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1:07 AM
@Randal'Thor To get his attention, or...?
 
8:37 AM
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Q: Story about someone who inconveniences themself in order to maintain awareness of every moment of their life

RumpsI remember a story (possibly an anecdote or parable within a larger work, a la The Grand Inquisitor) about a person who goes about their life in an intentionally unpleasant way so that they can remain aware of every moment. The example I remember was of them choosing to taking a long, boring rout...

 
9:21 AM
@Zyerah To get attention in general, yeah. When we pinged Nalo Hopkinson about the topic challenge, she retweeted us. That kind of thing is good for publicity.
 
9:38 AM
1
Q: Quote about renouncing power over another and hoping they will do the same back

RumpsI'm trying to track down a quote that, through a series of examples, expresses the author's desire to renounce any power they may have over the reader, each followed by their wish that the reader shall reciprocate in kind where necessary. I'm sure I remember one line as mentioning a whip—somethi...

 
 
3 hours later…
12:54 PM
New proposal for character building, backed by the world building community: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/119739/…
 
That... seems like a duplicate of Writing to me, no?
 
I thought writing was more of the writing process. Hmm. I'll ask them on their meta.
I did ping them (and Sci Fi) in the chat too.
 
Character development is certainly part of the writing process :)
 
So...will this become speculative Interpersonal Skills in the way Worldbuilding turned into WhatIf.SE?
 
No, because interpersonal skills is strictly about interacting with other people. The intent of this site is more "given this character is in (major situation) at time (x), how are they likely to react." Or "why would a person react in such a way given they are in (situation) at time (x)".
Interpersonal skills and "real-life" character building (like, if I do X, what will happen) are going to be off topic.
The idea is we have tags for "reality-check", "science-based" and "hard-science" like world-building, where questioners can require answerers to take psychoanalytic theories into account, and stuff.
So, there would be an element of interpersonal skills, but it would be more for building the mind of a character than helping them get out of a sticky situation for the next time it happens.
 
1:13 PM
0
Q: What does the last line of Nalo Hopkinson's "Shift" mean?

MithrandirI've finished reading Nalo Hopkinson's short story "Shift", and I'm baffled by the ending. After the protagonist's encounter with his family, and his girlfriend tells him to find out who he is, the story ends with this: And she leaves you standing there. In the silence, there’s only a faint ...

 
@Bookworm Hmm. I haven't read that story, but typically, that would be a moment where the character accepts/claims their identity for themselves, wouldn't it?
 
If anything, it's heavily related to Christophe's answer on the pronoun question.
@Hosch250 Yeah, well, then ask "if someone does x, what would happen" instead. That's pretty much how Worldbuilding works.
 
@NapoleonWilson No, that's offtopic on WB.
It's basically world building for people instead of worlds.
 
I know. I'm talking about the relation of that proposed new site to Worldbuilding.
@Hosch250 'xactly.
 
Yes. That's exactly the intent.
Except they have to show us the world their character is living in.
So, world-building first, then character building.
 
1:20 PM
The problem being that Worldbuilding isn't so much about actually building worlds than it is about speculating on weird things that could happen.
It would be interesting to see how the existence of the character in an actual built world would be enforced for the site not to just turn into speculative psychology.
 
 
1 hour later…
2:45 PM
0
Q: What does "rather vaguely conceived sweetness and light" mean in this context?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "rather vaguely conceived sweetness and light" means in the following sentences: The other girls in her dormitory marveled at the slightness of her body when they saw her in sheer negligee, or darting out wet from a shower-bath. She seemed then but half as large ...

 
3:00 PM
0
Q: What does "whose shadows were all about her" modify in this text?

Pasta AddictI would like to know what "whose shadows were all about her" modifies in this sentences: ON a hill by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky. She saw no Indians now; she saw flour-mills and the blinkin...

 
3:50 PM
@Bookworm Hmm, can this go HNQ?
 
I've bitten the bullet and posted an answer which delves into some sensitive topics about colonialism and race. I'm not experienced at writing about this kind of stuff, so please let me know if anything there is out of line.
 
I've found another Nalo Hopkinson story online: The Reverse Cheshire Cat. I have also added it to the Meta Q.
Ooh, shiny new privilege: access to site analytics!
 
