A few things that caught my interest!
Short edition of links this time, as I’ve been busy and dealing with some personal stuff.
Someone wrote a Very Bad essay about YA
I really appreciated Kelly Jensen’s thoughtful look at reviews and criticism and how these aren’t neutral nor benign.
The programming for the World Fantasy Convention has been released and it is a MESS. Here’s just one thread out of many on why it’s so bad. (I had been thinking about going because I grew up in Columbus & it’s an easy drive back, but NOOOOOOOOPE.)
In happier news, Hamilton: starring Elephant & Piggie is a true delight.
I also just read the latest issue of Amy Diegelman’s new newsletter about politics, focusing on filibusters and which features…Aaron Burr! (Of course.) It’s pretty delightful, and I subscribed to the newsletter right after reading it.
“My Father, the YouTube Star” is a lovely look at a complicated relationship.
North Carolina’s Voter ID restrictions were struck down after it was shown that African-American communities were deliberately targeted “with almost surgical precision.” (For example.)
A really good post on “Disability Allies in the Library,” which I will definitely been thinking about in my own work.
Fireside Fiction devoted a whole issue to looking at the state of #BlackSpecFic. It’s hard but very necessary reading.
Do you want some good old Gaudy Night feels? Look no further.
Tracey Baptiste has a great post about how to write scary stories that are just the right amount of terrifying.
What the tea dumped into Boston Harbor would have looked like.
The London Metropolitan Archives put 250,000 archival images of London online. This is such a great resource if you’re writing historical fiction or if you’re just a London fan who wants to get lost in the past.
I’m really interested in this senior housing project in France–it sounds really amazing!
If you’re a YA fan and want to read some brand new authors, Kelly Jensen has a round up of debut YA from July.
I haven’t done a links post in a looong time! Let’s see if I remember how.
“A Tech Writer Explains Fashion” to women, who obviously don’t understand how it works. I haven’t read the original because I can’t handle how angry it would make me, but this takedown is superb. (via Natalie Luhrs)
“Steering Into It” is a really good post on how to be helpful to someone who’s hurting.
Terri Windling gave a lecture about Tolkien’s legacy in the fantasy world awhile back. I haven’t listened to it yet, but it sounds like it’ll be fascinating! (via Stephanie Burgis)
Want to learn about an amazing Native lady? Of course you do! Musician, writer and activist Zitkala-Ša.
Living with high-functioning anxiety. So, uh, yeah. This is me. (The part about making a list to get through a Sunday made me wince.)
I will miss The Toast, especially for pieces like this one. “There is lace at your throat and wrists and disdain in your eyes and heart” is perfection.
Finally, a good number of internet friends and acquaintances got together to discuss in depth one of my favorite books ever, Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s a great discussion, and I even got a shout out!
If you’re interested in YA, Kelly Jensen’s massive 230+ roundup of new books (just through June!!!) is well worth taking the time to look through.
Although this essay on “How not to talk about African fiction” is about adult fiction, it’s equally relevant to YA and kidlit in general.
You probably have already seen the Rogue One trailer, but just in case…or you know, if you want an excuse to watch it again.
This thread on the issues with casting in terms of Ghost in the Shell was really informative in giving the cultural background of the anime.
No one wants this, James Cameron.
This nine year-old-girl reporter is AMAZING. ” I don’t think people should be able to decide for me who I should be and what I should be doing. I never began my newspaper so that people would think I was cute. I started the Orange Street News to give people the information they need to know.”
Dear New York Times: this is gross and you should feel bad.
This thread of studies showing what Black people have said all along is something to read and sit with awhile if you’re white.
They’re finally just going to leave Hamilton on the $10 and take Jackson off the $20, which is what everyone wanted in the first place (because Jackson was horrible). *eye roll*
Laura Turner’s post about “The insufficiency of self-care” is a really thoughtful look at the subject, and it sparked some good conversations with friends.
This cat takes the train in Tokyo by himself. Bonus: he looks a lot like my cat and is the cutest!
There was a pretty awful article about the nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to the Librarian of Congress position, which bemoaned her lack of scholarly experience in a pretty gross and suspect way. Jenny broke down a lot of the issues nicely, and I chimed in with some thoughts too.
I finally read Kate Elliott’s massive and wonderful look at writing women in fantasy, which is so worth taking the time to delve into. She pulls together a wide range of issues and documents women from many eras and areas to show the many ways of being a woman which existed in the past. There are lots of bits I could and would like to quote, but I’ll stick with this:
Women have always lived complex and multivariate lives. Women are everywhere, if only we go looking. Any of the lives or situations referenced above could easily become the launching point for a range of stories, from light adventure to grimmest dark to grand epic.
E.K. Johnston is writing a Star Wars book and I am very excited!
