Pixel Scroll 6/10/18 Ascroll Just Off The Pixels Of Langerhans

(1) LICENSE TO THRILL. Steven H Silver spotted an unusual collectible in traffic the other day —

I was unaware that Illinois issued such event specific license plate until I saw this one today (June 6).  The text around Superman indicates it is for the 40th Annual Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois from June 7-10.  On the right you can see that the plate expires on June 10, 2018.

(2) SATISFYING SPACE OPERA. Abigail Nussbaum delivers insightful and fascinating sff analysis in “A Political History of the Future: Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente”, at Lawyers, Guns & Money.

To which the answer is, because talking about Space Opera gives me an opportunity to point out a glaring lacuna in almost all the works we’ve discussed so far—the way that nearly every one of them leaves out the centrality of culture, and particularly popular culture, in shaping a society and reflecting its preoccupations.

When I say “culture”, I’m talking about several different things, each integral to the believability of any invented world. Culture can mean shared cultural touchstones, classic and modern, that give people a common frame of reference, like humming a pop song or quoting the Simpsons. It can mean characters who are artists, professional or amateur. It could refer to the way that culture can become a political battleground, as we were discussing just a few days ago in response to the news that conservatives want their own version of SNL. Or it could be a discussion of material culture—fashion, design, architecture—and how it allows people to express themselves in even the most mundane aspects of their lives.

It’s very rare, however, to see science fiction try to engage with any of these aspects of culture. Even as it strives to create fully-realized worlds, art—high and low, functional and abstract, popular and obscure, ridiculous and serious—tends to be absent from them. So are artists—try to remember the last time you encountered a character in a science fiction or fantasy story who had an artistic side, even just as a hobby. Even worse, few characters in SFF stories have any kind of cultural touchstones.

(3) KILL YOUR DARLINGS. Delilah S. Dawson tells what she thinks is the real meaning of that traditional writerly advice “kill your darlings.” The thread starts here —


(4) IN THE BEGINNING. The International Costuming Guild presents its research into what fans wore to the masquerade at the Second Worldcon (1940) — “Convention Costuming History: The Pre-WWII Years – Pt. III”.

The earliest Worldcon masquerades were more like informal costume contests, with several well known authors of the time participating. The costumes worn were a mix of original designs, interpretations of literary characters and what would come to be known as media recreations. 1940 – Chicon I

Following the novelty of Ackerman’s and Douglas’ costumed appearance the previous year, a “Science Fiction Masquerade Party” was featured as part of the convention programming.(1) By Forrest Ackerman’s count, there were 25 people in costume there. The co-host masters of ceremonies were fans and writers Jack Speer and Milton Rothman. Judging from the accounts of the party, the occasion was informal – there was no stage, but there were one or two skits, including one by Ackerman and “Morojo” (Douglas) wearing their outfits from the previous year.

There were several reports of who was there for the first official costumed event. Among that first group of convention costuming contestants were…

(5) ICG IN PASSING. The International Costuming Guild’s in memoriam video, presented at Costume-Con 36 (2018) to recognize those in the community lost in the previous year, is posted on YouTube.

(6) WITH CAT IN HAND. Yoon Ha Lee will be doing an Ask Me Anything on June 12.


(7) THIEVES LIKE US. A recent movie premiere inspires B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog’s listicle “12 Fantasy Heist Novels”.

There are genre tropes, and then there are those archetypes that are mainstays of not just science fiction and fantasy, but of popular culture in general. One of the best examples is the character of the Gentleman Thief (who doesn’t always have to be a gentleman). These rogues are witty, engaging, and will rob you blind with a rakish wink and a smile. You can’t help but be charmed by them. From Robin Hood to Danny Ocean, the character is a permanent favorite in books and on film….

