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. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.
1. ELLE has been killing it recently, and Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s profile of Missy Elliott explores the artist’s privacy and shyness contrasted against her prodigious creative output and influence.
2. Katie Walsh excoriates Lip Sync Battle for the unfocused RuPaul’s Drag Race for straight people that it is.
3. Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are leading a live table read of Wayne’s World as Wayne and Garth, respectively, at Colossal Clusterfest in San Francisco at the beginning of June. The genderswap also includes Tig Notaro as the villain and Ron Funches as Wayne’s ex, Stacy, which means that on top of being a genderswapped production, it’ll also turn the main romance—that of Wayne and Cassandra—into a queer romance featuring bi!lady!Wayne and presumably gay!Cassandra threatened by the oily advances of yuppie lady!Rob Lowe’s character’s name. I would pay cash money to see a tape of this table read.
4. Hey, remember that tweet about Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o starring in a heist movie that Issa Rae and Ava DuVernay offered to write and direct, respectively, after the ladies themselves got on board? Yeah, Netflix is making that movie. Sometimes, life is good.
5. I wasn’t able to see this production of Hamlet set in early twentieth century Iran—for reasons both timely and also I have a really weird relationship with theater—but I absolutely love the idea of it.
6. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith almost featured Padme founding the Rebel Alliance and then trying to kill Anakin. WHICH WOULD HAVE ADDED SO MUCH TO THE STORY AND HER CHARACTER! This is why we can’t have nice things.
7. In the wake of calls for the Muslim community to 'do more' to discourage extremism, this excerpt from The Telegraph details exactly what the Islamic community surrounding Salman Abedi (the suicide bomber who set off an explosive device at a concert in Manchester) did when they believed he posed a threat.
8. Nikesh Shukla offers an alternative take on the story that Anthony Horowitz was 'warned off' creating a black character for his next children's book.
9. Swapna Krishna talks about Star Trek: Discovery and Michelle Yeoh's accent following the first full Star Trek: Discovery trailer (it's actually happening!).
10. There's a Gunslinger Pop! Vinyl :D
11. The First reactions for Wonder Woman are Spectacular.
12. The Handmaid's Tale TV show starts on Channel 4 in the UK this week. I am mildly terrified of watching this.
13. Breaking the Glass Slipper published a one-year study comparing how much genre publishers support books by male authors with PR versus books by female authors. Spoiler alert: most of the marketing copy is used to promote male authors. I'm sure you're very surprised. Many interesting charts.
14. From Code Switch, a look at the dearth of Asian American roles in Hollywood films. PBS Idea Channel also took on this issue recently, and in a follow-up video, host Mike Rugnetta pushed back on some of the more common ways people try to dismiss whitewashing and the lack of Asian American representation as a problem.
15. The True Story Behind Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Her Mixed Up Files is a great tribute to one of my favorite books, and taught me a lot I didn't know about the story and its author, EL Konigsburg.
16. A musician put the rotations of the objects in the TRAPPIST-1 system to music. It sounds rad.
17. Claire liked The Collapsing Empire!! I'M EXCITED.
18. I Understand Space Opera Very Well is an excellently framed book rec list.
19. Gender parity in publisher PR is a good look at coverage of M/F authors in UK publisher newsletters.
Book AcquisitionsAdded TBR: Thinking Machines: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence—And Where It's Taking Us Next by Luke Dormehl, Artemis by Andy Weir, The Girl King by Mimi Yu, Ambiguity Machines: and Other stories by Vandana Singh, So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister by Anna Akana, Semiosus by Sue Burke, The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander, Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee, Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff, Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey
Things I'm excited about this month:
20. SERIES THREE OF THE BLACK TAPES IS OUT ON THE 30TH OF AUGUST.
21. River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey is out!
22. The Spectered Isle by KJ Charles has a release date – it's due out on the 3rd of August, so it might be my train reading for Nine Worlds.
23. Speaking of, Nine Worlds have released a provisional programme list and it looks pretty great! How much are we betting that all of the things I want to go to are on at the exact same time?
24. It seems like my entire corner of twitter has been yelling about All Systems Red by Martha Wells, so I'm looking forward to nabbing a copy.
25. I didn't know there was an Overwatch artbook but I have a mighty need.
26. My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Nagata Kabi looks like it's got a good exploration of anxiety and sexuality, which is pretty much where I live.
27. If this confirmation that Rihanna and Lupita Nyong'o are starring in a buddy movie together is fake, NO ONE TELL ME.
28. Apparently Tom Holland is going to be an Uncharted prequel movie, which I'm kinda "...?" about. I'm sure he's a fine actor, but he doesn't have the right air of "human disaster" that I want for all of my incarnations of Nathan Drake.