tweets for 2020-01-20

January 21st, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @_SJPeace_: Tamir Rice, was a 12 y/o black boy carrying a TOY GUN was percieved as a BLACK MAN carrying a GUN in an OPEN CARRY STATE of… ->
  • RT @Basseyworld: You can hear the pain in his voice.
    I really hate that the candidates with this level of empathy for Black folks are out… ->
  • RT @GrimKim: Weird how selectively some laws are enforced; it’s almost as if those who enforce them are heavily biased against leftist prot… ->
  • RT @VinceSchilling: So the #Superbowl this year is the @49ers and the Kansas City @Chiefs.

    As a former Sports Editor, and as a Native Amer… ->

  • RT @SebastianMurdoc: Just seeing this, but this guy was identified from my tweet and his now former employer saw. You wore a mask and still… ->
  • RT @AdoptLexiMama: The tally is in. Lexi has spent 1,240 days of her life in the shelter. She is 7 yrs old. Needs solo pet home. Kids 17+.… ->
  • RT @tinnkky: Whew and she fucking ate every single one of you up in this red suit https://t.co/KAzGd98ZSt ->
  • RT @marcformarc: Story time: Ben Carson told an audience I was in that to stop “class war” and remember that “families like the Vanderbilt’… ->
  • @GeektasticLib Kelly 2020: Are you ok? in reply to GeektasticLib ->
  • RT @RepValDemings: President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impe… ->
  • 5 of 5 stars to Parable of the Sower by Damian Duffy https://t.co/cMj4rpecyE ->
  • RT @ConroyForReal: Literally a day after his last suspension. @jaboukie is the only person using Twitter correctly https://t.co/8AB5n5XkfP ->
  • RT @LoriMLee: ✨ G I V E A W A Y ✨

    RT+F to win a paperback of A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS, an anthology of reimagined Asian folktales… ->

  • RT @AuschwitzMuseum: It took us over 5 years to reach to the first 50,000 followers. We hope that within the next week, for #Auschwitz75, w… ->
  • RT @IlhanMN: Dr. King “was not the cuddly creature we re-invent every King Day to lie to ourselves and our kids.”

    Dr. King’s life and deat… ->

  • RT @FaithfullyBP: “We can’t sit around and use the high school history version of Dr. King.

    King’s life did not end because he said ‘I hav… ->

  • RT @nkjemisin: For the past few months, the @NewYorker's @raffiwriter has been working on this very thorough profile of me & my work. Wild… ->
  • RT @HEEFS_: In August we rescued birds from Farm X. We're finally announcing all their names. Introducing, Blanche, Cora, Dorothy, Floren… ->
  • RT @felipetmedinaa: It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived who could take him just becaus… ->
  • About to dive into Damian Duffy & John Jennings's graphic novel adaptation of PARABLE OF THE SOWER. If it's even ha… https://t.co/Yen2kwljNH ->
  • RT @postgrad_barty: what’s the weirdest date you’ve been on??? I’ll go first

    we were going to see a movie and didn’t buy tickets in advanc… ->

  • RT @MageOfSolitude: Women don't want to look like Bond girls, women want to look like spectral figures coming out of the fog with their pac… ->
  • 4 of 5 stars to The Companions by Katie M. Flynn https://t.co/EDyeI6nY7j ->
  • RT @EightBitArt: Well, this is getting some attention. Since it's related, I want to promote some artist to check out:
    @catarazzo
    @What_t->
  • RT @EightBitArt: There are two types of celebrities when it comes to "promoting" artists: either they don't credit them, use their work to… ->
  • RT @kshumanesociety: Couch Potato! 😍😍😍😍😍

    Katie is an adorable 6-year-old girl who needs a loving home! She's super sweet and cuddly!

    Give… ->

  • RT @nocontexttgp: https://t.co/9LIhB3xD8m ->
  • RT @ArrowFilmsVideo: Turn your #BlueMonday into a blood red horror binge 🦇 RT & Follow for a chance to #win the BLOOD HUNGER: THE FILMS OF… ->
  • @ImogenTypes Happy birthday! I'm really looking forward to A Phoenix First Must Burn. So many amazing contributors. in reply to ImogenTypes ->
  • RT @ImogenTypes: Since it's the 20th day in 2020 and my birthday, how about a giveaway?! Follow, RT, and tell me your most anticipated 2020… ->
  • Click To Give at The Animal Rescue Site https://t.co/GzTeps2BKG ->

tweets for 2020-01-19

January 20th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-18

January 19th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-17

January 18th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @iconickbeauty: idk who needs to hear this but you are significantly closer to being homeless than you will ever be to being a billionai… ->
  • RT @corbin_dewitt: always a good time to remember that incarcerated people are denied the right to vote but are still count as residents in… ->
  • RT @rahm3sh: That cat said this is not a mf drill
    😩😂 https://t.co/1ODzyCidMU ->
  • RT @Vanessa_ABee: In which, the carceral system that Warren finds too “racially tinged” to execute people is somehow redeemable enough to s… ->
  • RT @Vanessa_ABee: Liz Warren on the death penalty: “I also oppose it because I think that people who have committed heinous crimes should d… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2020-01-16

