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Hello, Ladies ([personal profile] helloladies) wrote in [community profile] ladybusiness2017-05-04 10:50 am

Sidetracks - May 4, 2017

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.


1. Anne Helen Petersen conceives of "the female glance" in her thoughts on the new Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.

2. New Mystery Science Theater 3000 head writer Elliott Kalan (one of my beloved Original Peaches) shares his ten favorite original Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes.

3. This is really cute: Fans at Star Wars Celebration recreate the last scene in Rogue One. I lost it at the ATM.

4. A new animated Carmen Sandiego—voiced by Gina Rodriguez!—will be coming to Netflix in 2019.

5. I love Let’s Play videos, but I also don’t like the idea of supporting creators who are toxic, like JonTron. Autostraddle has two posts of 11 and 8 (so 19 total, for those playing at home) noncisgendered nondude gamers you can watch on YouTube or Twitch.

6. At Anime News Network’s Answerman column, Justin Sevakis remembers the golden age of VHS anime fansubs.

7. Genevieve Valentine runs down the Met Gala 2017 in her latest Red Carpet Rundown. I live for these posts.


8. Margot Lee Shetterley, author of Hidden Figures, has signed a two-book deal for non-fiction titles about black historical figures. I loved her writing style and the story she told in her first book so can't wait for more books from her.

9. Gina Rodrigeuz is going to voice Carmen Sandiago in Netflix's new animated series. I still really wish this was live action but I'm going to be watching anyway.

10. Jeff Goldblum is returning to the Jurassic Park franchise next year. So I guess I have to watch it now. *sulks* But then I'm done. Unless they bring back Sam Neill in the inevitable third installment…

11. Apparently the BBC is adapting The City & The City for TV. Don't know if want.

12. The Citizen's Assembly has voted to 'legalise abortion on request' in Ireland. I'm not gonna pretend to know how Irish politics works but I still know this is a big deal and I'm so happy for Ireland.


13. A couple of weeks ago, there was a bit of uproar around the Internet, especially convention circles, when writer and game developer Monica Valentinelli withdrew as guest of honor from a con because of her concerns that a couple of people with histories of harassment at other cons were members of the concom (the committee responsible for running the convention). Cat Rambo wrote this excellent piece on why we need to retire the "missing stair" model (in which people warn each other privately about known harassers rather than dealing with the harasser) and instead create a culture where cons share information about problems. Also contains good advice for supporting people who speak up.

14. I had fun with this list of things that Sherlock Holmes has actually done in Conan Doyle's canon.

15. This article on the apparent lack of journalists and a free press in the Star Wars univerise is pretty fascinating in its implications. I have to say that I never noticed this, but it makes a ton of sense.

16. Lindsey Smith writes about the disconnect between the Captain America story being told Marvel comics right now, and the Captain America that fandom loves, especially but not exclusively MCU Cap.


17. Women in SFF Month wrapped. What a great project. Leanna Renee Hieber, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Fran Wilde, Nisi Shawl, Megan Whalen Turner, C.A. Higgins, Bridget McKinney had essays at the end of the month. Also, thanks to everyone who submitted books for our rec list.

18. The Clarke Award shortlist is out! I've only read Nicefox Gambit.
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  • Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
  • After Atlas by Emma Newman
  • Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan
  • Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

19. This year, some fans got together and did a Shadow Clarke, reading the long list and selecting their own shadow shortlist. This is what they came up with:
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna Kavenna
  • Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes
  • Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

I'm unsurprised about the overlaps, but admit my familiarity with the Clarke is low.

20. I stopped reading Wheel of Time after book five, and don't really remember anything beyond book three. Those first three books were so good for teenage me, for real. It looks like a TV adaptation may actually be happening. My question: if we can have this and Game of Thrones, where is my Cold Magic miniseries? Netflix, please call Kate Elliott's agent.

21. Jay Smooth is on Patreon. This is very cool and I hope he gets ton of support. Reason #5 I would like to be a millionaire: I would fund SO MANY Patreons, y'all. So many.

22. Jenny reviewed White Tears by Hari Kunzru, the most bananas book of 2017. Too bad, other books: this book has acquired all the available bananas contained in this calendar year.

