Spoilsport Big Sisters: A Links Round-Up

Happy Friday, everyone! This week’s been a good one for me, not least because absolutely everybody seems to really hate the new Netflix Iron Fist. The internet tried to warn you, Netflix!

“We try not to get too hung up on the split infinitive”: Here’s some charming stories about copyediting and style guides.

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at the Daily Dot adored Logan and made me feel pretty sure that I will too.1 Likewise Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor, who does the excellent thing of saying a superhero movie is very good without trashing all other superhero movies.

Emily Yoshida wrote this thing about silent murder girls in Logan (and elsewhere).

Raise a glass to the spoilsport big sisters of literature.

YA author LJ Alonge on how to write black stories without catering to the white gaze.

Do not read this article if you have not yet finished season one of The Good Place and dislike spoilers (also, catch up on The Good Place!). But here is an interview with showrunner Mike Schur about how he crafted the season, and it’s aces.

I feel tingles of pleasure when I read negative reviews of Iron Fist, which sounds like a badly paced, badly directed, badly written mess. Yay. Maureen Ryan calls it “about as exciting as a slice of Velveeta cheese left out in the sun too long.” Kwame Opam describes it as a “boring, confused, and often offensive mess of a series.” Susana Polo says it was so bad she found herself “incredulously texting coworkers who also had screener access to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.”

This piece on The Learned Fangirl draws parallels between the WGN show Underground (which I haven’t seen yet) and Nisi Shawl’s superb work of what she calls AfroRetroFuturism, Everfair.

Buzzfeed ran a round-up of takes on the women’s strike and a round-up of reports from women on why and how they did or did not participate.

This profile of The Ripped Bodice, a romance novels bookstore in Los Angeles, made me happy in every possible way.2

Another links round-up, another Vulture piece by Angelica Jade Bastien making me happy. This one’s about Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Stay brave!

  1. Ugh except I’ve seen like four separate reviews that said Logan made them really realize what metal claws could do to a person’s flesh, which — eurgh.
  2. Except there’s a few spots where it’s condescending cause a non-romance-reader wrote it, like “they have enough perspective to recognize the inherent humor in their trade.” Shut up, sir.

My Name Is Roger Murdock: A Links Round-Up

Another Friday, another links round-up. This week I had some super good chili and spoke with a sternness to my elected senator at a town hall. What’s your week been like? Regardless I have brought you this links round-up for your enjoyment, and I hope that your weekend is full of sunshine and baby kisses.

There is an excellent kicker to this New York Times story about Neil Gaiman and his new book.

Why yes I WOULD care for a Frankenstein story by Victor Lavalle that also pulls in the Black Lives Matter movement. THANK YOU FOR ASKING.

Angelica Jade Bastien on Legion (mm, yes, this is the review I was waiting for).

Even when the world is garbage, I still enjoy a celebrity Twitter feud. Have you been following the one between Piers Morgan and JK Rowling? It’s gold, and Piers Morgan’s son weighing in is the best thing about it.

Bookstores fight hate.

Manjula Martin on never becoming famous for your writing.

You have to know about this territory called Neutral Moresnet that Belgium and Prussia owned jointly for a century. Zinc and Esperanto are involved.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has some feelings about La La Land and white dudes in jazz. Can I just say that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s encore career as a cultural critic is one of my favorite things in this life? Have I said that before? IT REMAINS TRUE.

The critical discourse around Jordan Peele’s new horror film Get Out has been ON POINT. Here’s Jordan Crucchiola at Vulture on how it makes “good” white ladies terrifying. Here’s Frederick McKindra, a Buzzfeed News Emerging Writer Fellow (yay for new critics!), on how the movie allows black men to be scared rather than scary. If you’ve seen this movie please get at me in the comments so I can ask you questions about how torturey it gets.

Stay brave!

Really a Lot of Handsome Men: A Links Round-Up

If you are an enjoyer of handsome men, this is the links round-up for you! To be quite honest, the world has been mighty daunting these past two weeks, and I haven’t wanted to include a lot of things in my links round-up that would bum you out more. I tried to mostly have fun stuff in here instead. Not sure if this is going to be the new path forward for these links round-ups? I don’t know. Do y’all have a preference? Incisive commentary, or fluffy cheering-up items? A blend?

Angelica Jade Bastién wrote that piece for Vulture a while back about James Marsden’s handsomeness, and here she’s got another one about Jude Law’s handsomeness. This type of piece can always happen, please and thank you.

Here’s Rawaha Haile on hiking the Appalachian trail with black authors for company.

Idris Elba gets dating advice from children. You’re welcome.

The complexity of being a New England Patriots fan and why it’s not fun anymore. This is actually super relatable to me, even though I hate the Patriots with the fire of a thousand suns.

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in to the Oregonian to protest the comparison of “alternative facts” to the work of science fiction writers.

I have a lot, A LOT, of questions about what goes on at a miniaturist convention. A LOT, and also, I kind of want to go to a miniaturist convention and then write a murder mystery set at a miniaturist convention. Don’t you?

On revisiting James Baldwin, and struggling to find hope.

I honestly am so joyful when GQ releases longform celebrity profiles. Even when they’re positive, like this one, they are also SO BRUTAL. Here’s a brutal, funny, affectionate profile of Tom Hiddleston.

Here is a happy song for babies. It is also a happy song for adults like me. I bought it on Amazon and have listened to it on repeat, um, kind of a lot. You can listen for free here!

Enjoy your weekends!

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.