Registration for World Fantasy 2017 in San Antonio ends Oct 21, banquet seats still available until Oct 27, and the final program schedule is now online:
Paging Doctor Tavener and Carnaki: Occult Detectives Old and Newly Reinvented
Beards and Intrigue: Queering the Historical Fantastic
Exceptional Characters in Horrible Times
Metaphors & Metadata: Libraries in Fantasy Literature
Molly Weasley Was a Bad Ass: Aged Protagonists in Fantasy
From Angry Fairy Queens to Flying Lizard People: An Interview with Toastmaster Martha Wells [Spotlight]
Exploration of Gender in Fantasy
Calamity Jane Defeats Conan—the Persistence of American Folklore in Fantasy Literature
Kitsune & Dragon: Thoughtful Approaches to Alternate Eastern Asias
Greg Manchess: Short Take on a Long Career in Illustration [GoH Spotlight]
Hild and Hilt: the Female Monk, the Lone Woman Protagonist
Hidden Secrets [GoH Spotlight] ( Tananarive Due will discuss the role of history, especially hidden history, in her work and in black horror in general, which is emerging as a sub-genre in the wake of Jordan Peele's Get Out. How horror serves as trauma narratives, or even healing narratives, to help artists and readers come to grips with the past.)
Borrowing from History: Intention and Appropriation
The Role of the City in Fantasy Settings
Religions of the African Diaspora: Beyond Zombies, Ancestors, and Giant Apes.
Urban Legends in the Age of Fake News (Engaging Our Theme IV)
Everybody Was There: Diversity in Fantasy Then and Now
Remembering Zenna Henderson: A Centennial Discussion and Appreciation
Women Authors That Men Don't Read --- Or Do They?
Reinventing the Fantastic Other
Pulp Era Influences: the Expiration Date
New Graphic Novels You Should be Reading
How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus
CVS Taps A Design Legend To Reinvent The Prescription Label. Next Stop: The Pharmacy
Simulated Octopus Skin May Be the Future of Camouflage
These Never-Before-Seen Photos From “The New York Times” Offer a New Glimpse Into African-American History
When buildings crumble, these rescue 'moles' tunnel in to survivors
Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened.
How Money Became the Measure of Everything
Well, yes, obviously Donald Trump lies about his art collection
Study: Lower-income kids give more time to TV, digital media (That "surprising twist" at the end is anything but. Every study in the past ten years has shown the same thing.)
These Adults Have ADHD But Were Misdiagnosed For Decades
I'll be looking for solutions, but in the meantime, you can always find everything on the website at http://www.jimchines.com/blog/
So now we're back in the chemotherapy room, being chemotherapised to kill off the immune system all but entirely. That's the rest of today and then tomorrow too. Saturday, she gets all her thousand million stem cells back, under firm instructions to get stemming, or celling, or whatever it is that they do.
Star Wars and me, when I was a lonely 13 year old: http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/10/a-
I was an isolated kid in a lot of ways, and didn’t know anybody else who really liked SF as much as I did. And I’d been told over and over again that liking SF/F, or liking anything involving books and media so intensely, was weird and strange and probably bad, or if not bad, something that made me a figure of ridicule. It was especially bad for a girl to like those things, but I was sure to get over it when I grew up and stopping being silly. I knew I wasn’t the only one, I knew there were other people like me out there; all these books and comics had been written by people, for people. But before Star Wars, it was hard to believe those people really existed.
Then I read this movie novelization, and read it again, and made the two whole friends I had read it, and we read it aloud to each other, and acted it out. And finally, a month or so after the movie came out, I got to see it. It was a shock at first, so different from how I’d imagined it from the book. But it wrote itself into my DNA and it’s still there, so many years later.
At seven this morning, Karen was allowed a breakfast of one (1) glass of water, one (1) granola bar, and one (1) piece of fruit with no added yogurt. Fortunately, I was allowed all the coffee I wanted.
At nine we piled into the team bus, and came to the clinic. Access ports were opened, blood was drawn, and we sat around for an hour while they tested that for stem cell wealth.
Once satisfied, they are taking us - or at least the patient half of us - into the apheresis room, to be attached to a machine for the next four hours. Their blood will be slurruped out of them, and the stem cells fished individually (I like to think) from the blood before it's pumped back in again. Karen is rated for 117,000,000 cells. Which is quite a big number, and I want to know how they count 'em.
After that comes five hours of chemo, also through the port. Then they take us home.
Karen's been connected up, and we caregivers are not allowed into the apheresis room. So guess what I get to do for the next four hours?
Uh-huh. Fortunately, while we were making our wills and giving all our worldly goods into the possession of a trust (The Trebizon Trust, did I mention? I am convinced that in a few hundred years it'll be this megacorp, dominating human space if not in fact the galaxy), our lawyer and I had a cheerful talk about how The Count of Monte Cristo is a masterpiece, and I thought, "Ooh..."