January 17th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @AdoptLexiMama: LONGEST RESIDENT at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, NY. Lexi Mama has been in the shelter system since 2014. She n… ->
  • RT @knifefemme: no more jokes about being trash or whatever the fuck in 2020, this is the vibe now https://t.co/eHCeHfWKxs ->
  • RT @rerutled: Read this fascinating (law journal) article by @ma_franks." It describes a legal argument to support justified violence by w… ->
  • RT @monaeltahawy: That time, the day before our IRL 3rd anniversary, that I beat the fuck out of a man in a club for sexually assaulting me… ->
  • RT @nberlat: I'll just reiterate that there are virtually no kids who are rich. the money belongs to their parents, who can hold tuition fe… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2020-01-14

January 15th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Living (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac Marion (2018)

January 14th, 2020 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

This is the Warm Bodies ending we deserve.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

We are ten thousand generations of humans and millions more of simpler things, a vast history of lives and experiences condensed like an ocean of oil, growing deeper and more refined with each new moment of beauty. We want to ignite. We want to be heat and light. After billions of years, we are running out of patience.

“What we had before is what burned the world down. I’m ready for a whole new everything.”

“Chairs on the ceiling,” Tomsen adds. “An otter for president.”

Gebre looks at us for a moment, then tosses up his hands and turns back to his husband. “Well. Okay.”

Gael erupts with laughter. “You’re out of touch with the youth, old man.”

“I might even agree with them,” Gebre says with a shrug, “but they’re hardly representative of the general population.”

“We might be someday,” Julie says. “Maybe sooner than you think.”

“How do we make a better world without giving up a single piece of the old one? We don’t. We can’t. That’s a fucking stupid question.”

“No way around it, zombies are magic.”

Warm Bodies is a personal favorite of mine; if not in the top ten, then definitely the top twenty. (Hey, the likes of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler = stiff competition!) Until I met R. and Julie, never did I imagine that a book about the undead could be so beautiful and poetic. Romantic, even, and in a revolutionary, universal heartbeat kind of way.

The Burning World proved a letdown (albeit a teeny tiny one), as Marion traded some of the ardor for action adventure; it felt almost like an intermission between the more important stuff. In all fairness, bridging the gap between the beginning and end of a trilogy is HARD, and the second book in the series is still filled with its share of beautiful, transformative moments. (I challenge you to find a more tragically exquisite scene than when Nora’s patient, Mrs. A, pulls herself from the pit of the plague, only to succumb to her injuries after enjoying a few brief moments of her newfound humanity.)

I’m not gonna lie: I was nervous as heck to read The Living (especially right after the dumpster fire that was Fury, the series conclusion to another one of my faves, Menagerie).

Thankfully, The Living is a harmonious marriage of the previous two books: it’s got the race-against-time action-adventure chops of The Burning World, with all of the humor, heart, and humanity that made me fall head over heels for Warm Bodies.

The Living picks up immediately after the events of The Burning World, as R., Julie, Nora, Marcus, and (Huntress!) Tomsen flee an imploding NYC. What ensues is a road trip across the United States – including an especially precarious and trippy (as in LSD) journey through the Midwaste – as they try to beat Axiom to Post; save their kids from being assimilated into Axiom’s military-industrial complex; continue to spread the Gleam to the Dead and Nearly Living; and confront their pasts.

For Julie, this means finding her Nearly Living mother before she dies a second time; for Nora, it means confronting – and perhaps forgiving – memories she’s tried long and hard to repress; and for R., it involves a trip to the basement, and bringing his crimes against humanity – as both the head of the Burners and the heir to the Atvist megacorp – to light. And they’re all chasing Tomsen’s white whale, BABL, hoping to bring it crashing down, thus opening the lines of communication to humanity.

