Thu, 01 Oct 2015 09:39
RT @EditorChrista: Dirty science humor: http://t.co/NKmtZpLCwi
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Thu, 01 Oct 2015 09:37
The only thing more ridiculous than Ricky Nolasco's outrage over Ramirez's batflip is Ricky Nolasco being a big league pitcher.
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Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:36
RT @darth_awesome: Did those naked French ladies ever patch up that hole in the wall?
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Wed, 23 Sep 2015 13:26
If I never see or hear another FanDuel/DraftKings commercial, I can die happy.
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Tue, 22 Sep 2015 23:13
I bet I'd look good with a beard, if I could grow one. (I can't.)
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Fri, 18 Sep 2015 14:26
RT @shutupmikeginn: i respect Texas Instruments because they're like "Nah, we nailed graphing calculators in 1998 no need to change em. Als'
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Wed, 16 Sep 2015 09:53
RT @SpecHorizons: Hadouken Coffee is the best thing I've seen on the internet today. http://t.co/rsm6n2b0Wc
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Wed, 16 Sep 2015 09:52
"Your password will expire in 120 days. Do you want to reset your password now?" (Repeat every day.)
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Tue, 15 Sep 2015 00:15
RT @AaronGleeman: Twins 7, Vikings 3.
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Mon, 14 Sep 2015 21:37
RT @JimGaffigan: Do you say gif or jif or do you have friends?
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Mon, 14 Sep 2015 20:09
@MnTwinkie: He just needs a pimp hat to round out the look.
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Sun, 13 Sep 2015 21:29
RT @darth_awesome: Everyone cites Jar Jar Binks as the worst thing about THE PHANTOM MENACE, but Darth Vader building C-3PO is one million '
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Fri, 11 Sep 2015 10:02
RT @ParkerHageman: Earlier reminder to the social media managers out there: Don't tweet tomorrow. http://t.co/460oKKxjkt
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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 20:14
@AaronGleeman: Coulda sworn I just heard Gladden praise Sano for not over-exerting himself when he knew he'd be out on a DP ball.
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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 20:10
.@AaronGleeman @RhettBollinger: Prediction: #Twins will never make it to the WS with Ryan as GM. #HotTake
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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:42
Oh, Hampton Inn, why did we forsake you so long this vacation? We should never have strayed.
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Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:54
@darth_awesome: The mayor, full stop. Possibly my favoritest TV villain ever.
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Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:44
@TychoBrahe: Shoot, just a few months of playing DOOM (keyboard-only, mfer!) was enough to rub the paint off my new keyboard's arrow keys...
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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 00:35
@cischafer: LOL, I'm still using that bookmark, if you can believe it.
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Wed, 12 Aug 2015 21:59
@KHome1990: At some point I'll get to it. I was supposed to play it for the Megawad Club after ConCERNed, but only got through the latter.
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Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:11
@KHome1990: Oblivion and Hadron are definitely on my radar; I loved Flashback to Hell and quite enjoyed ConCERNed.
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Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:57
@KHome1990: Also, I'm going through a phase of being slightly weary of DOOM2; I'm enjoying DOOM1 maps much more at the present moment.
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Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:55
@KHome1990: I haven't actually finished Valiant yet (only episode 1) so Monument takes top honors so far. Valiant *is* fantastic, though.
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Mon, 10 Aug 2015 13:36
@AaronGleeman: They just want Buxton to show some #consistency at AAA first...
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Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:41
@AaronGleeman: Listening, I can't help thinking that the point is that 6 weeks of quality play was the aberration, not the recent tailspin.
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Fri, 07 Aug 2015 23:01
RT @SpaceCatPics: omg the cat thought his owner drowned http://t.co/jc7EPIipKs
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Fri, 07 Aug 2015 08:48
Sliced my lip shaving, and now I'm doing duckface in the mirror to assess the damage.
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Sat, 01 Aug 2015 07:59
Just imagine the outrage if Cecil the Lion had been killed by an illegal immigrant!
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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:44
@AaronGleeman: Hey, whatever it takes to keep Escobar away from SS, right?
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Fri, 24 Jul 2015 23:28
@darth_awesome: Don't we have a bunch of restrictions on who's allowed to drive a car?
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Fri, 24 Jul 2015 08:02
RT @trevorprzybyla: Adding drunk people to fitness quotes makes things interesting http://t.co/WkzN0JXPdF
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Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:11
Book review: Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher: http://t.co/C6fScpFElm [3.5 stars]
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Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:10

Before Dark Intelligence, I had read precisely one story by Neal Asher: It was called “Shell Game” and was also set in Asher’s “Polity” universe—and I read it 6 years ago and remember nothing about it save that I enjoyed it. Over the years I’ve seen the announcement of numerous new Polity books, but never got around to picking one up, so when the publisher offered a copy of DA for review I jumped at the chance to finally dig deeper into the universe.

Dark Intelligence more or less follows two characters as they chase after a rogue artificial intelligence “black AI” named Penny Royal. First we meet former soldier Thorvald Spear—whose terrific name might be the best thing in the book (not even kidding)—as he awakens 100 years after his death, a feat made possible using recovered memory implants placed into cloned bodies. Spear returns dead-set on revenge against Penny Royal, whom he blames for the death of his squadmates back during the Prador Wars. But is Penny Royal truly to blame? And are Spear’s memories even trustworthy? Spear’s sections of the book are written in an engaging first-person, often jumping to flashbacks of his memories to give his background, and overall his POV does a good job of getting the reader up to speed with the Polity universe. So it’s a surprise when, a few chapters in, we cut from Spear’s first-person narrative to a more traditional third-person one. Because this isn’t just Thorvald Spear’s story.

