Invisible 3 Release Day

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:49 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Invisible 3 CoverINVISIBLE 3, a collection of 18 essays and poems about representation in SF/F, is out today! The ebook is edited by myself and Mary Anne Mohanraj, and is available at:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

As with the first two volumes in this series, all profits go to benefit Con or Bust.

Here’s the full table of contents:

  • Introduction by K. Tempest Bradford
  • Heroes and Monsters, by T. S. Bazelli
  • Notes from the Meat Cage, by Fran Wilde
  • What Color Are My Heroes? by Mari Kurisato
  • The Zeroth Law Of Sex in Science Fiction, by Jennifer Cross
  • Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities, by Alliah
  • Erasing Athena, Effacing Hestia, by Alex Conall
  • Not So Divergent After All, by Alyssa Hillary
  • Skins, by Chelsea Alejandro
  • The Doctor and I, by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  • My Family Isn’t Built By Blood, by Jaime O. Mayer
  • Lost in Space: A Messy Voyage Through Fictional Universes, by Carrie Sessarego
  • Decolonise The Future, by Brandon O’Brien
  • Natives in Space, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • I Would Fly With Dragons, by Sean Robinson
  • Adventures in Online Dating, by Jeremy Sim
  • Of Asian-Americans and Bellydancing Wookiees, by Dawn Xiana Moon
  • Shard of a Mirage, by MT O’Shaughnessy
  • Unseen, Unheard, by Jo Gerrard

Huge thanks to the contributors for sharing their stories and experiences. I’ve learned so much from earlier volumes in this series, and this one was no different.

If you’re a reviewer and would like a copy, please contact me and let me know your preferred format and where your reviews are published.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Top of the Pops

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:00 am
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
[personal profile] ceciliatan

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Tell me. When do you think the worst possible time for my hand to cramp up would be? In the middle of the show? Right at the beginning of the acoustic segment with me and Ziggy? Right in the middle of “Candlelight?” The fact that it happened the in the five minutes before we went on proves that things could have been worse. Right?

Read the rest of this entry » )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

Yesterday, you compared me, not favorably, to a car: "We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you would require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crash their car."

I cannot tell you how furious I am.

First of all, in comparing health insurance to car insurance, you are implying that:

(1) we can avoid illness, cancer, strokes, etc., the same way a driver, hypothetically, can avoid accidents (although accidents can't always be avoided, either);
(2) human beings are nothing but machines;
3) if we are not useful--as, say, children or elderly people no longer able to work are not useful--we are not worth taking care of;
(4) we decrease in value when we are damaged.

All of these implications are wrong. Frankly, they are all reprehensible. Also, a car accident is in no way, shape, or form like a "pre-existing condition." "Pre-existing conditions" are chronic. You can't deal with them once and then move on, the way you can buy a new car if yours is totaled. You have to deal with a "pre-existing condition" for the rest of your life; it goes on being expensive, eating up energy, and making your daily life harder long after the crisis point (the accident, in your analogy), if there even was one. Many people's "pre-existing conditions" start before they're even born. It is a false and pernicious analogy which you should never have permitted yourself to make.

Moreover, my "pre-existing conditions" are not things that I did, or things caused by my bad choices. The same is true of my friends who are bipolar. The same is true of any child who has cancer. Illness, whether mental or physical, is not a moral judgment, and a person's value, which is inestimable, is neither measured nor affected by the health care they need. And no one can predict the health care they're going to need--in much the same way no one can predict a drunk driver crossing the median and colliding head-on with their car.

Frankly, I have never expected you to oppose TrumpCare, whether it's called the AHCA or the BCRA, and I was angry enough about that. But the contempt this analogy shows for your constituents and for their need to have effective and affordable health care--a need that does not correlate with either their socio-economic status or their moral rectitude and that should never be thought of in terms of free-market capitalism--is appalling, especially from someone who claims to consider it "an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Wisconsin." I sincerely hope that this analogy is not a reflection of your true opinion of your constituents.

Senator Johnson, I AM NOT A CAR. I am a person, created equal with yourself, and I deserve to have my elected representatives respect my humanity and treat me with dignity.

