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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Friday Links Buys Quite a Lot of Books Actually

April 20th, 2012 at 10:46

10 good reasons not to feel guilty about reducing book buying in 2012

Is it me, or are these weeks coming around REALLY FAST? 2012 is prancing by, and what do I have to show for it? Well OK, one published novel, four completed short stories, a novel in progress that seems to be working and a handful of awards nominations, but apart from that??

The soccer season has started, and for once I’m not talking about Arsenal, which has been elating and frustrating me in equal measure since last September, but about young Raeli, kicking off for another season, this time in the Under 7′s. The good news is, her spikes still fit, which was something of a relief because I don’t have the cash to buy her new ones.

In the mean time, I have LINKS for you.

My honey sent me an email this week saying ‘you are a superhero’. Which, OBVIOUSLY. But it turned out he was referring to this, an article about how curating the internet is becoming more and more important, and the people who do this work are, well, superheroes. I have to say, I like the term ‘curators’ as it feels a lot less elitist than ‘gatekeepers’. Though of course, ‘doorbitch’ is still my favourite. HEAR ME, INTERNET? I AM YOUR DOORBITCH.

At the Intergalactic Academy, a great post by Phoebe about a current trend to discredit/challenge the genre credentials of teen dystopia novels because they also have romance in them and thus might SNEAKILY be contaminated with girl germs. Only, of course, she says it better or I wouldn’t be linking to her. I know we don’t read the comments but some important discussion did happen in these – in particular, addressing one of Phoebe’s key points about how you probably shouldn’t be refiling these books as ‘romance’ without knowing something about the romance genre, and it’s actually a bit more complicated than “I SUSPECT THIS IS A KISSING BOOK!”

Sarah Rees Brennan MARPLES UP with a great Sleuth Thursday post, this one about, of course, the one and only Miss Marple. K and I are going to have to read our Agatha Christies a lot faster, because I am now officially craving some serious Marpling. MARPLE IS NOW A VERB, LIVE WITH IT.

Maureen Johnson attempts to explain what the current Amazon vs Apple (and other publishers) court case is really all about. As might be expected, she’s more entertaining than all the online newspapers rolled up and smoked.

Teresa Jusino posts about geek girls, “geek girls” and gamer girls. Damn those girl germs, they get everywhere, don’t they? In particular, she points to a number of male geek celebrities and how their geekdom is celebrated, not questioned and challenged in minute detail.

The Mary Sue announces that it turns out, creating a great actiony cartoon with a female lead is not all that offputting to boys. I haven’t even seen this thing yet and I can TELL that Korra rules, purely from Tumblr. So glad that many people agree.

This post, The Shame Game, about being overweight and a gamer (girl) and the massive double standard that exists in the general perception of gamers who are fat vs. gamers who are not fat (which sadly is pretty similar to the double standard that exists IN THE WORLD about people based on their weight) is actually a lot more inspiring than the first half of this sentence makes it sound. Because it’s about being true to yourself and not letting the shit get to you. And cosplaying whoever the hell you want to.

I am sad to discover that many people are dismissing and getting angry about the upcoming series Elementary before it has even screened – and that a lot of that anger has moved very quickly from defensiveness of their beloved Sherlock to some quite nasty and offensive opinions orbiting the casting of Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. Strangely, instead of accepting this casting as an interesting and innovative way of reinterpreting the classic story differently, many people are quick to call it homophobic (?) and a betrayal of canon (??). I am reminded of the wave of hatred surrounding the genderbending casting of Katee Sackoff as Starbuck, which lasted right up until fandom actually watched the show for five minutes, realised she was awesome, and pretended the whole thing never happened.

Anyway, the casting of Lucy Liu as Watson shouldn’t need to be defended, but it does apparently, and here’s a fantastic post which does exactly that. I rolled my eyes with everyone else at the idea that the US were doing their own modern Sherlock, because COME ON, and that casting a woman of colour in the role of Watson was the only thing that made me think it might actually be INTERESTING. Also she wears coats beautifully, and that’s basically what you need in a Watson.

Speaking of people being arses on the internet, Emily Asher-Perrin has written a snarky and heartfelt post pleading with Hollywood media to stop using THAT PIC of women (the butt shot) and the comments are… yikes. Wow. I don’t know why I expect Tor’s readership to be progressive (though frankly I expect that of everything on my RSS feed, and am often disappointed) but I found it both interesting and confronting how many men felt the need to explain to Emily that she is wrong, that she is too outraged or angry, and that their right to be sexually excited by movie posters is more important than any harm it might do. Sadly a whole bunch of women jumped in also to assure everyone that they are not offended by butts. Emily has been a champion, dealing calmly with wave after wave of entitlement.

The repeated use of the word ‘outrage’ in the comments (ie saying that Emily’s outrage is unwarranted) is what I found particularly interesting, because I didn’t read the post as being particularly angry at all. There’s hardly any exclamation marks! And even if she was outraged (rather than world-weary and sarcastic about a repeated patten she doesn’t like) why are so many people keen to tell her that it’s not acceptable? I often don’t agree with people, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to dictate to them how THEY should feel.

So all that is pretty depressing, let’s find a few inspiring posts to finish up with!

Sean the Blogonaut (who I’m starting to think needs an ‘awesome’ somewhere in his string of names, has written a guest post over at the AWW blog about his ongoing journey in raising his own consciousness, after discovering to his alarm that he was a lot more subconciously skewed towards reading male writers than he had imagined. Oh, and he’s completed the Aus Women Writers Reading Challenge, yay Sean!

The Mary Sue reports on a gender mishap on the internet, where an enthusiastic comic artist produced a comic that he thought was funny, but misrepresented female gamers and their experience quite badly. Women complained, he realised he was wrong, and he apologised graciously. JOB DONE. This is a lesson in how to do it, people.

N.K. Jemisin writes a post about her own sexism (cos we all have it, people, to lesser or greater degrees!) and how her early love of SF and Fantasy was guided by an ingrained idea of ‘girl stuff’ being lesser.

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2 Responses to “Friday Links Buys Quite a Lot of Books Actually”

  1. Phoebe Says:

    Came here because you linked to me (yay!). Commenting because you got A Confusion of Princes. Awesome! I loved that book!

  2. tansyrr Says:

    Hi Phoebe!

    Glad to hear the book is good. I’m only a short way in but very much enjoying it so far.

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