Kids fantasize about being adults, or at least they fantasize about having the freedom and power that adults seem to have. That’s why so much of media made for children features kids doing adult things: solving mysteries, fighting monsters, having adventures, thwarting adults. Oftentimes kids have the clarity and imagination to see the supernatural for what it is, while their parents are too stuffy and boring to see what’s in front of their eyes. In these stories, kids get to be the heroes by playing the part of adults.
I have a confession: I haven’t actually read a lot of classic science fiction, and most of what I have read, I hated. Clarke’s too horny, Bradbury’s too racist, Dick’s too pessimistic, Orwell’s too reactionary. But one book in the “canon” actually stuck with me to this day because of its exploration of non-human intelligence: Asimov’s I, Robot.
There are interesting layers of meaning to the word “soft”. In one sense, it can mean comfortable, inviting, pleasant to touch. In another, it conveys instead looseness, a lack of structure, or a yielding quality. These connotations have an unspoken gendered quality to them – “soft” is code, in so many ways, for “feminine”, and whether something being soft is a good or bad thing betrays much about the speaker’s attitude towards femininity.
Hey friends, I’ll cut to the chase: I gotta take some time off again. I’m on a new medication, and while it’s helping me in certain ways, it’s making it very difficult to write. I don’t think I’ll be gone more than a few weeks; I just need a chance to adjust to the new chemical soup my brain is swimming in! Thanks for bearing with me, and feel free to keep commenting and sending in submissions and other messages. I love y’all, take care.
I intended the Addenda feature to be used to revisit old reviews long after their initial publication, not post reader reactions or edits of things. But one message I got the other night deserves to be both addressed and highlighted, so the use of an addendum seems to make the most sense.