Pixel Scroll 7/6/17 Microcosmic Godstalk

(1) AT THE CORE. James Davis Nicoll returns with a new list: “Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have On Their Shelves”. Here are the first four —

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

White Cat by Holly Black

The Mountains of Mourning by Lois Bujold

Tea from an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan

(2) YOUR GUIDE TO MOUNT TBR. Gabino Iglesias devotes his LitReactor column to explaining “10 Things Only Hardcore Bookworms Do”.

  1. Buy the same book more than once

We buy books because they are great and smell good and feel right and occupy empty space and they’re our friends. “I don’t have this edition.” “This cover is too amazing to pass up.” “This one is signed.” “This is the one I had when I was a kid.” “This is only a dollar!” “I’ll keep it around and give it away to someone later.” I’ve even used this one to rationalize the purchase of a third edition of Langston Hughes’ The Dream Keeper and Other Poems: “I mean, I have two editions already, but this one’s illustrated!” Yeah, hardcore bookworms will come up with amazing reasons why they “need” to buy a book they already have. On the other hand, we will also buy the same book twice by accident. It’s there and it’s affordable…and we’re not going to drive home and look through our piles for it: we’re going to buy it again.

  1. Judge people by their books/shelves

I know this one is tough to swallow. I also know some of you will debate that you’re better human beings than me and you are above and beyond judging others. Well, fuck it, I’m being brutally honest here and being judgmental has kept me alive this far, so I’m gonna keep doing it. If you invite me to your house and give me a tour of it and I don’t see a single book, I kinda want to get out of there because who the hell doesn’t own at least a couple of books? A house without books is like a body without a soul. If you do have some books, us bookworms will find a way to sniff them out and study them. Then, silently and with a smile on our faces, we will judge you. John Waters said “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them,” and I think most bookworms agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly. Likewise, we will probably change the way we feel about you based on the quality of the books on your shelves. For me, the books you own/read and the way you treat animals are the two factors that lie at the top of the list. You read good shit and you’re good to animals, I’ll get down with you even if you’re a mercenary. Is this horrible? Yes. Is this unfair because “good books” is a subjective term? Yes. Does it matter to us? Nope. Will we change or stop doing it? Yeah…no.

(3) ACT CLEANUP NEEDED. Kisha Bertrand delivers a powerful rant about how trolls are coddled on a certain convention’s OFFICIAL Facebook group: “Shame on you, Dragon Con”.

Earlier today, a black girl posted this Io9 article in the group as she was excited about the movie adaptation and release of Black Panther along with the plethora of cosplay opportunities available to people of color. The post was meant to be positive and celebratory, but we all know what happens when black people get together in excitement of something that positively highlights us in any form of media. Yep. Angry and fragile white folx with their exclamations of, “But what about me? Why does it have to be about race?” and my all time favorite, “You only like it because it’s about black people.” Racist trolls begin crawling out of the woodwork spewing bile and nonsense to whoever will give them the time of day. I mean, god forbid PoC (“people of color” for those of you asleep in the back) are excited about a film involving superheroes who look like us and are at the forefront of the storyline.

Trolls are trolls and we all know they live to stir the pot and poke to get a rise out of people. Most of us know not to feed the trolls. In most cases we look the other way. I tend to bite my tongue because I don’t have the energy to challenge and educate bigots via social media. I’m fucking tired, y’all. I’m SOOO goddamn tired, BUT, there are those instances where trolling goes too far which is what happened today in the OFFICIAL Dragon Con Facebook group.

What started out as ignorant incompetence from some random redneck, turned into comments that were not only racist, but anti-semitic, transphobic, ableist and misogynist. It got to a point where it was no longer a matter of ignoring the troll. This guy was threatening people – a group of con goers who will be gathered in my city for Dragon Con in less than two months. People were pissed, myself included. I mean, the racist did refer to me as a monkey when I challenged him. A monkey… how clever.

Regardless of the troll, serious conversations were happening on this post. Some people were actually listening and being educated by PoC putting in the emotional labor to teach them. To be honest, some of these conversations were actually kind of awesome. The majority of white folx were celebrating the film and some of the more stubborn lot were legit backing off and LISTENING. Any PoC will tell you that getting white folx to stop making it about them and actually listen when we talk about our experiences is a pretty big deal. We’re unpacking some complicated stuff in these conversations.

Of course the troll wasn’t having it. He kept on pushing and taunting, reaching into the collection of shitty memes he was no doubt waiting to unleash at the right time – some of which were direct threats to Black and Jewish people specifically. This went on for several hours, all while members of the group were reporting this guy to not only the moderators of the OFFICIAL Dragon Con Facebook group, but also sending emails to the Dragon Con staff via dragoncon.org. Strength in numbers right? I was so proud of my extended nerd family of all backgrounds joining together to vanquish the evil troll. We were all just waiting on the moderators of the OFFICIAL Dragon Con Facebook group to swoop in, swing the ban hammer, and let us continue with our conversations and celebration of Black Panther and black cosplay. That was, in fact, the whole point of the post to begin with.

I guess banning the troll would have been too challenging for the moderators of the OFFICIAL Dragon Con Facebook group because what did they do? Rather than simply remove this terrible waste of human flesh from the group, they deleted the post in its entirety. They essentially swept the issue under the rug AND KEPT THE FUCKING RACIST PIECE OF SHIT TROLL IN THE GROUP.

What makes this terribly tragic (aside from the obvious) is this is NOT the first time such an instance has occurred in the OFFICIAL Dragon Con Facebook group. They deleted posts and conversations that came up after the 2016 convention when people wanted to discuss the costumes done in poor taste (e.g. blackface and the burning world trade center towers) and what we as a community could do to stop it. People wanted to discuss what they saw at Dragon Con in the OFFICIAL Dragon Con Facebook group because isn’t that what the fuck the group is for?!?! When members asked why they weren’t allowed to openly discuss these topics, one of the moderators (there are seven of them, five guys, two women, ALL WHITE) simply said, “You’re giving these people the attention they were looking for by discussing it. We just don’t have time to moderate and read through every post.” So your solution is to silence people in the community and ignore it? You don’t have time? Well golly gee, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do as a moderator of a group? MODERATE?!?! If you don’t have the time, maybe don’t volunteer to be a moderator of a group of over 12k members. I dunno. Just using a bit of logic here.

