Hugo arrives from Finland

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:32 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
We live in a remarkable world. Does anyone else notice...?

Anyway.

Out of the box.




Some assembly required. Delayed by a hunt for a socket wrench that fit, which at length proved to be the handle that holds the other socket wrenches.




Together! Am I an engineer's daughter or what.




The front plate.




United with its siblings.




Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 17

Free Speech and Nazis

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:42 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now let’s look at some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Nazi flag Nazi armband  Nazi salutes Hitler quote on shirt Nazi salute

These people here? The ones wearing swastikas, waving Nazi flags, marching in T-shirts with Adolf Hitler quotes, and throwing Nazi salutes?

This isn’t protest. This is a threat.

The message here is not, “I don’t want you to take down a statue.” It’s “I believe in ethnic cleansing, in the murder of millions of Jews, Romani, and other non-white people. I believe people with disabilities should be forcibly sterilized or put to death. I believe non-heterosexuals should be imprisoned and killed.”

These people are pledging allegiance to a movement of mass murder. We know what the Nazis stood for. We know what they did. When people stand up in 2017 and proclaim themselves Nazis, we know what they’re saying. We know what they’re promising.

I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe freedom of speech protects the incitement of violence. I don’t believe it protects threats of genocide.

 

Maybe you don’t personally feel threatened by this. In many ways, neither do I. I’m a straight white man, unlikely to be a primary target of these hateful people.

Now imagine you’re Jewish. Imagine you’re black. Imagine you’re gay. Imagine you’re Romani. Imagine your ancestors were among the millions of people murdered by Nazis. Now look at those photos and tell me you’re not looking at a very real threat.

“But not all of the ‘Unite the Right’ marchers were openly wearing Nazi symbols!”

You’re right, and if you’ll read a little more carefully, you’ll see I never claimed otherwise. But they marched alongside Nazis. They chanted “Jews will not replace us!” alongside Nazis. They stood side-by-side with Nazis.

“Isn’t it so convenient for you to exclude speech you don’t like from the free speech umbrella? Free speech is an absolute right, and the true test is whether we’ll stand up for speech we disagree with!”

As established earlier, legally speaking, free speech is not an absolute right. Ethically–well, do you believe people have the absolute right to harass others? To threaten? To leak private information? To incite violence and murder? I don’t. Which means ethically, free speech isn’t an absolute right either.

I struggled with this. But in the end, I look at the photos and videos from Charlottesville, and I see deliberate intimidation. I see the threat and promise of violence. I see people proclaiming their loyalty to an enemy our country went to war against.

I see no reason to tolerate or accept that enemy.

Nor do I have any respect for those who knowingly collaborate with them.

Even the Joker hates Nazis

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Lame-Duck President

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:54 am
elf: Many Americans have all the virtues of civilized people (American virtues)
[personal profile] elf
The Atlantic has a lovely piece of analysis on the current administration: Donald Trump Is a Lame-Duck President
"Just seven months into his presidency, Trump appears to have achieved a status usually reserved for the final months of a term."

It points out the features of a lame-duck presidency, which is usually reserved for the final handful of months, especially in a second term. (Hey, guess what! POTUS45 has accomplished in 7 months what it took Bush 7 years to do!)

Quotes )

August London meetup

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:09 pm
[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by katepreach

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX near Waterloo station, 17th August, 12pm onwards.  Please note slight change of location, same as last month – Green Bar rather than Blue, e.g. same thing as the previous location but the opposite side.  Also please note we are starting an hour later than normal.

Bad book swap!  Please bring any book you think is bad, for any reason (too purple, too few vampires, etc.) and swap it for someone else’s bad book.  Or just come and chat with us.  🙂

The venue sell food in a cafe (standard sandwiches etc.), but they also don’t mind people bringing food in from outside. There are several other local places where you can buy stuff as well. The excellent food market outside has loads of different food options, which can fit most food requirements, or you can also bring a packed lunch.
Meet on the fourth floor, outside the Green Bar (go up in lift 1, sadly not as musical as lift 7).

Here is the accessibility map of the Royal Festival Hall: PDF map

I have shoulder length brown hair and glasses, and I will bring my plush Cthuhlu, which looks like this: 

The venue is accessible via a lift, and has accessible toilets. Waterloo tube station has step free access on the Jubilee line but not on the Northern line.

The London Awkward group has a Facebook page, which is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/549571375087294/. There is also a thread in the new forums for saying hello.