One of the delights of The Living is watching R. grow and evolve – and with it, his relationship with Julie. There’s this wonderful scene where Julie confesses that what first drew her to R. was his distinct lack of a background or baggage. He was a blank canvas on which she could project whatever she needed. Slowly, though, he has become full-fledged person – imperfections and all. R. didn’t have much of a choice when he devoured Perry; he was just following the plague’s biological imperative. But the towns that were consumed at his behest as a Burner, and the humans devoured by the machine that was Axiom? Those were R.’s doing. How could that young man grow into the monosyllabic zombie that Julie fell in love with? How can she reconcile the man she loves with the person he once was? How can he?

We also learn more about the nature of the plague; in general terms, it’s an allegory for the times we live in now, and one that’s perhaps more apt today than when the series began. The plague is forced unity and conformity; it is greed and pessimism. It is Axiom (Amazon, Blackwater, Purdue Pharma; Bethany Christian Services, CoreCivic, Wells Fargo): objectifying, tabulating, assimilating, corporatizing, mechanizing, consuming, regurgitating, and reassembling humans, nonhumans, and the natural world. It is apathy and stagnation; bigotry and tyranny. The only way through it? Love – and otter presidents.

The loveliest part of The Living, far and away, is the Library: a subconscious, supernatural, subatomic collective consciousness. A vast, limitless record of everyone and everything that ever has been, and ever will be. Though it has a longstanding policy of steering clear of human affairs, the state of the world has become such that the Library can no longer bear silent witness. This burning world, so desolate yet still so full of potential, needs a nudge. A bit of wisdom. A tiny miracle.

And the so Library whispers, cajoles, and calls out to our protagonists. Well, the older ones; the younger ones, Joan and Alex and Sprout and Addis – they can flit in and out of the stacks at will. They are able to sip and guzzle from the Library’s incomprehensible stores of knowledge whenever they like. Perhaps they can even use this wisdom to bend the laws of reality. They are the next generation; our future.

I hope they don’t mind, but I’m going to pocket a small piece of the Library, and slip it into my own weird, godless magpie version of “religion, not quite a.” There it will rest on the shelves alongside Octavia E. Butlers’s Parables duology; Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials; Carl Sagan’s starstuff; Aaron Freeman’s essay, “You want a physicist to speak at your funeral”; and pieces of Light from Other Stars and The Psychology of Time Travel, by Erika Swyler and Kate Mascarenhas, respectively, and among other things.

It’s strange and perhaps a bit confusing, but also as magnificent as all get out. Just roll with it and you’ll have an extraordinary time, I promise.

Also awesome and compelling and worth a mention: Nora’s reunion with Addis; Nora + Marcus; Tomsen vs. BABL; The Suggestible Universe; Paul Bark (sounds an awful lot like Paul Blart!); Gael + Gebre; random philosophical debates with strangers in dive bars; and the feeling you get when a ghost smiles at you.

Gleam on.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2020-01-13

January 14th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-12

January 13th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-11

January 12th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @dcpoll: Trump offers up our US military as mercenaries for hire to the world's richest autocrats: “I said to Saudi Arabia…you're a ve… ->
  • RT @funder: Impeached Trump is heading to his resort in Florida again next week. This is such a waste of taxpayer money. The travel, securi… ->
  • RT @OriginalFunko: RT & follow @OriginalFunko for a chance to WIN a @hottopic exclusive Summer Stitch Pop!
    #Funko #FunkoPop #Giveaway #pop->
  • RT @gullfire_: just remembered i was once at a college party where a girl had a panic attack after getting too high and she just kept frant… ->
  • RT @Muttville: Norman was at the shelter as a stray and no one came for him. We stepped in and he was quickly adopted. He's put on 4 lbs! F… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2020-01-10

January 11th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-09

January 10th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-08

January 9th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-07

January 8th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Fury (Menagerie #3) by Rachel Vincent (2018)

January 7th, 2020 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

The series that started with a roar goes out with a weak, acquiescent whimper.

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including rape and forced abortion, pregnancy, and birth. This review contains clearly marked spoilers.)

“I cry foul. Humankind doesn’t deserve a sword and shield. Or even a plastic spork. Not after everything they’ve done to us. You should be fighting for us.”

If Menagerie – the first book in this trilogy – was a 2020 Democratic Presidential hopeful, it would be Bernie Sanders. Fury, on the other hand? More of a Joe Biden. Pete Buttigieg, at best.

Look. I absolutely loved, cherished, and adored Menagerie. Reading it was a rapturous moment for me, and for reasons that something like 97% of my fellow readers just won’t get. While the plight of the cryptids in this parallel universe created by Rachel Vincent has several obvious and unmistakable corollaries in our world – the treatment of Muslims in post-9/11 America, the demonization of brown immigrants, especially (but not exclusively!) under a Drumpf presidency – at the time I argued that the most obvious one was also the most apt: simply put, “Menagerie reads like a thinly veiled animal rights revenge fantasy.” Was that Vincent’s intention? Probably not, especially given how the later books played out. Like Oreos, Menagerie was accidentally vegan. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious.

