If you weren’t involved in the height of Harry Potter’s thing in the late 2000s, you might find it weird that there was–and still is–a varied and vibrant musical genre called wrock, or wizard rock, entirely comprised of bands and artists making songs about the wizarding world. If you were involved, you are probably not surprised–and you’ve probably heard of Harry and the Potters.
Warning: This article is NSFW.
How we have kept “mature” sexual material out of the hands of others has evolved over time, along with our morals and culture around sex. Erotic images that were once common in Pompeii were later locked in the Secret Museum in Naples for nearly 200 years, only accessible to “people of mature age and respected morals.” In Ancient Greece, women weren’t allowed to view the Olympics, because all of the sports were done in the nude.
Sometimes, when I’m at my day job, I pull up Vogue’s runway slideshows and look at the runways. This is because I like looking at clothes, and because I work a service desk. And also, ADD. So I have to distract myself, to keep myself from getting too distracted, so that I stay in place and look happy and available to all the lovely people who come to my library. The point is is that I spend a lot of time looking at runways.
If there’s one recurring theme I’ve found when I’ve looked into the history of fandom, it’s that what we do now and what fans did back then can be similar in some surprising ways, and that new technology has always played a big role in facilitating the spread of fandom. While Netflix and other home streaming services have been touted as creating a “binge culture,” the reality is that watching entire seasons of a show in a day wasn’t the invention of the internet age.
The Hugo Awards are an interesting set of awards. Decided by those who choose to attend or to support the operation of a given year’s World Science Fiction Convention, the Hugos are a blend of a popularity contest and an industry award, voted on by fans and professionals alike. Even though the award is essentially a popularity contest–to the point where it has been famously skewed by voters working towards a political agenda–it still has a lot of clout within the sci-fi community. Despite some ballot-rigging, the finalists, and doubly so the winners, tend to be a representation of the great things happening in sci-fi.
In the annals of Star Trek fan history, few novels have been as infamous as Della van Hise’s Killing Time. Published in 1985, Killing Time was the 24th book in the Star Trek book series being released by Pocket Books at the time. And, due to a publisher mix-up, the infamous first edition is incredibly, painfully gay.
My biggest impression of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season was that it felt like they were deciding what show they wanted to make as they went along. Pretty much every Star Trek show to follow the first one has had a problem with this very issue; in such a character-driven, concept-heavy format, you sometimes have to break your show in to know its weak points and its strengths. So I had a lot of optimism going into season 2 of the show. While season 1 wasn’t everything I hoped for, it was a starting point that could lead into something promising.
2018 has lasted approximately 3 million years, so despite the fact that I almost never have time to read, I’ve read a lot of things this year. I wanted to take some time to highlight the incredibly good reads I had this year, whether they were journalism, short fiction, or books.
WARNING: This post discusses a very porny, homoerotic fanfiction trope with seasonings of bestiality, BDSM, and male pregnancy. This is INCREDIBLY NSFW.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is…well, to be honest, I don’t know if it can be called bad. I have an inherent interest in the wizarding world, and the film rewarded my interest, allowing me to dive into magical 1927 Paris and the intrigues and magics and creatures of that domain. It was a very, very low bar for me to be entertained by this film, and the film hit it, because of course it did. I would actually even go so far to say that I enjoyed it better than the first one. The first one was slow-paced, with uninteresting action and almost no color; The Crimes of Grindelwald is stuffed to the gills, and the action is beautiful and colorful. In short, it has things that make it good. It clears the basic tests it needs to clear.
Sadly, the reason I’m mentioning all these good qualities first is because the film has a lot of problems. A lot of them. Most of it is more spoilery, which I’ll go into after the cut, but if you don’t want to be spoiled, you should know that this film is a lot more aware of the legacy this film has, to tie into the Harry Potter saga and explain how this era led to the next. There’s some really interesting ideas in this film, but, ultimately, they are buried under layers of confusion, presumably because Warner Brothers still has three more movies to fill with this drama. However, it feels less like stage-setting for interesting story than it does someone taking the story threads and knotting them into oblivion. Wherever the story is intended to go, this film does not do a great job of making clear, and you’re going to have a lot of questions that don’t feel like they should be questions at all.
Got that? Let’s discuss the spoilers. Spoilers past this point, guys.