Susan’s Salon: 2020 June 28/29

The last open thread this June for people to just chat about whatever. Posted early Monday Sydney time (still Sunday in most places) . It’s OK to be sad, worried, angry or happy (or all of those things at once). Please feel free to post either troubling news or pleasant distractions in the comments for this open thread. [However, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments. Links, videos, cat pictures etc are fine – be nice to one another!] Whatever you like but be nice to one another 😇

Wear a mask while posting a comment.

60 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 June 28/29

  1. Finished the Light Brigade today, first spot beats A Memory called Empire.
    Have my fourth No Award I believe Farah Mendlesohn is old fandom but this was an epic fail in the beginning re puppygate and If you get something important so wrong I don’t trust your enought to continue reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Finished Jemisin‘s Broken Earth trilogy and also read her test balloon novelette (review for that is on my blog). Now I’m returning to Scalzi‘s Old Man War series, as I left it back in 2014. Turns out, it’s as snarky as ever, haha, and certainly a different style than Nemisin.
    This week no review is planned, because I‘m on vacaaaaaation – actually, just sitting at the shore of a wonderful lake (the Fleesensee if you want to check out google maps).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I thought in one catagory I liked the winner just fine and then realised I didn’t read any of the other nominees. In every other catagory I voted/ will vote somethink else higher than the winner in the Hugos…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the heads-up!
      The time-war thingy is just not my piece of cake. But others were more to my liking.
      Does the sorting reflect also who was second / third etc?


    1. Congratulations Doris! That’s an exciting, very big deal, and a great cover to catch attention! Here’s to many more to come…


  3. Normally on this weekend, my husband and I would check into the hotel where the Locus Awards weekend is happening on Friday, attending the reading and evening events there, then the panels on Saturday morning and the book signing, then the awards banquet…. then Sunday morning check out, confirm with the hotel we can leave the car in the parking garage until 4pm, and walk two blocks to watch part of the Seattle Pride Parade, then walk a couple more blocks to see the Pride Festival, buy t-shirts or other things that catch our eye, before heading 8 miles north to our home.

    Last year the festival put all the booths that were gaming stores, comics shops, and two publishers that specialize in queer comics and such inside one of the air conditioned buildings… it was almost as if there were a mini queer sci fi going on within the Pride festival.

    When I was much younger, 4pm wouldn’t have been late enough to have free parking on Pride Day, but my knees aren’t what the used to me, and I’ve always had problems when being out in the sun too long, so the 4pm deadline has been fine.

    I did sign up for the virtual Locus Weekend this time. There were more readings. The panels were as fun as ever, even it is is a little weird not to hear and feel the crowd of other fans around you during the con.

    As others have mentioned, Connie was wonderful, as always. Also in many categories my second or third choice was what won. Not all, however. At this point, “This is How You Lose a Time War” is still at number one on my Hugo ballot in that category. And my biggest disappointment was I wasn’t in the room to jump up and clap when Nisi Shawl (one of my faves, someone who usually attends, and two times someone who I wound up sitting at the same table as at the banquet) won in Anthology.

    The rest of the time I’ve been sampling various streamed Pride events. Some of have fun, some are a little weird.

    But it’s better than getting sick!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Credentials continue with their shenanigans. Sir Scrittles want to go on morning walks, so we saunter around the field between the other cottages while he runs a constant commentary. Nevyn often tags along, but is more busy checking out nice hiding places. According to the neighbours, Sir Scrittles also went into his first snake hunt today.

    Both Sir Scrittles and Nevyn have befriended smol dog living three cottages down. Smol dog is very happy to see them, but like Sir Scrittles best. They do eskimo kisses when meeting while trying to understand what the others wagging tail means. Nevyn often joins in by burring up his tail and chasing smol dog which smol dog thinks is the bestest fun in the world. Nevyn has also turned out to be a good wasp hunter, keeping the house free of them and other insecty things.

    Myself, I have planted knightspurs, bloodfists, roses and wild strawberries and hope at least some of them survives. I have also cut the illegal hottub into pieces and weeded out some parts of the garden. Tomorrow I’ll get a better bed and next week a freezer so I can have ICECREAM which seems necessary to survive this heat wave. Thank good there’s gonna be rain soon.

