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Happy birthday to bluerocean. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

My gratitude goes out to everyone who sent good wishes to Virginia. Once the stitches from her surgery are out, she'll pose for pictures to thank you!

R.I.P. to David Storr Unwin (1918-2010), who published young adult science fiction novels under the pseudonym David Severn. One of these was a most interesting young adult dystopian novel, The Future Took Us (1957), which sent its young protagonists three millennia into the future into a severe world run by rules inspired by an ancient mathematics textbook. Born into a family of publishers, Unwin was also the older brother of the late Rayner Unwin, who is perhaps best remembered for being hired by his father, at the age of 10, to read and review J.R.R. Tolkien's manuscript of The Hobbit, which he consequently endorsed heartily for publication. Rest in peace, Mr. Unwin/Severn.


I also have a few links to share:

* Presenting Lenore has posted "A Dystopian February Survey and Mega Prize Packs." Take the survey, qualify for great prizes.

* This forthcoming Fritz Leiber collection looks good!

* From Steph Su Reads about young adult dystopian writing: "Think Like A Writer." (Thanks to Lenore of Presenting Lenore!)

* From Pop Crunch: "The 16 Best Dystopian Books of All Time." I wouldn't recommend this list: it started strong and remained impressive for a while, but it ended with a disappointing whimper and suffered from some truly cringe-worthy oversights. I sound like a crusty old curmudgeon, don't I?

"The world's fame can never warm a heart already dead to happiness; but out of the agony of one human life, may come a lesson for many. Life is a tragedy even under the most favorable conditions."
- Mary E. Bradley Lane, Mizora: World of Women (<- A utopian novel, despite the tone of these final lines)


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't recommend this list: it started strong and remained impressive for a while, but it ended with a disappointing whimper and suffered from some truly cringe-worthy oversights. I sound like a crusty old curmudgeon, don't I?

Not at all - that list was weak indeed. I'm probably prejudiced because I have a strongly-remembered dislike of The Diamond Age, which suffers most of all his books from the Stephenson "no ending" problem. The list displayed quite a bit of ignorance as well - really, Book of the New Sun is "one of the few pieces of science fiction...that's had entire books dedicated to its analysis"? It is to lol.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
I haard someone else say the same thng about Stephenson. The only book of his I have read is the Baroque Cycle, quite a read actually, 3,000 pp. I thought it had a satisfying ending.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
I gave up after Quicksilver, but I did hear (from my husband, who finished it) that the series had an ending, by Stephenson standards. I actually quite liked Cryptonomicon, but it certainly had no ending.
Mar. 4th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
Whew! I'm glad it wasn't just me. ;) I agree with you about Stephenson -- and about that bizarre comment about the Book of the New Sun (????). I could make a whole new list of books that should've been on this one - but, really, leaving out Zamyatin's We is inexcusable. And I get tired of the constant celebration of The Road, which I found to be a derivative work that retread old ground others had cleared long before McCarthy. Okay, now I sound like a curmudgeon! LOL.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
I always knew that mathematics textbooks were the root (or square root) of all true evil. Thanks for confirming this -- & get well, Virginia!
Mar. 4th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
LOL! Me, too! It explains so much. I feel vindicated now. ;)

Virginia and I thank you for the good wishes!
Mar. 3rd, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
Thank you for alerting me to David Severn's death - and *hugs* to Virginia.
Mar. 4th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
You're most welcome - and Virginia thanks you!
Mar. 3rd, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I got a popup from that popcrunch site which reappeared after I shut down and restarted firefox, and today my computer is acting very slow.

McAfee site advisor also flags it

"When we browsed this site, it made unauthorized changes to our test PC."


Mar. 4th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Warning
Oh, yikes! I'm so sorry. Thanks for letting me know. My software isn't catching anything at this point, but I'll give that site a wide berth anyway.
Mar. 4th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Warning
I'm not sure if I caught anything either. The payload is supposedly delivered by a PDF that downloads automatically.
I found that from searching google for others' experiences with the site. I also scanned my system.

The thing that first made me suspicious was a popup that invited me to "Click to Choose Your Prize!", and didn't have a "No, thanks" option. Not that I ever click on the "No thanks" X's either, but at least it's a courtesy that makes me less suspicious. Then the popup reappeared, and the system seemed sort of slow for awhile.

I did find this site which runs a vulnerability scan on your system. It found 4 on mine, Adobe Reader or Flash, Quicktime, and Java.


Mar. 3rd, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
Reading that dystopic novels list reminds me of how misogyny has become one of those words that has lost the impact of its meaning due to casual overuse.
Mar. 4th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
Interesting point - some words do tend to get thrown around so often that they become meaningless.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )