Pixel Scroll 12/8/17 Is There A Hologram On My Shuttlecraft That Says ‘Dead Klingon Storage’?

(1) CHECK-IN. The 1954 Worldcon chair Les Cole and Esther Cole, who live in the vicinity of the Ventura, CA fires answered Rich Lynch’s query about how they are doing —

Thanks for asking. Les and I and doggies are OK. Fire went passed us. The air is heavy, so we stay indoors. Much of southern California is rough.

(2) HERBERT MAY BE HONORED BY HOMETOWN. Metro Parks Tacoma Public Information Manager Michael Thompson says a recommendation to name a local peninsula “Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park” and its loop trail “Frank Herbert Trail” probably will go to the Park Board for a vote in January. The proposal has been working its way through the system for some time. The News Tribune has an update: “‘Dune’ author Frank Herbert finally set to get his due in his hometown of Tacoma”:

While the Metro Parks Board will have the final say on the matter — and it’s the elected body’s prerogative to deviate or tweak — it’s clear that the public has spoken, and Metro Parks’ staff has attempted to listen. During a public outreach effort earlier this year, more than 500 possible names were submitted via an online survey. The majority of responses referenced Herbert or “Dune.”

“This name provides a simple, evocative identifier that highlights the uniqueness of the peninsula remediation and new park features,” according to the staff recommendation. “On a literary level, it honors the name of the book series by Frank Herbert, a famous Tacoma author, which was inspired by the environmental history of Tacoma’s Asarco copper smelter site, directly adjacent to the peninsula.”

Last month, Thompson helped a local radio reporter tour the peninsula with park commissioner Erik Hanberg. “‘Dune’ And The City Of Destiny: How Tacoma Inspired One Of The World’s Most Acclaimed Sci-Fi Authors”.

If you go to the base of Point Defiance in Tacoma and look east, you’ll see a finger of earth jutting into Puget Sound.

It formed as toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city’s industrial heyday.

For years, it was a foreboding sliver of black, glassy material. Today, workers and machines roam the peninsula as they transform it into a grassy park with Puget Sound views.

Tacoma Metro Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg has a space-age term for what’s going on there. He calls it “terraforming.”

(3) BACK TO THE STACK. Doris V. Sutherland does a good job framing the issues in “Rocket Stack Rumpus: Critics, Authors, and Non-Binary Science Fiction” accompanied by light analysis. Sutherland concludes:

Greg Hullender responded by writing an apology-cum-rebuttal in collaboration with Eric Wong and altering the offensive reviews. Despite this, he has paid a high price for his faux pas. Locus decided that he was unfit to recommend stories to readers and removed him from its reading list jury, making the following announcement on Twitter.

Thank you to those who brought their concerns about RSR to our attention. Greg Hullender will not be involved in the Locus Recommended Reading List. We support our wonderfully complex and diverse SF community, and hope for continued positive dialogue on these issues.

The reference to positive dialogue seems out-of-place. The Rocket Stack Rumpus marks a breakdown in communications all around, from a reviewer missing the point of the stories he was covering, to authors misreading his reviews in turn. Meanwhile, the issue of Rocket Stack Rank’s provincial approach to stories set against non-Western cultural backdrops–as flagged up by Rose Lemberg in this Twitter thread–ended up being lost alongside Hullender’s misunderstanding of non-binary SF, which is perhaps a secondary issue.

There may well be positive dialogue to come out of the controversy, but at the present moment, there is little of it to be seen.

(4) MEAT AND PROPER. Autocorrect is being blamed rather than legislators falling down on the job: ” Typo in Bill C-45 legalizes cannibalism instead of cannabis”.

Canada is one step closer to the accidental legalization of cannibalism after the House of Commons passed a typo-ridden Bill C-45, formerly known as The Cannabis Act.

“I think no one wanted to be the one to point out the error,” MP Sara Anderson said. “We all thought someone else would do it, and then they called the vote, and here we are, all voting to legalize cannibalism.”

(5) RADICAL CHANGE. If this catches on, Twitter will get awfully quiet.

(6) ANDERS STORY COLLECTION. At Locus Online, “Rachel Swirsky reviews Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders”.

