The Owner Trilogy

Well, no real announcement yet, but it appears the Owner trilogy – The Departure, Zero Point and Jupiter War – might be being taken on by an American publisher. If this does happen then all complaints about not being able to get hold of the ebook over there may well be resolved.

It’ll be interesting to see if the American reaction to this is as sharply divided. I suspect not, since the political left and right over there supposedly occupy a different position on the fallacious political scale to here. 
Righto, off to Chester today so it’ll be a quiet here. 

The Great Stagnation

Starting from here on The Next Big Future I read a few articles and looked at some videos. The book The Great Stagnation which seems to be at the root of all this makes the claim that technological advance is slowing because we’ve already grabbed the ‘low-hanging fruit’. Take for example the car. It is a huge step to go from not having a car to having one. The car was the big invention and everything since has just been innovation – no flying cars have arrived. In a speech he gives the author of the book cites many examples, like the average kitchen and how little it has changed since the 50s, but he then reluctantly admits that there have been some big advances in communication (Internet, mobile phones etc.).
Apparently, the low hanging fruit having been grabbed means that the average American is half as wealthy as he would have been had the advances been continuing at their previous rate.
Firstly, I don’t buy the distinction between invention and innovation since the car is just an innovation of the horse and cart and can be traced back to Shanks’ pony and the simple need to get from A to B. I sort of buy the ‘low hanging fruit’ argument but in the end that is really a value judgement. Is the invention of the car more important than the invention of the mobile phone? Is it more important than the accumulation of medical inventions/innovations that have extended our lives by decades? Is it more important than sequencing genomes at an increasing rate, biotech that makes it possible to make yeast that produces diesel or our growing nanotechnology? You see what I mean: a value judgement.
And, like many who have been discussing this book, I don’t agree that a slowing of technological advance is why people aren’t as wealthy as they could be. Firstly I don’t agree that technological advances are slowing. I would say that their effects are taking longer to reach us because of an increasingly hysterical anti-science meme that has spread in the West, with its resultant increase in restrictive legislation. Secondly I would say that the decrease in wealth relative to those advances is all due to increasingly parasitic governments and financial institutions sucking up that wealth – wealth that would have been used to develop those technological advances. Invent something astounding and you need big bucks to get it to market from under the leaden hand of government legislation. You don’t have big bucks of your own to spare because government and the financial institutions have stolen them. It’s an increasingly vicious circle.

This is why you see no technological singularity in The Departure – the parasitic state has killed innovation and invention. My only hope, in the real world, is that the financial collapse we are entering now will kill off some portion of the parasite infestation before the host dies. But even if that does happen, the host will still need time to recover its health, and the problem is that parasites grow faster than their hosts. 

Short Stories and Stuff

Well, it looks for sure like Piper’s Ash, who published Runcible Tales, has closed:

After some 40 years promoting new authors, we regret to say that we are now closing down our business. We wish new authors every success in the future with new publishers.

This means I now have a handful of short stories to go towards another collection: Always with You, Blue Holes, Dragon in the Flower, The Gire and the Bibrat & Walking John and Bird. Other stories that could be made part of a collection include Shell Game, The Cuisinart Effect, The Rhine’s World Incident and perhaps some others sitting in my files that are unrelated to the Polity (as most of these are) or Cowl (the Rhine’s World one).  The thing about The Gabble was that Peter Lavery asked me to confine myself to Polity stories so it fitted in with the rest of the Macmillan books, so I have plenty of other stories knocking about that don’t really fit anywhere.

Meanwhile, it’s lovely to discover that I’m right-wing (and probably a fascist) and that my writing is ‘a bit moronic’ and the ‘political anvils’ I drop into my work are naïve. This of course means that all of you who enjoy my books were too stupid to notice my obviously deep desire to stomp all over you with jackboots as opposed to, say, always protesting about big autocratic government. I never realized, but now it’s been made clear to me I will of course be off to get a swastika tattooed on my forehead. Surely it was clear that all the Polity books described the fascist state I wished we all lived in?

And meanwhile I’ll get back to Jupiter War, the last book in this Owner trilogy. I ask what I consider to be some serious questions, but these books are completely irrelevant. In failing to conform to correct political thought and not loving big state socialism I’m obviously as dumb as a box of spanners.


