The sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is coming out in a mere 12 days–October 2nd! It is called The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. (You can pre-order it at that link!)

I will be on tour for all of October! And coming to a whole bunch of places I’ve never been before! (And some familiar stops.) So you should definitely try to come out–also it’s lonely without an audience!

This is where I’ll be. I hope to see you there!

OH WAIT. At the St. Louis and Collegeville stops? S.J. Tucker will be joining me for one of our classic amazing reading concerts! We haven’t been able to do one of these on the road together since Palimpsest, so do not miss this chance!

Tuesday, October 2
6:30 PM
Boulder Book Store
Boulder, CO
Facebook Event Page

Wednesday, October 3
7:00 PM
Tattered Cover
Denver, CO
Facebook Event Page

Thursday, October 4
3:30 PM
The Bookies
Denver, CO
Facebook Event Page

October 5-7
Literary Connection (Festival)
Cheyenne, WY

October 7
3:00 pm
Changing Hands
Tempe, AZ
Facebook Event Page

Tuesday, October 9
7:00 PM
Blue Willow
Houston, TX
Facebook Event Page

Thursday, October 11
7:00 PM
Lake Villa District Library
Lake Villa, IL
Facebook Event Page

Friday, October 12
7:00 PM
The Book Cellar
Chicago, IL
Facebook Event Page

Sunday, October 14
3:30 – 4:30
The Southern Festival of Books
PANEL: “Coming of Age in Hidden Worlds,” Room 29
Nashville, TN

Monday, October 15
7:00 PM
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Cincinnati, OH

Wednesday, October 17
7:00 PM
Pudd’nhead Books
Webster Groves, MO– with S.J. Tucker
Facebook Event Page

Thursday, October 18
6:30 PM
Reading Reptile at the Plaza Library
Kansas City, MO
Facebook Event Page

Friday, October 19
4:00 PM
The Bookworm at the Swanson Branch Library
Omaha, NE (eee! September’s home town!)

Sunday, October 21
3:00 PM
Schuler Books
Grand Rapids, MI
Facebook Event Page

Tuesday, October 23
7:00 PM
Towne Book Center
Collegeville, PA–with S.J. Tucker

October 25-27th
Second Story (Festival for kids)
Indianapolis, IN

Sunday, October 28
Schedule TBA
Texas Book Festival
Austin, TX

Monday, October 29
7:00 PM
Community Bookstore
Brooklyn, NY
Facebook Event Page

Tuesday, October 30
4:00 PM
Water Street Books
Exeter, NH
Facebook Event Page

Monday, November 5
7:00 PM
Brookline Booksmith
Brookline, MA

Tuesday, November 6
7:00 PM
Flights of Fantasy (with Lois McMaster Bujold)
Albany, NY

Wednesday, November 7
7:00 PM
Pandemonium
Cambridge, MA

Posted in Blog Posts 5 Comments

Along with SF Squeecasters Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Lynne Thomas, Cat won her 1st Hugo award for Best Fancast in Chicago last week!

Posted in News Comment

I appreciate all the gentle pokings as to whether or not I am ok, as I haven’t posted in awhile. The reason is twofold: one, I have a novel due shortly and I’m basically totally focused on that and two, due to WordPress being a total jerkface, I have not been able to log in to my blog in two weeks.

Seriously, they should just label the “Update WordPress Now” button “Bork Your Situation Now.” Ugh.

So yes, I am fine, I’m just working hardcore and getting ready for Worldcon and cursing the name of the WordPress database.

Speaking of Worldcon! I will be there! I will be getting in on Wednesday and I’ll even be in Chicago for most of the rest of the week after the con, if any of my Chicago folk want to hang out.

Obviously, I will also be at the Hugos, as I am up for some. Kambriel has made me an epic space princess dress and a good time will be had.

This is my Worldcon schedule–please do come and see me! Say hello if you spy me in the halls/bars/loungey places. I am super friendly, for serious. I don’t have a kaffeeklastch, so if you want to chat, you have to be brave! I’m really looking forward to meeting a bunch of new people and hugging my friends SO HARD. I’ve not gone to many cons this year, so it’s been ages since I’ve seen a lot of everybody.

