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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.


➝ I’ve been spending my holiday vacation going through my old things, and I found I had a bunch of comic books to donate or sell. If you are in the same boat, you could donate your comics to soldiers overseas! Here’s how.

An older lady Star Wars fan shares how she shuts down fandom-policing jerks.

The second annual Femslash Review Fest is going on until the 27th! It’s a great way to get femslash recommendations outside of your active fandoms.


Diana Urban shares an excerpt from that #MorallyComplicated YA novel by Scott Bergstrom. It is pretty much what you would expect from a guy shaping his entire stance on YA around the 'not like all the other girls' narrative. Here, have a list of awesome YA novels to take the taste out of your mouth.

➝ Sarah McCarry posted a geniusexperimental interview with herself as a successful male YA author.

➝ Mallory Ortberg talks about the financial structure behind running The Toast. I really like seeing honest posts about how creative ventures keep themselves running because they break down dishonest stories that push creatives into doing all their work for free.

➝ Kameron Hurley wrote an article for Locus about anxiety in publishing and in her own writing career called When the Writing Sprint Goes Wrong and then explained at her blog why she chose to write publicly about anxiety. Both are interesting reads.

➝ Justina Ireland (whose novel Promise of Shadows I have just been enjoying) calls for No More White Knights:

White Knighting is not about helping women to be equal to men. Women are already equal to men, whether large sections of society acknowledge that fact or not. White Knighting is very much about men reinforcing their self worth. “I’m a good guy because I jumped into the fray on the side of this woman!" It’s not about the woman and her struggle. It’s about the man and his self-worth.

➝ An American senator named Claire Mccaskill outlines what men need to shut up about. I agree with this video so hard. Dudes, please watch the entire thing and take notes (especially about the Bond thing—no one wants to hear you tediously lay out why you think Idris Elba should not be the next Bond).

➝ Musings from the sofa talks about peer pressure in the workplace at Christmas (ugh).

Martin Shrekli, the guy who raised the price of Daraprim (a drug used by people who have the AIDs virus), has acquired another company. This one makes drugs for people with cancer. This guy is evil and he needs to be stopped. I don't break out the 'E' work lightly. We all know capitalism doesn't care and it's not unheard of for a CEO to hike the price of necessary services beyond what people can reasonably afford, or restrict those services in some other way. But this seems an especially bad case. (Update: Shrekli has now been arrested for fraud)

➝ A really useful infographic that explains nonmonogamy.

➝ The Guardian's interview with Idris Elba makes some weird comments but Elba is, as ever, seems wonderful. One of my favourite things is that Elba is, as the article says, an 'everythingist' but that he get involved in everything he's really interested in. Like, he just revels in being able to say 'I'm pretty famous, gonna learn how to drag race from the best because I like fast cars.'


Fatphobia and Jessica Jones is a great critique of one of the first scenes in the first episode of Jessica Jones that really bothered me. It sums up most of my thoughts.

➝ Via [twitter.com profile] nkjemisin, Starships size comparison is a cool video showing the sizes of different SF spaceships!

➝ Via Clare, The Demise of Fandom on Tumblr is a good essay. I haven't noticed the fannish content fall off on my dash yet, but I also don't spend tons of time on tumblr. Tumblr is still really neat and useful, but I really do want a better fannish home. :(

➝ I discovered Note to Self, a podcast by Manoush Zomorodi. I came through a recent recommendation to the episode 5 Links We Would GChat You If We Were Friends which was a look at newsletters that sort the Internet and then share those links with their subscribers. The rest of the episodes are also really fascinating, too.

It's time to celebrate the fact that there are many ways to be male and female, i.e. I have even more reason to side-eye books by white women talking about feminism and women's experience who go directly to BRAIN SCIENCE as a reason why women are the way we are (as if we're a monolith).

➝ NEVER FEAR, FRIENDS! There's a kinkmeme for Star Wars: The Force Awakens: [community profile] tfa_kink

A great interview with John Boyega. Beware potential Star Wars spoilers! I've seen it and now am not sure where the spoiler line is. /o\

➝ My partner, [twitter.com profile] echthroi, inspired some excellent fanart of John Scalzi.


Ask Bear: How do I get okay with being bad at stuff? This is an old piece, but as someone who is Chronically Not Okay with being bad at stuff, sometimes I need reminders like this stapled to my forehead. Especially this paragraph:

The thing about our defense mechanisms from being young people is that they are so very important and necessary—when we’re young. They literally keep us alive. We learn them well because they’re what we develop—usually in a vacuum and with very little help—to allow us to survive being young people. They are so valuable… right up until the moment they stop serving us and start keeping us from doing great and nourishing things, because our circumstances have changed (and thank Gd for that) but we’re still doing the same stuff.

It worked for years! says the hindbrain. Can’t stop now!

Found in the archives: Joanna Russ lecture notes — While this is technically just "Hey, look! Joanna Russ took really thorough notes in her Philosophy class!" I'm enough of a nerd that seeing the handwriting and notebooks of my favourite authors makes me smile.

"Happy" by C2C :: Keone and Mariel Madrid Speaking of things that make me smile: this is one of my favourite dance routines! The music and the skill and how much fun the dancers are having makes my day whenever I watch this video.


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