Pixel Scroll 12/8/21 I’m Shocked To Find Scrolling Going On In Here

(1) IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE. In the New York Times, Amal El-Mohtar names “The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2021”. Here’s one of her picks:

In the gray fog of an uncertain year, these books stand out in bright colors and floods of intense feeling. They’re organized only by the order in which I read them….

No Gods, No Monsters

By Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone, 387 pp., $26.99)

Intimate and intricate, full of charismatic monsters and the dueling secret societies to which they belong. A pack of werewolves transform on camera, prompting hidden powers to rally for or against revealing the supernatural world of gods and monsters to the public. Mysteriously narrated and utterly riveting.

 (2) EXCEED YOUR GRASP. At Futurism, Matthew Angelo tells readers “Why Science Fiction Matters in Literature”.

… Science fiction typically deals with the impact of imagined future science and technology on society. Sci-Fi is an important genre in literature. It teaches us about contemporary ideas, inspires new technological inventions, and entertains us by telling stories that could not have happened otherwise….

Science Fiction is one of the biggest, most influential genres in literature. It taps into human dreams and nightmares about what might be, what could happen to us, and how we might deal with it. It makes up many of our fictional worlds, futures, and inhabitants. Science Fiction stories can be wildly different in content. Still, they all have a similar feeling of being exciting possibilities just out of reach. Science fiction is often thought to be just about aliens and robots. Still, it can also have a lot to do with social commentary….

(3) SPINNING BLADES. Foz Meadows tweeted two threads commenting on the social media heat directed at Neon Yang after Yang, who criticized Isabel Fall’s “Helicopter Story” when it appeared in January 2020, recently promoted the appearance of their own queer mech story in a forthcoming anthology. Thread starts here.

A second short thread starts here.

Suzanne F. Boswell advances a case that Neon Yang’s tweets in 2020 did not cause the outcome for which critics now want to hold them accountable. Thread starts here.

R. B. Lemberg warns about the damage from these exchanges. Thread starts here.

(4) HIS FAVORITE MARTIAN. Congratulations to Jonathan Eller, whose Bradbury Beyond Apollo has been named one of the Choice Outstanding Academic Titles for 2021. The list is quite selective: it contains approximately ten percent of some 6,000 works reviewed in Choice each year.

(5) AS VIEWED FROM ABOVE. Rob Hansen has created “a small extra” for those who read Bixelstrasse, his compilation of early LASFS history (see “Revisit ‘Fighting Forties’ LASFS in Rob Hansen’s Bixelstrasse”) – it’s an annotated Map of 1940s LA Fandom.

(6) A BARKING GOOD CLIMAX. Camestros Felapton announces “Debarkle Volume 3 Now Available”. It is the end, my friend, and the price is right – free! A list of vendors is at the link.

The third and final volume of Debarkle is now available from a wide range of online book stores and by “wide range” I mean “not Amazon”. As with the rest of this series, it’s been published via Draft2Digital and you can access it in these online book shops. Note: this is the “second draft” version with fewer typos than the blog version. A third draft version will be available as a collected edition of all three volumes before the end of the year.

(7) DOWN TO THE WIRE. Starburst Magazine’s Ed Fortune covers 2023 Site Selection here: “China Races Canada For Prestigious SciFi Con”.

… Worldcons are a long-running international Science Fiction convention that tends to be hosted in North America or Europe, and the next venue is determined two years ahead of time.

Recent years have seen the convention come to other parts of the world, such as Japan and New Zealand. Chinese fans have been actively seeking to bring the world-renowned event to Chengdu, China since 2014….

(8) 2023 WORLDCON BID Q&A. Video of last weekend’s bidder Q&A session at Smofcon Europe has now been posted.

Representatives of the 2023 Worldcon bids for Chengdu and Winnipeg present and answer questions. Terry Fong, Tony Xia, Tina Wang, Tammy Coxen (m)

(9) BACK ON HIS FEET. Nicholas Whyte reports on his recovery from Covid after spending the end of November and part of December sick in bed: “630 days of plague, and COVID 20 days on” in his Livejournal.

(10) THE CULTURE. Christopher Fowler, known to fans for his sff, discusses what makes English novels “English” at CrimeReads: “The Curse of Englishness: Why Every British Thriller Is Also a Black Comedy”.

…I first became aware of the curse when I heard the teacups. To be precise, their endless tinkling.

