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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

Book Smugglers Publishing is open for submissions for First Contact stories until December 31st, 2014. They're working hard to post a wide range of diverse stories, so if you know of anyone looking for a great opportunity, feel free to pass the word along. This notice is rebloggable on tumblr if that's where your writer friends hang out. :)

QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION! is open for submission. Seanan McGuire is editing this issue. :D

Why it doesn’t matter what Benedict Cumberbatch thinks of Sherlock fan fiction:

Fan fiction, fan art, the way female fans celebrate what they love: this stuff isn’t a secret anymore – and it shouldn’t be a punch line anymore, either. It’s a big messy world full of amateur writing and unedited work, but it’s also got of some of the best fiction I’ve ever read, published or otherwise. You don’t have to participate in it to afford it even a modicum of respect. I’ll be the first to volunteer if you ever want to learn. But if you’re not interested in that, politely decline to answer.

➝ Read this great post by Erin Claiborne, Big Bang Press, fanfic, publishing! This was so great to see (emphasis mine): Fanfic isn’t practice for being a professional. Don’t get me wrong, fanfic is the perfect way to become a better writer (I wouldn’t be able to write at all if I hadn’t started writing fanfic when I was a kid), but fanfic is also valuable in and of itself.

text that says Ana's Section

Science Fellowships and Institutional Gender Bias in STEM was a great read:

We are beyond the point of looking to individual women to raise their voices louder for help, because blaming women for inequality is a tactic that does not work. Whether its woeful outcomes in Fellowships, or pay discrepancies amongst faculty, or representation at conferences, or publications, or some other measure — these are all symptoms of institutional damage. We need to look to the causes and own them as a collective problem that requires collective effort.

Clare loved Sorrow's Knot! I'm hoping this might persuade some of you to read it.

➝ I'm absolutely not joking when I say media lists are one of my favourite things about the final months of the year. I love making them and I love reading other people's. Here's Publisher Weekly's Best Books of 2014, which proved a big danger to my wishlist.

text that says Jodie's Section

A Calvin and Hobbes comic set 26 years after the friends first meet! It features Calvin's daughter and you should read the commentary for bonus fun meta about her name :D

➝ This post explains how to watch the current Marvel cinematic universe in chronological order, which might be useful for some of you (or you could just start with Jane and her shirtless Thor).

➝ Speaking of Marvel, Kathryn Immonen is writing a comic book starring Peggy Carter set in the 1950s Cold War.

➝ In more comics news, Princeless - The Pirate Princess sounds cool:

Join Adrienne and her guardian dragon, Sparky, as they begin their own quest in an all-ages action adventure designed specifically for those who are tired of waiting to be rescued — and who are ready to save themselves. (via Comixology)

➝ I loved learning that Alfonso Ribera and his partner used their time on Dancing with the Stars to bring back the Carlton dance. It looks like it went pretty well too. I wonder what Craig Revel Horwood would have given this routine.

Viola Davis talks about food poverty and the hungry children of America.

Beautiful SFF drawings from an artist called Len Yan. I'm especially fond of the lady who is part scarab beetle.

So, What Else Do You Do? is partly an essay about how the social pressure that we constantly present as productive, worthy members of society has influenced the way we publically present our individual interests and partly an article that doesn't quite make the satisfyingly new argument it's reaching for. Still, an interesting follow up to So, What Do You Do, which is about how work has come to define us.

Date: 2014-11-03 10:54 am (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
No song this week?

Date: 2014-11-03 06:32 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
Argh, I forgot! Next time for sure.

Date: 2014-11-03 08:09 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
IT'S NOT TOO LATE. Just stick it in the comments. ;)

Date: 2014-11-04 07:15 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Community: Britta removes her headphones. (Community discmans are retro!)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
*nudges Sarah Blasko your way* To be more specific, let's say Lost & Defeated, but the whole As Day Follows Night album really.
Edited Date: 2014-11-04 07:18 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-03 11:17 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Journey Into Mystery: Sif is facepalming. (C ∞ urgh)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
I was really sad when Immonen's Sif run got cancelled, so excited to see what she does with Peggy! (yikes my pull list keeps expanding!)

Date: 2014-11-03 08:18 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Next year my list of collected edition wants is ridiculous.

Date: 2014-11-04 07:13 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Avengers: Clint and Natasha striking some ridiculous poses and looking fabulous. (C ∞ agents of V.O.G.U.E.)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
Yes, this easily happens. Though my list would be longer if I wasn't still stubbornly standing my ground on certain titles in the hopes that hardcover will happen.

Date: 2014-11-03 02:31 pm (UTC)
marenfuga: (aww clint)
From: [personal profile] marenfuga
I like that piece on Benedict Cumberbatch and fanfiction. I disagree with the idea that people shouldn't talk about fandom if they don't know what they're talking about, though. It's terribly useful. You can see Cumberbatch trying, interview after interview, to seek reassurance that he's right and fanfic is wrong and it makes him sound like an asshole, but at least like a struggling asshole.

Date: 2014-11-03 08:22 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
It depends on the context for me. I mean, I'm fine with Cumberbatch continuing to make himself look like a total pill every time, because seeing him sweat gives me intense joy. :P

Is there a bingo card for professionals and fandom discussions in interviews yet? THERE SHOULD BE.

Date: 2014-11-03 08:24 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Dear Ana, I am giving you sole responsibility for these additions to my reading list:

  • On Immunity: An Inoculation
  • Fire Shut Up in My Bones: A Memoir
  • Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble
  • Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights
  • I’ll Give You the Sun

Date: 2014-11-03 10:11 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth


Date: 2014-11-03 10:14 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
Here's a little something for you two :)

Azure Ray - November

Date: 2014-11-03 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I checked Sorrow's Knot out from the library! I was looking for a Holly Black book they didn't have, and since Erin Bow was right there, I just grabbed Sorrow's Knot instead. WE'LL SEE.

I loved the Elizabeth Minkel article about Cumberbatch. He and I are in a little fight about that right now. YEAH WE'LL SEE CUMBERBATCH. WE'LL SEE. Elizabeth Minkel has written two quite excellent articles in the last month or so (she wrote one about the Neverending YA Novel Debate that I thought was quite good) -- I want to keep an eye on her going forward.

Date: 2014-11-03 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
Urkh, sorry, that was me, Jenny.

Date: 2014-11-03 11:48 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I follow Elizabeth Minkel on tumblr and twitter - she's really insightful about fan issues! Definitely recommend her fandom tag on tumblr. :D

Date: 2014-11-04 08:51 am (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
YAY. I can't wait to hear what you think. I loved it so.

Date: 2014-11-05 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
Jodie, "What Else Do You Do?" and "So, What Do You Do" are really resonating with me right now. I've come to loathe productivity morality, but I need to balance that with the fact that I like completing projects and getting things done and checking off my list. I need to find a way to enjoy those things without letting those things become my measure of worth.

Date: 2014-11-06 04:22 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Hear you (total completest). I think a successful way forward has something to do with not conforming to the push to define yourself as productive thing X to others, but still maintain pride & the ability to talk about your achievements. And, I guess, about resisting the urge to convert people to your form of productivity? I don't have it all figured out, but I think these articles are going to be important to me in the next year.


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Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay writes for Lady Business and co-hosts Fangirl Happy Hour, a pop culture media show that includes a lot yelling about the love lives of fictional characters. Enjoys puns. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Susan is a library assistant who uses her insider access to keep her shelves and to-read list permanently over-flowing. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon AO3 icon


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