Anders’s unique humor provides a uniting theme. Only some of the stories are explicitly comic, but all benefit from her linguistic wit and her quirky but generous characterization. Her stories seem to say with affection, “People. We’re weird. What can you do?” She’s particu­larly good at tailoring prose to her characters, revealing their lives through their diction. Char­acters go to “one of those mom-and-pop Portu­guese places” and “the kinda-sorta gay bar.”

(7) MCDUFFIE AWARD OPEN. The 4th Annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is taking entries until December 31.

Please attach a link or a 15mb .PDF file of the work to be considered. When submitting work, we strongly suggest sending the first issue of a series. If submitting anything other than the first issue, a one-page synopsis of what came before must accompany the submission. Also, we suggest sending the first 25-30 pages or first chapter of a graphic novel. We cannot guarantee anything more will be considered. If one is available, please also attach a .JPG photo of the entrant to the email. Please do not include any further attachments.

The award’s three new selection committee members are Jennifer de Guzman, Jamal Igle and Mikki Kendall, who join Mark D. Bright, Joan Hilty, Heidi MacDonald, Kevin Rubio, Gail Simone, and Will J. Watkins.

(8) ELIGIBILITY POSTS. Cat Rambo is doing her annual award eligibility post round-up, this year including editors, publishers, and magazines: “2017 Award-Eligible Work Blog Posts & Roundups for F&SF”. Right now there are about 20 entries on the list. She will be doing daily updates.

(9) CLASS TOMORROW. Cat Rambo says there is still space, including a couple of free slots, in the December 9 class “Speculative Poetry with Rachel Swirsky”.

Next classes are Saturday, December 9 – 9:30-11:30 AM or Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 4-6 PM. (Each class is a separate session.)

Poetry requires intense linguistic control. Every word matters. Whether you’re a poet who wants to create fantastical verses, or a prose writer who wants to learn the finely tuned narrative power that poetry can teach, you’ll find something in this class.

(10) WRITER’S LIFE. A short interview with Ursula K. Le Guin at Shelf Awareness:

Who do you write your blog for? Do you ever read the comments, and if so, what do you learn from them, if anything?

I write them for anybody who wants to read them. (Writers live in hope.)

Yes, sure, I read all the comments. They’re mostly good-natured, and some are thoughtful and enlightening.

You say that dystopian literature is yang-driven, and its opposite–utopian literature–is also yang-driven. Is there a literature that presents a realistically complex vision of a world in balance? Or is that just fantasy?

Of course it’s just fantasy. That’s why I write fantasy…

(11) NOBODY LIKES BEING SLAPPED. Cat Rambo, talking about writers and audiences: “Nattering Social Justice Cook: This Is Not A Review”.

So why did this book hit me so hard in an unhappy place? Because it was so smart and funny and beautifully written and involved connected stories about a favorite city and magic, which are three of my favorite things. And because it had a chapter that was one of the best short stories about addiction that I’ve read, and that left me thinking about it in a way that will probably shape at least one future story.

And yet. And yet. And yet. Women were either powerful and unfuckable for one reason or another or else fell into the category marked “women the protagonist sleeps with”, who usually didn’t even get a name. Moments of homophobic rape humor, marked by a repeated insistence on the sanctity of the hero’s anus, and a scene in which he embraces being thought gay in order to save himself from a terrible fate, ha ha, isn’t that amusing. And I’m like…jesus, there is so much to love about this book but it’s like the author reaches out and slaps me away once a chapter or so.

(12) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • December 8, 1991 Hook premieres in Hollywood.

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born December 8, 1950 – Rick Baker, the Monster Maker

(14) COMICS SECTION.

  • John King Tarpinian saw that First Contact isn’t going too well in Close To Home.

(15) END OF THE MAZE. Maze Runner: The Death Cure comes to theaters January 26.

In the epic finale to the Maze Runner saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.

 

(16) CONTRARIAN. Go figure. While Patreon was in flames yesterday, Jon Del Arroz climbed aboard — “Jon Del Arroz Patreon Launch!”.

(17) EWW. It’s admittedly a mixed message when I say “Don’t look!” then put in a link anyway — “Here’s What It Looks Like When You Fry Your Eye In An Eclipse”.

“We were very surprised at how precisely concordant the imaged damage was with the crescent shape of the eclipse itself,” noted Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, a retina surgeon at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York, in an email to NPR.

He says this was the most severely injured patient they saw after the eclipse. All in all, 22 people came to their urgent care clinic with concerns about possible eclipse-related damage, and most of them complained of blurred vision. Of those, only three showed some degree of abnormality in the retina. Two of them had only mild changes, however, and their symptoms have gone away.

The young woman described in this case report, at last check, still has not recovered normal vision.

(18) SUPPORTING SPACE EXPLORATION. Bill Nye says The Planetary Society’s latest collaboration with the Chop Shop store is mission posters for kids, like this one:

(19) TENTACLE TIME. In the garden: “‘Underwater city’ reveals mysterious octopus world”.

Once thought of as solitary creatures, scientists discover ‘underwater city’ full of octopuses living side by side

A couple of assumptions are often made about octopuses. First, that they are smart. There is truth in that: octopus behaviour such as tool use, predation techniques and puzzle-solving suggest a higher level of intelligence than other invertebrates. Everyone has watched an octopus unscrewing a jar.

Second, they have a reputation for being solitary. So solitary in fact that an official collective noun for octopuses doesn’t even exist (though ‘tangle’ has been suggested).

This may have to change, however. Over the last decade, scientists have discovered that octopuses aren’t always lone beasts. In fact, octopuses engage in rich, fascinating and unusual behaviours when they interact with each other.

(20) PATREON SURVIVOR, IF POSSIBLE. Cat Rambo is weathering the storm by asking readers how to add more value to her Patreon campaign (and also whether or not to bail from it): https://www.patreon.com/catrambo

Cat She says, “I’ve lost about 15% of my income from there so far, but I’m a very minor player. however if there is something the F&SF is not seeing from me but desperately yearns for, now’s the time to weigh in: “Patreon Changes”.

(21) FRONT PAGE NEWS. I have added to the File 770 sidebar a link to John Hertz’ review of The Glass Bead Game (Hesse), which has found a permanent online home.

(22) KRYPTON. SyFy has put out a teaser trailer for its series about Superman’s homeworld. ScienceFiction.com sums it up:

The series is set two generations before the destruction of the Man of Steel’s home planet. ‘Krypton’ follows Superman’s grandfather (Cameron Cuffe), whose House of El was ostracized and shamed, as he fights to redeem his family’s honor and save his world from chaos. The Seg-El name is both a nod to Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and a reference to John Byrne’s 1980s miniseries, ‘The World of Krypton.’ Cameron Cuffe is set to play Seg-El alongside with Georgina Campbell as Lyta Zod.

 

(23) THE DARK SIDE. Charles Payseur turns his attention to dark fantasy and horror in “Quick Sips – The Dark #31”.

December brings a pair of stories to The Dark Magazine that focus sharply on observation and theater. In both, women drawn into roles where they are closely watched by men, and in both these experiences are further framed in terms of a sort of voyeurism. In one, a woman is filed, in the other, a woman is part of a play. Both feature stages and bring the reader in as spectators and in some ways as participants. We are the eyes that act as camera and as audience.

(24) BLOW BY BLOW. Sci-Fi Design has a gallery of “Comic Book Covers Recreated Using Balloons”.

Comic book cover art is awesome. They use a variety of styles, but have you ever seen comic book covers that are made from balloons? These awesome balloon sculptures as comic book covers were created by Phileas Flash. They take days to make and the pieces themselves fit into a 10 foot by 10-foot space. Then photoshop is used to add the letters which are also balloons. I love all of the detail that he gets with this unusual medium.

(25) POP CULTURE SUMMIT. Rolling Stone took notes: “Alice Cooper on His Dinner With David Bowie and Ray Bradbury”.

After Cooper’s initial meeting with Bowie in the late Sixties, they later forged a friendship. Once, they even had dinner together with Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury. “It was really interesting, because these guys were in outer space somewhere,” he says. “They were talking about quantum physics, and I’m going, ‘So … what kind of car are you driving?'” Cooper laughs.

(26) CAMERON PROJECT. Alita: Battle Angel Official Trailer.

From filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez. Alita Battle Angel is in theaters July 20, 2018. Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson.

 

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Cat Rambo, Greg Hullender, David K.M. Klaus, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, Rich Lynch, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Darren Garrison.]

42 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/8/17 Is There A Hologram On My Shuttlecraft That Says ‘Dead Klingon Storage’?

  1. That damned shoggoth in the File 770 time machine. I see that it’s been eating the dates again.

  2. (3) Good overview of the unconscious gender bias going through RSR, though I’m having trouble with the coda of “which is perhaps a secondary issue”. I have no clue on how that is to be interpreted, and most of the interpretations I see I disagree with.

    (4) Part of the job of being a politician is being able to say and argue for unpopular but needful things. If they don’t have the courage to point out issues like this, what good are they for then?

  3. *sigh* Between RSR, Patreon, and other past, present, and presumably future kerfuffles, I’m working up a strong urge for a t-shirt that says: STOP ARGUING, I’M TRYING TO READ.

    (This probably came to mind at this particular moment because I finally got around to StoryBundles and HumbleBundles I’d bought but not downloaded. I thought there were, like, eight or nine bundles waiting. Total: 14 StoryBundles, 4 HumbleBundles, over 200 books. Not all of which I’ll ever get around to, but probably at least a fifth of the offerings are ones I have a strong faunch to read. That’s still 40 more books on the TBR pile.)

  4. I’m woefully behind in posting my novel mini-reviews, but I’d like to post this one while it’s still fresh.

    Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, by Zoë Quinn (non-fiction)

    This is a fast, absorbing read. Do not expect it to be a deeply-detailed memoir. Part of it details what she went through with GamerGate, and the online and real-life abuse to which she (and her family members, and her friends, and anyone who had ever been seen exchanging two words with her) was subjected, and how she managed to cope with it enough to survive, however precariously. Part of it describes ways in which you can pre-emptively protect yourself from doxxing and abuse — and then how to deal with abuse if it happens. And part of it details how to support people who are being abused, depending on how well you know them (especially if you don’t know them personally). There are some things in that last section which readers may find surprising.

    Quinn is an extremely thoughtful (in the “giving the issues deep consideration and providing insightful analysis” sense) person, and an incredibly articulate writer. A lot of what she says made me reconsider some of my personal perceptions about how abuse occurs, and how it should be handled. Part of her stance is that it should always be approached in terms of bad behaviors rather than bad people — but that the abuser may or may not be susceptible to seeing the light and changing their ways, so the emphasis should always be on what best helps the targets to survive and heal.

    Quinn is pretty open and honest about her own flaws and bad behaviors — both past and present — and the acknowledgment that we all are part of the problem, and therefore need to work to be part of the solution. She openly acknowledges that her own experience is one of white privilege, and cautions against taking her experiences as representative of those faced by other women, POC, LGBTQ, mentally- and physically-disabled, and other marginalized persons; reading her book is only one step toward understanding and combatting online abuse, not an end in itself. She provides suggestions of other people whose writings are a good start in understanding other perspectives. And she is adamant that the response to hate campaigns and doxxing should not be to engage in the same techniques against the abusers.

    I was not aware that in the wake of her abuse she had created the Crash Override Network, which includes an online website with resources to help people who are being abused, and a staff of volunteers with credentials and experience in assisting people who are trying to navigate the results of campaigns of abuse. This is a tremendous resource, one which should be signal-boosted. It was unsurprising, but disheartening, to find out just how little willingness big corporations like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Google, etc. have demonstrated to combat abuse, versus their zeal for combatting copyright infringement of big media company properties.

    For Worldcon members, there is a lovely little Easter Egg at the end:

    [Chuck Tingle] had been nominated for the highest award in science fiction, the Hugo, as a joke by the same batch of people who hate me. It was part of a larger slate of vote-manipulated nominations as a coordinated push to keep progressive voices down while propping up books with titles like “SJWs Always Lie”. They had done the same thing the previous year, basically ruining the Hugos for a lot of people in the sci-fi and fantasy world.

    Chuck and I had been working on a game together… [he] never breaks character, even in private, so when he asked me to potentially accept the award on his behalf to infuriate the people who had nominated him and hate me, I immediately accepted. Weeks of shenanigans and pranks on the hateful nerds who were hoist by their own petards followed.

