Pixel Scroll 8/4/18 Your Pixeled Pal Who’s Fun To Scroll With!

(1) AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE, DAY FOUR. Crusading investigative fanwriter Camestros Felapton has been trying to find out why the Dragon Awards ballot wasn’t released August 1, the date posted on the site, and when it will come out. Here’s what he’s been told:

The latest report is this. I got an email saying that the finalists will be announced this upcoming Tuesday (presumably US time). Don’t all get too excited at once.

(2) COME BACK, JEAN-LUC. “Patrick Stewart to star in new Star Trek TV series”Entertainment Weekly has the story.

Stewart will reprise his iconic character, Jean-Luc Picard, for a CBS All Access series that “will tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life.”

Stewart himself just announced the news in a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.

“I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course,” Stewart said. “It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.”

And Michael Chabon will be one of the executive producers reports Variety.

The untitled series hails from Alex Kurtzman, James Duff, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and Kirsten Beyer. Kurtzman, Duff, Goldsman, and Chabon will also serve as executive producers on the series along with Stewart, Trevor Roth, Heather Kadin, and Rod Roddenberry. CBS Television Studios will produce. The new series does not currently have a premiere date

(3) BOREANAZ ON BUFFY. Ethan Alter, in the Yahoo Entertainment story “David Boreanaz has no plans to be in controversial ‘Buffy’ reboot: ‘I just let it be and lend my support from afar'” says that Boreanaz is too busy with SEAL Team to worry about the forthcoming Buffy reboot (which is controversial because showrunner Monica Owusu-Breen might find a new actor to play Buffy) but he doesn’t have any objections to it.

 “I think it’s great,” says David Boreanaz, who played the ensouled vampire Angel on Buffy for three seasons before graduating to his own self-titled spin-off. “I’m sure they’ll find the right storylines and the right people to fill shoes of whatever characters they want to portray. It was great to be a part of it when it first started, and now to see it being revived is just another testimony to the hard work that we did. I congratulate that, and applaud that.”

(4) KRESS REQUEST. Nancy Kress announced on Facebook:

A few people have asked if I will autograph their books at Worldcn San Jose. However, I was disappointed that Programming Reboot has given me no panels, no autographing session, and no kaffeklatch. I do have one reading, at 4:30 on Sunday, which I cannot linger afterwards because of a Hugo dinner. So if anyone wants anything autographed, I will hang around the Hyatt lobby at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

(5) REACHING OUT TO HUGHART. Mike Berro, who runs the Barry Hughart Bibliography website is asking for help:

If anyone knows how to contact Barry Hughart, please let me know. I run a fan page, and would constantly get emails from people wanting to contact him, mostly about doing a movie or theatrical adaptation of Bridge of Birds. I would forward them to him, and he would always politely reply (with “no thanks”). I haven’t had a reply now for over a year, and just got an email from someone who reported that even his publishers cannot contact him. I fear something unfortunate has happened.

Berro says neither SFWA nor Subterranean Press have been able to offer any help.

Mike Berro’s contact email address is — [email protected]

(6) PRO ADVICE. Not certain who Mary Robinette Kowal had in mind, although JDA was sure it was about him. (Of course, he thinks everything is.)

(7) CLOUDS OF WITNESSES. Crisis Magazine recalls “When C.S. Lewis Befriended a Living Catholic Saint”.

When Luigi Calabria, a shoemaker married to a housemaid, died in Verona, Italy in 1882, the youngest of his seven sons, Giovanni, nine years old, had to quit school and take a job as an apprentice. A local parish priest, Don Pietro Scapini, privately tutored him for the minor seminary, from which he took a leave to serve two years in the army. During that time, he established a remarkable reputation for edifying his fellow soldiers and converting some of them. Even before ordination, he established a charitable institution for the care of poor sick people and, as a parish priest, in 1907 he founded the Poor Servants of Divine Providence. The society grew, receiving diocesan approval in 1932. The women’s branch he started in 1910 would become a refuge for Jewish women during the Second World War. To his own surprise, since he was a rather private person, his order spread from Italy to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, India, Kenya, Romania, and the Philippines.

With remarkable economy of time, he was a keen reader, and in 1947 he came across a book translated as Le lettere di Berlicche by a professor at the University of Milan, Alberto Castelli, who later became a titular archbishop as Vice President of the Pontifical Council of the Laity. Berlicche was Screwtape and “Malacode” served for Wormwood. The original, of course, had been published in 1943 as The Screwtape Letters and Calabria was so taken with it that he sent a letter of appreciation to the author in England. Lacking English, he wrote it in the Latin with which he had become proficient since his juvenile tutorials with Don Pietro.

… Lewis’s correspondence with Calabria went on for about seven years, and after the holy priest died, Lewis wrote at least seven letters to another member of Calabria’s religious community, Don Luigi Castelli, who died in 1986 at the age of 96. Learning of Calabria’s death, Lewis referred to him in a message to Castelli with what I suspect was a deliberate invocation of the phrase about “the dearly departed” that Horace used to console Virgil on the death of Quintilius Varo: tam carum caput. It appears as well in Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels. It was an unfortunate habit of Lewis to throw out letters he received when he thought he might otherwise betray confidences. So what we have are only what he sent. The letters are a radiant model of philia friendship that he described in his 1958 radio talks:

(8) WHO’S THE HERO? John Dilillo claims “Amazon’s Proposed ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series Misses the Point of Middle-Earth” at Film School Rejects.

…Every conventionally heroic duty performed by Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings is performed in service of a greater act of heroism by Hobbits, characters who choose their own destiny instead of following the path their bloodline lays out for them. Without Hobbits, Middle-earth is just another cliched fantasy tapestry, painting with the same old tired strokes. What makes Aragorn special is not his heritage or his backstory; it is that he recognizes that he is not the hero of this story. Aragorn is the king who bows to the Hobbits. Stripped of that identity, he is indistinguishable from any other gruff sword-wielding badass.

On top of all this, we’ve already seen the type of story that results from a Tolkien adaptation that loses sight of true heroism in favor of grand tales of redeemed sons and doomed kings. The great failing of the Hobbit trilogy is that it abandons its titular character all too often in favor of the gloomy angst of Richard Armitage’s Thorin Oakenshield. Armitage does a fine job projecting gloomy wounded pride, and whoever assumes the lead role in Amazon’s series will doubtless give just as effective a performance. But all of that is ultimately wasted when the real appeal of a Middle-earth story comes from the Shire, not the Lonely Mountain. A Hobbit story that isn’t about Bilbo Baggins is a failure, and it’s a failure that should be learned from….


  • Born August 4 — Richard Belzer, 74. The Third Rock fromThe Sun series as himself, also the Species II film and an awful adaption of Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters, along with series work too in The X-Files, The Invaders, Human Target, and acrecurring role in the original Flash series to name a few of his genre roles.
  • Born August 4 — Daniel Dae Kim, 50. First genre role was in the NightMan series, other roles include the Brave New World tv film, the second Fantasy Island series, recurring roles on LostAngel and Crusade, the Babylon 5 spinoff series, Star Trek: Voyager, Charmed and voice work on Justice League Unlimited.
  • Born August 4 — Abigail Spencer, 37. First genre role was in the Campfire horror anthology series, other roles include Ghost Whisperer, Jekyll, a film that’s an sf riff off that meme, Cowboys & Aliens, the Oz the Great and Powerful film and Timeless, the sf series recently allowed a proper ending
  • Born August 4 — Meaghan Markle, 37. Yes, Her Royalness. Appeared in Fringe and the newer Knight Rider. Also the near future legal drama Century City.

(10) INSTAPOLL. Survey says –

(11) KEN LIU TO TV. Andrew Liptak says an animated show is on the way: “AMC is developing a sci-fi show based on Ken Liu’s short stories”.

Ken Liu is one of science fiction’s most celebrated writers working today. In addition to translating Cixin Liu’s acclaimed Three Body Problem and Death’s End, he’s also earned numerous awards, most significantly for his short story, “The Paper Menagerie”. Now, it looks as though his works could reach a new audience: AMC is developing series based on his works called Pantheon, according to Deadline.

If it’s produced, Pantheon will be an animated show “based on a series of short stories by [Liu] about uploaded intelligence,” reports Deadline. Craig Silverstein, who created and produced AMC’s American revolution drama Turn, will serve as showrunner, producer, and writer.

(12) SOLO. Lela E. Buis points out the casting problems: “Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story”.

…The worst problem with this film, of course, was Alden Ehrenreich trying to step into Harrison Ford’s shoes. Ehrenreich did a workmanlike job with the character, but workmanlike just isn’t Han Solo. Donald Glover as Calrissian got glowing reviews, but it was really the charismatic Woody Harrelson as Beckett who lights up the film—an understated, low key performance notwithstanding. Also prominent was Lando’s co-pilot L3-37, an animated character fighting against the slavery of droids.

This brings up another question. Why isn’t Disney investing in flashier talent for these movies?

(13) BAEN CHALLENGE COINS. Baen Books is taking orders for the first pressing of its new Challenge  Coins commemorating iconic names or events in the books of Ringo, Williamson, Kratman and probably whoever else you’d expect to fill out a list that starts with those three names.

Each coin is $15. Buy all 13 author coins, and the “I Read Baen’d Books” coin comes free. Shipping and handling is a flat rate of $15, $45 international, for up to 13 coins. Write to [email protected] for rates on bulk orders.

These coins were designed by Jack Wylder with the active participation of the authors. Here’s an example —

Front: I Read Baen’d Books

Reverse: RIP Joe Buckley

All profits from this coin will go to support two charities founded, supported, and run by Baen readers: Operation Baen Bulk, which provides care packages for deployed service members, and Read Assist, a 501c3 company that serves our disabled readers. http://www.readassist.org/ Each coin is $15. Buy all 13 author coins, and the “I Read Baen’d Books” coin comes free. “I read Baened Books” was first used by Chris French. “Joe Buckley” used courtesy of Joe Buckley. Don’t forget to duck

(14) A CENTURY OF STURGEON. Scott Bradfield tries to jumpstart the party — “Celebrating Theodore Sturgeon’s centenary – so should we all” in the LA Times. (Unfortunately, the Times initially failed to get David Gerrold’s permission to run his photo of Sturgeon with the post…)

I’ve always been a bit confused by these various centenary and multi-centenary celebrations that punctuate our discussions of literature, such as Thoreau’s recent 200th birthday (2017), or the centenary of James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” (first published in 1917), or even the fourth centenary of the death of Cervantes (d. 1616), etc. (By the way, celebrating the anniversary of someone’s death strikes me as pretty grisly.) But while some writers seem to continually receive such posthumous honors, others suffer unfairly in silence. No cake, no candles, no old friends leaping out of closets, no nothing. And this year, that seems to be the case for one of America’s greatest and most original short story writers, Theodore Sturgeon, who was born on Feb. 26, 1918. From what I can tell, nobody has yet to pitch in and even buy him a decent card.

…Take, for example, the opening of his brilliant (and often poorly imitated) 1941 novelette, “Microcosmic God”: “Here is a story about a man who had too much power, and a man who took too much, but don’t worry; I’m not going political on you. The man who had the power was named James Kidder, and the other was his banker.”

Or this, from the aforementioned “The Dreaming Jewels” (1950): “They caught the kid doing something disgusting under the bleachers at the high-school stadium, and he was sent home from the grammar school across the street.”

Or even this, from his haunting and beautiful story, “The Man Who Lost the Sea” (1959): “Say you’re a kid, and one dark night you’re running along the cold sand with this helicopter in your hand, saying very fast witchy-witchy-witchy.”

Every opening plops you down bang in the middle of a story that is already happening and in the life of a character it is already happening to. And while many of his stories were collected in “horror” or “suspense” anthologies, they are rarely shocking or violent or grotesque. Instead, they begin by introducing you to a slightly strange world and a slightly strange character who lives there; then, before the story is over, you both feel at home in the world and compassion for the character who now lives there with you.

The greatness of Sturgeon’s stories reside in their almost inflexible, relentless unfolding of strangely logical events and relationships; each sentence is as beautiful and convincing as the last; and the science-fictional inventions never rely on tricks or deus ex machinas to reach a satisfying resolution; instead, a Sturgeon story always resolves itself at the level of the all-too-human.

(15) ACCESS. At io9 Ace Ratcliff asks “Staircases in Space: Why Are Places in Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?”

