fun historical note for young people as you watch trump use the department of homeland security as an enforcement arm for his illegal orders: that department didn’t even exist until after 9/11 when george w. bush basically wished it into existence (rubber-stamped by congress) and is another thing that seemed almost comically jingoistic to the left at the time — “homeland,” really? — but that’s just normal now i guess

how many such things will come out of the trump administration that we’ll be expected to pretend are normal for the rest of our lives is yet to be seen

So you know how DPRK made that video of bombing the US that they used in one of their demonstrations during their national celebration last week and how the right wing media has been obsessed with it; well, how is that any different than Fox and Friends showing the clip of the MOAB bomb being dropped in Afghanistan with that jingoist country pop song playing over it or all the pundits talking about how beautiful the images of the “Tomahawk” [sorry for the racism] missiles were? It’s the same fucking thing.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier Audio Commentary:

“If you’re not a comic book fan, when you think ‘Captain America’, you probably think ‘jingoist’, a propaganda piece. But if you know the comics, every time something happens in the world, he gets to address it: the hippies, the civil rights movement, the Watergate. And our MCU Cap missed all that, he missed 9/11. So he gets to address where we are now without having seen what forced us to make these decisions. He did not have the same slow descent into the cynicism that we all had over the last 40 years. He comes out with fresh eyes.

One of the great things in the comics that we hoped to replicate in the movie is that his reaction is never the sort of knee-jerk old man conservative reaction you would think the man dressed in an American flag would have. He exemplifies the spirit of America, not a party, not a government. He’s never going to fall on a political line. He stands for an ideal and he stands for principles that are translatable across the board. What he is against in this film is subversion, subterfuge and lies, that line between freedom and fear.”

anonymous asked:

I know you don't reblog peoples replies to other peoples replies but I just wanted to say, I love what you said to that jeffreydickens guy. Like man, if captain america was gay, I would've been into marvel when i was 12, instead of running in the opposite direction because i couldn't handle the jingoistic white Aryan male that cap originally was (sorry). And I'm not even LGBT+. So hell yeah way more people care about a gay/bi Cap, and I too am disappointed that he's not, even in a canon au.

Yeah, someone who asks “who even cares?” about issues like that has had a very limited and immature experience of the world. And the fact that they’re outraged when they ask it suggests that they’re quite terrified of any more expanded experience, which is rather sad. Small minds asking small questions – no wonder nobody cares what they have to say. 

okay I am like thirty minutes from zonking the heck out, but I can’t NOT talk about this, who even would I be then, so it’s MASSIVE OVERSIMPLIFICATION HOUR!


Unsourced because I don’t have the Brains to go thumbing through my books for quotes, this kills me slightly but here we go!

Keep reading


This Illustration is based off of a story of mine. To clear things up, it is supposed to be some kind of in universe propaganda image (hence the religious/jingoistic undertones).

Anyways, it was my first time modelling a dragon, and I actually had a lot of fun doing it.

You know people have no idea what nationalism even is when you see zionists saying they hate nationalism. If you think Israel deserves to exist as a jewish state congratulations you’re a nationalist. And on the other side if you support a palestinian state…you’re still a nationalist. Stop only ever equating a broad concept with it’s most extreme and egregious form nazi Germany. 

It’s fucked nationalism can be anything from “I believe countries should exist” to “I love my country.” And yet you say nationalism and people jump right to white supremacism, imperialism and killing jews. In the internet age of everyone I don’t like is Hitler it seems like an almost intentional association doesn’t it. 

Nationalism isn’t even inherently self-centered. People write it off as jingoist flag wavers who think they are great no matter what, but in reality most nationalist believe in nationalism for more than just themselves. They believe in it for everyone. That’s why you saw Americans who are not too fond of the UK celebrating Brexit. Everyone has a right to their own country and their own way of life not just me, not just us.

Nationalism is so misunderstood that people who value diversity actually oppose it. When the best way to maintain diversity is for diverse peoples and cultures to protect their way of life with even minimal and moderate amounts of nationalism. Globalism, internationalism whatever you want to call it is an attempt to produce global homogeneity…that’s being sold as a champion for diversity. Say what you want about globalists but they have excellent PR

anonymous asked:

What is your opinion on violent video games and the men who play them?

You opened a Pandora’s box asking me about gaming. But stick with me.

So I’ve made no bones about being a gamer myself. And where I think it’s important to know how media can and does effect people’s worldview I am, like most gamers, a little hypersensitive to the implication that video games are the downfall of society. I mean I’m old enough to remember Jack Thompson. Hell, I’m old enough to remember the formation of the ESRB. 

