Pixel Scroll 5/19/16 I Am Not In The Scroll Of Common Men

(1) DATA AND YAR AT TANAGRA. Seattle’s EMP Museum is opening Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds to the public on May 21. Tickets required.

Plus, be among the first to visit Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds and get an up-close look at more than 100 artifacts and props from the five Star Trek television series, spin-offs, and films, including set pieces from the original series like Captain Kirk’s command chair and the navigation console (on display for the first time to the public); Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and McCoy original series costumes; and the 6-foot U.S.S. Enterprise filming model from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Opening day is also when Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) and Brent Spiner (Data) will appear – additional charge for photos and autographs, naturally.

(2) OMAZE WINNER. SFWA’s Director of Operations Kate Baker learned during the Nebula conference that she was the Omaze winner, and will join Chris Pratt on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 set.

Tired and sweaty after hours of work, I sat down to check my phone as we planned to grab something to eat. There in my Twitter feed was a message from a new follower; Omaze. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the company, they partner with a celebrity and charity, design a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a random donor, (and here is the most important part) — raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for deserving charities around the world….

I quickly followed them back and responded. That’s when I found out that I was a finalist for the grand prize and to satisfy their partners and sponsors, they wanted to do a short Skype interview that evening.

Unable to contain my excitement, I rushed around my room, curling my hair, refreshing make-up, doing cartwheels, moving furniture, opening blinds, you know — normal things.

As 6:00 CST hit, I took a deep breath and answered the call….. That’s when they sprung the surprise.

 

(3) CLARKE AHEAD. Award Director Tom Hunter has posted at Medium “14 ways I’m thinking about the future of the Arthur C. Clarke Award”.

8. Governance & succession planning

As mentioned in my section on charitable status, the Clarke Award is currently administered by just 3 volunteers. Could we do more if we had more people involved?

A fair few people have promoted themselves to me as viable candidates over the years, but while many have been keen to have a say in the running of the award (or just like telling me they could do a better job with it) right now one of the reasons the award has weathered its troubles so well has been because of our ability to move faster on key decisions than a continual vote by committee model would likely have allowed us.

Still, as I look to the future again, there are many potential advantages to be gained from our increasing our board membership, not least the fact that when I first took this role a decade ago I only planned to stay for 5 years.

I changed my mind back then because of the need to build a new financial resilience into the award to keep it going, but one day sooner or later I intend to step down after I’ve recruited my replacement.

Padawans wanted. Apply here.

(4) ANTIQUE ZINE. This APA-L cover by Bea Barrio glowed in the dark when it was originally made – in the 1970s. Wonder if it still does?

https://twitter.com/highly_nice/status/732782065591160833

(5) MASKED MEN. Comic Book Resources boosts the signal: “Dynamite Announces ‘The Lone Ranger Meets the Green Hornet: Champions of Justice”.

What is the connection between the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet? Dynamite Entertainment’s new “The Lone Ranger Meets the Green Hornet: Champions of Justice” series has the answer. CBR can exclusively reveal that writer Michael Uslan and artist Giovanni Timpano are reuniting for the new series, a crossover 80 years in the making.

According to an official series description,

The first chapter, entitled “Return With Us Now,” creates a world of carefully researched alternative history in 1936. Readers will learn whatever happened to The Lone Ranger and discover his familial link to the emergence of a man who is a modern day urban version of The Lone Ranger himself. What is the blood connection of The Green Hornet to The Lone Ranger? What is the link of Olympic runner Jesse Owens to The Green Hornet? What role does Bat Masterson play in The Lone Ranger’s New York adventure? What intense rift tears a family apart just when America desperately needs a great champion of justice? The shocking answers lie in the landmark new series ‘The Lone Ranger Meets the Green Hornet: Champions of Justice!’

(6) DEARLY BELOVED. Lit Brick has done a comic about “If you were a dinosaur, my love”.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born May 19, 1944 — Before Peter Mayhew was Chewy he was Minaton in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, his first role.

Peter Mayhew in character

(8) FLORSCHUTZ OUT. Max Florschutz explains why he pulled his book from a contest: Unusual Events Has Been Removed From SPFBO 2016”.