Whenever I listened to an English radio play as a child the sound effects included a spoon endlessly circling bone china. English characters were always going out and coming in, but mostly they stayed inside and drank tea, even in the grisliest true-life murder dramatizations. Our plots unfolded in small rooms. It’s an English thing; neat little houses, inclement weather. Agatha Christie was particularly obsessed with egress. ‘It was a fine old library with the only other door leading out to the pristine tennis courts.’ And as we tended not to point guns at each other, our fictional killers generally dismissed firearms in favour of doctored pots of chutney, electrified bathtubs and poisoned trifles. They escaped without leaving footprints and relocked doors with the aid of string….

(11) TODAY’S DAY.

I am reliably informed by John King Tarpinian that this is how I should have spent my day.

(12) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1966[Item by Cat Eldridge.] Fifty five years ago, Star Trek’s “The Conscience of a King” first aired on NBC. The title comes from the concluding lines of Act II of Hamlet: “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” Barry Trivers wrote the script. Memory Alpha notes that he also wrote the never made “A Portrait in Black and White” episode based on a story premise by Roddenberry in his original series proposal for Star Trek

The primary guest cast here was Arnold Moss as Anton Karidian / Kodos and Barbara Anderson as Lenore Karidian. Other than a later Time Tunnel appearence, his only genre role. She played Mimi Davis in a recurring role on Mission: Impossible

Reception for it is generally very good though Keith DeCandido at Tor.com kvetches about how he’s identified as the war criminal. (Keith, it’s not your your modern CSI.) Later Trek writer Ronald D. Moore considers it one of the best Trek episodes ever done. 

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 8, 1861 Georges Méliès. Best known as a film director for A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) which he said was influenced by sources including Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon. (Died 1938.)
  • Born December 8, 1894 E. C. Segar. Best known as the creator of Popeye, who first appeared in 1929 in Segar’s comic strip Thimble Theatre. Popeye’s first line in the strip, upon being asked if he was a sailor, was “Ja think I’m a cowboy?” J. Wellington Wimpy was another character in this strip that I’m fond of. (Died 1938.)
  • Born December 8, 1894 James Thurber. He’s written a number of fantasies, The 13 ClocksThe White Deer and The Wonderful O, definitely none of which children should be reading. You’ve no doubt seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Danny Kaye which bears little resemblance to the original short story. It would be made into a second film, just eight years ago, again not resembling the source material. (Died 1961.)
  • Born December 8, 1950 Rick Baker, 71. Baker won the Academy Award for Best Makeup a record seven times from a record eleven nominations, beginning when he won the first award given for An American Werewolf in London.  So what else is he know for? Oh, I’m not listing everything but his first was The Thing with Two Heads and I’ll single out The ExorcistStar WarsThe Howling which I quite love, Starman for the Starman transformation, the Beast design on the Beauty and the Beast series and the first Hellboy film version.
  • Born December 8, 1951 Brian Attebery, 70. If I was putting together a library of reference works right now, Attebery would be high on the list of authors at the center of my shopping list. I think The Fantasy Tradition in American Literature: From Irving to Le Guin is still essential reading and Parabolas of Science Fiction with Veronica Hollinger is very close to a Grand Unification Theory of the Genre. He won a World Fantasy Award for his editing of Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and a Mythopoetic Scholarship Award for Stories about Stories: Fantasy & the Remaking of Myth.
  • Born December 8, 1954 Rebecca Neason. She wrote a Next Generation novel, Guises of The Mind,  plus several Highlander novels, and two fantasy novels; her widower says one novel went unpublished. She was a regular panelist at conventions in the Pacific Northwest. Jim Fiscus has a remembrance here.  (Died 2010.)
  • Born December 8, 1954 John Silbersack, 67. With Victoria Schochet, he edited the first four volumes of the Berkley Showcase: New Writings in Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology series. Seasonally appropriate, he edited with Chris Schelling, The Magic of Christmas: Holiday Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He’s written a Buck Rogers novel, Rogers’ Rangers, off a treatment by Niven and Pournelle. 
  • Born December 8, 1967 Laura J. Mixon, 64. She won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer at Sasquan for her writing about the abhorrent online activities of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. She has written a number of excellent novels including Glass Houses and Up Against It which got an Otherwise nomination. She is married to SF writer Steven Gould, with whom she co-wrote the novel Greenwar.