The other night we watched two episodes of something Caroline had taped – Borgen – then went on to watch another two episodes shown on Saturday night. It is a political drama set in Denmark and surprisingly, since it involves politicians, I’ve been enjoying it. Stuff like this perfectly illustrates how successful politicians will compromise their idealism to the point of non-existence so as to get their noses in the trough. We’ve seen this sort of stuff before in dramas like State of Play and House of Cards and in what can only loosely be described as a parody: Yes Minister.

The female who rises to the position of Prime Minister is an idealist politically-correct twat of the kind we know well from Labour’s years in power here. This being TV, which is dominated by lefty twats of a similar stripe, her initial portrayal couldn’t have been more saintly if she’d walked around with a CGI halo hovering above her head (I should also add that she was unbelievably naïve for someone so high up the greasy pole). Of course the good guys always want more welfare spending, love Islam and immigration, want to piss money away on International Development. Equally, those depicted as conservative or to the right are racist authoritarians with horns growing out of their heads.

However, I’m hoping this is not going to be too simplistic. Already our saint is finding it necessary to lie and cheat as she scrabbles for power. Quite possibly this will be a riff on the ‘power corrupts’ aphorism, or maybe even something more adult about how idealism fails when it impacts with reality. I will watch it to the end.

About Those Breast Implants…

So, the moment I heard this story about possible problems with industrial-grade silicon breast implants my knee-jerk reaction was, ‘Hey, you wanna buy bigger tits in France then that’s your problem and I shouldn’t have to pay for it!’ Then I thought about it for a bit and completely changed my mind. I’m guessing that someone who has shelled out for breast implants in France is someone with cash to spare on cosmetic surgery and is unlikely to be a dole scrounging parasite. Therefore, it is probably the case that they’ve been paying into the NHS, and quite likely they have paid in a damned sight more than they’ve had in return, so why shouldn’t they have medical care if there’s a problem with those implants?

NHS doctors do not have the right to lecture us on our lifestyle choices or refuse care. They especially do not have that right when we are forced to pay them. I’ve written this before but I’ll write it again: it is like going into a chemist’s to buy Aspirin, paying your money, then being asked why you need the pills. When you say you have a hangover the assistant replies, ‘You shouldn’t drink so much and, because you have, that’s your own fault so I’m not giving you your Aspirin, but I’m keeping your money.’

Of course while this has been going on some NHS berk was on TV connecting these breast implants to smoking and drinking. ‘The NHS has to pay for smokers and drinkers!’ she said, righteously offended. Okay, so the NHS has gone out and earned its own money has it? And it is now having to shell out on those evil smokers and drinkers is it? Erm, no, Mrs NHS Berk, that’s OUR money you’ve got there. We gave it to you on the basis that you would look after us when we’re ill. I don’t recollect anything about you being able to pillory people who aren’t behaving as you would wish. You can’t start changing the rules after the fact.

Incidentally, smokers provide huge revenue for the government and, no matter how the righteous try to twist the figures, they cost the NHS less than non-smokers. Did you think dying young was more expensive than the cost keeping you dribbling and in incontinence pants in an OAP home?  

This is a long and slippery slope, whatever your opinion about smoking and drinking, or fat people (or rather, how much you have responded to the constant indoctrination, de-normalization and demonization from NGOs, government and the NHS itself). Where does it stop? Why, for example, should we pay for the rescue and care of a climber who has fallen off a mountain? Why should we pay for any sports injury? Why should we pay for maternity stuff and childcare? I mean, having children is a lifestyle choice nowadays, isn’t it? Why should we pay for that guy cutting off his finger – he obviously wasn’t paying attention when using that Stanley knife. Why should we pay for that woman with malaria? It’s her fault she went on holiday. Why should we pay for that guy with AIDs? He should have used a condom. In fact, on that basis, we shouldn’t pay for any STDs.

And so continue the excuses for refusing treatment because a socialist experiment is, as always, running out of money.

The NHS was supposed to be free for all UK citizens at the point of use, but it is not. Foreigners get treatment they’ve paid nothing towards. We get charged exorbitant prices for medications that can be bought over-the-counter in other countries for a fraction of the cost. NHS dental care costs the same as private dental care elsewhere. Prescription charges are uneven, applying in England but not if you happen to live anywhere else in the UK. The NHS should be broken up and privatised and the only enforced requirement for UK citizens should be medical insurance, which would lead to real choices about your medical care. And, if that happened, the dependence on customer money rather than ‘free government money’ would rapidly shut up such righteous pricks like Mrs NHS Berk.