All right, guys, it’s official. I just heard back from Mark Lawrence, the head of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, and now that the competition has begun, my book could not be moved to another reviewer, so instead, I’ve elected to withdraw my entry from the competition (for the reasons for doing so, see this post here). It’s sad that it had to be done, but I feel my reasons were sound.

Florschutz outlined reasons for asking for his book to be reassigned in a previous post, “When Did Ethnicity and Sex Become the Most Important Thing?”

Bear with me for a moment, and take a look at these few excerpts from a book review I read this morning, posted on a fantasy review blog (which you can find here, though I’m loathe to give them a link after perusing the site since it’s a little messed up). I’d been poking around the place since they are a participating member of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, a contest between 300 different self-published fantasy books, and Unusual Events is one of those titles. This site is the one that will be handling Unusual Events review.

I’m not sure how I feel about that now. In fact, I may request to have it passed to another site, since I’m pretty sure I can already see how its going to go. Because I’ve been reading their other reviews, and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Let’s look at some quotes:

Otherbound is that last sort of book.

I’m fairly certain I discovered it on Tumblr, recommended by one of those blogs which include lists of books that are commendable for their diversity.

Okay, that’s … interesting. A little background on the title. I guess that’s important? Let’s see what happens if we go further.

… fantasy novels are written by and about (and quite possibly for) white men who like running around with swords saving the world.

Uh-oh. Okay. Sensing a theme here, but—

As I said, it’s an incredible story, and honestly, I’d probably have loved the book even if both of the leads were white and straight.

Wait, what?

So they’re saying that it’s also likely that they wouldn’t have liked the book had the main characters been, to use their own words “white and straight”? The book would be inferior simply because of the color of the main character’s skin or their sexual orientation?

….Now, to get back to something I said earlier, I’m considering contacting the SPFBO 2016 ringleaders and asking to have my book moved to another reviewer. And no, it’s not because my book is “… written by and about (and quite possibly for) white men who like running around with swords saving the world.” because it isn’t. But more because now I know that there’s a very high chance that that fact is what the reviewer is going to fixate on regardless. My sex, and my ethnic heritage, as well as that of the characters I wrote, is going to matter to her more than the rest of what’s inside the book’s pages. More than the stories those characters experience, the trials that they undergo.

(9) TEACHING WRITING. “’Between Utter Chaos and Total Brilliance.’ Daniel José Older Talks About Teaching Writing in the Prison System” – a set of Older’s tweets curated by Leah Schnelbach at Tor.com.

(10) PURSUED. David M. Perry profiles Older at Pacific Standard “Daniel José Older and Progressive Science Fiction After Gamergate”.

The Internet trolls picked a bad week to call Daniel José Older “irrelevant.” As we meet in the opulent lobby of the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago, his young-adult book Shadowshaper is sitting on a New York Times bestseller list. He’s in town because the book was been nominated for the Andre Norton Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America, which is holding its annual Nebula conference in Chicago. Best of all, he’s just signed a contract for two sequels. There’s also his well-reviewed adult fiction, the “Bone Street Rumba” series. By no standard of publishing is this person irrelevant.

So why the trolls? They’re coming after Older for the same reason that he’s succeeding as a writer?—?his urban fantasy novels actually look like urban America (including the ghosts) and he’s got no patience for the bros who want to keep their fantasy worlds white.

(11) DAMN BREAK. Kameron Hurley charts the history of hydraulic pressure in sf: “The Establishment Has Always Hated The New Kids”.

…Though there has been momentum building for some time, a backlash against the backlash, I’d say it wasn’t until about 2013 when publishing started to catch up. Ann Leckie wrote a space opera (a woman wrote a space opera! With women in it! AND PEOPLE BOUGHT IT SHOCKING I KNOW AS IF NO ONE HAD BOUGHT LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS OR ANYTHING BY CJ CHERRYH OR OCTAVIA BUTLER), and it swept the awards. We Need Diverse Books was able to organize the conversation about the overwhelming whiteness of publishing, bringing together disparate voices into one voice crying out for change in who writes, edits, and publishes books, while the first Muslim Ms. Marvel comic book (written by a Muslim, even!) broke sales records.

The water has been building up behind the damn for a long time, and it’s finally burst.

