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May 12, 2005


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James Nicoll

Weird. No SF comes to mind but I've been in an RPG campaign that was like that.

Right now, I'm about to run something post-war but it's more like DANGER UXB meets LORD OF THE FLIES.

Bernard Guerrero

Hmmnn. Catholic French Socialists in Space. Yes, this can be done. I just need to make sure Lieutenant Foucault survives the nuclear bombardment.


James, if you don't know of any, these books must approximate the null set.

Bernard, it doesn't count if you're still writing them.


Dear Claudia, dear Douglas,

I didn't find your email address on your blog. My name is Julien. I am building a new website for expatriates, and will be the webmaster of www.expat-blog.com. In the last three years I have spent a lot of time travelling and living away from my home country, hence me setting up www.expat-blog.com.

I had the idea to create a blog so I could share my experiences of living abroad and keep in touch with my family and friends. While reading other expatriate blogs the idea came to me to create a classified expat blog directory. This would include a free blog hosting platform with interesting features such as picture albums designed specifically for expatriates. I do not believe this would be in competition with existing blog platforms such as blogger.

The website is still in working progress. The present situation is as follows:
> The expatriate blog directory, including a classification per country and language - I am working on this at the present time
> The free Blog platform this section will be completed by the middle of June.
> An Expat resource directory - this will include all expatriate suggestions.
> A forum designed to encourage interactivity and questions/answers from expatriate to expatriate

This is the global presentation of the website. Do you think my project is a good idea?

Would you like to add your blog in the expatriate blog directory?

I look forward to hearing from you



Bruce Sterling's _Schismatrix_ fits the description in broad terms, though the tone is rather different.

It was republished a few years back as a TPB, along with all the Shaper-Mechanist stories. The title was "Schismatrix Plus" IMS, and it was a steal at $12.95.

Swanwick's _Vacuum Flowers_ maybe a little too. Certainly it's charged with a brooding and pessimistic anti-Communism. And there's even an idealistic pacifist straight out of 1930s Oxford.

It occurs to me that George R.R. Martin would be exactly the guy to do this, were he not otherwise occupied.

Doug M.


Him or Walter Jon Williams, sure.

Looks like another gap in story space. Odd.

James Nicoll

"Looks like another gap in story space. Odd."

Maybe it's a side-effect of most SF authors coming from somewhere in the Anglosphere and not Europe. Well, so many who write in English. US SF at any rate has a tradition about Europe which can be most diplomatically summed up as "Why aren't they dead yet?"[1] WWII was just another bump on the path to European self-destruction, something that happened somewhere else for reasons that don't really apply to the real world.

I can think of one example that used interwar Europe as an inspiration but I would not compare it to Furst: SPACE VIKING.

1: I am certain my readers will be happy to know the idea of Eurabia has really caught on in the US SF field, and not just in the rightwing moonbat circles. It's an important part of OLYMPOS, for example.


Oh, great. Another example of science fiction as the Literature of Bad Ideas That Just Won't Die.

Vernor Vinge had Eurafrica as an administrative unit in his Peace War setting. Complete with tyrannical black dictator with a French name and an eye for the ladies. Granted, he also had the black compsci genius and the good black cop... hm. At least they weren't musical.

(There are times when I feel like Sacks' anthropologist on Mars, when I look back on some of this stuff. WTF? I mean, WTF?)

James Nicoll

"Vernor Vinge had Eurafrica as an administrative unit in his Peace War setting."

I'll admit part of the background of my Hilda adventure has the EU including portions of the Middle East and North Africa but the model I was using was more Classical Civilization, not the enwoggification of Europe so beloved of a certain political tendency.

Most of Africa in that TL fell under the spell of Vanguard Musevenism, which wasn't entirely a bouquet of roses. The people in 22nd Century Africa would argue that it was necessary but by definition they are all descended from the people who weren't deemed necessary losses.

I haven't decided if their attitute towards the NLs is "Sad but necessary" or more "That never happened. That's a lie made up by our enemies, who hate us for being so pretty."


I haven't decided if their attitute towards the NLs is "Sad but necessary" or more "That never happened. That's a lie made up by our enemies, who hate us for being so pretty."

If contemporary Africa is any guide -- and it may not be, these attitudes are certainly subject to change -- it would be the latter.

One of the throwaway details in John Barnes's recent "troubadour joins far future quango, gets divorced" trilogy, is that the troubadour's boss comes from a planet descended from post-colonial African leaders with uncontaminated bloodlines. The planet was called "Pure", if memory serves.

Sometimes Barnes has got it. Sometimes, you wonder who let him out.

Bernard Guerrero

"I'll admit part of the background of my Hilda adventure..." ????

BTW, I do believe one of the shorts in "Time Enough For Love" sort of qualifies for the type of growth you were looking for.

James Nicoll

Hilda's the setting for an RPG adventure I am running. It's a C-type asteroid, settled by variously fanatical followers of Jane Jacobs sometime before WWV [1]. Post-WWV it's been a magnet for people from the rest of the belt [2], as marginal communities collapse from emigration to (what's the nice way to say "places that don't suck?").

1: There was no WWIII or WWIV or rather, the labels were used retroactively for struggles we do not use those labels for, because advertisers discovered WWV looked really good as a logo. I think I stole that from Varley.

2: From places that don't find it too expensive in time and delta vee to get there and not, say Port Fear.

Best Blogs Asia

Sounds interesting though, although many people won't be able to watch it!


Just a quick note: I have a podcast by people that have immigrated or expatriated.

The point is to find the broadest range of voices possible; someone to/from every continent on the world. Please consider contributing to the podcast. Contributors write 4 articles per year, 2-3 pages each (10-15 minutes of audio). Check out the website, if you'd like! (We're also available on Apple's iTunes).

Expats usually know other expats, so pass on the word if you know anyone who's a great/eclectic writer!


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