In the Gospel of John, we read a story where a group of Jewish Torah teachers and Pharisees (members of a legalistic sect of Judaism) bring to Jesus a woman whom they caught in adultery, asking Him what punishment He thinks the woman deserves. Masterfully — as He always did — Jesus answers the scholars with a simple, yet profound statement: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7, NIV).
Recently, Newsweek featured a cover article on the Bible in which author Kurt Eichenwald — not a Biblical scholar but a business writer with a clear agenda — lets forth on how Christians misinterpret the Bible. In his piece, Eichenwald throws the first stone, not even pretending to mask an agenda against conservative Biblical scholarship:
They wave their Bibles at passersby, screaming their condemnations of homosexuals. They fall on their knees, worshipping at the base of granite monuments to the Ten Commandments while demanding prayer in school. They appeal to God to save America from their political opponents, mostly Democrats. They gather in football stadiums by the thousands to pray for the country’s salvation.
They are God’s frauds, cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which Bible verses they heed with less care than they exercise in selecting side orders for lunch. They are joined by religious rationalizers—fundamentalists who, unable to find Scripture supporting their biases and beliefs, twist phrases and modify translations to prove they are honoring the Bible’s words.
This holiday season, I know you’ve been wondering: what can I give the Southern culture lover on my gift list? Well, worry no more, because I, your intrepid Southern culture expert, have decided to swoop in like a Christmas miracle and save the day!
Here’s a list of 34 awesome gift choices that cover just about every area of the culture below the Mason-Dixon line. The best part: nearly everything on this list is eligible for Amazon Prime, for all you procrastinators. Enjoy!
5. Explore The Literary South
One of the greatest traditions in the South is storytelling, and a classic Southern story makes a wonderful gift for the bookworm on your list. Here are just a few recommendations.
William Faulkner is one of the best known and most respected authors in the South or anywhere. I’ve always had a difficult time keeping my concentration reading his novels, but I love his short stories. I highly recommend The Collected Stories of William Faulkner (also available for Kindle) as a sort of greatest hits collection and The Uncollected Stories of William Faulkner for deeper cuts (get it here for Kindle).
Georgia’s own Flannery O’Connor also made a name for herself in literary circles, and her short stories are some of the best in American literature as a whole. Check out The Complete Stories (also on Kindle) to experience her true genius in all its glory, but I also recommend the slim volume A Prayer Journal (also on Kindle) for some of the most beautiful, lyrical Christian prayers I’ve ever read.
Of course, there are plenty of great Southern novels to choose from, but here are some of my favorites. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God delves into the lives of black people in rural Florida with a lyrical flair. In Ellen Foster, by Kaye Gibbons, a precocious orphan tells her own story. James Dickey’s Deliverance is the same harrowing story as the movie, but with greater depth. And Family Linen by Lee Smith is my all-time favorite novel — a twisty, darkly comic family tale.
You can’t go wrong with any of these choices for literature lovers.
Now that the pixel dust has (mostly) settled, we can begin trying to glean some lessons from the sudden crack up of The New Republic.
Since its inception 100 years ago, TNR has positioned itself as the journal of American liberalism, when that word was still synonymous with patriotism, freedom and even a hawkish foreign policy.
The magazine cheer-led for Stalin longer than was seemly and opposed the Vietnam War. However, it was also critical of the New Left’s excesses and, under contentious editor Martin Peretz, became largely pro-Israel.
It may have been “the in-flight magazine of Air Force One” during the Clinton administration but that didn’t prevent TNR from being highly critical of his (and Hillary’s) policies.
So it wouldn’t be entirely fair or accurate to describe The New Republic as a “liberal” magazine, although that’s what a lot of conservative commentators have been doing since this week’s Chernobyl-level meltdown.
In a magazine landscape in which The Nation is unmistakeably far-left, and National Review and the Weekly Standard are clearly “right wing,” The New Republic sometimes seemed… confused — a reflection of the particular passions of whoever happened to be editor at the time.
And many of those editors over the years have been quite young.
That’s why it’s likely that the prospect of having a 28-year-old owner didn’t immediately strike fear into the hearts of New Republic stakeholders.
The New Republic magazine celebrates its 100th anniversary with a special section called “100 Years, 100 Thinkers.”
Unfortunately, the categories into which these “minds who’ve defined our century” are helpfully slotted are almost parodically First World, elite-uptown-liberal:
“Architecture.” “Environmentalism.” “Songwriting.” “Diplomacy.”
And of course, “American Civil Rights.” (Zzzzzzzz….)
Unless you count “Medicine,” no hard sciences were deemed worthy of consideration.
An alien browsing this section would be forgiven for assuming that man never set foot on the moon.
But who cares when someone named Alice Waters “made (local) lettuce sexy!”
(And besides, The New Republic assures us that “Martians need only watch one of [Richard Pryor's] concert films to best understand the human species in the shortest amount of time.”)
Naturally, there’s a “Sex” section, and Alfred Kinsey comes out on top (as it were.)
This past week a group of scientists from the European Space Agency landed a spaceship on a comet. Contemporary feminists commented on the happening, but not for the reason you’d think. Screw science. One of the guys on the team talked about the major breakthrough in an on-the-spot interview while wearing a shirt with barely-clad, busty women brandishing guns. Social media chaos ensued. The scientist cried out an apology over the Internet. Apparently the rather clever hashtag #shirtstorm is the real reason why Obama cancelled the space program.