I never used to notice stairs. They were simply a way for me to get from one place to another. Occasionally they were tiresome, but they never actually stymied or stopped me entirely. Eventually, I managed to get where I needed to go.

Then I started using a wheelchair. Suddenly, stairs became a barrier that prevented me from getting from here to there. One step was often enough to stop me in my tracks. It turns out that when you start using a wheelchair, you quickly realize that there are a lot of staircases and steps in our world—and a lot of broken (or nonexistent) elevators and ramps….

Once you start realizing how many stairs there are stopping you in real life, it becomes impossible not to notice them existing in the sci-fi you adore. Turns out they’re everywhere, in all of our sci-fi. Whether it’s decades-old or shiny and brand-new, our sci-fi imitates a real-world reliance on steps and stairs in our architecture.

When we think of sci-fi that’s run the test of time, Doctor Who immediately springs to mind. The inside of the TARDIS is littered with steps—from Christopher Eccleston to Peter Capaldi, there’s no way a wheelchair using companion would be able to navigate that beautiful blue time machine. Prior to the 2005 reboot, previous embodiments of the spaceship were no less inaccessible. You’d think that a spaceship that is regularly re-decorated could easily manage ramps in at least one iteration, but no set designers seem bothered enough to make it happen. I was pleased to learn that a quick finger snap seems to occasionally unlock the TARDIS doors—a quirky replacement for the buttons that exist in real-life, usually installed near closed doors and pressed by disabled people to assist with automatically opening them—but trying to scootch through the narrow opening of that British police box with an accessibility device looks nigh impossible, even without the need for a key.

(16) KERMODE ON SF FILMS. On August 7, BBC 4 airs an episode of Mark Kermode’s Secrets of the Cinema about science fiction.

SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie says —

This is an excellent series for film aficionados but the August 7th edition will also appeal to SF fans as this episode will be on science fiction film.

Also the series is co-written by the genre critic Kim Newman whom,  some Worldcon fans will recall, with SF author Paul McAuley,  co-presented the last CalHab (formerly known as Glasgow) Worldcon Hugo Award ceremony (2005). So be assured this episode has a solid grounding.

Mark Kemode’s Secrets of the Cinema SF film episode should be available on BBC iPlayer for a few weeks after broadcast.

BBC 4’s intro reads —

Mark Kermode continues his fresh and very personal look at the art of cinema by examining the techniques and conventions behind classic film genres, uncovering the ingredients that keep audiences coming back for more.

This time Mark explores the most visionary of all genres – science fiction, and shows how film-makers have risen to the challenge of making the unbelievable believable. Always at the forefront of cinema technology, science fiction films have used cutting-edge visual effects to transport us to other worlds or into the far future. But as Mark shows, it’s not just about the effects. Films as diverse as 2001, the Back to the Future trilogy and Blade Runner have used product placement and commercial brand references to make their future worlds seem more credible. The recent hit Arrival proved that the art of film editing can play with our sense of past and future as well as any time machine. Meanwhile, films such as Silent Running and WALL-E have drawn on silent era acting techniques to help robot characters convey emotion. And District 9 reached back to Orson Welles by using news reporting techniques to render an alien visitation credible.

Mark argues that for all their spectacle, science fiction films ultimately derive their power from being about us. They take us to other worlds and eras, and introduce us to alien and artificial beings, in order to help us better understand our own humanity.

(17) GETTING BACK IN BUSINESS. “NASA Announces Crew For First Commercial Space Flights”NPR has the story.

NASA has announced the names of the astronauts who will be the first people in history to ride to orbit in private space taxis next year, if all goes as planned.

In 2019, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner are both scheduled to blast off on test flights with NASA astronauts on board. “For the first time since 2011, we are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Friday, standing in front of a giant American flag at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Since NASA retired its space shuttles, the agency has had to buy seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to get its crews to the International Space Station.

(18) MUNG DYNASTY. FastCompany predicts “Plant-based eggs are coming for your breakfast sandwiches”.

When you order a breakfast sandwich or a scramble at New Seasons Market, a local chain in Portland, Seattle, and Northern California, you’ll bite into a yellow, fluffy food that tastes just like an egg, but did not, in fact, come from an animal. Instead, what you’re eating is a mung bean, a legume that people have been eating for thousands of years that, when ground into a liquid, happens to scramble and gel just like an egg.

Mung beans are the key ingredient in Just Egg, the latest product from Just, Inc.–the company formerly known as Hampton Creek, which manufactures plant-based alternatives to products like mayonnaise, cookie dough, and salad dressing. Just Egg, a liquid that scrambles in a way that’s eerily similar to an egg when cooked in a pan, is derived from mung bean protein, and colored with turmeric to mimic the light yellow of an egg. It’s slowly rolling out in stores and restaurants across the U.S., and New Seasons Market has gone as far as to entirely replace its regular eggs with the mung bean mixture.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mike Berro, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and David Langford for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day jayn.]

125 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/4/18 Your Pixeled Pal Who’s Fun To Scroll With!

  1. First, some Amazon UK sales:

    Popular short fiction writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s novel debut, Hex, is .99p today.

    In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s by Dr Joseph Jebelli, a non-fiction book nominated for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2017, is reduced to £3.99 today.

    Generation Robot: A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation by Terri Favro, a rather intriguing looking non-fiction book published this year, is £1.82 today.

    (15) Access
    Science fiction and fantasy has an unfortunate habit of treating disabled people as unpleasant props which which to wallpaper a dystopia; something unpleasant to wipe away and erase in a utopia; or something unpleasant to cure with science-magic. And of course the all-genre trope of “better off dead” which is distressingly common, largely because many able-bodied people really believe it (“you’re so brave/strong/inspirational, I couldn’t live like that”). There are exceptions: Kelly Robson, for example, regularly features disabled characters as both protagonists and supporting cast in her fiction, and they are whole people with motivations and stories that do not revolve solely around their disabilities and also does not ignore or cure them. Lock In did it very well, obviously. But in general it’s pretty bad, even in works which aim to be both progressive and intersectional (the Wayfarer books… did not do it well — although I haven’t read the third one). Set design reflects those failings.