My email is Kate DOT Towner AT Gmail DOT com

(September meetup will be the 16th.)


ot: Ursula Vernon in Iceland

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:31 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
Ursula Vernon, who just won the Best Novelette Hugo, stopped in Iceland en route to WorldCon. She was with her husband Kevin, his cousin, Amy, & their friend Tina. They storified the trip, here:

https://storify.com/RebelsHeart/ursula-vernon-and-friends-vs-iceland

There're lots of gorgeous photos & great snark.

Meliora - Transmogrified

Aug. 17th, 2017 04:15 pm
carisma_sensei: (Papa Emeritus III)
[personal profile] carisma_sensei posting in [community profile] dreamwidthlayouts
Title: Meliora
Credit to: [community profile] inconformista
Base style: Transmogrified
Type: full layout in CSS
Best resolution: 1024x768 or above
Tested in: Firefox, Google Chrome, IE



Click the thumbnail to preview the layout
Layout is here @ [community profile] inconformista

smalldeer has questions about apples

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:00 pm
lilysea: Serious (Default)
[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] metaquotes
oh and a warm apple. like, a really warm apple. warmer than my teeth when i bit into it. no offense but. why. did they microwave this apple? did they store it in a dragon's mouth before allowing me to purchase it? did this apple recently return from a trip to the surface of the sun?

Context is the slings and arrows of working in the food service industry.

Hugo's Progress

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:37 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
Wow, my Hugo trophy is having a Grand Tour. Although I don't suppose it gets to see much from inside a cardboard box.

When it arrives, I'll post a picture.

Location Date Local Time Activity
Philadelphia, PA, United States 08/16/2017 12:43 P.M. Import Scan
08/16/2017 7:51 A.M. Arrival Scan
Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France 08/16/2017 5:40 A.M. Departure Scan
Koeln, Germany 08/16/2017 4:29 A.M. Departure Scan
Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France 08/16/2017 4:22 A.M. Arrival Scan
Koeln, Germany 08/16/2017 12:59 A.M. Arrival Scan
Malmo Sturup, Sweden 08/15/2017 11:43 P.M. Departure Scan
08/15/2017 10:29 P.M. Arrival Scan
Vantaa, Finland 08/15/2017 9:56 P.M. Departure Scan
Helsinki, Finland 08/15/2017 9:16 P.M. Departure Scan
08/15/2017 7:16 P.M. Export Scan
08/15/2017 6:21 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release. / Your package was released by the clearing agency.
08/15/2017 6:13 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
Finland 08/15/2017 1:06 A.M. (ET) Order Processed: Ready for UPS


My nephew flies internationally for UPS. It's amusing to imagine him transporting it for me, although he more commonly flies trans-Pacific.

Best (or at least most writerly) tale he told me: the week J.K. Rowling's last Harry Potter book was released, UPS had to lay on extra flights to get all the books to the bookstores.

Now, there's a benchmark for success...

Ta, L.

Thur. afternoon update -- It has been out joyriding around Minneapolis in a brown truck since 9:30 this morning. Surely not much longer now...?

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 17

Sunspots

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:05 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

World Fantasy 2017

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:57 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
The World Fantasy Convention (http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/) is November 2-5, 2017 in San Antonio, TX this year.

Headliner guests are Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, Gordon Van Gelder and the toastmaster is Martha Wells (me!)

The con has posted the preliminary list of program topics:

Alternate Africas: The Growing List of Fantastic Alternate and Secret Narratives Set in Africa
Beards and Intrigue: Queering the Historical Fantastic
Calamity Jane Defeats Conan: The Persistence of American Folklore in Fantasy Literature
Exceptional Characters in Horrible Times
The Fiction of Mildred Clingerman
Gender Fluidity in Fantasy
History — Secret, Hidden, or Otherwise
Keeping Texas Weird
Kitsune and Dragon: Thoughtful Approaches to Alternate Eastern Asias
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Still our Modern Prometheus
Metaphors and Metadata: Libraries in Fantasy Literature
Molly Weasley Was a Bad Ass: Aged Protagonists in Fantasy
New Twists On Traditional Myths & Archetypes : What are the Pitfalls?
The Old West: Not Entirely Wild but Always a Fantasy
Once More Around the Bloch
The Other in Fantasy when Everyone is an Other
Place Matters: Geography’s Influence on Fantasy
Pulp Era Influences: the Expiration Date
Putting Historical Persons into your Fantasy
Religions of the African Diaspora: Beyond Zombies, Ancestors, and Giant Apes
Research, Research, Recherchez: History is Easy to Get Lost In
The Role of the City in Fantasy Settings
Small Presses that Open their Doors to the Unusual: Past and Present
Urban Legends in the Age of Fake News
What’s the Difference Between Dark Fantasy and Horror

The list of Award Finalists is here: http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/awards/2017-world-fantasy-awards%e2%84%a0-finalists/

The convention rules state that it can only sell 850 memberships, and right now there are only about 140 or so spots left.

