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[personal profile] helloladies
As 2015 approaches, we, like many others, are looking ahead with excitement to the amazing stories that will soon be available for us to jam into our brains. As anticipated 2015 book lists begin to debut across the Internet, we wanted to get in on the action, too, and take part in the celebration. But our goals at Lady Business continue to be aimed at creating diverse reading experiences for ourselves, and so for our own anticipated book lists we found 51 titles we're majorly excited about from the widest array of authors possible. Some authors we know, and others we'll just be reading for the first time, but all these books sound amazing, and we can't wait to meet them!

What books are on your 2015 list? We'd love to hear from you about books you're excited to read coming out next year. Feel free to lob literary bombs at our comments since we just ruined any resolution you may have had about not adding any more books to your reading list (sorry we're not sorry) and potentially overloading your computers (this post is stuffed full of awesome).

text: you guys might as well be a pile of leaves because you're about to get blown away
Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
cover of Rosemary and Rue


October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer. (source)


Spoilers.

Jodie: Can I just say I think we are pretty much geniuses for having read the first October Daye book in October. *fistbump* Acing this review already.

Renay: We're awesome. Does this also mean we need to read and review one of these a month until we catch up? We could do it, because the series is seriously that long. We'd be good until the ninth book, which comes out in 2015. I don't know how I keep letting myself get yanked into super long series. I can definitely pin this one on you, though! Cue the piling on of literary guilt. ;) Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again. In our final 2014 installment of Fanwork Recs, Jodie looks back at her favorite vids produced this year and Renay attempts to clear her to-rec file to prepare for incoming holiday exchanges while she desperately tries to figure out what she loved most.


Recommendations included:
  • Alien — art (1)
  • Borgen — vid (1)
  • Call the Midwife — vid (1)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier — art (2), vid (1)
  • Final Fantasy VIII — art (1)
  • Final Fantasy X — art (1)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — fic (1)
  • The Hunger Games — vid (1)
  • MCU — fic (3), art (6), vid (1)
  • The Musketeers — vid (1)
  • The 100 — vid (1)
  • Pacific Rim — vid (1)
  • Peaky Blinders — vids (2)
  • Person of Interest — vid (1)
  • The Raven Cycle — vid (1)


On to the recs! )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook showing Essie with her purple braid wearing a suit and carrying a gun

It is probably best to for us to embrace subjectivity, to withhold judgement. Let us say that the entity believing himself to be Matthew Corley feels that he regained consciousness while reading an article in the newspaper about the computer replication of personalities of the dead. He believes that it is 1994, the year of his death, that he regained consciousness after a brief nap, and that the article he was reading is nonsense. All of these beliefs are wrong.
(...)
“It’s 2064,” Essie says. “You’re a simulation of yourself. I am your biographer.”

Ana: "Sleeper" by Jo Walton is a story that presents us not only with a technologicaly advanced world where it's possible to create a AI consciousness based on your understanding of a historical figure, but also a world where the stark economic inequalities we're familiar with today have been greatly magnified. The dystopian nature of this world becomes increasingly obvious as the story progresses, thanks to passages such as this:
She finds it hard to imagine the space Matthew had, the luxury. Only the rich live like that now. Essie is thirty-five, and has student debt that she may never pay off. She cannot imagine being able to buy a house, marry, have a child. She knows Matthew wasn’t considered rich, but it was a different world.

Later on, Essie tells the simulation of Matthew that,
“The class system needs to come down again. You didn’t bring it down far enough, and it went back up. The corporations and the rich own everything. We need all the things you had—unions, and free education, and paid holidays, and a health service. And very few people know about them and fewer care.”

This is not new territory for Jo Walton. Although at first glance this story is very different from the Small Change trilogy, they also have quite a few things in common. One looks towards the future and another towards an alternate past; one is science fiction and the other alternative history interlaced with crime — but all the same, the themes and political concerns at the heart of the two works are closely linked. I wanted to start by asking you what you thought of the world depicted in "Sleeper". Do you think that despite its brevity the story manages to set up a vivid picture of the threats of uncontrolled capitalism?
Read more... )

You can read "Sleeper" for free at Tor.com.
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.


Recommendations included:
  • Final Fantasy X — art (1)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — cosplay (1), art (1)
  • Harry Potter — fancast (1), art (2)
  • I Ship It — art (1)
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe — vid (1)
  • The Mindy Project — art (1)
  • Pacific Rim — cosplay (1)
  • The Raven Cycle — art (1)
  • Sailor Moon — art (1)


On to the recs! )
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[personal profile] renay
cover of Stranger


Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, "the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. "Las Anclas" now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.

Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble. (source)


Friends, I am conflicted about this book.

