Representin’ for the SF Publishing Hotties, Yo

lizscheier.jpgApparently Galleycat is running a contest to determine “the Hottie of Publishing, Women’s Division,” and has five finalists up, some of whom really do seem to be rather unspeakably hot, from what I can discern from the rather ridiculously small pictures of the women on the site. One of the finalists, Liz Scheier (pictured here), is a science fiction editor, and I’m being lobbied by members of the science fiction hawt women appreciation underground to throw some votes her way.

Well, okay: As long as we all preface this with the acknowledgement that this is a very silly poll or contest or whatever, and that the vote does not oblige Liz to, you know, actually date any of us, why not recognize hotness in science fiction, in the form of an editor who might buy one of your books and/or buy some books that you will later read and enjoy? Powerful, hawt women in SF rock. What could possibly be better?

Yes, yes, powerful hawt women in SF offering you free pizza. Now beat yourself in the head with a bat, you mouth-breathing troglodyte, you.

So, anyway: vote for Liz. Science fiction thanks you in advance for your participation.

Incidentally —

Yes, I got that chapter done yesterday. I have another to do today. Joy.

Here’s a fun fact: Raymond Chandler once wrote about writing “If you ever run out of ideas, have someone come through the door with a gun.”

In science fiction, a missile attack does pretty much the same thing.

That is all.

In Today’s Episode of “Those Activist Courts”!

The NSA eavesdropping program is unconstitutional? That’s unpossible!

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately.

In a 44-page memorandum and order, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, — who is based in Detroit, Michigan –struck down the National Security Agency’s program, which she said violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

Here’s the full ruling. My favorite quote:

The president of the United States … has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders.

Oh, wait, this one is good, too:

Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution.

Yes, upholding the Constitution, which is a thing I believe this president may have heard of in his oath of office. Nice that he’ll be held to that. But no doubt, Bush being Bush, he’ll try to find yet another way to get around it. I do so yearn for a president who does not see the US Constitution as damage, to be routed around whenever possible. I’d like to think I’m not alone in this.

Reeking With Plutessence

Because I know you care, the latest on Pluto: First, Scott Westerfeld’s latest Pluto-hatin’ rant, in which it’s revealed, more or less, that one of his biggest problems with a solar system with tiny ice planets is that then everything gets so darn messy. Which reminds me that the pre-Copernicans had a lovely and ordered view of the solar system — a sphere for everything, and everything in its sphere — whose only problem was that it just happened to be, you know, wrong. Fact is, it’s a messy universe; not even the universal constants may be as constant as we once assumed. If we end up with dozens — nay, hundreds! — of tiny ice planets orbiting the sun slowly in wacky, eccentric orbits, it’s just the way these things go.

Scott’s also against the “nine historical planets” idea, hoping against all sense and reason that astronomers and other scientists will fall back on saying “eight classic planets,” thus giving Pluto the (ironically) cold shoulder, and eventually we’ll all forget about those crazy little ice planets with their crazy eccentric orbits and all. Well, the reason this won’t happen is because Pluto is useful; it’s not only a planet, but it’s also a signifier for all the other dinky ice planets out there. By retaining and invoking Pluto as the example par excellence of tiny ice planets, we get away with not having to name them all, thus allowing future generations of children to know tiny ice planets exist — as they certainly do, so ignoring them entirely would be a lie — without torturing them by requiring them to memorize the name of every bit of ice and rock massive enough to collapse into a sphere. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Pluto saved Christmas.

Meanwhile, Charlie Stross thinks both Scott and I are mad as dogs, and plumps for the “four planet” solar system. I’d sic Cthulhu on him, but clearly, it’s far too late for that.

One more twist in Scott’s Pluto-hatin’ gut: Textbook and toy makers are preparing to implement the 12-planet solar system. Apparently it’ll take up to seven years before all the science textbooks in the US have all the 12 proposed planets in them, thanks to the nature of textbook sales in this country. But the toys could be ready much sooner than that: “Discovery Channel Store spokeswoman Pamela Rucker predicted new 12-planet toys could be in stores in time for the Christmas season.”

Heh. I know what I’m getting Scott for the holidays.