julieandrews: (manga)
I didn't catch it the first time I watched the Neil Gaiman episode, but I did catch it the second time and said something about it on Facebook. The captions actually didn't catch it. It says '-----class'. At least the ones that aired on BBCA the first time it was shown.

This month's Ansible says:

"Neil Gaiman's Doctor Who episode 'A Nightmare in Silver' (11 May) includes a dialogue homage to Ursula Le Guin, or perhaps Orson Scott Card.... About nine minutes in, a character is heard to say: 'It can't be broken – it's a solid state ansible-class communicator!' [NG]"

Does authorial intent matter here? Is it an homage to OSC if Gaiman thought it was an homage to OSC? Standing all by its lonesome, without getting into Gaiman's head (or perhaps someone else's, if he wasn't responsible for that bit of technobabble), isn't it a shout-out to Le Guin?

OSC doesn't get to claim credit for the ansible. He just doesn't. Well, and the fact is he doesn't. He's on the record somewhere or other as identifying his source.

So people don't get to claim credit on his behalf either.
julieandrews: (manga)
I started my day of travel with a 15 minute walk across the street to the hotel, with all my luggage. (76$ to pick me up at my house, 33$ to pick me up at the hotel. :P )Though I packed light! Fortunately the shuttle was early and I was early, so we left 10 minutes before we were scheduled to. I was very sweaty by that point, because muggy and damp and uphill and luggage.

We hadn't gone more than 10 minutes when we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic. Like, dude! I was expecting that once we got within spitting distance of Boston, not 10 minutes from my house! I hadn't been worried about making my flight until then. When we were still not moving much after 20 minutes, well.. it ended up not quite as peaceful a shuttle ride as it could've been.

At some point the traffic magically cleared. Seriously. There was no reason for it. Just.. poof, we're moving again. Of course we did hit more later on and etc and yay carpool lane. It was a bit after 9 when we got there. I'd been hoping for sooner, but it was okay.

Got my boarding pass lickedy-split, then went to security. Got my bag checked because there was no one to remind me I had stuck a partial bottle of soda in there, whoops. But they didn't blink twice at my ID that's lacking in an expiration date.

Southwest, yadda yadda, I was C16 if that means anything to people. Basically means I was one of the last people to board, so lucky me got a middle seat. But it was over the wing, which I prefer. Got Cheese Nips, honey-roasted peanuts, and a cup of icy Sprite. (I prefer the airlines that give you a whole can.) Normally I don't like Cheese Nips, especially more than.. two. But they were like the best Cheese Nips ever. Altitude will do that to you. Or being awake far too early in the morning.

Midway. Once you leave their restaurant hub and the security checkpoint, there ain't much. So it was a boring wait for the bus. It was a double-decker! I didn't brave the top deck though. They had 2 fours of seats (I've been reading The Killing Moon) with tables and cupholders, so I picked one of those.

You can't really write on said table. You can really type on said table. You can eat on it if you don't mind things sliding. The table shakes more than if I had the computer in my lap shaking with me. It would've had my motion sick before long. And it was just plain annoying. I couldn't stand it. So mostly I read, watched the scenery, spaced out.

An hour and a half after we left Midway, we passed O'Hare. o.O It felt like little to no progress. (We had stopped at Union Station.) So, very long bus ride.

Note for next year!! Leave from Manchester to mitigate the traffic issue. Arrive at Madison if it all reasonable, or Milwaukee if not. Or O'Hare third choice, though Southwest doesn't fly there. Also, move WisCon to Chicago to save us all some trouble. :)

Shuttle from hotel arrived pretty quick. I was afraid they'd all be busy going to the airport and back.

I am checked in. I even have my con badge. The governor's club lounge appetizer that's vegetarian is a chili cheese.. trumpet? And I'm not into spicy. I'm going to have to go scrounge up some real food before I end up in there again for dessert. :)

Did not make it in time for John Scalzi. Might have made it for the GoH readings if I'd hurried, but I didn't want to hurry. Okay. You're all caught up now!
julieandrews: (manga)
* Finish my project for school that's due tomorrow. :} Half my grade!! Grr.
I did it. 47. That's a 97. That's an A. I hope. Official grade not posted yet.

* Book a shuttle to the airport.
Done. Have to walk across the street to the hotel or spend 43$ extra dollars both ways!!

* Charge up my camera's batteries and make sure there's an empty card in.