    (18) Mung Dynasty
    Food science, history and culture is one of my other hobbies (my partner jokingly calls me an “ethnofoodologist”) and things like the Impossible Burger and Just Egg have been getting a lot of attention for quite awhile in those circles. As a dedicated omnivore I don’t have much interest in meat replacements myself, but the process and inventiveness behind them is quite fascinating. And of course sometimes people who don’t eat meat just want a burger to feel like a hamburger for a change, so I’m sure it will be good for them now that the troublesome ingredient has been given the greenlight in the USA and it will be sold more widely.

    (12) Solo
    I think the most significant problem with the Solo film was there wasn’t an obvious really interesting story there, character-wise. Han Solo’s Most Interesting Story is the original trilogy – with perhaps a little room for a smaller scale short film about the breakdown of family later on, but that wouldn’t fit into the franchise at this point in time. Lando Calrissian’s Most Interesting Story is either the original trilogy or (my personal choice) the time between splitting from Solo and going legit. Han Solo and Lando Calrissian Being Rogues doesn’t even come close. (The other problem, of course, is that fandoms are notoriously resistant to recasting and were going to be wary even if it hadn’t had development issues, but really, what was *this* film going to add to the characters..?)

  2. (18) I know that the mung food items are made from beans, but I can’t help thinking of the recursive acronym that was popular in the computer field in the 60s and 70s: Mung Until No Good. So I want to eat that, why?

  3. I believe beansprouts are usually sprouted mung beans, and I loooove beansprouts an awful lot, so I’m entirely willing to believe that mung beans are delicious. Also, mung beans (sprouted or otherwise) are a common foodstuff with a wide variety of uses in a large part of the world, so most of us have probably eaten them already quite happily.

  4. What’s wrong with wanting to cure disabilities?

    Like many people, I use a cheap assistive device (glasses) without which I would have significant problems functioning in everyday life. It’s so effective that it is a cure, no one would consider me disabled. It is certainly my hope that something similar becomes available for people with other physical limitations. Visors, basically more powerful glasses, sound great. And while personal anti gravity devices will not be available by the time I have trouble walking, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope for wheelchairs that can handle stairs. That are also less bulky than the ones around now. We may have new kinds of disabilities in the future, or problems arising from different species trying to live together. But I would hope that we won’t be facing the exact same setup as we have now.

  5. Joe H.: Having said that, does anybody have recommendations for something like the Seven Suns books? Sprawling epic-fantasy-as-space-opera series, preferably with politics and aliens and battles?

    The Silence trilogy (Forsaken Skies, Forgotten Worlds, and Forbidden Suns) by D. Nolan Clark (aka David Wellington). Epic space opera with big ideas and phenomenal plotting. I think the series is absolutely amazing.

  6. @bookworm1398

    Glasses are one of the most convincing arguments for the validity of the social model of disability, but they’re not a cure. They’re an aid (or prosthetic, if you like). Adaptive technology is usually depicted reasonably well compared to cures.

    There’s a lot of writing on the internet about the pervasiveness and downsides of the dominant cure narrative, by much smarter and less brainfogged people than me (googling it is probably better than listening to me about it), but I’ll take a stab at it.

    One is that it necessarily positions disabled existence as lesser; if the focus is on curing us, what exactly do they think of us and our lives right now? Many people with disabilities live full and worthwhile lives with the proper aids and support, and many of those value the particular influence that their disability has had on those lives. They don’t need or want a cure; they’re fine as they are.

    (Eugenics arguments also often hang on framing disabled lives as inherently bad, so in general? Messy and ugly path to go down.)

    Another is that some disabilities are integral to who people are. An autistic person who is cured of autism is no longer that person. Is the world a better place if diversity is reduced by eliminating certain types of people from it? I don’t think it is.

    It’s lazy and boring. There are so, so many cool things that can be done with adaptive technology and universal design and the particular strengths and challenges that disabled people have, and instead we just get science-magical cures (or downright eugenics-style erasure) and disability-angst most of the time. And it’s often terrible. It reads like men writing badly about women, only instead of women boobing boobily downstairs it’s disabled people obsessing about their disability and how to make it go away.

    Some disabled people do like to read cure narratives some of the time; I don’t want to erase their experience. But for me, I’m much more interested in a future where I exist than a future where I’ve been erased for my own good. What I want is a future where things are accessible, where all aids are as readily available at as wide a range of price points and styles as glasses are, and I wouldn’t have to fight with the government to survive. What I want is a future where none of those things are true, but there’s a cool disabled underground which cobbles together aids from discarded tech and works together according to their strengths to keep everyone alive. What I want is a world where disabled people are characters just like all the rest, even when disability isn’t important to the main plot at all, because we exist. What I want is interesting stories that I haven’t read a thousand times. The cure narrative? Nah, boring, seen it before, usually ableist.

    Aaanyway, seriously, other people have talked about it much better and at great length, so maybe read them instead?

  7. Joe H. Thanks! And I see the first one is just $2.99 on Kindle …

    Please do let me know what you think. I hope you find them as fantastic as I did. 🙂

  8. wrt Kevin Anderson: Paul DiFilippo, who AFAICT has never had patience with trash (I’ve vaguely known him for over 40 years), spoke highly of Uncharted in a recent Locus posting. (My summary for tentative TBR’ing says “good slambang adventure with some substance underneath”.) Somebody a few days ago mentioned this with a why-should-I-read-anything-by-a-pair-of-!@#$%^&*()!, but I haven’t seen other comments (approving or dis-) on the work itself.

    and this site is still forgetting who I am, days after the problem started….

  9. 15
    Cherryh’s “Foreigner” books describe the building at the continental landing site for their spaceplanes as having all the transitions between floors done by ramps or elevators. Elsewhere, trams are mentioned as a way to access the Bujavid, in addition to a long series of stairways.

  10. I just realised I didn’t explain the social model — it proposes that we are not disabled by our bodies, but by our environment. Glasses are a good example of successful application of the social model because most people who need them aren’t considered disabled at all, even though by medical model standards they are. I have mixed feelings about the social model, as there are things which I’m not sure could be compensated for externally (could be a failure of imagination), but it is a useful lens through which to challenge assumptions about disability.

  11. On an unrelated note, I just started rewatching the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Such a great show!

    And I’m still waiting for the BBC adaptation of The City & the City to be made available in the US.

