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Julie Andrews

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TV Again [Oct. 8th, 2013|10:31 am]
Julie Andrews

Just Witches of East End this time.

As I started watching it, I was thinking 'this is new adult'. Then the mother and aunt had more to do, so I revised it to 'supernatural chick lit'. Which is fine if you like that sort of thing, and not too surprising given that it's Lifetime. Lifetime gave us Tanya Huff's vampire show though, so I'm not down on Lifetime. Except they straight-washed the vampire and then canceled the show. So maybe I am down on Lifetime.

Anyhoo.. I'll keep watching for a bit. But I really have to work to suspend my disbelief that the aunt's name is WENDY. You can't be very old if you're a Wendy. I'm just sayin'. About 100, 110 tops.

* Okay, I googled/wikipedia'd it. She could be an older Wendy, it's just highly unlikely. And the naming scheme of the daughters, and the surnames.. they're just sort of all over.
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Why Are There So Few Women in Science? [Oct. 3rd, 2013|03:05 pm]
Julie Andrews
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I was reading through this lengthy article about women in science and I was finding it interesting and informative. Until I got to page 3 and her discussion of Big Bang Theory.

I will readily admit, and could even be induced to rant, about the sexist.. everything in Big Bang Theory. I do not disagree that that show has problems, as entertaining as it may be. (And it's more entertaining when it's doing geeky things and not relationship crap, btw.) But WOW! WOW! For an article that's supposedly about how we should have more women in science, she is incredibly harsh about the women on Big Bang Theory!

"For proof of the stereotypes that continue to shape American attitudes about science, and about women in science in particular, you need only watch an episode of the popular television show “The Big Bang Theory,” about a group of awkward but endearing male Caltech physicists and their neighbor, Penny, an attractive blonde who has moved to L.A. to make it as an actress. Although two of the scientists on the show are women, one, Bernadette, speaks in a voice so shrill it could shatter a test tube. When she was working her way toward a Ph.D. in microbiology, rather than working in a lab, as any real doctoral student would do, she waitressed with Penny. Mayim Bialik, the actress who plays Amy, a neurobiologist who becomes semiromantically involved with the childlike but brilliant physicist Sheldon, really does have a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is in no way the hideously dumpy woman she is presented as on the show. “The Big Bang Theory” is a sitcom, of course, and therefore every character is a caricature, but what remotely normal young person would want to enter a field populated by misfits like Sheldon, Howard and Raj? And what remotely normal young woman would want to imagine herself as dowdy, socially clueless Amy rather than as stylish, bouncy, math-and-science-illiterate Penny?"

The men are 'awkward but endearing'. And one isn't a physicist by the way, but an engineer and an astronaut. And dude, he is not particularly endearing. He's kinda gross. Also, two of them aren't Penny's neighbor.

Penny is 'an attractive blonde'.

Bernadette speaks not just in a 'shrill' voice, but one with a metaphor attached.

Amy is only 'semiromantically involved'? And Sheldon is 'childlike'. Presumably because he's asexual and their relationship hasn't progressed much in sexual directions, it gets characterized as 'semiromantic' and Sheldon as 'childike'.

Amy is then described as "hideously dumpy"! Which is not at all like what Mayim Bialik looks like, by the way, in case you were worried!
Amy is then additionally described as "dowdy" and "socially clueless".

She really has it out for Amy! I assume because she couldn't find anything to say about Bernadette's appearance.

Look. Bernadette has her quirks, because they ALL DO. Her voice is a minor thing compared to Raj's inability to talk to women or her husband's lecherousness. Amy has her unique style of dress, again, because they ALL DO. I could show you the outfits of any character on the show, devoid of their actors, and you'd know who wore them. They're so distinctive that I NOTICED. The only other time I noticed something like that was Smallville's color scheme.

Why is she giving the men a pass? Why are they "endearing" in their awkwardness, but Amy isn't?

I guess geeks and myself included are not "remotely normal", because I see myself and fellow geeks in the characters on Big Bang Theory. It's lacking diversity -- someone overweight, someone not-straight, someone older, someone with a beard, someone disabled, more non-white people, etc etc. But I could readily imagine all of them at a local con and not being surprised by how they appear, how they act, or how they speak.

But I ALSO wouldn't be surprised to see Penny! She is geeky in her own way, and interested enough in what her friends are doing to try to learn more about it. Would I be surprised to see her alone at a con? Probably.

Do I want to be her? No. I don't want to be a waitress, or an actor, or a blonde, or a sports fan, or more of a slob than I already am. Oh, wait, you mean Penny has personality traits beyond "stylish" and "bouncy"? *gasp!*

I guess the author of this piece wants her female scientists to be pretty, stylish, "normal" women. All others need not apply.

