Susan’s Salon: 23/24 January 2022

Susan’s Salon: 23/24 January 2022

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).

Please 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! πŸ˜‡


64 responses to “Susan’s Salon: 23/24 January 2022”

  1. I’m reading A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske. It’s a fantasy England, 19th century, with a secret cabal of magicians. Set up to be the first of a series, I think. I’m enjoying it.

    Cold here in Arkansas, Covid still surging, but we’re going back to f2f Monday all the same.

    Like

  2. We got snow. Had to very careful walking the dogs (and the neighbor’s dogs, as a favor) as there were multiple icy areas in our yard. Dogs would have loved a longer walk but they didn’t get one. Snowdrop refused to stay inside if we closed the door so we’re slightly worried he didn’t show this morning. Probably fine, just not wanting to brave the cold, but we’ll be happier when we see him (particularly my wife, she loves the cat). Wisp stays sensibly indoors.
    I got accepted at the Winston-Salem Congregate in July. Assuming no covid eruptions I’m primed to get out and be somewhere new.
    My book Undead Sexist Cliches is now live in Kindle (https://www.amazon.com/Undead-Sexist-Cliches-Fraser-Sherman-ebook/dp/B09PVLZHMV/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1WVXEOAMVUODH&keywords=undead+sexist+cliches&qid=1642950574&sprefix=undead+sexist%2Caps%2C404&sr=8-1) and other ebook formats. I got the paperback proof Thursday and it looks good, but I haven’t had a chance to finish the process. Next week, though!
    Plush Dog had a trembling fit yesterday but it appears it was just the same fit he’s had before, only a little more extreme. No harm done, he just gets confused why his body’s wonky, poor boy.
    Finished Paul Freedman’s American Cuisine this morning. Very good look at what constitutes American cuisine and why we eat the way we do. Next up, the new Sharpe book from Bernard Cornwell.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I went to see The King’s Daughter, the movie based on the novel The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre. The movie is a mostly frothy and silly version of the book, unfortunately. There’s heavy Chinese involvement in making it. It starts Pierce Brosnan as Louis XIV, with no hint of French anywhere. The slavery story of the book is here so subtle as to be unnoticeable. You wouldn’t hate yourself for seeing it, but it has nothing of substance either.

    Like

  4. I’ve introduced another chunk of Twitter to the magic of Declan:

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster week politically speaking here in the U.K. (β€˜Will he stay or will he go?’ sung to the tune of that Clash song …) so escapism has been the order of the day, if not the whole weekend …

    Binge watched Ozark Series 4 (part 1) which is utterly compelling, even if every episode is basically a variant of β€˜how will Marty & Wendy talk their way out of this latest life-threatening crisis?’ Did not anticipate the mid-series denouement, I have to say.

    Read The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman + The Magic Chalk by KOBO ABE + Manhole 69 by JG Ballard for our SF&F reading group later this week. The Gilman I found proper creepy, the Ballard (which I hadn’t read before even tho I’m a big JG fan), oppressive (& not one to read if you’re even slightly claustrophobic!) and the Abe I think may have suffered in translation.

    Also received three of the books I wanted to review for SF(2) Concatenation, one of which is by a Well-Known Author & all three of which look really interesting. So, looking forward to getting stuck into them.

    And just had a story rejected but it’s a tricky one to place I think so I’m not too downhearted.

    Onwards and whatever …!

    Like

  6. Same old same old here.

    EGG had his treat catching ratio up to 90% last night, even with the pointy ones!

    I’m about to run out of this bag, though, and Amazon says they have no idea what happened to the Greenies I ordered, so it looks like I’ll have to go out and find some for him this week. He has another round of blood tests Wednesday, so none of us will be happy. Might lead to more daily pills.

    The KN95s are getting some UV right now to prepare for their next outing. The WSW-facing window is coming in handy.

    Like

  7. Not much to report here, though I’m finally caught up with most of the backlog caused by the double whammy of Worldcon and holidays.

    In other news, I made waffles with Rumtopf (summer fruit preserved in rum) today and have been approached to write an article and a review, both about subjects that interest me.

    Plus, I splurged on a new microphone, so if you hear me on podcasts in the future, I’ll sound much better.

    Like

  8. Well, it finally happened: Omicron is loose in the community in New Zealand. There are now Omicron cases that can’t be linked to the border, which means, “The T-Rex is loose!”