Enemies of America

Jun. 26th, 2017 04:56 pm
supergee: (reclining)
[personal profile] supergee
Radley Balko says, We should treat Confederate monuments the way Moscow and Budapest have treated communist statues. They want me to bend over and turn off my ad block  )

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 12:41 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
The sister creature and I made it to the movies to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. A fun movie, but, with all the money spent on special effects, they could have made it a tighter cut, rather than go on and on with the pretty lights. Stayed through the credits, otherwise would have missed the little snippets. Loved Teen Groot.

We had a salad at the Chezcake Factory, we will be so pleased to have one on the east side later this year, mostly due to my being unable to get up very early and so we miss things like breakfast and brunch. Well, I miss them, my sister does get up early...

Am awaiting a response from my brother if he and his wife want to meet me for a casual dinner on saturday, since its my birthday and all. The sticky wicket part of this is that their daughters birthday was the 4th, and the weekend was all about her, so we shall see how it goes. We always had a family party for her (and I was included, but, she got the cake, not me) so they are still going through the first after her death events. I would like to have some acknowledgement of my birthday, so, ... it gets a bit complicated. But it would be nice if both my siblings would be there.

Today, a whole less hot, and I need to write out july bills and make VAMC phone calls. Tomorrow, I see my Neuro and we go over my MRI and my 2.5 years since the removal of the old brain tumor. Watering of the yard and garden are on the list too.

Coming Out as a Slytherin

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:39 pm
ceciliatan: (default)
[personal profile] ceciliatan

Ars Technica published an article by me on Pride Day (yesterday, traditionally the last Sunday in June) entitled “Coming Out as a Slytherin.”

In the article I detail how there have been a series of “closets” whose doors I have had to kick down, from coming out as bisexual in the 1980s, to coming out as a pro who also wrote fanfic in the 2000s, to, eventually, realizing I had to come out as Slytherin, too.

In the article I talk about the pervasiveness of the anti-Slytherin bias in the books, which carries right through from Harry’s first hearing of the word through the epilogue:

“One of the magics of the Potter books for me was that as I read them, I was transported back to feeling like a kid again. … My journey as a fan… started from a childlike devouring of the books where I took Harry’s journey at face value. Harry hated Snape and Draco? I hated Snape and Draco. Harry thought all Slytherins are bad? I thought all Slytherins are bad. It’s a book for kids, right? A simplistic worldview is appropriate and comforting.”

“But the moment I leapt into fandom headlong was also when book six, Half-Blood Prince, came out. In that book, Harry keeps on thinking that Snape and Draco are villains. It’s also a book where many adult readers started realizing that Snape and Draco are victims. I went back and re-read the entire series through Snape and Draco’s eyes and what I saw was very different.”

“I guess you could say it was the Potter fandom equivalent of being woke.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

The sweetpeas are taking over

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:42 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Last year, I planted a couple of perennial sweetpea plants in one of the flower beds. They did ok, but weren't really anything special.

Either they needed a little while to get themselves established or they much prefer the weather this year:



I had a go at putting normal sweetpeas along the drive this year, as I had spares and thought they'd look nice if they grew up the fence. They've rather been out-competed by the stuff on the other side of the fence (in the stableyard), though. I think I might get myself another pack of perennial seeds and see how they do there!

We went to see a horse on Sunday: he seemed to have a lovely personality, and looked nicely put together, but he'd never been ridden properly and didn't have a clue what he was doing in the school. Hopefully she'll find him a nice home where he can do nothing but go for long hacks....

I went to London last week, to see the dentist. Some sort of viral thing seems to have come back with me, which explains why I was so knackered all weekend, and probably also the upset stomach. I'm not exactly *ill*, but I'm also not entirely well. Possibly, in the light of this, I should have spent less time weeding today. It did need doing, though: it's been too hot recently to contemplate working in the garden.

We seem to have a lot of what look almost like yellow thistles appearing in the garden this year. Not sure what they are or where they've suddenly appeared from!

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:49 am
ironymaiden: (Default)
[personal profile] ironymaiden
Facebook sent me a birthday notification for a deceased friend today.
catvalente: (pic#941394)
[personal profile] catvalente

If you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve probably heard of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. If you’re not, here’s the cheat sheet straight from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas:

“The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.”

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is a juried award as well, with this year’s jury including Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon (one of Sturgeon’s children and trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate).

It’s kind of a big deal for the science fiction field. And Cat Valente is it’s latest recipient.

