Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Kenya, Publicity, and "Walk the Line"

The Kenyan constitutional referendum has been soundly defeated. What this means for President Kibaki is not clear. The BBC has a forum with comments from readers (though many of them appear to be expatriate Kenyans).

I've written about this before, but as I understand it this is not a clearly good or bad thing for Kenya. The vote prevents the presidency from grabbing more power, and this is a good thing; but there were many other progressive provisions addressing issues such as women's rights and land ownership. Kenya still needs a new constitution, just not one that will maintain the political status quo of corruption and strong-arming.

On an entirely different note, I'm looking for ways to further publicize the ED/SF Project, as fewer and fewer folks are signing on and we've yet to hit the halfway point on signups. If you know folks who haven't signed up, please bug them. (And if you yourself haven't signed up, what are you waiting for?) I'm thinking of contacting Salon and possibly Slate after the holiday, to see if we can get a mention. If you have other ideas, I want to hear them.

Now that everyone in America has seen the new Harry Potter flick (except me; I'll probably see it with my parents this weekend), you should do yourselves another favor and go see Walk the Line. I'll admit that I'm biased, because my iPod's name is "Cash is my Copilot," but I was transfixed by this film. Joaquin Phoenix is amazing--I wasn't fooled into believing he was Johnny, but I felt strongly that Johnny was there in his performance. Reese Witherspoon is one of those performers whom I convince myself I don't like all that much until I see her act again; she was superb. There is a lot of music in the film, and it's surprisingly good--and it's important, not just because of who Johnny and June were, but because the story of their courtship took place as much on stage as in private. It's a rollercoaster ride. At times there is a giddiness to the film, such as in the depiction of Johnny's early touring days with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Elvis; at other times the darkness is palpable. I'll say no more at this point. Just go see it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Geeky? Me?

'Cause about all the content I can muster over here right now is Meme-ish.

Do I think these lists have meaning? No. Breakfast has more meaning. But hey, I'm a sheep.

The Guardian's List:

1. The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
5. Neuromancer by William Gibson
6. Dune by Frank Herbert

7. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
8. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
9. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
10. Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
11. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
12. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

13. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
14. Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
15. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
16. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
17. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
18. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
20. Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham

Honestly, if 1984 is just for geeks then we're all in a lot of trouble. I'm in no hurry to read any Asimov, sorry. Also, I did not realize that Neal Stephenson was supposed to be my god. (I have Cryptonomicon but it's really damn long and I'm having trouble reading novels right now.)

Christopher Rowe's List of Books for Geeks Written by Girls:

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Downbelow Station by CJ Cherryh
Heritage of Hastur by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Rats & Gargoyles by Mary Gentle
Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

Life by Gwyneth Jones
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh

Golden Vanity by Rachel Pollack
Natural History by Justina Robson
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone by JK Rowling
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

I know, I know. (It gets worse, below.) I have the Goonan and the Russell somewhere. I started The Snow Queen but couldn't finish it.

Chris McLaren's List of Geek Girl Books:

The Etched City by K.J. Bishop
Bone Dance by Emma Bull
Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
Madness Season by C. S. Friedman
Ash by Mary Gentle
The Dream Years by Lisa Goldstein
Stable Strategies and Others by Eileen Gunn
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
The Disposessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
Intervention by Julian May
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh
Memory by Linda Nagata
Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott
The True Game by Sherri Tepper
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

I definitely want to read the Gunn and the Goldstein. But, and I know this makes me a philistine, I am utterly perplexed by the Willis-love. I thought the book was relentlessly overrated.

Meghan McCarron's Geek Chic Girl Cred List:

Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Meh.)
The Mount by Carol Emshwiller
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
Tithe Holly Black
(Reading right now.)
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The Hero and the Crown Robin McKinley
The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snider
Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson
Orlando by Virginia Woolf

I have the Emshwiller, the Murphy, and a Winterson (not sure which one) somewhere around. I've heard good things about the McKinley and will probably read it sometime. (You have to understand, I must first walk on stacks of books and then scale a ridge of them to climb into my bed, and most of those are unread. This is not to mention the ones on the shelves and the ones in the boxes downstairs. It's a sickness.)

Back to work now.