23. Ah, some "core" military SF recs. I laughed out loud. Four for you, James Davis Nicoll!

24. This is a good overview of Everfair by Nisi Shawl, and its chances at the Nebulas. This was the novel I was most disappointed not to see on the Hugo ballot so I'm glad it got attention in the professional sphere. I can only assume it didn't get read widely enough, maybe a combination of steampunk plus how the book uses time skips (plus RACISM ha ha sob)? Everfair is doing something drastically different than the steampunk subgenre as established in the last decade so I hope its Nebula nomination means more people check it out.

25. Peggy Whitson breaks the record for longest time in space, which is super cool. She's done a ton of cool things in her career. More ladies in space, please.

26. From Twitter (thank you, pocket friend who brought this to my life): Female dragonflies fake sudden death to avoid male advances.

27. Dina reviewed Ninefox Gambit, and I'm 100% validated in how I decided to hand sell this book to people: don't feel like an idiot, just trust your brain to adjust to Cheris's reality. Brains are super adaptable and powerful tools, and I 100% suspect now that the narrative style these books use is commenting on how we can adjust our worldviews enough to change how we perceive the world.

28. The Google Doodle for the news about Cassini going for an adventure between Saturn and its rings is hella adorable.

29. How to Mourn a Space Robot by Marina Koren is a light exploration of why humans (like me) get sad when robots are hurt, in the context of Cassini's upcoming dive into Saturn. I think about this a lot, because I love robots and AI a whole bunch, and want to create 956739482 novels and put a friendly robot pal in all of them.

30. This news about an artifical wombs for lambs came across my timeline via everyone quoting the original tweet (it was A Lot of People) and going "Bujold's vision is coming to reality!" If you haven't listened to A Womb Away From Home, a podcast where the host interviews Bujold and a few other women about the consequences of this type of technology, check it out!

31. I try not to link to stuff that gets paywalled very often, but if you have free articles left for the month, definitely check out Why Abortion Is a Progressive Economic Issue, which gives a solid overview. I would really like to see more reporting on the intersections between reproductive rights and economics. Speaking for myself, this is 100% my main concern about kids: costs related to medical care for me, then cost of the kid, then cost of medical care for the kid, plus everything else...the amount of money it would require terrifies me.

32. The word "cuck" is as popular in my friends circle as the word "moist". Franchesca Ramsey breaks the history of the word down, and no surprise, it's all about racism and misogyny. I don't like the word much, but I sure do love historical context.

33. This article about the Fyre Festival by someone who worked it and bailed before everything exploded was amazing.

34. Queership has launched and may be of interest to some editors/readers!

35. Ashley C. Ford wrote about the intersections of having a family member in prison, technology, and time. It's a very bittersweet, lovely essay.

36. If This is Wrong: A Film About Fandom is a new kickstarter that will, inevitably, get funded, but I'm deeply uncomfortable about its existence. One of the creators wrote a extremely racist piece of meta that showed some very troubling beliefs (seriously, it's really offensive, so don't read it if you're not in a good place) and as far as I can tell, never apologized or engaged with the criticism many fans of color had with it. I don't want to misrepresent their arguments, though: this is the first thing I read, followed by this thread on storify, and this thread.The more I read the more I'm convinced no one should support this project, regardless of the other creators involved. White people shouldn't get a pass on engaging with topics that involve fans of color when patterns of their behavior show them to be perpetuating racism in their other work. I do believe in people being able to apologize, learn, and move on, but this doesn't seem to apply because I can't find any reference to an apology or engagement with fans of color hurt by the essay at all. I'm really disappointed.

Book Acquisitions

Added TBR: An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation by Mindy Johnson, Birthday by Meredith Russo, Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars by Nicky Jenner, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid


37. The Handmaid's Tale Is A Warning To Conservative Women is an article I found the same day that I finished rereading The Handmaid's Tale in a great case of serendipity, and it talks about the way that the novel/tv series shows women being complicit in the oppression of others, and the real-world history of using the language of feminism to preach that oppression.

38. This interview between Ijeoma Oluo and Rachel Dolezal is breathtaking, to the point where I'm not even sure which part I should quote to convince you to read it. It's amazing, especially the way that this interview highlights that Dolezal does not understand her privilege, at all.

39. Job Satisfaction is a really cute comic about queer superheroes and baristas!

40. I have this XKCD comic saved to my phone for when people are assholes about my not knowing something that "everyone" knows and I recommend it for everyone.

