Friday Links is not the name on my credit card

The concerning attitude of Google+ to the use of pseudonymous online identities (not to mention legal names which don’t conform to a narrow western standard of normality) has been raging across the internet all week. A couple of great posts summing up the problems and fears associated with this, from Tiger Beatdown and Feminist SF – the Blog!

I’ve been following with great interest the ‘Batgirl asks DC where the women are‘ story that emerged from Comicon, and it’s very cool to see issues like this making mainstream news. It’s absolutely worth reading the substantial Interview With Batgirl which discusses the conversations that happened across several panels at the convention, with many personal observations from the caped crusader in question.

Meanwhile, Jim C Hines discusses the arrival of a black/Hispanic Spiderman in the Marvel Ultimates series, and some of the awful racist comments which sprang up in response to the announcement. (I particularly like the comment thread to this post where someone referred to this as a publicity stunt comparable to DC’s lesbian Batwoman, and someone else points out how awesome that character turned out to be, proving that an active push towards diversity in comics can in fact have fabulous results that are enjoyed by a wide range of readers… not ALL the comments are that enlightening, though, of course)

Sarah Rees Brennan follows up on some insightful Twitter discussions about how worrying it is that it’s not seen as appropriate or acceptable for female fictional characters (especially in YA) to have confidence in themselves (and of course that this reflects social attitudes in real life). Ladies, Don’t Let Anyone Tell You You’re Not Awesome.

Speaking of women who are awesome, Tamora Pierce has produced one of her occasional splendid rants, this one about some truly awful TV programs, and how the phrase ‘female empowerment’ is often used by men to justify quite insulting and degrading sexism.

Cecil Castellucci wrote an inspiring and revealing essay about her life as a Star Wars obsessive, and how even the gradual and dramatic betrayals of George Lucas over the years have not (entirely) taken that away from her.

Blue Milk wrote an account of a workshop she did with her daughters 5 & 6 year old classmates on sexism and gender assumptions – this is a fascinating piece, and I was particularly taken with the idea of teaching them to analyse what toy catalogues are really trying to sell them. It’s never too early to start Media Studies!!

The Angriest reviews Mary Shelley’s Mathilda, which sounds very cool – and it serves as a reminder (we need these a lot, apparently) that so many famous women writers of the past wrote more than one book. Really, truly.

Mari Ness, who impressed me so much with her epic readthrough of all the Oz books on, is now turning her attention to Edith Nesbit, one of the most important British children’s authors and fantasists of all time. The first two posts are up, on The Treasure-Seekers and The Would-be-goods. No fantasy yet, but she’ll get there.

Dropping back to Comicon briefly, check out this gallery of cosplay highlights, including my old favourites, the genderbending Justice League.

Meanwhile, over at Body Impolitic, we have a very cute drawn tutorial on How To Draw Realistic Tits, for those comic artists who might want to include some realism in their work. It’s an elegant little piece which shows through line art and minimal text how physics, gravity and reality actually affect breasts, and it speaks of many many years of ranting at power cleavage.

A little personal plug: Last Friday, there was a brilliant, lengthy and dare I say crunchy review of Galactic Suburbia up at Hoyden About Town. We’re so proud to be Friday Hoydens!

Also don’t forget the World SF Travel Fund is still open to donations – over $4000 raised! Just a little under $2000 to go…

While I’m plugging away, the much-anticipated Ood Cast second album, Dirty Little Geeks, is available now for free download. It contains 27 trock songs of awesomeness, written and performed on their podcast over the last year, all about Doctor Who and fandom. These people are crazy talented, the music has been filked from a variety of contemporary & classic songs with great skill, and nothing is too irreverent when it comes to the Whoverse.

Listen to track 17, Dirty little Geeks

And while we’re talking trock, Chameleon Circuit also have their even-longer-awaited second album of original trock songs out, Still Got Legs (available from iTunes), and it was worth the wait!