Money Magic

Aug. 15th, 2017 06:55 pm
elf: Smiling South Park-style witch with big blue floppy hat and inverted pentacle (Witchy)
[personal profile] elf
Reblog from tumblr, only DW doesn't do tumblr-style reblogs. This is one of those "please share widely" things, and since it touches on both religion and spellcraft, and I haven't yet seen it here, I thought I'd port it over:
A friendly reminder to my gentile friends re: Charlottesville

There are a bunch of posts going around about donating to local Charlottesville charities in the face of the hate march, and I think this is a great idea.

Do you wanna know an even better idea?

Donate in multiples of $18.

Here, I’ll explain!

Hebrew is a numeric language. That is, all of its words have a numeric value. Importance of the number 18 in Hebrew )

Fight the 1488 with the 18.

Fight hate with life.

(Non-Jews, feel free to reblog and share this to other platforms. In fact I genuinely and unironically hope you do, because I’d love to see this take off among gentile donators who want a great, nonviolent way to offer a one-two punch.)

Book Recs on Tuesday

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:11 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
The earthshaking conclusion to Jemisin’s powerful postapocalyptic Broken Earth trilogy (after The Obelisk Gate) finds the fate of a damaged world in the hands of a mother, who wants to save it, and her daughter, who wants to destroy it. Essun believes she is the only person left alive who has the power and skill to open the magical Obelisk Gate and wield its power to save her cataclysm-rocked planet, the Stillness, which is being torn apart by an ancient experiment that got out of hand. But she is caught between that duty and her need to find Nassun, her 10-year-old daughter. Nassun’s father killed her brother and took her away because both children shared their mother’s dangerous talent; he hoped to “cure” her, but instead she has become incredibly powerful. Essun’s search grows urgent when she learns that Nassun is being guided by a dangerous mentor with plans of his own. Jemisin draws Essun and Nassun perfectly, capturing a mother’s guilt and pride and a daughter’s determination to survive on her own terms. The Stillness, where ancient science is powered by magic, is unforgettable. Vivid characters, a tautly constructed plot, and outstanding worldbuilding meld into an impressive and timely story of abused, grieving survivors fighting to fix themselves and save the remnants of their shattered home. PW review


* Biketopia edited by Elly Blue
This is the newest volume of the Bikes in Space series: A highly imaginative collection of sci-fi stories with a feminist bent.


* Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter
The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind’s greatest ambition—to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy— is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie’s mysterious star and explore its origins—and implications.


* Volatile Bonds by Jaye Wells
When the Magic Enforcement Agency is called out to the scene of a dirty magic lab explosion, a body with a bullet wound is found in the smoldering ruins. As Detective Kate Prospero and her partner, Special Agent Drew Morales, hunt down the killer, they uncover evidence that a dangerous new coven may be operating in the Cauldron.


* Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore edited by Paula Guran


* Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett
Dayna Anderson doesn't set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn't the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.


* Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low
In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets. Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. Everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses, even the tea and pastries. And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm. From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he'll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.


* In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
Sometimes it’s not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it’s . . . Elliott. He’s grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved in swinging swords around. He’s a little enchanted by the elves and mermaids. Despite his aversion to war, work, and most people (human or otherwise) he finds that two unlikely ideas, friendship and world peace, may actually be possible.


* A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw
Deacon James is a rambling bluesman straight from Georgia, a black man with troubles that he can't escape, and music that won't let him go. On a train to Arkham, he meets trouble — visions of nightmares, gaping mouths and grasping tendrils, and a madman who calls himself John Persons. According to the stranger, Deacon is carrying a seed in his head, a thing that will destroy the world if he lets it hatch.


* Buried Heart by Kate Elliott
On the run from the murderous King Nikonos, Jessamy must find a way for her beloved Kalliarkos to take his rightful place on the throne. Only then can he end the oppression of the Commoners by their long time Patron overlords. But Kal's rise to power is fraught with manipulation and shocking decisions that make Jes question everything they promised each other. As their relationship frays and Jes's family and friends beg her for help, will she cast Kal and her Patron heritage aside? Will she finally join--even lead--the rebellion that had been burning among the Commoners for years?

