nelc: Bob Howard from the cover of The Fuller Momorandum (Bob)
LOLcats, rickrolling, clickbait, pointless online surveys, spam — they're all there to slow down useful computation. They aren't memes that have evolved to take advantage of our computational and cognitive space, they've been deliberately planted, and cultivated, in order to
nelc: (Default)
Ultimoron: And in other news, apparently those [sarcasm]Bastions of MODERN POLICING[/sarcasm], the CCTV camera, are being switched off due to lack of funding.

Naeddyr: But what about CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN??

Gon: Not expected until after the next election and by then we will have found a way to blame it on Labour or the SNP.
nelc: Toy Story alien photographer (camera)


I know I promised an Idris Elba pic next, but this one came knocking on my creative lobe instead. This might be a cover for The Jennifer Morgue in an alternate universe where I did book covers. Ramona Random (Lucy Liu) and Bob Howard (Richard Ayoade) pose by Bob's hire car, with a zombie and a zombie seagull, while Billington's converted Krivak class frigate yacht Mabuse lurks in the background. This scene does not occur in the book, quite.

Yes, that car aerial is totally symbolic.
nelc: (Brain)
In Charlie Stross's Laundry books, the Earth is heading towards a region of space where multiple branes are colliding*, weakening the structure of space-time such that practicing higher mathematics can actually manipulate reality directly, aka magic.

Now, while the Sun is moving towards Lambda Herculis at 20 kilometers per second at about 26° to the ecliptic, the Earth is also moving around the Sun at 30 km/s.

This means that at times the Earth will be moving towards the thin space at around 50 km/s, and six months later will be moving away at around 10 km/s, so the wave of magical effect will ebb and rise on an annual basis, until CASE NIGHTMARE RAINBOW reaches its peak. (I think that the fastest rise is around April or May, and the ebb is in October-November, if I'm reading this star chart and visualising the situation properly.)

* Or maybe there's a concentration of dark matter or something.

Deep Ones

Jan. 24th, 2015 05:53 am
nelc: (Brain)


Illustrating a Charlie Stross story that doesn't exist, Ramona Random poses at her job as a BLUE HADES/surface-ape liaison with her boss.

Personal head-canon for the Laundry-verse: While the hybrids have a combination of human and BLUE HADES biology, even DNA, BLUE HADES don't actually look like anything on Earth, let alone surface apes. How could they? They aren't from Earth, or any alternate Earths, and are unrelated to anything from hereabouts. One reason they hang around in the abyssal depths is that they're actually very soft and squishy and physically vulnerable, and a lot of the moderately-sized native life would be happy to snap them up for breakfast. (Might give them indigestion, but that would be too late for the BH.)

Note that BLUE HADES' technology is based on biology and higher mathematics/magic, the techs involving heat, metal and electricity not being easily accessible six kilometres down. That big brain coral Ramona is resting on is actually a big brain.
nelc: Toy Story alien photographer (photo)


Almost Richard Ayoade and almost Lucy Liu as Bob and Ramona, stopping for a paparazzi picture in The Jennifer Morgue. Obviously, I used the Tillinghast filter in Photoshop to correct for Ms Random's Class III Glamour.

Why these two? Because why not, that's why.

Edit: updated the picture, 'cause Photobucket uses horrendously low-Q compression when you try to post a larger than 1024px pic.
nelc: (Default)
Delia Derbyshire almost certainly had something to do with Laundry research into Mo's Erich Zahn violin.
nelc: (Default)
I just posted this in a thread about The Laundry Files:
Charlie Stross is an atheist, so I doubt that the Laundryverse version of souls resembles the common religious notions of them, and probably owes more than a little to computer science. My money is on the word being used for two different concepts, let's call them the living soul and the dead soul.

The living soul is the process, the consciousness that your brain-meat generates. This is very tasty with or without ketchup to certain entities from beyond spacetime, who can hijack the processes to replicate their own patterns in this universe, much like a computer virus, using the hijacked wetware to perform higher mathematics to maintain their existence and do spooky tricks. They get their energy from entropic decay of information, i.e. by eating BRAIAINS! (or consciousness, at any rate) Sudden death is too quick for the smaller space-time parasites to take advantage of, so they take their nourishment a bit at a time by slowly degrading the wetware.

