Things in my week that were awesome

First of all: The absurdly delayed results of my Alias Hook giveaway! picked a winner, and it is Jeanne! Of Necromancy Never Pays! Congrats, Jeanne, and I will ask the publisher to send a copy of the book your way.

Secondly, I decided to do a links round-up post today, of bookish and nerdy and feminist stuff that interested me this week. I always love link round-ups, and this week I got jealous enough to make one of my own.

In honor of the release of Marvel’s weirdest movie yet, Guardians of the Galaxy, I give you two conflicting reads on sexism in that film, one from Alyssa Rosenberg (formerly of ThinkProgress, now writing for the Washington Post) and one from Clare, The Literary Omnivore.

The Los Angeles Times suggests some important things to keep in mind when you read Amazon’s statements about ebook pricing. The short version is that production costs are the smallest of the costs that go into making a book. The article doesn’t say this, but please also note that Amazon evidently thinks the work it puts into distributing the ebook is 85% as valuable as the work an author puts in to write it and an entire publishing house to make it. I have some feelings about that, Amazon.

This Roxane Gay post on Tumblr about shopping while black will infuriate but not surprise you.

The always wonderful Anne Helen Peterson makes the moral case for watching Outlander. Thanks, imaginary internet friend Anne Helen Peterson! I do not have Cinemax but I will totally watch it when it shows up on one of the streaming services I possess. Also, I bet five dollars that everyone will write off Outlander for being fluff, while Game of Thrones goes on to have as many seasons as it wants. Go ahead, bet me.

In case you’ve been on the fence about reading Mary Robinette Kowal, can I remind you that she puts the Doctor into her books? And then can I point you to her recent blog post about hiring an Antiguan and Barbudan writer, Joanne Hillhouse, to fix her Antiguan Creole English dialogue? Joanne Hillhouse writers about the experiences here. This just fills my heart with bunnies and rainbows.

Over at, Ada Palmer inquires whether Thor (who as a Marvel property belongs to Disney) can now be considered a Disney princess.

Anne Thériault of The Toast sings the praises of Anne Boleyn and ranks Henry VIII’s wives in order from best to worst. I’m with her every step of the way, except that I’m giving last place to Catherine Parr, who evidently helped her second husband sexually assault a teenage Elizabeth I. Gross, Catherine Parr.

And last but not at all least, something stupendously cool for you to listen to: A sound map of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, by sound artist John Kannenberg.

  • I did not know about Kannenberg, but I am a huge fan of sound maps in general. If you have not spent some time in the British Library’s sound collection, you really should:

    • Gin Jenny

      Oo, I have never spent any time there at all. I’ll have to check it out soon.

  • I watched Roxane Gay’s Best Buy bullshit unfold while I was at a Best Buy in Texas. Ridiculous the reaction she details in her post. I was thinking, “Wow, they have royally fucked up now.”

    • Gin Jenny

      The thing that really upset me was that the guy wouldn’t answer her when she spoke to him. When she said, “Is there a problem?” and he just ignored her. What a prick. I hope he got fired.

  • aliceburton


    Like, fine, make Anne Boleyn #1. Despite Catherine of Aragon being a super-badass with a tragic-er life and who had the daughter nicknamed Bloody Mary who had an EVEN MORE tragic life whereas Anne’s daughter became the best British monarch ever. DESPITE THAT.

    But then #3 is Howard?? WHY? This is a dumb choice and Catherine Howard is most def #5 mainly because no one likes Jane Seymour. #3 is Catherine Parr. #4 is Anne of Cleves.

    Catherine Parr. was. awesome. And also had a tragic life (the only ones who didn’t really IMO were Jane S. and Anne of C) and she did NOT help her husband sexually assault Elizabeth; they would tickle her, which I’m sure was thought up by Thomas Seymour and Catherine was BESOTTED and such, so she didn’t think anything of it until she apparently came upon them embracing in a hallway and if you already have all this information and are still disagreeing then I am SORRY but I am trying to be thorough.

    • anna

      He came into her bedroom and into her bed wearing only a nightgown to tickle her. Teenage her, who would try to get away from him by backing further into her bed, making it a point to be up and dressed so early he couldn’t catch her, and running away to other women. That’s not just tickling, that’s sexual assault. As is that delightful incident when Catherine Parr also held Elizabeth still while Seymour cut her dress into pieces.

      • Gin Jenny

        Ahahahaha, Anna Banana, I had this exact conversation with Alice Friday on gchat. She forgot about the dress thing. We all hate Thomas Seymour, but Alice really wants Catherine Parr not to have been implicated in all this. She’s a big Catherine Parrtisan. (See what I did there?)

