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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.

text that says Renay's Section

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Come Sit By Me by Olivia Waite:

But I’m not part of your sisterhood. I’m going to be over here, reading those snarky tweets and gleefully agreeing with them. Not because I’m jealous of success and need to see big names cast down — but rather because I don’t believe negative reactions automatically have negative effects. Because I believe the culture of positivity is often suffocating and silencing, and I have been silent longer than I’d like.

➝ Ender's Game has come and gone, and there were a lot of interesting perspectives/stories I liked about the event and OSC's position to a lot of people who used to be fans, and the future of any sequels:

SFF in Conversation: Rachel Bach on Upsetting the Default

This assumption that male is the default bugs me to no end both as a woman and an author, because when one type of protagonist is seen as “normal,” even implicitly, everything different becomes abnormal by comparison. Suddenly, my book–which is chock full of spaceships and aliens and badasses having mortal combat in sleek suits of powered armor for End of the Universe stakes–isn’t Science Fiction, it’s Women’s Science Fiction.

[Rant] In Defense of Bad Writing by [personal profile] thefourthvine

Crap is a sign of life. New bad stories are a sign that this genre — fan fiction, the genre I adore the most - is alive and well. Bad stories mean new people are trying to write in it, and people are trying to do new things with it, and maybe new people are joining the audience, too. When only the best and most popular are writing in a genre, it's on its deathbed. (See: Westerns and Louis L'Amour.) I want this genre to be here forever, because I want to read it forever. So I'm happy that teenagers are posting Mary Sue stories to the Archive of Our Own.

➝ I have no clue if the writing order of her books that N.K. Jemisin discusses impacted my reading of The Killing Moon after my failed attempt to read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but it's an interesting question. Because even though I still had to work hard and take pages and pages of notes for The Killing Moon, I didn't find it as inaccessible as I did The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which felt way more like advanced fantasy to me. I haven't read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms yet (still pretty intimidated after bouncing out), but now I'm going to pay more attention when I try again.

Liz invited me to do a roundtable discussion of her Sleeps With Monsters column, Sleeps With Monsters: Reading, Writing, Radicalisation, along with Stefan (who I picked on earlier this year, proof that I can make friends with people I initially disagree with as long as I put away the rocket launcher!). It's live at Sleeps With Monsters: Thinking About Reading and Radicalisation. I forgot what I had said originally, and it's funny now to read myself using the word "dominate" in relation to YA when that term only really applies within the community itself. Outside the community, it's something altogether different.

text that says Jodie's Section

My job has eaten me alive and so I have read practically nothing in the last month unless it was reblogged on Tumblr. If you have links you think I'd be interested in please drop recs in the comments :)

➝ One thing I have read, is cleolinda's re-cap of the first "Dracula" episode. I feel like I have been waiting for this forever.

➝ cleolinda's re-cap alerted me to the Lucy Westenra Tumblr. It's largely filled with pictures of Katie McGrath in stunning costumes and gifs that ship Mina/Lucy to high heaven. Two episodes in and the show already has a gay character (Dracula's reaction to discovering this cements him as a liberal villain in my mind) and all the gifs for episode three (yet to air in the UK) give me the feeling Lucy may be the show's first canon bi-sexual character. Please, please don't kill Lucy show.

➝ I feel like "The Importance of Magical Girls" ties in with a lot of things I've been talking about with Clare re:witches and stepmothers.

➝ Lady Business got a Pintrest account about five years after Pintrest became hip. We are down.

Right now we just have the one board, and it contains supplementary materials related to Kameron Hurley's essay "We Have Always Fought". We have big plans for it though (I really want to start a board related to "Ladies, You Are Awesome (Just Admit It, Quit Fronting"). Hope you'll follow along.

➝ Foz Meadows breaks down some places where Joss Whedon jumped the shark in a recent speech. I kind of thought this was obvious but as it turns out it's not — men, if you ever tell women what to call their movement for gender equality you're being a huge, huge jerk. Foz also talks briefly about how the term womanism emerged due to faults within feminism, and shows how smart commentary about feminism's problems can be put out there.

➝ Reading the End has a review of "Saga". "Wow, yes "Saga" sounds interesting, I must definitely get that," I thought for the fiftieth time, only to remember (for the fiftieth time) a little later that I bought the damn thing ages ago! I am so terrible at keeping track of digital acquisitions.

➝ A very smart rabbit reminds us that if you can't go round it and you can't go under it you're gonna have to go through it. Let's bear that incredibly sage rabbit advice in mind for the week ahead - sometimes things just need barrelling through.

Date: 2013-11-20 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
Aw, glad you liked my review! I bet you will like Saga also, it really is interesting and cool.

I looooved that piece about Joss Whedon, and I couldn't agree with it more. What she says about the "Ethiop" moment in Much Ado about Nothing is particularly good: When it got to that point in the movie, I remember being surprised to see a black person in the audience (because Joss Whedon is so terrible around race), and then the Ethiop line happened and I thought, Oh. That's why. It made me angry. I wish Joss Whedon, ugh I so much wish that Joss Whedon would see how awful he is around race and do something about it.

Date: 2013-11-21 07:58 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
That line just made the end of the film even worse (not quite the worst Shakespeare ending for translating into modern times because you get the one great couple but its top 2 because modern times Hero deserves waaaaaay better). And I really wish it too. If we wish hard enough someone influential in his life might make it happen?

Date: 2013-11-20 04:36 pm (UTC)
goodbyebird: Saga: Marko standing in the quarry with his shirt off, "Oh I'll keep reading alright." (C ∞ Saga for literacy)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
You will definitely love Saga to itty bitty bits :D

Date: 2013-11-21 08:00 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
I know Ana and Renay probably both want me to get on it so we can complete an LB triumvirate read. I'm looking forward to it - I just need to make digital reading time.

Date: 2013-11-25 03:58 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay

Date: 2013-11-20 04:47 pm (UTC)
pretty_panther: (pokemon: charmander)
From: [personal profile] pretty_panther
The defense of bad writing link makes me super happy. Glad someone was able to put my thoughts into words.

Date: 2013-11-25 03:59 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I know, it made me super happy. I've written similar things in the past but that essay did it so wonderfully that I know I'm going to keep referring to it in the future whenever this discussions come around again (as they inevitably do).

Date: 2013-11-23 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
"In Defense of Bad Writing" is a great piece; I especially like how it refocuses Sturgeon's law to point out that the 90% of crap is necessary for that 10% of awesome to exist.

"The Importance of Magical Girls" is… gah, what a fantastic essay. It also ties into my entire femme philosophy. Perhaps those late nineties Sailor Moon airings influenced me more than I thought…

Date: 2013-11-25 04:07 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Every time someone says, "fanfic is crap!" I want to go, "oh, so the genres you read in are 100% perfect...?" and watch them crumble.

Date: 2013-11-24 05:34 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
I really enjoyed the Rachel Bach piece - this book is on my list now.

Date: 2013-11-25 04:09 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I'm actually reading it now! I'm already a big fan, although the book is paced really quickly. :D

Date: 2013-11-25 08:09 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
This was almost your birthday present so good job I reconsidered :P


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Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

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