Saturday, March 31, 2007


I recently read 'Nightwatch' by Sergei Lukyanenko (translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield). In fact I am almost through with 'Daywatch' (second book. there is a third, but I don't know the title, or even if it has been translated yet)

There was a movie ('Nightwatch') based on 'Nightwatch.' I saw it before I read the book. The movie was pretty good, but it turns out that the events in the movie occur entirely within the first third of the book. And the movie thinned and altered the plot quite a bit. Actually, the intro scene in the movie is a highly modified version of the intro to the second book.

The story is urban fantasy, taking place in Moscow just before the turn of the millennium. (It's actually Christmas 1999, where I am reading now. Hey, don't tell me that Jan 1, 2000 isn't actually the start of the new millennium, I didn't write the books)

The first book is told from the point of view of Anton Gorodetsky, a Light magician of middling power. The POV in the second shifts around. Anton is a major character in the second book, but not the focal one. (This shifts with the POV)

The story revolves around Others, people who can use magic. There are Dark Others (werewolves (and other shapeshifters), vampires, witches, warlocks, Dark Magicians) and Light Others (who all seem to be considered Magicians, even the ones who can only shapeshift)

Both sides have a distinct hierarchy of power. I found it interesting that vampires and werewolves are on pretty much the lowest tier in the Dark Ones hierarchy.

The books are very good. I don't know if the style is attributable to the author or the translator (or a bit of both), but it is pretty gripping.

If you like this sort of book, I recommend them.


UPDATE: It seems that there are "Higher Vampires" that are pretty high up the Dark Other hierarchy (one is introduced near the end of 'Daywatch'). But no kind of description is made of them.


I want to be like Georgia O'Keefe

I just don't care anymore. I'm not even sure that I ever really did.

"Care about what?" a voice from my imaginary audience asks.

"Anything," I reply.

It hit me at work the other day.
I was writing a procedure for a task so simple that a lobotomized howler monkey could have figured it out, when I realized that I was just going through the motions.

I put as little real effort into my job as I can get away with.

I make the minimum expected small talk with my coworkers.

I answer questions with whatever I think will make the inquisitive jackass go away.

I eat out every night because I can't be bothered to cook. (This is the one that will shock people who know me)

I don't have a social life. I don't want a social life.

I don't even drive my car to work anymore, I make the guy I 'pool with drive (my car).

I identify completely with "Splendid Isolation" by Warren Zevon. Hence the title of this post.
(I bought the CD ("Genius") for "Werewolves of London" and "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner")

Am I depressed? Maybe. How the hell should I know?


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Now this truly produces awe and wonder

I feel sorry for ancient people who, lacking the tools to discover real wonders of the universe, had to invent gods. But I do understand them.

What I don't understand are people today who cling to those imaginary gods when those tools do exist, and more is being discovered every day

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Flowcharts for science and religion

The charts both accurately reflect the processes involved.

The science chart illustrates the scientific method very well. I was impressed.