Resolution … well, sort of.

At last, Christmas is over, the New Year is beginning and I can get on… I quite often feel like that at this time of year and, since this is resolution time, many other do too. Now the compulsory gorging, socialising and alcohol excess has come to an end. Now it’s time to sober up and look at the costs.

The first cost I noted last night. Unable to get to sleep I sat up reading a book. While reading I looked down at my torso and noted that it’s measurement front to back is now more than the one from side to side. This is despite doing twenty sit-ups and press-ups every morning for months, and cycling 16 to 24 miles a week. It really is time for me to do something about my big fat gut.

January is our zero alcohol month so that’ll knock off the calories, prove to myself that I’m not an unrecoverable alcoholic and allow my liver to recover… Then again, I read recently an article titled ‘Janopause detox does more harm than good’. Apparently ‘doctors say’ this is medically futile and fails to rejuvenate the liver. Yet, the liver does regenerate very quickly so how can a month off the booze not be a good thing? Of course, reading between the lines it soon becomes evident that this is an article patched together by the anti-alcohol lobby – the kind of people who want the pointless minimum pricing on alcohol. Taking a month off apparently encourages people, who are of course all idiots, to think that they are immune to the effects of alcohol for the rest of the year. And we must all stick to the government advised limit on alcohol units … oh yeah, let’s revisit that (have to pay to see it now):

The safe limits were introduced in 1987 after the Royal College of Physicians produced its first health report on alcohol misuse. In A Great and Growing Evil: The Medical Consequences of Alcohol Abuse, the college warned that a host of medical problems – including liver disease, strokes, heart disease, brain disease and infertility – were associated with excessive drinking. The report was the most significant study into alcohol-related disorders to date.

But Richard Smith, the former editor of the British Medical Journal and a member of the college’s working party on alcohol, told The Times yesterday that the figures were not based on any clear evidence. He remembers “rather vividly” what happened when the discussion came round to whether the group should recommend safe limits for men and women.

“David Barker was the epidemiologist on the committee and his line was that ‘We don’t really have any decent data whatsoever. It’s impossible to say what’s safe and what isn’t’.

“And other people said, ‘Well, that’s not much use. If somebody comes to see you and says ‘What can I safely drink?’ you can’t say ‘Well, we’ve no evidence. Come back in 20 years and we’ll let you know’. So the feeling was that we ought to come up with something. So those limits were really plucked out of the air. They weren’t really based on any firm evidence at all.

In fact, take a look at this bit of QI on this matter, then google the subject and try to find anything about this in the righteous bansturbation proliferating across the Internet.

I’ll also be ramping up the exercise and cutting down on what I stick in my mouth. I often start this off by spending a day eating nothing – the next day finding I’m no more hungry in the morning than I was the day before – thereafter, eating less and having further ‘days off’ like this shrinks my stomach so I just don’t feel as hungry. Of course this is, apparently, a bad thing to do too. I disagree. What the hell is fat for? It is a way of storing up calories for lean times. So what happens if you don’t eat? You burn up fat rather than the half a pack of chocolate biscuits you ate last night. It’s quite a simple equation.

Okay, I’m off for a cycle now.  

Out in the Wilderness!

Apparently David Cameron has cast us into isolation and the icy wilderness outside Europe, if you swallow whole the propaganda belched up by the BBC. As someone noted, on one blog I was reading, this is the kind of isolation of the one passenger who failed to board the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Of course the piles and piles of bullshit here are high and ripe. First off, Britain is not the one out of twenty-seven as the BBC would have us believe. And as far as I can gather (I’m no expert) he said ‘no’ at a meeting to discuss having a meeting to work out some way of promoting stability. There was, in fact, no treaty to veto but a draft treaty. If you want more detail, check here.

However, one wonders why sticking a financial transactions tax in there which will screw money out of Britain’s economy has to be part of the deal. Could it possibly be a further power grab that actually has no effect on the vast amount of money countries owe and how, economically, they are rapidly heading down the toilet? Could it be a little bit of payback for Britain’s failure to kowtow to Brussels and join the Euro? Could it also be Merkel, Sarkozy and crew looking for someone to blame –Britain – when it all goes tits-up as it inevitably will?

