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teregudi
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:44:25 PM

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Hello guys!

I'm translating the sci-fi book named in the subject, and there are quite a lot of parts of it where I need your help to be able to convey the meaning perfectly. So let's get to it!

1.
‘I doubt she’d have given a damn who’s here in the flesh and who isn’t. And she’d have hated all this fuss. But Memphis had a bee in his bonnet about us all leaving the household on time.
‘I noticed. My guess is that Eunice stipulated something, and he’s just following the script.’


She is Eunice, a recently passed person and the grandmother of the first speaker (her name is Sunday). They are on her scattering at the household of the family. Memphis is the administrator of the household and he's so close to the family that he's almost like a member of the family. In this scene, he's giving a speech to those present, while Sunday is talking to her brother, Geoffrey. (Note: Almost no one lives at the household right now, much of the family has moved to some other place.) My question is what is the meaning of the last sentence exactly? "Memphis always talked about us who left the household on the right time?" It has nothing to do with the context. And why "on time"? There was never a right time to leave the household. Or I just misunderstand something?

2.
‘There’s a bit more to it, it’s kind of a long term project of mine. But you’d have to come and see it in person.’
Geoffrey delved into his box of delaying tactics. ‘I need to get a couple of papers out before I can take any time off. Then there’s an article I need to peer review for Mind.’
‘What you always say, brother. I’m not criticising, though. You love your work, I can see that.’
‘I’m flying out tomorrow. Want to come and see the herd?’
‘I… need to report back, about this body,’ Sunday said. ‘Sorry Like you say: maybe next time.’
Geoffrey smiled in the darkness. ‘We’re as bad each other, aren’t we?
‘Very probably’ his sister answered, from wherever on the far side of the Moon her flesh and blood body presently resided. ‘Me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.’


Sunday and Geoffrey are talking again and trying to persuade each other to spend more time with the other. Both of them declines, though, and then Geoffrey says the red part of the text. What does that mean?

3.
This was how he felt to her: like a doll, something easily broken.

It would be so troublesome to insert and explain all the context to this sentence, so I'll try to simplify my question. Which one of the following sentences is closer to the original sentence? Or can that mean both?
a. She considered him a doll.
b. He felt himself a doll compared to her.

4.
‘Thank you,’ he said solemnly, allowing a judicious pause before proceeding with business. ‘Eunice held a safe deposit box with this branch. I understand that as a family member I have the authority to examine the contents.’
‘Let me look into that for you, sir. There was some rebuilding work a while back, so we might have moved the box to another branch. Do you know when the box was assigned?’
‘Some time ago.’ He had no idea. The cousins hadn’t told him, assuming they even knew. ‘But it’ll still be on the Moon?’
Just up from Africa.
He’d travelled like any other tourist, leaving the day after his meeting with the cousins...


Geoffrey travelled to the Moon to investigate a safe deposit box of the deceased Eunice. Don't you have the impression that the red sentence should belong to Geoffrey? That he's explaining that he's just come up from Africa and wouldn't be happy if the box wasn't on the Moon anymore? Why would the bank clerk say that sentence? As you see there's no reply to that statement.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 3:30:06 PM

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teregudi wrote:
Hello guys!

I'm translating the sci-fi book named in the subject, and there are quite a lot of parts of it where I need your help to be able to convey the meaning perfectly. So let's get to it!

1.
‘I doubt she’d have given a damn who’s here in the flesh and who isn’t. And she’d have hated all this fuss. But Memphis had a bee in his bonnet about us all leaving the household on time.
‘I noticed. My guess is that Eunice stipulated something, and he’s just following the script.’


She is Eunice, a recently passed person and the grandmother of the first speaker (her name is Sunday). They are on her scattering at the household of the family. Memphis is the administrator of the household and he's so close to the family that he's almost like a member of the family. In this scene, he's giving a speech to those present, while Sunday is talking to her brother, Geoffrey. (Note: Almost no one lives at the household right now, much of the family has moved to some other place.) My question is what is the meaning of the last sentence exactly? "Memphis always talked about us who left the household on the right time?" It has nothing to do with the context. And why "on time"? There was never a right time to leave the household. Or I just misunderstand something?
To "have a bee in one's bonnet" is an idiom that is best understood if you think about how you would act if you had one under a hat you were wearing. You don't want to get stung by the bee, so you would feel some anxiety about getting it out -- to do what is necessary to protect yourself.

Here, I get the sense that Memphis feels compelled, or is obsessive about everyone leaving the house at the same time, perhaps so everyone can arrive somewhere all together, or at least leave at the proper time for whatever is needed. So a translation might read:
"Memphis had an obsession about us all leaving the household on time." Or, "Memphis insisted on all of us leaving the household on time."