Hit me up if you want to plan meals, coffee, etc. And see a whole bunch of you next week!

Thursday 9am-6pm [Private] SFWA Board Meeting (Obvs, super long, will definitely be up for decompression drinks after! Also, if you are a SFWA member there’s anything you want me to deal with, consider, bring to the Board, etc, now is a good time to contact me, especially if you live on the upper east coast of the US, as I’m the Eastern Regional Director.)

Friday 10:30 am-12pm Columbus AB, Panel: Who Are You Really? A look at ideas about identity. What makes you “you”?

Friday 1:30-3pm Autographing Tables: Signing You bring it, I write my name on it.

Friday 4:30-5pm Grand Suite 3: Reading I haven’t decided what to read from yet, possibly my new Western novella or the Fairyland sequel, depending on the mood of the room.

Saturday 9:00 am-10:30 am SFWA Business Meeting This one you can and should come to if you’re a SFWA member.

Saturday 4:30-6pm Columbus CD Panel: When Quantum Physics Meets Magical Realism The way in which Quantum Physics describes the universe seems more and more to enter the realm of the fantastic. Where does reality end and fantasy begin?

Sunday 9am-10:30am Stroll With the Stars Basically, a constitutional walk with me, John Scalzi, Joe and Gay Haldeman, Kate Baker, Lawrence M. Schoen, Story Musgrave, Stu Segal, and S.J. (Not Tucker) This seems pretty stuffed with awesome to me, so you should definitely come! Also, I am a strange and alien person in the morning. It is not my time.

Sunday 12-1:30 pm Crystal B SF Squeecast Live! A live recording of our Hugo-nominated podcast, guest(s) to be announced.

Then Hugos! Then Hugos Losers Party! Go 70th Worldcon!

See you there.

Posted in Blog Posts Comment

In the nearly ten years of this blog’s existence, I have employed what one might generously call a laissez-faire style of moderation. I have deleted spam and threats to my person–and nothing else. People have always been free to be colossal jerks in the comments, and that’s in large part because my commentariat behaves itself on most occasions and colossal jerks usually get their asses handed to them by my very clever and awesome regular readership. I have felt that allowing the commenters to police the comment space was the best policy, because the content of the comments, in my ethical worldview, belongs to the commenters, and I believed it was not within my rights to remove their work even for the most egregious of offenses. I left crappy comments up as a warning to others–see the response this person drew. Don’t let it be you.

I can count on one hand the number of people I have banned and comments I have deleted. On the same hand.

I’ve always said: this is an open space. Don’t make me sorry for keeping it that way.

Well, it’s finally happened. Ten years was a good run, but I have been made sorry and things are going to change.

Iron-handed moderation is the standard on most large blogs, and it’s come to my attention that people relatively new to reading this one assume such a policy is in place here–that threads should and will be frozen, comments deleted, users banned. This conflict between what is assumed to be true and what is true has caused significant misunderstandings, and that’s at least in part my fault for not having a loudly stated moderation policy. If you assume I moderate like a motherfucker, then it logically appears that anything in the comments is something I think is at least nominally ok. Bad logic, weird logic, not at all appropriate logic when it comes to blog comments, but I can see how, when things get heated, it is a logic that can be leapt to.

But now, especially since my professional name is very prominently placed on the front door of this joint, I’m going to have to stop pretending that this is still a personal, intimate blog shared with a few of my friends. It is not 2003. Time to start acting like a grown-up internet girl and accept that this blog is widely read, and by a lot of people who haven’t been here since day one.

So. Welcome to Thunderdome.

These are the rules.