    Consequently New Zealand has shifted to COVID-level “Red” a.k.a. Not-a-Lockdown as of Sunday night. It’s back to a mitigation “flatten the curve” strategy which was New Zealand’s initial position back in February 2020 before its initial lockdown showed that elimination was possible.

    We’ve had a mostly normal life these last two years, but Omicron is too contagious. We’re now relying on high vaccination rate & a few other non-vaccine measures (masking, social distancing, and a limit on crowd/group sizes) to prevent our health system getting overwhelmed. Buckle in, the next few weeks will be an interesting time. New Zealand is 90% double dosed of the eligible population (76% of overall population).

    So it’s no surprise my current reading tends toward the comfort, Martha Wells’ “Network Effect” (Murderbot #5), as is my viewing: “Veronica Mars”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Watched “A Letter for the King” with our little guy, who enjoyed it immensely. The “gay kiss” scene didn’t phase him, of course, but he did say, “Didn’t see that coming!” I was less pleased when the show killed off one of the pair in the very next episode. Sigh.

    Now we’re watching “Shadow and Bone.” It’s definitely a better story–so far, anyway. He’s definitely enjoying it.

    I’m still reading through old Poul Anderson stories. It’s interesting to see how his stories from the 1970s on (roughly) drop most of the oversexed language and even adopt a feminist attitude. (E.g. describing a culture as primitive because it doesn’t allow women a place in public life.) People of the Wind was excellent, even rereading it after decades. The Day of Their Return was okay, but it suffered from a too-passive protagonist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Avatar, though, was Anderson’s attempt to show a sexually liberated woman and it was really painful β€” very much a “give you sex and fix your personal problems” fantasy figure.

      Like

  10. The biggest thing for me this past week was winding the two D&D campaigns I have been running for the last two years together, with a single merger session that had the two different adventuring parties all join forces to take down a dracolich in its lair. It was one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had.

    The second thing is that, as we will be moving to in-person RPGing in the upcoming months, I needed a new DMing glass, and coincidentally Pat Tallman was selling some Babylon 5 related glassware she had had made as prototypes but never had made as marketable items – so now I have some of that.

    Like

  11. I just saw Moonfall. It was so incredibly stupid that I found myself having to look away from the screen from time to time. Even the non-SF parts stank. It beggars the imagination how something this bad could get made.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I see Larry is throwing another stompy-foot pouting hissy fit that Cam showed he can’t even do *arithmetic*! As in addition and subtraction, something most of us mastered before we were 10 (I mean, it’s not even long division). Poor triggered insecure widdle snowflake.

    Bonus points for use of red pandas, who are of course Friends of the Blog.

    Liked by 3 people

          • (looks at thread) I suppose he chose that picture to think he proved his point, but you know what, dude? There’s only one driver per truck! The numbers I saw ranged from 113 to 400 trucks, so at most there was a few hundred people!

            For crying out loud. I’ve never been particularly good at math, and I could see through that. πŸ™„

            Liked by 2 people

            • A reply to Larry’s tweet even said 1500 miles, which is completely ridiculous. Sources I saw said the convoy was 20 kilometres long. And even if it’s 70 kilometres long, that’s an impressive protest/traffic impediment, but it’s still a small group of people, even of the subpopulation Canadians who are truck drivers.

              Like

            • If it is indeed 20 km, that’s 12 miles, which is… not that impressive.

              I mean, trucks travel in convoys all the time. Back when I used to drive between SF and LA regularly, I always came across convoys out in the boonies, day or night. If I’d seen a 12 mile long one, I would have thought “wow, that’s more trucks than usual, hope I can get around them” but it wouldn’t have struck me as something gobsmacking and important. And the ones I was used to were all big rigs, built for long-distance delivery, with a semi-trailer or two and extra axles and such, or carrying tanks full of things that had ALL the hazardous material stickers on them.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-trailer_truck#North_America

              Giant-ass convoys go through Utah; SLC is where Interstates 15 (Montana/Canada border to San Diego/Mexican border) and 80 (San Francisco to New Jersey) connect. Two roads that literally cross the length and breadth of the US.

              I guess Larry doesn’t get off his mountain much to see the vast amounts of truck traffic that go through Utah. Which I have also been on, with convoys crossing the Bonneville Salt Flats. But you’d think manly man Larry would be at least as familiar with manly trucks as my SJW girly self is.

              Liked by 1 person

          • A bunch of women in hoop skirts are a formidable obstacle, as anyone who’s been to a Ren Faire should have noted. They’re a hassle to maneuver, so I’m going to stick with the big hat. Maybe something that Jagers would covet. “NIZE HAT!”