I guess we can expect any post about Black Panther and/or the celebration of black cosplay to eventually be deleted. Posts such as these will almost always bring out the racist assholes who want to stir the pot…because racism and transphobia and anti-semitism and ableism and misogyny sure are fucking funny, aren’t they? Rather than cut away the rot, you slap a band-aid over it and let it continue to fester because, “you don’t have the time”…

This was Dragon Con’s response:

(4) SPECULATIVE POET LAUREATE. The SPECPO blog announced that poet Tracy K. Smith, whose collection, Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, has been named the Poet Laureate of the United States.

Here’s an excerpt of the New York Times’ article:

Now the Library of Congress has named Ms. Smith its new poet laureate, the nation’s highest honor in that field. With the appointment, announced on Wednesday, Ms. Smith will take on a role held by some of the country’s most revered poets, among them Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, W. S. Merwin, Charles Simic and most recently, Juan Felipe Herrera.

Ms. Smith often plays with genre in her work and says it serves as “a distancing device.” Some of the verses in her 2007 collection, “Duende,” were inspired by westerns. Her 2011 collection, “Life on Mars,” which won the Pulitzer, is inflected with dystopian themes and tropes from science fiction. Many of the poems are meditations on cosmic affairs, like the incomprehensible vastness of space and humanity’s efforts to understand our place in the universe, but the collection is also anchored in the personal. The escapist, fantastical themes in the collection are blended with intimate reflections: mournful, elegiac verses about the death of her father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope.

“I was thinking about loss, and thinking as someone who was about to become a parent,” said Ms. Smith, who lives in Princeton with her husband, Raphael Allison, and their three children. “The distancing device of science fiction was helpful, and it changed the metaphors.”

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • July 6, 1990 — George Jetson took Jane and the rest of his gang from the boob tube up onto the silver screen as Jetsons: The Movie.

(6) BOOTS ON THE FACE. In keeping with the great tradition of Vice Presidential speeches about the space program, Mike Pence has made an Orwellian-sounding promise:

Vice President Mike Pence vowed Thursday to make space exploration a priority for the U.S., including the conquering of another planet.

“Our nation will return to the Moon and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” Pence said during remarks at the Cape Canaveral headquarters in Florida.

(7) KICKOFF. Sports news blog SBNation.com is doing a serial science fiction story (July 5 through 15) about “What football will look like in the future”. The far future.

Danny Sichel sent the link with this endorsement: “Jon Bois is doing some incredible things with the medium, and I say this as someone who really doesn’t care about football.”

The whole thing was kind of dizzying to me – you’ve been warned.

(8) BRAVE NEW WORLD. Visiting the real site behind The Technicolor Time Machine: “The first European settlement in the New World”.

Twenty minutes later, I continued on my journey; it was another 80km to L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site. Stepping out of the car, my nostrils filled with the crisp, briny sea air carried in by a breeze that rippled across the grassy landscape.

It is here, on the northern tip of Newfoundland, that a significant moment in human migration and exploration took place.

In the year 1000, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus set sail, a Viking longboat, skippered by Leif Erikson, brought 90 men and women from Iceland to establish a new settlement – the first European settlement in the New World.

(9) SCENERY CHEWER. Adam Rowe reprises “The Secret History of J. Jonah Jameson, Comics’ Greatest Supporting Character” at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

J. Jonah immediately latched on to Spider-man for a weirdly specific reason: he feared the young hero’s violent actions would lead children to idolize him, and they’d get themselves hurt in the process. “He is a bad influence on our youngsters” is a direct quote from page five of Amazing Spider-Man #1, and a direct summation of Wertham’s views. The parallels get stronger from there: while Wertham compared superheroes to the “Nazi myth” of the Ubermensch, J Jonah contrasted Spider-man against his own son, all-American astronaut John Jameson. Wertham called for comic censorship, and J. Jonah called for Spider-Man to be “outlawed.”

(10) BACK TO THE PRESENT. Marvel has announced the following creative teams and Legacy titles:

FALCON #1: TAKE FLIGHT! PART 1
Written by RODNEY BARNES
Art by JOHN CASSARA

THE INCREDIBLE HULK #709: RETURN TO PLANET HULK PART 1
Written by GREG PAK
Art by GREG LAND

X-MEN GOLD #13: MOJO WORLDWIDE PART 1
Written by MARC GUGGENHEIM
Art by MIKE MAYHEW

X-MEN BLUE #13: MOJO WORLDWIDE PART 2
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by JORGE MOLINA

(11) NOT THE SON OF A CARPENTER. But the creator himself! Variety has the story — “John Carpenter Inks Overall Deal With Universal Cable, to Develop Two New Series”.

Horror master John Carpenter has signed an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions (UCP), Variety has learned.

Under the new deal, Carpenter will executive produce scripted programming with UCP for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio, as well as for external networks and streaming services, along with his producing partner, Sandy King, under their Storm King Productions banner.

UCP and Carpenter are already in development on “Tales for a Halloween Night” for SYFY. Based on Carpenter’s award-winning graphic novel anthology of stories, the series brings together storytellers from the worlds of movies, novels, and comics for a collection of horror stories featuring graveyards, sunken ships, and all the things that go bump in the night. A search for a writer is underway. Additionally, UCP and Carpenter are developing “Nightside,” based on the literary series by New York Times bestselling author Simon R. Green, with “Scream” TV series co-creator Jill Blotevogel attached to write the script. In the series, Nightside is the secret heart of London where creatures of the night congregate

“John Carpenter is an incredible creator whose dark imagination has left an indelible mark in film and in our dreams,” said Dawn Olmstead, executive vice president of development at UCP. “We are thrilled to have a master of the horror genre join UCP.”

(12) HEAVY DUTY. LHC “double heavy” particle to shine light on strong force.

Scientists have detected a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern.

The discovery will help researchers learn more about the so-called “strong force” which holds the centres of atoms together.

The existence of the new particle was theoretically predicted but this is the first time it has been identified.

The details of the Xi-cc++ particle were presented at a high-energy physics conference in Venice.

…Nearly all the matter that we see around us is made of neutrons and protons, which form the centres of atoms. These are made up of three smaller particles called quarks which can be either light or heavy.

New arrangement

There are, however, six different types of quarks which combine in different ways to form other kinds of particle. Those that have been detected so far contain at most, one heavy quark.

This is the first time that researchers have confirmed the existence of one with two heavy quarks. According to Prof Guy Wilkinson of Oxford University, there is an intriguing difference between the new particle and the ones that have been discovered before.

“In contrast to other particles of this type, in which the three quarks perform an elaborate dance around each other, a particle with two heavy quarks is expected to act like a planetary system, where the heavy quarks are like two stars orbiting one around the other, with the lighter quark orbiting around this binary system.”

