Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction: “This work-in-progress is a comprehensive quotation-based dictionary of the language of science fiction. The HD/SF is an offshoot of a project begun by the Oxford English Dictionary (though it is no longer formally affiliated with it).”
Isaac Asimov has long been, and still is, one of my favorite authors. He was also a person who regularly sexually harassed women. Both statements can be (and are) true, without me having to give up the former or condone the latter.
His history with women is no secret, and is the subject of the article Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall:
Over the course of many decades, Asimov groped or engaged in other forms of unwanted touching with countless women, often at conventions, but also privately and in the workplace. Within the science fiction community, this is common knowledge, and whenever I bring it up in a room of older fans, the response is usually a series of nods. The number of such incidents is unknown, but it can be plausibly estimated in the hundreds, and thus may match or exceed the long list of books that Asimov wrote.
…I regularly hear the argument that Asimov was simply a product of his era. You certainly don’t need to look far to find parallel offenders, including Asimov’s friend Randall Garrett, of whom Frank Herbert recalled, “You could follow his movements … by the squeals of the women whose bottoms he had just pinched.”
But excusing Asimov by saying that some of his contemporaries were guilty of similar transgressions is like downplaying his productivity by pointing out that other authors were prolific.
I find it important to recognize and consider the flaws in the people and the media that we enjoy, rather than shrugging them off or brushing them under the proverbial carpet. It doesn’t mean we have to “cancel” things, banishing entire swaths of previously-enjoyed content when we discover the creator said or did something we find problematic (though in some instances, we may decide to; each person has to determine that for themselves depending on their values and the situation in question). But learning how to hold ourselves and others to higher standards means not ignoring the failures when they appear.
Sometime between May 26th and July 11th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- ALL POSSIBLE RESPONSES TO “THEY SHOULD GET IN LINE AND DO IT THE RIGHT WAY, THE WAY MY FAMILY DID,” WITH CITATIONS (ALSO JOKES): TL;dr: there’s a really good chance that at least some portion of your family came to the U.S. without a visa, and the “right way” from 1790–1965 has nothing to do with how things are done now.
- Civility. Some thoughts.: "It's hypocrisy to us because we believe that the behavior is the problem. It's not hypocritical to them because they believe the person is the problem."
- What To Do When ― Not If ― Roe Vanishes: "Now, it is almost certainly a matter of when, not if, we lose Roe. It’s time to prepare for life without nationwide legal abortion." That we have to be thinking seriously about this is incredibly sad.
- Really neat answer to this question about early Star Trek fandom:: “I would love to know more about when you first started thinking that there was more than friendship between Kirk and Spock and when fans first started talking about it. Was it Amok Time that first gave you the idea?”
- Why ‘Solo’ Works: SPOILERS: “A constant supply of ‘Star Wars’ requires an occasional double between dingers. Here’s how the low-stakes origin story of Han Solo makes clean contact.”
Sometime between December 20th and December 26th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Star Wars’ Vice-Admiral Holdo and Our Expectations for Female Military Power: SPOILERS: “What The Last Jedi does—amongst many other things—is present its audience with more than one mode of female power.”
- The Last Jedi Is Subversive AF, and I Am Here for It: “Those who wanted a safe and comforting Star Wars movie are understandably upset. The Last Jedi is anything but safe. It’s as subversive as it gets, and I am here for it.”
- From C-3PO’s perspective, ‘Star Wars’ is a prolonged nightmare – The Washington Post: "Your master goes into a bar, where they refuse to serve you. Instead of leaving the bar in solidarity, he makes you wait outside."
- Love Actually’s Workplace Harassment Feels Especially Egregious at the End of 2017:
- Star Wars “fans” should remember being a fan doesn’t mean unequivocal love (or hate): SPOILERS: “This is the problem with these loudest of ‘fans’: They’ve forgotten that a big part of fandom is the ability to hold multiple opinions on the same material all at once. That all-or-nothing mentality does a disservice to fans and films alike, by reductively lumping pluses and minuses into one indiscernible stew of love or loathing.”
