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. Vox explains how the eighties aesthetic is the work of Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and The Memphis Group, reacting against Modernism.
2. YouTube user Shots Fired breaks down the opening credits for Silicon Valley’s fourth season.
3. Full disclosure: I just binged all of Silicon Valley and I love it. This New Yorker article on the show’s research process and how fact and fiction blur for the show is amazing for the anecdotes alone.
4. We’re all superpumped for Black Panther, but there are plenty of Marvel Cinematic Universe fans who might be nervous about generating fanworks for it, due to fears of creating problematic content. hollahollagettchalla has assembled a list of resources for fans about how to write about Africa and Afrofuturism that I think will be really helpful!
5. Hey, there’s finally a canonically wlw NPC couple in World of Warcraft! That took… way longer than it should have…
6. Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death is going to be adapted as a television series by HBO and George R. R. Martin.
7. I’m so happy Kesha’s back, y’all. "Woman" is probably the closest thing to a coherent expression of my gender identity.
8. I am very excited for Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. It also looks like it will be sure to use dynamic subtitles with sign language, which is something I really enjoyed about Baby Driver.
9. Felicity Jones will play Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the upcoming biopic, On the Basis of Sex. I think Jones has a certain impishness that’s perfect for Ginsburg, so I’m excited.
10. This Brazilian mom cosplays older women and it’s a major inspiration for me.
11. This really great article from SlashFilm goes into detai about how the Black Panther movie altered a classic Marvel villan to avoid racist stereotypes. (The character was originally called "Man-Ape", which gives you an idea of what the producers had to work with.) The updated costume is fantastic, and it proves a clear example that such changes can be made effectively and there is no excuse to do otherwise (see Fist, Iron and Strange, Doctor).
12. A new Justice League trailer premiered at San Diego Comic Con, and it looks maybe more promising than I expected. It's generating a bit of buzz, and speculation about how much Joss Whedon's involvement might affect the final product (and say what you will about Whedon, I trust him a smidge more than I trust Zack Snyder, which I acknowledge isn't saying much), and what it says about the movie's place in the DCCU canon now that Wonder Woman has changed the game.
13. Speaking of SDCC, here's a pretty good trailer round-up post. Probably most exciting to me are Stranger Things Season 2 (I just watched the first season for the Hugos, and enjoyed it quite a lot), new trailers for Star Trek, Thor: Ragnarok, and The Defenders, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.
14. Liz Bourke rounds up a number of recent incidents showing how women STILL get constantly erased in speculative fiction. Can't we be done with this nonsense already?
15. Jay Smooth is back with another video on creativity and getting blocked. His creativity meta always resonates with me (I particularly recommend his thoughts on The Little Hater), and this is no exception.
16. Beth Younger posits that horror is the only film genre where women get to speak and appear as often as men.
17. After I spent a week looking for this story to no avail: Tor has re-released Eyes I Dare Not Meet In Dreams, which is an excellent short story about dead girls climbing out of refridgerators. (Our very own Jodie has a post on this story that I recommend if you missed it!)
18. This (spoilery) piece on Wonder Woman as a Chosen One narrative where Diana chooses herself warms my heart.
19. The Newberry Library has uploaded tens of thousands of documents about religion in the early modern period, and are attempting to crowdsource translations/transcriptions of texts to do with magic! It's like they've never seen a 90s horror movie.
20. That twitter thread on costuming in Wonder Woman from a couple of weeks ago got turned into a post and it is exactly as good as I wanted it to be.
21. The new Doctor has been announced, and I never thought I'd see the day. I kept seeing the hope on twitter ("Maybe it'll be a POC! Maybe it'll be a woman!") and then the disappointment, and I just... Thought that the cycle would continue forever? APPARENTLY NOT! I haven't watched Doctor Who since The Woman Who Waited, but I am now cautiously intrigued.
22. I've been reading T. Kingfisher's Jackalope Wives and Other Stories, which reminded me that this lovely piece on editing existed.
23. The trailer for Proud Mary looks amazing and I am absolutely here for Taraji P. Henson as an action heroine. (Someone on twitter has proposed that there needs to be a double feature of this and Atomic Blonde, and I have a MIGHTY NEED).