September 6th, 2016


How low can you go?

Every criminal trial is supposed to assume that the defense is at least as likely to be right about the case as the prosecution, but if the overwhelming majority of those brought to trial are not GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY, the system is broken. Giving The NY Times the benefit of the doubt, we can say that they are in a similar situation with regard to presidential election coverage. They are supposed to be even-handed, but one candidate (Donald Trump) is a hatemonger, a liar, a fourflusher, and a crook, and the other isn’t. That said, as their own columnist Paul Krugman has pointed out, they’re bending over too far backwards when they try to keep up with the Republicans in making up fake Hillary scandals.
moon landing


To enter a Barnes & Noble is to wonder whether reading is an affliction of the young. There is a large YOUNG ADULT section and perhaps a bit more room allotted to those who have not outgrown the habit

Thus I am unsurprised that Worldcon fandom is considering an award for the best YA novel of the year. For reasons that I am perhaps happier not knowing, it is supposed to be Not a Hugo but voted on at the same time, like the Campbell (the one for most promising writer, not the one for the novel JWC would have liked least).

There is thus a question of what to call it, and some segments of fandom appear to have learned nothing from the late unpleasantness about the World Fantasy Awards. Whom shall we name it after? Andre Norton was suggested, but she is already the eponym of a similar award given by SFWA. So how about that other great recruiter of the young, Robert A. Heinlein?

No. It would be as misguided as believing that references to spicy oriental tales are still amusing. It would give unintentional offense and spur much public remembrance of that ghastly book he wrote out of a sincere desire to attack racism that is now thought of as That Cannibal Book.

Call it the Rocket. Call it the Atom. But don’t open that can of worms that would come from associating it with an individual.