Watching the pushback to this new wave of writers finally breaking out from the margins to the mainstream has been especially amusing for me, as I spent my early 20’s doing a lot of old-school SF reading, including reading SFF history (I will always think of Justine Larbalestier as the author of The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction). I was, of course, especially interested in the history of feminist science fiction. Women have always written SFF, of course, but the New Wave of the 60’s and 70’s brought with it an influx of women writers of all races and men of color that was unprecedented in the field (if still small compared to the overall general population of said writers in America). This was the age of Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler, Sam Delany, and nutty young upstarts like Harlan Ellison. These writers brought a much needed and refreshing new perspective into the field. They raised the bar for what science fiction was. And so the writing got better. The politics and social mores being dissected got more interesting and varied, as one would expect when you introduce a great wave of writers into a field that was happy to award the same handful of folks year after year. They shook up the field. They changed science fiction forever. The established pros had to write their hearts out to catch up….

(12) KEN LIU’S OPINION OF HOGWARTS. Rachel Swirsky did a “Silly Interview with Ken Liu who HAS THE SCHEMATICS for a Time Turner!”

RS: Speaking of Harry Potter, if you could send your kids to Hogwarts, would you?

KL: I’d have to ask my kids. Personally, I’m not a big fan of sending them away to boarding school because I want to spend more time with them. Parents get so little time with their children as is… But if they really want to go and learn magic, I’ll support them. And I hope they work hard to challenge the rather authoritarian system at Hogwarts and engage in campus activism.

(13) THERE WILL BE WALRUS. Steve Davidson did a silly interview of his own — with Timothy the Talking Cat, at Amazing Stories.

ASM: What kind of cat are you (alley, purebred,,,?), or is that kind of inquiry offensive?  Do cats themselves make such distinctions?

TTTC: I’m glad you asked. Some people have claimed that I am a British Shorthair cat. However, my cousin had a DNA test and apparently my family are actually the rare French Chartreux breed. This is an important distinction and finally shows what liars those people are who have accused me of being a Francophobe, ‘anti-French’ and/or in some way prejudiced against France, the French and anything remotely Gallic. People need to understand that when I point out that France is a looming danger to all right thinking people in America and other countries as well, like maybe Scotland or Japan. I really can’t stress this enough – the French-Squirrel axis is real and it is plotting against us all. This why Britain needs to leave the European Union right now. I have zero tolerance for those who say we should wait for the referendum – that is just playing into their hands. But understand I am not anti-French as my DNA proves. Squirrels like to say ‘Timothy you are such a Francophobe’ as if that was a dialectical argument against my well thought out positions. They have no answer when I point out that I am MORE French than Charles DeGaulle. Squirrels just can’t think straight about these things. Notice that if you even try and type ‘Francophobe’ your computer will try to turn it into ‘Francophone’ – that is how deep the Franco-Squirrel conspiracy goes. Squirrel convergence happens at high levels in IT companies these days – that is how I lost my verification tick on Twitter.

I don’t talk to other cats these days. Frankly many of them are idiots….

(14) HENRY AND ERROL. The editors of Galactic Journey and File 770. Two handsome dudes – but ornery.

(15) CRITERIA. Dann collects his thoughts about “That Good Story” at Liberty At All Costs.

In a conversation I am having at File 770, I was asked to define what makes a science fiction/fantasy book “great” for me.  Rather than losing these radiant pearls of wisdom to the effluence of teh intertoobery, I thought I would cement them here in my personal record….

Stay Away From Check Boxes Whoo boy.  I can smell trouble burning at the other end of the wire already.

“Check box” fiction really undermines the quality of my reading experience.  What is “check box” fiction?  It is a story that includes elements indicating diversity in the cast of characters that has zero impact on the the story.

In a reverse of the above, I’d like to suggest N.K. Jemisin’s “The Fifth Season” as a good example of not doing “check box” fiction.  One cluster of protagonists included a character that is straight, one that is seemingly bi-sexual, and one that is decidedly homosexual.  They have a three-way.

