Santa Claus vs. P.U.P.P.Y. 6/25

aka Fetch-22

In the roundup today: Francis Turner, Greg Ketter, Kristel Autencio, Lyle Hopwood, Abigail Nussbaum, Ridley, Cheryl Morgan, Rachel Neumeier, Brandon Kempner, Kevin Standlee, Lis Carey, Spacefaring Kitten, JT Richardson, Laura “Tevan” Gjovaag, Rebekah Golden, Tim Matheson, Damien G. Walter and less identifiable others. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Dave Clark and Will Reichard.)

 

Francis Turner on The Otherwhere Gazette

“The Future of Tor” – June 25

The posts inspired me to take a look at my book buying habits and it turns out I jumped the shark gun on the boycott thing because it seems I’ve been boycotting Tor for a while now. Not intentionally, but that’s probably more serious for Tor and its owners than a straightforward determination to boycott. You see Tor don’t actually publish books I want to read and, Kevin J Anderson apart, haven’t done so for a few years.

 

Greg Ketter on Facebook – June 25

[Greg Ketter of DreamHaven Books is offering Tor hardcover books at 40% off through the end of July to show support for Irene Gallo. For locals, the store address is: DreamHaven Books, 2301 E. 38th St., Minneapolis, MN 55406.]

Alright. Enough’s Enough…

I’ve been following some of the Hugo controversy and the follow on Irene Gallo / TOR dust-up and I’m truly tired of the demands for Irene’s ouster as some mis-guided and some other downright evil people threaten boycotts. It’s completely disgusting and JUST PLAIN WRONG and, well, I can do something about it in terms of sales of Tor books.

From now until the end of July, I will sell all TOR hardcover books at 40% off cover price. If I don’t hav…e it in stock, I’ll order it. You can come in the store or you can order by phone or email. This should make it easier to support Irene and negate any minimal effect the boycotters may have. A letter in support of Irene to the very same people that Vox Day and Peter Grant and others are asking you to send hate mail to would also go a long way.

I’ve been quiet on the whole subject mostly because I just couldn’t be bothered to spend any time on it. I wasn’t worried about adverse effects on my own business since I sincerely doubt the kinds of trollish behavior I’m seeing is from any of my customers. I’m amazed that the biggest complainers would have bought any books from Tor, ever, since they admit their reading tastes are generally contrary to everything that Tor holds dear (this is a totally facetious statement since I have no idea what it could really mean – I’ve been buying Tor books for my store since they first started and from what I can see, they publish books that they can sell. Period.)

So, I’m declaring July to be TOR BOOKS MONTH around here and I wish you all good reading.

 

Kristel Autencio on BookRiot

“The Brave New World of Spec Fic Magazines: A Primer” – June 25

Tor.com

Let’s address the giant, unhappy elephant in the room. When I started building this primer early in June, I automatically rounded up some of my favorite short stories published on the Tor website, acquired by keen editors such as Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Ellen Datlow and Anne Vandermeer. I was going to talk about how each story is paired with some of the most arresting artwork in the genre, thanks in large part to the art direction by Irene Gallo. That was before Tor publisher Tom Doherty proceeded to throw Irene Gallo under the bus, succumbing to an extended campaign by so-called Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, whose reason for existence is their opposition to the fact that more people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and women are taking up space in the SFF landscape. Rioter Brenna Clark Gray goes more in-depth with this story.

This is not the recommendation I had wanted to write.

Some who are appalled by these developments are disavowing support for Tor, since it is an institution that would rather appease genre reactionaries than support their own employees who are doing vital work. This is a valid response.  But Tor (both the website and the publishing house) is also home to stories that Irene Gallo and other people like her are working hard to champion, the very voices that the Puppy Industrial Complex are saying should not be recognized by the Hugos or the Nebulas. It is your prerogative to not give Tor any of your money or your clicks, but I urge you to take note of these names, all of whom I first encountered through this publication: ….

