Monthly Archives: July 2006

Too Close

Sometimes personal biases can interfere with evaluations from broader perspectives, and two current examples come to mind. I saw the Miami Vice movie this weekend — as much because it was playing at a convenient time, as anything — and really liked it, much more than I expected to, based on the general buzz. Stylish, well-acted, a nicely complicated plot, great cinematography, some cool music. (Aside: the villains here are, in addition to South American drug dealers, Aryan Brotherhoods. A new Hollywood trend?) But here is a Boing Boing post that disses the movie because of a throw-away line about pirated Chinese software. As if such a thing doesn’t exist? Please. There’s much more to the movie than that; recommended.

And just finished reading Charlie Stross’ Glasshouse, a much more pleasurable read than Accelerando, which however dazzling its ideas, was at times a chore to read. I highly recommend the new book. Yet here is Cheryl Morgan, off on what strikes me as a tangent about gender and Feminism and Essentialism, as if unaware of 30 years of studies not only of brain chemistry but of evolutionary theory that suggests very good reasons why there might be differences between male and female brains. I agree with Cheryl that there’s a flaw here; why is first person Robin/Reeve the only Glasshouse-wife to not fall easily into her role? Yet Cheryl’s discussion gets off on a peculiar note, with

The trouble with men writing about gender issues is that it really is like putting yourself in a glass house in the middle of a public park and inviting people to throw stones at you.

Why is this any more valid or less peculiar than saying

The trouble with women writing about gender issues is that it really is like putting yourself in a glass house in the middle of a public park and inviting people to throw stones at you.

Hmm?

The southern California heat has abated, though we did set yet another record one day this past week — the highest low, of 71 degrees F. This weekend has been oddly humid, with cloud cover and temperatures kept into the 80s.

It Was Hot

It is hot, here in my suburban Los Angeles neighborhood; the newspaper today said a record has been set for 100+ [Fahrenheit] temperatures at the Pierce College weather station, the nearest to my Woodland Hills address, for the 16th day in a row, and that was yesterday. Today surely extended the record; it is after 8 p.m. as I write and my local temp is still 95F.

Not that this has anything to do with global warming, of course.

Update 9p.m. — according to this local report, today’s Woodland Hills temp hit 116 degrees F.

The Interview

It was merely a premonition that led me to check the Asimov’s site earlier this week to see if by chance James Patrick Kelly’s column incorporating the e-mail interview he did with me a while back had made it online (in advance of print publication) yet. It had, so I blinked it. I believe this is the first interview I’ve ever done, not counting a couple times I’ve answered e-mail questionnaries about the site from seemingly legitimate academic sources.

Checking my daily log, I see that I e-mailed by answers to Jim Kelly’s list of questions on May 18th. It was barely a couple days later when he returned e-mail with a draft of his column, recasting a few of my responses as interpolated text, but not cutting anything substantial. Of course I noticed that I’d not really answered his fundamental question — why do they (the webmasters) do it? He suggests egoboo, which I suppose is a small part of it, though it’s not like I’m any more sought after on the convention participant circuit than I was back in my short fiction reviewing days (which is to say, once every year or two, from a local con I wouldn’t have thought to attend otherwise, at most), nor have I felt any other impact on my personal life, which might as well be set in the Northwest Territories, for all that I have personal contact with anyone in the field in between conventions 3 or 4 times a year. It’s nice that the website brings in a bit of revenue, enough to cover costs and books, but that’s a long way from covering mortgage or gas or any other actual living expenses, in stark contrast to Locus Magazine’s situation, and so that can hardly be considered a primary motivation.

The real reason, I suppose, borders on the evangelical; it’s my way of propagating my belief in the power of the literary blend of science and art. Which is to say, justifying an anti-social tendency dating from age 12, that golden age. Somewhere in there; it depends on your perspective. The real real reason, of course, is that I happened, as much by chance as anything, to acquire the responsibility of portraying Locus on the web, without any particular qualifications for doing so. Apparently I’m doing an adequate job, though I’d be the first to imagine a list of things the Locus website might be doing better.

I’ll try to get back to updating this blog more regularly; if I let personal distractions interfere, that would be letting them win. (To say nothing of the terrorists.)

Still Here

Obviously, since the site keeps getting updated. I try to focus this blog on commentary about the SF field, current books, etc., as opposed to issues pertaining only to my personal life, which can’t interest anyone, but which has interfered lately with such matters. I intend that the situation will change, one way or another, soon. I’ve even read a couple books recently.