Friday, August 12, 2022

Quick Sips 08/12/2022

Hello again! By the time this releases publicly, voting for the Hugos will have closed, and I hope if you had a membership you took the time to vote. It’s a slightly strange place to be in, as a finalist once more in the Fanzine category, in part because it’ll likely be the last time that QSR is up for that prestigious award, which means it might also be my final time as a finalist. Maybe not, but there’s a strong chance. Coming off of winning the Locus, I find that it’s a little harder to push down the hope that QSR might win this year, but I also know that historically my little review blog that could doesn’t fare well in the final voting, so I will try not to let myself hope.

Time this week I think to check with my old friend, burnout. In part because I think that this time of year is always kind of hard for me, not just because it’s award season but because coming off of conventions, reviewing tends to ramp up a bit as publishers who maybe have been a little behind because of the travel and everything catch up and bury us poor short SFF reviewers. Or maybe it’s just that as summer wraps up and winter looms it’s harder to get out of the doldrums. For the most part, though, the change in how I review, the move to Locus, has been a good one and I’m definitely I feel better able to stay on top of that work.

I’ve also been less present on social media, though I do try to tweet about when my reviews go live, and I’m otherwise trying to do things that bring me some joy (like livetweeting my playthrough of FFVI). My relationship with social media has just changed, in part because the landscape surrounding having opinions on the internet is complex and messy. And experience has taught me that some things, some conversations, just can’t happen well in such a public space. There are certainly things I regret about some of how I’ve acted on social media. Not because I was ever less than honest, but because I think I wasn’t as careful as I should have been.

Social media has always I think prevented me from doing some personal and introspective work on me. Not that I dislike social media. But I can tell that my anxiety about it stems from a lot of really toxic bullshit that I’ve been sitting with. My biggest joy remains finding and sharing queer short SFF, and that’s work that I continue to exert myself for. It helps me to understand myself better, and to more fully engage with the world, not just online but in my activism work as well. Just…sometimes you gotta brood with some shit, and at the very least it’s helping me I think have a healthier relationship with social media and myself. Yay.

Anyway, I’m happy that We’re Here 2021 is getting close to release. It is a gorgeous book and L.D. Lewis was a joy to work with, and selected some phenomenal stories. Just really excited to share that with people. Looking ahead, and I’m a little scared about next year’s collaboration, but that’s mostly because of how big a fan I am of Naomi Kanakia’s work, especially 2020’s “Everquest,” which appeared in the first We’re Here. That story… just wow. It’s so raw, so visceral, and so vital. I really cannot say how much it’s meant to me.

Moving to media, and I’m still playing Final Fantasy VI and am still relatively early in the game (just before the Opera House). It’s fun so far, though the characters are rather uneven to me. It’s neat that the story is willing to go so dark so often, building a truly grim world in this pixelated setting. But then grim is Final Fantasy’s style, by and large. And there’s certainly an interesting mix of elements and moving parts. From the espers to the relics and all points between, there is a bit of strategy that goes into just about everything and keeps it all rather interesting (if also occasionally frustrating). So yeah, I’m enjoying it so far. Thinking that next up I’ll be looking for a PS2 game to play (probably Wild Arms 3, Persona 3 FES, FFXII, or…something else I’d have to check). It’ll be nice to at least get away from the original Nintendo graphics that I’ve been in for the last while.

Otherwise, I did watch Dead End: Paranormal Park and thought it was well done. There’s a lot of explicitly queer themes in the show, with one of the main character’s a gay trans man and the other an autistic queer woman. Lots to enjoy, including the adorable pug wizard. A lot *about* queerness and family and that sort of thing, which can get a little cringe at times but just because those are messy things and the show kinda sorta aims at putting on a happy and accepting face and so your mileage may vary if that sort of happy ending just isn’t possible (the show assumes that people’s hearts are in the right place and that everyone is fairly reasonable and not, you know, how actual bigots are so there’s that and it’s a fine choice to make, especially in a kid’s show). Anyway, yeah, that’s about it for now. Hope you all are doing well! Cheers!


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