On this day but in 1750, Caroline Lucretia Herschel was born.
Caroline Herschel was the sister of the astronomer William Herschel. After learning astronomy alone and math with the help of her brother, she became his assistant. His most significant contribution to astronomy were the discoveries of various comets, especially comet 35P / Herschel-Rigollet.
For St. Patrick’s Day, here is your Green Theatre Squad:
-Susan (Tick Tick Boom)
-Alexander Hamilton (Hamilton)
-Hélène Kuragina (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812)
-Heather Duke (Heathers)
(I tried to pick one character per musical and don’t know that many musicals so…)
Books with well-written, canonically autistic characters
If you’re autistic, you’re probably tired of the only representation you see being a four-year-old little brother, or mysterious eccentric savant. I know I am, and that’s why I’ve decided to compile this list of three-dimensional autistic people in books. This was originally intended to be a masterpost, but there aren’t really enough for a masterpost, so feel free to add on if you’d like!
On the Edge of Gone- Corinne Duyvis
Book Description- January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one.
Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits.
But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?
When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
My Review- I really, really, love this book. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know. Denise is Black, making this the first book I’ve found, and possibly the only book so far, to have a Black autistic character. Her autism is never seen as something that makes her lesser, and it’s a part of her she firmly refuses to apologize for, and even something that helps her out a few times. She’s also unquestionably a hero- putting her lives at risk to save others, and defying authority to do so. Her sister is trans, and it’s addressed very respectfully- she’s her own person, and an extraordinary one at that. It’s not a huge deal, and you never even find out her deadname, which is super nice. As an added bonus, the author herself is autistic! I would rip out my own heart for a sequel.
In the Absence of Light- Adrienne Wilder
For years Grant Kessler has smuggled goods from one end of the world to the next. When business turns in a direction Grant isn’t willing to follow he decides to retire and by all appearances he settles down in a nowhere town called Durstrand. But his real plan is to wait a few years and let the FBI lose interest, then move on to the distant coastal life he’s always dreamed of.
Severely autistic, Morgan cannot look people in the eye, tell left from right, and has uncontrolled tics. Yet he’s beaten every obstacle life has thrown his way. And when Grant Kessler moves into town Morgan isn’t a bit shy in letting the man know how much he wants him.
While the attraction is mutual, Grant pushes Morgan away. Like the rest of the world he can’t see past Morgan’s odd behaviors.
Then Morgan shows Grant how light lets you see but it also leaves you blind. And once Grant opens his eyes, he loses his heart to the beautiful enigma of a man who changes the course of his life.
My Review- This book was really refreshing. I can’t put into words how much it means to me to have an autistic character, especially a high-support one, written as a love interest. The book is told from Grant’s point of view, not Morgan’s, and he holds some really ableist viewpoints earlier on, but Morgan doesn’t hesitate to put him (or anyone else) in their places. I loved his snark and how he plays off people’s assumptions to put them in their places. Warnings for graphic descriptions of past abuse, and ableism from the characters and some unintentional ableist language (i.e. “severely autistic”) from the author.
Anything But Typical- Nora Baskin
Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.
Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca will only see his autism and not who Jason really is.
My Review- I was a little wary going in, expecting it to be an inaccurate and dismal portrayal of autism, but I was pleasantly surprised! Jason is well-written and really resonated with me- I’m not sure if the author herself is autistic, but she definitely did her homework. It’s nice to see an autistic character portrayed as creative, and the book also addresses issues with ‘cure’ mentality and pressure put on autistic people to act more socially acceptable.
Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula : Its rare that such different objects are imaged so close together. Such an occasion is occurring now, though, and was captured two days ago in combined parallel exposures from the Canary Islands of Spain. On the lower right, surrounded by a green coma and emanating an unusually split blue ion tail diagonally across the frame, is Comet C/2013 X1 . This giant snowball has been falling toward our Sun and brightening since its discovery in 2013. Although Comet PannSTARRS is a picturesque target for long-duration exposures of astrophotography, it is expected to be only barely visible to the unaided eye when it reaches its peak brightness in the next month. On the upper left, surrounded by red-glowing gas, is the also-picturesque Helix Nebula. At 700 light years distant, the Helix is not only much further away than the comet, but is expected to retain its appearance for thousands of years. via NASA
I found a gif with this on it and I almost started crying. Countdown to the Comet was when Nicktoons ran every episode for three days. I remember watching this. I remember being eight years old and waiting for this. I remember the countdown ticking down to five minutes. I remember seeing Zuko and Iroh’s reunion for the first time and my mom trying to hide the fact that she was crying. This brought up so many emotions because it put me back at an almost exact time. I can’t tell you how much I want to watch this like this again. Not knowing how Aang will master the elements, learning along with Zuko about the White Lotus, being flabbergasted at who Bumi really was, hanging off the edge of my seat when you hear Jet’s voice on the ferry, not knowing that Pakku and Kanna were in love, wondering how Zuko got his scar, watching Katara take down Hama, realizing who Suki was at the same time as Sokka on the docks, watching Zuko’s redemption arc, meeting Toph, watching Katara’s power grow, learning about Kya and Lu Ten, not knowing what black snow means, hating book one Zuko. Rewatching this reminds me how many great moments and plot twists and cliff hangers I’ll never get to experience again. I want to fall in love with it again.
New day, new favorite type! and for my favorite Rock type, I’ve picked Minior! This cute little space candy is such a cool design and I love all the colors they come in! I’d love to try to use one someday.
Three days ago, while you were fiddling with your comets, I was holding a mortal woman in my arms as the cancer that had ravaged her brain slowly consumed what was left of her life. All I could do was listen as she prayed. She prayed to all the gods. And there are so very many of them spread across this cosmos, are there not? And oh, how each loves to boast of their own majesty and almightiness. Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heaven does she reside? None of them. Because no god bothered to listen of care. If that is what you think it means to be a god, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as the poor woman did. And vanish from these reamls forever.