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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.


➝ Okay, I’m linking this blind because of ~spoilers~, but Entertainment Weekly put together an oral history of Xena. I will read this once I am done with the series, however many years that takes.

Bryan Fuller has confirmed that his Star Trek anthology series will not be subject to CBS’ usual standards and practices, as it will air on the CBS All Access streaming service. This might seem like a fine distinction, but I hope this means that we finally get meaningful queer representation in Star Trek.


➝ I wrote up the rest of my Sidetracks entries before some people in the UK voted to leave the EU (and to plunge so many people into fear and confusion) but I wanted to quickly share Laurie Penny's piece, I want my country back. And although this whole thing is so BIG and raw I just want to put my own quick personal thoughts out there again: people who have moved to Britain from anywhere, and people whose families moved to Britain — you are wanted, you are needed, this is your home and this vote is fucked up.

On the way home from grief desert contains many, many gems about reading stories about heterosexual women:
Watching a woman repeatedly subsume her entire emotional and artistic life to a totally worthless man for years is as exhausting to me in fiction as it is in real life, and while I suppose “we had a healthy relationship! the end” is a pretty short story if I am going to read about straight women I would prefer they be doing something more interesting than being made miserable by men over the course of a thousand pages—because, in the end, that’s not a book about women, it’s a book about dudes.

Critic as Artist as Geek Feminist Revolutionary, is a great interview with Kameron Hurley about the shape and role of criticism in SFF.

Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter join the line up of the proposed all-female continuation of the Ocean's Eleven franchise. Mindy Kaling!

Zero Motivation, a new BBC America dramedy developed by Amy Poehler from a film by Tayla Lavie sounds interesting. It's about women who serve as secretaries in the Israeli army.

➝ From Tumblr, this completely necessary quick photoset about John Boyega being Stacker Pentecost's son in Pacific Rim 2.

➝ Finally, a Shiny New Books article I helped to bring about — Life After Publication by Lisa Williamson, author of The Art of Being Normal.


➝ Somehow I missed that director Ava DuVernay is working on an adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, but I found out in the very best way: this article about the casting, which states that DuVernay is specifically looking for actors of color to play the kids. The suggestion is that the Murray family will be mixed race, while Calvin O'Keefe will be played by a boy of color, and now I am even more excited.

[tumblr.com profile] therisingtithes looks at the various upheavals throughout fandom this past spring (HYDRA Cap is the primary example, but not the only one) and compares them to heresies and other religious schisms. The central thesis is that changes to a canon that transform its meaning ("Exegesis — the act of evolving, adapting, and recontextualizing canon to better serve the spiritual needs of the audience") are fundamentally different from those that violate canon's core precepts and warp the story or characters beyond recognition, and that creators and commentators who conflate the two are doing themselves, the canon, and their fans a disservice.

Deadpool Isn’t the Only Solution, but Batman v Superman Is the Problem: New York Times critic Wesley Morris takes aim at the heaviness of too many modern superhero films and suggests that lighter fare, exemplified by the Deadpool movie. I don't agree with everything here (in particular I don't know that I would defend and/or decry the same MCU films that he picks), and I would also note that the article was written before the release of CA: Civil War, but it's a thoughtful viewpoint.

➝ Glen Weldon lists plot devices used to make superheroes fight against each other, from least to most plausible.


➝ It's been...a few weeks. This essay about high-functioning anxiety hit me pretty hard. I was triggered pretty brutally recently and these days when that happens I fall down into the Pit of Depression Despair and am still making my way out, but it felt nice to read something that made me feel like I was less broken and just sick. I shared a little about this on Twitter (which [twitter.com profile] charlesatan collected and saved for me on storify — triggery for physical abuse), but sometimes it's nice to find other people writing about a problem you have in a way that doesn't feel judgmental.

Adnan Syed is getting a new trial. I'm pretty happy about this.

➝ The FiveThirtyEight Elections forecast is available, so I suspect to visit this page a lot and weep copiously between now and November.

Jessica Williams is getting her own show and will leave The Daily Show behind.

➝ Mid-year book lists are starting to come out and I'm super excited to hear about all the great books people are reading. Ana and Thea posted theirs at The Book Smugglers, and [personal profile] kaytaylorrea shared hers, too!

Here's a great photo of some danger noodles. I love snakes and whoever decided to call them danger noodles.

Book Acquisitions

Added TBR: Full of Briars by Seanan McGuire, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, & Valentine De Landro, The Book Smugglers' Quarterly Almanac: Volume 1, Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV Jennifer L. Pozner, Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage by Gordon Corera, Comic Book Crime: Truth, Justice, and the American Way by Nickie D. Phillips & Staci Strobl


➝ I thought this piece from Tony Zhou was really cool – it dissects eighteen seconds of a Ghostbusters trailer as an exercise in editing jokes, which is really fascinating to me.

Like Totally Whatever by Melissa Lozada-Oliva [Text version] — I don't read a lot of poetry (I am terrible at picking out meter and meaning), but it turns out that watching poetry is fine. I only have a vague familiarity with the poem that this is riffing on (The inferior Totally like whatever, you know by Taylor Mali [Text version], but the contrast is excellent. Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a takedown of the prescriptivist ways people (usually old white men!) criticise specifically young women for the way they speak! And why young women talk this way! ("And it's like maybe I'm always speaking in questions because I'm so used to being cut off.") It's so good, I love this performance.

An Open Letter to the Protesters Outside the Planned Parenthood by Elizabeth Acevedo — This performance though, it is fire, it is enough to leave a body shaking. From the hypocrisy of the protesters ("Tell me more how you care so much about this largest genocide of black people when I never seen you at a #blacklivesmatter protest.") to the choices that black women have had to make and how hard they've had to fight. It's good and harrowing and good.

Date: 2016-07-02 05:44 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
"[I]f I am going to read about straight women I would prefer they be doing something more interesting than being made miserable by men over the course of a thousand pages — because, in the end, that's not a book about women, it's a book about dudes."

THIS. And I suspect it's going to become one of those "once you've seen it, you can't un-see it" things for me.

Ooh, more Toby Daye! Even if it's just a novelette, I'll be snagging that.

(edited to close tag)
Edited Date: 2016-07-02 05:45 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-07-02 05:59 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Yeah I felt this today when I read the back of Kate Bolick's Spinster - “Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman’s existence.” How about no. Can we change the narrative a bit please?

Date: 2016-07-03 10:30 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I spent 2015 jamming the Tony Daye main series into my face, so now I get to catch up/reread all the short fiction that I missed/didn't have context for. Plus, super excited to read more about Quentin. :D

Date: 2016-07-04 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.com
Wonderful links as always, y'all!


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