    When the actual Hugos rolled around, I went to the convention without knowing anyone. People were overjoyed that I had actually shown up and were decked out in costumes with all kinds of shout-outs to Chuck’s work. Attendees expressed joy and relief that this year wouldn’t be another miserable event. Even through the actual awards show, jokes at the neo-Nazis’ expense were made, and a bunch of my new sci-fi friends noted how much levity the whole goof brought to the proceedings.

    It was powerful to see how comedy and art could bring a type of healing to people that my work with Crash often couldn’t.

     
    I would recommend this book to anyone who has been a target of online abuse, who wants to protect themselves online, or who wants to be an ally to those who have been / are being abused. It is almost certainly going to be on my Hugo ballot for Best Related Work.

  5. 4) This sounds like a book plot. Secret organization of magicians mind controlling parliament and getting them to pass legislation to legalize canabalism which will increase their powers.

  6. 8) I have to do one myself. After all, “What I did on my Summer Vacation: The 2017 DUFF Report” IS eligible for Best Related Work, and I am personally eligible for Best Fan Writer. To say nothing of Skiffy and Fanty being eligible for Best Fancast.

    16) The way things are going, Mr. Del Arroz will be the greatest Hispanic writer…on Patreon, anyway

  7. (17) You’re just treating us as if we were actually adults. We have the link, and we have your advice. I’m going with your advice.

    (4) I honestly don’t understand how anyone who noticed that typo managed not to cry out, in a loud voice, Hey, wait!

    (19) Octopus cities. Well, that kills the plan of moving into the oceans. The octopuses have already claimed it. Best not annoy them!

  8. [4] I see the problem. They should have used the full name, Cannibal saliva.

    [5] “Dreaming of a White Christ…”
    Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.

    [19] A tangle of octopuses sounds uncomfortably like a Rat King. Do not want to see those cute invertebrate arms do that. (Maybe the collective noun could be ‘army.’)

    I watched COWBOYS AND ALIENS on cable the other night, and was rather amused with the scene where Olivia Wilde tells Harrison Ford, “I told you not to look.” You know they always want to look.

  9. @2: +1 to

    “I really want to see it be Frank Herbert Park,” he said. “It’s not just ‘Dune.’ It’s much bigger. It’s about the person.”

    Dune is about ecology as a science; other works cover ecology as a concern, when (AFAICR) no other authors were doing so. The park name should recognize all of the work, not just the media spectacular.

  10. (4)

    But people have always eaten people,
    What else is there to eat?
    If the Juju had meant us not to eat people,
    He wouldn’t have made us of meat!

    Flanders and Swann, The Reluctant Cannibal

  11. (4) Everyone is aware that The Beaverton is a parody news source, yes? It will still be safe to visit Canada. We will not eat you, I promise.

    *quickly hides utensils, condiments, and TASTY BRAINS bib*

  12. Dawn Incognito on December 9, 2017 at 11:12 am said:

    (4) Everyone is aware that The Beaverton is a parody news source, yes? It will still be safe to visit Canada. We will not eat you, I promise.

    *quickly hides utensils, condiments, and TASTY BRAINS bib*

    Says the Canadian – the country that has been been busy convincing Americans to pour maple syrup on their bacon and then coat themselves in applesauce.

  13. (3) Not really looking to get into a huge back and forth on this.

    I have appreciated Greg’s demeanor towards me. He has never been anything less than courteous despite our obvious differences of opinion.

    IMHO, he and Eric did nothing to deserve the level of heat currently being tossed his way.

    I cannot in good conscience be the beneficiary of his graciousness without offering some modest support when his character is being questioned.

    Regards,
    Dann

  14. Dawn Incognito: (4) Everyone is aware that The Beaverton is a parody news source, yes?

    Uhhhhh…..

    They got me, buddy!

  15. Dann: I cannot in good conscience be the beneficiary of his graciousness without offering some modest support when his character is being questioned.

    It’s not his character which is being questioned, it’s his behavior. I think that the fact that he keeps using the words “we” and “us”, when he is the only one who writes the reviews on RSR, indicates a continued unwillingness to fully acknowledge and accept responsibility that his behavior in his reviews has been the problem. However, he does seem to have been making an effort to learn and change.