* Read.. what do I need to read? Stuff! I should really read the Jemisin duology for a start.
Um. Yea. Meant to read Heart of Thomas. Didn't even search for it. Started The Killing Moon. Should I bring the sequel on the plane? Too much? They're pretty big books.

* Watch Iron Man 3, or I'm going to be spoiled rotten. Facebook and LJ have already blown up!
Saw Iron Man 3 and the Doctor Who finale. Behind on Game of Thrones. Have not seen Star Trek. And everyone's talking about Star Trek. Grr.

* Watch and/or read some queer anime/manga for my panel?
See Heart of Thomas above. Yea.. not so much.

* Do some Fake Geek Girl research?
Um... yea, didn't do that.

* Eventually... pack.
Still not started.

* Print out travel info, particularly the bus from Midway.
Did that anyway. Yay.

Also, did not get the print version of the trivia book even started. Well, slightly started, but yea.

Also, do not know yet what I'm reading at the OA reading and thus do not have a printout of said non-existent thing. I could ask trivia questions from my book that are quiltbag or Wiscon-related? I have a copy on my ereader, so that might sort of work.

I fly tomorrow! Won't make it in time for the reception, unless I came straight from the union with all of my stuff.
julieandrews: (manga)
I won't be arriving in time to go to Scalzi's reading. I'm not sure yet if I'll get there for the WisCon readings at A Room of One's Own. Once again I failed to send in a story to get critiqued. One of these years I will be in the writing workshop!

Saturday 1pm
It's Not For Girls II: Attack of the "Fake Geek Girl"
Over the past year, a lot of noise has been made about the terrible scourge of "fake geek girls" roaming through cons, game stores, comic stores, and the like, waiting for hapless male geeks to devour…except no, what? Exactly what "cred" do you need to be taken seriously as a geek and/or fan? Do "fake geek girls" actually exist? Should it matter? Who are the gatekeepers of geek culture? There have also been some excellent internet take-downs of this idea, from blogs to comics, Twitter feeds to Facebook. Let's discuss both the idea of "fake geek girls" and the conversation that has been developing on the topic.

I'm moderating this one. I'm glad they moved us out of the 6th floor room they had us in. I think it might be a popular panel! I could be wrong though.

Saturday 10:30pm
Gay & Lesbian Characters in Anime & Manga
Is the Boys' Love genre an appropriation of gay male sexuality, or an expression of female sexuality? Are there realistic series about gay men outside of BL that were written by/for men? What about realistic lesbian characters? Let's talk about the representation of LGB characters in anime & manga—what we've seen, and what we'd like to see.

Yea.. I should really do some research for that. Any suggestions? I'm hoping the Tiptree auction ends before this, because I like staying at the auction until the end.

Sunday 1pm
Outer Alliance reading
Outer Alliance is an organization for writers and readers of science fiction, fantasy and horror that advocates positive portrayals of LGBTQ characters. We will be reading from a wide range of fiction that fits this description.

Two at 1pm. Guess I can't have any extraordinarily long lunches. Also.. need to write a story for this. Can't read the same one from last year!

I have to leave the con on Monday sooner than I probably actually want to. But what with buses to Chicago and the timechange and not wanting to get home /incredibly/ late at night.. not much I could do. I don't mind missing SignOut and all, but there's an anthology panel I wanted to go to!
julieandrews: (manga)
* Finish my project for school that's due tomorrow. :} Half my grade!! Grr.
* Book a shuttle to the airport.
* Charge up my camera's batteries and make sure there's an empty card in.
* Read.. what do I need to read? Stuff! I should really read the Jemisin duology for a start.
* Watch Iron Man 3, or I'm going to be spoiled rotten. Facebook and LJ have already blown up!
* Watch and/or read some queer anime/manga for my panel?
* Do some Fake Geek Girl research?
* Eventually... pack.
* Print out travel info, particularly the bus from Midway.

Oh yea.. and write a story appropriate to read at the Outer Alliance reading. Piece of cake.

Addendum: Er, yea.. totally forgot I was trying to get a print copy of my trivia book done. School seemed to be the priority, so I was assiduously procrastinating that.
julieandrews: (manga)
The LJ/DW sticker post has gone up! Go check it out and add a comment if you want a sticker.

Linky link
julieandrews: (manga)
Merlin Season 1 disc art.

