So it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Stuffing some news in with the links.
To my immense chuffedness, Line and Orbit took silver in the Best Gay SF and bronze in the Best Gay Debut categories in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. Many, many congrats to all the winners and finalists.
- “Michigan passes ‘rape insurance’ bill”. The Republican governor actually opposed it. Michigan, I cannot even with you.
- “The Return of the Welfare Queen”. Which does not actually exist, naturally.
The facts defy the stereotypes. The largest group of food-stamp recipients is white; 45 percent of all beneficiaries are children; and most people eligible for Medicaid are families with children in which at least one person in the household has a job.
- “David Cronenberg Wants to Be Inside You.” On the Cronenberg exhibition currently making the rounds and Cronenberg’s overall oeuvre.
- “Friday the 13th: A Ghost Story”. This past Friday was the 13th. So someone had a surprising and unwelcome visitor.
- “Five Stages of Reading the Novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture”.
The book starts with a special preface by Admiral Kirk. He introduces himself by talking about his name. Kirk, because he’s a traditionalist, Tiberius because of his grandfather’s fascination with the classics, and James after his uncle and his mother’s first love instructor.
Yeah. That’s what it said. That’s page one.
- Over at Cyborgology, David Banks has the first part of a post series we’re doing, of our own personal history with devices and digital technology. As I said on Twitter, it’s funny, insightful, and rather sweet.
- And I have the first part of a two-part essay on sex and drones and how they go together.
Drones have become a symbol of contemporary surveillance, a thing that’s always there and always watching and always potentially capable of doing harm. Sometimes this harm is through direct violence, and sometimes it’s merely the delivery of data to people who can use it against you. But either way, there are two aspects to the erotic power of drones, and they’re interrelated: Being known, and being controlled.
This has become my theme/end titles music for Labyrinthian, the SF novel I just finished writing, so enjoy.
- Antidote to all the dismaying SFWA sexist bullshit: “Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron”, by A.C. Wise.
For this mission, they’ve chosen strictly retro-future, which means skin-tight silver, boots that come nearer to the knee than their skirts, bubble-barreled ray-guns, frosted white lipstick and, of course, big hair. CeCe the Velvet Underground Drag King called in sick with the flu, so it’s lamé all the way.
- One of the best pieces of short fiction I’ve read this year is a flash story presented as a Twitter bug report. Read it. Trust me.
- Stand with Turkey.
People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.
What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. Three people lost their eyes.
- When you’re dealing with highly abstract concepts like states and corporations, what does it mean to grapple with the material?
We have the ability to fight them in the streets to a degree. We can still burn the buildings down, block the lanes of traffic, and cut the cables. But to do this, we must be able to see these material capillary beds. We cannot fight corporate cops that don’t exist, or boycott nation-state products that don’t need our business. There is a material reality to both states and corporations, but we can easily miss it, distracted by the allusions we have created in our minds for rhetorical simplicity.
- I did kind of a bit of commentary for Cyborgology on the Kindle Worlds thing.
The practical implications of this are that traditional tie-in writers might no longer be needed at all. Instead of having to pay authors advances and higher royalty rates, Kindle Worlds presents a dystopian future where media tie-ins are entirely produced by poorly compensated fandom content-serfs, where traditional writers of original fiction are simply no longer needed.
- “Melancholic Damage.” Rhianna’s new album and racist-sexist discourses of acceptable recovery. Long but so worth it.
In a multiracial white supremacist partriarchy like ours, resilience distributes racial privilege: “good” black women who “overcome” are granted some of the privileges of whiteness, while women who fail to overcome are racially darkened. To maintain white privilege, one has to keep optimizing one’s human capital. Those who can’t keep up will fall behind, ever closer to precarity, which is racially nonwhite. Whiteness is thus increasingly indexed to resilience, and non-whiteness to precarity. This is actually a vicious cycle — privilege makes it easier to “bounce back” from crisis.
- Murmuration has begun and this poem is stunning.
Edward said their thereness is just
a shadow on the sky. Before depredating colonies
of pests, the selfish herd moves
with all the precision of an equation, unraveled
by game controllers north of Tampa. Of starlings,
bats, and drones, only drones are native to Florida.
Do like they do.