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This just in from Cheryl Morgan:

In the Mormon Times, Orson Scott Card publishes a strident call for revolution against governments that allow LGBT people to get married:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

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I churned through the book last night. Probably have to think a bit and then read it again.

There's one thing Mortensen did really well: he knew his posing mistakes.

The first half of the book (at least, if not more) is dedicated to posing mistakes. Some of the mistakes are pretty blatant physical problems; bad posture, foreshortening and distortions, unfortunate wrinkles and uncomfortable positioning. Some are compositional problems: "cut" limbs, drapes and clothing creating odd illusory proportions and lighting issues.

The other big section on the book is about working with models. He broke down relationships into situations where the photographer is dominant, where the model is dominant and where there's a give-and-take between the photographer and the model. His actual working philosophy was a bit wacky, but there's some good information in there.

Those are the parts I really care about.

Mortensen was, not surprisingly, most interested in shooting female nudes, but he did cover clothing and how tiny changes could fix compositional problems.

There is also a big section on "costume elements." When Mortensen started, Western Costume was one of his clients, and he shot a lot of models using costumes from their warehouse. He hated nearly all of them, and switched to using simple elements that suggested the look he wanted. It's rather interesting.

In many ways, this book is a product of its times, and an interesting read for folks who are into 1930s Hollywood. It's also, as I mentioned, more about shooting women and female nudes than anything else. Still, some of the posing advice points out mistakes that wouldn't be "mistakes" when shooting men.

On the annoying side, the book design is a bit wonky. Figure positioning and numbering isn't always in a sensible linear order. Anything that's covered in one of Mortensen's other books gets only the minimal (if any) explanation in The Model. If you want to know what he meant by "Basic Lighting" you have to find a copy of his lighting book. If you want to know what he meant by "Projection Control" you have to find a copy of his darkroom book.

Still, if you can find a copy, it's worth reading, whether for the giggles over 1930's design and morality or for the useful advice.
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So I'm looking for photo books, and somehow I shook a bunch of cobwebs free in the ol' brain, because I remembered that I work just two buildings down from King Library. Nothing wrong with taking a little time to check what's in the collection.

In the "regular" (City Library) collection, there's pretty much crap. The acquisitions department hasn't picked up much at all in the last few years. What is there is, well, odd. There are a ton of books on wildlife photography, probably more than on any other photographic subject.

In the "research" (SJSU) collection, there's gold. Of course, the art department submits acquisition requests (just like every other department) every year.

I've been looking for portraiture and posing books. There were about 3 portraiture books in the city collection that weren't about kids. There were quite a few more in the university collection, including William Mortensen's 1937 The Model: a book on the problems of posing.

If you don't know who Mortensen was (I didn't), he was the major Hollywood portrait photographer in the 30's and 40's. A big proponent of technical manipulation of photographs, he shot and printed the stars in the way they wanted to be shot: glamorous and dramatic. Mortensen's career went down the toilet in the 1950's when his style of photography was deemed to be too commercial and manipulated to be art.

He shot a lot of people, and made them look very good. We'll see how well he actually explains it, though.
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Hugo Nom that is...

I've filed my 2007 Hugo Award nominations.
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Is this in stock and on sale like it looks? And do you think they would ship to the states? Found their english language page.
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I need a Japanese reader to tell me if this book is still available, and how much it costs.
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...but I've been wanting copies of these since reading Felix's copies:

5000 Years of Chinese Costume

Mongol Costume

Both through Amazon Marketplace, both relatively local sellers.
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It's been a busy two weeks. While some of it has been spent enjoying that we're done with Westercon 60 and BayCon 2007, it hasn't just been an orgy of relaxing and doing nothing.

Last weekend was, of course, crazy.

Saturday morning we had the monthly PenWAG meeting. The pasta salad that I made didn't turn out as well as I hoped, but it was still pretty good.

Saturday afternoon we joined [ profile] johnnyeponymous, [ profile] britgeekgrrl, [ profile] iamradar, [ profile] dinogrl, [ profile] dave_gallaher, [ profile] jorhett, [ profile] jjustisp, [ profile] squeezle and [ profile] kitnboots at St. George Spirits for their "Summer Camp" party. Oy... was it a party.

They released the Basil Eau de Vie, a delightful infused brandy.

Dave was up at the still running a batch of thai-basil infused brandy. It didn't have the broad range of flavors that the orange peel did, but it was still pretty impressive. One of their sample cocktails was a "Thai Fighter" with the basil, lime juice and a bit of sugar syrup. It wasn't that great, or rather it didn't taste particularly "Thai" until we added a tiny dash of the chipotle vodka.

We were also lucky enough to get a sample of Lance Winters' latest experiment, "Christmas Tree." It's noble-fir infused vodka. It sounds really strange. It is really strange. It's also really good. It would probably sell like hotcakes in Quebec (where they drink "spruce beer").