    Reading has mostly been chinese web novels lately, they go down easy without much thinking and some of them has a wonderfully stupid sense of humour.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hampus, your new place sounds really lush and idyllic. You will have to post garden pictures! I’m so glad that the cats are finding it a home and making friends.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There’s not much of garden pictures to show, as it had been mostly neglected for some years. I’m mostly happy if I can get grass growing and the weeds out this year. Next year is when the real work will start.


    2. We had wild strawberries in our garden when I was a child in England. I bought some seeds recently out of nostalgia, but I have no idea if they will survive the summer here.I am guessing you would have the opposite problem.


  5. Well the fun SF/F community stuff from earlier this week got me down, so naturally I decided the proper thing to do was to read my advance copy of T Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)’s new horror book, The Hollow Places. At Night. And let me tell you, I’m not a huge horror fan, or that scared by things (The Twisted Ones wasn’t that scary for me) but uh this was actually damn scary.

    Now trying to relax finishing Django Wexler’s upcoming epic fantasy novel, which is really good so far, but VERY long for me. There’s a reason I don’t read much epic fantasy these days…..

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have been enjoying the adventures of the new Ancillary Cat as she explores the house. She and Penwiper got used to each other quite quickly and are now playing together and curling up together on the bed. Penwiper was around 6 months old when I got him, so I missed the tiny stage with him. She’s 3 months old and alternates between galloping everywhere while playing ferociously and passing out.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Penwiper: And I shall call it Mini-Me. Join me and we shall rule the household as cat and cat. (evil laugh)

      Kittens are binary. Either full off or full on. As Mr. LT and I have said through our decades of new kittens galumphing: “The cat bit is on.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. reading blog: I… didn’t really do much this week. I’m still most of the way through China Dream, and I only managed one Japanese story, Anchin & Kiyohime. I get most of my reading done over the weekends usually but this weekend I was climbing in Mt Batur!

    I’ve lost pretty much all my endurance for lead and top rope, since it’s been over a year since I last did it and quite a while since I bothered to train for it too. So I guess I’ll be training power-endurance at the gym for the next month, in preparation for the next trip out. Galling that I’m a better boulderer than ever but lead is just killing me right now.

    Still it was amazing just to get out and climb real rock again. Also we camped out overnight and watched the sunrise over the lip of the crater by the lake. Pretty great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My SFF reading this week was the Traitor Baru Cormorant, which hadn’t sounded too enticing to me way back when it was in awards contention, but which I’m glad I took off Mount TBR as I really enjoyed it. I will pick up the sequel before too long.

    I’ve started commuting back to the office again, which means audiobooks are back on the agenda. No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria by Rania Abouzeid is a tremendous insight into the Syrian conflict. I have a few Syrian friends but this still gave me a lot of context about what is an extraordinarily messy and sad situation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Traitor was one of my favorite books – though dark – when it came out, and i really recommend it. Its sequel is a bit of a mess, although it mostly works, and I’m looking forward to the third one in a few weeks (I think it’s an August release).

        Liked by 1 person

  9. We successfully passed another week without having to venture into the wasteland. My mask and outdoor clothes must be missing their scalding hot baths in the washing machine.

    Agents of SHIELD continues to be a weekly delight. This time, they were in the 1970s, and they did a full-out opening credit/theme sequence that was so dead-on that I had to pause the DVR to laugh, and at the end I could but only intone “A Quinn Martin Production”.

    It did take a turn for the more serious at the end (insofar as things can get “more serious” when the Earth and our entire timeline are already at stake, because Marvel).

    We finally binged the last half of “The Mandalorian” and it is as good as the hype would have you believe. It is so properly Star Wars.

    Now to wander about Disney+ and see what else we might like to watch. Am looking forward to the presentation of “Hamilton” since like everyone else, we were never able to get tickets even for the local show — much less the original cast on the other side of the continent. So we’ll be spending this holiday weekend with the ten-dollar Founding Father. And our DVD of “1776”, which we usually watch as a sing-along with friends before heading out to fireworks, but alas.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’d advise reading some summaries, at least, to get you up to speed on how we got here, and who some of these people are. Otherwise, it’s like coming in halfway through “Avengers: Endgame” when all you ever saw were the first Iron Man, Cap, and Thor movies.


