A quick guide to some possibly obscure references on Reassembler:
Update: How could I have missed this one? – Reviving Opilio borrows its name from the totally unrelated book Reviving Ophelia that scares the huevos out of all parents with girls on the brink of adolescence. (That book in turn takes its title from Hamlet’s crazy girlfriend.)
The “Vasty Hall of Death” mentioned in this post is taken from Roger Zelazny’s sci-fi/fantasy novel Lord of Light. In the book, the Vasty Hall of Death is, if I’m recalling correctly, the research lab/living quarters of Yama-Darma, an exile from Earth now living as a putative incarnation of a Hindu god. It’s complicated and funny and a pretty reasonable examination of how power can corrupt. Zelazny IMHO is a sorely underappreciated protege of Philip K Dick, a sci-fi great, i.e. a powerful sociologist who lived on $.10/word.
The “river horse” mentioned here is of course the hippo itself. Etymology: hippo = horse, potamus = river. You knew that one.
Miss Sakamoto is the one who blinded Thomas Dolby with science (Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful!). And that 80s tune is also the reason my Science! tag has an exclamation point.