coyote wild

Joanna Russ, requiescat in pace

It seems so fittingly SFnal that I first heard about her death on Twitter, early this morning.

I encountered her feminist critical essays before I knew her as an SF writer, oddly enough, though I was reading widely with a foot in each of those worlds. By the time I discovered her fiction, though, I'd already developed a profound respect for Russ as a thinker, a philosopher, and a visionary:

In a nominally egalitarian society the ideal situation (socially speaking) is one in which the members of the "wrong" groups have the freedom to engage in literature (or equally significant activities) and yet do not do so, thus proving that they can't. But, alas, give them the least real freedom and they will do it. The trick thus becomes to make the freedom as nominal a freedom as possible and then—since some of the so-and-so's will do it anyway—develop various strategies for ignoring, condemning, or belittling the artistic works that result. If properly done, these strategies result in a social situation in which the "wrong" people are (supposedly) free to commit literature, art, or whatever, but very few do, and those who do (it seems) do it badly, so we can all go home to lunch.
The methods indicated above are varied but tend to occur in certain key areas: informal prohibitions (including discouragement and the inaccessibility of materials and training), denying the authorship of the work in question (this ploy ranges from simple misattribution to psychological subtleties that make the head spin), belittlement of the work itself in various ways, isolation of the work from the tradition to which it belongs and its consequent presentation as anomalous, assertions that the work indicates the author's bad character and hence is of primarily scandalous interest or ought not to have been done at all (this did not end with the nineteenth century), and simply ignoring the works, the workers, and the whole tradition, the most commonly employed technique and the hardest to combat.
What follows is not intended as a history. Rather it's a sketch of an analytic tool: patterns in the suppression of women's writing.
--From How To Suppress Women's Writing, by Joanna Russ

I'm sad that I never met her, since she profoundly influenced so much of how I think about writing and about being a woman. I am grateful, though, that in keeping with traditional singing of tales about our passing heroes,  TNH remembers Joanna Russ.
coyote wild

Asimov/AnalogSF forums gone?

Through the grapevine, I'm getting reports that a persistent and stubborn troll has managed to frustrate the admin/staff of the Asimov's/Analog forums into closing the forum indefinitely. Having been through similar rodeos, running AW, I'd caution folks not to believe everything they hear. It may well be something as simple as a technical problem or updates that are taking longer than expected. Sometimes stuff just gets lost in translation.

I've also been approached by multiple people about creating an online space for the displaced forum members, over on Absolutewrite. I'm happy to do that, of course, either as a semi-permanent solution or on a strictly temporary basis. We already have a thriving SFF board. It's pretty trivial, technically-speaking, to create a room or sub-forum for people trying to keep in touch with each other, until this situation gets resolved.

I'm concerned for the displaced community members -- I'm seeing a great deal of consternation and displacement expressed, and I know that it's disorienting and frustrating for a community to go through this.

I'd urge folks to be patient, though -- it's pretty rare that a single troll is so very awful as to result in the permanent dissolution of an online community. I'd be willing to bet that the folks running the forums for Asimov's and Analog get things figured out and manage to restore the community. So those of you feeling disoriented, keep the faith!

In the meantime, since online communities are what I do for a living, I'm happy to help anyway I can (and that includes volunteering AW's SFF forum as a gathering place and information-clearinghouse.
coyote wild

Turns out...

yummy, tender, sweet roasted brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts, roasted with a little olive oil, kosher salt, and lemon pepper? Nom nom nom. Especially alongside mashed yukon gold taters with crispy pepper bacon bits over all.

Turns out I like brussels sprouts after all. 

For the curious, I did not parboil or blanch them, first - just trimmed them off the stalk, rinsed thoroughly, then tossed in a big boil with enough olive oil to coat 'em, salted, lemon-peppered, and roasted at about 400 - 425 F, turning a few times until they were crispy and caramelized and yummy on the outside and sort of steamed tender inside.
coyote wild


I've been talked into NaNo-ing, by a friend who wants to give herself "permission to write crap, again" since she's feeling like she got a ways away from being able to just plough forward. (Like a lot of other writers, she works full-time as a freelancer, especially publishing kids, family, educational, and humor pieces.)

I'll confess I'm a bit seduced by the slogan "thirty days and nights of literary abandon" -- because, well, who wouldn't be?

I am nervous.
coyote wild

Leaving for Viable Paradise XIV

Early in the morning, flying out for the East Coast. Some of you I'll see there! I always look forward to meeting a new class of VPers, and this year is shaping up to be magnificent.

I still have not gotten my jellyfish tattoo. Something to be considered as soon as I'm home again.

See you on the other side, everyone!
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