The latest Ursula Vernon book in the Hamster Princess series, Ratpunzel is here!

My family is SO PLEASED.

All of us, adults and teenagers alike, love the Hamster Princess books. We are not the target audience. We are all “too old.” But it doesn’t matter. We LOVE Harriet. We LOVE the joke, the puns, the snark. My jaded all-black-wearing teenage daughter sat on the couch giggling like a lunatic at Harriet’s escapades.

I highly, highly recommend Ratpunzle. It’s a bit of light in world.



(Full disclosure, I have worked with Ursula in the past, and we are friends.)

The problem with thoughtful posts

is that they take time and links and looking things up.


People I Am Done With:

* J. Scott Campbell. He’s a comics artist, he made a creepily sexy cover of a teenage girl in which he also lightened her skin and made her facial features less black. He’s doubled down on his choices on social media, saying his cover is the same as other representations, and I am fucking DONE with people who so routinely sexualize teenagers that they can’t tell the difference. Also, enough with the fucking whitewashing already.

* Sunil Patel. I had to dig deep to figure out who this scab is. He’s in SFF, he’s been telling up-and-coming authors that he can make or break them, that they owe him, and other such bullshit. Now, I don’t know everyone in SFF publishing, to be CERTAIN. But I have no idea who this idiot is, and now I bet no-one will remember him.


In much cheerier news, apparently the new X-Men movie, Logan, is about Laura Kinney. And apparently there’s a new FX tv series, Legion. As I said to McKelvie on Twitter, the only way I can cope with X-Men media franchises is to be dead in side and harbor no hope, but these trailers are testing that insistence on no hope.



Dear Yuletide Author!

Hello, mystery Yuletide author! I’m so pleased that we are once again doing this thing! I really appreciate the time and thought you are putting into writing my present. I look forward to it!

To aid you in your writing, here are a few additional detail on my requests.

1. The Traitor Baru Cormorant. This book is so twisty and thinky, I just want to know more about everyone. WHY they do what they do. Gen please. I mean, characters can have sexual relationships, just, I prefer that not be the purpose of the fic.

2. Jessica Jones. I *love* this show so much I can’t talk to people about it. And I pretty much don’t want anything different. Except, I want to see more of Jess and Trish’s relationship. GEN, PLEASE. I think they are sisters, friends. They love each other ferociously, but not sexually.

Alternatively, I would ADORE a casefic. And pulling in other characters we haven’t seen yet in the MCU is great. Or crossover with the other movies and tv shows, perfect, yes, thank you.

3. Luke Cage. THE LADIES OF LUKE CAGE PLEASE. I love all these women, and want too see of their stories. Casefic would be AWESOME. And pulling in other characters we haven’t seen yet in the MCU is great. Or crossover with the other movies and tv shows, perfect, yes, thank you.

4. Southern Reach Trilogy. Um. Be as weird as you want.

5. October Daye series. The Luideag. Since I kinda want to grow up to be her, well, any story you can tell about her sounds pretty awesome.

If you need to ask someone whether I might like a thing, check with likeadeuce, who I am totally throwing under the bus, here, but who can answer any questions you might have about my tastes.

Thank again, mystery writer! Happy Yuletiding!



Links for October 5 2016

* This Week GQ Published a Sexist Climbing Piece and Outdoor Research Stepped in with the Perfect Response

Really, you have to go look at the photos.

* Strangely Captivating Vintage Photos of People Knitting

Again, go look at the photos.

* This Moving Company Helps Women Leave Abusive Homes At No Cost

“Yesterday, the company launched a new campaign that asks other businesses to “get creative” and help victims of domestic violence. Called #MoveToEndDV, the Meathead Movers hope to inspire others to rethink how they can work with shelters, or help women as they try to rebuild their lives and move into their first home or apartment.”

* Millions in U.S. Climb Out of Poverty, at Long Last

“The Caicedos are among the 3.5 million Americans who were able to raise their chins above the poverty line last year, according to census data released this month. More than seven years after the recession ended, employers are finally being compelled to reach deeper into the pools of untapped labor, creating more jobs, especially among retailers, restaurants and hotels, and paying higher wages to attract workers and meet new minimum wage requirements.”


