Ripped from the headlines

  • 6.18.17 On poker, ghost dads and fashioning your own father figures


    Here is possibly my most enduring memory of my father:
    We are sitting around the kitchen table in the house I lived in from around age 8 until age 11 – the one that’s fixed in my long-term memory as The House. Everyone has a Memory House; it’s the one our imagination goes to when we’re reading a book and someone talks about a house and then there we are back in it, our living rooms and dining rooms and bedrooms standing in as sets for the house the author has already carefully described for us, but we can’t help ... continue

  • 6.01.17 On being a foodaholic, and forever 0 days sober


    My name is Randee and I am a foodaholic.
    That sounds funny at first because: food! We all love food! Food is delicious and we have to eat it at least once a day and we focus our social experiences around it and it nourishes us and makes us grow and besides which, did I mention it’s delicious?
    And that is all true, and true for me. Food is delicious. Food is also bad for me. At least, the way I use it, it is.

    Here is how I have learned to watch my weight (which needs watching even ... continue

  • 05.26.17 Aziz Ansari, burritos, and why everything is no longer all about you


    As babies, we are the center of the universe. We have to be, in some aspects: we can’t do a whole lot for ourselves, and thankfully most of us have at least one parent around to assure us that yes, all life revolves around our wants and needs.
    And then we grow up.
    I remember being about 10 and experiencing a strange sensation, a dawning comprehension that comes – hopefully – to everyone at some point: namely, that I am not in some ongoing movie production of which I am the sole star. People do not start being or happening ... continue

  • 5.4.17 With questions like that, it’s probably best if you stay behind


    During a civilized conversation about the state of the nation recently a friend said to me (paraphrasing): “Yes, but all of these things you’re worried about that 45 is doing or thinking of doing — how are they really going to affect you?”
    I have health care, through my husband’s work. I don’t have kids. Yet I care about health care for others, and I care for not having ignorant, uneducated children running around — on multiple levels. Because that is civilization. Therefore, any knock at those things, is a knock at me.
    But what I’ve been thinking about ... continue

  • Wiscon 2017


    Wiscon, the terrific convention that focuses on the intersection of feminism and science fiction/fantasy, is a’comin’ and I shall be participating (in between shoveling deep-fried cheese curds into my face)!
    If you’re planning to be out there, please say hello and come to find me at these readings:
    Saturday, May 27
    10-11:15 a.m.
    Conference 4
    “The Four Musketeers”: C.S.E. Cooney, S. Brackett Robertson, Jeanine Marie Vaughn and I will all take turns reading from our recent work. From the description: “The Four Musketeers come together to tell tales of trolls, pirates, fae warfare, haunted dolls, and shadowspirits.”
    Saturday, May 27continue

  • 03.24.17 Terrorism in the era of ‘Black Mirror’: ‘It’s like we’re all living in a movie’


    For your perspective consideration, please.
    I interviewed Charlie Brooker, the creator of “Black Mirror,” the anthology series about the dark forces in ourselves and our technology (catch it on Netflix), Thursday afternoon for an article I’m working on about technophobia in TV series. Needless to say, I was delighted: I’m a big fan of what he’s doing both on “Mirror” and in other areas.
    But I couldn’t start the official conversation without addressing the terror attack in London on the 22nd; I just wanted to express my hopes that he and his loved ones were OK. They were, and it ... continue

  • 03.10.17 I Hate Book Reviews: C.S.E. Cooney’s ‘The Bone Swans of Amandale’


    I have spent many years being critical. Of movies, of TV shows, of music albums. It’s part of my job – it’s part of what I do on a daily basis as an entertainment writer.
    But I’ve never wanted to be a book reviewer. I discovered that by being critical of so much entertainment I found it hard to separate just enjoying it from seeing it through a prism of commentary – which later made it difficult to disappear into. I got out of music journalism before it became a permanent thing, but I’m finding the visual media of movies ... continue

  • 02.28.17 Fall on your knees and be grateful to your corporate overlords. And experimental doctors


    Earlier today, I saw a post that reminded us what the U.S. was like before the Environmental Protection Agency existed. Suffice it to say: Just check out pictures of Beijing and get back to me.
    Then I saw this awesome post by my fellow writer Lisa Cohen, who knows more than a thing or two about the medical community, in which she outlined exactly why health care is super-complicated (as P45 apparently only recently discovered) and why it is so necessary.
    So I decided to combine both ideas.
    There are a ton of posts out there written well and informatively ... continue

  • 02.18.17 ‘It’s been a good run, but I think we reached the end’


    I said to him, “I think we’re done here.”
    He looked at me, waiting for the next shoe.
    “As a country, I mean,” I say. “It’s been a good run but I think we reached the end, logical or not.”
    “How so?”
    “Think about it. If she’d been elected – they just would not have let her govern. Yeah, she has lots of government contacts and plenty of savvy and could have done a decent job, but there would have been no honeymoon period.”
    “I don’t think so.”
    “Really. Look at the last eight years. What did he get done? ... continue

  • 01.31.17 Beyond civil disobedience: Why we need bridge-burners to smoke out Washington’s monsters


    Earlier today, I read a Tweet from editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden that said, in part, “Protests are great and should continue but shaming the unshameable isn’t a plan.”
    He’s right. And we’re going about this all the wrong way.
    Part of the problem – the true cognitive dissonance many of us have been feeling since the inauguration – is that we are reacting to the new administration the way we would if other politicians were irritating us, or doing things we disapproved of. We opened up the rule book and it said, “Make calls.” Then it said, “Write letters.” And ... continue