 

Lyle Hopwood on Peromyscus

“’Do you mean to throw a level playing field under the bus?’” – June 24

In an impassioned argument against the proposal for a Hugo for “Sagas”, a professional SF writer writes:

Under the bus screenshot

“Do you mean to throw a level playing field under the bus?” I don’t know whether that fantastic image makes me more likely to buy their work or less. I’ve been thinking about the phrase to throw someone under the bus recently, as it was used approximately 16,993 times in the discussions about publisher Tor’s open letter disavowing Irene Gallo’s Facebook comment, which, since it referred to her by name, was widely considered to be throwing her under the bus.

 

 

Ridley on Stay With Me, Go Places

“Doing Slightly More Than Nothing About The Hugo Awards” – June 24

For the first time in my life, I’ll be voting on the Hugo Awards this year.

I’ve been reading science fiction for several decades now, but this is the first time I’ve felt strongly enough about the awards to get involved. One vote isn’t much, but I feel like it’s important to do what little bit I can. I’ll share my ballot after I submit it.

 

Cheryl Morgan on Cheryl’s Mewsings

“Archipelacon – Day 1” – June 25

Thus far I have done one panel. It was about the Puppies and what to do about them. Hopefully I managed to convey the fact that there’s not much any individual can do because of the determined way in which WSFS refuses to give anyone any power. All that Kevin, or I, or anyone else can do is try to make things better and hope that sufficient people come along with us. No matter what we do, large numbers of people will think we failed, because so many people refuse to believe that there isn’t a secret cabal running everything.

 

Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“A Best Saga Hugo: An Imagined Winner’s List, 2005-2014” – June 25

I’m using the assumption that Hugo voters would vote for Best Saga like they vote for Best Novel and other categories. Take Connie Willis: she has 24 Hugo nominations and 11 wins. I figure the first time she’s up for a Best Saga, she’d win. This means that my imagined winners are very much in keeping with Hugo tradition; you may find that unexciting, but I find it hard to believe that Hugo voters would abandon their favorites in a Best Saga category. I went through each year and selected a favorite. Here’s what I came up with as likely/possible winners (likely, not most deserving). I’ve got some explanation below, and it’s certainly easy to flip some of these around or even include other series. Still, this is gives us a rough potential list to see if it’s a worthy a Hugo: ….

 

Rachel Neumeier

“Just about ready to vote for the Hugo Awards” – June 25

[Reviews all nominated fiction, movies, and pro artists. Then continues with comments about Hugo rules changes.]

The best post I’ve seen about the situation with the Hugos this year, incidentally, is this recent one by Rich Horton at Black Gate. I think he is dead right about the desirability of reforming the Hugo Award so that any one person can only nominate so many works per category, and then the categories contain more works than that. I don’t think I would say that anyone can nominate up to five works and then there will be ten nominees, though. Ten is a lot. I think it is too many. My preference would be: you can nominate only four works per category, and there will be six (or, fine, eight if necessary) nominees. That should really help break the power of both bloc voting and over-the-top fan clubs to put one author on the ballot five times in a single year.

I would also be in favor of a more specific reform: No author can have more than two works up for a Hugo in one year, or more than one work per category. If more than that make the cut, the author must choose two total, one per category, and the rest must be eliminated from the ballot. No one – no one – ever has or ever will write one-fifth of all the best stories produced in a given year. It is absolutely ridiculous to allow a ballot that implies that is possible, and worse to deny exposure to other works that might otherwise be nominated….

 

Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way Of Life

“Procedural Notice: Recording Committee of the Whole” – June 25

I have mentioned a few times and in a few places that at this year’s Business Meeting, what I call the “technical” discussion of complex proposals such as E Pluribus Hugo (and possibly Popular Ratification) might best be handled by having the meeting go into what is known as “Committee of the Whole.” A proponent of the proposal would then hold the floor during the COTW and do a Q&A-style discussion. Such discussions are procedurally more difficult to do in the main debate because of the rules regarding who can speak and how often; however, the two proposals I’ve named (and possibly others to come) are sufficiently complex that I expect that many members simply want to ask the sponsors of the motions what the proposals mean…..

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Interstellar, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)” – June 25

interstellar

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 2015 Hugo nominee Interstellar is visually magnificent, exciting, thought-provoking, and a bit long. It pains me to say that last bit. I wanted to love every second of it. In the end, I couldn’t, though I did love most of it. Parts of it did just drag, and there’s no way around that.

