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Christian    752

Well, it sounds like you created a nice stawman argument against me there in that last paragraph. That's hardly what I said! I even explicitly stated that Ballard was NOT a Burroughs impersonator, but that I felt he was influenced by Burroughs, as was the whole of post-modernism. I didn't say anything about an IMPERSONATION, at all. I said that Burroughs was a major influence on the direction of post-modern literature, and also referenced Beckett and Joyce as influences on Burroughs and post-modernism.

My statement about Ballard was that we did not know if Milligan was influenced by Ballard at all, as he never mentioned Ballard as an influence, even though he listed other writers as influences on Kid Lobotomy. Then, when you listed the influences you said you saw on Kid Lobotomy from Ballard, I pointed out that couldn't those simply be influences on Ballard from Burroughs. Of course, you pointed out that you felt that Burroughs was not a direct influence on Ballard, which I said was fine.

I never said that everything in Ballard you could find in Burroughs. That's a strawman version of my actual comments.

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As far as sexism in PKD....well, he's hardly alone. Harlan Ellison has the same attitude towards females too.

Their views were almost wholly progressive in the world of science fiction at that time though! Women were pretty much totally absent from the world of most male science fiction writers until well in to the New Wave, to be honest. The fact that women existed and that they might have thoughts and feelings of their own (even if those thoughts and feelings were negative in the eyes of the male) was almost revolutionary for the genre!

The attitude of PKD and Ellison towards females is different from the attitude of Heinlein towards females, just as Burroughs misogyny differs from Milligan's.

PKD and Ellison give females agency. They are their own independent beings. It just so happens that the agency of females is to make men's lives a living hell. Which.....well.....may not be all that far from the truth in a lot of instances! Ha!

Heinlein never gave females any agency. They are objects to be used by men, and that's their whole purpose. Also, remember some of the highly objectionable ideas from Heinlein about rape.....that it's the woman's fault, because she won't "put out", and if every woman would just have sex with any man who was horny, well, the whole problem would be solved! You don't see anything as disturbing from PKD or Ellison.

Yeah, you are correct about the younger female in PKD....but, the younger females are nurturing and caring, as opposed to Heinlein's younger females, which reeks of paedophilia. That younger women are better because they'll listen and be shaped much better by the man in to what the man wants the woman to be.

I'm not sure how much autobiography Heinlein put in to his sexism....and I'm hoping it was more "wish fulfillment" or trying to be "shocking"! But, PKD's work was usually highly autobiographical. PKD was interested in a teenage female when he was a much older man. He wrote respectfully of her though, it wasn't the narcissistic attempts to denigrate and obliterate an external young girl (or boy) through sex of clinical paedophilia.

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dogpoet    463

You're entitled to make allowances for writers whose work you enjoy, but claiming that Dick and Ellison were more progressive than their contemporaries because they were less shitty about their sexism than Heinlein is nonsense: both were writing at the same time as James Tiptree jr, Ursula leGuin, the aggressively feminist Michael Moorcock, Barry Malzberg, John Sladek and Harry Harrison (among others).

(And Dick chased after teenaged girls because he thought that they'd take him more seriously than women his own age. Have you not read any of the biographies?)

Well, it sounds like you created a nice stawman argument against me there in that last paragraph. That's hardly what I said! I even explicitly stated that Ballard was NOT a Burroughs impersonator, but that I felt he was influenced by Burroughs, as was the whole of post-modernism. I didn't say anything about an IMPERSONATION, at all.

Then why did you insist that Ballard's taste for using characters with medical qualifications is merely a tribute to Burroughs' Doctor Benway?

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Christian    752

That's one aspect of Ballard's fiction. He's not a medical fiction writer. There's a lot more substance to Ballard than one theme. You said that Ballard shows an interest in medical technology throughout his fiction, and I said that Burroughs showed an interest in medical technology and dissection of the flesh with Dr. Benway, so I postulated that this was one aspect of Ballard that could have been influenced by Burroughs. You pointed out that Ballard's interest in medicine went much deeper, which I was unaware. All of which hardly sets up that Ballard was a carbon-copy of Burroughs!

