The actual story of the murder in question, because it's fairly bonkers in and of itself and involves the rivalry between two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:
- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead
The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."
HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:
- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Stands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'
Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.
Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.
...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.
(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?
For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')
I've been very lazy (also injured) this summer, and I could really feel it as I exercised. But as usual, the first set of push-ups was the worst, and they were less painful after that. I even did one set with my hands close together, which is the hardest for me. My wrists are no worse than usual this morning. My fingers are pretty swollen and not very bendy this morning. The high humidity today might be contributing.
Today is the staff luncheon, and then my group is leaving to do a team-building thing. Tonight, dinner at Kabobeesh. I don't think I will get much done.
So today's DE is: What would your characters splash out a fortune on, if only they had a fortune to splash around? For the fabulously wealthy characters, what's a big expenditure that they feel genuinely satisfied with?
I haven't spent much time going through and thinking in terms of which ones are most workable for me, but there are several I like. Chosen family is one of my favorite things; "huddle for warmth" is one of those reliable classic tropes that I don't think I've ever actually written; I like domestic things, so both curtain fic and food/cooking fit... We'll see.
Anyway, here's my card:
( under the cut )
Eric and Pam have some very bad days.
The crew of the Ghost causes trouble and has serious discussions about what they're doing.
A creature is loose in Milliways.
This ended up a OOM heavy post so share what EPs and threads you've finished and are following.
--"Mermaid Hues: A Book of Mermaids" is a project by an artist whose work I enjoyed during Mermay, so I'm glad to see it's being made available for purchase!
--Sparkler Monthly just launched their Kickstarter for year 5: "Twelve more issues of women-oriented, LGBT+ friendly webcomics, light novels, and audio dramas in our digital magazine!" Their Kickstarter page includes a lot of info on the kind of work they do and publish, and links to a free downloadable Sparkler Starter Bundle.
(I do have to note that I'm friends with several of the founders/editors [and have proofread a few of their print volumes], but that means I can tell you with confidence that they bring a LOT of experience and passion to the table as long-term manga-industry professionals and as enthusiastic, thoughtful fans of female-gaze-focused Japanese and Japanese-style media.)
"10+ Times Corgis Mixed With Other Breeds, And The Result Was Absolutely Pawsome".
"Columbus Zoo And Aquarium Welcome A Squeaky Little Small-Clawed Otter Pup".
"22 Dogs That Prove We Don’t Deserve Dogs". [Buzzfeed]
naye posted June pics of her LaPerm kitties!
"I’ve Spent Years Photographing Rats To Break The Negative Image Of Rats By Taking Cute Pics Of Them".
Via erinptah, "Senior Cat Was So Grumpy — Until He Became ‘Grandpa’ To Kittens: “I was expecting him to hiss or growl or slink away. But then one of the ginger kittens started licking Mason’s ear, and Mason sort of leaned into it and closed his eyes like it was the most amazing thing ever.”".
"Sleeps With Monsters: Stop Erasing Women’s Presence in SFF". [Tor.com]
Aww, yay! Sarah Kurchak is Writer of the Week at The Establishment.
"The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates".
Via alexseanchai, a fascinating piece of poetry/meta and commentary about translation between languages where the speakers of one have oppressed the speakers of the other. It's remarkable.
Via tielan, "5 Easy To Make Homemade Air Conditioners".
"How Clergy Set the Standard for Abortion Care: Fifty years ago, a network of religious leaders helped thousands of women find safe, comfortable ways of having the procedure". 
"'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs", a piece about becoming comfortable in her body for the first time. (I'm not sure exactly what content notes to put on this; proceed carefully if you have issues tangled up with body image.)[Note: I have not seen Glow, although it's on the LIST OF DOOM.]
What I Just Finished Reading
I really hit the jackpot in terms of reading this week; the only near-miss was caused by my own lack of planning. *kicks self*
A Tyranny of Queens, by Foz Meadows, the sequel to An Accident of Stars. I did this book a terrible injustice by not rereading the first one before this sequel. I remembered Safi and Gwen, but lost track of most everyone else. So it was a good read, but not the great and engrossing one it could have been for me. So I'm planning a reread of both.
Behind the Throne and After the Crown, by K.B. Wagers. If you love Star Wars but wanted more intrigue, and less explosions, these books are for you! (There are still plenty of explosions, though. YAY EXPLOSIONS.) Non-stop action, fun characterization, unusual South Asian based worldbuilding! I devoted pretty much two whole days of my life to these books last week, and I don't regret it one bit. Third book in the series coming this fall!
Traitor's Blade, by Sebastien De Castell. This is a hilarious, snarky take on The Three Musketeers, and probably any number of other things. Four big fat thick books in this series!
What I Am Currently Reading
Knight's Shadow, the sequel to Traitor's Blade, because it was sitting right there at the library. How could I resist? Still a wild ride, but now with even more fierce female characters!
What I Am Reading Next
Next up is the Frances Hardinge Festival (which was postponed when Knight's Shadow showed up) featuring Fly by Night and its sequel, Fly Trap. So many hilarious quotes from these books on Goodreads - how could I resist?
I am out of exclamation points, so I will stop now *giggle snort* What are all of you up to today?
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee is more straightforwardly comprehensible than Ninefox Gambit, but still had lots of wonderfully weird worldbuilding and characters with complex motivations. Plus, there were a couple of moments where I said, "Whoa. Wow," which I will not spoil here. Two books in, I still think this is one of the most creative science fiction worlds I've read in a long while.
