tl;dr: If you enjoy beautiful, slow burn fanfiction, read this immediately. But even if not, read the rest of the review to find out why you should fall in love with Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue.
I’m travelling, so you get this incredibly weird piece about my favorite piece of carry-on luggage. I will add pictures when I’m not in the Denver airport. Enjoy.
In an interesting development: I’ll be lecturing about the history of fanfiction at Leakycon Dallas! You can see the schedule for the whole convention here. I’ll be presenting at 10:15 AM on Saturday, August 10th. It’ll be fun, I promise–we’ll cover arguments people had in 1978 that changed how we organized fanfiction for decades, how the VHS tape helped fandom explode and anime reach America, and we will talk All. About. Zines.
I hope I see you there! And if you’re not already, follow me on Twitter so you can keep up with my con prep and what I get up to at the convention!
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.