Adventures with cat

Feb. 17th, 2017 09:33 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
... so I've been kind of quiet here lately. This is largely due to a lot of freaking the fuck out.

So -- roommate and I realized about a week ago that neither of us had seen Loki for a few days; by itself that doesn't necessarily mean anything, because cat, but his food was untouched and his litter box was untouched. (Yes he sometimes eats Monkey's food, but in addition, not instead, of his own, and rattling his food dish usually brings him running.) And he is not a quiet cat -- if he were trapped somewhere he would be howling his head off -- so it was increasingly clear he wasn't in the apartment. And of course he doesn't have a collar.

Cue the litany of lost-cat tasks: calling vets, calling the shelter, talking to neighbors in case one of them brought him inside, making up fliers, etc. Also cue my brain being an asshole and constantly returning to worst case scenarios.

To add to the stress, my roommate had a scheduled trip for a grad school interview, leaving Tuesday and getting back this weekend. Having her gone is stressful even normally because there isn't backup if my aides flake and because I don't have the stress relief option of venting to her and because my mom is the one driving me home from rehearsals argh. Having my roommate gone *and* Loki missing meant I've been a gigantic ball of anxiety and stress.

Then yesterday I went to go to rehearsal, and Loki goes scooting out from under my van to under another car. Tea deer versonnen: My aide scoops him up and brings hm inside, I sulk about going to rehearsal because I want to be at home with a Loki making sure he's okay, but I do the responsible thing of going.

I don't know where the fuck he was all week or what he was doing; he seemed scared while hiding under the car, but was back to his usual self, including jumping on shoulders (and my mom's back, when she made the mistake of bending over to try to pet him). Possibly slimmer, but he had some pudge. We will probably take him in for a checkup but I'm waiting until next week so roommate can help with that. But he seems okay.

pic )

Meanwhile, today I was pretty much a complete mess -- you know how you can hold it together (at least sort of) *during* a highly stressful event, but then crash afterward? Yeah. Some amount of paranoia (which I predicted yesterday would happen) that when I haven't seen him in a few hours it's because he's gone again, rather than hiding somewhere sleeping; a lot of crying, both random and not. (And I ducked up scheduling a ride -- Yahtzee had to go to the vet for yearly vaccination stuff today at 3, and I had someone lined up to drive, but told her 3:40 for a pickup time rather than 2:40, and didn't realize until 3:03 -- and even though I was able to have my aide, who was there, drive instead, and call the vet to give a heads up that Y would be a few minutes late but was coming, I then just burst into tears because ~clearly~ (that's sarcasm font) I'm a horrible failure. )

Oh, and my chair has wonked out again -- lateral tilt not working, stuck in turtle mode, though st least not super tilted -- and I *still* don't have the new chair working. (Well, it works in general, but there's a comfort issue and if doesn't tilt back as much as i need.)

So ... yeah. I'm having ~fun~.

Stardew Valley randomness

Feb. 18th, 2017 12:29 am
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I haven't played in ages because back pain but...[on one of my six farms] my farmer married Abigail and I decided the nerdy couple would be semi-terrible to their child and so the kid is named Remus. (a compromise between "Latin mythology nerds" and "HP fandom"). I gigglesnort to myself every time I see that kid let me tell you.

Also there is a gender neutral toddler mod for the game if anyone else is interested.

Three Lovely Things

Feb. 17th, 2017 06:05 pm
jesse_the_k: White woman with glasses laughing under large straw hat (JK 52 happy hat)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Very silly joke collection on Metafilter

Want to know all the shows coming to Hulu in a month? See their press releases here:

A beautiful comic that meditates on cultural artifacts and a hyphenated Japanese-American identity:

(no subject)

Feb. 17th, 2017 02:49 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So, way back in, um, August, [personal profile] skygiants posted about Armed Services Edition paperbacks that were printed in special editions for serving military in WWII, and I mentioned I owned one and said if I could ever figure out where it was shelved I would post pictures.

Well, I didn't manage to find it until November, and by then I had quit Tumblr for self-defense, so my lazy method of using Tumblr as an image host wasn't happening. But DW just rolled out a gui for its image hosting! So, only six months later, here are the pictures!

