Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
Considering that he used to be Chief Whip, I now suspect that Michael Gove is, in fact, Francis Urquhart.
that's a deliberate stylistic choice!
So? Whether or not Brunner wanted The Shockwave Rider to be a chore to get through doesn't really matter to me as a reader. I am glad I read it, but I'm not sure I'd read it again.
I think part of the problem I had was going "back in time" after having read a lot of 80s cyberpunk (Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, etc.). The Shockwave Rider certainly had more substance than something like Neuromancer, but in comparison it just seemed really...uncool. A lot of its ideas are interesting, sure, the interrogator especially was a great character, and there's a lot to chew on intellectually, but there's basically nothing in it that makes me go "WHOA, AWESOME" the way there is in a lot of later stuff TSR influenced.
Maybe there's not a lot of nutritional value in "whoa, awesome," but a little sugar in your oatmeal makes breakfast much more palatable.
I'm afraid I must disagree with Arthur on one point: this isn't The Young Ones, it's The Producers, and Brexit is Boris's "Springtime for Hitler."
I would not be surprised if Gove didn't actually bother campaigning, now that the job's been done.
We are in meltdown over here. In the space of a week British politics has gone from being like The New Statesman to The Young Ones.
What happened in Greece is a result of such a perfect storm of different factors that there is little reason to think that Scotland would be in like danger. They don't seem to be the type to lend too much money, even if that opportunity should ever arise. Access to the common market on the other hand is a very good thing and especially so for a peripheral economy. If they are worried, they can always stay out of the euro. There are plenty of small economies that are doing well in the EU.
While Scotland re-joining the EU is of course not certain, depending on what happens, it is still very likely, since the main reason for leaving now would be the whole matter of the recent vote. As with N-Ireland. No more politics from me. Kind of a mess, the whole thing.
The big question is what happens to the Irelands.
Adrienne: I daydreamed a long time back about submitting a The Shockwave Rider essay/review, too. I should do that
Please do, I've been wondering about that one for a while. I figured either it had been rejected or you gave up on the idea.
i have pissed myself off ALL OVER AGAIN at how goddamn bad Tamora Pierce is and how despite that people still praise her to the skies as great YA for teen girls ... could i perhaps submit something on the subject?
I'm looking forward to this one, too. I don't have much personal experience with Pierce's work, but one of my little sisters was obsessed with Terrier and its sequel not so long ago (and maybe still is, I just haven't heard her talking about it so much). All the other stuff I hear about Pierce has been generally positive, and I didn't get far enough into the MetaFilter thread to see where she gets mentioned, so now I'm really curious to see what you find so objectionable in her writings.
Er, coming back to the British politics discussion for a second, a friend of friends recently shared this article about a petition for a second referendum, citing the narrowness of the "Leave" vote's victory. Just curious if anyone had any thoughts on the subject.
I've been thinking lately about my experiences as a non-EU immigrant to the UK for my Master's studies, and about all the EU friends I made while I was there; I'd hate for them to have the same heavy restrictions I and my fellow non-EU students had to deal with abruptly thrust onto them.
At the risk of being overly irreverent about a situation I realize is very serious - if Scotland has another referendum about leaving Britain, will they likely (re)join the EU?
I mean, nipple movement and peculiar sentiments about familial relations are bad enough, but it was just so stupid in its arrogance about science, society and everything. And apparently it got even worse after that.
I guess it might be a good idea to check some of those YA things out, but then again, I'm behind on more interesting and essential stuff already. Farnham's Freehold sounds terribly unpleasant. But I recall there was some other authors dabblng in positive interest in the sixties, so I guess it was just one of the dark undersides of the breaking of sexual taboos, a marginal area where things just went too far with freedom aspect without considering the implications and consequences aspect. Curious that that whole alfa and beta nonsense was bandied about that far back(1964), but stupid ideas often are
Needless to say, 15-year-old me did not care about any of this, and only got about halfway through. If I tried reading it today, with an eye toward the gender politics, I'd probably find it even worse.
Although if we want to talk about good Heinlein for a moment, I think The Green Hills of Earth is an absolutely fantastic short story, to the point where it almost seems like it was written by someone else. The only "Heinleinian" aspect to it is a facility with mechanical terminology as used day-to-day by a ship's crew. No libertarian politics, no "daddy" sex, no misguided racial shit.
There's also an audio version out there narrated by Leonard Nimoy that's great, too.
The only Heinlein I've read all the way through was Starship Troopers on audiobook in my earlier teens. This was well before I'd developed either critical taste in literature or anything resembling a coherent political conscience, and even then I remember being put off by the abject celebration of military authoritarianism (regardless of who's at fault, any subordinate who lays hands on a superior officer must be punished very harshly - as in, they should count themselves lucky to survive at all - to maintain proper discipline). It never occurred to me until just now to set that beside the author's market libertarian ideals.
you were Doing A Literature, especially if you were dealing with hardcore SF fans who didn't read much non-genre fiction
It just occurred to me that if "genre fiction" is opposed to "literature", then all "literature" really means is "hard to categorize". If a book is Literature, but then the kind of thing that it is gets more popular and a genre of books similar to it in some key way springs up, does that retroactively make it Not Literature...?