Thursday, October 12, 2006

Swim faster, fish-shaped pancake

Because the RAND building is shaped like a fish, or like an eye, it has sharp corners on the ends. In order to get from my office to the coffee maker, I have to walk around the nose of the fish, or the corner of the eye. I knew that I was always crashing into people doing this, but I didn't really appreciate until today that it is because the passageway turns more than ninety degrees. The sightlines are obscured!

Also in the category of just-noticed building features, the nearest stairwell has gigantic windows and a spectacular view, which makes for a relatively pleasant stairwell-climbing experience. But, the great view (of ocean, trees, mountains, etc.) is partly because of the large open space to the north of the building. This will eventually be blocked when they get around to building apartments on the vacant lot.

I finished Broken Angels by Richard Morgan, the sequel to Altered Carbon. In Altered Carbon, super-agent Takeshi Kovacs was a Philip Marlowe detective in the twenty-fifth century. In this sequel, he's a mercenary commando in the middle of a war; there are more explosions.

It was okay, if you like that kind of thing, but by the time I was finished with the book, I wasn't in the mood for space opera any more. As science fiction, it is rather unimaginative; the people in this book can be digitally stored and potentially reincarnated in one body after another, yet this doesn't seem to have affected their approach toward war or death very much at all.

Richard Morgan falls in love with using periods to create breaks in dialogue. I'm not. Saying this is a bad thing necessarily. I sort of like it. In small doses. But he might. Overuse it. A bit.


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