No Election Talk Here: A Links Round-Up

Happy Friday, team! This time next week, I’d like to say the worst election season that ever electioned will all be over, but I can’t say it with any degree of confidence. This time next week WHO KNOWS but hopefully it’ll be okay and we can start the long and arduous process of getting our mental health back to normal. Have some links, in the meantime.

A very cool look at how the designer for The Science behind Game of Thrones created the book’s cover (and her very own Iron Throne).

Remember that whole VOYA mess? Of course you do. Well, School Library Journal is showing VOYA how it’s done in that regard.

In a shocking turn of events that leads me to believe that one scene in Shakespeare in Love where Rupert Everett gives Joseph Fiennes notes on his dumb play is TOTALLY REAL FROM REAL LIFE, the New Oxford Shakespeare gives Christopher Marlowe co-writing credit on all the Henry IVs.

Nimona is now an audiobook. Question: How. Answer: This.

Another week, another incident of comics bros being assholes.

I don’t endorse this ranking of Halloween candies from worst to best, because it’s blatantly wrong to have Milky Way ranked above Snickers, but I’m glad we’re having these important conversations. The description of the experience of eating a Butterfingers is absolutely accurate. Great work, internet!

Kai Ashante Wilson writes about the use of dialect in SFF and it’s brilliant.

And here’s some quick shots of things that I hope make you feel better in general: That guy’s still doing that dumb dance all around the world. Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton Mixtape is available for preorder. Leslie Odom Jr. sang this song. Ariel had legal recourse against Ursula. Chris Evans and Jenny Slate are in a movie with an adorable munchkin.

Go vote on Tuesday. Take care of yourselves in the meantime. Stay sexy, don’t get murdered.

2016 Is an Illusion: A Links Round-Up

I’m over at Lady Business recommending nonfiction!

This is not tremendously on brand for me, but I just need y’all to know that there are people whose job title is “smokejumper” and before they became smokejumpers, their job title was “hot shot.” For real. This is real life. Here is how excited I was to share this news with Whiskey Jenny.\

Once again, I want to really emphasize that we have done nothing to deserve Alexandra Petri. Here’s her recap of the second and third presidential debates.

2016 is not real. Here’s the evidence. The thing about Mike Hookem is pretty compelling.

How the Nobel Prize winners are nominated, vetted, and chosen.

To the extent of my knowledge (ie based on the movies on this list I have seen), I fully endorse Sonia Saraiya and Jasmine Guillory’s list of the 33 Best RomComs of all time.

A comics author went on an absolute tear about Romani parents crippling their children on purpose, at this year’s Comic-Con. It was an astounding shitshow of ignorance and racism. Andrew Wheeler has a thorough summary of what happened and some thoughts on the way forward for Marvel.

Mentally ill women are missing from our genre fiction.

If you can stand reading more about white nationalism, this is the story of how a prominent white nationalist and member of a hate group that has committed nearly 100 murders in the five years renounced his toxic politics.

Claudia Rankine, queen of my heart, is using her MacArthur Genius Grant to study whiteness (and race in general).

Public Books has released a frankly pretty astonishing syllabus on rape culture in response to All That Shit in the past two weeks. I’m bookmarking this so I can read every single thing they’re recommending. Anyone care to join me?

No Luke Cage Thinkpieces: A Links Round-Up

Look, I know. I know. You want to read the hot takes on Luke Cage. I understand that’s where you’re at. I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. But I have only watched four episodes of the series, and thus I haven’t read that much criticism of it yet.1 You will have to wait for the next one for that sweet Luke Cage talk. Here’s what you can have:

A complete history of Addy Walker, who I honestly still can’t deal with the fact that they retired her books and her doll. Hmph.

Why clothes for women don’t have any goddamn pockets.

The VOYA thing began during my last links round-up period, yet somehow continued through to the period of this links round-up. I don’t understand it either. Here’s all the receipts. VOYA’s latest and best apology, although it says a lot of good things, does not come with unblocking the YA authors they’ve blocked, or like contacting Tristina Wright or the author specifically to say what happens next, or like twelve million other things. So uh, take it with a pillar of salt.

If you’ve heard about Ian McEwan’s Fetus Hamlet book but do not want to read it, can I recommend this epic live-tweet of it instead? Jeanne also reviewed it and she did NOT like it.

