Perhaps an Indication of How Far Into My Own Head I’ve Been the Last Several Days

Wait, what? The State of the Union address is tonight? Someone was supposed to tell me these things.

Also, what is Obama thinking? Doesn’t he realize that he’s going to get swamped by the release of the Apple Tablet? This is madness!

Mmmmm… Apple Tablet.

38 Comments on “Perhaps an Indication of How Far Into My Own Head I’ve Been the Last Several Days”

  1. This might be slightly OT, so if ‘The Hammer’ comes out, so be it..

    I’m re-reading John Brimingham’s Axis of Time trilogy. The ‘flexipad’ and ‘slate’ gadgets bear an uncanny resemblance to the I-phone and new Apple Tablet. It begs the chicken and egg question. Premonition or were the Apple geeks inspired by the story?..

  2. Well that’s why Apple is launching today! Obama will be using his to promote world peace. There’s an app for that you know………

  3. Brain C:

    Not off-topic because it’s about the Apple Tablet. And of course there have been lots of prior speculative art for such things, so it would not be too surprising if they have something in common.

  4. I’ve heard that if you take two apple tablets and slather peanut butter in between them… oh wait, there’s an app for that.

  5. I don’t know Brian, the tablet computer idea isn’t that new. AoT was published in, what, 2004? Star Trek The Next Generation had tablet computers all over the place back in the 90s (interestingly enough, the show’s run was concurrent with the Apple Newton’s run) and you could argue that ST:ToS’s communicators and tricorders were a primitive vision of such.

  6. “Maybe the tablet will have a function that explains to us why we all crave a tablet” -gizmodo live blog

  7. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Wait, what’s an Obama? Is that code for the new Apple iCod, the codpiece/smartphone?

  8. Sarcasto@5,

    No dispute, examples such as Heinlein’s prediction of the water bed and remote manipulators ( Waldos) are numerous. I was struck with the AoS detail descriptions being so close a match.

  9. Scalzi! Did you just make a “yummy” noise for an Apple product? You status-seeking beta monkey, you. XD

    (‘sokay, I’m sitting here listening to live coverage from Leo Laporte. Everybody shhh, now, the line is moving into the hall…)

  10. I’m following the Apple reveal eagerly. However, the State of the Union? Why would I listen to the President give *another* speech, when Mass Effect 2 is out and there are explosions and spaceships to be had!

  11. Well, Fox News has been advertising the State of the Union speech — something along the lines of You Listen, We Decide.

    Dr. Phil

  12. Tablet? I like Greg Bear’s “slate” better. I think of asprin when I hear the word tablet. I would have called it the Pi.

    State of Union: I’m betting the semantic content will be snooze worthy. Give me the low lights tomorrow, please.

  13. Well, he’s already rescheduled once so he wouldn’t conflict with the Lost season premiere; he can’t work around every nerdy event.

  14. luisaperkins – I write speculative fiction, specifically contemporary dark-ish fantasy. I've been married for nearly 20 years to Patrick, an absolute prince of a man. We live with our six lovely children and an insane cat in New York's Hudson Highlands. My passions include reading, gardening, knitting, cooking, eating, and musicking.
    Luisa Perkins

    lucyp is right. I’ve been watching the Gizmodo liveblog and can’t get past the feminine hygiene connotations of “iPad.”

    Jobs should hire The Gray Area: Apple Pi = brilliant.

  15. The 40 Hour Creative – I'm here to help you be creative! I've written plays and created the web series THE CANADIANS (now on Amazon Prime), among other things. Seth Godin said 'start a blog,' so we'll see how long this lasts.
    Greg M.

    I am a fan of Macs and a lifelong user. I don’t have an iPod (don’t need it) or an iPhone (don’t want to be constantly connected/not worth it financially), and thus, will probably not be owning a tablet.

    I suspect I’m in a very, very small sector of that particular Venn diagram.

    Mr. K@13: But this State of the Union will *have* explosions! And spaceships! And a pony.

  16. The Gray Area@14 – sounds like a good idea – I can just see the ads now for the “iPi”. The only thing I know for sure about the new Apple saviour of the world is that I won’t be buying one.

  17. Eh. Today is my birthday, and I’ve found it in my heart to forgive both Apple and the White House for trying to steal my thunder. I’m sure that there will be enough headline space for all three of us.

    Also, I’m on Team “iPad? WTF?” I get that they were trying a clever play on iPod, but when countless esteemed and award-winning SF authors have already named your tech, it’s a pretty good bet that you aren’t going to come up with something better.

    Then again, the Phillip K. Dick estate is suing Google for calling their phone the Nexus One, so what do I know?

  18. I would love it if the Republican response to the State of the Union came from John Boehner and consisted of only two words (or is it just one?):


  19. I am less than impressed by the iPad. It’s a scaled up iPod touch. And it lacks a webcam. That’s really not cool.

    I suspect the Republican response to the State of the Union address will be one word.


  20. More importantly, our President is speaking tonight rather than on 2/2 which would have put ABC in a quandary regarding preemption of LOST.

  21. I’m only vaguely aware of the iPad, but on the “SF that predicted it” front, there is also the Newspad from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Don’t recall if it was also in the book.

  22. Just put an angry cat in a cage covered in keyboards. Be sure one of the keyboards can only type a capital I.

    (I don’t like any of these speeches, I find them offensive. I’m gonna go apply a marker to all of the masingil bar codes at the local store and entertain myself by listening to the price checks)

  23. I was worried too about which would receive more coverage!

    As for iPad I’m in team “not a thirteen year old boy.” I don’t find menstruation hysterically funny or at all giggle worthy. Pad means lots of other things too – we don’t giggle at launch pads or legal pads do we?

    I DO worry though about support calls between people of various accents and bad phone connections – was that an iPAD? or an iPOD?

  24. Was that at me Nadya? If so, I understand, It’s a base comment/joke, but you should lighten up a touch. Watch the old jokes as expressed on screen about that situation, it has less to do with the facts of the moment and more about the irrational terror of the male feeling emasculated when said situation occurs.

  25. Maia Rose – A queer FilAm SFF, hockey, food and beer loving geeky Chicago denizen who spends too much time on the internets. Good thing none of you can judge. On twitter as semirose spouting nonsense 20/7

    Heh I’m in Norway right now and my friend was checking out what was on the TV and asked “who would stay up until 3am to watch a speech by someone not the leader of our country, is it a particularly important speech?” and I replied “I don’t think so, there’s not really any big speeches at the end of Janu– oh wait”

    At least I realized before I finished the sentence? Not staying up til 3am though, even if he is the leader of my country.

  26. Doug –
    No, definitely not at you in particular – there were lots of comments in the world about this yesterday and this happened to be the place I said my piece. Yes, it’s to me frustrating that something normal, and healthy, and oh my goodness frequent, is a source of terror. If people had just said “it’s a bad name” I probably would have agreed. It was the endless junior high school humor that got my back up. That’s what I get for setting a Twitter search for #ipad. I deleted that search by dinner time yesterday.

    One of the best pieces of marketing advice I ever heard was that all product names and URLs should be run past a 13 year old boy. Ever since I heard it I keep finding examples of its wisdom.

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