vhs tapes binge culture fandom

How VHS Tapes Created a Proto-Binge Culture in Fandom

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.

hugos best short story

Hugo Finalists: Best Short Story

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.

Copy of crimes of grindelwald

I Read the Gayest Star Trek Novel

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.

star trek discovery

Star Trek: Discovery, “Brother”

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.

My Best Reads of 2018

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.

crimes of grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Focusing on Family Drama

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.

A Tentative Journey Into Sewing (I Made A Dress!)

Sewing is something I fell into because, frankly, dressing like a cute vintage lady is expensive, and I thought sewing my own clothes would be less expensive. I think a lot of 21st century people start sewing with this idea–of saving money, of making things cheaper and more reusable, the way our grandmothers used to do. Reclaiming a skill in thriftiness that the abundance of cheap, passable clothing options has made redundant.

IdentifyingWith the Worstof Me

Identifying With The Worst of Me

Harry Potter is, well, Harry Potter. You know at least a little bit about it. And probably, you’re aware that one of the four houses of Hogwarts, the all-important magical school, is Slytherin: a breeding ground of pure-blood sentiment and upper class snobbery, and the house of Voldemort, Harry Potter’s greatest villain.

dr zira

Dr Zira

I have watched the original Planet of the Apes films, and there are three things of which I am certain. One, that I’m a little bit more wary of apes now than I was before.

Two? That Doctor Zira is probably one of my favorite characters in film.