The Radical Ellen Willis | Dissent Magazine – Maybe we’re oblivious, or maybe just stretched thin, but not enough people are talking about this. The late cultural critic Ellen Willis did—and years before the worst of it hit. With a clarity of thought and the kind of fury that pangs and never scabs over, she diagnosed, snarled, and illuminated what she considered a central plague of her day: the way our economy limits our creative expressions. As she put it in her essay “Intellectual Work in the Culture of Austerity”: “On the crudest level, the lives of American intellectuals and artists are defined by one basic problem: how to reconcile intellectual or creative autonomy with making a living.”
Black and Blue. – Free Online Library – The violence perpetrated by the P.G. cops is a curious development. Usually, police brutality is framed as a racial issue: Rodney King suffering at the hands of a racist white Los Angeles Police Department or more recently, an unarmed Timothy Thomas, gunned down by a white Cincinnati cop. But in more and more communities, the police doing the brutalizing are African Americans, supervised by African-American police chiefs, and answerable to African-American mayors and city councils. In the case of P.G. County, the brutality is cast against the backdrop of black America's power base, the largest concentration of the black middle class in the country.
kankedort: On Diversity: Two Sadnesses and a Refusal – don't refuse the issues. I accept them fully. But I refuse the sense of scarcity and shrinkage. I refuse a world this small. I refuse to believe that there are only so many seats at the table, that I have to fight for scraps against all other possible representatives of diversity. You guys, I refuse this EVEN IF IT'S TRUE. Daniel José Older and Saladin Ahmed, who were mentioned in the Nation piece, are my friends. I'm thrilled for them. Is it possible to recognize that there is a problem with women of color being ignored, and still be thrilled for them? I intend to believe the answer is yes.
Marooned Off Vesta: Confusion and understanding: one post about The Stone Boatmen – Though I try always to extend sympathy at least, it is difficult for me to approach any new work of sf with anything other than suspicion. But very early on in my first reading of Sarah Tolmie's The Stone Boatmen — I am no longer able to say when or where, exactly — I decided to trust: to have faith in the work, and in Tolmie's ability and above all responsibility in pursuit of it. Or — can this really be characterized as a decision? Perhaps better to say that I found myself trusting her, that something palpable but not quite locatable in or between her words made such trust not only possible but natural, even unavoidable. Tolmie does not betray this trust.
Timothy Snyder’s Lies | Jacobin – In Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands, Hitler and Stalin are one and the same. And the partisans — Jewish fighters included — only encouraged German crimes.
Whirling Nerdish: Asthma and THE MIRROR EMPIRE – I’m particularly interested in how Hurley handles this character because all my life, I was told by movies and TV that people with asthma were nerds. They were geeks, dweebs, losers. Pathetic little wastes that fly into a wheezing, gasping fit when things get difficult while, meanwhile, the HERO goes and kicks the bad guys ass and handles his shit.
Public Domain Super Heroes – Public Domain Super Heroes is a collaborative website about comic book, comic strip, film, literary, pulp, mythological, television, animation, folk stories, etc… Characters in the public domain fitting in genres such as the masked vigilante, caped crusader, villains, scientists, magicians, robots, jungle lord, and their supporting characters.
Pioneer winners — Butler: Thirteen Ways of Looking at the British Boom – “There certainly seems to be something of a boom. To a certain extent these things are always artefacts―there’s no objective criteria by which one can judge ‘boom-ness’ (boomitude? boomosity?―so the fact that everyone’s talking about it is to a certain extent definitional of the fact that something’s going on”
Black Men Need To Support Black Feminism | Media Diversified – Being a black man over the past couple of weeks has been interesting, as it always is. I’ve stood in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri – both virtually and in a march at Notting Hill Carnival. There is a long history of black women leading movements for change and the most inspiring occurrence to come out of the recent protests has been the support black men have received from black women. However with that, it revealed a harsh reality, we aren’t always there for black women.
For women, heart attacks look different – and so do heart health outcomes – The study also found that women often fail to realize that they are having a heart attack – and so do doctors. This is because heart attack symptoms in women can be different than they are in men. The symptoms we most commonly associate with a heart attack, like pain in the left arm and tightness in the chest, don’t always occur in women. The study found that 42% of women who have heart attacks never experience the “classic heart attack symptom” of tightness or pain in the chest. Instead, they may develop pain in the back or jaw, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath.
Sultana’s Dream — Rokheya Shekhawat Hossein – Sultana's Dream was originally published in The Indian Ladies' Magazine, Madras, 1905, in English. This edition is transcribed from Sultana's dream; and Padmarag: two feminist utopias by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain; translated with an introduction by Barnita Bagchi. New Delhi (India) : Penguin, 2005.
Janus & Aurora — SF3, The Society for the Furtherance & Study of Fantasy & Science Fiction – Janus was nominated for three “Best Fanzine” Hugos in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Jeanne Gomoll was nominated for two “Best Fan Artist” Hugos in 1978 and 1980. Janus and Aurora were the most prominent feminist science fiction fanzines of their time. With the exception of Amanda Bankier’s fanzine, The Witch and the Chameleon, which ceased publication in 1976, Janus and Aurora were the ONLY fanzines with this focus.
[GUEST POST] Crystal Koo on Spaces for Speculative Fiction in Hong Kong – SF Signal – A lot of people expect speculative fiction in Hong Kong to be a little hard to distinguish from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That retinue of berobed, be-sworded warriors with noble hearts is the Chinese water chestnut for all things speculative and it’s part of a very old genre called wuxia. Wuxia‘s imagery and principles can be found in popular Hong Kong fantasy films like Clarence Fok’s The Iceman Cometh and Tsui Hark’s steampunk Detective Dee series, both set in Imperial China. This imagery gets repeated time and time again, and for good reason – it’s familiar.
