Zombies, Run! 2017 March 19

I enjoyed a run this afternoon under some overcast skies. I’m planning to be running every day again as Spring arrives this week. 

​Explored area around Abel Township with Head of Runners, retrieved govt supply drop #zombiesrun

Niki Ashton’s NDP Leadership Bid

I was thrilled when Niki Ashton entered the leadership race for Canada’s New Democratic Party. We need leaders like her who are willing to be open about being socialist and to take stands against the real dangers that come with the agendas of the neoliberal parties of Canada (Liberal and Conservative). She is standing firmly behind universal child care, universal post-secondary education and protecting our infrastructure from privatization. As part of her announcement she drew a line that differentiates our party from the parties of the right, stating “You privatize it, we nationalize it. You deregulate it, we regulate it.”

When Canada’s NDP last had a leadership convention, in 2012, I was moved and impressed by Niki Ashton‘s convictions and policy stances. Her track record of standing against precarious work, fighting for social, economic and environmental justice and  working to alleviate the shameful treatment of indigenous communities instills a lot of confidence she will be the kind of leader who will remain firmly on the left

Niki’s candidacy give me hope we can finally build a movement to start easing the suffering of the most vulnerable in Canada. As she said, “We must challenge the power of Canada’s elites, the rich and powerful who are benefiting from growing inequality in our country.”

Hillsburn’s “Low Light”

“Low Light” is a hopeful, catchy single from Hillsburn. The song can be purchased through Bandcamp and the video is a treat, with familiar streets of Halifax popping up.

Now while the city sleeps,
Kiss me in the street, my love.
I’m learning to be fearless.
Our time, we’ve got to take it serious.
‘Cause I don’t want to waste my life
Bleeding for the phantom year
When money up and saves us,
And everything is painless.

Your Lie in April

The Your Lie in April anime series took me nearly a year to finish and won my heart. I began watching in May of last year and, having savoured the episodes, just today finished the heartbreaking, touching final episode. It’s stunningly animated, magnificently scored and masterfully written. The score especially underscores the emotions that it so effectively generates. It stands out for me as a perfect example of animation that holds heart, humour and meaning.

 

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The series is available for streaming both subtitled (which I recommend) and dubbed (which is fine) through Crunchyroll.

I can’t recommend the series enough, but I have to warn that the opening credits theme is a mighty earworm.

Everyone: Worlds Without Walls

Tony C. Smith, of the venerable science fiction audio magazine StarShipSofa, is putting together a science fiction anthology in response to the rampant xenophobia we see in evidence across the world and especially in the form of American fascism. He has brought together writers from countries across the world for the anthology, including Ken Liu, Lavie Tidhar, Eve Shi, Rajan Khanna, Margrét Helgadóttir, Carmelo Rafala, Yasser Bahjatt, Jonathan Dotse, Swapna Kishore, J Y Yang, Dayo Ntwari, Fábio Fernandes and Luis G. Abbadie, and with an upcoming stretch goal Samuel R Delany will join them.

Tony has been able to reach the first funding goal and now is promoting a second anthology, Everyone: Worlds Covered In Blood, which will feature diverse horror writers.

I’ve long believed that science fiction is at its best when it shines a light on what is possible, and even more so when more voices are filtered through its lens. What this anthology —and District of Wonders as a whole— will do matters and means more than just having thoughtful, entertaining stories. These possibilities, terrible and hopeful, offer us insight into what is and will be happening around us.

Visit the Kickstarter at Everyone: Worlds Without Walls to learn more and back the project.

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Tony C. Smith here, coming to you from the northeast of England, on this here planet Earth we all call home.

And what times we are living in on this world of ours. You can see it here in the UK, and even more coming across from America, news of division and injustice based on the notion that there’s an “us” and a “them”, and that those differences mean that “they” must be driven out or shut out by walls. We’re seeing so much happening that at bottom seems to be fueled by fear, manipulation, and hate.

Ten years ago I started StarShipSofa – just a little show featuring great science fiction authors of the past. We started out featuring the classics – the big names that everyone knows. Even then in those humble days we knew we wanted to shine a light on diverse writers – Ursula K. LeGuin, James Tiptree Jr., Samuel R. Delany, and other luminaries who helped create the tapestry of science fiction as we know it today.

Ever since then, StarShipSofa has sought out and celebrated diverse writers and stories. That dedication to diversity has only grown stronger over the years, and we will keep working to do even better. On top of that, we’ve shone a light on the value of exploring and sharing knowledge – everything from science, culture, history, music, art and more – because truth is what inspires us, and makes us better citizens of the world.

And that’s what it’s about – our vision of a better world. Along with our sister podcasts Tales to Terrify and Far-Fetched Fables, I really believe we have brought that vision to life in the District of Wonders.

The District of Wonders is a world where we know that diversity makes us richer. It’s a world where there are no walls, no barriers, no guns, no hatred. The District of Wonders is a world that values equality, and seeks to recognize and welcome people of all backgrounds, religions, races, cultures, and expressions of humanity. It’s a world that values truth. Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders – and every story is important. Everyone is important.So what I’m asking now is that you join me in standing against injustice and discrimination in the way that the District of Wonders does best – by sharing stories.

If successful, this Kickstarter will fund an e-book anthology of stories that offer a greater representation of ALL the people of this beautiful rich world.

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Bambu’s Prey for the Devil

Bambu’s Prey for the Devil arrived in September of  2016, but it still feels very fresh and timely. The album’s social justice and radical left core resonates more than ever in 2017. The tracks are brilliant, start-to-finish, and this album has stayed high on my list of favourites.

The Most Wonderful Wonder: The Preacher and the Slave

The Most Wonderful Wonder quickly became one of my favourite podcasts because of it’s wonderful blend of history and folk music. Every episode has been a delight. In the aftermath of the American election, the podcast featured a snapshot of the life of Joe Hill in “The Preacher and The Slave“. His fight against callous business owners, the Salvation Army and capitalism more widely is beautifully captured by Welcome Little Stranger. It’s a piece of history we need more than ever today.

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