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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

➝ Last week on Lady Business, Jodie and I posted some fanwork recs, I reviewed Artemis Awakening (should I try Pern since I like Temeraire? Where should I start? Pern is scary.), and Jodie reviewed "The Daemons of Tairdean Town".

➝ Today my latest Strange Horizon article is out: Open at Your Own Risk. It's rebloggable via tumblr here. Friends, I met a lot of cool folks through Coverage of Women on SFF Blogs, but I so fucking glad it's over I could throw a party. In fact, I may celebrate this article dropping by buying five or six books and a strawberry cheesecake waffle cone. IT'S A BOOK PARTY.

➝ Mieneke's blog, A Fantastical Librarian, turned four! She's also a World Fantasy Award nominee. \o/ Mieneke reviews super widely and often, so check her out for some great recs and a non-American perspective.

The Journey Goes All The Way To The End, a great analysis of the emotional notes and Act-structure in Captain America, The First Avenger.

Why do Fanboys Always Make them Fight? — I don't read superhero comics, even though I would love to read comics about Steve Rogers/Captain America. I don't want to read anything where Steve is a racist/sexist dick or where Steve and Tony hate each other, which is, I guess...really hard? So this essay was a delight because I had no clue this was happening!

Superman and Captain America are about to get in a fight, in this art, because it is a scene the artist wants to see.

And yet. Fangirls are being asked to explain why we "make them gay" and told we must justify 'making them act out of character.'

No one ever asks, "Why do fanboys always make them fight?" Because fanboys write the comics.


➝ Nathan Rabin mourns the fact that The Claw found his Manic Pixie Dream Girl phrase. Fascinating.

➝ Interesting reviews this week: Clare reviews Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis, a book I'm really excited to read (Clare, are you stalking my library holds list?). Justin reviews The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, and I've been waiting for his opinion for AGES, so yay. I'm...disappointed (okay, not quite the right word...scared? intimidated?) to see the book is doing the same sort of intro that God's War did, because I struggled a lot with the structure of the opening. But hopefully knowing ahead of time will help!

Hurley is pushing so many envelopes that UPS and FedEx were worried about going out of business. Her magic system uses words like satellites. Her characters pull energy swords out of their wrists. She has a character who switches biological gender throughout the novel. There is slavery and emancipation. There are messiahs and tyrants, and a recognition that the difference between the two may not be so cavernous.


Emphasis mine. I don't care how hard the opening is to get through. I took notes for The Killing Moon, I took notes for The Spiritwalker trilogy, so I can handle taking extra notes for this. I'm going in.

Lawsuit: "Happy Birthday" is not in copyright, and Warner owes the world hundreds of millions for improperly collected royalties. I hope this is true.

Orphan Black is becoming a comic book!

SPOILERS FOR AGENTS OF SHIELD: They've announced Lucy Lawless will have a role during season two. POUND THE ALARM




text that says Ana's Section

I really liked this interview with Rohan Maitzen about the role of the critic:
Blogging allows for a wonderfully open-ended kind of criticism: there’s no pressure to account for or include everything, no need to position yourself theoretically or as part of a pre-existing critical argument. You can do any kind or degree of contextualizing or theorizing that you want, of course (it’s useless to generalize about blogging as a form, since there are no rules or norms), but you can also just look directly at the book in front of you and say what you think about it, show what you observe in it. Everything else you know—all your habits of reading and thinking—will affect what you think and see, of course, but for me there has been something very liberating about writing a post knowing that I’m just writing as myself, for other interested readers, not trying to establish anything definitive but rather to offer what I can to the broad conversation about books that the internet enables.


Trigger Warning: Breakfast is a powerful comic about a woman's experience with rape and how we need to tell different kinds of stories; ones that acknowledge how often life differs from the kinds of scripts we recognise.

➝ In preparation for A More Diverse Universe — and also as further evidence that no matter what you're interested in, there will be books by people of colour to suit your tastes — Aarti has been posting a series of recommendation posts divided by genre. Here's the one for non-fiction.

➝ From Women Who are Ambivalent about Women Against Women Against Feminism:
I'm not saying you can’t choose to not be a feminist but know what you’re choosing. Don't make a decision about a group based on the most radical beliefs of a group. Don't get defensive if you get deeper and are exposed to difficult ideas about intersectionality and race and gender and colonialism and patriarchy and male liberation. Just listen. Some of it will make sense. Some of it won't. Some of it will later when you’re a different person. Some of it you'll change your mind about throughout your life and the world will change too. Some of it is bullshit. Some of it is truth. All of it is worth listening to.

