Samantics Rhetorica's blog

Some Roman advice on preserving exceptions

With a recent effort to re-planetize Pluto by reclassifying dwarf planets as planets, I'm reminded of the most frequently stated preferred outcome of those opposed to Pluto's demotion: keep it a planet, for old times' sake (even though those 'old times' lasted all of about a century and are the same sort of blatant nostalgia that keeps Christmas music frozen in time), and leave the rest as dwarves. Let's run with that for a moment—make an exception. What's the worst that could happen? Friends, consider the pre-Julian Calendar. […]
Samantics comment   read more (83 bytes) · a month ago

Literary styles of key early Lilitu authors

From preparations for a more complete collection of Lilitic authors' journal notes; an eclectic heap of various musings, observations, and thoughts generated by these important figures without reserve.

Reséa's writing is generally florid, patient, and positivist. She made a decision in the wake of the extinction that she would be a rallying voice for her people, so as a general rule she has not strayed from that. This sharply contrasts her pre-catastrophe writing, which was (if professional) strict and compliant, or (if not) nihilistic and pondering. The Vendashro is chiefly the story of the coming of age of Reséa, Gleméa, Haplenía, and other key figures of the early Lilitai, and their transformation from critical children into adults. This is reflected in her writing; the beginning of the document shows her antisocial considerations, but it quickly evolves into an optimistic, populist rhetoric. […]
Samantics comment   read more (84 bytes) · 6 months ago

Warmth and Respect

Íora Chúkotía was never really a happy person, excepting perhaps when she was drunk and had nowhere to be the next day. In every major literary canon, there are stripes of authors, of either sex, who suffer from the terrible affliction of self-destructive alcoholism. There were few other Lilitai who coped so poorly and yet maintained careers of such significance, largely due to the availability of ready and superior therapies that became available after contact with humans.

Well-known are the surface details of Íora's late, lonely days and her reputedly awful fortunes at the game of love, Dzhemesselía. Less has been said about Íora's deep and protracted struggles with regret, anxiety, and at times, neurosis. […]
Samantics comment   read more (41 bytes) · a year ago

The Sparkling Road

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For all its unbearableness during the torturous heat of day, Tévopío was beautiful by night. It had been the capital city for most of the twenty-two millennia since the great prophet Oksresko had died, giving the Ksreskézaian Empire his equally great name, and every few generations it would become fashionable in the eyes of the noblefolk to decorate the city yet further with new public works and spectacles, as if to dangle their power in front of rival Wemno, on the Eastern continent. The Wemnians, for their part, were a mighty folk, and what I have been told of their city suggests it was little less heavily-beautified; elsewise, I doubt wemnekía would be our word for audacity.

It was sundown now; we had spent most of the late afternoon helping Dzetzo resolve a paper jam that transpired almost the moment he agreed to assist us. I was unsure at first of why he was so willing to drop his work and go with us, but the presence of both his sons suggested it might have been a matter of ancestral respect. A number of poorer but respectable families kept small reliquaries in tribute to their heritage in alcoves inside the Archive; the wealthier tended to keep such things on their own property if they could afford the necessary rites to consecrate a chamber or garden. In a way, many of them respected the timeless grip of their gardens almost as much as we do.

Samantics comment   a year ago

An outsider's callous dismissal of automated narrative generation

So I was poring over some of the output from NaNoGenMo 2015 and came across the frustrating realization that none of the stories presented (or at least those I read) had much of anything to do with stories of actual substance: the most ambitious aimed to mimic the narrative structure of an adventure without anything in the way of an underlying theme or message being developed. So that sucks. […]
Samantics comment   read more (1 comment, 55 bytes) · a year ago

Ship intelligence and personalities

Iain Banks's Culture series has been a persistent influence in many respects, and as one of its defining characteristics is how machine sentience is manifested and explored, it is hard to avoid these topics in the context of Thet, a setting already laden with rebellious exoskeleton suits and various transhumanist notions. So, without ado, a comparison of ship psyches from different civilizations. […]
Samantics comment   read more (29 bytes) · a year ago

Dzetzo Praetorio of the House of Tenksebho Kailo

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I fear I may have given away too much already to those of you who have not heard this story before, but I will be patient about it anyway—and without much regard for Íora's ever-so-subtle disapproval. It is a story you need to hear, sisters, whether or not you can stomach it now. When I am gone and you have only your own memories of this night to pass on to your own grand-daughters, perhaps even after we have found a new home, you will want to be able to tell the tale properly. Gleméa was interrupted similarly by Kona, you see, when telling me her own story of her childhood, and I have but the scantiest detail for some of the most intriguing chapters of it. I have no intention of letting yet another great account of the history of our people become filled with similar lacunae—let the ravages of time do that without my assistance.  […]
Samantics comment   read more (1 comment, 61 bytes) · a year ago

Para-Calvinball

I have been toying around with a theory lately.

It's a wildly unpopular one, so that's fun.

Well. Not so much a theory as it is an excuse.

Calvin and Hobbes is harmful. […]
Samantics comment   read more (47 bytes) · a year ago

Restructuring Lilitika

Two related announcements:

1. I now really, really dislike Archaic Lilitic as a family of languages.
2. The script traditionally known as títina (internally, ADX revision 5) has a lot of ductus issues that, as a certain Swiss gentleman has pointed out, liberally violate my own criticisms of many other conscripts.

So! There is going to be some reworking. […]
Samantics comment   read more (45 bytes) · a year ago

This entry is a placeholder.

It means something, but I'm not sure what.
Samantics comment   a year ago


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