- Shaun King exposes corruption in St. Louis (with images, tweets)
- Hands Up / Guns Out: On Being Brown and Alive
- It’s OK to admit that H.P. Lovecraft was racist. And S.T. Joshi can’t or won’t let. it. go. Also, if he has a webmaster I’ll eat my hat. If he had a webmaster, his bloviating would have permalinks. And finally, dude? It is totally okay for you to adore Lovecraft and spend your life on his works. No one is trying to take that away from you. I swear.
- Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always This is fantastic.
- Unraveling by Toni Nealie This is a long read but worth it.
- “Wretched, disgusting commie leftists”: My nightmare fighting gun nuts in a red state The author of this piece, Amanda Gailey, is a former colleague of my husband. She is a brave woman–there are some people out there who really have no sense of proportion when it comes to guns.
- Kanye West and proving your disabilities Kanye, you are gross. Stop doing that. Just stop.
- With Debt Collection, Your Bank Account Could Be At Risk
- Schizophrenia Isn’t One Disorder but Eight
- New report slams Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for secrecy around harassment of women online
- The Books That Made Me Who I Am I love this post from Roxane Gay. Love it.
- Bomb Threat Targeted Anita Sarkeesian, Gaming Awards Last March
- FBI investigating death threats against Feminist Frequency creator Sarkeesian
- On Diversity: Two Sadnesses and a Refusal
- Monopoly and Appropriation
- The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History
- The Ada Initiative is running a fundraiser–if you can afford to donate, it’s a worthy cause!
- Alan Lomax’s Massive Archive Goes Online This is amazing and awesome and I need to set aside some time to explore.
- Sailor Twain and the Misty Medium
- The black Victorians: astonishing portraits unseen for 120 years
- Minecraft Creator Explains Controversial $2.5 Billion Sale to Microsoft Someone offers me that much money to take that sort of headache off my hands? I’m taking it too. Running a something as popular as Minecraft has to be an incredibly draining task–especially when you haven’t anticipated its popularity.
- Sky Burial I’ll note that this talks about body farms in a fair bit of detail.
- Half of lower class Americans literally can’t afford to sleep
- Asthma and The Mirror Empire
- Anthony Weiner and the Revolving Door
- Brave New (Marketing and Promotion) World
- A Personal History of Misogyny
- Where Are the Women in Makerspaces?
Hey! Today’s our birthday! Huzzah!
Radish-y birthday greetings to everyone who has supported or contributed to this site over the last two years particularly those who provide me with excellent links for these weekly posts.
I’d like to also give my unending gratitude and love to the wonderful Fran Wilde for all the support that none of you see but which is essential to my sanity when I’m busy yelling at people for being wrong. She is an extraordinary friend and the SFF community is lucky to have her.
Now, on to the links–starting with the depressing but there are some fun ones interspersed and at the end, never fear. Feel free to comment with fun or happy links of your own as well (as always!).
- Game of moans: the death throes of the male ‘gamer’
- GamerGate’s Original Sin
- Not a REAL Gamer: Identity and conspicuous consumption
- There’s No Comparing Male and Female Harassment Online
- Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest
- On leaving
- “As A Father of Daughters”
- Do We Have to Worry About Someone Actually Killing or Raping a Feminist Activist? Great clickbait headline there for your interview with a male ally, Vice.
- Why Black Women Struggle More With Domestic Violence
- 10 Things The Internet Told Me When I Wrote About My Rape
- Silicon Valley’s Cult of Male Ego
- Will Misogyny Bring Down the Atheist Movement?
- After the Shermer Article: What Do You Decide?
- How To Become An Undetected Serial Killer I feel like this is useful after reading all that rage-inducing misogyny. Also, the comments bring me joy because it was through them that I learned that Hannibal has a bespoke plastic murder suit.
- Robert Ben Rhoades: The Truck Stop Killer I found this in the comments of the Undetected Serial Killer post–seriously creepy stuff. What I found most chilling was the loss of records and the insistence that no, no girls had ever disappeared or been found in dumpsters.
- Lesbian Historic Motif Project
- The Death of Adulthood in American Culture I’m still chewing on this. Not sure what I think.
- The Hidden Cost of Gun Violence: Meet a Mother and Her Seven-Year-Old With PTSD
- The Economist’s review of my book reveals how white people still refuse to believe black people about being black
- The ahistorical historical: we’re all id reading now
- The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction
- Rude mechanicals Great article about robots!
