Susan’s Salon: 16/17 January 2022

Susan’s Salon: 16/17 January 2022

Firstly some Felapton Tower news about the recent schismatic conflict in genre circles. Susan has announced that she has decided to embrace the term “squeecore” as a “true reflection of her chosen genre”. The genre in question is kicking cats, so I’m not so sure about that. Timothy has likewise committed his newfound edginess to combat “the neo-liberal literati”. The rest of us have retreated to the kitchen.

Please use the comment section to chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early on Monday (Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is still Sunday in most places). It’s fine to be sad, worried, vaccinated, unvaccinated-yet, angry or maybe even happy (or all of those things at once).

Feel free to post what you like (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! Whatever you like! 😇


22 responses to “Susan’s Salon: 16/17 January 2022”

  1. I too have retreated to the kitchen.

    In other news, we had snow here in Arkansas — almost two inches. The neighborhood fox came trotting by during the snow storm and looked very pretty indeed.

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  2. Snow here in Durham NC too. Might be an inch by the time it’s done. Wisp is staying in, Snowdrop is out somewhere, hopefully in wherever he hides when there’s rain.
    Watched Hobbs and Shaw yesterday. Didn’t like it as much as you did — the guys’ constant Who’s Is Bigger banter got old fast. The villains remind me of the old Captain Power TV series, which also involved transforming humans into cyborgs (though in a different way).
    Currently reading Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman, looking at how coal transformed the way British homes were built and furnished. Very interesting if your nerd interests run to details like how wood fires are properly made.
    I have a rye bread going through its first rise in the oven (off but with pilot light on).

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    • I think we lucked out with the snow changing to sleet and then directly to rain, without any of the predicted freezing rain.

      I lit the wood stove and watched the most recent episode of The Book of Boba Fett–and had a seriously wtf moment when the cyberpunk teens on floating vespas showed up. I expect Star Wars to be kind of dumb, but that was a bit much. I was already less than thrilled with Dances with Banthas, but that may have been the jump the shark moment. Disappointing, because I really did enjoy The Mandalorian.

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      • It was dangerously icy on our steps yesterday but I threw down sand and we did okay. They were fine this morning but stretches of our yard were melted and then refrozen snow. I skidded once.

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        • Our concrete driveway is a sheet of ice today. Youngest offspring and her friends are sledding on it. I guess I’ll try to break up the ice this afternoon when it has had a chance to thaw a bit. Or, better idea–force eldest offspring to do it, even though he’d prefer to paint Warhammer minis in his room all day.

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  3. Seems as if Hugo noms are now open.

    If your “best fanwriter” is not already full, and you happen to like the Trigger shorts, consider yours truly for the possibility of inclusion.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Working my way through Poul Anderson’s “Technic Civilization” series, I was surprised to discover several stories I’d never read before. Some short stories, and one novella. None of them really his best work, so I can see how they weren’t reprinted until the books that were meant to capture everything.

    One surprise for me was how good Mirkheim was. It’s a later work, hence much more polished and mature. The weird character descriptions that focused on women’s breasts were gone. It’s also delightfully ambiguous about the economic and moral implications of the events. Van Rijn talks like a libertarian (if not an anarchist), but the events of the story show how the universe he wanted destroyed itself. Falkayn talks about how great the monarchy he grew up in was, but events show how unstable it was. The misery that unrestrained capitalism causes is depicted starkly, but so is the misery caused by breaking it. My guess is that Anderson himself was unable to resolve the problem. Beyond that, the characters were well-developed and the plot was entertaining. It’s the first work in this set that was actually better than what I’d remembered.

    Separately, we bought a piano for our little guy. He’d expressed an interest before the holidays, but we didn’t want to spend money on something he might tire of in a week. But in Tennessee, three of my relatives are competent piano players, and he got to play on their pianos, plus they taught him things. Everyone was astonished at how fast he picked it up. He even likes to make up his own music off the top of his head, and it actually sounds like music–not the random discord you’d expect from an 11-year old who’s just fooling around with a piano. So we bought a Casio CDP-S150 digital piano, and we’re looking at hiring a piano teacher who can come to the house. We’re thinking all three of us will take at least a few lessons (I had piano lessons 50 years ago, and Eric played the flute in high school), but I suspect our guy will zoom way past us pretty quickly.

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    • Glad to hear that your little guy shows interest in piano playing. As someone who also had piano lessons for several years back in the 1980s, but was never more than just competent at it, I wish him all the best.

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    • Lester Del Rey grumbled that Anderson was taking himself too seriously with Mirkheim, which makes me wonder what he thought of A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, roughly to Flandry what Mirkheim was to Falkayn.

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      • I’ll get to that one in a couple of weeks. We’ll see what I think then. I know that in the 10th grade I thought it was a fantastic story, even though my English teacher thought otherwise.

