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Gary Farber
Worked at Amygdala
Attended Midwood High School
Lives in Oakland
1,818 followers|363,949 views


Gary Farber

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You'd be toast.
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Gary Farber

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Fans of Borderlands Books came out in droves to a community meeting last week after the beloved fantasy bookshop announced it was closing. They offered new business ideas and, perhaps most importantly, their fervent support for Valencia's Street bastion of science fiction, fantasy, and mystery books. Owner Allan Beats was apparently taking notes. As a byproduct of the meeting, Beatts and Borderlands' staff announced Thursday that they've got a ne...
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Gary Farber

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The attack by Islamophobes that Islam spread through warfare is disturbingly common. Is there any validity to this idea?
global sun Q8's profile photoSteven Lubman's profile photoJay Cornell's profile photo
"It’s a common accusation made against Muslims and Islam in general: 'The only reason Islam is a world religion is because it spread by the sword.'” This article starts off with a straw man argument, which tells you something. I've never heard anyone say that's the only reason Islam spread. However, there's plenty of irrefutable evidence that a great deal of its spread was by the sword. E.g. the Moors in Spain weren't peaceful missionaries.

The quote "They will not be forcibly converted" is also misleading. Conquered people were also given an option of keeping their old religion as long as they paid a tax from which Muslims were exempt. Or they could convert and pay no tax, or they could fight and probably die. This accounted for a great deal of Islam's expansion into the old Roman Empire, because Roman taxes were quite high by the end (and contributed greatly to their downfall, by the way), and the low- or zero-tax option offered by well-armed Muslim invaders was an offer hard to refuse. 
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Gary Farber

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On racism and friendship, and when and where to draw lines.
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Gary Farber

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"Grow a row of teats like a she-wolf" and other secrets to having a happy marriage.
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Gary Farber

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Every argument about Buffy that everyone has ever had on the Internet. Ever.
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Very bad but oft-followed advice on how to interview a woman writer.
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Gary Farber

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Assimilated wizards of Jewish ancestry began making their mark at Hogwarts long before Harry Potter enrolled. Credit Image from Warner Bros / Everett
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"Sense of play", indeed.... yes, you're right, we're SO in trouble.
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Gary Farber

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Well, of course they did.

What, you expected actual *journalism* or something?
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Gary Farber

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"Not a lot of change" is an understatement.
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+1 to rule them all, +1 to find them, +1 to bring them all & in teh darkness bind them.
Ignore the G+ account for

For reasons too boring to explain, I have a Google account for Blogger under that address (which dates from before Google bought Blogger), but use for Facebook, and certain other purposes.  Mail to the Yahoo account is forwarded to the gmail account.  

Many past jobs, including: 
  • Jul 1986 to Jan 1988 · Nyc
    Hearst Corporation.
    • Pacific Northwest Review of Books
      In 1978
      Publisher: John D. Berry; Editor: Loren MacGregor; Canadian Editor: Dr. Susan Wood; also Jerry Kaufman; many others as writers
    • Amazing Science Fiction/Fantastic Stories magazines
      1975 to 1977
      uncredited "Editorial Assistant," aka paid slush reader. Directly for Lou Stathis; indirectly for Ted White, and thus Sol Cohen, aka "Ultimate Publications."
    • Teen Beat Magazine
      In 1975
      Assorted misc., some writing, editorial, mostly scutwork.
    • Varied
      Maybe later
  • Editorial Assistant for one month · In 1986 · Brooklyn, New York
    Simultaneously with my various freelance publishing jobs of spring through July 1st, 1986.
Grad School
  • Class of 1986 · 2-3 classes only. · Center for Publishing · Professional Publishing
  • Class of 1975 · Cross-disciplinary 3-yr. experimental program, plus grad seminar · Depression · Only 3 months
High School

Amygdala & Obsidian Wings
Twitter: @GaryFarberKnows

I am a riddle, wrapped in a pudding, inside a bundle of thorns. 

Born in Brooklyn, and lived there until age 15, then I briefly lived in Brockport, NY; then the Bronx, then Manhattan, and a brief stay in East Lansing, Michigan in 1977. Seattle in early 1978; back to NYC in 1986, back to Washington Heights, then Brooklyn.

In 1998, Boston, & month England. 

From 2000 until the end of 2001: Long Island. Moved to Boulder, Colorado, in December, 2001. Raleigh, NC in May 2008.

Oakland, California, on November 11th, 2010, in a house-sitting arrangement through August, 2010. 

I look forward to stability in my life.

I started working in science fiction in 1974 as a slush reader for <i>Amazing Stories</i> and </i>Fantastic Stories</i>, via Lou Stathis, in the Ted White era.

I soon started working as a freelance, and reader, proofreader, copyeditor, copywriter, editorial assistant, and dogsbody for various mass market publishers, mostly, but not entirely, in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. After 1978 through 1985 in Seattle, after <i>The Pacific Northwest Review of Books</i> went out of business, NYC, and again freelanced, for publishers including, Ace, Baen, Bluejay, Avon Books, SFBC, Scholastic, Berkeley Books, Tor, Penguin, Dell, and various others.

In 1986 NYC, turned down offers from Jim Frenkel to be Assistant to the Publisher at Bluejay Books, from Tappan King to be Managing Editor of <i>Twilight Zone</i> and <i>Night Cry</i> magazines, and took a job working for John Douglas at Avon Books, working on not just mass market sf, fantasy, and horror, but a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including a Vietnam War line of both nonfiction and fiction (Michael Herr's _Dispatches_ was one of the best known of the line), the Latin American line ("One Hundred Years of Solitude" being the best-known), a military history line, mainstream fiction, mystery fiction, and every kind of fiction but romance and YA, and every kind of mass market nonfiction but cookbooks, business books, and sports books. By 1988 I crashed into major clinical depression, and was fired.

I became active in sf fandom in 1971, age 12, doing fanzines, working on conventions, including as Director of Operations for two Worldcons and retroactive Vice-Chair of the 1978 Worldcon. I institutionalized Worldcon displays on sf fanhistory, and created the fan lounge, in 1977. I was highly active on the rec.arts.sf. hierarchy of Usenet from 1995-2001, and have blogged at Amygdala since 2001. I've also had lifelong Major Chronic Depression, am diagnosed as bipolar, severe Panic & Anxiety Disorders, and more, and believe more people should talk publically about their experiences with emotional and mental illness.

I've been twice a delegate to County Democratic Conventions, once elected to the Colorado State Democratic Assembly, and as alternate to State Convention.

I've been highly active, with repeated breaks, as a blogger on politics, science, technology, culture, weirdness, science fiction, books, history, and anything that interests me, since 2001.

Bio needs redraft, but I can't put it out of its misery save in small, tortured, steps that will never end until I do.
Bragging rights
I write many words.
  • Midwood High School
    1973 - 1975
Basic Information
I suck information and write about it. I'm an outside agitator.
  • Amygdala
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Brooklyn - Manhattan - Bronx - Seattle - Boston - East Lansing - Boulder - Raleigh - Oakland
Gary Farber's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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