1. Merlin
2. Arthur
3. Uther and Gaius
4. Gwen and Morgana
5. The dragon

Yup, that about sums it up. The women aren't very important. But at least they beat the dragon.

For the record, it's a horrible picture of the dragon.
julieandrews: (manga)
So I waded through the comments on the io9 article about the Strange Horizons number-crunching. A lot of people replied to one specific request for female authors, with varying levels of enthusiasm, for lots of women to check out.

I did a tally.

Any time a female author was mentioned, I noted it. Whether they were directly a suggestion or just came up in the discussion. Here's the results:

Six Times
Ursula K. Le Guin
Octavia Butler

Five Times
Connie Willis (once in the context of Harlan Ellison)

Four Times
Lois McMaster Bujold
Anne McCaffrey

Three Times
N. K. Jemisin
Nalo Hopkinson
Robin McKinley
C. J. Cherryh
Tanith Lee
Jacqueline Carey
Kage Baker
Mira Grant/Seanan Maguire

More behind the cut )

Things I noticed:

* The Jane Austen Book Club was referred to without mention of the author, Karen Joy Fowler (who also isn't in the above list)
* Harry Potter was referred to without mention of the author, J. K. Rowling (who also isn't in the above list)
* The Hunger Games was referred to without mention of the author, Suzanne Collins (who also isn't in the above list)

Who's Missing?

(This isn't a trick question.)
(Or is it?)
julieandrews: (manga)
I posted a mini-rant on Facebook about the whole #womeningenre thing. I'm not going to rehash it here.

Strange Horizons posted a gender count of sf/f reviews in review publications. It should be noted that Ladybusiness also did a count of sf/f reviews on blogs.

io9 reported on it with "Handy Charts Reveal Why You've Never Heard of Most Female SF Authors". It's probably getting more links because of the catchy title and increased readership of io9 versus Strange Horizons. It also shares better on Facebook.

Leaving aside whether or not I have heard of "most female SF authors". Well, maybe not leaving it aside. I don't read the reviews in any of these publications, so that's not how I'd hear about them anyhow!

Now leaving it aside, as you probably won't be too surprised to note, the comments are full of people (I'll leave it at 'people') asking for recommendations for female sf/f authors to read. And then other people suggesting some.

Really?! Really?! You need to ask a [expletive deleted] question like that?!

Ways to find good female sf/f authors without asking in the comments on an io9 post:

1. Google 'female sf/f authors' or 'women science fiction authors' or some similar search. Voila!
2. Look at your favorite awards list. Note the female-sounding names. Have at it.
3. Browse the shelves of your local library or bookstore for female-sounding names or people who look like women in their author photo or for female pronouns in the author bios.
4. Ask on Facebook. Your friends know your tastes more than random io9 readers do.
5. Look at your Amazon or Goodreads or LibraryThing recommendations for, again, female-sounding names.
6. Read everything on the Tiptree Award lists. Even if it's by male authors. It'll do you good.
7. Look at the books on your own shelves, real or virtual, for female authors. Have you read them yet? Did you like a particular author? Read the rest of her stuff!
8. Look at the past guests of honor of WisCon. Not all are female. Not all are authors. But a lot of them are both!
9. Look at the freaking #womeningenre tag on Twitter, for cripe's sake.
10. Because 10 makes a nice round number. The next geek you run into -- it might be your wife, your son, your bff, a coworker, whatever -- ask them, "who are some of your favorite female sf/f authors?"

Message ends...
julieandrews: (manga)
I just had an interesting experience starting to read Monument 14. I must have had some pre-conceived notions of it, although all I could consciously remember was that it was a YA book, I was reading it because it appeared on a list of potential nominees for a local YA library list/award thing, and it was science fiction. Having now read like a chapter and glanced at the cover, I now also remember it was post-apocalyptic and takes place in a store, survivalist kind of thing.

So why did I go into it thinking the main character was male? Because, apparently I did. Was it the title with a number in it? Was it because post-apocalyptic is usually male? (It's not.) Was it some subtle thing I was picking up from the cover, which I hadn't even really looked at? (The focal point is a character seen from the back who's wearing a hoodie. Literally the only thing you can tell about them is that they're not bald, probably not blond, and they have two arms and appear to be standing.) Someone wearing a hoodie might default to male in my subconscious.

Was it the starting out in second person? That's only the first paragraph. It's a distancing technique that a male narrator might use... maybe. Was it the running for the bus? Was it the little brother?

