Posted by Patrick at 06:23 AM * 74 comments
Key takeaway to Making Light readers who remember John M. “Mike” Ford’s brilliant run as a co-blogger here: Tor will, indeed, be reissuing all of Mike’s novels, plus a new collection of short fiction and marginalia. We’ll also be publishing, for the first time, his unfinished final novel Aspects.
Huge thanks to the Ford family and to Tor executive editor Beth Meacham, who worked out this deal over the space of nearly a year. We could not possibly be more excited.
The program will begin with The Dragon Waiting in late 2020, then Aspects in early 2021.
Obviously, this program will not include Mike’s work written inside somebody else’s IP, such as, for instance, his two Star Trek novels.
Further schedule details will be forthcoming as we finalize them.
Posted by Teresa at 05:37 AM * 118 comments
I should be explaining what’s been going on in the British Parliament, with links and explanations. Unfortunately I can’t, because Patrick and I spent the evening talking about it, finding bits of good stuff to read aloud to each other, and cooking and eating dinner. This was irresponsible of us, because how often does one get to use the word “prorogue”?
What’s going on: Boris Johnson is trying to drag the UK through a (“catastrophic”, says anyone sensible) hard Brexit departure, the kind where there are no arrangements between the UK and the EU about how to handle this change. He also thought that in the meantime, it would be a good idea to prorogue Parliament — that is, get Parliament to shut down and do no business — until after the hard exit was a done deal.
I wasn’t the first person to observe that the last guy who went to that much trouble to keep Parliament from doing business lost his head.
Then Parliament rebelled. Ancient much-respected Tory stalwarts voted against the government, despite the threat to (less exciting than it sounds) “withdraw the whip.” In a dramatic gesture, while Johnson was speaking and waving his arms around, Tory MP Phillip Lee silently walked across the room to sit with the Liberal Democrats, thus costing the Tories their one-vote majority. Johnson was reduced to calling for a snap national election in mid-October, but that actually requires approval by a two-thirds majority, and the leaders of both Labour and the LibDems — who rarely act in such coordination — agreed that they weren’t going to give Johnson his election before Parliament passes a bill ruling out a no-deal exit. It was Boris Johnson’s first serious fight in Parliament, and he lost big. Theresa May was photographed this evening leaving Parliament with a big grin on her face.
I abjectly apologize for being so tired, but Patrick kept finding one irresistible story, after another. Feel free to post links to anything good that you find. I’ll see you first thing in the morning.
[Update from pnh: Teresa was in fact so tired that she didn’t actually publish this last night. Posting it for her now.]
Posted by Patrick at 10:44 PM * 72 comments
Nobody reads this blog any more. But do read Kieran Healy.
A fundamental lesson of Sociology is that, in the course of making everyday life seem orderly and sensible, arbitrary things are made to seem natural and inevitable. Rituals, especially the rituals of childhood, are a powerful way to naturalize arbitrary things. As a child in Ireland, I thought it natural to take the very body of Christ in the form of a wafer of bread on my tongue. My own boy and girl, in America, think it natural that a school is a place where you must know what to do when someone comes there to kill the children.As we used to wearily say back in the day: Read the fucking rest.
Posted by Avram Grumer at 02:08 PM * 690 comments
The year 222 BCE saw the Roman Emperor Elagabalus assassinated by the Praetorian Guard, to be replaced by Alexander Severus, who was only 13 years old, young enough to have attended Hogwarts and studied potions under a teacher with whom he had a name in common.
Or, alternatively, to have attended the fictional Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, where he might have learned about the assassination of his predecessor in a history class in Room 222.
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 04:53 PM * 246 comments
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a new entry to this community, and I know the comments on the last one have gotten unworkably long. I’m sorry. You deserve better.
There’s been stuff. There still is stuff. I’ll explain in the comments.
But I’d just like to point out that even with my highly intermittent presence, this community has continued, and continued to be a wonderful thing.
I’ll continue to be back as I can. But it fills me with so much delight to see the egg I hatched, the hatchling I fed, grow wings, spread them, and fly.
This is part of the sequence of Dysfunctional Families discussions. We have a few special rules, specific to the needs and nature of the conversations we have here.
- If you want to participate but don’t want your posts linked to your contributions to the rest of Making Light, feel free to choose a pseudonym. But please keep it consistent within these threads, because people do care. You can create a separate (view all by) history for your pseudonym by changing your email address. And if you blow it and cross identities, give me a shout and I’ll come along and tidy it up.
- On a related note, please respect the people’s choice to use a pseudonym, unless they make it clear that they are willing to let the identities bleed over in people’s minds.
- If you’re not from a dysfunctional background, be aware that your realities and base expectations are not the default in this conversation. In particular, please don’t do the “they’re the only family you have” thing. Black is white, up is down, and your addressee’s mother may very well be their nemesis.