As far as the kinds of games I play… Assassin’s Creed? I love it. 

Originally posted by kazucrash

Mass Effect? Sign me up. 

Skyrim? Probably have about 1,000 hours played in that.

Fallout? I’ve played 1-4. 

Originally posted by build-error

Silent Hill? The first four are classics.

Originally posted by vgjunk

These are all very violent games. And I’ve played games at about this level of violence all my life (I used to play Mortal Kombat, the original Alone in the Dark and the early Fallouts back in the day after all.) And it’s true, video games tend to rely on violence for gameplay and conflict. And yes, there is valid criticism to be made of that.

But like with anything in any media it comes down to context.

For example: I gave up on the Grand Theft Auto series with 4 (having played 3 and San Andreas) because it stopped being largely tongue-in-cheek and tried clumsily to be a serious crime drama that is tooedgy5u while simultaneously attempting to retain some of those old goofy, irreverent elements. And that just resulted in an uncomfortable tonal whiplash and made the random acts of violence you can preform more disturbing than fun. Grand Theft Auto 5 seems much the same and I never bothered playing it.

Saints Row 2 is the only game I know of that managed to pull off goofy irreverence and crime drama at the same time. In that game when something was disturbing it was because it was supposed to be, it struck a good balance of drawing you in with it’s colorful insanity and then suddenly slapping you with something serious. The game never let you forget that while it was over the top and fun these were not good people you were playing as. …Too bad the subsequent Saints Row games forgot that. Sigh.

But I don’t think it’s necessarily gamers you have to worry about, people who are hobbyists, who follow the industry and immerse themselves in a vast number of titles. 

Your average gamer has played violent games like Fallout or Assassin’s Creed but they’ve also played games like Undertale or Bioshock that subvert the very concept of blindly committing acts of violence in a game just because a game told you to. Or they’ve played games like Stardew Valley, Minecraft, Portal or Journey which contain little to no violence at all. 

Do many games have problematic content? Even ones I like? Of course they do. But that’s the same as any media. It’s not gamers you have to worry about.

No, it’s casuals you have to worry about. Specifically CoD-bros. I’m serious, Call of Duty games started out as WW2 shooters but for the last ten entries or so, at the height of its popularity, have warped into the most jingoistic, potentially radicalizing media out there.

I mean when large groups of American men are playing just a single game series with yearly installments that over and over reward you for gunning down Arabs and Muslims and sometimes feature real and currently on-going conflicts… that’s worrisome. 

i think a ww2 call of duty would benefit a lot from going down the same path as bf1 in the sense that it’s a sort of stylised version of some events and battles that ocurred in the war without making it blatantly disrespectful. i know that’s very possible. as tongue-in-cheek wolfenstein can be, the new order and the old blood proved that while it is a thin line type situation to achieve correct tonal balance between being well-stylised and distinguished and not disrespecting one of the most grim periods in human history, you can definitely stray directly above the line with some extremely careful consideration, which is something call of duty hasn’t been known for around the last 12 years or so, if we’re talking world war 2 cod.

with a setting and time period like this, they should highly consider that knowing that their previous games were intentionally designed in a futuristic time period to facilitate the visceral arcade action the multiplayer it started to heavily incorporate coming out of the (obviously jingoist) modern warfare series. otherwise, i think the entry will feel like a complete regression in every sense. whoever is developing this title has, no doubt, the assets to correctly pull this off.

actual alignments fuck you

lawful good trans men/trans women/intersex/genderfluid/nonbinary/agendered/anything not cis

neutral good gay men/lesbians both trans and cis

chaotic good bisexual/pansexual/any multi-gendered attractions

lawful neutral drag queens/drag kings/non-traditional presenters/multi-gendered presenters

true neutral asexuals/any nonsexual LGBTQIA+ individuals

chaotic neutral vaguely queer/questioning/closeted/transitioning/exploring/undecided

lawful evil hateful/racist/sexist/jingoist/generally bigoted White Cis Male Gays or White Cis Female Lesbians (”inner sassy black woman” type Gays, anyone like Milo Yanotcrapalopolis)

neutral evil any LGBTQIA+ person who denies the existence of other LGBTQIA+ persons by just calling them “basically straight” or “indecisive” or “slutty” or any other dumb shit like that

chaotic evil any LGBTQIA+ person who puts down other LGBTQIA+ persons on the basis that they’re “not attractive”; usually hating on PoC, fat people, trans people, or people who are included in the “lawful neutral” list above.

