Saturday, April 30, 2011

Interview: Josh Uitvlugt of Just Add Water, Part 1 of 2

As you can probably guess, I'm a big fan of both webcomics and science fiction.  A little while ago, I was able to interview my friend and fellow student Josh Uitvlugt, creator of the science fiction webcomic Just Add Water, which updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Josh was kind enough to provide us with an introduction:
"My name is Josh Uitvlugt, and I am the author of a webcomic called 'Just Add Water'.  I am having a lot of fun doing the comic, and it acts as a great outlet for the creativity that I am proud to have.  I am an engineer, and while that may conjure up ideas about people with a rigid application of rules and mathematics, engineering requires more creative input than almost any other occupation.  Creative problem solving is the very basis of engineering, and it is what defines me as a person.  I like to feel that the insight that I have to offer contributes to the world around me, and I hope that this interview will convince you that I can be an interesting person."
 Do to the interview's length, it will be posted in two parts.  In this installment, Josh discusses the creation of the comic, the characters, the many uses of paperclips, coffee versus tea, the evil mechanisms of squirrels, and his own thoughts on how science and science fiction should interact.

With out further ado, part one of the interview:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Women, Fantasy, and the New York Times: A Response to Bellafante

You may have heard of the now-infamous New York Times review of HBO's Game of Thrones, based on the fantasy series by George R.R. Martin.  If you haven't, here's the part that has been causing most of the righteous rage at reviewer Ginia Bellafante:
The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.
 I was going to add italics to emphasize the extremely offensive bits, but that would be the entire paragraph.

There's not a lot I can add to the responses of Amy Ratcliffe of Geeks With Curves, Alina Pete of Weregeek, and George R. R. Martin himself, so let me just share my personal response:

Dear Ms. Bellafante,


A Woman Who Adores Fantasy