(14) GEORGE PÉREZ MEDICAL UPDATE. George Pérez, known for his work on DC’s The New Teen TitansCrisis on Infinite Earths and Wonder Woman, Marvel titles like Infinity Gauntlet and The Avengers, and with Kurt Busiek on the landmark Marvel/DC crossover JLA/Avengers (aka Avengers/JLA), announced on Facebook that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  

To all my fans, friends and extended family,

It’s rather hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since I formally announced my retirement from producing comics due to my failing vision and other infirmities brought on primarily by my diabetes. At the time I was flattered and humbled by the number of tributes and testimonials given me by my fans and peers. The kind words spoken on those occasions were so heartwarming that I used to quip that “the only thing missing from those events was me lying in a box.”

It was amusing at the time, I thought.

Now, not so much. On November 29th I received confirmation that, after undergoing surgery for a blockage in my liver, I have Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year. I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.

Since I received my diagnosis and prognosis, those in my inner circle have given me so much love, support and help, both practical and emotional. They’ve given me peace.

There will be some business matters to take care of before I go. I am already arranging with my art agent to refund the money paid for sketches that I can no longer finish. And, since, despite only having one working eye, I can still sign my name, I hope to coordinate one last mass book signing to help make my passing a bit easier. I also hope that I will be able to make one last public appearance wherein I can be photographed with as many of my fans as possible, with the proviso that I get to hug each and every one of them. I just want to be able to say goodbye with smiles as well as tears…

(15) SEPTEMBER SONG ENCORE. BasedCon will ride again in September 2022, says chair Rob Kroese. The inaugural event he created to appeal to the “sci-fi writer or fan who is sick of woke politics” (see “BasedCon Planning for Dozens of Attendees”) actually drew 70.

(16) THE ROARING TWENTIES. The New York Times applauds this fashion statement: “Just in Time for Christmas: Knitwear Fit for a T. Rex”.

Behold the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex — all swaddled in a cozy Christmas sweater.

The replica T. rex at the Natural History Museum in London is an enormous, ferocious-looking beast that was built to scale, standing about 60 percent the size of the 40-foot-long prehistoric creature.

The animatronic attraction, which features roaring sound effects, often startles visitors, but on Monday, the predatory edge was somewhat softened when visitors found the T. rex bedecked in a giant blue, red and green holiday sweater, replete with cheerful Christmas trees and snowflakes….

(17) A BIRD IN FLIGHT. The European launch of the book The Space Cuckoo and Other Stories by Arvind Mishra will take place online, on December 13 at 6.00 p.m. Romanian Local Time, on Discord, at the international meeting of Syndicate 9 Science Fiction club from Timisoara, Romania. The guest of the meeting is the author, and the moderator, Darius Hupov.

To participate at the online meeting, please click the invitation link for the Syndicate 9 Discord server:
https://discord.gg/rs2YUAwP. The meeting will take place at the “Intalnirea S9” voice channel.

(18) I’M NOT SAYING IT’S ALIENS… [Item by Dann.] China’s Yutu-2 lunar rover has found something interesting on the moon.  The rover is going to spend the next couple of months trundling over to get a closer look. “China’s Yutu 2 rover spots cube-shaped ‘mystery hut’ on far side of the moon” at Space.com.

China’s Yutu 2 rover has spotted a mystery object on the horizon while working its way across Von Kármán crater on the far side of the moon.

Yutu 2 spotted a cube-shaped object on the horizon to the north and roughly 260 feet (80 meters) away in November during the mission’s 36th lunar day, according to a Yutu 2 diary published by Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Our Space referred to the object as a “mystery hut” but this [is] a placeholder name rather than an accurate description….

…but it’s aliens. Or the Transformers lunar base.

(19) GRESHAM’S LAW. Guillermo del Toro, director of Nightmare Alley, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Guillermo talks about his new movie…,, his attention to detail, his drawing notebook, his mother being a little bit of a “witch,” learning about tarot cards, getting married, shooting around the pandemic, Rooney Mara being secretly pregnant during it, buying and selling things on eBay, and he quizzes Jimmy about 1930s slang.

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] “In Honest Trailers:  Let There Be Carnage,” the Screen Junkies say ,” If you’re making a film about a squirelly guy who talks to himself, you get Gollum (Andy Serkis) to direct it.”  Under Serkis’s direction, the film features “bad CGI goo,” “bad wigs,” “British actors doing really bad American accents,” and a mysterious reference to Beverly Hills Cop 2!