On Theresa May's Speech

I don’t want to hear Theresa May going on about “our values, our country, and our way of life” as though there are a bunch of other places in the world where everyone thinks it’s just fine when children get blown up. Her values, her country, and her way of life were always going to set that myth in motion. They were always going to crown mourning with some jingoistic patriotism. Perhaps this can illuminate, negatively, the last use of political melancholy: to render interminable and material the mourning that would otherwise float away in the endlessly reverberating chatter of the blitz spirit.

Blitz spirit is a phrase that maybe gives away too much. It makes me think not only of the idiotically hopeful will forged under bombardment while all around lie dying, but also the spirit that has turned entirely to brief, striking and stupid reflex, the dim and terrifying lightning flashes of prehistory from which we have not ripped ourselves. History is not easily measured. In the last year the smallest parts of my daily chores have seemed to weigh more heavily as ritual: bathing takes on the character of some ceremonial ablution, shaving makes me feel violent and primaeval. These are, even though almost entirely private, mass phenomena - or at least the weight with which I feel them is somewhat shared. I’m sure people meant well when they rushed on to the streets this morning to give blood, but the whole performance was a piece of archaic myth that certainly goes as far back as Abraham and Isaac. Those who shudder at the thought of children sacrificed offer instead themselves to let blood. But the whole thing remains part of a terrible and terrifying sacrificial economy.

Today unusual words seem enchanted in the media: “cowardice”, “resilience”, “inspired”. The news has become a grim parable of realist fortitude. Brave enough to let her tell us what our values, our country, our way of life should be. To get on with it without moaning, as long as it is draped in a union jack. To me there is bravery only in that mourning which doesn’t use the deaths of children to prop up the edifice of a desperate political project.

Officials claimed they could not distinguish among us to determine who were “spies” and “saboteurs” and who were innocents. Yet not a single instance of espionage or sabotage was ever prosecuted or proved among the 120,000 internees. It was the ultimate in “fake news,” encouraged by a vicious, jingoistic press and politicians seeking to capitalize on the national hysteria.

If this seems a practice only of years long past, consider that today we need merely replace “Japanese-Americans” with “Muslims” for the parallels to emerge.

USAvengers so far seems to be an experiment in separating the “MURICA, FUCK YEAH” aesthetic from all the shitty white supremacist jingoistic bullshit that usually comes along with it, which is… pretty interesting honestly. So far Al Ewing is accomplishing that by building almost the entire team out of immigrants, and setting them against an unabashedly capitalist, “greed is good” villain (I think that’s what Golden Skull is, I didn’t actually read Ultron Forever). It’s good. Read it. There’s a flying volcano lair on like the third page.

Let me talk about my love for Steven Grant Rogers

Warning: Super long post showing why we should all protect Steve Rogers.

1. Origin

I’m gonna start with one of Steve’s well-known quotes from Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3.

“… Those beatings… and that scared, sickly little Steve Rogers… That was where the man I became was really born. Not in the fires of war. Not in a secret government lab. But inside a sense of justice.”

Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, was created by two Jewish guys who wanted to take a solid stand against Nazism in a then neutral United States. They created a 90 lb. cutie whose only wish was to be admitted in the army to fight against Nazis. We’re talking about a guy who symbolizes opportunity for deserving persons with disabilities, an undying love for country and freedom, and compassion for hate victims. Steve was created as political propaganda against Hitler who took his brand of National Socialism to the extreme, he was made for a political reason and I love that. You cannot fully discuss Captain America without politics, his comics are meant to capture the zeitgeist. He was made in the image of Hitler’s perfect Aryan (a tall, muscular, blue-eyed blond male) which was a spit in Hitler’s face, and that’s awesome. I want my favorite superhero to be politically and socially aware and relevant. With Captain America, I was immediately sold. Really, thank you Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, and Marvel for this marvelous (pardon the pun) creation.

2. Values

Steve is patriotic and he knows that true patriotism doesn’t mean blind loyalty to the government

 or jingoism.

“America is made up of a multitude of different ethnic groups, each of which has had its own part to contribute to American culture.”

Steve even gave up the mantle of Captain America when he disagreed with the government, he even became Nomad and later on, The Captain. And we all know that he’s a staunch advocate of anti-registration in Civil War, so how left can he get? He was juxtaposed with John Walker (the jingoistic Super Patriot who temporarily became Captain America) to show how different true patriotism is from xenophobic jingoism. Captain America’s weapon is a shield, he was meant to defend, not to pre-empt. It’s called national defense for a reason.