  12. I was also thoroughly underwhelmed by KJA’s Hugo nominee–but like several other people, I will second the recommendation for his Dan Shamble, Zombie Detective series. For some reason, I hadn’t even realized it was the same author. Anderson’s grand, sprawling epics may not be my cup of tea, but his humor very definitely is.

    (6) The tweet is clearly aimed at people who still have some chance of appearing on the programming–thus it cannot be about JDA. Nothing JDA says or does at this point is going to have any effect on his ability to appear on a panel. But realizing that clearly takes more brains than JDA has in his possession.

    (14) A Sturgeon centenary is an excellent idea! I know I’m not alone in thinking him one of the most underrated writers of his era. And not just SFF writers–writers, period. 🙂

  13. Meredith:

    “Another is that some disabilities are integral to who people are. An autistic person who is cured of autism is no longer that person.”

    No. Please no. I do not know yet if I am autistic, my last interview was this friday, but I know that I at least am close enough for the psychologist to need to go through the tests more in detail. I do know that I am being diagnosed with ADHD.

    And neither of those are integral to who I am. I’m looking forward to try out medicine against my ADHD, just as my brother uses it. He isn’t less himself. He is less the depressed himself perhaps. I do not think I will be less myself if I get a medicine that helps me. I do not think I would be less myself if I got a cure thay didn’t make need to take medicines every day.

    Curing ADHD or Autism is not about fundamentally changing who someone is. It is about helping them get through the day.

    I am not my ADHD. It is not integral to who I am. ADHD is just the name of the problems I have.

  14. @Hampus

    Fair enough; I spoke too broadly. Some autistic people (and people with other disabilities) consider it integral to who they are, and it’s often a major cornerstone of autism activism, but not all. No group is a monolith.

  15. Hampus Eckerman–ADHD and autism are not at all the same thing. My niece has ADHD; correct medication lets her feel much more in control and much more herself.

    On the other hand, I have a bunch of friends with varying degrees of autism–and for most of them, it really is a key part of who they are. They may want to be able to cope with the neurotypical world better, but most of them absolutely do not want to become neurotypical. They very much feel that that would be taking away an important part of who they are.

    Now, they were diagnosed as kids, and being diagnosed as an adult may be very different. And in any case, it’s up to you how you feel and think about it. But in my limited and admittedly external experience, at least high-functioning autists would really rather not be “cured,” because they don’t consider that there’s anything wrong with them.

  16. @bookworm 1398:

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to cure disabilities. The thing of it is, all too often, the notion is couched in language which sounds like, “Those poor things, there’s no way they can have a worthwhile and meaningful life all damaged as they are, so it would be great if they could be fixed and be normal”.

    I would also point out that there are some people with differences that they themselves consider features rather than bugs. There’s a sizeable segment of the deaf community who would view attempts to “cure” them as the same as attempts to “cure” gays and lesbians. The documentary, “Sound and Fury”, is quite fascinating.

    I’m probably not expressing myself well, as I’m tired, but my two cents:

    While having a disability cured is a perfectly reasonable and even laudable goal, all too often in fiction, it is framed as a kindness because there’s no way anyone with serious impairments could possibly have a worthwhile, enjoyable, happy or productive life. That gets tiresome.

    Here in 1195, Isaac II had a very bad year.

  17. “But in my limited and admittedly external experience, at least high-functioning autists would really rather not be “cured,” because they don’t consider that there’s anything wrong with them.”

    And this is one of the reasons I hate when they changed Asperger’s into autism. Because suddenly we are listening to the more vocal, more adapted, more highfunctioning people that now use the autism label. Instead of to my nephew who can’t speak at all. Would I have liked to be able to talk with my nephew? Damn well I would.

  18. Hampus, even before they took away the word aspberger as diagnosis, there where high functioning autism’s, who were as high functioning as those diagnosed with aspbergers (I know because my daughter is one). They just had to be just a little outside the criteria. The reason the diagnosis aspbergers where taken away was because it was to narrow. Maybe it would make sense to have severe autism and highly functioning autism as different diagnoses (I don’t believe so, since it is a spectrum), but to have different diagnoses for people who are functioning on the same level doesn’t make sense.

  19. rochrist on August 5, 2018 at 11:25 am said:
    @Leonore Jones It isn’t that the hobbits aren’t heroes. It’s that Dilillo seems to see the movie version the be-all and end-all of the story and regards Jackson as the true author instead of Tolkien. He refers to ‘cliched fantasy tapastry’ without acknowledging that the cliches are cliches largely BECAUSE of LotR. He seems dismissive of the written work (calling it a ‘cult work’ while bowing before Jackson and the movies. A book widely cited in lists of the most popular and most sold books of all time. I know a lot of people love the movies, but I pretty much despise them. They missed all of the subtlety and nuance in the books and instead replaced it with ill-conceived Hollywood trash. They would have been fine, even admirable, if they had no relation to LotR. As a film adaptation, they fail spectacularly.

    In any event, the notion that the vast backstory Tolkien created can’t provide enough fodder to sustain a tv show seems ludicrous.

    Wow, I didn’t get that movie-worship feeling at all. And I had read LOTR 20 times probably before I was 25, and the count has gone up considerably since, whereas I’ve seen the movies maybe twice.

    The article is also not arguing that there isn’t enough backstory for a tv series. It is instead saying that a hobbitless backstory is missing a key piece of what made LOTR different and great.

    That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a fun series, of course. But it would be a lot less special if it’s mostly big name heroes doing heroic things.

    (Also, it’s Lenore.)

  20. @ Meredith Well I do plan on going to the disability panel at Worldcon so I’ll get to hear more opinions.
    I like the social model of disability, especially for sci fi where you have people traveling to different environments. And they may be able to walk in one place and not in another. I guess my question is would you consider a character who is in a wheelchair on Earth because they grew up on the moon to represent disabled people? Or do they have to have a medical problem that currently exists? I think the most realistic future representation would have current problems solved (through cure or really good aids) But would have new problems instead.

  21. @ bookworm1398: Glasses aren’t a cure, they’re a palliative. I’ve worn glasses since I was 5 years old, and over the years my eyes have gotten so much worse that my glasses don’t help as much as they used to, especially for close work (age-related presbyopia is a bitch). I would love to have a cure that would put my vision into the normal range, which it never has been. (Lasik is not an option for financial reasons, plus I don’t entirely trust a surgical intervention in my eyes.)

