I’m gonna be really pissed if that new Oblivion movie turns out to be a sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Noticed it was produced by the same people, and some of the non-Morgan Freeman morlocks look kinda ape-like.
Take away Cruise and it would be actually be frickin awesome if they went that way with the new Apes franchise, but that Tom Cruise is the lead, so any awesomeness is negated.
America has made one important decision. Now it is time to make another. Choose wisely.
Brad Bird for the director of Star Wars 7.
Feel a little bad when I read that post about game stores. Maybe the guy was just having a bad night the first time I showed up for some DnD, or maybe I’ve established my nerd cred by showing up two weeks in a row, but the owner of my new game store was much friendlier when I showed up the second time. Even remembered my name!
Though I still think it was sound advice.
Also, genuinely cute college chick was there; not just a ‘cute for DnD girl.’ Didn’t expect that.
Also, technically I guess I should say I was playing ‘Pathfinder’ not DnD (and so my conversion to even bigger nerd continues).
Today’s Ayn Rand fact was taken from an actual explanation by a guy from the Ayn Rand Institute of why Ayn Rand accepted social security, which I heard on NPR today. His explanation really was that it is fine to take government money, as long as you don’t think the government should give you money, but if you are happy to take government money you are a bad, immoral person.
Of course, he also was sure to point out that it is complicated, and you probably are not smart enough to understand the complex ethics involved.
The only part of today’s fact that did not come from that discussion was the stuff about her attorney. I had to find other sources for that information.
The new novel Saving The Pearls: Defending Eden sounds like something that someone made up as a prank. Victoria Foyt’s self-published novel takes place in a world where, due to global warming, most white people are dead. The world is ruled by black people, called “coals” in the book. The remaining white people, called “pearls,” are oppressed by the “coals.” But apparently this book is real, and its author chose to promote it with a video showing a white person in blackface. The internet, not surprisingly, was not amused.
All of this would be just another internet firestorm about somebody being an idiot — except thatWeird Tales Magazine, one of the most venerable speculative fiction magazines in the world, decided to reprint the first chapter of Saving the Pearls in its next issue. And Weird Tales editor Marvin Kaye, who took over the magazine from the Hugo Award-winning team of Ann VanderMeer and Stephen Segal last year, wrote a blog post defending the book:
This story is a compelling view of a world that didn’t listen to the warnings of ecologists, and a world that has developed a reverse racism: blacks dominating and detesting not just whites, but latinos and albinos, the few that still survive of the latter are hunted down and slaughtered… Racism is an atrocity, and that is the backbone of this book. That is very clear to anyone with an appreciation for irony who reads it.
The comments on Kaye’s post were predicatably not amused, with Cali putting it most succinctly:
I’ve read that first chapter and I’m shocked you say it’s not racist and that if you think it is, you don’t get irony. I really don’t think you’ve read it. The narrator dreams about the good old days when her skin colour was the ideal and she would have been on the cover of magazines. That awful “coal” term is used as a slur against the supposedly privileged class.
Similarly, Mary Robinette Kowal points out that the main African American character in the novel’s interracial love story is referred to as a “beast-man.”
Other commenters include some well-known authors, including Phoebe North and Cat Rambo, basically saying they no longer want to be associated with Weird Tales in its current form. Darren McKeeman, who ran the great horror market Gothic.net, writes, “I think I will try to start a boycott of Weird Tales now.” McKeeman also tweeted: “We should create a Kickstarter to buy back Weird Tales from that old white racist & give it back to Ann Vandermeer.”
N.K. Jemisin has a great blog post about the situation, in which she gives a lot of background about the history of Weird Tales. She writes:
All my pleasure and pride at having been published in WT is gone. Goes without saying that I won’t be submitting there again, ever, but at this point I’m ashamed to have my name associated with the magazine at all. And that pisses me off especially, because something I really cared about has been destroyed. I was willing to give WT’s new owners the benefit of the doubt after the regime change; sometimes change can be a good thing, after all. But this editorial, and this decision to publish such poor-quality fiction on misplaced principle, makes it clear that WT’s reputation is now meaningless. By this gesture Marvin Kaye hasn’t just slapped me in the face, he’s slapped every author the magazine ever published, every hopeful author who’s submitted during and since VanderMeer’s tenure, every artist whose illustrations ever graced its pages, and every fan who voted for WT to win that Hugo.
Update: Ann VanderMeer, who had stayed on as a senior contributing editor, announced her resignation:
Due to major artistic and philosophical differences with the existing editors, I have resigned from Weird Tales as a senior contributing editor, effective immediately. This resignation has been in the works for several months, ever since I was removed as the editor-in-chief, but was delayed by my commitment to writers whose work I had accepted for the magazine and to whom I felt a responsibility. I will, as always, continue to be an advocate for exciting new writers at Weirdfictionreview.com and my various anthologies.
Well, looks like if I ever want to use my lone writing sale again when submitting any other work, I need to qualify it with “But it was when Ann Vandermeer edited it, really, I swear!”
When someone shows up to your newly opened store for a game night event that you went to the trouble of printing up little cardstock flyers to advertise, the correct response is:
“Hi, thanks for coming out tonight! Glad you could make it!”
NOT a blank stare that fails to make eye contact, before you wander over to talk to your buddies who are not in fact new customers, but just people who would be hanging out at your house anyway if you did not happen to actually, you know, own a freakin business.
Also, after someone has spent over 3 hours in your business playing a game, and he says “thanks for the game, bye,” you say:
“Thank you. Glad you were able to come out. Hope to see you again.”
You do not fail to even acknowledge that said potential new customer spoke to you. Especially when he repeats his statement thinking maybe you didn’t hear him. Keeping your back turned to new customers to put away your HeroClix miniatures is not a good way to foster return customers.
Geez, I know you’re a cliche of social awkwardness, but come on, you’re a freakin businessman now. At least try to be a host, even if you are terrible at it. I want you to succeed. I’d like to think I might be able to talk some of my nerdier friends into giving D&D a chance, but I sure as shit can’t invite anybody to this.
Oh well. See you next week.
Just found out a new nerd store (i.e. game shop) has opened up less than 5 minutes from my home. My bi-annual Dungeons and Dragons nostalgia disorder is kicking in, so I may be nerding it up real soon.
Sure enough, on my first visit a lanky guy with glasses, his shirt tucked in super-tight, and a fanny pack entered shortly after me to check the place out (and no, this is not a lame attempt at a dated Revenge of the Nerds style joke to make fun of D&D players, but a statement of fact).