Links + Things: Can't Think of a Clever Post Title Edition
I'm back with another abbreviated Links + Things (we'll be back to our regular posting next week).
And JJ Abrams has approached xenobiology and xenoanthropology in a very Star Wars way in his reboot. Background puppets abound, used to illustrate the diversity of the universe, but this is still a universe where the actions of the humans are those that matter. Scotty has a non-verbal alien friend who plays an almost identical role to Chewbacca in Star Wars; he’s a silent cipher whose words must be surmised only through the pauses of the more plot relevant human. Kirk bags a space babe, but she’s mostly just a sight gag. And there are Romulans and Klingons, but they’re villains–obstacles to overcome, really. But still not people, not fully, not yet.
I meant to share this outstanding, thought-provoking post from author Phoebe North (Starglass) last week and somehow omitted it. She dissects diversity and otherness in the context of the new Star Trek movie, and points to J.J. Abrams' frequently problematic treatment of alien characters in his work. This is a companion to her earlier post about Star Trek: Into the Darkness, which (warning) contains spoilers, but is an important read.
We don’t want the behaviors of this septic culture to become or seem normalized. If we’re quiet about it, we contribute to the normalization of misogyny or any of the other cultural poisons.
Like I said the other day, this isn’t about playing the hero — we aren’t going to fix it with our magical man-hammers, and women are not our Death Star Princesses to rescue. But we can signal boost. We can support. We can be on the side of the angels instead of the side of the diseased dick-bags (they don’t rate being devils, honestly) who want to trumpet their hate and rampant shittiness. We can try to do better and ask that others do the same.
This week author Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds) wrote an unintentional three-part series about sexism as a result of the mess of misogyny from the SFWA (which I mentioned last week). I recommend reading each post, but the last one about why men should speak up about this type of behavior struck a chord with me.
- In the most important news of the week, Friday Night Lights had a mini cast reunion this past weekend. I can't even deal with all the tidbits from this panel.
- Turns out, known plagiarist Jonah Lehrer likely plagiarized parts of his new book proposal. Of course. Why is this man getting another publishing deal? Time and time again I am flabbergasted at how little publishing seems to care about plagiarism (on many levels).
- I was fascinated by this interview with an audiobook narrator on Dear Author.
- One of my favorite bloggers (and librarians), Molly Wetta of Wrapped Up in Books, rounded up an excellent list of YA novels featuring LGBTQ characters in honor of Pride Month.
- The folks at Wired have some interesting reflections on their experience at Book Expo America and why publishers are dragging their feet on digital integration.
- Amen to author and blogger Lenore Appelhans' (Level 2/The Memory of After) post about animal death in fiction. The vast majority of time, to me animal death in fiction feels manipulative and grabbing for the easy emotional moment.
- It's looking more and more like If I Stay by Gayle Forman is going to be an actual movie. Laura and I need Matt Lauria to play Adam, okay? Someone make that happen, please.
- This insightful post about YA book marketing on WORD for Teens kicks ass on so many levels. (Yes, I am extremely aware of the irony of following a bullet point about the casting of Adam in If I Stay with a link to a critique of heteronormative marketing in YA.)
- Adult book sales were up, YA sales were down at the beginning of 2013, according to Publishers Weekly.
- This is an interesting profile on Galley Cat of the cover designer behind many of the most popular self-published books. I am absolutely convinced that quality covers are a tremendously important factor in which self-published books in particular gain a following.
- Are you a Time Warner customer? Bloomberg reports that they're actively trying to prevent content from being distributed online.
- I was quite interested in this profile of the guy who invented the hashtag in The Atlantic.
- This Slate column about friendships that end after weddings is apropos given the excellent discussion in the comments on my post, The BFF Paradigm.
- Can everyone benefit from a course in statistics and media? The Chronicle thinks so, and I tend to agree.
- I love that the San Antonio Spurs brought back the 11-year old national anthem singer who was the target of racist tweets. NPR's Code Switch has the backstory.
- Looking for a long read? SB Nation has one of the most engrossing pieces I've read in a long time--it's about a guy who pretended to be a top baseball prospect for ages. There's so much to deconstruct about this story, but it's a strong remember of the very real possibility that what we see of people online and what's real are often two very different things.
- Look! It's a guinea pig wearing a suit of armor! (source)
All of this week's deals are ebooks--sorry! I couldn't find any good print deals that I haven't previously highlighted. Click on the cover image to find the novel on Amazon.
- Laura is a big fan of Matthew Quick in general and recommends Boy 21, despite that it has a few inaccuracies regarding high school sports recruiting. It's $3.99 at all the usual ebook vendors.
- Both Laura and I loved Bruised by Sarah Skilton, and it's definitely a notable 2013 debut. It's also $3.99.
- I thought Also Known As by Robin Benway was loads of fun. If you're looking for a fast-paced read, get on this $2.99 deal.
- Trish Doller's Something Like Normal was one of my favorite books last year, and I highly recommend it, especially at this $2.99 price.
- I really enjoyed Lindsey Leavitt's Sean Griswold's Head (Sandra reviewed it last year), and look forward to reading Going Vintage, which I hear is charming. It's currently $2.99.
- Finally, we have one of Laura's favorites, Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach, which is only $1.99 right now.
Happy weekend, y'all!