2.
‘There’s a bit more to it, it’s kind of a long term project of mine. But you’d have to come and see it in person.’
Geoffrey delved into his box of delaying tactics. ‘I need to get a couple of papers out before I can take any time off. Then there’s an article I need to peer review for Mind.’
‘What you always say, brother. I’m not criticising, though. You love your work, I can see that.’
‘I’m flying out tomorrow. Want to come and see the herd?’
‘I… need to report back, about this body,’ Sunday said. ‘Sorry Like you say: maybe next time.’
Geoffrey smiled in the darkness. ‘We’re as bad each other, aren’t we?
‘Very probably’ his sister answered, from wherever on the far side of the Moon her flesh and blood body presently resided. ‘Me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.’


Sunday and Geoffrey are talking again and trying to persuade each other to spend more time with the other. Both of them declines, though, and then Geoffrey says the red part of the text. What does that mean?
As I read it, Geoffrey is saying, "I am as bad as you, and you are as bad as me about not spending more time with each other."
3.
This was how he felt to her: like a doll, something easily broken.

It would be so troublesome to insert and explain all the context to this sentence, so I'll try to simplify my question. Which one of the following sentences is closer to the original sentence? Or can that mean both?
a. She considered him a doll.
b. He felt himself a doll compared to her.
It is difficult to tell if she meant this as a result of holding him, or if she just saw him that way.
If if is from holding him in her arms, then you could say, "This is how he felt to her when she held him." Otherwise, you could say, "This is how he appeared to her: fragile, like a doll, something easily broken.

4.
‘Thank you,’ he said solemnly, allowing a judicious pause before proceeding with business. ‘Eunice held a safe deposit box with this branch. I understand that as a family member I have the authority to examine the contents.’
‘Let me look into that for you, sir. There was some rebuilding work a while back, so we might have moved the box to another branch. Do you know when the box was assigned?’
‘Some time ago.’ He had no idea. The cousins hadn’t told him, assuming they even knew. ‘But it’ll still be on the Moon?’
Just up from Africa.
He’d travelled like any other tourist, leaving the day after his meeting with the cousins...


Geoffrey travelled to the Moon to investigate a safe deposit box of the deceased Eunice. Don't you have the impression that the red sentence should belong to Geoffrey? That he's explaining that he's just come up from Africa and wouldn't be happy if the box wasn't on the Moon anymore? Why would the bank clerk say that sentence? As you see there's no reply to that statement.

As I read it, the bank employee has just told Geoffrey some rebuilding has taken place, which required everything to be moved (apparently to Africa). So when Geoffrey asks if it is still on the moon, the bank employee says it is just up from Africa. So you could translate that as: "We've just moved everything back from Africa, so yes, it should be here."


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
teregudi
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 4:08:36 PM

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Thank you, FounDit! That was really quick!

1.
First: I totally misunderstood the meaning of the idiom. This is the definition of Cambridge Dictionary: have a bee in your bonnet: to keep talking about something again and again because you think it is very important. But now I checked Oxford Dictionaries and it says the same thing as you do. However, Memphis loves the family so I don't think he would have told them to leave.
Second: I still don't see the logical connection between the two sentences. "Eunice would have hated this funeral thing. BUT Memphis insisted on us to leave the household." As much as I can tell these are completely different things, there's no point in putting them after each other. Am I wrong?

2.
Yep, that's what I thought, too.

3.
Since "she" is an elephant I guess we can preclude the possibility of her holding him in her arms :) Anyway, it sounds right!

4.
This obvious version never occured to me... Shame on me!

I hope you can help with the rest of the problematic parts I will post soon. Thank you!
snafu22q
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 4:43:27 PM
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teregudi wrote:
Thank you, FounDit! That was really quick!

...
Second: I still don't see the logical connection between the two sentences. "Eunice would have hated this funeral thing. BUT Memphis insisted on us to leave the household." As much as I can tell these are completely different things, there's no point in putting them after each other. Am I wrong?
...


They ARE talking about the same thing - the funeral.

The first sentence says Eunice wouldn't have approved of the whole thing, <second sentence> but Memphis didn't care about Eunice's feelings toward the funeral (despite it being hers), and wanted everyone to get there on time.

One more thing you didn't ask about - the sentence "BUT Memphis insisted on us to leave the household."
(1) I think the sentences should have been combined into one sentence to begin with.
(2) The phrase "insisted on us to leave" is terribly convoluted. "Insisted on us leaving the house together" would have been much better.

Therefore, the result (in my view) would have been better expressed as, "Eunice would have hated this funeral thing, but Memphis insisted on us leaving the household together so we could arrive on time and in a group."

Hope this helps.


We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. - Hunter S. Thompson
teregudi
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 5:28:48 PM

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Wow, I think I'm getting it now. I'm afraid I misunderstood the concept of a household. I thought it embraces both a house and its estate. That's why I didn't understand why Memphis wanted them to leave the household while the funeral took place right there... So let's get this straight: Eunice didn't want this funeral thing BUT Memphis insisted on us leaving the house and coming to the back yard for the scattering. Is this right?

