Specifically, I've gone off the idea of MP3 players. More specifically, I've gone off my Aigo A215 MP3 player, which died yesterday. Well actually, it didn't really die. It still shows signs of life, but it's definitely flapping about like a carp out of water. Until I try to upload anything onto it, because neither my XP nor Vista PCs recognise it.
Still, life goes on; there are still podcasts to be listened to, and lengthy drives on which to listen to them, so a replacement must be drafted in, bearing in mind the lessons to be learnt from this little experience. Those lessons being:
You gets what you pays for. 'Cheap and nasty' is not a cliche without good reason.
Professor Google has much to offer when buying stuff. Googling Aigo A215 will instantly bring up a long enough discussion among people who have found this piece of kit to be a bit rubbish to put me off getting one.
So, Messrs Aigo and Sons, welcome to my blacklist.
On a tangentially related note, one of the last things the aforementioned device allowed me to listen to was one of this year's Hugo nominees on Escape Pod. Readers of this blog might well get a kick out of Article of Faith by Mike Resnick.
Short sf readers/listeners will probably have come across Mr Resnick, the most awarded short sf writer in the world, apparently. I don't believe he professes any religious faith, but he has written some great stories about religion, or featuring religious themes, and we should probably look at some of his work in more detail here in future.
Meanwhile, Article of Faith is in part about robot religion, and in part about tolerance in general. And if your MP3 player has also gone to Silicon heaven, you can also read the story on Mike Resnick's website.
I'm gratified that you liked "Article of Faith", and yes, it's true that I've written a number of stories having to do with the Christian and other religions. Not to keep you in suspense, I'm a lifelong athiest -- but I have an enormous respect for religion, and I truly envy those who believe in it and take comfort in it. I would love to believe there is an afterlife, or that my misdeeds can be forgiven.
Science fiction has no trouble accommodating all religious viewpoints. Gene Wolfe is a devout Catholic; so was Ray Lafferty. Michael A. Burstein is an Orthodox Jew; so was Avram Davidson. And so on, down the line. I can't think of any fiction field better equipped to explore the past, present, future, truth, falsity, and meaning of religion.
-- Mike Resnick
Well, thanks for stopping by and putting me out of my misery!
Sorry you had to sit through my little rant first...
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