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On this day in 1988, I was 14. The only Heinlein I had read was Friday (which probably accounts for some of my continued outsized affection for that particular one of his books). I was stunned when I read of Heinlein's death (in the newspaper!) and realized that he was 7 years older than my grandfather. He was, I would say, an interesting combination of "of his time" and "ahead of his time."
What the "Heinlein couldn't win a Hugo today" crowd seem to overlook is that Heinlein changed over the course of his life. Instead, they seem to mentally freeze him in time as he was when he wrote Starship Troopers and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (1960 and 1965, respectively - roughly his late 50s). The Heinlein who wrote Friday 20 years later was a different man, and were he still alive today, the Heinlein of 30 years after Friday would be more different still - at this point he'd be further removed in time from the publication of Starship Troopers than Starship Troopers was from his birth.
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- Adventure Time #9 (for L.) - Based on the cover, it looks like Finn and Jake have been messing around with time machines again.
- Betty and Veronica #262 - The conclusion of the "Betty the Vampire Slayer versus Vampironica" storyline
- Bravest Warriors #1 (for L.) - A new mini-series by Pendleton Ward (the creator of "Adventure Time"
- Lord of the Jungle #8
- Wonder Woman #8 (back issue)
Before I even touch on the story, let's deal with the art. The art is adequate. Which is to say it's totally insufficient. A first rank title like Green Arrow deserves art that's better than just "adequate." While everyone's anatomically correct, the characters are vague and indistinct, sketchy, as if the artists were afraid to put a strong line on the paper. You can get art of this quality from the artist's alley of any random comic convention; a major title needs something better.
The story, on the other hand, doesn't even rise up to the level of adequate. The first half of #11 gets off to a promising start, introducing the Dark Arrows, a duo of Green Arrow copycats who are robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. It was a promising beginning to a good story, a classic issues-oriented Green Arrow storyline. Then halfway through the story changes. Queentech is in trouble, and Ollie has to make a sudden trip to China to try to save the company. With a new backup person who's sprung on us out of nowhere. And after the trip (in a stealth jet that just happened to have been lying around one of the warehouses), Ollie summarily cuts off negotiations and attacks the Chinese business magnate's henchmen. And #11 ends.
Then #12 begins with the fight scene. Ollie manages to get away, having stolen the Chinese businessman's cellphone. Ollie's backup guy goes to try to use the contents of the cell phone to bargain with a Chinese superheroine (for what, exactly?), while Ollie wanders off aimlessly (having somehow been transformed into a clueless oaf between issues 10 and 11), gets himself captured, then stages a jailbreak and escapes. And then the issue ends with Gratuitous! Chinese! Zombies!
At this point, as much as I love Green Arrow, I'd rather they just cancel the series. It's that bad. Cancel the series, purge everything that's happened since the reboot, and start up again later with a writer who understands the character and an artist who's qualified to work on a top-tier title.
* The CNN articles never fail to mention Zumba by name. I bet they just love being tied to this.
** And that's the sort of unusual detail that would definitely find its way into the news coverage.
*** In today's article, one of the men named in the section of the list released so far has tried the Shaggy defense. Sorry, dude - even if it really wasn't you, people aren't going to believe you.
A little background for those of you who've never sent time in the model trenches of minature warfare. "Helicopter general" is the name wargamers use for rule sets where the player is able to take full advantage of their ability to see the entire battlefield by being able to manipulate individual units on a much smaller scale than their historical counterpart would have. A lot of the work in wargames rules over the past 50 years has centered on efforts to simulate "fog of war" (the general doesn't have perfect instantaneous knowledge of what's happening in all areas of the battlefield) and "command friction" (your subordinates, represented by rules mechanisms, don't always do what you want, and even when they do, they don't always do it exactly how you would have chosen to do it). This has not only made the games more realistic, but has also made them more fun - a game of the Battle of Hastings, for example, completely loses all drama if the Saxons stay on the top of the hill just because Harold says to, with no necessity for him to exercise his leadership skills and no chance that they'll respond to the Norman feints.