That’s right: Cat’s short story “The Future is Blue,” published in Drowned Worlds (edited by Jonathan Strahan) took the prize! As you may have already seen on Twitter, Cat is incredibly excited, chuffed, and all-around honored to be awarded the Sturgeon Award.

Learn more about the award and past winners at the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award’s site.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

The patio/the walking

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:56 pm
kate_schaefer: (Default)
[personal profile] kate_schaefer
In the spring of 2015, Glenn and I decided to build a patio in our backyard. First, we ripped out all the grass and argued about layout and materials. Next, we went to Ohio for a week to visit my aged parents. After that, we leveled the space where we intended to put the patio – no, we didn't. What we actually did then was rebuild the retaining wall closest to the house, dig a great whacking trench for drainage, replace the drain Glenn had put in place more than 20 years ago when we sealed the basement wall, fill all that in, and then level the space where we intended to put the patio. Then we went to Alaska for a week to visit Glenn's aged father. After that we built another retaining wall, and another little retaining wall, and another little retaining wall, and then we laid the pavers for the patio, and then we laid our old bricks into a ramp to the patio.

When I say "we" in this project, what I actually mean is that Glenn did most of the execution and I did most of the fetching and carrying of tools and materials. This subsidiary role is more physical than you might think, if you're just thinking about the tools. We used a couple tons of pavers and wall blocks, and I moved all of them at least once, some of them two or three times. Glenn moved them even more than I did, because he put most of them into place, and he moved most of the dirt. There was a lot of dirt to move, so much that we got a box from the Dirt Exchange and filled it with dirt for them to take away. We still have a tiny dirt corral at the side of the house with several-many wheelbarrow loads worth of dirt in it.

I moved those wall blocks and pavers a wheelbarrow load at a time, with each load weighing around 100 pounds. I stacked them into staging walls in the backyard, then moved them a few at a time over to where Glenn was putting them into place.

At the end of the process, Glenn placed the very last brick into the ramp from the lower part of the yard to the new patio about an hour before the first guests arrived at the party we had committed to host for Clarion West. It was a fabulous party, and the new space worked very well. We threw another party a few weeks later, and that was also lots of fun. The patio was – is – big enough for the two of us to do tai chi on it, side by side.

Our backs kinda ached after all that work, but we got massages and did exercises and figured things would get better. Glenn's back did get better.

Mine didn't. It got worse, to the point that I had to hold on to the wall to be able to walk when I first got up. I'd improve during the day, but any time I sat for more than a few minutes, my back would be non-functional when I stood up again.

It all gets too-long-don't-read from there. The short version is that for most of a year, I couldn't walk more than half a mile without having to stop and rest, but only for a few minutes so that the back would get some benefit from the rest rather than getting worse. I had lots of physical therapy. I did lots of careful exercises. I worked on walking a little farther, a little faster, a little more confidently.

I got better. By May of 2016, I could walk a mile without needing to stop and rest. By September, I could walk 2 or 3 miles with relative ease. Now, two years after the injury, I can and do walk between 4 and 6 miles every day, in two or three mile chunks. I'm aiming to increase that to 5 to 7 miles a day, in three or four mile chunks, and then to 10 miles every other day, in five mile chunks.

And then I'm going to walk Hadrian's Wall.

Canton Quest #3

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:21 pm
lovelyangel: (Kyoko Pocky)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
The plan for my trip into Portland was to first get my book at Powell’s then eat lunch downtown. I checked online and confirmed that Republic Cafe opened at noon on Sundays.

When I finished my errand at Powell’s, I drove to Portland’s old Chinatown. Portland was busy, and there wasn’t any parking close to the restaurant, so I went to the SmartPark at Naito and Davis. It’s about a four block walk from there to the restaurant. I again stayed in the shade as much as I could.

I don’t actually remember the last time I was at Republic Cafe… 10 years ago? 20 years ago? Probably something inbetween. I don’t remember who I was with, but I have the vague feeling that I either didn’t like the food – or I got sick later. I lean towards the latter. Regardless, it was beyond the statute of limitations.

Back in the day Republic Cafe was a busy place and a hangout for the late evening crowd. Nowadays I could barely find it. (I guess I’m not used to looking for it in bright daylight.)

