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Sad News From The Frog Nursery

Monday 10th May, brilliant blue sky at 7am, swiftly shrouded: heavy cloud now with sun breaking through. Cold, dry, grey-skies Maytime weather pattern persists, same as it has for a decade. Except a bit colder.

Tragedy has struck. Overnight, between Saturday and Sunday, one of my froglets mysteriously disappeared. There's a faint chance it disappeared under its own steam, and we'll find a tiny shrivelled corpse under the furniture one day, but they don't usually climb out of the water until their tails have practically vanished. I'm afraid a simpler explanation comes to mind. I spent a couple of hours yelling at both the cats, whenever I saw them.

GO AWAY! YOU KILLED MY FROG!

YOU BRUTES! YOU ATE MY BABY!

I'm sure that did a lot of good. Bowl now has a swiftly improvised cat-proof perspex cover.



On the plus side, a pair of newts have turned up in the fish pool, which is beautifully clear now. (And this possibly explains why there are zip, nada, not a single frog tadpole left alive in there) I hoped they might be Great Crested, which I have never seen in the wild, because one of them does seem to have a crest, but internet id swiftly proved them to be Smooth Newts. I wonder are they just passing through (newts get about a lot) or will they stay!

Many thanks to Matthew Johnson for a correction to my essay "Wild Hearts In Uniform". The correct derivation of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin's nickname will be added on Gwynethann real soon now. I meant to work on that site on Sunday, but I am a wastrel and made another attempt at the Cave Of Ordeals instead. (My last attempt was in March; then our big Wire fest, and other less pleasant things intervened, so RPG playing was put on hold). I have lost my edge, one loses an edge swiftly at my age, but I'll get it back.

I like it when people pay attention. & I like it very much when people who don't necessarily share my opinions find my criticism thoughtful and interesting. Not so happy about being found to be "angry", as in Farah Mendlesohn's review on Strange Horizons. You'd think, wouldn't you, that it would be a bigoted sf-misogynist, who would review work like mine and announce "Oooh, lookit that angry feminist! She's so angry". But I'm sure these female reviewers don't mean to be destructive. On the contrary, I feel I'm somewhat being used as a human shield. Gwyneth is "angry" because Farah can't afford to be; Gwyneth is "angry" because Cheryl can't afford to be (that was for Life in 2004). At least Cheryl's not so sure she's a feminist herself, these days (cf her review of Spirit,where we learn that "the feminists" are down on transexuals). . . And good for her on that. I don't think I'll ever convince Farah that her kind of feminism, a feminism that offends nobody in the boys' club, does no good to anyone. It doesn't even work as appeasement, because nowadays, the whole world having taken such a lurching swing to the right, at the dawn of this century, the hardline sf misogynists cannot be appeased.

It's not easy but it is possible to be out as a feminist, in UKSF. My long survival proves that. It'll be uncomfortable at times, and your books will catch a few mean, unscrupulous reviews: but whose books do not, no matter what their politics? And on the plus side, the respect you gain, for yourself and for feminism, from men and women of goodwill who may or may not share your opinions, will be the real thing.

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