Review: Intelligence Block – A Talos June Novel

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The Crafting of Chess is a work of fiction written by Kit Falbo, and is available in digital edition, via the Kindle Unlimited subscription service, or via paperback copy.
Synopsis: In the distant future, Talos June plays the character Joontal, a middle ranked mage in a world where old school technology is merged with nanobots and projections to create flashy shows and battles. Joontal is styled after older classical wizards which makes him novel and he is played well, but the character only comes into the spotlight when an attempt is brought on his life. Now Talos June, stripped of the character he has played for over 5 years, must come to terms with who he is as an individual and also the conspiracy that lead to his character’s demise. Can he keep his sanity intact and his lover (who was once his apprentice when he was in character) safe as he goes deep down the rabbit hole? How can he reinvent himself amongst the other mages? And the UIs that are so prevailant in the future, are they perhaps fundamentally flawed and if so what is the source of this?
What I liked: The mage battles, in which actors attack each other with tech obfuscated as magic, are exceptionally entertaining. Talos June is a believable character in a world that needs a solid anchor to view it. The interactions with the various AIs and the implications of how their base coding might affect their personalities were definitely well visited. This book is an amusement park ride well worth the price of admission.
What I didn’t like: This book needs an editor. Every chapter there’d be another set of formatting errors, another set of spelling errors. It was frankly very frustrating. I’m sure it will be cleaned up in time but I’m rather surprised the book was put out to retail in this manner.
Final Score: If this book were better polished, I’d be recommending it to all my friends. In its current state, I’m hesitant to. If we were to give it a 100% for the story and a 60% for the writing we’d have an 80%, and that’s Common Core right there. 4 out of 5 rogue AIs.

She’s Almost 5 Years Old, People

Last night my daughter informed me our oldest had hurt her, by “being mean” and specifically by not letting her sit in a chair that he was using as a foot rest. I asked her “What do you think his punishment should be?”

She goes “Umm… we can punch him?”

I say “No, honey. We don’t punch people, that’s not okay.” Then thinking about recent events, I added “Unless they are Nazis.”

My daughter smiles and seems to understand, and she says “OK.” After a few more moments, she then says. “So I can punch [big brother], because he’s a Not See?”

Advice from the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”

“There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.”

VLAN Down By The River

Sung to the tune “Rolling on the River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Lyrics originally written by Brian McDonald

Bet a good job is a Net Admin
Workin’ for the WAN ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one packet of a frame’
Worryin’ ’bout how the load balance been

Big switch keep on addressin
‘Proud Core keep on routin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN

Cleaned a lot of routes in Memphis
Pumped a lot of NAT down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of a HASH
‘Til I hitched a ride on a VLAN queen

Big switch keep on addressin’
Proud Core keep on routin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN

If you come down to the dat center
Bet you gonna find some PORTS who’re live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have if you got no CAT
People in the data center are happy to give

Big switch keep on addressin’
Proud Core keep on routin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the VLAN

The Pregnant Dear Scenario

In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grass field near a strong-flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labour pains begin.

At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above and lightning starts a forest fire. She looks to her left and sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her.

What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labour! She is constrained by the fire on the one side, and the flowing river on the other, boxed in by her natural predators.

What does she do? She focuses on giving birth to a new life.

The sequence of events that follows are:

– Lightning strikes and blinds the hunter.

– He releases the arrow which zips past the deer and strikes the hungry lion.

– It starts to rain heavily, and the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain.

– The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.

In our life too, there are moments of choice when we are confronted on all sides with calamities.

Maybe we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby. The rest was not in her hands, and any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster.

“Every moment is a moment of choice.  Every hour is an hour of Destiny.”

(Stolen from a bunch of places, none of which credited the original author if in fact there was one.  If you know the author, feel free to share).