Re: I Know What They Say About Doing The Same Thing And Expecting Different Results

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Books by John D. MacDonald, Dick Francis (older better) or John Sandford.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 8:56 PM
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Just print out 'Even More Harry' and take that. Good times.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 8:58 PM
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Forever Amber.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 8:59 PM
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An Unlikely Spy, Daniel Silva


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:03 PM
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The Harry Dresden novels by.... fuck, whoever he is, the guy who wrote the Harry Dresden novels. Supernatural stew with sassy dialogue. There's a pretty ridiculous and lingered-over sex scene somewhere along the 4th or 5th book that made me stop reading them but I am planning to go back this summer.

Also, not trashy but very good anthologies of short stories and thus easily picked up and put down: The Future is Queer and D.C. Noir. Rah got them for me when we were up there last month and I've been loving them.

A Firing Offense by George Pelecanos, if you haven't read it. He was a writer on The Wire, just to tie this to Unfogged lore. He also edited D.C. Noir.

Three Men Seeking Monsters, completely absurd buddies-go-in-search-of-bigfoot supposed-reportage in the UK. Utter trash but highly enjoyable and accessible if you are the sort of person whose collegiate cohort was into guileless trespass as adventure.

Oh, Jim Butcher. That's the Dresden guy.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:05 PM
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Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat by official author of unfogged David Markson.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:08 PM
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Any Richard Price you can get your hands on. Also a writer on The Wire!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:10 PM
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If you haven't read Confederates in the Attic, which came out in the mid-90s I think, I really recommend it. A Jewish guy goes stomping around the old South with hilarious hard-core re-enactors and Daughters of the Confederacy.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:11 PM
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I've read Confederates in the Attic! In fact, I recommended it to someone else as a beach read. That's a good one.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:13 PM
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6 Shouldn't felix be official author of unfogged? What's this David guy ever done for us?


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:15 PM
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Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler, George Pelecanos (Shame the Devil is nice) if you like detective-y thrillers. Maybe Laura Lippman (David Simon's wife, writes about Baltimore), though a little went a long way for me. Sara Paretsky is popular-- early is better, absorbing, forgettable. Jonathan Carroll is a genre-bending author, hard to describe; mostly a good, realistic Jane Smiley-esque writer but with a real twist. If Magic realism didn't already have a different meaning, that would be a good description.

Bulgakov's _Master + Margarita_ if you haven't read it is both a completely absorbing read and a genuinely great book. Martin Amis' _Money_ likewise, maybe not genuinely great but quite good. John Collier's short stories. John Cheever, novels or stories. Chekhov if you tolerate or like melancholy, though he is no shit better in the original even with mediocre Russian. Liaisons Dangereuses is fun-- epistolary.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:15 PM
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John Collier's stories don't stand up to being read en masse.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:17 PM
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12: Neither do his stock reduction policies.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:22 PM
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These recommendations aren't trashy enough.

In fantasy novels, I enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is one of those rare and wonderful beasts: a single-volume world-building tale. Con men, thieves' cant, political intrigue. Yes, there's a sequel (and no, it's not quite as good, but it does have a nautical theme, which is good), but the first volume stands alone.

In SF, I recently picked up Looking for the Mahdi by one N. Lee Wood---yes, on the basis of the title alone, pretty much. It was pretty damned decent. Cyborgs, ruminations on journalism (written in the mid-90s, it gets some of its prognostications interestingly wrong), Middle Eastern politics, American intelligence skullduggery, with an interesting female central character who thinks a lot about what it means for her to be physically unattractive.

More as I remember them.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:26 PM
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These recommendations aren't trashy enough.

Forever Amber isn't trashy enough for you?

Three Men in a Boat.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:27 PM
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These recommendations aren't trashy enough.

Sigh. Hence, the post title.

Also, for "trashy", please don't limit to fiction. I include "person does wacky thing X" (Year of Yes, Confed. in the Attic, etc.) in that genre.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:31 PM
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Non-fiction beach reads, more interesting. I recommend "Twinkie, Deconstructed", a book in which each chapter explains where one of the ingredients in the Twinkie came from.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:31 PM
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Ian Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost is both popcorny and long enough to last multiple beach trips, which is rare. It's historical detective fiction that's nowhere near as good as The Name of the Rose, but still good.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:35 PM
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Sharyn McCrumb! Bimbos of the Death Sun; and Zombies of the Gene Pool


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:35 PM
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Kant observed of his anthropology that it "kann von Jedermann, sogar von Damen bei der Toilette, gelesen werden, weil sie viel Unterhaltendes hat", so you might consider that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:36 PM
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I see that last year, you said that kid's books were in the running. I just had a great time reading Daniel Pinkwater's second-to-latest book, The Neddiad, and if by some chance you haven't already read the classics of his oeuvre, I recommend those too. I'm currently in the middle of The Meaning of Night, which is galloping along with murder and conspiracy and pulling off the Victorian pastiche dashingly. Laura Lippman is surely beach reading enough for anyone. She's served me well as plane reading, certainly. At Christmas I tore through Charlie Huston's vampire noir series, which is definitely trashy and fun.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:36 PM
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Yes! Kid/YA books are great, too.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:38 PM
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18: Agreed, on all counts!

I've been recommending Wilkie Collins' Armadale and Nancy Mitford's Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate all over the place lately.

And of course Thurber, Wodehouse, and Sayers.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:38 PM
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Non-fiction? Hmm. One River by Wade Davis? Amazonian ethnobotany; it's a bit hippy-ish, but lots of cool plants, so I liked it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:42 PM
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I am trying to think what else I devoured on planes this year. Oh, well, Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows, which is WONDERFUL and very digestible and absorbing and great, but not trashy (though I'd happily read it on a beach).

How about some Stephen Fry? The Liar is a very enjoyable comic novel, and Moab is My Washpot is a very enjoyable comic memoir, which incidentally highlights what bits of his own young life he plundered for the former.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:43 PM
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I've had but not read Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music for a long time; you might check that out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:43 PM
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And then let neb know if it's any good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:44 PM
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Precisely.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:45 PM
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Seconding RFTS, The Liar is more or less perfect.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:50 PM
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For God's sake, do not read any of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel whatsit fantasy novels. I had ignored them for years until last week in the library I said, oh fuckit, I might as well try the first one here.

There are elements that I usually enjoy---world-building, travelogue/epic tale, political intrigue---but the central character is a young woman who is that rare and glorious creature (the first in two generations!), a true sexual masochist who totally gets off on pain. And since she is so rare and glorious, she is turned into a spy for a super-spy-master etc. I like silly sexy spy stories, but there's something creepily overwrought about the sado-masochism in this book.

I can't imagine that the bizillion sequels do anything other than wallow deeper into the creepiness---just as all the vampire-hunter series seem to end up with gigantic poly-amorous clans of werewolves, vampires, witches, furries with our beloved heroine at the center of everyone's lusts. I swear to God at least three of those ubiquitous series end up like that.

I need to use the interlibrary loan function more often, I know.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:52 PM
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When it comes to non-fiction light reading, I tend toward the essays. David Quammen's books of essays - collections of his original Outside columns - are fun for this sort of thing. If you're into nature/science at all, they're exactly the very easy sort of thing that I've torn through at the beach. (Well, mountains, but same difference).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:53 PM
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Well, mountains, but same difference

Really? I've read in the mountains, but I find that I can't read at the beach.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:55 PM
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I have trouble reading in the ocean.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 9:57 PM
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Try these, Tweety.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:03 PM
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Field guides to fish and erotica, what more do you need at the beach?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:05 PM
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I know, you could read Typee. Or Dening, Islands and Beaches.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:05 PM
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The Lies of Locke Lamora

I also enjoyed this book.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:06 PM
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It's definitely not trashy, and I suppose whether it's fiction or nonfiction depends on your perspective, but I read this on a plane recently and it was actually quite entertaining. Of course, my recent reading has mostly been more along the lines of this, so I'm probably not the best judge of these things.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:07 PM
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Of the books I've read by people-I-vaguely-feel-like-I-know-on-the-internet, I really enjoyed Farthing by Jo Walton. It's an alternative history in which the English aristocrats who admired Hitler were much more successful. I don't often make time for alternative history fantasies, but this one is a country-house murder-mystery, and the characters are really finely drawn. There's a quietly pervasive sense of dread about the book that is compelling.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:12 PM
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In non-fiction, I rather enjoyed Angler, Barton Gellman's account of Cheney's vice-presidency.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:13 PM
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Field guides to fish and erotica

Kinky.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:22 PM
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Of the books I've read by people-I-vaguely-feel-like-I-know-on-the-internet, I really enjoyed Farthing by Jo Walton.

This reminds me that I am happiest not knowing a damn thing about the people who write the fiction I enjoy (to the extent I enjoy fiction these days). I've encountered enough authors being utterly beastly online to the extent that I will not put money in their pockets that I would prefer to think that books just magically appear on bookshelves or on Amazon.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:27 PM
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In non-fiction, I rather enjoyed Kategorien des Zeitl/chen by Sebast/an Röd/.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:27 PM
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Not that Jo's ever been beastly (to the best of my knowledge), I should add.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:28 PM
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42: I've had nearly the opposite experience; that is, I've found out that a couple of authors I really liked but had maybe cooled on were super nice and pretty much great people, and that's made me much more eager to keep up with their stuff.

I feel like your strategy is the winning one, as far as maximizing reading enjoyment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:33 PM
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It occurs to me that a former prof of mine wrote one of those pop cultural history books about the beach itself. That's not really a recommendation, as I haven't read it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:33 PM
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I can't wait until every single thing has had some sort of commodity/conceptual history written about it. I plan to enter the field with Stabby Stab Stab Stab: How the Pointy Stick Changed the World.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:34 PM
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Young adult sci-fi: Interstellar Pig by William Sleator (have not read the sequel Parasite Pig ) and The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher. Venus on the Half-Shell, Kilgore Trout (Philip Jose Farmer)—not really young adult, but trashy.

