After I posted my Convention Harassment Policy Starter Kit, I learned about a study Nicole Stark had done about harassment policies at fan conventions. Stark’s article is available on Google Docs, here. I’ve seen a fair amount of discussion on harassment policies and why we do or don’t need to worry about them, but this is the first example I’ve seen of a more rigorous academic survey and discussion of harassment policies. Stark gave me permission to link to her paper, and to discuss some of the highlights.
From the abstract:
This study uses content analysis to evaluate a sample of 288 fan convention websites. These conventions took place within the United States from March to November 2013. The analysis was used to determine how common sexual harassment policies are and their characteristics. This study examined both frequencies and descriptions of codes of conduct, including promoted and prohibited rules, sanctions, reporting guidelines, and the existence of a sexual harassment or general harassment policy. Less than half of the sample contained any behavioral policy at all. Those behavioral policies that were present were found to be generally informal, unstructured, and devoid of a sexual harassment policy. However, many policies contained rules that could be used in the prevention of sexual harassment. These rules, when made clear and recognizable, may work as effective policy in informal spaces. (Page 2)
Stark opens by discussing an instance of sexual harassment from New York Comic Con, and goes on to note that:
A study on sexual harassment policy in manufacturing firms revealed that an available written policy resulted in a 76 percent reduction in one year’s reports (Moore and Bradley 1997).
In other words, to anyone arguing there’s no need for a sexual harassment policy, there is actual research showing that such a policy can significantly reduce sexual harassment.
I expect some people to protest that a convention isn’t the workplace, and that’s true. There are likely to be some differences in the dynamics and effects of a harassment policy in a convention space vs. a workplace. But the underlying premise and conclusion here is pretty straightforward: “We created a written policy on sexual harassment, and sexual harassment decreased significantly.”
I assume most people would like to see sexual harassment at conventions decrease significantly as well. Ergo, creating a written policy seems like a really basic and obvious first step.
Stark’s sample comes from the costume.org website’s list of upcoming conventions. The cons were all from 2013, all located in the U.S., and included media, anime, literary, gaming, comics, relaxicons, and more. So what did she find in her study?
Of the 288 convention websites, 59.38% had no listed policy on their website in regards to behavior or code of conduct. Less than half of all websites (40.62%) had at bare minimum, a behavioral policy explaining acceptable or unacceptable actions while at the convention. These rules ranged from a basic ‘be polite’ to lengthier explanations and examples of what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Of the total sample, only 3.47% used the phrase ‘sexual harassment’. However, 13.88% used the word ‘harassment’, not detailing readily available distinctions between harassments, whether sexual, bullying, or annoying otherwise.
Fewer than half of conventions have a posted policy about acceptable behavior, let alone harassment. And the policy is only the starting point; what about instructions on reporting harassment and other unacceptable behavior?
Only 15.27% (44) of the 288 convention websites contained guidelines on reporting. Of the three conventions participating in Project: Women Back Each Other Up, only one employed the use of purple ribbons to indicate female staff members who were prepared to intervene and handle potential sexual harassment. Several policies listed that if there were emergencies, to dial 911 or building security. This left 84.72% (244) of the convention websites devoid of response or guidance to potential victims.
Stark goes on to recommend:
…in evidence of the language and audience in these informal spaces, the following are suggestions for a comprehensive policy at fan conventions. The policies need to be recognizable and readily available (Moore & Bradley 1997), properly enforced, include and define sanctions, train employees for prevention and response, (Harmus & Niblock 2000), detail complaint procedure (Fowler 1996), and define sexual harassment in terms that the audience understands. (Emphasis added)
I have very little to add beyond Yes. That.
I recommend anyone interested in the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment in fandom read the full study. And my thanks to Nicole Stark for letting me link to and chat about her research here.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Wait!, you say, That's already published!
I thought the same. But -this- was a round of edits between the Trade Paperback and the Mass Market version that comes out in June '14.
And there were errors. I asked for readers to tell me if they've seen any errors, and I did hear back from one. (There was a sentence that had 'on' where it needed 'in'....Thanks, Rosemary!)
There was also a word that looked like it had a space in the middle, a word that got left out of an italics group, a couple of places where the English word was used rather than the Portuguese, and one place where I'd made a continuity error. One sentence that was clearly anachronistic. All in all, 10 tiny changes will occur between the Trade and the MM.
I would like to believe that one day I will turn in a manuscript that has NO errors. The Golden City was clearly not that manuscript. I shall just have to try harder on the next.
Also, it's really hard not to change things. (At this point, it's better not to mess with the typesetting too much, so you have to hold yourself back.) But I noted in two places that Duilio's waistcoat was forgotten. In one scene he undressed and I didn't mention his waistcoat in that process--it just kinda disappeared the way they do in romance novels. In another scene, I don't have him wearing one (it's almost buyable since he's out on a boat, but not really.) Yeesh!
The real question? How could I have missed that in the gazillion earlier edit passes????
Anyhow, I know no book will ever be perfect, but I try....I try....
In other news, I'm running another giveaway on Goodreads.
This one is open to US, UK, Canada, Australia, Portugal, and Brazil. Weirdly, the last time I did one worldwide, not a single winner was from outside the US. This makes me suspect I entered it incorrectly. I hope I got it right this time.
Also, SFSignal put up a list of books that deserve more attention at the Mind Meld, which includes The Golden City (and Martha Well's excellentThe Cloud Roads too, among many others.)
Finally, I wanted to note here that I'm part of an author group called Novelocity. (Lawrence M. Schoen, Beth Cato, J.Kathleen Cheney, M.K. Hutchins, Elaine Isaak, Michael R. Underwood, Steve Bein, Fran Wilde, Tex Thompson, & Tina Connolly)
We've all got books coming out this next year. At this point, we're not posting anything (we start Jan 1) but if you're interested in following us, you can find us at:
Our Nascent Website
Our Empty Facebook
And Our Blank Twitter Feed
So, yeah, some days the hamster wheel in my head breaks loose and rattles down the highway, carrying me with it screaming all the way.
