dolorosa_12: (Default)
I realise it's Thursday, but I've got a review up of a trio of YA books: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, all of which can be loosely linked by a theme of divided cities.

The review is up on Wordpress, and feel free to comment here or there.
dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
Ambelin Kwaymullina talks about diversity in Australian YA literature.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: 'Fear of causing offense becomes a fetish'.

Here's Daniel José Older on diversity, power and publishing.

Laura Mixon talks about building bridges and healing divisions.

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz talks about self-care and 'staying in touch with the child-self'.

Aidan Moher discusses writing military SF without combat.

Astrid Lindgren's Second World War diaries have been published in Sweden.

Ana of Things Mean A Lot reviews Pride in the light of the recent UK elections.

I love this review by Electra Pritchett of Stranger and Hostage by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith:

If I had to pick a post-apocalyptic YA society in which to live, I'd pick the community of Las Anclas hands down, warts and all: rather than a hierarchical dystopian society where something random is outlawed and the government controls something else crucial to society, Las Anclas represents a kinder, gentler post-apocalypse. It's not quite a utopia, except in the sense that everywhere in fiction is, but that's precisely what makes it a believable and desirable place to live: its busybodies and jerks are notable because they're not the only kind of people in the town, and dealing with them would be a small price to pay in order to live in such a supportive and inclusive place.

The upcoming publishing schedule at The Book Smugglers makes me so happy.

I am really looking forward to the publication of Tell The Wind And Fire, Sarah Rees Brennan's latest book.

Via Sherwood Smith, listen to the oldest (recorded) song in the world.

Happy Friday, everyone!
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
This week's post is a little early, as my partner's parents are in town and I have to grab whatever time I have to myself when I can.

I really liked this essay by Kari Sperring in Strange Horizons. It's ostensibly about Katherine Kurtz, but its broader point is that the 'women who made fantasy [and science fiction]' keep getting ignored, erased or forgotten in the genre's history.

In a similar vein, Renay has written at Fantasy Book Cafe about recommendation lists that contain no women.

Also by Renay, a review of The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan for Ladybusiness.

This post by Tumblr user allofthefeelings is a reaction to a very specific fandom situation, but I feel it has broader applicability, given that it talks about unexamined preferences, narrative default settings, and representation (within texts, of fandom and of fannish culture and preferences).

I have a not-so-secret love of '90s teen movies, so this post on Tor.com by Leah Schnelbach and Natalie Zutter about teen movies that adapt or draw on Shakespeare's plays was right up my alley.

Abigail Nussbaum reviews Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho for Strange Horizons.

Here's an interview with Zen Cho by Sharmilla Ganeson in The Star.

My friend Raphael Kabo wrote this poem called 'Axis' for Noted Festival. He writes a lot about identity, alienation and place, which are themes very dear to me.

Still on the theme of poetry, Athena Andreadis shared an older post on Sapfó (Sappho) of Lésvos.

This is a raw, emotionally honest post by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz about the struggle to find her voice and courage after ill-treatment, silencing and the twisting of her words and judgement of her actions. I continue to be awed by her words, bravery and determination. SFF needs more people like her.
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
The 'Aims Project' is a multifandom vid album, in which each participant has made a fanvid using the music of one song from Vienna Teng's Aims album. Each vid is astoundingly lovely.

I was recently alerted to the existence of 'We Are Sansa Stark', an old essay on Pornokitsch. I don't agree with every one of its conclusions - particularly that Sansa is definitely going to end up a major political player in the series - nor do I think it's helpful to criticise fandom for pitting Sansa and Arya against each other and then...do the same. But I love Sansa and characters like her, and sometimes it's just nice to see them get a bit of love.

This post by [tumblr.com profile] anneursu takes all the sneering critics of YA literature to task, and does so excellently. Read the whole thing.

'When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami' is a short story by Kendare Blake published on Tor.com. It's set in the world of her Goddess Wars series (which I hadn't heard of but then promptly reserved at the library), and is set in a mid-'90s Miami crawling with gods and goddesses, and Lost Boys-inspired vampire wannabes.

I'm a massive fan of this animated credits to Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Stephen Byrne.

While we wait impatiently for Ancillary Sword, Orbit has put an excerpt from the first chapter up on its website.