  • Anonymous commenting is, now and forever, shut the eff off. There are as many ways to sign into Livejournal these days as stars in the sky, and the former policy (of screening anonymous commenting but allowing them because I wanted people to be able to participate in the conversation without declaring allegiance to a website) is not going to cut it. If you want to talk to me, most especially if you want to call me names, you have to use your big-kid words and put your name on it. After all, my name is on it. If one is accountable, all are. (All comments are automatically screened on the main site/non-Livejournal blog.)
  • This is my Freeze Ray. There are many like it, but this one is mine. If I feel that you are being a craphead for no purpose other than because your head is made of shit, I will freeze your thread. (Being a craphead in service of the greater good may or may not be allowed on a case by case basis. And as it is my blog, I get to decide what the greater good is. You can decide it on your own blog.) If I feel that you are trolling or crossing the line vis a vis threatening or otherwise over the top rhetoric, I will freeze your thread. If your conversation rockets past useful and engaging and into fighting for fighting’s sake or just being miserable to each other, I will freeze your thread.
  • If you act a fool, I will let people make fun of you. If, for a wild, random example, on a post about how women are not taken seriously and often threatened when they speak online, you decide to treat me like a bleating little girl and say that my post has been elevated to relevance only by a man’s notice of it, I will let people take you down like a JV quarterback at the ever-loving Super Bowl. Because it illustrates a point, I will not freeze or delete it unless it gets out of hand–but a long, long leash will be given to those handling a commenter who proves the thesis of the post. People like to feel like they can do something about injustice and assorted bullshit. If you give them a target, I will let them take their shots. It’s called catharsis. Don’t make yourself a vessel for other people’s catharsis. It’s not good for your health.
  • This does not mean that you can’t disagree with me. Please do. Disagree eloquently, vociferously, and in good faith. For the purposes of my own goddamned space, I define trolling as: arguing disingenously, insincerely, or just to be contrary in order to cause distress or draw attention to your own super-awesome self. Arguing is not trolling. Arguing in bad faith because you want to rile people (or me) up is. The other side of that is that, even if you genuinely and sincerely believe, for example, that gay people shouldn’t marry or women shouldn’t vote, leaving such comments here is still trolling, because you know damn well how I feel about it and that I won’t change my mind, so mooing about such subjects has no purpose other than to get attention and incur rage points to your dubious account. Just don’t. If I feel that a heated argument has value to the greater discourse, despite its heat and rhetoric, I will leave it up. If it descends to abuse, I will freeze it but leave it visible. But warnings will be issued to argue more in the fashion of Jane Austen than Stone Cold Steve Austin, dig?
  • I will now treat the comments section of this blog as a high-stakes game of Whack-a-Troll. Users will be banned. I have only banned two users in the decade of this blog. Both threatened me with rape and demonstrated knowledge of my whereabouts such that I took them seriously. You will not have to go nearly this far to get banned any longer. I take to heart Tiger Beatdown’s philosophy of “Every comment on this blog is an audition.” Repeated offenses of the above (or below) variety will get you banned. Stalking or otherwise harassing other commenters will get you banned. If you behave toward me in such a fashion that the mere sight of your username causes me anxiety, you will be banned with extreme prejudice. I am not going to take your fee fees into account anymore. My peace of mind is more important than your right to talk in my space.
  • To this end, comments which veer wildly off-topic will be frozen or deleted. For example, there is no reason to post kitten pics to this post unless it is of my kitten or it is hilarious and contains a macro pertaining to strict moderation. But because kittens are cute and harmless, I will freeze such comments rather than deleting them. Carrying on arguments from previous posts or demanding that I answer for the crimes of kittens everywhere are abusive and disrespectful and stupid, and will be deleted. Repeated offenders will get Whacked.
  • When a user is banned, I will comment saying “You have been banned for unacceptable behavior because REASONS.” These reasons may be enumerated or they may not, depending on how much time and energy I have to deal with you. Most will not get a personal note detailing offenses–if you have been banned, it’ll probably be pretty clear why. I am not preemptively banning anyone. We all have a clean slate as of today. Make good use of it.
  • If you have something off-topic to say, say it on Twitter or Facebook or put Off-Topic in your subject heading and make sure it is something nice like “I don’t think you’ve seen this YouTube video of a pug filing her own taxes yet.”
  • Keep in mind that I do not have a team of moderators. It is just me. I field all comments to this blog, I am the only person with access to it. Given the traffic here, this is sometimes a full time job. And I already have a full time job. Also, I am new at this moderation thing. I am not psychic, such that I know when you feel your boundaries have been violated or the discussion has gone too far for your comfort. So, in the tradition of the self-policing space that this always was, I am asking for your help. If you feel a comment has stepped over the line, or that a thread has passed usefulness and entered tail-chasing territory, please leave a comment with the words: Miss Bennet disapproves. (Yes, you may do this in threads and discussions of which you are a part.)
  • This does not actually mean I will instantly freeze and/or delete the thread. It should act as a warning to commenters to slow their roll, and I will determine whether I feel the Freeze Ray needs to come out or not. Commenters who incur Miss Bennet’s wrath and modify their behavior accordingly will be given lenience. However, the final judgment lies with me. No one else (right now) has mod privileges. This is Open Source moderation–but I reserve the right to make the final call.
  • Just…try not to be horrible. In return I will also try not to be horrible. I have always chosen to simply not respond to the ugliest comments, and I will continue that, only with more wielding of the banhammer and less patience. This is usually and can be a warm and welcoming space even for dissenters. We can argue and not be insane dick posses to each other. IT IS POSSIBLE. Treat this blog like a campsite: leave it better than you found it. I will try to take this angle with what I choose to post about. Let’s all just try to pass our Turing Tests and act like human beings rather than malfunctioning rage robots, shall we?
  • If you have any further suggestions on how to improve the moderation of this blog, please leave them in the comments and I will take them under advisement. I didn’t even know how to turn off anonymous commenting until two days ago. I’m pulling together a policy from other blogs I frequent and my own temperament. It may well be that I’m missing something or being too lenient in some area. This policy is a work in progress–if you have wisdoms, I want to hear it.
  • You will find this entry permanently linked from the sidebar. For further illustration of my New Visage of All-Mighty Avenging Stinkeye Goddess Bearing the Horned Helmet of Divine Moderation (And What She Thinks Of Your Nonsense) see this helpful picture.
Posted in Blog Posts 3 Comments

