truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Talk to me about food in fantasy. (And science fiction, if you like.)

Readers, what kinds of details do you like to see? What makes a culture's eating habits come alive for you?

Writers (oh, please, writers, you're my only hope), how do you go about inventing cuisines and delicacies and what the street vendors sell? Especially when you are not relying on the old trick of, "I'll make this culture !Japan or !India or !France." How do you figure out what people eat?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (smaug)
1. My Storytellers Unplugged post for January, "Taking Another Tilt at the Windmill," is up. It's about fantasy, science fiction, and genre theory.

2. I was woken up this morning by a call from the sleep clinic. While the irony is bright and shiny and very pointed, I am glad to know my GP went ahead and made the referral, because I was going to have to call him today to tell him to do so. RLS is evil.

3. Gynecologist appointment also today, in which we agreed to try taking the Mirena out, and see what happens. (Taking it out was about 5 MILLION TIMES less painful than putting it in, so that was good.) The Mirena lessened my menstrual flow, but it made my periods MUCH too frequent, and it also randomized my menstrual cramps so that they became like drive-by stabbings. Double-plus ungood, thank you.

This is a new-to-me gynecologist, and I like her. She asked if I wanted to keep the Mirena. (I did.)

4. RT @pnh Elise, about to be Discharged, manifests as a Figure of Allegory and asserts Control over Time.

5. It is snowing. Nevertheless, I plan to go to the pool in another hour or so.

6. [ profile] ursulav is right on the money.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
Four of them are the novels I have successfully read in the last week:

1.) [ profile] matociquala, Range of Ghosts (in draft): Rocked my socks.

2.) [ profile] maryrobinette, Shades of Milk and Honey: you probably need to like Jane Austen, or Austenesque novels, to fully appreciate this one, but the magic system is just awesomely clever. It dovetails seamlessly into the social history in a way that reminds me of [ profile] papersky's Tooth and Claw (no, there are no dragons).

3.) [ profile] cmpriest, Boneshaker and (4.) [ profile] cmpriest, Dreadnought: I love her crazy alternate America with zombies and dirigibles and all the rest of it. And three cheers for competent women as protagonists!

5.) This week I have also given to someone else to read complete drafts of (a.) the windship story that still doesn't have a title, (b.) "The Devil in Gaylord's Creek," and (c.) "Hollywood and Vine," along with sending out "Impostors" (Embarrassingly, with the title misspelled because I've only just now figured out it's -or rather than -er. Damn you, English language!), "Hôtel Image", and "Coyote Gets His Own back." Next up would seem to be "(Un)fallen." I have no idea how to fix it, but maybe rereading it will help.

It's a theory.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (otter)
1. (via @bethmeacham over on Twitter) Another candidate for a very special hell is whoever stole a six-year-old's horse.

2. Congratulations to this year's Nebula winners, and also to the new SFWA officers!

3. Judith Tarr on 10 Ways To Prove You Didn't Do Your Horse Homework and Things Horse People Take For Granted.

4. This is a Trakehner stallion named Rubinesque *Pb*. I don't know who his rider is, or who the photographer is, but this is seriously one of the best portrait photos I think I've ever seen.

5. (via [ profile] brisingamen) Videos of sloths and a very happy slow loris. (Also, please do follow the links from the sloth video back to the Amphibian Avenger's fascinating blog.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (books)
This is a collation of several science fiction/fantasy/horror awards* given to novels: Hugos, Nebulas, BSFA, World Fantasy, Dick, Clarke, Stoker, Tiptree, and Brandon. (I don't know what the heck all this displacement activity is in service of, but there you go.) They are in reverse chronological order, so you don't have to scroll through all the Hugos of the '50s to get to last year's results.

