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4 Bs: Beauty, Bounty, Brains, and Booty

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Says the Little Rock Free Press, plus a P: pasties. The Tail End of the Year Burlesque Review presented by "Little Rock's Finest Assettes" truly was a caberet: bawdy, corny, over the top, and amusing enough. No bare breasts though - everyone's, er, assets were covered by the aforementioned pasties. There was quite a variety of performances, including dancing glow in the dark skeletons, belly-dancing, a tango accompanied by a live singer, a stuffed dog, a pseudo-slam poet, and lovelies of all shapes and sizes. What was feminist about it? There was a table of feminist publications, although none were local. There's moola for the women's shelter. And there were the Beauties themselves squeezed into sequins and lingerie, celebrating (?) what I'd consider retro-femininity, MC'd by cussing beauty queens. The stage was behind a bar and a pool room, and more than a hundred people crammed into an intimate space where every freckle and rhinestone were visible.

Plans for New Year's:
* conspiring with my co-teacher for the 3 year old Sunbeams at church
* long chat with MoBob to commemorate our 4th wedding anniversary
* starting a stack of books inspired by Danielle's post on the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002. I got: The Foundation Trilogy, Dune, and Stranger in a Strange Land. Ah, life without television!
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On December 30th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC), clynne commented:
Oh! A girl who used to skate with LADD edits a burlesque magazine and travels around the country promoting it. I wonder if she was there? Her name is, uh, "Black Dahlia" (I only know her skate name!) and I think the magazine is called "Shimmy."

Have a fabulous new year! Did you and MoBob really get married on New Year's Eve?
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On January 2nd, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
This was very, very local and very, er, "community theatre." I didn't see any copies of Shimmy but I'll have to ask my friend.
On January 2nd, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC), clynne replied:
I think a lot of burlesque these days is like that -- even in LA, where community theater usually has pretty high production value.
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On December 31st, 2006 01:46 am (UTC), 13oct commented:
Happy Anniversary... hope the two of you'll never celebrate another anniversary separately, ever again.
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On January 2nd, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks!
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On December 31st, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC), vodun commented:
Happy new orbital revolution, and Anniversary!

I've read those three. Actually, there's only a handful on the list that I haven't read... only one in the top ten.

Asimov is the grandfather of the genre. He was great reading when I was 15, back when I didn't really care that his Robot character were more fully rounded and developmed than his human ones ;-) I actually adopted a quote from the Foundation books as a personal motto for years: "Violence is the last resort of the incompetent".

'Dune' is cool, because it makes significantly more sense than the movie that was based on it, which is an unusual reversal.

'Stranger in a Strange Land' is definitely another classic, but is also seriously warped. Heinlein wrote about fifty books, but only about five actual stories, and 'Stranger' is the archetype of one of them. I suspect the only reason he wrote it was to out-weird Phillip K Dick, which was never going to work.

The main problem with all three is they're quite old literature. Asimov hasn't aged as well as we would have liked, for example. A lot of his books have computers built from vacuum tubes and relays, becase that was cutting edge at the time.

"Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson is on the list, and it's a nice and modern rollicking story. I'm surprised his other big book, "The Diamond Age" isn't, because I'd consider it a much more serious work of science fiction. Oooh! And see if you can get a hold of "The Big U", which is his dark satire about a University that completely self-destructs, first socially, then structurally. (at one point, The physics department starts building a railgun to take on the football team, while the Fantasy Gamers are battling giant radioactive mutant rats in the service tunnels. It's great!)

I gave "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond Age" to Marie, and she hated them while she was reading them (she found the style really annoying) but afterwards had the same reaction as everyone else, which was that many cool ideas tended to stick in the mind for later contemplation. I think a lot of the books on the list are probably like that; they're better in retrospect.

Hitch-Hikers should be way, way further up the list. That's all I'll say about that. And there should be more Pratchett.

"Enders Game" is another great modern classic. But don't read the immediate sequels, they're horrible.

Two really good recent novels not on the list are "Vast", by Linda Nagata, and "Flux", by Stephen Baxter. Both are part of what I'll call the next generation of Sci-Fi, which isn't so much about putting heroes into space-ships and flying them into alien situations, but questioning the basic concepts of what it means to be human against the backdrop of a semi-infinite universe.

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On January 2nd, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Wow! Thanks for the comments and suggestions! I thought I'd start off with the classics and then work my way into more recent novels. I realized I already read the Foundation Trilogy, and while I tried Stranger when I was in college I didn't finish it, I'm much more into it now - plus I have the complete original version.
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