This Massive Attack retrospective sums up all my overwhelming feelings of love for this band:

British trip hop pioneers Massive Attack are one of the most celebrated acts in the history of electronic music. Their atmospheric take on hip hop and R&B, with elements of soul, funk, jazz and electronica, was an exciting new sound in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They pioneered the genre now known as trip hop and quickly became hugely influential all around the world. Few electronic acts are held in such high regard as the Bristol-bred outfit. If they had never released their five studio albums, some of today’s great artists may never have gone down the musical paths they chose. Massive Attack are more than a band, they made us rethink how music can be created, and redefined what a band could be.

I still haven't got my copy of Unmade by [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales (Sarah Rees Brennan) and thus can't participate in all the revelry, but she has some great fanart up on her blog, as well as the schedule for her blog tour. I'll be checking out all those posts once I've got around to reading the book.

'I Don't Know How But I Know I Will' is an 8tracks mix by angrygirlsquad 'for those days where you see no way through. you haven’t failed. you are alive. everything else is bonus'.

I hope you are all feeling loved by the people you love, flist.
dolorosa_12: by ginnystar on lj (robin marian)
I've got four links for you today.

First up, N. K. Jemisin talking about her experiences trying to publish a book in the face of industry racism:

But here’s something else I probably haven’t emphasized enough: I did have help. I’ve mentioned how crucial those early role models were in encouraging me to try for a pro career, and keeping me from quitting when things got ugly. But just as crucially, somewhere between my first and second attempts to break in as a novelist, the entire genre changed, just a little. Massive discussions about race and gender had begun to take place, spurred by early social media like Livejournal, and these were a clear signal to the SFF establishment that there was an audience out there for the kind of stuff I write. There always has been. More importantly, I did not have equal opportunity. In order to get my Nebula/WFA/Locus-nominated first novel published, I had to write a trilogy that got even more awards and nominations. I had to work around assumptions that a white writer writing white characters in a pseudo-medieval-European setting would not face, like Will anybody except “her people” read this book?

Malinda Lo talks about sexism (and racism, and homophobia) and self-promotion:

Leaning closer to me, the woman asked in a lowered voice, “Is this because you’re a lesbian?”

I was charmed by her question because I could tell she was gay, and she seemed to be whispering a secret to me through a keyhole. I smiled and said, “Yes. Yes, I’m a lesbian.”

She said, “Thank you so much for saying what you said at the panel. I never knew books like yours existed. I’m so glad you’re out.”

I told her, “You are the reason I came to this festival.”

And she was. No matter how disconcerting it is to be forced to come out over and over again, both in real life and online, no matter how frustrating it is to get homophobic messages or reviews, I have to remember that there are queer women out there sitting silent in the audience, or reading quietly online, who have never heard of my novels. Queer women who have never realized that they could read books about queer women who are allowed to fall in love and have happy, fulfilled lives.


Sarah Rees Brennan wrote a companion piece to Lo's article:

I have heard often that it’s wrong for lady creators to talk about sexism or how sexism negatively affects their lives, and that we’re making it up. I don’t know why this always shocks me so much: this is very familiar stuff at its core. “Those crazy wimmins, complaining about their lady treatment when they actually get treated SO well” is something ladies get a lot from anti-women’s-rights conservatives. I guess that’s why it’s surprising to hear it from other quarters, sometimes from other women, but at least it makes things very clear: people actually concerned about sexism do not go around saying that women should shut their dumb faces about it.

Nor, in a society set up to make sure women have poor opinions of themselves, is anyone taking on the system by characterising professional women as bragging and boasting. Those who use a rhetoric that insists “these women talking in any way positively about themselves or their work are too self-satisfied” are upholding the current system, where women are socialised not to have any confidence, and that is reinforced at every turn by people telling them that the tiny pieces of confidence they’ve managed to scrape together are far too much.


And, in a post both hilarious and misery-inducing, Foz Meadows wrote 'How Many Male SF/F Authors Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?'.

And now, on to the meme.