  22. Wow, I didn’t get that movie-worship feeling at all. And I had read LOTR 20 times probably before I was 25, and the count has gone up considerably since, whereas I’ve seen the movies maybe twice.

    The article is also not arguing that there isn’t enough backstory for a tv series. It is instead saying that a hobbitless backstory is missing a key piece of what made LOTR different and great.

    That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a fun series, of course. But it would be a lot less special if it’s mostly big name heroes doing heroic things.

    (Also, it’s Lenore.)

    @Lenore Jones (sorry, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed some sort of typing dyslexia!)

    Well, I’m dubious that it would be a hobbitless backstory to begin with. But there are many other actors that could move on the stage of Middle Earth without making it all about the big star Aragorn. Also, keep in mind that he kept a very low profile in many places, carrying a somewhat dubious reputation. The point is, that making Aragorn the central character does not prelude other characters playing important or even crucial roles in the story.

    I guess my big dispute is with the notion that it’s not possible to tell a great story in that universe absent hobbits.

  23. Put me down as a third for KJA’s Zombie P.I. series. My one complaint with book two at present (I’m about a quarter of the way through it) is the distracting inconsistencies – not of character or setting, but of punctuation. That is, he uses “PI” in some places but “P.I.” in others, and his midsentence ellipses look like this . . . while the sentence-ending ones are all squashed together….

    I know it’s petty. Trouble is, when I read a book, I look at those low-level elements as basic tools. I expect any Professional Author to pick a style and be able to stick to it. When I see inconsistency at that fundamental level, I start to question the author’s competence at more challenging tasks. It’s kind of like hiring a contractor to renovate your house and seeing him hit his thumb with the hammer more often than the nails he’s aiming for; it doesn’t fill me with confidence.

  24. Regarding the disability discussion…

    It looks to me like two very different things are being squashed together as if they are the same thing, which is a recipe for friction and misunderstanding. Those two things are, in broad strokes, visible physical issues and frequently invisible mental issues. (In this context, I’m using “visible” as not including behavioral cues.)

    I do not, for example, grok the concept of identifying a physical disability as part of my identity to the degree that fixing it would destroy the person I am and create a new not-me person who wears my skin and carries my name. Living with chronic pain and epilepsy affects who I am. It removes options from my life. I hate that. Even before the pain, I couldn’t set foot inside a dance club – strobes, you know. I haven’t been able to go to a haunted house attraction in over thirty years (since my diagnosis), because they don’t disclose whether or not they use strobes inside. I can’t take that risk, no matter how much I love haunted houses.

    If medical technology can cure those things, I want it. Desperately. My eyes aren’t quite up to snuff, either, and I’d like to be able to adjust my metabolism so that I can more easily manage my weight… but if I have to choose, pain and epilepsy are the biggies. If I end up writing any futuristic SF, I plan to write about a future where nobody has to endure such problems. Dammit, Jim, I want Star Trek’s “take these pills and your kidneys are fixed in the morning” medical technology. I want the stuff where wheelchairs are for people who are visiting high-gravity worlds, not people who had an accident with a power saw or were born without a limb. I want those problems to be fixable by a short hospital stay, if that. I don’t want to “exclude the disabled” in such stories – I want their disability to be as relevant to their life as, say, getting chickenpox as a child or having a case of pneumonia as an adult. Inconvenient for a while, but then basically forgotten. You had a problem, you went to the doctor, you got cured. Simple as that. I want you to see no disabled characters in my stories because, as a society, that world prioritized medical science and found cures so that nobody ever has to live with a permanent disability again.

    Is that controversial? If so, I stake my position without apology. Physical disabilities suck. I don’t want the world to have to be built to accommodate the problems; I want the problems themselves to be solved so there’s no need for accommodative building codes. (And yes, I classify epilepsy as a physical disability. I will fight you on this. It lives in my brain, but it does not affect my mind. It affects my body. Physical, not mental.)

    Mental issues, though… that’s a lot thornier. I agree with Hampus here:

    Because suddenly we are listening to the more vocal, more adapted, more highfunctioning people that now use the autism label. Instead of to my nephew who can’t speak at all. Would I have liked to be able to talk with my nephew? Damn well I would.

    It sounds weird to speak of privilege in the sense of disability, but Hampus nails it right there. Those who can claim the label with a relatively low cost should not get to exclude those who pay a higher toll from the discussion, My epilepsy, for instance – I’ve got it easy. I went unmedicated and seizure-free for years. It is an inconvenience to me, one which I give slightly more thought to than I do my nearsightedness that is just barely bad enough that I am required to wear glasses when driving. I don’t want to think about how bad other people with more severe epilepsy have it. Having to juggle medications because your dosage is so large that the side-effects are life-changing, and still not having the condition under control… that sounds like hell to me.

    Almost as hellish as being locked away in my own skull, unable to communicate with other people. Unable to function. My identity is in my head, my greatest fear is of having that compromised, and if that were to happen, I would want people to Fix My Problem instead of patronizingly worshipping at the altar of neurodivergence to stand between me and that cure.

    I don’t want to insult anyone who is neurodivergent and content. You do you, fellow sapient. Just don’t insist that anyone else be forced to live with what they consider a disorder that they want to have cured. You make your decisions, I’ll make mine.

    And even though I haven’t said a word about the subject of eugenics or killing the disabled until this paragraph, let me make sure I am not misunderstood. Killing the disabled is unacceptable. That’s murder, not a cure. I am a thousand percent in favor of cures and treatment, and negative ten million percent behind “kill the weak” or anything like it. Yes, that also goes for any form of warehousing the mentally ill so they can be forgotten and hidden from view instead of treated with care, compassion, and empathy.

  25. It’s nice to see these positive recommendations for KJA. His work gets slammed a bit around here, but from what I can tell (I have never interacted with him myself) he seems to be a decent guy.

  26. @Lee: For as you say those who can afford LASIK, there is a fix for presbyopia along with other corrective issues, called monovision, but I tend to call it Boomer LASIK: Your dominant eye is optimised for distant vision, your less-dominant eye for near vision. Suffice to say, it’s nice to see sharply to the horizon again, and probably never need reading glasses.

    There’s no loss of depth perception: The overlap of any human’s two eyes’ effective distances is considerable. For distant objects, there’s no stereo effect, anyway.

