Help John Varley – hilarious, adorable and horrible – ephemera 7

“I’m a WNBA player. Men won’t stop challenging me to play one-on-one.”

WNBA basketball pro Devereaux Peters says most of the men she meets challenge her to one-on-one basketball. These are just regular guys, not pros or Olympic-caliber amateurs. “I’ve never heard of a person saying they’re a real estate agent, only to have someone snap back, “‘I bet I would sell more houses than you.’”

I am not going to challenge Ms. Peters to one-on-one basketball. I am confident she would kick my ass. However, I’m sure I could trounce her at “Star Trek” trivia.

The original series, not the later ones.

One of my favorite writers, John Varley, had quadruple bypass heart surgery, and needs financial help recovering.

Another one of my favorite writers, Cory Doctorow, has an appreciation of Varley’s work and career.

Varley’s “Eight Worlds” series, which started in the 1970s, influenced the emergence of cyberpunk, with uploadable consciousness and direct neural connections to computers. In the Eight Worlds, people modify their bodies freely, putting hands at the ends of their legs to better manage free fall, or changing sex every few years just because they feel more comfortable that way.

If you’re looking for entertaining and thoughtful reading, I highly recommend his “Steel Beach,” “Golden Globe,” and recent “Irontown Blues.” The latter novel features a private detective straight out of film noir, though after a while it becomes clear that the real brains of the operation is his genetically modified dog. “Mammoth” is a quick, entertaining technothriller set in the present day, about a project to scoop a living mammoth out of the past.

I have fond memories of his story “Press Enter ■,” a cyberpunk thriller set in the present day at the time it was written—1984. Despite the detailed focus on now-antique computer technology, I would not be surprised if the story holds up today. It’s not about the computers.

Prior to Varley asking for donations, another writer, Mike Resnick, had to do the same. Both are talented writers, with long, distinguished careers. And they were both writers I’d previously considered financially successful. More evidence that the US healthcare system is a national disgrace; even people who are financially successful can be impoverished by illness.

If you don’t know who “the guy” is in your city, it’s you

Hilarious, adorable, and horrible. Read the comments for more of the same

No jury would convict

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