The research team will now measure the properties of the Xi-cc++ to establish how this new arrangement of quarks behaves and how the strong force holds the system together. They also expect to find more double heavy quark particles.

(13) THE SOOTH IS OUT THERE. Looking for the remnants of a volcano bigger than the one that spawned Frankenstein: “The massive volcano that scientists can’t find”.

It was 10 October 1465 – the day of the hotly anticipated wedding of King Alfonso II of Naples. He was set to marry the sophisticated Ippolita Maria Sforza, a noblewoman from Milan, in a lavish ceremony. As she entered the city, the crowds gasped. Before them was a sight so strange and beautiful, it was like nothing they had ever seen before.

….In fact, what Alfonso’s wedding party witnessed may have been more extraordinary than anyone imagined. Many thousands of miles away in the tropics, a giant volcano was making geological history. This was an eruption so big, it produced an ash cloud which enveloped the Earth and led to the coolest decade for centuries.

The blast itself would have been heard up to 2,000km (1,242 miles) away and created a tsunami which caused devastation hundreds of kilometres away. In terms of scale, it surpassed even the 1815 eruption of Tambora, which unleashed energy equivalent to 2.2 million Little Boy atomic bombs and killed at least 70,000 people. Traces of the eruption have been found from Antarctica to Greenland.

The thing is, scientists can’t find the volcano that did it. What’s going on?

(14) FIBER COUNT. Dirty laundry: Are your clothes polluting the ocean?

“Not many people know that lots of our clothes are made of plastic,” says Imogen Napper, a PhD student at Plymouth University, “polyester, acrylic.”

Ms Napper and Prof Richard Thompson study marine microplastics – fragments and fibres found in the ocean surface, the deep sea and the marine food chain.

And in a recent lab study, they found that polyester and acrylic clothing shed thousands of plastic fibres each time it was washed- sending another source of plastic pollution down the drain and, eventually, into the ocean.

(15) MORTALITY TABLES. Robert Chan, in a Yahoo! piece “‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Peril-o-Meter: Who Dies Next?”, looks at 20 characters on Game of Thrones and ranks them by the likelihood they will be killed.

It’s not easy predicting who will be the next to go on Game of Thrones. Some deaths seem so certain as to be almost predestined (Ramsay Bolton); some were literally predestined (Cersei’s children, Hodor); and some feel like they’re there just to mess with us — Ned Stark’s death basically told us, “This ain’t your grandfather’s fantasy series.” We did pretty well with last year’s Peril-o-Meter, so here are our best predictions for this season on a scale of 1 to 5 — with 1 being “Very Likely to Survive” and 5 being “Call a Mortician.”

 [Thanks to John King Tarpinian, James Davis Nicoll, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Stephen Burridge, Andrew Porter, Jim Henley, and Danny Sichel for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

178 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/6/17 Microcosmic Godstalk

  1. @Mike: “I could do nothing, which frankly I often consciously decide to do because many kinds of things will be worked out in discussion. Or I could strike the comment. Or I could leave it in and follow with a comment of my own, seeking to set a boundary, and that’s what I decided to do.”

    And in the process, you casually maligned another group that is often considered “safe” to mock, deride, and otherwise insult – without, apparently, even realizing either that you’d done so or that doing so was bad. That’s the part I’m objecting to.

  2. @Rev. Bob: If making the point that people can’t just crack any sexual joke they want to on this site is “bad,” then I think you can count on further examples of my bad behavior in the future.

  3. Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag: If a home doesn’t have a bookshelf, it’s just a place, not a home. With you there — as are most of my circle; the first person to carry a box into the house we’d just bought (almost 23 years ago) looked around and said ~”Too many windows; not enough room for shelves.”

    @Tom Galloway: I always pack a variety but not massively more than I think I’ll read if the trip is boring; I’ve never felt the need for a separate suitcase for books (and as it is, I’ve had complaints from luggage handlers).

    @James Davis Nicoll: Lee Killough spelled “Doppelganger” correctly, as shown in the link.

    @Beth in MA: a late friend grew up in a house that the realtor had ~despaired of selling because every viewer asked why there were so many built-in bookcases. One of these years I may find out what has become of the house built for my parents, 46 years after they moved out; there were something like 100 feet of adjustable mahogany shelves (because in 1951 using mahogany wasn’t awful), plus another 100+ of painted wood, plus some niches — but that area has become so about money instead of brains that I’m not confident the wall space hasn’t been recycled.

    @Cheryl S: are you especially good at concentrating, or would your family have let you hole up if you had a book instead of trying to drag you into the squabble? My family didn’t usually search me before going out (as, e.g., Gaiman’s did him), but they frowned on my reading in even-vaguely-social company despite encouraging my reading otherwise.

    wrt @2 discussion: for a while I was collecting editions of The Big Time, partly out of curiosity (there’s an implausibly levitous UK cover…) and partly because I was hoping to produce a performance. I’ve never been as fanatical a lender as Xtifr (possibly because for a long time I didn’t know that many people I’d want to push books on), but I do have ~10 feet of duplicates-from-merging and we-should-have-a-lending-copy, just in case.

  4. why there were so many built-in bookcases
    My parents went in for standard-and-bracket shelving in all their houses. One house actually had built-in shelving (with and without doors) in the living room, on either side of the fireplace (set up for gas logs). Most of the books were in the family room, but there were also some shelves in the office area (a previous resident had partitioned the covered patio; that became office and workshop).

    My father’s parents had a small bookcase that literally was in the fireplace in their house – it was a two-shelf box that slid into the firebox. They didn’t need the fireplace; the house is in Long Beach, a few miles from the ocean.

  5. @Chip Hitchcock, my ex-husband may still have a picture he took of me reading in a doorway, with a jackhammer going nearby. So, partly concentration. But it’s also that my family doesn’t read (one of my brothers started after his first year in prison, but I think he gave it up once he got out) and they’ve always treated my doing so with a kind of baffled reverence, leaving me to my books.

  6. @Chip I *dream* of built-in bookcases. The only problem with sharing an apartment with my sibling is that we need separate storage units for all of our books! However, it also means that if one of us wants to read something, the other often has it, depending on what it is.

  7. I’m with OGH here. No kink-shaming, he was objecting to the tired old “joke” that furry is just a sex thing. Reminds me of the vile term “furvert” you used to hear. I presume furries are tops, bottoms, switches, ace, etc. in proportion to the general public. Implying that “furry” = ONLY a sexual preference/orientation/kink is what’s reductive and harmful. Because we’re all more than what we do in bed.

