I think this is right. –ed

Cara is a humourless man-hating American feminist artist. Harriet is a humorless man-hating British feminist PhD Candidate. Here, they discuss their reactions to Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.


Yes, ok, so I enjoyed how Amy isn’t “nice” in the way we tend to expect female characters to be “nice”–she has complicated feelings about her aging, bigoted, father, she’s relentlessly mocking of her sister’s family, she pursues her own agenda when it comes to one-night-stands.


I think what I really like is that she’s not only “not nice,” she’s also capable of being really nice, as she is to her dad. She takes care to preserve his things and visit him at the home. She loves her sister, even though she’s awful at showing it. She’s conscientious about not stealing the article that her co worker wants to work on.


Yeah, so although she’s not always as generous, or as malleable (struggling to find the right word here) in social/romantic/familial situations as we might expect, we’re still on her side. She escapes without being cast as the bitch (Tilda Swinton fulfills that role, just in case we’d forgotten what it looks like).


Fair. Let’s not be bitchless.

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The Hugo Award is a rocketship, to indicate the importance of rocketry or something, I don’t know

(Okay friends!  We are trying to get back to some regularly-scheduled programming, now that this nonsense with the baby has settled down somewhat.  To reward you all for your patience, I’m starting on with some inside baseball horseshit about an obscure conflict deep in the nerdliest bowels of the science fiction & fantasy community.  Maybe this is what you read Threat Quality for!  Probably not!  Too bad!)

Today I would like to talk about this, a proposal for an award for SF storytelling, created by a guy named Jay Maynard, whom you probably (do not) know as “Tron Guy.” I do not think that this proposal, or the conflict that has engendered it, is particularly interesting or important in either the grand scheme of things or in the petit scheme of things, but puzzling over it has led me to some ideas that I have about the nature of criticism that I DO think are interesting, and so I’m going to write about it anyway.

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Hello, Friends of Threat Quality!  I know that I (Braak) recently said that there’d be more material coming on TQP as we tried to find some new approaches to it, and that REMAINS TRUE.  I’ve got a couple pieces in the pipeline/in preparation, they’re pretty interesting to me, maybe you will like them.

However, on Friday my wife had this baby, and it is being very demanding vis-a-vis the attention paid to it, which is disrupting our schedule a little bit.

Obviously, congratulations to me and my wife!  But also, please be patient while I get everything back up to speed!

ice cream

I’ve been watching Louis CK’s show on Netflix, because I don’t want to get sucked into something and my limit on Louie is about two episodes. I can’t binge on it for exactly the same reason can’t binge on Tequila: I usually know it’s too much before I actually start to get sick.

If you’re a woman, engaging willfully with the world of stand up comedy is like choosing to pick up a series of poisonous snakes. The most you can hope for is that it won’t bite you this time. Oh, this one isn’t so bad, OH GOD FUCK NO! One time I dozed off while listening to a Mike Bribiglia station on Pandora and woke up to Daniel Tosh. I can never unhear that shit, and I don’t mean that idiomatically, I mean that I will carry with me the information that I gleaned in the 15 seconds that it took me to stumble to the computer and shut it off for the rest of my life.

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War Games

Posted: August 18, 2015 in Lucas Nguyen, Short Fiction

“Your grandparents were so lucky,” the bigger boy said to me at play time.  “They didn’t have to live through the Depression like mine did.”  He fiddled with the toy train.

I thought of my grandparents’ stories of civil war, of street vendoring for pennies a day.  But my foreign-born shame followed my family’s bloodline to this nation, where I was born, so I kept quiet.

“I mean, I guess you Vietmanese had a war, too, but it wasn’t like the World War II.”  I thought about the absurdity of boasting “My War Can Beat Up Your War.”  I mentally counted another American who couldn’t pronounce Vietnamese.

“It was a pretty bad war,” I said.

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Prima Facie

Posted: August 18, 2015 in Lucas Nguyen
Tags: ,

Yo, I was at a party and like this woman came up and said ‘now don’t be offended’, and I guess that should’ve been as loud a herald as those trumpeters announcing guests, except her herald was announcing, TOOT TOOT Something Offensive This Way Comes (But Don’t Complain About It When It Does), and then she said something to me in Korean.

I responded, “I don’t understand.”

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for-colored-girls-coverIt is 1999, and Debra Ann Byrd wants to talk to me. We’re on a break from rehearsal of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, which I am directing. We go into an empty classroom and sit down in two ancient institutional metal desk-chairs. She looks at me with compassion and trepidation and says “the thing you’ve got to understand about this shit is: it happens.”

I nod attentively, blinking. I am twenty years old and I have no idea what she means. She’s talking about the words she’ll speak in rehearsal today:

        we cd even have em over for dinner/
        & get raped in our own houses/
        by invitation/
        a friend

Debra Ann tries again. “You’d be sitting there, enjoying the evening with your friend and…” here, a silence as she tries to launch a word that can get from her heart to mine. Instead, she sighs.

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