The Week in Review: September 15, 2013

Food: Duck Eggs

I finally got together with my ladies’ only sf book club this week! One of our members used to do make-up on Star Trek: Voyager, which makes me writhe in jealousy. We’ve made tentative plans for future lady nerd adventures; our next book is The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (who is from Colorado!). At the farmer’s market this week (which I managed to hit up because I was so early for work I was gently encouraged to leave and come back), I had my first taste of elk (magical) and got some duck eggs, which are creamy with enormous yolks. I managed to finally get some Star Trek: The Next Generation in, as well as the first Tomb Raider movie, which I really, really enjoyed. I also managed to read Slimed! and How to Create the Perfect Wife this week.


A sheep tries to teach a young bull how to headbutt. As an Aries, this is how I feel about you lovely people.

Laura Hall and Linda Taylor, the house musicians for Whose Line Is It Anyway, did a Reddit Ask Me Anything! Laura Hall did one on her own several months ago, where she talks about, among other things, how much she likes working with Linda Taylor. Adorable.

Did you know that Tolkien was, briefly, Mary Renault’s mentor? He read her first nurse romance and quite liked it. THE MORE YOU KNOW.

tumblr user damedurohan genderswaps the Harry Potter cast. And then she genderswaps the current Doctor Who cast. (She’s also done Nine’s crew.) My particular favorites are Eva Green as Lady Voldemort and Gemma Arterton as the Eleventh Doctor. I can just picture Green’s cutting, flashing eyes and Arterton’s look of childish glee as she declares that she still has a Christmas list. I want to make a thousand gif sets of Arterton as Eleven now.

Malinda Lo tries to unpack why adults read YA and brings up the school of reception studies, which is basically what I stumbled onto in trying to marry reader-response theory and fandom studies in college. Essentially, it studies the audience and their reaction, reading, or reception of a text instead of the text itself. She brings up a variety of answers, but has no conclusion herself.

Buzzfeed covers the life of groundbreaking black vaudeville actress Aida Overton Walker.

There is not enough time in the day for me to go through all the comments, but Captain Awkward has an open thread asking for the five books you recommend to every and anyone.

There will be more Peggy Carter shorts from Marvel’s cinematic universe. I would watch a full-length film about Peggy, let’s be real.

Geek baker Ant of Nerdache Cakes shows off her tiny and gorgeous work space.

A Philly Flyers fan has been bringing a severed Native American head to games whenever his team plays the Chicago Blackhawks, bringing home the fact that using Native Americans as mascots is a bad, bad thing quite viscerally.

I was all up and down Denver this Tuesday looking for a copy of Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady, which was sold out everywhere. (That wouldn’t have happened in Atlanta, where Monáe currently lives.) I’m going to go get it from our local independent music store tomorrow, but, in the meantime, here’s an interview with Monáe about the album. Better yet, here’s a longer interview with her at Pitchfork that shows off what an article can be in a digital space versus a print space.

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw compares Stargate (the movie) to modern blockbusters and fondly remembers the big blockbusters of the nineties.

A Pacific Rim featurette about the making of the opening sequence. Not my favorite part of the film—the exposition is really crammed in there so it won’t bog down the rest of the movie—but it’s always fun to see how composite shots are, well, composed.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes movie has been postponed due to the lackluster performance of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Quelle surprise!

This is from last year, but I’ve been thinking about it as I settle into bookselling and my first proper job. Rich Jones shares his life philosophy on Lifehacker, and it boils down to “get paid, get fit, get creative” every day. His endorsement of The Four-Hour Body is worth a side-eye, but I find it a very succinct way to organize my activities and make progress towards my major goals—move to New York, become Wonder Woman, and write, write, write.

One of the ladies in my ladies’ speculative fiction book club is planning to watch Doctor Who from the absolute beginning—quite a challenge, given that 106 of the first 253 episodes are missing.’s Rachel Hyland just started doing a “best of” feature concerning classic Who, so this would be a useful resource for like-minded people.

J. J. Abrams will not be directing the next Star Trek film. Thank the Great Bird of the Galaxy. (The link also reveals that Benedict Cumberbatch’s character was changed out of nowhere at the last minute, making it even dumber.)

Speaking of Star Trek, keep your ear to the ground for Star Trek: Renegades, a pilot meant to pitch a new Star Trek television series to CBS. The “Renegades” of the title refer to a motley crew of “outcasts, rogues, and even criminals” put together to investigate the disappearance of the Federation’s suppliers of dilithium crystals—the stuff that makes all that space travel possible. And it’ll feature a lady captain!

tumblr user blackgirlwolfpack lists off twenty-eight speculative fiction novels written by women of color. I am dying to get my hands on Wind Follower, y’all.

So The History Channel’s programming has changed kind of radically in the last five or so years. That’s due to Nancy Dubuc, the CEO of A+E Networks, which includes the History Channel, A&E, and, as of lately, Lifetime.

DC formally apologized for asking artists to draw Harley Quinn committing suicide in the nude. I’m starting to get the feeling that the writers were planning on having a spread of this sort of thing to have Harley brutally mock it, but that just goes to show you that context is important! Had that been pointed out—or even other, less controversial panels had been selected to have unknowns tackle—I think this would have gone much more smoothly. But DC is imploding slowly, so let’s just grab some popcorn and watch.

DeviantArtist godohelp draws the Disney princesses wearing their gentlemen’s duds. Ariel’s is particularly cute—there’s something about a girl in uniform!—but I think Tiana in a sweater vest is the absolute best.

So there’s going to be a new Harry Potter movie set in 1920s New York! Gavia Baker-Whitelaw’s excitement will serve for all of us: she discusses costuming in the film series, the actual design aesthetic of the 1920s, and how the wizarding world has to be different outside of the UK.

As I said, I watched Tomb Raider on Wednesday, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie about a sensibly clothed and incredibly wealthy tomb robber who fights robots for breakfast, has a live-in nerd, and fights dudes by occasionally beating them up with other dudes, Avatar Kyoshi-style. (Language warning at the link.) Oh, and she can have a slice of Daniel Craig whenever she wants (she makes him stammer like Hugh Grant), but elects not to during the course of the film, probably because that American accent is doing him no favors. In short, I was reminded that, while there’s all this handwringing over whether or not a female-led superhero film can work, there have been plenty of successful action franchises helmed by women, a point io9 also made this week. And some of them treat their leads like people. (You ever just look at Charlie’s Angels and want to go, “oh, honey, don’t,” even though they already did?)

And don’t forget—Strange Horizons is having their annual fund drive!


Purchased: None
Added: Reading the Romance by Janice A. Radway (via Malinda Lo), Fan Phenomena: Star Trek edited by Bruce E. Drushel (via work), Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Continuing Mission by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Steven (via Fanlore), and The Nth Doctor by Jean-Marc and Randy L’Officier (via io9)

4 thoughts on “The Week in Review: September 15, 2013

  1. I love that Robin Lane Fox weighed in on Mary Renault. And he nails it — she’s amazing at saying a ton with very few words. I didn’t know about Tolkien but I obviously am THRILLED that he was a fan of hers. Quite rightly, JRR Tolkien! I’m very fond of her first novel, Promises of Love, even though I know that it’s not nearly as good as the books she would write later on.

    • I really need to revisit Renault soon. And I really do love that Tolkien liked her—he’s so often characterized as a stuffy academic (because he and Lewis were stuffy academic best friends), so to see another side of him is great.

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