Official Table of Contents of “World War Four”

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Updated “World War Four” anthology Table of Contents

Yes, I’m excited. You’ve seen variations on this before, but the anthology’s TOC now includes the title of the novelette by internationally bestselling science fiction author Neal Asher. As an aside, having recently finished N.K Jemisin’s Hugo-award winning novel The Fifth Season, I’ve started reading Asher’s Dark Intelligence (2016), the first book in his Transformation series. Can’t wait to review it.

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Blocked: When You Make a Hugo-Award Winning Author Upset on Twitter

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Screen capture from twitter

Yesterday, I wrote and posted a book review of SF/F author N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo award-winning novel The Fifth Season, both here on my blog and on Amazon (considering Goodreads as well).

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Screenshot from twitter

I then posted links of my review on twitter and in a private writer’s group on Facebook. As you can see by the accompanying screenshot, I included Ms. Jemisin’s twitter “handle” in the body of my message in case she might want to read the review (and what author doesn’t want to read reviews of their books?).

As an aside, before someone mentions it, I suppose I could be accused of “trolling” Jemisin…except I wasn’t. All I did was put @nkjemisin into the body of my tweet which also contained a link to my review of her novel. If I had put her handle as the very first word in the tweet, it would have gone straight to her and it would not have appeared in my twitter feed. I didn’t do that. I wasn’t exclusively “aiming” my tweet at her, though I certainly wouldn’t have minded if she saw it and read the review. I suppose she could have taken it the wrong way.

Now to continue:

I popped over to her twitter account just for the heck of it and gave it a brief read. I don’t recall the specific content. I was just curious.

This morning, I decided to post another tweet referencing my review. I do this several times in twitter since folks might miss it the first time or two. I decided to include Jemisin’s twitter name once more, and out of curiosity, visited her twitter account again. Lo and behold, I was blocked. What the heck? What happened in the last 22 hours or so?

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Quoting: Beware the Fruits of Impulsivity

Be careful not to panic into taking action or saying something, until you carefully think it over in your mind. The fruit of acting impulsively is regret. When you act impulsively, you might make irreparable mistakes.

It is especially important not to make major life changes when you are guided by emotions. If you are emotionally excited (either in the positive or negative), wait until you calm down before taking action.

Sources: Shaarey Kedushah 1:6; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.261

Book Review: The Fifth Season

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Cover image of NK Jemisin’s 2015 Hugo Award winning novel “The Fifth Season

“Jemisin is now a pillar of speculative fiction, breathtakingly imaginative and narratively bold.”―Entertainment Weekly

“Intricate and extraordinary.”―The New York Times

“[The Fifth Season is] an ambitious book, with a shifting point of view, and a protagonist whose full complexity doesn’t become apparent till toward the end of the novel. … Jemisin’s work itself is part of a slow but definite change in sci-fi and fantasy.”―Guardian

“Astounding… Jemisin maintains a gripping voice and an emotional core that not only carries the story through its complicated setting, but sets things up for even more staggering revelations to come.”―NPR Books

“Jemisin’s graceful prose and gritty setting provide the perfect backdrop for this fascinating tale of determined characters fighting to save a doomed world.”―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A must-buy…breaks uncharted ground.”―Library Journal (starred review)

“Jemisin might just be the best world builder out there right now…. [She] is a master at what she does.”―RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)

“Wait! What? Sure, it’s an interesting story, but… –Me

I’ve read most Hugo nominated and award-winning novels from 1988 back to 1958, when the Hugos first came into existence, but recently, I decided for the sake of fairness, I should consume more recent popular SF/F novels and stories to see how cultural perception is changing the landscape of speculative fiction. The fact that N.K. Jemisin is a three-time Hugo award winner wasn’t lost on me, particularly after having read her latest controversial historic Hugo Award acceptance speech.

Fortunately, The Fifth Season (2015), the first book in “The Broken Earth” series, was available through my local public library system. Given its obvious “hype,” I was hoping for something spectacular and afraid that it wouldn’t be.

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The Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

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Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Today (Shevat 14 on the Jewish calendar) is the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (1934-1983), an American author and scholar who inspired thousands of Jews to return to Jewish observance. Rabbi Kaplan was a physicist, and applied the same analytical approach to the study of “metaphysics.” He possessed an encyclopedic command of Jewish literature, and he produced 50 books on philosophy, Jewish law and Kabbalah. The Jewish world mourned his untimely death at the age of 48.

I’m adding this to illustrate that physics and metaphysics aren’t mutually exclusive, and a brilliant man of faith can be an equally brilliant man of science. I know. It doesn’t play to the stereotypes that all religious people are superstitious Luddites, but part of the reason I post these messages here (rather than on my religious blog) is to break through the stereotypes.

Quoting: Patience Enhancing Scripts

What are some of the scripts that create patience?

“Things are going as fast as they are. I will do what I can to speed things up and I will accept the reality with serenity.”

“Each second of life is precious. And I won’t waste it by causing myself needless distress.”

“One never knows where it is best for one to be at any given moment. I will try to make the wisest choices. But I will realize that where I am could be the best thing for me.”

“I choose my emotional state and I am committed to living my life experiencing positive, resourceful states.”

“Opportunities for personal growth can be found wherever one is and in any given situation. Right now I will look at the present as a gift and an opportunity.”

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Patience.”

Quoting: Learn to Let Go

For those who have mastered serenity, fifteen seconds ago is ancient history. They realize that once something is over, it is over regardless of whether it has been over for many years or for a relatively short time. It is understandable that it can take different people varying amounts of time until they are able to let things go. But the goal should be to let go of what is over and done with. In truth it is gone whether or not you let it. It is just a question of the degree of emotional mastery that you will have. Regardless of where you are at this moment, you can always improve on your ability to let things go as soon as they are gone.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book, “Serenity,” p.51

Quoting: Stages in Willingness to Forgive

There are three levels of willingness to forgive others:

(1) Some people forgive anyone who wronged them if that person comes over and asks forgiveness.

(2) Others go out of their way to meet those who wronged them to make it easier for them to ask for forgiveness.

(3) People on the highest level explicitly state each night before they go to sleep that they forgive anyone who insulted them, even if those people will not ask for forgiveness on their own.

Sources: Eikev Anavah, p.58; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.307

A Sequel…Why Did It Have to Be a Sequel?

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From the teaser/trailer to “Ghostbusters 3”

Oh, good grief. I mean “Ghostbusters 3?”

Okay, I’m a huge fan of the original 1984 Ghostbusters starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, and directed by Ivan Reitman. Every Halloween, I close up all of the blinds on the front of my house, hide from trick or treaters, and watch this comedy classic. It’s a beautiful movie that never gets old.

I’ve watched the 1989 sequel exactly once, hated it, and have never viewed it since.

I read extensively about the gender-flipped 2016 Ghostbuster’s remake and decided to avoid it altogether. Yes, that probably leaves me vulnerable to being called “sexist” and “misogynistic” since a “woke” man would have not only watched the film but loved it for being pro-woman and progressive (however, as Paul Bois at The Daily Wire quipped, “Get woke, go broke”)…

…or maybe it was just a bad movie banking on using an established and beloved franchise to push an ideology in the most shallow and blatantly obvious way possible.

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Bookpunk

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© Sue Vincent

Eleven-year-old Keel watched his thirteen-year-old sister Alina from behind as she trudged down the alleyway. "C'mon. Don't wanna b late," she signaled.

The thin, waif-like boy, walking through January’s half-frozen muddy puddles in dirty, sandaled feet, dressed in over-sized khaki shorts with hems down to his shins, and a ratty green sweater made from an old Army blanket, heard her synthesized voice and simultaneously saw the text on his head’s up.

"Geek off. We've got time," was his caustic reply. He had slowed so he could look at Gemmi’s tagging, he was pretty sure it was her work, freshly painted on the old bricks. He was oblivious to the cold breeze from behind, blowing his matted, tortilla-colored hair with violet tips (all that was left of last November’s dye job) into his eyes.

"This is more important than your hotties for Gemmi." She impatiently grabbed his wrist, causing him to regard his sib for the first time that morning. She covered the holes in her thin, coffee-stained white tank top with a black leather vest, the one she ripped off from the dying multiplex in the burbs last month. There were just as many holes in her black yoga pants (she liked retro), and if he’d listen to her actual voice instead of what came through the interface, he’d have heard the faint, metallic click as numerous piercings colliding in her mouth when she spoke.

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