Don't worry though, our normal programming is supposed to resume this afternoon with more cold southerly squalls. You want I should call my client and book the sheep in just to make sure it rains? *cough*
Last night my stomach progressed from queasy to gassy and started playing tunes. Sadly it seems to favour Queen, and now I have Don't Stop Me Now stuck in my head. Also, I may have jumped the gun a little with the coriander assumption - apparently there's something going round at the moment and the Tummy Plays The Blues thing is sounding mighty similar to someone else I know a week ago. It might just have been a case of timing, but I'm staying away from coriander anyway.
Or at least they did when I was a kid.
My introduction to scifi was Space: 1999, which my family used to watch religiously when I was a kid. Go look at the page. No, seriously, do. Ladies please note the complete lack of boobie-baring, skin-tight, flesh-revealing uniforms on the women, in the 1970s!
The beginning credits:
So anyway, it was space opera at its best, and it was set in THE FUTURE TIMES! Of 1999! When people live on the moon! OK so it's dated, but I still think the Eagle was one of the funkiest space ships ever.
Anyway, Space 1999 and Star Trek (the original version with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner) were standard evening fare on TV in my house. And while I liked Space 1999 (especially the monsters), I found the whole science fiction genre Far Too Serious for my general taste.
Fast forward a few years and as a teenager I got a lot of "You're brainy, you should read scifi!" and people couldn't understand why I wasn't obsessed with Star Trek, liked the tauntauns better than the characters in Star Wars, and didn't bother to watch Battlestar Galactica. Finally someone convinced me to try scifi again, and recommended Asimov's Foundation and Empire - which made me yawn. To me it read like a historic ethnography of the galactic bureaucracy and I gave up four chapters in.
Other than a brief venture into cyberpunk (loved Snow Crash, hated Neuromancer), Asimov managed to kill any interest I had in scifi for over 10 years with his thick description of something with no interest for me whatsoever and his Far Too Serious approach.
Seriously. All the scifi I'd come across in the early part of my life did its best to convince me that aliens have absolutely no sense of humour, that they have painful bureaucracies and meticulous ethical codes and will vaporise you with their advanced SuperBlaster7500TM if you don't abide by The Law Of Interminable Seriousness. Or maybe just lecture you on your place in the infinitesimal infrastructure (which is lowly), interminably.
Enter Iain Banks.
Actually, enter Charles Stross, but the book of his I read was based on Earth so, you know, no aliens, and the demons and other life forms were also pretty serious, but at least the humans were irreverent and had a sense of humour.
Anyway, Iain Banks. Yes. I like his aliens. They make mistakes, take drugs, tell jokes, have foibles - they are not portrayed as these more-perfect-than-perfect creatures that are So Damn Evolved that humans cannot possibly hope to reach their pinnacle of evolution, because we as humans are Not Serious Enough.
Which is really good, because every time I'd looked as scifi in the past I'd always had this vague feeling that if that was the future and the future was that boring, I didn't want to be there.
Funny thing though - in this particular Banks novel, the humans seem culturally very Americanised, while the aliens (particularly Colonel Hatherance and the Dwellers) are quite British. I half expect the bellowing Colonel to start saying "Tally ho!" and "What what!" Dunno if that's deliberate, but it's effective.
So yeah, there is more scifi in my future. I'm told that I have to read A Fire Upon The Deep because it has doggies. And I'd like to read Diaspora, even if I stop after the 'birth of an AI' bit - I'm told it's not an easy read and I don't want to do myself permanent brain damage, but I am interested.
Any more recs from those with experience in the genre(s)? Serious, perfect aliens need not apply. Unless they are so serious as to be funny.
I am tired of ads telling me that I can lose 10 pounds of belly fat in a week by following one simple rule. For a start I don't have 10 pounds of belly fat. Second, what belly fat I have, I LIKE. Third, we measure stuff in kilograms. Please fuck off now, ads.
Seriously though - men! When you are surfing the net do you also get these ads in the sidebar of sites you view? And if so, do they depict a woman, or a man? I'm trying to find out if the internet has somehow deduced my gender and is trying to tailor ads to me, or if the internet just thinks more women want to lose 10 pounds of belly fat.
OK I just scratched myself on the arm and it drew blood. WTF..