Laurie Penny's first science fiction book, Everything Belongs to the Future
, is available to the public as of today: if you've followed her work
, you're probably expecting something scathing, feminist, woke, and smart as hell, and you won't be disappointed -- but you're going to get a lot more, besides.
Good Hello, Consumers of Media About Media:
Courtesy of our friends at Boing Boing, this is Negativland speaking to you. Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!
Tim Wu is a multiple threat: the originator of the term "net neutrality"
; a copyfighting lawyer who cares about creator's rights
; a fair use theorist
; Zephyr Teachout's running mate
in the NY gubernatorial race; an anti-monopolist
who joined the NY Attorney General
and used open source to catch Time Warner in the act
; a lifelong deep nerd
who was outraged by the persecution of Aaron Swartz
, and the author of one of the seminal books on telcoms policy and human rights
Now, he's back with his best book yet: The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads, an erudite, energizing, outraging, funny and thorough history of one of humanity's core undertakings -- getting other people to care about stuff that matters to you.
I was sexually assaulted twice in college. It's not a secret, but I don't like to talk about it unless I feel I should.
Now, I feel I must.
YA graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier is a force of nature; her Babysitters Club graphic novels
are witty and smart and snappy; her standalone graphic novels are even better, but her latest, Ghosts
, is her best to date: an improbably upbeat story about death, assimilation and cystic fibrosis.
Jack Womack is an accomplished science fiction writer
and part of the first wave of cyberpunks; he's also one of the world's foremost collectors of flying saucer ephemera: the zines, cheap paperbacks, and esoteric material associated with the saucer-craze, a virtually forgotten, decades-long global mania that features livestock mutilations, abductions, messages of intergalactic brotherhood, claims of both divine and satanic origins, and psychic phenomena.
2015 was the fortieth consecutive year that The Rocky Horror Picture Show has played in theaters, luring out the misfits and punks and queers and oddballs. We’re now seeing the third generation of misfits coming up in the world and dancing in the aisles to “The Time Warp,” while Fox network readies to premier the made-for-TV remake on October 20th. Rocky Horror is more than a fan phenomenon; it’s a bizarre yet empowering film that shows us the intersection of queer, working class, and geek cultures, although you don’t have to be any of the previous to enjoy the hell out of it.
On September 14, 1987, Garry B Trudeau ran the first Doonesbury strip that mentioned Donald Trump
, in which his characters marvel that New York's "loudest and most visible asshole" had floated a political trial balloon, hinting that he would run for president; thus began 30 years of marveling at, mocking, and skewering Der Drumpf, so rattling the Short-Fingered Vulgarian that he felt the need to issue a series of wounded denunciations. Now, just in time for the election, Trudeau has released a collection of his Trump-themed strips, Yuge: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump
, just the thing to put the Republican nominee on tilt.
Since 2015, our family has been in love with Dana Simpson's Phoebe and Her Unicorn books, a kind of modern take on Calvin and Hobbes, only Calvin is an awesome little girl
, Hobbes is a unicorn, and the parental figures can see and interact with the unicorn, but are not freaked out because she generates a SHIELD OF BORINGNESS. Now, the insanely prolific Simpson has released the fourth
collection in the series: Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure
It's been more than 20 years since the publication of Making Book
, Teresa Nielsen Hayden's collection of essays, mostly drawn from the pre-online days of fanzines and letters columns; this year, in honor of Teresa's stint as Fan Guest of Honor at Midamericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention
, NESFA Press has published a second volume: Making Conversation
, a collection of essays drawn from the online world on subjects as varied as moderation and trolling, cooking, hamster-rearing, fanfic, narcolepsy, the engineering marvels of the IBM Selectric, and more.
Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl trilogy
was one of the best kids' comics of the new century (and it's headed to TV!
), and he's been very productive
in the years since, but his new series, Mighty Jack
feels like the true successor to Zita: a meaty volume one that promises and delivers all the buckle you can shake a swash at, with more to come.
Pop-up book veterans David Pelham and Christopher Wormell have collaborated on a just-in-time-for-ween edition of Edgar Allen Poe's magnificent torch
, 1845's The Raven
After a string of high-profile cyberbullying and revenge-porn incidents, the Italian Chamber of Deputies has put forward a bill
that will do nothing to prevent these abuses, and everything to allow for rampant, unaccountable censorship of the Italian internet, without rule of law or penalty for abuse.
[Editor's note: Kater Cheek was one of my Clarion 2007 students, and has been vigorously writing and publishing ever since. She has graciously offered us the opportunity to publish the opening chapter of Parasitic Souls
, her latest novel -Cory]
Depending on whom you ask, a crazy lady got bent out of shape over a dad joke, or a pro-cop token sexually harassed a peaceful protester. Below are both versions of this modern-day Rashomon. Like Harambe, the Hugh Mungus meme works for all political persuasions.
(image: Block The Bunker Facebook event)
Seattle held raucous City Council meetings over plans to build an expensive new police precinct opponents call "The Bunker." Emotions ran high. This much everyone agrees on.
During the chaos, local news teams were interviewing attendees, including resident Rudy Pantoja. Pantoja expressed appreciation and support for the police, who had helped his daughter get help with her personal and legal problems. Protester Zarna Joshi felt the press was not covering the event proportionally, and began to film Pantoja's interview to show that his views were not representative of the protesters. After the interview, Pantoja saw Joshi was filming him. What happens next is an Abbott and Costello routine for the modern era. The transcript below honors Pantoja's nom de guerre, "Hugh Mungus."
Read the rest
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve spent your entire life being trained to empathize with white men. From Odysseus to Walter White, Hamlet to Bruce Wayne, James Bond to the vast majority of biopic protagonists, our art consistently makes the argument that imperfect, even outright villainous, men have an innate core of humanity. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Good art should teach us to empathize with complex people. The problem comes not from the existence of these stories about white men, but from the lack of stories about everyone else.
That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot during this increasingly insane presidential election season. Particularly as I try to wrap my head around the fact that Hillary Clinton is on one hand the most qualified human being to ever run for president of the United States, and, on the other, one of the most disliked presidential candidates of all time. In fact, Donald Trump is the only candidate who is more disliked than Clinton. And he’s not only overtly racist, sexist, and Islamophobic, but also unfit and unprepared for office. How can these two fundamentally dissimilar politicians possibly be considered bedfellows when it comes to popular opinion?
Gallons of digital ink have been spilled trying to figure out why Clinton struggles so much with likability. But perhaps the problem isn’t with her at all. Maybe it’s with us.
We tend to talk about likability as a black or white issue. But like the old adage, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like,” there’s no universal component of likability. Read the rest
First, the amazing, creepy, weird and lovable podcast Welcome to Night Vale
spawned a wonderful, improbable novel
, and now, for book lovers who love Night Vale, there's two
books of scripts and notes from the production team: Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1
and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2
(I wrote the introduction to volume 1!).