And you wonder why Lana Del Rey would rather spend her time talking about Space-X and Tesla instead of associating herself with the pioneering movement for women that has turned into a forum for Dunham-loving yuppie nags. Celebrities are distancing themselves from the f-word because so-called feminists think the greatest thing they can do for womankind is to complain about a scientist’s tacky shirt. I’m sure that really inspired a teenage girl out there to forego joining ISIS and join in the fight against… dudes bearing busty broads?
So The Atlantic has discovered women in Science Fiction. To be more precise, The Atlantic has discovered that women are “rising” in science fiction. Again. Apparently they asked Ann Leckie about women and awards in Science Fiction and Leckie, best known for writing a novel in which people have two genders and pretend to only see the female one, explained:
But both Leckie and Hurley express a combination of optimism and cynicism when it comes to whether or not women in the science fiction world are actually making progress, and how quickly. Leckie points out that this isn’t the first time women have been in the spotlight for writing award winning science fiction. “Sometimes I feel very optimistic about it, I say look at this, there are more women getting awards,” she says. “And then I look back and the ‘70s. The ‘70s was a decade that was crammed with prominent women science fiction writers, and a lot of women made their debut in that decade or really came to prominence.”
This was the time of Ursula K. Le Guin and Vonda McIntyre, who both won joint Nebulas and Hugos. Anne McCaffrey, Kate Wilhelm, Joan Vinge, and Marion Zimmer Bradley were all nominated for Hugo Awards that decade. In 1973, the Alice Bradley Sheldon, who wrote under the pen name James Tiptree, Jr. wrote the famous, feminist short story called “The Women Men Don’t See.” Joanna Russ’s feminist science fiction book The Female Man was published in 1975 and nominated that year for a Nebula.
Then, Leckie says, the ‘80s and ‘90s happened. The rate of women nominated and winning awards dipped down again. And today, once again, society has this idea that women who write science fiction are a strange and interesting breed. In other words, today the community is having the same conversation it had in the ‘70s about women writing science fiction.
This is beyond precious. First of all, I’d like to inform The Atlantic that the (ever-shrinking) community they’re talking about is the Science Fiction Writers of America, the same organization that went on the war path against two members for using the word “lady” which is apparently derogatory. Of course, people with such high standards are having the best conversations. At least, they’re having the best conversations, if the conversations you’re looking for are “excuse me, is the sky made of Swiss or Guyere?”
As for Ms. Leckie, I believe she is confused about the history of the field. In fact, women went right on winning awards through the eighties and nineties.
For instance, this is a list of the Nebulas won by women since 1982 to 2011:
- 2011 NOVEL: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis NOVELLA: “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window”, Rachel Swirsky SHORT STORY (tie): “Ponies”, Kij Johnson SHORT STORY (tie): “How Interesting: A Tiny Man”, Harlan Ellison
- 2010 NOVELLA: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker NOVELETTE: “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast”, Eugie Foster SHORT STORY: “Spar”, Kij Johnson RAY BRADBURY AWARD: District 9, Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell ANDRE NORTON AWARD: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente
- 2009 NOVEL: Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin NOVELLA: “The Spacetime Pool”, Catherine Asaro SHORT STORY: “Trophy Wives”, Nina Kiriki Hoffman
- 2008 NOVELLA: “Fountain of Age”, Nancy Kress SHORT STORY: “Always”, Karen Joy Fowler ANDRE NORTON AWARD: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling
- 2007 SHORT STORY: “Echo”, Elizabeth Hand SCRIPT: Howl’s Moving Castle, Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt & Donald H. Hewitt ANDRE NORTON AWARD: Magic or Madness, Justine Larbalestier
- 2006 NOVELLA: “Magic for Beginners”, Kelly Link NOVELETTE: “The Faery Handbag”, Kelly Link SHORT STORY: “I Live With You”, Carol Emshwiller ANDRE NORTON AWARD: Valiant, Holly Black
- 2005 NOVEL: Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold NOVELETTE: “Basement Magic”, Ellen Klages SHORT STORY: “Coming to Terms”, Eileen Gunn SCRIPT: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson
- 2004 NOVEL: The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon SHORT STORY: “What I Didn’t See”, Karen Joy Fowler SCRIPT: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair & Peter Jackson
- 2003 SHORT STORY: “Creature”, Carol Emshwiller SCRIPT: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson
- 2002 NOVEL: The Quantum Rose, Catherine Asaro NOVELETTE: “Louise’s Ghost”, Kelly Link SHORT STORY: “The Cure for Everything”, Severna Park
- 2001 NOVELLA: “Goddesses”, Linda Nagata
- 2000 NOVEL: Parable of the Talents, Octavia E. Butler NOVELETTE: “Mars Is No Place for Children”, Mary A. Turzillo SHORT STORY: “The Cost of Doing Business”, Leslie What
- 1999 NOVELLA: “Reading the Bones”, Sheila Finch NOVELETTE: “Lost Girls”, Jane Yolen
- 1998 NOVEL: The Moon and the Sun, Vonda N. McIntyre NOVELETTE: “The Flowers of Aulit Prison”, Nancy Kress SHORT STORY: “Sister Emily’s Lightship”, Jane Yolen
- 1997 NOVEL: Slow River, Nicola Griffith SHORT STORY: “A Birthday”, Esther M. Friesner
- 1996 NOVELLA: “Last Summer at Mars Hill”, Elizabeth Hand NOVELETTE: “Solitude”, Ursula K. Le Guin SHORT STORY: “Death and the Librarian”, Esther M. Friesner
- 1995 SHORT STORY: “A Defense of the Social Contracts”, Martha Soukup
- 1994 NOVEL: Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson
- 1993 NOVEL: Doomsday Book, Connie Willis NOVELETTE: “Danny Goes to Mars”, Pamela Sargent SHORT STORY: “Even the Queen”, Connie Willis
- 1992 NOVELLA: “Beggars in Spain”, Nancy Kress
- 1991 NOVEL: Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
- 1990 NOVEL: The Healer’s War, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough NOVELLA: “The Mountains of Mourning”, Lois McMaster Bujold NOVELETTE: “At the Rialto”, Connie Willis
- 1989 NOVEL: Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold NOVELLA: “The Last of the Winnebagos”, Connie Willis
- 1988 NOVELLA: “The Blind Geometer”, Pat Murphy SHORT STORY: “Forever Yours, Anna”, Kate Wilhelm
- 1987 NOVELETTE: “The Girl Who Fell into the Sky”, Kate Wilhelm
- 1986 SHORT STORY: “Out of All Them Bright Stars”, Nancy Kress
- 1985 NOVELETTE: “Bloodchild”, Octavia E. Butler
- 1983 NOVELETTE: “Fire Watch”, Connie Willis SHORT STORY: “A Letter from the Clearys”, Connie Willis
- 1982 SHORT STORY: “The Bone Flute”, Lisa Tuttle [refused]
- 1981 NOVELLA: “Unicorn Tapestry”, Suzy McKee Charnas
And this is a list of Hugo Awards for the same period:
1981 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Devention in Denver, CO. 1981 Hugo Nominees
Novel: The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Dramatic Presentation: The Empire Strikes Back written by Leigh Brackett & Lawrence Kasdan, directed by Irvin Kershner (20th Century Fox)
Fan Writer: Susan Wood
Fan Artist: Victoria Poyser
1982 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Chicon IV in Chicago, IL. 1982 Hugo Nominees
Novel: Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh
Fan Artist: Victoria Poyser
Campbell Award: Alexis Gilliland
1983 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Constellation in Baltimore, MD. 1983 Hugo Nominees
Novella: “Souls” by Joanna Russ
Novelette: “Fire Watch” by Connie Willis
1984 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at LACon II in Los Angeles, CA. 1984 Hugo Nominees
Short Story: “Speech Sounds” by Octavia Butler
Professional Editor: Shawna McCarthy
1985 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Aussiecon Two in Melbourne, Australia. 1985 Hugo Nominees
Novelette: “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler
1986 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Confederation in Atlanta, GA. 1986 Hugo Nominees
Professional Editor: Judy Lynn Del Rey [Note: Lester Del Rey rejected this award on the basis that Judy Lynn would have objected to the award being given just because she had recently died.]
Fan Artist: joan hanke-woods
Campbell Award: Melissa Scott
1987 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Conspiracy ’87 in Brighton, United Kingdon. 1987 Hugo Nominees
Campbell Award: Karen Joy Fowler
1988 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at NolaCon II, in New Orleans, LA. 1988 Hugo Nominees
Novelette: “Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight” by Ursula K. Le Guin
Campbell Award: Judith Moffett
1989 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Noreascon III in Boston, MA. 1989 Hugo Nominees
Novel: Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh
Novella: “The Last of the Winnebagos” by Connie Willis
Fan Artist: Brad Foster and Diana Gallagher Wu (tie)
Campbell Award: Michaela Roessner
1990 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at ConFiction in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1990 Hugo Nominees
Novella: “The Mountains of Mourning” by Lois McMaster Bujold
Short Story: “Boobs” by Suzy McKee Charnas
Fanzine: The Mad 3 Party (Leslie Turek, ed.)
Campbell Award: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
1991 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Chicon V in Chicago, IL. 1991 Hugo Award Nominees
Novel: The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
Campbell Award: Julia Ecklar
1992 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at MagiCon in Orlando, FL. Photos from the MagiCon Hugo Exhibit 1992 Hugo Award Nominees
Novel: Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
Novella: “Beggars in Spain” by Nancy Kress
Fanzine: Mimosa (Dick & Nicki Lynch, ed.)
1993 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at ConFrancisco in San Francisco, CA. 1993 Hugo Nominees
Novel: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge and Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (tie)
Novelette: “The Nutcracker Coup” by Janet Kagan
Short Story: “Even the Queen” by Connie Willis
Fanzine: Mimosa (Dick and Nicki Lynch, eds.)
Fan Artist: Peggy Ranson
Campbell Award: Laura Resnick
1994 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Conadian in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 1994 Hugo Nominees
Short Story: “Death on the Nile” by Connie Willis
Professional Editor: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Fanzine: Mimosa (Dick & Nicki Lynch, eds.)
Campbell Award: Amy Thomson
1995 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out on Sunday, August 27 at Intersection in Glasgow, Scotland. 1995 Hugo Nominees
Novel: Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
1996 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out on Sunday, September 1 at L.A.con III in Anaheim, CA. 1996 Hugo Nominees
Short Story: “The Lincoln Train” by Maureen F. McHugh (F&SF, April 1995)
Dramatic Presentation: Babylon 5 “The Coming of Shadows” written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Janet Greek (Warner Brothers)
1997 Hugo Winners
The 1997 Hugos were awarded at LoneStarCon II in San Antonio, TX. 1997 Hugo Award Nominees
Short Story: “The Soul Selects Her Own Society…” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s 4/96; War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches)
Fanzine: Mimosa (Dick & Nicki Lynch, eds.)
1998 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were awarded on Friday, August 7 at the Convention Center in Baltimore, MD at Bucconeer. Charles Sheffield served as Master of Ceremonies.
Fanzine: Mimosa (Dick & Nicki Lynch, eds.)
