I'm home with the Pip this afternoon because daycare is closed, and I can't take a nap because I had to do things and now it's too close to the time he'll wake up, so to keep myself awake, some more fic recs post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Spoilers below; organized chronologically except the one that I had to yell about.
So the nominations for the Hugo Awards (and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, which is, we must ritually say, Not A Hugo) were announced this weekend, and have already occasioned a fair bit of comment while I was spending quality time with my family. (Here, have some cute kid pics.)
Here are some reactions, and reactions to reactions:
The Wheel of Time, the fourteen-book epic fantasy series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, is nominated for Best Novel in its entirety. Here is where I disagree with some quite good friends, and say that even if this makes sense (and I am not convinced that a fourteen-book series really belongs on a Best Novel category, whether or not that is technically permissible), I didn't nominate it and I'm not voting for it, because frankly I don't think it deserves it. Yes, it more-or-less stuck the landing (ugh, I've still never written up the last volume), but the multiple books of wheel-spinning in the late-middle (I've still never read one of them all the way through; err, also, pun not intended) and the incredibly poor way it handles its gender politics mean that as far as I'm concerned, it would be a nostalgia/tribute vote and not one on its merits.
There are some really exciting things on the ballot, too. Ancillary Justice is one of the most talked-about novels in my circles this past year, and I look forward to reading it. A blog post about erasure of women from history is nominated for Best Related Work (next year, I nominate medievalpoc for something—Fanzine? Fan Writer?). Sites I read regularly are nominated in Semiprozine and Fanzine (Strange Horizons and The Book Smugglers, respectively). I've been nominating Abigail Nussbaum for Fan Writer for years, and I'm thrilled to see her on the ballot; Liz Bourke and Mark Oshiro also do great work. [*] And the Campbell Award nominees are, as best I can tell, at least 80% non-white-males (and the cover of Max Gladstone's first book, the 20%, looks like this). So that's pretty great.
[*] Though eligibility for Fan Writer, when it comes to paid-for work out on the web for free, is really messed up under the WSFS Constitution (PDF), and badly needs revision. When it's not 11:30 at night I can elaborate, if anyone cares, but really, I'm mostly convinced that it should be changed to "nonfiction writer" instead, as someone-or-other suggested.
All that said, I promised agnosticism, which is this: I genuinely cannot find it in me to care whether the Hugos devolve into, as James Nicoll points out with characteristic brevity and asperity, political parties, or whether prior community norms about politicking prevail, or Vox Day et al. get bored, or whatever. Worst comes to worst, a few years of concerted effort results in actual winners instead of mere nominations for hateful trolls, and a few year after that, booksellers and the like catch up and realize that the Hugo is no longer prestigious, and, well, SFF fandom is big, even the bits of it that self-identify as fandom, and WorldCon and the Hugos are only a small part of that. Maybe Locus stops overweighting subscriber votes and becomes the popular award of record. Maybe the Nebulas experience a surge in prestige. Maybe I hit the lottery and endow a juried award in my honor. Who knows? But the Hugos aren't that big a teapot, at the end of the day, and if people want to self-identify with them and participate in the community that votes on them, great, they should do that, and if people don't, great, they should do that too.
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Oh my god this day. Here, let me dump some more Captain America: The Winter Soldier feelings. (I haven't seen it again, because free time, hah!)
Some fic recs, which I think ought to be pretty clear what they're like from the tags and summaries:
A lot of you have opinions about the ranking of Heyer books!
As of five minutes ago, Cotillion was the runaway favorite, with 45/64 votes putting it in the top tier.
Next were: Frederica (34), The Grand Sophy (27), Venetia (26), and The Unknown Ajax (25).
Bonus mention to The Talisman Ring (20), which has a fervent faction in comments making the pitch for its underratedness.
Okay, here's how this is going to go. I have a bunch of stuff I wrote before the movie, because I thought it would be useful in assessing it after and also I was indulging my anxiety because I really wanted this movie not to suck. That's first. And then I'm going to feelings-dump until I have to stop, and then I'm going to read all your spoilery posts, and then I'll probably be back tomorrow to talk some more about things other people have said.
(Oh, and guys? You know there's two post-credits scenes, by this point, right?)