Thank you for correcting my mistake with "insist on to". There's always a chance to learn :)
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2016 7:36:11 PM

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teregudi wrote:
Wow, I think I'm getting it now. I'm afraid I misunderstood the concept of a household. I thought it embraces both a house and its estate. That's why I didn't understand why Memphis wanted them to leave the household while the funeral took place right there... So let's get this straight: Eunice didn't want this funeral thing BUT Memphis insisted on us leaving the house and coming to the back yard for the scattering. Is this right?
Yes, you have it.
I would, however, change "coming" to "going" into the back yard. We generally "come" from, but "go to" a place. In this scene, they are going to go into the back yard.

Thank you for correcting my mistake with "insist on to". There's always a chance to learn :)


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
teregudi
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 3:36:40 AM

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Thank you, FounDit!

Now I'd like to return to point 4 because I've found a section that contradicts your explanation.

‘No problem,’ she said. ‘It’s still in our vaults. Been there for thirty five years, which is about as long as we’ve had a branch in Copernicus. If you wouldn’t mind following me?’

So the box couldn't have been in Africa, it was on the Moon all along. What's your opinion if you take this into account?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 3:58:54 AM

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Hello teregudi.

I must admit that I found these Akinya books ("Blue Remembered Earth" is the first of three) rather difficult in places (and I'm English, reading in English!)

You are missing a paragraph.

Quote:
‘Some time ago.’ He had no idea. The cousins hadn’t told him, assuming they even knew. ‘But it’ll still be on the Moon?’

‘Almost certainly. And if that’s the case we can have it back here within six hours.’ Marjorie Hu wore a blouse and skirt in the Central African Bank’s corporate colours of yellow and blue. Ethnic Chinese, he decided, but with the long-limbed build of someone raised Moonside. ‘You haven’t come far, have you?’

‘Just up from Africa.’


"Just up from Africa" to the Moon is "not far"!

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 5:33:38 AM

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Oh, goddamn it, Drag0nspeaker, you're a genious! Where did you find this missing paragraph? Do you have an epub/pdf etc. file? Or do you have a copy of the book? I'm working from a docx file, and I'm not sure if I can trust in it anymore. It looks pretty good (I've compared the text with different resources) but I've come across two or three parts where something seemed wrong as if there was a missing line or something...

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I must admit that I found these Akinya books ("Blue Remembered Earth" is the first of three) rather difficult in places (and I'm English, reading in English!)


Well, I must admit that I find it difficult, too! Orson Scott Card was much easier :D
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 6:04:26 AM

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Yes - Orson Card seems to write more 'logically', if I may say that. More 'in time sequence' or 'sequitur'.

Alastair Reynolds seems to 'skip about' a little from subject to subject and from one group of protagonists to another without warning - at least in this trilogy.

I also read "Terminal City" , which was also not 'easy to read' - I think it is partly because of the scope of the stories. They are spread over centuries and many places and involve many, many protagonists.

************
I "googled"
‘Let me look into that for you, sir. There was some rebuilding work a while back, so we might have moved the box to another branch. Do you know when the box was assigned?’
‘Some time ago.’ He had no idea. The cousins hadn’t told him, assuming they even knew. ‘But it’ll still be on the Moon?’

and got several versions (I don't like PDF as you can't copy and paste from it online).
This is Chapter Three - I don't know whether you can get the other chapters on the same blog.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
OnTheVerge
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 7:05:06 AM

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Hi Drag0nspeaker

Just a quick question. Are you using "sequitur" as a conclusion or a deduction in you response? Just curious.

OTV

The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of people who wonder.
teregudi
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 8:18:49 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Yes - Orson Card seems to write more 'logically', if I may say that. More 'in time sequence' or 'sequitur'.

Alastair Reynolds seems to 'skip about' a little from subject to subject and from one group of protagonists to another without warning - at least in this trilogy.

I also read "Terminal City" , which was also not 'easy to read' - I think it is partly because of the scope of the stories. They are spread over centuries and many places and involve many, many protagonists.

************
I "googled"
‘Let me look into that for you, sir. There was some rebuilding work a while back, so we might have moved the box to another branch. Do you know when the box was assigned?’
‘Some time ago.’ He had no idea. The cousins hadn’t told him, assuming they even knew. ‘But it’ll still be on the Moon?’

and got several versions (I don't like PDF as you can't copy and paste from it online).
This is Chapter Three - I don't know whether you can get the other chapters on the same blog.



I find Reynolds difficult because of the vocabulary - he uses so much odd and unfamiliar words and idioms. I always have to keep my dictionary in a reachable distance :D But what you say is right, he likes to skip from scene to scene.

