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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-08-28 12:59
Subject: [links] Link salad gets didactic
Security: Public
Tags:books, culture, fiction, funny, links, personal, politics, religion, reviews, science, sky, stories
A glowing review for my new collection The Sky That Wraps

A profoundly negative review of my tor.com story, "The Speed of Time" — I continue to be baffled that people seem to think this is political fiction. Unless the absence of white male characters makes it "political"?

Educational Chemistry Crayons complete set of 48 crayons with labels — (Thanks to willyumtx.)

The power of anecdotesBad Science on research, reporting and anecdotal evidence.

The right-wing, blinded by its own hysteriaYet right-wing commentators and politicians have twisted themselves in knots to portray the Park51 project as a grievous assault -- and "the American people" as victims. Victims of what? Rauf's sinister plot to despoil the city with a fitness center, a swimming pool and -- shudder -- a space for the performing arts? Hahaha.

?otD: How political is your fiction?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (convention time)
Body movement: urban walking to come
Hours slept: 8.5 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 3/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Deliverer by C.J. Cherryh

Post A Comment | 9 Comments | | Flag | Link

russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2010-08-28 20:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
1. I would suppose that the story's dig at Republicans makes some people react to it as a political story, even if that was just a throwaway line.

2. "Victims of what? Rauf's sinister plot to despoil the city with a fitness center, a swimming pool and -- shudder -- a space for the performing arts?" - good stuff indeed!

Edited at 2010-08-28 08:26 pm (UTC)
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User: paulshandy
Date: 2010-08-28 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've always felt the GOP's jumping at mass hysteria as proof positive that they recognize the weakness of their own intellectual positions.
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User: shsilver
Date: 2010-08-28 21:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
While watching Jon Stewart's "interview" with Michael Bloomberg about the Islamic Community Center, I found myself wondering that Rauf has been so quiet about the controversy. I expect he is just waiting for the ginned-up hysteria goes away so he can quietly complete the project.
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scarlettina: Live and learn
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-08-28 23:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Live and learn
?otD: How political is your fiction?

Interesting question. I've never thought of my fiction as political, at least not when I'm writing it. But it turned out that my story "A Disappearance in Basra" appears to be a pro-Iraq war story, which it was never intended to be. Or at least a "God is on our side" story, which didn't even occur to me when I wrote it but really did when I read it later in page proofs. And then a story I was proud of began to make me feel deeply uncomfortable, because the whole "God is on our side" thing just makes my skin crawl. It was a fascinating and unhappy experience. I loved that story and now I love it and hate it at the same time.

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User: dsgood
Date: 2010-08-29 02:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Joanna Russ's first published story, "Nor Custom Stale," could be considered strongly anti-feminist. A widow is properly subservient to her husband's ghost....
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scarlettina: Book love
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-08-29 05:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Book love
That must be an interesting piece....
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2010-08-29 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Finally got around to reading The Speed of Time (rereading, as it turns out. I remember that one from Writers Weekend last year!) Holy smokes, those commenters are rabid. I wonder if they just can't handle the stylization and literariness, and therefore just latch onto the one thing they do see clearly, the throwaway political references.
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User: dsgood
Date: 2010-08-29 02:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In high school English, I remember some of the other boys snickering at everything in Shakespeare which sounded like a sexual reference. Somewhat later, I realized that they'd missed all the real dirty jokes.

And a good many sf readers seem to miss real political content. For example, a whole lot in Heinlein's work before his final phase(s). And Heinlein usually wasn't very subtle about it.
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cyborgsuzy: canter
User: cyborgsuzy
Date: 2010-08-29 16:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm also confused by the "OMG too political!!!" reviews of your story.

There is that one line in there about conservatives, but the people complaining about this aspect of the story don't mention that - they complain that the characters speak Mandarin and one has a Koran.

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January 2014
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