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Barry Malzberg? Where did you get the idea that Malzberg wasn't as sexist as Dick or Ellison? Malzberg's usage of women is very much in the Ellison or Dick mould, of existentially alienated males facing relationship break-downs, lacking in ability to feel intimacy, and issues with sex.

Malzberg has developed in to a far more sexist figure than either Dick or Ellison, and is much closer to having views like Robert Heinlein at this point in his life. Haven't you read his screeds going off attacking feminism and political correctness?

Let me add, sadly, about Malzberg, because I was a huge fan of his New Wave science fiction.

I can't really think of many strong portrayals of women in Harry Harrison. I could be wrong about that, but I am wondering which stories you are referring to that showed progressive views towards females in Harrison.

Yeah, James Tiptree Jr, Urusula K. LeGuin, and Joanna Russ....who are all females!

Moorcock eventually developed strongly feminist views, definitely, but his early writing didn't always show the same views of women. If I remember correctly, he had a major fall-out with Ballard exactly because he chose to go back and rewrite some of his earlier fiction because of the "misogyny" he felt it showed, and how that "kow-towing" to feminism really upset JG Ballard.

Like I said, you can give some examples otherwise, but when Ellison and Dick started writing in the science fiction genre, most of the male sci-fi authors had zero time for women, because "women aren't scientists and heroic" like males!

I wasn't making an excuse for PKD or Ellison. I said their sexism was different than Heinlein's. I said that compared to Heinlein and a lot of Golden Age sci-fi writers, PKD and Ellison's women were almost progressive. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment, but pretty much true.

Also, look at PKD's non-genre novels. His usage of females in most of those novels was much closer to a proto-second wave feminist view of women. It always shocked me to read those novels after reading his later work, considering how his viewpoint on female characters had changed so drastically.

Yes, I realize that about PKD's interest in teenage females. That doesn't change the fact that he wrote respectfully about them. Which is what I wrote about his personal feelings about teenage females.

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dogpoet    463

Are you sure you can draw that neat a distinction between the women in Dick's SF and non SF? Thisbe Holt is a very sympathetic character, but the main female character in Confessions Of A Crap Artist is every bit as unpleasant as those in Ubik or The Simulacra.

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Christian    752

Right, but Confessions of a Crap Artist was published during his life-time.

When I said "non-genre", I wasn't thinking about Confessions, which does fall in to his "non-genre" output, true.

There was also Eye in the Sky, which mocked sexists, by showing their exaggerated, menacing, skewered view of feminists.

Obviously, PKD didn't want anyone to know about his secretly sympathetic views of females, so he made sure that those earlier novels weren't published to ruin his reputation amongst sci-fi fans, who are known to be a fearful and cowardly lot when it comes to women! Just the fact that PKD and Ellison had sexual relations with females was intimidating enough for most of the sci-fi hardcore fans!

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dogpoet    463

Well quite: that's why Alice Sheldon had to publish under a male pseudonym.

(You're wrong about Moorcock, btw: the novel he changed because he was worried that it looked like the original ending read like a justification for rape is Gloriana, which is not an early work. I think that one was published in '78.)

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Christian    752

Also, why Andre Norton was able to become popular in sci-fi circles. She was lucky enough to be given a possibly-male name when she was born. Everyone thought that Norton was a man back in the day. Sci-fi hardcore fans went away screaming and ripping at their hair if Norton would show up at a convention.

Oh, I forgot all the details. All I remembered was something about editing....misogyny....feminism.....Ballard and Moorcock having a falling out over it. Yeah, Gloriana was from 1978.

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dogpoet    463

Pen name, Christian: she was Alice Norton on her birth certificate, and published under a couple of other (male) pseudonyms while she was writing thrillers rather than somewhat femdom-y science fantasy.

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Christian    752

Oh, I thought that Alice was her given middle name.

There were some female sci-fi authors around that time who did write under their birth name (Margaret St. Clair, Katherine MacLean, Zenna Henderson, Judith Merrill, etc.). I'm not sure that any of them received the popularity that females writing under pen names or using their initials ended up gaining at that time, with the exception of Leigh Brackett. I always assumed that Brackett was deemed worthy due to being Edmond Hamilton's wife.

St. Clair and MacLean have gotten more attention in recent years for being overlooked.

Merill got more attention as an editor, although her most famous story did get some notoriety at the time of publication.

