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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.

text that says Renay's Section

➝ So hey, how about the United States government the last few weeks. Here's something I've been rather fond of: Fuck You, Congress.

Starships by bironic — such an awesome vid! This vid reminds me that I am so psyched for [community profile] festivids I could pop.

On women, and empathy, and con games. I hesitated to read this because I was so worried it would be more of the self-congratulatory bullshit that's been pouring from SF fandom as dudes pat themselves on the back and seek kudos for being decent human beings for realizing they've been ignoring half the world, but it's actually really great.

Hard Scifi: I Do Not Think That Means What You Think It Means.

The Status Quo Does Not Need World Building:

When people write without considering the implications of material culture & social space in the story they are writing, they often unwittingly default to an expression of how they believe the past worked. This is especially true if they are not thinking about how the material and the social differ from culture to culture, across both space and time, or how it might change in the future.

Which details a writer considers too unimportant to include may often default to the status quo of the writer’s own setting and situation, the writer’s lived experience of social space, because the status quo does not need to be described by those who live at the center of a dominant culture.

Where No Woman Has Gone Before (Except They Totally Have): Ann Leckie & Rachel Bach On Gender & The Science Fiction Community

[...] sometimes, when I read about the history of the field, it seems like every couple of decades someone says "Wow, look at all these women who are reading and writing science fiction! Things are really changing." And then a few years later, "Wow, look at all these women! It was all guys before ... " And a couple more decades go by, "Wow, look at all these women, what's up with that?"

The effect of such a frequently repeated narrative is to make it seem like this year's women authors are exceptions — even when everybody speaking knows, if they'd go back and look at the library shelves, that actually there are tons of women writing SF.

➝ Journey remains one of my favorite games (second only to Tomb Raider), and I've been listening to the soundtrack a lot recently because it's so soothing. Even if you can't play the game, the soundtrack is totally worth it. This is my favorite track:

text that says Ana's Section

Cheryl Morgan wrote a thoughtful post titled Women in SF&F: The Cycle of Negative Feedback, and at the end she reminded SFF reader that they can do their bit to stop this cycle by going into bookshops and ordering SFF titles by women, thus dispelling the myth that readers have no interest in these titles. I like the idea that we, ordinary readers and consumers, have the capacity to contribute to change through simple everyday actions that subvert what many consider conventional wisdom — in this case, that "nobody" is interested in SFF by ladies.

However, whenever we have these discussions I want to emphasise that as much as empowering readers matters, it's equally important not to let any part of the publishing ecosystem off the hook, as change would happen a lot faster and a lot more effectively if we all worked together towards it. As Jodie said in the past here at Lady Business, "I think we need to start realising is that the literary world is an eco-system, where each different part of the industry contributes to the promotion of diversity. If one link in the chain doesn't help out we are all lost. (...) Holding up your hands and saying 'Nothing to do with me.' is a terrible way to go through life, please just stop."

➝ Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for literature! I was very happy to see a woman win, for obvious reasons; but also, I remember being very impressed with the Munro short stories I read (though it's been years and years). Here's what other writers, including my beloved A.S. Byatt, have to say about her work.

➝ The awesome Katha Pollitt reviews My Notorious Life by Kate Manning and makes it sound irresistable. This novel caught my eye at the library before I even knew what it was about. The next time I see it I'm going to have to bring it home.

➝ I really, really like Lisa Wade's post on Miley Cirus and the patriarchal bargain:

I’m sorry I don’t have a more optimistic read. If the way out of this conundrum were easy, we’d have fixed it already. But one thing’s for sure: it’s going to take collective sacrifice to bring about a world in which women’s humanity is so taken-for-granted that no individual woman’s choices can undermine it. To get there, we’re going to need to acknowledge the power of the system, recognize each other as conscious actors, and have empathy for the difficult choices we all make as we try to navigate a difficult world.

➝ Lastly, this past weekend I went to Oxford and visited the wonder Magical Books exhibition, and so I wanted to leave a link to their website for anyone who won't have the chance to see it in person. It's not quite the same as being there, I know, but the site is great and there's still lots to explore.

text that says Jodie's Section

Have an adorable representation of autumn.

➝ I haven't had time to read it yet but "Redden", a webcomic that presents 'A twisted take on Red Riding Hood with Grandma as the monster', sounds like something Clare should check out, for reasons.

'Is This What Respect Feels Like?' is another webcomic, this time about geeky stuff, cosplaying and fat shaming. It hits like hammer.

➝ Speaking of hammers, finally, have a gif set about Thor and Loki's relationship. 's complicated *weeps*.

➝ In other mythology related links, this Xena primer made me want to watch the show all over again. One thing I never realised though is that the show was a spin off from "Hercules" (another program I have very strong feelings about). I kind of thought they were developed at the same time, and then just had some inevitable cross-over episodes. I learned!

➝ Last week, I had some decidedly unhappy thoughts about a piece of marketing for "Dracula". If you look through the notes on that gif set a lot of people had similar thoughts.

I would like to watch this program (the initial conceit looks fun and kind of schmoopy, plus Rhys Meyers is divine), but the marketing makes me worry that it is going to push the really awful ideas about women that Stoker wrote into the book, without critiquing them. And in case anyone is thinking 'Well, it's an adaptation, of course it's going to push the ideas of the original source', judging by the trailer this program already departs from the book in many, many ways.

➝ Let's end with the coolest short "Merlin" AU I've seen in ages because, let's face it, "Atlantis" is not yet filling this show's boots in terms of female characters (but maybe now we have Medusa, and Ariadne is turning up more things will get cooler).

Date: 2013-10-16 07:58 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
I looove that Ann Leckie and Rachel Bach post. I've spotted similar patterns with women's achievements in other fields and it totally needs to stop.

And whoa, that tumblr post on Xena totally makes me want to rewatch it. I absolutely loved it as a teen but remember surprisingly little about it.

Date: 2013-10-16 11:18 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
My favourite story line was probably when they both had kids and Gabrielle's had to die for the good of humanity/I think because she caused the death of Xena's kid and then *immense friend pain* and then reconciliation. Also Joxer. Also the whole big bad blonde villain they had one series? But I think the whole Xena and Gabrielle are together element of later series passed me by because I was little and had yet to discover LGBTQ stories, or slash fic.

Date: 2013-10-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I've never seen Xena. *shame*

Date: 2013-10-20 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
Neither have I, which is a TRAGEDY, given my interests (fantasy, cheesy things, nineties television, dark-haired women who can snap me in half). Would you be interested at all in watching it together?

Date: 2013-10-20 04:48 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
YES, I TOTALLY WOULD. But I am watching so much other TV. I guess it depends on your watching schedule? :D

Date: 2013-10-21 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
My dance card is similarly quite full. But we could do an episode every other week or something!

Date: 2013-10-21 03:56 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I owe you so many things in progress (How to Suppress Women's Writing, Fangirl, Fangirl Roundtable, etc.) but YES! Can we touch base November 1? :D

Date: 2013-10-28 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
What a grand idea! I'll hit up my after-Halloween sales and then shoot you an e-mail where we figure this all out.

Date: 2013-10-16 11:23 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
It's so great! There was an EPIC thread the other day related to this — did you see? It's here on twitter; I'm so tempted to storify it!

re: other fields, like the whole thing in YA where media outlets decide cast John Green as the ~savior of YA~? SIGH.

Date: 2013-10-17 07:18 am (UTC)
janesgravity: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janesgravity
... and Karl Urban played Caesar, even though the show was set in ancient Greece.

I loved Xena and Hercules. I have a lot of fond nostalgia for both shows.

Date: 2013-10-17 04:59 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Karl Urban has been the main selling point from my friends re: why I should watch it immediately.

Date: 2013-10-20 04:32 am (UTC)
janesgravity: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janesgravity
Karl Urban goes back to gay ambulance driver Jamie on Shortland Street (local soap) for me. That ... was in the mid-90s.

... lol now I'm TIRED

Date: 2013-10-17 06:28 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
Seriously considering a rewatch next year.

Date: 2013-10-20 04:32 am (UTC)
janesgravity: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janesgravity
I want to as well, but I'd have to start with Hercules because things need to be in ORDER.

Date: 2013-10-17 09:57 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
That is a ridiculously fun vid :) And I love that there's a full list of sources to check out at the end.

Date: 2013-10-18 05:28 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I know, it's so great! ALL the spaceships.

Date: 2013-10-20 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
Reasons accepted! Add to reasons? :)


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