Stuff, Things and Exhaustion

An editorial from exhaustion.

There are several things I would love to devote my energies to, shall we say, “exploring”, but I simply do not have the energy.  So I’m just going to briefly touch on the few things that have caught my eye this past week and we’ll see where it goes.

First:  I’ve now officially been a “cancer care giver” for what seems like forever.  I’ve not slept all the way through a single night since I can’t remember.  This is not easy, but of course, I am not the one with cancer.

I’ve been “care-giving” my mother, remotely, for over two years now.  Care giving over a distance is difficult.  Sometimes things that can’t wait need to wait, sometimes you are operating on insufficient or incorrect information and there’s almost always a crisis – whether it is a crisis or not.  But at least the situation is not in your face 24/7.  Upset and frustration are part of the game, but you do have the opportunity to ignore, to decompress.

Not so when you are living with the person you are caring for, because one of the things you’re providing is mental and psychological support.  You’re literally giving energy from yourself to someone else.

My advice to anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances is:  get used to the idea of being tired all the time.  That feeling is part of the job.  Fighting it is only going to exhaust you more.


JCW:  offers up a prescription for the “good life”, and incidentally explains something, like SJWs are the devil and all authority comes from ‘god’ (which one?) and name-checks Aquinas (yada yada) and sodomy is bad (who knew?).  Apparently, if we want to get right, we need to remember that we need to be told what beauty is, we can’t decide that for ourselves, we need to go back to the gold standard, need to enforce monogamy and virginity, get rid of welfare and worship at the altar of anglo-americanism cause god wants us to.  Troglodyte.

Further on down he’s effusive about James May, who attacks blinders in an essay on the decline of Science Fiction, while apparently wearing a set of blinders that were fashioned from a pair of black holes.  James May – science fiction is not in decline, your world view is, thank sodomy.


Reading the previous (why do I bother?  Well, for one thing, I don’t want to find myself in a bubble), it suddenly occurred to me that I’d finally sussed out the difference between the two “tribes” within science fiction (obligatory references here to the fact that there are no “tribes” in SF Fandom, merely temporary alliances of shared goals).  But for the purposes of argument, we’ve got “puppies” and “all the rest of us” and the seminal difference between the two is this:

Puppies are scared.  Fearful. Intimidated. Terrified. Of the future.  Of change. Of discovering that their beliefs are no longer mainstream (good riddance) of, to borrow a phrase, discovering that “reality is real”.

I hate change too – but apparently not in the same way they do.  That’s probably because, having accepted that reality is real, I know that change is inevitable and unstoppable.  Ranting about it and lamenting the good old days when I largely understood everything is one thing, but actively working against that tide is another.  A fools game.

I also question the ability of SF authors who are afraid of the future and of change to be able to write meaningful science fiction.  There are several central tenets of the genre that are completely opposed to the kind of thinking displayed in the previously cited:

1. The future will be different

2. Knowledge and science can make that future better

3. The future is a place we want to go to

4. By exploring that future in fictional ways, we can help influence that future into being a positive one

Exercise for the reader:  how can you possibly write about a positive future we’d all want to inhabit when you believe the best the species is capable of already took place several thousand years ago?  Or that only a small cadre of mongrels who happened to settle on the North American continent are capable of writing it?


I saw a book bundle being offered by a group of writers who make claims to both insanity and genius.  I’ve read works by some of them and they were at least acceptable, but: guys – you all really need to work on your cover art. So many of them scream “slapped together in Photoshop” or “purchased from ebook covers mill for clueless indies”; that was my impression anyways.

Funny that this group is associated with others who want their books about rocketships to have rocketships on the cover:  hint:  if it doesn’t look like a rocketship, we’ll never know what the book is about….


To my fannish friends in New Zealand and Australia:  do any of you have an “in” with your emigration bureaus?  I only ask because –


I can’t believe this nightmare.  I only wish that his supporters would take Kirstie Alley’s famous quote from Cheers to heart.  (She was the one who said “I am too stupid to live”).


Finishing on a positive note:


Somewhere out there in lala land I read a piece on the Best Fan Artist Finalists for this year.  Those doing the reviewing gave very short shrift to Steve, with a dismissive tone.

I’m guessing that they have so little real experience with Fandom that Steve’s artful parody, his visual spoofs and the vast history he draws upon in his references (there’s always way more than one level to a Stiles illo) was completely lost upon them.  That’s a shame, for them, because they are really missing some brilliant work that is completely and utterly the definition of Fan Artist.

If you think about it (and bother to look at the puppy nominated others), you really have to conclude that Stiles is the only fan artist in the mix.  That ought to make voting for him – as I will be in the Number One slot – a pretty easy decision.  If the clue on Jeopardy was “cutting a stencil”, I don’t think any of the others would be able to answer “what is drawing an illo for a fanzine, Alex?”.

Today’s featured image is “Space Cadet” by Steve Stiles, from his website. Which is here, and full of great artwork, both fan and pro (though not nearly as much as we’d like to see).

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Guest Editorial: Words Matter, Actions Matter and Race Definitely Matters by Chris M. Barkley

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I finished reading Christopher Nuttal’s editorial, “A Character Who Happens To Be Black” for the first time, I found myself remembering an oft told story about Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura on Star Trek.


  1. John C Wright’s future, unfortunately, is for Straight White Christian Males. No women/LGBT/POC need apply.

    Re: caregiving–I am so sorry you are going through this. Is there anyone who can provide some respite care? Even for a couple of hours, say, once a week? You need to keep yourself together, too, to be there for your loved one.

  2. This paragraph deserves sharing, so I’m throwing it up on FB: Exercise for the reader: how can you possibly write about a positive future we’d all want to inhabit when you believe the best the species is capable of already took place several thousand years ago? Or that only a small cadre of mongrels who happened to settle on the North American continent are capable of writing it?
    Nicely said, Steve.
    Sorry about your caregiving. Sorry your Mom is in bad shape; mine died of metastasized colon cancer, so I do know the feeling. My younger son, who is no longer with us, was there to help her at the end; I was a long way away and in another country. Life is indeed a bitch, and none of us gets out alive. (I plan to die trying, however!)

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