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  5. MeowCore?

    New Zealand’s first case of Omicron in the community has been reported. So far all previous cases have been in returnees to New Zealand who have to spend 10 days in government-run quarantine hotels where they were diagnosed. This case of Omicron involves a worker in one of the quarantine hotels. So now we wait to see if current restrictions in place & a relatively high vaccination rate amongst the eligible population is enough… https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/459643/covid-19-update-border-worker-confirmed-as-omicron-case

    I re-watched the final of “The Expanse” with the Watch Party which was fun. There was a neat bit with a shoutout to genre.
    ROT13:
    Qhevat gur nffnhyg ol gur znevarf, jr frr n qvfcynl bs gur anzrf bs gur zrzoref bs gur fdhnq. Vapyhqvat anzrf yvxr, Uvpxf, Infdhrm(!), Evcyrl(!) & bguref. Vg gheaf bhg nyy gur anzrf ncneg sebz Qencre & Ohegba ner rnfgre rttf.

    Possible spoilers at the Tweet by showrunner Naren Shankar:

    I picked up the first two Hamster Princess books by Ursula Vernon to gift. (I took the opportunity to read them before giftwrapping). Vernon is such a terrific writer.

    Meanwhile we are watching closely for news from Tonga following the eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai & tsunami. While I don’t personally know anyone in Tonga, New Zealand has a close relationship with many Tongans living in New Zealand. The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has agreed to send aid, initially a reconnaissance flight but also shortly to depart is a navy frigate. It’s a sign of the times in which we live that one of the concerns is that New Zealand avoids taking COVID to Tonga. Tonga is currently COVID-free, and in New Zealand it is relatively under control with ~30 new cases reported daily (NZ’s population is ~5 million) so the risk is not zero.

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  6. Things are finally quieting down for me after a stressful week. The registry office wedding where I interpreted for the Australian groom went well and I took the chance to take a stroll through the park (which is directly opposite the registry office) afterwards.

    I also took my Mom to the doctor for her covid booster shot, which is always an issue, because she can’t walk very well.

    Finally, I was on the SFF Audio podcast yesterday and promptly got invited back for next month.

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    • SalonCore: Triceracopters, right-wing purple cats, dogs made of grass, a sentient Roomba, and a manly hero.

      When it’s more serious, it produces the fabulous miniseries “Crow and Kin”.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wrote a couple of short pieces and submitted one (the other needs polishing).

    Finished Another Life which picked up towards the end, as these things often do but not sure we’ll bother watching season 2 as it’s all a bit sub-par Star Trek only with more sex.

    Currently working my way through the latest issue of Apex and so far have quite enjoyed Lavie Tidhar’s ballon-noir piece (look at that, another sub-genre just got created!j

    And we had our traditional Sunday evening viewing of Vera rudely interrupted by the dog repeatedly retching. Bit worried there for a while as he seemed quite disconsolate but when I took him out for The Last Pee of the day he spotted a fox and wanted to go all mediaeval on it so we figure he’s probably ok (a weather eye will be kept of course).

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  8. A whole lot of nothing going on here, as usual. But any week I don’t have to stand in a long line and have a swab jammed up my nose to check for a plague is good, right?

    EGG is relearning his treat-catching with the roundish ones. He’d forgotten that it works best when he catches them just with his mouth, but he gets excited and tries to get them with his paw, which of course means they get swatted across the room and one or both of us has to hunt them down. So he’s at 90% or more on the early ones, and 60% on the later ones.

    Yesterday after breakfast, he and one of the squirrels had a 10 minute staredown, him at the back door and skwrl up on the power line above the back fence. Neither of them moved even when another squirrel scampered back and forth on the fence. (I’m sure Timothy can relate to that. The struggle is real!)

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    • Treat-catching ratio up by a lot last night. Think it may have percolated into his tiny brain that he should catch them with his mouth, or at least try both paws instead of one. He may forget again by tonight.

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      • He did somewhat get overly excited and forget. Sadly, tonight is the last of the roundish treats, so he’ll have forgotten again by the time we get through the sharper edged ones.

        For some reason in his mid-teens, he’s decided that ginger snaps are something he needs. I’ve been eating them all his life and he hasn’t cared, but last night he snatched one out of the container and ran off with it and inhaled the whole thing.

        Now I must fight off his attempt to grab my pizza, especially the pepperoni.

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  9. The house is still wracked by renovations of various kinds, and we are still down to one bathroom (a distinctly first world problem). All kids have returned safely and COVID free from their grandparents.

    I just finished The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison and mostly liked it. I am trying to decide if I would have liked it more or less if I were more familiar with the original Holmes stories.

    Liked by 1 person

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