foxy

SF bookgroup choices

It's time for our SF book group to choose the next year of books. Fearless Leader chooses the first six, on a theme:

Worlds Without End
This year, the focus is on survival in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Whether it be an apocalyptic scenario, Lovecraftian horror, a past hostile to all people who look like you, or an almost unimaginably distant future, these books explore the ways that humans push themselves beyond limits in order to survive and even to triumph. Enjoy!

The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor Lavalle
The Gate to Women's Country, by Sheri Tepper
Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty
Borderline, by Mishell Baker

Then we vote for one from each of six groups:

Variations on Lovecraft
This year has seen a lot of authors taking the Lovecraft mythos and putting their own spin on it. Many explore the theme of the horror that comes from fear of the other. Here are some new perspectives on Lovecraft’s work:

Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys
Carter and Lovecraft by Jonathan Howard
*Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Steampunk and Segregation
Steampunk has maintained its popularity, but it often glosses over the problematic nature of the racism and colonialism that were part of the Victorian era. These books take place during the time period most often used by steampunk authors while addressing these issues.

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H Boroson
*Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

After the Apocalypse
Here are more choices for stories of surviving something that changes the world.

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
*The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta

Caribbean Science Fiction
As you know, I like to try authors from diverse parts of the world every year. This year I focused on picks from authors from different parts of the Caribbean.

Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya
*Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
Super Extra Grande by Yoss

Far and Fantastic Futures
Science fiction tries to imagine the future, and its forecasted future has changed tremendously as our present is altered by previously unimaginable technology. Here are some recent creative takes on possibilities.

*Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Recommendations!
Here are some of our group’s favorite reads from last year.

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
*This Census Taker by China Mieville
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab


I have starred my inclinations. I would love to hear your opinions of any of these.

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foxy

wiscon programming wants you

Yes, you!

WisCon 41 programming signup is open for five more days, until midnight Monday, March 13.

If you've ever wondered how to get on a panel at Wiscon, it starts here: go to http://account.wiscon.net, create or sign in to your account, then go to http://wiscon.net/programming.php and volunteer for the panels that interest you. If you're not sure you're coming, or don't want to be on panels, it's still worthwhile to go to the programming signup page to say which panels you would like to attend, since we use that information to decide which ones to fit into the schedule.

If you're not sure whether you're going to Wiscon this year or not, remember that our Guests of Honor are Amal El-Mohtar and Kelly Sue DeConnick!


ETA Here is Amal El-Mohtar's story in Tor.com's collection "Nevertheless, She Persisted": http://www.tor.com/2017/03/08/anabasis-amal-el-mohtar/

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foxy

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson

This book is a delight. An anti-hero with a metal arm. A shapeshifting sidekick. Bad government. Weird science. Best friends turned nemeses, who still love each other. Loyalty. Betrayal. Wildly out-of-proportion revenge. In a cheerful, goofy[*] style that I grew to like.

[*]seriously, why does the shark have boobs?

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foxy

Lenny on Legend

I've only seen the first episode of this new superheroes show called Legion, but I think it is amazing. I mean, it could still have a disappointing plot, the amazingness could be confined to its looks, but I am committed to finding out.

There's a detail I'm puzzled about: Lenny is played by Aubrey Plaza, so at first I thought she was a woman who just doesn't do anything feminine with her presentation of self, but later I started to think that Lenny is trans. Lenny says something about girls, and Plaza's delivery of the line sounds like Lenny does not think the category "girls" includes him. But another character refers to Lenny as "the girl" and David, the main character and Lenny's friend, doesn't correct him. I didn't notice whether David ever refers to Lenny with a pronoun. I'm tempted to rewatch the first episode to see if I can clear this up, but I also want to plow ahead. Do you know whether Lenny is trans?

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foxy

health insurance dammit

I'm not going to put a 'politics' label on this, because this exact thing has been happening to me for 30 years, and I don't expect it to stop in my lifetime. This thing is: I have health insurance. I see a health care provider. I hand over my insurance card and my payment. A month later I get a bill from the health care provider. I call the health care provider. I talk to a phone-answerer; she doesn't know anything about anything, except that her screen says I still owe $X. I confirm that they have my insurance information, that they billed my insurance, that the services they billed were the services I received, which are covered by my insurance. I call the insurance company. They assure me that the health care provider's bill has been paid in full, and that I do not owe them any more money. I call the health care provider back. The phone-answerer says they'll look into it. Thirty days later I get another bill for the same charge, in pink, with threats to send it to a collections agency. Most often, another round of phone calls will settle it, though the health care provider never admits that they got anything wrong; they promise again to look into it, and this time I don't get another bill.

I'm so angry right now. I hate the phone and I hate arguing with people and my blood pressure reacts very very badly to threats, and there's nothing I can do except stew about it until tomorrow, because I picked up the mail when I came back in from walking the dog, which was just after 5:00.

I wonder how many people who are more phone-averse or less good with paperwork or just too damn busy or not as entitled to fairness as I think I am just cough up the double payment.

I wonder whether these things would happen to me so often if I had changed my name when I got married. They don't seem to happen to my non-Hispanic husband.

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