Name that Ware, August 2017

Aug. 14th, 2017 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] bunniesblog_feed

Posted by bunnie

The Ware for August 2017 is below.

I removed a bit of context to make it more difficult — if it proves unguessable I’ll zoom out slightly (or perhaps just leave one extra, crucial hint to consider).

Winner, Name that Ware July 2017

Aug. 14th, 2017 04:22 pm
[syndicated profile] bunniesblog_feed

Posted by bunnie

The ware for July 2017 is a PMT (photomultiplier tube) module. I’d say wrm gets the prize this month, for getting that it’s a PMT driver first, and for linking to a schematic. :) That’s an easy way to win me over. Gratz, email me to claim your prize!

[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain,

I am a man and I have a problem: I’m a creep.

I’m 30 years old, and I haven’t had a whole lot of romantic experience. I’ve been shy my whole life and dealing with anxiety and depression since my teen years, so I haven’t put myself out there as much as I could have, and haven’t had the self-confidence to be a good prospect in the past.  My social skills have been getting better, and I’m getting treatment for my mental health issues.  I think I’m capable of dating now, and I’ve met a few interesting women to connect with in the last year or so.  These days, I even manage to gather up my courage and ask them out/confess my feelings.  However, I never to seem to get a straight “yes” or a “no”, and I end up responding in a bad way.  Some examples:

I met a friend-of-a-friend a few times before, and we had flirted with each other, so I was feeling confident about our connection.  Our group went to a party a while back, and I ended up asking to kiss her when we alone at one point.  She said “I don’t know” and it looked like she was nervous and didn’t know what to do.  I backed off physically, but I pressed the point: mostly questions in the “why not?” vein.  We parted without incident, but met back up at the end of the party (the group was riding back together).   For some reason, I tried to flirt some more, and I just ended up creeping her out.  I’ve had enough self-awareness to keep my distance ever since, though the damage has already been done.

Another scenario: I saw a woman on a regular basis at an activity.  I liked her, and told her so one day.  Confronted with the news, she became very awkward and didn’t give a clear verbal response (“oh…uh…”).  We ended up having a good conversation (about
everything else), but my declaration was left hanging.  Before I saw her again, I e-mailed her to ask to talk again—I had been flogging myself for not knowing what to say.  Her response was a clear “no”, and it was obvious that my e-mail had been unwelcome.  I was glad to get the straight-up answer, but I had to push her boundaries to get it.

There have also been a couple of recent instances where I’ve asked a woman out and didn’t take her “I can’t make it” as an “I don’t want to”, and have ended up pestering them again.

It’s clear that I’m establishing a disturbing pattern: I get interested in a woman; I make a move; she gives a non-committal response; I don’t take it as the brush-off it is and end up making unwelcome contact (i.e. asking for a date again, “but why?”, continuing to flirt beyond its welcome).  I know intellectually that getting a non-answer in these situations means “no”.  It’s also clear in retrospect that I should’ve just backed off in these cases, but I seem to panic in the moment and not act on that knowledge.  Through some combination of wishful thinking, inexperience and brain weasels, I’m pushing women’s boundaries and acting like a creep.

Any thoughts, Cap’n?  I feel so guilty about these instances, and I’ve reaped the personal consequences—burnt bridges and cold shoulders—but I’m still not getting it right.  How do I remember to bow out gracefully in such a moment?

– Don’t Wanna Be A Creep

giphy (24)

Image description: A giant panda sits in a pink rocking chair. It covers its face and slumps down in a convincing imitations of human shame.

Hey Friend, I see you and I used to be you. No, really. Lest we forget, I once left a multi-page letter on someone’s pillow in the bedroom where they sleep.

Media portrayals of romantic pursuit reward persistence. This is doing you (and many, many, many other people) a grave disservice.

You’re not doing anything wrong by asking people on dates, asking them to kiss them, or telling them you like them. There are exceptions – I think teachers hitting on their students is always pretty creepy, for instance, and your cute barista smiles that way at everyone because she is trapped at work and capitalism demands her emotional labor – but feeling attracted to someone and asking them about it isn’t creepy. Also, you are asking, not doing that “making a move” thing in movies where men grab women and mash their faces together that is romantic in fantasy and consensually in established “grabbing” relationships but not actually in real life. So, you haven’t crossed all the way over into creepy. It’s not too late!

