Daily Archives: January 10, 2012

Finally, Something From Facebook Worth Posting

My kid is awesome. I’m not afraid to say it.

(Yes, my kid has a Facebook account. No, please don’t try to friend her. The account’s for family and friends she knows in real life, not random Internet people. Thanks.)

How I Feel About New Hampshire

Meh. Romney’s going to win it, someone else will come in second place (why not Huntsman?) and then it’s on to South Carolina, where Romney will win it and someone else will come in second place, wash, rinse, repeat through the rest of the primary season. It’s amusing that the remaining candidates, particularly Gingrich, are castigating Romney for being a rich corporate suit, but, you know. In the particular case of Gingrich, when you’ve got a six-figure line of credit at a high-end department store Tiffany’s, get paid millions to be a “historian” and have billionaire pals willing to slip you five million here and there to run nasty ads about your opponents, there’s only so far the outrage can go before it gets clubbed to death by the irony.

That said, as an outside observer it’s fascinating to watch Gingrich go Full Gingrich at this point. I give him credit for trying to be nice for a while there, which suited him about as well as a vegan smorgasbord suits a hyena, but now he’s giving full throat to his petulant rage and he is imperial. In his tiny black heart he knows the presidency will never be his and now he’s set on Romney with the philosophy “I may not win but I can promise you will lose.” And of course the rest of the field is doing the same, because, hey, dogpile.

Too late. Romney isn’t likely to lose the nomination at this point, and if he did there’s no one left in the GOP field who could beat Obama (I’d say Huntsman could strictly on policy, but since he actually worked for Obama, I think that’s poisoned the well among the core “Obama’s a Nigerian Socialist” demographic). It’s possible Romney could beat Obama, but inasmuch as Gingrich et al seem devoted to hamstringing him as much as possible between now and the end of the primaries, the Democrats are seeing about half their job being done for them already. Mind you, Romney’s not helping himself either, with utterances like “I like firing people,” joining “Corporations are people” as Lines That Make Your Opposition Gleeful. Yes, in context it makes more sense. It’s still a pretty clueless blunder.

(Bear in mind that come the general election, the GOP will be doing their damndest to suggest that it’s Obama who is the clueless elitist, not Romney, despite his being the scion of a political family, a business history as a corporate raider, and a personal net worth of $250 million dollars. Obama’s not exactly hurting for cash, I would note (he’s a very successful author, you know), and I’m not going to suggest that the former editor of the Harvard Law Review and former senator of the State of Illinois (not to mention, you know, the President of the United States) has not, in fact, ascended into the ranks of the nation’s elite. And lord knows that the GOP did a fine job of framing George Bush, scion of a political family with a personal net worth of millions, as an ordinary guy. I just think that job’s going to be harder with Romney.)

Still, at the end of the day, things are as they were. Romney’s going to win New Hampshire, and I strongly suspect the nomination, because deep in their hearts GOP voters actually want a chance to win the White House. Gingrich is too toxic. Ron Paul is too out there. Santorum is too unapologetically bigoted. Huntsman is too late. It really is Romney or electoral oblivion.

What Romney really needs to do at this point is win New Hampshire and the next several primaries in a convincing enough fashion and quell all dispute, before Gingrich and the rest of the GOP field stab him enough to bleed him out before the general. Despite the Republican delusion of Obama as a stumbling buffoon, let’s remember that a black man named Barack Obama doesn’t get to be president in the United States, even now, without knowing a little bit about how to win an election. If the GOP field spills most of Romney’s blood before he even gets to the general, that will suit Obama just fine.

The Big Idea: Marissa Meyer

Fairy tales have been around for centuries — and will be around for centuries because their core stories are adaptable to changing times and circumstances. If you doubt this, take a gander at Cinder, author Marissa Meyer’s new take on the Cinderella story. What changes does she make and what do they mean for the story of the girl with the slipper? Meyer explains how moving Cinderella out of the past and into the future has given the story new life in the present.

MARISSA MEYER:

My Big Idea for Cinder might just be the smallest idea in the book.

“Cinderella… as a cyborg.”

Four little words that still epitomize the novel, describing its general concept just as succinctly as they did three years ago, when I first heard them. They came as I was falling asleep, floating in that delirious state between waking and dreaming, when practically anything can seem like a novel-worthy idea. Cinderella… as a cyborg.

It clicked, immediately. The character filled up my head as I lay there in the dark—a girl oppressed by society and her step-family. A girl slaving away on robots and hovercars, using her built-in skills to earn her keep. A girl with one mechanical hand and one mechanical foot, her identity forever trapped between human and machine.

Her story began unfolding so fast I had to get out of bed and jot it down before I lost it, and though I found my notes mostly jumbled and nonsensical the next morning, the Big Idea lingered. And grew.

Though that night may have knocked the dominoes over, I’d been setting them up for months, since the first Slightly Smaller Idea had come to me: I’m going to write a series of futuristic fairy tales. I’d been brainstorming since, making lists of my favorite fairy tales and beloved space-opera tropes. Things like evil regimes and high-tech weaponry, androids equipped artificial intelligence, and sexy spaceship captain. I kind of have a thing for spaceship captains. I’d been toying with visions of Rapunzel trapped in a satellite rather than a tower, or Snow White in a suspended animation tank instead of a glass coffin.

Little ideas—little dominoes in a neat little line—until Cinder came stomping through and kicked them all over.

It seemed almost inevitable at the time.

Cinderella, as a cyborg. Obviously.

But those four easy words that dropped into my brain that night, in such a tidy little package, don’t begin to touch on all the ideas that shoved their way into the story afterwards.

They make no mention of the deadly plague sweeping my futuristic Earth, creeping ever closer toward the major cities. Or the cyborg draft that’s been instated to find an antidote—whatever the cost.

They say nothing about a beloved sister or a spunky android or a wise doctor who’s slowly losing his mind.

They do not even hint at an entire race of evolved humans with mysterious powers of mind-control, residing on the moon and waiting for the right moment to strike.

It’s impossible to look at those words and see how they’ve been transformed into a story that’s taken up so much space in my head, it required not one book to write it, but four. Each inspired by a different classic fairy tale and introducing new heroes and heroines to a cast that includes misfits and royalty, soldiers and thieves, computer hackers and genetically-modified mutants.

And, always, a cyborg Cinderella.

It is a Big Idea. One that’s easy to pitch and fun to say and translates well to a cover with a mechanical foot inside a glass slipper. But it pales in comparison to all those other ideas that have fused together to make up Cinder, a novel that has refused to stay confined within four simple words.

Thankfully, my publisher has given me four whole books to do the story justice. Challenge accepted. Let the Lunar Chronicles begin.

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Cinder: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. See the book trailer. Visit the author’s LiveJournal. Follow her on Twitter.