Pixel Scroll 4/25/19 When Other Pixels Have Been Fifthgot, Ours Will Still Scroll Hot

(1) A CLOCKWORK REWIND. After Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World (1932), he wrote a book of essays about issues raised in the novel, Brave New World Revisited (1958). Anthony Burgess planned to do the same for his novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) in A Clockwork Condition. Burgess evidently decided he was a better novelist than a philosopher and never published his 200-page typescript, which now has been rediscovered by The Anthony Burgess Foundation: “Unseen Clockwork Orange ‘follow-up’ by Anthony Burgess unearthed”.

A previously unseen manuscript for a follow-up to writer Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange has been unearthed in his archive.

A Clockwork Condition, which runs to 200 pages, is a collection of Burgess’ thoughts on the human condition and develops the themes from his 1962 book.

The novel told the story of the state’s attempt to cure a teenage delinquent.

The unfinished non-fiction follow-up is described as “part philosophical reflection and part autobiography”….

He then published a short autobiographical novel tackling some of the same themes, The Clockwork Testament, in 1974.

On Friday, the Design Museum in London launches a major Stanley Kubrick exhibition, which will include material from his Clockwork Orange film.

(2) COSPLAY: A HISTORY. Andrew Liptak has one on the way to the press says SYFY Wire. “First Look: Cosplay expert Andrew Liptak examines fandom fashion in Cosplay: A History”.

Cosplay: A History is a deluxe upcoming release from Saga Press celebrating the colorful kingdom of cosplay being compiled by writer/historian Andrew Liptak

Inspiration to craft this upcoming book came from his interest in the history of the 501st Legion. At the same time, he was working closely with The Verge colleague Bryan Bishop and realized that costumers working today occupy a fascinating place between the intersection of fandom, entertainment, and technology.

Liptak’s own press release says –

Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company brokered the deal with Joe Monti of Saga Press. The initial goal as it stands right now is to have it turned in by next March, with it to hit stores in 2021. I’ll be doing quite a bit of research and writing in the coming months, and expect to see more about cosplay as I write. 

The book is going to cover the broad history of cosplay and the state of the field. I’m looking at a lot of things: renaissance fairs, masquerade balls at science fiction conventions, groups like the 501st Legion, 405th Infantry Division, historical reenactors, protestors, and more. 

The goal is to talk about why people dress up in costumes, and how they interact with the story that they’re reimagining. It’s a wonderful popular culture phenomenon, and there’s a lot to delve into with the intersections of fandom, the making and entertainment communities, and technology. 

(3) SWAMP THING TEASER. A new original series DC Universe Swamp Thing premieres May 31.

SWAMP THING follows Abby Arcane as she investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana but soon discovers that the swamp holds mystical and terrifying secrets. When unexplainable and chilling horrors emerge from the murky marsh, no one is safe. Based on the DC characters originally written and drawn by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.

(4) SF CONCATENATION. The summer edition of the SF2 Concatenation is now up, with its seasonal summary of SF news as well as a survey of the primary research journals, for science philes, plus forthcoming SF/F and non-fiction book releases from the major British Isles SF imprints.

And the regular articles include film charts and Gaia for this season, another in the series of scientist-turned-SF-authors inspiring scientists, a swathe of standalone fiction and non-fiction reviews. The next seasonal edition will appear in September.

(5) PACKET ITEM AVAILABLE. Bogi Takács has released eir Hugo Voter’s Packet for Best Fan Writer – the material is at this link: “Hugo award voter packet 2019 (works from 2018)”.

I successfully produced my Hugo award voter packet! ….I hope. It features some highlights from 2018, but I had a lot more stuff in 2018, so please feel free to browse around.

The packet only has reviews and other forms of fan writing, because it is for the Fan Writer category. So no original fiction or poetry!…

(6) TICKETS TO RIDE. There’s an Omaze fundraiser for The Planetary Society — “Win a One-of-a-Kind 1958 VW® Bug Powered by Tesla® Batteries”. Buy tickets for a chance to win at the link.

  • Score a rare, custom Zelectric 1958 Classic VW Bug with an electric motor and Tesla batteries (the only one of its kind!)
  • Enjoy 102 HP thanks to its electric motor and a nearly 100 mile range battery that’ll keep you moving
  • Rock this car’s classic style and upgraded perks like new leather seats, high-quality flooring, ragtop sunroof and more
  • Support The Planetary Society’s work to advance space science and exploration

(7) NICK TREK. The Hollywood Reporter informs fans — “‘Star Trek’ Animated Series Gets Green Light at Nickelodeon”.

