Forgot to post here, but I've made two more teavlogs over the past two weeks:
- Complimenting Myself: one of the things that I struggle with is accepting that I'm a good person, so I talked a bit about that and also said some nice things about who I am.
- Does any1 care?: I talk about how having an audience affects my motivation to create.
...they're fun. Making a vlog while doing something else adds visual interest, gives the vlog a natural stopping point (the tea is done and the kettle refilled), and it's just kind of fun to perform for the camera. And I pick topics I feel capable of speaking extemporaneously about - subjects I've thought through and have a pretty clear idea of what I want to communicate.
The court magician by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018, 3160 words) Oh my GOD. This is horrifying and compulsive, and a hell of a way to start off the short story reading list. Good god. It’s somewhat disingenuous maybe to start off the list saying ‘highly ranked!’ but…I’m anticipating putting it high.
The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018) Oh my god, I say in an entirely different tone. This was hilarious and charming and I’m still snickering despite myself. I keep telling myself that I’ll judge Vernon’s work harsher because I’ve already voted for her lots, and she’s won lots. And I do critique her sentences, and then she goes and does that, and I’m so charmed.
The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018) This story is written with that utter assuredness that makes writing look effortless, and speaks with the assuredness that between one breath (or sentence) and the next, it made me inhale in that electric: 'yes, of course it happened like that.' And looking back over the list of finalists, all of them are *good* this year, but it's this story that takes a known thing (that George Washington had dentures of teeth taken from the mouths of the people he owned), and gives it that little (again, it feels little, effortless, an of course) push, that twist to make it into something actually Hugo-worthy above the rest: speculative and unique. It's going to the top of my ballot for that.
STET by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine, October 2018) This feels like both an inspired use of format (academic article, and the discussion between author and editor in footnotes) and one that could be…tighter? More of a reveal? Looking beyond the fantastic use of format, I feel like any questions I might have had were mostly answered in the opening lines of comment text box, and not much more was revealed in the closing lines. Actually, leaving that final comment box with a flashing cursor, so we don't know the article author's response would have tipped it into being sublime. As it is, I'm left sad at the lost potential.
The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine 23, July-August 2018) The title* reads like a Tingle puppy pick, and yet, the writing, man. It's ludicrious, and yet somewhere in there it slid under my skin and into suspension of disbelief and into a cacklingly-good read. I freaking love Bolander, and I'm looking forward to buying her finalist novelette.
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018) A white 30s-something librarian witch white-saviours a black at-risk teenager. Did acknowledging its problematic-ness in the text remove the the problem? No. Was it well written? Yes, for the most part. Is it Hugo-worthy? Not really. Did I love it with a heart-squeezing passion, and would I read a trilogy of it? *hides face* Yes.
Current ballot for Short Stories
1. The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington
2. The court magician
3. The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat
4. The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society
6. A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies
Because almost immediately I went off to work on Good Omens. And my life was put on hold for two years.
When I came back from making Good Omens, it was top of the list of things I needed to do. Fortunately, I'd been practising for two years, or at least, reading Fox in Socks to Ash. Here you go...
James S.A. Corey, Tiamat’s Wrath: ( fighting empire )
Ann Leckie, The Raven Tower: ( gods and monsters )Michael Marshall Smith, Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence: ( devil's playground )
Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs: ( interesting epic fantasy )
Robert Jackson Bennett, Vigilance: ( guns, no butter )
Robert Jackson Bennett, The Troupe: ( traveling players sing the world into being )
Erica L. Satifka, Stay Crazy: ( paranoid schizophrenia and communication with other dimensions )
Tobias S. Buckell, ( James Bond after climate change )
T. Kingfisher, The Seventh Bride:( fractured fairy tale )
Alaya Whiteley, The Loosening Skin: ( love is skin deep )
I don't think I'm cut out for being a professional philosopher - a lot of the job of such philosophers is to study, understand, and respond to popular positions held by other philosophers, however asinine or incoherent, and because "asinine" and "incoherent" are philosophical judgments, you can't make any agreed-upon list of works to exclude on that basis. I can deal with the stuff sometimes, but my tolerance for it is too limited to do the job in any kind of consistent way.
I do like philosophy, though, and philosophizing. And I've been thinking about how to define art lately - "art" as in the all-of-it thing, not specifically visual art - and that turned into the following.
“From this hour forward the gates of the city will be barred to my kin. Do not underestimate them. Do not commune with them. Do not give them offerings, or give them bread or Ajash if they visit you disguised. Many of them have a sweet countenance and a honeyed tongue. They will say their wish is to be a teacher of men, to spread messages of peace. In an earlier age, this was true. Now dogs and worse have crept into their ranks. Madness has consumed them. Their only passion now is a lust for blood and power.”
-Proclamation of Au Vam
Looking forward to Lucifer returning. It's too much to hope that it will be like that one J2 story where SPN got moved to HBO and everything got very hot and heavy, isn't it?
Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence: ( trippy )
Anand Giridharas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World: ( the charitable is political )Pete Buttigieg, Shortest Way Home: ( he's a mayor )
Bradley Hope & Tom Wright, Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World: ( the banality of evil )
Jeff Kosseff, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet: ( section 230 )
Jared Diamond, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis: ( oy )
Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It: ( world historical )David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory: ( how the lost cause was won )
The story in the middle panel comes to us from Rabbi Bibi bar Abaye, who lived in the second century and got frequent visits from the Angel of Death. His assistant, sent for “Miriam the hairdresser” brought him “Miriam the children’s nurse” instead. When informed that this was not the correct Miriam, the assistant angel offered to put her back, but the Angel of Death said no, you can’t put them back, we’re stuck with it now. The version of this story that I read didn’t mention whether Miriam was in the room with the angels while they were discussing this, or what she thought of the situation.
I’m told, furthermore, that situations like this are why Jews traditionally do not name children after relatives who are still alive—that would create the possibility that the child would die in place of the older relative because of some mixup like this. Kind of makes you wonder how often it happens. What kind of ship is Azrael running?
Katherine discusses writing for NCIS: New Orleans.