Nice to note the BBC telling outright lies too. How the financial sector is just an insignificant part of Britain’s economy when it actually accounts for 10% of national income. Meanwhile the reporters all looked like they wanted to be wearing black arm bands as they promoted doom and gloom about Britain not going ‘Baaa!’ with the rest of the sheep. They then delayed for as long as possible before letting Cameron put his side of, ‘We’re not in the Euro, these changes are against our national interest, so I said no, okay?’ Of course I’ve no doubt that later that ‘no’ will become a sort of ‘no’ and eventually slide into being a ‘yes’ because Cameron is as big a europhile prick as most chiselling politicians.

Incidentally, what are these sanctions they’re talking about for profligate governments? It hardly seems logical to financially penalize a government that’s overspent: Hey, I find you guilty of shooting yourself in the foot. I am, therefore, going to punish you by shooting you in the other foot.

Petrol Price

Oh isn’t George Osborn generous in not putting up the tax on petrol. Now, when you buy a litre of fuel at the pump for £1.40 you’re only paying at tax rate of 142% – that’s 83p in tax. But of course you need to pay such huge rates to finance all those enormous and completely unfair public sector pensions. But we must also not forget the billions the DFID is throwing at other countries, what we are paying for more fucking useless windmills and for another climate change jolly somewhere, or the billions thrown at the corrupt and totalitarian EU, or that biased advocate of leftwingery the BBC, or the lazy fucks on welfare, or the overpaid jerks in our councils, or the… ok, I’ll stop there.

Back to work so I can pay for all those dicks out there.

Dystopia Myopia

Okay, back to a bit of blogging every day. There’s an interview with me over here at Worlds in Ink where I ramble on about The Departure and where you’ll find the blurb for Zero Point. I also make some comments about ebooks, but nothing ground-breaking because I’m still undecided about the various issues that arise from piracy and DRM. I would like to believe that without DRM piracy would act as publicity and result in more sales for me, but I’m afraid I have a low opinion of human nature. Then again, this morning I got paid $40 by a reader who emailed me earlier in the week with this:

I need to send you some money, I “ahem” got your books at the library, and they are all fucking brilliant.

…so perhaps I shouldn’t be such a cynic?


What else? Oh yeah, we’ve had two democratically elected leaders ousted and replaced by ‘technocrats’. We now we have the BMA pushing the government to ban smoking in cars and doubtless the government will bow to this then to the later total ban on smoking i.e. your car will not be your own and later your house won’t be. Another one is the idea that unless you opt out your organs will automatically go for donation, so your body belongs to the government too. How long before you are legally obliged to keep that government property in top-notch condition? All of these are putting more power into the hands of the state, taking away our freedoms, and examples of how we move ever closer to the world of The Departure. As for the BMA, I think Underdogs Bite Upwards covers that organization in a recent post:

What is the point of going through medical school if you end up being less reliable in your diagnoses and advice than a rune-casting Druid? Alcohol units recommendations are made-up numbers. Five-a-day is a made-up number. Second hand smoke is entirely lies and third-hand smoke is beyond derisory from a profession that calls homeopathy bunkum. There is no science behind any of it. It is personal prejudice based on spite and malice and what is now called ‘science’ and the utter morons who now make up our government accept it all. The exclusion and demonization of huge tracts of the population is justified on the basis of… nothing.


I’m currently working through the Peter Lavery edits of Zero Point and finding that he hasn’t been quite so demonic in his application of his ‘scary pencil’. He tells me that this is because it doesn’t require so much editing, so hopefully this means I have learnt something from him over the last ten years.

Right, an hour of learning Greek now, then shopping, then back to work.

Well Spotted

Jin Liqun, chairman of the board of supervisors of China Investment Corp., slammed the welfare systems of European countries and said the continent must address its own problems to attract outside investment.

“If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society,” Jin told Al-Jazeera television in an interview broadcast at the weekend.

“The labor laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hardworking.”

Spot on, but we’ll be a long time waiting for any such sanity from our ‘leaders’.

Incidentally, two elected leaders have been chucked out and replaced by Europhile shills (I will not call them ‘technocrats’ because the word implies a pragmatism that just doesn’t exist in the EU elite). How long do you reckon before they’ll start calling them ‘delegates’ … and how long before they start suggesting ID implants as a practical solution to border control?