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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. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


1. The New York Times Review published Michelle Obama: By the Book, where Michelle Obama talks about what she reads.

2. The cover for Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia has been released, and WOAH it's a beaut!

3. Jodi Whittaker will return as the Thirteenth Doctor in the next series of Dr Who but not until 2020. Yay, but also, um, what? That is over a year away :(


4. Tumblr has decided to ban most adult content as of December 17th, 2018. I could fill this entire section with links about the fallout, but I'll content myself with this post from [personal profile] greywash, which takes an interesting historical perspective in comparison to past fannish mass exodus movements, and also has some good ideas about what might come next.

5. Bitch Media presents the 2018 Bitch 50, a list of people (mostly women, many women of color and LGBTQ women) who had an impact on pop culture and the world. The list includes creators, politicians, and activists; I saw many familiar faces and discovered others who I need to learn more about.

6. On Bookriot, Jessica Plummer wrote this insightful obituary for Stan Lee.

7. Two of my very most favorite videogame franchises dropped new trailers this week: an incredibly vague and yet deeply exciting teaser for Dragon Age 4, and a full-fledged trailer for the long (long, long) anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3 (release date January 29th!!).

a love letter to the 1980s PBS show Square One, which focused on math. I was a tad old to be the target demographic, but my younger brothers were right in the middle of it, so I watched with them and adored it greatly. Even just reading the names of some of the songs and sketches put the lyrics right back in my head.


Sidetracks for me the next few months is going to be "catching up on everything I had to ignore that everyone has already seen/read while I was working on a campaign". I apologize in advance.

SF & fandom
9. Here's a book haul from Claire! Very dangerous to TBRs.

10. Elizabeth talks about hard and soft science fiction and has a November wrap up video.

11. Related (because I read it after watching Elizabeth's discussion, although I have no clue which came first), I loved this article on hard and soft science fiction by Marissa Lingen.

12. I finally listened to a Radio Free Fandom from October where Claire and Gav discussed coffeeshop AUs. It's a fascinating discussion about the way fans use genre and trope habits in fannish contexts.

13. Tired of Series? Try These 10 Standalone Fantasy Novels by [twitter.com profile] coolcurrybooks!

14. Read this great interview with N.K. Jemisin!

15. I've been having a lot of feelings about motherhood, pregnancy, and technology in SFF recently as I play through Mass Effect: Andromeda (which I love, but it has some...flaws). So I was delighted to read thoughts from Aliette de Bodard about some of these topics in her essay, Motherhood and Erasure.

16. Recent Recommended Short Fiction, December 2018 by [twitter.com profile] AdriJjy, which covers recent SFF magazines. (I have read exactly zero short fiction this year, sob.)

17. On the Friday before last's Rec Center there was a great round-up on the Tumblr implosion, with recs to comfort you after you weep your way through it over the fact we're still having the same problems finding a platform that doesn't hate us.

18. Non-Binary Authors to Read: December 2018 by [twitter.com profile] ac_wise is out! Also, they posted their favorite short fiction from 2018, and I bookmarked SO MANY to read.

19. Here's a review of In the Vanishers Palace by Aliette de Bodard, which I am definitely going to read soon.

20. I know a lot of folks love the novella series by JY Yang, so if you missed it, check out the new cover!

21. [twitter.com profile] coolcurrybooks posted some 2019 SFF releases, in case you want to weep as you add new books to your ever-growing, never shrinking TBR pile.

22. My partner told me about Gris, a game that came out a few days after he mentioned it, and I am getting hardcore Journey vibes from it (in a good way). ...I really want a Switch, y'all.

23. Reading the End did their annual Holiday Gift Guide episode! Gin Jenny and Whiskey Jenny are great at picking out recs.

24. Gin Jenny was also on an episode of Not Now, I'm Reading, where she, Chelsea, and Kay talked all about OUR FAVORITE, Captain America!

Other stuff
25. Check out the Weekly Roundup from Papercat Press! So many great things to find here.

26. My favorite nail polish creator has a holiday collection out and some re-releases, too! I LOVE THEM ALL. My nails are a hot mess due to Stress, so none for me this holiday. :(

27. I'm obsessed with the history and continued growth of emojis as a type of discourse so this history of the Apple emoji was great.

28. Thanksgiving Food for Thought: The Tech Helping Make Food Abundant — this article covers the way tech helps bring food. All these seem fascinating, but alas, without UBI it's gonna cause a lot of problems for millions of people! Sigh, capitalism.

29. A court case that has zero impact on my life that I've been following: the Blurred Lines copyright violation case, a song so vile that I have actually left rooms and locations where it started playing, sometimes mid-conversation. Turns out Robin Thicke is into sexual assault and violating the copyright of his betters. I'm still surprised Pharrell was party to this—surely he knows the legal side of sampling.

30. If you, like me, can't shake politics, you may have been following the bananas news out of North Carolina, where it looks like a Republican candidate has engaged in massive election fraud with someone who has been doing the same scam for years! I'm both agog but also like very SHRUG EMOJI, because Republicans always scream loudest about the things they themselves are guilty of doing. Five Thirty Eight has a good breakdown.

31. I recently finished a playthrough of Mass Effect: Andromeda and fell in love with one of the credit songs, "Under Stars" by AURORA. It has both bittersweet lyrics but an uplifting melody, which I really enjoy.


32. Viz Media recently announced that they're changing how they handle Weekly Shonen Jump (The announcement is here although there's more details here), in that they're switching from a subscription to an ezine with a one-week translation delay to simultaneous releases, the most recent chapters available for free, and the subscription giving you access to their entire back catalogue, albeit with some usage restrictions. This is fascinating, especially as an anti-pirating technique – one of the recurring arguments I see in favour of piracy is "I wouldn't do it if it was easier to get the content I want," so it's going to be really cool to see if this works. I'm seen a couple of publishers speaking favourably about the change, so I'm interested in seeing what effect this has on other companies! (Plus, as a subscriber who's WAY BEHIND on everything: YES, BRING ME YOUR BACK CATALOGUE, LET ME READ SEVENTY VOLUMES OF ONE PIECE IN ONE FELL SWOOP. ... At least if this change rolls out to the UK...)

33. Katamari Damacy has been remastered for Steam! If you don't see me or [personal profile] renay ever again, you know what happened.

34. If you, like me, have been following the tumblr version of Strikethrough from a distance (... Hands up who remembers Strikethrough, because I think that officially makes us old now), [tumblr.com profile] fanhistory has been posting fan studies scholars and researchers explaining the problems with Tumblr's plan. The post on where fandoms might go from here is especially interesting to me, as someone who moved from Livejournal to Dreamwidth after Boldthrough, had a brief daliance with Tumblr/Twitter/Discord as a fandom hub, and then came back to Dreamwidth. In many ways fandom participation is shaped by the platform, so the parts of Dreamwidth that make it work for me as a fannish base might not work for people whose primary fannish engagement is art or gifsets! And knowing now that people are actually studying fandom migrations is amazing to me, A Fandom Old!
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