Because I definitely thought the character was male by that point, even before the line about going to the Salvation Army together for electronic parts.

Not long after that, I was thinking.. I bet the author is male. So I glanced at the cover to see that the author is Emmy Laybourne and probably female. This did not change my opinion of what I thought the narrator was. I admit I did believe I would enjoy the story more knowing that than if the author had been male.

I didn't start to question that the narrator was male until s/he was hiding under a seat and paralyzed into inaction by the shock of the circumstances they were in. Now, it's perfectly legitimate for a male character or any human being to not be galvanized to move in an emergency situation. To want to help out, but be unable to. And yet.. that's not the narrative I've come to expect in post-apocalyptic YA with a male protagonist. So I wondered.

At this point, I went back to figure out what had led me to think it was a male character, and was it actually a male character? And there was no sign I could see either way. So then I continued reading in ambiguity. Then there was a line about the super-popular football star boy which called him, in the narration, 'beautiful'. Around about then, I was convinced it was now a female character. A male character who didn't do anything heroic in the opening scene and characterized another boy as "King of the beautiful"?

Then finally someone called the character by his(?) name. Dean.

So I'm going to operate on the assumption that this is a male character, until proven otherwise, who may or may not be straight.

Cory Doctorow, while I was at Clarion, said that the narrator always knows his or her gender so you should let the readers know as soon as possible. I don't agree with that. On all counts. They don't always know, and you're not always obligated to tell the reader. Although you probably should unless the ambiguity serves a purpose.

But anyway, I kind of like it when I don't know, because then I can analyze my own assumptions. Was there a cue in the first few paragraphs that I picked up on when I read it, but missed when I reread them? Or was it really not stated until the name "Dean" appeared on page 14. Coincidentally 14.

Well, anyway, let's hope the rest of the book is as interesting as the games I was playing in my head!
julieandrews: (manga)
Arisia was a bit of a blur. Not because I did a lot of things, or that I got drunk a lot, because I don't drink. I still had a cold and I tried to take it easy. But somehow I don't feel like my memory was working quite up to speed. At any rate, I did do things!

Saw some great costumes. The TARDIS dress that's going around, I saw that. I actually attended the Masquerade, but I caught that one in passing before that. I also saw the creepy weeping angel stalking the con. That was seriously freaky. The moon jelly at the Masquerade was absolutely gorgeous. And it glowed in the dark! It was awesome. Saw lots of Doctors, mostly 11. There was a toddler 11 who was, of course, adorable.

Because I've mostly going to WisCon and Readercon in the last 5 years, with 1 Boskone thrown in, Arisia was definitely a different sort of con. Not just the costumes, of course. The dealer's room was actually overwhelming to me. Lots of costuming stuff, or knickknacks and things for your home. If I had had a plan or a house, I would've totally bought stuff. (I think maybe I'm repeating my earlier lj post..) Well, anyway, it was cool. The art show was also interesting, though I couldn't really say better or worse than WisCon or Boskone. Managed to sneak into that about half an hour before it closed.

I attended 3/4s of the bellydancing. That was cool and was eye-opening to me. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, and was so totally geeky. I encourage people attending Arisia to go see it.

I watched the unaired pilot of Big Bang Theory. That was interesting. Sheldon was _very_ sexual, which I didn't like. But there was an actual female geek. (Who was also a sort of love interest, but.. I suppose we can't have _everything_, can we?) I sort of feel like we need a Friends of Hilda. Gilda? Drat, what was her name?

I also attended the Lightning Talks. That was interesting. Even if the first one was all about meat. I like the format, since you can sort of sample all sorts of stuff in 10 minute chunks. It appeals to the knowledge grazer in me.

I was on a panel as a pinch-hitter. The panel would've only had 2 people without me. Which probably wouldn't have sunk it, since we only had 1 audience member. But that's all right -- we had a good discussion -- on the future of disabilities and what sf shows us, etc. We touched on technology, society, laws, etc.

I attended a bunch of panels, including several of the queer panels.

Now, some things I did miss, because I decided sleeping or being a slug in the hotel room was a better plan. And once because the Thai delivery person, mentioned in the previous post, wanted me to come to the lobby to pick it up. There wasn't any good place to sit down there and eat that wasn't already taken, so I went back to my room. And then inertia, and an optic migraine out of nowhere, kept me there.

