Buenos Aires Book Fair Schedule

Apr. 23rd, 2017 04:51 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I’m mostly recovered from Minicon…which is good, because on Tuesday, I leave for the Buenos Aires Book Fair!

Wednesday will be a day of recovery and looking around. Thursday afternoon I’ll be doing some press interviews at El Ateneo, one of the most gorgeous bookstores in the world.

Assuming they can pry me out of there, I’ll be doing an interview Saturday afternoon at the Book Fair, followed by a book signing. Later that evening I’ll be participating in the Bloggers Meeting as well.

Sunday, there’s a meet and greet at the bookstore, and then it’s back to the hotel to pack and prepare for the flight home on Monday.

It should be an exciting week. I’m looking forward to meeting my Latin American publisher, and I love that my official schedule has notes like “Embassy driver will pick you up from the airport.” And of course, it will be awesome to meet readers and fans from Argentina!

Blogging and email and such will probably be pretty light, but I should have plenty of pictures to share when I get back. Don’t break the internet while I’m gone, okay?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

roadrunnertwice: Rebecca on treadmill. (Text: "She's a ROCKET SCIENTIST from the SOUTH POLE with FIFTY EXES?") (BitterGirl.Rebecca - Rocket scientist)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
My friend Nagisa posted this meme on Facebook and I just about died. You start typing each sentence of a dating profile on your phone's keyboard, then use its predictions to fill in the rest.




My name is Nick and I just remembered that I was a little kid.

My age is not too small.

I live in Portland but I still love you.

I was born and I forgot about it.

My body is just so hungry.

I am looking for something that is not the only thing.

I enjoy playing with the best.

My ideal partner is the one that has been able to work on the other side.

My turn ons are on point but I'm not even gonna.

Cool Stuff Friday

Apr. 21st, 2017 03:54 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday is prepping for the Buenos Aires Book Festival next week!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Hill/Pao Interview Notes

Apr. 21st, 2017 10:43 am
emceeaich: (steampunk suffrage)
[personal profile] emceeaich

Last night, April 20th, Nichele Norris interviewed Anita Hill and Ellen K. Pao. [personal profile] cynthia1960 and I went. It was cathartic.

cw, descriptions of harassment )

merlinofchaos: (Default)
[personal profile] merlinofchaos
While I was away on vacation, I realized it was kind of buggy for responsive. But the base theme I was using IS responsive, so mostly it was a matter of a few more tweaks.

If anybody wants it, let me know.
roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (ScottPilgrim.Scott - Reversal!)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time at Book Club, you HAVE to book.

Kate Elliott — Cold Fire

Feb 17

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this series. There's SO MUCH cool and good stuff in here, but it has these bizarre pacing and structure issues, where it'll just go off into some weird tangent for what feels like forever and I'll get super bored. And it's not like these tangents are a waste of time, even! It's just that their relation to the plot as I understand it at the time is super fuzzy (they often involve weird coincidences that seem arbitrary but are fully explained 2/3 of a book later), and they halt all the action I was just starting to get invested in. It doesn't make the books unreadable, but it does make them feel incredibly slow. So while I'll probably read the final part of the trilogy, I'll also probably wait a while.

Like I said, there's good stuff: The heroine is real tough and cool, and so is her cousin/best friend. The love interest is convincingly hot, in a het romance novel sort of way. The geopolitical tensions and magical/metaphysical/cosmological systems are kind of the centerpiece, and they're all clever and intriguing. It's just that it kind of becomes a slog at points.

I keep hoping I'll find the Kate Elliot novel that nails all the stuff I love while shoring up the areas that wear me out.

Michelle Tea — Black Wave

March 4

This was odd as heck. I'm sort of glad I read it, but I'm not totally sure I liked it.

The first half of it is (questions of fictionalization aside) solidly in the addiction memoir genre, which is major league Not My Jam. And this particular one seemed especially cruel in its representation of the past self/protagonist. I sort of get why writers do this to their former selves, but it's really unpleasant to read and I don't find it particularly edifying either.

Then, at the break, it gets weird. There's an interlude of future-Michelle (Tea?) writing this book, and a dialogue with a character whose real role in the story had been deliberately mangled and time-shifted. And then the second half takes this left turn into a kind of cartoonishly unexplained apocalypse story. (There's some scattershot foreshadowing of this in the first half via offhanded comments like "well the world's dying anyway," but until the break it just reads as period-appropriate Gen-X histrionics.) And straight-ahead apocalypse story is also not really my jam! (Also, Sofia Samatar's "The Closest Thing to Animals" covered a lot of similar emotional space in a more concise and [to me] more affecting way.)

