justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
When I was at Wiscon 42 I took over 13,000 words of notes. That is not a typo. Thirteen thousand. And since I took so many notes, I thought I would write up the panels I attended as well as the four panels I was actually on. Let's go!

I attended:
I was a panelist on:


Sorry about the huge delay and long break in getting these out! In June I lost my job, then had surgery, spent July job hunting, and somewhere in there started a company to make a fully customizable reading tracking app named Liberry. I have a job again now, and can get back to work here at Lady Business! Woo!

This was one of the panels where I kept track of speakers, but unless something is in quotation marks everything here is paraphrased/summarized. When I attribute lines to the audience, they may be combinations of different speakers — I didn't keep explicit notes on that aspect. All errors and misrepresentations are my own. My own thoughts on the panel and the movie are at the end, past the transcript.

The panel description lists the panelists as Tananarive Due (moderator), Chesya Burke, Alex Jennings, and Sheree Renée Thomas; however, Sheree Renée Thomas did not make it.





Transcript/Summary of the Panel )




My Own Thoughts on 'Get Out' and the Panel )

Thank you to the panelists for a truly wonderful time, and to WisCon 42 for hosting it. Tananarive Due has a class on Get Out at www.sunkenplaceclass.com.
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
When I was at Wiscon 42 I took over 13,000 words of notes. That is not a typo. Thirteen thousand. And since I took so many notes, I thought I would write up the panels I attended as well as the four panels I was actually on. Let's go!

I attended:
I was a panelist on:


This writeup is different from my previous one: I didn't track speakers and will be doing more of a synthesis of points covered than a transcription. During the panel itself the discussion sometimes jumped back and forth between topics. For this writeup, I tried to stay true the overall trajectory of the panel while grouping similar point together, if they were not too far apart in time. My personal opinions and reactions will be largely after a clearly marked break at the end; the first part will be dedicated to conveying what the panel covered.



WisCon 42: 'Redemption And Revenge: Antiheroines And Villainesses Taking Control' )



My Thoughts )
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
When I was at Wiscon 42 I took over 13,000 words of notes. That is not a typo. Thirteen thousand. And since I took so many notes, I thought I would write up the panels I attended as well as the four panels I was actually on. Let's go!

I attended:
I was a panelist on:


This was one of the panels where I kept track of speakers, but unless something is in quotation marks everything here is paraphrased/summarized. When I attribute lines to the audience, they may be combinations of different speakers — I didn't keep explicit notes on that aspect. All errors and misrepresentations are my own. For this writeup, I'm going to intersperse my own post-facto commentary between blocks of the panelists' discussion.

Positive Representations Of Masculinity
The animated TV show Steven Universe and the blacksmithing reality game show Forged in Fire present and celebrate visions of masculinity that emphasize skill, artistry, resourcefulness, calm, and taking care of others. What other recent works explore masculinity in ways that inspire us?
Panelists: M: Jim Leinweber. Seth Frost, Charles Payseur, Nicasio Reed, Samuel Steinbock-Pratt, Brontë Christopher Wieland
#PositiveMasculinity




WisCon 42: 'Positive Representations of Masculinity' )




Here's a roundup of works mentioned during the panel:
  • Adventure Time
  • American Ninja Warrior
  • Black Lightning
  • Black Panther
  • Bob's Burgers
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Check, Please!
  • Cool Runnings
  • Elementary
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Forged in Fire
  • Great British Bake Off
  • My Cat from Hell
  • Queer Eye
  • So You Think You Can Dance?
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Stargate
  • Steven Universe
  • Ultimate Beastmaster
  • Veronica Mars


Also mentioned:
  • Carl Sagan
  • Hockey
  • Jack O'Neill
  • Jean-Luc Picard
  • Luke Cage
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  • Steve Rogers


And here are some tweets from the hashtag:


Stay tuned for more panel writeups!
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
   


Hello friends! I want to talk about MYSTERIES! And execution and editing and structure. And the experience of reading a book! Let's just do all those at once, sure

I recently read both Kristin Cashore's Jane, Unlimited and Mur Lafferty's Six Wakes (both from Orbit), and for mysterious reasons I had vastly different experiences reading these very different books by different cool women. I'm going to be up front here: I loved Jane, Unlimited and very much did not love Six Wakes. Both books are, at heart, locked-room mystery novels. We are presented with an isolated physical place, a large number of questions to answer, and a central conceit. These are the ingredients to many a mystery, but I want to talk about how these two books succeed or failed for me in terms of structure and experience. Because while these are quite different books, they nonetheless share quite similar preoccupations and problems that I experienced in divergent ways, not just book to book, but compared to a lot of other readers of each or either novel. I'd like to talk about those common elements, those divergent experiences, and how I think some different editing choices could have created a more universal reading experience and made each book's strengths shine.

This post is split into two sections. The first is a spoiler-free dual review, but does contain a general discussion of the each book's format and structure. Then, after a break, follows a more nitty-gritty discussion of editing decisions and structural choices, as well as the resolutions of both plots.

Spoiler-Free Review )




SPOILERS: Plot, Details, and Editing Discussion )




I discussed editing quite a bit here, and it is only right that I give credit to Bridget of SF Bluestocking for looking over the first draft, and to Jenny of Reading the End for her excellent editorial assistance. My work is shaped by those around me, and I am ever grateful.