And thank you for that link, I may make use of it later.

Are you ready for the next pack? I'll count on your experience with Blue Remembered Earth :)
teregudi
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 8:24:27 AM

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1.
Around them the graffiti reconfigured itself endlessly, except for mouse grey patches where the paint had failed or scabbed off. Graffiti was very quaint, Geoffrey thought.

I wonder what Geoffrey thought about the graffiti. He found it odd and strange or old-fashioned and pleasant? I know there's not much context but there are only dialogues before and after this section.

2.
She came to a stop next to a patch of wall where the muddy brown background coloration of earlier graffiti layers had been overpainted with a trembling, shimmering silvery form, like the reflection in water of some complex metallic structure or alien hieroglyph. Blocks and forms of primary colours were beginning to intrude on the silver, jabbing and harassing its margins.
Sunday pushed her finger against the wall and started reasserting the form, pushing it back out against the confining shapes. Where her finger pressed, the silver turned broad and bright and lustrous. ‘This is one of mine,’ she said. ‘Did it five months ago and it’s still hanging on. Not bad for a piece of consensus art. The paint tracks attention. Any piece that doesn’t get looked at often enough, it’s at the mercy of being encroached on and overpainted.’


I think it's pretty obvious but I want to be sure. Does the pain draw attention to itself or does it track the direction of glances?

3.
‘Maybe that’s not as easy as it sounds,’ he said, ‘making machines smarter.’
‘Depends where you begin.’ Jitendra was already tucking in. ‘Seems self evident to me that the best starting point would be the human mind. What is it, if not a thinking, conscious machine that the universe has already given us, on a plate?’
‘Animal cognition, there’s still work to be done. But the human brain? Isn’t that a done deal, research wise?’
Jitendra pushed his food around with enthusiasm. ‘We know what goes on in a mind. We can track processes and correlate them at any resolution we care to specify. But that’s not the same as understanding.’


What does resolution mean in this context? Screen resolution doesn't seem to be fit here.

4.
‘I think some more funds might be forthcoming,’ he said neutrally. ‘I obviously made a good case for the elephants. Now and then even hard line Akinyas take a break from rabid capitalism to feel guilty about their neglected African heritage.’

Are rabid capitalism and wild capitalism the same thing?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 8:25:22 AM

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I don't really remember the story - it was a while ago and I read three novels a week . . .

I don't even remember the significance of the old ____ he found in the safety deposit box. d'oh!
However, so long as you quote about a paragraph, we should be able to work out what he means. Think


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 8:59:27 AM

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Sorry, digression from the topic.The main point that struck me was the title.
How do you translate the emotion of that?

Quote:

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.


From A Shropshire Lad



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 9:36:18 AM

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Hi thar.

The (dead) heroine was in self-exile from Earth - which may have some significance.

Earth was pretty much ideal, having been salvaged in the twenty-third century. The three major super-powers Africa, Pan-India and the United Aquatic Nations lived in a state of cooperation and friendly competition.

So memories of a lost ideal land are there, like the mythical idyllic "Shropshire".


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 10:05:22 AM

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thar wrote:
Sorry, digression from the topic.The main point that struck me was the title.
How do you translate the emotion of that?

‘I’ve seen marvellous things, Sunday. I’ve looked back from the edge of the system and seen this planet, this Earth, reduced to a tiny dot of pale blue. I know what that feels like. To think that dot is where we came from, where we evolved out of the chaos and the dirt… to think that Africa is only a part of that dot, that the dot contains not just Africa, but all the other continents, the oceans and ice caps… under a kiss of atmosphere, like morning dew, soon to be boiled off in the day’s heat. And I know what it feels like to imagine going further. To hold that incredible, dangerous thought in my mind, if only for an instant. To think: what if I don’t go home? What if I just keep on travelling? Watching that pale blue dot fall ever further away, until the darkness swallowed it and there was no turning back. Until Earth was just a blue memory.’

I think this quote from the book perfectly answers your question.
teregudi
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016 4:19:16 PM

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Just in case this post was forgotten among other things :)

1.
Around them the graffiti reconfigured itself endlessly, except for mouse grey patches where the paint had failed or scabbed off. Graffiti was very quaint, Geoffrey thought.

I wonder what Geoffrey thought about the graffiti. He found it odd and strange or old-fashioned and pleasant? I know there's not much context but there are only dialogues before and after this section.

2.
She came to a stop next to a patch of wall where the muddy brown background coloration of earlier graffiti layers had been overpainted with a trembling, shimmering silvery form, like the reflection in water of some complex metallic structure or alien hieroglyph. Blocks and forms of primary colours were beginning to intrude on the silver, jabbing and harassing its margins.
Sunday pushed her finger against the wall and started reasserting the form, pushing it back out against the confining shapes. Where her finger pressed, the silver turned broad and bright and lustrous. ‘This is one of mine,’ she said. ‘Did it five months ago and it’s still hanging on. Not bad for a piece of consensus art. The paint tracks attention. Any piece that doesn’t get looked at often enough, it’s at the mercy of being encroached on and overpainted.’