Meme questions and answers behind the cut )
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
When I was a child and teenager, I consumed stories with an urgent, hungry intensity. I reread favourite books again and again until I could quote them verbatim,* I wandered around the garden pretending to be Snow White or Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Jessica Rabbit.** I had a pretty constant narrative running through my head the whole time I was awake, for the most part consisting of me being the character of a favourite story doing whatever activity I, Ronni, happened to be doing at the time. (No wonder I was a such a vague child: every activity required an extra layer of concentration in order for me to figure out why, say, the dinosaurs from The Land Before Time would be learning multiplication at a Canberra primary school.) The more I learnt about literary scholarship, the more insufferable I became, because I would talk at people about how 'URSULA LE GUIN WROTE A STORY WHERE EVERYTHING HAS A TRUE, SECRET NAME AND THEN ANOTHER USE-NAME AND ISN'T THAT AMAZING IN WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT IDENTITY?!?!' For the most part, I don't inhabit stories to the same extent, and they don't inhabit me to the same degree, although there are rare exceptions to this.

The rare exceptions tend to be things that sort of satisfy my soul in some deep and slightly subconscious way.*** And the funny thing is that although I can write lengthy essays explaining why something both appeals to me on this hungry, emotional level and is a good work of literature (indeed, I have been known to dedicate a whole blog to this), I can also remember a specific moment when reading/watching these texts and they suddenly became THE BEST THING EVER. I can remember exactly what it was for all of them.

The following is somewhat spoilerish for Romanitas, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, Galax-Arena by Gillian Rubinstein, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, The Demon's Lexicon, The King's Peace by Jo Walton, Parkland by Victor Kelleher, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Robin Hood: Men in Tights,
Ten Things I Hate About You, Cirque du Soleil, Pagan's Crusade by Catherine Jinks and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.


Probably a closer look at my subconscious than is comfortable )

Do you have moments like that?
____________
*Which led to a very awkward moment in Year 5 when our teacher was reading Hating Alison Ashley out loud to the class, but would skip bits from time to time - whereupon I would correct her.
**(whose appeal was less that she wasn't 'bad, just drawn that way' and more due to the fact that she wore an awesome dress)
***I've seen people describe fanfic like this as 'idfic', but for me this tends to be a phenomenon of professionally published fiction.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
My brain sometimes takes weird turns. Last week, Matthias and I went to London to see Robyn in concert (which was amazing) and it got me thinking about her music. Its power lies, I think, in taking the words that are used against the powerless and dispossessed and using them as weapons or armour. Her lyrics are so sharp they could cut you, but you kind of don't notice it until some time later. Anyway, what with the Robyn lyrics and the fact that my PhD thesis is basically about dispossession and the creation of history and identity and the realisation that, like everyone, I have certain literary tropes that are like catnip to me (in my case, motley families that are made, not necessarily born, taking their power back) I have come to the conclusion that I am all about the dispossession.

With that in mind, I decided to compile a (provisional) list of texts (that I love) with this trope. That is, stories about the dispossessed finding strength in their dispossession and reclaiming the power that was always theirs. I emphatically do not mean 'dispossessed' people using the tools of their oppressors to save the world - Campbellian heroes have no place here. If you're the rightful king, and you defeat the evil, false king and replace him, you're not really dispossessed, even if you grew up on an isolated farm. A benign monarchy is still a monarchy.

Was my Una icon ever more appropriate? )

What about you? Do you have texts that fit with this trope that you could recommend? Or do you have your own particular tropes which you want to read/watch again and again and again? Inquiring minds want to know.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I've been wanting to do a sort of 'social justice by the numbers' post, where I wrote about how well the things about which I am fannish handle matters of representation. For those of you who think that representation isn't important, I would urge you to educate yourselves, and in particular listen to people who aren't often well-represented in the media when they talk about how it matters to them that they are represented adequately.

A quick word on my methodology. I've included a fandom/text in this post if it:
a) makes me behave in a fannish manner (that is, that I want to respond to it in some way, be it with fic or meta or discussing it with other fans); and
b) makes me want to revisit it again and again in order to find new things out about it.

For this reason, only books and television shows are included, since for some reason films seem to have less of a fannish effect on me. I've suspected this is because I mostly become fannish due to characters, and although many films have excellent characterisation, I usually find that two hours or so is not long enough for me to become truly attached to their characters.

