Category: HUMAN BEINGS

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Exposing the Dirty Wars

Sophia and her new pals, Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill Great book launch at the Harvard Science Center yesterday, featuring Jeremy Scahill on his new book, Dirty Wars.  After his excellent wo

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Biographies of Tanith Lee, James Tiptree Jr, and Jack Vance

In recent weeks, I’ve been on a biography reading jag, first tearing through The Hidden Library of Tanith Lee, then James Tiptree, Jr., the Double Life of Alice Sheldon, and This is Me, Jack Vance! The Hidden Library of Tanith Lee by Mavis Haut begins with a heavy academic tone, delving into the mythopoeic layers of meaning in Lee’s writing.   Although this is perhaps a necessary piece of work, since Lee’s writing is so dense with mythology, metaphor, and explorations of the subconscious, it doesn’t exactly flow off the pages. Fortunately, for all those pages which made me feel like I was treading in molasses, there were an equal number of more conversational sections, in which Lee’s many books in many genres are summarized.   There is also a long and valuable interview with the author which I have not seen elsewhere.   Not a book for everyone, but a must read for all of you Tanith Lee addicts out there, and I know you are legion! It has taken me years to get up the nerve to read Julie Phillips book on James Tiptree, Jr., one of the unique voices in sf literature.    Perhaps other readers of sf in the 1970s had the same introduction to Tiptree that I did:  reading through 800 pages of Again Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison, only to be shocked with 50 amp jolt of electricity in the concluding story, Milk of Paradise, which opens: “She was flowing hot and naked as she straddled his belly in the cuddle-cube and fed him her hard little tits.  And he convulsed up under her and then was headlong on the waster, vomiting.“ This was clearly a writer who could grab anyone by the scruff of the neck and rattle them around like a rag doll.

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All Roads Lead to Glycon

It was pleasant to be the first person to check out Widener’s copy of _Alan Moore, Storyteller_, the new hardcover biography by Gary Spencer Millidge.  Before the shiny crisp pages of Moore’s in

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Im Gandalf and Magneto, Get Over It

Although it is apparently a spoof made with Photoshop, I enjoyed this image of Sir Ian McKellan, who marched in London to protest the Pope. Joining a crowd of thousands, the caption on the actor’s s

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The Strange Odyssey of Froggy MacIntyre

In June, I read the strange news of F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre’s apparent suicide, and followed a link on Making Light to a presumed autobiographical sketch. It told a story of incredible suffering, poverty, and eventual escape from an orphanage in Australia and from abusive relatives. Although there has been a torrent of speculation about the strange odyssey of “Froggy” MacIntyre, as he was known to his friends, the straight depiction of those childhood details struck me as utterly true and made me curious about his other writings.

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Bigots vs. Comic Book Fans

When the extremely homo-phobic and generally insane self-described Christians led by Fred Phelps and the Westboro Church decided to protest the “idolotry“ and “skimpily clad whores“ of San Diego Comic Con, there was bound to be an interesting response.  You have to wonder why a few brain dead “true believers” (read: provocateurs) go up against the teaming throng of tens of thousands of comic book nerds…when you know the reaction is going to be an absolute trash fest.   But, thank heavens, the comic fans didn’t fail! Bender, of Futurama fame, had his moment in the sun, holding a KILL ALL HUMANS sign and shouting: “Westboro Church, bite my shiny metal ass!”   Wish I had been there for that one! _ _

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Charles Moore - The Right Stuff

Born in Alabama, the photographer Charles Moore closely followed the civil rights movement with his camera and an open mind. It’s been said that the photos taken by this former Marine helped shape

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Profiles of Science Fiction Brains

Reading a fascinating conversation between Fred Pohl and Alfred Bester, that took place in Newcastle upon Tyne, 26 June 1978, (published in Rob Jackson’s Inca 5), and was amused by their comments on