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Hi there.

Having been at ChurchillCollege for over a year now, I thought I'd better try out this Wiki thing that Jack (King DJ) keeps pestering me to try out.

Let's see, what to put down...


Real name: Paul Robert Varley.

I was born in London, but I didn't live there long, moving to Manchester when I was eight months old.  When I was four I moved to Swansea, Wales, where I (Uni term time excepted) still live.  I am thus in the unusual position of thinking of Swansea as my home town, having a Northern accent (due to parents from said region as well as living there in my accent-formative years.  Probably also from using the Yorkshire Tykes soundbank too much in Worms), and supporting QPR, Middlesex and Wasps in various sports.

Education: Glais Primary, Birchgrove Comprehensive, Gorseinon College... and currently, here.  And oh yes, I'm a MathMo.


Reading, computers and computer games, steam railways, maths, science, listening to comedy programmes and some music, and sport, especially Cricket and RandomSports.  Favourite computer game series include Worms, SimCity and SonicTheHedgehog.  My nickname on Wiki actually derives from my Worming nickname, Paul.Power.

Oh yes, and I'm also playing a halfling bard/stand-up comedian in Jack's campaign [TippingTheScales].
I put up [Roland] on the [CURSWiki] for you.--King DJ
I shall get round to "inserting witty description" eventually :-) - PaulPower.

Hello and welcome.--King DJ
Yes, welcome :) Worms is great - SunKitten
Welcome! --Requiem


My webcomic, [Boot Camp] (wiki link: WebComics/BootCamp) is now back from hiatus and approaching 40 strips.

And I have a [deviantArt Account], which features random cartoons, photos, drawings of steam engines... oh yeah, and writing.  I've finally started putting some of my writing on public view.  A few people, King DJ included, have assured me that I'm actually rather good at it.  So yeah.  It's called "Beings of Light", it comes under the general heading of angsty sci-fi (I know I'm not a very angsty person.  Think of it as an "angst conductor").  Here's what's up there so far:

[Chapter 1]
[Chapter 2]
[Chapter 3]
[Chapter 4]

Constructive criticism is generally appreciated, although don't ask for too many things at once as it does my head in :p.