If you notice an error, please let me know!

click! )

*Award information taken from AwardWeb; the Philip K. Dick Award site (with an assist from the Wikipedia entry when the award site confused me utterly); the James Tiptree, Jr. Award site; the Wikipedia entry for the BSFA award, as the BSFA site was having some sort of conniption fit; and the Carl Brandon Society awards page.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Congratulations to the Nebula Awards nominees! And extra bouncing and hugs to [ profile] yuki_onna (reaction shot here) and [ profile] cmpriest (reaction shot here), for whom I could not be more delighted if I tried.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (valkyries)
[ profile] yuki_onna has a good, chewy post about Realms of Fantasy's plan for an All Women-Authors Issue. What she says about it, of course, goes for any minority group: women*, African-Americans, GLBT writers, writers with disabilities, etc. etc. etc. I think there's a point in the process of opening a genre where the Very Special Episode Issue is a good thing, when what you're saying with it is, HEY! There are enough [women/African-Americans/GLBT writers/writers with disabilities/etc.] doing excellent work in our field to fill A WHOLE ISSUE! Maybe we should all be PAYING ATTENTION!

But, returning to the specific circumstances, that's really not where women SF writers are anymore, and hasn't been for, jeez, thirty years. Because, seriously, a whole issue of Realms of Fantasy (or any other magazine) is, what? Six stories? Seven stories? Ten if they're small? I guarantee you there are more than ten women writers doing excellent work in sffh. As Cat says, a Very Special Issue is tokenism. (It also suggests, subliminally, that women writers are fragile flowers and can't compete with men head-to-head, that our stories wouldn't be good enough to fill a whole issue without this special enclave, like we're a rare species of owl or something.) It neither causes nor promises fundamental change in the way a magazine is run or the way an editor makes decisions.

I should say here that I don't know what the motivations are at RoF. For all I know, this is a sincere attempt to cut through the male-dominated bullshit and champion the cause of feminism and women writers. And it's a very attention-getting way of doing it. I'm just not sure it's the best way.

[ETA: as [ profile] jimhines kindly points out, Douglas Cohen explains some of the editorial thinking in the second comment to the announcement.]

*Not, of course, that women are a numerical minority. Tra la.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
Today is the release day for Amanda Downum's first novel, The Drowning City. Amanda ([ profile] stillsostrange) is a friend, so I offer a woo-hoo! and a flailing frog to her. Also, though, I read The Drowning City back in March for blurb purposes, and enjoyed it immensely*, so I commend it to your attention as a book worth picking up.

*Here's what I posted then: The Drowning City takes place in an entirely imaginary city, Symir, which is a point of conflict between the Assari Empire (I suspect the echo of "Assyrian" is not accidental) and its reluctant rain-forest vassal state of Sivahra. The plot involves spies and necromancers and ghosts and demons and a volcano; it's fast-moving and a lot of fun, and it's very well-written. In particular, the magic system, with its combination of the esoteric and the absolutely down-to-earth, fills me with utmost delight.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Another half hour last night with the Wii. Was completely thrown off by suddenly having the male trainer "filling in" for my female trainer on the first exercise of the evening. Mercifully, he went away after that, but it was the worst halfmoon pose I've done in quite some time. wtf, Nintendo?

Thank you to everyone who has commented with support for and love of my books on the previous post. I appreciate it a great deal more than I can express.

Thank you also to [ profile] casacorona, who stepped up to the plate to explain how things look from the publishers' apex of the triangle. A thankless task--for which I thank you!

Also pursuant to the previous post, the April Locus has a review of Corambis by Faren Miller, which includes phrases like "Monette displays both wicked powers of invention and something like sly wit" and says the ending "should satisfy even the rare cynical reader who hasn't already been won over by Monette's gifts for character, voice, and great prose." So I'm feeling better.

Catzilla got me up this morning by sitting on my pillow and draping his incredibly fluffy tail across my face. I hope that this was a mere accident and not actually, you know, planned. Because if it was planned, I am so doomed.

I regularly tell Catzilla (he whom we rescued from the flower bed) that he doesn't know how lucky he is, and given the size and scope of his brain, it's true. One of the feralistas who hangs out on and around our porch is a long-haired brown tabby (named Hilary in honor of Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar, because I have yet to figure out what sex s/he is), and poor Hilary has, I noticed this morning, a mat large enough to be mistaken for a kitten on his/her right haunch. S/he also has dead leaves matted into his/her tail, and in general needs the kind of grooming help that s/he is much too skittish to allow.

It's hard to be a fluffy kitty. This is something even Catzilla knows.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
So here is the thing about which I am thinking--and I should note that I am genuinely puzzled. This isn't sarcasm or rhetoric.

