July 1st, 2010

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Thursday Already?!

Notice to Universe:   I need MORE time not LESS time.  No fair stealing entire days without my noticing.

One of the things I did not anticipate, years back when I started doing this (and there are myriads of such things) is that answering comments (which seems only polite) could take up so much time.  And be so invisible to people looking at when the last post was.   It's nice to have conversations going on, but given my so-called schedule (get up, start working, eat cereal, keep working, realize it's 2 pm or later and I haven't had lunch, grab something and keep working, realize it's time to fix something for supper and eat it, and after that keep working until finally my brain goes numb near or after midnight...) I can't deal with more than one at a time, really.   One here, that is, because of my bold leap into blogging with the three topic-focused blogs, on top of this and the SFF.net newsgroup.

I thought Twitter would help, and it does, sort of, but then some people are upset that I'm not writing more "real" posts.   (Some people, I think, do not work the hours I work. )   It does not help that everything LJ itself has done in the last couple of years has made my experience of LJ worse.  (HEADERS--those miserable annoying eye-shattering headers they're so pleased with themselves about...and that now CHANGE every month or so.  There's a reason I picked a visually quiet style.  Those things distract me and I don't need distraction.)

But anyway--it's Thursday already.   Our 80% chance of rain yesterday never materialized here, and although it's cloudy-gloomy this morning, I'm willing to place a small bet (two doughnuts) that today's 80% chance of rain won't materialize here either.  However, it might land on the city, where I need to go to the blueprint place and the train station...but do not want to risk driving in a downpour and ending up in a flooded street.   Especially not the underpass under tracks, which is a typical railroad underpass of the type that drowns cars and their occupants with a sudden rise of water.   

Meanwhile, there's plenty of work to do here (always!)  so I should quit hanging out online and go do it.  

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

How Not to Critique

In another venue, someone posted a link to a criticism of science fiction.   Criticisms of science fiction are ubiquitous and frequently wrongheaded (the critic has read one or at most two SF stories and judges the whole elephant by its left rear second toenail.)   But the one I ran into today (via another venue far, far away from here) is a perfect example of several bad critical practices in one.  Its title purports to give "The Ten Errors of Science Fiction" and its focus is (initially at least--the writer does wander, and not entertainingly) on the mistakes science fiction writers make about aliens.

To start off with, the writer, Mr. Vaknin, makes the flat statement that "In all works of science fiction, there are ten hidden assumptions regarding alien races."  Well, no.  For one thing, there are many works of science fiction that contain no reference to aliens at all.   (I should know; I've written quite a few myself.)    When science fiction isn't about aliens, and doesn't include aliens, there are no "hidden assumptions" about aliens.  Right here we can see a logic flaw of the type that leads to the construction of large straw men so the critic can knock them down while crowing of his superior might.   And sure enough, the straw starts piling up, and the critic bashes away at it...but y'know, those of us who actually know something about a) science fiction and b) how aliens are depicted in science fiction and c) why fiction is what it is and not something else, are not fooled into believing that the sack of straw is an actual science fiction writer or his/her work.

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