I think it's pretty obvious but I want to be sure. Does the pain draw attention to itself or does it track the direction of glances?

3.
‘Maybe that’s not as easy as it sounds,’ he said, ‘making machines smarter.’
‘Depends where you begin.’ Jitendra was already tucking in. ‘Seems self evident to me that the best starting point would be the human mind. What is it, if not a thinking, conscious machine that the universe has already given us, on a plate?’
‘Animal cognition, there’s still work to be done. But the human brain? Isn’t that a done deal, research wise?’
Jitendra pushed his food around with enthusiasm. ‘We know what goes on in a mind. We can track processes and correlate them at any resolution we care to specify. But that’s not the same as understanding.’


What does resolution mean in this context? Screen resolution doesn't seem to be fit here.

4.
‘I think some more funds might be forthcoming,’ he said neutrally. ‘I obviously made a good case for the elephants. Now and then even hard line Akinyas take a break from rabid capitalism to feel guilty about their neglected African heritage.’

Are rabid capitalism and wild capitalism the same thing?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 4:54:47 AM

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Nanopaint! It contains tiny (molecular-sized) machines which react to external stimuli.

I read this first as "slightly old-fashioned, but curious and pleasant" - but I think that either meaning would fit.
He is not the sort of person who would paint graffiti.

The second is where the nanopaint really comes into use.
When several different people paint graffiti on the same wall, it becomes very jumbled.

Sunday (I think 'she' is Sunday) says that the paint used here is 'intelligent'.
It 'keeps track' - notices and records - which pieces are looked at and which are not - it 'tracks attention'.
The pieces which do not attract attention fade away, but the ones which are looked at become brighter.

Some graffiti is so clever that it is not usually painted over:


The third is a similar idea to screen resolution - or probably more like microscope resolution.
They now have the technology to track processes in the human brain at any resolution - I guess by scanning electronic activity.
They can track at broad resolution (now he's dreaming, now he's in deep sleep, now he's relaxed but awake, now he's excited), or at fine resolution (now he's thinking about eating banana-flavoured ice-cream with cherries, now he's noticed someone walk into the room and sit down).

I would say that rabid capitalism is even wilder than wild capitalism.
A wild dog will attack - if it is in danger or if it is very hungry.
A rabid dog will attack for no reason. It is crazy.
A rabid capitalist has no thought other than making money. They are obsessed with it. The only virtue is the ability to make money.
Some of the Akinyas are described like this in the book - but even they will give money to save the elephant.

Take note of the elephants - they are important in the story.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 6:19:07 AM

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Wow, that grotesque heart graffiti kind of shocked me when I loaded the page :D

I've never heard nanopaint before. I thought that "moving graffiti" is totally the invention of Reynolds. We're not far from that, then!

I'll keep the elephants in mind. I read somewhere that elephants appear in the second book, too (On the Steel Breeze).

Thank you for your help!
teregudi
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 6:25:03 AM

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1.
‘It’s old looking. And that dirt is Lunar, so even if that glove was made somewhere else, it’s spent time here.’
‘You can tell it’s Lunar dust that easily?’
‘I can smell it. Gunpowdery. Or what people tell me gunpowder ought to smell like. Kind of thing you get good at, when you’ve spent enough time up here. It’s been cleaned, but you never get rid of the traces.’ With a vague feeling of apprehension, Sunday continued to examine the glove. ‘But let me get this straight. Hector told you to leave it there while you visit me, but collect it on the way down?’
‘Yes.’
‘Then so far you’re only in theoretical breach of their instructions.’


Sunday and Geoffrey are examining a space suit glove that Geoffrey has to take back to their cousins. What does apprehension in this context mean? Anxiety? Worry? Understanding?

2.
Sunday had a medical cuff, which was fully capable of detecting anything seriously amiss, but on a day to day, even month to month basis, what went on inside her body was her own business. In the Descrutinised Zone, it was even possible to get pregnant without the world and his wife being in on the secret.

Let's see if I get it right. The red part really suggests that a MAN can get pregnant? Secretly or not?

3.
‘What makes you think she knows anything at all?’
‘I’m not certain that she does, but it’s still possible that she might. I’ve been studying her life and…’ She held up her hands as if she was trying to bend a long piece of wood between them. ‘It’s like measuring a coastline. From a distance, it looks simple enough. But if I wanted to make a thorough study of her life, down to the last detail, it would cost me more than my life to do it.’


I just can't imagine that motion she makes. How does it look like exactly? And how does it express the difficulty of the task? Or is it some well-known hand gesture I've never heard about?