Campbell Award: Mary Doria Russell
1999 Hugo Winners
The 1999 Hugos were awarded at Aussiecon III on September 4 in Melborne, Australia. Complete voting records. 1999 Hugo Nominees
Campbell Award: Nalo Hopkinson
2000 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Chicon 2000 (VI) on Saturday, September 3, 2000. Novel: A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (Tor)
Novella: “The Winds of Marble Arch” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s 10-11/99)
2001 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at the Millennium Philcon on Sunday, September 2, 2001. Esther Friesner was the MC.
Novel: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury; Scholastic/Levine)
Novelette: “Millennium Babies” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov’s Jan 2000)
Fan Artist: Teddy Harvia
Campbell Award: Kristine Smith
2002 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at ConJosé on Sunday, September 1, 2002. Tad Williams served as the MC.
Professional Editor: Ellen Datlow
Dramatic Presentation: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, directed by Peter Jackson (New Line Cinema)
Fan Artist: Teddy Harvia
Campbell Award: Jo Walton
The 2003 Hugo Awards were given out at Torcon 3 on Saturday, August 30. Spider Robinson served as Toastmaster. Photos from Torcon. 2003 Hugo Award Nominees
Non-Fiction Book: Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril, Judith Merril and Emily Pohl-Weary (Between the Lines)
Fanzine: Mimosa (Richard & Nicki Lynch ed.)
Fan Artist: Sue Mason
Campbell Award: Wen Spencer
The 2004 Hugo Awards were given out at Noreascon 4 on Saturday, September 4. Novel: Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos)
Semiprozine: Locus (Charles N. Brown, Jennfier Hall, and Kirsten Gong-Wong)
Fanzine: Emerald City edited by Cheryl Morgan
The 2005 Hugo Awards were given out at Interaction on Saturday, August 6.
Novel: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
Novelette: “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link (The Faery Reel Viking)
Non-fiction Book: The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction ed. by Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn (Cambridge University Press)
Professional Editor: Ellen Datlow
Web Site: SciFiction ed. by Ellen Datlow, Craig Engler, general manager
Fan Artist: Sue Mason
Campbell Award: Elizabeth Bear
The 2006 Hugo Awards were given out at L. A. Con on Saturday, August 26. Guest of Honor Connie Willis served as MC, aided by Robert Silverberg.
Novella: “Inside Job” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s January 2005)
Non-fiction Book: Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop by Kate Wilhelm (Small Beer Press)
Semiprozine: Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
Fanzine: Plokta edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies & Mike Scott
Special Committee Awards: Betty Ballantine, Harlan Ellison
The 2007 Hugo Awards were given out at Nippon on Saturday, September 1. Toastmasters were George Takei and Nozomi Ohmori 2007 Hugo Award Nominees
Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
Semiprozine: Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
Fanzine: Science Fiction Five-yearly edited by Lee Hoffman, Geri Sullivan & Randy Byers
Campbell Award: Naomi Novik
The 2008 Hugo Awards were given out at Denvention on Saturday, August 9, 2008. The Master of Ceremony was Wil McCarthy.
Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)
Semiprozine: Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
Campbell Award: Mary Robinette Kowal
The 2009 Hugo Awards were given out at Anticipation on Sunday, August 9, 2009. The MCs were Julie Czerneda and Yves Meynard.
Novella: “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
Novelette: “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)
Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Editor, Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Semiprozine: Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal
Fan Writer: Cheryl Morgan
2010 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Aussiecon IV on Sunday, September 5, 2010. Garth Nix served as MC. 2010 Hugo Award Nominees
Graphic Novel: Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne & the Heirs of the Storm Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio; Art by Phil Foglio; Colours by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Editor – Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Semiprozine: Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, & Cheryl Morgan
Campbell Award: Seanan McGuire
2011 Hugo Winners
The Hugos were given out at Renovation on Saturday, August 20, 2011. Jay Lake and Ken Scholes served as MCs. 2011 Hugo Award Nominees
Novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Short Story: “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
Non-Fiction Book: Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
Graphic Novel: Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne & the Guardian Misuse Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio; Art by Phil Foglio; Colours by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Editor – Short Form: Sheila Williams
Semiprozine: Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, & Cheryl Morgan; podcast directed by Kate Baker
Fan Writer: Claire Brialey
As you see, women quite disappeared from science fiction and fantasy in the eighties and nineties being kept out by the man. Whoever that man was. (Some men might actually have sneaked into the compilation above because I’m cut-pasting on a faulty mouse. Some women probably got cut out, too. Let me assure you right now that this is a plot of the patriarchy. Your worst fears are justified.) Or perhaps while in other countries women are being enslaved and sold and killed, Ms. Leckie is trying to use the Gramscian tactic of claiming victimhood to make herself look interesting? And therefore tries to claim discrimination that women in science fiction have never actually suffered, much less in the last thirty years? Nah, surely it would never happen. For heavens sake, that’s about as likely as the organization that used to represent all the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and which is now determined to represent only the POLITICALLY CORRECT Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America voting for all females for an award, and then celebrating the fact that only females won the award and saying that even if the stories aren’t all that good, the males deserve it for keeping women out of the awards women have been winning all along. As we know, that would never happen. Not in a sane world. Or an insane one. Not unless the moon were made of green cheese. Which it’s not, since SFWA has narrowed it down to Swiss or Guyere in their latest important conversation.
And it’s a good thing that never happened, because if The Atlantic – The Atlantic, that’s like a real magazine, right? And they have layers and layers of fact checkers, right? – were to publish an article about how women disappeared from the science fiction and fantasy awards in the eighties and nineties, we’d have to point at them and laugh and make duck noises, which would definitely leads to take them less seriously the next time they make grandiose claims based on the self-serving narrative of a small and vocal group, right.
