Pixel Scroll 1/27/16 The Young and the Rec List

(1) BROOKLINE SHOOTING INCIDENT. SF writer Michael A. Burstein faced an unexpected emergency decision today.

When I ran for Library Trustee of the Public Library of Brookline back in 2004 for the first time, I never expected the day would come when I would be saying the following over the phone to the Library Director:

“As far as I know at the moment, this is an active shooter situation in the town of Brookline. You have my complete authority as chair of the Library Trustees to send staff home, shut down the libraries, or do whatever you think you need to do to keep patrons and stay safe. Just keep me posted and I’ll check in with the police again once we’re off the phone.”

He, Nomi and their children were safe but rattled. At the time, Brookline police were responding to reports of two local incidents in which people were shot and/or stabbed.

Police have not yet captured the assailants, however, later in the day they found their car in Boston.

Police in Brookline said they have located the car from today’s shooting but are still looking for the driver and another suspect after three young men were shot and stabbed multiple times this morning in related incidents in Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village

(2) SFWA MAY ACCEPT GAME WRITERS. Science Fiction Writers of America will soon vote whether to allow sales in writing S/F games to qualify writers for membership. SFWA Vice President M.C.A. Hogarth discussed the question at the SFWA Blog.

The Gaming Committee has drafted solid credentials for admitting professional writers of SF/F games–tabletop or computer or console or app–to our numbers. The Board has reviewed them, made modifications, and chosen a final draft. Now it’s up to our members to vote to include our writing peers in the gaming industry into our numbers. The question will be going out on the election ballot at the end of Februrary.

Games, no less than books, tell compelling stories in our genre. I hope you’ll join me in opening our doors to our professional colleagues in SF/F game writing.

(3) HURLEY SAYS FIGHT BACK. Kameron Hurley on “Traditional Publishing, Non-Compete Clauses & Rights Grabs”.

One of the big issues we’ve been dealing with the last 15 years or so as self-publishing has become more popular are the increasing rights grabs and non-compete clauses stuck into the boilerplate from big traditional publishers terrified to get cut out of the publishing equation. Worse, these clauses are becoming tougher and tougher to negotiate at all, let alone get them to go away. Worser (yes, worser) – many new writers don’t realize that these are shitty terms they should be arguing over instead of just rolling over and accepting like a Good Little Author. What I’ve seen a lot in my decade of publishing is new writers on the scene who don’t read their contracts and who rely on their agent’s judgement totally (and that’s when they even HAVE an agent! eeeee). They don’t have writer networks yet. They aren’t sure what’s normal and what’s not and they don’t want to rock the boat.

I am here to tell you to rock the boat.

(4) DRUM LESSONS. M. Harold Page finds “Writerly Lessons from Louis L’Amour’s The Walking Drum” at Black Gate.

Even so, this literary failure is still a heroic one. The book not only displays the craft of a veteran adventure writer, it is also an object lesson in career strategy.

As an author I benefited from reading this book. Let me tell you why…

First, this book can teach us some craft. It confirms the idea that research can be layered (link). There’s a lot you don’t need to know when writing a Historical story and a lot you can put in on the final draft.

Identify the people who are a physical threat to your character and find the conflicts that link then.

However, what makes The Walking Drum truly illuminating is that it is like sitting Louis L’Amour down with beer and getting him to brainstorm historical adventure plots until we can see how he does it.

L’Amour clearly focuses on conflicts leading to physical threats. I’m a great enthusiast for exploring story worlds through conflict (link). However, L’Amour reveals a shortcut: Identify the people who are a physical threat to your character and find the conflicts that link them. I suppose L’Amour would say:…

(5) FINDING YOUR VOICE. Elizabeth Bear on authorial voice, in “he’s got one trick to last a lifetime but that’s all a pony needs”.

You have a voice, as an artist and as a human being. That voice is part of who you are, and it’s comprised of your core beliefs, your internalizations, your hopes and dreams and influences and experiences. You can develop it. You can make it better. But until you find it–until you find that authentic voice, and accept it, and begin working on making it stronger and trusting it and letting it shine through–you will always sound artificial and affected.  And there’s a reason we call it “finding your voice,” and not “creating your voice.” The voice is there. Whatever it is, you are stuck with it. So you might as well learn to like it, and work with it, and improve it.

(6) X-FILES. Steve Davidson has lots to say in “The X Files Return: Review & Commentary” at Amazing Stories. No excerpt. BEWARE SPOILERS.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 27, 1967 — Astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in a fire aboard the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a launch simulation at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center

(8) MINSKY OBIT. Marvin Minsky (1927-2016), a leader in the field of artificial intelligence, as well as occasional sf author and convention participant, died January 24 reports SF Site.

He served as an advisor on the film 2001: a space odyssey and later collaborated with Harry Harrison on the novel The Turing Option.

The New York Times obituary noted:

Professor Minsky, in 1959, co-founded the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Project (later the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) with his colleague John McCarthy, who is credited with coining the term “artificial intelligence.”

Beyond its artificial intelligence charter, however, the lab would have a profound impact on the modern computing industry, helping to impassion a culture of computer and software design. It planted the seed for the idea that digital information should be shared freely, a notion that would shape the so-called open-source software movement, and it was a part of the original ARPAnet, the forerunner to the Internet.

(9) GRATEFUL. Mike Reynolds is one of the finalists who was not selected to be the teacher-astronaut aboard the Challenger.

The 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster this week has a deep meaning for college professor Mike Reynolds. At the time, he was a teacher at Fletcher High School and a finalist for the ill-fated Challenger mission.

Reynolds was picked out of thousands of educators nationwide, to fly in NASA’s teacher-in-space program, which was announced by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was teacher Christa McAullife who was ultimately chosen and perished during takeoff with the entire crew.

Reynolds witnessed the Challenger explosion from the Kennedy Space Center viewing area.

“It was so surreal. It took probably a minute, even for someone like myself who is familiar with launches, to really sink in what had happened,” Reynolds said….

Reynolds said the days and months that followed were the most painful in his life, but he made friends with families of the seven onboard, including Capt. Dick Scobee’s wife, June Rodgers Scobee, and Greg Jarvis’ parents. Reynolds said the horror the nation witnessed on that day deeply affected him.

“It’s really affected me, knowing that every day on this earth is a gift, so use that time wisely and stick to your mission and God’s given gifts, and that’s why I stayed in education,” he said.

(10) PLAQUE FOR PRATCHETT. The Beaconsfield town council knows Pratchett will eventually get one of those famous blue plaques. In the meantime, the city will honor Terry Pratchett with a commemorative plaque of its own.

Born in Beaconsfield and educated at John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe from 1959 to 1965, [Pratchett] went on to become a reporter at the Bucks Free Press in 1965 before making a name for himself as an author.

The town council hopes to install a plaque on the wall at Beaconsfield Library in Reynolds Road, where Sir Terry was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks.