Lisa Costello held me and put up with snot everywhere and us going without sleep because naturally all this occurred (relatively) late in the evening.
I'm still here, but it's a damned hard life, even on the best days. Yesterday was not one of the best days.
Some frozen dude for sale at the Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA.
Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Meet Your Body’s Death Eaters — From brain to blood to bone, macrophages take out our cellular trash. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)
Calvin and Hobbes on ebooks — Hahahah.
Twitter’s World — Languages and Twitter.
Prosthetic Arm Found in Second-Hand Shop — Ah, headlines.
Irrefutable Proof that Santa is Odin — (Via
'Get me off this plane': Man locked in dark cabin in worst layover ever — Wow. (Via RWN.)
Fat Flag — Food, art, nationalism. (Via
Europe's rarest orchid rediscovered in the Azores
Blistering exposé prompts Johns Hopkins to suspend black-lung screenings — Coal companies paid the Baltimore-based university handsome sums to screen the claimants for the disease. After reviewing chest X-rays, the university’s scientists almost always concluded that the scans did not show black lung — a conclusion which often overwhelmed any other medical opinion in the case. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
What Names are Normal? Shifting the Center of the World — Culture and names.
Online Dating Shows Us the Cold, Hard Facts — Fascinating article, although it makes a couple of logical leaps.
"She Said 'This Is a Gun.' I Said No, It's a Prop for My Monkey." — Ah, TSA, we hardly knew ye.
At Least 194 Children Have Been Shot to Death Since Newtown — The NRA says arming more adults will protect kids—but most are killed at home, our investigation shows, often with unsecured guns. Yep. Definitely safer dead by those guns than they would have been remaining alive in a gun-free household. Ask any gun owner.
The Heartland Institute and the American Meteorological Society — If climate science really is in such disarray as the deniers claims, then why do so many resort to misleading tactics so often? Why post misleading graphs, why cherry pick data, why engage in egregious ad hominems, why send out emails about papers that say the opposite of what the paper actually concludes? If their claims are correct, then why even risk the perception of impropriety? It might seem as if they're more interested in scoring political and ideological points rather than scientific ones. But then, the evidence is solidly against them. So are 97 percent of the scientists who actually do research in climate science, as are the data, the science, and the reality of global warming. As with virtually all conservative causes, bearing false witness is far more productive than providing evidence, given that evidence-based reality almost never favors the conservative viewpoint.
Dear Pres. Obama: Dissent isn’t Possible in a Surveillance State — Sigh.
?otD: Does your staff have a knob on the end?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)
FANTASTIC FICTION at KGB reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present:
|Thomas F. Monteleone has published more than 100 short stories, 4 collections, 7 anthologies, and 27 novels including the bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning The Blood of the Lamb. He’s also written scripts for stage, screen, and TV. His short story collection, Fearful Symmetries, won the Bram Stoker Award. His omnibus collection of Cemetery Dance columns about writing, genre publishing, television, film, and popular culture entitled The Mothers And Fathers Italian Association won a Stoker for non-fiction. With Elizabeth Monteleone, he is co-editor of the anthology series of imaginative fiction, Borderlands — of which, Volume 5 also won a Bram Stoker Award. He’s also the author of the bestselling The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel. Despite being dragged kicking and screaming into his sixties and losing most of his hair, he still thinks he is dashingly handsome — humor him.|
|Daniel José Older is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and composer. Salsa Nocturna, his debut ghost noir collection, was hailed as “striking and original” by Publishers Weekly. He has facilitated workshops on storytelling, music, and anti-oppression organizing at public schools, religious houses, universities, and prisons. His short stories and essays have appeared in The New Haven Review, Tor.com, PANK, Strange Horizons, and Crossed Genres among other publications. He’s co-editing the anthology, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From The Margins Of History and his forthcoming urban fantasy novel The Half Resurrection Blues will be released by Ace Books.|
Wednesday, December 18th, 7pm at
Readings are always free.
Please forward to friends at your own discretion.
James Patrick Kelly & Mercurio D. Rivera
In the fall in Manhattan, the sun sets too soon and the air nips with the sharpening teeth of the winter to come. Yet before we reach for that drink to put warmth in our bellies, we pause to consider the impetuous humans in Mercurio D. Rivera’s “Dance of the Kawkaroons,” who sneak onto an alien planet to steal “Inspiration” in the form of bird eggs to raise their spirits and intelligence. And now we are not so sure we want that drink.
And Mr. Kelly, after hearing him read “Soulcatcher,” a punishment device resembling a rug of flesh, where “Tangles of veins and arteries, bruise-blue and red, squiggle as blood surges; hairy bundles of ganglia connect the minds of the colony of the damned.” Shall we ever look at a Persian rug the same way again?
In case you wish to glimpse our delighted faces during that fun autumn evening, you might venture over to Ellen’s Flickr page and have a look.
The Best Tales from Former Groupies of Reddit
Tauriel Refuses To Get Into Butt Pose In Hobbit Poster, Makes Legolas Do It Instead
Likely this will be lost in user sub, but some of the comments I saw today (and in the past) really made me want to post this.
Hipster Bar to Throw Old-Timey Asian Racism-Themed Party
Devon and Cornwall battle over true home of the cream tea
You Gotta See These 'Regular' Women Looking Sexy-as-Hell in Lingerie
The Problem of Hands
Two Boys Were Playing In Their House When They Made a TERRIFYING Discovery. Seriously, OMG.