The Holver Alley Crew, by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Maresca’s interconnected Maradaine books (multiple series examining life in the same fantasy city) are a real treat. The latest series is about the Holver Alley crew, a ragtag group of formerly retired thieves are forced to return to a life of crime when their new, respectable shop burns down. When they learn the fire was no accident, they are forced to take desperate measures. All of the Maradaine books are a treat, but this one really stands out because of the especially strong characters. In fine Oceans tradition, Asti and Verci are both brothers and ringleaders, and must assemble a skilled crew to pull of a job to rob a gambling house that took everything from them.

(8) HAWKING OBSEQUIES. Are any of you trying to get in? “Stephen Hawking: Ballot opens for Westminster Abbey service”.

The public is being offered the chance to attend a service of thanksgiving for Professor Stephen Hawking, who died in March aged 76.

It will take place in Westminster Abbey on 15 June and up to 1,000 tickets are available in a ballot.

During the service, the scientist’s ashes will be interred between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

His daughter, Lucy Hawking, said she wanted to give some of her father’s admirers the chance to remember him.

(9) LAST DAYS. Christopher Stasheff’s son, Edward posted the following to his Facebook page on June 9:

My father, Christopher Stasheff, is currently in hospice and expected to die from Parkinson’s Disease within the next two weeks, quite possibly this week. If anyone would like to say goodbye to him, post it as a response here, and I’ll read it to him the next time I see him (I visit him in the nursing home daily). Thanks.

The most recent reports are suggesting that he may only have a day or so left.

Update:  His son reports Stasheff died this evening.

My father Christopher Stasheff died at 6:45 PM on June 10th, 2018, surrounded by his wife and two of his children. The other two were able to phone in and say goodbye before he passed. He is survived by hundreds of his students and uncountable fans, and his legacy will live on in all the lives he touched.


  • Born June 10, 1952 – Kage Baker

(11) VOLLEYED AND THUNDERED. Edmonton’s Hugo Book Club just put out a new blog post, “Is that The Canon in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”, in which they muse about literary awards and their relation to posterity and questions of enduring value. Is science fiction the new Western Canon?

It is worth noting that Harold Bloom’s 1993 list of The Western Canon included only two works that are traditionally categorized as science fiction: Ursula Le Guin’s Hugo Award winner The Left Hand of Darkness and George Orwell’s 1984.

But of Bloom’s list, I would argue the majority of the works cited are less relevant to the broad public – and to a concept of cultural literacy – than the recent Hugo Award winners and popular works of science fiction.

For example, references and allusions to Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 13th century poem Parzival are lost on the broader public, while Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One protagonist Parzival is familiar to many.

(12) ICE NINE. Galactic Journey’s Victoria Lucas has just read the new Vonnegut release – in 1963: “[June 10, 1963] Foma: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s Cat’s Cradle)”

When a friend lent Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s newest novel, Cat’s Cradle to me, I thought, “Oh, I know this book!” because I saw, as I flipped through it, the “ice-nine” and “Bokonon” I’d heard people buzzing so much about.  So I was glad to read it and understand the phenomenon.

But that’s where my joy ended.  Vonnegut is a fine writer.  His style is idiosyncratic, askew; this is a novel novel.  But no one would accuse him of being optimistic or hopeful about the human future.  No Pollyanna he….

(13) BBC RADIO STAR TREK DOCUMENTARY. BBC Radio 4 has just re-broadcast “Star Trek – The Undiscovered Future”, first aired December 2017. It’s available to listen to online right now.

How far have we voyaged towards Star Trek’s vision of the future and what of it is likely to be fulfilled or remain undiscovered in the next 50 years?

Kevin Fong presents archive material of the likes of Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura) talking about the inception and filming of the original Star Trek series, and their thoughts about Roddenberry’s vision of the future and its impact in the United States at the time.

For example, Nichols relates how she had a chance encounter with Martin Luther King the day after she had told Roddenberry that she intended to leave Star Trek after the first series. King told her he was her number fan and almost demanded that she didn’t give up the role of Uhura, because she was an uniquely empowering role model on American television at the time.

For a perspective from today, Kevin also talks to George Takei who played Mr Sulu. Takei laments the ethnically divisive politics of the United States in 2016.

