I’ve been a little rocky the last couple of days. Anxiety is in force again, despite previously feeling that most of my concerns about K. leaving the company had been settled.

Turns out: I’m the senior developer, the one who is supposed to know things. People want stuff from me. No longer can I just focus on a short time frame worth of work assigned to me, or a very specific technical problem to solve. The job is different now, even if I’m not a “manager.”

And there’s the jury duty thing. I know it’s not that big a deal, but it’s unusual and so I’m worrying about it. And… whatever else. If anxiety were rational it wouldn’t be anxiety!


The Model:Cycles has been fun — I’m glad I traded for it. Fun to just bash out some beats, or coax it to do drones and ambient tones and chimes and such. I’m going to stick to my plan not to record it and just let it be something to relax and have fun with.

The new album is starting to take shape. Three sessions recorded so far, all steadily 49 BPM — I don’t want to use the word unrelenting to describe the beat, at least not yet, but certainly continuous. It’s a little bit of a creative challenge to me compared to uniting everything with a pure drone, but I think it’s going to work out.

I’ve finished reading Linda Nagata’s “Nanotech Succession” books. I think “Book 0”, Tech-Heaven, is an extremely optional read. It might belong in the timeline, but there are basically no characters or plot points that set up the next three books except in a very general historical sense. And honestly, it wasn’t as visionary or as compelling overall.

The Bohr Maker is a lot more of the true setup for the series. Though it’s relatively early in the life cycle of these technologies, it’s an introduction to radically redesigned humans; nanotech “Makers” that can clean pollution, cure disease and rebuild matter; the “atrium” (an organ interfacing the brain with computers); “ghosts” (software versions of people’s personalities, which can be re-integrated with consciousness) and so on. And one of the protagonists, Nikko, returns much later in Vast — but he feels very much like a different person because a lot has happened It’s kind of semi-optional perhaps, but is a good read that stands on its own.

Deception Well now feels like it should be required reading for Vast, though I have probably read the latter four times first over the years. It introduces Urban, Lot and Clemantine — three of the five or so main characters in Vast. It also does more to explain the cult parasite (possibly a weapon meant to disrupt/ruin humanity, possibly an accidental outcome of a hybridization of human and alien) and the Well protocol (a collection of nanoscale life that enforces cooperation between species rather than conflict), which was not always clear.

Vast greatly expands the story of the Chenzeme, and the theme of humans choosing what to become and/or being forced to be particular things. It’s much more of a journey, both literally and narratively. It’s almost, but not quite, one continuous chase scene the way Mad Max: Fury Road is, only its craziness is completely different of course. The strongest book of these and a fitting conclusion.

….except that the Inverted Frontier books Edges, Silver and the companion novel Memory, continue the story with a journey back toward Earth and the “Hallowed Vasties” (Dyson spheres that fell to the cult virus) to find out what happened to civilization. I feel like I have to read those soon.

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