You Gotta See These 'Regular' Women Looking Sexy-as-Hell in Lingerie
If You Didn't Like Katy Perry's "Roar" Before, You Will Now
“6 Poems Every Woman Needs to Read”…Let’s Get Real
Journey through Middle-earth, a Chrome Experiment
Dead Philosophers in Heaven
The ethical grey zone
Best Voicemail Ever Gives Hilarious Play-by-Play of Car Accident
“Kill Your Darlings”: 5 Reasons The Gay Movie Deserves More Oscar Attention
Mom packs kids homemade lunch; school fines her and feeds kids Ritz Crackers
Here's What Happened When One Queer Woman Dressed More Feminine For Her Job
The Eight Most Annoying Customers At Your Retail Job
BuzzFeed names Isaac Fitzgerald its first books editor
Vila Wolf's Dyslexic Folklorist Ranting
Rich Man Buys House Next to Ex-Wife, Erects Giant Middle Finger Outside
British Prof Calls for Debate About Lowering the Age of Consent to 15
I Wish I Was More Surprised At What A Student Exposed About His School, But I'm Not
Sexual Harassment at the World Fantasy Con in Brighton
What Those ‘Richly Embroidered Wall-hangings’ In Your Fantasy Novel Really Mean.
Ask J.P. Morgan: When Will You All Go To Jail?
This Guy Live-Tweeted His Neighbor’s Breakup And It Was Amazing
I’m currently bouncing back and forth between two major writing projects that are so different that they really do serve as a break from one another: the language of each is quite distinct, the characters and their trajectories rather different, and so it works for me, right now, to switch from one project to the other when I start to run out of steam on whichever one I’m currently working on.
At the moment, I’m working is about alchemy and conspiracy, a story that begins at the height of the Gin Craze; that is, a time period I used to know not very much about. I still don’t know as much as I need, but doing research for a historical novel can be fun. My current experience is, I imagine, a bit like what conspiracy theory nutters do when they are concocting their malarkey. For one example, I have a character in London in 1736 who needs to go to the Continent, as he decides to take a side in a secret war he’s only just discovered is going on, when he stumbled onto a vast, dangerous conspiracy. Where shall he go?
While answering that question, I ended up launching myself into a particular line of research only to find pieces falling together in a familiar, wonderful way I suspect I’ve never discussed before here, so:
To start with: for various reasons, I was drawn to the idea of sending my protagonist to Trieste. Why? Well, it’s a sort of crossroads point, and a lot of writers I’m interested spent time in bits of Italy.
But for various reasons–some of them very important in terms of story logistics–Trieste didn’t feel like it would work as the first locale outside of England for my protagonist, so I began casting about for another destination for him to start with. He’s a brewer, and so, for me, the immediate thought was to send him to what is now Belgium… something that is even set up earlier in the London-specific part of the story I’ve already written. (He samples an “old Goozy” (a gueuze) at one of the more experimental of the London pubs he visits, and the proprietress, modeled on a homebrewer friend of mine in Korea, tells him it is of Belgian origin.)
Then came the excitement of the research springboard: when I began to research, I learned that both Trieste and the Low Countries were good choices for future locales in the novel, for a whole host of reasons–some of which would have compelled me to choose Trieste if I’d known about them previously, but which came to me as a pleasant surprise.
For example, as Jan Morris observes in Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, the city is a kind of not-place today, an interstitial sort of locale: a lot of Italians don’t even know it’s part of Italy, probably because it spent so much time being part of someplace else. Its onetime glory has faded now, but it was at the time of the Gin Craze a major Mediterranean port under the control of the Habsburg Monarchy, and crawling with Turkish merchants.
Emile Cammaerts’ history of Belgium is free on Amazon.com, so I downloaded a copy and dug into it. I could have just read through the 18th century portion of the book, but I decided to start at the start, fortunately. Belgium, like Trieste, was something of a crossroads in European history, as I already realized, but I’d had no idea just how often a foreign power had run Belgium. The French, the Spanish, the Habsburgs… and what do you know, but the Habsburgs were running the Lowlands during the time of the Gin Craze.
Not only that, but the divide in London between brewers and distillers, that’s a divide that actually informs the Lowlands, which were sort of all lumped together anyway. The Low Countries were something of a two-headed monster–the Romanized and the Germanized, the French and the Flemish. It’s the Germanized north (now, the Netherlands) from which the technology of Gin is brought to London. (The “technology of Gin” meaning not just distillation, but the commercial infrastructure for the gin distillation industry, including its purpose, which was to turn low-quality grain into a saleable product… a kind of economic alchemy, in other words.) And it’s the Romanized, if still diverse, southern part of the Low Countries — now Belgium — where a wild profusion of beer styles reigned.
Granted, that’s a bit ahistorical. Beer styles in the 1730s were probably a wild profusion of styles all over Europe. We don’t remember that thanks to the dieoff that followed the large-scale industrialization of the 20th century, but Belgium may not have been any more diverse than other places, at least in places beyond the reach of the Reinheitsgebot. Though, there is a funny tidbit I ran across online:
… one of the first officially vouched documentary of a German brewing right was given by Emperor Otto II to the church at Liege (now Belgium), awarded 974.
Which sort of suggests all kinds of fun things, given the fact that my story starts out as being a struggle between brewers and distillers over the London beverage market.
In any case, I was amazed–though I shouldn’t have been–when I stumbled upon a connection between the Low Countries and Trieste: they were both under Habsburg rule at the time. Not only that, but there’s a direct commercial link. The ports of the Low Countries–I think at this point it was Antwerp, especially–and Trieste were of course linked by commerce, but the port of Ostend was also directly linked to Trieste (and beyond) by the Ostend East India Company, a corporation set up to compete with the other Eastern trading companies already in business by that time (Dutch, French, and English, specifically).
The Ostend East India Company conducted trade between Ostend, Trieste, Bengal, and Canton. The company was shut down by 1731, five years before my story begins, as a concession by the Habsburgs to the English, but there’s plenty of room for underground connections, not only between Ostend and Trieste, but also to places like the port at Canton, back-alleys of Bengal opium factory districts, the slave pens of pre-revolutionary San Domingo, the wilds of the Congo, and so on.)
In any case, I’m now bringing myself up to speed on alchemy and how it connects with other magical ideas common during the Renaissance and into the Enlightenment. For this, I specifically chose the book The Devil’s Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science because the reviews I saw suggested it dealt less with what precedes the “and” in the subtitle (Paracelsus), and much more with what comes after it (namely, the world and ideas of Renaissance magic and science).