One of the things that the unimpressed Publishers Weekly review of Corambis mentioned was that it probably wouldn't make sense if you hadn't read the first three books in the series. Which, you know, is absolutely true, and I don't deny it. What puzzles me is (a.) why anyone needs to be warned about it, and (b.) why the reviewer seemed to feel it was a defect.

This seems to me to be related to one of Ace's marketing decisions that still puzzles me, namely the absolute, vehement refusal to indicate anywhere on any of the books that they are part of a series. I actually asked about it, back when Mélusine was in production, because the series has a name and was never conceived of as anything but a series, and my editor told me that we couldn't put Book One of the Doctrine of Labyrinths on the cover or in the front matter. Marketing wouldn't let us.

She explained their reasoning to me: if a person buys a book and then discovers it's part of a series, they are more likely to buy the other books, whereas if a person picks up a book in a bookstore and sees it's Book Two, they won't buy it. (I think there's a self-defeating flaw in this reasoning, since it assumes that Book One will not be near Book Two on the bookstore shelves, but that's neither here nor there.) Never mind the fact that a person who buys a book only to discover it's Book Two is likely to be an unhappy person, and never mind that, since the damn thing ISN'T LABELED as Book Two, the person has no immediately obvious and easy way of figuring out either which series it's a part of, nor which books in the series come BEFORE it . . . Marketing said, Thou Shalt Not Label The Books Of Thy Series, and lo, the books were not labeled.

And reviewers and readers bitched up one side and down the other about how Mélusine ended and how they should have been told it was Book One of a series and so on and so forth.

But that's not actually my point either, although it's obvious I'm still more than a little bitter about it. My point is that both Ace's marketing department and the PW reviewer seem to think that fantasy series are a bad thing, that it's bad for a writer to build a story from one book to the next. And to that I honestly have nothing more intelligent or articulate to say than, What the fuck?

Two different reasons that this baffles me:

1. It's the fourth book in the series. Why should anyone want to read it without reading the first three? I'm sure this idea got ported over from mystery "series," in which every book is intended to stand alone, but IT DOESN'T APPLY HERE. Fantasy writers do not and have never pretended to write that kind of series. We write stories that are too big for one volume. Completely different.

2. Never mind fandom and what fandom thinks. I understand that "fandom" is not the audience PW is writing for and not the audience that Ace's marketing department is trying to reach. But the evidence is that people who read fantasy want series. They revel in series. Case in point--and I don't think we need to go any farther for examples, although George R. R. Martin can also stand up and testify here--Robert Jordan's overwhelmingly popular and infinitely expanding1 Wheel of Time series, which have, from the publication of the very first doorstop of a volume, been labeled as part of the Wheel of Time. And publishers want series. They buy series. My four books were bought in two two-book deals, always on the understanding that the books went together. You see it every time you look at Locus. Readers want series. Publishers want series. But apparently, bookstores don't want series--because that, of course, is who Marketing has to sell to: buyers for chain bookstores and their computers.

Other authors, including most recently to my knowledge, Tobias Buckell, have blogged about this and the ugly Catch-22 in which chain bookstore computers can kill an author's career, and I don't want to rehash it now. What I want to say is that it's doing more than that, and worse than that: it's putting a No Man's Land, full of barbed wire and landmines, between the readers on one side and the writers and editors2 on the other. In other words, much of the business of publishing is being driven by factors that have nothing to do with what people want to read.

And I wonder--I can't help but wonder--if the attempts to pander to the computers and their apparatchiks actually produce the phenomenon they're allegedly trying to avoid. That is, I wonder if my numbers would be better if my books had been labeled as a series, if people could look at one and TELL it belonged to something larger than itself.

And, yes, this is a very pointedly personal question for me. I haven't been blogging about it, but in fact Ace chose several months ago not to offer me another contract. My numbers aren't "good enough." This feels, in case you were wondering, like the moment in "Hansel and Gretel" when they turn around and realize that, not only have their parents ditched them, but also the birds have eaten their bread crumbs.

I'm hoping that the witch who shows up in my story is Glinda the Good Witch of the South.