- “Fists In the Mouth of the Beast”: On Irish Folklore
- Tivo Creates $5000 DVR, Reminder of Your Eventual Mortality
- Homeless Gay Teens Cast Out by Religious Families
- Civility, Outrage Every single person who thinks that civility is more important that justice or righting wrongs? Read this.
- NFL Advertising Brought To You By Jenny Holzer (warning: super-flashy GIFs)
- Someone Is Lying About Whether The NFL Saw The Ray Rice Tape
- To Prove He’s Not Evil, Roger Goodell Pleads Incompetence
- I’m quitting football.
- Ghostbusting Lovecraft This might be better than Max’s essay about how Star Wars is a universe populated by sentient bees. Might be.
- My Apparatus I am not sure exactly how to describe this–it is about the intersection of technology and bodies but somehow about so much more, too. I love Lyly’s voice and hope to read more from them.
Lots of content warnings this week–misogyny, rape and death threats, stalking, self-harm. I’ll do my best to put in a warning if the title of the post doesn’t make the content clear.
- Why/Why Not: “The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality”
- OCD and Cutting
- Columbia University E-mail Reveals Disdain for Anti-Rape Campus Movement The thing is this: yeah, they’re students. But they’re also adults. And they absolutely should get a say in how the institution deals with their safety.
- Safety or freedom: what would you pick? (content warning: stalking)
- A Woman’s Room Online (content warning: rape and death threats, misogyny) I wish I could see this in person–it sounds like a visually powerful statement.
- Life in an English Town Where Abuse of Young Girls Flourished (content warning: rape)
- “The Consumption Palace”: Gamers, misogyny, and capitalism and Writer-Creator vs. Gamer Consumer-King: an addendum
- The End of Gamers
- Why We Didn’t Want to Talk about “GamerGate”
- Gamer’s Revanche This, right here, is one of the best posts that I’ve read about gaming (and geek) culture and the toxic masculinity which is so pervasive. Here’s your explanation for the Sad Puppies.
The culture of video games has long been a fairly insular one—as has, to a greater or lesser extent, the wider “geek culture” in which it has been embedded, encompassing phenomena like Dungeons and Dragons, science fiction and fantasy novels and movies, and comic books. All of these forms have long histories of politically subversive, socialist, and feminist experimentation. But in their best-funded and most widely consumed commercial forms, they have especially catered to certain kinds of socially awkward boys and men, providing them with alternatives to dominant standards of masculinity.
At the same time, however, they cultivated an alternative misogyny, based on resentment of other men and a desire to usurp their patriarchal dominance, rather than overturn patriarchy entirely. Hence the geek culture is a breeding ground for Nice Guys who see themselves as persecuted outcasts but are unable to get over their desire to control women.
- Live Nude Girls This is an incredibly powerful piece by Genevieve Valentine that links the nude photo leaks with what’s going on in gaming culture–and in our wider culture, too.
Women are being watched. Women are never safe. The goal is always to strip you, of anything, of everything; the hunt is on.
Tomorrow morning, step outside.
- It’s not just Jennifer Lawrence: women in pop culture are under attack
- The Great Naked Celebrity Photo Leak of 2014 is just the beginning
- Missouri Swore It Wouldn’t Use A Controversial Execution Drug. It Did. Jeezy creezy, Missouri, what the hell is wrong with you? Is it something in the water?
- The pathetic and predictable end for Bob McDonnell
- American slavery: Blood cotton This goes to a review of Edward Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism; the anonymous reviewer needs to re-examine their life choices and think about why, in a book about chattel slavery and its undeniable link to white American prosperity, they decided to end the review with a complaint that all the white people in the book were villains and all the black people were victims. I wish I were joking. I’m not. The Economist has apologized and withdrawn the review, so that’s something at least. It should never have been published to begin with.
- In the Wake of the British Boom: The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention There’s some really gratuitously nasty comments in this wrap-up.
- So, You Want To Host A Comic-Con At Your Library Super relevant to my interests and also Kennett Square isn’t that far from where I live and I wish I’d known this was happening!