My story takes place a couple of centuries after Paracelsus’ time, but he’s an interesting, colorful, and important figure in alchemy. Plus, I figure a Paracelsus-like figure is something I can’t go wrong with… maybe even a descendant of the man, or something. But even if no such figure shows up in the story, it’s important research for me: even before commencing this research, I’d made references to certain of the man’s theories as part of the alchemy in my own narrative, so knowing more certainly won’t hurt. But it’s nice to get a snapshot view of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and of the bizarre state of medical science in the 1500s (so far, at about 20% of the way through the book). Agrippa and Paracelsus alike seem to have been, well… a bit like a couple of Harlan Ellison-types within the sphere of Renaissance science/magic: that is, unapologetic loudmouthed pricks who never saw a fight they weren’t willing to jump into, managed to be a big deal in publishing within their own lifetimes, but soon enough ceased to seem to matter all that much to anyone at all, as everyone came to wonder why they were lauded so highly at all.
(For the record, if you’re looking for someone to blame homeopathy on, well, it’s a remix of an idea of Paracelsus, not that it originated with the man. Among other things, the man was the credulous curator of European and near-Eastern magical nonsense, folk myths, and junk science, mixed up willy-nilly with a number of useful insights and functional folk remedies. He was more than that, of course, but he was indeed that as well.)
I’ll follow up with another book I found online for free, William Godwin’s Lives of the Necromancers, an exhaustive study of alchemy, magic, and the occult from 1834 — about a century after the beginning of my novel-in-progress. If you’re wondering why you recognize names like Paracelsus and Agrippa, it’s probably because Godwin’s daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft-Shelley, mentioned them as the inspiration for the wicked experiments of Dr. Frankenstein. Apparently the Godwin is a bit dry, but thorough, so I’ll give it at least a good skim…
I also need to get myself up to speed on the Habsburgs, but they’re next on my list. The Habsburg Empire apparently was kind of a freakshow, so I imagine there will be ample material for my conspiracy theory in there. One book I ran across even promised some stuff specifically about alchemy (and other “weird” Habsburg insider info), so I’m likely to start there, but they’re also a pretty important bunch of people historically, and I know very little about them beyond what one learns in high school… so, plenty to read. This kind of shoots in the foot my plan of reading all the books I’d brought to Vietnam before we visit Korea, but it’s in the service of the writing, so I guess I can live with that.
The NaHaiWriMo prompt for December 9th is "mass"
After physics, my mind first goes to the liturgical Mass. But then, I started thinking of masses of curls, of tumors, of masses of people....
However, I ended up writing about tangles.
lone star quilt
a mass of tangles
in sleepy hair
I originally intended to chain ply the single, so the cocoons are farther apart that I would have liked. Ah well. I would say that it lacks the determined spontaneity of the two previous batches (which, in my head, fall under the category of art yarn I've dubbed "bad fiber prep," lol). But I think I was getting the hang of this one by the end.
I won't actually know what I like about any of these til I knit with them, though. I only have about 80 yards, though I can double-strand it with some other yarn I have to stretch things out. Another headscarf? Another cowl? Who knows.
This entry was originally posted at http://teaotter.dreamwidth.org/91940.ht
A $15-million lawsuit against the chair of the Canadian Mint, which turned up evidence that millions of dollars was moved through offshore havens in a "tax avoidance scheme" and much of it was never reported to tax authorities, ended with a pact not to alert the Canada Revenue Agency about the case, CBC News has learned.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sparked another controversy and the threat of legal action when he appeared to accuse a newspaper reporter of having pedophilic tendencies in a televised interview.
The Toronto Star journalist, Daniel Dale, denounced any such suggestion as "categorically false."
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
It's not just the wordcount stats, but I also tracked hours spent, and then words per hour, because I'm a geek about such things.
This also prevented me from tapping out a few words every day on lunch, when I had to eat, chat with my wife, and do the odd job for the boss, who doesn't recognize lunch hour happening to people who stay in the office.
Because I like to keep things, well, pure, stats-wise, I refrained from writing unless I could dedicate an hour to the task uninterrupted. Because my numbers wouldn't pan out and I like to see 1,500 words per hour, not 400 words per hour, and even seeing that stat in my writing log depressed me.
So, next time, not so much data.
I will have News soon, on both the writing and personal fronts, but for now I am biding my time and VagueBooking. I was going to haul out the first lines meme tonight, but I am le tired, and must open a bookstore in the morning.
- Current Mood: tired
- Current Music:fans
Plus, if you want a free signed bookplate for Ironskin or Copperhead, just see the details in the newsletter and email me before the 15th!
Meanwhile, an awesome review of Copperhead that I love for loving Frye. Happy Holidays, all, and see you in 2014!
This week was a heaping helping of daddy issues, though; while the themes were certainly cohesively presented, and while Tom Mison has sold every possible hairpin turn in all of this without losing either Ichabod's humor or his humanity, this arc hasn't worked quite as well as Abbie's early stuff. Part of this is that Ichabod's backstory requires a lot of retconning at a time when we didn't particularly need all that stuff retconned (the Horseman could just have been a Hessian dude, we'd have been fine, he's already a nemesis without dragging Katrina into the middle of a prizefight). And part of it is honestly that Abbie's story is one you don't see on TV that often, and was a more interesting and internal arc; you can Grace Dixon me all you want, but Abbie's been sidelined for a few episodes now to the detriment of the show, and the only place this has gotten us is knowing that Ichabod's firebug son burned Grace Dixon to death, which is not super helpful.
However, as always, everyone had amazing faces. Tom Mison, always a contender, made a strong showing with his Mirkwood Lumberjack Elf audition tape:
Unfortunately, he forgot he was in an episode with Amandla Stenberg, who not only has an amazing face but who got this fantastic shot in which she looks more Revolutionary-era-appropriately dressed than almost anything they've managed for Katrina:
This honestly intrigues me; coupled with the new threats about her that Irving was dealing with in the park, it sounds like Macey is going to find herself battling the forces of evil. (I need her to not be connected to Ichabod, though, because seriously, somebody has to sit that one out.)
