Strahan et al‘s Year’s-Best-SF Reddit.

This is not a real blog post; just a PSA for those of you wise enough to avoid Facebook. Jonathan Strahan (one of the genre’s premiere anthologists, not that you need to be told) is hosting an AMA over on Reddit to pimp his latest Year’s Best anthology; it’s running pretty much all day, it’s in progress even as we speak, and a bunch of the contributing authors will be dropping by throughout to answer any questions you may have (I myself will just be keeping it open in a window up in the corner, and will jump in whenever it seems appropriate). You can also expect to see Charlie Jane Anders, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, SL Huang, Rich Larson, Fonda Lee, Anil Menon, Tegan Moore, Malka Older, Karin Tidbeck, Fran Wilde, and Caroline Yoachim sticking their heads up throughout the day.

So if you want to ask anything to any of us, now’s your chance.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Tuesday September 08 2020at 05:09 am , filed under public interface . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

17 Responses to “Strahan et al‘s Year’s-Best-SF Reddit.”

  1. While I avoid FB like the plague it is, I have not yet deleted my profile for some bizarre reason.

    How’re you holding up under the weight of the pandemic and forced-march reopening of the schools?

  2. Speaking of asking you anything. I was talking with a friend about the Vancouver Aquarium closing, and the subject of its costs and benefits came up. As a former marine biologist, would you say that aquariums play a positive educational role?

  3. Malovich: How’re you holding up under the weight of the pandemic and forced-march reopening of the schools?

    I’m not going to complain. I’ve suffered minor inconvenience at worst, and honestly, it would be worth much more inconvenience for the pleasure of seeing such a perfect example of Darwinian selection in action.

    Don Reba:
    Speaking of asking you anything. I was talking with a friend about the Vancouver Aquarium closing, and the subject of its costs and benefits came up. As a former marine biologist, would you say that aquariums play a positive educational role?

    Fun fact: I actually used to work at (not for) the Vancouver Aquarium— or rather, the research consortium for which I briefly whored kept its research animals down there, so I spent a lot of time backstage doing metabolic studies. They talked a perfect line about the “educational value” of captive marine mammals, and never failed to play the “think of the children!” card when it suited them (Poor inner-city kids can’t afford pricey and unreliable whale-watching trips! Without the Vancouver Aquarium, these poor impoverished littluns might never see a live whale!)

    They also cited the “essential marine research” being done at the aquarium, and the vital conservation implications of that research, despite the fact that I did a few envelope calculations going back a few decades and ascertained that in terms of peer-reviewed research, the Vancouver Aquarium was pretty much bottom of the pile. I also got to see them pouring tens of thousands of dollars into glossy advertising campaigns inviting the world to “come see our sea lions!”, while at the same time telling us they didn’t have the money to feed them properly so if we wanted to keep doing research we better cough up extra bucks.

    The consortium was happy to comply, of course. It got the vast majority of its funding from the US commercial fishing industry and affiliated financial institutions, which may explain why— even though the catastrophic decline in wild sealion populations we were studying began shortly after said industry moved into their habitat and started hoovering up all the fish— we were encouraged to downplay the “overfishing” hypothesis and explore alternatives like STDs, or killer whale predation. The head of the consortium— one of those have-doctorate-will-testify types that come out of the woodwork whenever they sniff money in the water, and someone I am ashamed to have regarded as a friend for many years— could spin on a rhetorical dime. Behind closed doors and in government hearings he he argued against classifying Steller sea lions as “endangered”, at the behest of his industry sponsors. Then— after losing that battle— he turned around and pimped the Vancouver Aquarium’s captive research program because “these creatures are endangered, and our research could help save them”.

    I lasted about a year and a half in that job before quitting in disgust.

    The really sad thing is, in terms of educational value, the Vancouver Aquarium was far and away better than the Sealands and Seaworlds that comprise the majority of the aquarium industry. Which is really less of an endorsement of the VA than it is an indictment of everyone else.

    Bottom line, I think public aquariums do have enormous educational potential. It’s too bad that education is never front and center when they derive their business models.

    (PS. I actually wrote a story based on my aquarium experiences. You can find it here.)

  4. Glad to see your still up and kicking

  5. Peter Watts: and honestly, it would be worth much more inconvenience for the pleasure of seeing such a perfect example of Darwinian selection in action.

    Gross, dude. The lazies and selfish are hurting more than just themselves. We all potentially become collateral damage when we share grocery store breathing room with those people.

  6. KE: The lazies and selfish are hurting more than just themselves.

    Yeah, but they are very preferentially hurting themselves. The myriad maskless morons at Trump rallies do not, by and large, go home to socialize with empiricists and socialists; they break bread with other MAGAts. And the danger of infection when one briefly shares grocery-store air with such nimrods is far lower than that experienced by people living in the same household or the same social circle.

    Speaking as someone in the most vulnerable covid demographic, I’m more than willing to take the collateral risk if it means watching the mean IQ of the species edging infinitesimally upward over time.

  7. Peter Watts,

    Your optimism is showing again, Peter. I can’t see how you, of all people, think our species has (evolutionary speaking) any time left.

  8. Peter Watts,

    Sadly, these nimrods also work in grocery stores, and take the same public transport as the rest of us non-functionally-retarded folk. Until we have segregated shops and buses for these dumb babies, they’re still wrecking things for the rest of us, possibly worse than they’re wrecking their own lives.

    Plus, in terms of doing actual harm, how about neo-nazis using an anti-mask protest to storm the German parliament?

    The really worrying thing isn’t the anti-mask idiots themselves, it’s the fuckers using these idiots for their own ends.

  9. Jo Help:
    Peter Watts,

    Your optimism is showing again, Peter. I can’t see how you, of all people, think our species has (evolutionary speaking) any time left.

    IDK I’m still holding onto hope that human civilization might be screwed, but humanity has a chance to survive as a species.

    We’re surprisingly adaptable, and have (possibly) survived near-extinction in the past. It’s just the good things about us that are fragile.

    Trashe Racer:
    Peter Watts,

    Sadly, these nimrods also work in grocery stores, and take the same public transport as the rest of us non-functionally-retarded folk.

    I’m more concerned about the strain the moronic are putting onto the (already not-robust) healthcare system over here.

    I’d be perfectly fine with covidiots contracting the disease, refusing to believe that “it’s real”, and crawling into their own homes to die (or get better). The problem is that sick covidiots readily abandon their convictions and show up at hospitals demanding to be treated, and the staff can’t turn them away.

  10. It’s fascinating watching everyone’s agendas as this thing plays on.

    I’m waiting for someone to make freely available the source code for a cheap to produce drug that reverses the aging process back to a point in our twenties or early thirties. We could all be fertile again, and live forever. What would people do? For myself, I’m not sure whether I’d
    a. take the drug
    b. take a small boat into the Southern Ocean
    c. not take the drug, see how things play out, and keep a tab of cyanide handy.
    I’d probably go for b., but I’d be very tempted to stick around long enough to see what happens.

    Enjoyed the story – hadn’t seen it before. Am following the suggestion for a veg cat diet, and am finding it works as advertised.

  11. I’ve only written one novel that was as good as I knew how to make it at the time, and that was my very first;

    I knew it! You started out as a Crysis fan-fiction writer! I’m happy you are finally able to come clean about that.

    Joking aside and on a pure selfish note I’m a bit sad to hear you no longer writing novels under contract, I’m worried that your novel output will turn into even more of a trickle, is it really too much to ask for a new novel every other year or so? Anyway, I hope you find a solution that works for you, if for nothing else than the entertainment your previous works have given me.

    (And I enjoyed Crysis Legion, my biggest issue with it was that it is super linear, which I guess is very hard to escape in game based fiction, esp when under contract…)

  12. Do you consider slime mold intelligent?

  13. Peter Watts,

    Hey, thanks for such a detailed reply. And that story was fun to read after the recent news of orcas ramming boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.

  14. https://mobile.twitter.com/VividVivka/status/1304668678722445312

    The uncanny valley as imprinted fear of “something” that looked like us… but not quite.

  15. quellist,

    Morgan, the crysis turning novel was fan fucking tastic

  16. *stares at the weekend news*

    Oct 2 has been a hell of a news year. Anyone else drowning in Schadenfruede?

  17. Malovich:
    *stares at the weekend news*

    Oct 2 has been a hell of a news year. Anyone else drowning in Schadenfruede?

    I assumed I would be, but the astounding level of trash-idiocy just makes the whole thing really depressing.