4.
‘Invoke Eunice Akinya,’ she said under her breath.
Her grandmother assumed reality. She was as solid as day, casting a palpable aug-generated shadow.


Eunice Akinya, in this case, is a kind of hologram of the real person who has been deceased. And aug is just some kind of neuromachine in people's head, never mind. What I want to understand is that "as solid as day" part. How can be something as solid as a unit of time?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 7:03:35 AM

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teregudi wrote:
Wow, that grotesque heart graffiti kind of shocked me when I loaded the page :D
I've never heard nanopaint before. I thought that "moving graffiti" is totally the invention of Reynolds. We're not far from that, then!
I'll keep the elephants in mind. I read somewhere that elephants appear in the second book, too (On the Steel Breeze).
Thank you for your help!

Oops! No, my first sentence (and a lot of my reply) was written from the viewpoint of a person in the twenty-fourth century.
There are artificial nanomachines in use, but not very many (the most successful molecular machines are DNA and RNA - which act as factories to build different proteins).

I don't think we'll see nanopaint for a few years yet!


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:06:14 AM

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OnTheVerge wrote:
Hi Drag0nspeaker
Just a quick question. Are you using "sequitur" as a conclusion or a deduction in you response? Just curious.
OTV

Hi OTV!
I completely missed this question.
I was referring to the style of writing, as a synonym of 'in sequence'.

From its exact meaning "it follows on".

Though many novels have 'threads', and chapters do not necessarily 'follow on' directly from the last chapter, most are relatively easy to follow.

This particular set of books has scenes separated by galaxies and centuries - Eunice Akinya has recently died in Chapter three, here, but she appears in later chapters as a live character. One suddenly realises that the chapter one is reading now is fifty years earlier than the last chapter, and is set on a different planet.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:43:17 AM

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Hello again teregudi.

I don't really remember enough to be certain.
I'd say that Sunday was a bit anxious and worried about Hector and Lucas - they had some sort of 'blackmail' hold over Geoffrey didn't they?
"A feeling of apprehension" would not normally mean 'understanding'.

*********
There is a phrase in there which I think has misled you.
"Without the world and his wife knowing" is an idiom meaning "unnoticed" or "quietly" or "confidentially".
Within reach of the Mechanism, (almost everywhere on Earth) everyone could be located exactly (personal GPS) - it is an extension of everyone having a mobile smartphone switched on all the time, and everything one does being posted on Facebook.
Instead of a phone and 'apps' these people had their direct neural interface and 'augs' (augmentations).
This scene is written from the viewpoint of a woman, Sunday, so she would think as a woman.

Normally (under the Mechanism) medical data would not be spread around. However something momentous, like becoming pregnant, would be news and everyone - "the world and his wife" - would soon know about it.
In the descrutinised zone, it would be possible for her (or 'a woman') to become pregnant without everyone knowing.

************
I think that the hand gesture is just showing heavy effort - very sense muscles, hard grip - how would your arms look, if you were bending a long piece of wood?



*******
In the night, things look shadowy, not clear. In the day, they look solid and substantial.
"Clear as day" is a common idea.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 9:47:18 AM

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I love your explanations, Drag0nspeaker, you are so thorough! And you always find the best pictures to demonstrate your answers.

As for nanopaint, I've found an article about this technology after your reply, so it's not just a mere phantasmagoria :D

Oh, I've never encountered this "the world and his wife" phrase but it's kind of funny, I think. I like it. And from now on, I'll recognize it.

Thank you again!
(I can hardly imagine how you have the time to help so much people with your long responses while you read three books a week... You are a superhuman!)
teregudi
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 9:55:45 AM

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There's plenty more where this came from :D

1.
When the rover docked, they took him up into one of the private viewing pods. It contained a bar and a semicircle of normal seats, grouped around eight cockpits: partially enclosed chairs, big and bulky as ejector seats, their pale green frames plastered with advertising decals and peeling warning stickers.
...
‘All right,’ Sunday said. ‘What you’re hearing now is me slowed down into your perceptual frame. You’ve already been in the cockpit for twenty minutes.’
‘I don’t believe you,’ Geoffrey said.
‘Make that twenty one. June and I are off to the bar now; be back in a second or two. We’ll begin piping direct imagery into your head. Enjoy the show.’


This viewing pod is a place where people watch (or participate in) robot battles in an arena. They do it by getting in a cockpit and transferring their minds to the battlefield. Given the poor context it may be a little bit difficult to conclude but I'd like to know whether "bar" means a railing or some kind of control panel.

2.
Children flew kites and balloons in the park. Elsewhere there were amorous couples, outbreaks of public theatre or oratory, ice cream stands, puppet shows and a great many fabulously costumed stilt walkers.

What the hell are a public theatre and an oratory doing in the park? How am I supposed to imagine that? Do they have some other meaning?

