# AoC 2018 Day 2: Counting letters

### Source: Inventory Management System

Part 1: Given a list of strings, count how many contain exactly two of a letter (a) and how many contain exactly three of a letter (b). Calculate a*b.

### Source: Chronal Calibration

Part 1: Given a list of numbers (positive and negative) calculate the sum.

Let’s do it again! I’m starting a day late, but much better than last year 😄!

This time around, I’m hoping to solve each problem in both Python and Racket, both to show an example of how the languages differ and … well, because I can 😇.

EDIT 2018-12-05: Yeah… I’m not actually going to do these in both Racket and Python. The solutions are ending up being near direct translations. Since there are probably fewer people solving these in Racket, I’ll do that first and Python eventually™.

As always, these problems are wonderful to try to solve yourself. If you agree, stop reading now. This post isn’t going anywhere.

If you’d like to see the full form of any particular solution, you can do so on GitHub (including previous years and possibly some I haven’t written up yet): jpverkamp/advent-of-code

# NaNoWriMo 2018 - Special Collections

It started with an idea from an annotation on the Darths and Droids webcomic of all things:

A mysterious figure drops an overdue book in the library’s after-hours returns slot. Long overdue. 90 years overdue. It’s a book about the occult, and contains incantations and recipes for drastically extending life. The borrower’s last known address is that old “haunted” house on the hill outside town. Someone need to go investigate to recover the overdue fees…

Take a few hours outlining by hand (which I never used to do, but am starting to see the value of) and a month of crazy nights…

# Mini Worlds

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# The Burning Maze

On one hand, the Apollo books are getting better. It’s mostly more of the same, bringing myths to life in the real world combined with a constant sense of the world ending, but if that’s what you’re looking for … power to you?

And then there’s a prophecy that either Pipe or Jason is going to die. Of course you expect they’ll figure out a way around it… Apollo is a (former?) god of prophecy after all? But madman that Riordan is, he actually does it. Ow. That was not at all what I expected to see in one of these books. Given the Doors of Death etc we’ve seen in these series, it’s still possible they’ll figure out a work around… but still. Wow.

# The Dark Prophecy

The Dark Prophecy is straight up a sequal to The Hidden Oracle. Pretty much all of my comments from apply here. Apollo is still a decent but not great main character, Meg is still odd and weirdly powerful. The world still feels like something we’ve seen done better in Riordan’s other series.

The main different of the Dark Prophecy and the part that amused me the most: it’s almost completely set in Indianapolis. You don’t get that overly often in fiction and it’s always amusing to see it done. For someone that lives within spitting distance of Indianapolis, close enough.

# Goldenhand

“When they must,” said Lirael. “The Library is very old, and deep, and contains many things that have been put away for good reason. Creatures, dangerous knowledge, artifacts made not wisely, but too well … books that should not be opened without proper preparation, some books that should never be opened at all.”

# Clariel

Compared to the original trilogy, both Clariel the book and Cariel the character have a rather different feel.

As a book, Clariel takes place centuries before Sabriel, well before the fall of the Old Kingdom. We’re in an entirely different political landscape and rather than the general feeling of things coming back together (other than the whole end of the world thing), there’s a feel of falling apart. We’re square in the height of decadence that comes before the fall, with a failing monarchy, an Abhorsen who’d rather hunt than deal in death, and Charter Magic fallen out of fasion. It’s an interesting time period to explore, don’t get me wrong. It’s just rather different.

# Abhorsen

As I mentioned in , Abhorsen is really the second half of a book. It doesn’t stand alone, but it doesn’t need to. We continue where we left off in Lirael and things keep escalating.

Worldbuildingwise, we have a much deeper dig into the deep history of the world, into the roots of Free Magic beings and the Charter. We learn more about Mogget and the Dog both along with our big bad: Orannis, the Destroyer. On to the end of the world…