Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Delany

Sunday Links!

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* Did you notice my post last night? Isiah Lavender’s Black and Brown Planets is out! My essay in the book is on Samuel Delany.

* Sketching out a table of contents for Pink Planets: highlights from the history of feminist SF.

The US has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the name of fighting terrorism. The war is all too real. But it’s also fake. There is no clash of civilizations, no ideological battle, no grand effort on the part of the United States to defeat terrorism. As long as terrorism doesn’t threaten core US interests, American elites are content to allow it — and help it — flourish. They don’t want to win this war. It will go on forever, unless we make them end it.

* The United States and the “moderate Muslim.”

In each of these, I merely concede the Maher and Harris definition of moderation as a rhetorical act. That definition is of course loaded with assumptions and petty prejudice, and bends always in the direction of American interests. But I accept their definition here merely to demonstrate: even according to their own definition, American actions have undermined “moderation” at every turn.

* Fox News, asking the real questions. “What are the chances that illegal immigrants are going to come over our porous southern border with Ebola or that terrorists will purposely send someone here using Ebola as a bioterror weapon?”

* The Most Ambitious Environmental Lawsuit Ever.

* “Social Justice Warriors” and the New Culture War.

As selective colleges try to increase economic diversity among their undergraduates, the University of Chicago announced Wednesday that it’s embarking on an unusual effort to enroll more low-income students, including the elimination of loans in its aid packages.

* In search of an academic wife.

* Alt-ac jobs at the MLA.

* “Yes Means Yes” at campuses in California and New York.

* A model state law for banning revenge porn.

* Let the children play: Homework isn’t linked to education outcomes before age 12, and not really after age 12, either.

* Enslaved Ants Regularly Rise In Rebellion, Kill Their Slavers’ Children.

Ebola Vaccine Delay May Be Due To An Intellectual Property Dispute. This was a bit in Kim Stanle Robinson’s Science in the Capitol series: one company has the cure for cancer and the other company has the delivery mechanism, so both go out of business.

* Elsewhere in the famous efficiency of markets: Marvel will apparently cancel one of its longest-running series out of spite for Fox Studios.

This Is The First High-Frequency Trader To Be Criminally Charged With Rigging The Market.

* Prison bankers cash in on captive customers.

* The time Larry Niven suggested spreading rumors within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs in order to lower health care costs.

* Suicide, Unemployment Increasingly Linked, Paper Suggests.

* Perfectionism: Could There Be a Downside?

* I’d be really interested to see if this use of eminent domain would survive a legal challenge.

Data centers are wasting electricity so excessively that only “critical action” can prevent the pollution and rate hikes that some U.S. regions could eventually suffer as a result of power plant construction intended to ensure that the ravenous facilities are well-fed, a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Anthesis warns.

* From the archives: Lili Loofbourow on the incredible misogyny of The Social Network.

* Moral panic watch: ‘Back-up husbands,’ ‘emotional affairs’ and the rise of digital infidelity.

* Look, a shooting star! Make a wish! Also at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Superman, why are you lying about your X-ray vision?

* Fantasy sports and the coming gambling boom.

* And this looks great for parents and kids: B.J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures.

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More Sick Baby Day Links

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* Ladies and gentlemen, the very worst “Should I Go to Grad School” piece ever written.

Samuel Delany and Wonder Woman.

* Letter from a Chinese labor camp?

* Quentin Tarantino’s next?

I don’t know exactly when I’m going to do it, but there’s something about this that would suggest a trilogy.  [The next part would follow] a bunch of black troops, and they had been f–ked over by the American military and kind of go apeshit… [The] black troops… kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and are just making a warpath to Switzerland.

* Philip Pullman will continue the His Dark Materials series.

* The headline reads, “Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain’s pleasure center.”

* The cold hard facts of freezing to death.

Presenting the Royal Mail’s Doctor Who stamps.

* Why is Congress so terrible? Nate Silver says it was gerrymandering that done it.

* And just one piece from the latest JacobinThe Soul of Student Debt.

Monday Night Grief Bacon

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* Destroy your university the California way: In California, where public higher education has experienced cut after cut, the choices are particularly difficult. For the spring semester of 2013, the California State University has told campus leaders they may not admit any Californian students to graduate programs. Given that tuition covers only a fraction of the costs of these students’ education, the university said it couldn’t afford them.

At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team. If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.

* More lists of words with no English translation: 1, 2, 3, more.

15. Kummerspeck (German) Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

4 Decades on, U.S. Starts Cleanup of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Terry Gilliam making 1st sci-fi movie in 18 years.

Living in an Orwellian corporate world where “mancams” serve as the eyes of a shadowy figure known only as Management, Leth (Waltz) works on a solution to the strange theorem while living as a virtual cloistered monk in his home–the shattered interior of a fire-damaged chapel. His isolation and work are interrupted now and then by surprise visits from Bainsley, a flamboyantly lusty love interest who tempts him with “tantric biotelemetric interfacing” (virtual sex) and Bob. Latter is the rebellious whiz-kid teenage son of Management who, with a combination of insult-comedy and an evolving true friendship, spurs on Qohen’s efforts at solving the theorem…Bob creates a virtual reality “inner-space” suit that will carry Qohen on an inward voyage, a close encounter with the hidden dimensions and truth of his own soul, wherein lie the answers both he and Management are seeking. The suit and supporting computer technology will perform an inventory of Qohen’s soul, either proving or disproving the Zero Theorem.

It’s a tale as old as time itself.

* Bookslut reviews the reissue of Samuel Delany’s Starboard Wine.

* Alan Moore apparently turned down $2 million to retain the right to complain about Before Watchmen.