3.
The door at the far end of the room opened, allowing a figure to enter. It was another man, shorter and stockier than Chama, pushing a wheeled trolley laden with multicoloured plastic flasks and tubs.
...
Gleb had retrieved the wheeled trolley, dug some granular foodstuff out of one of the containers and was now sprinkling it down into the enclosure via a hopper above the window.


The scene is a mixture of a lab and a zoo. My question is what are flasks and tubs? Are they just simple bottles and buckets? Or some special laboratory devices?

4.
‘You’re going to have to work pretty hard to think of something they haven’t already covered,’ Sunday said.

What can "cover" mean in this context? It means that they've participated in almost everything or they've solved almost everything?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 11:24:28 AM

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I think the bar is just a bar - they went off to get a drink.

Public theatre in a park could be this:


or this


It sounds more like the second one.

Public oratory is this:



People just get up and make speeches about whatever they feel needs saying.
This is in Hyde Park in London:



I'll be back


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:08:52 PM

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I would guess that the flasks and tubs are just large bottles and buckets - containers for the animal feed.

*********
I think that 'covered' would mean 'thought of', 'checked' or 'looked into'.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:43:26 PM

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I think you are right about the bar. It wouldn't make sense to tell about a railing in the room, and a control panel would look like a movie set from Star Trek.

And the same goes for the theatre and the oratory. Honestly, it was my first thought when I read that paragraph but I couldn't imagine a theatre troupe and a speaker in a Lunar park.

Thank you, once again!
teregudi
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:49:43 PM

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Okay, there are only 8 more questions in my mind so don't worry, it'll soon be over. Here's the first half:

1.
‘They took us out,’ she said, amazed.
‘Tactical disablement,’ Chama replied, thoroughly nonplussed. ‘Very well done, too. We’re still airtight, and the collision was within survivability parameters.’ He grabbed a yellow handhold and propelled himself across to the hopper’s door. ‘Hold on – I’m venting. No point in saving the air now.’


In this scene, a spacecraft crashes on the Moon. I know that nonplussed usually means surprised and confused, but Oxford Dictionaries claims the following:
In standard use nonplussed means ‘surprised and confused’, as in she was nonplussed at his eagerness to help out. In North American English a new use has developed in recent years, meaning ‘unperturbed’—more or less the opposite of its traditional meaning—as in he was clearly trying to appear nonplussed. This new use probably arose on the assumption that non- was the normal negative prefix and must therefore have a negative meaning. It is not considered part of standard English.
And I think that's how it is in this quote. Because Chama acted totally calmly during the flight and after the crash. What do you think?

2.
She woke in the middle of the night, Jitendra’s form cool and blue-dappled next to hers. They had made love, when her brother was asleep in the next room, and then she had fallen into deep, dreamless oblivion until something caused her to stir.

Can this blue-dappled mean anything else than having blue dots on his body? If not, then it must hint at the pattern of his pajamas or his blanket, right?

3.
Delaying his shower, he left the room and wandered the house until he found Memphis, sitting in his office on the ground floor with his back to the doorway. Ramrod straight spine, the old but immaculate suit hanging off the sharp scaffolding of his shoulders, household finances auged up around him in a half circle of multicoloured ledgers and spreadsheet accounts. He was moving figures from one pane to another, cajoling the bright symbols through the air like well-trained sprites.
...
The body was slightly transparent, but that was merely a mnemonic aid, to remind him that he wasn’t fully embodied and couldn’t (for instance) intervene in a medical emergency, or prevent an accident or crime by force. The other people in the lounge would either see him as a fully realised figment, a spectral presence, a hovering, sprite-like nimbus – simply a point of view – or, depending on how they had configured their aug settings, not at all.


These two paragraphs aren't related but the problem I want to solve in them is very similar. The first paragraph describes Memphis working with holographic objects. The second one describes Geoffrey being projected as a hologram. The question is what is a sprite? And what is sprite-like nimbus? My apprehension of sprite (elf, dwarf, imp, etc.) doesn't seem to be fit here. And neither that of nimbus.

4.
For all that it was a commonplace event, the departure had drawn a small crowd of watchers, including proxies and golems. Two orange tugs pushed the liner slowly out of the way station until the engine assembly had cleared the end opening. Then the swiftship fired its own steering motors – a strobe flicker of blue hot pinpricks running the length of the vehicle – and began to turn, flipping end over end as it aimed itself at Mars, or rather the point on the ecliptic where Mars would be in four weeks.

A spaceship (liner or swiftship) is launchig from a space station. What exactly is that movement the spaceship makes? It really is just turning round and round? 'Cause it'd look ridiculously absurd. Or I just misunderstand something?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 5:46:11 PM

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Hi again.

Yes - from the context, 'nonplussed' is being used to mean 'unperturbed'.
Not the meaning I have for it!

