of pleasure?

  2. Peter Rogan

    TANSTAAFL, from Heinlein’s “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress,” did indeed take off in the libertarian crowd, who found his freewheeling lunar society a potential model for an Earthly government-light government. It continues to crop up here and there (GDW’s SFRPG, 2300AD, has it as the name of a would-be libertarian colony on a distant alien moon), and it still surfaces from time to time in discussions of social policy and their costs. It’s been around fifty-three years as of this writing. Seems likely to stay.

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