But nobody's face this week could top the baby who was handed the doll Katrina made on purpose to comfort a child, even though it was a living nightmare, and you can gloss over it all you want, show, but that baby's face says it all:
So, full marks for knowing in episode 5 that you were going to be bringing this golem back in conjunction with the witches in Katrina's dream house, that is A+ continuity. However, that baby's face. Thank you, that is all.
As always, the full recap is up at io9!
Today we went rafting down part of the river here in Costa Rica (part of it was the Corobici river, and part was a feeder river, both in the Guanacaste region). We saw monkeys–and even monkey families–in quite a few trees.
We saw three crocodiles. The first two were close up and about the length of my forearm, but the third was much larger. We only saw his nose, though, so difficult for me to estimate size.
We saw two emerald basilisks, one of which we scared off into the bushes.
Also spotted: Four male green iguanas, complete with orange spikes (one of which we scared off by accident), and one female, as well as one black iguana.
In the bird department, we saw: a magnificent frigatebird (where magnificent is part of the name, not my adjective), several boat-billed herons, a squirrel cuckoo in flight, several osprey, a beautiful green kingfisher, and a grey hawk nest (complete with birds).
The best find was a small long-nosed bat colony consisting of about twenty bats hanging (and asleep) on an angled ledge. One of the mothers had a little baby bat with her.
Sadly, no camera with me today as there were dire warnings of wetness. Turns out it would have been okay, but better not to risk expensive equipment.
Aside from that, my Keens are soaking wet and still have rocks in them. Just so you know.
From late 1994 through early 1997 I was on Prozac for depression. In late 2003 I visited a therapist for, among other things, depression and sorting out my life. That ended abruptly when Anthem (hereinafter Those Pig****ers) refused to pay for the counseling on the grounds that it was a pre-existing condition.
When I moved out here for work, I was put on my employer's medical short-term/long-term disability insurance. They sent me a piece of paper reading "Because you sought treatment for depression in 1994-97 and in 2003, we're not insuring you for any disability from depression or similar causes."
Moral: never tell anyone who can put it in official writing that you have symptoms of a mental illness, because that shit will haunt you for the rest of your bureaucratic existence.
(Happy ending: work renegotiated their contract with the insurer last year, so there are no more exclusions like that one.)
Original post at Dreamwidth | comments | Comment there or here
My contributor copy of Caledonia Dreamin' came in today. See?
It's a nice-looking volume. My story is "Drive the Warlike Angles Into the Sea!!!" and I hope people read it. It was a labor-of-love type story, in that I was eager to be in this book for, among other reasons, the chance to write some Yes propaganda (the book itself is neither for nor against). I also only got £20 for it. But these days, I feel that a lot of anthologies are fairly cynical, with themes designed either for Kickstart friendliness (e.g., Twenty Authors With Blogs!), or being created via mix'n'match—Steampunk Zombies! I liked that this one is focused closely on language and place, and was wide open as far as storytelling goes. Check it out.
Colin Wilson died last week—we wondered if it wasn't a hoax when only the Times (of London) had an obit. It took all weekend for the other papers to get their file obits together. The UK press is playing one last round of "Bash Colin" as well, as in this sort of concern trolling into the afterlife.
Haven't seen any US newspaper obits for Wilson yet at all. The New York Times wrote about him... back in 2005. Don't wear yourselves out, Gray Ladies!
The more I think about this film, the more I dislike it. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) is outwardly impressive-looking, but ultimately leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from a psychiatric hospital after serving eight months for a brutal crime brought on by bipolar disorder, at the time undiagnosed. Released before he’s ready, Pat struggles mightily to channel positive-thinking as he works his way back into life in a profoundly dysfunctional family headed by superstitious bookmaker Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro). His goal: get his life back on track so that he can win back his estranged wife, an impossible goal in light of why he went away. Nonetheless he tries, but flounders mightily until similarly damaged Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) comes into his life.
The script provides an acting showcase for its talented cast, particularly Lawrence, who lights up the screen whenever she appears. Cooper is solid as an asshole struggling to redeem himself, while De Niro brings good comedic timing to his role. I also liked much of the supporting cast, which includes Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles, John Ortiz, and a surprisingly non-annoying Chris Tucker.
But the acting fireworks are a flashy front for a story that feels by turns cloying, insipid, and shrill. Much of the story hinges on Pat and Tiffany’s relationship, but for me the chemistry was off. Pat’s never quite likeable enough to cheer for, and there’s no real reason for Tiffany to go for him beyond his attractive Bradley Cooperness. The script is overly neat and cliched, and handles gender, race, and mental illness rather clumsily in standard Hollywood ways. Despite the fine performances, many of the scenes devolve into unpleasant, high-volume squabbling. The talented performers hold the eye well enough, but they’re diverting attention from the fact that their supposedly uplifting story is actually kind of toxic.
Aka, yipee, the snakelet let me write! Still no headspace for a novel, though I’m slowly getting back into my research and wrote a whole new scene in my chapter 5 (aka, all Hell breaks loose for one particular character, who really has no luck whatsoever).
Temp title “What the Sea Holds no Sway”. Snippet:
In Bao Lan’s dreams, bots danced: they banked and dipped and turned over the red soil of Mars, moulding the clouds of dust they raised into ephemeral figures–the boy Cuoi and his banyan, the strategist Khong Minh and his crane-feather fan–they whirled and reared, tracing words in the flowing writing of calligraphy masters, poems like the ones hung on doorways for New Year’s Eve, bringing up memories of bygone feasts in a vanished land, in the days before the evacuation…
Sent it off to a couple readers, and meanwhile will go see what the %%% is wrong with our hot water supply…
Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard
Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
- Mon, 15:37: I'm glad @edshow is exposing these Third Way turncoats. #edshow #UniteBlue
- Mon, 15:40: @JohnFugelsang "Republicans keep forcing me to vote for the [Democratic] Party." Keep it up, GOP! #edshow #Unite
- Mon, 15:43: Thank you @UriahWard, @MrsTad, @GreenerGA, and @ForQ2 for following!