(Now I'm wondering how many of my book posts start like that. Probably a ton.) Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
On the final day of our Super Women & Comics theme week (*sniff*) short story writer, blogger, 'reader, and media addict' Memory Scarlett joins us to talk about the shape-shifting, pink haired star of Noelle Stevenson's popular web-comic, Nimona.


It’s a popular story across all forms of media. A schlubby guy gets involved with a SuperAwesomeAmazing woman. She helps him realize his full potential via a training montage or two, complete with inspirational music and/or narrative captions that clue us in to his emotional struggle. And when the dude knows everything he’s got to know--ie, in no more than two months--the SuperAwesomeAmazing woman relinquishes much of her own power in the face of his shiny new abilities.

Yeah, she’s been training her whole frickin’ life, but it’s not like she could possible be more interesting/talented/suited to fighting injustice than this guy. I mean, she’s a girl.

Noelle Stevenson, creator of the recently-completed webcomic NIMONA, is clearly aware of this story--and keen to smash it.

Warning: implied spoilers below. )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Enjoying Superwomen & Comics Week, and hungry for even more content? Our contributors are more than happy to oblige. Check out their carefully selected lists of links below.


Read more... )
nymeth: (Default)
[personal profile] nymeth
Cover for The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, showing a vintage comic picture of Wonder Woman

A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism

Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted as long or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also had a secret history. Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator.
(...)
The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.

Wonder Woman has been fighting for women’s rights for a very long time, battles hard fought but never won. This is the story of her origins—the stuff of wonders, and of lies.
Before I start telling you about Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, I need to tell you a little bit about myself: my history as a reader has undoubtedly influenced my experience with this book, and so it seems reasonable to talk about it.Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today, all round media devotee Clare explains how she got hooked on Harley Quinn and why you should too.





Harley Quinn got me into comics.

Like every geek in the late nineties and early aughts, I had consumed a metric ton of anime and manga (Yu-Gi-Oh!, anyone?), but, unlike every geek in the late nineties and early aughts, my only experience with Western comics was with my brother’s lovingly curated Asterix collection. A collection which I had vandalized as a small child and was thus banned from touching. After my brother went off to college and my father and I began raiding his possessions, I finally came across his Big Two books: Marvels, Kingdom Come, and, most importantly, Les Daniels’ Marvel.

Daniels’ extremely biased account of the rise of Marvel gave me a quiet hankering for good old-fashioned superhero comics, although my fond childhood memories of Batman: The Animated Series and The Adventures of Lois and Clark steered me towards DC. I investigated the 1998-2003 Young Justice and liked what I saw (namely, nineties Superboy, who is my forever Superboy), but I could never quite get into it. Casting around for something else, I stumbled across the 2001 to 2003 Harley Quinn and devoured it in one of my teenage self-soothing media binges.

So when the first issue of The Unwritten finally lured me into a comic book store in 2009 (it was a dollar!), it made perfect sense to supplement that purchase with Gotham City Sirens, which started around the same time. I still give people that advice when they want to break into comics: find a character you like and just focus on them for a while to get your feet wet. Those two comics were the first in my now small but sizable comic collection, and Gotham City Sirens was the first comic I ever owned in its entirety in single issues. They’re special to me.

But reading Gotham City Sirens made me realize how lucky I was to start reading Harley Quinn comics with, well, Harley Quinn.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay
cover of a Finely Woven Thread


You've seen Black Widow as an Avenger and even an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. But on her own time she searches for atonement for her past as a KGB assassin — in ways of which those teams just wouldn't approve. The Black Widow goes undercover in Russia, but from its cold streets, the Hand of God reaches out to crush her...and it is as merciless as its name implies. Outmatched by the brute force of a powerful new villain, Natasha faces her deadliest test, and discovers a deadly plot unfolding that spans the entire globe. (source)


My introduction to Natasha was in Iron Man 2, where her relationship with Pepper was one of the few redeeming things about that outing beyond Tony and J.A.R.V.I.S. snarking one another. She also got to a) use part of Tony's suit, and b) stab Tony in the neck, which was really good for me.

The Natasha we meet in the MCU, though, is by circumstance, often only hinted at because she's not the main character. Her development in The Avengers was pretty good, but in Captain America: The Winter Soldier it was amazing, and it was The Winter Soldier that solidified my desperate need to know more about her and her past. Seeing as how Marvel is determined to crush my dreams of Natasha ever getting her own film under their heel before diving into the vault of money à la Scrooge McDuck, I decided it was time for me to head to the comics.

Sidenote: has someone made that animated gif yet, with Scrooge McDuck's head replaced with the Marvel logo? I need gif making skills. PRETEND IT WAS HERE. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Vidder extraordinaire, [personal profile] beccatoria covers why, when and what to care about when it comes to comics (and then sets you free to make your own judgements). Lady Business accepts no responsibility if her recs cause you to lose your money and your heart in a comic book shop.