Republic Cafe Sign
Republic Cafe Sign

I arrived about 1 pm and was seated by a young server. He let me choose any table in the not-very-large main area, and I picked the booth in the corner, by the front window. There was one couple (a woman and her elderly dad) a couple of booths away.

I had checked the Menu in advance and knew what I wanted – the Super Special Combination. (I love the name!) The server took my order.

Republic Cafe has a rather dismal reputation for very poor service, so I braced myself for long waits. I had my iPad with me, so I did quite a bit of catchup at the Metafilter site and a few anime sites. Speed of service wasn’t terrible – but it wasn’t fast, either. Lunch from beginning to end took about an hour.

The food was actually pretty good. Of the three Cantonese restaurants I’ve tried, Republic Cafe had the best food. They have the best pan fried noodles, the best sesame chicken, and the best fried rice. Only the chow mein vegetables were less than ideal, but they were pretty good. The serving size was small for a Cantonese restaurant but reasonable for a meal. That is to say, I brought some leftovers home, but there’s not really enough for a full lunch.

Super Special Combination Dinner
Super Special Combination Dinner
Republic Cafe • Portland, Oregon
iPhone 6 photo

While it’s nice to know the food is better than what I’ll be able to get in Beaverton, the info doesn’t help a lot as I’m not driving into Portland just to get Chinese food. Plus I’m usually in a hurry, and there would be some frustration with Republic Cafe. This will be fine for occasional lazy Sundays like today (when it was too hot to be at home anyway). But how often am I really in downtown Portland?

Whatever air conditioning they had wasn’t working fully, as it got kind of warm in the restaurant – not as bad as my house – but not cool, either.

Adding in a 10 minute walk in both directions, my total time in the SmartPark was 1 hour and 20 minutes – which meant that I had to pay for two hours of parking. I guess I could take MAX into town next time.

Previously
Canton Quest #1
Canton Quest #2

Amy and her Cosmotron Express

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:17 pm
lovelyangel: (Tachikoma Excited)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
One of my tasks this weekend was organizing my lists of things to do. I actually ended up building a web page to catalog all sorts of floating documents and lists. I have home projects. I have photography projects. I have things to organize for my life. I have a list of local chores. There are zillions of links to research I’ve done. I needed to collect everything to manage tasks for the rest of the summer, which is slipping away. Already the days are getting shorter.

One obscure document listed books I needed to complete a collection. About once a year I dust off this list and do a search at Powell’s Books. I did that – and found a book! It was in the Rare Books Room at the main Powell’s on Burnside. I hadn’t been in the Rare Books Room for maybe a couple of decades!

So after worship service at my church in Wilsonville, I drove straight up I-5 into Portland. It was about noon when I cruised the Pearl District for a parking space. For such a hot Sunday, I was surprised to see downtown so busy. I parked about four blocks away from the City of Books. I stayed in the shade as much as I could while walking to Powell’s.

Inside of Powell’s I took the stairs to the top (public) floor where the Rare Books Room is. The sign on the door of the room said I needed to get a badge from the info desk. Apparently there is a limit to the number of people that can be in the room at any given time. I don’t remember that being the case in the 90s. But maybe it was.

I could have browsed the shelves, but I decided to ask the person at the front desk where the book was, and she led me directly to the shelf containing the book I wanted – a copy of Tom Swift and his Cosmotron Express – in pretty good condition.

There were three other Tom Swift Jr. volumes on the shelf – and to my surprise among them was a copy of Tom Swift and the Galaxy Ghosts – the rarest – and worst – book in the series. I hadn’t actually expected to see that book there. This was a rare opportunity for me to complete my collection. And I did.

Tom Swift Jr. Volumes #32 & #33
Tom Swift Jr. Volumes #32 & #33

While the Cosmotron Express is not reputed to be a good book, it at least features the art of Ray Johnson, the best illustrator from the later books in the series. The Galaxy Ghosts is said to be by far the worst Tom Swift Jr. book ever written – and on top of that, the illustrator was terrible. This was the first Tom Swift Jr. book illustrated by Bill Dolwick, and I’m sure his work didn’t help sales at all. About the only positive thing that could be said about the cover art is that it’s a throwback to the very first book in the series, Tom Swift and His Flying Lab. And Dolwick’s art is far inferior to the 1954 cover.

Ah, well. I now have a complete 33 volume set. I never actually expected that to happen.