            Liked by 2 people

            • On a sadder note, in 1863 a church burnt down in Santiago, Chile, when a candle was knocked over during a service. Because the church was packed with worshippers and a lot of the women were wearing hoopskirts, they blocked doors and aisles and some 2000 to 3000 people died.

              Hoop skirts also apparently tended to catch fire quite often, when women wearing them accidentally got too close to a candle or fireplace, killing hundreds of women.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oscar Wilde’s half-sisters died when their poofy skirts (slightly smaller than actual hoops) caught fire from a candle.

              I’m sure today’s hoop-wearers are much more safe, and therefore suitable for protest.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Someone topped Larry with a claim that they had counted the trucks as they passed Thunder Bay, and there were over 50,000. It was pointed out that with that number of trucks the head of the convoy would be in Toronto before the tail of the convoy had cleared Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay to Toronto is approximately Darwin to Alice Springs; the physical environment is equivalently hostile, particularly at this time of year.)

            Liked by 3 people

      • The one thing I think is very telling about Correia, is that in the one series of his that I read, the very obvious author-insert character spends a lot of time talking about how he is really really a very smart guy and complaining about how people always treat him like he is dumb just because he is a big guy.

        Correia seems to be very insecure about his own intelligence – and with good reason: He simply isn’t all that bright. I mean, he’s not stupid insofar as he can read and write and function in the world, but he’s also not smart (a fact he has demonstrated over and over again by making stupid claims that show he simply doesn’t understand any math beyond the most basic, and sometimes he doesn’t even understand that) but really thinks people should treat him like he is brilliant.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Dunning-Kruger at work with all of them.

            There’s this thing called “the internet” that told me 70 km is 43.5 miles. So that’s hundreds of furlongs or rods, but not miles.

            Like

            • Well the rule of thumb is times by 5 and divide by 8 to turn km to m, so maybe he did it the wrong way round and did 70×8/5 and got 112? Either way, it was probably a wise career move to shift from accountancy to writing fantasy.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I think his accountancy may have been fantasy.

              I first thought “um… that’s somewhere less than 50 miles?” and then asked Google. Other search engines are available and will give you the same number.

              400 trucks spread out over 40 miles is 1/10th of a mile apart, roughly. An average US city block. A smidge over 5 football fields apart. And that’s the maximum number of trucks; it could very well be much less than that.

              Even if he’d done the math backwards, 112 is still not “hundreds” (plural) as he said in his little fit of the vapors.

              Perhaps he listened to the song “Convoy” too many times as a child, instead of concentrating on grade school arithmetic.

              (“30,000 Pounds of Bananas” is a much better 70’s song about trucking. Especially the live version.)

              Liked by 2 people

            • Meanwhile his old pal Brad is become a content factory piece worker for Martelle, and I dare you to look up what it is (use incognito mode) and not burst out laughing.

              The set up is either a) a 12 year old boy’s kewl idea that he’d scribble all over his school notebooks or b) a rip-off of a zillion trite paranormal romance settings or c) both of the above, with LASER GUNS.*

              Braddles has never been a fast writer, so I don’t know how well he’s going to do at cranking out 50K a month, no matter how formulaic Generic Extruded MilSF product it is.

              *Seriously. The cover has a tiger-man in a spacesuit, shooting a laser with a shapeless probably-a-spaceship in the background, and touts both authors’ Dragon Awards. I half expected to see Spaceman Spiff.

              Liked by 3 people

            • Ah, Brad is the co-author on the “Island of Dr. Moreau meets Indiana Jones” thing Martelle has been talking about. Subtitle: “A Military Archaeological Space Adventure” for maximum keyword stuffing.

              Of course, that nonsense sells better than most of my books, so maybe I shouldn’t be laughing. On the other hand, Martelle throws thousands at advertising, so profitwise we’re probably on the same level.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Martelle also mentioned in one of his videos that only old people know what “The Island of Dr. Moreau” is, but that’s okay because his target audience are older people.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Apparently, space opera with werewolves, weretiger, shifters, etc… is the latest indie SFF mini-trend, since I just came across another book with a similarly outlandish pemise.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Poor little Larry. He went to the store with a THOUSAND pennies, and still couldn’t get as much stuff as the guy who had a twenty dollar bill that weighed only a gram (a gram is a unit of weight that is a fraction of an Imperial ton). Life is unfair.

      He presumably demands his royalties in novelty giant check form

      Liked by 2 people

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: