Heinous weekend. Heinous Monday. Tuesday, better but still nauseating. Went to the gym Tuesday night (same routine as last Wednesday) and now wonder if that was a mistake. Didn't feel bad at the time.
Anyhoo...coming up--interview with Neil Williamson, more on Finland, more on the Shriek movie, more on all sorts of things. Also note the back cover of the French edition (admittedly, a little low res). I just love the mushrooms balanced on the squid. Just a great idea.
As for the Tiptree discussion that's been going on...look, the emphasis of the thing definitely seems to have changed. It seems diluted, not as serious to me. It seems that way to quite a few people. You have to ask yourself why. Is it just an impression thing or a real thing? If it's an impression thing, that speaks to the way in which the award is presented/put forward/whatever. If it's a real thing that speaks to a shake-up in what it's about. Either way, instead of becoming more prestigious, the Tiptree seems to be going in the opposite direction. The Tiptree anthology that came out--a ragtag, poorly edited book (still featuring some good stories)--was just a physical manifestation of this problem.
When you have something that's worthwhile and for a worthwhile cause, the impulse is to forgive it its faults, to think, literally, "but it's for a good cause." But, ultimately, this doesn't help the cause in question. Quite the opposite.
As for the fan fic on the long list--sorry, that's bullshit. There's such a thing as too much democratization. And in a field that's already not exactly always known for its literary credibility or resistance to the all-mighty dollar, I don't think it's too much to ask that such things either be up for their own awards or be left out of the more general discussion.
I'm beginning to worry that SF/F is becoming too susceptible/in bed with pop culture, without the opposite tension of high art to serve as a balance.
(Evil Monkey: "Oh, you do like to stir up controversy, you stupid son of a bitch." Jeff: "Not really. I didn't think this was very controversial. I certainly ain't slanderous, as one person said." Evil Monkey: "You make a bunch of generalizations and don't back them up with evidence." Jeff: "I'm just sayin' what a certain number of people are thinkin'. Don't lynch me for that." Evil Monkey: "No award's perfect." Jeff: "No shit. No award out there is anything other than subjective. Some are the mass delusions of the many. Some are the very particular delusions of a jury." Evil Monkey: "So why pick on this one?" Jeff: "Because I really really like the fucking thing." Evil Monkey: "So what if there's no problem with it?" Jeff: "Great! Then there's no problem. But if there's a debate about it in certain quarters, then there's at least a perception problem. People never want to hear about perception problems any more than they want to hear about problems with a real, solid factual basis, because they then have to shift their own perception of how they are perceived in relation to the problem area." Evil Monkey: "Zzzzzzzzzzz." Jeff: "Yeah, fair enough." Evil Monkey: "I remember the good old days when they'd announce the Tiptree winner and it was a book I'd never heard of." Jeff: "Well, maybe it's like when your favorite band gets a big-time record deal, then. Or something." Evil Monkey: "There are a thousand people at Wiscon right now who are about to descend upon your house and burn it to the ground." Jeff: "Right. I'll get the lighter fluid.")