Archived: Open Thread

If you have something to say about Vector, or the BSFA, or sf — or heck, about anything, really — that doesn’t fit on an existing post, stick it here. Or, of course, you could send an email.

34 thoughts on “Archived: Open Thread

  1. I liek ur site, it most good! BUY VIAGRA

    Only joking … actually, this strikes me as the ideal time to air an idea I had in the bath the other night. I’m thinking BSFA blog-badges; y’know, little sidebar icon for people’s sites to show they’re part of the crew, link-back to here or the BSFA homepage. Whaddya think? Might drum up some more business, wot?

  2. The one thing that has struck me about the BSFA since I joined a couple of years ago is it’s lack of presence on the web. This blog is going some way to rectify that. However the main BSFA page is very poor. I would love a focal point for the BSFA that everyone can use.

    Has anyone considered using something like the new Google Groups Beta? ( You can have forums, members, pages etc. Seems to give you a lot for not much effort and zero cost. (You can probably do this in Yahoo as well, but last time I used Yahoo Groups I didn’t like it much).

  3. First, another preface: I don’t run the bsfa, but I can certainly pass ideas up the chain.

    Paul: blog badges? I have absolutely no idea how to implement it — or indeed whether there are enough blogging members to make it worthwhile — but it’s an interesting idea. I suppose it’s just a case of creating an image and providing the HTML?

    James: web presence is one of the things the bsfa is currently reviewing; somewhat obviously, I personally think an expanded presence would be a good thing. (One of my long-term plans for the Vector website is to start getting content from back-issues online.) I don’t think anyone’s suggested a Google Group, so I’ll pass the idea on.

  4. I suppose it’s just a case of creating an image and providing the HTML?

    Yeah, that should do it. Make a little graphic square (about 175 pixels each side, or whatever the standard sidebar width is), HTML to link to the homepage. Probably an hour’s work for someone with the *m4d sk1llz* at Photoshop, or whatever those design types use. Google Group could be a good idea for updates and announcements … and maybe we could start a blog ring also. It’s all about the web2.0, baby! ;)

  5. You realise that many bsfa members also like to do things in the real world, right? :)

    And hey, if the image was 100 x 100, people could use it as a livejournal icon. I certainly can’t think of anything cooler than that.

    In other news, I just read “Yellow Card Man” in the December Asimov’s. Damn fine story.

  6. I’m not going to dignify this with a full post. But:

    Battlestar Galactica (Sci Fi, Fridays at 9 p.m. ET), now entering its third season, is not science fiction—or “speculative fiction” or “SF,” or whatever you’re supposed to call it these days. Ignore the fact that the series is a remake of a late-’70s Star Wars knockoff. Forget that its action variously unfolds on starships and on a colonized planet called New Caprica. And never mind its stunning special effects, which outclass the endearingly schlocky stuff found elsewhere on its network. Sullen, complex, and eager to obsess over grand conspiracies and intimate betrayals alike, it is TV noir.


  7. So I watched the Iain Banks interview last night. The man could clearly talk the hind leg off a donkey, and overall the discussion didn’t feel structured enough to me; a bit too much about the man and a bit too little about the work for my taste, as well. I am also not entirely convinced that Mark Lawson has actually read any of Banks’ sf novels.

    On the upside, Heroes was ++awesome. Huzzah for sweeps.

  8. I think sexysexygirl is admonishing us all to run out and get copies of the James Tiptree Award Anthologies. Or, at the very least, James Tiptree, Jr: the double life of Alice B. Sheldon, Julie Phillips’ wonderful biography. At least that’s if I’m using my Captain Crunch/Secret Feminist Cabal decoder ring correctly.

  9. I hope you see this message amidst all the comment spam. Thanks for linking Fantasy Debut. You have inspired me to borrow this idea for an open thread; I hope you don’t mind!

  10. What is the Dejа vu? What is this fleeting imprinted in the memory?

    P.S. Please administrator If the thread is not to be in category этот, I ask you to move my thread to the correct category.

  11. Mike Mossberg, I know you reading this forum, please contact me, because I can’t find your contact details.

  12. You should have a mission statement, or some kind of definition of what TC is for. Since you don’t have one, i can’t wave it in your face as evidence that coverage of Failgate 2099 is outside your bailiwick. Curse you!