So I'm halfway through that, and there's enough reading left to keep me happy for a day or two to come. After that, though, Lord only knows what I'll turn to next. Suggestions of long, familiar comfort-reads available on e-book will be gratefully received.
First, because I know y'all have been holding your breath -- two! editors give "Block Party" a thumbs-up, so that will be published to Baen.com on or about December 15, where you -- yes, you! -- may read it in all it's glory, for free.
Second, I've spent the last two days under the weather -- yes, I do wish the weather would pick on someone else, but there you have it. Tuesday, I just threw in the towel, retired to the corner of the couch, dozed under a blanket of coon cats and read Wildfire at Midnight, possibly my least favorite Stewart, but next in publication order. Yesterday, I started feeling well enough by evening to write about 2,000 words in a continuing direction in Fifth of Five, so that's all good. This morning, I'm definitely feeling more the thing; still, I'm lingering over coffee, keeping a weather-eye out, before I go off to gym.
This morning, it is quite chilly, and I am wearing the fleece-lined-flannel shirt/jacket (it has sideseam pockets, which I suppose makes it a jacket, rather than a shirt), over the "If you can read this, I have your ring" tshirt. Steve asked how the flannel shirt felt, and after I finished cooing about how soft and warm it was, wondered if I should buy another. And, yanno; I'm seriously considering it. Best. Shirt. Ever. Even if it is orange.
I may have been remiss here in mentioning that the Narbonic Kickstarter has only 11 more days to go. They have made their nut, and are into the stretch goals, but if you were a fan back in The Day, you know you want to check this out.
And that? Is the news that's fit to print. I do believe I'll go to gym.
Fifth of Five still weighing in the 35,000 range, what with this and that.
"Bitter Truth?" she asked, feeling her eyebrows rise. "Who names a tea Bitter Truth?"
"Obviously, the White Wing Beverage Company does, though in earnest or in jest, I dare not speculate."
This is the sequel to last year's charming Flying. It's not a bad book, but it highlights the perils of sequels rather clearly. Flying has a clear emotional arc and core: Mana is figuring out what the heck is going on with aliens and enhanced humans and her place in the world, but her relationship with her mother and her friends is rock solid. In Enhanced, the central mystery is far smaller in scale. The basic facts of the world are known and we're down to figuring out the details. Mana's mother is out of commission, and her relationship with her friends is shaky for most of it.
Possibly worse, her combination of cheerleader and superpowered (enhanced, as in the title) individual really doesn't get a chance to shine for a full three-quarters of the book. Mana is scared, uncertain, and on the defensive--which is fine, but it's less fun to read about than Mana discovering, exploring, and kicking butt.
There are some new aliens, some new government agencies, some new developments in the world. But in general this feels like a little more of the same but less so. A de-escalation in some senses, a holding pattern. I still believe that Jones has somewhere to take Mana and her pals Seppie and Lyle, and this book is a fast read to get to the next step, but...we're not at the next step yet, and I don't really feel closer.
Please consider using our link to buy Enhanced from Amazon. Or Flying.
Sean B. Carroll, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo. Evo devo is, generally speaking, bullshit, but Carroll is someone I heard at Nobel Conference, and he goes beyond Just So Stories; he is a good egg. And he talked in general in this volume, stuff that one could find anywhere and probably already knew if one had the slightest interest, but then also about insect wing patterns, and the insect wing pattern stuff was interesting, so basically: skim to get to the insect wings.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. Kindle. I had had such smashing success with 19th century novels lately! (Oh my Middlemarch.) And this one is set in a Fourierist phalanx and I thought, brilliant, lovely, let's do that then, perhaps I love Hawthorne now too! Oh. Oh neighbors. No. No not so much. Poor Mr. Hawthorne. I read all the many many pages of Middlemarch, and North and South and Framley Parsonage and so on, and never once did I think, well, poor lamb, I suppose you can't help it, it's like being born before antibiotics. And yet with The Blithedale Romance I caught myself thinking that on nearly every page. Because it was the only way through, the other alternative was to shake him until his teeth rattled and send him to bed without supper, two punishments that would not occur to me without 19th century novelists, thank you my dear Louisa. So: he goes on at great length about how men have no tenderness really, and there is a bunch of maundering stuff about women's work and the purity of women and how bachelors have to obsess about whether the women around them have known marriage before (hint: nope, obsessing on this topic is completely optional), there is a Dreadful Secret, he abandons all interest in the Fourierist phalanx except as background noise...oh Hawthorne. Oh Hawthorne no.
Ursula K. LeGuin, Searoad. Reread. I first read this when I lived in Oregon. I keep learning things about characterization from it, how she creates a seaside town one person at a time, how the stories link and twine and inform each other. This time, thanks to a conversation I'm having with Marie Brennan, I thought about how differently it would read if the stories were in a different order, how a character is shown novelistically though the structure looks like short stories.