And while the more patently descriptive passages of those events didn’t do much for me, the fact that their respective sexuality helped inform their motivations and moved the story forward made the effort in describing their sexuality worthwhile reading.  She also did a reasonable job at expressing how physical appearances differed based on regionalism.  [There were one or two other moments that could be considered “check box(es)”, but for the most part it wasn’t a factor in this book.]

IMHO, including a character that is “different” without having that difference impact the story is at the very least a waste of time that detracts from the story and at the very worst insultingly dismissive of the people that possess the same characters.

(16) IT AIN’T ME BABE. The Guardian got some clickbait from speculating about the identity of Chuck Tingle. Vox Day denies it’s him. Zoë Quinn doesn’t know who it is. The reporter, despite taking 2,000 words of interview notes, also is none the wiser.

Theories abound online: is Tingle Lemony Snicket? The South Park boys? Some sort of performance artist – perhaps the “Banksy of self-published dinosaur erotica” as someone once called him on Twitter? Last year, Jon Tingle – apparently the son of Chuck – appeared on a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread to share unsettling insights into his father: “Yes, my father is very real. He is an autistic savant, but also suffers from schizophrenia. To make it very clear, my father is one of the gentlest, sweetest people you could ever meet and is not at all dangerous, although he does have a history of SELF harm … I would not let him be the butt of some worldwide joke if I didn’t have faith that he was in on it in some way. Regardless, writing and self-publishing brings him a lot of joy.” If this is all a joke, it’s hard to know where it starts or where to laugh….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., JJ, and Tom Hunter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]

328 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/19/16 I Am Not In The Scroll Of Common Men

  1. Xtifr on May 20, 2016 at 12:30 am said:
    I don’t really want characters going on and on about their sex/race/preference if it’s not vaguely plot-relevant, even if they’re straight white males!

    This calls for extensive quotes from this wonderful piece:

    The 190lb adult male human being nodded his head to indicate satisfaction and returned to his bedroom by walking there. Still asleep in the luxurious four-poster bed of the expensive $10 million house was beautiful wife Mrs Brown. Renowned author Dan Brown gazed admiringly at the pulchritudinous brunette’s blonde tresses, flowing from her head like a stream but made from hair instead of water and without any fish in. She was as majestic as the finest sculpture by Caravaggio or the most coveted portrait by Rodin. I like the attractive woman, thought the successful man.

  2. I note that @alexvdl is so deep in his hate-on that he can’t actually read the post and wrongly assumes the complaint is bias against diversity. When in fact the complaint is bias in favour of it.

    Grow up, Alex.

  3. How much Tingle would a Chuck Tingle Tingle if Chuck Tingle could Chuck Tingle?

  4. @ GSLamb

    If it adds nothing to a story, I should not have to read multiple times about a specific characters’ gender/race/sexuality/politics/etc. By all means, have as diverse a cast as you wish, but do not feel the need to constantly remind me of this if it does not serve the story.

    This spins my mind off in two somewhat different directions, both predicated on the fact that a person (including a character) *is* their gender/race/sexuality/politics/etc. 24/7, and that it can’t help being reflected in their life and experiences. On the most trivial level, except in the case of books written with specific literary conceits to conceal character gender (e.g., Sarah Cauldwell’s Hilary Tamar mysteries), the reader (of fiction written in a language with the relevant grammatical characteristics) will be constantly reminded of a character’s gender every time a pronoun is used. (Or in some languages, every time the character is described with a gender-inflected adjective.)

    On a less trivial level, in any cultural setting where gender/race/sexuality/etc. are treated differentially, then I would expect any well-written character to reflect those differences in a consistent and pervasive manner. The very ability of a character to ignore the ways in which gender/race/sexuality/etc. affects their life *is* a feature of their identity and background.

    If those features “add nothing to a story” that’s a fault of story-telling, but not a fault of the identity of the character.

  5. #4: the throwaway “wonder if it still glows” comment sent me down a rabbit hole. I knew that a radium coating would degrade with time, but I had never considered how long a simple “expose-to-light-to-glow-in-the-dark” phosphorescent material would last.

    After some googling, I’ll go out on a limb and say that the glow effect is caused by “novelty grade” zinc sulfate mixed with copper, and will have faded within 3-4 years.

