Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A very welcome antidote to recent discourse that only manages to heroically "discover" women writers in SF by erasing (or, to be more fair, being ignorant of) all who went before, sigh. It has been rather startling to me to find myself having sometimes entered the age of erasure, in some conversations. I have generational-competition bio-social theories about this.

Lois McMaster Bujold, talking about a review of an anthology of very-early female-authored SF.  It doesn't sound like the sort of thing I'd find interesting - little SF from that era retains my interest - but I do find her irritation with today's gender warriors erasing previous generations of prominent women SF authors to bolster their persecution complexes interesting.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


3 oz. Beefeater's 24 gin
3 oz. V8 Fruit Medley
3 oz. Diet Mountain Dew

Let it gravity stir by pouring and then leaving it sit for five minutes.

I call it a "Slender Billy" after William II, one-time Prince of Orange and eventually King of the Netherlands, wounded as a lieutenant-general on the Allied side at the Battle of Waterloo.

This is the first mixed drink I've figured out which works with gin other than a gimlet.  I can't stand martinis, gin-and-tonics, and most other gin-based cocktails, so at least it gives me a reason to bother with gin on my booze shelf other than... completeness.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

People writing "Paratime", time-travel and multiverse stories, kindly keep these basic points of logic in mind:

1) You do not exist in a world that diverges from your own world prior to your conception.

2) It is increasingly unlikely that someone with your name will have been born as the divergence-point approaches the conception of your respective parents.

3) Divergence doesn't change the laws of physics, unless the divergence *is* the difference in the laws of physics/magic/whatever the hell your superhero justificatory hand-waving calls itself.

4) As always, you're allowed one point of divergence.  No cheating and invoking multiple divergences, excepting only the appearance of your characters in the parallel world.

5) Point 4 goes out the window if you've included Paratime Police or Paratime Imperialists in your world-setting, but try to keep it consistent, people!

I'd beg for politically/economically/militarily realistic world-shifts (no, making the US revert to isolationism after WWII does *not* get you your shiny-green peaceful utopia, you commie-symp jackass!  It gets you Not This August in spades!) but I have to recognize that commie-symp writers gotta commie-symp.  But thanks for waving your sign wildly enough I know when to nope out of the story, you schmuck!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Alcohol marks the lines
Distilled morality determined
By edges and titrations and
The percentages of everyday
Intoxication deduced by
Proofs and procedures and
That which determines drunkeness
By the lawbook distinctions which
Divides the good law abiding
Tipplers from those who guzzle
Without limits and considerations
And Saturday Nights set aside
From Sunday early mornings and
Good standing in ones own
Baptist first service standing
Proving ones salvation by
The ability to stand in the
Face of a raving monstrous
Hangover in the face of the
Lord however willing to
Justify those who can stand with
The saved on a Sunday morn.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Huh.  There was a big mocking to-do last winter when San Francisco's beloved Borderlands bookstore encountered the city's dung-brained minimum-wage increase and the owners' budget keeled over and died.  Much mockery of the liberal-leftist urban economic mindset, all right-thinking libertarians had a field day.

Then this happened.  I'm not sure whether to characterize it as social media meets "other people's money", or the continuing revival of the early-modern patronage system, but bunches of butthurt SF SF&fantasy fans kicked in a lot of money to float the cost of the increased wages for a year.  The owners of Borderlands managed to find a way to monetize urbanite nerdcore cultural status-anxiety by turning their store into a sort of open-doors social club.  I don't know how deep the money-well is for this sort of thing, or whether it will only work for "landmark" cases, and all the marginal outfits which either aren't "club-able" or can't swing the necessary publicity will fall by the wayside, but I have to wonder if this is the gateway to that glittering technocratic neo-Victorianism that Neal Stephenson was on about in The Diamond Age.  We'll see if they eventually pull up the draw-bridges and exclude the wrong sort from dirtying their nice new high-tone clubs.  I rather suspect that the doormen will be theoretically oriented towards ideological outliers, but in practice will tend towards keeping out the smelly street-trash.

Friday, February 20, 2015

On The Thesis that All Art is Political

A child of the future told me
His professor a prophet to sing
A song of militancy for thee
Art the ideologue's sole thing
Bound in uniform to forever be
Her long dark locks wrapped
With a length of barbed-wire
An officer's cap her only hat
Severe Marianne at the barricade
her only stance the banner held
High and straining forever forward
Above a blur of faceless men to lead.

All art political!  
And that
Which cannot
Be parsed
By this slogan
Or that cant
Kitsch! and
Thus a figure
Of derision
And dispute.

And so the party walls off
The faithful behind a fence
Of dogma and defenses
Raised against phantasms
Of unregimented minds
Bandits of book and bell
Wreckers in their hidden souls
Never laid bare before the
Altars of the proscenium
That enclosed ritual stage
Of the people's theatre
The democratic arts!

There is a certain breed of
Man, sabre on his belt
Who cannot look upon
Well-plowed acres of
Spring-green fields of hay
Without seeing in his
Mind the fields of fire
The lines of advance and
The cover inherent in a 
Cool dark wood across
Nodding heads of grain.

Thus the organizer and
Party militant gazes upon
The cultured and popular
Arts, and sees nothing but
Fields of battle to be 
Conquered and paced off
Fortified against the next
Tribal faith to come
And seize that which has
Been taken for the 
Party of the Faithful
Or revolutionary Red Front.

You!  With your gift of 
Song to raise above
The congregation ingathered
To stand before the
Familial altar of your
Gods as they might be!
Were you born to sing
Hymns of praise and beauty
Or to bawl out a battle-march?

You!  Whose pen is sharp
And swift and all things
Clever and clear and 
Deft in the design
Is your pen a tool to find
Whimsy and the truth
Entwined in God's design?
Or is it a dagger to be drawn
Against or in service to
The devils of your day?

C.M. Hagmaier

The irony here is that I'm the most political, or at least, ideological combative, of would-be poets.  I like to think that it's a defensive formation, but...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

And so, in dream and limb we sing
Blown free from our constant notions
That hath in sense extension unerring
Belief and faith winsome ablutions

Nonsense saith some Puritanical hearts
That hath more will than trust in grace
And constraining men in all their arts
That would by God's own troth lay waste

To each and every good notion gave birth
By hope and love and skill, by belief's art
Each man made light and swift and whole by mirth
And even flesh and dirt given still some part

Herein breaks free the bubbling brook of life
That extinguishes fire of divine strife

C.M. Hagmaier 12/27/14

Meh.  Iambic pentameter doesn't come naturally to me, and I think I got a couple feet wrong there, but oh, well.  There's a reason nobody does anything in formal measures anymore.