    It’s nice that you support him. But I kind of have to wonder if you also support Harvey Weinstein and think that he also doesn’t deserve the level of heat currently being tossed his way, since he’s never sexually assaulted you personally.

    “I’ve never been on the receiving end of it, therefore this person has done nothing to deserve the backlash they are receiving” is a rather questionable stance, don’t you think?

  16. @Dann – IMHO, he and Eric did nothing to deserve the level of heat currently being tossed his way.

    You might consider that your opinion is heavily dependent on it not being your ox that was gored.

  17. JJ: It’s nice that you support him. But I kind of have to wonder if you also support Harvey Weinstein and think that he also doesn’t deserve the level of heat currently being tossed his way, since he’s never sexually assaulted you personally.

    I would take away from this analogy that you equate Greg’s issue with pronouns, and instances of misgendering, with sexual assault?

    I mean, I don’t, but I can’t speak for you.

  18. Mike Glyer: I would take away from this analogy that you equate Greg’s issue with pronouns, and instances of misgendering, with sexual assault?

    No, the takeaway is that I am very dismayed that Dann’s litmus test for whether someone deserves the pushback they are getting is apparently whether they have ever done something bad to him personally. I thought I expressed that pretty clearly, but obviously I didn’t.

  19. @JJ

    I don’t think I’ve seen that particular rhetorical trick pulled off without being really specific and clear about exactly which behaviour is being called equivalent and which behaviour is not. Otherwise you run the risk of implying equivalency across the board, which is a shame, because when that happens it dilutes and distracts from the intended point.

  20. 26) Gah. Those GGI eyes are kind of horrifying. It’s a perfect example of how idioms from one medium may not work in another.

  21. Meredith: I don’t think I’ve seen that particular rhetorical trick pulled off without being really specific and clear about exactly which behaviour is being called equivalent and which behaviour is not.

    Except that I was specific:

    “I’ve never been on the receiving end of it, therefore this person has done nothing to deserve the backlash they are receiving” is a rather questionable stance, don’t you think?

  22. Rose Embolism: 26) Gah. Those GGI eyes are kind of horrifying.

    That was my thought, too: “Oh great, a movie I can spend being too creeped out by the Uncanny Valley effect of those CGI eyes to pay attention to the story.” I think that all the other actors’ faces being typically human really gives me that feeling. If they all had those eyes, it would be like watching Dark Crystal, and I could adjust to it.

  23. @JJ

    Yes, you did the first bit – saying what you were comparing – but you didn’t do the second bit – saying what you weren’t. Skipping the second bit leaves it ambiguous, which distracts from the intended point.

    It isn’t a big thing, because it can be clarified, but I’ve seen that particular omission trip up plenty of conversations while it got sorted out.

    (More rarely, I’ve also seen people deliberately leave it out in order to imply bad things about someone while having plausible deniability but that’s really not your style. 🙂 )

  24. (19) collective word for octopus: If it involves any dancing, may I suggest “an eight ball” ?

  25. Meredith: but that’s really not your style

    Believe me, if I thought that they were in any way equivalent, I would have no hesitancy in saying so.

    The point I was trying to make is, if it’s okay to excuse bad behavior at the lesser end of the scale because one is not on the receiving end of it, just how bad does it have to be before one is finally willing to say “it’s not acceptable, even though it’s not being done to me personally”? Or is anything okay, as long as one is not on the receiving end? I think that sort of moral relativism is pretty appalling. 😐

  26. (11) I’d be curious to know the book. I have similar slap-in-the-face feelings about some books, but quite often it comes when I’m reading a book that’s otherwise super progressive but doesn’t seem to have any kind of class consciousness at all (or even worse, thinks it does and then just screws it up horribly–I’m looking at Cory Doctorow pretty sternly when I say that*). It’s an interesting and difficult line to walk; truly great writers can interrogate their own assumptions to the point where they can create characters and worlds that challenge or transcend those assumptions, but most writers can’t (it’s not like they’re consciously held, for the most part), and often even the ones who can just *won’t* because of the work involved.

    *I was at a bookstore last week and he was there w/ a bunch of friends we have in common. Shockingly, they did not introduce us.

  27. JJ:

    “I think that the fact that he keeps using the words “we” and “us”, when he is the only one who writes the reviews on RSR, indicates a continued unwillingness to fully acknowledge and accept responsibility that his behavior in his reviews has been the problem.”

    I’m not going to take up a position on the matter under discussion, since I’ve literally only just learned about it in this thread. (I’m not a Rocket Stack Rank reader, and I’ve been offline and hence out of fannish loops for a fortnight due to a PC problem.) However, I know that the use of the Editorial “we” is a long-standing convention, even in cases where readers are well aware that it refers only to a single individual. Do you think that perhaps you might be trying a little too hard to interpret Mr Hullender’s failings in the worst possible light?

  28. “JJ: It’s nice that you support him. But I kind of have to wonder if you also support Harvey Weinstein and think that he also doesn’t deserve the level of heat currently being tossed his way, since he’s never sexually assaulted you personally.”

    That’s a terrible analogy, clearly ginned up to use the most shocking example you could think of, though they’re not related in any way, and it’s pretty sickening that you’d use the victims of Harvey Weinstein as a tool to make a point about someone else when you could have just said “I suppose you think that if you don’t experience something then no-one experiences it” or words to that effect.

  29. Sarah: That’s a terrible analogy, clearly ginned up to use the most shocking example you could think of, though they’re not related in any way

    It wasn’t “ginned up”. I chose it because my point was to ask to just what extent behavior is excusable as long as one doesn’t experience it oneself. But you’re right, it was insensitive to victims of sexual assault, and I apologize for using it.

  30. Terry Hunt: I’m not going to take up a position on the matter under discussion, since I’ve literally only just learned about it in this thread… However, I know that the use of the Editorial “we” is a long-standing convention, even in cases where readers are well aware that it refers only to a single individual. Do you think that perhaps you might be trying a little too hard to interpret Mr Hullender’s failings in the worst possible light?

    Yes, I’m well aware of the editorial use of “we”. But based on Greg’s extensive history here, and on the fact that all of the RSR reviews have all been posted under his username but the apology was posted under the webmaster’s username, I think my assessment is accurate.

    But hey, thanks for the suggestion. You might want to educate yourself thoroughly on the situation, and on Greg’s commenting history here, before opining any further on the subject.

  31. 11) Does anyone recognize the book Cat Rambo is talking about?

    Well, here’s what we know about it:

    a previous book by this author with what was supposed to be grimdark but had a big ol’ weirdly ungrimdark gendered cliché early on that made me think so hard about it that I couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the book,

    And this was a good example of a very young, very male, very heterosexual book.

    it was so smart and funny and beautifully written and involved connected stories about a favorite city and magic

    it had a chapter that was one of the best short stories about addiction that I’ve read

    Women were either powerful and unfuckable for one reason or another or else fell into the category marked “women the protagonist sleeps with”, who usually didn’t even get a name.

    Moments of homophobic rape humor, marked by a repeated insistence on the sanctity of the hero’s anus, and a scene in which he embraces being thought gay in order to save himself from a terrible fate

    That description immediately made me think of A CITY DREAMING by Daniel Polansky, which I think is an utterly wonderful book, made up of connected stories about magic in Brooklyn, and it’s smart and funny and beautifully written. And Polansky’s other stuff could certainly be called grimdark.

    And I’ll admit I hadn’t noticed any pattern to the treatment of women when I read it, but I started flipping through it, and early on there are several women the protagonist sleeps with, some of whom don’t get a name, and there’s banter about the protagonist’s anal virginity…

    I didn’t keep flipping through it from there, but, well, yeah.

    So I’d think it’s a likely candidate. Even though it’s smart and funny and beautifully written, and I’ve been recommending it since I read it. It may be that it’s not for some readers, or at least, for readers who can overlook (or like me, won’t consciously notice) those flaws. It’s strengths are certainly very strong.

  32. I should add that there are certainly women in A CITY DREAMING who have power and agency, though it may be that the protagonist’s reaction to them is callow.

    I’ll have to reread it soon and think about that.

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