He meets Charles Bolden – the first African American to both command a shuttle mission and lead NASA as its chief administrator. In the age of the International Space Station, he compares himself to the ‘Admiral of Star Fleet’. But the former astronaut also talks about the anger he first felt in 1994 when he was asked to fly the first Russian cosmonaut ever to board an American space shuttle.

Kevin also talk to cultural broadcaster and Star Trek fan Samira Ahmed about the sexual and racial politics of the Original series.

(14) ST:D SEASON TWO. Comedian and new Star Trek: Discovery cast member Tig Notaro opened her set on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert poking fun at her inability to understand any of the tech talk from her Trek dialog. See “‘Star Trek: Discovery’: Tig Notaro Talks Technobabble” at Comicbook.com.

Tig Notaro is one of the new additions to the cast of Star Trek: Discovery in the show’s second season and while she’s excited to be a part of the Star Trek universe she doesn’t exactly speak the language.

Notaro was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote her new comedy special Happy to be Here. She greeted Colbert by saying his theater was “like a room full of pleasant subspace particles wrapped in a tachyon field of good vibes.”
The comment is obviously a reference to her role on Discovery, though she admits “I have no idea what I’m saying on that show…I can’t even picture what I’m talking about.”
She revealed that her character is human and that she plays Commander Jet Reno, a name she got to choose for herself. As for how she got the job, “They just asked if I wanted to do it” she says.


(15) BAD WITH NUMBERS? Deadline interviewed the president of Marvel Studios: “Kevin Feige Talks Marvel’s Success, Female Directors, ‘Infinity War II’ & How He’s ‘Bad With Numbers’”.

More female directors on Marvel pics: Captain Marvel is the first Marvel title to have a female director at the helm Anna Boden (who is co-helming with Ryan Fleck. And having more female directors behind his superhero pics is a trend he plans to maintain, “I cannot promise that (the next) 20 Marvel movies will have female directors but a heck of a lot of them will,” he said in response to an audience member’s question. The Marvel boss mentioned that agencies are sending more female directors than men for Marvel directing jobs.

On the $1.3 billion success of Black PantherFeige said that Marvel “wanted to destroy the myth that black movies don’t work well around the world,” and being at Disney with its platinum marketing department allowed the comic book studio to swing for the fences.

“The budget for Black Panther was bigger than Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and you can’t do that without the support and encouragement from the leaders of the company,” he said.

Feige also applauded Black Panther director Ryan Coogler’s championing his diverse below-the-line team in Hannah Beachler as production designer, Ruth Carter’s costumes, and DP Rachel Morrison. Their resumes, like Marvel’s directors, didn’t scream tentpole experience, but Feige is grateful he heard them pitch rather than rely on his regular team.

“We can’t imagine the movie without them, and the future movies we hope to make with them,” he said.

(16) JURASSIC LARK. In Parade, “Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard Talk Dinosaurs, Parenting and Friendship”.

After their wildly successful first dino film in 2015, the pair reunited last year to film much of Fallen Kingdom on the Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, Hawaii. But even surrounded by tropical paradise, they faced more than a few challenges on camera, from filming in a chlorinated pool that fried Pratt’s hair and skin to riding in a zero-gravity gyrosphere that made Howard nauseous. And Pratt had to do some awkward face-offs with a velociraptor that wasn’t really there—until the special-effects department created it. He acts out how he’d say to the air in front of him, “Get back, get back . . .” and then “Whoa!” as he’d throw himself on the ground. The camera crew, watching on monitors nearby, “didn’t want to say how stupid it looked!”

(17) SCARIEST MOVIE. The Washington Post’s Monica Castillo, in “The story behind ‘Hereditary,’ the Toni Collette horror movie that scared the bejesus out of Sundance”, interviews Hereditary director Ari Aster who, “in his first feature, marries the horror and melodrama genres into an unnerving movie about grief.”