I already thought Lionel Shriver was a dick BEFORE learning that her latest book featured a black woman kept on a leash by a white family, but now I want to kick her in the shins forever. Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen talks about how to navigate the “cultural appropriation” wars.

Girls in houses: Laura Miller on Shirley Jackson.

This review of a Hitler biography is incredible. Honestly. Read this. I don’t want to say it elevates the art of criticism, but like, maybe.

Vinson Cunningham argues that The Birth of a Nation isn’t worth your time. Y’all, the journey of public discourse around this film should be its own damn biopic, seriously.2

Ann Friedman on Kim Kardashian’s recent trauma, the outing of Elena Ferrante, and the place of women in the public eye.

Daniel Jose Older on how (and if and why) to write characters from backgrounds that are not yours.

Angelica Jade Bastién wrote for the New Republic about the price of being a vocal woman of color in the worlds of geek fandom.

Have a good weekend!

  1. Not for spoiler reasons, it’s just kind of boring to read tons and tons of words about a piece of media you haven’t consumed.
  2. Not seriously.

I Am an Aunt: A Links Round-Up

I’m an aunt, y’all! Wooooooooo! Truly it is the happiest of Fridays! Though I can’t transmit my joy directly into your brains, I will nevertheless do my best to give you some happiness in the form of excellent links. Enjoy!

In case you missed it, I wrote a fandom vocabulary primer for the Oxford Dictionaries blog.

The goddess Alexandra Petri (the woman who brought us Emo Kylo Ren) outlines the Great American Novel.

A history of Harry Potter fandom.

The Seattle Seahawks made a loud noise about the statement they were planning to make before their opening game, but what they said was a whole lot of nothing.

“Modern patriotism has become Kabuki citizenship”: Wesley Morris burns the house down, per usual, in this piece on Colin Kaepernick for the New York Times; as does Rembert Browne for NYMag. These Grantland alums, I’m telling you!

If you believe that a frown is a thing you do with your mouth, this article is going to mess you up.

GUESS WHAT KATE BISHOP COMIC

I know it’s sad when a marriage ends, but also, my first instinct was to be excited for whatever Sam Donsky and Anne Helen Peterson were going to have to say about it, and they did not disappoint. I am just so fascinated by celebrity narrative-crafting.

Kiese Laymon on what the American flag means to him.

It’s time to retire the Rom-Com Bitch, says Bim Adewunmi, with an admirably thorough analysis that includes MY BELOVED While You Were Sleeping.

Bored White Girls: A Links Round-Up

Morgan Jenkins is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers on the intersection of politics and pop culture, and this article about whiteness in Emma Cline’s The Girls is fire.

Pixar has a list of storytelling rules of which one, I believe, is that you can use a coincidence to get a character into, but not out of, trouble. Here’s Alice Mattison on how to write coincidence well.

Sexual harassment in the SF world.

Did I tell you I’m fascinated with the stories of people who are in (or who leave) fundamentalist religions? So this Gothamist article about a meet-up in New York called “Formerly Fundamentalist” was right up my alley.

In case you missed me sobbing with happiness on Twitter, Ian McEwan (an author I have never liked, sorry Ian McEwan fans) wrote a book from the perspective of an in-womb fetus who is also Hamlet. I will never stop laughing about this.

An LA Times report on a PTA mom who ran afoul of a power couple at her school and became the target of their REVENGE!

I don’t agree with everything in this article about spoilers, but its distinction between the WHAT of the ending and the HOW and WHY of an ending is very close to my exact reasons for reading the end.

Look, the further travails of Jonathan Safran Foer, who left his wife for another woman without asking the other woman first, will never not be funny. Michelle Dean of The New Republic is not hugely into his new book Here I Am.

Fall Entertainment: A Links Round-Up

Okay, last week was all out of wack, so I didn’t round up as many links as usual. A bunch of y’all have asked where to give money and how to help with the recent flooding in my home state, so here’s a round-up of places where you can give. Big hugs to all the kind people who’ve gotten in touch to check on me and my family — you’re sweet, and we’re fine, just trying to find ways to help the areas that got hit hard.