Cllr Philip Bastiman, chair of the open spaces committee, said the council had been in touch with Sir Terry’s daughter Rhianna, who was “very supportive” of the idea of commemorating the author.

He said: “Because I believe he worked in the library and used the library a lot and he came back and actually gave talks at the library relatively recently, in their mind, it had a place in his affections.

“They feel it is wholly appropriate to have a commemorative plaque to Terry Pratchett at the library itself.”

Cllr Bastiman said they could have to wait “a number of years” for a blue plaque, which are commonly used to commemorate historical figures and places, so will remember him with their own plaque.

(11) COMMENTS DEFACE HARTWELL OBIT. The Register gave David G. Hartwell a nice obituary. Unfortunately, Puppification intruded at the third comment.

(12) WOMEN IN SF. Kristine Kathryn Rusch is working on an anthology, Women of Futures Past, that will be published by Baen. The project’s blog has a new entry by Toni Weisskopf.

[Kristine Kathryn Rusch] When it became clear to me that the sf field was losing its history, particularly the history of women in the field, I decided to do an anthology. And I immediately knew who would be the perfect publisher/editor: Toni Weisskopf of Baen. We’ve been the field for the same amount of time, and I knew, without checking, that all this talk about the fact that there are no women in sf had to bother her as much as it bothered me. We got together last February at a conference, and sure enough, I was right…

[Toni Weisskopf] …So I never experienced this mythical time of science fiction being an old boys club, with the Man oppressing women, keeping us down. What do these people imagine all the women in field before them did? I didn’t need Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg to remind me about the contributions of editor Bea Mahaffey at Other Worlds, or the obituaries to tell me about Alice Turner at Playboy; in my circles, they were both still remembered. Same with Kay Tarrant at Astounding/Analog and Cele Goldsmith at Amazing.

So one wonders who is really devaluing the work of women. Perhaps it is those who imply that the women who are successful in SF today need some sort of special consideration. Or is it simply that these people have not bothered studying the history of the field they are talking about? I finally begin to understand the purpose of those lists of names in epic poetry and the Bible: these people existed, they were there. It is my hope that Kris’s anthology will do something towards balancing the scales and prove a resource for anyone who loves great SF and cares about historical accuracy.

(13) SHORTCHANGED. Remembering that the sf genre had ANY women addresses a different question than the fairness issues that arise now that there are MANY women genre writers. Consider the next post about the horror genre…

Nina Allen asks “Where Are We Going? Some Reflections on British Horror, Present and Future” at Strange Horizons.

Somewhat conveniently for the purposes of this discussion, FantasyCon 2015 saw the launch of three “best of” horror anthologies: the latest (#26) in Stephen Jones’s redoubtable Best New Horror series, which has now been running for more than a quarter of a century, The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories under the editorship of Mark Morris, and the twenty-fifth anniversary reissue of Best New Horror #3, from 1991. Looking down the table of contents of this last, I encountered many familiar, well-loved names—some sadly no longer with us, some very much still writing and contributing to the literature. I want to stress right from the off how important the Best New Horror series has been to me, both as a reader and as a writer. When I began developing a professional interest in horror fiction towards the end of the 1990s, BNH was where I first started to acquaint myself with the field: who was writing, what they were writing, how they related to one another. I would read each volume cover to cover when it first appeared, adding to my knowledge and developing my taste with each new outing.

When I look at the table of contents for BNH #3, I see the names of writers who first drew me into the genre (McGammon, Grant, Newman, Etchison), writers who deepened my understanding of what horror writing could do and cemented my allegiance (Campbell, Royle, Lane, Ligotti, Tem, Hand), as well as one more recent discovery, Käthe Koja, whose writing is everything that modern horror should aspire to be. A wonderful compendium indeed, and if I felt a little disappointed to see that of the twenty-nine stories listed, only four were by women, I reluctantly put it down to the times. While women have always written horror, the awareness of women writing horror was not then so advanced as it has become more recently. Any anthology that styled itself “Best New Horror” in 2015 would surely provide greater parity in representation.

How surprised was I then, when I turned to the table of contents for BNH #26 and discovered that of the nineteen stories listed, a mere three were by women writers.

Three must be somebody’s lucky number, and nineteen, come to that, because of the nineteen stories selected to appear in the 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories—and this from more than five hundred submissions received—only three of those were by women, also.

I honestly don’t see how this is a situation anyone can feel happy with. I’m not even going to get started on the representation of writers from minority ethnic backgrounds in these tables of contents, because it’s practically nil.

OK, those are the facts, the figures I’d brought with me for discussion on the panel. They speak for themselves, and what they say about the state of horror fiction in the UK in 2015 is that it’s very white, heavily male-dominated, and furthermore, that this situation hasn’t changed at all in the last quarter-century.

(14) MORE TO REMEMBER. The BBC has a little list of its own — 10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi. The name that follows Mary Shelley is –

Ursula K Le Guin

Le Guin has been a significant player in the science fiction field since the 1960s and has nourished the sci-fi and fantasy genre with piercing visions of race, gender, ecology and politics. She has also been its heroic defender with a host of best-selling writers citing her as an inspiration.

(15) SHINDIG. The Hollywood Reporter details plans for the Star Trek 50th anniversary fan event in New York City.

This September, Star Trek marks its 50th anniversary by returning from the final frontier and landing in New York City for Star Trek: Mission New York, a three-day event based around a celebration of the beloved TV and movie franchise.

Taking place Sept. 2-4 at the Javits Center, Mission New York comes from New York Comic-Con organizers ReedPOP. Lance Festerman, global svp for the company, said in a statement that the new convention “will be a completely unique fan event unlike anything seen before, giving [fans] the chance to go beyond panels and autograph signings, and immerse themselves in the Star Trek universe.”

(16) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born January 27, 1832 – Lewis Carroll.

(17) NEW JOURNAL. The Museum of Science Fiction has launched the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction. Journal editor Monica Louzon highlights the articles in the issue:

This first issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction features four articles that explore science fiction through analysis of various themes, including—but by no means limited to—globalization, mythology, social commentary, and assemblage theory. Derrick King’s discussion of Paolo Bacigalupi’s critical dystopias explores utopian political possibilities that biogenetics could create, while Sami Khan’s analysis of Hindu gods in three Indian novels reveals how closely mythology and social commentary entwine with science fiction. Karma Waltonen examines how female science fiction writers have used loving the “other” as a means of challenging societal taboos about sex, and Amanda Rudd argues that Paul’s empire in Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965) is an entirely new assemblage composed of rearranged elements from the previous ruler’s empire and the indigenous Fremen culture.

(18) TYSON IN RAP BATTLE. Neil deGrasse Tyson and rapper B.o.B. are getting their clicks battling over B.o.B.’s flat earth claims. NPR has the story.

So, a Twitter spat between astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and rapper B.o.B over the flat Earth theory has turned into a full-blown rap battle (and it’s way better than Drake vs. Meek Mill).

