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.
1. Anne Helen Petersen conceives of "the female glance" in her thoughts on the new Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.
2. New Mystery Science Theater 3000 head writer Elliott Kalan (one of my beloved Original Peaches) shares his ten favorite original Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes.
3. This is really cute: Fans at Star Wars Celebration recreate the last scene in Rogue One. I lost it at the ATM.
4. A new animated Carmen Sandiego—voiced by Gina Rodriguez!—will be coming to Netflix in 2019.
5. I love Let’s Play videos, but I also don’t like the idea of supporting creators who are toxic, like JonTron. Autostraddle has two posts of 11 and 8 (so 19 total, for those playing at home) noncisgendered nondude gamers you can watch on YouTube or Twitch.
6. At Anime News Network’s Answerman column, Justin Sevakis remembers the golden age of VHS anime fansubs.
7. Genevieve Valentine runs down the Met Gala 2017 in her latest Red Carpet Rundown. I live for these posts.
8. Margot Lee Shetterley, author of Hidden Figures, has signed a two-book deal for non-fiction titles about black historical figures. I loved her writing style and the story she told in her first book so can't wait for more books from her.
9. Gina Rodrigeuz is going to voice Carmen Sandiago in Netflix's new animated series. I still really wish this was live action but I'm going to be watching anyway.
10. Jeff Goldblum is returning to the Jurassic Park franchise next year. So I guess I have to watch it now. *sulks* But then I'm done. Unless they bring back Sam Neill in the inevitable third installment…
11. Apparently the BBC is adapting The City & The City for TV. Don't know if want.
12. The Citizen's Assembly has voted to 'legalise abortion on request' in Ireland. I'm not gonna pretend to know how Irish politics works but I still know this is a big deal and I'm so happy for Ireland.
13. A couple of weeks ago, there was a bit of uproar around the Internet, especially convention circles, when writer and game developer Monica Valentinelli withdrew as guest of honor from a con because of her concerns that a couple of people with histories of harassment at other cons were members of the concom (the committee responsible for running the convention). Cat Rambo wrote this excellent piece on why we need to retire the "missing stair" model (in which people warn each other privately about known harassers rather than dealing with the harasser) and instead create a culture where cons share information about problems. Also contains good advice for supporting people who speak up.
14. I had fun with this list of things that Sherlock Holmes has actually done in Conan Doyle's canon.
15. This article on the apparent lack of journalists and a free press in the Star Wars univerise is pretty fascinating in its implications. I have to say that I never noticed this, but it makes a ton of sense.
16. Lindsey Smith writes about the disconnect between the Captain America story being told Marvel comics right now, and the Captain America that fandom loves, especially but not exclusively MCU Cap.
17. Women in SFF Month wrapped. What a great project. Leanna Renee Hieber, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Fran Wilde, Nisi Shawl, Megan Whalen Turner, C.A. Higgins, Bridget McKinney had essays at the end of the month. Also, thanks to everyone who submitted books for our rec list.
18. The Clarke Award shortlist is out! I've only read Nicefox Gambit.
- A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
- Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
- After Atlas by Emma Newman
- Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan
- Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
19. This year, some fans got together and did a Shadow Clarke, reading the long list and selecting their own shadow shortlist. This is what they came up with:
- The Power by Naomi Alderman
- A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna Kavenna
- Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes
- Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley
I'm unsurprised about the overlaps, but admit my familiarity with the Clarke is low.
20. I stopped reading Wheel of Time after book five, and don't really remember anything beyond book three. Those first three books were so good for teenage me, for real. It looks like a TV adaptation may actually be happening. My question: if we can have this and Game of Thrones, where is my Cold Magic miniseries? Netflix, please call Kate Elliott's agent.
21. Jay Smooth is on Patreon. This is very cool and I hope he gets ton of support. Reason #5 I would like to be a millionaire: I would fund SO MANY Patreons, y'all. So many.
22. Jenny reviewed White Tears by Hari Kunzru, the most bananas book of 2017. Too bad, other books: this book has acquired all the available bananas contained in this calendar year.
23. Ah, some "core" military SF recs. I laughed out loud. Four for you, James Davis Nicoll!
24. This is a good overview of Everfair by Nisi Shawl, and its chances at the Nebulas. This was the novel I was most disappointed not to see on the Hugo ballot so I'm glad it got attention in the professional sphere. I can only assume it didn't get read widely enough, maybe a combination of steampunk plus how the book uses time skips (plus RACISM ha ha sob)? Everfair is doing something drastically different than the steampunk subgenre as established in the last decade so I hope its Nebula nomination means more people check it out.
25. Peggy Whitson breaks the record for longest time in space, which is super cool. She's done a ton of cool things in her career. More ladies in space, please.
