Science fiction scholar Lisa Yaszek's recent book The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin, is a secret history of women in science fiction, reframing the story of exclusion ("women weren't welcome in early sf writing circles") as one of erasure ("women made vital contributions to early science fiction, and these were systematically expunged from the record when the first wave of historical sf anthologies were published, as part of a backlash against first-wave feminism").
Yaszek's work is very personal to me, dealing extensively with Judith Merrill, the great feminist sf writer, editor and critic, who was my mentor growing up in Toronto.
In a new interview with the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast (MP3), Yaszek elaborates on her work and its ramifications for how we think about the story of the future.
“[Campbell] was going on and on about how women can’t write science fiction, and [Merril] said, ‘Well, I bet I could write a science fiction story you’d buy,’ and he said, ‘I don’t think that’s going to happen,’ and she said, ‘I bet I could write a story you’ll buy, and you’ll beg me for more.’ … So she wrote [‘That Only a Mother’], and Campbell loved the story. He bought it from her, and he was like, ‘Oh my gosh. You were right, I was wrong. This is an amazing story. I want more from you.’ So she sent him her next story, which was a space colonization story—good standard science fiction fare—and he rejected it because he said, ‘There are no mothers in it. I don’t really want this from you. You should be writing more about mothers.'”
The History of Women in Sci-Fi Isn’t What You Think [Geek's Guide to the Galaxy/Wired]
Amsterdam's Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (AKA "The Ritman Library) houses more ths 25,000 occult texts, covering "Hermetics, Rosicrucians, Theosophy, alchemy, mysticism, Gnosis and Western Esotericism, Sufism, Kabbalah, Anthroposophy, Catharism, Freemasonry, Manichaeism, Judaica, the Grail, Esotericism, and comparative religion."
The queue area at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland features a row of changing portraits wherein paintings everyday scenes are revealed as sinister and haunted (originally the effect was done with crossfading slide-projectors; now it's done with an amazing, crisp electroluminiscent effect).
This is my last day at my desk until Labor Day: tomorrow, we're driving to Burning Man to get our annual dirtrave fix! If you're heading to the playa, here's three places and times you can find me:
Are we done with capsule coffee makers yet? Sure, they’re easy. But they are not so easy on the environment, and it’s debatable whether they actually make a better cup. Luckily, there’s never been a better time to switch back to the good old reliable drip method – especially when drip coffeemakers have quietly been […]
If there’s one thing that stayed consistent through the last decade or so of tech industry turmoil, it’s the love affair between techies and Linux. There’s just a ton you can do with the OS, and its open-source format means you can customize your rig from the ground up. Apparently not content with that level […]
Accidents happen. And when they do, you’re going to want a dash cam for a second pair of eyes. At the minimum, a decent dash cam can save you vast sums of time and money in case of an accident. But a really good dash cam can do a whole lot more. Here are six […]