And yet that's exactly what happens in RTS games - your units do exactly what you say to do, exactly how you say to do it. Nothing more, nothing less. There's no experience of the overeager young lieutenant who rushes in when he's told to stay put, nor of the cautious old brigadier, who advances tentatively when told to charge. More damning still, if you forget a unit off on the edge of the map, they'll just sit there and twiddle there thumbs indefinitely rather than marching to the sound of the guns (or otherwise making themselves useful).
So what I'm thinking I might do, since I've been trying to come up with a project to work on so I'll have a reason to want to learn Python besides a nebulous "to someday get a job as a programmer," is use this insight to help design a computer wargame that I'd actually want to play. If nothing else, I'll get the fun of trying to make it and the programming experience of trying to do things I might not otherwise try to do.
"Everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
Awesome video and song! Enjoy!
I don't live in district 2, but if I did, I'd gladly vote for Yang. This is the American dream: Blong Yang came from humble beginnings, was able to better himself through education, and is now looking to give back to his community. I hope he gets elected.
I have heard from more than one male fan that the zero tolerance policy combined with the lifetime ban makes them (who feel themselves to be socially inept males) uncomfortable enough that they will be asking for membership refunds from Readercon and never return to that con.
The commenter feels this to be a bad thing. I, on the other hand, think this is a wonderful development. If you think you're not capable of going out in public without sexually harassing people, then by all means don't go out in public.
And while we're at it, please let's stop letting the harassers hid behind the label of "social ineptitude." I am socially intept (or at any rate not as socially ept as I might wish to be) and yet I've never been accused of sexual harassment. Why? Because I know better to touch anyone without their permission, I understand and respect the meaning of the word "no," and if I'm uncertain about the appropriateness of saying something, I think it over twice, even three times, and if I'm still in doubt err on the side of caution by not saying it. Come on guys: It's really not that difficult.
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the fanzine fans will accept the Hugo results with grace and good humor. (collapses in a fit of hysterical laughter)
To put it another way: The US military budget for 2012 is about $550 billion, which works out to about $1.5 billion per day. So the military spending for 1 day, 16 hours would be sufficient to fund the Curiosity mission, while the military spending for 10 days would be enough to fund the Olympics. How's that for a question of priorities?
I am so angry right now that I'm having trouble writing a coherent post. Since anyone likely to read this is probably active in fandom to one degree or another, you've probably already heard about Genevieve Valentine being harrassed at Readercon. If you haven't, go read about it now - I'll wait. As you might imagine, this has caused all sort of an uproar within the fannish community. (There's a roundup of links here.) Given the volume of discussion going on, it was pretty much inevitable: At some point, someone said "Maybe her harrasser is an Aspie and had trouble reading her social cues." Nevermind that this individual is, by all accounts, a very socially adept individual. Nevermind that Genevieve's social cues were as unambiguous as one can get (direct statements to leave her along and not to touch her, physical moving away from the harrasser, etc.). There are apparently some people who'd rather risk baselessly slandering an entire group of people than entertain the possibility that one person knowingly behaved badly. This idea has been shot down wherever it's come up - I'd particularly like to particularly thank rose_lemberg, redbird, and dharma_slut for speaking up against it - but I'm still furious that it even came up.
For those of you who don't know me, I am an Aspie. As is my wife. As are our 2 kids. And none of us would do something like this. None. Of. Us. Just be sure I was accurate in saying this, I just talked to L., my 8-year-old son, who in addition to being the youngest of us is also the most profoundly autistic. The conversation went like this:
Me: Imagine you're at a party. You're talking to a girl and you grab on to her arm. She says "don't touch me," pulls her arm away from you, and goes to talk to somebody else. What do you do?
L.: I don't touch anyone else.
Me: And what about the girl who told you not to touch her?
