I probably can’t tell you anything much, but I can show you the work of sculptor Ronit Baranja, which I love.
This story resonates with me tremendously as a Jew. It captures the ambivalent, ecstatic trauma of becoming part of the thing that is America in a way that perfectly matches my lived experience.
NIGHTLIGHT (A Black Horror Fiction Podcast) # 422: “Mitochondrial Assimilation” by Khalifaziz
They also have an interview with the author, Khalifaziz, that’s well worth your time.
Holy shit! This story! It is extremely worth your time and attention.
…and, in fact, one of its most charming aspects:
This artist is living her best life, in my humble.
Want a good gun lock? Try this (some assembly required).
[UPDATE 2019-11-25: I just saw Paul Di Filippo’s review of this antho for Locus, and so added a snippet of that below, because it’s insanely kind and flattering and I wanna crow about it.]
It feels a little odd to be a “new voice” in anything with so little hair atop my head and so much grey in my beard—but I’ll take it! The publisher has been kind enough to include a section of my story “In the Sharing Place” to whet your appetite (here’s a link to all five previews stories). Enjoy!
The New Voices of Science Fiction (from Tachyon Press)
“Reminiscent of the weirdness of Ben Marcus’s The Flame Alphabet, “In the Sharing Place” by David Erik Nelson chronicles in vivid surreal fashion a post-invasion, post-collapse world where psychological counseling takes on dire new facets.…this is a killer collection, full of top-notch stories beautifully written and invested with much care, compassion and thought …Deploying the toolkit and concerns bequeathed by their literary ancestors, they are extending the reach of the genre not by plowing under everything that was built before and salting the earth, but by erecting new superstructures on old foundations—or perhaps new eco-communes in the shadow of dinosaur cities. It’s the way the field has always moved forward, and this volume gives plenty of hope that the future of future fiction is in good hands.”—Paul Di Filippo, Locus Magazine
“While readers may be familiar with many of the names and individual works here, having them together in one volume creates a stunning set of sf shorts. Highly recommended for all collections.“—Library Journal
“There are also stories that present unique dystopias such as the mist-haunted New York in Jason Sanford’s ‘Toppers’ or the mysterious outside world in David Erik Nelson’s ‘In the Sharing Place.’”—Booklist
“After some kind of alien invasion/apocalypse, children try to come to terms with the loss of their families ‘In The Sharing Place’, a thoughtful and ultimately a chilling story by David Erik Nelson. Much of the narrative takes place in the therapy sessions that happen in the Sharing Place and only slowly are details of the apocalypse revealed. It’s a very effective tale.” SF Crowsnest
This video is mostly narrated by Dr. Robert Cialdini, who’s most famous for his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (where he first presented most of the ideas seen here). This is a text book—if not the Bible—on how to talk to people about things that you really care about, and get them to see your perspective.
Cialdini started out as a research psychologist, and my understanding (which fits the tone of the book) is that he began working on the book—which catalogues and examines several categories of sales/influence tricks and techniques—as a sort of warning to lay folks. After its first publication, it became enormously influential among marketers, copywriters, businessfolk, and all manner of modern propogandists. If you write for any purpose (e.g., speechs, op-ed, news, fiction, non-fiction, persuading folks on the fence to vote for this or that) or run any sort of business, you need to read this book. For that matter, even if you don’t seek to persuade anyone of anything, I still strongly recommend every adult in America read this book, in order to better understand how it is you’ve come to believe what you believe, embrace what you embrace, and reject what “just isn’t your thing.”
(While we’re on the topic, you really should also read Darrell Huff’s HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS; the black arts outlined in these two books cover the two major toolsets that the politically and economically motivated are using to manipulate you and your loved ones every single day. Get your hands on Master’s tools; consider their possible applications in tearing down Master’s house*.)
Caveat: Yes, some of the hard data and studies in the original Influence haven’t aged well, but the bold strokes—about how people behave and how our minds get changed without our realizing it—is still rock solid.
BONUS: Check out this analysis of Oprah, and compare it with what Cialdini describes above:
If an atheist wanted to understand what my religion means to me, I’d suggest playing this game.
But, straight talk: I love basically all the games Avery Alder cooks up. My son and I spent a summer playing The Quiet Year, and my wife (not an RPG person) and I spent the early part of this summer playing Abnormal. Highly recommended, all.
Not for nothing, but I’m not a huge fan of Black Friday/Small-biz Saturday/Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday/etc. Yeah, there’s power in focusing our economic force on these specific days (obviously)—but also, there’s power in you just spending money on what you want when you want it.
Anyway, I love the denim from these cats in California, Brave Star. The cuts work for my particular body, the construction is quality, and the materials a delight (more of my thoughts on Brave Star—who, incidentally, are still using some of the final bolts of historic Cone Mills denim I mention in the post at that link).
If you wanna give them a whirl, you can save $10 on dope-ass, sanely priced, all-American-made denim with that link. (DISCLOSURE: If you use that link and coupon code you save $10 and I get a $10 credit. FURTHER DISCLOSURE: These are basically the only pants I wear anymore. I’m wearing a pair of indigo x brown Cone Mills selvedge Slim Straights right now, although my favorite are the various blacks. They are all good jeans.)
The #GoogleTranslatesMTG hashtag is basically the only thing on Twitter that hasn’t made me wanna cry in, I dunno, months.
Shit like this is why I always roll deep in Black, folks:
(Legit, though: Tormented Soul is a fun card, in my humble—but I just love the idea that it’s the crow saying “Great features!” It’s all, like, “Cheer up, bro! You can’t block, but you’re unblockable, and getting nicked for an extra life every round annoys the crap out of Dave-o’s kid!”)
— TolarianTowerOfBabel (@TowerOfBabel5) August 21, 2018