    This is the kind of thoughtful discussion and moderation DragonCon ought to look into. They make a lot of money; hire someone for a small fee to at least respond to flagged comments in a timely fashion. Blowing away the whole thread and then NOT banning the easily identifiable griefer is such an Epic Fail I can’t even.

    I can only presume they don’t care about their attendees much. Is this how they’d handle Code of Conduct violations at the con? Are they more interested in not hurting bigots’ fee-fees rather than being welcoming to all fen?

  8. Ack, timer ran out… I was trying to add

    Are they completely clueless, or do they genuinely believe that sticking up for PoC/women/other marginalized groups will drastically affect their bottom line? Do they realize that by deleting the thread on black nerd stuff, they did exactly what the troll wanted? Are they really happy that they gave in to a racist/sexist/*ist who threatened violence to their members?

  9. @lurkertype: “Implying that “furry” = ONLY a sexual preference/orientation/kink is what’s reductive and harmful.”

    I would agree with that statement – but the joke that kicked this whole thing off never said anything close to that. There was no “only” in it upon which to rest that objection, not even an implied one.

    I mean, to get completely pedantic and tiresome about it, all the joke did was say “plenty of members of Group X are also members of Group Y.” The only way that’s an offensive statement is if there’s something bad about either Group X or Group Y. Since Mike took offense on behalf of furries (X), that tells me that the bad part is being considered a bottom (Y).

    I disagreed with that assertion, and said so.

    Substitute some other values for Y and see how the statement reads. “Bedwetters,” for instance – clearly negative, clearly an insult. “Pet owners,” though – no problem, because there’s either no value judgment or a positive one associated with that. “Lives with parents,” insult. “Happily married,” not. I would have been very surprised had Mike objected to the characterization of “plenty of furries” as “in a fulfilling relationship.”

    So when Mike did object to Y = “bottom,” that conveys the message that “bottom” is negative, and I challenged him on that. He has yet to answer that point, except to defend his post as “oppos[ing] abusive language” – which, there again, equates calling someone a bottom with “abusive.” To Mike, being a bottom is a bad thing, and saying that someone is one constitutes abuse. He SAID so, multiple times. I find that reprehensible and disgusting.

    I get the impulse to defend furries. That’s not my complaint. My objection is that he did so by throwing a different marginalized group under the bus. That’s not cool, it ain’t right, and it shouldn’t be defended.

  10. RevBob wrote:

    The only way that’s an offensive statement is if there’s something bad about either Group X or Group Y.

    Bzzt, sorry, thanks for playing. This is totally where you went off the tracks into Mr. Fantastic land.

    If someone had said, “The Jew must be the Treasurer at ThingieCon”, that would be an offensive statement, even though neither being a Jew nor being a treasurer is bad. It becomes bad only because they’re juxtaposed in a stereotypically offensive way.

  11. (1) Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries:

    Bujold, Clement (I LOVED that book when I was a kid –I don’t think I managed to keep a copy of it. I may have to go see if I can find a copy online to buy), Griffin, Hambly, Huff, Jemisin, Jones, Kerr, Scott and Barnett, and Walton.

    I like mysteries, and I like SFF, and clearly those are two good things that are good together.

    (2) Books and Worms

    I have often picked up extra copies of my favorite books at used bookstores so I could share with friends (and because, back in the day, before ebooks that is, when sff was mostly published in paperback, and papersbacks would fall apart, I wanted backup copies of my favorites for when they fell apart).

    And, well, yes, I may have forgotten I had some. BUT there is another reason: British titles being different than American titles or vice versa! ACK the horror.

    And yes to all the rest of Iglesias’ points.

    Additional book story: our house was flooded in 2010 (bust water pipe in my bathroom when we were at a conference; catsitter had lost our cell phone numbers, and did not know where she could turn off the water at the edge of the property–we are in rural area, not town, and we came home after three days to find every room except the laundry flooded).

    The good news: we did not lose a single book because we never stored books on the bottom shelves of the bookcases because we also thirteen rescue SJW credentials at the time, several of whom tended to go after books).

    The most hilarious moment: when the guy from the clean-up company hired by our insurance company was inspecting the damage and arranging things, I heard him going “oh my god more books” from the master bedroom, then calling the front office and demanding a van and a team be sent out to pack. up. all. the. books. And within an hour or two, a van plus a group of women with a huge stack of folded boxes arrived. One bookshelf in the kitchen, three in the tv room which had mostly dvds and tapes and such, seven in the library, four in the master bedroom, four in the second bedroom, and six in the third bedroom. Before he left, I explained to him that I was an English teacher and my housemate was a History teacher, so……since then, with retirement looming and a major move, I’ve been trying to cut down in various ways, including more ebook purchases, and donating some…there are also the books in our offices on campus, sigh.

  12. Furries were never really on my radar until they helped out at last year’s OzCon in Portland. The organizers (including my husband) didn’t have enough local contacts and one of them reached out to any group who would respond. Furlandia jumped at a chance to help. The result was that all the tech stuff was done by Furries.

    I will note that most Wizard of Oz fans are aging, now, and the average age of the convention goers was more than 50. The woman who asked for the help from the Furries had no idea of their reputation in fandom.

    On the final day of the con, one of the Furries dressed up – and the Oz folks loved it. The entire thing was joy and friendship. The only awkwardness was on my part, because I was (completely unreasonably) worried that *something* would go wrong and the Furries would somehow earn their poor reputation. I was kicking myself for my prejudice for most of the con, and still am ashamed I was worried about it. The Furries came back again and helped this year at the same convention, and I’m happy I got to know a few of them, although I will never understand their fandom just as they will never understand some of my fandoms.

    I used to find the geek hierarchy chart funny. Now I find it pathetic.

  13. If someone had said, “The Jew must be the Treasurer at ThingieCon”, that would be an offensive statement, even though neither being a Jew nor being a treasurer is bad. It becomes bad only because they’re juxtaposed in a stereotypically offensive way.

    Yeah. The joke structure doesn’t work if it’s intended as a benign observation. If it had been “A lot of furries probably like pie,” then it’s not a gag any more, it’s a non sequitur. “A lot of furries probably like pyramidical structures” at least references being at the bottom of the pyramid, but it still doesn’t make any sense as a joke.