L.: I tell her I'm sorry.
Me: What if you try to tell her you're sorry and she says "Get away from me! Don't talk to me!" What do you do.
L.: I get away from her and don't talk to her. I know that.
Me: Good job. [gives him a hug] Can you believe there are some adults who don't know that?
L.: [incredulously] Really? Didn't anyone ever tell them?
So next time you hear about or see or experience someone being an asshole, be open to the idea that that person's just as asshole, rather than trying to excuse their behavior by giving them an ex post facto diagnosis that, even if correct, wouldn't excuse their behavior. You see, when I'm with my kids and they misbehave, I have to ask myself if their behavior is:
- Because they're misbehaving like any kid will from time to time, in which case they need to be corrected, or
- Because they can't control their behavior because of their autism, in which case they need to be removed from the situation.
Note that "because they can't control their behavior because of their autism, in which case they should be allowed to continue to misbehave" is not an option. I don't know to what extent my kids and I are "typical" Aspies, to the extent that such a thing even exists, but I think that, if anything, we'd actually be less likely than an "average" person to engage in the sort of behavior that Genevieve was exposed to because there are rules, dammit, and you follow the rules, and you'd be better off not talking to someone at all rather than risk breaking the rules. (I missed talking to Robert Silverberg at a con once because I didn't know the "rules" for talking to a famous author.)
The remainder of this post is all coppervale's writing. I'm turning off comments to this post because I want you to go comment at his post, or to repost this in your journal, or both.
Originally posted by coppervale at One. Day.
The great Will Eisner once did a comics story that took place over ten minutes, and ended with the line, "What's ten minutes in a man's life?"
It is, as it turned out in both the story and in many circumstances in the real world, very, very significant.
Yesterday, I offered a free ebook of DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS - A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice, to everyone who chose to enter their name and address and click a download link. I stated as my goal that I would like to give away ONE THOUSAND books in twenty-four hours. And now, after just that ONE DAY, more than 1100 people have taken me up on my offer, and started reading the book that I consider to be the most meaningful thing I've ever written.
In just one day, people have already begun to tell me that this book is changing their lives - and I am humbled, and grateful. And now I would like to share the reason that I chose to do this.
My recent keynote address as the Guest of Honor at the LTUE Symposium at Utah Valley University brought the room to its feet for a long standing ovation, and for the rest of the day people shook my hands, and hugged me, and cried as they spoke, and thanked me for what I said in that presentation. It continued into the night at the restaurant where I ate, and at the signing, and then, at my hotel, via email. Some notes I got I was able to respond to in person the next day.
One note, I wasn't.
Emily Adams, my Book Babe and handler for the day, is the only one I shared this with at the time, because I was still processing it, and wasn't sure... I wasn't sure how to encompass all the emotion that I felt in reading this one particular letter.
Someone who may not even have been registered for the Symposium, but who was a fan, and nevertheless wanted to come, had attended the keynote.
They intended for that to be one of the last acts of their life.
One hour later, they changed their mind, because they believed I was speaking directly to them when I said, "I am here to say one of the most important things one human being can say to another - I believe in you. There is magic in the world, and I can show you where it is. And I will not let you fall."
The next morning, this person wrote me a note to thank me for being there, and for saying what I did - and to tell me they had informed friends and family of their circumstance, and now people knew, and they were going to a hospital to get some help.
And I cried, and bumped into walls while I got dressed, and then Emily and her hubby picked me up, and I went back to the Symposium, where I thought about the thousand different obstacles that had to be overcome for the Symposium to happen, and for me to attend, and for me to give that keynote address in that one hour, when that one person needed it more than anything.
Ten minutes. One hour. One day. They are significant measures of time when they contain something meaningful. I wanted to do something meaningful that lasted more than an hour, and reached more people than I could reach on my own, and so I called upon you, my Dragon Army, to help me - and together we helped start changing the lives of more than a thousand people in a single day.