4:11 PM
Meh.
But congratulations anyway. ;-)
 
@ChristopheStrobbe Yay, congrats!
Soon you'll be overtaking the mods ;-)
 
I suppose so. Or at least two of them. You're already far ahead of them.
 
4:37 PM
@ChristopheStrobbe I'll be happy to be overtaken
 
4:58 PM
We've hit HNQ!
 
5:58 PM
Is there a tag for youth literature / children's stories? I couldn't find any but I figure there probably is.
 
@gerrit No, I could find tags for children's stories.
By the way, you can get rid of that spoiler markup for that story involving candles: Spoilers are inaccessible to keyboard users.
 
6:19 PM
@Mithrandir We've had almost 60 new views since then.
 
6:38 PM
@gerrit No: there used to be, but we got rid of it. I think we tend not to use genre tags here in general.
 
So now we have eight questions for Nalo Hopkinson, the same number we had for Le Guin in May.
 
@ChristopheStrobbe Hmm, that seems to be an argument for getting rid of spoilertags everywhere, but they're certainly used (and useful) a lot. Historically this site has had few issues with spoilertagging major plot points.
 
Well, that reminds me of certain Wikipedia versions where every plot summary was preceded by a "spoiler warning" line. I believe it was the Dutch Wikipedia. Then they decided to get rid of those things.
There is more to books than just their plot.
If you read such questions before reading the story, you should know that this risk exists.
 
0
Q: Meaning of the /ʌ/ sounds in Nalo Hopkinson's story Can’t Beat ‘Em

Christophe StrobbeIn Nalo Hopkinson's short story Can’t Beat ‘Em, people try to deal with a sort of "sink throat monster" that one of the characters calls "glups". While reading the story a second time, I gained the impression that the story has a higher-than-usual percentage of words containing the /ʌ/ sound prec...

 
@ChristopheStrobbe ...huh. For some reason, it reminded me of a Goosebumps book that I can't remember the title of at the moment.
 
6:52 PM
@Mithrandir Interesting. I'm not familiar with Goosebumps.
@Mithrandir The more obvious allusion in the title is the Cheshire cat from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
 
Indeed.
What's the relevance of that reference, I wonder?
 
It can't hurt to post another question ;-)
 
Tomorrow. I already asked one today :P
 
7:08 PM
I posted one about that story instead :-)
(didn't pinch yours, Mith, don't worry)
 
i wouldn't have minded if you did
 
7:21 PM
1
Q: What's the significance of the name Loyola?

Rand al'ThorAs soon as I started reading Nalo Hopkinson's short story "The Reverse Cheshire Cat" (freely available to read online), the name "Loyola" jumped out at me. Surely this must be a reference to Ignatius of Loyola, a Catholic saint and the founder of the Jesuit order. There are a lot of things called...

 
@Bookworm I assume you expect something better than a jesuitical answer ;-)
 
8:26 PM
@Randal'Thor Ok.
 
8:51 PM
@Randal'Thor In the spirit of promoting equal opportunities, keyboard users should have the same right to access spoilers.
 
0
Q: In search of a short story from my childhood

EasyReaderOne of the short stories in my elementary school reading book (late 50s or early 60s) was about a young boy who was unhappy in his home and family. He constantly fantasized about his "real parents" coming to get him and take him away from his ordinary life. I've searched and searched for the stor...

 
Hmm, a question migrated from SF SE, where the OP is marked as "unregistered".
 
Seemed probably answerable to me.
 
It probably requires some additional information, which an unregistered user is not likely to provide.
 
The info + the inclusion of a title makes me inclined to think that, while more details are always good, if the right person sees it it should be answerable.
 
 
2 hours later…
10:40 PM
@ChristopheStrobbe In principle, of course you're right. In practice ... spoilertags are handy. I'd rather campaign for SE to make them accessible support your meta request than abandon a feature which is useful for most users.
@gerrit By the way, I pinged someone on another site who's Dutch and good at answering story-ID questions. Maybe he'll be able to solve your question here.
 
10:56 PM
@Randal'Thor Ah, thanks :)
I suspect it may be rather obscure story, commissioned by some astronomical society or so for a special event on celebrating the night sky.
 
@gerrit That's good info to edit into the question. Might help someone to find it, if that astronomical society published a list of stories they commissioned.
 
@Randal'Thor True, although it's a very wild guess.
 

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