- Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned fantasy author, dies aged 66 – Oh man, this made me so sad! I was sobbing like a favorite relative had died. There isn’t enough space here to say how much I loved his books. They were funny, imaginative and what I imagine the Bible is like for Christians. If you’ve never read him before, consult the chart above and start with any of the series but the Wizards/Rincewind. (Here’s a book list on the wiki if you can’t use the image.)
Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett has died aged 66, having had Alzheimer’s disease for eight years.
“The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Larry Finlay of his publishing company, Transworld.
Best known for the Discworld series, Sir Terry wrote more than 70 books over his lengthy career.
He was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007, but continued writing, completing his final book last summer.
The author died at home “with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family,” Mr Finlay said.
- Why Can’t Romance Novels Get Any Love? – Yeah man, I don’t know. This went around Twitter as an example of “getting it right,” but I didn’t love it. YMMV, but cracks about “mom jeans” and overweight women eating bonbons are boring as hell for me.
Novelist superstars Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie and Arthur C. Clarke have a few things in common: they are all canonized writers of popular genres that, for decades, have been critically devoured by popular media and literary scholars alike. English professors from Yale to the University of Alaska have long mined hard-boiled detective novels, science fiction and fantasy, identifying the tropes and memes as revelatory and significant markers of their respective eras — the femme fatale, the sordid luxury of the Orient Express, or a singing computer in 2001:A Space Odyssey.
Missing from the popular genre discussion is romance fiction, both its evolution and contemporary state, a glaring omission that Sarah Frantz Lyons is so determined to fix that she has it tattooed to her right arm.
- Women Aren’t Aliens (and Other Thoughts on the Andrew Smith Controversy) – A male YA author said something super daft about the female gender and #keepYAkind was spawned to defend him from the MEAN BULLIES who called him on it. *distinct wanking motion* Anyways, this post on BookRiot is a pretty good commentary on the situation, and so is this post on the Rejectionist.
The idea that women are foreign, bizarre, alien isn’t something Smith invented. It’s an old trope that’s been powering terrible stand-up and awful sitcoms since the beginning of time. But it’s one he draws on when he talks about “all things woman and female” as unknown (and possibly unknowable). It’s old, and it’s tired, and it’s at the heart of the worldview to which I’m objecting here.
It’s a problem because it assumes that men and masculinity are the default settings for humanity. That men are “normal” and have no obligation to explore or understand the experiences of those weird women over there with the weird ovaries. It’s what makes it possible for people to think about there being “books,” on the one hand, and “girl books” on the other. It’s what makes it possible for school administrators to allow only girls to attend a presentation by author Shannon Hale. Basically, as Tessa Gratton writes in a great post on this controversy: “The interpretation is that women are less than human, or at the very least, inherently different from men. That is one of the oldest sexist arguments in the entire world.”
- Historicist: The Cree & Ojibway Indian Hockey Tour – Are you guys hockey fans yet? Maybe this story about Canadian First Nations hockey players will help. #pleaselikemysport
On January 12, 1928, two hockey teams composed entirely of First Nations players took to the ice at Ravina Gardens on Rowland Street for a “a very speedy and clever game of hockey,” as one newspaper described it.
It was one of the earliest stops on what would be a 2,200-mile motor coach tour. Over the course of 60 days, the two teams would travel to over a dozen Ontario and American cities, playing exhibitions against each other or local teams.
The “Cree & Ojibway Indian Hockey Tour,” as it was billed on the side of the bus, featured the “Fast Ojibway Indians” versus the “Great Cree Indians.” One team was composed of Ojibway players from Bear Island in Lake Temagami—now known as Teme-Augama Anishnabai or Temagami First Nation. The other was composed of Cree players from Chapleau (according to one newspaper) or “the James Bay territory” (according to another). Papers weren’t concerned with such precision. It seems likely that the Cree team was drawn from Bear Island as well as Chapleau Cree First Nation, and possibly even Moose Factory or elsewhere.
- Disabled and Fighting for a Sex Life – This comes via Natalie Luhrs’ links post and is both important reading and hard for me to comment on in brief. It gives me Opinions.
Research has shown that disabled people are less likely to have a long-term partner or marry than non-disabled people, although this is very dependent on impairment type. When a 2014 U.K. newspaper poll asked people if they had ever had sex with someone who had a physical disability, 44 percent said “No, and I don’t think I would.”
So how can we shift the negative images of disability and sexuality that still dominate society’s attitudes? Disabled people and their allies have been campaigning for change for decades. While it is not going to be easy, change is on the way, but with it comes new controversies.
- Edits to Wikipedia pages on Bell, Garner, Diallo traced to 1 Police Plaza – Wikipedia is living proof that history is written by the victors. It’s fascinating and deeply troubling at the same time.
Computer users identified by Capital as working on the NYPD headquarters’ network have edited and attempted to delete Wikipedia entries for several well-known victims of police altercations, including entries for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. Capital identified 85 NYPD addresses that have edited Wikipedia, although it is unclear how many users were involved, as computers on the NYPD network can operate on the department’s range of IP addresses.
There are more than 15,000 IP addresses registered to the NYPD, which employs 50,000 people, including uniformed officers and civilians. Notable Wikipedia activity was linked to about a dozen of those NYPD IP addresses.