I don't have anything more to say about what has already happened, except to note that it is YOU, each of you, who made this a magic and spectacular twenty-four hours: it is YOUR conviction that this book is meaningful that fired up people's imaginations, and got them to reach out for something they didn't realize they needed until they started to read. You did this. And knowing that, all I have left to say is a question, and a challenge...
You made something EXTRAORDINARY happen in just one day.
What can you do with a WEEK?
I believe in you.
Here's the link. Pass it on - to EVERYONE.
Your brother in moxie,
Anonymous commenting is enabled. All comments are screened. This is your chance to turn off the filter between your brain and your fingers and give it to me straight. I can't guarantee that I'll follow your recommendations, but I'll at least consider them, and if it's related to something I do that bugs you, you'll probably feel better for having gotten it off your chest.
And then it hit me: If we could get every Star Wars fan who doesn't want the films remade again to write in and make their wishes known, it probably wouldn't make a damn bit of difference. (When has what anyone else thought ever made a difference to George Lucas.) But it could be fun, and there's always that 1 in a million chance it will make a difference.
So here's the idea: Mail a bag of breadcrumbs along with a note saying "George, just go feed the pigeons! Leave Star Wars alone! We don't want a 3D remake" (or words to that effect) to:
P.O. Box 29901
San Francisco, CA 94129
May the Force be with you!
- Current Mood: quixotic
I could really use some emotional validation today. If you like me and/or enjoy reading this journal, please say so in a comment to this post. If you feel like elaborating further on exactly what makes you feel that way, that would be even better.
All comments to this post will be screened, so only I will see what you write, and I'm posting this publicly so that you can comment anonymously if you like.
ETA: I will not be unscreening or replying to comments to this entry, but I want to thank you all.
So, Yule has come and gone with no celebration other than saying "Happy Solstice!" to your family and reading a poem that one of your friends posted on Facebook. And now it's only 2 days to Christmas. You haven't baked any cookies. You haven't made Chex mix. The tree is - at best - half decorated. None of the presents are wrapped yet. You did manage to get the Christmas cards and packages for your extended family in the mail, though you're sure you missed someone you ought to have sent a card to and you have absolutely no idea if the presents will get there on time.
This is okay.
You aren't Martha Stewart. Hell, Martha Stewart isn't even Martha Stewart - she has a vast media and corporate apparatus dedicated to projecting the illusion that she is. There's a lot going on in your life, and only so much you to take care of it ("Hardly enough for regular days," to quote Ma Otter). Adding on the extra demands of things that "must" be done for the holidays isn't going to make you magically capable of doing more; it's just going to make you feel miserable when you're not able to Do It All. No matter what you do or don't do, Christmas will come just the same - without ribbons; without tags; without packages, boxes or bags.
So relax. Take a deep breath. The Christmas Police aren't going to come bust up your celebration because you're not "doing Christmas right." Let yourself off the hook for all the things you've come to believe you "should" do, and enjoy spending time with your friends and family, however much (or little) time you've got to spend, and however many (or few) of them you get to see.
- Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
- When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
- If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
- NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
- If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
- Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
- USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
- Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
- Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
- Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.
And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.
21%? Twenty-one percent of Americans believe our president is or may be the Antichrist? I am appalled.
(If you take these statistics a step further and make the reasonable [I think] assumption that all of these people belong to the 78.4% of Americans who identify as Christian of some form or another [the Antichrist being a Christian theological concept], you're looking at something in the neighborhood of 26% of American Christians who believe this.)
All comments will be screened, so feel free to say whatever you want. I even made this a public entry so you can comment anonymously if you want.
Imagine you are going on a one-way colonization trip to another planet. You are allowed to bring with you half a dozen books. In order to attempt to ensure some variety in your colony's library, you and your fellow colonists agree that your books should be allocated to different areas as follows:
- Fiction, 20th-21st century.
- Fiction, 19th century.
- Fiction, pre-19th century.
