Thoughts upon finishing Stamped From the Beginning

The subtitle on Stamped From the Beginning is “The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” And Ibram X. Kendi is not fucking around on this one. This book took me an unusually long time to read—not because it was unpleasant, or even overly dense (as sometimes history books are), but because there’s a lot there, ...

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (and bisexuality) 1

Paul wrote a review of the book over at the Skiffy and Fanty blog, in which he makes some very good points. I don’t normally write about books, myself, partially to disguise my shame at how little I read these days compared to the number of movies I watch, but I’ve got a few thoughts ...

The Hugo Nomination Problem or, I Am a Bad Reader 17

[ETA 5/3/15: It seems I was unclear that by a recommended reading list, I mean a large list with things added throughout the year that I can then winnow down myself. Not a short slate of nominees sized specifically to fill or partially fill categories. I have updated the post to reflect my position more accurately.] I’ve been meaning ...

The United States of Rachael Does Not Negotiate With Terrorists 6

So this year’s Hugos is basically the same story as last year, but more so. Apparently we have not only the Sad Puppies, we have Rapid Puppies courtesy of that corpulent pustule on the anus of humanity, Vox Day. And I’ve heard mentions of Gamergate? Haven’t been able to easily locate the truth, don’t actually ...

Toot toot, here comes the book nostalgia train 7

Sunil was talking about his childhood love of the Babysitters Club books on Twitter earlier and that me thinking. I wasn’t actually a fan of BSC despite being in its perfect target demographic. I think I remember even knowing other girls my age that loved those books, but I… didn’t get in to them. Possibly ...

Anonymous reviewing on Amazon and the HWA letter 6

HWA wrote an open letter to Jeff Bezos requesting to change the way Amazon reviews work. (ETA: Whoops, URL for that link was borked, it’s now fixed, sorry about that!) In our view, beyond profanity and spitefulness, an inappropriate review would be one that: indicates the customer has not read the book, but only a ...

10 Books That Have Stuck With Me

Since it was a meme some of my friends were doing today, and I thought well why not. This would make a darn good blog post. Alanna: The First Adventure (Tamora Pierce) – I cannot begin to tell you how much this book has affected me. It was one of the first real YA books I ...

A few thoughts on Piers Anthony 6

Jason Heller wrote this excellent piece on revisiting the Xanth series as an adult, and I really recommend it: Revisiting the sad, misogynistic fantasy of Xanth Which has subsequently made me think about my own relationship with those books. Because like most people in our general age group (I think Jason’s maybe a little bit ...

#FenCon: A few places to get started on modern Japanese history/culture

Once again I want to apologize to everyone who attended the Tao and Again panel at FenCon. I had no idea I was going to be moderator and thus was woefully unprepared. (And it didn’t help there were only two of us on the panel, so I didn’t even have a big group of other panelists ...

The Coldest War

Well, thanks to Ian Tregillis, I now know that I haven’t lost my ability to dive into a book and devour it in a matter of a few days. Apparently I was just trying THAT HARD to avoid The Casual Vacancy, which took me weeks to slog through. Ian’s new book, The Coldest War, I ...