Because skygiants asked, and because I don't mind using search & replace to generate DW poll code off of Wikipedia's novel list (hence the years, because it would take too long to edit them out): a poll about Heyer's Regency romance novels, what your personal top-tier are and, bonus question, what (if any) one you suspect is probably underrated generally.
Because there are a lot of books and the first question involves ticky boxes, it's behind the cut.
Coming out is supposed to happen in One Big Moment. Usually your One Big Moment involves coming out to your parents; sometimes, especially in fiction, it's coming out at a press conference or in front of an audience or something. But wherever it happens, the concept is the same: in that moment, your whole life changes. Before, you were closeted and ashamed, and after, you become open and honest. You have chewed your way out of the cocoon of secrecy to emerge as a beautiful gay butterfly!
[ . . . ]
So my One Big Moment was -- not. It was not big. It was not dramatic. It was, to be honest, pretty comical. [ . . . ] It didn't even manage to be a single moment, since I spread it over most of a day.
This was probably much better preparation for the rest of my life than I thought at the time.
bisexual people passing as straight when they’re in a straight relationship is not “passing privilege.” it’s erasure. it’s assimilation.
that’s like saying that femme lesbians have privilege over butch lesbians. invisibility might keep people safer on a micro-level which is fucked up, but it’s all based on people thinking they can tell who’s queer & who’s straight just by looking at them, which is infinitely problematic and painful.
don’t alienate queer people who are assumed to be straight. invisibility is a symptom of hetero-normativity, not a privilege.
With regard to this one: I agree with the first sentence of the last paragraph, but I'm not entirely convinced by the last. Or maybe I'm not thinking of "privilege" in a sufficiently narrow/term-of-art sense. But the day-in, day-out that thefourthvine describes? I'm in a heterosexual relationship, and as a result I don't have to do that.
Don't get me wrong—invisibility sucks! It's why I bothered to come out in the first place! But, seeing those posts in that order . . . I don't know, it just felt like a post I should make.
(And now, having failed to come to a better conclusion, I must take my dull self off to do some dishes and make the kids' lunches. Talk among yourselves, if you like.) comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
Over a year ago, friends asked me, heavily paraphrased, how did I manage to maintain outside interests after having kids. I wrote part of an email several months ago, and then in a (successful!) push to get to Inbox: Zero, finished it earlier this month. With their permission, and Chad's, I'm putting a slightly edited version of it here for public consumption.
I tried really hard to make it clear that I was writing from my own experience here and that other people's situations may vary, but I probably did less of that in a personal email than I would have in a public post. So consider that disclaimer bolded and emphasized up front: this is what I find helpful and what I thought those friends would also find helpful, but I'm really not judging anyone who finds that other things work better for them or who weighs priorities differently, because that is an awful thing to do (assuming thresholds of safety, care, and affection are met, of course).
Icon in honor of the Gorey covers of Sarah Caudwell's books, the first two of which I spotted on my shelves while changing clothes. They were only on my shelves because they used not to be available electronically, which has changed now, so hey, check them out—they're awesome.
[Selena] likes, I know, to pretend that Julia is a normal, grown-up woman, who can safely be sent round the corner to buy a loaf of bread; but, of course, it is quite absurd. Poor Julia’s inability to understand what is happening, or why, in the world about her, her incompetence to learn even the simplest of the practical skills required for survival—these must have made it evident, even in childhood, that she would never be able to cope unaided with the full responsibilities of adult life. She must have been, no doubt, a docile, good-natured child, with a certain facility for Latin verbs and intelligence tests—but what use is that to anyone? Seeking some suitable refuge, where her inadequacies would pass unnoticed, her relatives, very sensibly, sent her to Lincoln’s Inn. She is now a member of the small set of Revenue Chambers in 63 New Square. There she sits all day, advising quite happily on the construction of the Finance Acts, and doing no harm to anyone. But to let her go to Venice—I imagined her, wandering alone through those devious alleyways, looking—as, indeed, she does at the best of times—like one of the more dishevelled heroines of Greek tragedy; and I could not forbear to chide.
Familiar characters, something good on every page, plots I only partly remember, and just fun. There, reader's block conquered.
Thank you for all your suggestions—I'd forgotten that I need to put Hild on my list of homework. (I tried the sample online, but it was a lot of names and words for my current mood.) comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link