This is a moment, he thought, this is one of those moments of self realization that you get four, maybe five times in a lifetime, that changes your world view, and shows you that you are not the person you used to be, and proves that you never can be again, and leaves you broken in a ditch beside the highway.

Use of Weapons

The woman would lie close to him, her head on his smooth and unscarred chest, while he talked into the dark air above the bed, his voice not echoing in the wood-flimsy space of the shack, and he’d tell her, in words she would never understand, about the magic land where everyone was a wizard and nobody ever had terrible choices to make, and guilt was almost unknown, and poverty and degradation were things you had to teach children about to let them understand how fortunate they were, and where no hearts broke.

He told her about a man, a warrior, who’d worked for the wizard doing things they could or would not bring themselves to do, and who eventually could work for them no more, because in the course of some driven, personal campaign to rid himself of a burden he would not admit to - and even the wizards had not discovered - he found, in the end, that he had only added to that weight, and his ability to bear was not without limit after all.

And he told her, sometimes, about another time and another place, far away in space and far away in time and even further away in history, where four children had played together in a huge and wonderful garden, but seen their idyll destroyed with gunfire, and of the boy who became a youth and then a man, but who for ever after carried more than love for a girl in his heart. Years later, he would tell her, a small but terrible war was waged in this faraway place, and the garden itself laid waste. (And, eventually, the man did lose the girl from his heart.)


http://www.iain-banks.net/

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time made me cry a little. 

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time made me cry a little. 

Summer Wars was an enjoyable film.

Summer Wars was an enjoyable film.

commence VLC screenshot dump. 

commence VLC screenshot dump. 

I love google sketchup

I really like sketchup. A lot.

Floyd examined one of the pictures of Susan White. It was a full-length shot of her standing up against a backdrop of railings, with the elongated blur of a horse passing behind. She was holding on to her pillbox hat as if the wind had been about to snatch it away. She was laughing, startled and happy. She did not look like someone who would be dead in a few weeks.
Century Rain by Alistair Reynolds http://voxish.tripod.com/
Thalience is an attempt to give nature a voice without that voice being ours in disguise. It is the only way for an artificial intelligence to be grounded in a self-identity that is truly independent of its creator’s.
http://www.kschroeder.com/my-books/ventus/thalience
ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 39

David Apatoff is the man. Breaking down Howard Pyle.  His site is a gold mine of knowledge.