Here's my list:
- Friday, Robert Heinlein
- Sylvie and Bruno, Lewis Carroll
- Le Morte d'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
- The Boy Scout Fieldbook, in a pre-1990 edition.
- Escher, Godel, and Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
- From Dawn to Decadence, Jacques Barzun
After reading this story, I was furious. I called Random House at 212-782-9000, used their employee directory to get Mr. Perry's extension (22027), and left a very calm, polite message in which I:
- Expressed my dissappointment with Random House's actions.
- Stated my intention to immediately buy a copy of Jewel of Medina from any other publisher that had the courage to publish this book.
- Informed him that I was starting a personal boycott of Random House that would last either until August 12, 2009 (the one-year anniversary of Jewel of Medina's scheduled release date) or until they actually published the book.
- Current Mood: militant
Here are my top picks:
- Fantasy: The farmboy (or girl) from out in the sticks who has a fabulous destiny.
- Science fiction: The Evil Corporation.
- Comic books: Any plot having anything to do with secret identities and the protection/revelation thereof.
Also, our filk GOH has provided us with some filk programming here.
So here's your chance: Tell us something about your part of fandom that others might not know, or that might be commonly misunderstood. Or ask a question about some aspect of fandom that puzzles you.
Here's one question for starters: I've noticed that West Coast filk is vastly different from Minneapolis filk. What other different subgenres of filk are there, and how did they come to be?
Let's get today started with a bang by bringing back another classic panel topic: Star Trek vs. Star Wars: Which is better and why?
Here are my thoughts on the subject (numbered for easy reference, but in no particular order):
- Fanzines are alive and will survive. The episodic nature of fanzines provides a different sort of experience from blogs or webpages that many fans find appealing.
- Increased postal costs will drive many more faneds to resort to online distribution of their zines (either through the efanzines.com central clearinghouse model or with e-mail notification of availability of new downloads at their personal website such as R-Laurraine Tutihasi does with Feline Mewsings).
- Photocopiers, as convenient as they are, are not conducive to large print runs, as they can't get anywhere near the per-copy costs of copyprinters or mimeographs. Inkjet is even less efficient for this purpose. Laser printers are a good compromise between the cost advantages of mimeo and the convenience of photocopy.
- Given the costs of printing and postage today, I think the surviving paper fanzines will continue their migration to FAPA and other APAs, which have the advantages of simultaneously limiting copy count and streamlining postage.
BUSYCON #1 GUEST LIST:
FICTION AUTHOR GOH: shaharazad
ARTIST GOH pgdudda:
FILK GOH: ebenbrooks
FAN GOH: brithistorian
MEDIA GOH: barondave
TAPIR GOH: timprov
COSPLAY GOH: xenaclone
ETA: Since our GOH is a professional in the field of nonfiction, I've added an additional field for "Fiction Author GOH."
How bad is the problem? Out of 192 member states in the UN, 75 still list homosexuality as a crime. And even in the countries where it's not illegal there's still massive social and institutional prejudice out there.
Want to learn more? Go to the IDAHO website. They've got lots of news articles, interviews with activists, and links to IDAHO activities in a number of different countries around the world.
If you like your science fiction hard, but not so hard as to have completely crushed the sense of wonder, this is the book for you. Bear mixes magic (in the Clarke-ian "any sufficienctly advanced technology" sense) with technology, creating a story worth of Heinlein in a setting reminiscent of Cherryh with a climax of the sort that Neil Stephenson wishes he could write. If you haven't read this yet, you really really need to.
And Bear, if you're reading this, I hope your not offended that in my imagination the ranids looked like Gollum from the Rankin-Bass Hobbit/Return of the King. :-)
So Gary, this one's for you: *Rolls D20* 4! Damn! ;-)
ETA: Never mind. It apparent was all over my FL a couple of months ago and I just managed to miss it somehow. Still, l'm leaving this post up, in case someone else had managed to miss it as well.