B.o.B, whom you might know from his hits “Airplanes,” “Nothin’ On You” and “Strange Clouds,” kicked things off Monday when he started tweeting about how he believes the Earth is flat. He also tweeted about why he believes NASA is hiding the truth about the edge of the world. And he shared several meaningless diagrams about the planet including one about flight routes….

In a short series of tweets, Tyson explained why the Earth was round. He tweeted:

“Earth’s curve indeed blocks 150 (not 170) ft of Manhattan. But most buildings in midtown are waaay taller than that.”

“Polaris is gone by 1.5 deg S. Latitude. You’ve never been south of Earth’s Equator, or if so, you’ve never looked up.”

“Flat Earth is a problem only when people in charge think that way. No law stops you from regressively basking in it.”…

Here’s another: “I see only good things on the horizon / That’s probably why the horizon is always rising / Indoctrinated in a cult called science / And graduated to a club full of liars.” You can read the full lyrics on Gawker.

That was Monday night.

Tuesday afternoon, Tyson dropped his own dis track, called “Flat To Fact,” written and rapped by his nephew, Stephen Tyson. He tweeted: “As an astrophysicist I don’t rap, but I know people who do. This one has my back.” Here’s a sample:

“Very important that I clear this up / You say that Neil’s vest is what he needs to loosen up? / The ignorance you’re spinning helps to keep people enslaved, I mean mentally.”

(19) MEANWHILE BACK AT HARRY POTTER FANDOM. Jen Juneau explains “Why we’re crushing hard on Fleur Delacour from ‘Harry Potter’”. That was news to me, so I paid close attention….

My absolute favorite Fleur moment isn’t in the movies, which is a travesty (and one of the 32843 reasons why everyone who enjoyed the movies even a little bit should go read the books, stat!). It’s at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Molly Weasley is tending to her son (and Fleur’s fiancé) Bill’s wounds. Molly starts lamenting over the fact that Bill will never be the same again, and that he was going to be married and everything, while Fleur is standing right there.

Fleur basically snaps and asks Molly if she thinks Bill won’t marry her now that he has been bitten by a werewolf. While Molly starts sputtering, Fleur is relentless, telling Molly that Bill’s scars are proof of his bravery and that she is good-looking enough for the both of them before snatching the ointment out of Molly’s hand and tending to his wounds herself. The scene ends with Molly offering Fleur her Aunt Muriel’s goblin-crafted tiara to wear on her and Bill’s wedding day, and the two cry and hug it out.

And though Fleur is not immune to using her beauty in the series to get ahead (but really, who hasn’t used a natural advantage to get ahead when they can?), there are two big lessons here: 1. Fleur is a certified badass who refuses to let looks define her or anyone around her, and 2. Read the books, y’all.

(20) THAT LOVABLE ROGUE VADER. Yahoo! Tech predicts Darth Vader’s role will be bigger on the inside than expected in Rogue One.

The next time we buy tickets for a Star Wars picture, we’ll be signing up for a movie that’s going to bring back the greatest villains in movie history. Darth Vader is returning to the Star Wars universe this December complete with original costume and voice and he’s going to have a bigger role than anticipated, a new report indicates.

Movie site JoBlo says it’s able to confirm that Darth Vader will indeed appear in the film, and his role will be bigger than just appearing in hologram messages. Even so, it’s not clear what Darth Vader’s role in the movie plot is. In fact, the actual plot of the picture is still secret.

What we know about the movie is that Rogue One tells the story of a group of daring rebels looking to steal the plans of the Death Star. The action in Rogue One takes place between Episode III and Episode IV.

(21) FORCEFUL CARTOONS. Nina Horvath posted examples of “Cartoons from the Dark Side: Star Wars Exhibition in Vienna” at Europa SF.

Tomorrow a new Star Wars exhibition will start and open its doors until March the 6th, 2016. It should not be confused with the Star Wars Identities exhibition that takes place in the same city at almost the same period of time, no, it is different: It shows funny cartoons inspired by the Star Wars universe. Like Darth Vader experiencing the result of his paternity test!

cartoon

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, and David Langford for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

192 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/27/16 The Young and the Rec List

  1. Glenn Hauman on January 29, 2016 at 1:58 am said:

    Yes, I’m well aware it’s WSFS awarding the Hugos. The argument still stands. After all, neither SFWA nor WSFS gives awards for Best SF Game.

    WSFS tried. So few people nominated works that the effort was abandoned.

  2. I’ve been swapping genres recently, having been grabbed by M. Ruth Myer’s female PI tales set in 1930s onwards, which led me to a magnificent anthology title

    Fifty Shades of Grey Fedoras

    Meanwhile, however, I must say that I am surprised by the lack of buzz for Genevieve Cogman’s work. Both

    The Invisible Library

    and

    The Masked City

    are very reasonably priced on Amazon UK at the moment, and if you haven’t read them I recommend that you do read them.

    The second in the series is Hugo eligible, and in my view it knocks the socks off

    The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

    I’m prepared to accept that a clockwork octopus may appeal, but the novelty value thereof soon fades…

  3. @Stevie I hope that Cogman’s forthcoming release in the US will kick up more interest in her novels. (I ordered and read the first, but have not yet done the same for the second)

  4. re 1) Kip W on January 28, 2016 at 3:37 pm said: “@The Phantom The joke gets old, and the sniggering intent (and trivialization of murder and other violence) was rancid from the start. I understand your confusion, though. It can be hard to see something when you’re determined not to.”

    It may interest you to know that they actually have knife and sword control in Japan, and that knife control is being seriously pursued in England right now, today. Tokyo has baseball bat control. In Canada where I live, all manner of knives and so forth are banned from public ownership.

    These things all work about as well and might be expected. Which is to say, not at all.

    As to “trivialization of murder and other violence”, a wide variety of Leftist and other gun control have boilerplate press-releases they publish to the media every time someone dies. Except in places like Chicago, there somebody dies about hourly so they go with a weekly summary kind of thing.

    This type of political whoring had reached it’s pinnacle in Canada, last week all the news services shut up and let Prime Minister Justine ‘Shiny Pony’ Trudeau break the news the school shooting at La Loche. The guy went on TV and announced it like he was a news reader.

    But I suppose it can be hard to see something when you’re determined not to.

    re 12,13,14) TheYoungPretender on January 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm said: “At the moment, I think we must perforce bow to the Phantoms extensive knowledge of Barbie dolls, and feel happy that in 2016, a manly man who is manly and a man feels comfortable declaring that interest openly. Progress!”

    My my, nerd AND sex shaming at File 770. You sure you want to go there, Mr. Pretender?

    Oneiros on January 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm said: “@The Phantom: God forbid a company tries to expand its audience and sell more toys! Oh, the humanity!”

    Well, that’s the point isn’t it? They aren’t pitching this to sell more toys. They’re throwing some red meat to rabid dogs in the hope they’ll shut up for an hour. A faint hope, I must say.

    RedWombat on January 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm said: “*snort* And here I was about to point out that our latest resident troll is profoundly ignorant of the history of Barbie if he thinks releasing new models is some kind of unprecedented bowing-to-political-correctness.”

    It’s explicitly said in the article. The new CEO of Mattel has a pinboard in her office full of SJW commentary. She’s bowing to pressure, with a fig-leaf of increased sales.

    As to Barbie vs. Monster High, that’s a no brainer. Girls with super powers and fab insane outfits vs. plain girl with plain outfits? Little girls love outfits, the crazier the better. Same thing with Princesses. Huge fab ball gown vs. Barbie? No contest. Lucky for Mattel, those are all theirs.

    Also to be considered is the simple fact of human perception. Wrong proportions on a small doll looks more attractive than “correct” proportions. There are no straight lines in the Parthenon, they just look straight. The Venus De Milo has an impossible shoulder, but she looks good. That’s why PC Approved Barbie looks “fat”, a detail forcibly ignored by protesters and agitators of all stripes.

    Fat Barbie will be a collector curiosity by this time next year, the Shrieking Fems will have moved on to the Next Big Outrage, and Mattel will still be under siege, just for something else. Everybody knows this is what will happen, especially Mattel.

    Love how y’all ignore the linkage to the ever-shrinking SF section at your local bookstore. If I as an author have to worry that my characters don’t include the proper rainbow list of Approved Types, or worse, that I am not the proper Approved Type myself, my work is gong to suffer. To say the least.

    And by the way, Andre Norton changed her pen name as a sales ploy to appeal to young male readers, whom she thought would not be interested in books written by a woman. Not so she could break in past the Forces of the Patriarchy.

    It’s tough out there for everybody. Failure comes nine tries out of ten, trying to weasel out by screaming SEXIIIIIST! is pure wussery.

  5. @Stevie, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street didn’t make my Best Novel shortlist, but it was a very promising work, and Natasha Pulley is on my Campbell shortlist (for which she is eligible, as I understand it)

  6. @The Phantom
    It’s still a stupid joke, as is “chair control haw haw” and “brick control hee hee” and every other form of this witless canard I’ve seen over the past few decades. Anything but guns, ka-hyuk.

  7. And if curvy Barbie sales does well, I assume you’ll be back in 2017 to apologize and admit you were wrong?

  8. Matthew Johnson: The question of allowing comics writing has come up and I suspect we’ll look at it fairly soon.

    It’s not even a big fix. SFWA rules call for “Three or more paid sales of different works of fiction (such as three separate short stories or half-hour scripts) totaling a minimum of 10,000 words to eligible markets, was self-published or sold to a small press for each of which the candidate can prove the sale at the minimum rate of 6c/word or higher.”

    The word count is what SFWA’s been stumbling over. For some reason, they only care about printed words in comics as compared to script directions, even though they allow TV scripts and screenplays.

    Change it to “Three or more paid sales of different works of fiction (such as three separate short stories or half-hour scripts) totaling a minimum of 10,000 words to eligible markets, was self-published or sold to a small press for each of which the candidate can prove the total sale at the minimum rate of $600 (for example, 6c/word or $20/page).” Done. That covers comic books, and even strips.

  9. @The Phantom

    In Canada where I live, all manner of knives and so forth are banned from public ownership.

    Oh, I see. You’re one of those Canadians who fetishizes the rootin’-tootin’ yee-haw lawlessness of US gun culture, up there from the relative safety of your much less overly armed northern fortress?

    Well, that explains a lot.

    Well, that’s the point isn’t it? They aren’t pitching this to sell more toys. They’re throwing some red meat to rabid dogs in the hope they’ll shut up for an hour. A faint hope, I must say.

    Um… no, really, I believe I can assure you with 99.9% certainty that Mattel is doing this with the intent of selling more toys. When a large for-profit company makes a change in response to some social justice concern it is 1. For positive publicity, or publicity at all, with the ultimate goal of selling more product, or 2. To attempt to sell their product to people who care about that issue. For example, young, social-justice conscious moms.

    As to Barbie vs. Monster High, that’s a no brainer. Girls with super powers and fab insane outfits vs. plain girl with plain outfits? Little girls love outfits, the crazier the better. Same thing with Princesses. Huge fab ball gown vs. Barbie?

    This is my point about you knowing nothing of Barbie, if you think she doesn’t have fab ball gowns. She has always had fab ball gowns. If Barbie is losing out to Elsa, it’s not because of the ball gowns. It’s probably because Barbie as an insert character isn’t as interesting to little girls as she used to be. That could easily be about superpowers, but it’s not about ball gowns.

    Fat Barbie will be a collector curiosity by this time next year,

    Yeah, maybe so. Just like Grunge Barbie and Rosie O’Donnell Barbie (I am not kidding, Google it) and Earring Magic Ken (seriously, Google that one, it’s hilarious) and Growing Up Skipper and Sun Lovin’ Malibu Barbie and the one Barbie I still have who I think was based around a theme of being sparkly? I don’t remember the packaging, but she’s got metallic gold threads in her hair. She’s wearing the Barbie-sized version of my mother’s wedding dress, which is why she wasn’t included in the Big Barbie Giveaway that happened when I was 12.

    My point is that this is not Mattel’s first rodeo.

    the Shrieking Fems will have moved on to the Next Big Outrage, and Mattel will still be under siege, just for something else.

    I think your limited perspective on all things Barbie is really giving you the wrong impression here. Feminists and others have been making pretty much the same complaints about Barbie ever since I was a little girl in the 1970s. There’s no particular reason that Mattel would be doing this now unless they saw it as a way to improve sales.

    And by the way, Andre Norton changed her pen name as a sales ploy to appeal to young male readers, whom she thought would not be interested in books written by a woman. Not so she could break in past the Forces of the Patriarchy.

    Um…
    Dude, that IS the Forces of the Patriarchy. Right there. Do you need a little Feminism 101 talk?

  10. Red Wombat: As long as Curvy Barbie has long hair and lots of clothes and accessories, I suspect she’ll do fine. (Mattel would likely be happy to sell extra clothing for each new doll.) Anyway, New Barbie isn’t even the “Imperfect Average Lammily” doll of a while back; she’s just a slightly different shape. And as little girls have known for generations, “Barbie” dolls differ–the hair especially offered different playtime activities, and Skipper and Barbie didn’t always wear the same clothes, as I recall. Especially shoes.

    Actually, that’s the thing I wondered about. Do any of these new Barbies have flat feet, so they can actually stand up without falling over backwards? That was always the most annoying (and arguably sexist) thing about playing with Barbie: trying to get her stand up in those teeny-tiny plastic high heels . . .

  11. @snowcrash, like you, Pulley is making my Campbell shortlist (unless something comes along to bump her off) but Watchmaker has already been bumped off my Best Novels shortlist.

    Still, a fine novel from a new writer.

  12. And by the way, Andre Norton changed her pen name as a sales ploy to appeal to young male readers, whom she thought would not be interested in books written by a woman. Not so she could break in past the Forces of the Patriarchy.

