"We wondered if he thought a planet full of women could ultimately rebuild society and sustain itself once again. Vaughan was surprisingly optimistic on that front. "Yes, I do think it could. There were a lot of people early on in the first year who complained, "Wow, this is such a misogynistic book to say that, because the men died, the women can't get the electricity running all over the world and the airports up and running again." I think that's an extremely complex, extremely difficult thing to deal with. When three billion people die, I don't care what their sex was, that's an incredibly difficult thing to come back from. I will say that the world would be better off than if it were just the men left. I think that would be an even more dire situation. I think there is hope for the planet."
( Read more... )
That said, he is also very, painfully arrogant, and the sexism in this novel is really just – weird. On the one hand, it's hard to say the protagonist is particularly oblivious to women when he doesn't seem to notice anyone at all unless they're involved with something he's obsessed with; on the other hand, there's some really creepy behavior in the romance subplot that otherwise affects nothing, and the protagonist repeatedly hires sex workers and is polite but oblivious to them as people, too, so that may bother some readers. (I found the parts of the romance subplot that weren't creepy and stalkerish cute; he meets her when he has to ask her permission to gain entrance to ruins she is currently supervising work on, falls in love with her in the back of a lecture she is giving on Byzantine history, and their courtship consists of three weeks of wandering around Byzantine sites in Istanbul while he provides exposition and she takes photographs and notes. As far as I can tell they discuss nothing else during this time. You see what I mean about autistic coding?)
Pile of Bones: a Novel of the Parallel Parks – Bailey Cunningham. This is a portal fantasy with a twist: the protagonists are essentially participants in a fantasy, immersive MMORPG, which they access via a park in their city. I had trouble getting invested in the basic premise because I had trouble believing anyone would voluntarily go back to the park once they found it; the life of low level players, working drudge jobs until they find an opportunity in a world much more casually violent than modern earth, seemed too miserable to actually work as escapism, whatever the lure of adventure. I also just did not like the constant low level grossness – like, it's possible to write characters sneaking in through the sewer without graphically describing the filth and specifying that they don't have time to wash after, you know? I just don't want to read that. Most people, I would venture, don't find it appealing. That said, once I was invested in the characters and plot it got a lot more interesting, I appreciated the random classical history dropped into the park, and I really loved the slice-of-life academia sections in the real world; I also loved how all of the characters are queer and one of them is a queer woman and a single parent, whose parenting is shown on screen.
Spanish Society: 1400-1600 – Teofilo F. Ruiz. Research reading, described by its author as a social history of Spain. The problem with this work is that it is only unwillingly a social history; the author is really interested in economics and political violence, and spends most of his time talking about those things. The two chapters on topics that are undeniably social history – food and clothing; and popular culture – are probably the worst scholarship in the book and the sections on food in particularly are painfully judgmental and downright bizarre (a pound of bread, half a pound of meat, vegetables and a liter of wine is inadequate food in one sitting? What on earth does the author eat? And please stop telling me about how Fat Heavy Diets Are Bad, this is a history book, not a diet manual). The rest of the book is fine, and useful, with the author's judgmental tendencies obnoxious but mostly limiting themselves to misplaced but ignorable adjectives like “bizarre” and “miserable.” A decent overview of the economics and political violence of Spain immediately post-Reconquista, with some useful citations on food. Ignore everything he says about clothing.
The Ruins of Us – Keija Parssinen. An American expat who married a Saudi man twenty-five years ago discovers her husband has taken a second wife without telling her; the slowly unraveling dysfunctions of their family are abruptly revealed all at once, and things explode. Also involved is a second American expat, a friend of hers from college who works for her husband. The major strengths of this novel are the characterization – everyone is complex and believable, if their behavior is not always likable – and the prose; I found it gripping even when I really wanted to put it down. I think the plot was mostly reasonably well handled, just not my sort of thing. I'm not sure if I bought the denouement, it seemed like the events of the conclusion should not have been so easily swept away, but what was logically difficult to believe came off as mostly emotionally satisfying and fit the generally somewhat dreamlike tone.
