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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.


➝ There's a long, awesome interview with Kate Elliott that she did as the Sirens Guest of Honor. I love long interviews like this! :D

➝ Memory wrote a great essay about spoilers and the way she uses them to talk about and rec media. I get pretty spoilerphobic about them, because often when I get spoiled I quit really being invested in whatever the media was. Sometimes I will ask to be spoiled (in the case of character death, frex) but most of the time I am like "NO DON'T DO IT." Of course this is comical since I can't seem to write a review without spoiling everything.

Why Final Fantasy VII Matters. Although FFVI was technically my first Final Fantasy game and Final Fantasy VIII the one I connected more to in a fandom way, Final Fantasy VII was a gateway to me to a different type of storytelling and a different type of science fiction and fantasy. I still love Final Fantasy VII for its blending of technology and magic, its unreliable narrator, and the complicated backstories it offered for all its characters. Anyway, the article is lovely!

➝ Kamo is always writing really interesting crit! The latest: A comparison between Lumberjanes Vol. 1 and East of West Vol 4..

➝ I wrote an essay for Strange Horizons and Nina Allan wrote a rad response. It's so good.

Galactic Suburbia discussed my essay and their experiences, too! This conversation is great. I laughed out loud so many times.

Examine Your Priorities, yet another entry in White Dudes Create Rec Lists Full of White Dudes and Some of Them Get Defensive When Asked About Possible Biases.

➝ I'm still 150% stoked for The Expanse after the most recent trailer.

➝ And I don't care if it IS fake (although I'm side-eyeing your denial, Netflix), I still love this trailer (real or fan-made, whichever) for The Series of Unfortunate Events.

Book Acquisitions

Purchased: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace, The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act & The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson
Added TBR: The Child Eater by Rachel Pollack, The Weave by Nancy Jane Moore, Women and the Comics by Catherine Yronwode & Trina Robbins, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Women, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis, The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker


➝ I have to start with SUICIDE SQUAD! This is the first big comic book film trailer I've been overly excited about in a while. On the one hand, it so shouldn't be my thing because it looks like they've gone uber grimdark. On the other... Viola Davis, Will Smith & Margot Robbie! I would have to be broken not to want that casting line up (although still sad Hardy's not in this production anymore).

The More the Merrier? is a roundup essay about the size and state of the British YA and kid-lit market. It asks whether there are too many new releases and whether people are overwhelmed by the size of what's on offer. As a blogger and a reader I do find it overwhelming to have so many YA books coming out so quickly, and I think it skews the way YA conversations are going now. So much YA reviewing feels like publicity rather than engagement to me, but it also feels like that's what publishers (and maybe authors) often want.

The most interesting part of this article for me was a note on Jim Dean's diversity analysis of the UK market. Figures for LGBTQ and chromatic character are low considering the size of the market. And, while this article doesn't touch on any analysis of who's getting published, when I look at the UK YA market it looks huge but very white (and straight). If I wanted to just read books by white authors I would have so much choice. When I try to find books by chromatic UK authors it's a whole different story. It can be more difficult to find UK YA books by chromatic authors in the first place and then finding books that fit my particular bookish interests narrows already small field down further. So we're now in a place where huge amounts of YA are being published but the UK market still isn't giving a significant quarter over to chromatic authors (and maybe LGBTQ authors too). It looks like there's a lot of space, a lot of appetite for publishing tons of YA, but no room for certain creators. Does anyone know of any breakdown of UK YA authors published each year?

➝ A debate called "Unheard Stories, Unheard Voices", has started another discussion about how white and straight the UK publishing scene is overall. Here's a roundup of some of the comments authors made during the debate.

➝ Nikesh Shukla, who took part in this debate, provides Four Examples of Diversity in Publishing. Guaranteed to make you want to punch something.

➝ Shukla also wrote True Diversity in Fiction calling on white authors to include chromatic characters in their books. He also points out that using the term 'diverse' can other experiences rather than normalising them. And he talks about being inspired to work on his writing by the #readwomen campaign. While I don't think his approach is going to be for everyone, I do think he makes interesting points (especially about how people keep positioning white as default) which can contribute to broadening the scope of stories and keep publishing from being all white.

N. K Jemisin announces she'll be releasing some Inheritance Trilogy short stories in Shades in Shadow (yay). Unfortunately, they're only available in electronic format via a few retailers (wails). I guess I can get them on iBooks if I work out what my password is.

The Emmy nominations are in. I need more time to analyse them but for now I'm pretty excited about the Lead Actress Drama category. Viola Davis & Tatiana Maslany! I'm also a huge fan of Claire Danes & Taraji P. Henson was a dream in Person of Interest. Good luck, ladies!

Asking the Wrong Questions is Ten! Abigail Nussbaum uses this blog birthday to muse on the state of book blogging and where it's headed:

As Jonathan writes, there is a plain and simple choice before anyone who sets themselves up as a writer and critic in this online economy. You can run your own space on your own terms, or you can have a meaningful chance at real reach and influence. Doing both is almost certainly not an option. There are upsides and downsides to both choices, and at the end of the day the one I've made is the only one I could possibly have made. But I think that there is a danger in writing to please only yourself that Jonathan doesn't touch on, which is that you can end up talking to yourself, spewing words onto the screen for no purpose but to get them out of your heard, expending your time and energy on something that doesn't mean anything to anyone but yourself.

I feel that.

➝ As a big fan of seafaring ladies, I loved this post Books That Shaped Me: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Any other ladies out there shaped by Charlotte Doyle?

➝ Gonna finish this week with some gratuitous Idris Elba.

Date: 2015-07-17 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
Awesome collection of links, per usual!! I was sad but not surprised to read "Examine Your Priorities." Boy if that isn't the exact same damn thing every damn white straight guy says when he talks about other white straight guys. I'm not surprised.

I REMAIN STOKED for A Series of Unfortunate Events and want Netflix to release a proper trailer cause otherwise I will just have to keep watching the existing, fan-made one.

Date: 2015-07-19 02:20 pm (UTC)
litomnivore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] litomnivore
RENAY. That Final Fantasy VII piece slayed me. It just reminds me so much of the love I have for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, because there are some texts you encounter at such the right time that become a part of you. Thank you for linking it here!


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