Since I don’t have access to a printer for a while (on a research stay in Montréal for a while), I decided to write a letter.
You know, on paper. With lines. That stuff made from trees that you can still find everywhere although nobody under the age of 25 ever uses it any more.
I hadn’t written an actual handwritten letter since probably before 1995. It felt…oddly satisfying.
Of course, I rambled on for 12 pages before I realized it. But imagine that; imagine no email, no tweets and posts and shares, and actually writing a letter that *only one other person will ever see.* (My mother in the hospital, in case you’re wondering.)
Can kids these days even conceive of such a thing, let alone actually write one?
Just think: You who are born into the digital age, you will never know the frustration of constantly confusing “stationary” with “stationery.”
‘Cause, what’s “stationery” again?
Oh, yeah. That stuff made from trees.
Old fossil. Jeez, get back to writing about SF already. (Getting there, getting there. Family comes first. Gimme a break.)
It has been said that men write history but women live it.
In my family, it’s also been the women who were the keepers of family history, the tellers of tales and stories. The saver of old photographs and documents.
Which is why I have this photograph of four generations of women who brought four different families into our lineage. Thank you, Aunt Linda, for saving it. Since they are gone, I have an obligation to tell their stories. Who are they? Continue reading
It’s the end of the spring term (finally) at my university in Kyoto, which means I’ll be getting ready for my yearlong sabbatical in Montreal soon. From September I’ll be back at a North American university for the first time since 1997.
Ah, Notre Dame. Mixed lapsed Catholic-cum-agnostic memories. Continue reading
Though discovered nearly four years ago, an asteroid in orbit near Jupiter ( BZ509, or just “bee-zee” for short) is now said to be originally from outside our solar system. The aliens are here (have been here…). Continue reading
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
In his house at R’yleh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming…
…because of course his ancestral DNA was brought to Earth aboard an asteroid, as part of an ancient bombardment that seeded life…
Well, maybe not. It’s a controversial idea only in the sense that octopi are not aliens and no DNA can possibly have survived an asteroid bombardment hundreds of millions (or even billions) of years ago.
Still, asteroids seeding the universe is a fun idea for fiction writers. Which is the germ of my novel in progress…
About ten days ago, I started a countdown on my Facebook “wall.”
Some of my “friends” asked if I was going to send something into space.
When I “commented” that I was leaving Facebook as of May 1st, they begged me not to.
The system will police itself, they argued. User complaints and the #deletefacebook movement/backlash would force Zuckerberg & Co. to change their policies.
Hardly. Instead, they’re doubling down.
In fact, Facebook has been terrified for years that its users would eventually find out that it’s nothing more than an online marketing tool for greedy companies – and that Facebook has sold them out.
It took me a while, but finally I decided enough was enough.
I’m leaving Facebook. Here are a few reasons why I hope you will, as well.
On a lark, I signed up for a “BrandYourself” account a few weeks ago.
I’d read about it via a Quartz link and was curious. I’ve been living outside the US Culture Bubble for about two decades now, so I’ve largely missed the “OMG my employer is checking my SNS posts” terror that (apparently) has been sweeping the nation.
My first BrandYourself warning: You have 738 Risk Factors!
OMG. What were they? Was I really putting myself at risk? Continue reading