The cable network has given a series order to an animated Trek show from Emmy-winning writers Kevin and Dan Hageman and Star Trek franchise captain Alex Kurtzman. The untitled, CG-animated series will follow a group of teenagers who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation.

(8) MORE ON MCINTYRE. Kate Schaefer sent a roundup of time-sensitive Vonda McIntyre news.

Vonda N. McIntyre’s memorial will be held Sunday afternoon on June 9 at The Mountaineers Goodman Auditorium at 7700 Sand Point Way NE in Seattle, Washington.

Doors will open at 1:45, an event will start at 2:30, and the memorial will end at 4:30pm.

After short introductory remarks, we’ll have a microphone to pass around so that folks can share brief reminiscences of Vonda.

Further information about the memorial will be posted on Vonda’s CaringBridge page at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/vondanmcintyre/journal.

Also — Jeanne Gomoll and Stephanie Ann Smith are still collecting memories of Vonda for a tribute book to be distributed both as a free electronic document and as a print-on-demand physical book. Send your memories to Jeanne at jg@unionstreetdesign.com before May 11.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 25, 1897 Fletcher Pratt. Pratt is best known for his  collaborations with de Camp, the most well-known of which is the Harold Shea series which is collected as The Complete Enchanter. His solo fantasy novels The Well of the Unicorn and The Blue Star are also superb. Pratt established the literary dining club known as the Trap Door Spiders in 1944. The club would later fictionalized as the Black Widowers in a series of mystery stories by Asimov. Pratt would be fictionalized in one story, “To the Barest”, as the Widowers’ founder, Ralph Ottur. (Died 1956.)
  • Born April 25, 1925 Richard Deming. Ok, I think that all of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. novellas, or in this case the Girl from U.N.C.L.E. novellas, in the digest-sized Man from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, were listed under the house name of Robert Hart Davis. Deming was only one of a very long list of writers (I know of Richard Curtis, Richard Deming, I. G. Edmonds, John Jakes, Frank Belknap Long, Dennis Lynds, Talmage Powell, Bill Pronzini, Charles Ventura and Harry Whittington) that were the writers who penned novellas in the twin U.N.C.L.E. series. (Died 1983.)
  • Born April 25, 1929 Robert A. Collins. Scholar of science fiction who founded the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. Editor of the Fantasy Newsletter & Fantasy Review from 1978 to 1987, and editor of the IAFA Newsletter from 1988 to 1993. Editor, The Scope of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the First International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature and Film and Modes of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Twelfth Annual International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. (Died 2009.)
  • Born April 25, 1939 Rex Miller. Horror writer with a hand in many pies, bloody ones at that. (Sorry couldn’t resist.) The Chaingang series featured Daniel Bunkowski, a half-ton killing-machine. Definitely genre. He contributed to some thirty anthologies including Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic HorrorFrankenstein: The Monster WakesDick Tracy: The Secret Files and The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams. (Died 2005.)
  • Born April 25, 1950 Peter Jurasik, 69. Ambassador Londo Mollari on Babylon 5 who would be Emperor one day and die for his sins. (Yes spoiler.) He has also very short genre credits other than Babylon 5 — Doctor Oberon Geiger for several episodes on Sliders and Crom, the timid and pudgy compound interest program, in the Tron film. 
  • Born April 25, 1952 Peter Lauritson, 67. Long involved with the Trek franchise starting with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He became the producer of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and supervising producer for Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. He directed three episodes of those series, including the Hugo Award-winning “The Inner Light”, as well as being second unit director for two Star Trek films.
  • Born April 25, 1969 Gina Torres, 50. The first thing I remember seeing her in was Cleopatra 2525 where she was Helen ‘Hel’ Carter. Her first genre was in the M.A.N.T.I.S. pilot as Dr. Amy Ellis, and she actually was in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions as a character named Cas but I’ll frankly admit I remember almost nothing of those films. She’s had a number of DC voice roles including a recurring Justice League Unlimited run as Vixen / Mari McCabe. And, of course, Zoe in the Firefly verse. Lastly anyone remember her on the Angel series as Jasmine?

