Per Ansible, she has decided to discontinue chemotherapy for cancer.
Her offiical site says that well-wishes sent to meredithxyz at googlemail dot com will reach her.
I just sent a short note saying that Deep Secret is one of my favorite books in the world, which is true, and I'm glad to have said it.
popelizbet is organizing a Characters of Color in Science Fiction & Fantasy Faceoff, starting at con_or_bust and concluding at WisCon's Gathering. It's a bracket challenge like Suduvu's Cage Match or chickfight, except not Death Matches!!!, just a friendly opportunity to showcase some awesome characters and make silly arguments about who's better.
You can nominate people for the eventual bracket now. I'm already enjoying this and think it's going to be a lot of fun. (And as the icon suggests, one of my nominations was Wendy Watson from The Middleman.)
( list )
Comments: I have literally never heard of Sawyer's novel nominee, but otherwise this looks . . . not bad. Some stuff I nominated, only one category completely without women if I'm counting right (Pro Artist), at least two people of color in the fiction categories (which AFAIK is one more than last year, um, yay?) and another in the Campbell, some newer/younger/not-the-same names.
I do hope that the short fiction nominees will be able to post their stories online, not just make them available to voters, because I think it's important to the community's discussions and the reputation of the Hugo Awards.
ETA: also up at AussieCon's website, with at least formatting & ballot numbers, though no links.
- To Protect and Kill: Morality in Action Manga - Mecha - io9 :: Thesis: "Just as Watchmen criticized the morality of superhero comics, manga like Bokurano and Fullmetal Alchemist criticize the "smiles and happy endings" of shonen manga." The only one of these works I'm familiar with is FMA, so I can't judge the article as a whole, but I thought people might find it interesting.
- Suvudu Cage Match - Suvudu - Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, and Games :: This March Madness for SFF geeks is basically hilarious. I'm not sure which is my favorite, top-seeded Shrike against Arthur Dent, Aragorn v. The Wee Free Men, or Dumbledore v. Vlad Taltos (yes, the very first comment is exactly what you think).
- Ataraxia Theatre » Archive » What ERV really stands for :: Emmy makes a cameo in panel three.
"Three Twilight Tales," Jo Walton, Firebirds Soaring (mostly not in bookstores any more, but try your local library)
"The Pirate Captain's Daughter," Yoon Ha Lee, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
"A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, DPhil, MSc -or- A Lullaby,", Helen Keeble, Strange Horizons
"And Their Lips Rang with the Sun," Amal El-Mohtar, Strange Horizons
Still reading . . .
And a recommendation: Readability, a browser bookmarklet you can customize to, well, make web pages readable.
This is a draft of my ballot for the Fan Writer category in this year's Hugo nominations.
- Abigail Nussbaum, who blogs at Asking the Wrong Questions (there are links to her reviews at other sites in the sidebar).
- coffee & ink, who blogs at coffeeandink.
- K. Tempest Bradford, who blogs all over but principally, for these purposes, at her own site and at The Angry Black Woman.
- Possibly James Nicoll, who blogs at james_nicoll; as much as I enjoy his LJ, I tend to think of it more as a news source and discussion place than a source of his writing.
- Possibly Deepa D., who blogs at deepad; she doesn't post as much as any of the rest of the people on this list, but her posts in January 2009 alone were beautifully written and important.
And though I feel deeply awkward in saying this, the nomination stats indicate that I have previously been nominated in the Fan Writer category by more people than just Chad. So I feel obligated to point out that while my writing here and at my sadly-neglected booklog is non-professional, my writing for Tor.com is professional and thus should not be considered in this regard.
So I'm trying to actually read some short fiction before nominating for the Hugos this year, partly because I don't have a lot of time and partly because I'm not very enthusiastic about 2009 novels as a whole.
- The Nebula ballot;
- Niall Harrison's draft ballot;
- Abigail Nussbaum's draft ballot and links therein;
- The recommendation thread at Scalzi's.