    The way it makes sense as a joke is if there’s a critical intent, an implied “hurr hurr, those furries are squicky, they like bottoming.” It’s built in. It’s a shot both at furries and at bottoms. Mike knew it, the rest of us knew it, and I expect Bob knows it too — he’s just dug in and can’t back out.

    His own example shows he knows it: When assholes called Scalzi gay, the reaction wasn’t just to say, “So what if he was?” It also recognized that it was an intended insult, that the speaker was assuming that there’s something wrong with being gay. The speaker, not the people who correctly pointed out it was an insult.

    There are lots of insults that aren’t actually insulting if you take them at face value. There’s nothing wrong with being thick-lipped, or hook-nosed. Being good at math is actually a positive thing, but when it’s a reflexive assumption about someone because they’re Asian-American, it becomes a stereotype.

    So if someone makes a joke about a Jew being hook-nosed, or Korean-Amerivan kids being good at math, and someone else objects to it, anyone who tries to argue that the person objecting to the crack is throwing hook-nosed people or mathletes under the bus is pointing the wrong way.

    It’s intended as a criticism, even though there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s intended as a piece of stereotype. There is no gag left if it isn’t.

    And here we are once again, where the person who offended has apologized for it, and someone else has taken up the lance to tiresomely and repetitively declare that it’s everyone else’s fault — here, that it’s the fault of the guy who recognized that the joke was intended to demean for understanding that an attribute intended to demean was actually intended that way, even though on its own, there’s nothing wrong with it.

    Bah. Said I was done with this. I’ll try to get back to that.

  14. @Xtifr:

    See, that’s a simple, concise explanation: you object to the juxtaposition but find nothing wrong with either component in isolation. That’s fair and clear. You object to the joke because it plays into the “furvert” stereotype that couples furries with deviant sexual preferences.

    Read that last bit again. Deviant preferences. Or, one might say, “freaky.” Perhaps even “shameful,” to the point that associating it with someone constitutes “abuse.”

    Nobody seems to grasp that I’m objecting to the stigma that this equation attaches to the sexual preference at hand. You object because “kinky furvert” is a stereotype; I object to calling kink shameful and something to be stigmatized. Just as “make the Jew the secretary” doesn’t work because “secretary” isn’t associated with the stereotypical financial acumen, “furries as bottoms” falls flat to me because I don’t see anything horrible about being a bottom. Not my thing, but not bad or something to be ashamed of.

    All of the defenses have been about how bad it is to characterize furries as liking weird sex, not that it’s bad to stigmatize kink or that it’s bad form to speculate on anyone’s sexual habits, whether they’re kinky or vanilla. No, it’s specifically the union of “furries” and “weird sex” that the rest of you are calling foul play – and you don’t get there without defining bottoms as “weird.”

    Had Mike’s objection been that it was inappropriate to make comments about a group’s presumed sexual preferences, I would’ve been totally fine with that and wouldn’t have said a thing. That’s a completely fair line to draw, and one that makes no value judgments. However, that’s not what happened. He elected to perpetuate one stigma while objecting to another, when he had the option of denouncing both.

    @Kurt: “those furries are squicky, they like bottoming” and “It’s built in. It’s a shot both at furries and at bottoms.”

    GODDAMMIT.

    Why the fuck is “kink-shaming furries and bottoms is bad, so cut it the fuck out” so hard to understand? Do I have to curse to get the point across?

    Mike defended furries. We all agree on that, and I don’t think anyone objects to it. But he keeps insulting bottoms, and that’s asshole behavior. At least Chad has apologized for his insult. Which leads me to, again @Kurt:

    When assholes called Scalzi gay, the reaction wasn’t just to say, “So what if he was?” It also recognized that it was an intended insult, that the speaker was assuming that there’s something wrong with being gay. The speaker, not the people who correctly pointed out it was an insult.

    Note the difference between Scalzi’s response and Mike’s, then look at mine.

    Scalzi: “Dude, I know you mean that an insult, but it’s not.”
    Mike: “That’s abusive language.”
    Me: “Why are you accepting the premise that that’s a valid insult?”

    I invoked Scalzi’s example for a fucking reason: because Mike fell into the trap that Scalzi saw and dodged.

  15. Why the fuck is “kink-shaming furries and bottoms is bad, so cut it the fuck out” so hard to understand? Do I have to curse to get the point across?

    It’s not hard to get across. And nobody’s doing it but the original “joke.”

    The trouble is, you keep seeing people pointing that out, and insisting that they’re the ones doing the kink-shaming. And when people point out they’re not — Mike wasn’t, I’m not, nobody but the original comment has — you spin around like the Tasmanian devil and insist on it again.

    I mean, you can curse if you like, but if you think that’ll get people to think you’re right, you’re mistaking volume for logic.

    Pointing out that the original gag implicitly insults furries and bottoms does not kink-shame either. It points out that the original gag was trying to do both.

  16. To hopefully turn the conversation to something a little less stressful, I just finished Raven Stratagem and I think my socks are following Juno in polar Jupiter orbit.

    I think Raven is actually a better entry point for the series than Ninefox. Now, this may be due to my reading the other Hexarchate stories, especially The Battle of Candle Arc, and following the various discussions here about Yoon Ha Lee’s world. But his writing in this book seems far more accessible and assured than the first, as if he’s inhabiting his universe on a level he couldn’t quite reach with Ninefox. (And there are actual explanations for calendars, moths and clocks! And sly, playful humor, re: Shuos Mikodez and his green onion!) I don’t know if Lee will win the Hugo for Ninefox, but if not, I sure as heck think he would deserve it next year for Raven.

  17. Read that last bit again. Deviant preferences.

    And when you read it again, please note that Xtifer did not say it. Bob did.

    Bottoming is not a deviant practice. Nor is being good at math. Nor is having a hooked nose.

    But they’re all pieces of stereotypes, and there are people who use them to belittle. Objecting to that kind of use and objecting to the behavior are different things, which is why Bob keeps having to staple the offense he’s trying to accuse others of onto their arguments, so he can insist they’re the ones being belittling, rather than it being the intent of the original “joke.”

  18. @Rev. Bob

    All of the defenses have been about how bad it is to characterize furries as liking weird sex

    This is what I said: “My interpretation wasn’t that it was kink shaming, but that it was criticizing the over-sexualization of furries.” Note a complete absence of suggesting any sexual behavior is deviant.

    There is very little special behavior I would call deviant, and all of such behavior I can think of off the top of my head involves a lack of consent.

  19. Rev. Bob: I get the impulse to defend furries. That’s not my complaint.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few hours. I can’t seem to construct the moral equation in my mind that accounts for your reaction.