41. NYC Public Library installed a book train and it is REALLY CUTE! I suddenly see the appeal of adorable robots, omg.

42. I reread N.K. Jemisin's Stone Hunger now that I've finished The Obelisk Gate and just went "Oh, OH! O_______O" a lot the whole way through.

43. There's apparently going to be a Leviathan Wakes readalong in May, and this is probably the motivation I need to re-read this one and discover whether Miller is still my favourite.

44. Books that I am excited about:

[identity profile] readingtheend.com 2017-05-04 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
GINA RODRIGUEZ CARMEN SANDIEGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I am so excited about this AND I am excited for all the awesome fic of the thing I feel sure I can count on the internet to produce.

That fan film looks -- yeah, not good. Having now read all the links, I just feel so frustrated with the way we have produced a culture where people refuse to admit when they've done wrong and thus never (appear to) learn from their mistakes. It is shit. Saying you've been wrong is so CLEANSING, you do not have to cling to a fictional alternate universe where actually you were RIGHT ALL ALONG, you can apologize for the thing and repent of the thing and do better next time and EVERYONE WINS. So, blah, that fundraiser fills me with sadness.

ALSO. Under number 18, Renay said "Nicefox Gambit." This is now the name I will be calling it always. I love it.
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)

[personal profile] renay 2017-05-05 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
Being wrong is hard, but doubling down only makes it harder to come back from later. LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY.

stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)

[personal profile] stardreamer 2017-05-05 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
Renay: Re the MilSF rec list, two things.
1) *snerk* I can hear the howls of outrage starting now! Off to File 770...

2) I love Stinz! But if you haven't read it, a word of warning: at some point along the way (and I don't remember exactly where it happens) there's some kind of "magical apocalypse" and after that both the artwork and the story go seriously downhill. If the characters look realistic, it's one of the books worth reading.

Normally I'd go on to recommend her series The Desert Peach, about Rommel's flamingly-gay brother and the collection of misfits he collects around him in a German army unit during WWII. But right now, people may want to exercise caution about reading anything that features Nazis, even in a parodic "Hogan's Heroes" kind of way.

(Anonymous) 2017-05-13 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
Actually, at one point Donna Barr (the "Desert Peach"/"Stinz" creator) made a point of establishing that the only person in the Peach's unit who's a member of the Nazi Party is Udo, who's secretly (as far as the outside world is concerned) Jewish and somehow wound up accidentally joining the party while drunk. Even the real-life Erwin Rommel wasn't a member. But yeah, the series' World War II German army setting and the historical/ideological baggage it inevitably involves will strike most people as even more potentially incendiary now than they did back when Barr originally created the book pre-Age of Trump. So if any of this sounds intriguing, it might be better to try starting off with "Stinz."

I wouldn't say "Stinz" goes downhill after the wartime magical apocalypse. But it does become a distinctly different kind of story, with much more elaborate worldbuilding and more noticeably grimdark implications (which thankfully usually aren't visited directly upon characters we've gotten to know onstage). The series went through several distinct periods: Slice-of-life stories set in a nineteenth-century(?) Alpine valley inhabited by both half-horses (centaurs) and humans, who usually stick to their own separate communities; stories of half-horse protagonist Stinz's experiences when he's mistakenly drafted into the (otherwise entirely human) army in the world outside, where people know centaurs exist, but have usually never seen one; and stories of how this relatively ordinary (except for the occasional centaur) world is drastically altered by the equivalent of nuclear radioactivity that spreads over much of Europe when one side's scientists (nobody is sure which) accidentally(?) sets off an experimental magical weapon that wipes out most existing forms of industrial-era technology. The resulting floating quasi-sentient cloud of magic also mutates most baseline humans, some more drastically than others. It also unexpectedly undoes the magic that was apparently involved in the centuries-earlier creation of centaurs, so that Stinz, who was born a half-horse, is suddenly converted into a regular two-legged human. The contrast between the occasionally self-consciously gemutlich early stories (Barr was originally attempting to market what became "Stinz" as a children's book about Stinz's much less interesting son Andri) and what they began evolving into as early as the pre-apocalypse military tales collected into the graphic novel "Warhorse" is quite striking, although all three periods are fascinating in their own individual ways.

Marfisa (who supposedly has a Dreamwidth account, but can't seem to log in)

transcendancing: Darren Hayes quote "Life is for leading, for not people pleasing" (Default)

[personal profile] transcendancing 2017-05-05 07:04 pm (UTC)(link)
So many links! *saves a bunch*