It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but I’m slowly getting back up to speed after an extremely disappointing and upsetting couple of months. Like many creative types in the US (and elsewhere, too, I guess) recent events have taken their toll, primarily in the way of tanking my productivity. It’s only been in the last week or so that I’ve really been able to write anything less tiresome and more interesting than letters to my congressman. I won’t say that things are back to normal–I have a feeling that letters and calls to my congressperson are going to be a major part of my life going forward–but I am working on establishing some kind of new routine that lets me accomplish some SFF-related stuff and sleep at night.
To that end, this week I tried to make sure I was spending some time reading stuff that wasn’t just politics news, and I think I’ve got a pretty decent round-up of good links for you. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be working to get back to a more regular schedule of posting reviews, and I’ll have some year-end posts as well as some looking-forward-to-next-year posts. In the meantime, here’s some cool stuff to read/look at:
The Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog has a pretty definitive list of the best SFF novels published in 2016.
I intended to read a lot more non-fiction this year, and I’ve failed miserably at it, but this Smithsonian Magazine list of the year’s best science books has definitely given me some ideas.
Awards eligibility and recommended reading posts are slowly trickling out now as well. Fran Wilde’s is good, with a more than expected amount of stuff on it that I haven’t read yet. This Uncanny Magazine awards eligibility post is great because it includes links to all the listed works online.
William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy is getting a pretty rad redesign, which is awesome since my 20-year-old copy of Neuromancer could stand to be replaced.
At The Book Smugglers, “Is Fantasy Writing Gendered?” by Kate Elliot is a must-read.
I am firmly on the “Love It” side regarding the very love-it-or-hate-it comic ODY-C, so I also loved this interview with Matt Fraction and Christian Ward about the book.
There’s finally some early images of the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and it looks amazing. I’m with Elizabeth Moss, though, in wishing that it wasn’t turning out to be so timely a project.
Planned Parenthood is my go-to non-profit for charitable donations, and they’ve been getting a lot of donations since the election (see above re: timeliness). I am delighted that some 72,000 people have donated specifically in Mike Pence’s name.
LitHub has a great list of 40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read.
Catherynne M. Valente did a Reddit AMA.
More importantly, Catherynne M. Valente published a new Fairyland story, which made me cry but also gave me hope: “The Beasts Who Fought For Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still”.
Finally, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About” lays out what I think we should all consider the bare minimum of our responsibility as citizens during these times:
Now is the time to resist the slightest extension in the boundaries of what is right and just. Now is the time to speak up and to wear as a badge of honor the opprobrium of bigots. Now is the time to confront the weak core at the heart of America’s addiction to optimism; it allows too little room for resilience, and too much for fragility. Hazy visions of “healing” and “not becoming the hate we hate” sound dangerously like appeasement. The responsibility to forge unity belongs not to the denigrated but to the denigrators. The premise for empathy has to be equal humanity; it is an injustice to demand that the maligned identify with those who question their humanity.