So let’s work on your follow-up. Next time you feel that spark of interest in somebody, keep doing what you’re doing and ask. You’re not naturally smooth, so don’t try to become smooth at this. Just be yourself and be direct.

You:I’d really love to kiss you/take you on a date/get to know you better.”

Nice lady:Hrm…I don’t know about that.”  

You:Ok! I hope you don’t mind me asking. If you ever change your mind, let me know.

Your “creep” self-label is probably 99% you being really hard on yourself, but I sense a little resentment or confusion on your part about not getting “clearer” answers. This is actually pretty simple to handle going forward. Treat anything that is not “Yes!!!!!” like “No.” Can’t make it = no. Let me think about it = no. I don’t know = no. Not now = no. You don’t need to push for a clearer answer or settle the question or codify the rejection. Did she say “Yes, I’d love to!?” No? Then drop it. Stop auditing her answers for the yes.

Rejection doesn’t mean you have to hide your face in shame forever or get all weird and Firthy about it, though! Go back to being polite and friendly and never mention it again until or unless she does. You can show that you are safe and trustworthy by being safe and trustworthy. If she flirts with you, it’s okay to flirt back, but don’t renew the request for a date or a kiss. Let her come to you with that. If she doesn’t, that’s your answer.

If it gets too uncomfortable for you to be in limbo with someone, it’s okay for you to pull back on the interaction. Just because you were comfortable with it once upon a time doesn’t mean you have to be comfortable with it when your feelings are hurt.

Women don’t forget when dudes ask them out. We don’t need reminders. If a lady really is on the fence about the whole thing and her “hrmmm…interesting” reaction was a genuine “I don’t know,” she is perfectly capable of coming and finding you later and asking “Is that offer still good?”  I once suddenly needed to check my mail in another part of campus at two in the morning so I could keep walking in tandem with the gentleman I was walking home from a party with so we could mutually and consensually maneuver ourselves onto the Couch of Let’s Put On Some Portishead Now That I Have My Very Important Postal Material That Could Not Wait For Daylight. A woman who genuinely wants to look at your etchings will find a way to ask you about them.

You say you are shy and you don’t have a lot of confidence. This is how you build/practice/get confidence: You say your piece, you let the other person make a decision, and you trust that once in a while someone will decide you are worth risking an awkward conversation for. Until that happens, you trust in yourself, in your own worth and good and valiant heart, and pour your love and your time into your friendships, your family, your work, your education, your hobbies, and your community. Live to date again another day.

Another suggestion? Make your date requests more specific. You say you aren’t getting clear yes or no answers, so, make your requests for dates or whatever easier to say a clear yes or no to. “Would you like to be my date to this comedy show on Thursday?” vs. “Can I take you out sometime?”

If the person says “No thanks” that’s your answer!

If someone says no to Thursday, specifically, but yes to the idea, you are cleared to ask again, one time. If it gets super-hard to make plans and it feels like there is never the right time, 1) Stop:I’d still really love to get together, why don’t you call me when your schedule opens up and we’ll figure something out?2) Drop (the subject) and 3) Roll your attention somewhere else.

Maybe someday I’ll stop gushing about Mr. Awkward but today is not that day. He asked me out on Ok Cupid. I said “Yes, but I am sick and busy, can we try this in a couple of weeks?” He said “Sure” and (this is key) then he left me alone. He assumed he was never going to hear from me again and moved on with his life. In a couple of weeks, I got in touch with him and asked him on a date. What if I had never written to him? We might never have met. What if he had written to me repeatedly to get me to go out with him? We also might never have met. Read on for a cautionary tale.

Pickup Artists and other dregs at the bottom of the dating pool talk about something called the “shit test” – where women say no to an early request to test to see if the guy will persist, and they encourage you to push back on this early no. One of my early dating tests that I didn’t realize was a test at the time is the “Hey will this stranger take no for an answer because I kind a need to know” test. I once mentioned to a dude from an online dating site that I would call him over the weekend to confirm plans for a date. Some actual big deal life stuff came up and I forgot to call him. At precisely 9:00 am Monday morning I got a text that said “You didn’t call. 😦” and I had a strangely visceral “Nope!!!!” reaction to reading it, like, ugh, this is already too much work. I was like “Oops, I had some family stuff, sorry” and He was like “My time is very valuable, I don’t like reserving time in my schedule for flakes” and I was like “I hear that, okay, sorry again, let’s skip getting ice cream after all, good luck out there” and then

he

kept

texting

me

all

week

until

I

blocked

his

number

I get from the interactions that he’d been really looking forward to the date and that I hurt his feelings by being less interested. It was probably never gonna happen after that initial 😦 but it was definitely not gonna happen after “Why did you say you’d go out with me if you didn’t intend to follow through?” He was cute and smart and we liked the same geeky stuff but he put my shoulders up around my ears and once they went up they weren’t coming down.

