Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

27 Nov 2011, 15:56 p.m.

Milk Stout, Vanilla Porter

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2011 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Leonard and I both spend most of our time at the apartment these days, me working for the Wikimedia Foundation, him working on Constellation Games, his science fiction novel, launching Tuesday. (The novel's done, but he's been working on the bonus stories, Twitter feeds, and so on.) So we have to take care to give each other some regular alone time in the apartment. Yesterday he left for several hours, and today I did.

I read the end of a Kim Stanley Robinson collection, first in a park and then over beer and fries at a tavern. I liked the funny stories, like "Escape from Kathmandu" and "Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars" and "Zürich," and upon a second reading still found the end of "A History of the Twentieth Century, With Illustrations" kind of inexplicable. I read "The Lucky Strike" and "A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions" for the second time and loved them all over again. Sensible people sweating out hard choices, that's KSR. Sometimes they find courage, sometimes they don't. Math, history, geology, biology, mining, astrophysics, poetry, music (the best fiction about classical music I've ever read), cleaning, archaeology -- all the disciplines get this gentle, straightforward, clear attention. He's funnier than Vernor Vinge, but Vinge talks about software more, and I'm a sucker for that. And I think Vinge writes about more kinds of characters.

Home, and the electric light on, because it gets dark at freaking four-thirty now. After I hit Post, some together time with Leonard, because we need that too.


27 Nov 2011, 20:02 p.m.

Constellation Games: purchased! W00t!

28 Nov 2011, 7:06 a.m.

Yay! I enjoyed it thoroughly and hope lots of people get a chance to enjoy it as well.

Still trying to think about what it is I like & don't like about Kim Stanley Robinson's stories. His calm physical descriptions aren't as appealing as Finn Brunton's but that's a high bar, and I still find them more accessible than most. Gotta read more & think about it.