And now you get to decide. Are you a feminist? Yes? No? Well, don’t worry because tomorrow you get to choose again. And that keeps happening every day for the rest of your life.


➝ Lastly, an unsolicited music recommendation in case any of you are in the mood to try out new songs:






text that says Jodie's Section

Brontesaurus!

➝ Y. S. Lee has a piece up about what she calls ahistorical fiction. That's 'a subset of historical fiction that includes elements which stand apart from mainstream history.' Lee uses comments from Elizabeth Wein to explain her point, so I thought this might interest you, Ana.

➝ At the Toast, Mallory Ortberg talks around Kristen Stewart's performance in "Just One of the Guys".

“Why doesn’t Kristen Stewart smile more?”
what have you ever done in your miserable, craven waste of an existence, you useless and unlovely sack of air, to make her smile, is the real question
the power of her smile is so great that you would crumble into ash if she ever directed one at you

the world is not ready to see Kristen Stewart smile. We would all be purified and pass from our mortal bodies in an instant.


➝ And speaking of Mallory Ortberg, she takes on "Mean Girls" in her most recent contribution to Femmeslash Friday.

➝ The Hathor Legacy has some cool posts up about "Orphan Black and the Female Body" and "Orphan Black and Sisterhood". I never get tired of reading about "Orphan Black". When is the third series, please?

"Gotham Academy" is a new addition to the Batman comics universe which sounds way less man-pain related. It's set in Gotham's most prestigious prep school, which means it has a younger cast. And Bruce Wayne is a benefactor, but hopefully that doesn't mean the school is constantly beset by his enemies.

The Thor mantle has been taken over by a woman in the Marvel comics universe. A lot of people have pointed out that Thor has been a woman before, and that the Marvel comics strategy of constant reboots means this likely isn't permanent. Still, we can have a 'live in the moment' kind of happiness about this, right?

➝ In more comics news, Clare reviews "Young Avengers: Style Over Substance" and reminds me that I should read things I already own.

➝ I'm closing out with this delicious (mwahahaha) collection of "Hannibal" eyeshadows from cleolinda. Is the powder people? Come on, everything is people.

Date: 2014-07-28 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ahahahaha, if that is true about "Happy Birthday," I will experience such transcendent joy in my heart. I am experiencing it now, preemptively.

Date: 2014-07-28 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
Derp. Forgot to log in. That was me! (I feel like I forget to log in, like, every third comment I leave here on Lady Business.)

Date: 2014-07-28 11:03 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
If it turns out not to be true I don't want anyone to tell me. IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL.

Date: 2014-07-29 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] susanhatedliterature.net
I loved the Mirror Empire and blamed my any confusion on my part on the way I was reading at the time (dipping in and out of stuff, reading for 5 or 10 mins here and there), but I guess it wasn't just me.

Still loved it though. Maybe more so than I did God's War (which I really need to reread)

Date: 2014-07-30 10:32 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I need to read the sequel to God's War, but I'm at that weird place where I have TOO MANY THINGS TO READ and am overwhelmed with choice. I will also probably have to reread it so I can remember what's happening. *g*

Date: 2014-07-30 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theliteraryomnivore.wordpress.com
Renay, Why do Fanboys Always Make them Fight is really interesting and perfect for a post I'm working on right now. Why assume antagonism instead of friendship?

(Also, the reason that Steve and Tony have been at odds in the comics is because Tony, pre-RDJ, was not as likable. I mean, Stan Lee created Iron Man specifically to make his liberal audience of the 60s like, against their better judgment, a man they otherwise could not stand. RDJ and Tony are one now.)

I am one hundred percent stalking your library holds list, if your library holds list also includes a lot of Beatles documentaries.

Also, Lucy Lawless's character in Agents of SHIELD? Canonically queer, although they did just kill off her canonical girlfriend on the show, so. BUT STILL.

Jodie, I have a lot of mixed feelings about "Just One of the Guys" and its gender politics. Kristen Stewart's glorious smile is not one of them. And yes, do read Young Avengers! One hundred percent worth it.

Date: 2014-07-30 06:38 pm (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I'm glad it's helpful! I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS POST.

(Maybe they will make him more likable in the future...? Or, as Zach says, I may just have to remain the girl who only pays attention to Tony in MCU. This is disappointing!)

Date: 2014-07-30 06:51 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Got to be honest - I have not watched the vid, I just really enjoyed Mallory's celebration of KStew. Whenever I find another fan I cling! I keep meaning to watch Speak ever since I found out she was in that film as a wee one, because I bet she's great.

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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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