Sometime between June 25th and July 16th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- On ‘canon’ in fandom: “Do you know when ‘canon,’ like as a concept, became like a standard nerd thing?”
- Call “revenge porn” what it is: sexual abuse: “This new term — image-based sexual abuse — better describes the nature and harms of the deeply injurious actions of men (and it is mostly men) who perpetrate it.”
- As Chinese, Iranian and Indonesian As Apple Pie: “So where do apple pies come from? Let's deconstruct the stories of the ingredients that make up the sweet treat — and the winding paths they took to our plates.”
- Now Everyone Really Can Code Thanks to Apple’s New College Course: "Apple is launching a new program intended for college-level learners, extending Apple’s learning courses from kindergarten age and adulthood. This new course, called Apple App Development Curriculum, is available for free through iBooks."
- How Does X-Men’s Charles Xavier Leave His Own House?: "Based on various depictions of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, Professor X—a paraplegic mutant telepath with a supposedly genius-level intellect—somehow forgot to add wheelchair ramps to his own home."
Sometime between April 19th and April 26th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- I had a dream about a Star Trek series with a ferengi captain…: …and he was super endearing but it was like…the worst ship in the fleet and it was full of the misfits of starfleet But I loved this captain I loved him who is he // It’s Nog.
- What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech: 'Free speech' as the ability to say anything you want vs. 'free speech' as the ability for all to participate equally in public discourse. (Summary via @leftoblique on Twitter)
- NorWesCon: Norwescon's page on Fancyclopedia 3. We are the third entry (without camel case).
- Fancyclopedia 3: Fancyclopedia 3 is a collective enterprise of all of fandom. Based on the previous works by Jack Speer (Fancyclopedia 1), Dick Eney (Fancyclopedia 2), and Rich Brown, it is written by fans who want to contribute.
- 5 Things That Don’t Seem Like Mansplaining But Are, Because Playing Devil’s Advocate Doesn’t Enlighten Anyone: By now, you may have heard the term mansplaining — explaining things as a man to a woman with the incorrect assumption that she doesn't understand — and heard of it in its most common forms. But some things that don't seem like mansplaining, but are, may have escaped your attention. Mansplaining, after all, is part of a set of cultural assumptions that place men's opinions above women's, and these assumptions are everywhere.
Sometime between , I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- A Tasting Menu of Female Representation: Several simple guidelines for gauging how well women are presented in media. Bechdel, Mako Mori, Sexy Lamp, Anti-Freeze, Strength is Relative, and Furiosa, and Pizza Night tests. (tags: sexism media film representation bechdel bechdeltest makomori pacificrim sexylamp antifreeze strengthisrelative furiosa madmaxfuryroad mmfr pizzanight )
- Everything is Chemicals: “If you can’t pronounce it, it’s bad for you” is literally the worst pseudo-scientific scaremongering bullshit tactic. I hate it so much. (tags: tumblr health science food chemicals )
- Humans Are Weird: To paraphrase one of my favorite bits of a ‘humans are awesome’ fiction megapost: “you don’t know you’re from a Death World until you leave it.” For a ton of reasons, I really like the idea of Earth being Space Australia. (tags: tumblr sciencefiction sf earth aliens australia humor )
- Old Fandom-New Fandom Dictionary: Definitions for several terms common to fandom; some old, some new. Not remotely comprehensive. (tags: tumblr fandom language glossary )
- Dear Fellow Guys….stop hitting on women at work….: If you’re interacting with a human it’s because you want to interact with a human and you want that human to be nice to you. You are paying for their kindness, for their smiles when their feet hurt and their questions about your day when they haven’t had lunch yet. Flirting with customer service workers at work, asking them out when they’re on the clock and paid to make you happy, telling them you think they’re attractive and expecting a gushing response – that’s breaking the rules. That’s a lose-lose situation that you’ve set them up for. (tags: sexism toxicmasculinity behavior flirting safety tumblr )