Stories Behind Stories

by Henry Farrell on May 10, 2013

*The Half-Made World* and *The Rise of Ransom City* are tricky creatures. They object to being categorized. However much you might want to fix them to the corkboard (with a neatly typed label beneath, identifying species, and date and place of capture) they’re going to wriggle off their pins, if they haven’t already fluttered right back out of the killing jar. Books like this are not easily susceptible to chloroform.

The best I can do is to talk a bit about what they are *not*, and how (I think), they avoid a particular trap. Here, I [disagree with Abigail Nussbaum](, so you likely want to re-read her arguments again before you read mine. Also, I owe much of this to a long email conversation with Eleanor Arnason, (whom you *emphatically* shouldn’t hold responsible for what I say, though she equally emphatically deserves my gratitude). [click to continue…]

Minority Outreach Report

by John Holbo on May 10, 2013

I know, I know, it’s just another of those ‘How many of you know that Saruman used to walk in the forest, a friend of the trees!’ posts by Kevin Williamson. (See also: Rand Paul at Howard.) But it’s the comments that get me, and make me sorry for all the times I’ve said, ‘A-ha! so there are two Confusatrons!’ rather than saving that line for a more special occasion.

To put it another way: the inability of conservatives to keep their alternative reality stories straight is inducing a kind of minority outreach-as-Crisis On Infinite Earths continuity collapse. There’s our world – call it Earth-1, or Nixonworld – in which Dems got better on civil rights in the 60’s, and Republicans got worse. The Southern Strategy. Then there’s Williamson’s World – sort of like Earth-3, a reverse earth. [click to continue…]