I got to see a 3D printer in action at the maker showcase. I didn't stick around and ask questions or anything. But I did learn they smelled. :)

Well, all in all, a successful Arisia experience. I'd go back. I wish it wasn't in January, when I'm likely to be recovering from Christmas and likely to be sick or risk getting sick by going... and of course the hotel is a bit expensive. But the con had free wifi (tho the hotel didn't. Hear that Readercon?!?!) and offered a few cheap/er/ alternatives to the hotel restaurants. But still overpriced, of course.

I feel a little more prepared for Boskone. Maybe I'll order from the Mexican restaurant this time.

UPDATE: Oh yea! And I went to an OA meetup. That was cool. I really need to make more of an effort to do that sort of thing and socialize, rather than just be audience or panelist or shopper throughout a con. :)


Jan. 19th, 2013 08:47 pm
julieandrews: (manga)
Attending my first Arisia. I still have a cold, which has progressed to the annoying cough stage. I don't want to be the annoying cougher in the audience. :(

Currently waiting for the Thai food I ordered. It was supposed to take 45 minutes, but it's been longer than that now. Of course it could take the delivery person 15 minutes once they get in the hotel to get up the elevator and walk all the way down the freaking long hallway where my room is practically the last room.

I intend to go to the in-character dating game thingee at 9:30, so it'd better show up soon so I can eat it. Then I need to crash so I can be awake for 8:30 panel.

I attended some panels, the names of which I couldn't even say. A couple on gender. I tooled around the dealer's room and that was overwhelming. I'm so used to bookstores and publishers booths in dealer's room. AKA, books, books, and more books. This had books, of course, but also all sorts of costuming stuff. And stuffed animals, and jewelry, and figures, and Tshirts, and and.. anime figures, and games, and.. stuff. Lots of stuff. I couldn't even begin to think what I might want to buy. Although I am tempted by a walking stick/cane. What would I do with one of those? And would it be the right one if it wasn't Malfoy's? It at least _does_ have to have a dragon, right? They're kind of expensive.

And.. the rest will have to wait. The Thai place just called and asked if I'd meet them in the lobby! Yea, that's going to go well. Not.
julieandrews: (manga)
Sigh. Now LiveJournal is trying to be all weird and new on me. I hate when sites do that (Google, I'm looking at you.)

Duotrope was a useful free resource. I was willing to donate to that because I was grateful they provided this free resource and I wanted to see it continue.

But the way they've handled switching to pay is bad. In many different ways, it's bad. There's no sliding scale (pay X, Y, or Z depending on what you can afford, or pay ZZ if you've contributed before, etc). There's no subscription levels (level 1 is limited, level 2 is less limited, level 3 is everything, level 4 is everything plus a virtual gold star, etc). There's no free option. Let's face it, what they're offering non-subscribers is useless. It's not even enough to entice someone to stick around and maybe pay later.

For a company that relies on crowdsourced information as a fundamental part of its business model, they apparently do not understand community and community relations at all. And saying you're a private company so you don't have to share information is just a very poor way of saying you don't want to share information.

Have I earned more than 50$ from my writing? Yes. Have I earned more than 50$ a year from my writing? No. I don't even think the money I did make was from markets found on Duotrope. Well, 2$ of it I will credit to Duotrope. I have donated more than 2$ back to them.

It's not a justifiable business expense to give them 50$ a year. At least, not for me.

I expect an alternative for Duotrope will pop up soon. For now, here's ones I know of:

Ralan.com -- It looks like the 90s called and want their website back, but there's useful market info in there.

Writer's Market -- 20-30$ to buy it on Amazon. That extra 10$? That's for a yearly subscription to their online database. Alternatively, you can more than likely peruse the book at your local library. For free. The 2013 edition will probably be reference-only, but they should have older copies for you to check out.

Writing magazines - Subscribe to one of them. Read them in the library. Check out back issues from the library. Share with a friend. Download to your Kindle. Whatever suits you.

Facebook/Twitter/Groups -- Join a group like Broad Universe or Outer Alliance or any sort of group where you all can share calls for submissions. Follow the right people on FB and Twitter.

For myself, I'm going to make a list of markets and response times. I'm going to export my data and do a better job of tracking it myself. In a Google spreadsheet most likely.