Young adult non sci-fi: Big Phil's Kid by M.M. Parker (may be hard to find, curious if anyone else here knows of it, a family favorite, hilarious if a bit uneven).

Travel: Innocents Abroad and A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby

Some of the opening gambits the Bashgalis allowed themselves in the conversation game were quite shattering. Ini ash ptul p'mich e manchi mrisht waria'm. ' I saw a corpse in a field this morning', and Tu chi se biss gur biti? 'How long have you had a goitre?'


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:34 PM
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||
Go to this site and enter the Konami Code. Enjoy!
|>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:35 PM
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46 reminds me that you could do worse for trashy reading than Alex Garland's The Beach.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:36 PM
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How about Thesiger's Arabian Sands or Macaulay's The Towers of Trebizond, which are nothing alike?

The latter has a truly excellent opening line, to wit, Take my camel, dear, said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:37 PM
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My keyboard doesn't have "select" or "start" buttons.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:38 PM
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Which are unnecessary.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:38 PM
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Cutter and Bone is a really good thriller from the seventies. It's got some macho "existentialist" stuff in it that I didn't care for, but otherwise I had a good time.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:39 PM
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I feel like your strategy is the winning one, as far as maximizing reading enjoyment.

Yeah, I mean, I don't particularly want to be an aesthetic Stalinist, but when you see someone, say, expressing glee at the notion of killing all Arab men, or arguing that homosexuality should be outlawed and gays randomly prosecuted to intimidate them, it's kinda hard to get past that, you know?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:39 PM
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The latter has a truly excellent opening line, to wit, ""Take my camel, dear", said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass".

Not as good as "It was the day my grandmother exploded". (From Iain Banks' The Crow Road, another good beach suggestion.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:41 PM
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nterstellar Pig by William Sleator

Hey, I read that when I actually was a young adult! Good book.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:42 PM
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I disagree, Josh. I think it is as good and better.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:44 PM
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Do not read The Beach. I picked it up when I wa4 in Thailand--it seemed appropriate--and it was very bad while groping at generational significance. It had something to say about Vietnam movies that needed to be said much much better.

They had wifi on the pllane today, but I dinna love you lot enough to pop 7.95 for it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:45 PM
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Do not read The Beach. I picked it up when I wa4 in Thailand--it seemed appropriate--and it was very bad while groping at generational significance. It had something to say about Vietnam movies that needed to be said much much better.

They had wifi on the pllane today, but I dinna love you lot enough to pop 7.95 for it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:45 PM
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Everything about comments 59 and 60 is awesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:47 PM
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I would definitely be turned off by a book that started with the sentence "It was the day my grandmother exploded." "Sub-Pinkwater twaddle", I would think. The camel one is much better.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:48 PM
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Do not read The Beach. I picked it up when I wa4 in Thailand--it seemed appropriate--and it was very bad while groping at generational significance. It had something to say about Vietnam movies that needed to be said much much better.

They had wifi on the pllane today, but I dinna love you lot enough to pop 7.95 for it.

This blackberry is being funky so forgive me if it posts three times.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:48 PM
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This blackberry is being funky so forgive me if it posts three times.

Consider yourself forgiven.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:50 PM
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Sorry to interrupt that grewat sequence.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:50 PM
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59, 60: I didn't think "good" was a criterion for recommendations in this thread. (The book was at least better than the movie. How could you have gone so wrong, Danny Boyle?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:50 PM
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But what did you make of 63, teo?


Posted by: wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:50 PM
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62: There are other sentences in the book. (And it's not at all Pinkwater-esque.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:52 PM
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I've found Cosma's lists of books to read while moss grows in your fur to be pretty good. He's got good taste for trash. He sent me to the Carrie Vaughn werewolf series. If you like chick werewolves, they seem to be recently popular. Patricia Briggs is writing another series of them set in Seattle. OK, I'm opening my library book records in the other tab.

All Young Adult recs:
On a recommendation from Kleinman (I think), I'm enjoying a series that uses Greek mythology for contempory fiction, by Rick Riordan. Greek bad guys are a welcome break from English mythology bad guys. Recommend those. Also, Westerfield's Uglies/Pretties/Specials read well enough, had an intriquing theme and weren't a complete waste. I was surprisingly into (and will buy) an incomplete trilogy about contemporary London and a war among statues that come to life. Fletcher's Stoneheart trilogy. I'm bummed I picked it up before it was complete.

I LOVED, because I would, Murdock's _Dairy Queen_ and _Off Season_. Contemporary female high school athlete has a rough time in small town Wisconsin. Very charming voice. Liked Sharon Shinn's Dream-Maker, Truth-Teller, Safe-Keeper's set, which all end with the couples happily resolved. Her adult books are also fine for trashy reading, but the YA ones go faster.

I don't consider these trash (and think I may have mentioned them before); Shannon Hale's _Princess Academy_ and _Book of a Thousand Days_ are both very good.

Adult:
Recently enjoyed Kim Wilkin's _Veil of Gold_ more than I expected from a shelf-browsing pick. Contemporary female protagonist gets sucked into Russian folklore. I might be overweighting books that are set in other folklores because it is such a relief to get away from elves. But Russians had freaky different mystical beings!

Hope you like some of those.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:52 PM
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It wasn't entertainingly bad, either. It was undersexed and the narrator grew tiresome.


Posted by: wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:52 PM
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This might be interesting for the strangeness of the five authors' being in one volume. To think a genius like Kelly was made to rub shoulders with Updike!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:56 PM
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Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Ghost are very good potboilers. Narrator Sonchee Jitpleecheep is a great invention.but skip the middle book.


Posted by: wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:57 PM
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I have a slight crush on Sonchee. He'd never go for me, though.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 10:59 PM
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And 72 reminds me that the Detective Inspector Chen books (Snake Agent, The Demon and the City) are good too. They're set in an alternate China; the main characters are a paranormal investigator and his demon partner.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:02 PM
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Forever Amber.

I read this when I was 16 years old (I found it in a box of musty old paperbacks in the basement), and I truly puzzled over the concept of "amber" eyes. Were they brown? or green? or hazel? or just what, exactly? The sex scenes didn't impress me, I didn't yet know what Winsor was going on about, and didn't yet care. But I kept looking for a real-life example of "amber" eyes, which it took me years to find.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:16 PM
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But what did you make of 63, teo?

It was okay too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:37 PM
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Shannon Hale's _Princess Academy

This is a very sweet book. Don't be put off by the title! It's quietly subversive! (Ok, maybe not quietly so---there are a bunch of battle sequences, if I remember it correctly.) The author is LDS, but evidently on the liberal end of the spectrum.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:44 PM
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I read The Beach on the plane back from Thailand. Eh, it was okay. I suppose I come down more on Josh's side (the "sure, read it") side, but not very far.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:50 PM
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Hey Becks, have you read High Fidelity?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:57 PM
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I think I've recommneded it before but Guiseppe Genna's, In the Name of Ishmael which is an Italian quasi-occult thriller surrounding the real events of Operation Gladio and P2, etc in Italy from the 60s onwards. Beautifully written, too. Genna edits an Italian poetry journal and at times it shows in the prose.

The Guardian review said: "In the Name of Ishmael is a masterpiece of unease, which transcends a plot that reads like a cross between Dennis Wheatley and La Dolce Vita" which I think is pretty on the money.

Also, Patricia Finney, who writes excellent and yet quite odd thrillers -- one book is narrated by one of the split personalities of a madman, another by the Virgin Mary, etc -- set in the Elizabethan period (Unicorn's Blood, Gloriana's Torch and Firedrake's Eye).

I'd second the Pelecanos recommendation, but specifically recommend the Quartet -- King Suckerman, The Big Blowdown, The Sweet Forever, and Shame the Devil. King Suckerman and the Sweet Forever, are, I think, the highpoints.

Any of Christopher Brookmyre's books are worth a go -- he gets written up as the Scottish Carl Hiassen, and that's not completely inaccurate, but he has a streak of verité running through his stuff that is quite affecting.

http://www.brookmyre.co.uk/books.htm

Those are listed in reverse order. The first two -- 'Quite Ugly One Morning', and 'Country of the Blind' -- are probably the best starting point. But 'A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Pencil' is a pretty great novel of childhood. A couple of them are below par but, generally, he turns out blackly comic thrillers that are quite nasty and usually very funny.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:21 AM
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OH yeah, and Genna has done some work with the Wu Ming/Luther Blisset guys.

So, if you've not read them, Wu Ming's "54" and Luther Blisset's "Q" are both great.

Wu Ming/Luther Blissett are an Italian anarchist collective who write books together and apart.

"Q" is set during the 16th century Protestant reformation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_(novel)

"54" on the other hand is a novel partly about Cary Grant being smuggled into Yugoslavia by the British Secret Service during the 1950s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/54_(novel)

Wu Ming have a good web-page:

http://www.wumingfoundation.com/english/englishmenu.htm

Their stuff is usually all available in copyleft'd form on the net, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:30 AM
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The Quincunx is awesome.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:31 AM
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Not this kind of quincunx though you could do worse than reading the eminently quotable Browne.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:35 AM
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The Quincunx is awesome.

And just the sort of trashy beach read that Becks had in mind, no doubt.

I feel that the standards have been raised (or lowered, perhaps) such that I might as well recommend Edmund Gosse's Father and Son as a frothy little confection that will divert one's attention for an afternoon, when in fact it's a terrifying, but beautifully lyrical, account of the quotidian details of the Freudian drama.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:57 AM
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80,81: I might be alone in this, but the double spacing fucks with my eyes, and the textual flow of the thread. I'm sure you have your reasons, but the effect is that of an undergrad trying to make five pages.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:04 AM
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Okay, 85 is the last straw. I'm quitting unfogged forever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:07 AM
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re: 86

Quite.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:08 AM
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re: 85

Really, for fuck's sake.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:09 AM
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O
k
a
y,

I
'
m

b
a
c
k
!