Don’t be Sad Emoji Guy. Persistence is overrated. Pushy people get my back up and if you’re a shy guy who is not very experienced at dating your best dating pool is going to be your fellow shy people who are not so experienced at dating and they are not necessarily going to enjoy feeling hunted by you.

Additionally:

  • Stop asking for women’s phone numbers or emails when you meet them in bars or group settings. “I’d love to chat with you more, can I give you my info?” Hand them a card (or literally a scrap of paper with your name and a way to contact you on it, please do not overthink this)Remove the anxiety of “when do I call/should I call/how do I call/what do I say when I call” from your life completely right now. Change up the idea of pursuit in romance. Whenever I give this advice some dude points out “But he won’t get any calls that way” and it’s like “Maybe not! But if someone does call you’ll know she really wanted to, and in the meantime you made the world suck less by not pressuring women for contact info.” If she loses it, so what. If she doesn’t like your font, so what. The whole point is to stop worrying about it once you give her your info instead of pressuring her for hers. If she met you and she really liked you, chances are she’ll tuck it in a safe place.
  • Don’t be Social Media Hover Guy. Let’s be clear, I would always, always Google potential dates and get an idea of their general online vibe and how well it matched up with what they’d told me, and I think everyone should do this (It’s one way to figure out early on if someone is a Nazi, for instance!) And we’re only human, and photos of our crushes are fascinating. However, when you are trying to connect with someone, don’t monitor their feeds and mention everything they’ve ever done back to them, don’t become the person that “likes” every single thing they say (Really you “like” when I wished my Mom a happy birthday 2 months ago?), DON’T click “like” on all their old pictures. It’s about as subtle as skywriting, and it just feels, as you said, creepy to know someone is monitoring you to that extent.
  • Watch for reciprocity. If you are sending 5 emails or texts for every 1 of hers, and yours are like Tolstoy wrote them where she is more Dorothy Parker, ease off a bit.
  • Read more books by women and take in art by women. If you already read books by women, great? Keep doing that. Ashley C. Ford just had a great Twitter thread on books by black women people are reading & excited to read if you need to refresh your list. Watch movies by women. Listen to music made by women. You want to love women and be with women? Recognize the ways that the world is out of balance for us and look for stories and creative works that address that.
  • Be politically active about things that are important to women. In the spring it was reported that women are making 86% of the phone calls to resist the current administration’s policies. Do you want to be with women, sleep with women, love women? Have you noticed we’re kinda busy right now? Love us by doing your part so that we can survive and thrive and have some free time to think about dating a nice fellow like you. I will stop adding this advice to dating threads when I see that number move to 50%.

You can’t logick someone into loving you. There is no series of perfectly executed steps that get you there. You’ve reached this moment of self-awareness about what you’re doing and it doesn’t feel good but growth never does.

This is all very fixable and I wish you luck in fixing it.

Captain Awkward

 

Comments closed as of 10:17 pm.


Magic ex Libris: The Next Chapter

Aug. 14th, 2017 09:30 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Some of you might remember me talking about a 15,000-word novelette I was working on between wrapping up Terminal Alliance and starting on Terminal Uprising.

That novelette is called “Imprinted,” and it’s the next Magic ex Libris story.

It’s about Jeneta Aboderin, and it’s set roughly eight months after the events of Revisionary.

I haven’t set a publication date yet. There’s a bit of work left to get everything ready, and with Terminal Alliance coming out in November, I’m guessing it will be available in January or February.

I also haven’t set a price. $2.99 would be ideal, because that’s where ebook royalty rates jump from 35% to 70%. What do you think? Does $2.99 seem fair for a 15,000-word story, or should I bump it down to $1.99 and take the royalties hit?

Finally, as long as you’re here, what do you think of the not-quite-finalized cover?

Imprinted Cover: Draft

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Monday's Short Story!

Aug. 14th, 2017 12:16 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Hah!)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170814

I like the idea of a Raymond Chandler mystery story set in Agatha's world, although this P.I. -- excuse me, P.J. -- might turn out to be a slightly less conventional hero than Philip Marlowe was.