(10) ACONYTE. Asmodee is a leading global games publisher and distributor. Its game brands include Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Arkham Horror, and Legend of the Five Rings. More recent hits have included the innovative fantasy card game KeyForge and the co-operative zombie survival missions of Dead of Winter.

Asmodee Entertainment has created their own fiction imprint — Aconyte, it will be publishing novels based on many of Asmodee’s best game properties. Aconyte are also actively pursuing licenses for third-party tie-in fiction, with the first of these at the contract stage. Aconyte will start a monthly publication schedule from early summer 2020, producing paperbacks and ebooks for the US, UK and export trade.

To helm the imprint, Asmodee has appointed Marc Gascoigne, lately publisher & MD of award-winning global scifi imprint Angry Robot. He’s hired assistant editor, Lottie Llewelyn-Wells, and publishing coordinator, Nick Tyler, to join him in new offices in Nottingham.

(11) PEAK GEEK. Vox suspects “Geek culture may never again be as all-consuming as it is right now”. “Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones make this moment feel like a series finale for geek pop culture too.”

…But if this moment in pop culture started around 10 years ago, it’s coming to some sort of peak now, as two massively beloved pop culture properties reach endpoints. And there’s a definite finality to it. Here’s the curious thing about this moment: So much of this geek culture apotheosis revolves around the question of which of our favorite fictional characters are going to die. Call it geekpocalypse now….

(12) PAST ITS PEAK. From Wisecrack — “Harry Potter & The Plague of Twitter: Why JK Rowling Should Leave Harry Alone.”

JK Rowling has been regularly updating the Harry Potter lore; not through more books, not through movies, but through twitter. Fans voraciously consume extra-textual canon on works like Harry Potter, Star Wars and much more. But does this desire for an all-encompassing knowledge of how fictional worlds tell us something about our own anxieties? In this Wisecrack Edition, we’ll dive in to the works of philosopher Martin Heidegger to discover why people are so consumed by the desire to understand the nitty gritty details of fictional worlds, and to how it reflects an essential element of our humanity.

(13) SHELVES FULL OF BOOKS. Laura Lee expounds on “Women’s Bookshelves and Clutter”.

I don’t have strong feelings about Marie Kondo and her theories of decluttering. I know a number of people who have found her “does this object spark joy” way of relating to stuff to be meaningful and if feeling overwhelmed by too many possessions is an issue for you then it might be just what the doctor ordered. I have no problem with Kondo giving this advice, take it or leave it…

I did, however, have some opinions on the Electric Lit article defending Kondo and decrying “bookishness.” The background is that in an episode of Kondo’s TV series she suggested that people get rid of books that do not “spark joy” and book lovers began to write think pieces about whether or not books are clutter. Some people had strong feelings on the subject.

Book buying, and book writing, have long been feminine activities. As I have pointed out here a number of times, in Victorian England female authors outsold their male counterparts, but their works were not deemed worthy of serious study and the memory of many once influential women has not found its way down to us. (A number of scholars are now trying to recover these “lost” works and bring them to our attention.) Books by women or which women appreciated have consistently been written off as fluffy, sentimental, non-intellectual and unimportant. If Egginton is correct, women were not only major consumers of popular literature, they were also creating “serious” libraries and archives to rival men’s, but their efforts, like their books, were denigrated.

It is interesting then to see a feminist writer contrasting the masculine “highly discriminating form of curated library collection” with the feminine “highly personalized, almost fannish, engagement with books.” Then following this with an argument that the feminized form of consumption led to the emotional engagement with middlebrow literature that book blogs now celebrate.

…Is it at all possible a century of being judged by the cleanliness of their homes, being told that this was more important than their intellects, and that their taste in literature is trivial might have colored their reactions to an authority suggesting their books might be clutter?

(14) COMING TO A BOIL. Here’s the new poster for GeyserCon, the 40th New Zealand National Convention happening in another six weeks:

(15) OUR MARCHING ORDERS. In “Timothy’s Hugo Picks”, Timothy the Talking Cat’s recommendations bear all the marks of a slate – because he put them there.

I’m going to come right out and say it: this is a slate. Vote for each of these in this order or else.

(16) NEUTRON LONGEVITY. Nature reports “Physicists close in on neutron puzzle” [PDF file].