You will notice that I have changed my username.

This is something of an end of an era. I have been yuki-onna on Livejournal for a decade. It was a name that mattered to me. So much that I refused to change it when Facebook and Google decided we all had to use our real names so that it was easier to sell to us, so knock off that creative thing you were doing for the first twenty years of the Internet.

But there is a conversation going on on Livejournal that involves a blogger that I’m sure you all know by this point, Requires Hate. Beginning with comments in my post on Readercon, a post which neither mentioned RH nor had anything to do with her, an idea has surfaced that I have not publicly denounced or blocked her, and so am responsible, on some level, for her words and actions. That I cannot speak on the subject of harassment, even my own harassment, unless I disavow a blogger and book critic that I have never met and only occasionally converse with.

In the course of that conversation, my username was brought up as an example of cultural appropriation. (Why attacking me for appropriation, in my books, in my username, is ok, but RH attacking others for it is not, I am at a loss to explain.) Because my username was Japanese and I am not.

I was, and am, angry about the unfairness of this. I chose the name while living in Japan, desperately trying to feel a connection with a place during a time in my life when I was so deeply depressed and unhappy that a goddess of death seemed just about the right speed for me. As things do online, it came to represent me and my reputation all over the net.

But the truth is that there was nothing not problematic about the reasons I was living in Japan–married to a naval officer stationed there, on an American base on foreign soil 66 years after the end of the war that put it there, in a town divided by race, a population forced to live with American sailors in nothing like harmony. Like it or not, I was part of that system. Whatever I came to love about the culture, it doesn’t really matter. I was there as part of an empire and that just plain sucks out loud.

I am not that person anymore. I was very young and very angry and very damaged. Maybe I am still those things. But it seemed a good time to change. I’m not yuki-onna anymore.