- Amazon UK Ruins Cat’s Birthday By Shipping Gift In An Envelope, Not A Box
- Poet Patricia Lockwood Dreams of Roasted Pturkeydactyls
- The Maine Hermit Is A Terrible Hero To Have
- Delaware Governor Accidentally Tweets Bondage-Themed Pic, Wonkette Asks ‘That’s It?’ So, to recap: in the last three months we’ve had traffic accidents involving a million honey bees, a broken interstate because someone dumped dirt underneath it, and now our governor’s office tweets out the world’s tamest bondage pic? This is actually what passes for scandal around here when we don’t have wacky Tea Partiers running for Senate or well-connected attorneys killing a woman and ineptly disposing of the body in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Someone else who does a fantastic set of Friday links is Tansy Rayner Roberts and it’s there that I found this wonderful link to Hark, A Vagrant’s take on “The Lady of Shalott” and I think I might be dead now. The curse has come upon me.
…how’s that for a clickbait title?
So there was a community post on Buzzfeed today–although as far as I’m concerned that makes no difference whatsoever–that listed 39 SF/F/H books coming out this month. Oh yay, I thought, as I went to see what was on the list. And then I noticed it. Noticed that there were a lot of male names and that the preponderance of the titles were of a–how do I say this?–of a more apparently literary bent than specifically genre in terms of their covers and blurbs. Did some counting. Ranted on Twitter. Did a bit of very shallow searching on Amazon (seriously, their advanced search is pretty good for casting a wide net with a few specific criteria) and came up with a lot of speculative fiction written by women. 57 titles, in fact.
Got home from work and did some more tabulating.
Of the 39 titles listed in the Buzzfeed post, there were 45 unique author names (one name appears twice).
Seven of these titles were anthologies. Two were edited solely by women, three by a mixed-gender editorial team, and two solely by men. Okay, that’s not completely terrible except: on two of the mixed-gender editorial teams, the female name appears last. Which can give the appearance that they were not the primary anthologist working on the book.
So of the 32 remaining books. Three were non-fiction, including–inexplicably–a biography of Tennessee Williams. One of the novels is an reprint omnibus and another is a graphic adaptation. All the YA titles are by men. Of the 29 novels/single-author collections, twelve are by women.
I know, by now you’re all saying, “Natalie, aren’t you making a really big deal out of a Buzzfeed listicle?” Sure. And the reason for that is pretty simple, actually. Buzzfeed drives a massive amount of traffic–their stuff is eminently shareable and the fact that so few women are included–and so few writers of color, too–shapes the conversation. These sorts of easily shareable meme-units contribute to women and other marginalized people’s invisibility within the genre(s). A list that a casual SF reader posts to their Facebook page, that might be the only list of SF/F/H titles that some people may see that week or month.
This list can send a few messages–it draws lines around who is and is not included in the genre. What kinds of stories–and readers–are acceptable. Notably absent are urban fantasy and paranormal romance titles. I wonder why?
The compiler of the list, Andrew Liptak, is himself an anthologist and editor. And he’s writing a history of science fiction so one would think he’d be more aware of this issue and the ongoing discussion around it. I am really saddened that this list is so heavily weighted towards male writers. A quick look at Liptak’s bibliography shows that he’s extremely well-read in a few specific subgenres of SF/F/H and this may be a contributing factor to the books he’s selected for this listicle. However, he’s not writing just for readers of his preferred subgenres, but for all of Buzzfeed’s audience. Which I think we can safely assume is quite diverse.
So, back to my experiment with the advanced search tool on Amazon to see how many SF/F/H books written by women I was able to find that were being released in September. I’m including a handful of reissues and some short story collections and one non-fiction title. These are in no particular order and I’m sure some of them aren’t very good. I also excluded self-pub titles on the grounds that I don’t know very much about that segment of the market to be confident that the titles aren’t 20 pages of story for $2.99. But there are certainly more than 14 SF/F/H books solely authored or edited by women coming out this month.
You’ll note that a lot of these titles are urban fantasy or paranormal romance. Interesting, no?