Finding The Best Science Fiction Books To Read | Auxiliary Memory – Why read an average book when you could read a great book? With so little time to read, why waste time on a so-so book? But how do you find the best books to read? Most people read whatever they stumble across at the moment. Other folks read book reviews and get recommendations from friends. Even fewer join book clubs.
Summer Cons and All the Awesome! | Suzanne van Rooyen – This summer I had the privilege of attending two amazing science fiction and fantasy conventions, not only as a fan, but as a panelist. The first was FinnCon held in June in my university town of Jyväskylä. The second was WorldCon held in London just last week. Both cons were great in different ways and here’s why…
- I Went To Loncon 3 On My Own, And Left It With Myself – For conventions are, for one thing, places of understanding. I suppose I feared that I would not understand this world, or it would not understand me, or something equally high-minded. But there’s something wonderful about people brought together by common passion. We sat through the opening ceremony, stuffed full of in-jokes and genre references. I didn’t get half of them, but even that was fun. A sense of being welcomed into a 72-year-old family with its own customs. A dinner table with one extra place waiting.
The Wanderground | Just Higher-Ed- jobs.ac.uk career blog – Why am I telling you about what was effectively my summer holiday? Because this Convention-Conference taught me a lot, about how academic conferences are run, what academic conferences could be, and how more intellectual credibility should be given to people outside academia than it often is.
Conventions, hierarchies and forced diversity | The 13th Colony – And this was something that appears to be continually driven through over the weekend, or at the very least the panels that I’ve sat and spoken in: the ageism, sexism, racism, anti-academic-ism, hierarchism and various other -isms. I have no doubt Worldcon means a lot to the people who have been going to the convention throughout the decades it has been running and has forged a community there. I even understand the protectionism that they feel when hordes of media fans invade, because yes, sometimes we haven’t read the book or appreciate the fight to be legitimised back in the day but does that make our experience less valid, and therefore devalued?
On LonCon3, Diversity and Hierarchies | bethanvjones – And that wasn’t the only dismissive attitude I saw in relation to LGBTQIA people. Another panellist used the offhand ‘gender-whatever’ in discussing diversity. I tweeted about these instances, as did others, and from what I’ve heard they weren’t the only ones. But on the flip side I also saw how quickly the con organisers were to deal with racism and how supported one of my fellow panellists felt by them.
6 Impossible Things: LonCon 3 – After being in my new job for a week and a half I took some leave (starting on the busiest day of the year) for 6 days in order to attend LonCon 3, the 72nd WorldCon. Of course I 'd booked to go to WorldCon a year before I knew about the job, so it was really just lucky timing.
Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers | The Planetary Society – On October 19, the Mars rovers—like their orbiting cousins—will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 kilometers of Mars. This is less than 20 times the distance from Mars to its smaller moon, Deimos. Those distances provide a sense of scale: Deimos appears only a few pixels across to the rover cameras, so the nucleus of the comet will effectively a point source. The coma of the comet, tens of thousands of kilometers across, will take up a substantial fraction of the sky.
Flat Out: Worldcon on Wheels – I rolled up at the Excel bright and early on Thursday 14th, and I have to say Access was excellent. I was greeted by one of the volunteers before I even reached the registration queue, which they told me was 45 minutes long at that point, and whisked away to the Access Desk, where I was given a seat while the volunteer dashed off to pick up my badge and registration packet. Even the failure of the Access ribbons to appear was being dealt with courtesy of improvisation with tape and a marker pen in the best traditions of fandom.
LonCon3 Report ~ things mean a lot – LonCon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, was happening too close to me this year for me to be able to resist temptation. So last Saturday I got up at an ungodly hour, got on a train to London, and spent the day at the ExCel Convention Centre attending panels where writers and critics I admire discussed various aspects of speculative fiction and fandom, going to readings by some of my favourite authors, and wandering around.
TERF Battle: A New Book Reignites the War Between Radical Lesbian Feminists and Trans Women | Village Voice – The Internet and social media have only relocated this long-running war online, even as mainstream feminists have banished TERFs — "Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists," as trans allies call the opposition, a label the feminists consider a slur — to the outer fringes of the movement. Steinem herself disavowed her older views in an essay published in the Advocate in 2013. "Transgender people," she wrote, "including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned."
Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest – David Dobbs – Aeon – This raises a question: if merely reading a genome differently can change organisms so wildly, why bother rewriting the genome to evolve? How vital, really, are actual changes in the genetic code? Do we always need DNA changes to adapt to new environments? Are there other ways to get the job done? Is the importance of the gene as the driver of evolution being overplayed?
Every Day Is Like Wednesday: Re: That movie that’s probably well on its way to making tens of millions of dollars already – And, if a lot of people make a lot of money and there are a lot of accolades being thrown about, then a lot of credit is going to go to a lot of people, from whoever cut those winning trailers to the designers and animators who got Rocket's fur to look just so to Gunn himself. If comic book people get any credit, chances are it's going to be as a collective (i.e. "Marvel") or under a "Special Thanks" near the end of the end-credit scrawl (IMDb has comics writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lannning receiving writing credit; if that's on the screen near the "written by" credit, then that's awesome).
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Character Creators Fight for Cash and Credit – NYTimes.com – As Michael explained in a telephone interview, the focus on his brother has encouraged the studio to reconsider its obligations to him. “The more often Bill’s name gets mentioned, and the more often he is given public credit for something that he did, the easier it is for me to go to Marvel and say, ‘You might want to consider raising your offer.’ ”