John Oliver from The Daily Show Presents Gun Control to America - Imgur
Whoop dee fucking doo indeed.
Ever feel like the Daily Show does better reporting and REAL questioning than most news shows?
It’s satire only reveals more truth than not.
aww i was hoping they’d do the bit where he answers his own question about gun control
The look on his face when he repeats ‘whoop dee doo’. Priceless.
People really hate the answer, “Because I like it.” So I am done giving it. The next time I get asked this by someone who clearly sees me wearing it every day I am going to tell them that this is the outfit I fight crime in, turn dramatically, look off into the distance, narrow my eyes and say, “My people need me,” before running off.
Knights of Badassdom Trailer
Ok so BF told me this movie existed the other day, and apparently it’s in production hell and it probably won’t get released ever.
It’s basically Tyrion Lannister, Abed Nadir, and River Tam are LARPers who accidentally summon a sexy demon.
No matter how bad this is I would still pay money to go and see it…and it looks very, very bad.
this looks UNAPOLOGETICALLY AWFUL
i love it already
I haven’t reposted any reviews of my work in some time. I kind of figured that the links on the side would be enough for you readers to be sated with. After all, tooting one’s own horn and all that can be annoying if that’s all one hears about from said corner. However, when I saw this in the GoodReads Discussion about my book, I may or may not have lost it a bit. By that, I mean ‘pumping both fists in the air and yelling “NO INFO DUMPS!” in joy’. I’m blown away by her thoughts on TLTLTD.
C.E. Kilgore is a writer I admire, but I don’t dare provide too much information yet. Just make sure you go buy her books, because they’re brilliant; it was an honour to have such a writer give me a review like this.
by Michelle Browne
Genre: Sci-fi Horror / Speculative
Publication Jan 2013
Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis: (From GoodReads)
Nightmares bleed into the waking world. Featuring a full-length novel, “The Underlighters”, and eleven stand-alone short stories, this collection blends fairy tales, horror, and science fiction. A city of shadows lurks underground. Restless ghosts, eerie dolls, and spiteful stepmothers wait among other dreams. These are haunting stories of love, madness and small disasters.
Review: – 5 Stars
This book includes a full length novel which is then followed by eleven short stories. The novel, titled “The Underlighters”, is told through journal entries written by Janelle Cohen, a late teen girl who is coming of age in a post-apocalytpic/disaster Earth future in which Earth’s population has been forced to live underground by a mysterious substance known as Dust.There are two very uniquely developed storylines that unfold within the pages and excerpts from Janelle’s journal. One of them is her own story, which tells of her experiences living in an underground city, her job as a training electrician, and her relationships with her father, her friends and her past and present partners. The other story is the mystery of the Dust, how it has forced mankind underground, the question of exactly what it is, and the strange things that start to occur both above ground in the abandoned cities and underground where mankind thought they had found refuge.
I am not a fan of first person narratives, and I am an even bigger non-fan of journal style prose. So, when I began reading The Underlighters, I will admit that Michelle had to do a great deal to win me over and get over those two stylistic hurdles in my head. To say that she accomplished this is an understatement. My biggest issue with first person narratives has always been the that while you can often gain a limited-but-biased understanding of the main character, the other characters remain flat and unexplored. I have only read a few authors who have managed to overcome the first person narrative objective limitation, and Michelle Browne has been added to that very short list. Not only did I gain a good understanding of Janelle’s character, I was able to form very good impressions of the other characters in the book through Janelle’s interaction and realistic observations in her journal. My second issue, the journalistic style, is because many authors who use this style can leave the reader with a feeling of being told a disjointed story. Though Michelle’s book did not change my dislike for journalistic narrative, she did an excellent job of telling the story without it feeling like you were only catching glimpses or disconnected pieces.
Aside from Janelle, the novel is full of three-dimensional characters and an exploration of different relationships, from father-daughter, to friendship, to partnership. One thing that might cause readers a bit of raised eyebrows is Michelle’s very bold inclusion of all manner of sexual orientation and partnerships. In The Underlighters, the society is accepting of all types, seemingly without discrimination. There are even those who don’t define themselves as a gender (Michelle uses xer / xim / etc instead of her, him, ((replacing h with x)) when referring to these types) and there are those that are defined as “inbetween” (bisexual). Janelle, in the beginning of the story, is dating a female, Chloe, but she explains past relationships with a male, Raheed. She later explores the idea of polygamy. I think this exploration and inclusion is refreshing and adds unique flavor to her story.
The gooey center of the cake that made me really enjoy The Underlighters was the world building. It is beautifully done; both the above-ground abandoned cities (known as “Up”) and the underground city Janelle lives in. There are no info dumps and the two distinct worlds are revealed slowly through the journal entries. This slow world building eases the reader into both very alien environments and also adds to the mystery/thriller aspect of the story.