Sorry, Bernadette, you didn't work your way through school in a lab like any respectable scientist would. And you talk funny. You're out.
Sorry, Amy, you don't dress pretty enough, and you didn't spend enough time socializing with the right people. You're out too.
Penny, you're in! Just apply yourself harder to that math and science you don't like all that much!
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TV Update [Oct. 3rd, 2013|12:33 pm]
Julie Andrews

Sleepy Hollow - I still need to watch the latest one (online). I was rewatching the first one and there's a reference to pie soup that I think is only explained in episode 2, so that's cool. I also liked the chopping off of the sign and the later shot of it the first time I watched that ep. I mean to rewatch the first 2 eps, cuz I feel I wasn't paying attention enough.

SHIELD - I rewatched the first ep. Which moved it from boring to.. this is not very good. I watched the second ep. There's something wrong about it. The characters are trying to be interesting, I think?, and failing. It doesn't help that there's so many demographically alike. An accent does not make you diverse! One of them had better at least be gay. The Whedon or Whedonesque dialog is falling flat. It's not coming off right. You can easily spot it, but it's not.. right.

Crazy Ones - Eh. Too much Robin Williams is a bad thing. And 'too much' occurs very quickly. I have trouble even watching a 5-minute interview with him. And I'm not sure of the plot on that first ep either.

Michael J Fox Show - This was funny. I had trouble catching both of the first 2 eps that aired and re-aired, but I managed in the end.

We Are Men - I like 3 of the actors in other things, but just.. clearly I am not the target market for this show. And why'd they make one of the white guys the lead? And the one we don't even know!

Mom - Still good. Not fantastic, wow, but good.

Survivor - I managed to miss it because of stupid Arrow. And I say stupid Arrow because it was a stupid recap show! I'll have to watch on cbs.com again, and that is painful. I need to go in and prioritize it over Arrow, which is mostly a boring show.

Amazing Race - Eh. Also, read the freaking clues.
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Television Recap [Sep. 25th, 2013|10:18 am]
Julie Andrews

Sleepy Hollow - There's enough good in it to keep me watching, but it's opposite some sitcoms I like.

Mom - One of said sitcoms. Not bad. It's on after 2 Broke Girls, so like, no reason not to grab it. On the other hand, if Sleepy Hollow gets better, I'd drop it without a second thought. (And watch 2 Broke Girls some other way.)

The Goldbergs - Bad. Horrible. It's got annoying narration a la The Wonder Years and the rest is just people yelling at each other.

Lucky 7 - Potentially interesting. I'll have to see where it goes. It has no skiffy content. And despite one of the characters looking kinda like the gay guy from Warehouse 13, it's not actually him.

Survivor - I was excited to see Rupert. And yet he may not last much longer. I was anti-excited to see the bigoted, racist, ableist, classist gay guy who is the worst guy on that show ever and they shouldn't have brought him back in a million years and how did he ever manage to get a fiance? And OH EM GEE YOU GUYS but watching it on cbs.com is the most annoying thing ever! There's like 4-5 commercials in every normal commercial break. I only needed to watch the last half hour (because America's Got Talent finale was on), and of course the last half hour is packed with the most commercials. Fox.com running Sleepy Hollow commercials IN THE MIDDLE OF SLEEPY HOLLOW was a much more enjoyable experience in comparison.

Oh yea. SHIELD - I found it boring. I found the characters boring. It'd better get good fast.
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Tor UK Sexist? [Jul. 16th, 2013|02:57 pm]
Julie Andrews
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So there was this article, SEXISM IN GENRE PUBLISHING: A PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE which boils down to 'women work here so we're not sexist. Fewer women are submitting to us and we don't know why.'

I thought, "Would I want to submit a novel to Tor UK?"

I'm in the US, so there are possible reasons related to that that the answer would be no.

So, I went to their website. And I looked for their submission guidelines. They were not particularly easy to find. They weren't under Contact. And they were under About, but only if you read/skimmed the blurb.

So, they're here for those who want to jump right there.

And, wow.. They sort of apologize for still existing as a traditional publisher. Almost making excuses for why you should submit to them rather than self-publish. "Besides, hopefully, there is still a fondness for having the book edited, packaged and published by us traditional types… :-)" -- So, we're supposed to submit to you out of a feeling of nostalgia? Smiley face?!