Carter Meland, Stories for a Lost Child. This is a literary science fiction novel in an Anishinaabe tradition; the way that Meland uses the rhythms and patterning of language are not at all the same as the way Gerald Vizenor does in Treaty Shirts, and having more than one is really nice, I want more, yay. Stories for a Lost Child goes forward and backward in time, contemporary teenagers trying to figure things out, a grandfather writing with stories previously barely dreamed of, a space program, past pure water, all sorts of elements that fold together.
Mary Szybist, Incarnadine. This is a poetry collection focused--not in a religious-inspirational way, in a literary way--on the Annunciation. The image, the idea of the Annunciation threads through these poems, beautifully. They are beautiful poems. I was beginning to worry that they were all going to be beautiful poems and none of them were going to be heart-touching for me--that I was going to nod along and say, yes, beautiful, well done, but never, oh, oh, would you look at THIS one--and then, and then there was Here There Are Blueberries, so: oh. Would you look at THIS one.
Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless. I had previously enjoyed some of Vaughn's short stories but not really been the target audience for the Kitty books, so I was really excited at what a complete departure this is. It's a police procedural of sorts, with flashbacks to the (sorta) cop's young adulthood. It's also a post-apocalyptic novel, with a catastrophe that has led people to seriously consider their resource usage. And it's also a relationship story that, because of flashback structure, allows the protagonist to grow past her teenage relationship, to change and be an adult. For a short novel, there's a lot going on, and it all fits together and wraps itself up by the end. Pleased.
Then I realized I can just pay for the labs, which is the only part I really want anyway, and that's a third the price and a one-day-a-week commitment.
She said she'll consider it.
It's not necessary for her to take a Regents in August (fully nine months earlier than any of her peers...), I'd just like her to.
Also, finally figured out what cake I'll bake tomorrow for her birthday. How does rosewater and ginger sound? If I ever find my rosewater, I mean. It's because I read this article, but anyway, it's a good idea. I've been rocking the rosewater lassi lately that I get at the supermarket.
The Microbes That Supercharge Termite Guts
For ornery shelter cats, 2nd chance is a job chasing mice
What Star Wars taught scientists about sperm
Inside The Weird Texas Tradition of Enormous Homecoming Corsages
Book's challenge: Can you do squats like Justice Ginsburg?
Why a New Zealand Library’s Books Kept Vanishing, Then Reappearing (Happy ending!)
How Domestication Ruined Dogs' Pack Instincts
Star Wars themes, but with the major and minor reversed. (This is like the Mirror version of the music, I guess? I can just picture evil Tom Paris on classic movie night in the Holodeck, rubbing his beard as he watches this version of the trilogy, the one in which the mighty emperor defeats the puny rebellion.)
Hero dog: 'Animal guardian' saves 8 pet goats, orphaned deer from wine country fires
Filling the early universe with knots can explain why the world is three-dimensional
Baba Yaga on the Ganges
Why Parents Make Flawed Choices About Their Kids' Schooling (My experience tells me it's close to impossible to explain to people that a school that starts with high-performing kids and ends with high-performing kids is not doing as much as a school that starts with low-performing kids and ends with kids that are in or approaching the middle. They just don't understand, or want to understand. Also, Stuy is overrated.)
Judge orders government to allow detained teen immigrant's abortion (Only read this second link if you want to be stunned and horrified by the world's most ridiculous anti-abortion argument ever.)
Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network
Fish Depression Is Not a Joke (Sad ending. Journalist should've rescued Fish Bruce Lee.)
After victory in Raqqa over IS, Kurds face tricky peace
Despite potential trade sanctions, Kurds continue with exports
China Is Quietly Reshaping the World
Lawsuit: Bighorn sheep threatened by domestic sheep grazing
As anti-drug push's toll grows in the Philippines, so does church's pushback
The true cost of a plate of food: $1 in New York, $320 in South Sudan (Sorta - the prices are adjusted in a weird way to account for different spending power)
Leaked ICE Guide Offers Unprecedented View of Agency’s Asset Forfeiture Tactics
Why Are Prosecutors Putting Innocent Witnesses in Jail?
The Crazy Flood of Tech Revelations in the Russia Investigation
The Russian Troll Farm That Weaponized Facebook Had American Boots on the Ground
No, US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated
The Trump Administration Is Letting Americans Die in Puerto Rico, Nurses Say
Trump’s Dangerous Spin on Puerto Rico’s Suffering
Hurricanes Make the Need to Dismantle Colonial Economics in the Caribbean Increasingly Urgent
The Danger of President Pence
A Gun to His Head as a Child. In Prison as an Adult.
Chilling Photos of the Hundreds of Thousands of Rohingya Fleeing Burma