    Lifespan of ZnS found in this FAQ. Other interesting links found during the search include a discussion on different materials (some radioactive, some not) used on watch dials, an article on the same topic, another company FAQ, and the Wikipedia entry on a superior replacement for ZnS.

    (Edit to add this one.)

  6. @J-Grizz:

    Michael J Fox has no Tingle in him.

    Nice! In the immortal words of Captain America, “I understood that reference.”

  7. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    Gah, I hated The Da Vinci Code with a passion because of that page long full character bio for even minor walk on parts. Only reason I finished it un-thrown was it was given to me by an elderly relative. Even then I had to dance around the subject of whether I liked it.

  8. I am secretly Chuck Tingle. So secretively that even I, myself, do not know it. My cats probably do know, but won’t tell me, because cats.

    Even more, now, I want to hand out ribbons at MACII that say “secretly Chuck Tingle” and companion ribbons that say “definitely not Chuck Tingle.” The first ribbon should clearly be rainbow-colored. What about the second, though? Black, maybe?

    If I do do this, who all wants ribbons? Also, anybody have a favorite place to get ribbons from?

  9. James Moar on May 20, 2016 at 5:19 am said:

    But seriously, I hear a lot about “check box” fiction, but don’t recall every reading one. Are there actual examples?

    I think Erwin Schrodinger wrote a famous example.

    That’s not check box fiction, that’s cat box fiction.

    My cat has confessed to being Chuck Tingle. But I don’t have a cat.

  10. Because if you’re used to thinking of straight white male as normal to the point of invisibility then any other kind of character is going to draw your attention as “unusual”. And because they’ve drawn your attention you’re going to expect their unusual-ness to be significant in some way because, otherwise, what was the point of drawing your attention to it?

    Okay, I want credit for (just now) coining the term “Chekhov’s Lesbian.”

  11. ‘Definitely not Chuck Tingle’ ribbons should be velociraptor-coloured.

  12. I am not Chuck Tingle. Or Camestros Felapton. Or Timothy The Talking Cat. But I decline to answer whether or not I am Hampus Eckerman…

  13. We here at File770 would know ‘check box’ fiction as ‘Godstalk’ fiction.

  14. The pixel in the parcel hides the scroll with the troll
    But the file with the pile is the zine that is keen.

  15. …you do know that if your Chuck Tingles for more than 4 hours, you should consult a physician….

    ###

    Checkbox Fiction:

    There were three people in the room when I arrived, and, being a ________ of _______ heritage myself, I was uncomfortable in the presence of a _______ from _____ who was obviously a ________ ________, that person’s probable partner who must have been a _________ if looks are anything to go by and a rather imposing _________ who had to be of pure _________ stock, judging by their looks.

    Clearly, I was not on the _______ continent anymore. Maybe I was’t even on ________.

  16. @Darren Garrison Okay, I want credit for (just now) coining the term “Chekhov’s Lesbian.”

    Granted as far as I’m concerned. Best I could come up with was “Chekhov interruptus” for the source of the annoyance.

  17. Granted as far as I’m concerned. Best I could come up with was “Chekhov interruptus” for the source of the annoyance.

    Okay, let’s codify it– Chekhov’s Lesbian: if a character in fiction is portrayed as a member of a minority group, that character’s minority status must become a relevant plot point before the end of the story. (Term used sarcastically.)

  18. Does it make me very sad if I say I looked at “Chekhov’s Lesbian” and thought “ah, so that’s why he broke up with Irina Galliulin” ?

  19. @HRJ: Exactly.

    The degree to which anyone’s background or appearance or whatever features in the story without directly being part of the main plot may well depend on the genre, author style*, and so forth. I write historical romance novels, and thus mention the main characters’ appearance and clothing more, and in more detail, than I might if I was writing a hard-sf short story. There are authors for whom background and culture is important, and others who are much more “bare-bones” in their approach. All are valid–but assuming that anyone unmarked is a white guy, or assuming that all mentions of race/gender/etc which don’t have plots centered around them are the equivalent of the three paragraphs about castle buttresses in bad fantasy, betrays a lot about the person making those arguments.

    tl;dr: if you don’t fuss about the male cop in an action movie showing a picture of his wife and kids so it’s sad when he gets shot later, you shouldn’t fuss about a female cop doing the exact same thing.