He loves freedom and he’s not at all trying to hide it. He even called killing, the taking of life, as the ultimate deprivation of freedom (he says this in Volume 1 but I forgot which issue). Yes, he tends to think about things in terms of freedom, that’s the kind of liberty-loving man that he is.

He invokes the Constitution aka the fundamental law of the United States against baddies,

and the baddies invoke it against him.

3. Superpower

Superpower? What superpower? The guy runs on modified steroids to keep his physique (he works hard for it as I will later mention but without that serum, he can’t be a soldier and/or Captain America). Steve’s superpower is his skill (hi there Batman), his strategist mindset and tactician mentality. He is a super-soldier.

4. Personality

Steve is definitely an introvert,

and he’s also known for long speeches that were even carried over to the MCU in the form of the “the price of freedom is high” speech.

He’s a good example of an introvert who is opinionated and well-spoken, traits that some people still consider are exclusive to extroverts.

Steve is concerned about being a proper gentleman, being a guy from the 40s and all.

Kids love him and he loves them so much, he even takes black kids to the Avengers mansion as a special treat.

Oh, we know Steve is polite, but he’s not a pushover. This man was willing to go toe-to-toe with his friend, Tony Stark, and a lot of other friends in Civil War over a political debate. He did not compromise when his beloved freedom was on the line.

He starts a moral debate with the Punisher and punched the guy… through a wall.

Steve holds ethics seminars for Avengers when he deems necessary.

No one kind of cares about a guy, dressed in red, white, and blue tights, who gives out superhero ethics lectures but he fills that role so passionately that he actually scheduled a seminar and genuinely expected other Avengers to attend. 

If you’ve earned his trust, he will accept you for who you are, even if you killed someone for revenge. He’ll tell you to stand trial in a court of law but he’ll support you through it, as he said to Diamondback (Rachel Leighton).

Although he’s very self-righteous, he knows when not to force his beliefs on someone.

Steve never gives up, not in wars, not in people. Don’t get me started on his loyalty to close friends like Bucky, and that extends to non-A-list friends like Fabian Stankiewicz who he saved from suicide.

“Don’t you know me by now, Fabian? I don’t desert my teammates. If they want you to go, I’m going with you.”

He never stops fighting.

And last but not least, he’s absolutely adorkable, emphasis on dork.

5. Representation

Steve Rogers, able-bodied, Christian, presumably heterosexual (because no other sexuality is explicitly shown or stated in canon, I personally agree with a bisexual Steve) white male, hello Mr. Privilege.  Despite that, Steve has befriended members of minorities.

Steve’s second partner and best friend is Sam Wilson, the Falcon. As I said, he visited Sam’s neighborhood and brought some black kids to the Avengers mansion (I cannot weep at this more). He doesn’t care about superficial (racial, sexual) differences.

He treats his girlfriends, Peggy and Sharon Carter, Bernie Rosenthal (Jewish, mind you), Rachel Leighton, and others with respect and has generally maintained good relations with his exes (I’ll discuss how he fails with women later). 

His childhood buddy was a gay guy named Arnold Roth who was in love with another guy named Michael, and it is shown how Steve openly approves of the homosexual relationship.

… They can’t corrupt your love for Michael with their lies anymore than they can corrupt my love for Bernie! Do you hear me Arnie? They’re the Pariahs! They’re the disease!” - Steve on homophobes.

Here’s a link to a wonderfully detailed post about Arnie, Steve’s gay BFF.

Steve does not take his capable body for granted because he knows how it felt to be a person with disabilities, chronic illnesses that practically rendered him physically incapable, until his early twenties.

6. Career choices

Steve is Captain America full-time, he is a soldier, and I love war stories. I love reading those not for the military stuff, but for the raw emotion going through the minds of young victims of trauma and survivor’s guilt, particularly described in detail by great authors. I could read a whole issue focusing on Steve’s thoughts and I’ll love it, there’s just something different about how war veterans think. That’s right folks, Captain America broods, a lot.

Steve is also an artist, he is good at sketching.

I love how this is also shown in the movies, in Captain America: The First Avenger (a dancing monkey) and in The Avengers (a structure), and in the Avengers Assemble cartoon (he paints!). It takes a lot of passion and skill to be an artist but most of all, you can’t be an artist without emotions to express.


