Two Strangely Relevant Links

One: This very interesting piece in Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, called “Queer Female of Color: The Highest Difficulty Setting There Is? Gaming Rhetoric as Gender Capital,” which discusses in some detail my “Straight White Male” piece from earlier in the year, and the fact that it got some traction — and why that might have been. Well worth reading.

Two: Writer Joe Peacock’s “Rethinking My Stance On ‘Fake Geek Girls'”. Mr. Peacock, you might remember, wrote a piece for CNN on “fake geek girls” which prompted my response here. In the time since he’s had he’s been thinking about his stance some more and now appears to want to do some serious thinking about it, and is asking for input from others on the matter. You could be one of those folks! Follow that link at the top of the graph to do so.

To encourage people to discuss these topics elsewhere, I’ll turn the comments off on this entry here.

Today is a Good Day to Subscribe to Clarkesworld Magazine

Many Whatever readers are fans of science fiction and fantasy, which means they have probably heard of Clarkesworld Magazine, the Hugo-winning science fiction magazine, which has published some genuinely excellent fiction in its run. Clarkesworld is owned and operated by Neil Clarke, who I can vouch for from personal knowledge as being one of the nicer folks in the genre. Neil has unfortunately has had a stretch of hard road recently, including a heart attack and (very recently) being let go from his day job. He’s keeping as optimistic an attitude about these things as he can, but optimism will only go so far.

Clarkesworld is an excellent magazine, and it’s also a story market that pays more than the SFWA minimum for professional-level sales, meaning that it’s a good market for writers, too. You can read its content for free on the Web site, but there’s also an option for you to subscribe to the magazine as well, and have it delivered to your e-reader, or to donate to the site to support it.

What I would like you to consider today is supporting Clarkesworld, either through a subscription (here’s the subscription page) or through a donation (here’s the donation page). I think it’s a good investment, not only for your reading enjoyment, but also for making sure writers get paid decently for the work they do. Those are both things I enthusiastically support. And, as a bonus, your subscription or donation now will help put the magazine on solid footing for the future. And that’s something I enthusiastically support as well.

Give it some thought, and thanks.

When Gut-Boys Attack

It turns out that the author of the above screed, comic book artist Tony Harris, was born the same year I was.

I can’t actually conceive of a forty three year old man, particularly one who has presumably functioned reasonably well in the real world, with other actual human beings, writing a paragraph like that one up there.

There has to be an alternate explanation for it.

Perhaps, and I’m just spit-balling here, all these years Mr. Harris has kept, Kuato-like, a maladept fifteen-year-old boy in his gut. Then one day, when Harris sat down at a keyboard to exclaim how much he liked kittens, that gut-boy seized control of his body to have a vent. Perhaps Harris went into a trance when it happened, and by the time he came to, gut-boy had already posted his screed to Facebook. At that point, Harris had no other choice but to stand by it, because to do otherwise would raise too many questions, mostly about the adolescent man-child that lives in Harris’ intestine. I mean, how do you explain that away? How did gut-boy get there? Is this his first eruption? At conventions, when Women of Insufficient Nerdity walk by Harris’ booth in their unearned cosplay, does gut-boy strain at Harris’ abdominal wall, trying to get out, screaming “UNCLEAN” loud enough that Harris has to cover up gut-boy’s muffled howling with a carefully-staged coughing fit? Does Harris exist in a state of existential despair, never really knowing when gut-boy will unfold, like a scrotal origami, to rail at the feminine injustices of this world? And at boobies?

I fear he must. I fear Tony Harris truly has a gut-boy, lodged well into his duodenum. Rationally, it is the only explanation. Indeed, it’s the only explanation for a depressing number of grown men in nerd circles: They suffer from a plague of gut-boys, lashing out while their hosts can only look on, horrified and embarrassed at the misogynistic words and statements they will soon be obliged to own.

In which case, I will pray for Tony Harris in his life-long struggle against his angry, wailing gut-boy. It’s a difficult life he leads. I can only hope one day, he can expel his splenetic parasite and live a freer, fuller life. In the meantime, he should consider staying away from keyboards. You never know when gut-boy will strike again.