 

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“The Bondesque Superhero Action of Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – June 25

All Captain America is good for seems to be posturing and telling everybody what’s the moral thing to do (in addition to throwing his shield around which looks sillier in movies than in comic books). I almost rooted for the comically sinister Nazis.

Score: 4/10.

 

JT Richardson on JT’s German Adventure

Hugos 2015 Read – Best Graphic Story – June 25

Zombie Nation

I am, and have long been*, a MASSIVE comics fan. My tastes generally run to superhero comics, though I’ve dipped my toe into the more “serious” waters — Maus, Persepolis, Blankets***, Logicomix****, and the AWESOME Cartoon History of the Universe. But this year’s noms are a pretty nice mix — One Marvel, 3 Image (Hooray for creator-owned!) and one webcomic. DC was too busy planning its semi-annual reboot to generate nominees*****. Best Graphic Story — As a long-time reader of superhero, especially Marvel, comics, I’m definitely biased toward the capes. But this year’s noms only have one (which I have already read, and loved). Here are my thoughts, in reverse alphabetical order: ….

 

Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: Why Science is Never Settles – Tedd Roberts (Best Related Work)” – June 25

Apart from that, my main criticism of the article regarding its Hugo nomination is the fact that its SFF-relatedness is nothing more than a single reference to one of Eric Flint‘s novels. So, even though this is a good article, I don’t think it should be on the Hugo ballot as a “Best Related Work”, irrespective of whether it was published by SFF publisher Baen or whether it contains a SFF-al reference.

In conclusion, this nominee will not appear on my ballot, it should never have been nominated in this category as I don’t consider it to be a “Related Work”.

 

Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: Turncoat – Steve Rzasa (Short Story)” – June 25

The plot is nothing special and unfortunately for me, the reader, it was predictable how things would turn out very early on (the title of the story was a big give-away, but even without that title the plot design would have been obvious).

Still, the story is good enough that I will place it above No Award.

 

Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: Wisdom from my Internet – Michael Z. Williamson” – June 23

Wisdom from my Internet is a collection of very short jokes (tweets maybe?) on a variety of subjects, mainly US-American politics though. It self-published by the author in an imprint he fittingly named “Patriarchy Press”. I started reading, then skimming then fast-forwarding through it with short stops to see whether it had improved further on (it hadn’t) until I reached the end. That was fast. And easy to judge: not on my ballot will this thing ever be. No Award. Because:

Are you* serious?

*By “you” I mean Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and whoever gets to decide whether a given nominee is an eligible nominee.

 

Laura “Tevan” Gjovaag on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog

“Hugo Reviewing – Professional Artist” – June 25

[Comments on all five nominees before concluding –]

It’s not hard to figure out that Dillon’s work impressed me the most, by a fairly large margin. I’d then go with DouPonce for my second-place choice. Pollack and Greenwood rank about the same and Reid is last, not because he’s worst, but because his art doesn’t seem to fit for me. I might even mix it up and put Reid above the other two. This is another one I’m going to have to sleep on.

With the exception of Dillon, whose subjects I enjoyed, and Reid, who had a wide variety of subjects, the choice of imagery was fairly standard for the artists. They were cover art for the most part, but they were fairly static. As a comic book reader, I like my art to flow and have some sense of movement… like your mind will fill in the next scene. Pollack, Greenwood and DouPonce had art that felt like it was posed. Dillon’s work was more natural. Reid, of course, is a sequential artist, so he didn’t have that problem.

 

Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Novel: Reviewing Ancillary Sword” – June 24

I’m glad I read Ancillary Sword. It was an interesting book with some very topical thoughts on oppression and distribution of wealth. Anyone who is familiar with the concepts of company towns will find similar motifs in Ancillary Sword. Anyone who read and enjoyed Ancillary Justice will find Ancillary Sword to be a fitting continuation of the story, well written, well thought out, well developed. The compelling questions behind it aren’t as striking as in the first novel which I think is why it falls a little flat comparatively. Still, solidly good military sci-fi in the tradition of Elizabeth Moon and Tanya Huff.

 

Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Graphic Novel: Reviewing Rat Queens” – June 24

I know there’s a lot of nostalgia over D&D right now but personally I’m tired of fictionalized D&D campaigns no matter how clever or well drawn. Throw in a little Lovecraft, add a college dorm element, top it off with some back story and potential for depth, it’s still D&D nostalgia. And nostalgia must be written let it at least have a twist. No twist. Fun, well drawn, nostalgia.

 

Tim Atkinson on Magpie Moth

“Hard science, hot mess: Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem” – June 25

The Three Body Problem was a late arrival to the Hugo ballot this year, being added after withdrawals due to voting slate politics.

The work of one of China’s most prominent science-fiction writers, Liu Cixin, it is actually nearly ten years old. In 2014, it finally penetrated the cultural myopia of the Anglosphere in translation, and is therefore eligible for a Hugo.

And I’m jolly glad of this, since The Three Body Problem is one of the two stand-out novels on the shortlist, along with the very different The Goblin Emperor. Amid space opera and fantasy (urban and classic flavours) it sticks out like a tall poppy because it is full to the brim of ideas.

 

708 thoughts on “Santa Claus vs. P.U.P.P.Y. 6/25

  1. I’m the one who recommended Liz Bourke. In a grand bit of irony, it was Dave Freer who recommended her to me, way back in ought-something, when she was still finishing secondary school and preparing for her Leaving Cert.

    Five short stories for now:
    The Claustrophile, Theodore Sturgeon
    Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keys Moran
    Mountains of Mourning, Lois Bujold
    The Women Men Don’t See, Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr
    Biting Time, Virginia Demarce (was originally called “Grandma Richter Gets New Teeth”)

  2. Jane_Dark on June 26, 2015 at 7:25 am said:
    @Peace

    I KNOW! I didn’t think it would come for at least another few years, and I wasn’t expecting the ruling till the last day of the session!

    *runs off to add the majority brief to plane reading stack*

    Happy Pride Weekend, folks.

    Also, I bet we get some entertaining Puppy posts as a result.

    No idea why this posted. I thought it had been eaten by the computer.

  3. I’m curious about what Cheryl Morgan thinks an empowered individual can do about Puppies.

    “Hopefully I managed to convey the fact that there’s not much any individual can do because of the determined way in which WSFS refuses to give anyone any power. “

    In the case of Beale and SFWA, there was a formal membership in an ongoing organization, but that’s not the case with WSFS, as each individual Worldcon has its own membership. I think Morgan doesn’t get that WSFS doesn’t have the power to give what she thinks it has to give.

  4. Well, it appears that 5 Judges in the Supreme Court in the USA are unswayed by JCW’s call to arms; congratulations to all those whose lives may now be enhanced by this decision.

    Actually, the people whose lives are enhanced go way beyond the number of people who wish to marry people of their own sex; hating people is not a fun way of spending time, and it’s amazing how quickly people who have been antagonistic cool down once no one is really that interested…

  5. Happy Pride Weekend, folks.

    Among the reasons to be cheerful about this is a) I want to see what excuse the Italian Parliament is going to look for to remain the last country in Western Europe not to have ANY recognition for same sex couples; b) I eagerly await the howls of pain from Puppyland.

    fetches popcorn

  6. In the case of Beale and SFWA, there was a formal membership in an ongoing organization, but that’s not the case with WSFS, as each individual Worldcon has its own membership. I think Morgan doesn’t get that WSFS doesn’t have the power to give what she thinks it has to give.

    She’s been a volunteer in fandom (including being on the committee for several WorldCons, IIRC) for long enough that she surely knows, so I am a bit puzzled by what exactly is the polemic about here.

  7. Popcorn is good; sadly the sun is not yet far enough over the yardarm to break out the champagne but this is good news!

  8. Stevie on June 26, 2015 at 7:31 am said:

    Well, it appears that 5 Judges in the Supreme Court in the USA are unswayed by JCW’s call to arms; congratulations to all those whose lives may now be enhanced by this decision.

    Actually, the people whose lives are enhanced go way beyond the number of people who wish to marry people of their own sex; hating people is not a fun way of spending time, and it’s amazing how quickly people who have been antagonistic cool down once no one is really that interested…

    If it’s anything like the aftermath of the Loving v. Virgina decision, the antis will dwindle down to a core of diehard haters without the padding of people just going along that puffed up their numbers. Those people will complain until the end of their days, but most people will shrug and go on with their lives and some people will learn better and eventually people will think the whole thing was ridiculous and meanspirited and stupid.