Here's something this story did that I really liked: in the apocalypse half, people all over the world start having dreams about alternate lives they might have lived, and Tea uses those to let snippets of real (?) memoir leak into the story. I'm not totally sure what she was building here; maybe a metaphor where parallel dimensions represent how distant a post-recovery conception of the self seems when you're in the middle of bad alcoholism shit? Maybe she was just exploring the divide between what part of life makes it onto the page and what gets cut. But I always dig a good alternate-lives story device, plus I thought it was a really intriguing attempt to glitch past the limitations of memoir and the parallel limitations of fiction (and I do love a good glitch run).

It had its moments. I really liked that last dinner party with her brother and his boyfriend. But all told, this was kind of grueling to get through and it wasn't very fulfilling.

Stella Benson — Living Alone

March 10

Free ebook at Project Gutenberg.

What WAS this?

Now witches and wizards, as you perhaps know, are people who are born for the first time. I suppose we have all passed through this fair experience, we must all have had our chance of making magic. But to most of us it came in the boring beginning of time, and we wasted our best spells on plesiosauri, and protoplasms, and angels with flaming swords, all of whom knew magic too, and were not impressed.

???

The name of this house is Living Alone.

It is meant to provide for the needs of those who dislike hotels, clubs, settlements, hostels, boarding-houses, and lodgings only less than their own homes; who detest landladies, waiters, husbands and wives, charwomen, and all forms of lookers after. This house is a monastery and a convent for monks and nuns dedicated to unknown gods. Men and women who are tired of being laboriously kind to their bodies, who like to be a little uncomfortable and quite uncared for, who love to live from week to week without speaking, except to confide their destinations to 'bus-conductors, who are weary of woolly decorations, aspidistras, and the eternal two generations of roses which riot among blue ribbons on hireling wall-papers, who are ignorant of the science of tipping and thanking, who do not know how to cook yet hate to be cooked for, will here find the thing they have desired, and something else as well.

???????????????

First Edition 1919

!!!

Anyway, I liked this a lot. It's weird as hell, and even weirder when you try to figure out where it fits in the timeline of modern fantasy styles. It reminds me a little bit of Travel Light in that way, where you get this sense that it somehow dropped 50 years early. Actually, the ending reminds me a lot of Travel Light, too.

It's been sitting in my pile of random ebooks long enough that I can't remember who even recommended it; could have been any of three or four people.

(Obligatory note: This is From The Past, and its heart is in the right place but a sympathetic character does say something real iffy about Jews at one point. There's also one casual use of a top-tier racial slur, but the narrator immediately pauses to be like "ugh, I wish people wouldn't.")

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.)


* Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson
For as long as humans have gathered in cities, those cities have had their shining—or shadowy—counterparts. Imaginary cities, potential cities, future cities, perfect cities. It is as if the city itself, its inescapable gritty reality and elbow-to-elbow nature, demands we call into being some alternative, yearned-for better place.


* Tender by Sofia Samatar
The first collection of short fiction from a rising star whose stories have been anthologized in the first two volumes of the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series and nominated for many awards. Some of Samatar’s weird and tender fabulations spring from her life and her literary studies; some spring from the world, some from the void.


* Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst
The traditional Emperor’s Journey is meant to be uneventful. But as the princesses Seika and Ji-Lin—twin sisters—travel to pay respects to their kingdom’s dragon guardian, unexpected monsters appear and tremors shake the earth. The Hidden Islands face unprecedented threats, and the old rituals are failing. With only their strength, ingenuity, and flying lion to rely on, can the sisters find a new way to keep their people safe?


* A Fistful of Honey by Malena Crawford
This stunning novel begins when a pending divorce and job loss force Alena Ford out of her elite life in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and into a gritty section of Brooklyn. Stripped of everything, she is forced to face the demons of her past and the ghosts in her heart. When Alena befriends her eccentric neighbor Gloria, the woman’s stunning amethyst necklace and Black Madonna painting draw her into a world of ancient secrets, dark forces, and powerful magic.


* WarDance by Elizabeth Vaughan
Now a warrior-priestess, Snowfall, stands before Simus, who dares to speak of peace, of reconciliation. Her knives are sharp, her tattoos alluring, and her cool grey eyes can look through Simus and see...everything.


* The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah A. Wolf
In the heart of the singing desert, the people are fading from the world. Mothers bear few live children, the warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash’ai—the great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories—bond with fewer humans each year.


* Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott
When her village is raided, a teenage girl finds herself on a brutal journey to the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her only comfort is a small child who clings to her for protection. But once they board the slave ship, the child reveals her rebellious nature and warns that her mother--a fierce warrior--is coming to claim them all.


* Short Story: When Stars Are Scattered by Spencer Ellsworth
Ahmed is a doctor working in a far flung outpost of humanity. His way was paid for by the leaders of his faith and his atheism is a guarded secret. His encounters with the "kite people" will cause him to doubt his whole worldview however when the aliens start dying and escalating tensions between religious extremists threatens to destroy the colony's peace.