The mystery of the Dust was the cherry on top that earned five stars. Michelle does very little foreshadowing, which is often where authors stumble and reveal to much, giving the mystery away. Instead, Browne reveals tiny clues and pieces bit by bit, drawing a thread through each journal entry that gives you tantalizing ideas as to what Dust may be and what is really going on in Underlighter, but you won’t fully figure the mystery out until Janelle does.
By the end of The Underlighters, I had already given The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming five stars, but the good points didn’t end there. Browne follows up the main story with several stand alone short stories for the reader to enjoy, each of them a glimpse at darker worlds within the imagination, dripping with delicately crafted description draped around solid bones of intrigue, mystery and emotional strings. I have only read three of the eleven stories at the time of this review because I find myself wanting to savor them. I want to devour them slowly and be able to revisit them in between my other review readings for a refreshing breath of really well crafted writing.
In a word – recommended. Keep an open mind and you will be rewarded with a dive into the depths of imagination that may leave you questioning, breathless and inspired.
So, yeah. This. I’m going to go wipe some tears away and get back to work on my next book now…keep in mind that an UNCENSORED (i.e. the same version as in the anthology) version of The Underlighters is in formatting right now and will be released for you guys THIS SUMMER! Woohoo!
Sorry this one took so long; I slept through a bunch of the weekend.
I know I’ve been laying on the somewhat negative and critical posts lately, and yes, this is going to be another. There’s a good reason for this: I love science fiction. Deeply. It’s been an adventure and an escape, a set of connected worlds I can play with. I love urban fantasy just as much. These are my worlds; and you, reader, if you enjoy these genres, you are one of ‘my people’. There is darkness here, and struggle, and there are wondrous things.
However, I love these things too much not to examine them honestly. Much as a good relationship means improving yourself and helping your partner continue to be a better person, genres necessarily need to be criticized in order to keep developing. When they stagnate, they die. When they change…we find new and amazing things.
Source. This is a marvellous example of feminist sci fi with a damn cool setting, dreamy prose, great characters, and non-traditional partnerships. It even inspired some of my own work.
I’ve praised ‘my’ field before for its generally progressive approach and open-mindedness. Sci fi is where you go to read about transhumanism, inter-species tolerance and multiculturalism, environmentally conscious dystopias, and a plethora of political approaches to interplanetary government and domination. If you can think of an idea, it’s been done in sci fi: liberal and conservative ideas alike are featured here, sometimes mixed together. Science fiction is driven by fantastic elements and factual ones, and it’s a big, broad, wonderful genre to play in.
However, it also has its downsides. A lot of sci fi tends to be geared towards white and western people, and particularly men—however, female cast members and minorities are generally visible, at least; a lot of sci fi is set in a post-national world. Think of Star Trek, which was definitely trail blazing in this area. Diversity is a given. Women shoulder guns and lead commands alongside their male comrades and no-one gives it a second thought. Representation of LGBTQ people could use some work, but for a starting point in a genre, I’d still argue that sci fi is mostly ahead of the game.
Source. This is on my ‘TBR’ (To Be Read) list.
So where’s the problem?
What I want to know is, why is a genre that’s known for forward-thinking attitudes and powerful, strong female characters so reluctant to let the romantic side of things out? Sure, I can think of several television shows offhand that featured strong romantic plots—my favorites being Farscape, Futurama, and Doctor Who—but writing about love is another matter. Search for ‘sci fi romance’ and you’ll have a tough time scraping up listings. It’s ‘not cool’ and ‘not allowed’ for men to indulge in their romantic sides, and I don’t really need to reiterate the complaints of female authors who fail to get recognition from publishers and advertisers. Anything that’s just a bit too far off mainstream appeal doesn’t really get the press, and readers who really might enjoy hearing about it often miss out as a result.
Source. This one is one of the only true science fiction romances I’ve ever heard of.
Why do you care? You’re not exactly a squishy romance type.
Well, it’s true, I’m not. BUT—that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t exist, or that romance and intellect necessarily have to be polar opposites. There is a lot of room for a human interest story that explores cultural clashing or transhumanism or a myriad of wonderful topics. However, the lack of romance suggests that the field’s traditional distrust of women and quiet rejection of us hasn’t been ameliorated yet. The way publishers and marketers are uncomfortable with ‘ethnic’ books or ‘queer’ books speaks for itself, too: sci fi can push boundaries, but only so far as society’s comfortable in handling those pushes.
That deserves to be fixed. Women (a majority of the population, I might add) have a lot to contribute to sci fi; not to mention the amazingly different and wonderful perspectives that genderqueer people also bring. The field is already tantalizingly open to non-mainstream groups, but when it comes to advertising their publications, minority groups just fall off the map. A quick glance through bestselling names on Amazon’s sci fi list reveals page after page of decidedly Anglo-Saxon and masculine names. However, what if things go the other way? What if it’s completely (or at least balanced) with a lot more minority voices and female perspectives?
Source. I absolutely love this author’s style. It completely stunned me: I had no idea Afrocentric stories were a thing, and in spite of lacking the cultural perspective and ‘ins’—I love them!