C
r
i
s
i
s

a
v
e
r
t
e
d
!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:11 AM
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I like Brookmyre too. Though, ttaM, have you read the most recent one? Snowball? I got it for C for Christmas or his January birthday and have just read it - didn't enjoy it so much. Found it weirdly Ben Elton-y, with these over the top caricatures instead of characters.

I heard someone on the radio a couple of weeks ago saying that Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog is an easier read than M&M, so that might be more beachworthy.

I like crime books, that's my choice of genre for relaxation. At the moment I like Mark Billingham, John Harvey, Laura Wilson. Peter Robinson is okay too.

Mike Gayle for some lad lit. Don't bother with Wish you were here, even if it does look appropriate since it's about holidays. My new best friend is relevant to that 'how to make new friends' thread we had recently, if that helps.

Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr Y. Has plenty of sex in it, which is good for holidays. I like Magnus Mills - easy enough to read for beach-reading, but I somehow don't think the beach is the ideal environment for reading him. Perhaps a mountain.

My eldest is desperately waiting for The Ask and the Answer (Patrick Ness) to be delivered. Sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go. If it's about some futuristic dystopia, she'll read it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:29 AM
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89 = trashy beach read. Not much of a plot, admittedly, but edgy! and provocative! Makes me want to spend a dime and send away for the instructional brochure, to learn how to not get sand kicked in my face.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:38 AM
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90 - when I said "plenty of sex" that was an exaggeration. There's some. It's not every page or anything.

Talking of exaggeration, my 6 year old finally got the "I've told you a million times not to exaggerate!" joke this week. It's such good fun making her laugh.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:43 AM
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re: 90

Yes, I had exactly the same take on his most recent one. It didn't do much for me at all and I had the same 'Elton-y' thought. There are a couple of the earlier ones that are similar and which I wasn't mad keen on. I thought for a while he' slightly lost it, but 'A Tale Etched ..' and 'All Fun and Games ..' were a return to form, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:44 AM
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Fine, if it feels good, do it.

I'm just one man with an opinion.

And that opinion is, it's stupid to fill up vertical space when you don't have to. It's the blog equivalent of speaking just a little bit louder than one's colleagues.

Not that I give that much of a fuck. It just fucks with my eyes, is all.

I quit the blog.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 1:44 AM
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re: 94

Oh fuck off. It's not a conscious policy, I just set the links apart from the rest of the text without thinking about how that might affect the eyes of precious little flowers like yourself. I don't generally double-space and there wasn't any intention to do so there.

And you are making a fucking dick of yourself, frankly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 2:05 AM
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I think someone may be overtired. Is it bedtime fm?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 2:07 AM
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Yes, but he has a paper due.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 2:09 AM
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I really enjoyed Forever Amber. And the Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher. A recent great popcorn read was World War Z. Of course it may make you think differently about swine flu. I think beaches need big 500+ page books, like Jilly Cooper's Riders or Rivals (ignore her last few) or a little Judith Krantz (ah, the joys of Mistral's Daughter). The Sparkly Vampire books are okay at first but annoying by the end. And I really liked Huckleberry Finn (my classic read of last year). Oh and I enjoyed the Brief Wondourous Life of Oscar Wao--but may be too literary and Half of a Yellow Sun and John Connelly for a mystery with just a touch of Stephen King.


Posted by: kate | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 2:55 AM
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One more suggestion, I promise, but thanks to those people at WH Smith, I am currently eyeing up the Luxe novels. They might be just the think to fill a Twilight gap.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Luxe-Anna-Godbersen/dp/0141323361/ref=pd_sim_b_2


Posted by: Kate | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 3:36 AM
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97 - it's a better excuse than being Mongolian. And I think the double-spacing effect may vary according to how you read the comments - in the fairly narrow box that pops up for me, 81 doesn't look particularly remarkable. But if the box is wider, or you read it in a new tab, it does look a bit odd. Was still a massive over-reaction.

Kate reminded me of Kate Atkinson. I want to read her latest, When Will There Be Good News? which is another Jackson Brodie.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 3:59 AM
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Oh, Harlan Coben! I love his books. The Myron Bolitar ones are funny too - perfect beach books.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 4:02 AM
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Double spacing makes baby Jesus cry. And I hate that little fucker, so go for it.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 4:15 AM
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I'm still moderately amused by the idea that I'd intentionally double space a post [as opposed to thinking it looked fine in the little comment box because the links needed to be split away from the body text].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 4:20 AM
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Nancy Mitford rules, oudemia. Her third one "Don't Tell Alfred" about Fanny's life in Paris when her husband is appointed Ambassador is good onceyou've gotten through Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love.

Her "Christmas Pudding" is also awesome.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:14 AM
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I don't know what brought her to mind, but for trashy beach reading have you ever read Mary Stewart's thriller/romances? She did an Arthurian legend tetralogy that was I think meant to be a little more serious, and that I liked, but she also had a bunch of 60's and 70's fluffy things that were fun. They're probably all out of print, but everything's on Abebooks for 2.50 plus shipping.

Also, Michael Innes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:26 AM
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In other news, I heard today my thesis has been passed with no revisions or corrections required.

I can't remember being as stupidly pleased about anything, at least not without large quantities of alcohol being involved.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:30 AM
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Yay! .rD nattarGcM!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:32 AM
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Excellent news! Congratulations.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:35 AM
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Excellent news! For Hillary!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:43 AM
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62: I gave up on The Crow Road. It was weirdly feel-good in a synthetic way, not at all what you'd expect from Iain Banks, whose The Player of Games is a bit grim but suitably beachy.

[As a side note, tomorrow I am attending an anarchist event that I'm not super enthused about....Therefore, it was no coincidence that I had a super-realistic dream last night about going to the UK to attend the Marxism 2009 thing and meeting Richard Seymour and that Owen guy who writes the architecture criticism. They were very nice and had clearly differentiated characters and manners of speaking. Also, Richard Seymour signed my copy of that liberal murder book, even though I was all babbling fangirl about it. So real! Except for the part where London was mostly underground.]


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 5:59 AM
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re: 110

It does have some odd feel-goody moments, yeah, but it's also quite true to life in some other ways.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 6:31 AM
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Good for you, ttaM.

Having "ttaM" at the end of the sentence made want to put the period elsewhere.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 6:59 AM
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I second the Mary Stewart recommendation. Also worth a look: Bonk by Mary Roach. It's about sex research, and it's funny, informative, and occasionally sexxxxaaaay!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:00 AM
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Another short story collection I highly recommend is Who Will Save Us Now?, which has tons of superhero short stories. Very fun. Some are semi-serious, some are played for laughs, at least one made me tear up just a little.

If you want the serious trash, though, I can bring the serious trash:

Dan Brown's Digital Fortress is a very fast read and, for me, was of interest in that I had already read The Da Vinci Code and skimmed Angels & Demons and thus played the game of Will The Plot Differ? with Digital Fortress. It's oddly interesting, in the way train wrecks are interesting, to watch an author tread the exact same topology of plot devices over and over again.

John Ford's How Much for Just the Planet? is a Star Trek tie-in novel I read in 7th or 8th grade that somehow has lodged itself in my memory as hilarious. The whole Star Trek tie-in angle is basically just the marketing hook for a comedic musical written in novel form. It's very strange. I have no idea if it holds up past the onset of puberty. I think it's worth it for the cover alone, but that's just me.

Dark Destiny, an oldish (but I think now reprinted?) collection of supernatural short stories published by White Wolf, a gaming company. The stories are not direct tie-ins to the games they publish but do deal with the same general types of supernatural themes and elements: vampires, ghosts, etc. It starts with a Harlan Ellison story that is genuinely great and includes some wild variance in quality.

The Crystal Singer series by Anne McCaffrey, which was the first series I realized had been written on a schedule such that the main character's development and the storylines would be targeted at specific reader ages. The first book is tween adventure, the second teen romance, the third young adult self-determination.

The Vampire Files, an omnibus of the first three Jack Fleming novels by Patricia Elrod. They're about a reporter in the 1930's who gets turned into a vampire and pals around with a British private eye and the vamp's own gorgeous lounge-singer girlfriend. Sooooooooooo trashy and fun.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:05 AM
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Yah ttaM!

at least not without large quantities of alcohol being involved.

You can fix this part pretty quickly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:09 AM
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106: Congratulations, doc.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:11 AM
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Congratulations, ttaM!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:22 AM
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Thanks, all.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:28 AM
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No revisions!!? I thought thesis advisors required revisions just to reassure you they'd read the thing! Are they trying to get rid of you?

(Congrats, most sincerely.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:45 AM
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re: 119

This is a resubmission after some fairly substantial changes* but yeah, I'm very pleased they didn't find even minor corrections to be made.

* to cover some papers I'd not covered at all -- in fact, wasn't even aware of -- and which the examiners felt ought to have been covered.**

** One of which was published after I actually wrote and shelved the chapter in question but before I actually submitted, so that was a mistake on my part.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:53 AM
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snoitalutargnoC, ttaM!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 8:05 AM
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SnoitaltargnoC.

That was what was written on all of these banners in the 80s.

http://solidarnosc.se/foto/malmo/md8.gif


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 8:12 AM
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It's a great feeling-- congratulations!


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 8:43 AM
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Felicitaciones, ttaM!

On books: I always recommend Elinor Lipman, romantic comedies for the 21st century that manage not to be glib or trendy. Particularly The Way Men Act. I also hear that her new one, The Family Man, is good.

I'm sure I mentioned Beginner's Greek a few months ago when I read it; if you can suspend your disbelief it is a delightful story of rich people falling in love and having their lives work out.