- Mon, 15:45: RT @Joe4more: So last count GOP has a war against: women, minorities, poor, pensions, unemp ins, food stamps, health care, & USPS. Oh & vot…
- Mon, 15:50: As usual, the reason for the Prez not answering @hardball_chris's question goes completely over @seanhannity's head. #edshow #UniteBlue
- Mon, 15:54: A bunch of testosterone-addled white guys chopping down trees. What a horrible premise for a TV show. @axmen #fb
- Mon, 15:57: David Stockman: "We need to go to Glass-Steagall industrial strength." Jamie Dimon would shit his pants over that. #edshow #UniteBlue
- Mon, 16:25: Argh. This is why I don't watch @ALSHARPTON_REV. He's YELLING all the time. #UniteBlue
- Mon, 16:35: RT @BlueDuPage: A coloring book is probably the optimal medium for @SenTedCruz to communicate with his typical supporter. #p2 #tcot #pjnet
- Mon, 16:55: This is really interesting. There's a use for everything, it seems. http://t.co/PUc1nEm4pi
Hark! Inconsistent blogger has returned with news!
I am pleased to announce that I’ve sold “Aye of the Hagfish” to Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi. It should be appearing online early 2014. This will be my second appearance in the magazine (the first being Control, in their debut issue).
I’m down to one story in circulation, and no new short stories finished this year, but for good reason! I finished the first draft, first read-through, and have begun developmental edits on the novel tentatively titled (but almost guaranteed to be renamed) “Black Mirror”.
We’re settling in for a long winter here at casa de Israel-Redman. The cupboards are stocked with tea, coffee, and non-perishable foodstuffs. Candles are lit, the fireplace channel is giving us the proper ambiance, and we’re getting busy with the making of art and stuff. Come spring, we’ll come out of our self-imposed hibernation with some fun new things to show off.
- Mon, 12:20: RT @Nnedi: Do not nag a professor about what your grade is on your final less than 3 days after submitting it. Bad bad idea.
- Mon, 13:08: Photoset: angryblacklady: thestoutorialist: maliceandvice: calantheandthenightingale: mydollyaviana: Disney... http://t.co/zxXoq1mznb
- Mon, 14:43: RT @aoiph: If famous people get this giddy around Idris Elba, imagine what an absolute tit *you* would make of yourself. http://t.co/PqGEkF…
- Mon, 14:58: RT @StephenKing: On Twitter at last, and can't think of a thing to say. Some writer I turned out to be.
- Tue, 09:27: RT @Karnythia: If you think POTUS should have snubbed a leader of a sovereign nation at a funeral then you have no home training & no commo…
- Tue, 10:52: If you're white, don't call yourself an "intersectional feminist" and don't use "intersectionality" for... http://t.co/oCVEGLLXcv
1) Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (fiction) - A young teenager deals with death of uncle. And it's bloody, bloody brilliant.
2) Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (fiction) - Housewife discovers butterfly migration and then herself. Some of the best characterization I read this year.
3) Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon (non-fiction) - Dry but compelling overview of parents whose children belong to a different identity category from them (autistic, deaf, musical prodigies, deaf, criminal etc.)
4) The Last Policeman/Countdown City by Ben Winters (SF/mystery) - Detective ignores apocalypse, focuses on solving crimes. Tackles some big philosophical issues in a convincing genre pairing. Mystery lovers - check this one out.
5) We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (fiction) - Young woman grapples with fallout after being raised to think of a chimp as her sister.
6) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (YA fantasy) - For once, a YA novel that both made me root for its romance and seriously worry about the fate of the heroine. Also, it has terrifying carnivorous horses.
7) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (SF) - Tight plot, interesting lead.
8) Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (memoir/graphic novel) - Bechdel describes her belated discovery of her dead father's secret homosexual life in graphic novel form.
9) On Saudi Arabia by Karen Elliott House (non-fiction) - Good overview of contemporary Saudi and its issues.
10) Wild by Cheryl Strayed (memoir) - It almost convinced me to hike the PCT, and that's saying something.
I’m up to “Selfless” on the Buffy rewatch. Anya! I love her so. Here’s the essay.
At least one person in the comment threads has already called this the best episode of season 7. I’d say that’s “Chosen,” because I loved how the series closed. But then there’s “Storyteller, too.
Still, Anya! So complicated, so smart, and so darned strange!
Since we are now supposed to be living in a land of snow, I have been uncharacteristically keen to have some. And we have, but it hasn’t been very visually impressive. It falls, it slushes, it goes away. There have been a few good holiday trees though, especially in the financial district. I thought this one, for example, was pretty nice:
Dane decided to rewatch Doll House.
Now, I liked that show from the start. A lot of folks didn't. Me, I was willing to give Whedon some room to run with it. His ideas tend to require a long run up, and in the end, they often aren't what they seem on the surface. So, it's a big payoff for me. (see: Firefly) I remember hearing the complaints, and yes, DollHouse did seem to take longer to rolling than usual, but I think a big factor was 'likeable characters with truly despicable jobs.' The show plays with a powerful sense of ambivalence toward the ideas of absolute power in the hands of a 'beneficent' corporation and technology (and thus, even SF itself) from the very start. It also allows you to forget this from time to time, and just about the moment you start to feel comfortable with what's happening, Whedon again reminds you of the extremely shady ethics in a big way. Unlike in Buffy, Whedon wasn't pulling his punches. He wants you to be uncomfortable. He's demonstrating the dark side of technology, after all. He's showing us that those Big Fluffy Corporations with their Trickle Down Economics are dangerous. In the middle of the second season (I think) the interviews with folks on the street are very telling. Some say the DollHouse is straight up evil. Some go with "But hey, it's cool! Think of all the people it could help!" and "Wouldn't it be fun? To have a doll?" Because if there's one thing history has shown us, it's that slavery is good for business. I won't say the show is perfect. It isn't. Whedon does make some mistakes. And I'm not entirely sure that Eliza Dushku, much as I like her, actually had the necessary acting chops for such a demanding gig at the time. I won't fight that battle. But there was a lot going on in the background that viewers probably missed. I have to say, I like the show even better in the re-watch. Everything fits together tighter. You can see where it's headed and why. I think it's worth a second chance.