The one I own is "An Almanac for Moderns", which is basically a book of 365 short essays about nature and science, to be read one a day for a year. So I was almost right when I said I thought it was a field guide, yet couldn't find it shelved with the field guides. It's pretty fun, actually, but I could never stick with one chapter a day. As you might guess for an edition that was meant to be small and was published during the WWII paper shortages, the pages are very thin and very delicate seventy years later. (And I still haven't figured out why the sideways binding; to me it makes it more difficult to read, although maybe when it was newer it meant you could lay it flat on a table to read more easily?)

An Almanac for Moderns )

(There's a few more uploaded in my dw images, if you can figure out how to get there....)

As is visible in a couple of the photos, my book has a single staple reinforcing the binding, which is a large part of what makes it hard to read. I can't tell if this was part of the standard binding or it was added by a later owner. It doesn't seem to be a later addition? It's definitely not a standard staple - you would have needed a heavy-duty stapler and staples - and the binding isn't falling apart in such a way that it seems needed. So IDK unless [personal profile] skygiants knows!

And while I am posting images of cool old books I own, if you have ever been to an American public school you are probably familiar with the idea of a Marble composition book )

(the set of books I found also included an account books of day-to-day expenses in the late 19th century. Someday I am going to figure out where the dude was living and donate it to a historical society. They came with 0 provenance, so that didn't help.)

I am actually continuing to make substantial progress on the "sort all the books" project! I may start posting polls so you all can help me decide what to read off my long-unread fiction piles next - I am thinking "fuck, marry, kill" format where you get to decide if I have a sudden night of ill-considered passion, or continue my long-term relationship with having it in my bedroom, or get rid of it unread.

And finally, here is a picture of a cat:

A More Specific Grievance

Feb. 17th, 2017 09:28 am
rachelmanija: (Fowl: Evil Chicken)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
This post is about the blackmailer, harasser, bully, and maker of death threats known by the remarkably apt name of Requires Hate. She has a ridiculous number of other socks and pseudonyms, such as Winterfox (her former LJ handle), Benjanun Sriduangkaew (her pro writer identity), Lesifoere (spewer of repulsive transphobic slurs), and at least four or five more. There may be others which are still unknown. It would not surprise me in the slightest if she had a second career threatening people in, say, the hamster fancier community, under twenty different vicious sock identities.

She harassed me for years and is still doing it; she carried on elaborate campaigns to destroy the careers of other pro writers in her genre; she befriended people and then blackmailed them; the list goes on. As far as anyone can tell, she's devoted her entire life to being horrible, online and off, for a minimum of twelve years now.

I have encountered a lot of mean people in my life. But Winterfox is the only person I've ever known who makes people miserable as a full-time job. I literally do not know how she finds the time to bully as many people as she does, as constantly as she does. She could afford to bankroll organizations protecting human rights or rescuing orphan kittens. She could create her own publishing house. She could go on really awesome long vacations. But no. She just hunches over her computer 24-7, spewing vitriol in all directions.

I think we need a word that means "pathetic and a little bit darkly funny, but also genuinely harmful." I suggest "winterfoxy."

So why am I posting now? What's new?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Winterfox is still doing everything she used to do, as far as I can tell. She still makes death threats. The people she blackmailed are still being blackmailed. She still harasses me in the exact same way she always did: I review a comic book about gay men in Iran, she accuses me on Twitter of being a child abuser.

At least, I assume she's still attacking me. I have asked (and still ask) people to not inform me if they see her saying anything about me. Since I don't do Twitter anyway, this means I miss about 99% of her activities and so only randomly and occasionally hear about it when she lies about or abuses me. Last time was about six months ago, so I imagine I'm due. Bring it, Winterfox. If you tweet about me a thousand times, I'll probably hear about one of them. I'm sure you'll find that motivational.

I am writing about her again for a couple reasons. One is to link to a surprisingly funny (considering the subject matter) essay by my friend, fantasy author Zen Cho, Being an Itemized List of Disagreements . Another is a thoughtful and heartfelt post by another friend, artist and writer M Sereno, A Letter to Apex Editors . Both were written to protest the embrace of a vicious and destructive bully, protect vulnerable people from her, and alert people who might not know exactly who they're dealing with to her past and current activities.

