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June 18, 2009

Why I Can’t Write a Near Future, Optimistic SF story: the Excuses

Why I Can’t Write a Near Future, Optimistic SF story: the Excuses -- Shineanthology’s Weblog The Shine Anthology put out a call for optimistic, near-future sci-fi stories. It was to be the theme of their anthology. But instead of stories they received excuses. Apparently either no one wants to write optimistic or no one can. This is a good read, but here is the outline of the excuses.
1. (Deliberately) misinterpreting the meaning of ‘optimistic SF’. 2. Optimism is not realistic. 3. You cannot predict the near future exactly, so you might as well not try. 4. There is no possibility for conflict in a full-on optimistic future. 5. I can’t do it because we live in dire times. 6. My downbeat SF story is meant as a cautionary tale. 7. I will not confirm to your positivist agenda: nobody tells me what to write.
So what do you think about this?

Recommended Listening: "Will You Be an Astronaut?" by Greg van Eekhout

Escape Pod -- Episode 202: Will You Be an Astronaut?...

Start Following Sci-Fi Patriarch William Gibson on Twitter NOW

William Gibson (GreatDismal) on Twitter Mostly it's just a billion...

June 16, 2009

Once More to Witch Lake; my family's vacation itinerary

From Monday, June 22 to Sunday, June 28, the Swanson...

Continue reading "Once More to Witch Lake; my family's vacation itinerary" »

Happy Bloomsday!

Ulysses "Seen" | I: Telemachus | 0002 Today is the day when Joyce's "Ulysses" takes place. To celebrate, check out this comic adaptation of Ulysses!

June 15, 2009

Fiction: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Catherynne M. Valente: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland A free novel from the stellar Catherynne Valente, updated every Monday.

Michigan school district votes to un-ban Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon," but there's a catch

Divided Shelby school board lifts ban on book - Muskegon News - The Latest News, Blogs, Photos & Videos – MLive.com
SHELBY -- A book removed from a Shelby High School English class was reinstated Monday by a divided school board after nearly two hours of public debate. The board voted 4-3 to allow "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison to continue to be taught in the school's advanced placement English class. . . . "Song of Solomon" will not be taught to students next year because there is not enough demand to hold an AP English class, McGrew said. However, the book could be taught in the 2010-11 school year, he said.

June 12, 2009

Christian group sues Wisconsin library for right to burn gay teen novel

Christian group sues for right to burn gay teen novel | Books | guardian.co.uk

These men filed a lawsuit to ban books from the library they found offensive. The courts threw it out. Now they are suing to be allowed to burn the library book and also for $120,000 in damages for reading about gay kids. They also are claiming that a book about a gay kid getting bashed is somehow a "hate crime."

I honestly don't understand people who wage this regressive culture war against libraries. It is so unamerican.

In a scene which appears to have been lifted straight out of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a group of Christians in Wisconsin has launched a legal claim demanding the right to publicly burn a copy of a book for teenagers which they deem to be "explicitly vulgar, racial [sic], and anti-Christian". The offending book is Francesca Lia Block's Baby Be-Bop, a young adult novel in which a boy, struggling with his homosexuality, is beaten up by a homophobic gang. The complaint, which according to the American Library Association also demands $120,000 in compensatory damages for being exposed to the book in a display at West Bend Community Memorial Library, was lodged by four men from the Christian Civil Liberties Union. Their suit says that "the plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, claim their mental and emotional well-being was damaged by this book at the library," and that it contains derogatory language that could "put one's life in possible jeopardy, adults and children alike."

June 11, 2009

Recommended Listening: Escape Pod sci-fi podcast

Escape Pod A few years ago Mojo and I went...