    Because young men who don’t want to read books by women isn’t sexist at all. Because the reasons those young men think they don’t want to read books by women have nothing to do with enforced societal roles.

    ______________

    Wrong proportions on a small doll looks more attractive than “correct” proportions.

    Only partly true.

    Barbie’s proportions always looked weird to me. G.I. Joe’s proportions (Including Scarlett’s) looked better (also, they stood up. My brother and I did G.I. Joe wars all the time. See a repeating theme?) I’d have loved a doll in a grand princess gown, but she’d have looked like this, not this. And no, those proportions aren’t realistic either, but they’re based on over-idealized children, not over-idealized women.

    I MIGHT just have a better idea what little girls thought of these things than you do.

    _____________

    Love how y’all ignore the linkage to the ever-shrinking SF section at your local bookstore.

    Citation seriously needed. Didn’t the last report to come out suggest the opposite?

    If I as an author have to worry that my characters don’t include the proper rainbow list of Approved Types, or worse, that I am not the proper Approved Type myself, my work is gong to suffer. To say the least.

    Citation needed. Orson Scott Card is still out there, Larry Correia is still selling, the guy from the militia terrorists in Oregon sold a book.

    And I have heard more than a few reports of people being requested to remove or downplay LGBT characters, not “Oh, goody, more of them, we can sell more books!”

    Since I have 3 manuscripts being shopped out, which feature, respectively, a gay male teen (living in our world in the 1990s), a bisexual female in her 30s (and a total SJW; she’d like being called a warrior, and she’s definitely all about social justice, or would be if she wasn’t stuck in an insane portal fantasy), and a straight white male in a patriarchal society (A big guy with a big sword who’s all about rescuing his particular princess), I have been needing to pay some attention to which of these is most saleable as a character. And the answer isn’t Ms. SJW, although other factors about the novels may change that.

  13. @ThePhantom:

    There are no straight lines in the Parthenon, they just look straight.

    ObQI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdvD4Fhc_K8

    And by the way, Andre Norton changed her pen name as a sales ploy to appeal to young male readers, whom she thought would not be interested in books written by a woman. Not so she could break in past the Forces of the Patriarchy.

    Er. Do you think patriarchy has nothing to do with why young male readers might not think a female writer has anything to say that they’d be interested in?

  14. RedWombat on January 29, 2016 at 10:28 am said: “And if curvy Barbie sales does well, I assume you’ll be back in 2017 to apologize and admit you were wrong?”

    Maybe Curvy Barbie will knock it out of the park. Maybe that’s the Next Big Thing in dolls. Look at that woman they’ve got playing Agent Carter. She’s got hips! First female lead who doesn’t look like an adolescent boy in ages.

    But given that Curvy Barbie is being released as Web Only, because Mattel doesn’t think their retail chain is going to pick it up (meaning Walmart, Toys R Us and etc.) Retailers do a huge amount of work to discover what their customer base wants. They aren’t clamoring for it. Indeed, Mattel’s own focus data is saying this thing ain’t going to fly, as stated in the article. I’m feeling pretty secure in my prediction.

    If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong. Will I admit to being wrong? Absolutely. Facts are facts.

    Will I -apologize- for being wrong? Certainly not.

    If Curvy Barbie doesn’t sell well, like I’m predicting (which is like predicting the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning), it is you who will be wrong Red. Will you apologize?

  15. @The Phantom

    Fellow Canadian chiming in here.

    Don’t lie to these people. All manner of knives are banned?

    Bullshit. Switchblades and butterfly knives are technically illegal, but the law is almost never enforced, since you can buy butterfly knives all over the place.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife_legislation#Canada

    There is no length restriction on a simple knife. Technically, you can carry a sword on your hip if you want, though police are well within their rights to ask you why the hell you’re carrying a sword.

    A knife is considered a tool under the law, until it is used in the commission of a crime.

    Then they throw the book at you.

  16. McJulie on January 29, 2016 at 5:46 am said:

    @The Phantom

    This is why I can never take ASJW* complaints seriously.

    I prefer the term SIW. If you’re out there fighting the Social Justice Warriors, that pretty much makes you a Social Injustice Warrior by definition! 🙂

    It’s worth noting that the term SJW was originally coined to describe a certain type of slacktivism—people who spend their time whining on their blogs or on Tumblr in particular, about the evils of the world, but who never actually do anything about it. That’s a perfect description of this new breed of SIW as well, so I think the term SIW fits outstandingly well.

    (Of course, some percentage of the SIWs seem to honestly believe that sexism and racism are things of the past, and we have equality now. These ones, at least, may honestly not realize that the term SIW is appropriate to describe them. But that doesn’t change the fact that their slacktivism is in support of racism and sexism and homophobia, because our society is not past those things. Still, those ones, at least, do seem a little bit saner than the ones, like VD, who are blatantly fighting for sexism, racism, etc. And it’s revealing that it’s so hard to tell them apart without a deep analysis of the arguments they put forth. Which makes it all too clear how they are all SIWs, no matter where they’re coming from.)

  17. I would suggest that the Feminism 101 talk be deferred until such time as the candidate can demonstrate that they have heard, and understood, the Capitalism 101 talk. Admittedly, given the posts up to now this may be a bridge too far, but there’s no point in wasting pixels on someone who has failed to grasp the economic facts of life.

    Thank you to the people who followed up on my comments about Genevieve Cogman’s books; presumably if they are only now being sold in the US this has implications for Hugo time periods???

    My daughter was far more interested in me making princess dresses for her to wear than purchasing princess dresses for her dolls; she still is.

    In the realms of true confessions I must admit also that Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell failed to interest me, despite several attempts on my part to be interested. I even tried reading the last chapter in the hope that it might suggest fascinating things had happened, which is my last resort in such cases, but to no avail.

  18. McJulie on January 29, 2016 at 10:49 am said: “@The Phantom…Oh, I see. You’re one of those Canadians who fetishizes the rootin’-tootin’ yee-haw lawlessness of US gun culture, up there from the relative safety of your much less overly armed northern fortress? Well, that explains a lot.”

    It explains how I know it doesn’t work, because we Canadians have all the laws you want and pine for, and It Ain’t Working. People get shot with illegal guns and stabbed with illegal knives all the time here.

    But also, you’re wrong. I’m one of those Canadians who’s lived all around the USA, and I’m disgusted by the fact that I have more rights as a foreign visitor in Phoenix AZ than I do in my own house in Ontario Canada.

    McJulie also said: “I think your limited perspective on all things Barbie is really giving you the wrong impression here. Feminists and others have been making pretty much the same complaints about Barbie ever since I was a little girl in the 1970s.”

    Yes I know, and they’ve been full of it since the 1970’s as well. Reasons stated above.

    Finally, McJulie said, regarding Andre Norton: “Dude, that IS the Forces of the Patriarchy. Right there. Do you need a little Feminism 101 talk?”

