Harry Turtledove’s alternate history? try alternate dippy!

I just read the first book in a series by this guy harry turtledove (if that is his real name). A friend, GG the expert Marxist, has this quirk where he’ll attempt to lend out his set of these novels to everyone at some point, because he likes them a lot.

So I said yeah sure why not.

I’d pigeon-hole it as speculative fiction. The idea is that it’s set a couple of years into WWII and then this race of space-lizards invades, intending to take over the planet. The Axis and Allies go from fighting eachother to working together against the lizards, whose technology is a bit more advanced but they miscalculated how advanced humanity was and they only have a limited amount of resources.

But there’s repetition of key points that was head-crushingly frustrating, example:

Lizard subcommander: Sire, the earthlings are fighting back harder than we ever imagined. Perhaps we should abort the mission.

Lizard fleetcommander: But the colony ships are on their way. We must continue.

Lizard subcomander: Oh yes. The colony ships.

This same conversation came up about 4 times. The same kind of thing happened with the human characters too. In any other situation this would usually encourage me to close the book and propel it into the wall on the other side of the room.

But I’ve been trying really hard not to mess the thing up and the cover got bent once as it is.

In short, harry turtledove’s “world war” series: forgetaboutit.

planned obsolescence

This is one of the things that drives me up the wall about capitalism. A few years ago I got this mosquito zapper thing which plugs into a power point and produces an un-noticable (to humans) odour that mozzies don’t like. The odourous stuff comes from these inserts, of which I needed to purchase more. And do you think I could find any? Well, yes — but let me complain a little more first.

The inserts for this thing last for ages. For instance, I don’t think I had to buy any at all during the last two summers. The insecticide companies must’ve got wise to this because now I see there’s a whole bunch of similar products in the supermarket, but their refills last one night thus making the whole process ridiculously expensive to the consumer.

It doesn’t matter if it was the company, Baygon = Bayer, that stopped producing the things, or if it was the supermarkets that decided to stop stocking them — either way it’s illogical. Or at least Marx would say it is.

Anyway, I got lucky the other day at a local supermarket and found a cache of the inserts with a ‘discontinued line’ thing on them. They’d been knocked down to 50cents each so I got them all which will last me til 2015, if Earth and its people aren’t enslaved by space-mozzies before then.

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