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chris Barkley, Darius Hupov, Dann, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]

43 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/8/21 I’m Shocked To Find Scrolling Going On In Here

  1. “…here are your Pixels, sir”

    3) “People are doubling down on their false claims about Neon because, if they concede those claims are wrong, that means admitting to having committed exactly the sin they meant to oppose: attacking a trans person & demanding their work be removed bc they thought it was anti-trans.”

    Sunk cost fallacy, yeah

    In re Time Traveling, I think the fact that the Beatles Rooftop concert is not flash mobbed by time travellers is proof that either time travel is impossible, or the future has no musical taste whatsoever.
    (Not precisely genre, but really enjoyed the GET BACK documentary(

  2. 3) IMHO, the problem always was with people that thought that Isabel Fall’s identification had any meaningful relationship with whether or not the Helicopter Story was any good. The modern obsession with ensuring that stories about a given group are only critically rewarded if they are written by individuals from that same group is the problem.

    The only questions that should matter are (in order of importance):

    Did the story entertain the reader?
    Did the story inspire reflection on a new idea?

    That story did both in spades regardless of the identity of the author.

    Regards,
    Dann
    When I am Weaker Than You, I ask you for Freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am Stronger than you, I take away your Freedom Because that is according to my principles. – Frank Herbert, Children of Dune.

  3. 3) A relatively neutral observation: I hypothesize that Neon Yang attracted so much attention due to their quote in Vox (which IMHO is a pretty high-profile site). It seems reasonable to guess that many people were inspired to enter the debate by the Vox article, and the new entrants may have (incorrectly) had the impression that Neon Yang initiated the whole debate.

  4. (12) I’ve always liked CotK. A while back I ran across a Kelvin-universe variation on this story. If I find the link I’ll post it tomorrow.

  5. Andrew (not Werdna) says I’ve always liked CotK. A while back I ran across a Kelvin-universe variation on this story. If I find the link I’ll post it tomorrow.

    Oh please do so. That could be a fascinating story.

    It was amazed when writing up that Anniversary just how much of that episode I remembered despite not seeing it in probably three decades now.

    Now listening to Roger Zelazny’s Roadmarks which the Suck Fairy has so far not come near.

  6. Just got into an exchange on Twitter re: 3 which has left me spitting mad so, uh, if I engage here it’ll be after I’ve calmed down and most of my sentences aren’t ending in exclamation marks anymore.

    Hissss.

  7. (13) “The Wonderful O” is actually fairly safe for kids. (It was on an easily-accessible shelf at my grandparents – of course I read it!) I won’t spoil it for all y’all, but it’s a wonderful story.

  8. (3) Many of the responses to those threads are just… urgh. Do they really think they are standing up for Isabel Fall? And now people are being added to Twitter lists of “transphobes” by retweeting Foz Meadows’ tweets or similar tweets. What a mess.

  9. (3) I read the responses to the first tweet in that thread, and muted about 95% of the people responding because they clearly hadn’t read the thread and had already decided what they thought. (I’d bet they also hadn’t read the story.)

  10. 3) The self-styled defenders of Isabel Fall don’t speak for her and may well do even more harm to her.

    It seems to me that the self-styled defenders of Isabel Fall are linked to one writer/podcaster whose name has appeared in other controversies before.

    It’s also telling that while these people are currently attacking anybody who defends Neon Hemlock Press or criticises the harassment of Neon Yang, they reserve most of their vitriol for LGBTQA and other marginalised. In short “kettle – black”.

  11. @Dann

    3) IMHO, the problem always was with people that thought that Isabel Fall’s identification had any meaningful relationship with whether or not the Helicopter Story was any good. The modern obsession with ensuring that stories about a given group are only critically rewarded if they are written by individuals from that same group is the problem.

    The only questions that should matter are (in order of importance):

    Did the story entertain the reader?
    Did the story inspire reflection on a new idea?

    That story did both in spades regardless of the identity of the author.

    In this case, the identity of the author matters, because Fall not only attempted to write a story about gender dysphoria and the experience of a trans person, she also originally used a transphobic meme as her title in an attempt to reclaim it.

    And while many trans people defended the story, just as many trans people criticised the story and/or were hurt by it.