In the Labyrinth of Drakes: a Memoir by Lady Trent – Marie Brennan. And the series continues to improve. Loved the archaeology in this one, loved the attempts at experimental science instead of solely fieldwork, loved the protagonist's brother showing up and their sibling relationship loved the romance plot – intellectual companionship plus hilariously in character impulsive decision making, I actually went back to reread one particular scene – but was kind of torn on the setting; I really want an explanation for how the alternate history sets up the Arab caliphate(s) existing and a city that I had the impression was based off of medieval Baghdad, without the Mongol conquest or the subsequent Safavid and Ottoman rule in the region. Like, either write secondary fantasy or don't, you know? Half-accuracy is distracting. The culture also felt oddly thin in places, probably because the early modern middle east is a setting I've actually studied. But overall I definitely enjoyed this one.
Someting hit me hard about the episode: Discovered In A Graveyard. Especially now since the world seems to spiraling out of control.
I am a writer of Bromance (I have a book up on Amazon) And as such I look for Bromance/Broship pairings everywhere. I chose to write about my reflections on DIAG and post it to my website.
I was asked by another fan of the show to post the link here because she said it's been 'very quiet' over here. I'd like to. If for no other reason than to share what the boys taught me.
I love what you all post and this is actually my first real post about the boys to this community.
⌈ Secret Post #3824 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 00 secrets from Secret Submission Post #547.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 1 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
"The Game of Rat and Dragon" has stuck better in my memory, but at some point in college I was delighted to discover that there were more Instrumentality stories. The one that I remembered, years later, as being particularly interesting was "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal." Peculiarly, I remembered that it had an unusual narrative structure/format, but not anything useful about its plot. Cue yesterday when I actually reread it, having checked out the posthumous collection When the People Fell from the library, and being bemused to discover that this story was almost certainly, before I ever heard of fanfic on the internet, my introduction to mpreg.
A spoilery discussion of the story follows beneath the cut.
 My high school library's sf/f holdings were very eclectic. They had a couple decades' worth of Analog under Stanley Schmidt. I read every page of every issue available, and remain fond of the zine although I have not read it in over a decade. They also had old classics like John Wyndham's Re-Birth, amusing curiosities like a litcrit book on the best fantasy novels by Michael Moorcock (possibly with a co-author; I no longer remember) in which he immodestly listed his own Stormbringer, a number of old Nebula anthologies, and a copy of Harlan Ellison's (ed.) Dangerous Visions that I read two or three or four times before someone else stole it or, more charitably, checked it out and lost it. (Years later, I still think Philip José Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage" was insufferably boring, and Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah" makes zero sense when you are barely aware of what sex is.) They had Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, which is where I encountered them. On the other hand, the librarians were very friendly, and for a number of years, because my sister and I were the only ones who made use of the request box, we pretty much got them to buy whatever we wanted to read for the year.
( Read more... )
During the U.S. campaign for the presidency, Michael Flynn, eventually the national security adviser to President Trump, was a consultant to an Israeli spyware firm that is now entangled in a hacking scandal in Mexico. The firm, NSO Group, created spyware technology called Pegasus that it then sold to governments “on condition that the cyber technology be used in anti-terror or anti-criminal intelligence efforts,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
But after purchasing the spyware, the Mexican government used it to hack into devices owned by anti-government activists, journalists and human rights lawyers.
The targets include lawyers looking into the mass disappearance of 43 students, a highly respected academic who helped write anti-corruption legislation, two of Mexico’s most influential journalists and an American representing victims of sexual abuse by the police. The spying even swept up family members, including a teenage boy. ...
[A]ccording to dozens of messages examined by The New York Times and independent forensic analysts, the software has been used against some of the government’s most outspoken critics and their families, in what many view as an unprecedented effort to thwart the fight against the corruption infecting every limb of Mexican society.
“We are the new enemies of the state,” said Juan E. Pardinas, the general director of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, who has pushed anti-corruption legislation. His iPhone, along with his wife’s, was targeted by the software, according to an independent analysis. “Ours is a society where democracy has been eroded,” he said.
