I don’t see what it has to do with spiders

It seems like the ‘#spider’ hashtag on Twitter has been flooded with baffling music references and gushing fans going gaga over someone named Hoshi. So I had to look him up. It’s K-pop — Hoshi is a member of a South Korean boy-band who just released a single titled “Spider”. As always, I’m about to inflict it on you.

It’s…alright. If it weren’t for the title I wouldn’t have listened past the first 30 seconds, and I don’t think I’ll listen to it twice. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not to my taste, but at least my curiosity is satisfied now.

What else would you expect from royalty?

For some reason, this Oglaf cartoon seems particularly appropriate today.

Maybe an institution built around the notion of an intrinsic inherited superiority, which raises its members in a warm bath of entitlement and privilege, isn’t the best structure for producing an enlightened leadership? We should expect the products of such an upbringing to be, naturally, self-serving bigots?

I don’t know why that came to mind today.

(By the way, that Oglaf cartoon is a two-parter, but page 2 culminates in someone getting a good consensual pegging, as Oglafian humor tends to do.)

Spider jump scares

Always good for a laugh.

Which reminds me…yesterday, my wife tried to cheer me up by telling me she saw some small insects in the house, which means the return of the spiders can’t be far off. This seems to be an unusual response by most hu-mans.

I’m kind of laid up from a fall yesterday, having trouble getting any sleep because any turn of my head sends alarm signals up and down my spine. This is cramping my plans. I have a spider agenda! I need to move all the spiders, especially the lady spiders, to shiny clean new containers, so they can spend the next week getting comfortable and filling it with new silk. They won’t know it, but they’ll be making their nuptial bed. Yeah, time to try breeding! They’re still on the small side, so they’re comparable to human teenagers, but we’ll see if they’re as horny as people get in their youth.

I still have concerns about species matching, though. There are two spider species, Parasteatoda tepidariorum and Parasteatoda tabulata, that I can’t tell apart, short of dissecting their genitalia, which absolutely ruins them for mating, and I don’t want to put P. tep together with P. tab, since that could just end with cannibalism (wait, different species, so not cannibalism? Just violent murder?). My solution for this go-round is simple: I’m going to put male spiders on their sister’s nuptial bed. I want an inbred line anyway.

I’ll try to record their activities next week, so maybe I’ll have a movie for you then. With any luck, it won’t be a gory murder/horror flick, but instead a little incest porn. I hear that’s popular, but have no idea why.

The cruelty of English professors

They’re monsters, I tell you. They team up with publishers and become real horrors. My colleague here at UMM, Josh Johnson, has written a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while, The Forever Sea, and I get the alert this morning that it has been automatically downloaded into my Kindle app. Today! 19 January! The first day of spring semester classes! So now it’s going to be sitting there, taunting me, and I’m not going to be able to get to it for a while.

Did he do this intentionally, knowing what our academic calendar looks like? Does DAW books routinely torment their academic clients with this kind of scheduling? Temptation is unkind.

The first book in a new environmental epic fantasy series set in a world where ships kept afloat by magical hearthfires sail an endless grass sea.

Hah. The first book in a series. We’ll get even — he’s going to have to write more books while holding down a teaching load!

Since I haven’t read it yet, you’ll have to get by with the testimonials of those who have.

“I can rarely remember being this excited for a debut novel. This was everything I wanted it to be. Wind-swept prairie seas, pirates, magic, and found families.” —Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning author of the Lady Astronaut series

“Richly imagined and beautifully written, with a highly original and very creepy magic system—The Forever Sea is wonderful.” —R. F. Kuang, Astounding Award-winning author of The Poppy War

“Loved The Forever Sea. Loved it. Sheer joy.” —Joanne Harris, internationally bestselling author of Chocolat

“A beautifully imagined dive into the unknown.” —G.V. Anderson, World Fantasy Award winning author of “Das Steingeschöpf”

“Beautifully lyrical and imaginative, Johnson’s debut sings a twisting tale of adventure full of diverse characters and a lush world ripe to fall in love with. With a heart that will haunt you, this ecopunk story is unlike any you’ve seen before.” —Linden A. Lewis, author of The First Sister

“Lush descriptions of plant life abound… When combined with the exceptional protagonist and themes of embracing the unknown, [The Forever Sea] calls to mind Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series. With a good balance of grit and tenderness, this entertaining story makes a nice addition to the growing hopepunk subgenre.” —Publishers Weekly

“Hopepunk”? Is that a thing now?