    I had considered the possibility that in your view, if I was defending someone, then that implied I thought they needed a defense, therefore that was insulting them. But you say that’s not it.

  20. @Bonnie: I agree, “Raven Stratagem” is much more instantly accessible than “Ninefox Gambit”. No first few chapters going “wut?” It starts with the space opera rebellion and soldier carrying dead general’s personality/memories, and THEN gets into calendrical heresy and weird math as a weapon, instead of the other way around. And I think the varying calendar effect stuff is explained more clearly. Luckily it’s summer and I don’t need my socks as much and can go outside to wave at them as they orbit.

    @Tegan: Heck, the Oz fans are used to Bert Lahr as a lion; furries aren’t that much of a conceptual stretch for them.

    @robin: I read your description of how many books you had aloud to the husband and he’s all “that’s not that many”. We have that many books AND 3 6-foot high bookcases that are full of videos. That’s with periodic book weeding, too. But I’m glad the SJW credentials saved you from loss — bet they were angry about all that water in their house, though.

  21. @Kurt (ETA: and @Mike):

    The insulting stereotype is “furries are into weird sex,” not “furries are into sex.” Calling it weird (or deviant, kinky, what have you) is a crucial aspect of the insult, because denouncing what gets them off as weird adds the layer of shame and derision that makes the stereotype abusive and derogatory. I did not invent that detail, nor do I approve of it – as I’ve said many times now, I oppose the notion that liking unconventional sex is something to be shamed. I do, however, recognize that detail as a necessary component, in the same way that good at math (and not, say, landscaping or architectural design) is necessary to the Asian stereotype you alluded to.

    After all, as several people have pointed out, the “joke” doesn’t work without it. The “humor” relies on the idea that those freaky furries have bizarre sexual preferences.

    That’s why calling the joke an insult to furries is only half a solution, in precisely the same way that calling “Scalzi is gay” an insult to the author would have been incomplete. Stopping there – recognizing the attempt to wound and denouncing that intent – preserves and perpetuates the idea that the term used as an insult is actually a valid source of shame.

    That’s why Scalzi’s completion of the job – deliberately refusing to be insulted by the allegation, and making the guy look like a jackass for using the idea in that way – was such a wonderful thing. Not only did he correct the factual record, but he supported the LGBT community by saying “this is not my identity, but it’s not an identity to be ashamed of.” Taking that step makes the attempted insult a bit less potent the next time around, and it works to remove the stigma instead of upholding it.

    Associating submission with deviance or a lack of manliness is corrosive, and not just in the bedroom. (See also: toxic masculinity.) Allowing that association to pass unremarked only strengthens the idea that it is shameful, and that’s a pretty terrible thing. Holding the opinion in private while saying nothing in public is unhelpful at best – as demonstrated every time someone lets their buddy get away with telling a racist joke because “he’s a good guy, he don’t mean nothin’ by it.” Maybe the buddy doesn’t, but it still normalizes the idea for everyone who hears it.

    So, no: stopping at “don’t insult furries” is not enough. It has to include “stop using sexual preferences as insults.”

  22. Rev. Bob:

    Tell you what. In the forums I frequent, Chad’s comment would have been harmless and par of the day. Out here in the wide world, the joke might not have stated that furries in some way are “furverts” that always connect their thing to sex, but if enough people get that impression, then it might be because in the context of what has been written before, it might be taken as if that is implied.

    And as no one seems to have wanted to kinkshame anyone and Mikes comment was an effort to not shame anyone, I would just let it go.

    And to be totally NSFW here, I am probably one of the few people who have practiced this kink. And think being “freaky” is a good thing. And I do not feel shamed by anyone here, only happy that everyone (you, Mike and so on), reacted and tried to act so no one was shamed.

    Regardless of if I think you are doing a Shetterly/Brian Z now, I feel this (usually) makes for a very safe enviroment.

  23. That’s why Scalzi’s completion of the job – deliberately refusing to be insulted by the allegation, and making the guy look like a jackass for using the idea in that way – was such a wonderful thing.

    I’d agree with you that it was a wonderful thing. I’d disagree with your anger that anyone might say anything less. By going from one to the other, you’ve switched from it being a “wonderful thing” to it being the bare minimum response allowable.

    To pick other stereotypes, if Joe Frabdab goes around yelling at black people about loving them some fried chicken and watermelon, and Betty Loofner tells Joe that’s abusive behavior, she’s not “falling into the trap” of agreeing that there’s anything wrong with liking fried chicken and/or watermelon.

    If she also adds that it’s a stupid insult because the content of it is silly, that’s cool too, but not doing so does not amount to insulting people who like fried chicken or watermelon.

    You can do the same with a high-school asshole who belittles his female classmates by calling them virgins or sluts. Objecting to the abuse doesn’t equate to agreeing that there’s something inherently wrong with virginity or even promiscuity; it objects to the abuse, it doesn’t join in.

    Your argument seems to be that the Full Scalzi is the only acceptable response, and anything short of it amounts to agreeing with the value judgment of the insult.

    Several people have pointed out that they disagree with this; you have argued that they don’t understand and must be reasoned at more loudly.

    Consider perhaps that they do understand what you’re saying, and disagree with it — that they do not believe that objecting to abuse means the form of the abuse is morally valid. That telling someone it’s not nice to say that California Democrats are a bunch of weirdo cocksuckers does not also require the caveat that fellatio is not inherently depraved. Or even weird.

    Objecting to sneering is objecting to sneering, even if the sneering is illogical. Much of it is, after all.

  24. Rev. Bob:

    And to go on Kurts line, let me give you this example:

    There is nothing shameful in having a camera. There is nothing shameful in looking japanese. But I have a friend of japanese descent, even though he was born in Sweden, and everytime he wants to take a photo of something, someone will make a joke about japanese people and cameras. So often that he just skipped out on photographing stuff. It is not worth the constant stereotypical jokes.

    Coming to furries and jokes about their sexlife, I can understand why Mike wants to put a plug on that because it is the same stereotype that furries are tired of. Even if there is nothing wrong with having sex per se or being a furry per se. Or even being a furry that has sex in some way. Because it is the constantly repeated stereotype that is the problem.

    So I thank you very much for being a staunch defender of all things kink, but I do see Mikes point too.

  25. @Kurt:

    Imagine the following exchange…

    A: “Man, I bet plenty of Californians are Democrats.”
    B: “Hey, stop insulting Californians.”
    A: “Okay, my bad. Sorry.”
    B: “Accepted, let’s move on.”

