[book review] Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life

There’s a popular myth that octopi are literally aliens. The truth is actually more interesting: they are tremendously intelligent — comparable to a human toddler or a very smart dog — but their “mind” is spread throughout their body, with neurons in their eight arms.

Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith looks at the evolution of cephalopods, their capacity for intelligence, the future of the species, and the big philosophical question: what is it like to be a cephalopod?

But even though this book was totes #onbrand and highly relevant to my interests, I found myself … skimming.

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Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies is a bestselling 2014 novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. It’s also a 2017 HBO series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, which has sparked some interesting conversations about the value of women’s stories.

Commercial fiction isn’t a genre I usually read, but I was intrigued by the buzz around the TV show, so I bought the book, inhaled it and adored it, and then watched the TV series, about which I had/am having very mixed feelings.

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In Conversation: Joyce Chng

Joyce ChngBorn in Singapore but a global citizen, Joyce Chng writes mainly science fiction and YA. She likes steampunk and tales of transformation/transfiguration. Her fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres, The Apex Book of World SF II, We See A Different Frontier, Cranky Ladies of History, and Accessing The Future. Her YA science fiction trilogy is published by Singapore publisher, Math Paper Press.

Joyce is heading to Perth for Swancon in April, and Steph recently spoke with her about food, privileging experiences, and haunted makanan.
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[book] The Sea is Ours: Tales From Steampunk Southeast Asia

Cover of The Sea is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast AsiaToday we have a guest review from Friend of No Award Rivqa, who is reviewing The Sea is Ours: Tales From Steampunk Southeast Asia, eds Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng. Rosarium Publishing, 2015.

Stephanie was approached by Rosarium Publishing to review The Sea is Ours, then after she said yes palmed it off on Rivqa on the grounds that Steph is friends with both Jaymee and Joyce and it’s probably not super appropriate.

Some editorial comments from Steph remain, cos she’s Southeast Asian and Rivqa isn’t.

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The right kind of problem: harm minimisation in an intersectional anthology

No Award is very pleased to bring you a guest post today from Rivqa Rafael about the Problem Daughters anthology, and the processes the editors are going through to create a diverse and inclusive anthology. 

Problem Daughters will amplify the voices of women who are sometimes excluded from mainstream feminism. It will be an anthology of beautiful, thoughtful, unconventional speculative fiction and poetry around the theme of intersectional feminism, with a specific focus on the lives and experiences of women of colour, QUILTBAG women, disabled women, sex workers, and any intersection of these.

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