Aster said he deliberately amped up the drama in the film slowly. “I’m not affected by anything in a film unless I’m invested in the people at the center of it,” he said. “I wanted to take my time and immerse people in this family’s life and their dynamic, which is quite complicated. I just wanted to make a film in the tradition of the horror films I grew up loving, like ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘Don’t Look Now’ and ‘The Innocents.’ Films that take their time are very much rooted in character.”

Setting also plays an important role in the creepiness in “Hereditary.” The family’s luxury cabin in the woods has the right dark corners and haunted attics to make it feel like a trap where its inhabitants are left to slowly die. Annie’s miniature houses become a motif. “The miniatures just struck me as a potent metaphor for the family’s situation,” Aster said. “They have no agency, and they’re revealed over the course of the movie to be like dolls in a dollhouse, being manipulated by these outside forces.”

(18) SPONGEBOB TONY. In “How ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ invaded our brains”, Washington Post writer Sonia Rao interviews the cast and creators of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, which is up for 12 Tonys as best musical tonight and is making a lot of Millennials very happy.

Tom Kenny never thought SpongeBob SquarePants, a character he originated on the children’s program almost 20 years ago, would one day end up on Broadway. Why would he have? Parents clamp their hands over their ears whenever they hear SpongeBob’s helium voice, let alone his nasal laugh. The anthropomorphized sponge is no Hugh Jackman.

And yet, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical” is up for 12 Tonys on Sunday, tied with “Mean Girls” for the most nominations. Its resonance with serious theatergoers is surprising until you consider that even as adults, those of us who watched the series can’t shake its omnipresent songs, references and memes. Somehow, it became a cultural earworm.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Lexica, Olav Rokne, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Jonathan Cowie, Steven H Silver, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Niall McAuley.]

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146 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/10/18 Ascroll Just Off The Pixels Of Langerhans

  1. Hello Filers! Popping in with a wee review of “The Only Harmless Great Thing” by Brooke Bolander. This is an alt-history starring the New Jersey Radium Girls and Topsy the elephant.

    This novella is a little…I don’t know if fragmented is the right word. It has four separate PoVs, one of them written as a myth or fable. They jump between each other a bit too much for me, even though they’re intertwined in a way that makes sense.

    Also, Brooke Bolander writes about “righteous” murder with a certain relish that I don’t enjoy. There’s an awful view of humanity buried there, in which the only way to truly fight injustice is by slaughtering the unjust. Even if true (and it may be, because people suck), I don’t want to immerse myself in that outlook.

    P.S. August, my condolences on the loss of your kitty.

  2. @August – I’m very sorry for the loss of your cat. I’m happy she had you to take care of her, as that’s a ripe old age.

    @Rev. Bob – Ugh, I think I recall you talking about this issue a couple(?) few(?) years ago. If that’s correct, I’m sorry you’re still having to deal with it.

  3. @August
    It’s hard when they leave. It’s worse when it’s sudden.
    They leave pawprints on our hearts.

  4. Sorry for your loss, August.

    Not only did Aubrey & Maturin meet at a concert, they spent many a pleasant evening in Jack’s cabin sawing away on their instruments (violin & cello, I believe?).

  5. August, my deepest condolences. The only thing worse than losing a beloved furry family member would be never to have had them in one’s life at all. Which doesn’t help in the least in a time like this.

  6. Artists: numerous artists live in J.G. Ballard’s Vermillion Sands., which is a fading artists’ colony.

  7. @Ken Josenhans

    Artists: numerous artists live in J.G. Ballard’s Vermillion Sands., which is a fading artists’ colony.

    Has anyone mentioned Simmons and the entire Poet plotline of Hyperion?

    August, condolences about your cat. We had a similar scare with kitty diabetes with ours a few years ago and got very lucky. I’m sorry.

  8. @August: “It is very frustrating. I’ve had to step away from several conversations at work today entirely because I’ve been able to see myself starting to lose it big time over things that don’t justify anything like that reaction.”