Physicists are drawing nearer to answering a long-standing mystery of the Universe: how long a neutron lives. Neutrons are electrically neutral particles the nucleus of atoms.

Some neutrons are not bound up in atoms; these free-floating neutrons decay radioactively into other particles in minutes. But physicists can’t agree on precisely how long it takes a neutron to die. Using one laboratory approach, they measure the average neutron lifetime as 14 minutes 39 seconds. Using a different approach, they get 8 seconds longer!

Pinpointing the lifetime of a neutron is important for understanding how much hydrogen, helium and other light elements formed in the first few minutes after the Universe was born 13.8 billion years ago. 

(17) BEEN TO SEE THE DRAGON. Doctor Science is right, there aren’t too many eyewitness accounts like this — “A first-hand description of a dragon”.

The observations were made by the Chinese scholar Xie Zhaozhe (1567–1624)…

Obviously this account is extremely useful for writers of fantasy and science fiction. I don’t know if the (vast) Chinese literature contains any other first-person accounts of dragons, much less ones recorded by such a careful and specific observer. I’m pretty sure there are no good first-person descriptions from the other end of Eurasia.

Then there’s the question of what Xie Zhaozhe “actually” saw….

 (18) BEHIND THE SCENES WITH HALDEMAN. The Partially Examined Life podcast talks to one of the field’s greats: “Constellary Tales #7: Interview with Author Joe Haldeman”.

SFWA Grand Master Joe Haldeman takes Brian and Ken behind the scenes of his storied career in an exclusive interview. Among other conversation topics…

  • How “I of Newton” went from the page to The Twilight Zone
  • The unusual origins of Hugo Award–winning short story “Tricentennial”
  • Getting The Forever War published (and bootlegging the stage production)
  • Details about Joe’s new novel in the works (!!!)

(19) MAD, I TELL YOU. A TED-Ed presentation written and narrated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “Titan of terror: the dark imagination of H.P. Lovecraft.”

Dive into the stories of horror savant H.P. Lovecraft, whose fantastical tales, such as “The Call of Cthulhu,” created a new era of Gothic horror

Arcane books of forbidden lore, disturbing secrets in the family bloodline, and terrors so unspeakable the very thought of them might drive you mad. These have become standard elements in modern horror stories. But they were largely popularized by a single author: H.P. Lovecraft, whose name has become synonymous with the terror he inspired. Silvia Moreno-García dissects the “Lovecraftian” legacy.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Paul Weimer, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Liptak, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Andrew Porter, JJ, Mlex, Cat Eldridge, ULTRAGOTHA, Doctor Science, Alan Baumler, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, John A Arkansawyer, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

55 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/25/19 When Other Pixels Have Been Fifthgot, Ours Will Still Scroll Hot

  1. (2) COSPLAY: A HISTORY.

    I have quite a high opinion of Liptak’s reviewing skills. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

  2. (5) PACKET ITEM AVAILABLE.

    I’m really pleased to see that the vast majority of eir submission is fan writing, though I wish that the couple of pieces of pro writing had been excluded.

  3. (11) PEAK GEEK.

    Meh. Next year, there’ll be a new Avengers timeline story put out, and Game of Thrones spinoffs. Never let it be said that Hollywood has failed to avail itself of every opportunity to beat a milk cow thoroughly to death.

  4. Still recovering, but my doctor, after examining me today, as well as asking questions, has determined, officially, that I am Doing It Right.

    Need more sleep now.

  5. This year’s Audiobook Sync program with free-to-keep audiobooks for teens and the young at heart has begun. A different pair of titles is available for download via the Overdrive app every week from April 25-July 25. Some titles have georestrictions, but there’s a page letting you know which ones.

    Titles across multiple genres including SFF, such as Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch.

  6. (1) I have Brave New World and BNW: Revisited in one volume so I’ve read them both (several times). The Burgess equivalent sounds worth reading as well.

    Thanks for the title credit!

  7. 17) thank you, thank you. And why is it that I couldn’t think of the term “eye-witness” when I was writing my post?

    It’s striking that, for the Chinese, dragons weren’t *distant* mythical beasts, they were rarely-seen but local. They’ve never been Fairie™ as they were to Tolkien.

    But the dragons of western Eurasia *look* a hell of a lot like Chinese dragons, even almost 2000 years ago. I wonder if this was due to dragon representations in bronze, silk, etc., making their way across the continent to inspire Westerners.

    Or, of course, to dragons being a widespread genus.

  8. Also, I just finished Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, *definitely* one for next year’s Hugo Longlist.

    One of its notable points is how much incluing there is, and how specific that pleasure is to SFF. Historical novels don’t really force you to pick up so much from context alone, there are always dictionaries, encyclopedias, Wikipedia to tell what a “postillion” is. Only in SFF do you actually *have* to figure things out from context, and it can be *fun*, it feels good.

    Bear does it a LOT in Ancestral Night: there’s a lot of talky discussion about society comma how to have a good one, but there’s not a lot of as-you-know-bob about what a “syster” is, or (in first chapter or so) what our heroine’s “afthands” might be.

    And the thing is, figuring things out from context is how our brains *work*, it’s how we learn language (among other things). It’s *fun*, but it’s a fun that adults can only really get from SFF.

  9. (1) I’ve read Burgess’ book 1985, which is half a collection of essays in various forms about Orwell’s 1984, and half a novella about Burgess’ pressing concerns of the time.

    The fiction is horrifically bad, both technically and aesthetically. This book got published in 1978 and Burgess proves prescient in his fears of sinister Muslim hordes buying everything up and the left wing tying up the whole country in interlocking union deals so that anyone anywhere who dares to piss off any member of the Trades Union Congress will be screwed for life. Not prescient about reality, mind you, but prescient in giving prominence to a particular set of right-wing fears. Reading it a few years later gave me a much better sense of some reasons Thatcher came to power, by dramatizing the fears one sort of Briton felt very deeply and illustrating some ways really sleazy, pandering prurience can nestle so comfortably with earnest moralizing. (Hey, I was still a teenager, it’s always someone’s first encounter with some of these things.)

    The essays, by contrast, are engaging, frequently funny, and genuinely insightful, often more insightful than Burgess might have wished. His commentary on ways Orwell’s fears and fatigue led him to prematurely abandon hope for better life than the immediate post-war years allowed applies so strongly to Burgess’ own ’70s fears, but it apparently never occurs to him think so. But then there’s his comments about character names, with his naming of the protagonist in A Clockwork Orange as an example, and they’re great. It goes like that.

  10. 6) I wouldn’t mind one of those, even though VW Beetles aren’t all that comfortable to drive (those big fender are accident prone). My parents had a beetle very much like this one, when I was a kid, only that ours was green. We called it “Laubfrosch” (tree frog). And this one is electrical, which makes it even better.

    9)

    Lastly anyone remember her on the Angel series as Jasmine?

    I have and it was what made me stop watching the series for good, because that storyline was so bloody awful. Basically, Torres’ character is some kind of evil goddess/cosmic power who possesses Cordelia and makes her seduce Vincent Kartheiser’s character (forgot the name), who was Angel’s son and therefore sort of her step kid. Then evil Cordelia gets pregnant and is beaten so badly by Angel and the rest of the team, until she goes into labour (the actress was pregnant in real life, while these scenes were filmed), while Vincent Kartheiser stands by and begs them not to hurt her. The labour results in a fully grown Gina Torres being born and Cordelia falling into a coma. Apparently, Torres continues being evil for some episodes more.

    And in spite of being responsible for crap like that, Joss Whedon (and I liked Firefly and his Marvel movies) is still hailed as a feminist writer.

    15) I totally agree with Timothy’s pick for best railway station, because St. Pancras is awesome. Though I’m also partial to Antwerpen Central Station, Helsinki Central Station (as everybody who attended WorldCon 75 can attest) and Gare de Metz-Ville. Finally, I’m also a fan of local champion Oldenburg Central Station, which is not just a beautiful Art Deco building, but also has a separate building for the Duke of Oldenburg and his family, so they wouldn’t have to board trains together with the hoi polloi. He got to enjoy it for three years, then monarchy was abolished in Germany at the end of WWI and good riddance, too. The ducal pavillion is not a museum.

  11. 13) That’s a very good rebuttal to the rebuttals of Marie Kondo rebuttals. Now I dislike minimalism and intensely dislike Marie Kondo. It’s also striking how few people can see that the current decluttering mania is yet another way to get you to buy more stuff, once you inevitably find that you need something that you threw away in a decluttering fit six months ago and now have to buy again. If you prefer a minimalist lifestyle, fine. But let the rest of us live the way we prefer.

