The apparent difficulty of genre classification

December 9, 2008

Or: The utility of occasionally judging books by their covers

My nearest local library recently closed for an 18-month renovation project, leaving me with a sudden distressing lack of access to fiction I hadn’t already read. (Not that I’m averse to rereading books, since my policy is not to buy it if I don’t want to read it more than once, but sometimes I do want something new.) The solution was obvious: place an Amazon order.

I was quite pleased with my Amazon order. I ended up with books from 3 new fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction series, all of which turned out to be good. Two of them had similar themes: a female main character mediating between members of different supernatural races. This would seem to put them definitively in the fantasy category, urban fantasy if you want to be even more specific. One series, the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, has three books so far that all follow a murder mystery storyline, which the main character ends up needing to solve for the werewolf, vampire, and fae communities respectively. The other series, the Negotiator Trilogy by CE Murphy, is more like Law & Order meets the supernatural realm, because the main character is a lawyer with a strong tie to the police detective who inevitably ends up investigating all the crimes involving the gargoyles, vampires, and so forth that the lawyer is trying to negotiate with.

But this post is not actually meant to be a book review. This post is meant to be a rant. Because what did purchasing these books from Amazon cause to happen? It caused me to get an Amazon ad in my email telling me that based on my purchasing habits, they think it is clear that I would enjoy the following titles on the vampire romance theme. Their algorithm tells them that I am now a woman who reads vampire romances. And I object.

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What Happens When Two Geeks Marry?

September 29, 2008

And more importantly, what do they serve in their Geek (wedding) Buffet?

Congratulations Dana and Mark!

Best wishes for a long and happy marriage from your fellow geeks!

(Please add your greetings in the comments below.)

Going to the Chapel… to watch other people get married

May 23, 2008

Tomorrow will be the 3rd wedding I’ve attended this month. And I thought last summer was wedding intensive!

I’ve been to people getting married by a non-religious friend in the middle of a park and I’ve been to a full mass and everything in between. There have been many differences between the various ceremonies, but a few major constants:

The big one being, of course, the celebration of a couple’s committment to spent their lives with love and each other. That’s a beautiful thing.

The other is the fact that many, many people have no idea what’s appropriate to wear to a wedding. Let me help.

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Online Dating for Geeks – Profiles

May 18, 2008

Say you’re a geeky guy. Maybe you don’t really tend to go out dancing or clubbing under your own volition. Maybe you communicate more clearly by typing than speaking. Maybe you’re in a male-dominated field, or nobody you work with shares your unique, thoughtful way of looking at the world. Maybe you’ve always dated friends and are finding it harder to meet people post-college.

Maybe online dating would help you out!

First of all, a caveat. The mere fact that I have a couple of years of experience with internet dating in some sense indicates that I haven’t been succeeding with it, since I’m mostly interested in finding someone compatible and totally awesome who finds me compatible and totally awesome and getting the heck off the internet. (I was in a relationship for a while with someone I met online, but it didn’t work out.) So take my advice with a grain of salt.

Said grain taken, online dating has a lot going for it. However, you’ve got a lot of competition, because there are a lot of nerdy girls online, but way more nerdy guys. You’ve got to make yourself stand out.

This post is about the profile. Read the rest of this entry »