Archive for the ‘media’ Category


Green Lantern fan-made trailer

May 25, 2009

For a certain GL fan I know…


Variety of Things

August 5, 2008

1. IBARW3: Intersectionality

It’s the third annual International Blog Against Racism Week. This year, intersectionality! Sadly appropriate given all the bullshit that’s been flying around this year alone. The community will probably start posting links tonight or tomorrow, with a big round up at the end of the week.

2. Filter House by Nisi Shawl

Naamen loaned me Nisi Shawl’s Filter House which has pretty much had me riveted this whole weekend. Short stories of sci-fi and ghost stories? Sometimes both? Delicious. This is also the first spec fic book I’ve read where ATR’s get treated with any kind of respect. Shawl has a great way of grounding the everyday and normal with the strange and supernormal.

For gamers, I recommend it highly if you’re planning to play Shock or Steal Away Jordan, or better yet, some kind of mashup of the two…

3. The Middleman

Finally getting to check out a few episodes. It’s silly and fun, and I love the way it pokes fun at itself. Though I’ve only seen a little bit, I feel like they could push it harder- like Invader Zim harder. Some of the delivery feels a bit off, and I think they’d do well by watching some Stephen Chow movies to get the mood right.


And the cycle continues

July 11, 2008

As I was dealing with the foolishness that came my way from Debunking White Fantasy, over in sci-fi land another racial stupidstorm was in full effect.

1. William Sanders thought it would be ok to say stupid, racist shit in a rejection letter to an author.
2. Said letter gets leaked (later removed, but it’s the internet, once out, it’s there.)
3. Enter poor rationalizations, defenses, and minimalizing of bad behavior, pretty much the giant red flag of “I don’t see anything wrong with what I did and fuck you for pointing it out”.
4. Fandom proceeds to shift the blame, after all, shoot the messenger!
5. Ok, messenger shot. Now shoot the everyone else who brought attention to this!

Tobias even points out how interesting it is that the most hateful spew is aimed at the woman of color rather than, you know, the other white or male folks who also object to this bullshit.

As I said, sci-fi has breakouts- exceptions to the rule. That doesn’t mean the rule isn’t in effect.

The thing is, if we -just- had Sanders in this, it would be easy to write him off as a single, bigoted whackjob. But naturally, leave it to fandom to jump up to his defense to prove to us, no, racism is not an “isolated issue of a few disturbed individuals” but rather a movement and a way of life that permeates the scene. And how dare you expect the science fiction community to pull it’s collective heads from asses and get past the 50’s in terms of race and humanity…

Maybe they’re hoping once we’re “post human” racism won’t be an issue (“How do we solve racism? When you can choose to stop being black!”).

ETA: Now Sanders is charging people to have their stories removed, which indicates to me a fuckload of people no longer want to be associated with him or his magazine.

Interesting how this is about other people “showing off their PC principles” and not him showing off his racist principles. Because honestly, even if he gets to keep all the stories he currently has? Long run he’s just digging a hole.

Who pays attention to these kerfluffles? Hardcore fans. Who buys your magazine when the economy is down? Hardcore fans. Who buys your magazine even when it has less than stellar runs? Hardcore fans. Who does it not make sense to alienate?



Talking about Fantasy

June 24, 2008

Just recently read The Arrival and started re-reading The Orphan’s Tales, which got me to thinking about fantasy as a genre.

There’s something powerful about being able to write stories which are cut away from our historical associations. The ability to distill ideas and symbols without having to navigate the loaded complexities of history and culture but instead write the story on your own terms. (Which is not to say that fantasy, or any genre can exist completely outside of the context of our world, there is the matter of the writer and the interpretation by readers, but you get the idea.)

Of course, this is where we see fantasy’s big split.

What passes for fantasy these days, is mostly action-adventure stories dressed up with swords and dragons. There is no symbolism- the history of the world, the gods, the monsters, the magic, all of it is explained for you. It is all literal and has a single definition, problems are understood and so is how you solve them. Even if the heroes are in danger, you’re completely safe in knowing what’s going on with the story. (The publishers also get to feel safe too, but for different reasons…)

Classic fantasy, like myths, like fairytales, like the books I linked above? Those aren’t safe. They’re about things we don’t understand, with fuzzy interpretations and while some kinds of evil are easy to identify, what you do to deal with it is not. It’s about violating boundaries- you come home and you find a wolf in a bloody nightgown trying to impersonate your grandmother.

It’s about dealing with the unknown and because it’s unknown, the mind grasps at straws for associations, interpretations, anything to get a bead on it. No wonder fantasy is aimed at children- navigating the unknown, dealing with the irrationality of human nature, these are the cliff notes kids need.

The genre’s ability to speak deeply on human nature and life is also why there’s a lot of violent protest over who gets to define what fantasy is, and who it serves. You’d imagine that something even more fictional than typical fiction would have more room for more people, but, as I said to begin with- even fantasy doesn’t get to exist outside of real world context.


The Middle Man

June 5, 2008

One of my favorite indie comics, The Middle Man, is getting turned into a TV show!

The comic is a hilarious sort of tongue in cheek, anything goes- kind of pulp story, where you have martial arts masters against armies of luchadores. My fear is that the tv series is going to cross over from funny to twitchy, which is a hard line to walk. The tendency of Hollywood to turn “everything is silly” to “these OTHER people are silly” has me sketched out. Plus, some of the occassional raunchy humor I expect to completely evaporate with ABC family.

Oh, well, we’ll see.