Friday, August 8, 2014

It is a greater honor to be nominated than to win

 History tells us there's no connection between what wins and what's remembered. Well, except for the winners that make people say, "What drugs were popular that year?"

It is a greater honor to be nominated than to win. Only the pettiest people will quibble with whether something deserves to be nominated, but most people will wonder why the winner won. I say "most people" because most of the time, perhaps all of the time, the majority does not choose the winner. The largest minority does. In some scenarios, like judged awards, the winner can't be the work that was most loved, because the most loved works also tend to be the most hated. In those situations, the winner is the one that most judges can agree on, so the result is not "best" in anyone's opinion but "most innocuous".

That said, there's no shame in winning an award, so if you won one, yay, you!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Worship our awesome gender-inclusive editorizing!

 I was thinking about the ongoing uproar in fandom over gender-proportionality in anthologies, and it made me wonder how Emma and I did with the Liavek anthologies. I just checked the line-up for the first volume:

Badu's Luck - Emma Bull
The Green Rabbit from S'Rian - Gene Wolfe
Ancient Curses - Patricia C. Wrede
Birth Luck - Nancy Kress
An Act of Contrition - Steven Brust
The Inn of the Demon Camel - Jane Yolen
The Hands of the Artist - Kara Dalkey
The Green Cat - Pamela Dean
A Coincidence of Birth - Megan Lindholm
Bound Things - Will Shetterly
The Fortune Maker - Barry B. Longyear
That's right. Seven women, four men. And until today, I never thought about what the gender line-up was, and I wouldn't have been surprised if it'd been the other way around.

Worship us, champions of gender diversity. Emma and I fucking rock, and we didn't even know it.

Yeah, it's a very white line-up, but we invited several writers of color—Emma and I were major Delany and Butler fanboys then. Ain't our fault they didn't have time to squeeze in stories for newbie editors. Charles Saunders gave us a story for the second volume, which was sweet.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Today's thing that makes a writer's day: Kind words from a gay reader

 Over on Facebook, where I said, "I've been paying too much attention to bad things lately, so I'm going to pay attention to good ones for a while", I just got this comment: "thanks for your inclusion of a gay character in your young adult fiction works, Elsewhere and Nevernever, and for having the other characters accept and defend him. As a young gay man I was pretty happy to see that...You can chalk that up as one good thing!"

I always grin when I say that when I write fantasy, I just write what I know, but it's true. I've had openly gay friends since I was fifteen. Why would I leave them out of my work?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I wrote someone's "favorite badass female character"!

This is the sort of thing that makes a writer's day. At There's No Such Thing As Luck: Roadtrip Wednesday, answering the question "Who's your favorite badass female character?", Jes lists three, and says this about the protagonist of Cats Have No Lord: "Lizelle is an independent woman who uses her sexuality and her wits to live the life she wants, a life that she puts aside in order to save the world (and herself)."

Now I want to write prequel called Lizelle the Liar. Maybe someday. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The History of Science Fiction is queer

At Science fiction needs to reflect that the future is queer, I left this comment: "I'm surprised Walter thinks SF didn't get to the subject until the 1960s. Theodore Sturgeon's "The World Well Lost" is from 1953."

I read Sturgeon as a kid. Maybe he made me think the field is more accepting than it is, but Sturgeon seemed to set the tone for the field as I have known it all my life. I rather like Tom Cram's comment on the article:
Sci-Fi has been at the forefront of exploring/exploding gender roles since its inception. The future of Sci-Fi isn't "queer," the entire history of Sci-Fi is "queer." 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Carless in Minneapolis

We sold our beloved 2000 Toyota Echo a few days ago and have no plans to replace her. (Yes, we loved her enough to give her a gender. She was silver, but we named her Ruby. It just seemed right.)

My big recent discovery is that Google's bus schedules are great. If you plug in your location and click "More options and times", you get the walking time between the bus, home, and your destination.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

on spoilers

Just left this comment at Why I refuse to watch movies without spoilers:

What spoilers spoil are the artist's intention of how the story should be revealed and the audience's initial experience of the art. Because I respect both of those things, I don't care how old something is—I won't spoil it. If you don't know what Oedipus Rex is about, read or watch it before someone rushes in to tell you. 
​The thing I hate most about people who spoil is their attitude. I'm not sure which are worse, the ones who're gleeful or the ones who're indifferent, but neither think it's wrong to deprive someone of an experience. 
That said, I believe in consensual activities, so if a spoiler and a person who likes to be spoiled find each other, I'm happy for both of them.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

walking to the Y on a cold winter night

 Our car is dying, which is fine. We chose our neighborhood partly because we wanted to be able to go carless sometime soon. But I confess I had hoped it would die with the winter, not now.

Last weekend, Emma and I took the bus and the lightrail to see the Rollergirls in St. Paul, and that was nice, cheaper than driving and almost as fast. I've been bicycling during the winter, and that's generally fine when there's neither a lot of snow on the ground or a lot of ice.

Today, we got serious snow, so I decided to walk the mile to the Y for the evening zumba class. Bundling up for Minnesota winters is a skill all Minnesotans learn quickly, so I was comfortable. A lot of sidewalks had not been shoveled yet, so the walking varied, sometimes from house to house, but the snow wasn't terribly deep anywhere.

None of which is why I'm writing this.

A few blocks from home, I came on a car that couldn't get traction. Two men were standing by it, so I asked if they wanted a hand pushing, and the car moved along just fine. It was my good deed for the day. I think one of the reasons Minnesotans tend to be nice, regardless of their politics, is we're reminded every winter that we depend on the kindness of strangers.

Then, a block or two later, I noticed someone coming up behind me. I walk briskly, so this always triggers my street smarts. I don't know if he was walking even faster or if he'd come out of a building as I passed, but I thought the best thing to do was to step aside and see if he passed.

Instead, we got into a conversation for the next couple of blocks. He was a young guy from Somalia whose family was all in the US now, in San Diego and Denver and here. He had a bit of an accent still, but he'd been in the states for a while, originally in Denver, then here. I wish I had a better memory for dialogue, because he talked briefly about the trees in Colorado in the winter, and I admired it then, and thought later he had whatever poets should have, the ability to see beauty and describe it simply.

We parted, he to the train, me to the Y. Dancing was nice. The walk back was a little easier because more people had come home from work and shoveled their walks. But there was no one to talk to until I got home, and, solitary soul that I am, I had not thought I would miss a stranger's company.