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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.


➝ An interesting take on recent incidents in mainstream comics fandom that portrays the main problem as a failure of empathy on the part of comics creators. Kieran Shiach points out many times when creator's first reaction is to dismiss and mock criticism, rather than take fans' concerns seriously and try to empathize, or even just listen. I see this problem in other areas, too, but it seems particularly bad in comics. Somewhat related, I also recommend this Twitter thread by writer [twitter.com profile] bobproehl on how straight white cis men are trampling over fandom, and really ought to stop doing that.

Non-Binary Authors to Read: Part 6 in an ongoing series by A.C. Wise, recommending the work of non-binary authors. Looks like a fantastic resource. There are links to earlier installments in the first paragraph.

➝ Following the lead of Ava DuVernay's new TV series, Queen Sugar, every episode of Jessica Jones S2 will be directed by a woman. A show that already prioritized women's voices and women's stories, taking it to to next level, is really exciting to me. The next season isn't due out until 2018, but I already can't wait.

How to Suppress Women's Criticism: Carmen Maria Machado uses the introduction to a new biography of author Shirley Jackson, which references the Joanna Russ classic How to Suppress Women's Writing without giving Russ any credit, as a jumping off place to talk about the importance of keeping the history of criticism alive.

➝ Linda Holmes dives deep into "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man to look at how little panics about youth behavior have changed in the last hundred years. The vices change (pool tables, rap music, cell phones), but the refrain stays the same. (I highly recommend watching the embedded clip as well.)


Hostility toward women is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.


The Right is Giving Up on Democracy.

In 'Appetites,' Bourdain Pleases The Toughest Food Critic (His 9-Year-Old) — I liked this interview even though I don't even watch this dude. The way he framed the joy of learning caught my eye: "I still like being at the bottom of a steep learning curve."

➝ Did you read any cool short fiction in October? Share it in the short fiction survey!

The Goodreads Choice Awards are open. This award is super flawed and only measures people who use Goodreads regularly and ignores books outside the US, so I tend to take its output with a grain of salt. Plus it doesn't make its eligibility guidelines very clear, and it happens before the year is up and regular people are finished reading. Okay, like I said: super flawed. But I still love it because I get to find neat books I hadn't heard of yet. It's a helpful tool in a larger toolbox of finding new books.

The Story of Cats has begun on PBS! #CATS

➝ I officially decided to buy this cool red backpack in order to start treating my lower back nicely. My messenger bag is lovely but my body is like "stop carrying 15 pounds of stuff around on one side of your body you asshole".

Book Acquisitions

Added TBR: The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, The Amaterasu Project by Axie Oh, The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla, Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter, The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst, Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain & Kate Niemczyk, The Wanderers by Meg Howrey, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls LaNier & Lisa Frazier Page, How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Space Flight by Julian Guthrie


This timelapse video of librarians shelving every book in the main reading room of the NYC Public Library is incredibly soothing.

➝ I read the original article about racial profiling on Next Door when it came out, and I'm really glad there was not just a response, but actual effort to improve things?

Foz Meadows has thoughts on diversity and people who are anti-diversity, and how adding diversity doesn't remove anything from media. (Also, please tell me there's a list of the correct answers to round two, because I have no idea about TV and would like to see some of these characters. ._.)
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