Alan Lomax’s entire archive of folk songs and interviews is now available for free online. This is really cool!
Lin-Manuel Miranda gave an immensely charming interview to the NYT about books. He loves the Big Nate books! and seems to read YA regularly! This just increases my desire to get him to read Code Name Verity somehow. (via literally everyone on my Twitter feed)
If there’s one link from this post I’d like you to read, it’s Nicole Brinkley’s look at sexism in YA: “Women built this castle.” It’s extremely well researched and thorough. I can’t even pick a highlight because the whole thing is so necessary and so good.
Next are two responses to the new JK Rowling Magic In North America mess. One is from a Native voice who is very clear about the issues with Native representation, and one is from a non-Native voice who talks about the shoddy worldbuilding inherent in Rowling’s choices. It’s tough to face issues with our favorite authors & books, but this is really important.
This is a pretty fascinating look at the Bookscan data for 2015 comics. One of the main takeaways? Comics aimed at kids are doing really, REALLY well, as is Ms. Marvel. (I could have done without the “they’re doing great! How awesome and surprising!” framing, however.) I tweeted some more thoughts as I was reading the post.
A really interesting read about the value of considering kindness to users when designing user experiences. I am Not Surprised at some of the responses, but I am glad there are people out there thinking about these things.
In happier news: bee hairpins. BEE HAIRPINS. I neeeed them.
The Cybils winners were announced, including one that I nominated! (Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, which is amazing.)
The Geek’s Guide to Disability (The Bias blog):
…as tempting as it is to treat her as an outlier, her misconceptions about disability and disabled people are still widespread–and the Science Fiction community is no exception. Science fiction and fantasy fans consume a steady diet of fiction that erases, marginalizes, and misrepresents disabled people and our experience.
The Modern Solo Adventures has to be one of my favorite Star Wars fan things.
No, actually–it’s this fanart of Finn & Poe as Napoleonic era sailors. Master & Commander remake, now please.
Okay, no, but this valentine for Kylo Ren is also pretty great.
Liz Bourke takes a thoughtful look at The Politics of Justice: Identity and Empire in Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Trilogy:
Breq’s arc through the trilogy involves negotiating with power from the perspective of someone who understands what it is to be utterly subject to another’s will, and who is then given the power to subject others to their own will—and who acknowledges the difficulties, the moral greyness, inherent in the responsible use of power. Breq never tries to excuse her own participation in and complicity with imperial violence, past or present. She doesn’t justify it, though she is able to see and articulate how other people justify it
This piece of art is so lovely–one of my favorite recent Tumblr finds.
The Nebula and Norton shortlists are out and they are amazing. The Norton in particular–so many favorite books! Ahhh!!!
Jacqueline Woodson is giving this year’s McFadden Lecture! I’m definitely planning to go because Jacqueline Woodson!
I got a new (to me) bookshelf!
This post about the way we pit women against each other in historical fiction was great.
Carved fairy tale forest in Ukraine, aka goodbye I’ll see you all later.
You can knit your own BB-8! And the pattern is even free!
I thought this was an interesting interview with Lois McMaster Bujold, and it turns out she likes Megan Whalen Turner’s books! (I’m not surprised–the Vorkosigan saga was originally sold to me as Gen in space.)
I wrote a post on Tumblr about ways to reset your day, mostly as a reminder to myself.
Great update on the results of Marley Dias’s #1000blackgirlbooks drive!
Chachic talks about the awesomeness of the Lion Hunters series & adds some information on why we don’t have the last book yet.
Natalie Luhrs looked at the patterns of gender & race in the Locus Recommended Reading list–her post has lots of data and is well worth taking the time to read.
Kelly Jensen wrote a really important post about the issues with using bibliotherapy as untrained library professionals. I agree with her whole-heartedly.
The cover & blurb for this new Star Wars novel about Leia look AMAZING.
Starting off with the really important stuff: the results of Lee & Low’s Diversity Baseline Survey are out and they are not surprising but sobering nonetheless. (If you are surprised by them, I suspect you haven’t been paying a lot of attention.)
This post from Liz Bourke is really thoughtful and powerful, especially this bit:
You think hunger is too extreme a metaphor for artistic representation? Perhaps it is. But food feeds the body, and art feeds the soul. (Or imagination, or spirit.) Artistic under-representation is a kind of imaginative malnutrition: there’s just enough to keep you hoping, and never quite enough to satisfy.
Really enjoyed Brandy’s Top Ten Tuesday topic on Spies and Sneaky Times from yesterday. So many of my favorite books are there!
This Howl’s Moving Castle (movie) cosplay, ahhhhhh!!
I really liked this post on the history and current meaning (and issues with cultural commentary on) Mary Sues, via The Book Smugglers. Good stuff that has me rethinking how I talk about this trope.