      2. Started with “A New Deal” and it wasn’t hard to follow — I don’t need to know who the Chronocons are to understand the stakes. Looks to be good, thanks for the recommendation.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The first episode was fun — more than I’ve found the show in a while — though as always, TV images of the 1920s and 1930s where nobody’s smoking bug me a little (even FDR doesn’t have his iconic cigarette holder).
        Like Arrow, which i also dropped for a while, looks like they’ll go out on a win.


  10. A few weeks ago I decided I was drinking too much because of the lockdown and because walking to the bottle shop was a good way of getting out of the house. Anyway, did have a beer tonight – yum, I like beer. Have I mentioned that before?


    1. I tend to buy non-alcoholic beers as much as alcoholic ones nowadays. They taste as good and I’ve found that I still get the placebo effect of how nice it is to relax with a beer or the party feeling when in company. And I don’t get my sleep ruined.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I have spent lockdown living vicariously through the beer sampling exploits of my friends in Scotland – we have a beer club on Facebook for sharing reviews, pictures etc. and activity noticeably jumped when people started ‘working’ from home.

      Lockdown with a toddler, no childcare, and less-than-inspiring beer choices on the market was a different experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I had two reminders that telephones are a thing last week. First, my laptop crashed (and stayed crashed) in the middle of a Skype interview (I was interviewer not interviewee so it was marginally less embarassing). Despite this, it still took me half an hour to realise I could call into all my work meetings after the power went out at our house two days later.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am having a decent week full of small home repairs and upgrades, got an actual haircut, and was asked to review a book that I wanted that retails for a ridiculous $180. Yay free review copy! I’m in a much better pandemic mood than I was last week, except for the complete and utter absence of Diet Dr Pepper around these parts. Apparently pandemic production and supply lines have been affected adversely. Cold water and pink lemonade it is!


    1. RC, the last time I went foraging (3 weeks ago?) there was a notable absence of Diet DP here in California as well. I apologized to Mr. LT for only getting the last 2-liter bottle. The shelves were awash in Diet Mtn. Dew, however, which thankfully he also likes.

      Regular DP was available, so I can only conclude that Diet is a more-necessary part of people’s pandemic consumption and thus sells out.

      But big yay for the free book! What a great deal for you.

      And happy Canada Day to our neighbors to the North. I think it’s a great idea all of Formerly British North American Colonies had to become independent in midsummer, when one can go outside for BBQ and not be cold during fireworks. (Usually) Border towns can have one long holiday, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lurkertype! I found Diet Dr Pepper yesterday. Here’s how the story goes. I have not set foot in Walmart or purchased anything from them in over 20 years, personal stance against labour exploitation, egregrious wealth accumulation by a single family, and general dislike of their impact on small business and communities. I realize other multinational chains are gross too but no Walmart for me. Clearly Walmart has not missed me.

        Fast forward to month 4 of the pandemic. Supply lines disrupted, production issues etc. Get advertisement that Walmart has DDP. In stock. In my city. Nearby. At that very moment. I get out of pajama wear and go there and stock up.

        My mom and sisters think it is hilarious. Mom circled the date on the calendar and I have given them free rein to bring this up anytime I get too self-righteous. Apparently the price of my integrity is $1.97 in pandemic dollars. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RC, I don’t know if congratulations or commiserations are in order.

        I too have avoided WalMart for decades for the same reasons, and I don’t think our need for DDP is worth un-PJ-ing and going there (it’s at the other end of town). Mr. LT has sufficient other diet caffeine to get by for a couple of weeks, by which time I hope DDP returns to other stores. We have 3 grocery chains plus Target, so one should have it soon.

        Unless, of course, WalMart has monopolized the entire supply, which wouldn’t surprise me at all.


    1. Happy 4th of July, Americans, with admiration for, and hope of living up to, all of the angry, powerful, creative, inspired, ambitious words written by residents inside your borders across the centuries.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hard to be patriotic this year. Let’s hope next 4th of July the country is living up to its noble ideals and not its base fears.

        But fireworks remain awesome. Except when my neighbors set them off at 1 AM.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Chorus: (THEN YOU CAN MASH!)
        Fake Karloff: The Roast Potato Mash.

        It’s a potato smash.

        It cooks up in a flash.

        The Roast Potato Mash!

        Liked by 2 people

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