Book Recs and Hugo Results

Aug. 13th, 2017 08:26 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Hugo Award Results from WorldCon 75 in Finland.
This is the first year after the two-year rules change process which minimized the interference of the white supremacist puppy groups, and women swept most of the categories.


* Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
Victorian missionaries travel into the heart of the newly discovered lands of the Fae, in a stunningly different fantasy that mixes Crimson Peak with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.


* Women and Monsters by J.M. McDermott
The women and monsters of Greek mythology rarely get to speak for themselves. This collection of stories embraces the surreal and hallucinatory to tell the stories that are always absent from the official books of history. There are as many versions of the myth as there are grandmothers in Greece. There are always more myths, more variations on the song. Sing muse, for yourself.


* Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier
With the Mad King of Emmer in the north and the vicious King of Pohorir in the east, Kehara Raehema knows her country is in a vulnerable position. She never expected to give up everything she loves to save her people, but when the Mad King’s fury leaves her land in danger, she has no choice but to try any stratagem that might buy time for her people to prepare for war—no matter the personal cost.


* The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered. Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s outrageous transformation—sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively—as her sleepy suburb in the Bay Area comes under siege from hell-spawn.


Short Story: Fleurs du Mal by J. Kathleen Cheney


* Vanguard by Ann Aguirre
Since the war ended, Tegan has dreamed of an epic journey, so when she has the opportunity to sign on as ship's doctor, she can't wait. It's past time to chart her course. Millie Faraday, the kindest girl in the free territories, also yearns to outrun her reputation, and warrior-poet James Morrow would follow Tegan to the ends of the earth.


* Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn and Molly Knox Ostertag (Illustrator)
It is eight years after Colleen Cavanaugh's home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet's mineral resources. Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family.


* Preorder: The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island. These are the facts. Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.


* Preorder: Shadowhouse Fall By Daniel Jose Older
Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light -- an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.
emceeaich: Big rocks from outer space solve many problems. (boom)
[personal profile] emceeaich

The outline for my remarks on The Expanse and politics at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.

  • Warnings
    • Spoilers through 2nd Season of the TV Series (Caliban’s War)
    • Will talk about both books and TV series
  • Who am I
    • Emma Humphries
    • She/Her
    • Programmer and Project Manager, 20+ years experience
    • 29 years in fandom (28 WisCons)
  • Format: I’ll talk for 25 minutes or so, and then we’ll have a discussion for the remainder of the time we have
  • What is The Expanse?
    • ASK: how many of you have read or watched?
    • Series of Novels and TV Programs
    • James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)
    • Future history of the Inner and Outer Solar System
  • Why talk about politics?
    • Because SF has been the acceptable place to talk about politics
  • Subjects
    • Queer/Non-binary/Trans representation
    • Populism
    • Universal Income
  • What I’m Not Going to Talk About
    • Race
    • I’m going to suggest you start with the Black Girl Nerds podcast who have been recapping and discussing the TV Series
  • Why The Expanse
    • I love space opera
    • I adore the women in this show
      • Naomi Nagata: Ship’s Officer and Engineer
      • Bobbie Draper: Gunnery Sgt in the Martian Marines, who trains under one Earth Gravity
      • Chrisjen Avasarala: UN Undersecretary who knows where the bodies are buried
      • All represented as women of color in the TV show
      • All flawed, but real characters, I empathize with
    • I stan for Chrisjen
    • I love to hate on Holden
      • But, honestly, can anyone stand Holden?
      • Miller’s stuck with him because of alien machinations
      • What does Naomi see in him?
  • Queer/Non-binary/Trans representation
    • The good, there are gay and lesbian characters
    • The bad
      • Heteronormative relationships
        • The Martian ambassador and his husband
        • Annushka "Anna" Volovodov
        • A settler couple on Illus
      • Two hundred years in the future, and the nuclear family is still the norm
        • Holden’s family back on Earth, a poly-cule, are considered weird/aberations
      • No non-binary or trans characters
      • The non-normative relationships and characters are the thieves, rebels and sex workers
  • Populism
    • Definition time!
      • A type of political discourse which posits an “authentic people” in opposition to “a privileged elite.”
      • In left populism that’s often the workers vs the wealthy
        • debates on distribution of wealth
      • in right populism it’s white people vs everyone else
        • debates on who is and isn’t part of the “nation”
    • The OPA is a populist movement with both right and left characteristics
    • Anderson Station, and Illus are left populist actions
      • Workers, abused by Inner Planets wealth and corporations standing up to power and paying with their lives, and/or using violence as a means
    • But the OPA has a right-leaning side which is terrifying
      • We see it at the end of Season 2 where the economic populism gives way to an nastier ethnic populism
      • In the 2nd Season a Belter Ship, carrying evacuees from Ganymede to Tyco Station, puts all the people from the Inner Planets out the airlock
      • It will only get worse in later books
  • Universal Basic Income
    • Also known as Social Income, or under the UN in the world of the Expanse, “Basic”
    • There’s a body of economic research that finds evidence for giving people direct cash assistance as the best way to support people
    • Basic income, in and of itself is not sufficient
      • You need universal access to healthcare
      • In “Churn,” for example, we see the UN handing out substandard/palliative-only care
    • A well-implemented Social Income system, with healthcare (including reproductive healthcare), transport, and housing can provide a stable base for people to build on
    • In the world of the Expanse, the social income system is geared to subsistence and governability
  • Scorecard
    • LGTBQ+
      • Needs more work
      • Tell me why all your queer relationships are heteronormative
      • As a queer dyke, I want to see relationships like the ones I see in my community in the here and now, or at least understand why they aren’t there
    • Populism
      • Yes, this is a honest portrayal
      • How populism, unchecked, can go from a liberation struggle to genocidal violence
    • Social Income
      • A pessimistic view
      • Is this in the service of story, people struggling to escape a dismal earth? Or a libertarian view of the role of the state?
[syndicated profile] rkirstein_blog_feed