I'm giving each fandom a Representation Score (for great social justice!). The way points are allocated is thus:
A text gets one point for simply including a character from an underrepresented group (eg, a female primary or secondary character, a queer character etc).
A text gets two points if such characters pass certain other tests (eg, if it passes the Bechdel Test, if a disabled character isn't there merely to teach the non-disabled characters a lesson about tolerance, etc - basically if they're not defined by their minority-ness).
A text gets five points if said characters occupy an equal amount of screen-time as those of comparable importance (for example, if there is a show with three main leads, one of whom is straight, two of whom are queer, all three must get roughly equal amounts of the story).
A text loses five points it has such characters, but resorts to stereotypes or handles their stories poorly (for example, if a character is Othered, if women are fridged).

Obviously, my interpretation of these things is going to be subjective, and if I mess up, tell me. I am female, but in every other aspect I have privilege: I am white, I am middle class, I am straight, I am cis, I am able-bodied and I am neurotypical. I won't change what I've written (as I believe if you screw up in things like this, you should own your mistakes and allow people to see them) but I will emend my post and include people's criticism. So, let's get to it!

(Note: there are spoilers for The Demon's Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan, the Romanitas trilogy by Sophia McDougall, Galax-Arena and the Space Demons trilogy by Gillian Rubinstein, the His Dark Materials trilogy and Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Philip Pullman, The Pagan Chronicles by Catherine Jinks, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.)

Spoilers abound )

I wasn't surprised that The Demon's Lexicon and Romanitas scored so highly. Their authors are very conscious of representation. In the case of Sarah Rees Brennan, her series' main focus is on identity and perception, while McDougall is concerned in Romanitas with power and dispossession. This is what McDougall had to say (in an interview with me) about representation:
If you want a future where fiction doesn’t routinely perpetuate harmful stereotypes and ignore everyone except the white people, (especially if you are white yourself) you probably cannot assume your unexamined muse and your good intentions are going to do all the work for you..

And this is what Rees Brennan said:
Here’s a problem: the role Nick, Mr. Tall Dark &c, plays in the series is a role played by a white guy with a bunch of issues: that’s a main role we get to see every day, a role that gets forgiven a lot of things, a role that if I didn’t get right a bunch of other people would. Let’s face it, “White Dude With Some Issues” could be the title of seventy per cent of movies and books out there. (We switch it to “White Dude With Some Issues (Who Is My Boyfriend)” I think we could make it to eighty per cent.)

I’m a girl, not a guy, and I’m white, not black, so in both cases I was writing from the point of view of someone I wasn’t. But there’s a lot more hurt to be inflicted if I got Sin wrong. And with writing, the chances of getting something wrong are high indeed. But it was something I felt I had to do. And it is something I feel like writers should do: write what they want and feel called to write, and write about the world the way it is. Writers should give every story in them a voice and a time to speak.


I think more authors and writers need to be conscious of these things. I believe representation is extremely important, and I think even those texts that I've singled out for praise or scored highly here have further to go. Why do the texts aimed at children have no queer characters? Why are there no trans* characters at all? These are questions that need to be asked, and we need to keep on asking them until things change.

_________________________________
*Note: in some of these texts, the category of 'working class' makes little sense. I'll categorise them differently when the need arises.
**Note: that's an in-show perception, and not a view I hold myself. There's no 'right' way to be sexual.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
A friend of mine once summed up the complaints of those people who rant about 'political correctness gone mad' as basically translating to 'I resent the fact that you are calling me out when I say mean things', which seems a pretty good definition to me.

[livejournal.com profile] sarahtales seems to agree. Asked anonymously whether she only includes non-white characters out of a (mistaken) anxiety about 'political correctness', she responded:

I dislike the term ‘politically correct’ because I so often hear it used with a sneer, and because the word ‘politically’ is so unnecessary. What’s wrong with just ‘correct’? As in, it is correct not to be sexist, it is correct not to be racist, it is correct to treat everyone with common decency. See? Works perfectly well.

It’s not a case of ‘everyone is weirdly adding people of colour’ now… it’s a case of ‘everyone was weirdly excluding people of colour’ back then. People of colour EXIST: not having them in fiction IS WEIRD. Imagining stories entirely without them IS WEIRD—why would you want to do it?

You bring up Merlin having a black Guinevere. Well, black people existed in medieval times, so why shouldn’t they be in fictional representations of medieval times?

