Links and Notes for the Week of January 21, 2018

* I have personal connections to New Orleans. My dad lived and worked there for many years, from the early 1980s until his passing in 2009. I attended Mardi Gras exactly once in all that time, in 2007. Unfortunately I did not get to experience the Krewe of Barkus, who are all Good Dogs.

* Since some people disagree that they are all Good Dog—and who has time or patience for that malarkey—it is sometimes necessary to clean house on Twitter. I have only recently begun to use Twitter as my primary social media outlet, as, though they are both objectively terrible, Facebook is worse. Barry Ritholtz, who I have been following for about a decade, has recently posted his strategy for dealing with trolls on Twitter. Time will tell if it is effective.

* Though I have subscribed to the RSS feed for a couple of years now, and I have been aware of its existence for somewhat longer, I have just now began listening to the Writing Excuses podcast, starting at Episode 1.1. My plan is to go through all of them in order and get caught up to present by the end of the year.

* Over in the day job, as I study up on React.js (which is actually kind of fun, now that I have played around a bit) I am keeping things interesting by using CSS Grids for structure and layout. In particular the Grid by Example website, created by Rachel Andrew, is a tremendous resource. While writing this post I realized that I met Rachel back in June of 2017 when I attended the O’Reilly Fluent conference in San Jose, California.

* Great googly moogly! Ben Firshman has built an NES emulator in Javascript, including my all-time favorite, Bubble Bobble! So much for productivity until Spring.

Links and Notes for the Week of January 14, 2018

* Back in September of 2016 I took the Amtrak from Grand Rapids to Vancouver via the Empire Builder route. It was a wonderful, contemplative, transcendent experience (blog posts pending). Based on that, and based on this article in the Calvert Journal, I now want to experience the Trans-Siberian Railway. It will also give me an excuse to dust off my Russian skills.

* And speaking of that trip, while in transit, while not watching America roll by, I read Trysting by Emmanuelle Pagano. It is an absolutely beautiful book, recalling all of love and beauty and intimacy and trust and heartache and the million tiny moments that bind people together and pull them apart. I just came across a wonderful review by Lauren Goldberg in Music & Literature which does justice to the most compelling book I have read in years. On a related note, I think I will now buy a subscription to Music & Literature.

* And speaking of Russian stuff, the Speak Russian Like Russians blog is both useful and fun.

* In the world of fandom and literature, author Jim C. Hines (may his beard grow ever longer) has put together an excellent post detailing the long history of Jon del Arroz’s trolling and harassing behavior toward authors, fans and organizations in the larger community. The comments on the article are mostly erudite and informative, though a JdA supporter/GamerGater pulls an impressive amount of sea-lioning to no significant effect.

* The 2018 State of the World conversation over at The Well has wrapped up. It, as well as the many previous conversations in the series, are well worth perusing over the upcoming weeks and months. A hearty thank you to Bruce Sterling, Jon Lebkowsky and all the other participants for opening this to the general public.

Dean Allen, creator of the content management/blogging system Textpattern, has passed away. Allen was one of the biggest influences in my early career as a web developer. I took his thoughts on design and typography to heart, though I was never a designer. His photo blog featuring his Weimaraner Oliver made me want to move to rural France. Allen, along with Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman, were huge influences as I began my career in web development.

Links and Notes for the Week of January 7, 2018

* Interesting thought experiment: Roko’s Basilisk. To wit, “The premise is that an all-powerful artificial intelligence from the future could retroactively punish those who did not help bring about its existence, including those who merely knew about the possible development of such a being.” See also: America in 2017.

* For the record, this is what happens when toxic masculinity, white privilege and tech-bro douchebaggery combine to create the perfect American asshole. James Damore is a waste of space, skin, time, attention and oxygen.

* Something wonderful: A large (100+!) collection of writers in their writing spaces.

* I follow a few foreign (to me here in the USA) news and cultural feeds. The Calvert Journal recently ran this wonderful overview of pop music from Yugoslavia, circa 1960 – 1990. The Calvert Journal is a wonderful resource. In particular, their New East 100 is worth a few hours of browsing.

* The always-entertaining John Scalzi’s take on Trump’s ongoing racism.

* For the record, here is my stance on Donald Trump: Trump is a racist. Trump is racist. This has been apparent to the entire rational world for decades. If you want to argue this point, I don’t need to provide you with examples of his racist behavior. The simple fact that you want to argue this point demonstrates that you have nothing useful to say.

The Record of My Life

I have just added a “Published Work” page to this blog. You can access it through the main menu. It’s kind of threadbare at the moment, but with a little luck I will have some publications to add by the end of the year.

Most of my published work at present consists of editorials written for The 3288 Review, and around three dozen interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

ConFusion 2018

I will be speaking on two panels at ConFusion 2018! Here is my schedule:

TITLE: Poetry in Novels
DESCRIPTION: Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass include lengthy poems, placing them in a long tradition of long-form fiction that incorporates poetry into the work. How does writing poems for prose fiction differ from writing poems that stand alone? What distinct techniques does it require? Where do poems within stories exist in the landscape of genre poetry today?
PANELISTS: Amal El-Mohtar, Clif Flynt, Jeff Pryor, Josef Matulich, John Winkelman, Mari Ness
ROOM: Isle Royale
DAY/TIME: Sunday, January 21, 10:00 – 10:50 am

TITLE: Analogue Media in the Digital Age
DESCRIPTION: Paper, vinyl, and film, oh my! What are the unique advantages to analogue media, and what’s just a deeply ingrained sense of how media “should” be? Is it not a book without the paper smell, or a song without the soft crackle of a needle on vinyl?
PANELISTS: David Klecha, Gail Cross, John Winkelman
ROOM: Petoskey
DAY/TIME: Sunday, January 21, 1:00 – 1:50 pm

I will, of course, vastly over-think and over-research these topics over the next ten days, and will therefore post my notes.

Links and Notes for the Week of January 1, 2018

Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky are holding their annual State of the World conversation over at The Well. Quite worth following over the next couple of weeks, and bookmarking for reference as the world continues to continue.

Charles Stross gave the keynote speech at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in December 2017. Transcript here. Video here. Much discussion about the idea of the corporation as artificial intelligence. As always with Stross’s blog, the comments following the transcript are well worth reading.

* At the day job, I am studying up on React.js. After learning and using many versions of jQuery, Backbone, Bootstrap, Angular, Ember, and a host of other frameworks, my emotional reaction to React can be summed up as “eh”. The ennui of the Javascript developer.

* Over at File770, we learned that Rabid Puppy ally Jonathan Del Arroz has been banned from the next WorldCon due to his extremely bad behavior and threats of disrupting the con. This is merely another in the ongoing trend of Puppy-aligned writers and fans running aground on the cold rocks of the rational, adult-behaving world.

* During a quiet moment I looked around the interwebs to see if any other countries had the misfortune of having a leader like Trump. As it turns out, there is one! Turkmenistan has the great good fortune of being led by one Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedow, who has recently outlawed black cars in his country, and who has had made a giant statue of himself riding a golden horse. Also he is a dictator and runs one of the most repressive regimes on the planet.

2018 Reading List

Welcome to the fourth year of the Reading List. These are all of the books I have purchased and/or read in calendar year 2018. My full list of books can be found on LibraryThing (books I own) and GoodReads (books I have read).

January

  1. McKean, Dave and Schafer, William – The Weight of Words (Subterranean Press)
  2. Nguyen, Viet ThanThe Refugees
  3. Atwood, MargaretThe Handmaid’s Tale
  4. Walton, DavidThe Genius Plague
  5. Sterling, PhillipAnd Then Snow (Main Street Rag)
  6. Mitchell, DavidSlade House
  7. Peninsula Poets #74.1, Spring 2017 (Poetry Society of Michigan)
  8. Peninsula Poets #74.2, Fall 2017 (Poetry Society of Michigan)
  9. D’Rivera, PaquitoLetters to Yeyito (Restless Books)
  10. Simo, AnaHeartland (Restless Books)
  11. Khan, Ausma Zehanat – The Bloodprint
  12. Liu, KenThe Man who Ended History, signed, #462 of 500 (WSFA Press)
  13. Chakraborty, S.A.The City of Brass
  14. Ashton, DyrkPaternus
  15. Hines, Jim C.Terminal Alliance
  16. Law, Lucas K. and Mak, Derwin (eds.) – Where the Stars Shine (Laksa Media Groups, Inc)
  17. Tomlinson, Patrick S.The Ark (Angry Robot Books)
  18. Tomlinson, Patrick S.Trident’s Forge (Angry Robot Books)
  19. Tomlinson, Patrick S.Children of the Divide (Angry Robot Books)
  20. Sizemore, JasonFor Exposure (Apex Publications)
  21. Sizemore, JasonIrredeemable (Seventh Star Press)
  22. Apex Magazine #104
  23. Gates, Jaym and Valentinelli, Monica (eds.) – Upside Down (Apex Publications)
  24. Townsend, TracyThe Nine (Prometheus Books)
  25. Ness, MariThrough Immortal Shadows Singing (Papaveria Press)
  26. Wolfe, Navah and Parisien, Dominik (eds.) – Robots vs. Fairies (Saga Press)
  27. Hirshfield, JaneNine Gates
  28. Brown, Adrienne Marie and Imarisha, Walidah (eds.) – Octavia’s Brood (AK Press)
  29. Karastoyanov, HristoThe Same Night Awaits Us All (Open Letter Books)
  30. Music & Literature #7
  31. Music & Literature #8
  32. Freedman, Carl (ed.) – Conversations with Ursula K. Le Guin (University Press of Mississippi)
  33. Le Guin, Ursula K.The Found and the Lost (Saga Press)
  34. Le Guin, Ursula K.The Unreal and the Real (Saga Press)
  35. Foglio, Kaja and Foglio, PhilGirl Genius 16: The Incorruptible Library (Airship Entertainment)
  36. Claybourne, Zig ZagThe Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan (Narmer’s Palette)
  37. Eastern Iowa Review #3
  38. Johns, AndreasBaba Yaga (Peter Lang Publishing)

February

  1. Granta #142
  2. Stein, MelissaTerrible Blooms (Copper Canyon Press)
  3. George, JennyThe Dream of Reason (Copper Canyon Press)
  4. Nezhukumatathil, AimeeOceanic (Copper Canyon Press)
  5. Campbell, Bill and Hall, Edward Austin (eds) – Mothership: Tales From Afrofuturism and Beyond (Rosarium Publishing)
  6. Goh, Jaymee and Chng, Joyce (eds) – The Sea is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia (Rosarium Publishing)
  7. Karetnyk, Bryan (ed.) – Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky
  8. Triantafyllou, Petros (ed.) – Art of War (Booknest.eu)
  9. Jemisin, N.K.The Obelisk Gate
  10. VanderMeer, JeffAuthority
  11. Jacobin Magazine, Issue 28 (Winter 2018)
  12. Nielsen, MadameThe Endless Summer (Open Letter Books)
  13. Kopf, AliciaBrother in Ice (And Other Stories)

March

  1. Okorafor, NnediBinti
  2. Sullivan, Susan AbelCursed: Wickedly Fun Stories (World Weaver Press)
  3. Parrish, Rhonda (ed.) – Fae (World Weaver Press)
  4. Parrish, Rhonda (ed.) – Sirens (World Weaver Press)
  5. Parrish, Rhonda (ed.) – Equus (World Weaver Press)
  6. Parrish, Rhonda (ed.) – Corvidae (World Weaver Press)
  7. Bujold, Lois McMasterPenric’s Mission, signed, #433 of 450 (Subterranean Press)
  8. Mandel, Emily St. JohnStation Eleven, signed, #588 or 750 (Subterranean Press)
  9. Reaves, Mallory and Reaves, MichaelEternity’s Wheel, signed, #485 of 500 (Subterranean Press)
  10. Armstrong, KelleyLost Souls (Subterranean Press)
  11. Blaylock, James P.River’s Edge, signed, #970 of 1000 (Subterranean Press)
  12. Silverberg, RobertThe Millennium Express (Subterranean Press)
  13. Spencer, William BrowningThe Unorthodox Dr. Draper, signed, #382 of 750 (Subterranean Press)
  14. Straub, PeterPerdido (Subterranean Press)
  15. Silverberg, RobertThe Emperor and the Maula (Subterranean Press)
  16. Shiner, LewisHeroes and Villains, signed, #436 of 750 (Subterranean Press)
  17. Lumley, BrianThe Compleat Crow (Subterranean Press)
  18. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #0, December 2017
  19. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #1, January 2018
  20. Schutt, ChristinePure Hollywood (And Other Stories)
  21. James, D.R.If God Were Gentle (Dos Madres Press)
  22. Bray, MarkAntifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook (Melville House Publishing)
  23. Kemper, DonnaForgive and Forgotten (Credo House Publishers)
  24. Apex Magazine #106 (March 2018)
  25. Joshi, S.T. (ed.) – Black Wings 6 (PS Publishing)

April

  1. Winn, HowardAcropolis (Propertius Press)
  2. Jemisin, N.K. – The Stone Sky
  3. Coates, Ta-NehisiA Nation Under Our Feet 1
  4. Brakefield, RussellField Recordings (Wayne State University Press)
  5. VanderMeer, Jeff – Acceptance
  6. Cleave, Sarah (ed.) – Banthology: Stories from Banned Nations (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  7. Ganieva, Alisa – Bride & Groom (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  8. Apex Magazine #107 (April 2018)
  9. Harris, Joseph – Logically Thinking (chapbook)
  10. Harris, Joseph – Speak Up! (chapbook)
  11. McSweeney’s #52
  12. Ugresic, DubravkaFox (Open Letter Books)
  13. Bat-Ami, Miriam – Measuring the Marigolds (Caffeinated Press)
  14. Ono, Masatsugu – Lion Cross Point (Two Lines Press)
  15. Two Lines #28
  16. Scalzi, John – Head On
  17. Willis, Connie – I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land (Subterranean Press)
  18. Lovecraft, H.P. – The Illustrated Call of Cthulhu (Flesk Publications)
  19. Mignola, Mike – Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea, Studio Edition (Flesk Publications)
  20. Peninsula Poets #75.1 (Spring 2018)
  21. Vodolazkin, EugeneLaurus (Oneworld Publications)

May

  1. Ward, Jesmyn (ed.) – The Fire This Time
  2. Vollmann, William T.No Immediate Danger
  3. Bacigalupi, PaoloThe Alchemist (Subterranean Press)
  4. Kuznia, Yanni (ed.) – A Fantasy Medley 3 (Subterranean Press)
  5. Hilbig, WolfgangThe Tidings of the Trees (Two Lines Press)
  6. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #2, April 2018
  7. Mandanipour, ShahriarMoon Brow (Restless Books)
  8. Fresán, RodrigoThe Bottom of the Sky (Open Letter Books)

June

  1. Voices 2018
  2. Shishkin, MikhailCalligraphy Lessons (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  3. VanderMeer, Ann and VanderMeer, Jeff (eds) – Sisters of the Revolution (PM Press)
  4. Vollmann, William T.No Good Alternative
  5. Bulgakov, MikhailThe Master and Margarita
  6. Russian Literature Triquarterly #9 (Spring 1974)
  7. Carruth, HaydenScrambled Eggs & Whiskey (Copper Canyon Press)
  8. Le Guin, UrsulaSixty Odd (Shambhala Publications)
  9. Gaiman, NeilFragile Things
  10. Gaiman, Neil – Sandman: Overture (Vertigo Comics)
  11. de Jesus, Noelle Q. and Katigbak-Lacuesta, Mookie (eds.) – Fast Food Fiction Delivery (Anvil Publishing, Inc)
  12. Realuyo, BinoThe Gods We Worship Live Next Door (University of Utah Press)
  13. Malonzo, MervinTabi Po #1 (Visprint, Inc)
  14. Malonzo, Mervin – After Lambana (Vistaprint, Inc)
  15. Chacon, Sasha PimentelInsides She Swallowed (West End Press)
  16. Donoso, Isaac (ed.) Boxer CodexVibal Foundation
  17. Hagedorn, JessicaThe Gangster of Love
  18. Dunbar-Ortiz, RoxanneLoaded (City Lights Books)
  19. Giroux, Henry A.American Nightmare (City Lights Books)
  20. Reyes, Barbara JaneInvocation to Daughters (City Lights Books)
  21. Meltzer, David (eds) – San Francisco Beats: Talking with the Poets (City Lights Books)
  22. Lewis, Penelope and Page, Ra (eds.) – Spindles: Stories from the Science of Sleep (Comma Press)
  23. Depestre, Rene – Hadriana in All My Dreams (Akashic Books)
  24. Bakewell, SarahAt the Existentialist Cafe (Other Press)
  25. Abdurraqib, Hanif – The Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio)
  26. Sax, Sam – Madness
  27. Ferlinghetti, Lawrence – A Coney Island of the Mind, 50th Anniversary Edition (New Directions Press)
  28. Coval, Kevin, Lansana, Quraysh Ali, and Marshall, Nate (eds.) – The Breakbeat Poets (Haymarket Books)

July

  1. Lange, NorahPeople in the Room (And Other Stories)
  2. Apex Magazine #109, June 2018
  3. Hong, XiaoMa Bo’Le’s Second Life (Open Letter Books)
  4. PEN America #21 – Mythologies
  5. Stephenson, Neal and Gallard, Nicole – The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.
  6. Gleason, Rachel – New Kind of Rebellion
  7. Yang, Jy – The Black Tides of Heaven
  8. Yang, Jy – The Read Threads of Fortune
  9. Singh, Vandara – Ambiguity Machines (Small Beer Press)
  10. Erdrich, Heid E (ed.) – New Poets of Native Nations (Graywolf Press)
  11. Womack, Ytasha L. – Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy Culture (Lawrence Hill Books)
  12. Goncharov, IvanOblomov
  13. Arendt, HannahThe Origins of Totalitarianism
  14. Poirer, AgnèsLeft Bank

August

  1. Yesenin, Sergei – Selected Poems
  2. Mandelstam, Osip – Voronezh Notebooks (New York Review Books)
  3. Turgenev, Ivan – First Love and Other Stories (Oxford University Press)
  4. Mayakovsky, Vladimir – Selected Poems (Northwestern University Press)
  5. Watts, Peter – The Freeze-Frame Revolution (Tachyon Publishing)
  6. Haight, Ian – Celadon (Unicorn Press)
  7. Roanhorse, Rebecca – Trail of Lightning
  8. Granta #144
  9. Apex Magazine #110
  10. Salvage Magazine #5
  11. Brace, KristinFence, Patio, Blessed Virgin (Finishing Line Press)
  12. Ólafsson, BragiNarrator (Open Letter Books)
  13. Twitty, Michael W. – The Cooking Gene
  14. Bourdain, Anthony – Kitchen Confidential

September

  1. Foglio, Kaja and Foglio, PhilGirl Genius 17: Kings and Wizards (Airship Entertainment)
  2. The Paris Review #226
  3. Amazing Stories 76.1 (Fall 2018/WorldCon Issue)
  4. Rucker, RudyReturn to the Hollow Earth (Transreal Books)
  5. Sagwa, KimMina (Two Lines Press)
  6. Two Lines #29
  7. Ulibarri, Sarena (ed.) – Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers (World Weaver Press)
  8. Trabucco Zerán, AliaThe Remainder (And Other Stories)
  9. Sigurðsson, Ófeigur – Oraefi: The Wasteland (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  10. Llansol, Maria GabrielaThe Geography of Rebels Trilogy (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  11. Berti, EduardoThe Imagined Land (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  12. Matthieussent, BriceRevenge of the Translator (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  13. Jones, Scott R. (ed.) – Cthulhusattva (Martian Migraine Press)
  14. Brenda, Libia (ed.) – A Larger Reality (Cumulo de Tesla)
  15. Ugrešić, DubravkaAmerican Fictionary (Open Letter Books)
  16. Ashton, DyrkPaternus: Wrath of Gods