    I still think that a brief biographical note like “Isabel Fall is a trans woman who is not publicly out yet. This is her first story under that name” would have defused or deflected much of the criticism.

  12. Cora Buhlert: I understand the point you’re making about the biographical note, however, I think that would only have moved the goalposts. Indeed, there was a corollary discussion later between a few people as to what the reaction to such a statement might have been.

  13. @Dann

    I don’t think a cis person’s opinion of “the only questions that should matter” is terribly relevant here. You’re not meaningfully affected.

  14. (3) I stayed out of that fray, both back then and now. No one needed my opinions, and the only useful contribution I had was the thought that there was no way Neil Clark would have been punked by an alt-right Nazi looking to diss trans people. He wouldn’t have published it if he didn’t trust and believe in the writer. The shame was his medical issues precluded him weighing in until the damage had been done.

    (6) Going on my list for awards next year for best fan writing, or best related work, or whatever. It’s deep, detailed, and engaging.

    (12) 1979? But 55 years old? Shouldn’t that be 1966?

    (13) Laura Mixon is amazing and wonderful and incredibly supportive. I wouldn’t be the writer I am without her. Read her stuff, it’s fantastic.

  15. Meredith moment: Elizabeth Hand’s Wylding Hall which won a Shirley Jackson Award is available from the usual suspects for just ninety nine cents. If you’ve got an Audible membership, the most excellent full cast production is included with your membership.

  16. (6) looking forward to the 3-volume edition. In addition to making some interesting points, The Debarkle brings together masses of source material, of which the File770 roundups are a very important part. OGH did a brilliant and invaluable job of tracking events day by day, and Camestros did equally well to put the events into perspective. The integrity and fair-mindedness of both are very impressive.

    (15) well, 70 is between 5 and 6 dozen …

  17. Jeff and Ben: Yes, it should be 1966 and now is.

    On “Pretend to be a time traveler day” I sent myself to the wrong year…

  18. Thanks, whoever posted the Guillermo del Toro link. I’m a big fan of the guy’s work and this was an entertaining 12 minutes.

  19. Not a Meredith moment but a correction to an earlier Birthday writeup that I made. Charles Finley’s The Circus of Dr. Lao is available in a digital form from the usual suspects, Amazon as a Kindle publication. Bison is the publisher. It’s not cheap coming with the price tag of $14.95 hence not being a Meredith moment.

  20. @Cora Buhlert

    In this case, the identity of the author matters,…

    I disagree.

    The lived experience of Isabel Fall may have made writing this piece easier in their specific case. A competent author of some other identity who bothers to do the research would be able to produce similarly compelling work.

    No author should be restricted to producing only works that reflect their identity.

    Judge the work by the work and not by the author.

    @Sophie Jane

    I don’t think a cis person’s opinion of “the only questions that should matter” is terribly relevant here. You’re not meaningfully affected.

    Thank you for illustrating the problem at hand. No one should be denied a voice based on their identity. This was a significant problem decades ago. We’re still working on doing it better. Progress is a slow and occasionally ugly slog.

    Changing which voices are muted instead of welcoming all voices is not progress.

    Additionally, isn’t part of the point to persuade those that are not meaningfully affected to be more accepting of those who are? This story did that quite well.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Progressives are not stupid and evil. Conservatives are not racists and misogynists.

  21. Sophie Jane: I don’t think a cis person’s opinion of “the only questions that should matter” is terribly relevant here. You’re not meaningfully affected.

    Dann665: Thank you for illustrating the problem at hand. No one should be denied a voice based on their identity.

    Once again, you’ve moved the goalposts. First you insist that you are qualified to decide what “the only questions that should matter” are. No one else’s opinion matters, YOU have arrogantly announced that you have made the ultimate decision on which questions are the only ones that should matter.

    Then when Sophie Jane rightfully points out that you don’t get to decide what “the only questions that should matter” are to the exclusion of everyone else, you claim that you’re being “denied a voice”.

    You’re not being denied a voice, you’re having it pointed out to you that as a cis person you don’t get to decide for trans people what “the only questions that should matter” are.

     
    Also, your continual manspreading in the comments with passive-aggressive quotes and links is just eyerollingly tiresome. 🙄

  22. The other day I attended a PEN America panel on self-censorship (available for viewing here https://pen.org/event/pen-america-town-hall-meeting-writers-self-censorship/). The Helicopter incident was mentioned by Carmen Machado. Jennifer Boylan, who is trans, supported the idea (unsurprisingly, given the organization) that any writer should be able to write any character, but they also have a responsibility to do enough research to get the characters right. (Watch the video for a very funny historical anecdote about that.)

