Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend Reading: Some Light Reading for a Dark Time Edition

It has been a week since the attacks in France. There was another attack in Mali today. The world is facing something evil, and I don't use that word lightly.

I remain convinced that we must fight this evil by refusing to accept its definition of the world. It is not us versus them. It is all of us versus hatred.

Sadly, that fight is not going well. As I mentioned on Twitter last night, I'm genuinely worried about the fear-mongering and racism being encouraged in my country right now. John Scalzi's post on the topic says most of what I'm thinking better than I could.

Tonight, though, I want to think about other things. I will keep speaking up in the ways I think will help the most. I wrote to my representative to express my disappointment with his vote on the refugee bill. I will write to my senators, who I expect will vote in a more reasonable way. I will share things on Twitter, and speak up in real life.

But I need a break, or I risk going under, and that does no one any good.

So, first up, something happy: Nicoleandmaggie reviewed Petunia, The Girl Who Was NOT a Princess. That review made my day! I love hearing about kids who like my books.

Here is a really great Q&A with Micah Edwards, author of Okay, So Look (a book I published).

In other "me publishing" news, Navigating the Path to Industry (a book I both wrote and published) is now available on Smashwords, which means it is available in Scribd and will be available in Oyster and Overdrive soonish.

I'll also remind you that Missed Chances (a book I edited and published) is in the midst of a GoodReads giveaway promo that ends tomorrow.

OK, that's enough self-promotion.

I love the idea of The Alliance for Girls in STEM, a new non-profit: make picture books with science stories and girls as the protagonists, so that more kids can see themselves as potential future scientists. They are running an IndieGoGo campaign for their first book. I'll be donating as soon as I settle on the reward I want!

This is a really cool piece of scientific detective work, and now I want to go to Crowley Lake.

If you have somehow missed the story about why I (and other Southern Californians) say "the 5" and "the 405," here's your chance to go read it.

This tumblr post turned into something like a crowdsourced dystopic YA story, and it is pretty awesome.

Holy cow, this story about women tricked into relationships with undercover police officers is horrifying. Can you imagine giving years of your life to a relationship only to find out it was an opportunistic lie created to infiltrate a cause you cared about?

This is a beautiful post about the power of reading.

This is a really powerful story about a young man trying to make it in an elite college after growing up in a very rough part of Chicago. It isn't enough to admit more Black students. You have to make sure they have the help and support they need to thrive.

That you can say something similar about women in tech is one of the conclusions of this very thorough article.

I think something similar can probably be said about refugees, too. As much as I am in favor of the US and Europe helping refugees, we do everyone a disservice if we bring people in and do not help them build a new life. I don't agree with everything in Reihan Salam's article on an alternative approach to helping refugees, but he raises some good issues that we must think about.

Zeynep Tufekci sums it up well:

Oops, I said I wanted to think about something else tonight.

So I'll end with a couple of comics: this great Oatmeal comic about helping each other and the xkcd comic I wanted to send to a lot of programmers I've worked with over the years.

Also, this great cat picture sent to me by my husband. (I couldn't find the original source, unfortunately, just a Reddit thread and I'm not linking to that.)

I hope you all have a good weekend!


  1. fizzchick10:45 PM

    Thanks for the link to the kids book! Bought 1 and donated more.

  2. That BBC story is absolutely horrifying. I want to say more but I just can't muster the words after reading that.


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