Posted by Rosemary

Apparently they did the Hugo Awards ceremony last night.  Who knew?   I would have watched it via the internet, if I’d realized they were doing it so early in the convention weekend.   Well, I could still look at the video… but when you know who won, it kind of takes the drama out of it… […]

So, about those pesky Nazis again.

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:18 am
[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

This is an amalgamation of actual letters in my actual inbox:

Dear Captain Awkward, I’m dating someone wonderful who really loves me, he (IT’S ALWAYS HE, DON’T @ME) but he has terrible political views, like, he thinks immigrants and black people and women and gay people and trans people aren’t really people something something about biological inferiority and it’s okay to violence them but only when they deserve it? I know it’s just how he grew up, he has a good heart and doesn’t really mean it, Confederate flags/”traditional” views are just part of his heritage. I’ve tried discussing this with him but he always talks over me. Can you help me explain my views better? I’m sure I can convince him if I just try hard enough? Can this relationship work?

Go look at some photos from Charlottesville right now.

BTW there’s one with the Confederate flag right next to Nazi flags that really rung some bells after last month’s discussion.

(Nazi flags and Confederate flags are best buds they like to go drinking together and talk about wars they got their asses kicked in and remember the good old days of being giant fucking racist losers.)

The heart wants what it wants but I gotta ask what would it take for you to break up with a dude who talks about “many sides” and “yeah but free speech is important” and “we can’t waste time with identity politics” right about now? I guarantee some of those tiki torch Connors and Trents and Wyatts are going home to cuddles and pie tonight. Maybe with you.

I know how you got here even if you don’t. They know how to hide this stuff in “polite” company and save the nastiness for anonymous forums. They use dog whistles. They make jokes that aren’t jokes. They play the Devil’s advocate. They say ridiculous things on purpose so that you can think to yourself “He can’t really believe that, can he?” They trick you with occasional actual orgasms and doing their fair share of the dishes and decent hygiene and god, you were alone for so long, and you finally found someone who is not repulsive in the shallow dating pool where you live, do you really have to dump this living, breathing human being who likes the same geeky stuff you like and who holds doors open for your mom and who probably is just doing his best, all to prove some abstract point? How can these people know better if no one will teach them how to be better? Can’t that be you, and in return you get to keep this nice boyfriend who smells good and who has a decent job and who and checks all of your other “don’t be a giant racist turd” boxes? There’s good in him, you’ve felt it, surely this can be fixed?

They wait until they’ve charmed you, until they’ve met your parents, until things are all comfortable between you, to show their true colors, betting on the fact that you’d be too far in to leave.

I know you’re embarrassed and it’s embarrassing as fuck but it’s not too late to get out of there. I know it’s not fair. Cut. Your. Losses.

I’m not making fun. I am deadly serious. It is only getting worse. At least one person died today behind this. We can’t lose you, too. Make a safety plan. Go quietly, but go.

It’s half-past Lysistrata time.

Love,

Captain Awkward

 

 


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