    I don’t know why i’m so exercised about this. Obviously, i hate black people, but it’s also that it seems like diverting any more eyeballs or brain cells to a phenomenon which has already consumed so many of them for absolutely no positive result seems futile.

  13. Tom, you are commenting on a blog you don’t read about a post we have yet to write, and you’re worried about us using our brain cells on something futile?

  14. Liz, it’s this or write the thesis.

    I note you have still not provided a mission statement!

  15. Also, it wasn’t your brain cells i was worried about: it’s those of the people who will get involved in the torrent of write-only argument in the comments. What’s happened absolutely everywhere else this has been discussed is that both sides have turned up, lined up their cannons, fired off all the same arguments again, and not really tried to understand anything the other side have written. Oh, and got thoroughly derailed by reacting to other people’s reactions, rather than the underlying matter. As a result, everybody goes home with the same amount of knowledge, more anger, and less time to spend doing anything constructive. I may not read this blog, or many others, and may not have been very much affected, but i care deeply about my fellow human beings, and don’t want them to be sucked into that process.

    Yes, there are important things to talk about, and do, in regard to the exclusion of non-white people from the SF ecosystem, but i am very, very skeptical that RaceFail ’09 offers any productive approaches to them.

    Hopefully, of course, i’m completely wrong, and your thoughtful coverage of it will deliver racewin. But i’m a pessimist.

  16. So, this thread seems a bit neglected and I’m not sure if anyone will see this, but here goes…

    I usually just lurk here at TQ but always enjoy the conversation, which is always a nice blend of enthusiastic and critical. Since so many smart critics frequent here, I’d like to pitch a question to y’all: I’ve been teaching undergraduate creative writing for years (am an English MA/ poetry MFA) but this semester for the first time I’m teaching a course focused on writing fantasy fiction. As part of this I’ll be having the students read extensively, in several subgenres of fantasy. I’m looking to fill some holes in the syllabus, esp. at the 1K-3K length. So, if you were teaching a course intended to model fantasy writing for undergrads, and you could assign ANY flash or short-short fantasy stories, classic or contemporary, what would you choose? Bonus points for pieces available online…


  17. I think I read a short story or novella here a while back (January 2009 to August 2010) which was about a group of alien or super intelligent men. One of them was captured and held in an underground bunker and was kept alive for several years. Eventually for some big reason information about that the captured alien or man knew needed to be extracted so there was an elaborate charade/theatre done.

    Does anyone know the story name?

    One of the deceptions was detonating some low level bombs in anearby mine shaft to simulate a full blown nuclear explosion.

  18. Hi Daz,

    I think the story might be Robert Reed’s “Truth” — published in Asimov’s in 2008 and a Hugo nominee in 2009. You can read it here and we discussed it here.

  19. Does anyone know what is happening to the BASF web site? It has been down for a few days with a message saying “We are currently migrating our site to a new server. We hope to get this finished as soon as possible.”

    Last time I did this – migrated to a new server – it was done in a day.

  20. Our current host is decommissioning the server that the site currently resides on. This gave us two options: rebuild the current site on a new server with the current host or roll out a new and improved site to a new server on a more resilient host. We have opted for the latter and hope to have the new site up shortly but this will take a bit longer than a straight swap.

  21. While I think the new site is visually very good, it seems to lack basic features like a members login that actually works. Any idea when the site will be fully functional?

  22. While I think the new site is visually very good, it seems to lack basic features like a members login that actually works. Any idea when the site will be fully functional?

  23. Unfortunately, I feel that the primary issue affecting the future of speculative fiction was not addressed within the above comments and recommendations, such as the recommendation to work toward an improved web presence by Torque Control. Much more basically, the genre is facing extinction, and so many us us just moan, or at best post a negative comment about the behavior of the Sad Puppies at the Hugo Awards. The worst of us contribute to the demise by accepting YA science fiction as an actual genre instead of a weak subgenre riding on the back of Harry Potter.

    What would Heinlein do given these circumstances? If you remember, despite the rejections and risks, he still stayed true to the vision that science fiction becomes science fact, especially with respect to his progressive treatment of gender and race in his works. To misquote Eldridge Cleaver, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Think about it the next time that you consider downloading even a free YA “science fiction” book, or buy the next John Scalzi novel.

    You all had better all watch out or Ursula K. Le Guin will come out of hiding and beat your asses, something that maybe should have been done a decade ago.

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