I have a copy of the anthology Federations which I am slowly working my way through. I've put in a library request for Firebirds Soaring because papersky's story in it is getting a lot of attention.
So: What have you read that you've liked? What have you published that's eligible? (If you're modest, you can post your eligible lists separately from your recommended lists. I want to know what my friends have published.) Either links or names of things I can get from the library, please. I'm not going to go buying back issues of magazines at this point.
Things I've read so far that I've liked—not a draft ballot, note, and I still have a lot of things left to read even from the above-mentioned sources:
- "Carthago Delenda Est," Genevieve Valentine, Federations
- "Bespoke," Genevieve Valentine, Strange Horizons (dilemma! I think I like "Carthago" better, but "Bespoke" is getting more buzz, so, strategy-wise . . . )
- "Different Day," K. Tempest Bradford, Federations
- "Élan Vital," K. Tempest Bradford, Sybil’s Garage No. 6
- "Non-Zero Probabilities," N. K. Jemisin, Clarkesworld
So: go read those, and tell me what to read!
(If you absolutely can't stop yourself, go ahead and rec novels too, but I think I'm pretty well up on the possibilities there (things I have read or am reading but have not booklogged yet are in this LibraryThing collection) and I'd really prefer you focus on short fiction.)
How common are empires in fantasy that are oppressive or unjust (ETA:) and whose oppressions are a plot concern, but are not run by Evil Deities etc. and do not exist to be the opposition for the protagonist's polity? I'm thinking of David Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy, a book that's not out yet so I'd prefer to avoid discussing it in case it's a spoiler, and . . . ?
I suspect, not very, as fantasy is well-known for its aristocratic preferences, but I thought I should ask.
White is Good, Curves are Great, but Seldom a Purple Face to Be Seen
Rani Graff, Doselle Young (M), Michelle Kendall, N.K. Jemisin
Despite the ubiquity of aliens in a range of pretty colours, SF and fantasy art still seems to be rather averse to the presentation of humans in their full spectrum. How much of this is the market? How much is it thoughtlessness? How much is it a fear of “exoticizing” and exploitation? How much is just old fashioned discrimination?
I came in late and missed all the introductions (which since the participant bios aren't anywhere to be found, even though I know people submitted them, means I must now rely on Google & inference). Young, Kendall, and Jemisin are all African-American; Young writes for American comics; Kendall (karnythia) is a writer and co-founder of Verb Noire, a new publisher; Jemisin is a writer. Graff is from Israel and the founder of Graff Publishing, a small press.
( notes )
Follow-up to this weekend's post:
The Carl Brandon Society has posted an Open Letter to the SF Community re: Ellison/Bradford Incident:
the Carl Brandon Society wishes to define some basic principles of discourse which were put into question as a result of this exchange. We hope community members will consider and respect these principles in future debates and disagreements.
Go, read, sign in comments if you agree.
So someone falsely told Harlan Ellison that K. Tempest Bradford was saying Mean Things about him. Instead of saying, "hey, don't be mean," or even "you are a mean person for saying mean things," he goes straight to the racist slurs, calling her an "NWA," a "swineherd," and a woman of "Cuhluh" (which is apparently some horrible attempt at "ghetto" phonetics, rather than a Lovecraft reference). Also says he wants to hit her, for extra classiness, and pulls out his token black
friend "discovery" Octavia Butler. (Various comments and dissections of this at Tempest's blog.)
Do not say: oh, it's just Harlan, he's like that: being a jerk doesn't get you a pass on racist comments. (Indeed, if it did, it would be quite the perverse disincentive.) Do not say: oh, it's just Harlan, no-one cares about him anyway: he's still looked up to by many as a major figure in the field, and anyway, I'm not allowed to call out racism by random people? Do not say: oh, it's just Harlan, he's really a nice guy in real life: this is real life.
Look, he called someone a n****r as an insult. You don't get to do that. And it's important that we say, no, you don't get to do that.
