Here is my elaboration of the five things Petra associates with me:
No surprise. I love guns, deeply and unapologetically. If you're not a gun person, you may not realize how many facets they have. There's the mechanical. In a world where so many things are electronicized or miniaturized or put together on a scale we cannot see, guns stand out -- they're like old clocks. You can take them apart, figure out what makes them tick, put them back together, using only your eyes and hand tools. Unusual for a lot of consumer products these days, where you even need a computerized code reader to figure out what's wrong with your car. There's the historical -- guns have a very long lifespan, and you can get one that's been around the world in all kinds of places, been held by all kinds of people. A Lee-Enfield rifle made in Britain, sent to Nepal, used by Nepalese soldiers, then stored and sold off so Nepal's soldiers could have more modern guns; a Garand used in WW2; a hand-forged handgun from the Kyber Pass; a Swiss K-31, with the folded paper bearing its soldier's name still beneath the buttplate. There's the practical, the political, the social -- and yeah, you can shoot 'em, too.
Critiquing stupid-macho fiction
Yeah, I think my lasting contribution to fandom is turning out to be "OH JOHN RINGO NO." It's funny; I thought it would have a brief shelf life, but it turns out that the catchphrase has found a utility of its own far beyond my original post, particularly as a label for things that make feminists' jaws drop in shock and horror. That's not something I ever counted on, but it gives me a strange feeling of pride. LOOK! I AM USEFUL! So I got to contribute something to fandom, which is good enough for me. (Although I think Hugo noms close tomorrow; if anybody still has their ballot around, and a "Best Fan Writer" slot open --)
Incidentally, I owe you guys my reaction to the first TNT book. I will just say this: it was simultaneously worse and much better than I'd expected. The thing that freaked me out the most was *not,* in fact, Checkers for Poontang.
Old school sci-fi
Not as much these days as I used to be, but yeah. These days, I'm among those who think the genre is dying -- or not so much dying as being assimilated by the larger culture. In large part because we officially *live* in science fiction now. We carry our phones in our pockets, with maps in them so we'll never get lost, and cameras so we can take pictures of everything we see; sometime next week I'm getting a device that can hold a bazillion books and buy more, as well as newspapers, anytime I want. And a good friend of mine will soon be getting a new set of lungs.
But you will pry my H. Beam Piper from my cold dead fingers.
CASS. I hate what DC has done to her. She was always the hardest character to write, so DC dumbed her down to make her less of a challenge. But characters get fucked over all the time; way of the world. And boy, is she glorious: hardest childhood of any of the Batfolks, years spent knocking around the world in poverty; a keen insight into people and great difficulty expressing it; enough fighting ability to kill pretty much anybody at the drop of a hat -- and a sweetness and adorableness that is incredibly hard to describe, but a delight to see. In a sense, Cass never had a childhood, so her childhood is her now. It's that love of life that really makes her stand out among the Bats.
I have not owned a cat myself in years, but when I went to visit Te and Jack, their cat camped out on my lap and refused to leave. I referred to this as "defending my virtue."