Posted on August 1, 2010 Posted by nkjemisin 45 Comments
Hi folks. I noticed that the traffic at my blog has gone boom in the past couple of days, so I guess it’s time for me to introduce myself — though as John points out, this isn’t my first appearance in these here parts. I’m also known to make the occasional comment in various threads, though since I’m usually busy writing books and stuff, I try to limit my online time. Fortunately, John’s call for guest bloggers caught me in the sweet spot of time management — just after I’ve finished book 3 of the Inheritance Trilogy (The Kingdom of Gods, if you’re wondering), and just before I start my next big project. It’s not perfect timing, unfortunately; I’m about to move to a new apartment, resume work after having the summer off, and some other stuff — but what the hey.
About my blogging style: I talk a lot about writing, but also about feminism, race, art, and politics. Since I’m excited about Jaenelle Monae, dragons, and Inception at the moment (in no particular order), I might be talking about about those things to start off. I don’t mind controversy, and have minimal patience for knuckleheads — so it’s fortunate that someone else will be wielding the Mallet of Loving Correction, because I would probably be heavier-handed with it than you guys are used to! I live in Brooklyn, and might occasionally post sunsets and landscapes and the like — since, hey, we have pretty stuff to look at in the big city, too. While I do have a cat, the venerable dame NukuNuku*, I’m not going to be posting any pictures of her. I’ve seen how you guys are about John’s cats, and I don’t want any pervy cat-fanciers eyeballing my girl. You hear me? So don’t even ask, or I’ll post photos of local NYC wildlife instead.
So, nice to meet you!
* Oh, and I’m a longtime anime/manga fan, if you couldn’t tell.
Well, allow me to be the first to welcome you to your role as a guest blogger on Whatever. May your temporary and shared reign of terror be enjoyable and fruitful, and lead to many book sales and opportunities.
Oh, and how is your cat Canadian? Was Canadian bacon taped to it? Does it bathe in maple syrup?
Oh c’mon post pictures of your cat because we’ll taunt you whether you do or not so you might as well.
Though pictures of giant rats are cool too.
See, now I doubt you even have a cat. You just claim to have one because its apparently part of the lifestyle to have a cat if your a writer. Or maybe its a requirement to join the SFWA. Either way, without proof, we (ok maybe just I) assume you are lying and have no NukuNuku.
Sad that you have to start off the relationship on this doubtful footing. ;)
Looking forward to your posts. I hope we see some NYC pics. I long to visit and always love to see it vicariously.
If your cat is running from you to avoid a vet visit, do you catch her in a NukuNuku net?
we (ok maybe just I) assume you are lying and have no NukuNuku.
So she’s a no-NukuNuku N.K.? If she does post pictures, you’ll be forced to admit she’s a non-no-NukuNuku N.K.. If this distresses you greatly, you might cry “Not a non-no-NukuNuku, no, no!”
As lovely as Scalzi’s compound is, I’m looking forward to seeing some city pictures.
Only wish you hadn’t started things with that whole “I swear I have a cat” thing and then refuse to post pictures. Scalzi would never dangle something in our faces in order to tease us and… and…
what am I talking about?! Clearly, you were well chosen for this task. Welcome!!
I must also admit to being excited about dragons, even if I don’t have that particular book in hand yet (ordered it through SFBC) and actually picked up Hundred Thousand Kingdoms because of the Big Idea post here. I liked that book too.
Given my equal affinity for cats and anime/manga (but in my case, mostly anime, manga takes up too much space) I look forward to your stay here.
Technical question: is there any way to get the name of the blogger to show up in the rss feed?
Welcome to you! I, too, picked up your book because of the post here. My book budget has had to expand thanks to the Big Idea posts, and my yarn budget has shrunk accordingly. Thank heavens I already have a large enough stash to knit just from stash for the rest of my unnatural life.
I wish that “Whatever” could temporary be retitled “S’up?” for the duration of your tenure. Heck, I’ll pretend that *is* the name for the next few weeks. Howdy, and thank you very, very much for being here.
@Ren – It probably just depends on what Reader you are using. Google Reader already has the author under they title it says “from Whatever by nkjemisin” for this post.
@Lewis – Ahh. I’m reading from the RSS feed that’s set up on livejournal, I didn’t realize other readers already had the information. Hmm.
