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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.


Omit Needless Rules: 5 Writing Rules Destroyed by the Dictionary: I'm not a big fan of ironclad writing rules in general, so I appreciated this column from Merriam-Webster's wordplay blog explaining the shortcomings of five commonly cited "rules" for writers, especially the first one — you will pry my adverbs from my cold dead hands. Informative and entertaining.

Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes: the title says it all, really. The picture is a must-see, if only for the mash up of Superman, Captain America, and Santa Claus.

➝ NPR's Neda Ulaby tells the story of the late Kimberly Yale, one of the writers of DC's Suicide Squad comic book. Despite all the coverage of and build-up to the film, I hadn't heard Yale's name once until reading this article, but apparently she was instrumental in crafting the series, and her collaborators credit her as a big influence in giving the series a more diverse cast than average for a DC superhero book, and with protecting the female characters from sexist storylines as much as she could. Although I'll probably skip the movie, I'm now much more interested in the comic from which it came.

➝ From Carlie St. James's Tropes 101 series on The Book Smugglers comes an excellent synopsis of the trouble with love triangles, citing one of my all-time least favorite love triangle (Jack/Kate/Sawyer from Lost) as one of its prime examples.

➝ The reaction to recent Republican bon mots about taco trucks and lesbian farmers have given me a great deal of joy. You've probably all seen #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner trending everywhere, but I want to make sure the lesbian farmers get their due, too. The Daily Dot presents some examples, including a t-shirt and excerpts from a 15-act musical (which creator Kathryn Lounsbury is hoping to expand into a real live performance).


➝ So after a mere two years pulling comics, I'm pretty much done with it; I'm making plans to drop my pull list to three comics maximum for 2017. I made this decision after trying to sort through the piles of comics I owned and getting frustrated due to the crossover events and new #1's, etc.. Then some comic got canceled and there was a big hullabaloo that irked me. This article outlined a lot of my feelings.

Can you imagine if Coca-Cola's strategy to get you to buy soda was to guilt trip you into believing they'll have to cancel Sprite if you don't let your supermarket know to order three cases of it for you in advance this month? This shit wouldn't fly in any other industry, but in comics, for some reason, we all just accept it as if it isn't completely fucking insane.

I guess I'm switching to trades and will help be the Downfall of Comics.

➝ There's an upcoming game called TumbleSeed and it looks rad and super cute. Such bright graphics!

➝ Another game I'm excited about, ReCore, has found some interesting ways to make gameplay accessible for colorblind players in a game where color is really important. This is very neat. Good job, creators!

➝ There's a new blog called Queer SFF. I'm SUPER EXCITED about this blog, y'all. You can follow it on Twitter via [twitter.com profile] queersff or via RSS.

➝ The rumors that Squirrel Girl may be heading to TV is exciting, but as with all the "teasing" Marvel does about female-led properties, I'm not exactly holding my breath. Also, on one hand I see why people would be excited to see Anna Kendrick take on the role, but I would like them to not erase Doreen's size, plz and thx. Doreen has a specific body type in the current run of the comic, and my OPINION is that someone should get Erica Henderson to sign off on whoever they cast, the end.

➝ It wasn't aliens. :(

➝ Would you like some book recs? Here's a great list from Autostraddle: Fall 2016 Book Preview: 48 Queer and Feminist Books To Add To Your Reading List.

Book Acquisitions

Added TBR: Jack the Bodiless by Julian May, Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear, The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus, Survivors' Club: The Complete Series by Lauren Beukes et al., My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier, 27 Hours by Tristina Wright, Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves by Benjamin K. Bergen, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, The Family Plot by Cherie Priest, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, The Vision, Vol 2: Little Better than a Beast by Tom King, Michael Walsh, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, & Jordie Bellaire, AI: Its Nature and Future by Margaret A. Boden, Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution by Ronin Ro, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova


[tumblr.com profile] chirart went on a twitter spree the other day about the difference between fandom ten/twenty years ago and nowadays, specifically in reactions to ship wars and squicks. I may be coming at this from a nostalgic "you kids with your tumblrs and your twitters and" POV, but... This lines up with my experience of the culture change? I have been legitimately dithering on how to explain why this storify felt significant to me, but the only way I can explain it is "I love fandom as an entity and it has made me the person I am today, and when I saw people I admired getting driven out of fandom because of fic (no, really!) I could not stay."

The take home point though:

It's ironic when fandom has more filtering options than ever before. Blacklisting, blocking, muting, timeline modifiers — and yet it's expected to have more of a policed space than ever. Your timeline can be censored to your exact taste. Take advantage of it, and let others do the same.

The Board Game No One Wants To Play More Than Once — Reading this made me honestly feel nauseous, but I think I can see what they were trying to do there and it sounds... It sounds like the sort of experience I would never want to have! And like it would be unpleasant to play and watch!

Kameron Hurley talks about when to quit your dayjob and I might just print this out and tape it into my notebook as a reminder.


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