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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.


➝ Nikesh Shukla has launched the Jhalak Book Prize for under-recognised UK writers of colour.

John Boyega won the BAFTA Rising Star Award. This feels especially awesome because this award is voted for by the public—including me. Feeling pretty great that I could help make this happen.

➝ Did you know that you, fair reader, are eligible to vote for the Locus Awards? I didn't so now I'm telling EVERYBODY. There's no cost for voting (although Locus subscribers votes do count twice) and you have to pick from pre-organised lists but there's some great stuff on those lists. Why not give it a go?


Putting out the Twitter Trashfire—This article by Randi Harper goes into detail about ways that Twitter could cut down on abusive users. Lots of good, practical solutions here, and it sounds like most of them would be easy to implement.

➝ Although I don't know if Twitter has engaged with this article specifically, it sounds like they're finally starting to take the issue seriously, with the formation of the new Trust & Safety Council. I'm glad to see it, even if it comes about five years too late.

➝ SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata wrote this really fantastic piece on diversity and Hollywood, particularly responding to #OscarsSoWhite and the recent Screen Actors Guild awards.

Diversity isn't something that just happens to appear every once in a while. It's not going to surprise you on your birthday like, "Oh, I didn't know diversity would be here! How fun!" It's the act of inclusion, and it's something that needs to be improved upon in so many fields.

She goes on to lay out specific guidelines about making media with an eye to improving racial diversity: hiring people of color to work both sides of the camera, thinking about what kinds of roles you're casting, no tokenizing. I wish we could staple her list to every bulletin board in Hollywood.

The Caltech musical parody of 'Star Trek' you never knew you always wanted is here. I have never wished to live in Southern California more.


➝ So awhile ago I was like, "Are there any Musketeer stories but WITH LADIES?" and [twitter.com profile] heatherosejones went "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" and now we have The Mazarinette and the Musketeer. YOU'RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE, now please deliver me time to sit down and read it, for crying out loud.

➝ There's a Kickstarter for unicorn poop scarves. This is Peak Internet.

➝ I apologize ahead of time for getting political, but it's not even Super Tuesday yet and I feel like the election should be next week (joke's on me; we have gazillion months to go!) When I found I’m Done With All Your Hillary And Bernie Feelings, Internet, which besides presenting the GOP people like clowns a little harder than necessary to make the point, it was everything I've been feeling lately. I listened to two 20-something dudes discuss Bernie and Hillary at Panera over the weekend and if there had been a live audience and and a Daily Show Correspondent next to them, it would have been an episode where the correspondent shows how devoid of humanity we've become. Their conclusion, by the way, was "I dunno, dude. Maybe I'll just vote green." BURY ME AT SEA.

➝ I need to know which one of you jokers linked me to this cat petting simulator. Who was it? I'm coming for you, because I am obsessed.

➝ Ava DuVernay is directing A Wrinkle in Time. SOMEONE HOLD ME.

➝ So [twitter.com profile] quartzen spends a lot of time finding obscure books that have been buried by the cultural engine of new and shiny, like some kind of BOOK WIZARD. So there's some lists she pointed to, like 2016 F/F SFF, Non-YA lesbian/bi lady fiction without explicit sex scenes, and Books With Asexual Spectrum F/F Romances. I love that these exist and feel like this is relevant to several people who take the time to read my Sidetracks section.

➝ I loved this essay by Mikki Kendall, Hot Sauce in Her Bag, about the new Beyoncé song/video, "Formation". I understood this line in the song on one level, because I was born and grew up in the South and often encountered this behavior. It's normal for me; I understood, on one very shallow level, what Beyoncé was saying. But I love the story Kendall weaves that gives me the rest of it about black culture and what this practice means at the intersections of living in the South and being black and eating food. It's fascinating and wonderful and it makes me happy to have learned a thing.

Book Acquisitions

Purchased: City of Pearl by Karen Traviss,The Vital Abyss by James S.A. Corey, Cold Iron by Stina Leicht
Added TBR: Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow, A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright, Space Hostages by Sophia McDougall, Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie, Daughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner, How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life by Heather Havrilesky, The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry


This piece of art by Ashley Straker is gorgeous. I think I just spent five minutes gazing dreamily at the colours and shading.

➝ The parts of this article that are actually about Nigerian women who write and self-publish romance novels are really cool! Especially because ladies openly defying censorship laws to get their words and experiences into the world are badass! Look at this—women writing romance novels being respected and having their works be the subject of study! That is badass! Unfortunately the article turns into "yeah, but this American lady's feels about it are totes just as important (buy her book)" but now I have a new topic to look into?

Miss Pettigrew and the Provincial Lady: Women Looking at Women—I am intrigued by this discussion of how women in some mid-century novels read as queer to modern readers, with discussion of whether this would present as queer to readers at the time.
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