The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.

Marijuana Legalization Could Generate Half a Billion a Year for Washington State.

The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots musical is coming this November.

* Moonrise Kingdom is now the #1 grossing movie of all time…at the Alamo Drafthouse.

* And our long national nightmare is (nearly) almost over: Keanu Reeves teases Bill & Ted 3.

Links from the Weekend!

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* Wes Anderson bingo. Meanwhile, Moonrise Kingdom is setting records.

* Great television contrarianism watch: Neoliberal Holmes, or, Everything I Know About Modern Life I Learned from Sherlock. In which I analyze my allergy to Sherlock.

* David Harvey: The financial crisis is an urban crisis.

* Utopia and dystopia in quantum superposition: New parking meters text you when time’s running out.

Facebook is not only on course to go bust, but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it.

* Shaviro reviews Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. LRB reviews Embassytown. LARoB reviews Railsea. The New Yorker reviews Game of Thrones.

But there is something troubling about this sea of C.G.I.-perfect flesh, shaved and scentless and not especially medieval. It’s unsettling to recall that these are not merely pretty women; they are unknown actresses who must strip, front and back, then mimic graphic sex and sexual torture, a skill increasingly key to attaining employment on cable dramas. During the filming of the second season, an Irish actress walked off the set when her scene shifted to what she termed “soft porn.” Of course, not everyone strips: there are no truly explicit scenes of gay male sex, fewer lingering shots of male bodies, and the leading actresses stay mostly buttoned up. Artistically, “Game of Thrones” is in a different class from “House of Lies,” “Californication,” and “Entourage.” But it’s still part of another colorful patriarchal subculture, the one called Los Angeles.

* Terrible news, state by state:

Louisiana Incarcerated: How We Built the World’s Prison Capital. Via MeFi.

* The Institute for Southern Studies covers North Carolina’s answer to the Koch brothers, Art Pope.

* Detroit shuts off the lights.

* Kansas Republicans reinstitute feudalism, deliberately bankrupting the state.

* Voter purges in Florida, again.

* Contemplating these dreary statistics, one might well conclude that the United States is — to a distressing extent — a nation of violent, intolerant, ignorant, superstitious, passive, shallow, boorish, selfish, unhealthy, unhappy people, addicted to flickering screens, incurious about other societies and cultures, unwilling or unable to assert or even comprehend their nominal political sovereignty. Or, more simply, that America is a failure.

* The New Yorker‘s science fiction issue is live. If you wanted to get me to read New Yorker fiction for the first time in years, well, mission accomplished…

* And we’re still pouring college money down the for-profit drain. Because never learning from your mistakes is the most important thing we have to teach.

‘A Book That No One Else Could Have Written’

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Announcing American Literature 83.2: ‘Speculative Fictions’!

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Very exciting news: the special issue of American Literature I co-edited with Priscilla Wald is up and available for purchase or download (through subscribing institutions). Here’s a little bit from our preface and a table of contents:

In this sense SF holds within itself the restless curiosity and relentless drive toward futurity that has characterized theory ever since Karl Marx dedicated his project to “the ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.” Thus has Freedman suggested that SF and critical theory are “each . . . version[s] of the other.” Or, as Ray Bradbury puts it: “That’s all science fiction was ever about. Hating the way things are, wanting to make things different.” Or Le Guin, writing of the Stalinists’ designation of Zamyatin as an “internal émigré”: “This smear-word is a precise and noble description of the finest writers of SF, in all countries.” The equivalent term in the United States, she notes, would be “un-Americanism”—transmogrifying the title of this journal, for this special issue, to something like Un-American Non-Literature. There could be worse things!

…In a world whose basic coordinates are under constant flux from eruptions of ecological crisis to the emergence of genomic science, from the global realignments of religious fundamentalism to the changing parameters of liberation theology, from the ongoing unfoldings of antiracist activisms worldwide to the struggle for LGBTQ rights, the estrangements of SF in all its forms, flavors, and subgenres become for us a funhouse mirror on the present, a faded map of the future, a barely glimpsed vision of alterity, and the prepped and ready launchpad for theory today.

Here then are seven estrangements; seven émigrés; seven ruthless criticisms of all that exists; seven ways to make things different.

Table of Contents

* Mark Chia-Yon Jerng, “A World of Difference: Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren and the Protocols of Racial Reading”
* Nathaniel Williams, “Frank Reade, Jr., in Cuba: Dime-Novel Technology, U.S. Imperialism, and the ‘American Jules Verne'”
* Aaron Bady, “Tarzan’s White Flights: Terrorism and Fantasy before and after the Airplane”
* David M. Higgins, “Toward a Cosmopolitan Science Fiction”
* Ramzi Fawaz, “‘Where No X-Man Has Gone Before!’ Mutant Superheroes and the Cultural Politics of Popular Fantasy in Postwar America”
* Robert F. Reid-Pharr, “Clean: Death and Desire in Samuel R. Delany’s Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand
* Everett Hamner, “The Predisposed Agency of Genomic Fiction”

Sci-Fi Links for a Thursday without Joy

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Sci-Fi links for a Thursday without joy.

* AskMetaFilter on slammin’ science fiction-themed hip-hop.

* Where I Write: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors in Their Creative Spaces.

* Just Another Post-Apocalypse Story.

* Fox is promising not to ruin Dollhouse this time around.

* Terry Gilliam is hoping to adapt a Philip K. Dick novel, The World Jones Made. Will it be the first PKD movie since Blade Runner to be actually good? (Sorry Arnold.)

* And Warren Ellis says the future is small.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2009 at 11:23 pm