Personal Log: July 27 – August 2, 2015

Vancouver 2000
Vancouver 2000

Another week gone by. That’s profound, in a completely obvious “duh” kinda way isn’t it?

The biggest thing to happen is that my patrons can no longer afford to be my patrons.  As if trying to find a job and asking monthly for money was easy.  I am neither surprised or upset with this news.  Everyone has the right to take care of themselves, and my patrons helped me as long as they could.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about money, there’s enough for about a month.  No, I don’t know what comes next or what I’m going to do.

Actually, I do know what I’m going to do.  Keep writing.  There’s a paid writing assignment about to hit, there will be more.  For now, I just keep doing what I’m doing and trusting the universe is going to continue taking care of me as it has.

On the reading front, I finally finished Ovid’s MetamorphosesReviews/recaps/commentary on each book will be published for the next few weeks on Tuesdays.  It was a challenge, but one I’m glad to have taken on.  I feel even more erudite and well-read now.  Or something.

I haven’t weighed in much on the hullabaloo over the publication of Harper Lee’s “latest” book, Go Set a Watchman.  Basically, my opinion is that the provenance is iffy at best, and it just seemed like there were too many people trying to take advantage of a woman who swore she would never publish another book after To Kill a Mockingbird.  She is very old now and nearly blind and deaf, I don’t see how anyone thinks she gave her blessings to this endeavor.  My curiosity is not great enough to want to read it.  To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, and I’m not willing to let my memories of it be tanked.

Having said all of that, if you want to read it, please get down with your bad self.  Because I don’t want to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or that I don’t want you to.

I did find this article from Melville House Books interesting.  A bookseller named Brilliant Books is offering refunds to anyone who purchased Go Set a Watchman from them and is dissatisfied.

We had been disappointed in the way the book was marketed from the beginning. We knew the history of Go Set A Watchman and it wasn’t congruent with the marketing: “Harper Lee’s New Novel” “with many of your favorite characters from To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Whether you agree or not, there’s something to be said for retailers who stick to their principles.

In other bookish news, I’ve been following the Hugo nominations controversy with a somewhat jaded and amused eye.  Basically, it comes down to a bunch of white, male SFMil (science fiction military) writers deciding that the Hugos have been highjacked in past years by people who are not white, not male, possibly not even heterosexual, and don’t write SFMil.  Oh, then there’s the whole “social justice warrior” thing being batted around.  Whatever that means.

Never mind that one of the most revered writers and founders of science fiction wrote characters who were diverse and took on “SJW” issues.  As many bow to Robert Heinlein as the manliest man SF writer who wrote SFMil there ever was, they are so wrong I can’t help but laugh.  Or, there’s Frank Herbert who wrote Dune, one of the greatest SF books of all time, which main theme is environmentalism.

The Guardian has had pretty good coverage of the whole mess.  As has John Scalzi, who has an insider’s view.  The Hugo awards will be the losers if politics takes the prize is the latest I’ve read.

The Hugos have always been a popularity contest, a showcase of SF fandoms’ favourite fiction, and skewing the lists for political point-scoring makes a mockery of them. Whether the Sad Puppies win the day or not, it’s the awards’ legacy that will suffer, along with the future work that would have benefited from their now damaged prestige. That’s what is truly sad.

I left organized fandom years ago for many reasons.  Mostly I’m too mundane for fandom and too fannish for the mundanes.  I did not find fandom as welcoming as others have, mostly because my tastes don’t particularly match any given group.  Nor do I understand cosplay or gaming.  This is not to say I disapprove or feel left out.  I do not.

The best thing about fandom is “ZOMG, I have to show you this thing!”  The worst thing is the gatekeeping which sometimes creeps in when someone doesn’t know episode titles for their favorite television show, or hasn’t haunted the internet reading fanfic about their favorite characters.  It got tiresome explaining to someone I barely knew why I was reading something not of the genre, or hadn’t read every single book by the Guest of Honor, who was frequently someone I hadn’t heard of before.

There’s only so much time in my life and only so much energy I have to devote to my many interests.  Plus, introvert.  If fandom is where your people are, then do it.  Hang out with your tribe and be your very own fan.  But, please stop gatekeeping, especially of women fans.  That’s just rude.

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