switchbladesis: (this is some weird shit dude)
Joanna Russ died yesterday. She was one of the people who is responsible for turning science fiction into a genre that I would want to read, both with her own stories and her essays on the genre. She was one of the first to take slash seriously as porn written by women for women, analyzing the tropes and themes found in slashfic (and she sounded really excited when she wrote about it). Her writing isn't perfect -The Female Man is kind of gross about transwomen, which Russ later apologized for-but it's a hell of a lot better than a lot else that was going on at the time. And I think more than any of the other scifi writers at the time, she wasn't afraid of being that Angry Lesbian Feminist and call scifi on some of its bullshit. And a lot of that bullshit is still going on today, if in a slightly different form (okay, some of it in the exact same form), so it definitely needed to be done.

It's surprisingly hard to find stuff by her on the web-she did most of her writing in the pre-internet era, but I managed to dig up at few links, at least.

"When it Changed" (1972)
A discussion of the reaction to "When it Changed" and The Female Man
The first chapter of How To Suppress Women's Writing (what it says on the tin)
Someone else writing about Joanna Russ writing about slash
An interview between Joanna Russ and Sam Delany at Wiscon a few years ago, where Joanna is pretty much like 'I don't know what's going on in contemporary Scifi or Fantasy these days, but Buffy is awesome'
Thoughts and Reminisces on Joanna Russ at Making Light (be sure to read this one and this one)

So yeah, all of you, go out and read The Female Man or some of her short stories. I can't guarantee you'll like it, but it's definitely worth reading.

This also seems like the appropriate place to post this: PSA: Girls Watch Porn Too

Writing this all out has depressed me more than I thought it would, I'm not really in the mood to capslock about SPN right now. Needless to say, I liked it, am looking forward to next week like whoa. My thoughts are pretty much [personal profile] whynot 's thoughts, only instead of wanting Narnia from Susan's point of view, I'm still sad about the way Dark!Willow was portrayed in season six (it should have been about her lack of self worth leading to an abuse of power, not that magic is drugs and drugs are bad, mmmkay?).  Show is actually giving me what I usually go to fandom for, and I am very happy if a little confused.
switchbladesis: (otter2)
 Yes, yes, I know, LJ is still shaky and I still need to reply to everything in my last entry, but. . . 





I get kind of excited just reading the warning for explicit content, not gonna lie.
switchbladesis: (SPAM)
I just found out that Iain M. Banks's Consider Phlebas is available for both the Nook and Amazon Kindle for 99 cents. I haven't read it yet, but it's one of those books people periodically throttle me for not having read yet, so it's probably worth checking out.

Also, Barnes & Noble's Free Friday book, God's War, is still available for free. There's been a lot of low-grade buzz about it lately, and again-free. I'm not that far into it, but so far seems to be a light read with an original world.

This is all to say: If I've promised you my thoughts on Palimpsest any time soon, it might take a little while. I seem to have gotten distracted by other shiny things.

In other literary news: I refound the bookslut's blog the other day. It's amazing-I used to check it religiously my senior year in high school: it was one of those things I thought that I should be into, that I should read all of these books and be able to talk about them at length and know the temperament of every critic employed of the New York Times' book review (all four of them now). Literary fiction and I had a bad breakup my freshman year of college-it's gotten better over the years, we're friends now, and we get along for my parent's sake, but it's been at least six or seven years since I read Bookslut. It looks exactly the same, layout and all. Anyway, they do have good links in their blog section, especially about writers, writing, and trends in the literary world-so if that's your thing, check it out.

I went to a two-part lecture on the Munsingwear underwear advertisements (you know, these guys) from the early 20th century-pretty much talking about the changing social mores of the first decades of the twentieth century, but also a lot about the homoeroticism in a lot of these advertisements, and how much of that would have been coded as homoerotic by their contemporaries, and why these ads would include homoerotic content. Now, when I think vintage homoerotic underwear ads, I think my friendslist. So I've spent a ridiculous amount of time on the internet looking for more information on this to share with you guys, but mostly, I keep on finding the same ad over and over again: I think it's important to note that there were multiple series of them, stretching between the 1930's to the 1960's, and with various shades of homoeroticism. The best thing I could find was the author's book trailer, here and someone else's writeup of the same lecture I went to, here. Ah well, maybe one day they'll actually update their website with more information.

The other half of the lecture was on Gil Elvgren, the Norman Rockwell of cheesecake pin-ups, who is mostly notable for being the first famous cheesecake pin-up artist to have a boring personal life. He was the sort of pin-up artist you could safely introduce to your mother. You know, if that's what you look for in a pin-up artist.

In something that has nothing to do with reading whatsoever OMG NEW DOCTOR WHO TRAILER (stolen from zeitheist) OMG OMG OMG OMG


Other thoughts on other things (spoilers)!

The City & The City )

Downton Abbey )
switchbladesis: (Default)
Meme Time!  Stolen from everyone else:

 The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who have influenced you and will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes, and they don't have to be listed in order of relevance to you.

Some of these are current favorites, some of these are long-lived phases in my life:

Cut for the suspense! )

God Dammit, I forgot Connie WIllis.
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