That's also why I posted. (So linking is fine.) Winterfox doesn't scare me any more. She's way too much of a coward to risk hiring a hit man, let alone confronting me in person. Anyone who believes I'm a child abuser or pro-rape or whatever because some rando on Twitter said so is not only not someone whose opinion I care about, they probably don't even know who the hell I am. I don't go to science fiction conventions, so she can't get me ostracized there. There's really nothing she can do to harm me.

But there are other people she can harm. There are people she is harming right now. She and her supporters make the science fiction world unwelcoming to her targets, who are disproportionately women of color. They also make it unwelcoming to onlookers who see people like them getting abused with impunity and even applause, and decide to go elsewhere. Not fucking okay, Winterfox supporters!

Sometimes life hands you difficult and complex ethical problems in which the right thing to do is genuinely unclear. This is not one of them. If you are endorsing someone whose big contribution to your field is to tell women of color that they should be raped by dogs, you are not one of the good guys.

I'm not calling for a boycott of her fiction. I'm not even saying you should stop being buds with her, though if you are, for God's sake don't email her anything she could hold over you later. What I am saying is that you should not ostracize people on her account, join in on bullying, believe anything she says about anyone without checking it yourself, brush off her death threats, or invite her to a roundtable on intersectionality. For instance.

Also, if you see someone interacting with her who doesn't know her history, you might want to warn them. I told her once to stop verbally abusing people, and I have now been harassed by her for six years and counting. Others thought she was their friend, and are still being blackmailed by her. If people know about her and choose to interact with her anyway, that's up to them. But if they don't know, a heads-up might save them a world of trouble.

If you already totally agree with me and would like to get Winterfox's goat, I have some suggestions for ruining her day.

You could donate to Outright Action International . They do stellar work in international LGBTIQ rights. I raise money for them, and Winterfox attacks me every time I do it online. So clearly, donating to them would really annoy her.

You could buy some art from M Sereno. It's gorgeous, and I bet it would really piss Winterfox off to know that people are financially supporting and appreciating the work of someone who had the nerve to speak out about her. Especially, to continue the theme of queer rights, the lovely print "To Live."

You could buy Zen Cho's awesome books, ditto: Sorcerer to the Crown, The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo, Spirits Abroad, and The Terracotta Bride.

You could buy or review books by people she harasses and whose careers she's tried to destroy, and also by people who supported them. That list is very long so I'll just link to a few: The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring, Serpentine by Cindy Pon, Glass Houses: Avatars Dance by Laura Mixon, To Shape the Dark (Feral Astrogators) by Athena Andreadis, Rosewater by Tade Thompson, The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, Shadowboxer by Tricia Sullivan, The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan, Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord, Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan, and What Fates Impose (includes a story by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz).

I initially wasn't going to post more than just links to the other two posts. I'm seriously ill and didn't think I had the energy for either the writing of or the fallout from a post like this. But when I started, I realized that in fact, I'm sick enough that I really don't give a damn. Also, apparently thinking about Winterfox gives me some energy. The WTF factor alone could launch a thousand ships.

I realized something else, too. No matter how bad things get for me, I will always have one thing to be grateful for: at least I'm not Winterfox.

We’re everywhere

Feb. 17th, 2017 05:31 am
supergee: (gym rat)
[personal profile] supergee
Sportswriting is becoming a liberal profession.

Thanx to Metafilter

Good News

Feb. 17th, 2017 05:28 pm
ironed_orchid: fluffy tabby cat, two paws stretched out on carpet, reaching towards camera (Paw)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
One of the vets called around 1pm with an update. The first surgery went really well and Mason is doing great. Another vet, who I have met and spoken to twice already just called while I was writing. Everything is still good.

[TW: injured cat, medical procedure] )

money talk - all good stuff )

I am so amazed and grateful to everyone who's donated and signal boosted and offered support, even if it's just by liking my posts on fb and twitter. It really makes me feel less alone in dealing with this. People at work have also been amazing. My boss gave me today off, her suggestion (best boss ever), and C. from the other shop asked if I wanted them to do a whip around to raise funds. I had a long chat to my dad today and have been texting with my mum.

I'll go and visit Mason again tomorrow, and hopefully reports about him being more alert and active are true and we can have some quality scritching time.

Then I'm back at work Sunday - Tuesday which will be fine as I think Tuesday will be the earliest I can take him home. And then, by complete coincidence, I have two weeks off work. The plan was to get the house cleaned for painting, which I can probably still manage, even if the spare room is converted to a sick room for the duration.

