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Marilee J. Layman

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08:32 pm: SF Books

I had a bad night -- a lot of pain and a lot of Junie bothering -- and didn't get up until 4pm. I was craving a pizza and had one delivered -- I'll eat it over the weekend.

I mentioned earlier that I'd sent a letter to the WashPost editors so couldn't talk about it. I did get a "maybe" from them, but it hasn't been published so I think it's time to tell you. There was an article about what books some scientists took to the beach and the reporter says If you're expecting a lot of titles by Ray Bradbury or Isaac Asimov, you may be surprised. Many of our scientists didn't put even one sci-fi pick on their list.

The problem is that all of them are SF (okay Dresden is fantasy, but that's close enough). So here's what I wrote:

----
Rachel Saslow's article in Health & Science on Tuesday about books
that scientists read said "If you're expecting a lot of titles by Ray Bradbury or Isaac
Asimov, you may be surprised. Many of our scientists didn't put even
one sci-fi pick on their list."

I've been reading SF for 51 years and every single fiction book on the
list is science fiction. Time travel, wizard, other planets, other
intelligent species, genetic engineering, etc., those are all science
fiction themes.

Perhaps Ms. Saslow would give us her definition of science fiction.
-----

And at the bottom I asked "(And please, use SF or science fiction instead of sci-fi.)"

The letter I got from an assistant editor had been edited to:

------------
Rachel Saslow’s article in Health & Science on Tuesday about books
that scientists said “If you’re expecting a lot of titles by Ray Bradbury
or Isaac Asimov, you may be surprised. Many of our scientists didn’t put
even one sci-fi pick on their list.”
I’ve been reading SF for 51 years and every single fiction book on
the list is science fiction. Time travel, wizard, other planets, other
intelligent species, genetic engineering, etc., those are all science
fiction themes. Perhaps Ms. Saslow would give us her definition of science
fiction.
-------
As you can see, it was changed to say the scientists said that about the books, but it was Saslow who did. I pointed that out, changed it a bit so it would be right, and also added that I thought the last comment on the article -- by sheilawilliams86 -- was almost certainly Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (three of the other four also complained that they were all/mostly SF). I'm guessing that the change and info were part of why they didn't want it. Or maybe they didn't have room. Who knows?

The WashPost reports a study that shows white enlisted officers were promoted more often than black or Hispanic. The tests, education, time served, etc., were all comparable, but it's the supervisor evaluation that's the most subjective. The Navy's Personnel office says they don't discriminate.

Also in the WashPost, an article about a high school principal putting her ad in the yearbook. She was selling fraudulent products in her spare time. After people had a fit, she apologized and stopped selling, but I'd think she should be fired.

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