1And it's spread to the next generation, too. (I'm a fantasy author. We have trouble with the concept of brevity. Brandon Sanderson, I adore you.) I move that this phenomenon now officially be known as Jordan's Curse.

2I have never met an editor who was not also a passionate reader. I have never met an editor who did not sincerely love the books he or she edited. It's all too possible for the relationship between an author and an editor to feel adversarial, but it shouldn't.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Onions, Oliver. "The Beckoning Fair One." The Collected Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions. 1935. New York: Dover Publications, 1971. 3-70.

ETA: added discussion of the exceptionally clever psychosexual bait-and-switch

spoilers, though I don't know if anyone cares )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
The Hugo nominations are out.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

And an extra helping of bonne chance to the five Campbell nominees, Aliette de Bodard, David Anthony Durham, Felix Gilman, Tony Pi, and Gord Sellar.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I want to talk for a minute about why "genre" is the wrong word for science fiction and fantasy--though not necessarily the wrong word for horror. And how that makes the whole question of genre vis-a-vis sffh so damn complicated.

I'm sure I've said most of this before, probably more than once, so here's a cut tag for those of you who don't want to sit through it again.

but if you do, click here )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Downum, Amanda [[ profile] stillsostrange]. The Drowning City. New York: Orbit Books, in press.

Fox, Daniel [[ profile] moshui]. Dragon in Chains. New York: Del Rey-Ballantine, 2009.

These are both books that were sent to me in hopes of getting a blurb, and they're both going to get one. What I wanted to say here--aside from recommending both of them--is a comment about how diverse the possibilities are in the genre of secondary world fantasy. Both of these books take place in imaginary worlds. Both reject default-fantasy-Caucasianism. Both are excellent. But they could not otherwise be more different.

The Drowning City takes place in an entirely imaginary city, Symir, which is a point of conflict between the Assari Empire (I suspect the echo of "Assyrian" is not accidental) and its reluctant rain-forest vassal state of Sivahra. The plot involves spies and necromancers and ghosts and demons and a volcano; it's fast-moving and a lot of fun (apparently, it's easier for me to read mysteries than other kinds of plots), and it's very well-written. In particular, the magic system, with its combination of the esoteric and the absolutely down-to-earth, fills me with utmost delight.

Dragon in Chains takes place mostly on the island of Taishu (which is Taiwan in a deliberately minimal disguise) and has dragons and emperors and all kinds of magic. It is written with intense and exquisite attention to language, so that I spent most of it breathless with admiration. It is very much about the effects of "great events" (in this case a rebellion which has hounded the emperor to Taishu) on ordinary peoplevery mild spoilers ). It is an elegiac book, and at the bottom of it all waits the dragon.

As I said, these are both excellent books, and aside from the fact that they happen in imaginary places, they could not be more different.

This is my genre. No wonder I love it.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
Terry Pratchett has been knighted, and I finished the page proofs of Corambis. Other important things about the end of 2008 are here.

Best wishes for 2009 to all of you!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I finished listening to Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic Works before we went to Tennessee for Thanksgiving--which was a saga in and of itself: we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner 12 adults, 4 children (ages 12, 10, 10, and 4), 1 three-month-old Standard Poodle, and (on the deck) 2 raccoons--and I have some observations.

1. This is not for you if you are a sf fan of long, or even recent standing. It is geared toward people who don't know anything about science fiction and maybe aren't sure they're interested. Especially in the last lectures, where he's actually talking about twentieth-century science fiction, and a person might possibly have been hoping for something chewy and thought provoking, what he gives are book reports. He explains the plots.

2. It is also not for you if you love twentieth century Anglophone fantasy (using the term here to encompass speculative fiction OTHER than science fiction), because he ignores fantasy and horror almost entirely, except for children's literature. When talking about the literature of the fantastic in the twentieth century, he eschews the Anglophone tradition and talks about Robbe-Grillet instead. The attempt to plaster some academic credibility onto science fiction is transparent, especially if--as I have--you've seen the move umpteen bazillion times before. This also applies to the roping in of Woolf (see below).

