August 11, 2013

July News Roundup

* LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow is the One City / One Book title for 2013!  In addition to a blur of other wonderful events, there's a LITTLE BROTHER scavenger hunt, starting at the San Francisco Main Library and continuing through Civic Center to the Mission.  It's free to sign up, but you must register your team by September 13th.  More details here: <>

* Charming bit of lit-geek humor.  Thanks, Mikael, for the link: <>

* Overheard in the Cafe:
Q: "Well, what do normal people think about, anyway?"
A: "How the heck should _I_ know?!"

* An asteroid has been renamed in honor of the late Iain M. Banks: <>

* During a recent email exchange, author Richard A. Lupoff and I were discussing his fifteen years as the in-house book reviewer for Algol/Starship Magazine.  I asked if he remembered many of the books he reviewed, and he cracked me up with the following anecdote, which he kindly gave me permission to quote here: 
"As for the reviews in that huge stack of paper, the only one that I remember was a review of Avram Davidson's fur-jockstrap novel, URSUS OF ULTIMA THULE.  I described it as 'a very, very bad book.'  The next time I saw Avram was at a science fiction convention.  Avram drew me aside and in a quiet voice said, 'One "very" would have sufficed.'"

* We're tremendously sorry to report the death of author, musician, activist and counterculture legend Mick Farren.  Farren died after collapsing onstage on Saturday, August 27th. <>

* David Gerrold responds to Orson Scott Card.  Orson Scott Card supplied the quote below to Entertainment Weekly magazine <>, following much media attention focused on an intended boycott of the movie "Ender's Game" because of Scott's well-publicized homophobic views.  Below Scott's quote is author David Gerrold's reply, from Gerrold's Facebook page.  (I have quoted them here so readers don't have to sign in to Facebook to read it.)

"Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state. Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute." -- Orson Scott Card.


After twenty years of despicably virulent homophobia ... no. This is just another detestable characterization of LGBT people -- that we are intolerant.

Intolerant? Of people who want to lock us up, put us in concentration camps, deny us our civil rights? Intolerant? Are you fucking kidding me?

You want me to be tolerant, Scott? First be one of those people who understands. Or to put it bluntly -- get your fucking foot off my neck, then we'll talk tolerance.

See, Scott -- I don't dislike you. I honestly don't. I think you're a very interesting author and you've turned out some works I admire. But you've made PR Mistake Number One. You've sided with hate-mongers. You've targeted a minority and you've characterized yourself as the righteous warrior. That gives you a short-term gain and a long-term loss. Look up  Father Coughlin and Anita Bryant and Kirk Cameron.

Now you've made PR Mistake Number Two -- instead of honestly and sincerely apologizing for the hurt you have caused others, you have doubled down. You have played the martyr card, arguing that you are the victim.

What this demonstrates is that you have no idea of what the issue really is. It's about the 1138 rights, privileges, benefits, and obligations attendant to the civil contract of marriage. It's about social security benefits and inheritance and child custody and joint taxation and deathbed decisions and hospital visitation and adoption and community property and all the other things that you and your wife take for granted. It's about equality in the eyes of the law.

This is the goal that women set out to achieve when they first demanded the right to vote. This is the goal that Dr. Martin Luther King set out to achieve for African-Americans and other minorities when he started the Montgomery bus boycott. This is the goal that Harvey Milk set out to achieve when he opposed CA's Prop 6 and when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Our nation was founded on the idea that "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (people) are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights -- and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Your public statements, Orson Scott Card, put you on the wrong side of that declaration. Until you recognize that your public utterances have been at the service of bigotry and prejudice, there can be no redemption for you in the eyes of the LGBT community. Or anyone else, for that matter.  - David Gerrold

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