Other People's Thoughts



Jane, Unlimited


Six Wakes
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
Hey I hear comparing A Wrinkle in Time and Black Panther is popular! Because pitting marginalized people against each other instead of celebrating their shared successes is great, right?

Well I am going to talk about A Wrinkle in Time and Black Panther— and how they present visions of black femininity. Let's go!



The film A Wrinkle in Time is, in many ways, about the invisible made visible. The film does not just deliver a unique aesthetic, but also puts on screen for all to see the lived realities that get elided in our society: black women scientists, peaceful black neighbourhoods, racially mixed families. And a young black girl who, when all is said and done, loves herself and her hair. Ava DuVernay had the momentous task of defining visually not just fantastical exterior worlds and abstract concepts like a tesseract, but also the interior world of one girl: Meg Murry.

Read more... )
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
Hello friends I have a quiz for you! A quiz full of spoilers! And more spoilers after that! So if you haven't seen Black Panther yet, fix your life and go do that.

Now then! Which Marvel movie does this describe: )
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
Okay friends LISTEN UP because I have A Truth to drop on you: Chances are are incorrect about Jason. You are undervaluing Jason, underappreciating Jason, and missing the point of Jason's character. Also, he's way too good for Tahani.

Backing up a moment: I am talking about The Good Place, which is a fantastic show that should be watched absolutely without spoilers, so if you're not caught up go do that now. If you need to be sold a little more: it's a speculative fiction show about subverting sitcom tropes with a diverse cast and oh yeah, everyone is dead (that's not a spoiler). Also Adam Scott shows up in it playing the role he was born specifically to play, which makes sense because The Good Place was created by Michael Schur, who also worked on Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn 99 so if you are reading this and are being blown away by how I'm namedropping an extra concentrated dose of quality TV and you haven't watched The Good Place then I feel like you know what to do.

Spoilers! Definitely watch the show! I'm not joking! Also none of this will make sense if you haven't watched anyway. )
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
Hello friends! I have been challenged to write more posts that are short(er) and low(er)-stakes because I have a PROBLEM with writing 5K+ monsters that I get really hung up about and worked up over. So here is a quick list! IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER because thinking about order is against the point of this exercise STRAP IN HERE WE GO!

5-10 Things I Wish More People Would Read/Watch/Play )

___

So that was a quick hit! How'd I do? Got any recs of your own?
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Ira
Friends! One of my favourite things made of words ever is up for the Best Series Hugo this year! That is correct, The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold is a Hugo Finalist. And I am here with the lovely frequent Lady Business guest poster [personal profile] forestofglory (Anna), a fellow Vorkosigan fan, to present you with two ways to skim the highlights of this series in 5 books each.

Anna
Five books is kind of an arbitrary cutoff, but it's a lot fewer than 17!

Ira
Isn't that right!

Now, you may have seen that your Hugo packet includes Borders of Infinity as the sole representative of the Vorkosigan Saga. This is a collection of novellas/short stories with some interstitial material that constitutes its own (very) short story. If Baen, the publisher, had to pick ONE book, this is not a bad choice, as it gives several interesting adventures and tones from this series. However, Anna and I think it doesn't really cover the breadth of the series, and we're here to fix that.

This post is intended for two audiences: (1) People who have never encountered a Vorkosigan book in their life, or maybe have read one or two but don't really know the full series, so we can suggest a subset of the series that is readable by the Hugo voting deadline; and (2) Fans of the series so they can come argue with us about our picks. BOTH ARE SO WELCOME.

Read more... )
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
HELLO FRIENDS strap in it is time to talk about RACE and ABLEISM and FLAWED PROTAGONISTS.

Yes!

Also semiotics! Readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of semiotics. However, this is not a post in that series. In fact, I want to hop back to a co-review I did with the inimitable Susan where I mentioned Leslie Jamison's essay, "Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain". Since this was in the spoilery section of the reviews, here is a quick recap: Jamison discusses how pain relates to the semiotics of the body, saying that flesh speaks the language of pain. Nothing grounds us quite so acutely in the moment, in our bodies, as pain. In this post, I argue that discomfort plays a similar role in the semiotics of the self, grounding us in a keen sense of self-consciousness, self-awareness. It is this that ties together two books I read recently.

These books are Borderline by Mishell Baker and White Tears by Hari Kunzru. I read these at the same time — one right in the middle of the others — and while they are nothing alike on the surface, I ended up having many similar thoughts about them. If you know anything about either of these books, you might be thinking, "Ira, you tl;dr gentlebeast, what do these books have to do with each other even?"

Oh, let's see... They both have deeply flawed protagonists (who are racist), they both deal heavily and in a very self-aware way with social issues, they both elide reality in a way that makes the reader work to pick apart what is objectively happening (is there an objective reality?), and they both use the tool of reader discomfort to achieve a sociopolitical goal, engaging the reader in semiotic self-work. Oh, and in both of them a lady dies to serve the narrative in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I think those are good places to start. But before we go on to talk about that, let's look at some nice spoiler-free jacket copy. I'm going to go as far as I can here without revealing any spoilers, and will clearly mark where the spoilers begin. Without further ado!

Read more... )

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