    Summoning the dosh was helped by a US tax law wonder for W2 employees, called a section 125 health savings account: One may spend, immediately at the beginning of a year, all of a considerable preset amount (currently $3,250, I think) of subsequent pre-tax employment wage earnings. I’ll restrain myself from posting finance neepery about why this is so cool, but it ends up being cheap money.

  27. Asimov’s “Sucker Bait” gives an interesting perspective on the social model of disability; the main character seems to have autism (though that term is not used – Asimov probably didn’t know it at the time); he’s obsessed with learning information (any information), relatively inflexible (doesn’t recognize a nickname for a ship as legitimate name for it), and poor at communicating with others. On the other hand, the so-called normal scientists on the mission are overspecialized in their fields to the extent that they can’t recognize deliberate nonsense in someone else’s field; furthermore, the secondary (“normal”) character uses the overspecialization of a colleague to make a point, without recognizing that by humiliating a colleague he cuts off any chance for a useful relationship with him (Asimov was well aware of some of his faults and oddities), and it is the character with autism who both figures out the underlying puzzle, and figures out a way to communicate his finding in spite of the prejudice against him (and against his “keeper” – the fellow whose behavior has led all his colleagues to dislike him).

  28. @Xtifer

    The tweet is clearly aimed at people who still have some chance of appearing on the programming–thus it cannot be about JDA.

    When all you have is an axe, everything starts to look like a grinder…


    On the disabilities discussion: an interesting read is Touched With Fire. The book posits many great artists have shown symptoms of manic depression and touches on the ethics of curing it.

  29. @ Rev. Bob

    As someone who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the tender age of 47, I generally agree with you. If soneone had helped me understand my condition before, I could have helped myself to a great degree. So treatment would have been a boon to me.

  30. Has anyone else here read Oliver Sacks’ essay, “Witty Ticcy Ray”? It’s in the collection The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and concerns a young man with Tourette’s. It could be controlled by medication, but the young man found that that took away some of his physical and linguistic capabilities – his skill at ping pong, his brilliant wordplay, and others. Eventually he and his physician reached a compromise, in which he took his medication during the workweek and not on weekends.

  31. Re the topic of disability/”what is a disability” there was a programme on the UK’s Channel 4 maybe 2-3 weeks ago about a production of Beckett’s short play “Not I” performed by an actor with Tourette’s. As a bonus the character of the Auditor was actually a sign language interpreter in this performance. Article on it here: https://inews.co.uk/culture/performing-beckett-tourettes-posed-logistical-challenges/

    There’s also the book, The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida who is autistic with limited capacity for verbal communication. The book includes his responses to common questions he/his parents get about autism, plus short stories he wrote. There’s also a follow-up book entitled Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight but I haven’t read it yet.

    Higashida’s books are translated by Keiko Yoshida and her husband David Mitchell, who I think you may all know as the author of Cloud Atlas.

  32. @Lee. You are right, glasses are not a cure. The point I was trying to make is that they are almost as good as a cure – good enough that I’m not planning on LASIK although I can afford it. And ideally something similar to glasses would be available for people with other limitations. I want to see personal anti-grav devices in my sci-fi (or better wheelchairs) not ramps everywhere.

  33. Well, it would be good to see *something*. Antigrav devices if there are no ramps, since even if all the disabilities in the world are cured, goods will still need to be moved. And there will still be temporary disabilities. I rather like the example of a person from a low-gravity world visiting a high-gravity one, especially if the high-grav people are condescending. Or a person not adapted to breathing water visiting an under-water city.

    Ann Leckie did this a bit in the Ancillary Justice trilogy. Breq has to undergo healing several times, and is limited in mobility while that is in process. She also at one time has a bad healing which leaves her with a limp, if I remember correctly. These things are mildly plot-relevant, but they needn’t have been.

    I think if an author is curing all disabilities with m/a/g/i/c/ technology, I would prefer that be shown seriously, rather than the matter not being addressed at all. And human societies being what they are, unless you’ve written a true utopia (at which point where is your plot?), people with less privilege would probably get less good cures, or have to wait longer for them, or be impoverished by the cost. And I would think it more realistic to have some things not be curable. For one thing, if you’re curing everything, you probably suddenly have population issues, as your old folks will be living a lot longer, or forever. If you can’t cure old age, then you’ll still have disability.

    @Rochrist, it’s kind of Tolkien fan faction, isn’t it? He suggested Aragorn’s backstory but didn’t write most of the details. It might be fun, sure.

  34. rob_matic: It’s nice to see these positive recommendations for KJA. His work gets slammed a bit around here, but from what I can tell (I have never interacted with him myself) he seems to be a decent guy.

    That’s my impression, too. And he has interacted here a couple of times — for example, Carl Slaughter interviewed him.

  35. Kevin J. Anderson also curates quite a lot of StoryBundles, through which I certainly have found several interesting books and authors. Even from here in 5638, his tally of bundles is truly impressive.

  36. I read Assemblers of Infinity by Anderson and Beason a long time back (in Analog I think) which I had mixed feeling about, but I’ve always meant to read their “Trinity Paradox” (a woman physicist and anti-nuclear bomb activist sent back in time to Los Alamos) because it sounded up my alley, so I bought it a few months back – now I just need to find a little free time to read it (my next flight maybe).

    In 2487, File770 remembers my name and email address, but not in 2018.

  37. *fan fiction, not fan faction. Heat is addling my brain. If there are any other typos don’t tell me.

    Man, it’s hot.

  38. While it’s true that some “disabilities” might more reasonably be described as “mixed-bagabilities”–they have both benefits and disadvantages–that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t investigate cures. It simply means we shouldn’t force the cures on anyone. People should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to live with the disadvantages in order to reap the benefits.

    Yes, some artists might have been less creative if their mental problems had been fixed. Some of them might have also lived longer and happier lives. Can we demand that they suffer (those who are suffering) in order to provide the rest of us with more and better art? That doesn’t seem fair or reasonable to me. Would Van Gough have preferred to live to become an old non-artist, if he’d had the choice? Sadly for him, he didn’t have that choice.

    I fully understand why some people might not want to be cured. That’s fine. I even understand why some might not want a cure to exist! They fear they would then feel pressure to be cured. I understand it–but I strongly disagree with it. That’s an insanely selfish point of view. Have the courage of your convictions, and simply say “no” when the cure is offered. Who cares what people think?