But fortunately that never happened. Because if Ms. Leckie had said something as ridiculous as:
Leckie agrees, saying that there is a community of women writers who have been bolstered by their ability to find and support one another. “The Internet really lets people connect that wouldn’t have in the past, and lets conversations happen and connections happen. That’s really something that happens, I’m not sure it’s a club with membership cards but I think there’s some kind of community.”
One would be forced to respond, “Oh, Sweet Pea” (totally allowed. After all the Democrats used it in an ad) “A community of women is not in the nature of a writers’ society which, after all, cares more about excellence in writing than about what is between the writer’s legs. A community of women is a sorority, a lesbian dating club or a sewing circle. Given how conventional you all are and how you draw together for comfort and protection, Sweet Pea, I’m going with sewing circle.”
But since that embarrassing article never happened, I don’t have to say that. And that’s good. Imagine if I did have to say it. Why, it would be rude. And I’m never rude. Even when sorely tempted by the self-aggrandizing nonsense of pseudo-pioneers.
The real pioneers are in indie, where we have some recommendations for you today.
Wounded veteran Dev Macquire needs some farm help until he recovers. When his father, Gray, brings home a new hand, he’s dismayed to meet Irina. How can a woman do the rough, heavy work they need? As she works her way into their life, and into his heart, he’s faced with a new dilemma. Can he persuade her to stay, and to accept a new role in his life?
Irina took the job on a whim. She just wanted to work hard enough to forget why her life was on hold and her future uncertain. Daily reminded of a brighter past, a childhood spent on horseback…but her new feelings for Dev were definitely not sisterly. At the end of the summer she’d leave, it was too dangerous to risk staying near him.
As a wildfire threatens the countryside, racing toward the Macquire place, Dev and Irina discover what true partnership can feel like, working together to find the arsonist who is responsible. When the fires die out, are there embers left smoldering in hearts?
Only $0.99 through 11/9/14!
Cowboys and gunslingers meet wizards in this high fantasy series set in a world inspired by the American Wild West. Silas Vendine is a mage, a bounty hunter authorized by the Mage Council to hunt down and stop renegade wizards. He’s also a freedom fighter, committed to protecting the non-magical people of the Wildings from the overreaching ambitions of the mages. It’s a dangerous life, and Silas knows it. Still, when he comes to the town of Bitterbush Springs and meets Lainie Banfrey, a young woman born in the Wildings who is both drawn to and terrified of her own developing magical abilities, he finds far more trouble and excitement than he bargained for…
Wendy Jarrett is smart, tall, and lonely. Adam Lewis is tall, gorgeous, and available. They meet at the funeral for Adam’s crazy uncle Sheldon, and seem made for each other. But there’s a catch.
Sheldon was previously married to Wendy’s overbearing mother, and leaves the only possession in his estate—an ugly old Victorian house in Cape May—to her. This causes a serious rift between Wendy and Adam.
Wendy must take charge of the situation and learn the secret of the old house—and what she finds there may cause her to lose her chance at true love.
Duty calls. Honor demands action.
Major Ashlyn Shaw has survived false accusations and a brutal military prison. Now free, she finds her homeworld once again at war with an enemy that will stop at nothing to destroy everything she holds dear. Duty has Ashlyn once again answering the call to serve. She has seen what the enemy is capable of and will do everything she can to prevent it from happening to the home she loves and the people she took an oath to protect.
But something has changed. It goes beyond the fact that the enemy has changed tactics they never wavered from during the previous war. It even goes beyond the fact that there is still a nagging doubt in the back of Ashlyn’s mind that those who betrayed her once before might do so again. No, there is more to the resumption of hostilities, something that seems to point at a new player in the game. But who and what are they playing at?
Will Ashlyn be able to unmask the real enemy before it is too late?
Long time Sports Illustrated columnist and ESPN commentator Rick Reilly is retiring from the business at age 56.
Reilly didn’t invent the human interest sports story, but he may have perfected it. His “Life of Reilly” columns at SI were full of ordinary athletes performing with incredible handicaps. He wrote of their families, their teammates, and their communities with love and respect.
And man, could he write. Reilly and P.J. O’Rourke are the reasons I decided to try my hand at writing so late in life. Reilly had an ability to boil down the essence of a story until nothing but shining truth remained.
Reilly reminisced about some of the people he wrote about along the way at ESPN.com:
I’d notice how Michael Jordan never appeared before us until his tie was tied, his $3,000 suit buttoned, his silk pocket square just so. From him, I learned professionalism.
I watched safe after safe fall on John Elway’s head — Super Bowl losses, divorce, the loss of his twin sister and his beloved dad — and yet he refused to allow himself one ounce of self-pity. From him, I learned grit.
I’d see how Jim Murray would get up out of his chair in the press box to greet each of the dozens of people who just wanted to shake the great sports writer’s hand, even though he could hardly see his chair, much less their hands. From him, I learned humility.
I wrote about the teammates of high school cross country runner Ben Comen, who would finish their 3-mile races and then double back out onto the course to run with Ben and his limping cerebral palsy gait. From them, I learned love.
I discovered the athletes of Middlebury College, who would pick up a severely handicapped fan named Butch, load him into the car and take him to every game, where they’d provide a hot dog, a Coke and a buddy. From them, I learned service.
Never let anyone tell you sports doesn’t matter. Never let them tell you it’s all about the wins, the losses and the stats. Sports is so much more than that. It’s your grandfather and you and the way a Sunday Bears game bonds you like Super Glue. It’s what you ask of yourself to break four hours in the marathon. It’s the way your softball buddies can still laugh about you hitting the ump instead of the cutoff man 30 years later.
From his perch at SI, Reilly brought readers into the world of sport like no other writer of this or any other generation. Using the drama and sweep of sports to tell the most intimate of stories was inspired writing and the fact that he could pull it off most of the time speaks to his talent and his heart.
Reilly has not been forthcoming about his plans for the future except to say he’ll be living in Italy. His fans will look forward with anticipation for whatever genius flows from his pen.
A year or more ago I heard about this project called Liberty Island, supposed to give those of us whose politics make us pariahs with most of traditional publishing — though not Baen Books — a haven where we could meet our fans. I keep meaning to contribute to them, but of course, the last year I spent more time sick than well, and consequently I’m so far behind on books and contracts, I can practically see myself around the corner.
Well, they are up now (and have a story by Frank J. Fleming). And I’ve secured an interview with Adam Bellow, Liberty Island’s publisher and CEO. Bellow is a longtime nonfiction editor, currently running Broadside, the conservative nonfiction imprint of HarperCollins. He is also the author of In Praise of Nepotism, a lively contrarian take on an eternally divisive topic.
And, yep, sure, as soon as I get a weekend to pound it out, I’ll do a novella for Liberty Island.
Sarah Hoyt: I heard of Liberty Island back when it was in the planning stages. I understand it is an online magazine-cum-community center for writers and readers on the right side of the spectrum. Is this true? What do you want to tell us about Liberty Island?
Adam Bellow: We started Liberty Island to help the new wave of conservative storytellers connect with their natural audience. Even before launching the site we’ve discovered dozens of new voices on the right that you won’t find anywhere else. These are talented and creative people who have previously been excluded from mainstream culture because they hold the wrong views and didn’t go to the right schools or attend the approved writing programs. This just confirms our hunch that something like Liberty Island is desperately needed.
SH: Who is the audience for Liberty Island? What is “conservative fiction”? Shouldn’t good stories just stand on their own?
AB: Great literature stands on its own, but the productions of popular culture often carry a hidden freight of ideology that reflects its authors’ biases. Sometimes not so hidden — the evil conservative businessman is essentially the default villain in Hollywood these days. But think about what happens when great stories are told from a conservative perspective: you get Tom Clancy, or Brad Thor, or James Patterson, or Vince Flynn. Mega-bestselling authors with a huge following. Our audience is anyone who loves great pulp writers like those guys. At Liberty Island you will find dozens of stories like these, in genres ranging from humor to thriller to SciFi. These writers aren’t heavy handed in the least – their conservative outlook is sometimes explicit but just as often merely implied or completely submerged. Besides, a case can be made that traditional pulp genres are inherently conservative.
SH: In what way do you intend to distinguish yourself from other online magazines?
AB: Liberty Island combines a magazine, a free range self-publishing platform, and a community of readers and writers who share a commitment to the values of freedom, individualism, and American exceptionalism. It also has a unique mission: to serve as the platform and gathering-place for the new right-of-center counterculture.
SH: What made you think of the project – and commit to it and work so hard for it?
AB: Two things: first, an impulse to carry the culture war into the field of popular culture. And second, the writers themselves. In 25 years as an editor of nonfiction books I’ve watched the conservative intellectual project thrive and flourish. But like others on the right I’ve been dismayed by the slowness of conservatives to challenge the liberal dominance of popular culture. It’s not enough to carp and criticize the frequently substandard and offensive crap that liberals produce. As Andrew Breitbart used to say, we have to make our own—and it has to be good. But recently we began to notice an exciting development: hundreds, indeed thousands of conservative and libertarian writers were seizing the opportunity afforded by new digital technologies to produce and publish original works of fiction. Others were making music, video, graphics, and other forms of entertainment right on their laptops at home. These were ordinary men and women all over the country, working in isolation, doing their best to hone their art and find an audience. Yet no one seemed to know that they existed. So we started talking about what we could do to help them. Liberty Island grew out of those discussions.
At 9am on Wednesday, February 12th, I got wind of a Chicago Tribune article announcing the Orland Park Public Library was calling a last-minute “special meeting” on a legal holiday at 6pm to discuss and vote on continuing to allow access to pornography, including child pornography, on their computers, or to install filters as requested by both the public and the mayor of the village. This struck me as exceedingly strange because their regular meeting was already scheduled to occur the next Monday, the 17th. Why was there a sudden rush to vote?
The open position on the board was being filled at the “special meeting” as well. So they had decided to not only swear in a new member but also immediately vote on the most controversial issue their library had ever faced in a hurried, cobbled-together meeting giving the public one day’s notice. In the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) it was discovered they possibly broke two provisions in calling this meeting. First, the public notice was in question. The OMA requires 48 hours notice be given to the public in an easy-to-find location on their website and in their building. The website homepage was empty of any such notice, the Events calendar was also devoid of any notice (even though the regularly scheduled meeting appeared there), their Facebook page did not include any notice and their Twitter account also did not tweet any notice of the special meeting. The only notice that appeared was buried many clicks into their website where no member of the public would think to look. These are the steps a person would have to go through to find the “public notice.”
Go to www.orlandparklibrary.org then click ABOUT then ABOUT US then scroll down and click on BOARD OF TRUSTEES and then finally find the PDF OF AGENDA.
There is no reasonable way to argue that this is easy for the public to find when normally, if the Library has something it wants people to know (like the “warning” they posted about me or Library closing dates) they put it on the Library’s home page, Facebook and Twitter!
