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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Someday I will remember the names of people who recommend books to me. Today is not that day.
Someone did recommend to me "James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life Of Alice B. Sheldon" by Julie Phillips, but I can't remember who. Or, actually, why, because it's not immediately, visibly relevant to my interests. That being said, it is actually relevant to my interests in terms of my studies of masking, identity, and revelation. Which may be what my recommender intended, and if so well done them. Stand up and let me know who you are and I'll credit you!
The book is the biography of Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the male pseudonym of James Tiptree Jr. in the tightly-knit science fiction community of the 1970s and 80s. ( Review below the cut! )Final Verdict:
In all, the book was a very detailed, very thoughtful and analytical look at Alice Sheldon's life, both under her own name and under Tiptree's. There's a lot of meat, but I got a little overwhelmed in the details, and in the end I don't know that I actually liked Sheldon all that much. It certainly gave me no desire at all to read James Tiptree Jr's stories, but then it's very up front about their bleakness and I'm not a person who particularly enjoys the bleak in fiction. So...the book's worth a checkout from the library, and perhaps worth buying for those with special interests in late-century scifi communities or mid-century feminism.
I'm taking the day off from editing Dead Isle -- I still have lots of comments to answer and will have more in the coming days, I'm sure. I'm trying to get stuff wrapped up at work, but it's all tedious, tiddly little stuff I've put off. Gah.
Also, I appear to have mislaid my ability to write fanfic with plots. Comic book plots are difficult because within the universe, 99% of the plots involve someone kicking someone else's ass and that gets a) repetitive and b) boring to write about. I did do more work on the Agent Phil "Cheese" Coulson fic, but there is no plot beyond him being an administrative badass, and I am an administrative badass and that does not even interest me.
(So, you know, if you have a plot, suggest it and I might write it. Emphasis on "might", but still.)
We've all been discussing the Avengers at work because apparently it's huge outside fandom too? And I keep having to say "Well yes, I did like it, but not nearly as much as everyone else I've spoken to seems to."
I mean...there are a lot of explosions, and the special effects are what you'd expect from a large special effects budget. It has some funny lines. But there's not really any character development, the plot's a bit hacked, and the villain spends over half the movie not actually being the villain.
IDK, I have some issues. It's a good movie! Just...not that good.
A few days ago I was researching a man we dubbed The Saddest Man In The World. I won't give you his whole biography, but the story of the Saddest Man In The World starts with his son dying of inoperable cancer and gets worse from there.
Today, my coworker was editing my research report and she pinged me on my work chat.
Coworker: quick question about [Prospective Donor]
aka the saddest man in the world
they had two kids, but their son died, right?
Sam: Yes, two kids, son and daughter, son deceased.
Coworker: I am just going to say one child in the Children section
as you talk about the deceased son elsewhere
Sam: I feel for his daughter, it seems like she gets a bit overlooked...
Coworker: OH MAN GOOD POINT
They just got elevated...
to saddest FAMILY in the world
Sam: I shouldn't laugh but it's so true
Coworker: well then, that decides it, my life is okay.
Researching other people for a living does give you a strong sense of perspective.