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. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.
1. The great and good Tansy Raynor Roberts is running a Kickstarter to bring her Creature Court fantasy novel series back into print. Flappers with swords in a setting inspired by ancient Rome: what is not to love? As of this posting, the campaign is close to funding with a week to go (ends Thursday April 12th).
2. Here's an interview with University of Colorado-Boulder professor Casey Fisler, who did that survey about fandom platforms I posted about two weeks ago. She talks about fandom migration patterns and where we're likely to go next. I continue to look forward to more detailed results of this research.
3. Richard Wright takes a deep dive into the depiction of masculinity in Black Panther, with Killmonger as an example of toxic masculinity and T'Challa as a contrasting depiction of healthy masculinity, in the context of afrofuturism.
4. Wil Wheaton and Amber Benson talk about performing the narration of an audiobook when they don't know the viewpoint character's gender. The book's author, John Scalzi, doesn't know either. This whole series (which began with the novel Lock In) gives me many interesting ideas about transhumanism, and the implications for gender presentation are among the crunchiest.
5. "Being a Middle-Aged Woman is a Superpower, and Hollywood Is Finally Catching On": Let's hope.
6. This article on the Ready Player One backlash has been making the rounds. I want to acknowledge that plenty of people objected to the book's centering of white male nostalgia when it first came out (although to be fair, the article does link to at least one contemporary critical article), but this article also resonated with my experience as a reader. Like many people, I enjoyed the book perfectly well at the time, had a fun time reading it, but the further I get from it and the more we experience the damage that toxic nostalgia has caused us, the less kindly I think on it, and I have no interest in seeing the movie in theaters (I'll catch it on Netflix eventually). So while this analysis might paint with too broad a brush, I do think it captures a real dynamic of the backlash, especially in more mainstream media.
7. Cover reveal for Heroine's Journey, the third book in (Campbell nominee!!) Sarah Kuhn's Heroine Complex series. She also talks about the series and her influences.
8. Hey, Fangirl Happy Hour was nominated for a Hugo Award in Best Fancast! Because we're RAD. [Editor's note: "CONGRATULATIONS ANA AND RENAY!!!!!"]
9. The new Roseanne reboot is out and I'm having a lot of intense feelings. I grew up on Roseanne, and its messaging was very formative for me. My excitement about the reboot did a whiplash-inducing crunch into reality because it turns out Roseanne Barr has become a racist TERF and I didn't realize because I am bad at keeping up with celebrities. I liked two pieces on the new version of the show: The ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Is Funny. I’m Not Going to Keep Watching by Roxane Gay and Roseanne Conner Would Probably Hate Roseanne Barr by Dan Fishback, via elizabethminkel. The first because Gay concisely summarizes my feelings on why I won't watch the show, and the second became Fishback outlines the betrayal I feel as a longtime, dedicated fan of the original.
10. Scott Walker was ordered by several courts to hold elections...FINALLY. I've been following this story for awhile now. If you're not up on gerrymandering, the undermining of representative democracy, and American Fascism, Wisconsin is a good place to look for many of the flashing red warning signs that, as RuPaul says, "Liberty, you in danger girl!"
(I could go on a longer spiel here about how all politicians engage in gerrymandering and the folly of whatever white dudes who gave state representatives the power to draw district lines. ALSO about how the GOP has really weaponized partisan gerrymandering to make sure a bunch of racist white people stay in power. But I will spare everyone and instead just advise you: find out where everyone you plan to vote for this November stands on voting rights and if they're not 150% progressive on that score RUN IMMEDIATELY IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. This has been a PSA from Civics Fandom.)
11. I loved This is Not Sustainable by Evelyn really spoke to me. I've been thinking more about media production the last year and this video really helped solidify some thoughts I've been having about changes I want to make.
12. This animated short from TANNOKOJO is a bit violent and gory, but it's a kinda cool little horror short that felt like a nod to a couple of different anime series. I really liked the moment where I realised the significance of the xs, which is HORRIBLE. (Also: fair warning, the background sound of this film is like tinnitus-ringing, so maaaaybe turn the volume down if you're watching it with headphones.)
13. This post from Seanan McGuire on learning how to tell violent stories by disguising it with femininity (and My Little Ponies) is fun!
14. ARTICULATED PNEUMATIC WINGS! That's so cool!
15. Aliette de Bodard's The Tea-Master and the Detective is available outside the US now! YES!