I'm also watching the original Star Trek from start to finish. Oddly, I've never done that. Although I was very, very tiny when the show was originally airing, I grew up with it as reruns. I expected it not to hold up so good (as with many things from my childhood.) However, I'm impressed with how good it is--given that it first aired in 1966. It certainly had better special effects than Dr. Who although the budget probably wasn't that much bigger. (Understand, I'm watching it on a big screen with HD.) It starts off with addressing the concept of women in the military--or rather women in the Peace Corps. Because Star Fleet's mission was not of a military nature. The pilot has a woman as second in command. She even takes command of the ship while the captain has been taken prisoner on the planet below. As I understand it, the TV execs freaked out and demanded that to change. Therefore, that episode almost never aired. The first season has only a handful of characters in common with the show that we all know and love. It also has far more female and PoC members of the crew than was seen later on. The show definitely White-Maled up over time. One of the fun things (for me anyway) is spotting the tech that we use today as a matter of course in clunkier forms--the iPad, the flat screen monitor, hand-held devices, eBooks, CT/MRI scans... and so on. It's kind of wonderful, really. Funny thing, I'm not seeing all the 'positive SF' that everyone goes on about. Original Star Trek is dark. It deals with absolute power corrupting absolutely. It's looking at the downside of technology. Maybe the reason people don't focus on that so much is that this doesn't stop technology from developing? The concept isn't presented in an either/or scenario. Technology isn't The One Ring. It can be used wisely, but we have to actively choose to do good, and the people in Star Trek generally do. Mind you, it has its corny moments from the start. There's some Very bad dialog when characters first interact with Spock. (There are moments I'm shocked that he doesn't punch a few folks in the face because... damn.) But largely, I'm happy rewatching. There's a reason this show lasted the test of time and keeps rebooting. I still like the original series better than ST:TNG. I'll probably go through those shows too and all the other permutations that I missed due to living without a television for a long while.
 Yes, enough so that it influenced the short story "Texas Died for Somebody's Sins But Not Mine" because I thought it a perfect metaphor for the current corporate working climate.
 Although, in some cases on the show it's indentured servitude--if you want to get technical about it.
 This was one of my favorite things about Star Trek. It's also the big difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.
 Meaning more than just cell phones. Having worked at Motorola during the hay day of the cell phone market, one could almost say Star Trek invented hand held devices. I know for a fact that quite a few Motorola engineers were fans and they did everything in their power to create a Star Trek communicator. Thus, flip phones happened in spite of the fact that they were fragile.
Getting home from Omaha yesterday was an epic effort, but I made it. My luggage did not. My irreplaceable Mongolian camel fur hat apparently did not, though there's some hope I absent mindedly packed it into my luggage (which I never do on purpose).
I had five different flight itineraries yesterday. That is to say, at different points in the process, I was booked on five different flights out of Omaha before I finally managed to leave. American cancelled my original route through DFW on Sunday, the day before I was to fly, due to extreme weather in DFW more or less crashing their operations. I was rescheduled to a Monday flight through ORD.
When I got to the airport in Omaha early, they rescheduled me again at the check-in desk to an earlier flight through ORD, to help me make my connection to PDX. That flight began posting later and later, until was both later than the flight that came after it which I had been previously scheduled on, and late enough to make me miss my connection at ORD. It was also clear the later flight was going to be postponed.
I went to the American Airlines counter agent and said, "Look, I'm a terminal cancer patient. I have two oncology appointments tomorrow. I have to get home tonight. Can you reschedule me through Denver on another airline, since both Dallas and Chicago are such a mess?"
They're not really supposed to do that when they still have available seats in their own system, but he poked around and was very helpful, placing me on a set of Frontier Airlines flights that went OMA-DEN, then DEN-PDX. Since I'd already checked in, he called down to the American baggage room and had my bag transferred to Frontier.
The earlier Frontier flight was full, so I wasn't leaving til that evening. Then Lisa Costello texted me that the evening flight had posted a two-hour delay, which would again make me miss my PDX connection, stranding me in DEN. I went up to the Frontier gate agent and told him the same thing I'd told the American agent. He put me on stand-by, then got me on the plane in their 'stretch seating', which is what Frontier has instead of First Class. I'm pretty sure they're not really supposed to do that, either, especially since I wasn't even a Frontier customer in the first place.
I finally got on a plane leaving Omaha, my fifth scheduled flight out. I have no idea what happened to my bag at that point. My connection in Denver going to Portland was almost two hours late, but I got out of Denver and home last night. Frontier has no idea where my bag is, because I do not have a Frontier Airlines bag check tag, due to the interairline transfer back in Omaha, and they can't trace it through the American Airlines bag check tag. We're hoping it came in overnight from Omaha via Denver, but given the other delays, it may still be languishing in Omaha or in Denver. As me getting home was the critical issue, I am not grumpy about this. I would like to see my bag again sooner or later.
At any rate, on a day when well over a 1,000 flights were cancelled, thanks to the flexibility of two gate agents, one for American Airlines and one for Frontier Airlines, I got home. My first oncology appointment is at 8 am this morning, my second is this afternoon. I will make them.
So my thanks to both airlines.
Now I'm off this morning for some bloodwork preparatory to tomorrow's monthly consultation with my medical oncologist. This afternoon I have a screening and intake appointment for one of the clinical trials I am trying to engage with. Overnight has brought the Portland area radically unseasonal snow and ice, which will make getting around today a lot more exciting than it should be.
