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  #5401  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:46 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Those are the spirits of the reptoids. All their dreams are dissipating. A million years of culture, civilization, and history are vanishing.
  #5402  
Old 02-10-2019, 09:56 PM
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The Stainless Steel Rat The Stainless Steel Rat is offline
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But the Great Vanishing Celery Mystery caused a sensation, let me tell you! You wouldn't believe some of the theories the settlers came up with to explain the traceless disappearance of that plant and only that plant. Not that anyone came particularly close to the truth. I mean, think about it. Can you conceive of anything less likely—or more ridiculous on the face of it—than that a bunch of carnivorous, extraterrestrial arboreals should be staging commando raids on greenhouses in the dead of night just to steal celery?"
  #5403  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:13 AM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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The sunlight lying on an acre of farm land weighs several tons, believe it or not.
  #5404  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:54 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Scientists had warned them about what they might find. Even in the habitable zone, most close planets would be tidally locked and basted with radiation and plasma from their active red suns.
  #5405  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:36 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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Long ago the UN had sent ramrobots to nearby stars to search out habitable planets. It was a peculiarity of the first ramrobots that they were not choosy. The Procyon ramrobot, for instance, had landed on We Made It in spring. Had the landing occurred in summer or winter, when the planet's axis points through its sun, the ramrobot would have sensed the fifteen-hundred-mile-per-hour winds. The Sirius ramrobot had searched out the two narrow habitable bands on Jinx, but had not been programmed to report the planet's other peculiarities. And the Tau Ceti ramrobot, Interstellar Ramscoop Robot #4, had landed on Mount Lookitthat. Only the Plateau on Mount Lookitthat was habitable. The rest of the planet was an eternal searing black calm, useless for any purpose.
  #5406  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:34 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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The place had clearly been terraformed within an inch of its life; there was just no other way continents ended up perfectly square.
  #5407  
Old 02-13-2019, 10:01 PM
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The Stainless Steel Rat The Stainless Steel Rat is offline
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Even the most Earthlike world required at least some terraforming to suit it to a human population, but in Manticore's case that had amounted to little more than introducing essential Terrestrial food crops and carefully selected fauna, and despite Manticore's long year and extended seasons, the off-world life-forms had made the transition to their new environment with ease.

Unfortunately, that ease of adaptation had been a two-edged sword, for Manticore had proven one of the very few planets capable of producing an indigenous disease that could prey on humanity. It took forty T-years for a native Manticoran virus to mutate into a variety which could attack human hosts, but once it had, the plague had struck with stunning power.
  #5408  
Old 02-14-2019, 09:41 AM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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The dancing sickness took place during the latter part of the fifteenth century. Bubonic plague--the black death--decimated Europe near the end of the fourteenth. Whooping cough near the end of the seventeenth, and the first known outbreaks of influenza near the end of the nineteenth. We've become so used to the idea of the flu--it seems almost like the common cold to us, doesn't it?--that no one but the historians seem to know that a hundred years ago it didn't exist.
  #5409  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:51 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Sadness seemed to me like a disease, and I worried it was contagious.
  #5410  
Old 02-14-2019, 09:01 PM
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The Stainless Steel Rat The Stainless Steel Rat is offline
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But if she hadn't been able to put in as many hours in this office as she thought she really should have, she'd put in enough to discover something she hadn't known. Something she had to give up along with the office . . . which explained the sadness that was also so much a part of that sigh.

She loved to teach.
  #5411  
Old 02-15-2019, 03:11 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you have always known.
  #5412  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:50 PM
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The Stainless Steel Rat The Stainless Steel Rat is offline
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Victor took a deep breath and let it out in a rush. "She's quite something," he pronounced.

Usher smiled. The same thin, wicked smile that Victor remembered. "Yeah, I know. That's why I married her."

Seeing Victor's wide eyes, Usher's smile became very thin, and very wicked. "There's no mention of her in my file, is there? That's lesson number one, junior. The map is not the territory. The man is not the file."
  #5413  
Old 02-16-2019, 05:55 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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We broke into enough files and records to find out just where all the money came from.
  #5414  
Old 02-17-2019, 04:56 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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These were the innocent days before the problem became acute. Later, Index runs were collected in Files, and Files in Catalogs - so that, for example, C3F5I4 meant that you wanted an Index to Indexes to Indexes to Indexes which was to be found in a certain File of Files of Files of Files of Files, which in turn was contained in a Catalog of Catalogs of Catalogs. Of course, actual numbers were much greater.

Last edited by Andy L; 02-17-2019 at 04:57 PM.
  #5415  
Old 02-17-2019, 05:19 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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"If we knew where the index file was, we could look up the index file under 'Index File'. I think I'm losing my mind."

"No, you've just discovered recursion."
  #5416  
Old 02-17-2019, 09:14 PM
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The Stainless Steel Rat The Stainless Steel Rat is offline
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Do this. Don't do that. Stay back in line. Where's tax receipt? Fill out form. Let's see license. Submit six copies. Exit only. No left turn. No right turn. Queue up and pay fine. Take back and get stamped. Drop dead — but first get permit.
  #5417  
Old 02-18-2019, 09:10 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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“How many twenty-second-century bureaucrats did it take to change a light panel?
We'll have a sub-committee meeting and get back to you with an estimate.”
  #5418  
Old Yesterday, 05:07 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
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Listen, this whole system of yours could be on fire and I couldn't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a twenty-seven B stroke six... bloody paperwork.
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