* Anathema Magazine Issue 1
Anathema: Spec from the Margins is a tri-annual speculative fiction magazine of work by queer POC.

Coyote Cinema: Babylon 5 S5

Apr. 18th, 2017 02:31 pm
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
[personal profile] cyrano
Last night, at the end of the B5 Death March, we watched Sleeping in Light. It was a long trudge. I found a lot of the first half of the season frustrating in its plot stupids and character frustrations. (Case in point: Garibaldi's descent into alcoholism was at least not stupid, but it was mawkish and patronizing and very After School Special.) I keep trying to pretend that Sheridan and Delenn have any chemistry, and I keep failing. And I have never seen a more prodigious Return of the King phenomenon than the last three or four episodes of tender loving farewells for each individual character on the show. At least SiL was watchable and vaguely interesting, and it was nice to see Ivanova again. And dang the aging f/x were good. Not even the Neil Gaiman episode was worth the time I spent watching it. Meh. Anyway, If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention a point of glee. Londo's birthday gift to the lovely couple's unborn child. That was a nice bit of plotting, even if we never get a pay off.

Books: Coates, Nelson, Jeong, Estrada

Apr. 18th, 2017 08:51 am
roadrunnertwice: Rebecca on treadmill. (Text: "She's a ROCKET SCIENTIST from the SOUTH POLE with FIFTY EXES?") (BitterGirl.Rebecca - Rocket scientist)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

Well, it's been a minute and I have a few in the queue, so:

Ta-Nehisi Coates — Between the World and Me

Jan 19

I’ve read a lot of Coates's magazine length work, so I thought this was a superb continuation/culmination of several multi-year projects I was already invested in, as well as a good introduction for people new to his intellectual zone.

It’s also an excellent brain corrective in the present atmosphere, or at least it was for me. Some people find Coates pessimistic, but I find him reassuring and grounding: his writing helps me feel like I haven't gone completely fucking crazy, and gives some serious historical perspective to events that can otherwise seem like an ambush. I kind of can't imagine trying to make sense of the past two or three years without TNC’s writing.

I haven't heard much from him lately. I hope he's doing ok and working on something fulfilling. One of the things I liked best about following his work before this book blew up was watching him slowly assemble some complex argument in public, and it sounds like that era might be over.

Maggie Nelson — The Argonauts

Jan 20

A delight. A wandering, looping, discursive memoir/essay about queerness and motherhood and time and basically everything.

This has some kind of family resemblance to Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother, but not a simple one. They share a certain theory-heaviness, a certain obsessive practice of quotation, and a certain conception of both those elements being somehow integral to assembling a resilient queer selfhood that can persist across Weird Time.

I cannot for the life of me explain what the hell was the point of this book. It was incredibly important, but I can't summarize how so. Anyway, you should totally read it!

Sarah Jeong — The Internet of Garbage

Feb 2

Huh, wow. I was kind of bracing for this to be some remedial Twitter Harassment 098 material, but it's definitely not that.

Jeong is reaching toward a grand unified theory of Unwanted Content, of which harassment is only one aspect. I don't think she's there yet. But she's the only person I've seen even start that project, so shout-out for that. Also, there was a lot of interesting history and case law in here that I wasn't aware of.

Ryan Estrada — The Kind (comics)

Apr 11

That male lead really should have got eaten. I feel bad for the werewolf, and that would have probably made her life and mental health a lot worse in a lot of ways, but that relationship is doomed anyhow and the protagonist is a self-mythologizing crap-bro who refuses to listen to her expertise or respect her boundaries. He earned his doom, or at least a real solid and decisive dumping.

Some Things

Apr. 18th, 2017 07:46 am
marthawells: (Teyla)
[personal profile] marthawells
Books Coming Out


* The trade paperback of The Edge of Worlds comes out on April 25, 2017.

* The ebook and paperback of the 150 page novella The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red comes out May 2, 2017.

* The hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook of The Harbors of the Sun comes out on July 4, 2017

Yes, that does seem like a lot in a short time.


Events

* If you're local to Bryan/College Station, I'll be at the Bryan Public Library's Meet the Author Day: http://www.bcslibrary.org/meet-the-author-day-martha-wells/ Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10 AM to 12 PM with a bunch of other local authors.


* If you want a signed, personalized paperback copy of my new 150 page SF novella, The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, you can order one through Murder by the Book here: http://www.murderbooks.com/event/martha-wells-preorder But you have to order before May 5, 2017.


