leonard richardson's "situation normal"

I just finished reading the sci-fi novel Situation Normal by my friend Leonard Richardson... "The galaxy’s two multi-species superpowers stand on the brink of yet another pointless war, enmeshing ordinary lives in the messy conflict."

This was the first fiction in a while where during the day I was really looking forward to get back to it and see where it goes next. For me the biggest delight is in Leonard's reframing of things I take for granted, either in a character speaking the truth about something or by switching around the context and having the aliens do something parallel to one of our mundane things, letting me the fundamental oddness or arbitrariness of it.
God speaks to con artists because God is a con artist.
"Egenu saying" in Leonard Richardson's "Situation Normal"

Every war in history there's some joker tying it to freedom, and even when it's true, it's a lie.
Leonard Richardson, "Situation Normal"

Providence aligns cause and effect without regard to our feelings.
Leonard Richardson, "Situation Normal"
Leonard sets up several religions in this book, most of which have adherents from across the 20-30 or so types of aliens (including humans)... my conceptual favorite was Hasithenk - the central icon is Merciful Providence shrugging at you, and use cuss phrases like “Oh f***ing coin-flipping Providence”. (Though weirdly, they're one of the more ritual/ceremony heavy groups. I guess that grounds it and makes it less of a "cool and jaded astronaut religion" ala Heinlein...)

Also Leonard is posting author's commentary at his site Crummy.com
trebek: the sound of the front door in your childhood home

the smell of the inside of your father's hat

the part of the roof you could access via the trellis

each family member's distinctive footsteps in the hall

the smell of woodsmoke

contestant: what was lost

Headline whiplash of the moment (via Kaiser Health News)

On Trump's last full day,

:-) :-) :-)

nation records 400,000 COVID deaths

:-O :-O :-O
President Trump's Top 15 Lies. Trump lies about enough small things that it lets him know who will believe him with the big lies.

From Daniel Dale's list:
  1. The most telling lie: It didn't rain on his inauguration
  2. The most dangerous lie: The coronavirus was under control
  3. The most alarming lie saga: Sharpiegate
  4. The most ridiculous subject of a lie: The Boy Scouts
  5. The ugliest smear lie: Rep. Ilhan Omar supports al Qaeda
  6. The most boring serial lie: The trade deficit with China used to be $500 billion
  7. The most entertaining lie shtick: The burly crying men who had never cried before
  8. The most traditional big lie: Trump didn't know about the payment to Stormy Daniels
  9. The biggest lie by omission: Trump ended family separation
  10. The most shameless campaign lie: Biden will destroy protections for pre-existing conditions
  11. The lie he fled: He got Veterans Choice
  12. The Crazy Uncle lie award: Windmill noise causes cancer
  13. The most hucksterish lie: That plan was coming in two weeks
  14. My personal favorite lie: Trump was once named Michigan's Man of the Year
  15. The most depressing lie: Trump won the election