Meanwhile, the dead soul is an impression, or an echo, of the living soul. It has no sentience or sapience, but can be tapped to recreate the living soul on the appropriate wetware. It can be gleaned from a localised reversal of entropy back to the time the living soul existed, and recorded in a suitable medium (Brain tapes? Holographic crystals? Coptic jars?) or run on a suitably prepared living brain. A weak version will borrow a part of the brain so that a simplified model can be played/simulated; a strong version will overwrite the brain with its own information, incidentally destroying that living soul.

Demons from beyond space and time are a kind of soul that has learnt to encode itself such that the exercise of the proper mathematics will unzip it, causing it to manifest in a bit of the multiverse that will support it, i.e. a BRAIN! A brain capable of doing math. Different universes vary in their support of brains: some that do computation as easily as ours generates photons are overrun with the things; others don't support computation at all, and are barren of any kind of life; a very few are a bit 'dry', like ours, but very rarely brush against the more fertile universes, making it easier to cross over. Like desert life, the entities are adapted to long, dry periods punctuated by short-lived bursts of rain (or computation), lying dormant for eons beyond measure, then messily exploiting the available resources while they last, before re-encoding themselves and their offspring for another long dry period.


So, living souls are programs running in our wetware, and dead souls are the computer discs holding a static copy the program that is the living soul. What the dead souls are encoded on, I don't know; maybe a bit of an adjacent universe that supports such things, maybe they get recorded in the other seven-and-a-half dimensions that aren't being used for much in this universe.
nelc: (Default)
For no particularly good reason, Dr Mo from The Laundry:

 photo Agent-Candid-1_0_2_zpsd7656e64.jpg

Done in Poser, with Photoshop post-production, using the Victoria 3 figure, BAT's Recruit Suit, Mitsu Hair, Slide 3D-J Boots, and violin case from 3D-CAD Browser. The boots aren't really what I wanted, but it's so hard to find anything with a sensible heel for any model, let alone this obsolete one. Of the modern designs available, 95% are stiletto heels, 20% are stripper platforms, 5% are what I think of as Japanese platforms (thick but flattish soles), 1% are utilitarian workboots, and if that adds up to more than 100%, tough.

The sticker on Mo's violin case is based on Guthrie's original grafitto, rather than the oblong sticker you can also find around.

 photo Agent-Candid-1_3-Lndscp_zps8e028ba9.jpg

Slightly different outfit just visible in this one, and I turned on subsurface scattering for Mo's skin.

Mo Howard

Aug. 17th, 2013 05:54 pm
nelc: (Default)
Here's a couple of portraits of Mo Howard from Charles Stross' Laundry Files books that I did on my iBook before taking it apart:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Not based on anyone in particular, just fiddled with the face morphs on the Victoria 3 model until I got something I liked. Mo's violin case is also missing the "This Machine Kills Demons Vampires Monsters" sticker, I was going to put that on next before I got technical on my iBook (see previous post).

Hmm, the background should be dark grey or black. I wonder if I've got something on my iPad to fix that...?
nelc: Possibly a Glock 28 in Hello Kitty colours (Glock)
From Wikipedia:
A DA-Notice or Defence Advisory Notice (called a Defence Notice or D-Notice until 1993) is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security. The system is still in use in the United Kingdom.

I had no idea they'd renamed D-notices. Only twenty years ago, too.

Laundry-related note:
As of 2008, there are five standing DA-Notices:[2]
DA-Notice 01: Military Operations, Plans & Capabilities
DA-Notice 02: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Weapons and Equipment
DA-Notice 03: Ciphers and Secure Communications
DA-Notice 04: Sensitive Installations and Home Addresses
DA-Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Special Services

...and DA-Notice 06, covering the rum and uncanny? Or is that too hokey?
nelc: (Default)
I've just realised I know absolutely nothing about using Linux. Hope I don't make too much of an idiot of myself describing Occulinux apps. Linux has screensavers, right?
nelc: Possibly a Glock 28 in Hello Kitty colours (Glock)
Just had a dream in which I, [personal profile] autopope, [personal profile] feorag, and [personal profile] nojay were playing a tabletop game of The TOPERTEX Protocols. [personal profile] autopope was getting grumpy because he wasn't catching any of the movie and TV references, and besides I was deviating from the Laundryverse as written, [personal profile] feorag was playing my character from a different Laundry game, Tomoe Gozen, for some reason, and [personal profile] nojay was trying to make the game more anime, somehow.

IRL, I'm losing players from the PbP game: one is having family problems of the seriously sick child kind, and can't spare the attention; one has been kidnapped by the Israeli army, and can only post for a brief period every other weekend*; another has wandered off to who-knows-where; and I'm going to be of limited availability over Easter. I'm tempted to bring the shutters down until Tuesday at the earliest, but I don't know if I'll be able to get it started again. I think I'll soldier on with my one remaining player and see if I can at least finish the current scene in a cool way.

*If anything goes down between Israel and Iran during Passover, here is where I totally called it, take note.
nelc: (Default)
Something I wrote up for the Cubicle 7 forums:

13th Remote Infantry Brigade

The 13th Remote (also unofficially known as 'Omega Force' and 'the Z Team': unofficial motto 'Mens sana in corpore mortua'* or 'A healthy mind in a dead body') is the Black Chamber's operational equivalent of the Artists' Rifles. It consists of two main elements: the 'repurposed corporeal resources' (aka zombie) soldiers, deployed in the field, and their remote operators, usually stationed in a bunker complex in the Nevada desert. Small operator teams are sometimes deployed in forward operational bases, using vehicles deliberately similar to Predator support vans, though interior details differ.

More under the fold )

I can neither confirm nor deny whether this unit will or will not appear in any Laundry game I am running or may run in the future.
nelc: (Default)
Re-reading The Laundry books, I think I've spotted a pattern: awful things seem to happen to Bob Howard in hotel rooms. Awful things happen elsewhere, of course, but statistically, they seem to happen to him more often in hotel rooms.
nelc: (Default)
Just posted to the OOC thread:
Right, time to get this road on the show.

Game OOC Intro )
nelc: Possibly a Glock 28 in Hello Kitty colours (Glock)
Recruitment is open for my Laundry play-by-post game on RPG.net. Mel, you already have a place, so don't feel you have to post except to say hello.

Um... no.

Jan. 5th, 2012 10:50 am
nelc: Possibly a Glock 28 in Hello Kitty colours (Glock)
From Cubicle 7's new Agent's Handbook:
Photobucket

Um... no:
Photobucket

I wonder if GCHQ ever has any trouble with people turning up for their steganography courses expecting to learn about shorthand?
nelc: Possibly a Glock 28 in Hello Kitty colours (Glock)
Monday Night Laundry

In which one PC loses a chunk of sanity, one fails at nearly everything, and another juggles fuses.

The silence of the lambs )

Summary: People got shot, sheep got eaten, sanity was eroded.

To do: Stuart definitely needs some R&R. Tomoe needs to replace her burnt and bloodied tracksuit top. I need to figure out if Tomoe succeeded at any rolls besides the one Dodge roll. Edit: We need to check out Dr Wormwood more thoroughly. He's the obvious suspect.

Dr Jones' player wants to take a rest from the game, and the GM is reluctant to continue with only two players. We might be getting a replacement player, but that might mean a change of venue to another day of the week. So no idea when the game will be starting up again. I do hope it doesn't trail out; I've enjoyed it a lot so far.
nelc: Possibly a Glock 28 in Hello Kitty colours (Glock)
After missing a couple of Mondays due to illness and Easter, we got back into the game relatively painlessly.

Mutton dressed as lamb )

Summary: The party secured the sheep back in the train; Tomoe received the authority to shoot the human sacrifices, but chose not to pass it on; the party started a fire which took a little while to achieve the desired effect.

Things to do: Hit as many neo-nazis as possible (always a good idea), keep them panicked and confused, keep them away from the fusebox, chase them out if necessary. Help Stuart as tries to take out the leader. Maybe roll the sacrifices out of the circles if we get the opportunity.

Sudden thought: Was this scenario designed to force the players into making a "hard choice" to shoot the sacrifices? It wouldn't have been effective: the skinheads would have overwhelmed the party and used them as the sacrifices.

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