    Feels familiar. I’ve pretty much reached a stage of stony determination, with the occasional vein of white-hot rage at being called a liar because my recollection of spoken dialogue from twenty years ago is not absolutely perfect. (“Aha, last night you said the response was ‘Fine,’ and now you claim he said ‘Okay’ – so the truth comes out! I knew you were making it all up!”)

    @kathodus: “Ugh, I think I recall you talking about this issue a couple(?) few(?) years ago. If that’s correct, I’m sorry you’re still having to deal with it.”

    One and the same, yep. The three meaningful developments in that time are that an attempted sale did not go through, a complication on the deed has come to light, and I have lost all patience with one of my cousins (and another isn’t far behind).

    I have begun to seriously consider filing a motion to partition the property.

  9. Meredith Moment: Chapterhouse Dune (the, as far as I’m concerned, sixth and final Dune novel) is currently $1.99.

  10. Stoic Cynic on June 11, 2018 at 9:12 am said:

    Well, I guess you could argue that beer and food and orchids do nothing to advance the plot (except the times they do) but Nero Wolfe without them? Properly done the irrelevancies help define the characters, their time and place, and set the tone for a story. The skill in how they are used is the key.

    Well said.
    And one I’m surprised no one has brought up: Grand Admiral Thrawn.

    August: I’m sorry for the death of your cat. I know how I’ve loved the pets I’ve lost and can only imagine it’s similar for you.

  11. @kathodus:

    (6) Is it safe to assume the credential’s name is General Jedao?

    It’s not, but I can’t remember if he’s mentioned the cat’s name in his DW journal. The name woudln’t fit him at all; Yoon Ha has reported that the cat is sweet-tempered and slightly stupid. (Personally, I wouln’t want a General Jedao in my house, even if it was only a cat!)

  12. @Nancy Sauer – ahh, the cat sounds more like a servitor than one of the human characters (because sweet-tempered, not slightly stupid – there are definitely humans that fit that description in the books). Also, the servitors are almost the only cute things, now that I think about it.

  13. Oh, August, I am so sorry. I think being sad and angry is entirely appropriate right now.

    Rev. Bob, that sounds exhaustingly annoying. Good luck with it.

  14. August, my condolences on the loss of your beloved companion. Do whatever you need to be good to yourself right now.

  15. How has the topic of culture in SF books been discussed this long without someone bringing up Walter Jon William’s Drake Maijstral books? High Culture is an omnipresent feature of the characters’ lives.

  16. @ August: Oh man, that sucks giant rocks thru a bendy straw. Deepest sympathies. And so many people don’t understand deep grief over the loss of a pet, no matter how beloved.

    @ Rev. Bob: That might be the best solution. Get yourself and your share out of it and let the other parties duke it out.

  17. Oh, August, I’m sorry. Sometimes they go down hard and fast like that and it’s so brutal on their human. But you did great getting her to that venerable an age—with strays, I usually figure if they make it to ten, I have done right by them, given how rough their early lives usually are. You done good.

  18. @RedWombat: sometimes small joyful things are worth having, even if the result isn’t stripped-down Hemingway-esque prose

    I think you just unconsciously summed up your entire body of work there. 😀 Maybe with a full stop after having.

    Lord Peter Wimsey married an author, of course, and one of his cases involved an artist’s colony. He was an expert on wine and classical music, and played the piano and cricket (And he looked just like Ian Carmichael, dammit). There’s a fictional sleuth who knew culture — and PTSD.

    @Steve Davidson: I’d support your Worldcon proposal as long as walking distance of your home is driving distance of my own. I’m magnanimous enough to allow it only every other year. Heck, let’s make it every other year alternating between Steve’s area and mine, with a proviso that Chicago gets to do it whenever they want, and being an airline hub, we’ll allow it.

    @Kevin: Obviously you know much more about Worldcon than I, even if I started earlier — but there were a few BIG honkin’ mistakes by Helsinki, which they were very dismissive and/or close-mouthed about.

    @August: My deepest condolences. The same happened with my BFFs cat. You’re actually remarkably civil and functional under those circumstances.