Enter Isobel Santomi, who turns out to be the second protagonist of the novel. She’s a crime lord who once struck a deal with Penny Royal, the result of which made her a powerful figure in the underworld. But Penny Royal’s gifts always come with a price, and Isobel finds herself slowly transforming into a “hooder”, some kind of bizarre, carnivorous wormlike monster. Like Spear, she too desires vengeance on the black AI.

Much of the story consists of Spear and Santomi bouncing around chasing Penny Royal from world to world. Thorvald and Isobel cross paths early on, and then Penny Royal hijacks Isobel’s ship, with Spear just missing the black AI at each stop. (I’ll confess I got a little lost at this point, trying to keep track of who was where as they all bounced around.) Eventually, all the threads converge at the planet Masada for a big finale where everything gets wrapped up nicely.

First, the good stuff: This a really cool universe. Thorvald Spear is a great name, as well as a joy to follow around. Penny Royal is a terrifying baddie. Isobel’s transformation is well-done body horror of the most disturbing degree. And it’s nice to see all the plot threads get tied up by book’s end.

On the other hand, the promotional material that came with my book billed it as “an ideal entry point for new readers” into the Polity universe (which was fairly influential in my decision to accept a review copy.) But a lot of the stuff at the end of the book seemed to hinge on characters and events from earlier books—with one prominent creature having already had an entire novel dedicated to it—and if I wasn’t entirely lost, I feel like I missed out on a lot of the impact the end of book could have had. And speaking of the end: Story-wise, everything came to a nice tidy conclusion, and yet this is just the first book of what I assume is a trilogy. Having said that, though everything was resolved, very little was actually explained, which is where I’m figuring (hoping) Book Two comes in.

Make no mistake, though, Dark Intelligence is a good read: fun characters and great action, all set in a fascinating and highly-imaginative (and slightly horrifying) universe. I definitely need to read some more Polity stories, but I’m thinking I’ll want to pick up some of the older books first. [3.5 out of 5 stars]


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Wed, 22 Jul 2015 10:29
@trtx84 @AaronGleeman: True dat. We tried it in Chicago on vacation a couple years back and loved it.
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Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:12
RT @MatthewPCrowley: We take it for granted today, but a single Dorito has more extreme nacho flavor than a peasant in the 1400s would get '
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Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:43
PSA to those mailers begging me to sell my 2010 Elantra: (A) It was a lease, so it's not mine to trade, and (B) I turned it in 2 years ago.
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Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:01
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Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:45
@AaronGleeman: Mine, meanwhile, was hiding under our bed.
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Sat, 11 Jul 2015 19:45
RT @nedroid: Also, I like whoever wrote these instructions http://t.co/ebMIz74K1z
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Sat, 11 Jul 2015 08:11
RT @AaronGleeman: Brian Dozier hits a walk-off homer as Tigers' bullpen implodes. That game is perfect example of how you can't run out the'
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Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:23
RT @daanderson20: Miguel Sano has as many walks as Danny Santana
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Tue, 07 Jul 2015 23:12
RT @AaronGleeman: Miguel Sano is going to hit so many home runs.
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Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:02
RT @MillerStrib: Twins scoring after 81 games: 2013: 338 2014: 336 2015: 338 Twins runs allowed after 81 games: 2013: 377 2014: 370 2015: '
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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:46
RT @lukekarmali: This is literally the best thing I've ever seen happen on Twitter http://t.co/QZAiFNT6UG
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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:33
RT @tmbg: Download TMBGs latest album GLEAN today for just five bucks! Support the pro-ject! http://t.co/78etURxM48 http://t.co/lEDBwGHukZ
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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:11
"Think of it as solving problems / That should never have occurred / Please don't call it strangulation / That is such an ugly word" @tmbg
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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:09
BMW = Behold My Wiener
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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:08
RT @AaronGleeman: I've been on this earth 32 years and the only thing I know for certain is that you should always get a fried egg on a ham'
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Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:43
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Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:10
Always a good sign when Google Maps tells you, "This is the fastest route, DESPITE THE TRAFFIC." #HeyWeTried
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Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:44
RT @SFReviewsnet: That moment when bookstore employees just get fed up with customers. http://t.co/0Pu5cVuFtP
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Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:34
I just figured out why chef salads are so tasty: ham, eggs, cheese, bacon, toast... it's like breakfast on lettuce.
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Fri, 12 Jun 2015 11:49
@AaronGleeman @libertinempls: In the good way, I hope.
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Fri, 12 Jun 2015 11:43
Holy crap, Media, stop using the word "reboot" for *sequels*. http://t.co/CHa3WQGnlc
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Thu, 11 Jun 2015 11:01
"Hi, it's me! Sorry, were you in the middle of typing something? Oh well!"
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Thu, 11 Jun 2015 11:00
I hate it when an application takes focus away from one I'm current working on: "I'm more important than that other thing you were doing!"
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Fri, 29 May 2015 23:33
RT @glassbottommeg: This is my new favorite GIF. http://t.co/oJ6oCtcwF2
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