        • I’m a big Partisan too :), I am convinced she had no idea what was really going on there, even the dress-cutting stuff. As per what I read it was only when she saw them kissing (consensual) that she realized what was going on. She was so traumatized she miscarried her child. Sad!

  • I really like Alyssa Rosenberg! Go her.

    And I still haven’t decided on whether or not to watch Outlander… either way, it’ll probably be when the box set is out.

    • Gin Jenny

      I looooove Alyssa Rosenberg. I think she’s a terrific culture and values critic.

  • I love link round-ups too and I was super excited to see one from you <3

    • Gin Jenny



    Thor is absolutely a Disney princess now.

    • Gin Jenny

      I KNOW TOTALLY. As soon as I saw the headline I was like “Yup. Of course she is.”

  • Awesome.

    • Gin Jenny

      Thanks! 🙂

  • I have yet to read a Mary Robinette Kowal book, though I DESPERATELY want to! I listened to a podcast interview with her the other month and apparently each of her books is an homage to a different style of fiction? Like, one’s a Regency romance and another’s a gothic something? Is that right?

    • Gin Jenny

      Maybe? I don’t know enough about her to say yes or no, but I feel like I have seen her saying something like that.

  • I just want to give you a hug for this post because I want to read EVERY link. 😉

    • Gin Jenny

      Do! And enjoy!

  • See I’m not going to watch Outlander because I can’t stand that book. I’ve tried to read it. Twice. Now I feel like an anti-feminist.

    • Gin Jenny

      Hahahaha, you don’t have to! They might be terrible, I have no idea!

  • Lu

    So many excellent links! I have been very intrigued about Outlander and reading the books – seems like such a perfect summery read.

    • Gin Jenny

      Yeah, I’ve been interested but daunted by the volume of the source material.

  • LOVE Mary Robinette Kowal. But that may just be because my first exposure to her was a *very* Cecelia sort of book. Authors can get by for years on the strength of one perfect book in my universe.

    The whole Amazon thing is just madness.

    I don’t know much about English royal history (I never did take European history, just lit), so I can’t say I had opinions about the wives previously, but the whole thing is *such* a sketch-fest. Uuuuurghhhhh. May need to take a shower now. (and such is life, unfortunately!)

    • Gin Jenny

      Which one was your first exposure to her? I want to read one of her books but am not sure which one.

      Hahahaha, the whole thing IS a sketch-fest, but to be fair to Henry VIII, he really did just want an heir. And no heirs happened. Poor dude. Even when he eventually got little Edward, the kid was all sickly and pathetic, and he died quite young after he ascended the throne.

  • The Roxane Gay incident makes me so mad! Worse, that guy’s attitude sucks. I have a mental image of punching his guts in, but then that would only feed into his prejudices right?

    • Gin Jenny

      Ugh, I know. His attitude really really REALLY sucks. It made me very angry.

  • So I may actually be the luckiest person in the world at this point. I went to the beach in SC for a week with my college friends and we had a great time, and then because my mother doesn’t plan ahead (she’s in her mid-80’s so who can blame her), we washed our clothes and flew to London for six days, where we slept for about 5 hours a night because there were so many fun things to do including a totally unplanned midnight show of Antony and Cleopatra at the Globe that got out at 3 am and there we were, careening around the crowd trying to find the car I’d hired to get my mother and her wheelchair back to the hotel, which was right under the London Eye and within walking distance except for curbs and cobblestones (my sister-in-law heard a British person exclaim “she’s using that wheelchair like a battering ram” which is totally unfair because I was very careful to not run it into anyone’s shins after one of my nieces did that to me). Anyway…
    I got home and there was a pile of mail and in one of the envelopes was a copy of Alias Hook. I’ve been walking around for two days racking my brains trying to remember where I heard of it and why it came to me. My brains are not in their usual racking state, what with the sleep deprivation and the work emergencies that came up while I was entirely out of internet contact and the unsurprising fact that after touching every sticky handrail in south London I caught a cold. Finally, this morning, I thought I had time to catch up on some blog reading and here it is! The answer! While I was out having fun I also WON A BOOK!
    Isn’t life great? I’m looking forward to reading it! Thanks!!!

    • Gin Jenny

      Yayyyy! Enjoy it! I’m glad it got to you so promptly.

      Are you going to write about Antony and Cleopatra? Did you love it? I am wild about seeing shows at the Globe, but I have been told that the current creative director there makes some bad choices.

      • I did love it–their Cleopatra was less regal and aloof than most. She was playful and fun, but her voice didn’t project as well as it should have. She fed a piece of apple to a groundling and then kissed him. She drank wine out of another groundling’s plastic cup.