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dogpoet    463

Alice Somethingorother Norton, I think. I'm positive Andre was a pen name.

I think a big part of why Leigh Brackett was popular because she was one of the only SF writers doing John Carter pastiches during the pulp era (I can't think of anybody else who was writing Burroughs-y SF with a better prose style until Vance and Farmer retooled that stuff as "planetary romance" in the late '50s), and she'd done a nice solid chunk of that type of fiction that could be collected when sword fighting and swashbuckling came back into fashion in SF later on. (She definitely got a second wind in the '60s: just look at The Ginger Star and its sequels.)  I know that Michael Moorcock, who was highly influential as an editor from the mid '60s on, used to talk her up a lot as well, which couldn't have hurt any. It's also been suggested that as Leigh is also sometimes used as a male name, there was a hint of ambiguity there as well. Catherine Moore (the other big pulp era female SF writer) definitely did use her initials, so perhaps that's true. Rather than being married to Hamilton, Brackett might also have got some respect over her part in launching Ray Bradbury's career: it's often forgotten that Bradbury's first fiction publication was cowritten with Brackett.

One nice story I've heard is that by the '70s when SF was starting to take some feminist thought onboard, John "Girls Know Your Place" Norman was uninvited from a couple of conventions because female guests of honour had refused point blank to attend if he was there. (Most famously Ursula LeGuin, but there was a case with somebody else I can't remember as well: possibly Joanna Russ? It'd be better still if it was Brackett or Norton or somebody who was doing the same sources a lot better, of course.) It's something aggrieved Goreans whine about online whenever they start bitching about how their guru's career was destroyed by the feminist conspiracy.

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Christian    752

OK, so I guess that the complaints about Kid Lobotomy are accurate. The plot seems to be something of a mess. This is a comic book suffering from ADHD. Which is a shame, because I really did want to like it, as there are few too "artsy" comic books around, and far too few comics I am really enjoying right now. I'm still going to give the book one last chance, because I want to like the book, and at least Franz Kafka is going to show up next issue, so that's something for my collection.

I read the first issue of There's Nothing There. OK, it's just the first issue, so I can't comment very much on the overall quality. The one thing that I felt was very inauthentic was at the beginning of the comic, the starlet girl was going on about the slave trade in New York. This seems at odds with her self-centered and empty-headed portrayal throughout the rest of the comic. Does she have hidden depths that she keeps hidden due to her stardom, and feels that's not who the public wants in its "it girl"? That might be the case, but it seemed completely at odds with her portrayal throughout the rest of the issue.

It seemed more like the direction it was going was that she was going to be woken up from her insulated world and realize that not everything revolves around her. That was what I got from this first issue.

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Christian    752

Also, picked up three issues of the four issue comic book adaptation of Fritz Lang's M with art by Jon J. Muth (it was published by Eclipse Comics). This is an absolutely stunning piece of comic book artwork. If you come across copies of this, make sure to pick them up. The beautiful artwork is completely worth the price, even if you've seen the movie.

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44 minutes ago, Christian said:

OK, so I guess that the complaints about Kid Lobotomy are accurate. The plot seems to be something of a mess. This is a comic book suffering from ADHD. Which is a shame, because I really did want to like it, as there are few too "artsy" comic books around, and far too few comics I am really enjoying right now. I'm still going to give the book one last chance, because I want to like the book, and at least Franz Kafka is going to show up next issue, so that's something for my collection.

I read the first issue of There's Nothing There. OK, it's just the first issue, so I can't comment very much on the overall quality. The one thing that I felt was very inauthentic was at the beginning of the comic, the starlet girl was going on about the slave trade in New York. This seems at odds with her self-centered and empty-headed portrayal throughout the rest of the comic. Does she have hidden depths that she keeps hidden due to her stardom, and feels that's not who the public wants in its "it girl"? That might be the case, but it seemed completely at odds with her portrayal throughout the rest of the issue.

It seemed more like the direction it was going was that she was going to be woken up from her insulated world and realize that not everything revolves around her. That was what I got from this first issue.

I wasn't going to waste my time on Kid Lobotomy after the first issue, but I am sorry the second issue was a mess for you, since you were the biggest proponent of it that I've encountered so far. Just because I hated it that doesn't mean someone else can't find merit in it, y'know?  Here's hoping it evens out for you in issue # 3!

I read There's Nothing There all in one go week before last, so things are kind of blurring together for me, but the way I took that slave trade exchange at the start of issue one was that the main girl (whose name escapes me, even though it shouldn't, been a helluva week) was simply regurgitating facts to appear socially conscious.  She does this a few times in the series, if I remember correctly, because she is superficial and vapid and totally enamored with herself.  She has this false air of "I don't care what people think of me" (and that REALLY comes into play in the third issue, I believe), but she absolutely DOES want people to think she's more than she really is when it comes to being a responsible adult talking about responsible adult things.  Everyone just kind of blows her off as an airhead, which she totally IS, and that infuriates her even more when she starts seeing ghosts and everyone just smiles and says "oh there you go again".  

Or I may be WAY off base with that reading, lol.  Still, though, I thought it was a series with an interesting mystery.

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Christian    752

That sounds plausible to me. It would fit with air-headed celebrities who love to take up some cause....like "Free Tibet!" or "I'm a feminist, because I'm a woman!", so they look like they have some sort of social responsibility or autonomy....but, really, they're just vapid and shallow.

Still, she seemed to have been better read than a lot of the air-head celebrity set with their causes, having a sense of history.

Like I said, I can't say for sure because I only have issue #1, but your interpretation definitely makes sense.

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dogpoet    463
1 hour ago, Christian said:

That sounds plausible to me. It would fit with air-headed celebrities who love to take up some cause....like "Free Tibet!" or "I'm a feminist, because I'm a woman!", so they look like they have some sort of social responsibility or autonomy....but, really, they're just vapid and shallow.

Still, she seemed to have been better read than a lot of the air-head celebrity set with their causes, having a sense of history.

Like I said, I can't say for sure because I only have issue #1, but your interpretation definitely makes sense.

The brown buffallo's in the third issue.

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A. Heathen    1,131
On 11/9/2017 at 6:02 PM, Christian said:

Also, picked up three issues of the four issue comic book adaptation of Fritz Lang's M with art by Jon J. Muth (it was published by Eclipse Comics). This is an absolutely stunning piece of comic book artwork. If you come across copies of this, make sure to pick them up. The beautiful artwork is completely worth the price, even if you've seen the movie.

That is excellent. My memory of it is that I got a 7" flexi disc of soundtrack. I wonder if that's something else of a similar time / type.

[fakenewscheck]  I was right.

 

Loved his artwork and storytelling.

 

 

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Lou K    1,064

I really did enjoy the Ellis run on that

 

edit - shit I did not read the second arc

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I'm a huge Bond fan, and that first Ellis arc was really excellent, but for some reason I didn't keep up with the series after that.  Lots of great writers attached to it, though, so I'll have to rectify that sometime in the future.

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Lou K    1,064
5 minutes ago, Ixnay by Night said:

I'm a huge Bond fan, and that first Ellis arc was really excellent, but for some reason I didn't keep up with the series after that. 

I think for me I just assumed it would be traded later. Those issues always felt a little thin for 4 bucks. But loved the Vargr story

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1 hour ago, Lou K said:

I think for me I just assumed it would be traded later. Those issues always felt a little thin for 4 bucks. But loved the Vargr story

They all have been traded, haven't they?  I know Ellis' second arc, "Eidolon" (and boy does he love to re-use names like that) had a hardcover release like "Vargr", I just never picked it up. 

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Lou K    1,064

Yeah for $17 it’s not bad but i’d Prefer a cheaper softcover. 

Yeah I️ did get a chuckle at the title. I️ think he changed a vowel to make it seem he didn’t just do that. But he did. He did just do that. 

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JohnMcMahon    566

Finished all of Hack/Slash, fairly mediocre all told but definitely had some high points - Pooch's a great character if nothing else.  

 

2775289-pooch_hack_slash_21_special.jpg

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dogpoet    463

Just gone through an oddity: a Trina Robbins adaptation of Tanith Lee's The Silver Metal Lover as a comic. Robin's gloriously and elegantly clean linework is exquisite, but I'm not sure it entirely works as a comic. Beautiful to look at, though.

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