  23. Dann665 says Judge the work by the work and not by the author.

    In the the present day of social media, it is impossible not to judge a work also by the reality of the author of the social and political views of the author. For better, or in her case worse, to use J.K. Rowling as my example I am going to base whether or not I read her fiction on what I think of her as a human being. (She failed.)

    Authors promote their work via social media, so they bloody well should know that their utterances there are fair game to judge them, damn it.

    Now listening to Carole Ann Douglas’s A Midnight Louie Mystery: Cat in a White Tie and Tails. It’s purringly excellent.

  24. re: 13) “James Thurber. He’s written a number of fantasies, The 13 Clocks, The White Deer and The Wonderful O, definitely none of which children should be reading.”
    That’s an interesting statement. In 1969, I used to watch “My World and Welcome to It, based on James Thurber’s life and works. I was 12 then, and proceeded to get most of his books from the county library. He and a number of other middle aged jaded idealists I read in my youth had an important effect on my life, outlook, and reading from that time on. It’s one of the reasons I reject nihilism, and the endless SF dystopianism today. Are you trying to cancel Thurber now? When does it stop with you people?

  25. Hyman Rosen: Thanks for the link. I went and looked at the transcript of the video and watched the parts where Carmen Maria Machado spoke. When “Helicopter Story” first appeared under its original title and the Twitter controversy took off, Machado tweeted some comments that were later taken private — and what she says in the video is part of what she discussed in those comments.

  26. @ K

    Are you trying to cancel Thurber now? When does it stop with you people?

    “Cancel culture” is a myth made up by Republicans, John Cleese, and out-of-touch scholars. Society has been picking winners and losers ever since humans were around. For example let’s take Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence, the Motion Pictures Production Code, the Comics Code Authority, and so on.

    Hell, what about the Texas representative that wanted to pull more than 850 books (mostly by Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ people) from school libraries:

    https://bookriot.com/texas-book-ban-list/

    In my opinion, Cat’s gentle opinion on whether Thurber is suited for children or not is hardly censorship or “cancel culture.”

  27. I just read “The Wonderful O”; there’s nothing about it that makes it unsuitable for kids. The Common Core State Standards Initiative includes “The 13 Clocks” for 2nd and 3rd graders. In fact, I suspect Cat was being facetious with the comment.

  28. I read all those books as a child and yes, it probably did warp me for life, what can I say?

    “I am the Pixel,” the Pixel said proudly, “the only Pixel in the world and not a mere Device.”

  29. Dann: A thing you conveniently ignore in your race to declare the identity of an author irrelevant to their ability to deal with subject matter sensitively is the VAST number of examples we have of people who thought that only to be told by the people they were claiming to depict that they got it badly badly wrong. ( and how many of those books become bestsellers BECAUSE, not despite, pandering to stereotypes) And people who did it right, due to research or sensitivity readers or whatnot don’t change that fact.

    There’s a reason why there is literally an entire SERIES of courses on writing the other, which is to allow more writers to do well what has so often been done badly…. and that’s that we want to let writers do it. There is ALSO a reason the courses are led by a person or people from the particular “other” being discussed, and not by a person who isn’t but was described as “doing it right”.

    Nobody, including in the discussion of Helicopter Story, has said nobody cis can write a trans story. Instead they have tried to point out that knowing the author was trans would have allowed them more room to trust what was being done. The same way that someone above said knowing the editor’s work gave them room to trust.

  30. (14) GEORGE PÉREZ MEDICAL UPDATE. Woah, I’m so very sorry about this! 🙁 I’m a big fan of his work (I’d be sorry regardless, of course).

  31. @Lenora Rose

    You only need look at rants against “self-hating Jews” (usually about Israel) to see the fallacy in trusting someone to have a truthful, or acceptable, or correct, or what-have-you view of their own group.

  32. @Hyman Rosen–So, cis-het, white, and, making the assumption that your reference to “self-haring Jews” is intended to be relevant, Gentile men can be considered objective commenters on such things?

    Weird and obnoxious nonsense can come from anywhere, but generally, having some relevant knowledge and experience of what you’re talking about is considered relevant.

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