And then there's Sperm Wars, which I tried hard to drum up comment about here a few weeks ago. An evolutionary biologist's pop-culture explanation (complete with sexual skit at the beginning of each chapter) of the reproductive mechanics behind all kinds of human behavior. Fascinating -- though I still haven't gotten a good handle on how much of it to believe uncritically.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 9:00 AM
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I liked "Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music ". Not very beachy though.

On a recommendation from Kleinman (I think), I'm enjoying a series that uses Greek mythology for contempory fiction, by Rick Riordan. Greek bad guys are a welcome break from English mythology bad guys. Recommend those.

My daughter likes these. I just amazoned the latest one in the series for her.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 9:30 AM
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Well done ttaM! Great news.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 10:07 AM
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I borrowed the fantasy novel "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss from Amber and am really enjoying it. In fact, I will be sad when I'm done with it, because books 2 & 3 of the trilogy are not yet published. I don't know if anyone's recommended The Shadow of the Wind" (not at all related), but that's a good read too.


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 10:56 AM
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I have nothing to recommend, but I plan on reading nothing but comic books and science fiction/fantasy fro an entire week (maybe two!!) before diving back into 'real' appropriate stuff. Specifically I'm looking at The Name of the Wind and The Warrior Prophet. Whee Trash! And I'm also thinking of not reading anymore freakin' Kant. Ever.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 10:58 AM
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Borges and the Eternal Orangutans is much better than the title would have you think.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 10:59 AM
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127 wasn't even posted when I started writing my post! I'm glad you liked it, that's good to hear. It's been sitting next to my bed for several months and I just haven't had the chance to look at it yet.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 10:59 AM
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129: Unfortunately, that leaves a fair amount of room.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:01 AM
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122: It seems your thesis was a big hit among time-traveling Poles. ¡Starg!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:02 AM
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Congratulations, ttaM! I can't remember: does this mean you're a DhP now?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:02 AM
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I recommend this book because it's written by a friend and she's a very good storyteller, but it's not exactly escapist. You'll have to paint over the atrocious cover art too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:13 AM
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I think you should tell us which of the recommendations from the previous threads you have read.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:18 AM
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Oh, and congratulations, ttaM! That's fantastic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:50 AM
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Congrats, ttaM. What an achievement.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 11:54 AM
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133: Wouldn't he be a lihP.D?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:01 PM
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138: Maybe? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:03 PM
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Ph.D. Cantab

D. Phil. Oxon


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:06 PM
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140: Showoff.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:13 PM
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141: Yes, but that's why I originally phrased my comment as a question. I was trying to rein in my showoffingness a bit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:16 PM
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Whatever your precise title may be ttaM, congratulations!


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:17 PM
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So, ttaM now has to wear this to work? The UK is a funny place, man.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:23 PM
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142: I think you should have gone the other direction, with something like:

"M/tch, he's not at Cambridge. What the hell kind of moron are you?"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:24 PM
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144: Could be worse.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:25 PM
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Just to show what an American vulgarian I am, when I first saw the Vatican guard in person, I had this fleeting moment of "Wait, am I at Disney World?"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:28 PM
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144: He'd probably look better in a shorter heel, but rules are rules.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:28 PM
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147: I may have mentioned that while at the Vatican I saw a Swiss guardsman who looked uncannily like me (as in, the people I was with were doing a double-take) and thought, huh, I wouldn't have thought I could pull off wearing that outfit without surrendering every shred of my remaining dignity.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:35 PM
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149: So, how was the sex?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:38 PM
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wouldn't have thought I could pull off wearing that outfit without surrendering every shred of my remaining dignity.

to be fair, it can't be any worse than some polyester fast food uniforms.


Posted by: american vulgarian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:39 PM
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150 would be even funnier if "wearing" wasn't there in 149.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:39 PM
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152: And that's exactly why I put it there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:41 PM
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A friend did some research at the Vatican library and had the privilege of interacting with some members of the Swiss Guard who carried big guns. They also wear the Michaelangelo outfits.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:42 PM
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Jesus McQueen: objectively anti-fruit.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:47 PM
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I just didn't want it to hang so low. A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 12:52 PM
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A vote for YA fantasy, Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 2:16 PM
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Without reading all of the above, here are my oh-so-trashy recommendations:

Non-fiction: Kitchen Confidential

Fiction: Keeping It Real by Justina Robson

You can't really get much trashier than KIR. I think the author sat down to write the most over-the-top softcore fantasy/scifi ever. It's all about a female cyborg secret agent. And elves. It's quite the riot and first in a trilogy I plan on finishing this summer.


Posted by: Cheerylilgoth | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 3:04 PM
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A couple of Randy Powell's YA books stuck with me: Three Clams and an Oyster, Swiss Mist.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 4:04 PM
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Thread is totally dead! But, I think I might give Keeping it Real a go this summer. Thanks for the recommendation!


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 7:25 PM
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Kitchen Confidential is fun.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-09 8:02 PM
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Lois McMaster Bujold's somewhat racist fantasy of an all-white post-Apocalypse America, The Sharing Knife. (To be fair to me, I didn't pick up on the somewhat racist implications of there being no one but Caucasians in America till the third book.) Much easier read than her usual run: no emotional/moral challenges, also everyone is comfortably cisgendered and heterosexual.

Anything by Georgette Heyer except Simon Coldheart.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 1:22 AM
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also everyone is comfortably cisgendered and heterosexual.

There is one MMF marriage -- I suppose it's not spelled out who's having sex with whom.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:56 AM
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I suppose it's not spelled out who's having sex with whom.

And spoil all the romance???


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:20 AM
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162

Lois McMaster Bujold's somewhat racist fantasy of an all-white post-Apocalypse America, The Sharing Knife. ...

I have read the trilogy and thought it was set on some other planet. Is there some clue I missed? And I think the racist characterization is ridiculous.

That said I didn't like the trilogy as much as most of her other books.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:38 AM
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without large quantities of alcohol being involved

?????

Congratulations!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:17 AM
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I recently learned of a supposedly good and trashy mystery called The Interpretation of Murder. Freud is called in to solve it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:26 AM
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re: 167

Yeah, it's OK. The author makes use of some of Freud's actual cases in setting up part of the mystery. I can't say I loved it, but it was reasonably entertaining.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:34 AM
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165: The geography's identifiably US -- Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Chicago is mentioned IIRC as a destroyed city. And the farmer characters are written as second half of the 19th C Western farmer types. I did have the impression that it was post-apocalyptic in an alternate history, rather than ours, but I'm not sure what I base that impression on, beyond that it's hard to see how a civilization-destroying event in our future would generate low-tech farmers who were socially so much like our past.

Racist, eh. "Funny, there just aren't any non-white people around, how'd that happen?" is a racist trope if it happens too much. I'd tend to cut Bujold slack on it as she's certainly foregrounded issues of ethnicity and such (in an SFy far-future kind of way) in other books.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 11:48 AM
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And I'm with you on not being crazy about them --I'll buy the fourth when it comes out in paperback, but I'm not particularly holding my breath for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 11:49 AM
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162: Also, what's with Simon Coldheart? I've read a dozen or so Heyers (which, Becks? Excellent beach trash.) but not that one. What's wrong with it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 11:54 AM
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I'd tend to cut Bujold slack on it as she's certainly foregrounded issues of ethnicity and such (in an SFy far-future kind of way) in other books.

Oh god. You have no idea what a can of worms you're opening, LB.

(Ha, reading through that timeline I'd forgotten that it all started with a link to EotAW. ari has a lot to answer for.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 12:25 PM
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The Interpretation of Murder.

That sounds a little bit like The Seven-Percent Solution.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 12:28 PM
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I read a bunch of that as it was happening, and was thinking about it with the Read thing the other day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 12:31 PM
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It's also (part of) what led to my comment in 42.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 12:44 PM
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Looking at the link in 172 makes me realize that there's not much upside to reading the Internet.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 1:49 PM
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You've been commenting here for how long and hadn't figured it out?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 1:51 PM
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Actually, I rather like the Internet.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 2:00 PM
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169: In fact, Bujold novels tend to be pretty much all-white all-the-time (the only exception I can think of is The Spirit Ring, where the central character had a "Moorish" mother and is, apparently, about as white as Obama). But, when they're set in a fantasy world such as the one with the Five Gods, or on a bunch of other planets, it's possible to handwave the oddly all-white universe into a "funny things happen" corner. But when the tale is set in the US, some unspecified time in the future, and yet everyone just happens to be totally, completely white? Handwaving just doesn't work any more. (Books 1 and 2 took place within a limited geographical area: book 3 involves considerable travel, and so by the end of it, it was pretty clear that Bujold seems to have decided that an all-white America would just be nicer to write about.)

Simon Coldheart is one of the few Heyer novels that is just awesomely dull. I have no idea what her problem was when she wrote it, but Heyer herself said (her son admitted in a preface) that she'd just as soon it was never republished. Of course her heirs ignored this as soon as she'd snuffed it.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 2:13 PM
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But, when they're set in a fantasy world such as the one with the Five Gods,

Hrm. I'm not claiming that they had any interesting racial commentary from a social-issues point of view, but that series certainly had differing ethnicities that were physically distinguishable from each other -- I can't remember the name of the country, but the people where they worshipped four rather than five gods were described as having 'golden' skin. Sort of in the vein of Earthsea -- there are different ethnicities and skin colors, they just don't have any social connection to ours.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 2:25 PM
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Also, weren't the Lakewalkers supposed to have some Native American connection? I may have invented that in my own head; though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 2:33 PM
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180: Kind of a reverse-Earthsea: make the villainous culture non-white.

