November 25th, 2011

Permanent intolerable uncertainty

On being a lady

The man at the door asked me if I was the lady of the house. I thought -

...how do you know I don't have a female partner?
...or perhaps I live with my sisters and we're all the ladies of the house?
...or how can you tell I'm a Lady, and not, say, a Countess?
...and even if I am this household's head female, why would you want me in particular as opposed to any other theoretical human in this household who might be entitled to spend money, since all you're doing is selling stuff door-to-door?
...or are you just trying to sound polite, and instead making me wonder what century you've come to me from? And where are all my servants, now that you've implied them?
Fishy Circumstances

Building my world with Anne McCaffrey

When I was ten, I was living in England. The school librarian memorably introduced me to both Anne McCaffrey and Diana Wynne Jones that year. I started with Dragonsong. The library itself didn't have very many books by either. I saved up my allowance and bought McCaffrey books wherever I ran across them that year, mostly from book carousels outside countryside corner shops.

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I never did meet her. I saw her from a distance once, with thousands of others, at the last Glasgow Worldcon. She was already frail then, going around in a wheelchair. And now she's dead.

But her influence has been entwined around most of my life. The first author I was at all a completist about. The author whose influence shaped my first day on the internet, and the effects of whose fandom shaped a large swathe of my subsequent social life, both online and off.