April 22nd, 2021


Whoniversaries 22 April

i) births and deaths

22 April 1942: birth of Denis Lill, who played Dr. Fendleman in Image of the Fendahl (Fourth Doctor, 1977) and Sir George Hutchinson in The Awakening (Fifth Doctor, 1984).

22 April 1984: birth of Michelle Ryan, who played Christina de Souza in Planet of the Dead (Tenth Doctor, 2009).

22 April 1989: death of Kenny McBain, who directed The Horns of Nimon (Fourth Doctor, 1979-80).

ii) broadcast anniversaries

22 April 1967: broadcast of third episode of The Faceless Ones. The Doctor convinces the Commandant to let him investigate the mysterious disappearances.

22 April 1972: broadcast of third episode of The Mutants. Jo, the Doctor, Cotton and Stubbs are trapped in the caves by the Marshall, with gas closing in.

22 April 2006: broadcast of Tooth and Claw. The Doctor and Rose save Queen Victoria from werewolves; she founds the Torchwood Institute.

(Odd coincidence that Pauline Collins features in two episodes shown exactly 39 years apart.)

22 April 2017: broadcast of Smile. The Doctor takes Bill to see one of Earth's first space colonies, where the inhabitants have supposedly cracked the secret of perpetual happiness. However, they soon discover that the cause of this "happiness" has a very deadly punishment for not following along.

iii) date specified in-universe:

22 April 2011: setting of much of Eleventh Doctor stories The Impossible Astronaut and The Wedding of River Song.

My tweets

  • Wed, 12:40: Hugely childish. @DanTehanWannon was senior adviser to Aus trade minister Vaile 2002-06, was then director of trade policy and international affairs for Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2006-07. @TrussLiz became UK's trade minister in Jul 2019. Er, that's it. https://t.co/Vb2frrvman
  • Wed, 12:56: RT @UKandEU: What is in the Northern Ireland Protocol the Johnson Government negotiated? Find out in this explainer by @JS_McStravick @ha
  • Wed, 13:51: Can't they both lose? https://t.co/1jbK4mk0e0
  • Wed, 16:05: Walter Mondale's paper for Jimmy Carter on the role of the Vice-President https://t.co/ehK9nyFU6m A nice clear read, based on consultations with Rockefeller and Humphrey - though apparently not Agnew or Nixon!
  • Wed, 16:40: RT @francescabinda: Fascinating. Obviously, the current @VP has a different take on section IV! https://t.co/GnaQcCCYbY
  • Wed, 16:47: RT @jburnmurdoch: Greater availability of Covid-19 data in the western world has at times given the impression the US, UK and Europe have b…
  • Wed, 17:11: Dialogue for mutual recognition will succeed when the EU joins the US in its Kosovo approach https://t.co/zywpItzF6D Alush Gashi writes.
  • Wed, 17:14: ...and right on cue as we consider Australia's trade diplomacy, I get an invitation from one of the big German thinktanks for an event next week on EU-Australia trade relations, why they are good and getting better. Australia trades 3x more with EU than with UK. And comfy chair.
  • Wed, 17:23: RT @Glasgowin2024: Glasgow in 2024 only becomes a seated convention if we win the bid vote at Chicon8 in September 2022. That vote is now…
  • Wed, 18:47: 400 days of plague https://t.co/pp5W5kj3bp
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Vector 293: Chinese SF

Second paragraph of third article ("龙马精神 Dragon Horse Vitality Spirit", by Yen Ooi):
Genres are in general difficult to define, but CSF is especially complicated. Both the terms Chinese and science fiction defy any clear definition, yet are used so commonly that every user has their own pre-assumed definition. One popular assumption in the West is that CSF should always be read in terms of political dissent or complicity with state power. As much as that might be true for some, it is an unhelpful generalisation. After all, we do not assume that British SF is only about Brexit, or American SF only about Trump. In one sense, all storytelling is inherently political, and within Anglophone SF especially, the racist and queerphobic attack on representational diversity is often disguised as a demand to “remove the politics” from our stories. However, the necessarily political nature of storytelling is complicated in the case of the Anglophone reception of CSF. The insistence of many Western readers on interpreting CSF exclusively in relation to government censorship can itself have a paradoxically censoring effect. Some CSF authors have even resisted writing stories set in China, or allowing the translation of their work into English, for fear that readers will ignore its actual aesthetic and intellectual qualities, while using it as material for simplistic speculation: Whose side are you really on? To quote Ken Liu — for what is a publication on CSF without mentioning the writer who, it feels like, has single-handedly brought CSF to Anglo-American readers? —
Like writers everywhere, today’s Chinese writers are concerned with humanism; with globalization; with technological advancement; with development and environmental preservation; with history, rights, freedom, and justice; with family and love; with the beauty of expressing sentiment through words; with language play; with the grandeur of science; with the thrill of discovery; with the ultimate meaning of life.
— Ken Liu, Invisible Planets, 2016.
The BSFA has done us all a huge service with a special issue of Vector devoted to Chinese SF, 80 pages of really interesting pieces about the genre in the language with most native speakers in the world. I must say there isn't a dud piece here - I thought I was going to bounce off Angela Chan's interview with artist Beatrice Glow, but in fact it developed into a really interesting narrative about colonialism and representation. I won't attempt to summarise what I learned from the magazine, but I went straight out and bought An Excess Male, by Maggie Shen King, and Waste Tide, by Chen Qiufan, to add to my TBR list. I assume that the interested non-BSFA member can make arrangements to get a paper copy from the source, or wait a few months until it appears on the back issues page.