If anyone has any other good places for market info, response times, etc etc, let me know.
julieandrews: (Default)
I don't know when I started to self-identify as a geek. It may have been as far back as junior high, when I was reading my way through every Star Trek tie-in novel I could get my hands on. It may not have been until later, like when I wore a Starfleet insignia pin the day Gene Roddenberry died. It was definitely by college when I joined strek-l, moved to the computer interest dorm, and was reading all these old sf books from the library. I seriously miss a good university library.

I never qualified that as 'girl geek' or 'geek girl'. I thought 'geek' was sufficient and pleasantly gender-neutral. But apparently now I'm wrong about that?

The times I have considered using it is in contemplating new blogs, as a way to show that the blog would be geeky with a, let's face it, feminist bent.

I'm not particularly comfortable with identifying as a 'geek girl' without it being heavily in a context where it makes sense to do so. Partly because women and girls can be geeks, just plain geeks. Partly because I identify as genderqueer and more than 50% female only as a convenience.

But, you know, 'geek' is qualified by lots of other words too. Star Trek geek, Star Wars geek, computer geek, gamer geek. The list is as endless as geeky interests are. But how often do you run across gay geek, black geek, disabled geek? And in those cases where you do, isn't it the person self-identifying themselves that way? It's not that they're a gay geek, but that they're gay and a geek. So a girl and a geek?

But that doesn't quite work if you're not the sort who feels a need to say 'I am a girl' as an assertion of your identity. Especially if it's not even 100% true!

And it definitely doesn't work if it's another person doing the labeling. Why did you feel a need to qualify that person as a girl geek and not as a geek, or as a comics geek, or a robotics geek? Do you say in your introduction to your blog post, "As the famous boy geek, Cory Doctorow, says.." Or even 'guy geek', because I do think guy-girl is an opposite sort of thing, in some instances. (Even though I also think 'guys' is gender-neutral.) ((I'm also prone to using 'chick' more often than 'girl' or 'woman' myself.))

Once that label morphs from just a label to a series of stereotypes, then it gets even more problematic. Of course everyone realizes that every Star Trek geek doesn't necessarily know Klingon, wears pointed ears or bumped foreheads to every con, can do the Vulcan handsign, or can spell xenopolycythemia. I mean, you do know that right? Not all Star Trek geeks are the same? So why believe the girl geek stereotypes floating out there?

I've only recently come to identify as feminist. It's even a little weird to type that now. I think instead of asserting in any location that I'm a girl geek, I'm going to go with feminist geek, if that's what I mean. Or queer geek. Or Star Trek geek. Or sf writer, MUSH admin, blogger, webmaster, grad student, or a hundred more geeky titles that I could assign myself.

But firstly, primarily, mostly, and always, just a geek.
julieandrews: (Default)
I've been reading this. I'm not sure what I think of it as a whole, but I know he's got the wrong end of the stick on steampunk. And I'm not even a big steampunk reader.

"Cowardice, Laziness and Irony: How Science Fiction Lost the Future"

TV Reviews

Sep. 25th, 2012 09:31 am
julieandrews: (Default)
Well, not really reviews. I was going to watch Revolution just so I could post about how much it sucked and in exactly which ways it sucked. But it was opposite other, more important things, so the Tivo has yet to record an episode. And it wanted to do it I think this weekend, but it didn't tell me what episode #. I wasn't going to watch random episode and it seems like it's always going to be opposite something Way More Important. So yea, haven't watched it, guess I don't plan to now. Will remove the season pass once it annoys me sufficiently by trying to record random eps.

I'm happy I got to watch 2 Broke Girls. That situation may not last, but it's right after HIMYM, so as long as I keep getting HIMYM, I'll keep getting that. I have to nab Bones from my roommate. If it turns out a third cool thing is on then, then I'll have to grab both Bones and HIMYM from their Tivo and then I won't get 2 Broke Girls.

Tivo grabbed Bob's Burgers! Was disappointed it was not a new one yet! And now the new one is going to be opposite _something_. I think maybe Once Upon a Time? Sigh.

I did watch the new sitcom Partners. It was kind of meh. I like the relationship, but the 'sit' and the 'com' part need a lot of work. And David Krumholtz should totally be the person stealing the scenes, but he wasn't. Not only is he not gay, but he wasn't even the curly-haired guy! He came off as boring. He should not come off as boring! Maybe if the gay guy toned down the flaming part about a billion degrees. (Hey, that wasn't even a mixed metaphor!)

I'll keep watching as long as the Tivo keeps recording it, but I won't go out of my way to watch it if the Tivo decides I should watch something more important.