So to begin, the title is a lie. At the very least it is misleading. I hope very much that this will work as a guide, but not as a one-size-fits-all feminist negotiation of comic books. I hope this will help you create your own guidelines — I hope it will help you decide on the angles of your own approach.

If I had only one thing I could say to you it would be to set your boundaries and to guard them fiercely, but to make sure you are setting your boundaries.

With that in mind, there are really three things I think we need to cover:
  1. Why should I care?
  2. When should I care?
  3. What should I care about?
Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Get in our invisible plane, losers - it's time for a Lady Business theme week.

Over the next seven days, we'll be presenting a host of posts about Super Women & Comics from a team of smart, persuasive readers and comics enthusiasts. And what better way to kick off the week than with words from Wonder Woman superfan, chaila?

chaila has previously written posts about awesome action stars Sarah Connor and Mako Mori for Lady Business. Now she's back to convince you that Diana of Themyscira is essential to your life. You can try to resist her but, frankly, I don't like your chances.

Wonder Woman might be the most famous superhero that people know the least about. Before I started reading Wonder Woman comics just over a year ago, I thought I knew enough to know I wasn’t interested. I knew something about an island of women, and something about bracelets that stop bullets. She seemed to be associated with a kind of “empowerment” feminism that didn’t seem very complex. I wondered why she couldn't wear pants. Mostly, I knew her as a vintage pin-up: a face on a t-shirt, symbol of superficial girl power, mostly devoid of content or context, who perhaps had been relevant thirty years ago and but didn’t really seem so today.

Oh how much I was missing!

Wonder Woman blocking arrows with her bracelets

tl;dr Diana is amazing )
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[personal profile] helloladies
If you like ~forbidden romance~, ghosts, spaceships, epic fantasy space opera, wildly different types of characters and cultures with complicated motivations and plans, the intense politics of war spliced together with the politics of parenthood and freedom of choice, you may, indeed, love Saga. Saga is an award winning, ongoing comic by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. It's beloved for good reasons, and Renay and Ana were quickly won over by the art, the story, and the amazing characters.

And also, of course, the cats.


cover of Saga


When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. (source)

Text and image spoilers through volume three.

Ana: So… shall we start by talking about Hazel? :D Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay
"2014,", I said in 2013 (pretty arrogantly, in hindsight) "is going to be the year where I stay on top of short fiction!"

Friends, this was a complete fabrication. I'm a rotten, dirty liar.

Like every year before this, the sheer scope of the short fiction landscape first bemused me and then overwhelmed me. I did the same thing I've done the last four years. I gave it a shot early in the year, determined and hopeful, with a few short stories and a few different anthologies. I tried to read the stories that people mentioned on Twitter or their blogs. I failed out of multiple pieces because I felt ignorant and/or I couldn't figure out what the piece was saying. Eventually I gave up, figuring I'd use award seasons to find short fiction to read — people are always tossing around recommendations during that time.

Same old, same old. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today Gavia Baker-Whitelaw visits Lady Business to tell us more about exciting new publishing enterprise Big Bang Press as they prepare to publicly release their first title. Gavia is Managing Editor of Big Bang Press, a regular fandom reporter for The Daily Dot & maintains the popular costume design blog Hello Tailor. (We suspect she may also have developed cloning technology).





Big Bang Press logo


I'm the Managing Editor of Big Bang Press, and my job is to sell original novels by fanfic writers.

Basically, if you've ever read a fanfic and thought, "Holy crap, this writer is better than a lot of published authors," then that's where we come in. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
What does it mean when a book is released as YA fantasy in one country but adult fantasy in another? What IS epic fantasy, anyway? Should everyone read One Piece (YES)? Does it matter if most of the awesome parts of a book have to be found in hindsight and require qualification? Are revenge narratives over kingdoms even interesting anymore? Does Joe Abercrombie like pain and suffering to the exclusion of everything else*? Renay and Ana from The Book Smugglers tackle these questions and more using thousands and thousands of words.

* lies; we don't tackle this at all, because the answer is obviously yes.


cover and blurb although the blurb got a little overwhelmed with itself )




Spoilers.

Renay: So, that happened. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )

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Renay is a long time member of slash fandom and nerdfighteria who stumbled into book blogging by accident and decided she liked arguing with herself at length and in capslock — it was all downhill from there. more? » about.me icon twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Ana is a reader who’s been blogging about books since early 2007. After several abandoned career paths, she decided to become a librarian and currently works for a large public library system. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon last.fm icon

By day Jodie is one of those evil marketers you're always hearing about. In fact she’s an evil British marketer and probably the inspiration for the next Bond villain. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

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