Related link: The Complete Tom Swift Jr. Home Page

Hot

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:09 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Fire)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Ava’s Dashboard
Ava’s Dashboard
Beaverton, Oregon • June 25, 2017 • 3:00 pm

You don’t ever want your car to tell you it’s this hot outside.

Actually, it wasn’t 105°F outside – although it might have been that hot where the car was on the baked asphalt road. The high in Beaverton was only 97°F.

Because this was the second (and thankfully final) day of the heat wave, the house didn’t cool off much overnight – and it really got heated today. The warm part of the house is 92°F; the cool part of the house is 89°F. Yay. I should be able to open up the doors and windows around 7 pm.

Anime Spring Week 12

Jun. 25th, 2017 03:54 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Poised)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Back-to-Back Kotarou and Akane
Back-to-Back Kotarō and Akane
Tsuki ga Kirei, Episode 11

Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records (Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor): Episode 12 (Season Finale)
This arc was a rescue Sistine arc instead of a rescue Rumia arc – but it operated about the same. Big flashy battle. Thankfully Sistine recovered and then carried her weight in the fight. But the Big Bad gets away – to return in a future arc. Not much closure here – and open-ended for continuation into more novels in the series. After all, we still don’t know a thing about what the Akashic Records are.

Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka? (a.k.a. Sukasuka)(WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?): Episode 11
Chtholly’s situation is even worse, and the entire field unit is under attack. Seems like an awful lot to resolve in one finale. I’m eager to see at least some resolutions next week.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 12
Mostly the episode was about Mitsuki probing and learning about Boruto. And also we learned a little bit about Mitsuki. So… a character-building episode not advancing the story – except for providing a tease at the very end. Sure hope something happens next week.

Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys: Episode 11
I thought for sure that Hikaru would swap with the real Hikaru for the strip down, but that doesn’t look like what’s going to happen. Things are complicated. Not surprised we have a cliffhanger.

Tsuki ga Kirei (As the Moon, So Beautiful): Episode 11
I worry that Kotarou isn’t going to make it. This series has been pretty realistic the entire way, so it’s hard to believe that Kotarou can overcome long odds. At least his mom did an aboutface and is being supportive. Best part of the episode was the short break in studying that allowed Kotarou and Akane to get together and exchange Christmas gifts. And a kiss. D’Awww! As always, the music is simply wonderful.

Clockwork Planet: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
Well… whatever. The conflict wrapped up without any serious sense of drama – or any real resolution, for that matter. The enemy escaped to return another day. Now our gang is on the run and ready to save the world – with everyone else in pursuit. I’m underwhelmed.

Seikai Suru Kado (Kado: The Right Answer): Episode 11
Things continue to be highly improbable, and it appears the show is going to become an action series at the end. The train went off the rails long ago, and we’re seeing if it has enough velocity to keep from being bogged down in the mud. The big battle is next week.

Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 26
Transitional episode, slowing things down after the intense sports festival. The code names were interesting, anyway. Izuku’s choice of code name was rather unexpected, but I’m glad it made Ochako happy. Bakugo was still over-the-top for laughs. Not a lot happened, but we needed the breather.

Eromanga Sensei: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
Erocomedy… if you can call it that. Getting everyone flustered in different ways is the least interesting part of the show. No story this week – just slapstick. A rather uninspiring way to end the season – but OK, I suppose.

Uchouten Kazoku 2: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
What a fabulous finish! Conflict…drama… resolutions (many)… and a very happy ending! Sweet scenes! Yaichirō and Gyokuran’s wedding! Yasaburō x Kaisei! Confirmation from Yasaburō’s grandmother of the red fur of fate – and Yasaburō’s acceptance of the engagement! I am so happy! I’m going to watch this episode again!

Alice to Zōroku: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
The solution to the escape from Wonderland was not particularly good or interesting, although Zōroku’s role was a surprise. Unfortunately Shizuku wasn’t involved at all – she disappeared at the beginning and reappeared at the end. Might as well say it’s time to end the arc and wave a magic wand. Oh, well. Happy ending. At the very end we got a second glimpse of a grown-up Sana, who remains intriguing.

Back-to-Back Kaisei and Yasaburō (plus his grandmother)
Back-to-Back Kaisei and Yasaburō (plus his grandmother)
Uchouten Kazoku 2, Episode 12 (Season Finale)