Links, Links Everywhere

Gender and Race

Everyone remotely interested in the fantasy genre should read this excellent dissection of “grimdark” fantasy by Foz Meadows.

More excellence by Foz Meadows: sexism in the gaming industry.

A study shows gender bias in science.  A great resource to link to any time someone demands a citation for institutional sexism.

How NOT to do mixed race in SFF (applause!).

An analysis of the misogyny in the Wheel of Time series (one that sets aside the sniffing and braid-pulling and goes much deeper).

Google ads racially profile names, which could impact the opinions of the people searching for them (future employers, etc.).  Institutional racism, this is it.

I’m a Black Female Cosplayer and Some People Hate It—”Once upon a time, I inadvertently started a cosplay race war on Tumblr. Whoops.”  This woman is awesome.

Scientific and Related

The reliability of psychiatric diagnoses according to the newest criteria is very poor.  Despairingly so.

Our brain may edit our conscious memory after the fact.

Will We Ever . . . Lose All Our Corals?  The state of the world’s coral reefs.

Chinese mantises gut poisonous monarch caterpillars before eating them.

Can statistical analysis be considered evidence of someone cheating at chess?  When can statistical analysis be considered evidence of cheating, if ever?

How access to STEM careers/education is denied to many poor students before they even have a chance.

An anti-vaxxer does an about-face after her son becomes ill.

On Writing/Publishing

Software that writes subject-specific books in 20 minutes, and has written hundreds of thousands of such books that are now up on Amazon for its creator.

Knockoffs of bestsellers being sold on Amazon.

A book about flies accidentally gets its price jacked up to over 23 million dollars.

Why it might make mathematical sense to pay people to read your book (for nonfiction, at least).

Otherwise Interesting

The TSA is removing the body scanners from airports.  YES!

Fox News accidentally uses a photo of a lesbian couple to promote heterosexual marriage.

What plane safety demos really mean.

Ridiculously fast archery video.  How fast is it possible to shoot arrows?  This fast.

A guy who fakes being an amateur marathon runner, through extensive, massive deception.  Why?

It’s a phylogeny of the little tabs that keep bread closed! . . . this reminds me of something I would do.

WTF, Evolution?  When Evolution parties too hard, these sorts of things, er, happen.  The captions are the best part.

4 thoughts on “Links, Links Everywhere

  1. Tex

    Your links are so, so bad for my time management, and so very good for my higher brain function.

    I think what bums me out the most about race and gender in SFF is that it was so easy (for me personally) to grow up believing that the spec-fic bookshelves were lighting the way forward. As if they were the Muppet Labs of diversity and tolerance and inclusion: “where the future is being made today!”

    And not only is that still largely, brutally untrue, it sometimes feels like our part of the bookstore is one of the most regressive ones out there – that fantasy’s traditional basis in the past keeps it stinking of all our real-world historical -isms, which science fiction seems happy to ignore, because in the future we’ve bred out all the -isms and so it doesn’t mean anything if the starship captains and space marines all just happen to be handsome hetero white guys, right?

    I dunno. I know there’s cool authors doing cool things in greater numbers than ever before, but the only thing that makes me sadder than all the ignorant people blithely making bank on stereotypes are the ones who really, legitimately do care and want to get it right, and still manage to fail it up somehow.

  2. Carissa

    Whoa. This is a seriously great list! There goes everything else I was going to do today! =)

    New follower btw!

  3. Layla Lawlor

    Excellent link roundup – thank you! I’ve only followed a few of them so far, but I can tell that there is a lot of thought-provoking reading.

    The one on grimdark fantasy is especially insightful, I thought – and very pertinent to one of my projects (my “annotated Raven’s Children”, i.e. an attempt to analyze one of my old projects from my own “grimdark” period, which ended up being pretty much EXACTLY what Foz Meadows is talking about).

  4. slhuang Post author

    Thanks guys! :) Really appreciate the comments!

    @Tex — Yeah, I know what you mean; I too grew up idealizing SFF as a cut above everything else in reflecting on society and the future. :-/ Sometimes it feels like the genre has been going backwards. But I think it’s that I only started *seeing* these things as I got older, and more likely SFF was always just as prone to flaws as the rest of literature . . . maybe even more so; as you said there are all the “historical” fantasy tropes people seem to insist on, and I think sometimes the SFF community *feels* our genre should be progressive so we don’t want to admit we may not be living up to that ideal.

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