I finished Raven Stratagem on Monday, my recovery day from Readercon, and then dove into The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss, which I finished last night, and which is about monsters and about women, and how they can be the same thing. I think if you like Karen Joy Fowler's work, you might like this, and also if you love meta and revisionist tales and/or things set in Victorian England and relating to the stories of the nineteenth century. Goss works with female creations of fictional scientists (or hypothetical female creations/daughters) from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and "Rappaccini's Daughter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne (which I have not read). Also, Holmes and Watson are in it, because of course they are. But overall, this is a meta novel, periodically festooned with commentary from the female characters about themselves, their stories, how their stories are told, and the idea of what a novel should be and how it should be written. And besides all that, it was fun. Highly recommended, because I think a lot of my Dreamwidth friends would like this, and I would love to hear what you think about it even if you don't like it.
This daily entertainment post was inspired by the cuddly toy Bastet from the British Musuem which my actual living cats are now revering.
PSA: the ebook of Feed (Newsflesh book 1) is currently on sale at all kinds of retailers, including the Canadian Kobo site, if you haven't tried it yet and feel at all inclined to fill my heart with joy by reading it and meeting Georgia Mason. (Here's my rec post for the series.)
As it happens, now is an extra-good time to pick up any of seanan_mcguire(/Mira Grant)'s books or support her Patreon: her beloved female Maine Coon, Alice, is extremely ill. ;_;
Thank you, Mr. Romero. You gave inspiration to an 18 year old with a handheld video camera and some used Halloween makeup.
May you rest in peace. Or not, if you prefer.
Also, to Martin Landau. He was an award-winning actor whose career spanned stage, movie and TV. But what I'll remember him for was his small guest stint on Without A Trace as Jack's dad. The character was suffering from early stage dementia and organ failure and Jack wanted him to fight. He had to have the talk, the one I expect to have to give someday, the "I know you love me so do this for me and let me go" talk. It hit me, hard. It was moving. He was nominated for an Emmy for that role.
At any rate, I've heard what actors want is to have one moment where they change someone's life with their stories. It didn't so much change my life, as help me feel like I was being given permission to one day, when it really does get too much, when my body has failed and my liver is going, to just let go.
Thank you, Mr. Landau. Rest now.
My dad says he's getting tired of checking the headlines everyday, it's as bad as checking the obituaries, his childhood idols keep passing on. I'm starting to feel that way too.
First, a…well, a disclaimer, if you will. Some of you may be aware that Alice (my eight-year-old Maine Coon) is not doing very well. I am thus more than a bit of a mess, and while I will still be attending the San Diego International Comic Convention (SDCC) this year, I may miss any specific program item with little notice. You have my sincere apologies for this fact. I wish things were different.
I will be roving the floor on Preview Night, and may have prizes for those who find me early!
Sixty Seconds with SFF Authors, 1:30pm, Horton Grand Theater. Come see Paul Cornell try desperately to herd cats through this comic game of never shutting up. Signing to follow.
Signing, California Browncoats, 2pm.
Signing, Penguin Random House booth, 5pm. (Also swing by the booth for totally awesome and unique Toby Daye collectable boxes. They’re for sale, and they’re awesome.)
Signing, Penguin Random House booth, 2pm.
How to Create Your Own Novel, 10:30am, Room 8. I get to sit on a panel with David Gerrold. Let’s see if I vibrate myself to death. Signing to follow.
Fantasy Novels, 12:30pm, Room 8. I live here today. Signing to follow.
The Alien-Predator Expanded Universe, Room 5AB. …and now I’m on a panel with Alan Dean Foster, I can die happy. Signing to follow. Then sleep. Glorious sleep.
See you in San Diego!
My panels went well from my pov, and I had a few people (not people I already knew) tell me they enjoyed them, so that seems good! Next time, I think I will skip anything at 8:00 pm, though, because I have no brain left by then.
When I was home and not working yesterday, I did laundry then spent the rest of the day napping and reading in blessed seclusion.
yhlee gave me a test tube with a Dalek seal on top which makes me very, very happy. I am going to use it as a container for my tiny glow-in-the-dark 3D-printed Daleks and make little squeeing noises at it.
Realized it's been a little bit longer than usual since I posted here last. Things are going okay; I'm posting and reblogging (mostly reblogging) on Tumblr. I'm also getting things together for online handmade jewelry sales- last week I got my business certificate! Turns out Workbar, the co-working space company, has a 'community' option for people who only need a physical place of business on a very limited basis, and the city of Boston seems to be okay with that as an address (it is, after all, commercial real estate). I'll be setting up an account at Aftcra.com to sell stuff. Aftcra is an online craft seller that's based in Wisconsin, and their big distinguishing points are: 1. All sellers based in the United States. 2. No 'vintage' or 'antique' stuff, and no craft supplies, just handmade items. 3. No listing fees, you get charged when you sell. 4. Smaller than Etsy so you don't get completely lost in a sea of other sellers. I get the feeling on Etsy that the size of the jewelry section is on par with the population of Hoboken...
Anyway. I'll let you know when I have things available.
In the meantime, on other fronts, I am getting closer to my first solo flight. We've been practicing autorotations the last several lessons and this weekend my instructor wants me to come in for ground class so I'll be prepping for the written exam- after you solo you need to pass a written exam and an oral exam and get some night hours and solo hours and a cross-country flight before you can take your checkride with the FAA examiner. So there's that. And also I am dealing with a next-door neighbor who represents the first time I've actually called the police on someone, because ( it gets a little gross here. ) We'll see what happens from here on that front.
That's it for now. Hope your day is going well.