As for the rest of the conversation, and the number of times today I have had to say to my colleagues, people who know me and talk with me regularly and yet still cannot give me anything like the benefit of the doubt or courtesy, I don’t really know what to say. It seems pointless, at this stage, to insist that I am not responsible for my fans (and you know, RH blasted Palimpsest, along with a lot of the rest of the SFF readership, blasted it and shredded it and some of those people made it so personal and private, so disgusting and vicious, that I cannot talk about that book at all anymore. She’s hardly an uncritical fan of mine, and she was far from the worst of those critics.) nor for the actions or words of someone I have never met. I have no understanding of why I must answer for her.

I am deeply, deeply uncomfortable with the idea that we as a community of authors feel it is acceptable to circle wagons and demand that other authors denounce and disavow a critic publicly before being allowed to speak on other topics or be accepted as an actor in good faith. The more people tell me I must do this, the less likely I am to do it, because it’s bullying, plain and simple, it’s intimidation and if it’s so out of line when RH does it, so out of line that even people who have the audacity to speak to her without spitting in her face must be ostracized, then it is not ok to do it to peers and colleagues.

I believe that people should be able to voice their opinions, even if I disagree with them. Even if I agree sometimes and other times think that in a quest to answer injustice and be heard, they step over the line into cruelty. I am a complex person. I can believe at the same time that these injustices are real, and the inability to be heard is a genuine concern, and also not side with a critic on every issue. (Jesus, it’s called reading.) It is ridiculous that I have to say this. Did we demand anyone who wanted to be taken seriously publicly denounce Christopher Priest? We did not. It is brushing up against a bizarre kind of McCarthyist groupthink to do so, and it is not ok. This is not what we do as a community. I do not accept it. Are you now or have you ever been in contact with Requires Hate? No, no, no.

I will repeat what I have said, purely to stave off arguments on this point in the comments, though I don’t expect it to help: I do not believe that RH’s rhetoric comprises an actual threat to the person of any author, any more than wishing someone would die in a fire, as per common internet parlance, represents an actual intent to commit murder or arson. If I did, my attitude would be very different. Some of the authors RH has had unkind words for I number among my friends. Some I did number among my friends, only to find out today that that friendship is predicated, 4th grade style, on my never speaking to someone they don’t like. Do I like it when she goes incandescent on them? No. It fucking sucks, no less than when she did it to me. Do I sometimes learn something about my own bullshit? Yes. Do plenty of people say equally inflammatory things without inspring the curious loathing RH does? You bet. Do I sometimes get paralyzed in my own writing, because I will probably get it wrong? Yep. Is that a good thing? Very probably. Is comparing RH to Goebbels and the Aurora shooter appropriate? Come on.

Does that mean that I am somehow linked at the hip to RH and can be called to task for her? For crying out loud, that is some unfair shit. People praise her all over the place and don’t get appointed her White Guardian. I am an author. I am responsible for my own work, my own life, and really fuck all else. And I am just about at the end of my rope with this shit.

As it happens and with much sad irony, I myself Require Meds today. Due to a pharmacy shortage, I am off my medication. I am probably taking things too seriously. I am definitely exhausted, depressed, near tears and wound up very tight–which I say not to get all white woman’s tears on any of you, but because it is sometimes valuable to say “Hey. This is not fun and games for me and I have had enough.”

I have had enough.

If what is required of me in my community is to block and fucking deny her three times or something, I’m sorry, I just can’t do it. It’s the principle of being ganged up on and told I have to. Putting aside all the cultural issues, that I disagree with things people say ALL THE FUCK OVER THE PLACE and don’t say anything because I don’t have the energy to fight, I’m just a stubborn fucking person. I don’t like the precedent. Which other person that I follow on Twitter will I be taken to task for next? Which critic who liked a couple of my books will say something offensive such that I and no other reader of theirs must answer for it? No, no, no.

I fuck up quite enough on my own without having to take on the sins of someone halfway around the world.

If you have a problem with a person, talk to them. Fight with them. It is beyond weird to attack an unrelated author instead. And honestly, pretend I’m Britney Spears. Leave me alone.

So, yeah. New name.

Posted in Blog Posts 3 Comments