  9. @Ginger, @MaxL and @JJ, here’s what I get skimming through Liz Bourke’s columns:

    I’ve been debating for weeks whether or not to write a Sleeps With Monsters column on this year’s Hugo debacle, and you know what? I’m not going there. It’s much more fun to talk about books.

    So she’s clearly smarter than the rest of us.

  10. @Jon Meltzer Yes, but will they find a way to blame Tor and the Loncon Hugo voters?

  11. Popcorn is good; sadly the sun is not yet far enough over the yardarm to break out the champagne but this is good news!

    It’s never to early for champagne! 😀

    So happy for all my friends in the US. I hope that this will be another reason for the German government to finally go all the way.

  12. Can we get back to books? Or celebrating the news?

    I have zero interest in the Puppies’ reaction to any of this, and despite Beale’s disturbing ideations about this site, it’s not really about him.

  13. Simon Bucher-Jones on June 26, 2015 at 5:47 am said: Guilty pleasure? Considering all he’s said since and the company he now keeps J.C. Wright.

    I rather liked his van Vogt sequel Null-A Continuum, which captures the retro-sf bonkersness of the first two Null-A books (wisely steering clear of the third), escalates the action still further (one of our double-brained superhero’s warming-up exercises, a long way from the actual climax, is to teleport an entire galaxy across 2.9 million light-years), and steers the whole farrago to an ending that very nearly makes sense. My flabber was moderately ghasted.

  14. Liz Bourke is responsible for getting me to read one of the most dissatisfying novel I have ever read. It was An Exchange of Hostages by Susan R. Matthews. Bourke made it sound so intriguing. I hated this book with all the fibers of my being and yes I finished it.
    That said I enjoy her column immensely.

  15. Halfway through “Ancillary Justice”, btw.

    I can see why it won All The Awards.

  16. A quick response to Happy-Puppy’s simplistic response to Meredith’s comments about online activism which I won’t quote because I read the comment over breakfast on my phone, and I only have a short while before work. My paraphrase of his comment is that he said Twitter is no good for activism, and in a confusing paragraph seemed to imply that Meredith agreed, and that he’d rather read about events in vernerable organizations like the Wall Street Journal, etc.

    Two things: first, Twitter (which I personally cannot deal with, but that is MY problem) is not the whole sum of online activism.

    Second, the flaws in the mainstream media’s coverage of progressive movements in this country didn’t start with Ferguson but has been grounded in white male dominance and privilege including control of the media since well before the country even was founded.

    Now follows a slew of links that is not meant for puppies whose prejudices will only be strengthened by evidence that shows their comfortably limited world view is wrong but for people who simply aren’t aware of the rich in-depth history of challenges to established media coverage, and the usefulness of a medium (the world wide web) with fewer gatekeepers than professional media.

    Citizen Journalism in Ferguson

    Ferguson case reveals media flaws in covering issues of race

    <a href="http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/25533-how-the-mainstream-media-helped-kill-michael-brownHow the mainstream media helped kill Michael Brown

    Pew research on coverage of Ferguson on Twitter and Cable media

    The Ferguson story if the mainstream media had its way

    If you understand what happened in Ferguson as one of the recent examples of white America’s ongoing oppression of African Americans which has been supported by white-owned media, the fact that Twitter (which by the way was being used by professional journalists on the ground, including one who was arrested) shows the utility of the internet for covering these sort of events, events which have not been covered in the past.

    White violence against Black communities in the U.S. in the past is unknown to many (and I know it is because I teach a lot of white students).

    ONE example, the Tulsa Race Riot where race riot means white people destroying Black businesses, communities, and homes. NOT covered in media; NOT taught in history.

    Journalism: White Man are everywhere

    THe Status of Women in U.S. Media 2014

    Rise of alternative media/newspapers among marginalized and oppressed groups. A few examples from the areas I know best.

    For example, Directory of African American Newspapers

    Native American media and sites

    And of course, Suffrage journals and memorabilia

    feminist magazines

    And just for fun: a great cultural history on the underground press and the mainstream media’s response to it in the U. S. during the 1960s: review in Wall Street Journal for those who need white male authority to say it might be worth looking at.