The deployment of sophisticated cyberweaponry against citizens is a snapshot of the struggle for Mexico itself, raising profound legal and ethical questions for a government already facing severe criticism for its human rights record. Under Mexican law, only a federal judge can authorize the surveillance of private communications, and only when officials can demonstrate a sound basis for the request.
Flynn, the Times writes, was involved as an adviser for NSO Group almost a year:
The company is part of a growing number of digital spying businesses that operate in a loosely regulated space. The market has picked up in recent years, particularly as companies like Apple and Facebook start encrypting their customers’ communications, making it harder for government agencies to conduct surveillance.
Increasingly, governments have found that the only way to monitor mobile phones is by using private businesses like the NSO Group that exploit little-known vulnerabilities in smartphone software. The company has, at times, operated its businesses under different names. One of them, OSY Technologies, paid Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, more than $40,000 to be an advisory board member from May 2016 until January, according to his public financial disclosures.
Read more here.
—Posted by Emma Niles
- June 6, 2017 Filmmaker Michael Moore Launches TrumpiLeaks
- June 5, 2017 The Arab American Left and Palestine: The Untold Story
Interests & Hobbies: Reading, writing, fairy tales, monsters, folklore, ghost stories, female characters who aren't necessarily likeable; Marvel (mostly the movies and Netflix shows), DC (mostly Batman comics), young adult and children's books, literature and critical theory, Peter Pan, the Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey; Neil Gaiman, Megan Whalen Turner, Gillian Flynn, Terry Pratchett, and Dorothy Allison; Treasure Planet, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Sicario, The Walking Dead, Turn: Washington's Spies, Don't Trust the A in Apt. 23, LOTR, Star Wars; pirates, history, fanfiction (I don't post any on this account, but I love reading it and I'm always up to discuss my favorites), blogging, crafting (very rarely), libraries, the ocean, psychology and sociology, feminism.
Looking For: people who enjoy reading, people who write fanfic and/or original fiction, people who share similar interests, people who love creating things, or anyone who's interested! I'm pretty new to DW, so I'm looking to make friends.
We made it to the Gillestuga early enough for me to eat my breakfast and wash the bowl before time to do the walk through of today's dance performance. Then the 30 of us ate the traditional lunch Midsommer together. This year instead of cooking it ourselves they had it catered, and the caterers made a point of making dishes for those of us who turned in our list of food restrictions. Therefore, instead of eating only potato and boring lettuce salad from the meal, as I have had to do for the past six years (since the traditional Swedish Midsommer consists of a lot of pickled herring and other things I can't/won't eat), I got to eat a lovely vegetable and lentil dish, with a nice spinach and other interesting greens salad, something in the falafel family, and a nice "home-baked" bread with brie. I don't know how the others felt about the catering, but I was surprisingly happy with it. The only place they didn't do better than our tradition was that while they did serve the traditional fresh strawberries (imported from southern Sweden, since up here the strawberries are in flower but don't yet have berries), they had only ice cream as an accompaniment, no fresh whipped cream. This may be a good thing, as it meant that I didn't go back for 4ths on the strawberries and cream (of course I didn't take any of the ice cream, since it wasn't homemade).
After lunch we went over to the open air museum at Hägnan, where, since this year we were a smaller group than usual, with fewer strong, tall people than usual, we skipped the "carry the Midsommarstång in a parade around the grounds" part, and just put it straight into the hole in the ground to stand it up before dancing around it. I really enjoy the silly dances we do around the Midsommarstång. I think my favourite is the one where we stomp around like elephants with one arm stretched out like a trunk and the other wrapped around it and pinching our nose. (yes, this really is a thing in Sweden--the first verse of that song is about little frogs who are fun to see, as they have no ears nor tails. The verses about the horses, pigs, and elephants are more fun).
Then we did our on stage performance of folk dancing, which, as always, was much fun, and seemed to be well received. After dancing I had just time to hug a group of my friends who were in the crowd and talk to a lady who came up to me and asked "I so want to dance with you guys--do you have to be Swedish?", I told her that I am not Swedish, and she would be so welcome to join us. Turns out she is a PhD student at the uni, from India, and I gave her my name so she can look me up on the Uni web page and I can get her more info on Swedish folk dance. Hope that she does, since I didn't have time to talk more, since we had to head off to the other park, in the city center, to do it all again.