NukuNuku (or N2, as I am fond of abbreviations that make no sense) was last owned and named by a BFF of mine who lived in Ottawa at the time. Before that, she had a rough life — born as a pet, she was abandoned by her first owners when they discovered she was pregnant… in the middle of the winter. Yeah, in Ottawa, where the windchill is frequently 30 below. She survived for about 3 months on her own, though, until acquaintances of the first owners realized what had happened and caught her and the kittens. (And hopefully called the Canuck equiv of the SPCA on those ratbastard SOBs…) So my friend fostered her as a skinny teenaged mom with four adorable kittens. All were in healthy condition because N2 is an amazing hunter, and also because the kittens had inherited N2’s peculiar, coarse, three-layered brindle fur. The pro of this kind of fur is obvious; N2 is never cold. The con is that she never, ever stops shedding. Cat hair is yummy.
Anyway, the kittens got adopted, and N2 stayed with my friend, until one summer when I went to Ottawa to visit her. N2 decided she wanted me instead, and sort of facehuggered me until I got the point. So I took her home with me. That was maybe 12 years ago. She’s 17 now, and has matured into a very sweet and pushy old thing who mostly spends her time looking forlornly for mice around my apartment. None so far, but the minute I get some, trust me, she’ll let me know. -_-
To make a long story short. (Too late.)
Ha! Your paltry reverse psychology will not work on me.
(But how did you know about the secret SFWA membership requirement? Somebody’s been talking too much, I see. ::cracks knuckles::)
Xopher @ #4:
See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Cats do things to Whatever readers. Strange, scary things. I’m not exposing my girl to you people!
Guest bloggers are obligated to tell us embarrassing things about Scalzi.
I’m glad she found a safe home. I live not too too far south of Ottawa in the Niagara Region and the winters here are brutal, so I can imagine what they are like there. Reminds me of the two cats my parents had. Somehow I ended up naming both of them. Cleo, short for Cleocatra (the name just fit) lived to be well over twenty and as deaf as a stump. For some reason she loved me to bits, and would always curl up in my bed if I left it unmade, even hours after I’d left and any residual heat was gone. Same if I left a sweater on my bedroom floor. The funny part was, she was originally adopted at my sister’s urging.
The other cat my parents had was Shadow, a gray fuzzball with a white mark on her chest. First time we saw her was at the farm of one of my dad’s clients, and she wrapped herself around my neck and fell asleep. At that point it was determined we were going to adopt her, no matter the objections from my father.
Cleo has passed on, and Shadow has moved away with my sister and her fiance, so I don’t really get to see her at all. I keep thinking of a adopting a cat, but I’m torn because I do have a small apartment and I’m always out and about and would hate to leave it alone for too long.
… On second thought, these threads will be perfectly fine without pictures of your facehugger cat. ;)
Hi and welcome!
@12 – While there’s undoubtedly a CSPCA (probably under a different name), for practical day-to-day purposes animal issues are handled locally by the municipality or region. Here in K-W it falls under the bylaw-control officers’ venue, which in the case of animals turns over jurisdiction to the local Humane Society. So the knock on your door when there’s been a complaint will usually be a HS rep.
I think we will get along nicely.
Haven’t you been listening to Mark Zuckerberg? Public is the new private. And I refuse to read your blog — let alone your books — without seeing a picture of your cat.
— Kejia’s cat
[stalking away on all four paws]
pay no attention to my cat. He keeps hacking into my account. At least, after the third bag of cat food was delivered, I’ve hidden my credit cards…
(Kejia only thinks her credit cards are safe; she has no idea I already set up a paypal account…)
Ms J@13: “But how did you know about the secret SFWA membership requirement?”
The world’s worst literary agent (maybe), Sydney T. Cat, has let the cat, um, I mean, has spilled the beans by declaring that ALL WRITERS NEED CAT SUPERVISON. [sic]
Welcome to Whatever. Somene should come by to measure you for your tinfoil hat and straitjacket shortly.
Welcome…I used to have a cat (aptly named Ferocious Neurosis), but he ran away when I had the audacity to temporarily move him to a new home in order to prevent him from being killed by a neighbor. For some strange reason, my neighbor did not appreciate the fact that my cat enjoyed climbing into his car and ridding himself of excess fur (and other bits of nastiness) on his front seat. Nor was he willing to close his car windows. Alas that was my last cat…
Although last week, one of my sons brought a basket of bastard kittens by (allegedly on his way to the humane society to see them properly adopted out). My dog approved – she really wanted a kitten – but since our house is for sale and we will (hopefully) soon be homeless, I couldn’t take one in good conscience.
Now if I could only find a dragonlet…
OMG, how did I miss that the next Temeraire book is out!!! Ack! Must… go… purchase… now…..
(oh, and Inception was one major mind job – loved it!)
Welcome N. K.,
I too babysat a rescued street cat one summer for a friend. It was when I was in Montreal and my friend went back to Alberta for the summer.
Erasmus, her cat, moved to my apartment for the summer and adjusted extremely well except for the fact that he would always been on the bed in inappropriate times. Amazing timing for a cat. Thankfully, he quite enjoyed being tossed about.
I missed him immensely when he went back home and after that moved to Alberta.
Street cats are very versatile movers.
Remember, you can re-read your book stash, but you can’t re-use your yarn stash without a lot of frogging…
Welcome fellow Brooklynite! I’m glad to hear that Book 3 is done (and is the November 3 release date Amazon has for Book 2 correct?) I really hope that you do blog about Inception. I’m currently obsessed with it and love reading other opinions on it.
That’s the problem! So much of my book stash consists of books I read over and over again, and the list grows every year. Before long, I fear all my reading will be re-reads, and I’ll never have time to squeeze in New Reads.
It’s a mercy my knitting is painfully slow, because it means I can get the most knitting time from the minimum of yarn. More money for books — yay! Speaking of which, I have Shades of Milk and Honey on order from Amazon, along with a couple other books, and am looking forward to getting my hands on it.
Ohhh…I like dragons! And your writing style! And your hair! So I’m glad you’re here.
Question: As someone who is presumably a feminist, and as a fan of Manga, what’s your take on the roles/portrayals of women in them?
I talk a lot about writing, but also about feminism, race, art, and politics.
ALL of these sound super duper interesting! *is excited*
JimR @ #30,
That photo’s deceptive; I’m not wearing my hair like that anymore, and it’s black now. Just too lazy to get a new photo made, sorry.
Re: manga — asking about the portrayal of women in manga’s kind of like asking about the portrayal of women in American genre fiction; it’s too broad a question. Were there specific series/subgenres you had in mind? I mostly read shoujo (girls’) manga, whose portrayals of women are generally good or at least nuanced/well-rounded if poor. I like some shounen (boys’) too, and most of the ones I like handle women well (e.g., Fullmetal Alchemist). I’m not really up on the latest/hottest/coolest stuff, though, because I’ve been really busy in the last couple of years.
Anyone who loves Nuku Nuku is okay with me. <3
*cues up “Ben” at the thought of rats swarming the subway platforms*
(Taken from rehearsals for “NukuNuku and the Mallet of Loving Correction”)
This is probably as good a place as any to mention that I found out about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms through the Big Idea, and it rocks.
I particularly like how the main character of the novel is a “woman warrior”, but not in the Buffy mold: Yeine’s warrior-hood is demonstrated not by scenes of her pummeling enemies into the ground, but by her ruthlessness.
I for one welcome our new city dwelling, non cat sharing overlord.
Speaking of anime, I recently had a nerdgasim when I discovered the planned release of 4 Marvel Comics anime series on the G4 network. Anime has not always been my cup of tea, but I think I will be making an effort when these premier.
It’s so nice to have you here. Thank you for stepping in while Scalzi abandons us for the lure of Down Under and well-deserved downtime.
And so nice to see your name on the cover of your book. That just got a big WHEE! from me. I’ve only just ordered it but I am seriously looking forward to it.
I’ll try to to keep my fangirling to a minimum but I am super excited that you are guest hosting
You know that a cardinal, cardinal rule of blogging is to post a cat picture. Until you do so it’s not official. Considering that your guest blogging, at a blog, which has posted pictures of a cat… it’s a murky gray area without law or reason!
Perhaps you should meet us half way to Whatever cat photos, and post some pictures of (your) bacon.
I would be happy to talk about Janelle Monae. My only experience is with her video for Tightrope on MTV:U.
I really enjoyed the song for her singing. Then MTV:U decided to only show the mix version which sadly seems to de-emphasize her singing.
Why MTV:U, Why?
When I finished The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I said, “This is next year’s Campbell Award winner, and a Hugo nominee”. What an amazing voice, what a terrific book.
Greetings O possessed of our newest feline overlord.
I’ll have to read your book.
Yo Nora! S’up wit’choo??
Welcome! I am so glad to see you here. I love your work.
Also, I have a cat who has the most amazingly shedable fur ever. We purchased a Furminator for him and it’s amazing. I know it sounds gimmicky, but a light brushing every other day with ye olde Furminator has really helped a ton. We have less hair to deal with and he has less hairballs to deal with. Win/win.
Nora, it was more anquestion of, how do you perceive Japanese gender roles and their representation through the filter of anime and manga?
Since I moved to Japan 6 years ago, my understanding of gender roles and of “feminism” in general has been getting an almost daily reevaluation, and I’m still not sure of how I feel about it. I was curious to get the viewpoint of someone whoo thinks about the issue, and has an outside perspective.
But this is getting far afield of a simple welcome comment thread…sorry!