They'll read your unsolicited submission, with this rather odd explanation of how long it will take them:
"If we would like to publish your novel, we will let you know within twelve weeks of receipt. Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond to unsuccessful submissions. If you have not had a response within sixteen weeks please assume that we have, regretfully, decided not to publish your novel."

Sad that you have to assume a non-answer is a no. But actually this is quite good as a turnaround time. (Apart from the fact that most of the time there's no actual turnaround.)

1. You can submit a novel to them and get a yes within 12 weeks, and assume a no by 16 weeks. (3 months and 4 months)
2. You can submit more than one novel at a time. (simsub)
3. You can submit if you're not in the UK.

As submissions policies go, it's good. But nothing about the introduction to the policies convinced me they'd be a good publisher to work with.

Back to the About page, I find this:
"Our science fiction output features talents such as Douglas Adams, Peter F. Hamilton, Neal Asher and Gary Gibson" -- Man, man, man, man. And I haven't heard of the last guy.
"On the fantasy side, our list contains wonderful writers such as Adrian Tchaikovsky, Douglas Hulick and Mark Charan Newton." -- Man, man, man. And I haven't heard of any of them.
They name drop five other men before naming Amanda Hocking. Who got her successful start self-publishing, note.

Now, there's a link for 'Buy Tor Ebooks'. I can't find any such list for print books. Do they only publish ebooks?
How do I find a full list of what they've published or at least what they have in print? Or a list of their authors? I see authors who have contributed to the blog, which includes Cherie Priest, who you would've thought they'd namedrop on the About page.

Short of reading various blog posts, which may or may not be useful, I find no way to learn more about the company from their website.

On the Pan MacMillan site, I find this on their imprints page:
"Tor UK is a London-based publisher of hardcover and paperback books committed to science fiction and fantasy writing. Its authors are regularly nominated for prestigious awards worldwide."
That interestingly does not mention ebooks.

Over on Amazon, I tried to find books by them, but it turns out (at least on Amazon UK) that they're just listed as 'Tor'. How am I to differentiate between them and their US counterpart? Do they have John Scalzi's The Human Division, or don't they?

My next question would be what a Tor UK contract looks like. They certainly weren't prepared to tell me on their website.
My quick Google searches didn't yield up any answers. It's full of talk of their ebooks being DRM-free. Which good. Yes. But not what I was looking for.

I can't find an entry for them on Wikipedia and no mention of them on the main Tor entry.

1 -- Their About page screams 'male publisher!'
2 -- Their submission policies are great. (but the page itself doesn't come off as confident)
3 -- They need to work on their publicity -- website needs more info, they need a Wikipedia page.
4 -- They should provide some info about what rights they're buying and what they're going to do for you, the author.

They've gotten more attention in the last week or so thanks to that blog post, so maybe they ought to position themselves to capitalize on it with, basically, MORE INFO.
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filibuster [Jun. 26th, 2013|08:31 am]
Julie Andrews
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So I heard that the AP took the word of ONE PERSON who wasn't even a reporter. One VERY BIASED PERSON. That the bill passed and it totally wasn't midnight yo. Only it totally was, because we could all see it. I was watching Twitter on my phone and the stream on my laptop and my phone's clock is synced. We all knew it. The national news media didn't.

Then there was a screencap of the website showing that the vote was datestamped 6/26. This mysteriously changed a few moments later to 6/25. But EVERYONE HAD SCREENCAPS. You guys know how the Internet works over there?

I finally went to sleep. This morning it sounds like they did decide that midnight is a real time and a rule is a rule, did they?

They'd better be prosecuting a few people over there. Like whoever was dumb enough to order that website change.

Also, I hope Daily Show is all over this muffin thing.
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#standwithwendy [Jun. 26th, 2013|01:34 am]
Julie Andrews
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So I hopped on Twitter to actually tweet about an America's Got Talent act. My Twitter feed was talking about the filibuster going on down in Texas. I started watching the live feed just as Wendy Davis said her last words. And then some woman got up to say that sonograms weren't relevant to the bill they were discussing. So they debated that. And then they did all sorts of political and procedural gymnastics for the next hour and a half, two hours or so. In the last 10 minutes, another senator, this one having come back from her FATHER'S FUNERAL, said, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice in order to be heard over her male colleagues in the room?"

At that point, Twitter went wild. More importantly, the audience watching in the gallery went wild. They were too loud for anything to be accomplished. Midnight happened.

Then the Republicans tried to call a role. AFTER MIDNIGHT.

The apparently someone reported to AP and news outlets which had previously been ignoring this whole thing, picked it up that the filibuster had ended awhile ago and that the bill passed.

