Blender and Cheetah

So far the 3D model stuff have been generated in Cheetah3d for MacOS. I’m a long way from mastering it but I thought I’d come along enough to try Blender. Blender is a cross-platform 3D modelling program, which I’ve played with before but which has a steep learning curve. With great power comes a great many menus and palettes and confusing UI elements. It took me three days to work out how to save a rendered image and I haven’t drawn anything worthwhile. But…you can do things like hair and metaballs and stuff that Cheetah3D isn’t quite up to.



The furry paw thing is the hand/arm model I made in Cheetah for that waving hand clip, exported and then imported into Blender and then made hairy.

Trump, Cruz, Rabid & Sad

platonictrumpA whole bunch of stuff, all mixed up together.

It is easy for people on the left and center to see the rightward end of US conservatism as an undifferentiated lump of homogeneous political consensus. However, that is an error akin to seeing a surface as being smooth at a distance but when seen at magnification is revealed to be full of pits and craters.

With the Sad and Rabid Puppies this often led to confusion. Note I do not accept the claim of Sad Puppy leadership that they were a wholly separate movement from the Rabids – the connection are too well documented for that to make sense – but there were strong differences in outlook and flavor between the two campaigns.

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Review: Gameshouse – 3 Novellas by Claire North [The Serpent, The Thief, The Master]

Novellas 2015

Claire North wrote the clever The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (2014) and more recently Touch (in my TBR pile). The three Gameshouse novellas touch on some similar ideas, specifically semi-immortal people messing about with history. In this case the central notion is what superficially seems to be a gambling den that we first meet in Venice but which we quickly discover has existed in many places and at many times. Players enter the Gameshouse to play chess or poker but this is simply a superficial level by which the house recruits players of particular skill.

In The Serpent the setting is 17th Century Venice and Thene, a woman in an unhappy marriage, finds herself drawn into a higher level game of cards in which each card is a person and the aim of the game is to manipulate an election in the city.

The Thief leaps forward to the 1930s and Thailand. A veteran player of the Gameshouse finds himself caught in a game of hide and seek with another player. This game is played across Thailand and the players deploy police, corrupt officials, people they befriend and all for stakes which are personal and supernatural (one players memories, additional life-span).

The final story The Master, ties the other two together. Set in the present it concerns the character Silver who has made brief appearances in the previous books, who is attempting to play the ultimate game for mastery of the Gameshouse itself. Framed as a chess match, the game now is played at the level of geopolitics, with wars, banking crises, government surveillance and crime-syndicates all playing a part.

Taken separately, The Serpent and The Thief are both entertaining stories that treat the same basic premises very differently to produce entertaining stories. The Master primarily works well only as the final chapter in the underlying story and stylistically has more in common with The Thief.

Clever, entertaining and with lots of excitement. It would have been fun to read a longer series in which other authors played with North’s very flexible premise.

Semiprozine: (R) & S

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image(1)There is a clear gap in the market for a semiprozine starting with R. I’ve also noticed that I’ve not encountered much in the way of conservative leaning SF in my semipro journey, so maybe Rabid Rightwing Robot Tales is the sweet spot for a new semipro? Actually that deserves a visit to the Pulp-o-mizer.

So only ‘S” titles in this penultimate survey, which thanks to an apparent delay in Hugo nomination website availability should be complete before nominations open!


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