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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.


➝ First up, a special, Short Business related announcement! Cecily, Jonah, Jodie, and I are teaming up to badger everyone for short fiction recs for the month of April! Heck yeah!

Your Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Fiction January 2015 to March 2015

From April 6 to April 27, we're asking everyone to share their favorite short (original) fiction published between January 1, 2015 and March 31st, 2015. The URL to the survey is http://bitly.com/shortfiction2015-Q1 and we'd appreciate the signal boost! :D

The list of contributors is out for Speculative Fiction 2014! Friends, I am really excited about this list of people. There are so many fannish writers I love on this list. I'm so honored by and grateful for the people who are taking part in this, who allowed us to reprint their work. I'm so proud of this collection. I hope it does well. Our cover art will be out soon (it's amazing)!

➝ Plus, the editors of the 2015 anthology have been announced: Foz Meadows and Mark Oshiro. This is awesome news, and I'm super thrilled they'll be representing the anthology! You can also start submitting things. Everyone will have to get used to this link and reminder. You're gonna be seeing a lot of it. :D

KJ breaks down the recent interview about Final Fantasy XV. There's a game I'm not buying until I hear it's made of solid gold from some players I trust.

➝ KJ is watching a bunch of MCU films and shows in the lead up to Age of Ultron. She discussed Captain America: The First Avenger and the first five episodes of Agent Carter.

➝ Women in SF&F Month has launched. For some reason Kristen keeps trusting me to write the introduction post, so this year I wrote Some Assembly Required: Recommendation Lists for a More Inclusive Fandom and asked people to name five of their favorite women writers off their top of their head. I'm hoping to create a cute .pdf of these recs!

➝ The last half of the first week of Women in SF&F Month saw posts from Rachel Hartman, author of Seraphina, and her essay The Gods Roll the Dice: Inventing a Gender System. Genevieve Valentine was the other guest last week, author of one of my favorite books last year, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, writing The Right Hand of Light, about The Left Hand of Darkness.

➝ As part of Women in SF&F Month, the big list of recommendations Kristen and I have been curating since 2013 is updated with 2014 submissions and is open for 2015 submission. It's so interesting to watch the numbers change. Even if your favorite books are already there, you can rec them again. Ten of anything: books you love overall, books from last year, books from this year, books from before 2000. Or a mixture!

➝ Joe wrote A Look Back at 2014: Or, Reading and Gender. He talks about the gender balance of his 2014 reading and the work he's doing to keep improving his numbers. What I took away from this is "there's no perfect number" which admits until you do a deliberate challenge to drop certain groups of authors from your reading list for a set amount of time and give yourself a specific number, the ongoing challenge is to just keep paying attention, and it's a process that doesn't end. You have to keep practicing it. The goal isn't to reach a number, but to continue reading diversely in an ongoing way. I'm pretty stoked for him!

Maggie Stiefvater wrote an excellent post on sexism and her experiences as a woman trying to live in the world.

➝ KJ (she's been busy the last few weeks!) posted a list of recs she received at FogCon, where she got to hang out with all my cool friends BEFORE ME. Churning jealousy!

➝ Some Hugo reactions:
Ana and I talked about it on Fangirl Happy Hour (only listen if you want probably 10 minutes of me laughing my ass off).
Then I had some further thoughts. You can actually buy that quote on a shirt. I love the Internet.
Abigail's breakdown was great.
Elizabeth Bear makes some good points.
I also really loved Amal's post, too.
And Kevin Standlee talks about how to use No Award.

Book Acquisitions

Listen, sometimes you just go on a recommendation list reading spree. It happens.

Added TBR: Half the World by Joe Abercrombie, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison, Loosed Upon the World: The Saga Book of Climate Fiction edited by John Joseph Adams, Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace, The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack, , Depth by Lev AC Rosen, So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission by Jim Bell, Planetfall by Emma Newman, The State of Play: Sixteen Voices on Video Games by Daniel Goldberg, Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh


Strange Horizons have released The 2014 SF Count which looks at the gender and race of SFF reviewers and authors whose work was reviewed in 16 major publications (including Strange Horizons). Here's the summary:

As in previous years, in the majority of the SF review venues surveyed, review coverage disproportionately focused on men and books by white writers. A majority of reviews were written by men in two-thirds of venues, and by white people in all venues. Analysis of 2010-2014 gender data shows that despite year-to-year variation within individual venues, there is no evidence for an overall increase in coverage of books authored or edited by women. However, there is some evidence for a small increase in the proportion of reviews written by women.

➝ I'm so happy Ethan Robinson responded to Jonathan McCalmont's essay Short Fiction and the Feels. It's fair to say that McCalmont's essay bugged me. In fact, the reason why I've yet to write about Samatar's very cool story Walkdog is because my review got tangled up in my need to push back against that essay and writing back against his arguments (the kind of persistent arguments that just never seem to die) drained all the joy out of writing that review. Although I don't agree with everything in Robinson's post at least, with someone else standing against that essay, I can get back to actually talking about the story.

➝ In My Life As A White Trash izombie, Calico Writes explains that CW maybe guilty of some new skeevy schenanigans.

➝ Super cute Captain Marvel & Ms Marvel cosplay. Does anyone know the cosplayers so I can credit them?

➝ Eclectic Eccentricity makes beautiful, affordable space themed jewellery, but woe my favourite pieces are all sold out.

➝ The Mary Sue knows why Queen Elizabeth couldn't sit on the Iron Throne.

➝ I bet you couldn't stop her from getting on John Lopez's steampunk horse though.

'An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan'. Cat army. Adding this to our list of Lady Business dream holiday destinations.


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