181: The Lakewalkers, as described, are Caucasians who live kind of like Disneyfied Native Americans.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 2:45 PM
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That whole RaceFail business is sort of jaw-dropping. I mean, not surprising in the sense that I've always known professional SF to be heavily infested with unthinking fuckwits carrying around an unearned sense of moral and intellectual superiority and all the defensiveness / dismissiveness that comes with it... but the behaviour of people like Stross and the Nielsen-Haydens, of whom I'd previously had a higher opinion, is genuinely shocking. WTF were they thinking? WTF are they thinking?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 2:58 PM
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I read 183 and then I was like, huh, maybe I'll learn what this is about. Then I clicked on 172 and I was like oh, good lord, no I won't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:02 PM
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184: I almost kind of wish I could ignore it, myself. But unfortunately I've just spent the last few months working on a book I hope to publish in the field, so it's relevant.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:05 PM
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Want to summarize? What have they done that's so annoying?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:08 PM
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Lots and lots of typical "the person of colour are just being emotional / looking for attention / making a mountain out of a molehill" crap, especially but not only on Stross'. Attempts to deploy the "how dare you post pseudonymously" tactic, and in some cases public outings of commenters who wouldn't go away. TNH put up a post castigating everybody for making Patrick feel bad, declared she was going to out them all to him and that she wouldn't be forgetting "what they had done" herself, and graciously said that if they came crawling with apologies he might be a sucker for it. (The post is only available in screencaps now because she deleted it and subsequently claimed, unconvincingly, not to have tried to threaten anyone.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:15 PM
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Huh.

She should have been in that thread the other day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:16 PM
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In fairness, some of the people on the other side of the debate look to be pretty frustrating. But only in a way that would justify disengaging with them, not haranguing and threatening them.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:52 PM
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188: How do you know she wasn't, Sifu?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:53 PM
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But only in a way that would justify disengaging with them, not haranguing and threatening them.

Wise advice* that I certainly should have followed the other day.

* I'm not just saying that because you're TOBC and therefore full of wisdom like, say, Bagger Vance. I know how touchy you people are. Really, I'm one of the good ones, I swear.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 3:59 PM
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191: Drat, I'd missed the Stross end of the RaceFail thing; I like his books, which makes bad behavior annoying. I suppose it's not worth delving back into it to figure out what he said.

That was a maddening series of events to try to follow without knowing most of the players beforehand, I understood chunks of it, but there was definitely a lot I missed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:11 PM
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192: Charlie initially jumped in and said some extremely unflattering/offensive things about the people on the non-honky side of the issue (in such a way as to prove their point once again). To his credit, once he got smacked around he apologized and seems to have understood precisely how badly he'd fucked up.

And knowing most of the players beforehand, unfortunately the whole episode just ended up reinforcing my opinions of them.

(Also, 189 gets it totally right.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:22 PM
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And having followed the whole RaceFail thing, it's painful to see the whole pattern playing out again in the Ruby/Rails community WRT gender instead of race. I swear, you could do a straight search-and-replace on a bunch of the responses.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:31 PM
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I read the original Elizabeth Bear post just now, and found nothing wrong with it. What kind of person am I?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:33 PM
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185: You know, I promised once that I'd review anything any commenter wrote -- and then of course failed to review a book of philosophical essays. But if, when it was finished and so forth, you wanted a low-brow review on a blog with negligible readership (and I think each and every one of you is individually negligible), I'd love to review it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:33 PM
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195: A white man, I'm guessing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:37 PM
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195: I don't think there was much wrong with the blogpost -- things started hopping with an "Open Letter" from a woman of color posting as Avalon? or maybe that was the name of her blog? to Bear in response to her initial blogpost that took issue with the racial politics in one of Bear's books. I haven't read the book, but my impression from the reactions to the Open Letter is that there was certainly room for goodfaith disagreement about how objectionable Bear's book was. Where things got ugly was at step three, the reactions to the Open Letter, which went past goodfaith disagreement into dismissive hostility.

(This is a rough summary, and not knowing the people it may be kind of garbled.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:37 PM
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Or, from reading 196, maybe Bear's initial blogpost was the problem and I missed it too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:40 PM
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White men like you and Elizabeth Bear are so oblivious.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:43 PM
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195: AFAICS, aside from the fuss around the Open Letter and responses to it, the shit really hit the fan when the discussion spun out into broader territory than the Elizabeth Bear post. Bear actually acquitted herself pretty well.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:45 PM
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196: It's a long way from being at that point yet, but thank you. I may take you up on that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:46 PM
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201: Yeah, my impression is that Bear was a very minor wrongdoer in that whole thing, if at all.

For a global impression, you know where I think it went bad? People expressing solidarity -- here's a nice person getting unfairly beaten up over racism, and I'm going to come in swinging to defend her. And that's almost always going to be a mistake on racial issues; even if the initial issue is somewhat overblown (which, everyone's human, sometimes it's going to be) third-parties trying to authoritatively straighten things out are really likely to screw up in an ugly way. If you want to defend someone else from being called racist, that's a good time to go get a glass of water and think hard about whether you really need to come into the discussion at a high level of intensity,


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 4:56 PM
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203: also, there's the whole "taking internet fights way, way to seriously" thing, which similarly should be treated as if it were dehydration.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:03 PM
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203, 204: Exactly. The "getting worked up over Internet fights" was one thing that surprised me about the Nielsen-Haydens, who are supposed to have some degree of Net savvy and should really have known better.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:07 PM
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Eh, the internet isn't fundamentally different than other means of communication, it's people talking to people, and it's as important as fights between people ever are. The whole anonymity/no one knows you're a dog thing is an argument for not taking things seriously, but between people who know each other, it's as serious as anything else is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:08 PM
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205: After the whole Violet Blue/BoingBoing thing, no one should have been surprised by TNH's behavior. Her rep for being a genius at managing online communities was always overblown (and her temper and self-righteousness was obvious to anyone who'd dealt with her before), but that blowup really put paid to it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:21 PM
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194: what's up with that, anyway? I saw some minor offshoot of it on facebook via this guy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:33 PM
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LB, I think you're absolutely right about the "jumping in to defend" dynamic. Another dynamic that I've noticed in internet spats is that people can be very familiar with someone else in a certain way because they've read a lot of that person's posts and/or comments, and yet never have "spoken" to them much until they're finally moved to do so by some minor trigger.

So, for example, commenter A may find commenter Z's comments or online behavior annoying on a regular basis, but never really engages them because, well, they're annoying.

Then commenter Z says something that A finds particularly annoying, or commenter A is just having a bad day, and so A lets loose on Z with the full force of all that stored up annoyance.

From Z's perspective, and that of others who don't have a problem with Z, or didn't witness or participate in earlier interactions between A and Z, it probably looks pretty baffling ("where the hell did that come from?"), but in A's mind it's justified because of that long list of annoying Z stuff that A has been catalogueing and saving up for all that time.

I'm trying to be explanatory, not exculpatory, by the way. In the above example it would be better for A just to chill out, or, perhaps, engage in a smaller way on a more regular basis, rather than save up crap for a "major intervention".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:35 PM
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208: This is a good summary. It's expanded since that post, but that's a decent starting point.

It still amuses me that you know that guy. The Internet is way too small.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:39 PM
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206: I disagree, but it seems so orthogonal that I don't want to argue it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:40 PM
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Bear actually acquitted herself pretty well.

Right up to the point where she said "oh BTW I was lying when I said I took AW's concerns seriously", I'd agree with you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:41 PM
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I disagree, but it seems so orthogonal that I don't want to argue it.

Now how are we going to prove LB right with an attitude like that?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:45 PM
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Well, I almost disagree with myself -- I brackeded out the anonymity, but you really can't in most internet contexts, you're always dealing with at least some people who are anonymous strangers to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:49 PM
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I'm a little surprised that I agree with LB's 206, because I'd rather not: it'd be so much easier to wave a dismissive hand at such spats blowouts, but actually they do have ramifications beyond the computer screen each of us sits in front of. Just hard to acknowledge that at times, and this place actually teaches me quite a bit about it. Yay unfogged?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 5:53 PM
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214: I could agree with you and elaborate in some other directions, but that's too similar to arguing my point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:00 PM
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I despair of you, Tweety.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:02 PM
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You're likely to have way, way more luck telling people "don't take internet arguments so seriously" than you are saying "when you're talking to somebody on the internet, treat it just like you're talking to them in person" because the latter is nonintuitive in fairly key ways.

There, Josh.

Jerk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:08 PM
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212: Oh, see, I didn't see that one. That's too bad.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:10 PM
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And of course the corollary to 218 is that the person you're talking to is likely not to be treating you as if they were talking to you in person, which makes reciprocation tricky.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:11 PM
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||

I'll say for the record, in case it hasn't become clear, that I regret the huge scene a year and a half ago in which I argued tremendously with AWB, and was less than as sensitive as I should have been. It's a source of consternation. I like AWB and feel we have a couple of things in common, and it's perhaps a case of giving a harder time to people you sort of understand. But this is not an excuse. I apologize.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:12 PM
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Jerk.

That's more like it!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:12 PM
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220: right. And when you're dealing with a large group of people talking about an emotionally fraught subject, somebody's going to lose track at some point of the fact that the words on the screen correspond in some way with the inner emotional state of some invisible person, and they're going to express their own emotional reaction to those words without the empathy that would come naturally talking face to face, and then, if everybody else is taking it as "this is something this person said to my face", all hell breaks loose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:15 PM
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219: I saw it, and remember it as less bad than Josh is presenting it as; closer to "My initial response to the open letter was governed by wanting to make it clear that I'm not entitled to say anyone's feelings of hurt on a racial issue are wrong. But with a little more distance, I do think that the writer was misreading my book; still entitled to her feelings, but they seem to have been generated by an inaccurate assessment of what was literally in the book."

But certainly saying it didn't help. In any case, it was nuanced enough that I'd look it up (it's got to be visible -- RaceFail must have been the most indexed internet spat ever) before thinking very ill of Bear over it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:17 PM
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206, 211: I think it does add some elements such as the mix of known, lightly "disguised" and heavily disguised participants and the relatively limited modes of communication available (many of them open to be read by the world) that give it a unique twist.