Oh, they were also totally ripping off Psych, with shots of childhood showing how long they've been friends, etc. (Which I guess in turn was ripping off that show on Lifetime whose name escapes me.)
julieandrews: (Default)
It's been about a month, so here's some links!

I Am Not a Puzzle Box - Metaphor. If it doesn't make you think differently, you can use it to make other people think differently.

The Omniscient Breasts by Kate Elliott - About the (straight white able-bodied cisgendered) male gaze.

Adults Read YA - From the 'Duh' files, but they did a study and stuff.

Comic Relief Video with David Tennant - To make up for all that reading I'm making you do above. :)

Janus and Aurora content online - Historical feminist SF fanzines. Online.

Sonic Screwdriver Remote - The BEST Christmas/Hanukkah/Today is Friday present ever!!!

Racism in the Books We Write by Justine Larbalestier - Helps to have read Liar, or to at least not mind being spoiled for Liar

Worldcon and Accessibility - Read the post, but then read all the comments as well. Then go forth and improve your local con.

And now for these I'm too lazy to look up links. That's why Zuckerberg invented Google. (I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Google was totally invented by a librarian, right?)

Ann VanderMeer is an editor at Tor.com now!

Call for subs - Crossed Genres is paying pro rates on their magazine. They list upcoming themes on their website, so go look those up.
- Crossed Genres antho for super powers that may not seem so super at first.
Spencer Hill Press antho for extra time

I'll leave it at that. I have a Tivo to program.
julieandrews: (Default)
I'm used to watching British television and being aware that I'm not their target audience. That, in many cases, they haven't even given a thought to the idea that I, an American, might be watching. And that I might even be watching hours after it was broadcast. So I'm used to say, being envious that I can't vote in Britain's Got Talent, or that I can't enter a contest on Biggest Loser UK to win a trip to Universal in Florida.

Even watching Britain's Secret Treasures, a countdown show to the greatest historical finds made by amateurs (mostly with metal detectors), there was a line in every episode about how these things were being found every day by 'you, the British public'. Well, no, not me.

Except in the last episode of that same show, was a line: "It's funny to think that the lips of our ancestors touched this sacred cup."

And I just had this moment when I realized, wait, yes, just as likely my ancestors as his.

And for that moment, I was part of their audience.
julieandrews: (Default)
I was going to post about Readercon first, but then the Chik-Fil-A (see previous rant) thing annoyed me more in the moment.

So, Readercon.

I used to live in Waltham and work in Burlington, and yet Readercon never crossed my radar as something worth considering going to. I don't know how or why I missed it. Maybe I never heard of it. Maybe it sounded boring. (Compared to anime cons? Yea.)

It wasn't until I'd moved north to New Hampshire, and gone away to California to attend Clarion, that it really entered my radar. Some of the instructors mentioned it. Some of my classmates mentioned it.

But, see, I made the mistake of going to a Wiscon first. I cannot sing the praises of Wiscon highly enough. Will do my best to never miss one.

Readercon was crap by comparison. Unfair comparison? Perhaps. But it's not exactly comparing apples to oranges. Just crappy apples to delicious apples. :) Without having a mediocre apple in between to temper my opinion.

I posted con reports. They're around here somewhere if you want to read them.

* Hotel wifi is EXPENSIVE. (For all numbers above $0 I think it's a ripoff, but I mean EXPENSIVE. And it was moreso the second time! The price kept going up!)

* Hotel location is crap. You can't walk to anywhere to eat. The hotel shuttle is unreliable. If you want food, you're stuck with the hotel food, ordering in, or knowing someone with a car going somewhere you can eat (vegetarian, though I have no other dietary restrictions).

* Repeat, hotel location is crap. I don't have a car. It's easier for me to get to a con in BOSTON than it is to get to a con ~20 minutes away from me. My options are 1) expensive or 2) ridiculously convoluted and time-consuming.

* Hotel layout is crap. There's a 'lounge', but it's not conducive to lots of small groups talking. Unless you're the type who likes hanging out in people's hotel rooms, or your own, you're going to be stuck in this crappy lounge or in the hotel bar. (Contrast to Wiscon which has a nice lounge, random chairs other places, lounges on other floors, and just lots of random spaces for conversations. And organized parties everyone's invited to.)