When immigrants tell their own stories, they do a better job than when other people tell their stories. SHOCKING. Also, I am super pumped to read Behold the Dreamers. I haven’t read enough litrature by Cameroonian authors!

Vulture’s got their fall entertainment generator again! I love this thing. You can sort by FEELINGS and I LOVE FEELINGS.

Speaking of which, if you’re having feelings about Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation, and the rape charges against Parker from his college years, April Reign has a great piece at Essence on consent and remorse. Vulture has a roundtable on the question of Is It Still Okay to See Birth of a Nation? Ugh okay and I can’t stop adding things on to here but we live in an amazing age for cultural criticism, so also here’s Noah Berlatsky on separating the art from the artists and the wondrous Morgan Jenkins on the complexities of the case.

The guy who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye is slightly, but not totally, sorry.

A book about which I felt politely(ish) horrified at first and now find really deeply annoying because the more famous and praised it becomes, the more it feels exploitative of actual survivors of rape, has been optioned for a TV series. Like maybe talk to some survivors of childhood sexual abuse before making this show, producers.

A primer on what’s going on with the Hugos, and what WorldCon is doing to fix them.

Ruth Ware on the reason she always writes unreliable narrators (it’s because they’re the most honest kind).1

Happy Friday to you all, and have an excellent weekend!

  1. I know. I know. She just blew your mind.

Demand the Hurston-Hughes Road Trip Movie We All Deserve: A Links Round-Up

Happy Friday, everyone!

How to cull your books: The Awl guide. Let me tell you my method, team. Take all the books. Line them up on the floor, right to left, by how much you love them. Then draw a line somewhere in the middle of that long line of books and cull everything to the left of your line. Boom. Done.

More on fan entitlement (and a bit of side-eye for Steven Moffat, which I am never not here for) from The Mary Sue. I’m really digging Maddie Myers’s work on The Mary Sue these days, y’all! Go follow her on Twitter, I like where her head’s at.

Speaking of things I’m never not here for, Jonathan Franzen gave an interview to Slate and it’s everything I could have asked. He has never been in love with a black woman and he suspects poors don’t like him because he enunciates and wears glasses. What a great world.

Mm, Elizabeth Minkel gets real on why she doesn’t believe that The Cursed Child is fanfic.

Holy crap, y’all, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes went on a road trip one time. They had funsies. Let’s turn that into a movie.

Aaron Sorkin’s online screenwriting class is everything you want it to be. Ben Lindbergh reports for The Ringer.

Matt Zoller Seitz on the decline of the serialized TV drama.

Why Twitter attracts trolls.

Diversity in book publishing. The last two years have seen a marked increase in books by POC authors, but the staff of the publishing industry remains overwhelmingly white.

Being stuck without a book is the worst. I believe we can all agree on that. When was the last time you needed a book and didn’t have one?

Honestly Some Joy in Link Format: A Links Round-Up

I decided to take a break from having sad links and only have happy links. So you can look forward to some gay Sulu, bonkers Oscar Wilde adjacence, and Catullus telling people to go fuck themselves (he does that so well).

Bahahaha Constance Holland (nee Lloyd; formerly Wilde) has a fake gravestone at a cemetery in Spain. OF COURSE SHE DOES God I love Oscar Wilde stories.

American literature needs indie publishers, says The Atlantic. They don’t exactly go deep on the point that indie presses are an avenue for publishing more marginalized voices, so if y’all have a recent article that gets to that point, link me and I’ll add it!

The wonderful and attrrrrrractive John Cho on gay Sulu and his concerns about same. What a cool guy John Cho seems like.

Speaking of Star Trek, CBS/Paramount recently released new, draconian guidelines for Star Trek fan films; KJ of Lady Business goes in on why these are terrible.

I cherished Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer’s unbearable fake email exchange, of course. The Millions has uncovered a correspondence between Portman and Cormac McCarthy — what a treasure — and Jezebel shared the emails of two of its own staff people as well. What a great, not at all not-real, trend.

Daisy Dunn loves Catullus. And just — y’all, I just love Catullus so much. Okay that’s all I have to say. I really love Catullus.

First-time authors Yaa Gyasi and Hua Hsu interview each other about book ideas and racist grade school teachers.

The fab Elizabeth Minkel breaks down what’s so silly about those peril-peril-fan-entitlement articles, over at The New Statesman.

Have a wonderful weekend, you beautiful people! There is a tiny tiny papillon puppy in my neighborhood, and I plan to lurk the neighborhood pretending to be hunting for Pokemons but actually in hopes of catching a glimpse of this tiny preposterous puppy.

Let’s Hope August Is Better: A Links Round-Up

Alton Sterling was killed in Louisiana (which is where I live) on Tuesday, July 5th. Roxane Gay talks about his life and his death. Rembert Browne on people who don’t want anyone not like them to exist at all. Ijeoma Olua on the tragedy in Dallas and how we should (and shouldn’t) respond to it. Ta-Nehisi Coates on the unbreakable link between violence by police officers and violence against them.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter pulling out of the Pride parade in San Francisco due to increased police presence, some thoughts on the disconnect between the two major civil rights fights of our day.

A profile of our nation’s top ASL interpreter for hip-hop artists. My one complaint about this article is that it does not include sufficient videos of Amber Galloway Gallego being awesome.

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer spent four months as a guard in a for-profit prison in Louisiana and wrote a massive report on it. It’s basically exactly what you’d expect from our broken-ass prison system.

Suki Kim, author of Without You There Is No Us, talks about categorizing her book (a work of investigative journalism) as a memoir, and the persistent devaluing of women’s work. It made me scrutinize my own reaction to the ethics of her book, and I hope I’ll be more cognizant of that when reviewing journalism by women in the future.

Why plots are so important (also, has anyone read Emily Barton’s book, The Book of Esther? I am tentatively interested but want more information from y’all).

Your summer comic book recommendations, from Kieron Gillen, Kate Leth, and Marjorie Liu. Bid adieu to your productivity.

Queerbaiting in Captain America

The Millions released their book preview for the second half of 2016, and it is EPIC. I also discovered just yesterday that there’s a nonfiction one too.

THE SCIENCE OF BOOKS: All books everywhere with no exceptions whatsoever1 follows one of six emotional arcs. Oh how I love a taxonomy, my precious.

Rumaan Alam inquires what makes a book diverse, and wonders if his own novel — about straight white women — can be considered diverse.2

On Twitter last week I told a story about a good dog from history that doesn’t die tragically. You can read that story here.

Finally, and completely frivolously, please enjoy this wonderful review of the Blake Lively shark movie by Wesley Morris (one of my favorite cultural critics ever), which is brilliant on the subject of interchangeable celebrities.

  1. This may be hyperbole
  2. Pet peeve: A BOOK cannot be diverse. Groups can be diverse, an individual cannot. Dictionary Curmudgeon Gin Jenny urges you to get off her lawn.

Sad and Angry Week: A Links Round-Up

I don’t know what to say about the hate crime against queer people of color in Orlando this past weekend. I won’t say the killer’s name because we know that intense coverage of these guys inspires copycats do to the same. Instead I want to link to NPR’s article about the people who were murdered. Here also is a round-up from NPR’s Code Switch of responses from queer Latinx folks.

The element of the fantastical in The Boxcar Children is their coherence to a Protestant work ethic.

I am THE MOST susceptible to this kind of sadness. Just read enough of this article to accept the word “cluey” into our vocabulary (i.e., the story about the board game Clue), AND THEN STOP, because it is genuinely unbearable to read the rest of these stories, and that’s not hyperbole, I really mean it, for God’s sake don’t be like me and read the whole cluey-ass thing.

“Two powerful men being friends is an inevitability. Two powerful women being friends is a conspiracy”: On how the concept of cliques is used to express suspicion of close female friendship.

Plagiarism in the age of self-publishing.

Thoughts on diversity and publishing from Nikesh Shukla, including some glorious side-eye for stories about middle-aged white male writers having affairs with their lovely young female students.

“The shift in language that trades the word ‘integration’ for ‘diversity’ is critical. Here in [New York City], as in many, diversity functions as a boutique offering for the children of the privileged but does little to ensure quality education for poor black and Latino children.” Nikole Hannah-Jones on the decision to send her daughter to public school in New York City.

Interrogation techniques that aren’t torture.

Down with periods! Up with line breaks!