SFSignal.com has a useful, interactive flowchart to find something to read on NPR’s listener-compiled Best 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels here. The Science Fiction > Cyberpunk > Gritty Noir (William Gibson’s Neuromancer) | Neo-Victorial (Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer) | Samurai (Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash) seems to make sense–I suppose it illustrates that cyberpunk lives on in the popular imagination, beyond the movement per se.
BoingBoing earlier today posted an excerpt from the Star Tribune about Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean declaring war on the Duke Boys, er, Neil Gaiman:
House Majority Leader Matt Dean said he reminded Urdahl of the “importance of making sure he has [Republican] caucus support” for Legacy funding for arts and cultural heritage projects, an area of spending that Dean acknowledged had rankled some Republicans. “MPR, its safe to say, has been a concern in the past,” said Dean.Dean also singled out a $45,000 payment of Legacy money that was made last year to science fiction writer Neil Gaiman for a four-hour speaking appearance. Dean said that Gaiman, “who I hate,” was a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”
While we’re name calling, I suppose only a loathsome troglodyte can hate a seemingly mild-mannered person who happens to write well, speak eloquently, and help causes he believes in. In fact, Mr. Gaiman is the most upstanding author who I have had the pleasure to meet [he definitely takes the third way in his blog response to this here]. Besides being an all-around stand-up guy, he chooses to spend most of his time in Minnesota rather than his native UK, says many nice things about Minnesota, publicly speaks in exchange for an agreed upon fee reasonable of his status and prestige (this is market capitalism–something I suppose Dean believes in), and then donates said money to good causes.
Mr. Dean, who represents the interests of the New Gods of unbridled capitalism and anti-government support of public works, will, I suspect, be held accountable by the Norse Gods of Minnesota’s ancestors and more importantly by the great people of Minnesota. Perhaps in the meantime, Mr. Dean, you should steer clear of the new movie Thor. Maybe you should do some reading over the weekend like reading some of Mr. Gaiman’s novels. You should begin with American Gods.
I received the bad news this morning in my email:
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1 early this morning, which eliminates federal funding for public broadcasting. This is a blow to public radio and television stations across the country and the 170 million Americans who tune in every month.
But we are not giving up.
You have already had a powerful impact in Washington. We heard directly from Members of Congress that the hundreds of thousands of calls and emails in support of public broadcasting have created momentum that may yet save federal funding for this vital public service.
Now the bill heads to the Senate. You will get a message from us in the next few days when it is time, again, to send a clear message to Washington: Funding for public broadcasting is too important to eliminate.
What can you do today? Please reach out to your friends and family and encourage them to sign up at 170MillionAmericans.org and at Facebook.com/170Million over the coming week. This is going to be a marathon and we will need any many supporters as possible to prevail in the end.
THANK YOU for all that you are doing!
Jeff Nelson and Stacey Karp
170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting
I received a reply email from Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio saying that he will support public broadcasting when the bill comes to the Senate. Please let your Senators know that America needs and deserves public broadcasting. The links above to 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting will help you contact your elected officials.
NPR and PBS add to the American discourse in ways that no other broadcasting and online presence can do. PBS in particular offers educational and entertaining programming that you cannot find on any other broadcast network much less the hundreds of channels on cable. Public broadcasting is a service for the people, by the people that we all can use and enjoy. Much of its funding comes from individual donations, but a large portion of its funding is provided by the people through our national and state governments. That’s the great thing about governments–when they work for the people, they can do things that no individual or corporation can do–a thing like providing free, content-rich programming for every citizen, of any age. Unfortunately now, there are some lawmakers in our national and state governments who want to deprive the people of the United States of one of our most valuable and inexpensive projects: public radio and television. I have contacted my representatives in Ohio, and I would ask that you do the same where you live. Let folks know about what’s going on, and let your representatives know that some public investments are too important to our national discourse and future to eliminate under the guise of ‘fiscal responsibility.’
More information for joining the fight here:
A final thought: Why hasn’t The New York Times carried a story about this?