    Wouldn’t you, at some point, expect someone to ask what’s wrong with being a Democrat, and why the implicit assertion that something is wrong with that went unchallenged?

    Furthermore, if C did pipe up and ask that question, how would you feel if B found C’s objection utterly incomprehensible? Would you think C was being an asshole for making that point?

  26. Coming to furries and jokes about their sexlife, I can understand why Mike wants to put a plug on that

    Probably not the optimal phrase to use, given the circumstances…

  27. @John A Arkansawyer: I’d gird my loins for stirring exposition on how the sin of Onan is no true sin at all, but a) it’d be a lot of work and b) there are wild bunnies frolicking in the yard outside and I’d rather watch them.

  28. @Bruce Baugh: I hadn’t thought of that old Grateful Dead song for years. Thank you for the reminder! What a great lyric:

    I set out wanking but I’ll take my time
    The sin of Onan is a sin of mine
    If I get done before daylight
    I just might get some sleep tonight

    They just don’t write songs like that any more.

  29. Normally I’d say something like my stock “live to serve”. This time I think I’ll just go with “OK”.

    🙂

  30. Heck, the Oz fans are used to Bert Lahr as a lion; furries aren’t that much of a conceptual stretch for them.

    @Lurkertype: Ha! Because so much of the convention is focused on the books and other characters, I literally never made that connection. I don’t know if that’s funny or pathetic.

  31. Neither joke nor lyrics, but I recently saw an interpretation of the story of Onan that it was less about simply avoiding procreative sex and more that it was violating the terms of Tamar’s consent. I suspect it’s ahistorical, but it appeals to me. 🙂

  32. Meredith on July 8, 2017 at 8:21 am said:
    The one I met was that he was supposed to be fathering an heir to his brother, and violated that particular law.

  33. (2) YOUR GUIDE TO MOUNT TBR. I refuse to admit how many of these things I do/have done. 😛 But when I look at people’s shelves, I promise I’m not judging!

    @Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag: My parents moved from their home to a small house in an assisted living community, then to a tiny one-room efficiency in same, and now have just moved to an even smaller room (literally a hospital room, really). But every step of the way, even and amazingly in this last move, they managed to find space for bookcases! Yup, I’m from a family of readers. 🙂 In their new “apartment” (we don’t say “room”; too depressing), they just have one bookcase, but I’m happy they could fit it into the limited space. And that bookcase is jam-packed!

    @Soon Lee: I still want to know what all the books are in @Meredith’s avatar. (I can read some titles, but not all.)

    @Bruce A: “does buying ebooks when you already have it in print count?” Guilty as charged, but very, very rarely. It has to be something I loved and want to re-read more easily. I’ve only done it a few times. Now, let’s talk about whether buying audiobook in order to “re-read” counts or not – that used to be all my audiobook purchases!

    Hmm, wait, “sell” a book I bought in ebook because I loved it so much. Sell? I’m not sure I understand the word in this context. 😉 (I should probably do what you’re meaning to do; this may even make my other half happy – bonus points!)

    Hopefully accidental duplicates doesn’t count, though maybe this should be another item on the original article’s list.

    @August: I’m very scared by the Book Jenga/Leaning Tower of Books I see in those photos. Jealous/scared, but mostly scared. 😛

    @Rev. Bob: I didn’t really think this through; we can’t just look at shelves with ebooks. Somehow “lemme see your ereader” doesn’t seem the same, when visiting someone’s home. And I may have ebooks I wouldn’t advertise, so personally, I wouldn’t handle over my ereader for someone to browse the fiction section. Hmm.

  34. (7) KICKOFF. Scott Sigler has a whole series about far-future football, the Galactic Football League.

    @LunarG: Is that video for real? That look cool, and I don’t even like (real) football!

    (14) FIBER COUNT. Everyone doesn’t know that polyester and acrylic are plastic? I didn’t know they shed so much, though (why do they last so long, then?).

    @Hampus Eckerman re. #3: I’ve seen sites where a certain number of different people have to flag a comment before it’s hidden or removed by the automated system, which seems slightly better – but still subject to coordinated griefing, of course. I kind of like systems that let people see the comment anyway (something like “__ people say this doesn’t add to the conversation; show anyway?” with a link to show it), but maybe that’s a bad idea?

    @steve davidson re. #2: “Now you know why 1930s issues…” Thanks, that’s interesting and I didn’t know/think about how that might work (though I had some vague idea in the back of my head, since “product placement” is a thing).

    @Peer Sylvester: Great filk! Bonus points for riffing on R.E.M., which I don’t recall seeing here before.

  35. @Meredith: A Meredith Moment from Meredith?! That’s too meta for me – my head just exploded. 😛 Also LOL/groan at “once she’s bonded to paper.” BTW have you read Holmberg’s books and if so, would you recommend them? I’ve seen them around and the covers are very groovy.

    @Mike Glyer: “I thought this was a case that needed an active nudge from the moderator to keep the discussion space from becoming unwelcoming for them.”

    And you did it fine, IMHO, not that you need my validation.

  36. Bob:

    Imagine the following exchange…

    A: “Man, I bet plenty of Californians are Democrats.”
    B: “Hey, stop insulting Californians.”
    A: “Okay, my bad. Sorry.”
    B: “Accepted, let’s move on.”

    Not what happened here. What happened here is more like:

    A: “Man, I bet plenty of them crazy Californians are Democrats. Hurr Hurr.”
    B: “Hey, that kind of joke is inappropriate here.”
    C: “Hey, B! How dare you insult Democrats like that?”

    Once again, despite that you say you didn’t like the original “joke,” you’re pretending there was no offense to it, that in fact, there was no joke to it, by draining it of all intent and trying to shift the offense over to the guy who said not to say things like that.

    Wouldn’t you, at some point, expect someone to ask what’s wrong with being a Democrat, and why the implicit assertion that something is wrong with that went unchallenged?

    What I might expect is that if someone felt it necessary to point out that there’s nothing wrong with being a Democrat (or a virgin, or good at math, or taking photos while Asian), that they up and say it, instead of flying into a rage at the guy who said things like:

    “I don’t see why this is a source of attempted humor in 2017.”

    “I was doubting the propriety of making a joke about it here.”

    Numerous people pointed out that the “joke” is implicitly kink-shaming, but you focused your ire on Mike for objecting to it.

    Furthermore, if C did pipe up and ask that question, how would you feel if B found C’s objection utterly incomprehensible? Would you think C was being an asshole for making that point?