Leaving aside the fact that ‘medieval Camelot’ isn’t set in medieval times—it’s set in a fantasy world with elements of medieval times and other much more modern stuff, and also… what am I thinking of… oh yes… MAGIC AND DRAGONS.

But clearly… Guinevere is the last straw! Dragons, sure, but black people, you go too far!


I love her to bits.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I haven't had internet at home for a while, so I'm just now catching up on all my feeds, There's been a lot of interesting stuff posted recently, so I thought I'd make a linkpost.

Sarah Rees Brennan posted this thought-provoking piece about what it means to be an author and have an internet presence.

And then, for a total change in tone, she wrote a hilarious liveblog of Teen Wolf, making it sound so funny that I might be tempted to check it out.

Catherynne M. Valente posted about how she was fed up with arguing about ebooks.

She also wrote about the misconceptions social conservatives hold about 'women's work', and the supposed golden age of pre-industrial times.

[livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall made a Romanitas playlist. I geeked out.

Here's an article from Rolling Stone about the effects of global warming in Australia. I found myself nodding away to pretty much everything being said.

It's been said before, but it needs to be said again: unpaid internships are exploitative and perpetuate inequality.

Our forum interviewed Philip Pullman.

Finally, I blogged about the start of the semester in Germany.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I haven't had internet at home for a while, so I'm just now catching up on all my feeds, There's been a lot of interesting stuff posted recently, so I thought I'd make a linkpost.

Sarah Rees Brennan posted this thought-provoking piece about what it means to be an author and have an internet presence.

And then, for a total change in tone, she wrote a hilarious liveblog of Teen Wolf, making it sound so funny that I might be tempted to check it out.

Catherynne M. Valente posted about how she was fed up with arguing about ebooks.

She also wrote about the misconceptions social conservatives hold about 'women's work', and the supposed golden age of pre-industrial times.

[livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall made a Romanitas playlist. I geeked out.

Here's an article from Rolling Stone about the effects of global warming in Australia. I found myself nodding away to pretty much everything being said.

It's been said before, but it needs to be said again: unpaid internships are exploitative and perpetuate inequality.

Our forum interviewed Philip Pullman.

Finally, I blogged about the start of the semester in Germany.
dolorosa_12: (una)
So, I've been a busy blogger today. I've written THREE new Wordpress posts.

The first is a review of [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales's The Demon's Lexicon series.

It is the story of the ogre and the little girl, where she loves him because he may kill her, and he accepts her (and doesn’t kill her) because he loves her fear. That’s why they can live happily ever after – as long as she doesn’t recognise the Gothic mansion of his appetite for what it is.

It's spoilerific.

The second is a response to the criticism that John Marsden's Tomorrow series is 'anti-Christian'. Spoilers, of course.

I do not think that John Marsden himself is a Christian. He writes like an atheist or an agnostic. Is it possible for a non-Christian to write a ‘Christian’ book?

The third is a (long-overdue) chapter commentary on [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall Romanitas. It's on Chapter 3, 'Steel Cross'. Again, spoilers.

This is a very uncomfortable chapter to read.

I hope you enjoy all my posts! I've certainly enjoyed writing them.

Finally, this from Penny Arcade. No, it's not a subtle hint. My blogs are still 'for the critics'. Always.

Enjoy your Saturdays!
dolorosa_12: (una)
So, I've been a busy blogger today. I've written THREE new Wordpress posts.

The first is a review of [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales's The Demon's Lexicon series.

It is the story of the ogre and the little girl, where she loves him because he may kill her, and he accepts her (and doesn’t kill her) because he loves her fear. That’s why they can live happily ever after – as long as she doesn’t recognise the Gothic mansion of his appetite for what it is.

It's spoilerific.

The second is a response to the criticism that John Marsden's Tomorrow series is 'anti-Christian'. Spoilers, of course.

I do not think that John Marsden himself is a Christian. He writes like an atheist or an agnostic. Is it possible for a non-Christian to write a ‘Christian’ book?

The third is a (long-overdue) chapter commentary on [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall Romanitas. It's on Chapter 3, 'Steel Cross'. Again, spoilers.

This is a very uncomfortable chapter to read.

I hope you enjoy all my posts! I've certainly enjoyed writing them.