    One thing that really annoyed me was that any critique of Marie Kondo and her methods was immediately dismissed as racism. Did people make racist comments about Marie Kondo? Of course, and that was horrible. But a lot of people criticised what Marie Kondo stood for, namely an aggressive and judgmental decluttering movement, not Marie Kondo as a person. And a lot of the justified criticisms of Marie Kondo’s comments about books were dismissed with “You’re just a racist and privileged white person who collects books to appear smart.” So I’m really happy to see a rebuttal of this.

  12. Doctor Science on April 25, 2019 at 9:41 pm said:
    17) thank you, thank you. And why is it that I couldn’t think of the term “eye-witness” when I was writing my post?

    It’s striking that, for the Chinese, dragons weren’t *distant* mythical beasts, they were rarely-seen but local. They’ve never been Fairie™ as they were to Tolkien.

    But the dragons of western Eurasia *look* a hell of a lot like Chinese dragons, even almost 2000 years ago. I wonder if this was due to dragon representations in bronze, silk, etc., making their way across the continent to inspire Westerners.

    A helpful guide in Bhutan pointed out to me that Dragons were just like tigers – it’s just that tigers are the only mythical animal that hadn’t gone extinct yet.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druk

  13. 13) “Book buying, and book writing, have long been feminine activities.”

    What is it with irritating habit of gendering all activities. 🙁 Soccer is masculine. Book buying is feminine. And this sentence?

    “It is interesting then to see a feminist writer contrasting the masculine “highly discriminating form of curated library collection” with the feminine “highly personalized, almost fannish, engagement with books.” “

    No, it is not interesting at all. It is quite irritating to think of a woman with a curated library collection as masculine or a man with a fannish engagement of books as feminine. I really hate this cisheteronormative way of thinking and gendering.

  14. (13) many thanks for the link to this excellent article. One of the best things about 20th-century feminism (for me) was the rediscovery of so many intellectual and literary foremothers. As a result, I have a lot of books (re)published by Virago, Hogarth and Persephone, as well as other feminist and small presses. If you haven’t seen any of the Persephone line, do seek them out. As well as excellent reading copies, they are beautiful just as books.
    And what Cora Buhlert said!

    Best wishes for continued recovery, Lis Carey!

  15. (1) It seemed odd that The Aldous Huxley Foundation would discover an Anthony Burgess manuscript; the linked article says it was the International Anthony Burgess Foundation that found it. 🙂

  16. @Hampus Eckerman: “What is it with irritating habit of gendering all activities.”

    When you’re studying culture and history, you have to meet them on their own terms. If an activity has long been gendered, it’s wrong not to acknowledge that fact. The sentence you object to is descriptive, not (necessarily) normative. It may be “quite irritating to think of a woman with a curated library collection as masculine or a man with a fannish engagement of books as feminine”. You and my kid would be in essential (heh) agreement on this point. I sometimes find it irritating myself, though I ultimately find gender more interesting to play with than to obscure, ignore, disregard, or obliterate. My irritation turns to anger when I encounter this:

    @Msb: “One of the best things about 20th-century feminism (for me) was the rediscovery of so many intellectual and literary foremothers. As a result, I have a lot of books (re)published by Virago, Hogarth and Persephone, as well as other feminist and small presses.”

    So much has been rediscovered! Yet so much has been lost, and so much more has lost time before rediscovery, specifically due to unfair standards applied to gender. When I was a small store book buyer, and later an independent rack jobber (a step down. Trust me on this), I made a point of stocking such books from feminist presses for that reason, just like I stocked books from gay presses, black presses, and so on. I read significant amounts of what I stocked, too, partly because the books interested me, and partly so I could do a better job turning people onto them. How could I have done that had I not acknowledged the role of gender in publishing.

    I think it’s great to end cishet normativity! I also think playing with gender is going to remain a human activity for the foreseeable future. There’s too much pleasure in it, much of it very hot, for it not to be. Having a wider palette of gender–including genderlessness– with which to paint our lives is much better than abolishing gender altogether.

