June 20th, 2013


off to PortConMaine tomorrow

I'm getting on a choo choo train to Portland, Maine tomorrow for the aptly named PortConMaine, where I'll be one of the guests. I'll be doing three Q&As, one Friday at 4pm in Monhegan, one Saturday at 3pm also in Monhegan, and one Sunday at 3pm in Whaleback. I'm also doing an autographing from 1-2pm on Saturday, and I might have a table in the dealer room.

Hope to see folks there! I plan to take advantage of the trip up to finish the client edit I was working on and start Gryphon Precinct. Or maybe write "Down to the Waterline." Or maybe record the next Dead Kitchen Radio. We'll see.
  • Current Music
    "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

ask away, ask away, ask away, onward....

Haven't done this in a while, and I'm in a voluble mood (or something), so consider this your opportunity to ask me anything you want. I promise to provide some kind of answer, even if it's "I can't answer that." :)

So go ahead! Ask!

(I'll be in transit for eight hours today, and while I'm fairly certain my train will have wifi, there's no guarantee of that, so responses may not come immediately.)
  • Current Music
    "Gimme Shelter" by Keith Richards

read this piece by Genevieve Valentine

Everyone read this piece by Genevieve Valentine right now.

There's been a lot of shit flying around the geek community lately, from various SFWA shitstorms over the treatment of women and non-whites to a truly despicable Kickstarter for what claims to be a guide to flirting with women but which is actually a guide to how to sexually harass women, with some bonus material on how to be a rapist. Genevieve -- who is depressingly in danger of being better known for being sexually harassed at Readercon than she should be for truly excellent fiction and nonfiction writing -- talks about all that and more in a phenomenal piece that should be required reading for every human.

An excerpt:
Things you deal with:

A man touching your shoulder when you’re ahead of him in line, to nudge you forward. A man moving to stand in your spot in an otherwise-empty elevator. (The man who uses this opportunity to ask you a question he wouldn’t ask in public.) A man seeing you kneel to pick up a paperclip and saying, “A woman on her knees gives a man ideas.” A man shouting at his girlfriend as she looks around for help. A group of teenage boys catcalling on the street. “Bitch,” said about you. The offensive joke a male co-worker tells you. The male co-worker who repeats you and gets the credit. The man who won’t stop asking you if you want a drink. The man who ducks around the line to cut in front of you. “Smile, sweetheart.” The man at the rush-hour bus stop who asks every woman to look at a picture of his perineum. The man who says you’re too angry for him to take seriously; if you want him to listen, be calmer.

These are not the assaults, the beatings, the rapes. These are not the traumas. These are small things, mostly; they happen a hundred times a day, you have to deal with them all. To ignore these is to know they’re collecting little victories of privilege, and to wait for “baby” to turn to “bitch” when you don’t answer. To respond almost always risks escalation, telescoping the amount of time you’ll have to deal with it. Either can be dangerous, if the man has a mind.
  • Current Music
    "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" by John Mellencamp

a petition that I signed

Recently, a gentleman named Ken Hoinsky got himself funding through Kickstarter for Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women. Under the guise of being a guide to flirting for geeks, it is, in fact, a guide to how to be a major-ass sexual harasser, with a side dish of how to put yourself in a good position to commit rape. It's pulled together from posts he's made on Reddit.

A quote:
Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.

"Don't ask for permission." "Force her to rebuff your advances." That's sexual harassment at the very least.

Then we have this gem:
Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.

Yup, he's advocating pulling out your dick and putting it in a woman's hand without her permission, which -- leaving aside how disgusting, awful, repugnant, and harmful it is -- is also at least a couple of kinds of illegal.

Proving that humanity has a ways to go, 732 people funded this to the tune of more than $16,000 (Hoinsky's goal was $2000).

There's a petition up asking Kickstarter to revoke the funding of this book, and I urge folks to sign it. Kickstarter's own guidelines list as something they won't allow: "No offensive material (hate speech, etc.); pornographic material; or projects endorsing or opposing a political candidate." I think urging men to not ask for permission to touch women is offensive, and to force their genitalia on women falls under "offensive" and "pornographic."

Thanks to Casey Malone and Seanan McGuire for alerting me to this bullshit.

Edited to add: Turns out the petition below was already brought to Kickstarter's attention and they have declined to act, and have been deleting comments on their Facebook page that complain about it. Looks like my days of using Kickstarter for crowdfunding are over.
  • Current Music
    "Lay Down Sally" by Eric Clapton