Is there an ‘overload’ point for feminism and other types of activism?
To put it bluntly: no, but yes. It’s quite possible to go overboard in the correction zone and make an exaggerated attempt to balance everything that compromises the quality of the book. The message and characters may be good, but overemphasis and lack of humour can really kill the efficacy. It’s a bit like some of the posts I’ve seen on Tumblr about the subject of activism: minority complains about mainstream, sometimes makes jokes about death and murder of mainstream, complains more and is unfriendly, and then wonders why mainstream is not listening to them. Since I do belong to a couple of minority groups and I interface with a lot more, but also belong to several mainstream categories, I’ve seen both sides of this divide and it’s rarely pretty. So, I’ll grant that a story with the wrong tone could be incredibly grating to read.
However, the number of cases where overcorrection has been a problem that I’ve seen so far has been exactly one. That’s right, one; and the only interesting part of the moody, pretentious book was the alt-sexuality angle—which, by the way, was basically irrelevant to the pseudointellectual plot. Fortunately for you, dear readers, I can’t remember the title of the damned thing, and I’m quite positive it was donated to a second-hand bookstore some years ago. (Hilariously, I recall the author being white and male. It’s not always the activists you’d expect…)
Individual writers sometimes comment obnoxiously, but I’ve never seen a story really suffer for a lack of white people or hetero sorts or other societally conventional types. Ever. For one thing, they’re so incredibly rare that the market is far from flooded, and for another, there are so many ‘traditional’ stories already weighing that scale down, I can’t see oversupply ever being an issue. Being someone who tends to write on the light end of that scale, of course, I’m obviously a bit coloured in perspective. Point is, we would need many years’ worth of writing to compensate for even half of a quarter of the mainstream hero stories.
Source. This one was a recommendation from a friend.
FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT
The fix for this is simple: stop reading my post and go read some books by ‘non mainstream’ authors. Expand your boundaries a bit and edge outside your comfort zone. That’s all it will take to change things. I’m not saying that we need to burn every book by a white, straight male: I have a whole bunch of books that are dearly beloved and fall into the ‘mainstream author’ category. All that really needs to happen is a little more openness and some experimentation.
This is sci fi. This is a speculation on our future. Let’s make it inclusive, multicultural, and vibrant: it can only make the world more awesome.
And, I’d be a bit of an arse if I didn’t include a link to my own attempts to write ‘better’ science fiction.
Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Don’t miss any of the phuquerie. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, and on Tumblr. More interviews and witty commentaries are coming. Keep checking back to see those surprise posts, too. This is your darling SciFiMagpie, over and out!
Effects Of Thinking White People Are “All Like That”:
- Literally nothing other than white people having their feelings hurt on the internet
- I’m not joking there is no real world consequence of this
Effects Of Thinking People of Color Are “All Like That”:
I am really conflicted about this. On one hand: yes. I completely agree that the effects are way more destructive for people of colour. On the other hand, you’re insulting me based on my race and then being grumpy because people like me are annoyed and less willing to listen to what you’re saying.
It’s like all the ‘kill whitey’ stuff I see on Tumblr. Yes, I get that you’re frustrated. You’re getting hurt. You’re getting killed. At no point is this okay, and I will fight for the rest of my life to make sure you get heard. I’m not going to take credit for what you’re saying and push you back. I’m not going to steal something I don’t understand from your culture just because it looks cool or ‘I identify with it, man’. I care about you because you’re a fellow human being.
And yes, it’s okay to make fun of us. I get it. You’re allowed (not that you need my permission) and I think some piss-taking is good for all of us. It releases tension. So, go for it. You have stuff to complain about, and let’s be honest: it’s not like we’re short on self esteem. We can cope with it.
But if I can make a polite request: please stop it with the jokes about killing white people/cis people/hetero people/christians. (I only fall into the first two categories, but whatever.) Death threats and jokes about killing people are not okay at any point.
Second: yes, you’re hurting white people’s feelings. But when you mock someone and then wonder why they aren’t listening to you and being considerate, you might want to check your delivery method.
I’ll happily check my privilege. But don’t be a jerk in return.
Love, an activist who gives a shit.
“So my amazing daughter, Emma, turned 5 last month, and I had been searching everywhere for new-creative inspiration for her 5yr pictures. I noticed quite a pattern of so many young girls dressing up as beautiful Disney Princesses, no matter where I looked 95% of the “ideas” were the “How to’s” of how to dress your little girl like a Disney Princess…We chose 5 women (five amazing and strong women), as it was her 5th birthday but there are thousands of unbelievable women (and girls) who have beat the odds and fought (and still fight) for their equal rights all over the world”
- Jaime Moore, Not Just a Girl
This is awesome!
On the final stretch of pre-signing. When I get bored I draw ghosts.
Neil, you drew me a rat. I was 13 and now, almost a decade later, its still one of my favorite things. Thanks Neil!
And suddenly, 11 years of drawing rats on Coralines feels perfectly justified.