August 16th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 09:55am on 16/08/2017
posted by [personal profile] wingedbeast at 12:04am on 16/08/2017 under ,
Setting: Waterfront park in New York. The bench faces the ocean.

Camera focuses on the profile of a distinguished, older man, wearing black suit and tie, speaks.

Agent K:Humans, for the most part, don't have a clue. They don't want one or need one, either. They're happy, they think they have a... good bead on things.

The other person from off camera.: Why the secrecy? People can be smart, certainly enough to adapt to a new normal.

Agent K: A person is smart, people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was flat.

Other person: That is a modern myth. The size and shape of the earth had been mathematically verified thousands of years prior.
Read more... )
August 15th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 05:14pm on 15/08/2017
Just noticed the book I was going to read tonight won't be out until November, so I shouldn't review it any time soon.
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posted by [personal profile] alexseanchai at 01:18pm on 15/08/2017
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith is Poetry Fishbowling again—theme is "anything goes". which I think means prompt any damn thing you've the mind to but I'm taking her a bit more literally: my first prompt is "anarchy".
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August 14th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] alexseanchai at 12:25pm on 14/08/2017
Did I ever tell you about my high school Latin teacher? Ms. Kit Smoot. Studying with her I learned so much and had such fun and—

I wanted to tell her so many things, about how she helped get me to where I am today. But when I visited the school she was never there.

She died last night.

(I hadn't realized she meant so much to me.)

May her memory be eternal.
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posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 08:12am on 14/08/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Mike "Mictlan" Marquez, one of the MCs in the rap co-op Doomtree (featured several times on Welcome to Night Vale's weather reports). He was recently diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and like many artists is uninsured; he's expecting significant expenses for treatment he's already had (an ER visit and Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as well as ongoing treatment. You can read more and support his medical fundraiser here.

[profile] demond119 is raising funds with husband Jeremy to help with after-care costs of his heart transplant; he's currently on the waiting list at the Mayo Clinic, and once he has the transplant, he will need an extended stay at a transplant house (Gift of Life) for several months. You can read more and reblog here and support the fundraiser here.

[profile] emeraldonyxdragon is raising funds to support herself while studying in London this fall. She was accepted to a graduate program there but her savings have gone to help her parents with debts; in joining the program she would also be able to escape an abusive household. To help raise awareness, she is holding a contest -- reblogs and likes on her fundraising post could win you a fanfic of your choice. You can support the fundraiser directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Activism

We're all aware of what happened in Charlottesville this weekend; there are some concrete ways to take action here and orgs to support here and just in case you need a little encouragement here is Asiatic Clam Man to remind you that you can do it.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

News To Know:

Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
First a quick note, based on some of the comments I've gotten. I know that much of my interpretation doesn't match up to Orwell's intent. I'm taking a Death of the Author approach and I'm outright stating where I think Orwell is wrong.

Now, into the deconstruction.

According to O'Brien, Winston has gone through stage one, learning. The next stage is understanding, which will be the task of the current chapter. The final stage will be acceptance.

The stage of learning included O'Brien's line about meeting where there is no darkness, a line of invitation to the thought that O'Brien is like Winston himself (which he might be). It included giving Winston the book so he could read it. And, it included reinforcing the very same things, via torture, that had been expected of Winston all along.

Now, we get to the question that most plagues Winston.
Read more... )
August 13th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 10:16pm on 13/08/2017
As near as I can tell from these rules James Nicoll Reviews does not qualify as a fanzine (it provides too much of my income). It might be a semi-prozine (bad for me, because my numbers would not get me onto the long list) or Related (where I also don't think I would made it onto the long list).
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There was talk of having a bonfire in October. Was trying to come up with theme/justification because I am incapable of spontaneity. Thought it might be nice to tie it in somehow to the Year of Waterloo Region SF. Wondered "what SF book features bonfires as a central image?"

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posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 02:15pm on 13/08/2017
Many meteors seen, among other things.

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I am home! 

I broke camp around six this morning, and when I started the hike it was 6:35 exactly, because I for once had the presence of mind to log it. Just getting to the trailhead was a couple of miles, due to some unforeseen obstructions (I did not get lost, there were just two unexpected fences, and also a long stretch of “closed” road that was a weird little detour through a post-apocalyptic landscape), so while I had planned to do about six miles, I ended up doing a little over eight and a half in three and a half hours, which considering I was carrying a 40lb pack I think was pretty good. 

I missed the 9:49 train to Chicago by two minutes. I literally saw it pulling away from the station as I arrived. The next train was at 1:15, but it’s just as well I was delayed, since it meant I got to rest my feet for a while and also got to help at least a half dozen people figure out a) how the train worked, b) how much tickets were, and c) which train to get on. 

So, I think the trip was a success. I worked out how the camp-reservation system at Dunewood functions, I tested out all my equipment (all remarkably functional, though I think I need to work on sleeping comfort issues), and I measured my endurance limit for hiking with a weighted pack. 