***********
I think that I had the idea that it was the cold or faint light in the night which made his skin look blue in places.

*********
There are some uncommon meanings for 'sprite'.
Basically, it means 'a spirit' - which are often considered to appear transparent or with a 'nimbus' or 'glowing aura'.
Air elementals (sylphs) could appear as a glowing tiny human body (fairy), or just as a glowing mass.

sprite n
3. (Games) an icon in a computer game which can be manoeuvred around the screen by means of a joystick, etc
Collins English Dictionary
3. Meteorology A large, dim, red flash that appears above active thunderstorms in conjunction with lightning. American Heritage
A name sometimes used for an elemental. Dictionary of unfamiliar words



***********
The ship came out of the dock and flipped end over end - once - to aim at Mars.
It changed direction by about 180°.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Monday, September 19, 2016 12:08:17 PM

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Thank you, Drag0nspeaker, as always!

There's only 4 questions left (for the time being) but I'm not home at the moment so I'll post them later.
teregudi
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 2:44:14 PM

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1.
‘I might be mistaken,’ he said, ‘but something tells me this trip isn’t entirely about visiting the elephants.’
Geoffrey tried to smile the remark away, glancing at his passenger before snapping his attention back to the controls. ‘What makes you say that?’
‘You have been thinking of tasks you need to do, but which could easily be put off for a week or a month. As if you feel you need an excuse for this whole day.’
I can only put things off so long,’ Geoffrey said. ‘You know how it is.’
‘Nonetheless,’ Memphis said.


Could you put the red part some other way, with other words? I think I misunderstand something, it doesn't make much sense.

2.
‘The pistol, please,’ Hector said. ‘Put it down, Geoffrey.’
Geoffrey was on the verge of complying when he changed his mind and held the pistol by the barrel instead, his fingers around the multiply clustered cylinders of the various pacification devices. ‘You don’t come here,’ he said. ‘Not without my agreement.’
‘Hostility and defensiveness have their place in the modern business environment,’ Lucas said, folding the parasol, ‘but if family can’t drop by on a whim, who can?’


What does Geoffrey mean by that sentence?
a. Usually, you don't come here.
b. Don't you dare to come here without my permission!

3.
(Resuming the previous scene)
‘Don’t pretend you’ve ever given a shit about my work, Lucas.’
‘That’s a significant investment sitting in your account,’ Hector said. ‘You didn’t honestly think we were going to wash our hands of further involvement?’
‘We want oversight,’ Lucas said. ‘Checks and balances. Due diligence with regard to allocated funds.’


Okay, this one is quite tricky. Is there an economist, lawyer or something like that among you? Does "checks and balances" refers to this: a system in which the different parts of an organization (such as a government) have powers that affect and control the other parts so that no part can become too powerful? Or do the two words have two seperate meanings? So they want checks and they want balances to see what their money was spent on? I think it would make more sense.

4.
‘So. Shall we discuss this like adults, or are you going to continue insulting our intelligence?’
I couldn’t if I tried,’ Geoffrey said.
‘Well, it’s good to establish a basis for further negotiations,’ Lucas said.


Why does Geoffrey say that? What does he mean?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 3:18:03 PM

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Hi again!

‘I can only put things off so long,’ Geoffrey said.
"I can only delay my tasks for a certain amount of time," Geoffrey said.
"I can't postpone my work forever," Geoffrey said.

I'm told that 'put off' is "elhalaszt", but my friend can't think of a phrase really 'matching' "so long" - just "for a limited time" or "for a certain amount of time".

**********
‘You don’t come here,’ he said. ‘Not without my agreement.’
It is more #2.
It is the 'generalised you' - where 'you' means 'people in general'.
"No-one comes here without my permission."

**********
It is a somewhat "ironic" usage, in my opinion.
He says "checks and balances" but he means "We want to be able to check on you" - there is no 'balancing' in which Geoffrey can check on the cousins.
So, I think that the meaning you understood works well.

It is not so that neither side can become too powerful, it is so that Geoffrey cannot gain any power (but, of course, the cousins have too much power anyway and want to keep it!)

*********
‘. . . are you going to continue insulting our intelligence?’
‘I couldn’t if I tried,’


It is a 'joke' and an insult.
‘Your intelligence is so low that it is impossible to say anything to insult it.’
‘I couldn't insult your intelligence if I tried, it is below insult.’



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 9:29:15 AM

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1. I say "so long" could be translated to "addig" in Hungarian but it doesn't fit in this context, so I stole your second sentence finding it the best possible solution in this case.

2. I've never heard that "you" can be taken as "people in general". I've never encountered a situation like this. Well, I'll remember that!

4. Oh, yeah, now I get it!

Well, thank you very much for all your help! Now I can move on to the second part of the book ;)
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