Finally, this from Penny Arcade. No, it's not a subtle hint. My blogs are still 'for the critics'. Always.

Enjoy your Saturdays!
dolorosa_12: (travis)
So! I got a copy of The Demon's Covenant yesterday. Stupid Waterstones took a week to get it in, even though it was published on 27th May. I had to avoid all the fantastic release-day celebrations at [livejournal.com profile] marmalade_fish, including the live chat with [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales and all the spoilerific posts, which made me quite sad. But! Now I have a copy, and I've read it (twice, actually), and although I'm not at the stage of a coherent, Wordpress-worthy review, I'd like to flail about a little bit.

Spoilers abound, of course.

This is one of the few series that reduces me to a shrieking 14-year-old fangirl )

I might read it a third time now...
dolorosa_12: (travis)
So! I got a copy of The Demon's Covenant yesterday. Stupid Waterstones took a week to get it in, even though it was published on 27th May. I had to avoid all the fantastic release-day celebrations at [livejournal.com profile] marmalade_fish, including the live chat with [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales and all the spoilerific posts, which made me quite sad. But! Now I have a copy, and I've read it (twice, actually), and although I'm not at the stage of a coherent, Wordpress-worthy review, I'd like to flail about a little bit.

Spoilers abound, of course.

This is one of the few series that reduces me to a shrieking 14-year-old fangirl )

I might read it a third time now...
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
So, I've been writing. I've written (finally) a post on Longvision where I analyse the Sibyl's prophecy to Drusus in Rome Burning. As I wrote a while ago, the wording of the prophecy is quite ambiguous, and I don't think it means, as Drusus thought, that he is destined to become Emperor of Rome.

There are lots of really excellent posts floating around online at the moment. Justine Larbalestier, is, as usually, providing much of the excellence, in this case linking to a post about unsung YA literature and eloquently discussing the latest round of debate about mainstream publishers' refusal to deal with serious problems of race and representation.

Sarah Rees Brennan posts a (spoiler-heavy) list of her favourite literary couples. I'm probably going to write something on this myself, but include platonic couples or pairs of friends as well as romantically-attached couples, since I think both are equally good at drawing me into a book.

John Scalzi linked to a really good post by Deanna Hoak about dietary habits for people who spend most of their lives chained to a desk. You may not know, but I've been on a bit of a weight-loss mission myself since last July. I'm mainly exercising (running every day) and cutting back slightly on junk food and snacking, but as someone who spends pretty much all day at her desk, Hoak's advice is really appropriate and useful.

Emma at Imaginary Dinosaur has written a really wonderful post about 'the problem of the hero protagonist', and while I don't agree with everything she said, I agree with her main argument that morally ambiguous antiheroes are more interesting and satisfying to viewers/readers than straight up-and-down heroes.

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall has a great post about feminism. Check it out!
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
So, I've been writing. I've written (finally) a post on Longvision where I analyse the Sibyl's prophecy to Drusus in Rome Burning. As I wrote a while ago, the wording of the prophecy is quite ambiguous, and I don't think it means, as Drusus thought, that he is destined to become Emperor of Rome.

There are lots of really excellent posts floating around online at the moment. Justine Larbalestier, is, as usually, providing much of the excellence, in this case linking to a post about unsung YA literature and eloquently discussing the latest round of debate about mainstream publishers' refusal to deal with serious problems of race and representation.

Sarah Rees Brennan posts a (spoiler-heavy) list of her favourite literary couples. I'm probably going to write something on this myself, but include platonic couples or pairs of friends as well as romantically-attached couples, since I think both are equally good at drawing me into a book.

John Scalzi linked to a really good post by Deanna Hoak about dietary habits for people who spend most of their lives chained to a desk. You may not know, but I've been on a bit of a weight-loss mission myself since last July. I'm mainly exercising (running every day) and cutting back slightly on junk food and snacking, but as someone who spends pretty much all day at her desk, Hoak's advice is really appropriate and useful.

Emma at Imaginary Dinosaur has written a really wonderful post about 'the problem of the hero protagonist', and while I don't agree with everything she said, I agree with her main argument that morally ambiguous antiheroes are more interesting and satisfying to viewers/readers than straight up-and-down heroes.

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall has a great post about feminism. Check it out!

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