Tillamook, part 18

What? You really thought having King Rhun show up was a key plot point? My future history is called Machine Civilization for a reason.

Off to co-celebrate my daughters’ 19th and 21st birthdays in a bit. I’m hoping to get one more scene typed today then see what they can show me before Mass tomorrow.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

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The Ria

Every now and then, usually with bioluminescent  algae blooms or unusual news about quantum computing, I’ll make a post here from the so-called “real world,” which is increasingly “ClownWorld,” to illustrate something about the future history of Machine Civilization.

With the current unpleasantness between Russia and Ukraine, there has been talk in the past few days about Russia and China working together to evade SWIFT restrictions. With India’s recent abstention on a vote in the UN General Assembly, it makes one wonder what is really going on.

I wonder… has anyone ever given any thoughts to the long-term repercussions of this?

“The end of the world as we know it”

The southeast of the US not getting the gas/petrol they need. One of the Interstate bridges over the Mississippi River is fractured and closed… possibly closing shipping traffic on that river… impacting 20% of shipping traffic on one of the most important rivers of the world. Inflation is taking off like a successful SpaceX rocket.

It’s not as if I’ve given this any thought…

Here, for your edification, is the complete Prologue of “Friend and Ally,” where a couple of Somi Corporation engineers try to figure out just what in the world is going on in the US. If you like this, you’ll like the rest of the audiobook, too.

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Exposition in Winchester

Was at my DayJob the last four days then off the last two. The pollen here in central Ohio has irritated my throat so I could only record three chapters of “Foes and Rivals.” I will certainly not be done with that by our vacation departure the first week of June.

But will there be a vacation? Some false-flag pipeline BS in the SE US. Closing of the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi – with the possibility of that impacting ship traffic on the river which forms the backbone of America. The Covid political madness still in place. Maybe we will make it to south Utah. Maybe we’ll make it back. If things fall apart – and trust me, I know that can, FAST – then I’ll have to go full Mad Max to retrieve Daughter #1 from her internship.

In the meantime, in a story I’m not writing which is at 25k words, the intel team of which Prince Robert is just a cog starts off toward their first town of investigation.

I’ve also signed up with a new service and shall try to embed the link here. I’m not terribly good at these things.

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/machciv

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The Dismal Science

Which is itself a joke. Normies think “economics” majors must study tons and tons of math. Hah. Most of them cannot add or subtract. I would trust astrology and reading bird entrails before any PhD of Economics. Politicians get crosses; I’ll give econs a clean death at the drop of a rope, just because I’m a nice person.

It seems that Prince Edward has twigged to this fact. Race > Culture > Politics.

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Ports of Call

In engineering, logistics, and similar fields there is a concept called “point-source failure.” That is, the proper function of your mechanism, program, or process is ultimately predicated on one single thing working right. If it fails, the entire system fails. This, obviously, is something to be avoided and designed out from a project’s inception or as soon as possible.

When I first self-published my books, beginning in December of 2014, I was on Amazon. It was the only game in town. Later, I learned of Smashwords and have ported many of my ebooks there. More recently, StoryOrigin, where not only can I sell books, but make parts of all available for reviewers (I’m just getting started on that site). Just last week Helen Smith unveiled Helen’s Page with much more than just books. In the wings, I’m aware that Sarah Hoyt is working on yet another such outlet for indie authors.

I say all that to say this: it is just a matter of time before Amazon gets taken out by hackers, broken to pieces by regulators, or – most likely – I’m deplatformed for having heretical views of what the PoMoTranzi Party believes on any given day. In other words, a point-source failure.

Below the fold is one of the reasons I can only upload books to Smashwords twice per year or so. Exasperating.

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Life imitates my works… I’ve lost count…

On the first hand:  “China and Russia ditch dollar in move toward financial alliance”

On the second hand:  “Step 4: Impeach or otherwise remove Trump by non-Constitutional means.”

On the gripping hand (from the prologue of Friend & Ally):

Hakane took another drag off his cigarette in Somi Corporation’s breakroom, laughing at his colleague’s comment.  It wasn’t so much their company discouraged smoking as that they wished to make sure their products were not contaminated.  Given the delicacy of some of the prototypes, all respected this rule.

“Can you believe it, Atazaki?” he asked, flourishing his newspaper.  “The US economy imploding like this?  I’m an engineer, not at economist, but how in the world…”

“Call it belief; call it faith.  Lose it, and your world ends,” his friend replied, looking at a domestic part of his own newspaper.

“What’s that?”  What Hakane knew of politics could fit into a sake cup.

“Since the war,” for a Japanese, that meant only one thing, “the world economy had the US dollar as its reserve currency, backed, not by gold or silver, but by the faith – mind you – that the US will always be there!”

Atazaki glanced at the clock over the inner door and decided one more cigarette was in order.

“So now we find,” he said, pointing at Hakane’s paper with his lighter, “that as the American President is being removed via extra-Constitutional means, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are rolling out a new currency… what’s it called?”

“The ria,” Hakane managed.

“Whatever.  Backed by the gold they’ve been buying up for a generation, and indexed to oil.  At that point, US dollars became valueless.”

Hakane was still confused.  But why…

“Why is there rioting in the US?  And getting worse so fast?”

Atazaki blew a blue-grey cloud toward the ceiling’s scrubbers.

“It’s a replay of what almost happened back in 2008:  credit dries up, the velocity of money drops to zero.”

Atazaki realized his friend didn’t get a single word.  He tried again.

“Credit cards stop working; all the zeros and ones in banks are gone, and, for the Americans,” he took another drag, “their food-welfare cards, whatever they’re called, stopped working.”

He exhaled again and sat back.

“All cities in the US are starving right now.  And there is nothing… nothing at all, to stop it.”

I’m not kidding:  I was writing science fiction, not current events…

Council meeting, pt 2

Wherein Faustina shows just a little of the iron in her otherwise sweet little girl persona.  I know I mention a dinner and another meeting but I think those will happen in the background and be alluded to by her while she frantically recruits and trains another 12,000 men.

Also below the fold is a poor map of what her world looks like, right now.  The red areas are the city-states that survived the Breakup or, in the case of Huntsville, were rebooted shortly after.  The blue region is what Faustina conquered in “Princess Crusade” (available soon!) and is under her personal dominion.  The blue arrows will probably be her main axis of attack toward Vicksburg.  But there will be many, many marches and counter-marches to bring the locals of the old Deep South under her control.

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Second Shaft

Just coming off of ten days on second, or evening, shift at my DayJob.  It might be a good shift for older folks with nothing better to do or students with morning classes, but I hate it.  You wake up late with only a few hours before work.  Work ten hours, get home at midnight and go to bed.  What little time I have I to myself was spent with my subconscious mind fretting about work.  So precisely nothing got done writing, regardless of my Lenten obligation to complete “Empress’ Crusade.”

Having worked the weekend I had today off and thus have tried very hard to get back into the groove.  Although I wanted to keep this early section focused on humans, Reina informed me that was not to be.  Once she has her say, even Faustina finds her plans for the future suddenly in flux.  My next installment, when Fussy asserts herself against the Council of Five, is going to be very, very interesting.

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