Links: 2019-09-17

Site News

  • This re-starts the ever-popular “Links” posts. (I deleted the rest because there was so little of anything else left that they made the site look like a “Links” site though the fact that they would have required a lot of detailed editing in the Science Fiction sections also wasn’t appealing. But I still like doing them. Sort of.)

Science Fiction

  • Simak’s “All the Traps of Earth” | Futures Past and Present
  • The Peace-Loving Military Robots’ Plot – (PKD.)
  • In Memoriam – Katherine MacLean – SFWA. I really like her collection The Trouble with You Earth People and I love her collection The Diploids. I also really like her novel Missing Man and I love the novella of the same name which makes up the bulk of it.
  • Should they rename the Tiptree Award, too? / Boing Boing. It never ends. I like the way this takes for granted that they, in fact, should have renamed the Campbell. I also like the way “both narratives fit the story.” So we will take it upon ourselves to pick the least charitable and judge her guilty over three decades after the fact with no evidence. Because we are the pure, the righteous, the omniscient ones. Who cares if she was one of the greatest SF short story writers ever? Who cares if maybe we should feel sympathy that her life ended in great tragedy as her husband wanted to die and she couldn’t live without him or with what she had to do? No. We know she was a murderer and an unperson.

    So who’s next? Shirley Jackson smoked. What a horrible role-model. Ted Sturgeon was worse: in addition to smoking, he was a member of an all-male club. PKD used drugs and his drug-addled visions probably contribute to the opioid crisis. Cordwainer Smith was a right-winger. Arthur C. Clarke was gay and that used to get you jailed rather than honored. Maybe it will again someday. And he was still a white male and British so, y’know: imperialist. (Bram Stoker actually explicitly was.) Chesley Bonestell designed the Plymouth Rock memorial which, as we know, is all about slavery and genocide. Ray Bradbury? “In young adulthood Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and read everything by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt.” Another “fucking fascist.” And all these people were white and all male except Jackson and all published in Astounding except Smith, Jackson and, of course, Stoker. So rename all the awards. None of these people did anything worth honoring.






We lost two more. To be honest, the only Eddie Money song I really like is below, but I like it a lot. And Ric Ocasek (who wrote most everything, played guitar, and sang lead on most tracks (including the one below) and the Cars produced a lot of really good stuff.

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Tunesday: The Best of Cat Power

Collage of Cat Power album covers 1-8 and 10 made with feh from wikipedia images.

  1. Rockets” 4:43
  2. Still in Love” 3:29
  3. We All Die” 5:01
  4. Taking People” 3:25
  5. Nude As the News” 4:23
  6. Metal Heart” 4:02
  7. Cross Bones Style” 4:32
  8. Naked, If I Want To” 2:47
  9. Free” 3:34
  10. Speak for Me” 3:04
  11. He War” 3:31
  12. Living Proof” 3:11
  13. Lived in Bars” 3:44
  14. Could We” 2:21
  15. The Moon” 3:45
  16. Ramblin’ (Wo)man” 3:47
  17. Aretha, Sing One for Me” 3:12
  18. You Get” 3:44
  19. Black” 3:57
  20. Woman” 4:51

Total time: 75:03

#1 originally from Dear Sir (1995), #2-3 from Myra Lee (1996), #4-5 from What Would the Community Think (1996), #6-7 from Moon Pix (1998), #8 from The Covers Record (2000), #9-11 from You Are Free (2003), #12-15 from The Greatest (2006), #16-17 from Jukebox (2008), #18-20 from Wanderer (2018).

All songs written by Chan Marshall except #2 (Hank Williams), #8 (Jerry A. Miller Jr., originally recorded by Moby Grape), #16 (Hank Williams), #17 (J. Harris, Eugene William, originally recorded by George Jackson).

“Cat Power: A Retrospective” might be a more accurate title. A strictly commercial selection would be mechanical and obvious but a strictly personal one would be too idiosyncratic and unrepresentative despite significant overlap. I tried to strike a middle ground and tried to get at least most of what most people might expect. All her albums are represented except Sun (2012). While the songs appear in their albums’ order, a couple are shuffled within their albums for pace. If you like anything you hear, support the artist!

Seasonal Songs (of Sorts) II

All the info on this is in the first paragraph of “Seasonal Songs (of Sorts) I” and this second set is similarly structured. (But, however similar, only two tunes actually repeat (one with a different artist and lyrics and the other with different vocals and instrumentation) and this set adds such essential classics as “Stuff the Turkey” and “Last White Christmas.”)

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Seasonal Songs (of Sorts) I

The Art of Darkness » Link Dumps We Have Heard on High” showed up in my feedreader. One of its links was to “All I Want for Christmas is Darkness and Dread | MetaFilter.” That led me to some cool goth stuff (some familiar; some not) but, as usual, I couldn’t stay in the lane and ended up with much more (some familiar; some not). This is the first of two sets. It moves from the King, to punk, to “metal adjacent,” to comedy (of interest to speculative fiction fans), to the actual techno/goth stuff, before a last tune.

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Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 6-7)

Details about these posts are in the intro to  “Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 2-3)” but, briefly, here’s another alpha-by-artist list of favorite albums of 2017 with a sample song each, this time composed of what might be called “thrash” at the core or “crossover/hardcore punk” or the like at the edges. This one, appropriately enough, goes to 11 and those samples have a total time of 45:29. Continue reading

Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 4-5)

If you want details about what’s going on, check out the intro to “Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 2-3).” but, briefly, here’s another alpha-by-artist list of favorite albums of 2017 with a sample song each, this time composed mostly of what might be called “stoner rock” or “stoner metal.” This list is a little short with seven albums/tracks but the total time of 47:33 works out decently. Continue reading