    Smoking Typewriters by John McMillian

    I don’t have many resources on activism by people with disabilities online because that’s something I’m still educating myself on–but I can also note a growing body of scholarship on social activism online that goes against the comfortable old narrative of the internet isn’t real, it’s not real activism, get out in the streets you lazy SJWs, etc. For one thing, the binary argument that if somebody is posting online they never do anything in their “real” life or that activists involved in community organization are never online often pops up to criticize progressives. The irony of the dominant group going online to tell people NOT to engage in activism online because it’s not real is….right next to bronzy and goldy.

    ObSF: Science fiction as a genre was born in the context of the Industrial Revolution which was also the context for the rise in print literary in the U.S. and the U.K., and the pulp magazines which were intended for a popular audience was often criticized. Fanzines and fan writings have been criticized as amateur. (Now, I’m not saying X is good–Sturgeon’s law applies to everything including professional media and academic scholarship). All of these spaces are challenges to the domination of public discourse by an elite establishment.

    The internet–big messy fascinating and complex as it is–also offers the opportunity for citizens to challenge power (and if it didn’t, you wouldn’t see so many places trying to limit access, or threaten bloggers).

  17. @Peace is my middle name
    I loved Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar. I am a huge Lovecraft fan and Cthulhu Mythos stories are my comfort reading. (And there are so many really good Lovecraftian anthologies coming out lately.) The reading pleasure I felt as I began to realize that this was a Pete and Dud sketch was wonderful. I re-read the story right away to enjoy it fully. I would love to find people who could do a killer imitation of Cook and Moore and stage this story. That and a full song parody of the Puppy kerfuffle using West Side Story. But topping that brilliant Officer Pupke parody of a week or so would be impossible.

  18. So I finnnnnnnnaaaaaalllly finished 3BP. It took me something like 2.5 weeks to get through the first half of the book. And I finished the second half in the last 36 hours.

    Damn thing gave Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 1 a run for the money at the Most Improved Latter Half Awards. I’m still digesting, but I think it just beat Ancillary Sword as well in my ballot.

    I think I’m gonna spend some time in the Making Light 3BP spoiler thread before I comment further, but man that was good. Can’t wait for the sequel.

  19. @David Langford –

    And your own ‘He Does The Time Police In Different Voices’ doesn’t count as a guilty pleasure but a genuine one! I will have to look out Wright’s Vogt though.

  20. Anna

    I think the whole point she is making is that no one in WSFS has the power to dictate terms, and this is a feature not a bug.

    Peace

    I think there will be a hardcore residue of haters gonna hate but it’s going to be an increasingly small number as the years go by; once things become ordinary it’s remarkably difficult to get people to see them as extraordinary.

    This is one of the reasons why extremists wheel out extremist rhetoric; they fear the whole process of getting to know your neighbours as people because you might like your neighbours as people, and once you’ve started liking your neighbours as people it’s very hard to regard them as loathsome objects…

  21. Kyra said

    I … I think the U.S. Supreme Court just legalized same-sex marriage.

    .

    YES! THEY DID! *inarticulate screaming ensues*

  22. Stevie on June 26, 2015 at 7:35 am said:

    Popcorn is good; sadly the sun is not yet far enough over the yardarm to break out the champagne but this is good news!

    My dad lived on his sailboat for about 18 years. He used to say: The beauty of a gaff-rigged boat is that you can put that yardarm where-ever the hell you want.

    His boat wasn’t gaff-rigged, but that never stopped him from having a morning beer.

  23. Stevie, the impression I got from what Morgan wrote was that WSFS “refuses to give anyone power”, so her implicit claim is that it does have some kind of power over members it won’t let be used. What that power is though, she doesn’t say.

  24. Quoting Kyra:

    I … I think the U.S. Supreme Court just legalized same-sex marriage.

    I keep looking for a catch.

    Although apparently all four of the “no” votes wrote dissenting opinions, which is pretty rare and probably an indication that the court got it right.

  25. Steven Schwartz’s five stories question, with Bruce Baugh’s addendum about why?
    (Well I managed to keep it to six authors and seven stories).

