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Charles Stross is doing an IAmA

I do so dearly love Stross’s books, and now he’s writing about writing on Reddit. I rather like his writing protocol.

I write exclusively using computers. Pens and typewriters can fsck right off — I wrote my first half million words in my teens on a manual typewriter (had to trade it for a new one due to keys snapping from metal fatigue) so I am not a pen or typewriter fetishist.

I write almost entlirely on Macs, because: Windows gives me hives. (I first ran into Windows as of Win 2.11/386, back in the eighties. It did not leave a good taste. I then became a happy UNIX bunny. Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing. So I’ve learned to put up with its other foibles.)

I have no set writing routine other than: plant bum in chair in front of keyboard/on sofa under laptop, and start going. Oh, and I drink tea pretty much continuously at a rate of around 1 imperial pint/hour, which sort of enforces screen/keyboard breaks.

Whoa, that sounds like my approach. I’m also sitting here with a cup of tea that I rise up regularly to refill, and also to, errm, release the Kraken. He must be a smart man.

Comments

  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well the tone of this post and following comments changed before even one commenter added their 2 cents.

  2. sawells says

    Given the number of limbs on a Kraken… what the hell has PZ got in his pants? Is this the key to keeping the Trophy Wife happy? The mind boggles.

  3. says

    And like Pharyngula his blog posts frequently generate 100+ post threads. Especially when he does something like note that no, despite being a science fiction writer he doesn’t assume humans will be building space colonies and conquering the Universe.
    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/

  4. says

    Stross is one of my favorite writers and his Laundry series seems to get better with each installment.

  5. leonpeyre says

    Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing.

    That’s a remarkable statement. Is he completely unaware of the dozens of Linux distros out there? I know Linux isn’t technically Unix, but it’s a very close relative.

  6. ChasCPeterson says

    Excellent plan. Now that the TF/Griffith/Laden thing is dying down a bit and the pitizens are lying low? Stir up a good OS flamewar. Very shrewd indeed.

  7. deee says

    “Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing.”

    Oh my goggles, that is so wrong it gives me the hives.

  8. cicely (WHAT sammich, Officer? I know nothing about no sammich.) says

    Given the number of limbs on a Kraken… what the hell has PZ got in his pants? Is this the key to keeping the Trophy Wife happy? The mind boggles.

    “Dextrously Tentacled For Her Pleasure!”

  9. says

    Well, I also like my Mac because it has unix under the hood. It’s BSD-based. Personally, I’ve never cared enough about exactly which flavour of unix I have to quibble over BSD vs Linux, though I understand many people do. As long as I have a sensible shell, I’m happy.

  10. richardh says

    Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing.

    That’s a remarkable statement. Is he completely unaware of the dozens of Linux distros out there? I know Linux isn’t technically Unix, but it’s a very close relative.

    Someone asked him the same question (but I can’t find it again in Reddit’s insane non-expanding tree commenting system ;-( )

    … in response to which he drew their attention to his previous career as a freelance journalist specialising in Linux and free software.

    I think that means the answer is “yes, and he knows the difference”.

  11. says

    Solaris would be the last workstation class UNIX OS, as Mac is no longer workstation class, nor is it UNIX (as mentioned above it’s BSD which is a branch set from UNIX). Some of the various other *nix and BST OS’s meet POSIX compliance, so technically they may be workstation class too, but not strictly UNIX. Why am I so picky about this. Very intelligent people spent a lot of time developing the various branches, it’s a statement of history that we lump them together without concern for Richie or Torvalis.

    That being said my macbook far outclasses a solaris machine .

  12. tropp79 says

    OSX has same UNIX 03 certification Solaris has. So, technically, it’s just as much UNIX as Solaris, pedigree nonwithstanding.

    In Charlie’s comment, I’d focus on the ‘standing’ part;)

  13. GodotIsWaiting4U says

    I prefer to write with a glass of the Kraken while periodically getting up to release the tea, but to each his own.