    In Hugo reading, I’m 25% through “City of Stairs” and the intrigue is in full flood. I don’t know if I can get them all read by the deadline, but plan to soon.

    Falling behind a bit on my new reading (for next year’s Hugos… sigh), but am going to gobble up the further adventures of Jedao tomorrow! Or tonight, depending on when the bits are pushed through the ether.

    I have convinced the Mr. to stop farting about on the net quite so much and read the short works and look at the art, at least. He’s leaning towards “Fandom for Robots” but liked the trope refutation in “Sun, Moon, Dust”. I think he’s onto novelettes now. I may have talked his ear off about Murderbot for 15 minutes in the car yesterday.

  19. @Lurker

    I just finished City of Miracles and…WOWWWW, is all I can say.

    I think I will have to tender an apology to Moon.

  20. So sorry to hear about your cat, August. It’s always too soon, but it sounds like she lived a wonderful kitty life with people she loved who loved her, and in the end that’s what’s important. Still, I know it’s got to be hard to lose her.

  21. @Tasha Turner: the remarks I selected were the ones that struck me (e.g., for compactness without the misinterpretability of the phrase being challenged), after reading most of the threads; do you find something “ineluctably masculine” in them, or do you think I was either subconsciously or deliberately selecting by Y chromosome? You don’t know me nearly well enough to make the latter assertion.

    @Meredith: AFAICT it was the world rather than the Worldcon that wasn’t putting the “world” in; I don’t think there were any outside-US bids before Torcon 1, or outside-NA bids before Loncon 1. This may have been due to the cost of bidding when the vote was over a border or sea (not to mention that Europe was a lot longer recovering from WW2 than the US was); perhaps US fans could have done more(*) to provide local representation for distant bids (as they do now), or outside-US fans could have asked more(*) for help — but Worldcons then were more locally-run affairs.
    (*) “more” in the Carrollian sense — I don’t know whether there was any at all.

    @Lenora Rose: I’ve seen that caveat in a number of places. (I haven’t even tried writing fiction in almost half a century, but I read about writing because I’m a ~gearhead who finds a certain amount of looking-under-the-hood fascinating.) However, ISTM that using it at the end weakens it; possibly more(*) rules-listers should put it first?

    @Andrew: losing a cat is never fun, but losing so suddenly is worse. My sympathies.

  22. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 6/11/18 Today Is The First Pixel Of The Rest Of Your Scroll | File 770

  23. August: condolences. It’s hard, and I can only imagine it being that sudden makds it so much worse.

    Rev. Bob: Condolences too, though yours are more sympathy for the unending nature of events than for their abruptness.

  24. Lurkertype:

    Lord Peter Wimsey married an author, of course, and one of his cases involved an artist’s colony.

    Actually, there’s a surprising number of authorly types among Golden Age detectives. Among several I can think of, there’s Nigel Strangeways, a poet who turned sleuth because he was the nephew of a commissioner of Scotland Yard; he also married a writer-explorer. Worth mentioning because his creator was Nicolas Blake, better known under his real name of Cecil Day-Lewis, Poet Laureate and father of Daniel Day-Lewis.

    It almost gets to the point you prefer a detective whose main fascination is motorcycles (Bobby Owens).

  25. I’m sorry about your kitty, August.

    2) The SF example for me is John Barnes’ Thousand Cultures series. The first two in particular are driven as much by artistic theory as by anything, and the protagonist is a musician/songwriter. Consider the scene in A Million Open Doors set during the cabaret. Those books are nothing without art.

    Somehow (I thought about this while driving and otherwise unable to post) I didn’t think of Double Star, but its mention makes me think of A Spectre Is Haunting Texas and The Golden Globe, which also have actors as protagonists.

    The mystery novels that come to mind are William Bayer’s dark and wonderful Blind Side and The Magician’s Tale (originally published under a pseudonym), which feature photographers as protagonists, whose professions are integral to the story.

