January 16th, 2009


Love Affair with the weather

Have you ever noticed how the hotter it gets, the more obsessed people become with talking about it - how they have to dissect it in minute detail, noting when the breeze came in, trying to figure out at exactly which minute after 9am it hit 30deg C, debating exactly how hot the prediction is for today and at what time that will happen.

Me? After it hits 35, it's just hot. And I'm not sure there's really such a difference between 37 and 40. Really hot is just ... well, really hot.

Today it's supposed to hit 41. It was 33 at 9am.

Gonna be a hot one.

It's Friday? Already?

Yesterday my promotion was announced in the Section Meeting. And I just found out that all the paperwork has made it to HR and the words "backpay" were bandied about. I think though that I "start" the new job on Monday so the backpay refers to my raise not being seen in the first pay, which is next week.

I've been keeping a log of my expenses this year and will be looking at the total on a monthly basis. You know, to tighten my belt in places that it looks like it needs tightening. Turns out that's a horrible punishment to bring down upon yourself. Though the last fortnight has been full of expenses that are not recurring or are recurring on a quarterly basis. Hopefully February will be less hideous an experience.

*reminds self of the FOUR books for this year*

I am revoltingly behind in my life this week. I don't know how that happened *cough* blogsplosion *cough* Heroes addiction *cough* but I am behind in emails (inbox at 140) and TPP. We were supposed to have two Tables of Contents to announce by now. Things are grim. And my weekend is jampacked with, well, fun and frivolity, so things do not look like getting better in a hurry. So I guess, please take mercy on my lack of replyage or on really delayed replies to conversations that appear WAY over by now.


Gender and Cultural Appropriation

mondyboy has an interesting thread going on over at his blog demanding more Jews in SF/F.

I popped over to discuss how, whilst there are almost no Jewish characters in Australian SF/F short fiction, I don't recall any in last year's batch at least, I have noticed a lot more Jewish characters in American SF/F short stories. Weird Tales featured one last year - although that could be since Ann Vandermeer took over as editor. Mike Resnick writes a lot of Jewish characters and there are some female American short story writers who also often include Jewish characters in their stories. I think for me, in what mostly feels like a very white landscape, the Jewish characters in SF/F shorts leap out at me, and to me feel more represented than any other racial or cultural minority group.

I'm looking forward to the Vandermeers' book The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. It sounds like it will be so much fun. But having said that, I should say that, as a Jew, it's a very different experience to feel somewhat represented in American culture. There are often Jews in American movies and TV shows and novels. And I know that Jewish people are a small minority globally, so the amount that we are represented even, at times, feels like an overrepresentation compared to other groups. Having the Vandermeers as editors out there *makes a difference* to me as a Jewish reader. Having the odd mention or nod in my direction as existing *makes a difference* to me. And that's why, for me, the total underrepresentation of women in SF/F - who are not in fact a minority globally - really riles me.

And in the thread mentioned above, Mondy and I talk a bit about whether a non-Jewish person can really and believably write a Jewish character that is anything other than token. And I might link it back to the gender debate. I'm like that, you know.


Shout Out!

A big shout out to karenmiller and tallaudrey for taking up the mission to find more reviewers for ASif, for electronic and horror material, and sending the call far and wide.

You both delivered in plenty and I am most grateful!

Many thanks!!!

And if you are interested in trying reviewing at ASif! we always always always have more material than reviewers lying around *grins*

Drop me a line at twelfthplanetpress @ gmail dot com


Kings Park is Burning

I knew Kings Park was on fire today but it didn't really hit me till I was driving home tonight from work. I could see the smoke from south of the river and the helicopters circling in the sky but it wasn't until I drove onto the Mill Point on ramp to the freeway that it hit me. And it really did, in a very emotional, and surprising way. As I drove up and out over the river I could see red smoke, large burnt patches of the park, helicopters water bombing from the sky and big hoses of water pumping up into the park from the mount side, along Mounts Bay Rd. It was a hub of activity from the air, the water and the road - like doctors working on a patient. The scene was so busy, so many people in so many directions, all trying to save the park.

It was really very overwhelming.

And it then occurred to me that even though I live in Australia and every year we have bushfires, I've never actually seen one. I think I've driven past another part of Kings Park, down Thomas Street, when it was on fire but this was different. I've only ever seen the actual fighting of a fire on TV. And in real life it looked so much more desperate. The outcome unknown. And maybe also a fire burning through bush that I know well made it more personal. More upsetting.