Félix Saparelli

(about me)

a.k.a. passcod

Monthly update: Feb 2017

Posted on Feb 10 ‘17

This is a monthly-update

It has one parent: Monthly update: Jan 2017

Writing

I’ve spent a lot of my weekends writing a Star Wars fanfic. I’m going to finish it before I publish, to avoid publishing and then abandoning it when I eventually realise I’ve written myself into a corner. It’s completely outlined, and I’ve got some willing and eager proofreaders waiting for it, so I have hope.

I’ve already got ideas for a sequel; if there’s interest I might be working on that for a while, too. The sequel will contain a certain ship.

No title as of yet, working title of my file was SW:E:SI at the beginning of the month, but what it stood for was already outdated by the time I got to the middle of the outlining, so I changed it to the non-commital “Master Kylo”. Maybe it will stay that.

300 Shorts

I’ve moved my “300 Shorts” collection entirely to this blog, instead of its previous home on Medium. I’ve also added an introductory post, which additionally serves as a common ‘parent post’ for all the shorts, taking advantage of my blog engine’s capabilities: it will add a link from each entry to the main post, and add a list (with links) of all the entries onto that main post.

I’ve also published two so-far-unpublished pieces from 2016 into this collection. The first is a short poem written last year: Unlit. The second is a sci-fi story originally written for a contest: Regulus. It is accompanied by a few pages of notes and commentary.

Tourist

Chapter Seven made me really happy and I felt more bubbly than usual writing its comment. Perhaps it was the ice-cream.

Backup and Sync

Discovered a very interesting paper, algorithm, and software: MetaSync. It provides a sync utility that can store data across several services and even replicate this data for maximum reliability and synchronisation speed. I have yet to evaluate the solution in-depth for my needs, but it certainly sounds promising.

Ultimately, though, the software is not quite as maintained nor modern as I would wish it. For this reason, my next large Rust project will be to implement the pPaxos algorithm, the core metasync library, a CLI frontend and a sync Daemon, as well as some remote storage adapters (probably starting with Dropbox, Google Drive, MEGASync), and some local storage middleware (selective encryption, compression).

I’ll probably choose a different name, though, not only to avoid stepping on toes, but also because I don’t quite believe “meta sync” to be a good descriptor for what this does.

Hyperion

After several years (at least four, but it gets fuzzy before then) of quiet research and occasional thought, I finally got the last insight into my very own algorithm for hypergraphs (and their somewhat-optimised subset hypermaps).

My hypergraphs are optimised for a specific query: “give me all the vertices of all the edges that contain the given vertex.” Hyperion executes that for any arbitrary vertex with the same time complexity as the underlying substrate. For a HashMap, that’s O(1).

Hyperion is also fairly good at memory space: it incurs only a small fixed overhead per-vertex and per-edge. Other implementations of bimaps, hypermaps, or hypergraphs use about twice the amount of memory as is input into them.

Using Hyperion is mostly about thinking differently about some data. Once you understand that you essentially have a structure which can store associations of objects and then retrieve the entire association given any value within, in constant time… once you really understand the idea and start being able to apply it to problems, that’s when it becomes interesting.

Hyperion is not quite ready for publication, but the concept is finished and a full description of its algorithms — for insert, for query, for modification — is done in pseudocode. An initial implementation in Rust, some analysis, a few measurements, and better documentation remain to be completed.

Fanfiction

All in reading order within their sections. Word counts are rounded to nearest 1 or 5k. I explored the Harry Potter fanficdom, fics rated at least T, often M. Contains occasional lemons. Fairly large proportion of Haphne.

  • {HP/SW Legends} The Katarn Side.

    A very nice tale. While I enjoyed the story, I spent a lot of it using the material as both inspiration and warning, given I was writing my very own Star Wars fanfic at the same time. It convinced me not to write a Star Wars × Harry Potter crossover, as I do not have nearly enough knowledge about the Star Wars universe to pull it off. But it also gave me pointers at how to interpret Jedi lore and dogma, a style guide when writing droid speech, and a remedial course in basic Galactic tenets. I particularly liked the tonne of potential the crossover’s universe has… many stories could have been written within, but this one was finished and done, and the rest is up to us readers’ imagination. Rated T. {135k words}

  • {SW Legends} The Last Jedi.