As always there was quite a contrast between the two city-sponsored celebrations. The one at Hägnan charges an entrance fee and is really crowded, while the one at Glitzudden is free for all, and has much more open space, so feels much less crowded (I have no idea how the actual numbers compare, but I think Hägnan really does have more people in addition to less space). Because Glitzudden doesn't have a dance stage we modify what dances we perform there--choosing things one can do safely on the grass (we don't want to do the spins of the polskas on the grass). As always, after doing some performance dances we then invited the audiance to join us for a couple of dances--the ones where we play follow the leader and walk in a pattern--one needs lots of people to make these work, and we have both enough people and enough room at this park.
Then we packed up the sound equipment and took it back to the gillestuga before heading home, arriving at around 17:00, so just over seven hours after leaving. Since then David and I spent some time talking about the upcoming plans for yard improvement when his brother arrives with the digger and tractor next week, and the earth cellar work we want to do this week. Then he took the new lawn mower down to the black current patch to create some paths between the bushes, while I had a quick bowl of popcorn for dinner, and then went outside and dismantled the "corral" we made last autumn out of old pallets to provide a semi-sheltered area for my car to park in the winter. There being no blowing snow this time of year it is no longer needed, and we will need to be able to drive the tractor and digger through that space when we create the place for the container (as in one of those big things that are used to ship things internationally--the container that has been living at his dad's property is moving here as an additional storage building), and the road we are going to put in from the area behind the sheds to the field. By the time I got that done and started moving O's winter tires which we store for him (since he lives in an apartment) from behind the recycling shed (where we will be doing some major landscaping) to the other side of the forge shed David had finished his mowing, so he helped me carry the pallets to the other side of the forge shed, too, and we agreed that I would move the pile of scrap wood from behind the shed to beside the house tomorrow.
Then I worked on my witch's hat embroidery while they had their (somewhat late dinner) and then we had a house meeting, catching up on everything we three ought to know about how things have been going and upcoming plans. Tomorrow C. will work, David will go help his little brother empty the last of his stuff out of that container, and I will stay home and accomplish useful things (like the aforesaid moving of scrap wood, and moving the wild strawberries from the area that will be landscaped, and baking with that pack of milk that went sour when we weren't looking). O. is also planning on dropping by so that I can re-braid his hair for him to have it presentable before he takes his driving test next week.
2. Things have not been great lately. I can't talk about it without doing warning for a bunch of different things, so I'll just say I'm fine but things around me have not been great, and I'm kind of done with it. Sigh.
3. On a happier note, Nibling seems convinced that ghosts come out at 3 am and has convinced Sister to stay awake with him so he can see. I have also signed onto this adventure, and I'm psyched.
Iran is a paragon of human rights, democracy and social liberty compared with some of our Middle Eastern allies. But our policymakers aren’t letting that sway them.
- June 6, 2017 Filmmaker Michael Moore Launches TrumpiLeaks
- June 5, 2017 The Arab American Left and Palestine: The Untold Story
posted the first reply:
Who can tell? Look how arbitrary the QWERTY keyboard is, designed to slow typing down as much as possible so the first mechanical typewriters wouldn’t jam.
I can make a WAG that on a computer keyboard it would be put on Option-S (or Alt-S), which is a logical place for it. Which means that Microsoft would put it someplace else entirely. ;-p
Of courſe, that could eaſily create confuſion if uſers weren’t uſed to it. And that would really ſuck.
row 1: my kids; gardening; tutoring; the fanfic community; Octavia Butler;
row 2: stories; books; autonomy; Wiscon; storytelling;
row 3: dogs; Rachel Maddow; math; different points of view; raptors;
row 4: introversion; puzzles; podfic; logic; making people laugh;
row 5: compost; R.A. Lafferty; science fiction; due South; ecology;
I made this at http://myfreebingocards.com
I picked 25 topics that I like, and that I like to talk about.
I let the web page randomize the placement. I was lucky that "my kids" didn't end up in the middle.
I clicked "Play Online Now" to get an image I could snip.
Check off the things that also interest you and see if we have a bingo.