- Son of No One, Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson, Patricia Briggs
- The Winter Long, Seanan McGuire
- Dark Blood, by Christine Feehan
- Night’s Honor, Thea Harrison
- Black Water: A Jane Yellowrock Collection, Faith Hunter
- The Witch with No Name, Kim Harrison
- Night Unbound, Dianne Duvall
- Wood Sprites, Wen Spencer
- Ghost Layer, Robin D. Owens
- Forged by Desire, Bec McMaster
- Dragon Age: Last Flight, Liane Merciel
- Love Bites, Angela Knight
- House Immortal, Devon Monk
- Dangerous, Jacquelyn Frank
- Wickedly Dangerous, Deborah Blake
- Beauty’s Beast, Amanda Ashley
- Doctor Who: The Official Quiz Book, Jacqueline Rayner
- Hunter’s Trail, Melissa F. Olson
- Fortunes of the Imperium, Jody Lynn Nye
- Rogue’s Paradise, Jeffe Kennedy
- Chained by Night, Larissa Ione
- Priestess Dreaming, Yasmine Galenorn
- Battle for the Blood, Lucienne Diver
- Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress
- Stories of the Raksura: Volume One: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud, Martha Wells
- The Clockwork Dagger: A Novel, Beth Cato
- Species Imperative, Julie E. Czerneda
- The City, Stella Gemmell
- Generation 18, Keri Arthur
- The Gifted Dead, Jenna Black
- The Seventh Sigil, Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes
- Summer Moon, Jan DeLima
- Watermark, E. Catherine Tobler
- Heir of Fire, Sarah J. Maas
- Trial by Fire, Josephine Angelini
- Shattered, Mari Mancusi
- The Jewel, Amy Ewing
- The Caller, Juliet Marillier
- Illusions of Fate, Kiersten White
- Mary: The Summoning, Hillary Monahan
- Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer
- The Vault of Dreamers, Caragh M. O’Brien
- Winterkill, Kate A. Boorman
- Of Monsters and Madness, Jessica Verday
- The Perilous Sea, Sherry Thomas
- Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan
- The Winter People, Rebekah L. Purdy
- Winterspell, Claire Legrand
- Tabula Rasa, Kristen Lippert-Martin
- Firebug, Lish McBride
- Falls the Shadow, Stefanie Gaither
- Silvern, Christina Farley
- Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, Christine Heppermann
- Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson
- Lark Rising, Sandra Waugh
- Color Song, Victoria Strauss
This list–a very fast, cursorily compiled list–makes me think of Joanna Russ and How to Suppress Women’s Writing:
The Double Standard of Content is perhaps the fundamental weapon in the armory and in a sense the most innocent, for men and women, whites and people of color do have very different experiences of life and one would expect such differences to be reflected in their art. I wish to emphasize here that I am not talking (vis-à-vis sex) about the relatively small area of biology–about this kind of difference in experience, men are often curious and genuinely interested–but about socially-enforced differences. The trick in the double standard of content is to label one set of experiences as more valuable and important than the other. This we have added to She didn’t write it and She did, but she shouldn’t have, a third piece of denigration: She did, but look what she wrote about. (40)
- Reparations for Ferguson
- On the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Ferguson
- Different rules apply
- America’s racist penal system is slavery by another name
- The Greatest Fake Religion of All Time
- How Etsy Changed the Rules and What It Means for Indie Designers As someone who really loves buying things like jewelry and wool from small companies, this change has really affected my Etsy experience negatively.
- The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit
- Through a glass, dimly
- Geocentric direction systems use uphill, uptown instead of north/south
- Sanrio’s Shocking Reveal: Hello Kitty Is NOT A Cat Or is she? All I know is that my work has changed and I am not sure I like it. Also, since Hello Kitty is a Scorpio and will be 40 this year, I am pretending that I’m her twin because I am a Scorpio and will be 40 this year. Neener.
- Northumberland fort find gets to the bottom of Roman history Wooden toilet seat! Yay!
- Lady of Shalott: Our Modern Version of the Curse
- Those Underappreciated Female Video Game Pioneers
- Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique
- Stop ruining my escapist fantasies, Sarkeesian haters
- Once again, I will not negotiate with terrorists.
- Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes
- Mary Beard Takes On Her Sexist Detractors
- One Woman Finally Calls Out a Tech Investor for Creepy Advances
- Inequality and Web Search Trends
- Yeah, whatever happened to starving like a *real* artist?
- What Clarion Means to a Minority Writer
- Michelle Sagara contemplates the Alpha Male Really? Really? Sigh.
- Ecology and Uses of the Alpha Male in Romance
- The Glue Such a great article about Phil Hartman.
- There Should Be No More Back-to-Back US Worldcons. Ever.