    Rated T but should have been M. Probably. This is Dune, but in the Star Wars universe, with more sex and less Bene Gesserit. It does a good job of showing the horror of the amount of lives lost during space conflict, when billions of lives cry out in the Force, and it has an actual effect on those sensitive. In the original six, there is a whole three minutes spent on the destruction of a planet and millions of souls; two Jedi briefly look up and say, almost deadpan, that they felt two billion souls die… and then they go back to what they were doing, barely affected. In TFA, Starkiller Base destroys five planets — there are no estimates I could find on the population of the system, but let’s put it in the high dozen billions, maybe even half a trillion — and there is even less effect on the Force-sensitive. Like, come on! Billions have just died. At least show the Force-touched having a little emotion here, maybe. So, in The Last Jedi, our protagonist Tobin, as a youngling, witnesses the killing of “merely” thousands and feels it in the Force, and it disturbs him so greatly that he has to isolate himself and cry for hours at a time. A trained Jedi Knight is shown as losing control of her emotions in violent manner. Even a less-monstrously-sensitive Mirakula is strained and isolates herself, even while she has lived through dozens or hundreds of such events already and could be thought to be inured against the horror. Anyway, as you may see, I liked this fic a lot. {185k words}

  • {HP} Innocent, Initiate, Identity, Impose.

    Good story. The plots are thought-out and I really appreciate the insight into other characters. The entire Chamber of Secrets episode, in particular, is as much about Ginny and her struggle against Tom, than it is about Harry and Sirius and friends… and then after that, the experience didn’t just completely not matter, there are credible post-trauma effects, and the people around don’t just forget what they’ve been through either. Last volume is unfinished at time of writing, but updated recently. I’m hoping for a Harry/Ginny ship but not holding my breath: there’s a lot of potential still. {495k + 175k + 145k + 72k words}

  • {HP} Contractual Invalidation.

    Oh, that was beautifully done. It is really a work you have to read to experience. A summary would not do it justice. A description could not hope to cover its walks and turns. This is what people mean when they say you have edit down such that only what is needed remains. It all comes together in its final chapter, triggering understanding over all the previous ones, but still leaving us with that uncertainty Hermione hinted to at the Grimmauld party: that you cannot really be sure it was all his work, or not. {90k words}

  • {HP} Stepping Back.

    Ongoing. By the same author as Honour Thy Blood, and reusing the original personalities and names of its supporting cast, which is an amazing idea as I get to rediscover and appreciate them anew, in a much better environment and not just in flashbacks, as paintings, or in history scenes. Yes, this is a time travel fic. I like the way it’s written, and although it’s not perfectly beta’d (there’s homophones and awkward phrasings) it’s much better than HTB at that. Followed and looking forward to new chapters. {100k words at time of writing}

  • {HP} Days to Come.

    It’s adult, it’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s lively. Not lively as in it’s joyful and bounding and jumping around happily, but lively as in it’s about life. You know that quote about how grown-up fiction is about english professors wondering about who to fuck, and YA fiction is about overthrowing the government and picking up the pieces? This is grown-up YA fiction. The government has been overthrown, the villains have been defeated, and there’s still the shit attitudes in society that caused it all in the first place — but we’re working on that. There’s peace. But it’s the picking up of pieces that remains to be done. Recovering from all you’ve lived, and figuring out where you’re going. Treating all the fucked up stuff you’ve done and that’s still in your head. Talking to people. Getting angry and pissed off and breaking up and making up and it all not being the literal end of the world. Living life. And slowly getting there. {137k words}

Also enjoyed, but no lengthy comment:

I read a lot of Bobmin‘s stories around the middle of January, to honour his rich contribution to the fandoms. These are all excellent: