the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘SF Signal’ Category

I’m over at SFSignal this morning with a Mind Meld on “What webcomics should I be reading *right now*”? I love doing roundtables like this because I get to ask a bunch of experts about something that I don’t know very much about. Come on over and check it out!

It’s been a bit of a few days, so I only had time to look at a few of the links. One that I did click, however, was Prospect Park Dusk, Prospect Park Dawn by Mike Dawson, recommended by Carrie Cuinn.

Why you should click on it too:

1. it’s very short. Like one chapter. you can read the entire thing in 10 minutes, although I guarantee you you’ll go back to read it again.

2. it’s sort of about vampires, but mostly not.  and by “mostly not”, I mean I was a blubbering ball of crying by the time I got to the end of it.

3. I don’t usually care about gender stuff, but it was nice to read a webcomic where the main character is a modern woman who deals with modern ladystuff – childcare issues, marital issues, dreaded “Mom’s group”, anxiety about being a good parent and what happens when their toddler grows up.

4. well, Shit.  Is that entire story just a giant metaphor for parental anxiety that no one wants to talk about?  well . . .   goddamn.

I heard this cold war era joke all the time when I was a kid:

Under a totalitarian government, a man is able to smuggle his wife out of the country. He promises to write her a letter every week. He knows the government reads everyone’s mail, so he tells her if the letter is written in black ink, everything is the truth, if the letter is written in red ink, everything is a lie. The weeks progress, and she receives letters in black ink telling her how much he loves her, and discussing the weather, and letters in red ink talking about how wonderful the government is and that he never wants to leave. until one fateful letter arrives in black in:

My beloved wife: My life here is complete,  the government sees to my every need and is taking such good care of me that I can not imagine why anyone would ever want to live somewhere else. Therefore I will not be joining you in your new home. By the way, we have run out of red pens.


I recently had the honor of being on a MindMeld panel at SFSignal, along with Nick Mamatas, Ian Sales, Bob Reiss, and John Stevens, among others. Here’s what we were asked:

 Recent events have caused the resurgence of George Orwell’s classic 1984. Ever since its original publication, however, genre has tackled and wrestled with the themes of dictatorship, totalitarianism, total war, and more. What works of genre since are worthy of exploring these themes?

Here’s what we said

the responses were kicked around twitter a bit this morning, with discussions touching on dystopian war books, and that not all war book are dystopian, and not all dystopian is totalitarian, etc. It’s complicated and fascinating.

Let’s keep the conversation going: tell me about some fictional works you’ve enjoyed that deal with surveillance societies, dictatorship, totalitarian governments, and such.  No one wants to live that way, so why do we so enjoy reading books with those themes? Have we moved so far past George Orwell’s 1984 that we need to start referring to other works as “Orwellian”, or “somebody-else-ian””

All old jokes aside, with all the NSA stuff that’s come out recently do you see the post office suddenly getting much more popular? I do.


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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.