    No, that was the reality of the SF market when Andre Norton started, which was the early 1950’s. My point, which seems to have sailed past everyone, is that the Gatekeepers Of The Patriarchy, those stone monoliths guarding entry into the hallowed precincts of SF publishing, did not expel her for the crime of being female. She did what she thought would sell better, probably in consultation with an agent and publisher and she was right. Oh darn.

    I’ll add at this time that my mother did all the hard work for you girls back when I was little, getting a degree and her own bank account in the early 1950s by staring down anybody who told her “no”. Feminism is about women having equal rights and responsibilities under the law, which is long, long since accomplished. By my mother and her generation. And they did it in about fifteen years. Since the 1970’s it’s been Marxists whinging about Barbie’s waistline, and just lately about the injustice of there only being two (2) sexes.

    Colour me unimpressed.

    TooManyJens said: “Er. Do you think patriarchy has nothing to do with why young male readers might not think a female writer has anything to say that they’d be interested in?”

    Having been a young male SF reader in the 1960’s, boys at the time considered girls to be ‘icky’ and wanted as little to do with them as possible. Under intense questioning, boys in 2016 admit feeling the same way, and consider girls icky as well. (Intense questioning, because due to being yelled at in school they have learned to -lie- about how they feel. This is also mentioned in the article about Barbie. Little girls in test groups think Curvy Barbie is fat, they just won’t say it.) It’s just how boys are, lucky for you girls we (usually) grow out of it.

    Personally at the time (and to this day) I did not care a tinker’s damn who wrote the book or anything about them, so long as it was an engaging tale. I was unaware for example that R.M. Meluch was a woman until I saw a picture of her in the back of her latest book, which was quite fun incidentally. I did not know Octavia Butler was black, just that the one book of hers I have didn’t wow me. I don’t care who the author is, it’s not important. The book is important.

    Lenora Rose said: “And I have heard more than a few reports of people being requested to remove or downplay LGBT characters, not “Oh, goody, more of them, we can sell more books!”

    Dare I say, “Citation needed”? ~:)

    Hey, if your characters come out gay or whatever, they do. I can never get mine to behave, I don’t see why yours would.

    If an editor says “lose this character, it makes the book suck” then consider if the editor knows their job or not. If they do, maybe you should think about what they said. Some characters need to be killed off early if the book is to survive.

    Which is different than somebody coming along and telling you they won’t publish your book because you didn’t check off the right boxes to please the various political factions they want to keep happy. If characters are trisexual because POLITICAL MESSAGE!!! then its going to be boring and stupid. That’s why TV sucks these days.

    Also your mention of Orson Scott Card and Larry Coreia, the firestorm of SJW flaming trying to get those guys to shut up is exactly what I’m talking about. They are lucky enough to be already established, the controversy actually works for them. For a new writer, would it work? No, they’d be forced out immediately. And let us remember that DC Comics dropped OSC from a Superman title because of that controversy. Some artist had a hissy, apparently.

  19. Stevie: Did you try the JS&MN tv series? I found it different enough to appeal, though the sheer pettiness of some of it comes through well.

  20. Ryan McNeill on January 29, 2016 at 11:16 am said: “@The Phantom… Don’t lie to these people. All manner of knives are banned? Bullshit. Switchblades and butterfly knives are technically illegal…”

    Yes Ryan, switchblades and butterfly knives ARE illegal. Knives of more than a certain length are most certainly not allowed to be carried in public. I think that length is over four inches but I’m not sure. It would be worth looking up. In a law book, not fricking Wikipedia where some pages get edited hundreds of times a day.

    That means I’m not lying. You can apologize now.

    Furthermore if you think those laws are not pursued, please show up at the local cop shop with a banned knife and see how you make out. Cops and Crown Attorneys make stuff up as they go along. I’ve personally attended court as the adult character witness/minder for a minor charged with possession of a butterfly knife. No crime involved, no previous offenses, kid got charged anyway. So really, you can step right off on that one.

    And gee, people still get stabbed all the f-ing time around here. I’ve SEEN people get stabbed. Beer bottle in the neck. He lived.

    Canada is a f-ing violent place, don’t let anybody tell you different. Knife control, gun control, all bullshit all the time.

  21. Lenora Rose on January 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm said:

    Stevie: Did you try the JS&MN tv series? I found it different enough to appeal, though the sheer pettiness of some of it comes through well.

    I’m a big fan of the book so naturally I was biased. I found my family (none of whom had read the book) were OKish with episodes 1 & 2 but were a bit but-where-is-this-going-is-it-sort-of-Harry-Potter-for-grown-ups?, warmed to it in episodes 3 & 4 and were manic converts to the whole thing in episodes 5,6 & 7 (but particularly 5 and 6).

    It is hard to say whether this is a flaw in the book (and hence the TV series as well) or a necessary part of its genius that it presents as ‘regency gents have magical adventures’ and you need to get a good third of the way into the book before it becomes clear that it is something more complex and interesting.

  22. The Phantom:

    “It may interest you to know that they actually have knife and sword control in Japan, and that knife control is being seriously pursued in England right now, today […] These things all work about as well and might be expected. Which is to say, not at all.”

    I thought you had proven your ignorance so many times now that you had given up, but no…

    We have a knife-law in Sweden too and they work very well. They help the police, when they frisk hooligans, to know who are the troublemakers and to arrest them before they can do anything else. It is a very nice law that has saved a lot of lives during the years.

  23. The Phantom on January 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm said:

    But also, you’re wrong. I’m one of those Canadians who’s lived all around the USA, and I’m disgusted by the fact that I have more rights as a foreign visitor in Phoenix AZ than I do in my own house in Ontario Canada.

    No you don’t and there is a simple way to tell. Of the two places the state is more likely to, and has more capacity to kill you in Phoenix AZ than in Ontario Canada. Functionally the extent to which you actually ‘have’ rights rest on that fundamental issue – the willingness and capacity for the state, or agents thereof, to kill you.

  24. Hampus Eckerman on January 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm said: “We have a knife-law in Sweden too and they work very well. They help the police, when they frisk hooligans, to know who are the troublemakers and to arrest them before they can do anything else.”

    Yes, because carrying a knife is all the evidence anyone needs that a guy is a trouble maker, right? I mean, he wouldn’t be armed if he wasn’t looking for trouble, right?

    Well, unless it was a blonde woman living in Malmo and she didn’t want to get raped on her way home from Ikea. But nah, she’s a TROUBLEMAKER, toss the bench in jail.

    I really don’t have to say anything, you guys just keep on making my points for me. Thanks, eh?

  25. I’ll add at this time that my mother did all the hard work for you girls back when I was little, getting a degree and her own bank account in the early 1950s by staring down anybody who told her “no”. Feminism is about women having equal rights and responsibilities under the law, which is long, long since accomplished. By my mother and her generation. And they did it in about fifteen years. Since the 1970’s it’s been Marxists whinging about Barbie’s waistline, and just lately about the injustice of there only being two (2) sexes.