TL;DR Mason is doing great, surgery went well, I am coping mentally and financially and feel loved and supported.


Feb. 17th, 2017 05:03 am
[syndicated profile] ursulav_feed
 Apparently it has been two weeks since I posted. I kept thinking I'd do...something...but then I would get distracted and then it would be several days later.

My sprouts have sprouted! Some of them! Sunflower, Tithonia, Cilantro, Thyme, two species of poppies. I'm pretty stoked. Winter sowing is a wild success just on those fronts. Still waiting on the Solanums...they're a long shot, but I hold out hope.

I am reading about chinampas agriculture and fighting a strong urge to dig up large sections of the garden and put in a moat. Because that would be nuts. Surely.


I'll be fine. 

An opportunity to convoke

Feb. 17th, 2017 08:18 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

We go into breakfast upon our return to the house, and find the Honble Edward and Geoffrey sitting with Sandy and Sebastian K- and all expatiating upon the very excellent swimming they have just enjoy’d, quite entire got into the habit at A- and find there is a stretch of the stream here that will serve for the purpose.

Lord U- looks at 'em and says, he hopes 'tis a well-shelter’d stretch of the stream. (I confide they go bathe in an entire state of nature, and a very pleasing sight must be, for are all well-set-up fellows: but indeed there are matters of protecting maidenly modesty to be consider’d.)

O, indeed, says the Honble Edward, 'tis well away from the footpath and willows grow along the bank. But is’t not prime sport?

Sandy smiles and says, one of the best, but sure there is no comparison to swimming in the sea. They look envious.

Come in Lord and Lady O-, that I daresay may have been about some most enjoyable indoor exercize, for they set to the fine spread laid with most excellent appetite.

I pour myself some more coffee – sure Arabella entire has the knack of it, for 'tis excellent – and say, 'tis really shocking poor ton, but might I beg an opportunity to convoke with Mr MacD- upon a matter of business? For, says I, I purpose go visit my Shropshire estate after I have been at Lord P-'s, and there are one or two little matters upon which I should desire his advice.

The Marquess says that there can be entirely no objection, and we could have the library to ourselves this forenoon, he supposes, do we like.

That is most exceeding kind, says I, if 'tis agreeable to Mr MacD-?

Sandy looks at me in some amuzement and says, how could it be otherwise? He is ever quite entire at Lady B-'s service. (Sure he sits too far away for me to kick him.)

So after breakfast is done, and I have had Sophy put me on some suitable morning-dress, I go sit in the library, that sure indeed is a very fine one, that I should desire to explore further when I have leisure to it.

Enters Sandy, saying, how now, dearest sibyl, what problem of business do you have that I may solve? – and, by the way, Mr K- is in some desire to convoke with you over matters of lead that are pertinent to their interests.

La, says I, 'twas but a plausible excuse for some private convockation without Mr Geoffrey M- bursting in upon us or Bess desiring me to tell the girls about the theatre or some such interruption. No, 'twas not about my mine, 'twas a troubling matter that came about while I was at Q-.

Sandy looks at me and says, he supposes 'tis no matter that would require G- to call out Sir V- P-, is it?

Sure, can I not avoid the attentions of an antient ram, I shall have lost all my wont’d skills. No, 'twas the Earl of I-.

I open to him the matter, and what the Contessa had told me, and the Earl’s connexion to Mr R- O-.

Sandy looks thoughtfull. I wonder, he says – sure one has the highest esteem for the Contessa and the acuity of her judgement, but is’t possible that she did not interrogate too close into the politickal leanings of a fine amuzing young fellow that was an English milord? If I am not out in my calculations, I confide that she must have known him at about the time when Naples was under the Napoleonick yoke -

Why, says I, when he might have been entire sincere in any sympathies he expresst towards rising up against 'em, might he not?

We look at one another and remark that sure one would be interest’d to learn further of his itinerary upon his Grand Tour.

And then he goes succeed as Earl and is oblig’d to live according to his rank, says I, all entire proper, but –

But indeed.

Perchance, says I, I should contrive to go make friendly to Lady I-: talk to her about charity &C. That is do I have occasion to meet her again, for sure we are not in the same circles. Tho’ I daresay she has no notion what her husband is about, might nonetheless provide some intelligence.

