Saturday, June 23We're moving. Bicycle riding with Eva is fun. Punk music movies rock. So does Irvine Welsh. So does Edward Tufte.
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(If you're wondering why so much Delany lately, there's a new edition of Dhalgren coming out.
Wednesday, June 20From Science Fiction Weekly's interview with Samuel Delany:Where are the cities going? Are they stratifying? I know you probably didn't use the word Disneyfication, but other people have. Where are we going?
Delany: Good question. I do think people are trusting contact relationships less and less. And that's because big business tends to demonize them. "Oh, terrible things will happen if you meet people of different classes. They'll rip you off! You'll lose things! It's unsafe! You'll get AIDS!" Everything from one to the other. And there's a lot of this demonizing of interclass contact, which I think is the demonizing of city life itself. But city living, living with strangers, living with lots of different kinds of people and learning to live with them, is a very exciting thing. I've alway found living in the city to be a very exciting experience, because you do have contact with so many different kinds of people.
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Tuesday, June 19Hey, it looks like Tracy Lee has updated her site. Yay! And it also looks like more of her work is going to be published. Yay!
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Thursday, June 14Nerve interviews Samuel Delany:Take a story like "The World Well Lost," written by Theodore Sturgeon in 1950. Two alien lovers come to Earth, one larger than the other, and everyone assumes that they're male and female. The story is told from the point of view of two security men who guard their starship, themselves close friends. Eventually, the guards discover that the aliens are both male, and indeed are gay. They've taken flight from their home planet because of terrible homophobia there. One guard, a typical 1950s Earth male, is disgusted by this and doesn't know what to do, he even suggests killing the aliens. But the other talks him out of it. At the end of the story, the first guard goes to sleep back in their quarters. His friend remains awake, looking at him, and we realize that he's in love with him.
I read it in an anthology when I was about fourteen or fifteen and broke out crying, exactly as I was supposed to. I was quite touched by it, and it certainly helped make it possible to talk about those things later on in my own work, like the gay, human characters in the story, "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones." Historically, I guess that's how science fiction works: you start by using aliens to think the unthinkable — and then, eventually, another writer, having grown a little more comfortable with the earlier notion, brings it into the human.
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Friday, June 8OK, this is not good. Two of the oldest (and best) original-content websites out there are on possibly-permanent hiatus: Suck and Feed. This has a sort of end-of-an-era feel to it: these were two of the sites that represented to me what was exciting about the net, and that helped convince me that moving out to San Francisco was a good idea. I don't mind a little bubble-bursting between friends, but the web will just not be correct without them.
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Wednesday, June 6Hey! I'm back. You'll be glad to know I have work for the summer. I'll be doing website maintenance, usability evaluation, and possibly a user interaction redesign for City CarShare. I'm really happy about this, as I'll be doing the kind of work I'm interested in for a really cool and friendly organization and with people who are working hard to make San Francisco a finer place in which to live. I'll also be doing some freelance usability testing, copyediting, and anything else interesting that comes up.
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