1. Desperate times, desperate measures

He brushed the legal system aside when it’s Bucky (he brushes everything aside when it’s Bucky),

he was even willing to kill the Red Skull with one punch when Bucky’s life was threatened.

Steve, man of principle, throws away principles when his close friends are involved, there’s a sort of hypocrisy there. Of course he has valid reasons, but that just shows how human he can be.

So desperate he was in Civil War that he dealt with Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin,

and accepted Punisher into #TeamCap. Luke Cage knows exactly what I’m talking about.

2. Not truthful to his exes

For the love of God, Steve needs to drop it to his exes that he’s dumped them for someone else. This is the source of the infamous Peggy-Sharon tension, because we all know Steve hid his relationship with Sharon from Peggy (and Peggy was Sharon’s older sister at that time..!),

and he almost did it again with Bernie who kept pursuing him during his relationship with Diamondback. 

He just can’t straight up tell the girl to stop hoping because he’s already taken, that’s not being nice, that’s deception and insensitivity.

Remember when Steve proposed to Sharon the first time he met her, when he didn’t even know her name?

That is downright creepy.

3. Self-centered

Aside from his self-righteousness, he kind of puts the spotlight on himself at inappropriate times.

I know it’s selfless to take the blame but sometimes it’s best to just listen, especially when someone’s grieving. Steve could take Listening 101 from a certain Clark Kent.

4. Judgmental

If Steve finds out your favorite is problematic, you can bet he’s judged you. 

He’s sincerely disappointed with people’s fascination with characters like Wolverine and Punisher, imagine his reaction when he finds out you like Deadpool.

When he started dating Diamondback, he was uneasy with the fact that she wasn’t his usual type. Basically, he’s judged her based on the partly shaved pink hair (well, and the criminal record). When she let the shaved part grow and dyed her hair brown, he said she looked… normal.

I love both Steve’s good traits and his flaws, come on, what’s a character without weaknesses. He sets the moral standard for Marvel superheroes.

Sometimes I think it’s scary that he’s put on such a high moral pedestal that other characters might not be critical of his decisions and actions. They say Steve’s always right but he’s human, he can make bad decisions and be wrong too, just like any of us.

With all that said, I can’t think of a character I love more than Steve Rogers. I like soldiers and artists, and I am madly in love with soldier-artists.

anonymous asked:

How does one start a rebellion? In many stories (i.e. Eragon, Star Wars) the Chosen One JOINS a rebellion, one that already exists. Since my story takes place in the far future, I find it hard for a rebellion to form against an Empire that is omnipotent/omnipresent, with almost infinite resources, etc., without being found out and stepped on. Thanks in advance.

To form a rebellion, you need:

  • A group of pissed off people. Discrimination and prejudice are often causes of rebellion - get a large enough group angry enough and they will rise up. Economic loss is another motivator. One of the reasons the French Revolution began was the soaring price of the food staple, bread. Finally, a new ideology may arise that violent contradicts the existing order. The ideology’s followers may want to spread it or they may fight to preserve it.
  • A spark. Or, rather, several sparks. You need a few instances where the oppressive force does something that really riles up the population - shooting a child, denying certain people access to healthcare, an overnight fourfold increase in the bread prices - to the point at which there is a small uprising. This inspires others to do the same.
  • Organization. Organization can make or break a rebellion. At the very least, a rebellion should have a leader or four who can give orders. The rebellion also needs a core of dedicated, determined dogmatists who will stiffen the spine of the other rebels. The rebellion will need a set of values or goals 75% or more of the rebels can agree on - this is their objective.

As for your setting, you’ve worldbuilt yourself into a corner. Surely the Empire cannot have eyes absolutely everywhere. Even if they do, they won’t have enough super dedicated jingoists to watch. Many of the Empire’s employees are there for the money, not the GLORIOUS PURPOSE OF SERVING KING AND COUNTRY or whatever. There will be places where the Empire’s authority is lessened or even nominal, because it’s far from their center of power, the people have rebelled in the past, or the Empire had to strike a deal allowing them more autonomy for some reason.

i have had a vision of donating two dollars for a pickle bucket being able to be turned into some sort of money making scheme because thats a good deal for a pickle bucket you could flip that for five dollars but the logistics of doing that many many times reminds me of the episode of seinfeld where kramer and newman drive bottles from new york to michigan

i found the atmosphere of firehouse subs to be……..dangerously patriotic? borderline jingoist? a chilling preview of things to come when there are restaurants to support the police or Troops? it was unusual and the food not special

Sneaking in at the last minute, it’s a shelfie for April! What we have here (in addition to a guardian squid) is a stack of books by women who were directly or indirectly formative on my writing process before THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA was finished. It’s not meant to be exhaustive, just suggestive… it’s what I could easily grab from my paperback shelves in a minute or two. For instance, I forgot to grab anything by Janny Wurts, Melanie Rawn or Margaret Atwood.

Going down the column, we have:

DOOMSDAY BOOK … Connie Willis
THE WALLS OF AIR … Barbara Hambly
BURNING BRIGHT … Melissa Scott
MIRROR DANCE … Lois McMaster Bujold
SWORDSPOINT … Ellen Kushner

I’m not a fan of Willis’ most recent work (I think BLACKOUT/ALL CLEAR is unacceptably sloppy) but DOOMSDAY BOOK is a startlingly unflinching examination of scholarship, attachment, and loss. THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS is justifiably a legend in its own time; I am also one of those weirdos who actually really likes THE DISPOSSESSED even if the subtitle “an ambiguous utopia” makes me snicker ruefully.

WAR FOR THE OAKS… where to begin? This was the city I dreamed of as a kid, lit up with magic and danger. So many of my theories on fantasy were formulated from awe of this book or in argument with it. That’s the mark of Emma’s greatness– she writes books you can have fabulous arguments with.

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS (and its predecessor PARABLE OF THE SOWER) were essential instruction for me in the art of the slightly unreliable narrator, and in helping me to realize that an author didn’t necessarily have to beam approval at everything a protagonist thought or did. As the years go by, I also find the world events described in these books to be frustratingly less and less implausible.

THE SNOW QUEEN is a big, sprawling, mythically-informed science fiction novel of the sort that’s sadly not seen very often these days.

THE FORGOTTEN BEATS OF ELD is heartbreakingly good, and started teaching me about the eventual relationship I wanted to create for Locke and Sabetha. See also OMBRIA IN SHADOW and the slightly flawed (strange tonal variations) but still rewarding RIDDLE-MASTER sequence. McKillip is a treasure.

DOWNBELOW STATION, my favorite C.J. Cherryh novel (though I’ve many yet to read). Tensely plotted conflict on cultural and character levels, showing off one of the biggest brains in science fiction.

THE WALLS OF AIR (part of the Darwath Trilogy)– interestingly enough, I’m not a complete fanboy of the Darwath books. They have some flaws I find frustrating, but those very flaws were extremely instructive to me, and the good parts are still quite good. Hambly in general is superb… DRAGONSBANE is a stone-cold classic that deserves wider fame, and THOSE WHO HUNT THE NIGHT was the book that got me into vampires in a big way in the early 90s.

RATS AND GARGOYLES– it makes no flippity-fucking sense in the final analysis, but what a glorious, phantasmagorical, mist-drenched occult cityscape it has, and what a pack of brilliantly weird characters running around in it…

BURNING BRIGHT was recommended to me in the 90s by a gaming friend. It was one of the first novels I ever read that attempted to deal in a deep and thoughtful way with the serious gaming mindset, and the art of modeling the world atmospherically/artistically as well as physically. It was also one of the first novels in which I encountered an overtly homonormative society.

THE POISON MASTER’s lush atmosphere really hit me in the last year or so before LIES coalesced from scattered notes into concrete chapters.

Leigh Brackett was the unheralded queen of the field in the early 1940s, a writer with unusually advanced narrative sensibilities that have kept her work much fresher over the decades than some of the museum pieces still nailed to the walls in the Halls of Classic SF. She was a formative practitioner of science fantasy and a deep, sympathetic thinker in an age ruled largely by the facile and the jingoistic.

In the 90s, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga was leaping unstoppably from strength to strength, and I would argue that the MIRROR DANCE / MEMORY duet is still the highest of the sequence’s many high points.

Last but not least, SWORDSPOINT, by that damned Ellen Kushner, who floats on light and shoots genius beams out of her eyes while the rest of us are still fumbling around in the kitchen, wearing no pants, and trying to make coffee. Every field has someone like that. Ellen is ours.

Anyhow, your weekend assignment is to read all of these, and to remember that while a relatively small number of tiny-brained dickheads are making an awful lot of noise lately about how terrible it is that mere wimminses are taken seriously in the SF/F world, that’s because they’re bigots. On the inside, bigots are always frightened, grasping, desperately inadequate little creatures. They make so much noise because they can never feel sufficient in their own skins.