Yeah, I finished watching Luke Cage

No plot spoilers, and in no particular order:

* Method Man appears as himself, and his scenes might be my favorite parts of the series.

* I think of Daredevil as being about guilt, and what we do when we feel responsible. Jessica Jones is about trauma, and how to get power back after being a victim. Luke Cage is about … Name. Reputation. Standing in a community. Relationship to community. History. Legacy. The number of times I got earwormed with “the world’s gonna know your name / what’s your name, man” while watching this show was many.

* Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple is the beating heart of the street-MCU. There is no scene she does not improve by merely being in it.

* There were a number of moments, of interactions between characters, where I realized “that moment was not for me.” References I did not get. Cultural values phrased in ways I had to translate. I was so happy to see this. Because the world does not need another superhero show by, about, and for white people. And Luke Cage is by, about, and for African-Americans. It was right, good, and proper that I didn’t understand all the jokes and references.

* Watching this show made me increasingly angry that we have not done this already. Before. That instead of a Misty Knight movie, we are getting Doctor Strange. That instead of a Claire Temple series we had season two of Daredevil. I’m not saying cancel Doctor Strange, just, push it back in the production queue. Like Captain Marvel got pushed back.

* The acting talent in Luke Cage was, overall, fantastic.

* As in the previous three NetFlix Marvel series, the writing lagged in the middle bits. I strongly feel that all four series so far needed to be ten episodes, not thirteen.

* As in the the previous three NetFlix Marvel series, the more cartoon-y villain is less frightening than the quiet, systemic, white men in nice suits with power, villains. Street-level MCU is very clear on where real evil lies, and it rests in the hands of privilege and white male authority.

* There is a bit in the series where black men in Harlem begin wearing hoodies with fake bullet holes in them, in solidarity with the bullet-proof black man.

I cried. I drive past the community memorial to Philando Castile every week. I cried, watching Harlem celebrate the power to not be shot by police.



Podcast recs: “Witch, Please,” and “In the Dark”

I have two *wildly* different podcast recommendations for you today.

* The first is Witch, Please. It’s “A fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world by two lady scholars.”

It’s delightful! The hosts are two Canadian academics. They are re-reading and re-watching the Harry Potter books and movies, and discussing a smattering of reasonably academic topics about each work. The cover feminism, pedagogy, the othering of radical bodies, anti-semitism, material culture, and a host of other issues in the Harry Potter world.

This is the kind of criticism I love — these women LOVE Harry Potter, and it’s their affection for the world of Hogwarts that leads them to critique it.

If you like the sort of criticism that Jay and Miles do in Jay and Miles XPlain the X-Men, and you want to hear that applied to Harry Potter, I recommend Witch, Please.

* The second podcast I am recommending is In the Dark.

“Child abductions are rare crimes. And they’re typically solved. For 27 years, the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota yielded no answers. In the most comprehensive reporting on this case, APM Reports and reporter Madeleine Baran reveal how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, changed how adults parent their kids and led to the nation’s sex-offender registries.”

I’m on the second episode, and, wow. This is incredible good, in-depth, reporting. The first episode was released the *day* Daniel Heinrich confessed to the crime. This necessitated a wild re-arranging of the podcast, on the fly, and it’s a stronger work for that, I think.

It’s true crime, it describes in harrowing detail the abuse and murder of a child, it’s not for everyone. But it’s brilliant reporting and a much-needed investigation, and I am enrapt.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, well, start listening today.



Not the Darkest Timeline, not yet

Yesterday I read Kameron Hurley’s recent essay, America’s Long Hangover. And I agree with pretty much everything she says. I recommend you go read it.

So here, then are some of the people making the world better.

Livestock Conservancy

Bree Newsome

Dog Rates

Hats for the Homeless

Unity Church-Unitarian

Shipwrecked Comedy

It’s not the darkest timeline.