    Vonda McIntyre’s “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” – I’m not sure why this has stuck with me all these years. Perhaps because it made me understand at a gut level that people can be brave for themselves, but still be very foolish when it’s someone they love.

    John Varley’s “Press Enter” and
    Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” – the edged computer horror in both of these stories always stuck with me.

    Vernor Vinge’s “True Names” – the novella which imagined us all being here, talking, almost like warlocks on the other plane.

    Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Day Before the Revolution” – I read this after The Dispossessed and could never shake the first image of the story, of Laia/Odo looking at her feet as she struggled to get out of the bed in the morning.
    And I love her more recent “Finder” simply because it fills in answers to questions I’d forgotten had been nagging me since I’d first read of Earthsea, without being so neat that I feel cheated.

    Frederick Pohl’s “Outnumbering the Dead” – what would it be like to be a young immortal, when the living really do outnumber the dead?

  26. (Catching up, as I am freshly awakened. :))

    @Brian Z I want to figure something out — if you were local, I’d say “Let’s meet for a snack or a drink or somesuch” — because it’s clear we’re on the different side of things, or at least manage to get on each other’s nerves, yet your short story reading list and mine displayed a great deal of similarity.

    So I don’t know if if’s that we have tastes that overlap but not politics, or this is a case where online communication doesn’t work for us, for one reason or another.

    @McJulie

    Thank you — as a parent, what you said suddenly clicked; I spend enough energy dealing with small children without having to use the same techniques on other adults.

    @Alain — I am curious, as a big fan of Exchange of Hostages, what made you dislike it so?

  27. snowcrash on June 26, 2015 at 7:53 am said:

    Damn thing gave Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 1 a run for the money at the Most Improved Latter Half Awards.

    I recall watching That Episode with some friends and all of us leaning back stunned and saying “What just happened?”

  28. Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court decision:

    “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

  29. Stories whose authors I am too tired to even google:
    The Yellow Wallpaper
    The Monkey’s Paw
    Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge
    The Horla (wait, that was Maupassant, wasn’t it?)

    Stories whose titles I am too tired to even google:
    The O Henry one with the thing in the shed and the aunt.
    The Ambrose Bierce – I think – one with Pan and the stag.

    All horrorish rather than sf, I suppose, but awesome and formative, so find a bridge and get in line!

  30. Has anyone here read “Herland” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman?

    Kind of a slap at manly two-fisted adventurer SF and a hundred years old this year.

  31. @ whoever was looking for books for their YA person

    How about The Last Unicorn? It’s not YA but I can’t see there’s much objectionable in it, and it’s really lovely.

  32. Formulaic as all hell (Sharpe is romantically interested in you? Congratulations; you’re dead before the end of the book, unless you’re pregnant, in which case you’re dead shortly after childbirth), but enjoyable nonetheless.

    So it was like Bonanza?

  33. Five favorite short stories (some of these are up to novella length):

    ‘KJWALLL’KJE’K’KOOTHAILLL’KJE’K – Roger Zelazny (all caps in original)
    A Spanish Lesson – Lucius Shepard
    Sea Change with Monsters – Paul McAuley
    The Last Castle – Jack Vance
    Sredni Vashtar – Saki (Nigel, this is the one with the thing in the shed and the aunt that you thought was O Henry.)

    Honestly, I could have filled this list with just Zelazny. Or Willis. Or Waldrop. Or Bradbury. Or Cordwainer Smith. Or…

  34. “Microcosmic God” – Sturgeon…. One of the really neat stories from the “Science Fiction Hall of Fame” anthology

    “Four In One” – Knight… I was delighted to rediscover this in Silverberg’s “Science Fiction 101”, having read it as a kid in a library copy of some British anthology and failed to note the author or title

    “All Pieces of a River Shore” – Lafferty… Not one of his more famous stories but as I recall a lovely conceit nicely executed. I believe it appeared in one of the Orbit anthologies. I haven’t read it in decades.

    “This Peaceable Land” – Robert Charles Wilson… Powerful recent piece about race and history in the USA, which I’m sure will stay with me

    “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi” – Cadigan… I guess this is a novella but I think it’s about the best recent story of the hard-core “humans out in space” type that I know of.

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