    * Also whether the author is being paid by the word/has signed a contract for books of a specific length, to mention a more sordid aspect of things.

  20. Cheap eBook Alert:

    Just discovered that “Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 2,” which was guest edited by Kathe Koja and features works from Julio Cortazar, Jean Muno, Karen Joy Fowler, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Nick Mamatas, Carmen Maria Machado, and Nathan Ballingrud is available in a digital edition for $2.99 from Amazon.

  21. Hey, File 770…ians? Sorry for injecting a bit of self-promotion into the proceedings, but I could really use some help with a thing that I think might be of interest to the group at large.

    I know a number of you were interested in my Sad Puppy satire, if not my general coverage of that whole topic. I’m trying my level best to make it to WorldCon this year, but as a mostly crowdfunded and self-published author who spent a lot of working time and energy on the puppy messes without a tangible return, I’m having a hard time finding the means to justify it.

    So I’ve decided to let the masses decide. I’ve set up a GoFundMe to help me and my partner get to WorldCon and pay the sundry expenses related to being there, and for every $150 this campaign receives, I will put up an additional book review or similar piece of topical satire.

    Thank you!

  22. Alexandra: I went to GoFundMe to give you some money, but the page says “Campaign Not Found” (based on the link above).

    Pounding on the obvious butt: I can’t give you money even if I wanted to (which I wanted to, but you know, there’s this thing about consumers and immediate gratification and removing all obstacles to a sale and such….)

    🙂 – FYI

  23. 15) So people who aren’t like Dann have to have some explicit impact on the story in order to have his permission to be in it at all. This is just the “straight white male default” dressed up in a frilly pink tutu. I know a lot of people who aren’t straight white dudes who don’t have any particular impact on the story. They EXIST, and that’s enough for me. Too bad it’s not enough for Dann. People aren’t ticky boxes.

  24. Ha ha ha. Someone is so Mad Online that they decided to look me up on Twitter to complain that I denigrated Mark Lawrence.

    When I then pointed out that they should read the follow on comment where I apologized for it, they told me

    “just can’t put your hand up to being a knee jerk… sad.”

    So, here and now, I am going to put my hand up and say “I am being a knee jerk.”

  25. Tingle, tingle, little star,
    How I wonder who you are!
    Chuck above the butt so high,
    With a pounding in the sky.

  26. Chekhov’s Lesbian: if a character in fiction is portrayed as a member of a minority group, that character’s minority status must become a relevant plot point before the end of the story. (Term used sarcastically.)

    Chuckhov’s Raptor: The dinosaur must go off in the third act.

    (PS, I am Chuck Tingle on alternate Wednesdays.)

  27. @Amoxtli,

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I would prefer NOT to be in the room when Chuck Tingle’s Raptor “goes off”.

  28. “I’m wondering if we’ll see I AM CHUCK TINGLE and I AM NOT CHUCK TINGLE ribbons at Worldcon this year.”

    I AM SECRETLY NOT CHUCK TINGLE

  29. Lets sponsor Alexandra against a reading of 1-2 reviews in Park 770!

  30. @ Ghostbird: And because they’ve drawn your attention you’re going to expect their unusual-ness to be significant in some way because, otherwise, what was the point of drawing your attention to it?

    That really clarified some things for me. What you’re saying here is that it’s a misapplication of Chekhov’s Gun — that a reader who thinks of “straight white male” as the character default is going to expect that any deviation from that norm must be an Important Story Point, and if it’s not, that’s a flaw. As opposed to “people who aren’t straight white dudes exist, and sometimes they just show up where you happen to be”.

    @ Rail: This is the 15% phenomenon when it happens outside of a college classroom. (There are multiple studies, over a period of about 30 years, showing that in a college classroom setting, if women contribute more than 15% of the class discussion they are perceived as “dominating the conversation”.)

    @ tofu: Bujold’s Ethan of Athos postulates a world populated only by men, who use medical technology to reproduce without the need for women. Of course, it also postulates that many of these men have loving, committed sexual relationships with each other, and that’s not really a Major Plot Point, so I suppose Dann wouldn’t like it.

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