    Maybe I’ll do my nails before I sing in church this Sunday. Last time, I let my shaved head grow out for a couple of weeks, then tinted it a pale green. I was singing “Changes” and wanted to look like Ziggy Stardust (doesn’t everybody?) with natural green hair traced by time. Since I’ll be playing hand percussion, letting the kid do my nails seems right.

    Thanks for getting me on this soapbox! It’s been very productive.

    tl;dr: I am an anger swallower and I want to be beautiful!

  17. 14) Run by my friend Grace Bridges, another friend (Kaaron Warren) as a Guest of Honor…that almost all enough for me to want to go–even with all of the sulfur and my allergies thereof.

  18. 9) Gina Torres also played Nebula, a pirate captain, on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Kevin Sorbo has ruined my ability to go back and re-watch that show, but it was very important to my 10-yr-old nerd self. So many armor bras, though.

  19. John A Arkansawyer:

    “! I also think playing with gender is going to remain a human activity for the foreseeable future.”

    Agree with you. I do have my nailkit at home with the stamping kit which I like to use before parties sometimes. Sorry to say, I have no hair anymore, but did colour it green sometimes when I was younger. And I mix. Sometimes it is playing with gender roles and taboos, other times trying to make the roles less restrictive and brwak away from them.

    I’ll swallow my anger and dream of a cuter metal world.

    https://youtu.be/M8-vje-bq9c

  20. I see Timothy left out Best Serial (Nutty Nuggets, of course!) and Best Art Bosch, which would of course be Hieronymus. Also the Load Award for Best Yahoo book, for which I am sure Timothy meant to vote for all of the 2018 Trigger Snowflake stories.

    .

    .

    (Actually, Nutty Nuggets ™ is really and truly one of my favorite cereals, but I’ll bet that’s not why Timothy chose it.)

  21. From the past, I poke my head up to say:

    Cry pixel and let slip the scrolls of war!

    (Possibly some variation’s already been used.)

  22. @Hampus Eckerman:

    I’ll swallow my anger and dream of a cuter metal world.

    Oh. My. God. The kid will love that, and so do I! I expected Babymetal. But this. This!

    Here’s something I learned the hard way. If you want the video to show up, you have to use the somewhat-canonical https://youtube.com/watch?v= form, like so:

  23. John A Arkansawyer: tl;dr: I am an anger swallower and I want to be beautiful!

    Suddenly the phrase “sin eater” popped into my mind. I hadn’t thought of that story for a very long time.

  24. David H: Don’t know how Aldous Huxley Foundation got in there — my stream of unconsciousness editing process strikes again.

  25. Huxley enlarged his consciousness enough to absorb and transform an evocation of Burgess. Greedy shaman are the worst.

  26. I just bought Priory of the Orange Tree from Kobo. When I asked for a download, it gives me an Adobe Digital Edition. My *intention* is to give the file to my daughter, who’s part-way through the library book but it has to go back, can’t be renewed.

    How do I get the file to her laptop (Windows 10) or smartphone (iPhone)?

  27. OGH: “Suddenly the phrase “sin eater” popped into my mind.”

    The Sin Eaters were also a band from Springfield, Missouri in the late eighties and early nineties, if my memory is correct. Either that or it was the original name of Jesus Lee Jones and the Hillbilly Witchcraft Band, one of Fayetteville, Arkansaw’s top ten rock bands ever!

    I’ll ask around and find out. Some young trumpersnapper called me “old coot” yesterday and the tears I cried from it appear to have corrupted my memory banks.

  28. April 25th is Hank Azaria’s birthday. He’s probably best known for his turn as The Blue Raja in Mystery Men and as Gargamel in the live action version of The Smurfs. Also does some voice work on children’s cartoons.

    Also Jason Lee who I always thought was destined to play Lucas Lee in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. (OK, he was around 40 when the movie was released.) He did a lot of the Kevin Smith movies and was the voice of Syndrome in The Incredibles.

  29. @OGH: Not that you or anyone else will care, really, but the Sin Eaters were a short-lived band of the mid-eighties in Fayetteville. I don’t think they ever played in public.

  30. There’s an episode of The Night Gallery with a sin eater story called “The Sins of the Father.” (Based on a short story of the same name by Christianna Brand.) Richard Thomas plays what amounts to a sin eater apprentice. Michael Dunn also appears probably just to add to the atmosphere, but frankly he’s a better actor than most Night Gallery stories deserved. Oh and Geraldine Page, too. Really a good cast.