My first experience of a really serious online squabble was back in the late 80s/very early 90s* where some guy at the place where I worked got in way, way deep in some manner of online RPG. It came to light when a letter came addressed to something like "Supervisor of XYZ" claiming that XYZ had threatened his life. The letter was a rambling mess of real names and pseuds that attempted to explain how things in the game had come to that pass. I recall the WTF? puzzlement of the relevant manager as she attempted to sort out what was really going on.

*Now I expect a bunch of stories of drama on early BBs and the like.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:18 PM
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*Now I expect a bunch of stories of drama on early BBs and the like.

It was exactly the same as it is now and always will be.

I had a friend whose epic hacker feud (well, the feud between LOD and MOD, of which he was a part) culminated in him getting his wallet stolen, which was at least more novel than threatening to drop his dox or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:24 PM
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225 less coherent even by my usual low standards due to distressing hockey action.

And speaking of that, semi-OT is this story of an online "death threat" to Ovechkin that has gotten a lot of play in DC and Pittsburgh.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:29 PM
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227: FUCK. I quit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:30 PM
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227: I've been pretty goddamn incoherent in the past several comments. Let us be this way together!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:32 PM
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Now I expect a bunch of stories of drama on early BBs and the like.

Yeah. I wasn't participating quite that early on, but we all know that usenet had its days, and epics. I'm not sure I'd say things are the same now. Though the one still-semi-raging usenet war I'm personally aware of is occurring on an sf writers' group. Hm.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:35 PM
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Here's the Elizabeth Bear "I was lying" post"; on rereading, it's less conciliatory than my paraphrase, but still worth reading before thinking ill of her. If you wanted to think ill of her after reading it, that'd be a not entirely unreasonable option.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:46 PM
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230: An element that added piquancy to a lot of early Usenet scuffles was that most people only had relatively easily identifiable access points and/or e-mail addresses from their work or school. (And then Deja News fronted by search engines came along and freaked a lot of people out. Including yours truly.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:46 PM
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231: I would have expected her, in the spirit of frank and open discussion, to post it someplace easier to link to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:48 PM
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Dammit! Stupid front page posters and their comment editing ruining my joke.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:48 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:51 PM
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Based on the theory that only one person on the internet cares about hockey I have deduced that JP is Bérubé.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:57 PM
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I've seen a couple of particularly nasty fights break out over selective comment editing. It really is something to use with a very light hand. Nosflow is one of the masters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:57 PM
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The linked journal in 231 is interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:58 PM
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Thanks, JP, but I think that's going a little too far.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:58 PM
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I am insulted on MB's behalf. (And somewhere Scott Lemieux is sulking.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 6:59 PM
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237.last: Danger, Will Robinson.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:00 PM
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I go into people's comments and fix their tags with gay abandon if I'm around in real time; anything other than that would make me very skittish. I even get weird reading blogs where the poster responds to comments by interpolating bracketed responses in the comment -- that seems really intrusive to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:01 PM
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238: It really is interesting. I wish I'd read the book criticized -- I'd have a totally different reaction depending on whether I thought the initial criticism was way off base or not. (Of course, that's privileging my perspective over the critic's, but I don't think I can manage not to do that.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:03 PM
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the words on the screen correspond in some way with the inner emotional state of some invisible person, and they're going to express their own emotional reaction to those words without the empathy that would come naturally talking face to face

That's very well put. And the main reason, no doubt, why internet spats can quickly turn nasty and then escalate out of control (the same group of people who get into an online flamewar, would probably, if speaking face-to-face, not allow things to get to that nasty phase in the first place [speaking in general, obviously, because of course people do have fights IRL], due to any number of social conventions that govern IRL conservations, and also due to the important social cues of facial expression, body language, etc).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:10 PM
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This conversation is somewhat disconcerting for me because I happen to know someone named Elizabeth Bear. I haven't followed any of the links, but I'm pretty sure it's not the same person.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:14 PM
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243: But I'm trying not to become immersed in the dispute itself, LB. It's clear that a lot of people are very, very upset (I gathered that from the original wiki about it linked upthread). It's somewhat fascinating, but is a little bit now like watching a train-wreck and trying not to be really sad. The question of how and whether [insert majority group of choice] should treat of [insert minority group] is highly fraught and long-standing. Certainly comes up time and again in the sf/fantasy community.

That's not meant to dismiss the original dispute itself by any means.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:14 PM
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Further to 246: Which is to say that I begin to see why the entire affair is dubbed RaceFail.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:19 PM
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242: The only comment edits I recall really noticing were:

1) When Ben removed some lyrical effort of his here. And teo and I both called him on it.

2) I certainly understand why it was removed, but I thought my Serdar Argic challenge to you-know-who made for great Internet. (Back in the day deciding how to deal with Argic roiled Usenet.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:20 PM
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248: For the record, I wouldn't describe my response to ben's edit there as "calling him on it."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:23 PM
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Yeah. The merits of that bit of it are interesting though -- how does a white person intending to be non-racist properly handle a situation where a person of color identifies their words or actions as racist, and after sober self-reflection, the white person thinks "Nope, they're wrong, what I did/said was fine." Putting it like that, the obvious initial response is "Look at yourself harder, you're probably wrong." But sometimes, just on the grounds that everyone's human and failible, it is going to be the case that the criticism was off base. If (and I haven't read the book, so I don't know) that was the case, it's unclear to me how Bear should most appropriately have reacted to the criticism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:23 PM
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Beach reading:

1. How to sandproof the Kindle 2.

2. The XKCD, the book.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:23 PM
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249: For the record, I wouldn't describe my response to ben's edit there as "calling him on it."

I would, but maybe I missed some nuance of tone-of-voice or facial expression.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:26 PM
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Based on the theory that only one person on the internet cares about hockey

HURRICANES, BITCHES.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:26 PM
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248: Ogged burned me once just like I burned Sifu in 233 -- he made a comment ending in midsentence, I cracked a joke about it, and he fixed it as my joke was posting. But that sort of thing doesn't happen much,


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:29 PM
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PENS WIN IN OT!!


Posted by: Not Michael Bérubé | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:40 PM
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250: If (and I haven't read the book, so I don't know) that was the case, it's unclear to me how Bear should most appropriately have reacted to the criticism.

Mm, as I said, I don't really want to get involved in the merits.

So ben engages in profligate comment editing as a front page poster?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:43 PM
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Oh, you think I'm going to take the bait, do you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:46 PM
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ARGH goddamit foiled by sloppy tags argh.

he made a comment ending in midsentence, I cracked a joke about it, and he fixed it as my joke was posting. But that sort of thing doesn't happen much,

Oh, you think I'm going to take the bait, do you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:47 PM
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They play hockey off-topic?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:48 PM
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259: I was metaphorically celebrating the triumph of literacy in ancient Palestine.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 7:53 PM
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223: somebody's going to lose track at some point of the fact that the words on the screen correspond in some way with the inner emotional state of some invisible person

This is why an idea I've thought about from time-to-time (and which may come to pass) is probably a really bad one. Namely, to have some means of creating and displaying text messages to other drivers. Internet Road. The truck chase in Mad Max would pale in comparison.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:07 PM
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I'll say more to this, since I just finished the Bear livejournal post linked in 231:

250: If (and I haven't read the book, so I don't know) that was the case, it's unclear to me how Bear should most appropriately have reacted to the criticism.

What I'd originally written was: Assuming I'm understanding the situation correctly -- I think I am, but correct me if not -- she had a couple of choices. Just back off and don't contest the person of color's criticism. Or back off and let someone else do that. Or compose an extremely careful and thoughtful response to the person of color's criticism, avoiding in a serious manner any sound of aggressive defensiveness. I don't know if she did that last.

That last is almost impossible to accomplish. So I'd have gone for one of the initial options -- back off. It surprised me that she seems to have said that she should have done just that at the close of that livejournal post. (Again, I have not followed subsequent or even previous events, so who knows.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:07 PM
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261: yeah, I've imagined programmable LED signs, like one reversed ambulance style in the front window, and one in the rear window. Boy would that lead to some people getting killed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:08 PM
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Come on, I know you're out there you fuckers. I reject that other people have actual social lives or more compelling things to do. Better.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:09 PM
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263; Because I am Pollyanna, I could see a use for a sign saying either "Sorry" or "Thanks". You can do "thanks" okay with a little wave, but "Sorry" is hard in gestures.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:11 PM
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There's an X-Files where someone is manipulating LED displays, with murderous results.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:11 PM
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265: there is definitely a problem with the fact that your methods of communication in cars are so limited. Even the ones that are available have too many contradictory meanings attached. Maybe cars need to change color, mood ring style. "Uh oh, red car is angry! Maybe let them pass." "Oh, look, blue car is happy we let them in! You're welcome, blue car!" "Yikes, green car is about to puke all over the place. Maybe let them over."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:14 PM
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265: Because I am Pollyanna

Yes, this.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:15 PM
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e.g. that little hand wave can be fucking enraging; "you cut me off, you fucker, and the fact that you're giving me a little cheery wave does not make me feel better."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:15 PM
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Puce car wishes to guilt-trip you into driving appropriately. I had a very low speed zipper merge situation earlier today. Two lanes going down to one, I'd just let one car in ahead of me, and the car behind that one was inching up in front of me rather than dropping back to merge in behind me. I did a long stare at the woman driving: "Yes, I see you driving obnoxiously, please stop it." She avoided looking at me for twenty seconds or so, but once she made eye contact, she dropped back.