References: Ellison's webboard doesn't do permalinks; his first post is timestamped "Thursday, July 23 2009 19:27:11" and is currently on the second page, but will eventually scroll further back. His second is timestamped "Friday, July 24 2009 16:35:36" and is still on the front page.
At the Readercon talk on dealing with diversity (panel notes), the speaker brought up the idea of cultures having either high or low contexts, judged by the amount that people within the culture can take for granted in talking to each other. She went on to say that you can have SF about high-context cultures, but you can't have high-context SF, because you need a way in to the society.
Being a contrary sort, I immediately tried to think of examples of high-context SF. The first that came to mind was Doctorow and Rosenbaum's Hugo-nominated novella "True Names", which struck me as self-consciously SF 301 or even higher, that is, assuming a whole lot of prior knowledge of the field and making no concessions to catch you up.
What do you all think? Am I not understanding the terms properly? What about high-context fantasy, is there anything different there?
The game of identifying cool lines from speculative fiction novels over at Tor.com seems to have died down, without my getting to use these lines I'd picked out, so rather than let them languish in a file until the next time the game comes around, here they are:
- These deus ex machinas have a way of sneaking up on us literary types.
- No one was sorry for anything, because no living creature had done anything wrong; bad things had happened by spontaneous generation in some weird, chilly, geometric otherworld, and "were to be regretted."
- Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.
- The National Symphony's performance of Handel's Messiah had started at eight thirty, so the choir was winding up the "Hallelujah Chorus" when the lead tenor turned into a wolf.
- Truth won't always out, the wages of sin are bankable, and those who live by the sword perish mostly of syphilis.
- Let the fairy-tale begin on a winter's morning, then, with one drop of blood new-fallen on the ivory snow: a drop as bright as a clear-cut ruby, red as the single spot of claret on the lace cuff.
Identify a quote, and you get to post your own. Written speculative fiction only please.
Recommend to me, o LJ readers, non-European epic fantasy. Specifically, I'm looking for something that would answer the question, "Gosh, I liked the way The Lord of the Rings took elements and themes of existing mythologies and cultures and used them to give depth to a really epic fantasy story. What about something like that, but not using Northern Europe, or at least not principally using Northern Europe?"
I am aware of David Anthony Durham's Acacia (which I haven't read yet). And, I suppose, Jordan's Wheel of Time, though I'm not sure what I think of it in this regard (partly because I don't remember a lot about many of the societies). I am also aware of Bridge of Birds and The Orphan's Tales, but they are not epic fantasies. And I already have looked at 50books_poc's links and the Carl Brandon Society's reading lists.
What else—if anything?
ETA: I forgot, in print, please. (And good, though I thought that was implicit in "recommend.") And secondary-world fantasy, by analogy to LotR.
ETA: see fight_derailing for further discussion.
So, elsewhere on LJ, one proposal for fighting the derail [*] was setting up a fundraiser to send awesome fans of color to Wiscon. I started thinking about logistics of this, which are behind the cut, but one side-track of my thought was:
Would a community be useful? I see a lot of good suggestions around for fighting the derail, but not really centrally pulled out. I can create one—umm, actually, I seem to have created fight_derailing by accident, I thought I was only testing it. Well, I could get rid of its ads and put actual content in it, if people think it would be useful.
[*] Of anti-racism conversations into All About the Hurt Feelings and Bad Behavior of White Folk; I'm in a hurry tonight, see prior posts under these tags and rydra_wong for details.
A post-script to this open letter:
The offensively harrassing, insulting, clueless, privileged, and generally massively FAIL-y behavior of Will Shetterly, documented by deepad here [updated link] and vom_marlowe here, and of Shetterly and Kathryn Cramer, documented by coffeeandink here?
So very much not helping.
I'm turning comments off because I don't have the time, energy, or patience to engage in discussion of this right now; but it was important to me to put my feelings about this on record. For more substantive discussion, see rydra_wong's linkspam roundups for March (2nd-4th to date, but pessimistically, I imagine there will be more because the FAIL, it just keeps coming).