My main gripe with its follow-up, Spectacle, wasn’t that Vincent walked back the animal-friendly undertones, but rather that she failed to tread any new ground. By swapping the site of Delilah’s enslavement and oppression from Metzger’s Menagerie (a struggling traveling circus) to the Savage Spectacle (a place where cryptids are rented out for basically anything, from canned hunts to rape), it seemed like she meant to up the stakes:

Establishments like the Savage Spectacle were whispered about in hushed, fearful tones from behind the bars of Metzger’s Menagerie. They were the boogie men that Metzger used to keep his captives in line: act up, and you’ll end up at a place even worse than here. But is it? Really?

While rape in the form of sexual trafficking is rampant at the Spectacle, rape also occurred at Metzger’s: he forced “exhibits” to breed so that he could sell their offspring. Instead of forced abortion, as at Spectacle, Metzger’s had forced pregnancy and birth. Captives were not intentionally murdered at the carnival, but they were neglected and sometimes shipped off to places where they would be killed, such as research institutions or game preserves.

Is it really possible to rank oppressions?

I feel like Spectacle is Vincent’s attempt to up the ante, to create a world more shocking and appalling than even Metzger’s. And I don’t think that’s possible, because again: how do you compare atrocities? It’s all terrible and horrifying and makes anyone with an ounce of humanity not want to live on this planet anymore.

Fury, on the other hand, represents a serious (and seriously disappointing) deviation from the much more radical and subversive Menagerie. Also, very little happens. Something like 75% of the book involves the main characters hiding out in a remote cabin, or sitting in their cars drinking slushees for the free incognito wifi. I shit you not.

Fury picks up nine months after Delilah & Co.’s escape from the Savage Spectacle. After they disabled Vandekamp’s ability-inhibiting shock collars and high-tailed it out of there, the government bombed the facility. The unlucky cryptids and abusive guards trapped inside were written off as collateral damage. On the upside, they have no idea how many cryptids survived – and escaped. They do suspect that Delilah and Gallagher are out there, BUT they remain blissfully unaware of Delilah’s pregnancy. Which is pushing ten months and might end with her demise at the chubby little hands of a fear dearg baby.

Delilah, Gallagher, Lenore, Zyanya, Claudio, Genni, Rommily, and Eryx are all hiding out in an off-grid cabin in the deep woods outside of DC. Lenore sirens people into giving them cash monies to survive, and she and Delilah – the most human-looking of the group – go into town once a week to check the news feeds. They mean to be searching for the missing members of their group – Lenore’s husband, Rommily’s sisters, Zyanya’s brother and children – but it’s hard to get anything done when you’re a notorious fugitive.

And then a spate of mass murders whips everyone into a frenzy. Teachers kill students, nurses kill patients, police kill civilians, soldiers kill everything that moves. Some begin to fear that this is the beginning of a second reaping. Cryptids are scapegoated all over again. Though it seems that things can’t get worse for nonhumans, the bottom drops even lower: checkpoints are set up, with orders to shoot loose cryptids on sight.

And then things really go off the rails when Delilah wakes up one morning covered in blood and grime. It seems she killed someone in her sleep; but with two badasses taking up space in her body – the furiae and her fetus – it’s anyone’s guess who the murderer is…or why the victims’ faces all look eerily similar in death. One thing we do know: she can’t stop won’t stop.

All this plays out against the backdrop of the first Reaping in 1986, as told from the POV of fourteen-year-old Rebecca Essig, one of the few kids who was lucky enough to survive the mass slaughter by virtue of having other plans that night. She was at a slumber party, only to skip out early and find two of her three younger siblings dead, and her parents covered in blood. Eventually, the government would take her six-year-old sister Erica – really a changeling, or surrogate – into custody, never to be seen again. Rebecca’s story centers on her search for the real Erica, and converges with Delilah’s in unexpected (and often confusing) ways.

*** So here is where the book goes terribly wrong (and where the SPOILERS start). ***

It turns out that, of the hundreds of thousands of surrogates that the government rounded up in 1986, five or six thousand survived. They have been kept in a Guantanamo-like facility, under the control of Vandekamp’s collars, presumably for research and interrogation. However, when Delilah and her friends disabled the collars, they disabled the whole lot of them, allowing the surrogates to escape.

