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Thursday, December 11, 2014

On the World Fantasy Award and H.P. Lovecraft

(Correction:  a previous version of this post attributed the Guardian article to Damien G. Walter rather than Daniel José Older.  That has been corrected below.  My apologies for the mix-up.)

We're still talking about the World Fantasy Award and H.P. Lovecraft's bizarrely shaped award-specific head.  Daniel José Older, who created the original petition to replace Lovecraft's bust with that of Octavia Butler, recently revisited the discussion in his Guardian column, remarking that "the fantasy community cannot embrace its growing fanbase of color with one hand while deifying a writer who happily advocated for our extermination with the other."

I won't rehash the whole discussion here.  If you don't already know the happenings, then you can use the links I've provided here to fill in the blanks.  As for Lovecraft:  his racism is infamous enough that it required its own section on his Wikipedia page (albeit, a somewhat sanitized section).  I won't go into all the nitty gritty details about Lovecraft's views on race; rather, I'll point you to this post from Slate (which is hardly an extensive or thorough analysis of Lovecraft, but it'll get you on the right track).

My personal view on this subject is fairly basic:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cancer Free Since '03

For those that don't follow me on Twitter, you'll have missed the whole "Shaun had a cancer appointment today" stuff.  As it turns out, I remain cancer free, and have done so since the conclusion of chemo in 2003.

And that's good news indeed.

So hurray to me. Good news for the holidays and all that jazz.

Now back to doing whatever I was doing...oh, right. Stressing out about work!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

6 Thoughts on 1.5 Seasons of CW's Arrow -- @cw_arrow

I've recently become a fan of CW's Arrow.  If you haven't seen the show, it's easily one of the best superhero TV shows on air at the moment.  Don't let the CW label fool you.  Arrow is good stuff.  It's one part action thriller and one part superhero camp, all mixed together in a magic blender and served in an edible cup made of fruit or something.  Look, it's just really enjoyable, OK?  And this is coming from the guy who has found DC's output since Man of Steel pretty pathetic (the comics, the movie announcements, all of it)(yes, I know that Arrow came out before all that).

Friday, December 05, 2014

Novella Review: "Adrift on the Sea of Rains" by Ian Sales (Whippleshield Books)

First, I must apologize for the lateness of this review.  Mr. Sales has been remarkably patient with me and my repeated promises about getting it done.  I'm a notoriously slow reviewer for the simple fact that I find it incredibly difficult to say what I think.  A less cautious reviewer might simply speak from the heart and let the language be damned, but I think my academic side gets the best of me and demands I relate something more than a simple "I liked it."  And that means I get stuck for long periods of time on any work of art.

In any case, I have a lot to say about Sales' novella, "Adrift on the Sea of Rains," the first of a quartet of interconnected novellas called the Apollo Quartet (released by Whippleshield Books).  Set in an alternate history where the Cold War ended with the destruction of the Earth, a group of astronauts conducting experiments on the Moon struggle to survive long enough to successfully test an experimental machine that may save everyone.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Award Recommendations: Things I'm Eyeing for the Awards Season (Suggestions Welcome)

A.C. Wise and Sarah Pinsker suggested I put together a list of recommendations for the awards season (Nebula nominations are coming up or something).  So, that's what I'm going to do.  For now, I'm only going to discuss six categories, as I don't read often enough in the others to have a say yet (YET).  Recommendations for any category, listed or otherwise, are more than welcome.

Note:  I've included links to interviews or discussions at The Skiffy and Fanty Show about some of the items (which may explain why I'm voting for many of these).

Here goes:

Monday, December 01, 2014

The 10 Best Science Fiction Movies Since 2000

I recently challenged Ian Sales* to name 10 films since 2000 that were better than Interstellar (2014).  OK, that's not entirely true.  I challenged him to create a top 10 list of the best SF flicks since 2000; for Ian, they're basically the same thing. He's already released his list here.  It contains some interesting choices, to say the least.  While I disagree quite strongly with some of his selections, I do have to give him credit for not creating another boring "usual suspects" top 10 list; sadly, I'm probably going to disappoint people on that front.

My list will only contain feature length productions, as short films should probably be discussed on their own.  I've made no other distinctions with regards to format (live action, animated, adaptation, etc.) or delivery method (theater or straight-to-DVD).

Alright, here goes:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On World Fantasy Convention 2014

World Fantasy Con is over.  I'm home.  I'm alive.  I'm back to the life of a grad student and adjunct faculty, with a side of writing.  And these are my mystical thoughts on the whole experience:

I began my journey in the fashion of a handrail used by a string of infected boat passengers.  On Tuesday, I started feeling a cold coming on, and I frantically chowed down Vitamin C and everything else I could find to stifle the monster growing within me.  Alas, the cold was up to the task and settled in by Wednesday morning, leaving me so wiped by Thursday that I had to cancel class in order to get a lot of rest before the 2-hour drive to Jacksonville and the 2-hour flight to Arlington.  My flight was delayed by almost 3 hours, leaving me in an uncomfortable airport with death dribbling from my nostrils.  The flight itself was terrible for the simple reason that sinus pressure + plane cabin pressure = a terrible combination.  By the time I got to Arlington, I was completely wiped.  Thankfully, I started feeling better by Friday, though spent most of that day (the 1st day of my WFC experience) napping.