Another thought, says Sandy, is to enquire of Lord O- whether in his days as Lord Anthony he ever came across the gentleman.

Indeed, says I, mayhap 'tis somewhat I may raise do I go be his amanuensis.

What? Sandy raises his eyebrows exceedingly.

He goes write some account of his travels, but finds it comes not easy to his pen, that is more us’d to writing of stamens and pistils and calyxes for gentlemen that are interest’d in scientifick matters.

Why, he tells his tales very well does he so verbally. But sure there are those that go halt does it come to turning a matter into written words.

We look at one another with great fondness, for sure has been some considerable time since we convok’d. And how, says I, was the fribble-set party at A-?

Oh, says Sandy with a smile, 'twas very congenial, quite surprizing so. Sure there is nothing wrong with manly sports, provid’d they do not take up all one’s time, and exercize for the body is as imperative as for the mind. And most excellent discourse, we were quite the symposium over the dinner-table.

Why, says I, I am quite delight’d to hear it. And, I go on, all is well 'twixt you and Milord?

Sandy blushes in such a fashion that even the dour Calvinistickal glare that he puts on cannot convince me that they are otherwise than extreme happy.

I look about me and say, sure this is a library that quite exceeds, should greatly desire explore it a little.

Sure, says Sandy, are we not told that this is Liberty Hall? There could surely be no objection whatsoever. There are some fine classickal works that I daresay would rouse Lady J-'s envy.

Alas, says I, those would be beyond the reach of a silly uneducat’d creature such as I, but I daresay there may be some simple tale for children or such that would be fitt’d to my capacities.

Sandy snorts and says, perchance in antient Etrusckan.

He then sighs and says, he should go make civil – has been desir’d by both Lord O- and Lord U- to convoke over the matter of secretaries, sure 'tis entire encouraging.

'Tis so, says I, walking over to the shelves so that I may examine 'em more closely.

'Tis some while later that I emerge, having found a very fine volume of the works of Chaucer, that I go puzzle at, for have heard exceeding well of this antient work in the English tongue, but indeed has chang’d a deal since those days.

A collation has been laid in the dining-room. Bess, Lady Louisa and Dodo are about making a fine feast of it, sure indeed they are healthy young women and getting their growth. Bess goes express to me a certain resentment that they may not go swim.

Why, my dears, sure I hear 'tis very agreeable exercize, but have you not learnt the way of it, must be some concern that you would be like to become three Ophelias in the stream.

Bess sees the sense in this, and says 'twould be most uncivil to one’s host to go drown.

I ask Dodo whether they hear from her sister Lady A-?

Oh yes, says Dodo, they have gone stay at F- Grange, that is Lord A-'s fine house and estate, before they go make visits, and then join us for the Music Meetings. She has writ that 'tis all most agreeable, tho’ matters have been in a somewhat unbusiness-like way she confides. But will be time to turn a hand to that, at present she goes about acquaint herself with the place, &C.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I, 'tis their honeymoon, there will be time enough for business.

And, says Dodo, they purpose go have a fine house-party over Yuletide at F- Grange for the whole family, will that not be entire prime?

Quite bang-up, says Bess. But, o, Lou says there are fawns in the deer-park, we purpose go look at 'em.

I smile and say I daresay one must go exceeding quiet to come up upon deer.

Lady Louisa says they are quite tame, but sure one must not fright 'em.

The three of 'em go bouncing off.

I go out with my parasol onto the lawn, where Hester sits near the fountain in her invalid chair. One has brought her a nice little plateful that she may enjoy quite pique-nique fashion. I perch upon the fountain rim and ask how she does.

O, she sighs, 'tis such a fine summer as I have never had – able to come out into the sunlight, my dear children around me, good company, such thoughtfullness generally.

She looks around and says, have I yet essay’d the maze? There is a fine maze in the gardens, had been a little over-grown but dear Tony has had the hedges clippt back so that it may be traverst.

Why, says I, not yet, but I must certainly do so. I daresay there is some trick to it so that one may not get complete lost?

She says she dares say, but alas she did not note how one contriv’d to come at the centre, where there is a very quaint sun-dial, and out again at t’other side, when U- was kind enough to push her thro’ it.

He is an excellent son, says I.

Oh, quite entirely, she says, becoming a little tearfull. They are all such good children to me, and I have been so wanting as a mother.

I take her hand. Dear Hester, says I, I do not think that one that is so belov’d by her children can have been at all wanting as a mother. Do they not all come to you quite entire as their first confidante? Sure you might not romp with 'em or take 'em about in Society, but you have, I confide, ever shown 'em a very fine affection and they have seen that.

She lays my hand against her cheek. Was there not some Roman lady said of her children, these are my jewels? Sure they are.

health insurance dammit

Feb. 16th, 2017 08:53 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
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.


Feb. 16th, 2017 10:40 pm
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
from Tumblr

A Different Light, by Elizabeth Lynn

Feb. 16th, 2017 09:15 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
In a future world, cancer has been all but eradicated. Jimson Alleca can live another 20 years with drugs and a peaceful lifestyle -- if he stays in space-normal. But he's willing to risk it all to make the jump into the Hype, the shimmering "not space" for one year among the stars.

I have a huge thing for choosing a short time of glory over a long stretch of not-so-great, so this premise was right up my alley. I also love the trope of "space will kill you but let's go anyway."

This book is and is not that. The blurb is correct as far as it goes, but the tone and content are not what I expected from it. It's much quieter, the emotions are far more low-key, and what Jimson actually does with his one year before leaving the planet kills him is nowhere near as dramatic as I expected. I liked it for what it was, though the beginning is stronger than the rest, but I'm still looking for the book the blurb promised.

Jimson is an artist with bone cancer under control with treatment, so long as he never goes into space; if he does, it will metastasize and kill him within a year due to radiation exposure. His art is acclaimed in worlds he'll never see, and he's still hung up on Russell, the boyfriend who bailed on him for outer space fourteen years ago and hasn't contacted him since. Jimson has gotten increasingly depressed, bored, artistically blocked, and trapped. Then Russell sends him a photo of himself with no note, and Jimson decides that he's had it: he'll take his one year and go look up Russell.

My favorite part of the book was this part, where Jimson is making his decision and taking interim steps toward it. There's some really beautiful writing and imagery. It's also, despite the sound of it, less about Russell (who has not yet appeared) and more about what Jimson wants to do with his life in general.

Then Jimson finally goes off-planet. I was expecting a desperate, defiant grab at glory and wonder in shimmering not-space. What he actually does is plonk down in a town on another planet, have a low-key affair with a woman pilot, and hang out in a bar. For months. And months. He has ONE YEAR TO LIVE, because he went off-planet, and he spends a whole lot of it not doing anything he couldn't have done on his own planet. I'm not sure if this was the point or what, because eventually Russell shows up and things take a different turn, but also, unfortunately, into anticlimax.

Russell is a giant bag of dicks. Again, I'm not sure if he was supposed to be or not, but I really disliked him. (I did like the portrayal of sexuality - most characters are bisexual and this is unremarked-upon - I just disliked Russell.) He's a space pirate, and realistically they would probably be jerks, but seriously? JERK. He ditches his doomed boyfriend and doesn't contact him for fourteen years, then sends him a photo and nothing else. The vanishing was because he was flipped out over Jimson's illness, and is understandable. The fourteen-years-late space selfie with no note attached? JERK. He then proceeds to be a dick for the rest of the book, though at least Jimson gets to be with him and is at least somewhat pleased about that.

Again, given the suggested delicious melodrama of the premise, Jimson is an incredibly low-key character and so is the book. There's one scene that sort of lives up to the "shimmering hyperspace" bit but Jimson's experience of hyperspace is that it's kind of reddish, and he spends most of it wandering around the spaceship making sure the characters who are doing exciting stuff don't forget to eat.

There's some mild space adventuring which is nowhere near exciting enough that I'd give up my whole life for it, followed by an ending which you may or may not read as a cop-out. Read more... )

This is at least the second book I've read in which someone chooses to go into space for a brief period of glory before it kills them. The other is Emma Bull's Falcon, which I like a lot but which skips most of the "period of glory" part, jumping from the moment right before the hero goes into space to several years later, when his time is about to run out.

Does anyone know of any more books with that premise? Especially if they actually write it the way it sounds like.

Only $4.00 on Amazon. A Different Light


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Dee Burris Blakley

January 2017

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