Just started reading it.  I'm liking, but finding the whole 'matter to energy' thing a bit hard to stomache.  Especially 'trapped in a room' problems - what's so special about walls that you can't energise them?  There's also the limited matter resources (though that's a long term problem)  --Vitenka
Point, I guess, there are quite a few gaping holes in Energisation, not least the sheer amounts of energy produced/consumed.  In some ways it's a relic of previous attempts at story writing, where those with the skill could create as well as destroy, requiring only a fraction of the actual energy produced as fuel.  It would solve a few other problems, and would also allow maybe for a much lower upper bound to a Holosim's energy storage capacity (excess energy can be "vented" by creating blocks of matter as an emergency energy supply).  Maybe I could rewrite the story to include that, but I've done enough rewriting of the first three chapters already, and I'd like to finish the story before I go on another round.  As for walls, I'm afraid I have to appeal to dramatic necessity there.  One could argue that if Holly had attempted a stunt like that, Holonet would have deleted her anyway --PaulPower
That latter explanation is much much more sensible.  Having the ability to 'eat' humans is the only critical bit.  If you're set on them being projections of light, you really have a huge energy surplus, but that can be ignored.  Letting the angels create is kinda nice, depends where you want to go later.  It does make the human slavery even MORE pointless though.  (I mean, come on, not a single bee has suggested enlightening every human all at once?  There must be SOME shortage and reason for keeping them, but with the mindset you've given the bees and the flat out statement that keeping them for breeding isn't required - you don't really have one.)  So the only reason to keep them is to have a lower class so that you can feel better about yourself.  Which is nice, but may or may not be the point you intend to make.  --Vitenka
All in all, I think I'm better off leaving out the creation bit and get past the physics problems by claiming necessity and proving by PlotDevice.  You also have to question how the Holosims would cope with eternity if they didn't have something to keep them occupied --PaulPower
Sure - lots of possible ways out.  You just need to take one :)  Keeping humans as entertainment is Dark?.  --Vitenka
And the 'vampires' bit Alex talks to him about is quite heavily based on a single flavour of vampire.  It won't make sense as a cultural reference to a lot of people.  And at the same point I found myself thinking "Duh.  You don't need to kill people?  That's the mark of a good guard.  You got promoted without anyone saying that?"  --Vitenka
Fair enough.  My brain does tend to run on Discworld lines most of the time, and I also got the inspiration for making that reference from an MSN conversation with King DJ, where he compared it with the WhiteWolf vampire system.  I'd like to leave the reference in, but I'll modify it a little.  I think you're right on the guard issue though.  I'll change that a bit when I have time --PaulPower
I also have a slight problem with the assumption that blowing up the US datacentres would wipe out holonet - especially if she exists on other planets - that's some serious lag to not have local computing power.  Though the protagonist may well make that mistake.  And a major bug in the system is that if holonet has been in charge this long, she could have redesigned the encryption on her bees thoughts (and a queen-light-bee comparison is a good thing here) so that she's got the keys.  However, I could see it taking unimaginably much processing time to analyze more than a few hundred minds at any given time.  Waiting eagerly to see whether holonet wants to die, is in love, wants an interesting toy or just happenned to posess holly at the right time.  --Vitenka
Well, at least I'm getting the right reaction there ;-).  I think I agree with you on the "taking unimaginably much processing time to analyze more than a few hundred minds at any given time" line.  It fits most of the facts except the one  in the intro about the USA.  Happily, unlike in real life it is possible for a writer to discard a fact if it doesn't fit the theory ;-). --PaulPower
Oh, and 'mind forge' is a really bad name.  Given that holonet herself is a forged unit, I'm surprised she tolerates other linkups (you say that some others are permanently joined) since they could theoretically threaten her.  --Vitenka  (Then again, she knows that those linking generally support her)
Point, it's not a brilliant name but it was the best one I could think of at the time.  Any better suggestions?  "Mind meld" has an interesting ring to it. --PaulPower
StarTrek got there first.  I'm liking the story, but the weft is a bit frayed at the edges :)  If you erase the throaway 'data center in the US' then you also erase the EMP? idea.  --Vitenka
Lastly I can't believe it took me this long to connect 'holly' and 'holonet'.  DUH me!  Wonder if it's love-as-a-game or true love.  --Vitenka
It's an idea, but I haven't been planning that ending.  Could be a useful Poisson Rouge, though --PaulPower
Well, it does seem likely.  --Vitenka
I really hate to keep nitpicking, I did enjoy it - but the statement "Hate to lose good computing power" makes no sense.  Unless impressing a personality pattern onto a light bee means you can't blank it out and use it for raw processing?  Or impress it with a more co-operative personality.  Or she expects none of her bees to know this, or at least not to argue with her.  --Vitenka  (Lots of different possibilities for direction there, but the plain 'no need to waste resources' doesn't gel.)  Also - does that make light bees a rare commodity for some reason?  Why?  Especially if you intend to put back energy->matter conversion.
Fair enough, that's just a throwaway line, really.  As I say above, E->M is probably going to stay out now on the aforementioned PlotDevice logic. --PaulPower
Ok, light bees can be rare.  Whether a personality can be overwritten is important.  Especially whether holonet can edit a personality.  --Vitenka (Who also hopes this is a likely transhuman future, but doens't see it requires a darkness)
And if removing 'eating humans for energy is M->E conversion' and turning it into a plot device - you probably just want to call it 'enervation' (energisation?  whatever) and carefully never define how it works.  --Vitenka

I think I've generated enough quotes now (IMHO) to have a "/Quotes" page.


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