    Yeah, the fact that my own mother found it almost impossible to get a bank account and charge cards in her own name in the late 1970s, even though she had a job, is clearly a figment of my imagination. Because Feminism Had Totally Won by then, so married women were never required to get their husband’s signature to deal with their own money any more. Oh, wait.

  26. “Yes, because carrying a knife is all the evidence anyone needs that a guy is a trouble maker, right? I mean, he wouldn’t be armed if he wasn’t looking for trouble, right?”

    When you are in a hole, stop digging. You have clearly no idea of how a knife law works, its function and what is counted as illegal. Go do some studying instead of spouting ignorance.

  27. The Phantom: More accurately, you keep inventing things we’re saying, most evident by the way you either badly paraphrase something into a different meaning or quote one thing then answer as if it said something else, and the things you invent are gotchas on straw people who aren’t talking. The people you’re talking to, on the other hand, are increasingly puzzled how you think anything you say is actually a ‘gotcha’.

    Of the two places the state is more likely to, and has more capacity to kill you in Phoenix AZ than in Ontario Canada

    is not something you can refute by citing one incident happening in Canada, once. Our statistics on shootings are higher than is ideal – we just had another, after all – but nothing like the level of the US.

    I live in Canada. I lived and walked in a notoriously crappy neighbourhood for about 5 years – not just for my city, but for Canadian cities. We’ve won a lot of Murder Capital of Canada awards over the years. I have seen one knife fight in my life – in passing, from a car, years ago. I have never seen or heard a shooting, and I guarantee you we’d have heard it from our balcony.

    Nobody has said Canada doesn’t have violence; I had coworkers mugged, and bad things happen to people I know. But you’d paint us as a war zone by using one example from the news, and you’d be wrong. That same neighbourhood had a lovely park and playground I would take my son to in a heartbeat (Well, in summer weather), and a school with a fabulous art program, where a friend of mine still teaches. And shops, and pleasance. And gang activity. And good bus service. And representatives from all three levels of government who really care – or sometimes who don’t, but in no greater or lesser a number than from the rich neighbourhoods.

    Nothing is of one piece unless you choose to see it so. You choose to look at the world through a paranoid lens and see it all as horrible violence just waiting to happen. I don’t. I try to see what’s really there.

  28. Oh look, a troll has come with his big man brain to rescue me and my little woman brain by explaining to me what feminism is. How have I lived all my life without this assistance?

    Oh, wait; assistance like that is available free, and worth every penny, that’s right.

    And it does occur to me that if The Phantom’s work is suffering, he would do better to look at how much time he is spending on the internet telling his grandmother she’s sucking eggs wrong.

  29. @Lenora Rose:

    We’ve won a lot of Murder Capital of Canada awards over the years.

    Winnipeg?

    (My immediate thought, sorry, though https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Canada#Murder_Capitals_since_1981 says that Winnipeg has held the title about as many times as all the other cities put together.)

    Me, I’m in Toronto, which has a pretty average Violent Crime Severity Index for Canada, but when that average is stretched over millions of people, it results in pretty serious absolute numbers.

    Oh, and on the main article, with regards to (2):
    Wow, that combination brings a couple of old memories back. I was involved in an online freeform game setup on a MUD with M.C.A. Hogarth (well, de Alarcon back in those days) for a couple of years back in the 90s. I should still have the pair of fanzine collections the group of us put together from some of what we had been doing together back then. It was a shame the way things eventually fell apart.

    <sigh> I never did finish the story I had planned on writing as an epilogue to all that, with people rediscovering some of the ruins centuries later. Maybe I should take a look at things again.

  30. Yep. Winnipeg. Nice quiet city, except for the racism and violence. Or possibly horrible city, except for the big (especially for its size) and active arts and culture scene.

  31. And this is where I don’t quote the Weakerthans, mostly because I know and love Winnipeg, which isn’t something a lot of USAians can say. I love it for its arts and culture and its vintage buildings and old trees, plus the super friendly people.

    In the absence of Meredith, I’d like to point out that this particular troll hasn’t actually produced any candy and is unlikely to do so at any point in the future.

  32. The Phantom on January 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm said:

    Camelstross Flopatron said: ” Of the two places the state is more likely to, and has more capacity to kill you in Phoenix AZ than in Ontario Canada.”

    Clearly, you have never -ever- been to Canada.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-toronto-officers-trial-sees-video-of-sammy-yatim-shooting/article26922407/

    Trigger warning.

    You might want to work out what ‘more likely’ means.

  33. Jack Lint: Well, unless you live in a small town or farm nearby. There’s an ongoing debate whether the floodway is helping save the city at the expense of the farmland or whether they’d be flooded anyhow and are blaming us because it’s nice to have someone to blame.

    I like Winnipeg. It’s sometimes hard to tell in these discussions, but I genuinely do. Old buildings, great arts, a plethora of restaurants, lots of trees, and a ton of sky. I admit readily that mountains are prettier than flatlands, (except the skies) but I feel weird in mountains.

  34. @Lenora Rose:

    but I feel weird in mountains.

    I was born in Prince George, B.C. (take a map of the province and look roughly dead center) a.k.a. one of the world’s largest lumber towns. Lived in B.C. all through high school, still visit the family summer place out in the Kootenay Boundary.

    I feel a bit weird NOT being in mountains. And Ontario doesn’t have any real mountains.

    That said, I have heard good things about the arts scene in Winnipeg; the friend I helped run a fan con table with at Worldcon works there as a cataloguer for one of the libraries, so I do hear occasional reports from a ‘ground level’.

  35. @Cat

    Oh look, a troll has come with his big man brain to rescue me and my little woman brain by explaining to me what feminism is. How have I lived all my life without this assistance?

    Oh, wait; assistance like that is available free, and worth every penny, that’s right.

    I dunno, I sometimes wonder if these ‘splaining sessions don’t make everyone dumber, just by absorbing the sheer wrongness, and so the advice ends up being worth less than nothing.

    ::ticky::

  36. (12) is it simply that these people have not bothered studying the history of the field they are talking about?

    Bingo! Now, Toni, if you could only get this through to your fellow Puppies, we’d all be better off. Her level of cognitive dissonance must be over 9000. Setting up and demolishing the same straw man (woman?) over and over again.

    (18) Watch Neil dGT totally destroy B.o.B. on “The Nightly Show”. Best. Mic Drop. EVAR. He may not rap, but his spoken word game is on fleek.

    @Petrea: I’m certain Rev. Fanthorpe could get another book out of that if he wanted to. It were ghosts what did it. Fortean Porn.

    @Jamoche: D’awwwww. Too cute.

    I’ve only seen one photo of the new Barbies, but it looked pretty good. As a non-blonde, what I wouldn’t have given as a little one to have a non-blonde Barbie. Yes, some of her pals were dark-haired, but they weren’t Barbie. And there was a great lack of Hispanic and Asian Barbie-oids. Ken didn’t get much action in my neighborhood; the Barbies gravitated towards G.I. Joe, who was full-sized back then. Barbies and pals did a number of USO shows in the backyards for Our Boys, as well as being nurses. I think Ken got to be Bob Hope. Nobody I knew had freaky Grow-Up Skipper.

  37. @Lee: re MZV: So then you would say that only those women of such exceptional talent and iron will as yours should be allowed to “prove themselves” and become what they want to be? If you have to be twice as good as a man, does that mean that women who are only as good as a man, or half again as good — or even those who are indeed twice as good but lacking that iron will to deal with hostility and harassment — should be condemned to failure and locked up in little gender-appropriate cages? What a fucking waste. It’s also inaccurate to describe that situation as “competing against men”, because if it were, then a woman wouldn’t have to be twice as good in order not to be turned down in favor of an inferior male competitor. What she described there is women having to compete against sexist bigotry, which is an entirely different thing.

    Yes, I completely agree with you, and moreover, that sort of attitude which was common had a name among some of the 1970s feminist writers whose works I read: the “Exceptional Woman” syndrome. The quote you gave is a textbook example of that sort of thinking. Moreover, it was not uncommon (and I ran into this myself as a graduate student in the late 1970s) for the isolated/few women who had “made it” in that man’s world to be extremely anti-feminist and much harder on younger women (the term “Queen Bee” was a shorthand for that type of attitude) because, it seemed like, those women wanted to show they were tougher than any man, not going to play favorites, etc.

    Depressing as all hell, and one of the many experiences that undercut the “women are sister” idealist rhetoric of the time.

  38. If you all like Larbalestier’s book, odds are good you will enjoy Helen Merrick’s Secret Feminist Cabal which sort of picks up where Justine’s book stops, chronologically, and takes the history of feminisms in sff up to the 2000s, ending with Racefail. (Spoilers in Brit Mandelo’s review which link leads to).

    The three authors–Lisa Yaszek, Justine Larbalestier, and Helen Merrick–are a fantastic intellectual/cultural history of gender and feminist debates in sff.

    Davin’s work is good in terms of showing the activity of women…I’m sorry that he seemed to go off on “the presence of women’s proves NOTSEXIST” which is how I took some of what he said.

  39. Well, the thread is much improved by the Phantom’s words faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaading.

    But there’s an Agent Carter doll?

    Srsly? Because I am loving that show so damn much this season (loved it before, LOVE IT MOAR NOW).

    *goes to look*

  40. @robinareid

    Well, the thread is much improved by the Phantom’s words faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaading.

    I wish the Plonk script worked in my email, though. *grumble*

    I just ordered The Secret Feminist Cabal. Apparently Amazon has a new site (or maybe it isn’t new, though this is the first I’ve seen it) called smile.amazon.com, where if you buy eligible items, they will donate 0.5 percent to charity for you. I picked Planned Parenthood of Arizona. I buy books from Amazon all the time, so somebody should get something useful out of it.

  41. redheadedfemme: Oh, the emails? I tried to set that up the other day, but in one of the ways that WordPress continues to alienate me, I couldn’t figure out how to do it, so i am SAVED!

    The script doesn’t work on my android phone, but I am not so tempted to peck out lengthy explanations of why they are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong on the phone!

  42. Absolutely I will apologize. (See, I don’t actually feel apologizing when I’m wrong about something is a sign of weakness. And if I’ve made a declarative statement and I’m wrong, then yep, I’ll apologize for it.)

    Let’s set our watches for this time next year, shall we?

  43. The Phantom: No, that was the reality of the SF market when Andre Norton started, which was the early 1950’s.

    Er–Norton changed her name in 1934, the same year her first book was published (I think; I can’t find the exact publication date, but but it was defintely in the mid-1930s; the book was The Prince Commands, basically a YA Ruritanian romance). It seems to have been her experiences selling that book that led to the name change. Since it wasn’t sf/f, I’m not sure if it’s relevant, but there you go. Norton then went on to write several more “boy’s adventure” type historicals before starting to write SF/F. Her first more-or-less fantasy novel seems to have been Huon of the Horn (1951); her first sf novel was Star Man’s Son (1951; republished by Ace as Daybreak 2250 AD in 1954). Would she have had more difficulty breaking in as a woman writer of fantasy and sf if she hadn’t already had a fairly lengthy career writing under a male name? I don’t know. But given that an awful lot of the best-remembered female writers of SF/F in the 1950s and earlier had gender-neutral writing names (Leigh Brackett and C.L. Moore come to mind), I suspect she never regretted her earlier choice.

    By the way, there were young girls as well as young boys reading sf and fantasy in the 1950s and 1960s, if you accept anecdotal evidence; I was one of them, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone.

    Second by the way: according to Wikipedia, the first edition of The Prince Commands, published by the D. Appleton-Century Company, was illustrated by Kate Seredy–well, I think that’s neat! Does anyone else but me remember Kate Seredy?

  44. The Phantom: No, that was the reality of the SF market when Andre Norton started, which was the early 1950’s.

    Mary Frances: Er–Norton changed her name in 1934, the same year her first book was published (I think; I can’t find the exact publication date, but but it was defintely in the mid-1930s; the book was The Prince Commands, basically a YA Ruritanian romance). It seems to have been her experiences selling that book that led to the name change.

    I’m starting to have yearning thoughts about a dynamic plonk script: the more “no, you’re factually wrong about that” points (demerits?) someone accumulates, the more faded their text becomes. The Phantom appears to be approaching polar bear eating sushi rice on a paper plate in a blizzard levels of accuracy.

    And Kate Seredy — yes! I’m currently in a state of “do NOT tell me I somehow inadvertently decluttered my copy of The Good Master out the door. No.” But it hasn’t turned up, and I am sad.

    Is the Prince Mikulas story anywhere online? (I can’t even remember the correct wording of the “from the stars above” speech, so how is it still able to make me weepy just from memory?) Or the tale about how people live in the afterlife as long as their physical works survive?

    Regarding apologies: I’ve come to believe that being able to apologize, like being able to say “I used to think that, but I’ve changed my mind”, is one of the key secrets to happiness and a good life. It’s both freeing and cleansing to be able to say “I’m sorry for what I did, and I will do my best not to repeat it”, as long as it’s truly meant.

  45. Lexica: s the Prince Mikulas story anywhere online? (I can’t even remember the correct wording of the “from the stars above” speech, so how is it still able to make me weepy just from memory?) Or the tale about how people live in the afterlife as long as their physical works survive?

    Not that I know of. Puffin Newbery and, um, Purple House? have done paperback reprints of some of Seredy’s best known works, in the 1980s and more recently, but there have been no ebooks and no online editions or excerpts that I could find. (Doesn’t mean they aren’t out there; just that I can’t find them.) The Seredy book I’ve always loved and looked for at library sales over the years is The Chestry Oak. Sentimentality raised to the nth degree, but I didn’t care as a kid and I wouldn’t care now if I could find it, for the memories if for no other reason . . .

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