Category: ARTS

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The Elephant Man as Reality T.V.

A review of The Blind Men and the Elephant by Russell M. Griffin You would think that a novel investigating the inner life of a freak — indeed, the freak of freaks: Elephant Man — woul

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Placing Names: it is a thing!

Well, about three years and a field of poppies later, the combined efforts of a zillion scholars have arrived on my desk in a physical manifestation of printed paper, green bindings, and a snappy lit

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Green Chili Jones: Solved

So what is it with New Mexico green chilis? Is it something in the soil? Something in the dusty valleys scorched by the desert sun where even lizards fear to crawl and only the toughest, gnarliest lif

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Fallout from Quincy Adams: Readercon 2016

It’s strange to think about the fun-fest of Readercon — which it always turns out to be — as a hotbed of controversy where ripples of fallout will radiate outward for weeks and months after the event. On the other hand, science fiction fandom is a sort of canary in the coal mine of society at large. The feuds and alignments and banishments and rapprochements that swirl around fandom, punctuated by mass scrimmage events (also known as cons), are now inextricably linked to the culture wars raging around us. It wasn’t always this way. Long ago, in never never land, cons were communal freak-outs held by like-minded escapists as a sort of exhibitionist rebellion against the bleakness of mundane culture. A con was where your propellor beanie, flowing cape, Vulcan ears, and purple velvet bag-of-holding concealing a pint of scumble were perfectly normal, and you were surrounded by fellow fen celebrating the freedom to be weird.

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The Sleek and Memorable Art of A. J. Donnell

In another post (about blood moons and werewolves) I had occasion to examine the various cover paintings for Jack Williamson’s great novel, Darker Than You Think. In addition to Edd Cartier’s black

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Island Under the Earth

That inertia is the tendency of a body, when cold, to stay cold; and when hot, to stay hot — that during Star-flux when the thin white lines which cross and crisscross the skies of night tremb

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We need a monkey year...

It has been a contradictory and confusing year, 2015. At times it has been downright neurotic and malevolent, which I suppose is to be expected from a Year of the Goat! We seem to have gotten farther into the woods, into the darkness,

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Another Blood Moon, Another Howling

What a hullaballoo was kicked up for the recent blood moon. You’d think that a total eclipse occurring when the moon passes closest to Earth only happens, say … once every generation. Oh snap! B

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MICE swarm in University Hall: Mass Independent Comix Expo 2015

The MICE invasion of Cambridge was a swarming crowd of anarchistic fun. Hundreds of comix-crazed attendees jammed the halls of Leslie University, chatting with 200 comic artists and publishers. Tables of eye candy stretched through the second floor of University Hall, connecting with additional jam-packed side rooms named after comix greats, such as the Crumb Room, Doucet Hall, and the Bechdel Room. You gotta love the idea of independent comix artists actually being recognized in the mundane society for their pure “genius” — proven by Alison Bechdel’s Westinghouse Genius Award in 2014! Here is a gang of fervent, possibly feverish, and yes, well, let’s face it, mostly starving artists who are so adamant, so tenacious, and so in-your-face diversified, that their official genius is the inventor of the gender-bias principle known as the Bechdel Test. Yo, MICE artists, kudos to the whole lot of you! You are giant mice among scampering human conformists, in my book.