  31. @Hampus and @John —

    My mind is officially blown. Thank you both.

    Now I have to go find some bean paste mochi to eat.

  32. 13) Read both the linked article and the Electric Lit one. My main take-away from Hannah McGregor’s essay was a feeling that it was a typical academic elitist writing. Especially the last paragraph.
    But, I did find a sentence that I’m sending on to friends while I was looking into who she was.

    “Hannah is co-editing a special issue of the journal Atlantis on women activists, artists, and intellectuals negotiating the fraught affordances of various digital publics.”

  33. @Doctor Science,

    I’m about halfway through Ancestral Night. I really like the setting and the incluing, but on several occasions, I have found myself skimming through the prolonged ruminations (on the nature of government, or meditation, or right thinking) in order to get to the good bits about ancient alien artifacts and sleeping cats. I think the vaguely Heinleinesque digressions are why I have been dipping in and out of it for about a week, instead of reading it all in a single gulp.

  34. “Or I will scroll thee in the gobberfiles with my pixelcruncheon, see if I don’t!” “

  35. @ Nickp

    I think the vaguely Heinleinesque digressions are why I have been dipping in and out of it for about a week, instead of reading it all in a single gulp.

    I liked the digressions myself. It’s probably Heinlein’s fault. 🙂

  36. Haven’t read Ancestral Night yet, but it’s high on my list. I’m very pleased to see Bear returning to her SF roots from the worlds of fantasy. I know that women who dare to write SF instead of fantasy often get a lot of pushback–sometimes from publishers–and I’m always thrilled to see women who ignore that crap. This is why I’ve been a bit unhappy with Bujold’s recent turn towards fantasy. Even though I know she’s doing it because she wants to; she has too much clout to be forced. But still. And then Leckie came out with a fantasy. So I am really really happy to see at least one woman going the other direction.

  37. (7) “The untitled, CG-animated series will follow a group of teenagers who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation.“

    Remember when a show for kids could just be about the adventure and the fun?

  38. @Steve Green

    Not really. I grew up on 80s animation (which often had actual talk-to-the-camera moral-of-the-story segments at the ends of episodes) and 90s kids tv which was only very slightly more subtle, meaning they worked them into dialogue instead. Most of the books I read had something in, too. Kids media has always been very heavy on message, I think, right the way back to fairy tales, Punch and Judy and pantomime. And it would be a little weird to have a Star Trek series aimed at any age group without some messages.

    I recently came across someone claiming that kids tv back when was much better because it had no messages in it, only their example was Fresh Prince of Bel Air, which spent most of its time interrogating race and class in America and occasionally took some time to look at gender roles, too. At this point, after seeing various Pups use Heinlein and original series Star Trek as examples of a message-free past, I’m leaning towards believing that people just don’t remember the messagey bits of anything they first watched more than ten years ago.

  39. Oh dear, I seem to have been snagged by the mod filter. I think I must have mistyped my email since my Gravatar hasn’t turned up. Sorry, Mike!

  40. Xtifr said ” I know that women who dare to write SF instead of fantasy often get a lot of pushback–sometimes from publishers–and I’m always thrilled to see women who ignore that crap.”

    I have two for you, Alliance Rising by C.j. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher

  41. There’s also Tanya Huff, who started with fantasy and is now ~interleaving it with not just SF but MilSF; not to my taste, but qualifies. But Cherryh is an especially strong case — ~70 novels, of which maybe a handful are fantasy.

  42. Oh, I’ve got a lengthy list. (And yes, Grandmaster Cherryh has a prominent place on that list, and her wife has been noted as well.) Women who write science fiction are not rare by any means. But I think they’re rarer than they would be if not for certain folks–inside and outside of the industry–who make it harder for them than it should be. (Especially since it’s not particularly rare.)

    My aunt, Melisa C. Michaels, had a series of books set in the belt that did ok for a while, but when sales started to lag, suddenly her publishers wanted to give urban fantasy a try–a genre she had little or no experience of or with. If she’d been male, do you think she would have been pressured to completely switch genres like that? I’m not sure–and I’m not sure she’s sure–but I definitely have my suspicions.

    So…yeah, I’m happy to see Bear going back to science fiction. I think it’s a good sign.

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