Thursday, December 30, 2004

Reading list

I have been assigned some improving books as part of my personal development goals for the next half year or so, to wit:

  • The Mythical Man Month
  • Systems Analysis for Engineers and Managers
  • The Innovators Dilemma
  • Crossing the Chasm
  • The One Minute Manager
  • The 59 Second Employee: How to stay one second ahead of your one minute manager
  • The Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups
  • The Games People Play
  • Getting to Yes

But haven't been being that sad over the break.

No, rather I've been working through other stuff:

BESM — Revolutionary Girl Utena I & II

Very pretty series guides, but how do you actually manage to make an RPG, even a one-shot - out of this?

BESM — Serial Experiments Lain Ultimate Fan Guide

Unlike the above, this is not new, but like the above, only squared as to how do you make this a game. Industry veteran Bruce Baugh (author) loses a couple of street-cred points in managing to miss the blatant Proust reference during Lain's final conversation with Yasuo (not that I've read À la recherche du temps perdu myself).

Trio for Sliderule and Typewriter — Iceworld, Needle, & Close to Critical

Collection of essential classic SF by Hal Clement, when hard SF was adventures in practical physics and chemistry. The passage of 50 years has worn some stories better than others - Needle only seemed dated in its use of propellor driven planes in its medium term future with abundant cultured biofuels; Close to Critical is offworld, alien environment stuff where the lack of networked information infrastructure can be set to one side. But Iceworld doesn't wear its age well. Star-faring aliens needing to perform a sample return chemistry mission to determine the composition of Earth's atmosphere?

It was thus with a great degree of future shock I then changed gears to read

Singularity Sky, by Charles Stross [Pick of the bunch]

One of the depressingly few big picture edge-of-singularity space operas that have come out since A Fire Upon The Deep; and here we are not protected by any zone boundaries... Read it, enjoy it, and wonder why people still keep churning out standard issue spaceship fiction.

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