3. Of the twenty-four lectures, three focus on women--Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Ursula K. Le Guin--and he mentions maybe one or two other women writers in passing (Charlotte Perkins Gilman gets a nod, for instance). The only non-white writer mentioned is Samuel R. Delany.

4. Professor Rabkin tends to be cavalier about details. Wherein, as we all know, the devil resides.

5. I think that many of his more insane contentious ideas about science fiction can be explained by his wholehearted and uncritical admiration for Heinlein and vice versa. The others can be explained by his attempts to graft some respectability onto the genre by claiming it for post-modernism. In his hands, science fiction becomes the extension of the canon of Great Dead White Males (I think Delany and Gibson are the only authors he talks about who are still alive). His analyses don't mention race hardly at all, but they do talk about sex, and especially about masculinity, and I can't help hearing a coded message to other believers in the ineluctability of male superiority: Psst! Over here! You can still talk like that over here! Which isn't true, but his version of science fiction makes it sound like it is.

De Voto, Bernard. The Year of Decision: 1846. 1942. Sentry Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, n.d.

This is a tremendously ambitious and entertaining book. De Voto's project is to examine, explore, and explain what happened to America in A.D. 1846, and he does an excellent job of it, from the politicians in Washington, to the army in Mexico, the Mormons fleeing Missouri, and of course the Donner Party descending to cannibalism on the verge of California. He uses lots and lots of primary sources, has a magnificently entertaining and snarky prose style (personal to [ profile] mrissa: he has no use for Bronson Alcott and does not hesitate to say so), and not only explained mid-nineteenth century American politics so that I could understand it, but convinced me to find it interesting as well. No small feat, I assure you.

The flaw in this book--and it's a big one--is its treatment of Indians. De Voto (not surprisingly for his era) persistently Others the Sioux and Cheyenne and other Plains Indians, simultaneously demonizing and infantilizing them. I object to this, of course, on the grounds that it's racist, but also because, in terms of De Voto's own project, it's a catastrophic failure. He's so carefully concerned to pay attention to what people's motives were, both the politicians and the pioneers, the Mormons and Zachary Taylor and everyone in between, but with the Indians, he doesn't even try. He essentially says, "No one knows why Indians do anything, not even the Indians themselves," and thus there's a great gaping hypocritical hole in the middle of his beautiful, elaborate, interdependent structure of motivations and causes and pure human cussedness, and it makes me very sad.


Sep. 19th, 2008 09:14 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (tr: albatross)
Avast, ye scurvy dogs! 'Tis International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and the cutthroat crew of Wired.Com has rare and wond'rous treasure to dangle before you. Behold, GeekDad reviews Fast Ships, Black Sails and provides a free download of "Boojum", a story about the love between a pirate and her ship, by those swashbuckling sisters of the seven seas, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette.

Only a cross-eyed landlubber would pass up this chance for gold and glory!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Okay, so here's the thing. Revenge tragedy is a small genre. Sure, there are a few plays I left out (Bussy d'Ambois, The Second Maiden's Tragedy), but not very many, and you're not missing a lot. Sure, they're interesting, even if not very good (personal opinion), but reading them won't dramatically deepen or widen your understanding of the genre.

Any ONE of the Cerberus heads of twentieth-century fantasy, science fiction, and horror, on the other hand, is a huge genre, with tremendous variation, and the three in combination--you couldn't do it justice in a semester, even on the most superficial level.

So I'm going to throw some things out there, things I'd teach together: modules, let's say. And because the field isn't broad enough already, I'm going to allow nineteenth century texts as well. These lists aren't exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination. They're what I can think of off the top of my head.

Note also, please, that saying I'd like to teach a text is not the same thing as saying I like the text.