So, now that I've stayed up way past my bedtime and nothing is resolved, well, I know who to be mad at. Republicans who ignore the rules when it suits them and who don't care about women. And the major media outlets who'd rather report on the caloric content of blueberry muffins. And then would rather toe the Republican party line than report on the actual facts.

I do think I'll finish watching America's Got Talent though. I have 5 minutes left to watch, then I can delete it.
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SFWA "kerfuffle" [Jun. 10th, 2013|10:27 am]
Julie Andrews

Kerfuffle: A commotion or fuss
Fuss: n. A state of excessive and unwarranted concern over an unimportant matter:
v. To trouble or worry over trifles.
v. To disturb or vex with unimportant matters.
synonyms for fuss: dither, pother, tizzy, flap
fret, niggle

Try and pretend 'kerfuffle' isn't gendered. Who else fusses? Who else gets into a tizzy? Who else frets? If your answer isn't 'women', but 'babies', well, that's not any better, now, is it?!

I for one would much rather be part of a SFWA Hue and Cry.
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Wommins! Who write stuff! SF/F stuff! [Jun. 10th, 2013|09:26 am]
Julie Andrews

Anyone feel like providing a quick list of the female SF writers I should be ashamed of not having read?

Comment here and leave the names of women in genre. By the end of April, I’ll gather all names suggested and create one giant list so that we see just how many women there are.

Q: Who are your favorite women authors in genre? What are your favorite books written by them?

Wikipedia: Category:Women science fiction and fantasy writers (262)
Wikipedia: Category:Men science fiction and fantasy writers
Wikipedia: Category:Genderqueer science fiction and fantasy writers

Wikipedia: Women in speculative fiction
Wikipedia: Men in speculative fiction
Wikipedia: Genderqueer in speculative fiction

Google Ngram for "authoress"
Google Ngram for "lady author"
Google Ngram for "female author"
Google Ngram for "male author"
Google Ngram for "genderqueer author"

Goodreads List: Science Fiction Books by Female Authors
Goodreads List: Science Fiction Books by Male Authors

Why do we have to make frelling lists?! Mary Shelley is the PARENT OF SCIENCE FICTION! Lois McMaster Bujold could very well tie Heinlein this year for most Hugos for Best Novel. Seanan McGuire had five (5) Hugo nominations last year and five (5) again this year. Ursula K. Le Guin has won the most Nebulas for Best Novel. Connie Willis has eleven (11) Hugo wins and eight (8) Nebula wins. Octavia Butler was the first science fiction/fantasy author to receive a MacArthur Genius Grant. James Tiptree Jr. has an Award named after her. J. K. Rowling was the first person to become a billionaire (in US dollars) for writing books. Stephenie Meyer was in Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in 2008", which, let me tell you, is not a list chock full of sf/f writers. Clarion and Clarion West's yearly lineup of instructors is usually half women.

Listen, I know I just... MADE A LIST. But I shouldn't have to. You should know this. You should be able to name not just five women, not just ten women, you should be able to name fifty women! A hundred! You should be naming women for so long that you lose track of if you've named someone before!

What do you mean you don't read sf/f books by women authors? Why are you willfully ignoring at LEAST half of the sf/f books? Just writing them completely off as uninteresting? Look, I'm not a fan of steampunk, but I have read steampunk. I'm most definitely not a fan of horror, but I have read horror. Do you consider yourself well-read? Do you consider yourself well-rounded? Do you consider yourself to be a FAN OF THE GENRE? Then how can you not know the names of these writers?! How can you not have read them?!

And don't you even dare say 'oh, well, them, I've read them'. Yea, no, these might be outstanding names I've listed, but I have left off DOZENS more who have had a HUGE influence on sf/f and on the freaking world.

So don't you even say you need us to make a list. Make your own damn list.
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On the SFWA thing [Jun. 4th, 2013|11:20 am]
Julie Andrews
I'm finally reading the.. I keep wanting to call it a screencap. Scan, scan. I'm finally reading the scan of the bulletin article in question.

Did anyone else notice Resnick refer to the publication he's in as "SWFA Bulletin"? And the editor didn't catch that either?

That's hardly the only error, but jeesh! Your own publication!

As for ageism, sort of.. they started it! "a group of younger writers and fans". I'm sure it wasn't just younger ones. Unless they're both 100 and therefore everyone commenting on it is younger than them.

Oh my head! There's a fake geek girl reference in here if you know where to look!

Speaking of heads, the lack of men's heads on romance covers does not even compare to the lack of women's heads on multiple genres' covers.

Also, when you say 'liberal fascists' with a straight face, my eyes glaze over.
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