I’d honestly forgotten about the Hugo nominations until today. My notebook is looking a little sparse; I don’t know if I started forgetting to write things down when they impressed me, or if the end of the year was just so hectic that I fell far, far behind on actually reading and watching new work. It’s probably a combination.
(That said, with having read 105 books (or at least “things with ISBNs”) last year, plus a great number of short fiction magazines, I am pretty sure I can come up with a few nominations.)
Working fulltime (or fulltime-plus) is not making it easy, plus there’s been a little pet trouble so far this year, but overall I’m actually relatively happy with the amount of writing and submitting I’ve gotten done so far. Hoping it continues.
One of my favourite pairs of earrings is “Deciphering As Art“, by Elise Matthesen (whose other jewelry you can currently find on Etsy). They’re pretty simple; tiny squares of striated grey stone, with a grey fiber-optic bead dangling under them. They’re a beautiful, simple reminder of the process of taking something you’re actually presented with that has a quality or a tendency,
I have been thinking about this a bit lately. I had a very long discussion about reconciling Deadpool’s Rule (thank you, Foz Meadows) with calling out queerbaiting recently. The two points which came out of it were:
- It’s reasonable to look at a character’s actions and interactions and draw the conclusion that said character is not straight without them explicitly naming themselves as such. (Deadpool’s Rule)
- It’s reasonable to look at a creator (or creative team) that consistently refuses to give non-straight characters or interactions commensurate page time, screen time, and/or validation, and get frustrated and angry.
(You might feel like you want to throw something at the interrelated shows which have a couple hundred episodes between them and have had canonically gay characters for nearly three years and have two married gay couples and still haven’t ever managed to have two guys kissing onscreen. Just as a for-instance.)
I generally assume interpretation of a character is going to be done in good faith. I may not agree with it, and in certain extremely rare cases I may conclude that you are bringing some very specific preconceptions to the text, but I will assume it is being done in good faith. But just because you read a character as having a marginalized identity, it doesn’t mean you can’t want the work in which you found them in to do better.
Seeing something in a work that resonates with you doesn’t mean that the creator stood behind what you’re seeing. (It can! It often does! But it can also mean you’ve picked up on something the creator didn’t intend or didn’t want to showcase.) It doesn’t mean you’re endorsing the creator. And it’s okay to call out shortcomings, and to expect better.
 Like the time someone told me I should keep in mind that Gregor Clegane had been bullied as a child for being the biggest and the strongest.
The proof is this: they are here, the Goster County dogs.
This is one of those moments where you really need to read the story in order to appreciate the line, which on the one hand I kind of tend to avoid–but on the other hand after four years of wanting a copy of Bob Leman’s collection Feesters in the Lake, I am looking like I will actually get a copy of Feesters in the Lake, and I am celebrating.
I’ve spoken about Bob Leman before. His writing, from what I’ve seen, is elegant and restrained. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it understated, but his horror whispers, it does not shout.
You can read “Loob” in full at Weird Fiction Review.