Unfortunately, most driving happens too fast to do that sort of sustained guilt-tripping.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:18 PM
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221: I just saw this, and want to say that I know you and I have both been making a much better effort to understand each other and not get so easily riled up. It was as much my fault as yours. I didn't mean to be all "feel sorry for me" the other day, and I apologize if it made anyone feel bad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:19 PM
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267: But the problem is that like the 'net you can only get a small part of the way there. Enough to piss people off, but enough nuance to calm them down. I do think a simple Sorry/Thanks/Please(maybe) system might help, but I recall the electric buses in Dayton, Ohio, which were constrained in their movements by overhead wires, having little "please" signs they could stick out when they *really* needed to move over. And per 269, even these were resented by car drivers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:22 PM
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but not enough


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:23 PM
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You guys have a lot more road engagement than I do. I zone out. Except when someone throws trash out the window. That pisses me off. I don't like it when people spit, either, but that's probably me. I may occasionally become annoyed with really fast or really slow drivers. Don't you have radios in your cars? Listen to CSPAN radio! You can, like, listen to all sorts of serious and absorbing shit that you never even knew about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:25 PM
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272: right.

Actually I feel like it's pretty remarkable how much information you can out of the "body language" of a car moving. A testament to the fungibility of proprioception and empathy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:25 PM
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"you can get out of"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:26 PM
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Unfogged Amnesty thread.

I was hasty and angry in response to ari once. I willfully misread essear in one thread.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:26 PM
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The specific event in 270 never really bothers me; I bully my way in so that the 1, 1 merge will be maintained. I figure everybody's pushing as much as they can, and that's fine. The natural flow of traffic will lead to a 1, 1 merge if that happens.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:27 PM
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Unfogged Amnesty thread.

I regret nothing.

Actually I'm sure that's not true.

I can't really remember all the mean things I've said to people.

There!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:27 PM
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271: Oh, good. I wanted to be clear. Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:27 PM
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269:I do worry about that. NYC driving is heavily 'kindness of strangers' dependent -- you're always doing something weird because it's just so crowded, and everyone else is driving weird too. I wave at people a lot, and hopw that it comes off appreciative rather than obnoxious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:28 PM
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278: Yeah, I was just annoyed that she was making me ride the bumper of the car ahead of me to keep her from pushing in out of turn. But guilting worked.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:30 PM
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||

Anybody have any big ideas for what I should do with these radish greens?

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:32 PM
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NYC driving is heavily 'kindness of strangers' dependent

DC driving seems to revolve around being lucky enough not to get hit. I've never driven here, but as a pedestrian and bus passenger I've seen all kinds of crazy things. There was a report last year that, measured by some company's (or companies') insurance claims, DC is the most dangerous driving are in the country.

As a pedestrian, I've spit on cars a couple of times that cut me off making right turns. I don't think they noticed (actually, the first time I think they were going too fast and I missed). I also kicked the hubcap of a cab in NYC as it went by cutting me off at a corner and spraying water at me in the rain. They might have noticed that one.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:36 PM
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DC is the most dangerous driving are in the country.

A natural product of far-and-away the stupidest road layout. And I say this as a Bostonian.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:38 PM
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283: Eat them raw. Sauté them. Stick them in your underwear. Anything goes.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:39 PM
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284.2 eb in New York (supposedly spontaneous).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:41 PM
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As a driver, I've gotten tired of doing things like following closer than I want just to maintain 1 to 1 merges, though in some cases I'll still do that.

What I hate most are people who will follow too close when you're driving the speed you want but who will drive much more slowly if they pass you and get in front. I've let people who seemed to want to pass pass a number of times on long drives only to have that happen. And then when I pass they speed up again, sometimes by 10-15 mph or more. I've tested this out by going even faster than I want to in the hope of getting some separation. I've finally settled on dealing with them by taking my foot off the gas but not braking. It takes a surprisingly long time for people to notice how slow they've started going. Then they go away.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:41 PM
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231: I'm actually still inclined to feel fairly sympathetic to Bear, whose initial post wasn't anything terrible and who really did try, in the first instance, to be nice about things.

OTOH, even by the point she was making that post it seems to me that things had moved way beyond the exchange between her and her initial antagonist. The whole "me and people I love are being called vile, evil things" thing seems hard to support from the actual words of almost anyone on the "anti-racist" side of the debate... unless The Lurkers Are Defaming Them In E-Mail. The exception, again, would be the original antagonist, who (not to put too fine a point on it) seems like a bit of a nut, but she was a small part of the picture by that point, and most of the other people on the "anti-racist" end of things look pretty reasonable and constructive by comparison, if still tremendously irritated.

By the later stages, the writers' posts -- Bear included -- are increasingly larded with apocryphal but nonspecific accusations of psychotic harassment in meatspace by the other side. It's impossible to assess any of that, except that the only people who can actually be seen on the Nets doing the really crazy harassing shit seem to be people like Kathryn Cramer, Will Shetterley, and unfortunately TNH. (Which, Josh is right, is less surprising having looked at the whole Violet Blue thing.) So it's hard to know what to make of all that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:43 PM
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I have noticed that wb, and been guilty of it. Dunno why, but I swear it is not a conscious behavior.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:45 PM
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NYC driving is heavily 'kindness of strangers' dependent -- you're always doing something weird because it's just so crowded, and everyone else is driving weird too.

NYC driving makes me crazy. Mr MC thinks I lack social trust, because I'm always blurting out things like, "Jesus Christ, they drive like fools!" and "Watch that guy in the next lane, he's obviously a maniac!" That's when I'm in the passenger seat, of course. When I'm the driver, I approach the whole thing with a calm fatalism, which says, 'I really hope I don't get rear-ended, though I fully expect to, but anyway I'll just forge ahead'.

I don't think I lack social trust in general. But when it comes to NYC driving, I've yet to acclimatize myself to that 'accommodation of weirdness because we all have to drive weirdly' thing.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:46 PM
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267: Someone's been reading Traffic again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:47 PM
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Don't you have radios in your cars?

No, actually. At least, not right now. I'm currently driving the truck I drove in high school and college, which has no radio. I didn't mind it back when I was driving it then, but the SUV I've been driving lately (until my sister got in an accident with it resulting in a significant amount of damage that had yet to be repaired as of my last knowledge of the situation) does have a radio and I've gotten used to having it. Doing the same 300-mile round trip drive every other week for months on end has a way of making one appreciative of having something to listen to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:49 PM
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292: just remembering it fondly. Although I had actually gotten there with merges before reading it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:53 PM
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I too find that NYC driving works OK, with what might be called "aggressive social trust" (to steal and augment MC's phrase), which I think characterizes a lot of how the city works in general. Here people are sometimes too nice on the road, for instance the other day someone stopped and let me make a left in front of them when they were the last in a long line of cars. You have the right-of-way, just fucking go already, trust me I can deal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:54 PM
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286: underwear it is!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:54 PM
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288: they don't want to be the lead car in the pack, because they're worried about speeding, and they don't have a good sense of safe distance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:57 PM
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295: heh, people do that to me when I'm on my bike here. No, really, you don't have to veer waaaay out and get 100 feet in front of me in order to turn right. But if you would use your signal, that would be nice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:58 PM
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294: Another suboptimal P'burgh "nice" feature, the merge point often forms way back from ... well, the merge point. Creates confusion and sometimes pushes the backup back into intersections that should not be involved.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:58 PM
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I seem to understand completely what eb describes in 288. (The drivers described are either tailgaters who have a hard time knowing that, or they're just spastic in their driving speeds.)

It takes a surprisingly long time for people to notice how slow they've started going. Then they go away.

Yeah, yeah it does. So, so satisfying. Mind, this only happens once or twice a year.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 8:59 PM
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288: they don't want to be the lead car in the pack, because they're worried about speeding, and they don't have a good sense of safe distance.

I know. But it doesn't annoy me less for knowing. Plus, the couple times I tried to speed away, the followers were all too willing to drive above 80 for me to have sympathy for the desire not to speed while in front. But the people I'm thinking of drive below the speed limit when they're in front, not at it. If they drove at it, I wouldn't be so annoyed. (Maybe mildly annoyed, but I'm thinking particularly of stretches of 101 I used to drive where the limit was 70. 70 is fine.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:04 PM
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Or, possibly what Sifu says in 297.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:05 PM
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301: yeah, I mean, they just might not be checking their speedometer. I dunno.

It's a stupid way to avoid a ticket, but I know people who think it's gold. "If I'm behind another car, the cop can't see me!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:09 PM
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When I first started driving, I used to keep very close to the speed limit on long drives when I was by myself, then speed up when someone passed me - but never all the way to their speed - then slowly let that car get farther ahead until it was out of sight, then get back to the speed limit. Probably didn't help me avoid a ticket, but it was something to break up the monotony.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:15 PM
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304: that's more-or-less what I do; I'll stay within 10 mph or so of the speed limit unless there's a car going faster in the immediate vicinity, in which case I'll try to go as fast as I can while still being apparently slower than them.

I also try to goad people who are driving aggressively into driving faster by making like I might pass them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:20 PM
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304: On long trips I try to sucker kids into races and let them win. Cops love live mice.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:22 PM
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Maybe they're just driving a VW bus, which goes faster on straightaways and down hills, to the extent that you go really fast on downhills (comparatively, in order to build up speed), and slows to a crawl on uphills. You try to be sensitive to the other drivers in that situation, but basically you're doing the best you can.

It's like you people have no empathy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:25 PM
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295, 299: That makes P'burgh sound a lot like Portland. If you actually drive up to the merge point, people get upset at you for being an aggressive East Coast asshole. And four-way stops around here can be excruciating: will somebody please fucking go through the intersection?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:27 PM
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I've settled* into keeping within 5-7 mph of the speed limit fairly constantly and letting people go by without taking much notice, with the exceptions already noted. The exception is on freeways where the two fastest lanes are at something like 80 or 65. I'll usually go 80, but I don't like to do that for long distances. The difference between 80 and the low 70s/high 60s was especially noticeable when gas prices were high.

*Well, when I start driving again. I haven't driven in a few months. I always find it weird to readjust to driving after long periods away from it. But I'll be driving a lot this summer, so I guess I better get used to it again.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:29 PM
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Tangentially related to driving, I just got back from seeing Goodbye Solo, a movie about a cab driver and his regular passenger. Roger Ebert is raving about the director, a North Carolinian of Iranian descent.