We concluded the day with a trip to Hayward for the Alameda County Leather Corps annual contest. For the first time in 4 years it wasn't over 100 degrees. The hall was kind of warm, but nothing really bad. The show opened with a burlesque troupe (and a very good burlesque troupe at that). The contest itself was pretty uneventful; two contestants had held Santa Clara County Leather titles in the past and the third had lost last year's ACL contest, so they had some experience. Ronnie and [ profile] ted_e_lthrgirl came away with the titles, and we headed home.

We did a lot of nothing on Sunday to make up for all that.

Wednesday we went to the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce BBQ at Jeff's fabulous house in the Silver Creek hills. Catering was decent, house was gorgeous, lots of fun people there.

This brings us to the past weekend.

We decided not to try to get Potter7 on Friday night. We decided to have a nice dinner at Vin Santo. After dinner we walked past Hicklebees and found Ken, Jerry and a friend getting ready to help set up the Potter Party there. Only thing is it was already set up. We hauled them back to the restaurant and had a few drinks while they waited for the party to open. Then we went home.

Saturday morning we did some shopping. We had wine to pick up, so we chased around until we found the right FedEx pick-up location (they've split Express, Ground and Home Delivery into three sites). We got some silver polyclay at D&J and checked out Hancock's Fabric for a Costume College project. The Barnes & Noble at Westgate was sold out of Potter7, but the Almaden Valley Costco wasn't. We had to stop at Costco anyway, because we needed limes for [ profile] karisu_sama and [ profile] didjiman's Potterthon. Costco had a bag of limes for $5; Safeway was selling limes 2/$1.

We brought chocolate and basil eau de vie (along with the makings of Basil Mojitos) to the Potterthon. We chatted and watched a lot of Potter movies. Finally, we went home and went to sleep.

BTW, if you take the basic Mojito Recipe (half a lime, mint leaves, teaspoon of sugar, 2 oz rum, muddle heavily with ice, top up with soda) and pull the mint leaves, swap the white sugar with turbinado sugar and swap the rum with basil eau de vie it's absolutely divine. I have to get a new lime-squozer, though; the acrylic one we had broke. I also need to get a good muddler; we ended up using the handle of a hammer.

Sunday was the Westercon 60 wrap-up BBQ. It was much quieter than the BayCon wrap-up BBQ. I think a lot of folks were very fried still.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading Potter7 while K cleaned the studio. I did take some time to work on a few studio bookshelves, and found stacks of old crap to get rid of. It's just a start, though. It's definitely easier to get rid of crap now.
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I read Potter7. It didn't suck. I shall say no more.
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Why the hell should you spend $150 on a book?

Well, what if I said it was a collection of short stories by Jay Lake illustrated by Frank Wu?

What if I said it was an artistic expression in bookbinding by specialty publisher Traife Buffet Haute Bibilio?

What if I said the end-papers are so blindingly orgasmic that you would have a hard time turning past them to read the book because they just scream to be licked?

OK, I get the "TMI" in response to the last one.

Still, the collector edition of Greetings from Lake Wu is an amazing piece of work, a collection of almost entirely fabulous stories and almost entirely fabulous art in a definitely entirely fabulous package. Sure, the Wheatland Press Edition is much cheaper (but lacking color prints of Frank's paintings and 3 new stories and paintings only in this edition). If you just want a rollicking journey through SF short fiction, get it. If you want something a bit more substantial, and with it the admiration and envy of your reading peers, pick up the collector edition.
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...seems to be a resounding success.

It's there. People are subscribing/watching. People are recommending (some surprising, some entirely expected). People are commenting.

Technorati is being a bit wonky on the searches. I've got proof that the body-search within the journal works (a search on "Doctor Who" pulled up both posts yesterday with recommendations for BDP-short). I haven't got proof that the tag search across all of Technorati is going to work. [ profile] johnnyeponymous posted a fanzine recommendation, after which I did the great tag-rename, and searching on 2006-fanzine-hugo in tags pulls up nothing. This is more irritating since Cheryl Morgan posted an entry in the soon-to-close Emcit blog using the same tag, which isn't being found either.

We'll see how things continue. On the calendar?
  • Nippon2007 announces their nominating window dates and deadlines
  • 2007 Hugo categories are added after January 1, 2007

Anyway, if you were a member of L.A.con IV, or are a member of Nippon2007, you're eligible to nominate for the 2006 Hugo Awards. It's not well known how much influence nominators have on the Hugo Award process. So...

Join. Read the rules. Recommend, and make your opinions known.

And then, when the time comes, fill out your nominating ballot.


Mar. 27th, 2006 05:43 pm
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Sunday was another "get up too early" day, because we had to be in Alameda at East Ocean Seafood Restaurant to join [ profile] mzmtnlion, [ profile] rivetheretic, [ profile] jkuroda, [ profile] danaoshee, [ profile] shalyndra and a few others for dim sum.

This time we got there on time (we were first, actually), and got a good start. It wasn't quite the feeding frenzy that the previous stop was; we had done the Crab Carnivale the night before and [ profile] mzmtnlion had done fondue with a few friends.

After plenty of jiggly rice-flour food, we popped over to Jack London Square to see V for Vendetta. See it. It's fabulous. It's definitely a more modern take on conservative fascist governments than the graphic novel (steeped as it was in Aryan nationalism and Thatcher conservatism).

Instead of just hauling home, we walked over to the Barnes and Noble, and raided the cheapo rack quite successfully. I snagged a copy of the V for Vendetta graphic novel (not on the cheapo rack), a few William S. Burroughs books (also not on the cheapo rack, but I'm in a wild prose mood at the moment), a history of candy and sweets, a copy of A Cook's Tour and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie production and design book.

Finally we did go home, ordered a pizza, and I spent some time cracking and picking a bag of crab from Saturday night (hence the bit about avoiding typing).
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...are posted everywhere, including Emerald City.

Check out the list. If you're interested in voting, read up, watch up, ask around and pre-register for a membership (supporting or attending; attending only matters if you're, well, planning to attend) to L.A.con IV.

BTW, just so you know (and I made this mistake myself):

Vote Splitting is a myth!

Hugo voting is by preferential ballot. If you want to see any episode of Doctor Who win the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, vote your favorite episode as #1, your second choice as #2 and your third choice as #3. If your #1 gets knocked out of the count early, you're still helping the other two towards the finish line.
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Yes, those Hugos.

Again, for those who don't know:

The Hugo Awards (named for science fiction pioneer Hugo Gernsback) are a long-running series of Science Fiction Achievement Awards selected by popular vote of the fans registered for the WorldCon.

Registered members of Interaction and L.A.con IV are eligible to nominate works that were released/performed/published during 2005 for this year's Hugo awards.

On a general note, Emerald City (with much input from [ profile] basfa) produces an annual Hugo Recommendations list. Fans get together and brainstorm about short stories, novels, television shows, movies and other publications that are eligible for award this year. NESFA does too, but they're out in the Northeast and their brains are frozen, so anything you read there you should take with a grain of salt.

If you've received your Hugo nomination ballot, and haven't any idea what to put on it, check out these lists. You might be reminded of something you read, something you saw or something you listened to that you might want to nominate. Don't just take the list's recommendation.

Being that I'm filled with the Gospel of Doctor Who, I'm going to pimp three specific nomination suggestions for you to consider:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who "Dalek"
Murmurs are floating around Doctor Who fandom that if you're going to nominate any episode of Doctor Who for a Hugo, make sure you nominate "Dalek." I haven't seen it yet, but I will in the next day or two. The folks who have made the recommendation to me are people I trust. I will definitely watch it before I fill out my nominating ballot. I saw it. Oy. Definitely.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Doctor Who "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances"
There are people who argue that a two-part TV show (even one that's 90 minutes and where the episodes can't stand individually) doesn't belong in "Long Form." They're good arguments, but I'd like to see Doctor Who nominated in each category it's eligible for. I've talked about ways to show SciFi that Doctor Who is a hot property that deserves better treatment, and this is one of them.

Best Related Book: Back to the Vortex, J Shaun Lyon
It's a Doctor Who related book. Well, and the author is a friend of mine, and I'd love to see him get a Hugo Losers' tchotchke.

I will also point out, on a non-Doctor Who tangent, that Ready, Steady, Sew (the half-time show for the Interaction Masquerade) qualifies for a "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form" nomination. I know it's something a lot of eligible nominators have seen. And, yes, for the record, I was involved in the production.
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Remember all that furor last fall about "venom cock?"

It's erupted again, this time because of a somewhat favorable review by Liz Henry in Strange Horizons.

No, I haven't read the book, I've only read the extracts.

Still, I think it was a bit presumptuous on Ms. Henry's part to tell the folks who think the book blows dragonsgoats that they're not sophisticated enough to read such a great piece of feminist dystopian literature. Oh, wait, it's not great literature, it might even be kind of bad (scroll down and look for her long response where she mentions The Book of the New Sun). Talk about mixed messages.

For the whole hullabaloo, check out [ profile] emcitblog; Cheryl has a pretty good bead on the review and the resulting fallout.

I'm waiting to see the fallout when people start noticing that The Library Journal included Touched by Venom in their list of 2005's Best Genre Fiction. So far, I've only seen one reference to that, and I had to verify it myself. I dug through the University's periodicals databases to find their original review from November, they closed with With particular appeal to fans of the works of Jacqueline Carey and Terry Goodkind, this opening volume of a planned trilogy is highly recommended for most libraries. I also found a similar glowing review in Publishers' Weekly. Gotta love Lexis-Nexis Academic.

(Oh, and for a laugh, check out [ profile] crevette's thoroughly snarky and rotten review of Touched by Venom. I dare you to make it through the whole thing. It's a glorious rant, bucking frilliant.)
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[ profile] kevin_standlee gets in a good zinger in the Colleen Lindsay wank, and she probably doesn't even get it.

And wank it is. It's no longer the "venom cock" wars, it's the Colleen Lindsay Wank. After going to otf_wank (other-than-fandom wank on it got migrated to fandom_wank. Comments include luminaries such as Diane Duane.

Oh, and just to get back to the whole thing that started it all, the devil himself, [ profile] nihilistic_kid, posted a link back to Paperback Writer's blog entry about email exchanges with Jeanine Cross.
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