* I'll be at Comicpalooza in Houston on May 12-14. And the literary program director Vijay Kale has a discount code for $5.00 off three-day, VIP, or speed passes for the con that he wants people to use and pass along. The code is vkale3


* I'll be doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder by the Book in Houston, TX, on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 4:30. If you can't be there, you can order our books, get them signed and personalized, and the store will ship them to you: http://www.murderbooks.com/event/martha-wells The hardcover and trade paperback of The Harbors of the Sun will be available.



Other Stuff


A couple of weeks ago I tried a new medication on one of my cats, Tasha, and after working great for a few days, she stopped eating. It took about a week to get her back to a normal diet, so that was several days of not-fun, though now she's fine. I finished a third Murderbot novella, though as yet it's unsold. I'm going to finish polishing it today and hopefully get it sent to my agent. (There is a second Murderbot novella already scheduled to come out from Tor.com next year.) I've been having hand pain off and on, though not as bad as it was at the start of the year when my fingers got stuck and I had to have shots in both hands. I think this latest bout was caused by too much weeding the yard. I think I just need to be careful while I'm still recovering.

Minicon Pics

Apr. 17th, 2017 08:04 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I’m back from Minicon 52 in Minneapolis. It was a fun con, and I’m hoping to write up some thoughts and reactions and talk about various cool stuff, but for now I’m still wiped and low on coherent wordage.

So instead, here’s a link to my Flickr album of Minicon pictures.

A few of my favorites…

Science Guest of Honor Brother Guy Consolmagno

Science Guest of Honor Brother Guy Consolmagno

David Perry prepares to interview me...TO THE DEATH!

David Perry prepares to interview me…TO THE DEATH!

Me and my liaison, Anton Petersen

Receiving tribute from my guest liaison Anton Petersen

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

The End of an Age of Dragons

Apr. 17th, 2017 12:38 pm
cyrano: (Bringing Skeksi back)
[personal profile] cyrano
I finally figured out why I couldn't get past DragonBreath. (Nice symbolism there, Qunari dudes.) I cannot use a fireball to set off the gunpowder cart that's blocking the rails, I have to explode my freakish fade-tuned hand glow in order to set it off.

It was good, it was fun. I can't imagine ending the game without Trespass though. I'm disappointed in how things turned out in the 'where are they now' section. I spent the game trying to romance The Iron Bull, including killing six dragons with him, and he still made me kill him and fight the last battle a man down. I ended up working for the Church (Well, the head of the church, make of that what you will.) which is a little uncomfortable for a heathen Dalish, even if she did put the Canticle of Shartan and his filthy barbarous elf friends back in the Chant. I missed the opportunity to tell Penderghast I'd back her play to be the Divine and so my scary French girlfriend now runs the Church which makes me a little uneasy.

Maybe I'll see if the website has one of those 'Choose Your Own Adventure' things where I can tick off the points for an 'official history' of the Inquisition.

Adrenaline

Apr. 17th, 2017 11:44 am
cyrano: (Gilbert Fun)
[personal profile] cyrano
My heart is suddenly racing. I don't see an external impetus for it. I'm going to mindfully sit with it and curiously examine it without judging it.

Homestuck Liveblogging: Go

Apr. 14th, 2017 10:55 am
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I've picked up on Homestuck liveblogging again. (I'm partway through Act 4. There are... 6 or 7 acts, so that means I'm more than halfway done, right?) (Stop laughing at me.)

I want NO SPOILERS. Srsly. None. Liveblog tumblr is set to not give me notices of asks; those go to a couple of friends who help screen them and either answer privately or delete ones that reveal info I don't want yet.

Which is... EVERYTHING I don't already know.

I went into Homestuck knowing:
1) There are "trolls" with horns and zodiac symbols on their t-shirts.
2) There is tentabulge fanart. (This was the reason I got into Homestuck.)
3) There is a ton of slash, including pairings that many people consider disturbing.
4) A handful of names - some human, some troll.
5) Hussie is a dick to his readers. (Or, by other interps, "Hussie is a trickster who likes to keep his readers guessing." But I've read enough to know which version I think is more accurate.)

I have, at this point in reading, met 3 trolls. (I think. Been on hiatus for a while; details are blurry.) I have seen names of a few more in Pesterchum logs.

I don't want to know more. Staying spoiler-free is difficult in a mega-fandom; part of this was an exercise to see if that's possible. It's kinda not. Well-meaning fans keep mentioning small details that they don't even realize are spoilers.

My favorite spoiler so far has been: "At one point, John eats lasagne." And they nicely told me that obviously the whole story is now ruined so I can just quit.

Vale Frankie Meowface

Apr. 14th, 2017 08:09 am
roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (BF - Vast and solemn spaces)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
Our cat Frankie died this week.

There's a whole lot of strays in the neighborhood, and I kind of stalk and post pictures of them constantly, so local friends who follow my Instagram often ask how "your cats" are doing. I always reflexively say "They're not our cats!"