    We already have people who prefer moderate nearsightedness to any of the alternatives (glasses, contacts, surgery). They don’t like the look of glasses, sticking things in their eyes freaks them out, and surgery downright scares them or is out of their price range. So they stumble around a bit. And yeah, a few people might try to pressure them to do something, but for the most part, people don’t make a big deal about it. Why would it be different for mild cases of autism?

    Yes, having a cure for some conditions means we might have a few less artists. But it also means we might have a few less suicides. Seems to me it should be a choice.

  39. I’ve seen some creatives rail against the whole “if you treat depression you kill creativity” meme. They say (and I have no reason to doubt it) that depression kills creativity; treating depression makes them MORE creative, not less.

  40. @Xtifr: “We already have people who prefer moderate nearsightedness to any of the alternatives (glasses, contacts, surgery). They don’t like the look of glasses, sticking things in their eyes freaks them out, and surgery downright scares them or is out of their price range.”

    As I’ve said above, I am just nearsighted enough to need glasses when driving, prefer them while watching a movie at a theater, and have trouble reading text on a TV show’s screen from across the room without them. Except when I’m driving or in a theater, the glasses stay in the car. (Well, sometimes I’ll wear them if I’m trying to look scholarly for an appointment. I also have a cheap set of manually adjustable glasses that I got as a curiosity, and sometimes I’ll use those to read stuff on TV.)

    Basically, my eyesight is good enough and the number of places I go is small enough that I get by just fine without them, no stumbling involved. Part of it’s being good at pattern recognition, but much of it is that very little in my life depends on me reading text that is more than ten feet away. (For perspective, my first prescription was -1.0 in each eye. My current one is a lower magnitude, around -0.65, but adds some astigmatism correction. My glasses do not resemble Coke bottles in any way.) I view my glasses as a seldom-necessary minor inconvenience. They’re kind of like my seatbelt: something I deal with when I get behind the wheel, because it makes driving a little safer.

    @Cassy B.: “I’ve seen some creatives rail against the whole “if you treat depression you kill creativity” meme. They say (and I have no reason to doubt it) that depression kills creativity; treating depression makes them MORE creative, not less.”

    I fall squarely in that camp. Depression and despair have positively slaughtered my creative output since 2016. The chronic pain doesn’t exactly help, either. It used to be nothing for me to bash away at a keyboard for several hours, writing thousands of words at a time. Now I struggle to get from one scene to the next before I have to stop. I try to compensate by using my iPad to plot where the story is going, since I can do that in a much more comfortable position, but as for getting words on the page? Much harder than it used to be, physically and psychologically. I’ll take that depression cure, thank you.

    I still come up with plenty of ideas, but I was much better at turning them into paragraphs before the despair and pain hit.

  41. @Robert Reynolds, “Sound and Fury” is definitely interesting – as is the follow-up six years later. Wikipedia summarizes:

    In the follow-up documentary Sound and Fury: 6 Years later, Heather is twelve years old and she, her two Deaf siblings, her mother, and members of her extended Deaf family have all opted for the implant device. The article summarizing the documentary’s events describes her as having clear speech, living in a ‘mainstreamed’ world, interacting with hearing people, and earning high grades in school. Heather is depicted as moving between the hearing and Deaf worlds comfortably, and embracing Deaf culture as well as having friends who are hearing.

    I am also reminded of John Varley’s Hugo-and-Nebula-winning novella The Persistence of Vision from 1979, which seems at least somewhat apt.

  42. Addendum to my previous post: the tourettes programme is called “Touretteshero: Me, My Mouth and I” and it was on bbc2, not channel 4. In fact it’s on tonight at 00:15 and presumably available via iPlayer as well, for those located in the UK.

  43. My father’s older sister was an artist, a professor of art at a major private university, and was bipolar – she took her meds and remained creative to the end of her life…at 102.

  44. treating depression makes them MORE creative, not less

    I’m still recovering from two and a half years of crushing depression and I can say, without hesitation, that being less depressed has meant I’ve been able to write a freakin’ TON more. Depression kills motivation, lack of motivation kills writing. Depression kills creativity. Depression kills energy.

  45. 10) Dear Chelsea,

    Oh! I am sorry. I am so TERRIBLY SORRY…you feel that way.

    Cheers (or Seinfeld)
    Chris M. Barkley

  46. Alright, few things here:

    Ya’ll mostly seem to be talking about medical ethics while I’m talking about representation in science fiction and fantasy, and those are two very different conversations. Which is fine! Conversations branch off. But some of those comments appear to be replying to things I’ve said as if they’re part of the medical ethics conversation, and they’re really not. I’m talking about the cure narrative, not real life cures, and also about other flawed ways disability and disabled people are represented in fiction. Context matters.

    A few people have been conflating “treatment/mitigation” with “cure” and those are also very different things. Cure narratives are about erasing disability and disabled people (usually with a hefty dose of condescension and pity), they’re not about treating things effectively or having accessible environments or cultural change. I take pain medication which helps control my pain; it is not a cure. Glasses are not a cure. Widely accessible societies are not a cure. Mental health treatment is (generally) not a cure. None of those things are part of the cure narrative. The cure narrative is science-magicking those things away as unnecessary; it’s failing to engage with disability at all and instead casually erasing it. It’s lazy.

    Lastly, disability representation in fiction is only disability representation in fiction if there are… you know… disabled people in it. Eugenics-erasing us from existence before we’re even born (a not uncommon example in science fiction) is not disability representation; it is deciding that an improved future society is one which does not have disabled people in it, and you can’t represent that which does not exist. Representation where the culmination of our story arc is not being disabled anymore (cure narrative!) is not good representation. For me, it doesn’t even work as wish fulfilment because either it’s science-magic and has nothing to do with my life, or it’s still science-magic and I never existed as myself in the first place. There’s nothing good about it as representation.


    I have no problem with fictional disabilities. I cited Lock In in my first comment as a great example of disability representation in fiction. The Expanse also does some neat stuff with people raised in space being unable to return to Earth gravity, too.

  47. @Meredith: Thank you!!!!

    Here in 5659, our feline overlords allow us to scratch their ears if we’ve been good.

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