It is about eight miles. That last half mile nearly killed me. 

Also I got to return the Diane Mott Davidson book to the donation rack so someone else can enjoy it, and I added a book or two as well, which is a good thing since someone just offloaded a shitload of Clive Barker and it’s nice to have a little variety. 

Now I am going to sit on the sofa, possibly order a pizza, and deliberately not empty out my pack until tomorrow. 

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emceeaich: Big rocks from outer space solve many problems. (boom)

The outline for my remarks on The Expanse and politics at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.

  • Warnings
    • Spoilers through 2nd Season of the TV Series (Caliban’s War)
    • Will talk about both books and TV series
  • Who am I
    • Emma Humphries
    • She/Her
    • Programmer and Project Manager, 20+ years experience
    • 29 years in fandom (28 WisCons)
  • Format: I’ll talk for 25 minutes or so, and then we’ll have a discussion for the remainder of the time we have
  • What is The Expanse?
    • ASK: how many of you have read or watched?
    • Series of Novels and TV Programs
    • James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)
    • Future history of the Inner and Outer Solar System
  • Why talk about politics?
    • Because SF has been the acceptable place to talk about politics
  • Subjects
    • Queer/Non-binary/Trans representation
    • Populism
    • Universal Income
  • What I’m Not Going to Talk About
    • Race
    • I’m going to suggest you start with the Black Girl Nerds podcast who have been recapping and discussing the TV Series
  • Why The Expanse
    • I love space opera
    • I adore the women in this show
      • Naomi Nagata: Ship’s Officer and Engineer
      • Bobbie Draper: Gunnery Sgt in the Martian Marines, who trains under one Earth Gravity
      • Chrisjen Avasarala: UN Undersecretary who knows where the bodies are buried
      • All represented as women of color in the TV show
      • All flawed, but real characters, I empathize with
    • I stan for Chrisjen
    • I love to hate on Holden
      • But, honestly, can anyone stand Holden?
      • Miller’s stuck with him because of alien machinations
      • What does Naomi see in him?
  • Queer/Non-binary/Trans representation
    • The good, there are gay and lesbian characters
    • The bad
      • Heteronormative relationships
        • The Martian ambassador and his husband
        • Annushka "Anna" Volovodov
        • A settler couple on Illus
      • Two hundred years in the future, and the nuclear family is still the norm
        • Holden’s family back on Earth, a poly-cule, are considered weird/aberations
      • No non-binary or trans characters
      • The non-normative relationships and characters are the thieves, rebels and sex workers
  • Populism
    • Definition time!
      • A type of political discourse which posits an “authentic people” in opposition to “a privileged elite.”
      • In left populism that’s often the workers vs the wealthy
        • debates on distribution of wealth
      • in right populism it’s white people vs everyone else
        • debates on who is and isn’t part of the “nation”
    • The OPA is a populist movement with both right and left characteristics
    • Anderson Station, and Illus are left populist actions
      • Workers, abused by Inner Planets wealth and corporations standing up to power and paying with their lives, and/or using violence as a means
    • But the OPA has a right-leaning side which is terrifying
      • We see it at the end of Season 2 where the economic populism gives way to an nastier ethnic populism
      • In the 2nd Season a Belter Ship, carrying evacuees from Ganymede to Tyco Station, puts all the people from the Inner Planets out the airlock
      • It will only get worse in later books
  • Universal Basic Income
    • Also known as Social Income, or under the UN in the world of the Expanse, “Basic”
    • There’s a body of economic research that finds evidence for giving people direct cash assistance as the best way to support people
    • Basic income, in and of itself is not sufficient
      • You need universal access to healthcare
      • In “Churn,” for example, we see the UN handing out substandard/palliative-only care
    • A well-implemented Social Income system, with healthcare (including reproductive healthcare), transport, and housing can provide a stable base for people to build on
    • In the world of the Expanse, the social income system is geared to subsistence and governability
  • Scorecard
    • LGTBQ+
      • Needs more work
      • Tell me why all your queer relationships are heteronormative
      • As a queer dyke, I want to see relationships like the ones I see in my community in the here and now, or at least understand why they aren’t there
    • Populism
      • Yes, this is a honest portrayal
      • How populism, unchecked, can go from a liberation struggle to genocidal violence
    • Social Income
      • A pessimistic view
      • Is this in the service of story, people struggling to escape a dismal earth? Or a libertarian view of the role of the state?
August 12th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] alexseanchai at 03:09pm on 12/08/2017 under
alexseanchai: Disney's Belle reading in a chair, sideways (Belle reading)
Headcanon: Belle and Beast are both queer as fuck.

In fact that's part of the reason for the Gaston shitshow—in the animated, that is, I have only seen the live-action once and I was too busy yelling about LeFou after to think of anything like this—anyway. Belle would rather have one of the blonde triplets than Gaston, though frankly that's not much of a choice if none of the four have anything interesting-to-Belle to talk about! And Gaston kind of knows all of that! But Belle's bi, not lesbian. Beast? Also bi.
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