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March 2015 News

This is the March 2015 edition of the newsletter; previous, February 2015.

This is a collation of links and summary of major changes, overlapping with Changelog. This broadcast has been brought to you by my donors on Gratipay.






  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

  • Liu’s The Three-Body Problem

  • Wildbow’s Pact (review)

  • The Accidental Space Spy (Thorsby; an earthling is accidentally impressed into chasing after an anthropologist and thrown into exotic (and deadly) alien cultures, where he struggles to understand their biologies & reproductive strategies & evolutionary pressures while staying alive. He does, most characters don’t. The art is best described as ‘dire but it may grow on you’, and the real joy is just the sheer variety of aliens on offer (a bit like Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker—both works throw away more fascinating alien creatures in one or two chapters than most SF series have in their entirety) and trying to figure out what evo biology scenario has been pushed to the max by the author—costly signaling of fitness, mate guarding, short-term memories, placebo effect etc. Some are pretty cool (I really liked the Invisibility Zone one), others not so much (placebo effect scenario less convincing than Robin Hanson’s).)

  • Hitmen for Destiny (Thorsby; TvTropes; this was good but not as good as The Accidental Space Spy, since the art remains as dire, Thorsby again indulges in an overly-long comedy-of-errors, and the monsters aren’t quite as fascinating as the aliens in Space Spy, although on the plus side, it still has everything that I like about Thorsby (eg. I loved the Mexican standoff with 2 possibly-loaded guns towards the end) with a more coherent and meaningful story.)

  • Welcome to the N.H.K.







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