Now in their mid-thirties, the surrogates aim to kickstart a second Reaping, this time by turning authority figures against the very people they should be protecting and serving. Hence: teachers vs. students, nurses vs. patients, cops and soldiers vs. civilians. I think – hope! – you can see where I’m going with this.

This plot like leads to some pretty cringe-worthy exchanges between the MCs. To wit:

“Authority figures.” My voice hardly carried any sound. “Instead of parents. The surrogates could be using authority figures this time. Anyone we’re supposed to be able to trust to protect us.”

“And now—maybe—they’ve found a new way to get to us,” Lenore said. “To make us suspicious of the people we should trust the most.”

and:

“They’ll keep feasting on our pain and chaos for as long as possible. They’ll keep turning teacher against student, nurse against patient, soldier against civilian. Stealing trust and security from us. Making us fear the very people who should protect us.”

Soldiers and cops, really? “People we should trust the most”? You can tell that a white person wrote this, the privilege is blinding. And in a story that’s ostensibly about the othering and oppression of marginalized communities, to boot. Like, I’m a middle-class white lady and even I get nervous around people with guns who can use them with near impunity. Crazy, that.

Put another way: anyone who’s paying even the slightest bit attention is already suspicious of militarized authority figures like soldiers and the police.

The ending, though? OMG, the ending. I can’t even with this appeasing centrist bullshit.

Because Delilah is tangentially responsible for the escape of the surrogates, the furiae has taken it upon herself to send out a sort of homing signal, luring all the escapees to Delilah’s doorstep. Once they meet, the furiae assumes control of Delilah’s body and straight-up slays them; there is no self-inflicted poetic justice here. (Hence the sleep-killing.) But killing them one at a time is a slow process, so Delilah hatches a plan to get thousands of them in one place and induce mass slaughter – with a human audience, so that they can see that we’re all on the same team. Gross, vomit, no want.

“I cry foul. Humankind doesn’t deserve a sword and shield. Or even a plastic spork. Not after everything they’ve done to us. You should be fighting for us.”

“Lenore, I’m not choosing humankind over cryptids. This isn’t us versus them. The surrogates are the enemy. And the only way humankind will ever understand that is if we show them that the rest of us are all on the same side.”

Uh, but you’re not. And this won’t work. Let me tell you why.

In the wake of 9/11, many Muslims denounced the actions of the hijackers; 6,024 self-identified American Muslims fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, fourteen of whom were killed overseas. Yet none of this has stopped countless right-wing politicians and commentators from condemning, vilifying, and marginalizing all 1.8 billion Muslims in the world because of the actions of a few. (Meanwhile, domestic terrorism largely remains the purview of white men, and yet you rarely hear calls for white men everywhere to disavow John Timothy Earnest or James Alex Fields Jr., lest they be guilty by association.)

Immigrants have a lower incarceration rate than natural-born citizens, yet the facts don’t stop 45 from saying things like “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Hell, some immigrants even put their bodies on the line by serving in the military, only to be deported once they return home. “Same team” my ass.

I could go on but this is depressing.

Bigotry is born of fear, sure; and this fear is often misplaced. But this assumes that people are open to education and growth, and often it’s just the opposite (deplorables in the house!). Bigotry is stubborn and entrenched, y’all. Sometimes people are just fucking horrible. Also consider that oppression is profitable. We’re not afraid of most nonhuman animals, yet we continue to exploit them; and, in this AU, cryptids are a big busine$$. Circuses and carnivals, research facilities, controlled hunts, unpaid labor, rape and forced birth, exotic meats, the military-industrial complex. Political capital and mobilizing the base. Humans have so very much to gain by keeping this system of dehumanization and oppression going.

Delilah’s sacrifice, the denouement of this story, is more tragic than noble. Menagerie had me hoping for total animal liberation: nothing more, nothing less. What we got was some half-assed, “hearts and minds,” if we cut off a limb for them, maybe they will deign to acknowledge the basic humanity in us, bullshit.

As far as I’m concerned, her story begins and ends with Menagerie. Spectacle is just kind of meh, while Fury is legit a slap in the face to everyone who rooted for Delilah and her adopted family of cryptids (and, by extension, the marginalized populations they represent in our own world).

Additional quibbles:

Gallagher’s only method of communication seems to be growling.

I do not like that he and Delilah hooked up; it feels like a really gross and icky taboo violation, and besides, can’t men and women ever “just” be friends (or champion and cause, as it were)?

Finally, Eryx. Oh, poor sweet Eryx. You and Rommily deserved so much better. We all did.

/rant

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2020-01-06

January 7th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-05

January 6th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-04

January 5th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-03

January 4th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-01-02

January 3rd, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato