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Catherine Mintz
... writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and poetry.
Recent Activity
A private Japanese firm will be launching a rocket this coming Saturday, July 29th: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170726_23/
Commented yesterday on NextUp: July 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
As in, as quoted, "I'm trying to get back to my home planet, ya know." He seems to be having a good time with it all. Mostly. The results argue he's shrewd enough.
Commented yesterday on NextUp: July 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
I wonder if Musk didn't tweet about the hyperloop because that created a public record of sorts of what was told him more privately. Positive reaction = positive pressure for the project. There is, actually, an East Coast rail project but it seems stalled out: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/amtrak-northeast-corridor-improvements-trump-infrastructure-bill-20170724.html If Musk and Co. have discovered antigravity they really should tell the rest of us. We could have cities in flight!
Commented 2 days ago on NextUp: July 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
Musk seems to have a taste for grand projects that might not work out: the hyperloop for the East Coast. Wired has a sour take on that: https://www.wired.com/story/infrastructure-hyperloop-nope/
Commented 4 days ago on NextUp: July 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
"I've seen well-educated Japanese native speakers trace kanji in the air as they talked, helping to clarify meanings. Sometimes on the palm of the other person's hand." WB That's even more common with Chinese, which has a limited number of sounds. What reads clearly on may be confusing when spoken.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
"—and can print 3D structures in space." JH Who? Where?
Often Japanese use title and name to avoid saying you. "Barton san, was the letter posted?"
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
When our President met the Japanese Prime Minister's wife, she didn't speak to him. This has resulted in considerable analysis of the problems of conversing in a language not your own. This is the BBC's take: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40678881
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
"Musk did a keynote speech at the ISS R&D conference. Among other things, he said Red Dragon is being cancelled..." WB I guess reality intervened. They announced Red Dragon in April.
Commented 7 days ago on NextUp: July 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
An interesting article about coaching for accent in movies and TV: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/magazine/accents-hollywood-dialect-coach.html
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
"—I drawled, "Oh, I think he's a Marine fighter pilot." (Which was true.) Long silence, and then he said, "Well, it was nice knowing you. Good-bye."" WB Excellent.
There's a difference between studying a language and actually writing and speaking it, and then comes the even harder task of understanding a native speaker at full speed. A professor who spoke Chinese and was complimented by the overseas Chinese he was talking to on how well he spoke it, "unlike those people from Peking." Peking is the standard for Chinese, as Parisian is the standard for French. Native speakers seldom read the textbooks. Indeed, about the only ones who do are the ones who teach their native language for a living and they learn to speak slowly and clearly so they can be understood by their students. Peter Hessler, who went to China as a Peace Corps volunteer, and then wrote about it, found one day he and his fellow volunteer were talking to one another in the sort of simplified English they used in the classroom. The VOA broadcasts to China use much the same thing. A diligent student can be in for some surprises when immersed in the language they have supposedly learned.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
Not a surprise to those who knew him, but I haven't seen anything in Locus. He would have had some suitably grumpy comment.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2017 on William Sanders 1942—2017 at SF and F Roundtable
For complicated, artistic storytelling, have a look at Stand Still Stay Silent: http://www.sssscomic.com/index.php?id=about.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2017 on Webcomics -- Girl Genius at SF and F Roundtable
One reason Americans are perceived as monolingual is that English has become what French once was, and Latin was before that: the international language everyone studies. To Americans English is as water is to fish. When other people are working to communicate, Americans don't have to think about it. That the British have a rich and interesting history of language colonialism doesn't help, either.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
In South America, they ask "What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Three? One?" The answer to the last question is "American." This gets boring.
Toggle Commented Jul 16, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
"This article's prose seems fairly stiff." WB Maybe even a bit pompous?
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
The state of science fiction: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2017/07/DUFOUR/57652 In French, but you can sort of pick your way through most of the sample. They're still talking about Dune, but there are a number of European works we don't usually see mentioned.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
Ah, =money=. Moving any internationally is always a bother. I sold one story to a market that then decided on PayPal, and I told them to add an appropriate number of issues to my subscription, which they did do. I didn't send them more stories, though, because I'm not really into barter. When my subsciption lasped I didn't renew, which brings us to international postage rates, and coupons, and how wonderful electronic submission is.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
"I forget how to start a topic, so I'll just do this as a comment --" JH Reposted to its own topic.
I've always enjoyed the tale that John Grisham, having submitted his first novel, wrote back to the publisher upon its acceptance to say he could not afford to pay the fee they were asking. He was looking at the proposed advance.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on This Writing Life at SF and F Roundtable
There were steam-powered, iron-wheeled tractors, too, although they didn't supplant horses, which, conveniently, ran on the hay and grain they were helping cultivate.
Also, there's this, which they call a train, but I might call a trackless trolley: https://youtu.be/Dd3N9CFKe9M
"Railroad trains were tied to railroad tracks from day one." WB I take your point, but I also offer a counterexample. In the Sudan, and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, they put down the sleepers and rails before the train, and take them up afterwards. This lets them move larger amounts of goods than is possible by truck. But you need a lot of cheap labor to do it.
Planes require airports, if you disregard those prepped for special uses. I keep expecting that blimps, which are less complicated for short distances and heavy loads, will make a comeback, but not yet. The idea of climbing aboard an elevator in very tall skyscaper and riding up has an appeal that shouldn't be discounted.