Further, the Open Meetings Act in IL states;
“All meetings required by this Act to be public shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient and open to the public. No meeting required by this Act to be public shall be held on a legal holiday unless the regular meeting day falls on that holiday.”
In Illinois, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is a legal holiday and the government is shut down on that day. I found this out because I called the Attorney General’s office to report the illegal meeting and get an emergency injunction and they were closed (conveniently enough for the Library.) Chicago public schools also had the day off, Springfield government offices were closed and I found the law passed in Illinois by the legislature indeed making Abraham Lincoln’s birthday a legal holiday. The Library board held an illegal meeting.
Worse than that, they held all the controversial issues to vote on for this illegal meeting of which the public had no notice and were unable to attend. By provision in the OMA, special meetings are not required to allow public comment. The Board was able to vote on keeping obscene material available on their computers without having to worry about those bothersome taxpayers having anything to say about it.
The Hillary Clinton 2016 speculation began a while ago. Time is on topic this week with Clinton’s leg and black pump on the cover.
Over at Slate, Amanda Hess finds this cause for concern.
Clinton’s presumptive bid to become the first female president does position her as a powerhouse poised to stomp through the patriarchal status quo. But when publications like Time frame that feminist pursuit with images of women in pointy heels that leave feminized male “victims” in their wake, they undermine the female politician’s power even as they attempt to acknowledge it.
I surmise that these female domination images are acceptable when talking about flailing men—The Munk Debates used a similar image for “The End of Men”—but counterproductive stereotyping when talking about actual powerful women. Why?
Hess doesn’t state the mechanics of how such images undermine female power. I will. Women who found their power on breaking the glass ceiling cannot allow dominance imagery because they assume that they cannot withstand an attack, open or stealth, that they are against men. They assume they must engage in passive aggressive argument to win votes, which is ill-served by heel-grinding imagery. It’s also a tacit admission that women cannot dominate men without their consent.
My colleague Walter Hudson recently ripped into the ignorance of Jesse A. Meyerson’s Occupy-hipster treatise, “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For.” The article was published in Rolling Stone magazine, the flagship publication of Wenner Media, a privately owned company. To clarify: ”Privately held companies are not required to file financial disclosure documents with government regulators such as the SEC, so detailed financials usually are not readily available to the public.”
In other words, the publisher of the magazine that prints articles informing readers they should advocate for:
- “Job guarantees” through the non-profit (i.e. taxpayer funded) sector
- A “universal basic income” funded through (taxpayer-based) Social Security
- The creation of a “simple land-value tax”
- A taxpayer-funded “sovereign wealth fund”
- Taxpayer-funded state-owned public banks
doesn’t need to tell you one darn thing about the amount of taxes they do (or don’t) pay. Who knows? Wenner Media might just qualify as one of Meyerson’s despised “megacorporations”. The fact that the company’s co-founder, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, is worth a cool $700 million makes you think twice, unless you’re some twentysomething hack who has a proclivity for overusing the word “blow.” Did the editors have to cut out his Beavis and Butthead-like chuckles from the text? No wonder the guy is advocating for a government-funded job watering that fern in his Williamsburg apartment (or, as he prefers to call it, “urban farming”); the only reason he managed to swing a writing gig is because he’s a glorified mouthpiece for the same yuppie political hucksters he claims to be fighting against. That’s right, Meyerson’s a Tool for the Machine. Huh-huh-huh, I said tool.
Forget the fact that the guy who thinks we have an unemployment problem because available jobs are “menial” and “boring” is also the same guy who believes putting every adult on an auto-pay system will actually improve individual well-being, stimulate the economy, and spark a cultural renaissance in “painting murals.” You can’t reason with stupid. You can only laugh at the irony of a Marxist hippie ideology being parroted in a magazine created by a Marxist hippie that has become a pathetic homage to ideas so dense and ridiculous that their owners, like Jann Wenner, long ago left them in the dustbin to pursue successful truths, like capitalism, the free market, and the ability to own private corporations.
Congratulations, kid, you’ve been duped. But at least Mr. Wenner and the 30% of Rolling Stone readers whose income exceeds $100,000 a year were kind enough to redistribute some of their money your way.
Working sure feels good, doesn’t it?
At nearly five years old, my firstborn routinely disputes rules with his mother and me. Cookies shall be served for dinner, he declares. Though he must ultimately yield to our authority, we cannot claim to have actually changed his mind. As far as he is concerned, cookies remain the first and best option.
This tendency among youth to reject the thinking of their elders continues even into adulthood and leaves them vulnerable to manipulation by those who would use that trait to fulfill ulterior motives. “Do you always do what your parents say?” more than one tempter has asked.
It’s that age-old desire to break free of generations past which Rolling Stone contributor Jesse A. Myerson appeals to in his recent piece “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For.” A brief list of the political left’s most radical policy proposals, the piece launches from the suggestion of youth superiority. Myerson writes:
Here are a few things we might want to start fighting for, pronto, if we want to grow old in a just, fair society, rather than the economic hellhole our parents have handed us.
Silly elder, reform is for kids. The list includes guaranteed jobs, which you won’t necessarily need because there’s also a guaranteed income and public ownership of everything. It’s basically Gotham under the revolution of Bane.
It’s not what Myerson presents so much as what he takes for granted which deserves rebuttal. His proposals proceed from unspoken assumptions which have been promoted in the popular culture by an organized Left, manipulating the nation’s youth into sacrificing their future. Here are 6 lies millennials must reject to live free.
Last week we agreed – well, at least I agreed, since I am after all writing this – that the purpose of writing is to be read by as many people as possible and that the best way of knowing there are people reading and enjoying your work is to sell it. No one is going to give you money for your writing just to make you feel better. Okay, maybe your mom. But she isn’t going to keep doing it. So, if you’re making a living from your writing you have to know people are enjoying it.