  26. @Chip Hitchcock–

    @Tasha Turner: the remarks I selected were the ones that struck me (e.g., for compactness without the misinterpretability of the phrase being challenged), after reading most of the threads; do you find something “ineluctably masculine” in them, or do you think I was either subconsciously or deliberately selecting by Y chromosome? You don’t know me nearly well enough to make the latter assertion.

    Chip, first off, I’ll note that Tasha said, in that very comment you’re responding to,

    Unconscious bias is strong, hurtful, leads to microaggression, and something everyone needs to work on throughout their life.

    So worrying whether she might have meant to accuse you of doing it intentionally seems…misplaced.

    Beyond that–Most women have had the experience, and more than just once, of making a suggestion in a mixed group, having the suggestion ignored or dismissed, and shortly thereafter, a man makes the the same suggestion, often in near-identical words, and it’s received as anywhere from really good, to brilliant.

    So, yeah,

    white dude read three sets of tweets by women suggested by a woman and came back with “take a piece of jewelry off” analogy. In the same comment after reading several men’s takes suggested by a man which were similar to those by the women and commented those were thoughtful

    does seem dreadfully familiar, without supposing any conscious intent or awareness on the part of the guy that did it.

    I think it happens completely unconsciously, and can only be avoided with active attention.

  27. @Paul Weimer: “Children of Earth and Sky” is on Mount Tsundoku.

    @August: My condoleances. They leave a void when they go, which in turns leaves us a bit unbalanced until that void has been filled again, by someone or something else. It’s simple physics.

    2) Also, so many of Terry Pratchett’s novels are about stories and culturally shared narratives (Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Hogfather, The Truth, Lords and Ladies, and Maskerade, to name the ones that immediately leap to mind). Can’t believe I didn’t think of them first.

  28. @August
    Sorry about your cat. They leave a hole in our hearts when they pass. Sounds like you gave kitty a wonderful life. In time may kitty memories be a blessing.

    @Chip Hitchcock
    As Lis Carey points out I specifically stated I believed it to be a case of unconscious bias so obviously was NOT saying you were deliberately selecting by Y chromosome.

    One of my hot buttons, as a woman, is seeing women being dismissed because someone fell down the unconscious bias rat hole. Frequently when I see it happening I bring it up in discussions to remind myself and others how easy it is to intellectually believe women are equal to men but subconsciously have our minds work against us in implementing our beliefs in real life.

    By reading widely OUTSIDE ones comfort zone things written by OWNVOICES as well as reading nonfiction on race, sexism, LGBT+, as well as disability etc. by OWNVOICES regularly can one become QUICKER to catch themselves falling into our NATURAL bias traps in thinking, speech, and writing. The Temest Bradford Challenge can help with this: take One Year off from reading fiction by straight, white, cisgender male authors and instead read fiction by authors who come from minority or marginalized groups.

  29. Catching up, so I’m late to the party.

    (7) THIEVES LIKE US. I was happy to see Filer @Marshall Ryan Maresca and Filer T. Kingfisher (@RedWombat) show up in this list, along with Rachel Aaron’s “The Legend of Eli Monpress” (I’m listening to #4 of 5 now) and a few that’re on my “look into these books” list.

    (14) ST:D SEASON TWO. Tig Notaro is joining “Star Trek: Discovery”?!* Huh. Her “This American Life” thing was hilarious. (Watch the whole thing!) I haven’t see anything else by her, but I really need to watch some of her comedy specials, after that. And thanks, now I’ve spent another 17 minutes watching it for the Nth time. 😉

    * @kathodus: Thanks for pointing out that “ST:D” is not a great abbreviation. I shoud know this; I helped the place I workd narrowly avoid renaming a product to a consistent name that would’ve made our cites abbreviate to having “STD” in them. Whew, bullet dodged.

  30. August, my condoleances. It is like a part of your heart has been torn out.

  31. August, hugs!

    Re: culture, adding Seraphina/Shadow Scale, where our titular heroine is a musician and composer.

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