26. From Twitter (thank you, pocket friend who brought this to my life): Female dragonflies fake sudden death to avoid male advances.
27. Dina reviewed Ninefox Gambit, and I'm 100% validated in how I decided to hand sell this book to people: don't feel like an idiot, just trust your brain to adjust to Cheris's reality. Brains are super adaptable and powerful tools, and I 100% suspect now that the narrative style these books use is commenting on how we can adjust our worldviews enough to change how we perceive the world.
28. The Google Doodle for the news about Cassini going for an adventure between Saturn and its rings is hella adorable.
29. How to Mourn a Space Robot by Marina Koren is a light exploration of why humans (like me) get sad when robots are hurt, in the context of Cassini's upcoming dive into Saturn. I think about this a lot, because I love robots and AI a whole bunch, and want to create 956739482 novels and put a friendly robot pal in all of them.
30. This news about an artifical wombs for lambs came across my timeline via everyone quoting the original tweet (it was A Lot of People) and going "Bujold's vision is coming to reality!" If you haven't listened to A Womb Away From Home, a podcast where the host interviews Bujold and a few other women about the consequences of this type of technology, check it out!
31. I try not to link to stuff that gets paywalled very often, but if you have free articles left for the month, definitely check out Why Abortion Is a Progressive Economic Issue, which gives a solid overview. I would really like to see more reporting on the intersections between reproductive rights and economics. Speaking for myself, this is 100% my main concern about kids: costs related to medical care for me, then cost of the kid, then cost of medical care for the kid, plus everything else...the amount of money it would require terrifies me.
32. The word "cuck" is as popular in my friends circle as the word "moist". Franchesca Ramsey breaks the history of the word down, and no surprise, it's all about racism and misogyny. I don't like the word much, but I sure do love historical context.
33. This article about the Fyre Festival by someone who worked it and bailed before everything exploded was amazing.
34. Queership has launched and may be of interest to some editors/readers!
35. Ashley C. Ford wrote about the intersections of having a family member in prison, technology, and time. It's a very bittersweet, lovely essay.
36. If This is Wrong: A Film About Fandom is a new kickstarter that will, inevitably, get funded, but I'm deeply uncomfortable about its existence. One of the creators wrote a extremely racist piece of meta that showed some very troubling beliefs (seriously, it's really offensive, so don't read it if you're not in a good place) and as far as I can tell, never apologized or engaged with the criticism many fans of color had with it. I don't want to misrepresent their arguments, though: this is the first thing I read, followed by this thread on storify, and this thread.The more I read the more I'm convinced no one should support this project, regardless of the other creators involved. White people shouldn't get a pass on engaging with topics that involve fans of color when patterns of their behavior show them to be perpetuating racism in their other work. I do believe in people being able to apologize, learn, and move on, but this doesn't seem to apply because I can't find any reference to an apology or engagement with fans of color hurt by the essay at all. I'm really disappointed.
Book AcquisitionsAdded TBR: An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation by Mindy Johnson, Birthday by Meredith Russo, Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars by Nicky Jenner, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
37. The Handmaid's Tale Is A Warning To Conservative Women is an article I found the same day that I finished rereading The Handmaid's Tale in a great case of serendipity, and it talks about the way that the novel/tv series shows women being complicit in the oppression of others, and the real-world history of using the language of feminism to preach that oppression.
38. This interview between Ijeoma Oluo and Rachel Dolezal is breathtaking, to the point where I'm not even sure which part I should quote to convince you to read it. It's amazing, especially the way that this interview highlights that Dolezal does not understand her privilege, at all.
39. Job Satisfaction is a really cute comic about queer superheroes and baristas!
40. I have this XKCD comic saved to my phone for when people are assholes about my not knowing something that "everyone" knows and I recommend it for everyone.
41. NYC Public Library installed a book train and it is REALLY CUTE! I suddenly see the appeal of adorable robots, omg.
42. I reread N.K. Jemisin's Stone Hunger now that I've finished The Obelisk Gate and just went "Oh, OH! O_______O" a lot the whole way through.
43. There's apparently going to be a Leviathan Wakes readalong in May, and this is probably the motivation I need to re-read this one and discover whether Miller is still my favourite.
44. Books that I am excited about:
- Our readingtheend mentioned Enterprising Women, and while yes, I am excited about it being a fandom history of zines, I mainly want it for this (NSFW) description of one of the zine covers in it.
- Hat tip to renay for this one: apparently Sarah Gailley's debut novel is going to be about "a detective without magical powers who is pulled into a murder investigation at a secret school for young mages" and the fact that I can't just mash money into my laptop screen to get this book now is really distressing.
- My library has just got in Mother Country and The Motherland Calls, about Black British people in World War II.
- Yoon Ha Lee's Raven Stratagem has a release date! It's in June, that's years away!