At first I was afraid I was seeing the stereotypical happy, cheerful black man draw the old crotchety white man out of his shell, but within three or four minutes I was convinced the movie was about two people, not identitarian politics.

It's quite gorgeous, though a bit melancholy. Go see it if you can.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:30 PM
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North Carolinian of Iranian descent.

The Iranian traffic film tradition (this link incorporates by reference all the relevant comments on that thread) continues.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:34 PM
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It's Saturday night, isn't it?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:35 PM
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A related irksome thing sometimes happens when you are behind someone on a hilly or mountainous two-lane road who is going much slower than you would like on the winding parts. When the road straightens for a bit and you can pass, they speed up (I suspect because they are finally comfortable doing so and are feeling guilty about slowing you down) and you miss your opportunity to pass. Stay slow so I *can* pass and then we'll both be through with this little dance of mild tension and annoyance.

Writing this, I do realize, however, that the frequency of two-lane road passes (and pass opportunities) has decreased for me over the decades. (Although my daughter's very rurally-situated college has resulted in a recent revival.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:36 PM
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312: Yes,">http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_9776.html#1028677>Yes,


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:38 PM
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314: How much wronger tagging? None. None more wrong.

Yes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:40 PM
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I'm here for you, JP.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:41 PM
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313: I try to make sure the car passes in that situation if I'm the slower one. I've even used turnouts when that's been an option (and have seen others do the same for me). But it's been a long time since I've driven that sort of road.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:43 PM
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313: In a lot of New England states, where there's hilliness involved, roads include passing lanes just for short distances on hills, just so vehicles that aren't challenged by the hills can pass the ones who are. The ones who are challenged are expected to pull over to the slower lane, and you drive with an eye toward this. It works pretty well, though older roads that are really based on old Indian trails, narrow two-lanes each way, obviously don't have these passing lanes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:43 PM
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It still kind of freaks me out to pass cars/trucks where you have to get into the oncoming traffic lane to do it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:45 PM
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In a lot of New England states, where there's hilliness involved, roads include passing lanes just for short distances on hills, just so vehicles that aren't challenged by the hills can pass the ones who are.

This is common in the west as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:45 PM
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The same principle applies to short passing lanes. (And passing lanes have become more common here in Pa., even though PenDOT is thoroughly suckillicious.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:49 PM
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320: Yeah, that would make sense.

I like in a rather flat place here in the mid-Atlantic now, so none of this awareness of other people's driving needs is in place. I *enjoy* driving in New England ('course, it's also home).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 9:52 PM
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320: Making me want to go drive around New Mexico again. Chaco. Valles Caldera. Jemez. El Malpais. The penis rocks between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The road from Taos to Chama (one of my all-time favorites). Maybe this fall. With the leeches dear children all in college then, we can vacation whenever we fucking want again. Woo-hoo, offseason! (There is this money issue thingy, however.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:00 PM
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I forget if I've driven around New Mexico, but driving around the desert (assuming it's the kind of desert with mountains and whatever) is just the greatest.

JP you should go to Quartzsite Arizona. You're getting right into the right age range!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:10 PM
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324: You're getting right into the right age range!

Why thank you.

I've been through it a few times on I-10, but that ain't much. (Interstates are kinda threads of suburbia linking metropolitan areas together, although you do get the scenery.). Have spent a lot more time in northern and eastern Arizona.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:18 PM
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The penis rocks between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

I presume you mean these.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:19 PM
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326: Yeah, but they aren't quite as penisy as I remember them. Hmmmm.

Don't know if you hiked up around the back side, but you go through a great, very narrow little canyon carved into those banded volcanic deposits.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:30 PM
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I didn't go up the trail to the top on that visit, though I've done it before. On this visit I went on the other trail, which stays on the lower level. The rocks don't look quite as penisy in that area.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:32 PM
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I oddly (or perhaps stupidly) feel comfortable driving on the 401 (aka the King's Highway) in Ontario, which doesn't make any sense at all: it's a very busy highway, with lots of accidents, some of them fatal, and they're always scraping casualties off the road. Just what you're used to, I guess.

But in fact! I enjoy driving in New England precisely because it seems more civilized, and that much safer.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:33 PM
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New Mexico's agriculture must specialize in fruits of the low-hanging varieties.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:34 PM
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329.2: Except, of course, in Boston, where they are a bunch of maniacs, and you really have to be on your toes. None of this lolling about on gently rolling hills, just toodling along, courteously yielding, and looking out for a babbling stream by the wayside at which to pull over and have a picnic.*

* My family and I used to do that. Good times!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:48 PM
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lolling about on gently rolling hills, just toodling along, courteously yielding, and looking out for a babbling stream by the wayside at which to pull over and have a picnic.*

* My family and I used to do that.

I always knew (or strongly suspected, at any rate) there were families like yours!

Yeah, Boston is crazy. Makes NYC look like a box-lunch social.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 11:01 PM
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169

The geography's identifiably US -- Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Chicago is mentioned IIRC as a destroyed city. ...

The maps sort of resemble the US but I don't think they are identical and I missed any reference to Chicago. In any case this being a future America plays no part in the plot. I generally assume this sort of book is set in an alternative universe unless explicated stated otherwise because of the whole magic thing.

Racist, eh. "Funny, there just aren't any non-white people around, how'd that happen?" is a racist trope if it happens too much. I'd tend to cut Bujold slack on it as she's certainly foregrounded issues of ethnicity and such (in an SFy far-future kind of way) in other books.

Actually in the sharing knife series the Lakewalkers and the farmers are depicted as ethnically distinct with various mutual prejudices and a taboo against intermarriage.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 11:44 PM
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Actually in the sharing knife series the Lakewalkers and the farmers are depicted as ethnically distinct

Actually, both groups are depicted as Caucasian. "Ethnically distinct", but both groups are white.

I generally assume this sort of book is set in an alternative universe unless explicated stated otherwise because of the whole magic thing.

I think Diane Duane's Door series is a better example of real AU Earth that just happens to have similar geography. The Sharing Knife sequence contains a lot of strong hints that this takes place in a post-Catastrophe America. Somehow, no one who wasn't white survived.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 4:13 AM
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This isn't meant to be a killing blow to your argument -- to the extent you're talking about the lack of people with historic/social links to ethnicities in our world/history other than white people rather than purely the lack of literally non-white by skin color people, that still stands -- but I'm fairly sure, to the point of being willing to go find quotes if you want me to, that the Lakewalkers are described as copper-skinned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 5:18 AM
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Open road, I set the cruise at 80, as a general proposition, unless I'm in Montana. Then it's 90. People of the NJ Turnpike move aside just as readily as anywhere else, IME, and that's about as crowded as open roads get. I'll have to drop out of warp every now and then when someone pulls in front of me to pass someone else at 72, but it never lasts very long.

Now that I think about it, I probably set at 90 driving US 60 from Fort Sumner to Abo a few years back.

Keeps me alert.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 5:48 AM
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Speaking of open road cruising, I'm going for a drive (DC to Missoula) in July, and am surprised to find, via Google Maps, how little difference it makes in time to go via Denver, instead of the usual route through Minneapolis.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 6:08 AM
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335: I'm curious enough myself to go look it up, though right now I'm lying on my back with a hot water bottle delivering heat magic. My back went out earlier today. I am willing it to get better by tomorrow. I do not recall "copper skins".


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 9:31 AM
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I'm late to the party, and intervening conversations are more interesting but:

19 - I like McCrumb's Appalachian mysteries better than her SF fan service mysteries. If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, etc. Good beach books!
48 - Sadly, Parasite Pig is pretty bad. Which is a shame, because Interstellar Pig is pretty fantastic. (House of Stairs and The Green Futures of Tycho were mindblowingly grim YASF when I was 10 or so.) Oddballs, Sleator's childhood memoir, is up in its entirety on Sleator's brother's site.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 10:15 AM
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unless I'm in Montana. Then it's 90

One of the many reasons to love Montana. During my yearly trek to see my sister there last summer, I was daydreaming while driving, lost track of my speed, and got pulled over for going about 90. In New York, I would have been in fear of being dragged off to jail for reckless driving (well, at least a huge fine for reckless driving). In Montana, a $25 fine.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 10:40 AM
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The Green Futures of Tycho

Oh, I dug that one. Interstellar Pig, too, although for some reason I never read the follow-up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 11:40 AM
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335: Bah, I hate it when other people are righter than me. I found my copy and there is a reference when describing Dag to "coppery skin".

My back still hurts, but no longer feels like it's about to go out again.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 12:10 PM
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Bah, I hate it when other people are righter than me.

It's a mitzvah -- your missing a detail lets me feel all clever. Trust me, I'll be returning the favor sometime soon.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 12:46 PM
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I probably set at 90 driving US 60 from Fort Sumner to Abo a few years back.

An area that I've actually never been to but have been meaning to visit. I hear Mountainair's a neat town.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 1:14 PM
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...Beach read: _The Gone-Away World_, which is a very tidy Aliens! Explosions! Ghosts! Kung-Fu Vendettas! novel and therefore fun on the beach-reading level (and the cover is properly garish); but there's an allegory in it that I absolutely love, so your brain doesn't need to shut down entirely.

Also, long enough for vacation.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 1:40 PM
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5

Here's a vote against the Dresden series. I just tried one (Dead Beat) and didn't particularly care for it.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-10-09 6:01 PM
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Jes: Lois Bujold is getting a fair bit of criticism over at Tor.com for defending her friend Patricia Wrede's book The Thirteenth Child. Apparently to have a scenario where NorAm megafauna survived to modern times, Wrede created a setting where magical barriers prevented any settlement of NorAm until recently, including by the ancestors of First Nations etc. (who apparently stayed in Asia).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-11-09 3:59 AM
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