The look on Rollys’ face is priceless
I’m totally with The Bloggess on this one.
Question: What’s the difference between kids during summer vacation and kittens at any time?
It’s not a riddle. I just really want to know.
PS. Yes, that is Hunter S. Thomcat when he was still Hunter S. Thomkitten. He was very demanding. He still is, but now when he flops down on my neck in the middle of the night it’s less of a sweet nuzzle and more like a ninja has karate-chopped my jugular. And the ninja wants food. And some snugglin’. And he’s confused about why I won’t wake up because he doesn’t understand that cats and people are always in different time zones.
PPS. Cat pictures and happy songs. This is what I need today. Maybe you do too. So here are two that I’m listening too today. You might hate them and that’s okay. Feel free to share your favorite happy song or cat picture or whatever makes you smile in…
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It always comes as bit of a disappointment when you find out that an author you look up to and admire the works of, turns out to be the poster child for views and ideologies that you personally despise. They might be racist, sexist, or homophobic, or all three for the complete bingo card.
Then comes the hard part of deciding whether you can separate the author from their works, and if you can how do you still enjoy their works without contributing to them personally by buying their books. You might decide that instead of buying the books, you will borrow them from the library or you will borrow them from friends.
Thankfully none (as far as I know) of my favourite authors have said or done anything too problematic, so I haven’t had to make the decision of what to do with all of my books by them, which is why I am currently feeling sorry for a lot of my online friends who have come face to face with the news that one of the most revered female fantasy authors of the last 50 years not only has feet of clay but those feet are mired in disgusting rotting piles of sewerage.
I am of course talking about Marion Zimmer-Bradley and the evidence that not only did she cover up for her then Husband Walter Breen, his numerous and long running child sexual abuse scandals, but that she actively participated in the ongoing sexual abuse of her own daughter.
And that it turns out that the entire enclave of writers/friends/the wider circle of fans and acquaintances of the time knew what was happening and they all just turned a blind eye to it, the excuses range from “it didn’t hurt the kids” to “they wont remember” and in some cases ‘they enjoyed it’
After reading the Breendoggle wiki which documents the evidence against Walter Breen and his arrest on child abuse charges, I was left feeling very very dirty and in need of brain bleach, not only for his actions but for the inaction of the SF writers and fandom who knew what was happening but were more worried about outward appearances than exposing a known paedophile within their midst.
The wiki contain somewhat graphic descriptions of abuse so bear that in mind if you read it.
The following link has the story and a link to the wiki,
This link has a more comprehensive list of what is currently known
If you are a fan of MZB what you do now is up to you, can you separate the writer as a person from the writer as an author of the books you love? I’m thankful I don’t have to work that one out.
Dear Mr. Will,
I read your recent column on the “supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. sexual assault” and am somewhat taken aback by your claim that forcing colleges to take a tougher stand on sexual assault somehow translates into a modern version of The Crucible that replaces witchcraft with rape hysteria.
I was specifically moved to write to you because the rape scenario that you describe somewhat incredulously is not unfamiliar to me. Not because I’ve heard it in many different iterations (I have sadly done many rape kits), but because it was not unlike my own rape. The lead up was slightly different, but I too was raped by someone I knew and did not emerge with any obvious physical evidence that a crime had been committed. I tried to push him away, I said “No!” and “Get off” multiple times,” but he was much stronger and suddenly…
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My Mother’s Voice
Next to my bed is an old chest of drawers, it is a remnant of a very ancient and long since departed bedhead/side drawer combo, inside one of the drawers is a rectangular domed lid box, it is the remnant of what was in some dim distant past a box of handmade chocolates, inside the box are various little bits and bobs, remnants of things long long departed.
Inside the box is a little cassette tape, it is a cassette tape that fits inside an answering machine, an answering machine which is also long departed, it is also a remnant, but it’s one of my most prized possessions.
I haven’t listened to the tape in quite a long time, but I still remember it quite plainly.
“I’m going to pick up some bits at pieces at shopping, if you need something give me a ring back”
“I’ll drop in just before the kids get home from school after I’ve had a nap, shopping makes me tired”
“See you later, love you”
I don’t actually recall why I didn’t pick up the phone, perhaps I was in the toilet and missed it, or perhaps I was in the bathroom, or perhaps I just couldn’t be bothered.
It was early December and I had a brief thought that I hoped Mum wouldn’t do too much as the radiation therapy, tablets and the emphysema she had tired her out, but she was supposed to be getting better.
The Christmas card from her that year said that the coming year was going to be amazing and that she loved us all.
It was either April or May of that year and my Sister had some devastating news for me, the tests had come back and Mum had cancer, cancer of the bladder, which along with the emphysema was caused by five decades of heavy smoking.
The bottom dropped out of my world then, Mum went to hospital for radiation therapy, on tablets, some days were better than others, but she always had time for us.
There were trips to hospital to remove fluid from around her heart, but she managed to make it through and she told us she was getting better, she gave me this beautiful card for my birthday, I still have it, that’s also one of my prized possessions.
Christmas was supposed to be good one for us, time to celebrate to be together, Mum said she was going to spoil us all, all I wanted was for Mum to be well for Christmas.
It got later and later and Mum still hadn’t turned up, but I wasn’t that worried, I knew that shopping tired her out and perhaps she hadn’t felt like it after her nap, then the phone rang, Mum had collapsed at the shopping centre and was now in hospital.
When I got to see her she didn’t know me and couldn’t speak.
I went home and listened to the message again, taking in my Mums voice.
Mum never spoke to me again, I never heard her say she loved me, in the days that followed I listened to that message again and again.
I took the tape out of the machine for safety, I couldn’t have survived if anything had happened to that tape, on the day of her funeral I listened to it, on the day we scattered her ashes on the hill behind her house I listened to it.
As the months passed I didn’t need to listen to it as much, just knowing that I had it there if I needed it was enough.
When the machine broke and was replaced by a much newer model I was OK with that, because I can still hear my Mum in my head, I don’t need a tape to conjure up her voice.
Perhaps one day there might come a time when I can no longer remember what my Mum sounded like, then I will look into ways of getting the message and her voice off the tape and onto my computer.
My Mother’s Voice.
BBS’s were a very new phenomenon in the early 80’s and came with a whole new set of problems, especially if you were female, especially if you were young and female. BBS’s were a new thing and we were all new in it together, however it seems that some things were universal and it didn’t take long for sexism and misogyny to rear its ugly head. The more things change the more they stay the same it seems.