Except for Frankie. Frankie WAS our cat, the one who wholeheartedly loved us back and who forcibly moved in with us. (We're renters and aren't really supposed to have a cat, but she was impossible to keep out. She'd come in through the skylights, for god's sake. She just decided that we were her humans now, and that was the end of the discussion.)

I miss her so fucking much already. Every 20 minutes or so I'll do something that would have gotten a reaction from her, and I'll look up and she doesn't appear. Mornings have gotten particularly hard, because she'd reliably come wake us (well, me) to demand food (even if she wasn't hungry, the rule was that Humans Must Get Up in the Morning), then go back to sleep on Ruth for a while before it was time to get up for real.

We only knew her for a little less than three years. We treasured her, and I think we were able to give her a pretty good life. I think I have no regrets. I think.

I miss her.

Yay I made it readable

Apr. 13th, 2017 01:55 pm
merlinofchaos: (Default)
[personal profile] merlinofchaos
I seem to have customize a Dreamwidth theme that I don't hate, so yay there's that. Now it's readable and I'm more likely to actually read it.
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

As we continue to see discussion and fallout surrounding Odyssey Con, it’s important to remember that these things don’t happen in isolation. While I wish it weren’t necessary, I’m happy to share this guest essay from software developer and Congressional candidate Brianna Wu, talking about some of the reasons we keep seeing this kind of mess with sexism and sexual harassers.

#

I want to tell you a heartwarming story about second chances. Last year, Google welcomed a developer named Chris onto their team. Chris is like a lot of men I know in the tech industry. He’s super geeky, white, male, just 28 — and has an incredibly irreverent sense of humor. He’s the kind of guy that would fit right in a Google — or really any other large tech corporation.

Just one catch. Chris had a bit of a misadventure as a teenager, launching a well-trafficked internet site where some pretty unsavory things happened. An encyclopedic list would take too long, but here are the highlights:

  • The site was a haven for child pornography.
  • A member murdered a woman violently, and posted picture of her strangled to death on the site.
  • A transgender woman was outed and then bullied until she committed suicide.
  • A breach of iCloud resulted in non-consensual sexual imagery of celebrity women to be spread through his site, most notably Jennifer Lawrence, who called it a “sex crime.”
  • Prominent women in the game industry were relentlessly harassed through his site, resulting is several careers being destroyed — and unmeasurable personal harm.

I’m speaking, of course, of 4chan founder Chris Poole. Last year, after not being able to make money from his site, he decided to take a job with one of the most powerful corporations on earth. As I was one of the women who had been repeatedly targeted by 4chan, I was fairly incredulous, as were my fellow women colleagues.

Unsurprisingly, the white men in tech I know felt differently.

I’m not going to name names, but I had at least 10 conversations with colleagues in tech about Poole’s hiring. They felt it would be unfair to deny him a fresh start at a career. They didn’t want his past to haunt him forever. They saw 4chan as just a silly teenage hijink, something all in good fun. It’s hard to imagine, they saw parts of Chris Poole in themselves — and by giving him a second chance — they could give themselves a chance to clean up their own mistakes.

America loves second chances. But it’s hard to not notice that the main people that seem to get them are straight, white, and male.

This brings us Odyssey Con.

I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow, which has been written up here. But, long story short, the con had decided to let an extreme sexual harasser onto the programming committee. When guest of honor Monica Valentinelli was put on programming with him, she asked the con to step in. They wrote an amazingly condescending email back to her, at which point she withdrew from the con.

What stands out to me the most in the whole harmful affair was a single line by Gregory G.H. Rihn, writing about “what would be fair.” He suggested a compromise between Monica and Jim Frenkel, the known serial harasser. In a world where sexual harassers are on one side, and women wanting to be treated with respect are on the other — women can never win. Rihn saw himself as an impartial observer, but he’s part of the problem in a way he can’t understand.

And he’s far from alone. Or even, a particularly egregious example.

As a prominent woman in the game industry, I’m also married to four-time Hugo award winner Frank Wu — so I feel uniquely positioned between the tech industry and science fiction fandom. And while, I know it would shock some of you to think about this, the structural sexism is practically the same. Consider the following.

  • Like the game industry, I am regularly asked to do programming at cons on my gender rather than my professional expertise.
  • Like the game industry, I am regularly talked over by men on programming.
  • Like the game industry, men generally talk to my husband and not me when we are in groups.
  • Like the game industry, it’s the men in the field getting big career opportunities – and not the equally talented women.
  • Like the game industry, no men I know will admit they are part of the problem.
  • Like the game industry, the men in science fiction consider themselves impartial judges of structural sexism – rather than influenced by motivated reasoning.
  • Like the game industry, there’s a lot of window dressing and very little examination of bias.
  • Like the game industry, I regularly hear sexist, racist and transphobic jokes that make me blanch.
  • Like the game industry, men that speak out about sexism are heroes — while women are put in a career box as a known feminist.
  • Like the game industry, you have a hate group rooted in white supremacy — hellbent on establishing a golden age without diversity.

If the tech industry gets a D- for sexism, science fiction doesn’t deserve much better than a C-. Maybe a C+ on the good days.

This brings us to Jim Frenkel. His situation is no different than Chris Poole’s, albeit a lot less extreme. The men of Odyssey Con (and one woman is a position of power) were reluctant to exile him from fandom because if he were held to high standards, that would mean they or someone like them might be one day as well. So, he will get an ample supply of second chances, just like most white straight men in science fiction.

There are so many times in science fiction I hold my tongue because I don’t think anyone on programming would listen. Recently, I was on a panel with a rather prominent man in the game industry that made a wildly sexist remark about “banging whores.” I sat there for the panel, stewing, feeling like this inappropriate statement needed to be called out. I asked male friends about it later, who all told me to, “let it go.”

I realized it wouldn’t be worth it to fight that battle with programming, and it could burn a bridge with someone powerful in my field. Like most women, I fight these internal battles daily — and I lose a piece of my soul every time. I have to imagine Monica Valentinelli was fighting this same internal battle before withdrawing as guest of honor. Her comment about wanting to be known for her work rang so true for me. It’s the same fear all women feel when deciding to speak out, being shoved into a box that says loud feminist.

Our political system trains people to root for one side like a football team- everyone points fingers and no one feels accountability. For science fiction, there are plenty of men that vote Democrat and believe intellectually in the equality of women. They think that’s the end of the story. It is not.

You can either have a community where the Jim Frenkels are thrown out, or you can just admit all the talk about gender equality is window dressing.

#

Brianna Wu is a software engineer and a candidate for US congress in Massachusetts district 8. You can follow her on Twitter at @spacekatgal or on Facebook at Facebook.com/developerBriannaWu.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Minicon Schedule

Apr. 12th, 2017 01:04 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

This weekend, I’ll be the author guest of honor at Minicon in Minneapolis, along with science GoH “The Pope’s Astronomer,” Brother Guy Consolmagno, and fan GoH Mark Oshiro.

They’ve posted the preliminary schedule. Here’s where I think I’ll be for most of the weekend:

Friday

  • 5:30 p.m. – We Suck: The Importance of Failure
  • 7 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
  • 8:30 p.m. – Internet Presence

Saturday

  • 10 a.m. – Exploring Creativity
  • 11:30 a.m. – Koffeeklatch
  • 1 p.m. – Interview with Jim C. Hines
  • 5 p.m. – Costume Contest
  • 8:30 p.m. – Reading
  • 9:30 p.m. – Autographing

Sunday

  • 10 a.m. – The Business of Writing
  • 1 p.m. – Progressive Story
  • 2:30 p.m. – Feet of Clay
  • 4 p.m. – Closing Ceremonies

And then at a little after 8 that night, I’ll fly back home to Lansing.

It should be a fun time! Looking forward to seeing folks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Books!

Apr. 12th, 2017 08:30 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
[personal profile] marthawells
First:

* I saw this and wanted to pass it along: there's a fan community for Raksura fans on Dreamwidth: http://raksura-fans.dreamwidth.org/

and

* If you want a signed, personalized paperback copy of my new 150 page SF novella, The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, you can order one through Murder by the Book here: http://www.murderbooks.com/event/martha-wells-preorder But you have to order before May 5.


Books!


* Kokoro by Keith Yatsuhashi
Masterfully combining fantasy, science fiction and Japanese mythology, the sequel to Kojiki takes us into the heart of a war that spreads across the worlds. On the planet of Higo, without the guidance of the Great Spirits, its people are descending into religious civil war. Baiyren Tallaenaq, Prince of Higo, is exiled after causing the death of his mother.


* Brimstone by Cherie Priest
Alice Dartle is a talented clairvoyant living among others who share her gifts in the community of Cassadaga, Florida. She too dreams of fire, knowing her nightmares are connected to the shell-shocked war veteran and widower. And she believes she can bring peace to him and his wife’s spirit.


* The End of the Day by Claire North
At the end of the day, Death visits everyone. Right before that, Charlie does. You might meet him in a hospital, in a warzone, or at the scene of a traffic accident. Then again, you might meet him at the North Pole - he gets everywhere, our Charlie. Would you shake him by the hand, take the gift he offers, or would you pay no attention to the words he says?


* Blood Enemies by Susan R. Matthews
Andrej Koscuisko is a former Fleet Medical Officer for the enormous totalitarian star empire, the Jurisdiction. But when he served in the Fleet, Andrej's real job was not medicine, at least not primarily medicine, but to act as a torturer of prisoners, whether they had information to give or not. To help him in his duties, Andrej was attended by "bond involuntaries"--slaves--men he'd come to look upon as friends and family. Finally, enough was enough. Andrej absconded with six of his Fleet-provided security slaves and sent them into the no-man's land of Gonebeyond Space--beyond the reach of the Jurisdiction's tyrannical Bench.


* Knife's Edge by Emily L. Byrne
12 stories about spanking, surrender and restraints and some of the fun a few inventive gals can cook up with each other. What else? There are pirates and aliens and cowgirls and the hottest meter maid you'll ever run across. Add in a vampire or two and the hottest fantasies you ever entertained about the girl's field hockey team and you’re in for one wild ride.

Odyssey Con, Frenkel, and Harassment

Apr. 11th, 2017 03:04 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Odyssey Con is a Madison, Wisconsin convention scheduled to take place later this month. I want to share two tidbits from their website.

From their harassment policy:

“It is the intention of Odyssey Con to create a safe, friendly, welcoming environment…”

From their Who is Odyssey Con? page:

James Frenkel, Guest Liaison

#

I’ve talked about Frenkel on the blog before.

As have others.

As is the nature of these things, there’s a lot more that isn’t written about publicly. I’ve spoken with other people harassed by Frenkel who chose not to post about it online, or to file complaints. Given the way we tend to treat victims of harassment and assault — demanding details and proof, blaming them, excusing the harassment, telling them why they’re wrong or overreacting, and so on — I can’t and won’t blame anyone for making that choice.

Even so, knowledge of Frenkel’s history is widespread in the SF/F field. He lost his job with Tor Books shortly after the 2013 incident. He was banned for life from Wiscon. Hell, some of this stuff is on his freaking Wikipedia page.

In other words, there’s no way Odyssey Con was unaware of this history. But they still chose to allow Frenkel to serve as their Guest Liaison.

That’s their right. It’s their convention, and if they want to put a known repeat harasser on staff, they can do so. But that choice has consequences. Consequences like their Guest of Honor withdrawing from the convention. Or having other guests and companies withdraw because the con prioritized a harasser over the safety of their guests.

ETA: Or then having another guest of honor withdraw…

#

I haven’t seen a public response from the convention yet, but I’m bracing myself for the typical refrain:

“But he’s such a nice guy. I never saw him harass anyone!”

He was a nice guy to me, too. He was genuinely kind and supportive when I was a nobody starting out in this business, and I hated learning about this other side of him. But the fact that he was nice to me doesn’t mean he’s nice to everyone. Harassers can be quite charming, and they learn to isolate their victims.

It would be like saying, “But Hannibal Lecter never tried to eat me, so how can you say he’s a cannibal?”

“He has a long history with the convention.”

Yes…he also has a long history of harassing women. What’s your point?

ETA: Called it! From the Odyssey Con program chair:

I have been personally acquainted with both Richard and Jim for many years, and, as program chair, I am 100% certain that they will both conduct themselves in responsible and appropriate fashions. Both Jim and Richard have made valuable contributions to Odyssey Con for years and I expect that they will, given the opportunity, continue to do so for years to come.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong since Wiscon 2013. Doesn’t he deserve another chance?”

Some things aren’t mine to share, but I question the assumption behind that statement. As for deserving another chance…personally, I think it depends. What work has he done to try to earn another chance? I do believe that everyone deserves the chance to learn and grow…but not at the expense of their victims. In other words, why is giving Frenkel yet another chance more important than giving your convention attendees a safe, welcoming event?

“It’s a witch hunt!”

Oh yes, of course. I’m sure it’s a big old conspiracy between Matthesen, Kowal, Priest, Kendall, Wiscon, Tor Books, and everyone else who’s spoken out about their experiences with Frenkel…

#

You can try to create a convention that’s safe and welcoming and friendly. Or you can put a man with a long, public history of harassment in a position of authority, with access to your guests.

You can’t do both.

#

ETA: Odyssey Con has posted a statement on Facebook (now removed, but screencapped by Natalie Luhrs), which includes this gem: “Odyssey Con is now, always has been, and always will be, open and welcoming to all. We do not allow anyone, not even a guest of honor, to dictate that someone else must be excluded from it.” (Read the full statement for context.)

ETA2: As of 4/12, Odyssey Con has posted a new statement on Facebook. This one notes, “Frenkel is no longer a member of our ConCom in any capacity, he has no position of authority in the convention proper, and he is not a panelist or lecturer. He has the right to purchase a badge and attend the convention, but as of this writing, I do not know if he is planning to do that.”

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

200 Word RPG contest

Apr. 11th, 2017 10:29 am
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
The 3rd annual 200 Word RPG contest starts accepting submissions on Saturday the 15th; it'll be open for 1 week.

I've read several of the previous years' entries, and decided I wanted to participate this year.

I have a draft of a 200-word Glitch-themed RPG, which uses a Glitch die with the giants & rook on 12 faces. (Because I've had Glitch dice for a few years now and no way to use them, so I figured I needed to fix that.)

Is a very straightforward storytelling game. There's some number tracking involved, but at the level of "make checkmarks," and the basic version only needs to count to 3. (Bonus campaign version! I squished out seven whole words to make space for that!)

Anyone who'd like to see it, PM or email me and I'll share the Google doc; I don't want it to be public for now.

I'd love feedback - is the phrasing easy to follow? Does it seem fun (or at least interesting) for non-Glitch players? Anything I should change?

Overwhelmed

Apr. 11th, 2017 12:31 am
cyrano: (Poohsticks)
[personal profile] cyrano
I want to try to make words out of what I'm feeling. But I can't even make feels out of what I'm feeling. There's too much, and it's too big, and it's all bad, and it all conflicts so I can't sort it out and turn it into something that makes sense, let alone make words. And I certainly can't do it when I'm already half way down the rabbit hole. So I have to just go on the assumption that trying to make words is enough, because that's all I have. And so when you ask what you can do to help, and I can't tell you anything, this is why.

Dep't of computer nerding

Apr. 10th, 2017 12:50 pm
roadrunnertwice: Jane from Octopus Pie, mashing a button with a maniacal expression. (OctopusPie.Jane - PRESS)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

I happened to be near an Apple gear store the other day, and decided to stop in and see what the deal is with those new laptops. I won't upgrade my computer for probably another two years, but I still like to keep my eye on what they're up to, and they went in some odd and controversial directions with last year's new Pros. So I wanted to get some hands-on time and see whether I minded the interface changes.

Well, 15m in a store doesn't hold a candle to a solid workday for shaking out new hardware, but I'm not really worried about the new Macs anymore:

  • I actually love that new keyboard. It's like they made a keyboard specifically for me — I've always preferred laptop keyboards, and this is probably the most laptoppy laptop keyboard ever made. It's got the minimum workable amount of vertical travel, combined with a really pleasing amount of feedback so you don't have to slap down on it. And somehow the keys are a lot wider while still using the same layout distances, and my fingers like that a lot. It's fast and comfortable, and I hope they make an external version of it.
  • I'm really into that trackpad too. Gotta turn the click force up to "firm," but then it's 👌🏼.
  • I don't know about that Touch Bar yet. I'm pretty much on-board with the idea, I've been wanting something like that for ages, but it'll take more time using it before I know whether they stuck the landing, and I expect there'll be some more improvements to it in the next few years. I kind of want it to be a second trackpad, with the clickiness and all.

So yeah, by the time upgrade year rolls around, the successors to these will hopefully be just what I'm looking for.

Also hopefully they'll be cheaper. :|

Protospiel Recap

Apr. 10th, 2017 10:38 am
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
As I mentioned, I went to Protospiel over the weekend. It's a game designer's convention at Game Kastle in San Jose, and they very very much welcome players who aren't designers.

Attendance was more diverse than I'd expected; less than I could've hoped for. Women were about 10-15% of the attendees; yay. Designers were about 90% White, a few Asian; not sure any other were people of color. Not sure there were any female designers who weren't partners of a male designer. (Saw husband-and-wife teams; didn't see women alone.) I saw no hints of asshole gamer behavior at all; yay!

Designers pay $50 for half a table (or rather: a whole table, split half-time with another designer; that gives everyone a chance to move around and see what else is going on); players are free. (Except for "VIP" players, who pay $5 and get a bonus game. I payed; I like supporting my local gaming stores & gaming organizations; also I like collecting interesting small games.)

The guy I got a ride from was one of the designers; I didn't wind up playing his games, which were longer and more complex than most of the games I played. (One was "Elements of the Gods," which looked like my kind of game theme, but it had a huge board with lots of little pieces in different different colors - I didn't happen to be nearby when a game was near starting, and it wasn't a quick game. The other was a space-themed game which seemed to have the same level of complexity - same issue; I wasn't around when they started.)

I played 14 different games. 3 of them are very close to commercial release-ability; they may need exact numbers tweaking ("this card is worth 4 pts" vs "worth 3 pts") or phrasing fixes in the instructions, but their play is polished and complete. One of them could use something to extend it a bit, because it's a very simple game - it's delightful, but needs something for replayability among players older than about 10. But the game itself is complete and well-balanced.

Too many thoughts here )

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