But I'm here, and I can make it in to my appointments. Thank you American, and thank you Frontier.
Wyrm Publishing has released CLARKESWORLD: YEAR FIVE in ePub and MOBI/Kindle editions. Trade paperback is coming later this month.
Since 2006, Clarkesworld Magazine has been entertaining science fiction and fantasy fans with their brand of unique science fiction and fantasy stories. Collected here are all of the original stories this Hugo Award-winning magazine published during their fifth year. Included in this volume are twenty-four stories by visionary writers of short fiction, including Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor, Robert Reed, N.K. Jemisin, Yoon Ha Lee, E. Lily Yu, and more!
Introduction by Neil Clarke
Ghostweight by Yoon Ha Lee
Perfect Lies by Gwendolyn Clare
Tying Knots by Ken Liu
Seeing by Genevieve Valentine
Salvaging Gods by Jacques Barcia
Laying the Ghost by Eric Brown
The Children of Main Street by A. C. Wise
Diving After the Moon by Rachel Swirsky
Three Oranges by D. Elizabeth Wasden
Matchmaker by Erin M. Hartshorn
Trickster by Mari Ness
The Book of Phoenix (Excerpted from The Great Book) by Nnedi Okorafor
The Architect of Heaven by Jason K. Chapman
Frozen Voice by An Owomoyela
Trois morceaux en forme de mechanika by Gord Sellar
Pack by Robert Reed
Semiramis by Genevieve Valentine
Whose Face This Is I Do Not Know by Cat Rambo
The Taxidermist's Other Wife by Kelly Barnhill
On the Banks of the River Lex by N. K. Jemisin
Signals in the Deep by Greg Mellor
The Fish of Lijiang by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu
Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee
The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu
Clarkesworld Citizens - Official Census
Trade Paperback Coming Soon
EBook Edition Now Available at:
Here’s what my friends at the Clayton fund have to say about themselves:
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draw on our money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.
The Clayton Fund was founded seventeen years ago by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) in response to the illness of Portland writer Jo Clayton. Our initial money came from a national campaign by writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy to help Jo and other writers. The Fund has since assisted many writers in the region deal with medical and dental emergencies.
As part of OSFCI, the Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and often qualify for matching donations from employers.
Donations can be made using PayPal through the Fund's Web site (http://www.osfci.org/clayton) or mailed to:
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228
Please be sure to include full contact information so we can mail you a letter acknowledging your donation.
I’ll be donating from my surplusage from this year’s fund raising for my benefit. If you’ve got a few extra bucks this season looking for a tax deduction, why not join me? It’s an excellent cause helping writers who often have run out of financial lifelines. It's an organization that has been of great help to me personally. That's two fantastic reasons right there.
Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Mars lake 'much like early Earth' — The ancient lake environment found in Mars' Gale Crater could have supported microbes called chemolithoautotrophs - if they had been present. Remember when the question of whether there had ever been open water on Mars was highly debatable? I love science.
“Its (sic) not bigorty (sic), its (sic) biology” — Ah, conservatives. Incompetent as well as bigoted.
Oregon Campaign For Gay Marriage Hits Signature Goal — Another breath of sanity against the winds of conservative religious bigotry.
The NSA Has Been Spying On World Of Warcraft — Wow, do I feel safer. And this without Moat GunZ!!!™ even.
South Carolina Sheriff Deletes Facebook Post About Refusing To Lower Flags For Mandela — Huh. Wonder why he backed down. It’s not like Republican officials in the American south ever pay any kind of penalty for their racism. The opposite, really.
There’s Now A Coloring Book To Teach Your Children To Love Ted Cruz — Wow. Just wow. I guess stunting their children’s (and everyone else’s children’s) minds with evolution denial and a refusal to teach critical thinking isn’t good enough for conservatives. Now this cult of personality shit?
Washington Doomsday Prophecy — Hahahah.
Republican to-do list — Hahahah. Yeah.
No soul-searching for Virginia GOP after losses — Mullins mocked post-election analysis that said Cuccinelli was too conservative for a changing state. “This is false narrative by false prophets,” he said. Because, uh, yeah. You know what? Keep it up, GOP. Your Angry White Men are dying out, and pretty much everyone who isn’t an older white man or a member of some deeply politicized church is soooo done with you. All the better for the entire country, your party members included, if you hurtle into irrelevancy guns ablazing.
The Punishment Cure — Now, the G.O.P.’s desire to punish the unemployed doesn’t arise solely from bad economics; it’s part of a general pattern of afflicting the afflicted while comforting the comfortable (no to food stamps, yes to farm subsidies). That’s actually an excellent précis of most of the Republican party platform. Which arises logically enough from their Angry White Men strategy, itself an impassioned, no-compromise defense of established privilege (or at least perception of established privilege), proudly and self-consciously at the expense of the rights and opportunities of others. (Not to mention more subtly at the expense of their own rights and opportunities.)
?otD: Got oncology?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)
But then I got to thinking, could I write a similar one for Pride and Prejudice without mentioning Elizabeth Bennet? I bet I could!
"...nobly born protagonists (the males' names tend to include the syllable 'Fitz' and sound vaguely English) plus a few others..."
Or what about A Civil Campaign?
"...nobly born protagonists (the males' names tend to start with the prefix 'Vor' and sound vaguely Slavic) plus a few others..."
Or Les Misérables?
"...nobly born protagonists (the males' names tend to start with the letter 'J' and sound vaguely French) plus a few others..."
I better stop here, but if you are inspired to write your own guys-only summaries, please feel free to add them in the comments.
- Tue, 10:09: sunrise a world of snowflakes #nahaiwrimo #haiku
- Tue, 10:10: bear crossing sign two sets of binoculars in the back seat #haiku #nahaiwrimo #senryu
- Tue, 10:10: RT @kathabela: just updated my #haiku site http://t.co/jfOBzSqtrE to reflect my haiku on prompts: mass and force, @dkolodji (this week ph…