Besides being a useful indicator of popularity, money is good for all sorts of things. For instance, the local grocery store takes it in exchange for food (and takes more of it each week it seems) and no matter how much we explain to our bank that we’re running what amounts to a non-profit cat shelter for delinquent cats, it still insists on having us pay our mortgage in cash instead of warm fuzzies. (I know, I know. Very narrow minded of them.)
So, you’ve finished your manuscript, be it a novel or a short story, or even a collection of articles on delinquency in cats, and you’re looking for a way to market it. But how exactly do you go about it?
Well, first of all, you don’t know how lucky you are. When I finished my first novel, back in pre-history (it was 1985 and we chiseled our work on slabs of rock) I honestly had no idea what to do with it. As it turned out, I should have burned it, but since I didn’t know it at the time, I went to the library, got a copy of Writers’ Market and proceeded to send it out to all sorts of inappropriate places, from whence it was returned at speed (The Writers’ Market is more reliable for non-fiction, and event here the listings are often outdated by the time it goes to print.) It was years before I found the appropriate places (which as it turned out also returned it at speed.)
Nowadays, you can do a lot of the research for where to market your book on line. Sites like Ralan list markets for Science Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy and Horror ranging from the professional-paying to literary and little. I was actually chuffed to find out they still existed. They used to be my go-to market listing back ten years ago when I was regularly submitting to magazines. (I haven’t done that in about ten years, because I’ve been submitting to by-invitation anthologies, and fulfilling book contracts. It’s one of those problems you trade up for in the writing field.) A friend of mine also uses something called The Grinder Diabolical Plots which is a combined submission tracker and market resource.
There’s good news this week for beleaguered celebrity chef Paula Deen: not only will Hoffman Media continue to publish her magazine, but they will also pick up her new cookbook, Paula Deen’s New Testament, for publishing. Celebrity Cafe broke the news on Wednesday:
The company that publishes Paula Deen’s magazine will also publish her new cookbook.
Hoffman Media began publishing Cooking With Paula Deen six times a year beginning in 2005. The magazine reaches approximately 350,000 readers. Hoffman Media is one of the few companies that still support Paula Deen.
In a press release, the company stated:
In response to recent news coverage, Hoffman Media, LLC (HM), a leading special-interest publisher based in Birmingham, Alabama, and publisher of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine, today announced that it is continuing to publish the magazine.
Eric Hoffman, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Hoffman Media, released the following statement:
“Hoffman Media has worked closely with Ms. Deen since 2005. The recent images portrayed by the media do not reflect the person we know on a personal or a professional level.
“In the eight years that we have collaborated with Ms. Deen, we have witnessed her consistent generosity toward numerous charities, from hunger relief and battered women to a Savannah-based orphanage, to name a few. Most recently, she launched The Bag Lady Foundation to empower women and families in their time of need.”
In closing, Mr. Hoffman said: “We are aware of the hurt that has been generated in the media in recent weeks. To be clear, Hoffman Media does not condone the use of offensive, discriminatory language or behavior. With that said, we feel that Ms. Deen’s apology for past indiscretions was heartfelt and genuine. Our partnership will move forward with greater sensitivity and understanding.”
Yes, I know:
She advocated for legal abortion and contraception.
She made the world safe for Sex and the City.
Worst of all, she insisted on wearing mini-skirts well after menopause.
I’ve always had a soft spot for “outsider” female writers of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. It’s hard to imagine two women more different than Grace Metalious and Jacqueline Susann, yet I inhaled both their biographies.
Helen Gurley Brown was part of the same cohort of fiercely ambitious, sometimes uncouth “literary” females of the era.
But while those novelists created vivid fictional worlds in which to play out their fantasies of beauty, romance, fame, and revenge, Helen Gurley Brown’s accomplishment was far more audacious:
She too imagined, in pointillistic detail, her ideal realm — then set about remaking an entire society to match her personal vision.
The old joke goes, “It’s Sinatra’s world — we just live in it,” but it would be more accurate to say we’re living in Helen Gurley Brown’s.
Not everyone is happy about that.
However, there ARE three things to love about the brash publishing icon.
The second wholesome value is, we are told with a straight face, that Cosmo actually has a traditional attitude toward sex:
Cosmo happens to be fairly traditional about sex itself. Brown believed that it was O.K. to sleep with married men (it was their wives’ responsibility to keep them faithful, she argued), but White eliminated that from the formula. (“A total no-no,” she said.) The magazine also assumes that you’re having sex with a boyfriend or a husband (there’s not much in the way of same-sex relationships), and not with a one-night stand. “We certainly talk about sex mostly in terms of relationships,” White said, “and most of our readers have told us they’re in relationships, and they want the sexual information for their relationship.” White also sees the hookup culture boomeranging back to more traditional standards. “One thing I do think that women will evaluate in the coming years,” she said, “is casual sex. Is it really what you want to be doing, casual sex, a lot of casual sex? Is it what you feel good about?” But if it’s your thing, that’s fine too. “We don’t pass judgment,” she said.
Are these seriously what pass for wholesome values these days?
While I applaud White’s (rather tepid) skepticism of the hook up culture, there is a contradiction here. Her magazine does not sell relationships. It sells sex (as you can see by looking at some recent covers). Just like in the hook up culture, in the pages of Cosmo, the primary way that members of the opposite sex relate to each other is not emotional, intellectual, or spiritual–but sexual, pure and simple. If this is having it all, then count me out.
Related at PJ Lifestyle: