Monday Hangovers

  • Still busily juggling and trying to finish novel draft, but a few links in the meantime.
  • Fifty-Two Stories features a lovely new one by Emma Straub, "Marjorie and the Birds," this week. (Permalink.)
  • Sam Lipsyte has a new story as well, "The Dungeon Master," up at the New Yorker. And it's the D&D kind of dungeon master, too. (Via the Millions.)
  • Lev Grossman interviews Paolo Bacigalupi: "For me I actually knew that I had a great deal of talent. I knew that I was a really great writer in high school. My writing teachers were amazing. When I went to college I could write essays and all that stuff–really tight, clean stuff. And having the raw ability…it was meaningless, ultimately. It was the willingness to write four novels and fuck them all up and keep going that was the definer. It wasn't the ability at all. Yeah, the willingness to accept failure and not let it stop you, and to not let that define you."
  • Nicola informs us that the UN has designated our official leader as far as the aliens are concerned. I love this kind of story.
  • A few excellent posts to check out if you care about Wiscon and/or the inexcusably lunatic rantings author Elizabeth Moon–who, unfortunately, is one of next year's Guests of Honor–recently posted about Muslims. First are Nora Jemisin's, which is a follow-up to another post by her you can find via this one, and Saladin Ahmed's. The next is by Timmi Duchamp: "But perhaps the lack of an organizational policy giving the co-chairs other options in this situation would not be so limiting if US culture at large had a clearer notion of the stakes involved with legitimizing extremist speech." Truer words. Read the whole posts. Personally, as someone who cares deeply about Wiscon, I think it's time for Moon to be disinvited–or at least for her GoH status to be revoked–since she's apparently not going to take the even moderately higher road by stepping down herself. I don't see how it serves anyone's best interests for her to be there or to be "honored."
  • And, hey, get 25 percent of a Paris Review subscription by dropping Maud's name.

3 thoughts on “Monday Hangovers”

  1. Well, it is dumb as crap for me to wade into this anti-Islam thing. But here I am anyway.
    I understand tempers are high, but I don’t think rescinding work-based honors because of unpopular soap-boxing is really acceptable. I do not mean to seem as if I condone a bit of that soap-boxing, but I disagree with Saladin Ahmed’s position that any recognition of Ms. Moon’s ridiculous opinion is condoning it as a debatable point. Hauling her up in front of the whole community and giving others the opportunity to voice their rebuttals are the only course of action sure to bring the rebuttals to the same audience as the negative message itself. It does not legitimize Ms. Moon’s message, it gives those with an alternate message equal time with those who are forming opinions. Ignoring the execrable and rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment in the US is dangerous and wrongheaded. Doing so as an act of social tastemaking is just dumb.

  2. Hey, stop by as a voice of dissent anytime. Of course, in this case I disagree with you, but you knew that already. 🙂
    No one is attempting to pretend anti-Muslim sentiment isn’t an issue or ignore it–not at this point. I suspect there will be a lot of discussion related to this topic at the convention no matter what; the question is more whether anyone should feel they have to engage with or attempt to educate a bigot to have that discussion. If Moon had apologized or had even just entertained discussion on her views, I might feel differently.
    I also wonder if we’d be having the same conversation if she’d said the same thing about gay people or women, etc. Timmi’s post captures pretty much exactly how I feel.
    A couple of things:
    1) Wiscon is different than most other conventions, because it’s inherently political by its very nature and frequently takes on political issues and adopts policies related to the things the con as a whole has indicated it believes in. This would include being vocal in protesting the Concourse’s attempt to crack down on an attempt of employees to unionize a few years ago, among many other examples.
    2) A look at the Guests of Honor past makes it pretty clear that while creative work is a major factor in the choosing of GoHs, it’s not the only one. Frequently, contributions to causes near and dear to the hearts of Wisconians and to the community itself also play a role. That’s as it should be, and is what makes it unacceptable that Moon is saying these things and holding the position of GoH. If you’re going to consider outside stuff some of the time, then it should be considered all of the time.

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