* Getting on programming. Good luck! You have to be a Big Name, or a Medium Name, and know the super secret password or something. Broad Universe didn't even get a reading this year. (I don't know the circumstances behind that. Which is part of the problem.)

* The programming itself. Some of it sounds cool, some of it sounds different, some of it sounds ultra-academic and niche and what and I'm-too-stupid-to-be-at-this-con.

I didn't go this year. I thought about it. I waffled. I wiffled. I booked a room, but did not buy a membership. I knew lots of cool people that were going. Clarion instructors, Outer Alliance people, Broad Universe people. I would have only gone to see them. And y'know what? I can see them at other cons.

Every year K reminds me I didn't enjoy myself the times I did go, so why was I even considering it this time? Because it's so close! It should be cheap and easy and fun! But it's.. none of the above.

So this crap they pulled with the harrasser? The admitted harrasser? The serial harrasser? The two year suspension? Yea, it's crap.

The only time I felt uncomfortable at a con was at Readercon. I know some geeks lack social skills. I honestly think if I wasn't socialized female, I wouldn't have as many social skills as I do. It was probably just that. It was maybe just that. But I was wary of him the next time I went to Readercon. I didn't want to have a conversation of any type with him.

And now to know if he'd gone beyond 'this guy makes me uncomfortable' and I'd reported it, I'd be lucky if anything happened? Yea.. y'know.. not so welcoming, Readercon. And you were already not so welcoming on other fronts.

I had a conversation on the bus home from one Readercon where I was complaining about the location and suggesting other hotels in the greater Boston area that might be better. That I'd be willing to pay more for a better location. And a couple of the people I was talking to said in effect, y'know, get involved, we need fresh blood, etc etc.

Yea, no, sorry. Been there, done that. I know the work involved. And to be constantly fighting an uphill battle against an entrenched concomm? No thank you. I'd sooner go off and start my own con. One a lot closer to the Wiscon model than the Readercon one.

One with well-considered policies we were ready to enforce.
julieandrews: (Default)
I wasn't going to post about it. Because frankly, I have never eaten there and never would, regardless of how they behaved. I'm vegetarian. Whatever crap they have on their menu that isn't isn't chicken, I can get at other places in the food court. And usually I'm in the food court on a Sunday, when they're closed. So basically I can say I'm boycotting Chik-Fil-A, but I'm not doing anything different than I ever did. Which is eating at Burger King or Taco Bell, maybe Dairy Queen, or the crepe place. (Burger King, you say? That's not vegetarian! Au contraire, they have a veggie burger. Their fries don't have beef IN THE FRIES THEMSELVES like McDonalds, plus there's all sorts of other unhealthy sugary fatty things to eat there. Mmm, drinks. Anyway, this isn't about Burger King.)

This is about Chik-Fil-A and Facebook.

Look, I don't care if you don't boycott Chik-Fil-A. That's your own political choice, or gastronomical choice. What I care about is when you think you have to tell your entire Facebook feed that gosh-darned-it you are going to eat at Chik-Fil-A and nobody can make you stop eating there and all of you boycotting it are WRONG and FREEDOM OF SPEECH and AMERICA! And apple pie. Does Chik-Fil-A serve apple pie?


* It's not about freedom of speech. The CEO can say whatever crappy thing he wants. But when the company? Gives money to anti-gay, hate-spreading organizations? Well, that might legally be 'freedom of speech' in that companies are people and giving money is speech, but it's not the freedom of speech you're probably thinking of. People aren't boycotting because of what he said. They're boycotting because of the money changing hands.

* Or, they're boycotting because Chik-Fil-A has crappy HR practices. Firing and not promoting women because they're also mothers? Doing the same based on sexual orientation? Yea, not cool. You know, like, legally not cool. Morally not cool.

When you eat at Chik-Fil-A regardless, you're saying you don't care. You know what? That's fine. Apathy is your right.

But when you tell Facebook about it, that's /offensive/. And by offensive I meant /that hurts people/. People you consider friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, or at least FishWrangler buddies. You're saying they don't have the right to be hurt and angry and upset that Chik-Fil-A is actively hurting them and people like them. (Remember the women thing? Not just LGBT I'm talking about.) You're saying the CEO's right to freedom of speech trumps their right to their own feelings.

You have the freedom of speech to say what you want on Facebook (within Facebook's limits). You have the freedom to hurt people.

We have the freedom to block you and defriend you.


julieandrews: (Default)

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