    I would think C was taking a very odd tack if C’s approach was to yell at B for being insulting by asking A not to make jokes like that.

    It’s not like A said “Don’t insult Furries by calling them bottoms,” or “Ick, bottoms, don’t say that!” A said not to make jokes like that. You, C, chose to infer that A’s objection was that calling Furries kinky was verboten but perhaps making other cracks about bottoms would have been okay, rather than reading it, as others did (and as they’ve made clear to you) as saying that kind of “joke” is out of line.

    The response wasn’t “Don’t insult people by calling them Democrats,” it was:

    “Don’t make that kind of joke, it’s abusive.” And it was. It was abusive to Furries, it was abusive to bottoms. It’s not an innocuous observation about the potential political leaning of Californians, it’s a targeted insult. The fact that the insult doesn’t contain any actually-objectionable accusation is not an odd thing, because many insults are like that. It doesn’t alter their intent or make them not objectionable.

    If you felt it was worth expanding on Mike’s objection by pointing out that not only was the “joke” inappropriate, but it was also nonsensical, you could have done that and I expect people would have nodded along with you.

    Instead, you chose to attack Mike for insulting bottoms, something he didn’t do, while ignoring that the original “joke” insulted bottoms along with Furries, something it did do.

    And that’s where C veered into behavior that made others go “Whoa, whoa, hold up there, C.”

  37. I didn’t really think this through; we can’t just look at shelves with ebooks. Somehow “lemme see your ereader” doesn’t seem the same, when visiting someone’s home.

    If my e-reading tendencies continue the way they have, eventually I will have many fewer books in my home (because I buy e-books of books I already have, rather than figure out where in the house they are), but what’ll be on my shelves will be:

    1. Coffee table books and illustration books of stuff I want because it has large, well-printed illustrations. Lots of midcentury illustration books.

    2. Reference books.

    3. Old books I’ve purchased or kept because there was no e-book available.

    4. Graphic novels and comic strip collections, at least until they start putting them out as e-books in a form I find worth buying. This would require me to have a bigger e-reader that did color well without a glowing screen, and it would also require that the e-versions themselves become cheaper new than the print versions are to me, despite the discounts and free copies I often get due to my job.

    It’ll still give a picture of who I am, but differently-focused. Most of the genre fiction will be in the e-reader, but I expect for a long time people will be able to know I like magazine and advertising art and comic strips.

  38. Kendall:

    The thing with hiding comments when soneone reports on them is that they stop others fron responding on them. So no more hijacking all conversation to talk about how stupid someone was or start an argument with two people that are online at the time and lets their argument overflow everything.

  39. I’ve seen sites where a certain number of different people have to flag a comment before it’s hidden or removed
    It depends – I hang out on one site where the blog owner is the mod, and he doesn’t have the ability to do IP bans or to block unregistered commenters. There are some very persistent trolls that can’t be stopped otherwise.
    There’s also add-on software (“Killfile”) for a couple of browsers that allows you to “hush” people (it goes by screen name), but you can still view comments if you choose, and unhush if you choose.

  40. @Pj Evans

    Kill thread is what I miss. Stopped using Stylish on here as there aren’t that many people that I choose to ignore entirely unless they go off on one.

  41. I still want to know what all the books are in @Meredith’s avatar. (I can read some titles, but not all.)

    I can make out all but three of them:

    WORLD WAR Z/Max Brooks
    DAUGHTER OF THE FLAMES/Zoe Marriott
    MONSTROUS REGIMENT/Terry Pratchett
    OUTCAST OF REDWALL/Brian Jacques
    THE NOVICE/Trudi Canavan
    THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES/Ray Bradbury
    TORTALL AND OTHER LANDS/Tamora Pierce
    MYTHS AND LEGENDS/Anthony Horowitz
    A HOME MADE LIFE/Molly Wizenberg
    THE WHITE DRAGON/Anne McCaffrey
    TEMERAIRE/Naomi Novik
    THIEF OF TIME/Terry Pratchett
    THE CRY OF THE CEMARK/Stuart Hill

    That leaves “something something D E A D” over on the right and “The King/Ring of something” and the blue-spined book on the left.

    I bet there are Filers who recognize those from the spines, even if the words are blurry.

    And now I have to add A HOME MADE LIFE to my Want List, because it looks fascinating…

  42. I can supply the rest: The blue spine is The Hobbit, which is next to The Ring of Allaire by Susan Dexter, and the book on the other end is Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey. (And to fix the typo – it’s The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill.)

    (The reason they’re all muddled up together is because they were stuff shoved on a shelf to keep them safe while things were getting moved around the house, it was the middle of the night and in the dark so I didn’t want to tramp around the house finding a properly organised shelf, and I’m terribly impatient and couldn’t wait until morning to set up gravitar. My librarian’s-daughter inner self is mildly ashamed.)

    And yes, A Homemade Life is great (I bought it for the memoir but the roast tomatoes recipe is honestly one of my favourite things) – her blog is Orangette if you want to get a feel for her writing style. I keep meaning to buy her second book.

  43. I can supply the rest:

    Whoa, who, unfair advantage! Penalty flag on the field!

    Er, ah, I mean — thank you!

    And to fix the typo – it’s The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill.)

    That makes sense. Amazon actually has a CRY OF THE CEMARK page, which threw me off:

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cry-Cemark-Stuart-Hill/dp/B004YXR3HC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499540538&sr=8-1&keywords=stuart+hill+cemark

    I could have figured that with no reviews it was probably a faulty page, but I didn’t look further…

    A Homemade Life is great (I bought it for the memoir but the roast tomatoes recipe is honestly one of my favourite things) – her blog is Orangette if you want to get a feel for her writing style.

    And again, thanks.

    If you haven’t read Sue Hubbell, I’ll recommend her back to you as compensation. I started with FAR-FLUNG HUBBELL, but A COUNTRY YEAR is excellent, too. Her “Great American Pie Expedition” can be (partly, alas) read here, but it gives you a nice idea of how she writes:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=GNH93R5OtfkC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=sue+hubbell+pie&source=bl&ots=x02TKrFSFE&sig=s46uMZTgOn780l_–xMsJO9Mxic&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi68K7ivPrUAhUE2GMKHW0JDUUQ6AEIOzAD#v=onepage&q=sue%20hubbell%20pie&f=false

  44. Ooh, count one more for A Homemade Life. That sort of food with memoir book is such a lovely, special thing and Laurie Colwin won’t be writing any more, so I’m excited.

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