Man-Made Men
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein
H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau
Isaac Asimov, I, Robot
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
James Cameron, The Terminator
one of the Data/Lore episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation
James Tiptree, Jr., "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"

Bram Stoker, Dracula
Suzy McKee Charnas, The Vampire Tapestry
Barbara Hambly, Those Who Hunt the Night and Traveling with the Dead
John Marks, Fangland
Nancy A. Collins, Sunglasses After Dark
Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
(other texts could be added at the student's discretion, because god knows there's a metric fuckton of vampire novels, short stories, and movies out there)

Secondary-World Fantasy
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan
Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland and the Dalemark Quartet
Samuel Delany's Neveryon books

Robert E. Howard (Conan)
Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser)
C. L. Moore (Jirel) (read with Female, an unspeakably ghastly 1933 film that demonstrates exactly what Moore is subverting with Jirel)
Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber

Weird Tales
M. R. James, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
H. P. Lovecraft, "At the Mountains of Madness," "The Colour out of Space," "Pickman's Model," "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath"
Lord Dunsany--something (I haven't read as much Dunsany as I should, so I'd have to do my own homework first)
a selection from Austin Tappan Wright's Islandia
ditto Mervyn Peake and Gormenghast
short stories by Roald Dahl and John Collier and Robert Aickman and Agatha Christie and a number of other people whose names are currently escaping me
Fritz Leiber, "Space-time for Springers"
the story about coat hangers and bicycles, of which I can never remember EITHER the author OR the title--argh! Avram Davidson, "Or All the Sea With Oysters"
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby
Stephen King, The Dead Zone
Peter Straub, Koko, Mystery, The Throat
Kathe Koja, The Cypher
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Illustrated Man
John Crowley, Little, Big
Neil Gaiman et al., Sandman
Swamp Thing (start with Wrightson and Wein in order to set up Moore)

Thomas More, Utopia
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
Franz Kafka, "In the Penal Colony," etc.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
Yevgeny Zamyatin, We
Alan Moore et al., V for Vendetta
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Lunar Modules
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and his other Moon-centric stories
John M. Ford, Growing Up Weightless
(I just want to put these two together and watch Ford give Heinlein the smackdown; other Moon stories would be great; at the moment I can't think of any)

Outer Space Alien Freaks
H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet-Masters
Ridley Scott, Alien, Aliens
Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
Alan Moore et al., Watchmen (think about it for a minute before you object)
Zenna Henderson's People stories

Contact, First or Otherwise
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, "Vaster than Empires"
C. J. Cherryh, Foreigner, The Pride of Chanur
Nicola Griffith, Ammonite
Peter Watts, Blindsight
Elizabeth Bear, Carnival
James Tiptree, Jr., Up the Walls of the World, Houston, Houston, Do You Read?
the Joanna Russ story I've forgotten the title of--"When It All Changed"?Joanna Russ, "When It Changed"

Mind like a steel wossname, people, and I think I'd better go to bed.

ETA: Shameful lack of secondary reading, yes. I am not au courant with the field, and none of the stuff I have read is worth the paper it's printed on. Okay, except for some of the work on Dracula: there are some articles I could dig out of my filing cabinet but I'm not going to do it now.


Sep. 1st, 2008 11:35 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (valkyries)
TIME: 25 min.
TOTAL: 43.4 mi.
NOTES: Shin splints. Ow, goddammit.
SHIRE-RECKONING: We've met up with the Elves. Tra la la lally.

Wells. Again.

Not that I have anything against Wells, but spending two separate lectures on him seems a bit much. Especially when the only women who are focused on are Woolf, Shelley, and Le Guin (yes, we're all shocked), and there is no lecture devoted to the works of a person of color. I understand that he talks about Delany (presumably in the "Cyberpunk, Postmodernism, and Beyond" lecture), but honestly--you could spend THREE lectures on Delany and not be done. Plus there's Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison and . . .

I should note, btw, that I'm not surprised by this distribution. Not at all. Just, you know, kind of sad.


Aug. 29th, 2008 12:30 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (valkyries)
TIME: 15 min.
DISTANCE:1.8 mi.
[break due to phone-call]
TIME: 18 min.
DISTANCE: 2.2 mi.
TOTAL: 4 mi.
NOTES: Obstinacy. I has it.
SHIRE-RECKONING: We burst into song. Again.

There is a direct correlation between how much I know about the works Prof. Rabkin is discussing and how much I yell. Today was Jules Verne and I only muttered a couple of times. And at least one of those was him doing his conflation thing again, where he's talking about Verne as being in the tradition of Robinsonades, goes back to talk about Robinson Crusoe, and then announces that Robinson Crusoe demonstrates thus-and-such about science fiction.

Which, hello, it does not.


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