- Be even more careful, charitable, and gentle than you would elsewhere on Making Light. Try to avoid “helpiness”/”hlepiness” (those comments which look helpful, but don’t take account of the addressee’s situation and agency). Apologize readily and sincerely if you tread on toes, even unintentionally. This kind of conversation only works because people have their defenses down.
- Never underestimate the value of a good witness. If you want to be supportive but don’t have anything specific to say, people do value knowing that they are heard.
Previous posts (note that comments are closed on them to keep the conversation in one place):
- Have a Dysfunctional Families Day
- Dysfunctional Families Day: Inversion Experience
- Dysfunctional Families Day: No Expectations
- Dysfunctional Families Day: Tangled Emotions
- Dysfunctional Families: You Must Be This Unhappy To Ride
- Dysfunctional Families: Circled Strangers
- Dysfunctional Families: Fish Hooks
- Dysfunctional Families: Everybody lined up for the parade?
- Dysfunctional Families: Sitting and Rising
- Dysfunctional Families: Surviving and Thriving
- Dysfunctional Families: Shooting and Shouting
- Dysfunctional Families: Hope
- Dysfunctional Families: Forgiveness
- Dysfunctional Families: Books on Tape
- Dysfunctional Families: Toolbox
- Dysfunctional Families, the Role-Playing Game
- Dysfunctional Families: Witnessing
- Dysfunctional Families: Boundaries
- Dysfunctional Families: Looking Back, Walking On
- Dysfunctional Families: Think of the Children
Posted by Avram Grumer at 10:22 PM * 26 comments
Pretty sure we’ve all heard Tom Lehrer’s “Lobachevsky,” right? A song about plagiarism where all the bits of melody are stolen from other songs.
I just learned that even the idea for the song was stolen! Danny Kaye used to do a routine about the Russian theatrical director Konstantin Stanislavsky, and it’s the obvious basis for the Lehrer song. Lehrer credited Kaye in his intro to the song, which was left off the version on the album I listened to as a kid, but it’s on Genius.com.
Posted by Avram Grumer at 11:20 PM * 49 comments
Here’s something I put up on Facebook (originally as a reply to someone else’s thing) in March that I should have put here:
Hear the beating of the heart, Deadly heart! What a world of agony that music does impart! How the beating, beating, beating, Like a watch wrapped up in cotton. ’Neath the flooring, ’neath the seating, All my plans it is defeating With a pleasure misbegotten; Going thump, thump, thump, With a sort of muffled bump, Oh the tachycardiation of his disembodied part! And the beats, beats, beats, beats, beats, beats, beats— Stop the roaring! Tear the flooring! There’s his heart!
Posted by Patrick at 08:45 PM * 38 comments
Our buzzer goes off. About 8 PM. We’re not expecting anyone.
I go downstairs. “Police,” announce the two guys outside our building front door.
WTF? I can’t think of any reason actual police should be demanding admittance to our Park Slope apartment.
(Yes, we moved since the last time I posted to Making Light, back in a long-ago geological era.)
I was suddenly very conscious of having said critical things about the NYPD on Twitter this very day.
Indeed, it tells you everything you need to know about the utter lack of democracy and freedom in 2018 America is that this is the first thing I thought. Americans used to mock the petty indignities of the Brezhnevite USSR. Now we accept them as normal.
“Do you have a warrant?” I asked. “We don’t need a warrant,” they answered.
“WE DON’T NEED A WARRANT” DING DING DING DING DING DING DING
Needless to say, we didn’t let them in.
Also needless to say, TNH phoned 911, and some perfectly nice actually-obviously-NYPD people came by and spoke with her. We didn’t let them into the building, either, but they didn’t make an issue of it.
As of 9PM tonight, we appear to be OK. But holy crap, that was a thing. If we didn’t know all of you? If we didn’t have the social capital we have?
There are people serving decades-long sentences — there are people on death row — because they didn’t have the friends and connections we do.
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 07:59 AM * 224 comments
As it says in Ecclesiastes, of the making of books there is no end. And Seneca is (dubiously) said to have told us that errare humanum est1 (to err is human)2.
- sed perseverare diabolicum, but to persist [in error] is diabolical.
- Alexander Pope added “to forgive divine”, which might argue agains the existence of these threads.3
- On the other hand, Augustine said da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo, give me chastity and continence, but not yet.
Posted by Avram Grumer at 01:52 AM * 133 comments
“Monster Mash,” “Crocodile Rock,” and “Jailhouse Rock” are all real songs about other, fictional songs that share the same titles as the real songs. Any other examples? And is there a name for this kind of song?
Actually, “Monster Mash” is technically about a dance, not a song, but still, it relates a story which logically presumes the existence of a fictional piece of music pre-existing the real song, and (the peculiar thing is this my friends) leaves open the possibility that the referenced fictional song might not resemble like the real one.
Oh, hey, “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror is another one.