World Wide Websday: March 26, 2014

Lists and Awards

I’m list-lite this week, so here are Buzzfeed’s reasons that 2014 may be the best year for fantasy books in a long time. These aren’t necessarily my reasons that 2014 will be good for fantasy, because men-posing-with-medieval-weapons just isn’t my genre, but hey.

Articles and Such

And now for all the miscellany I could find! First, from Ryan, here’s a good Atlantic article asking why every YA action heroine has to be so tiny and fragile. Speaking as a girl who spent her middle school years hulking through the halls and reading YA fantasy about bird-boned girls who have mighty adventures—DUDE, WHY. Especially if they’re going to learn a weapon and ride into battle.

From Suvudu, we have a plaintive article asking why there aren’t any good movies based on video games. Except the jokes on them, because Super Mario Bros. was the most amazing/terrible movie of my youth. If you’ve forgotten the glory of Dennis Hopper as King Koopa (it happened, folks), here’s the preview.

Also, i09’s March Madness book competition continues, with many opportunities for voting. Right now I think it’s Lord of the Rings versus Game of Thrones (obviously, there’s only one clear choice to rule them all here). Speaking of Game of Thrones, apparently a teacher cowed his students into silence by threatening to spoil the ending of the show for them. Kind of awesome.

The last piece of news is apparently “groundbreaking” and “important to our scientific future” or whatever. Here’s the Scientific American article about our recent detection of gravitational waves from the Big Bang. And here’s the scientist who first postulated their existence, getting to hear the news.

Publishing and Writing

Courtesy of Bill, we’ve got some really interesting news and discussions about the children’s publishing industry this week. First, the New York Times has a compelling, personal essay asking where all the children of color are in children’s fiction. It explains very clearly why it’s so important for people to see their own lives and experiences humanized in their fiction. On the same subject, here’s a more call-to-action-y article, which calls it the “apartheid” of children’s literature and adds some depressing statistics.

In more exciting kid lit news, a couple of big publishers have said they’ll stop marketing books specifically for girls or boys. It’s based on this radical theory that children are not creepy cardboard cutouts labeled PRINCESSES and MONSTER TRUCKS, and that it’s probably okay for boys and girls to read the same books.

All the Pretty Things


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ALIX E. HARROW recently got her MA in History at the University of Vermont, and has circled back to her Old Kentucky Home with her partner Nick Stiner. She spends her time desperately repairing their newly-purchased home, reading fantasy books, throwing a frisbee for their neurotic border collie, and trying to cook authentic Mexican food. She makes a hilariously small amount of money writing high school history curriculum. Alix is dipping her toes into the blogosphere at The Other Side of the Rain, in an attempt to sharpen her writing skills and also not-incidentally talk about the books she loves. Some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Susanna Clarke.

View all posts by Alix E. Harrow

5 comments

  1. April /

    I resemble your remark ‘hulking through the halls’, I was a good foot taller than any of my classmates in school (I grew so fast that I have stretch marks on my legs). However, YA fantasy was thin on the ground in my area (or maybe I just could never find it?) so I was ‘hulking’ and reading adult…er…fantasies geared towards older folks. I didn’t discover the joy of YA until I was well out of high school.

  2. Sarah Webb /

    For a great YA book check out Stray by Andrea Host. Things I loved about it – No instant love connection, the heroine is smart about the crush she does develop, ‘he might be cute, but I don’t know enough about him’. The heroine is an average girl. Not spectacularly beautiful, not super athletic, she doesn’t have the super power that will save the universe. She gets thrown into another world without the book ending up reading like a rpg adventure. It’s told in diary format, and her voice is perfect. I know, I should write a guest review.

  3. Finally I don’t have to feel like a total weirdo for reading Heinlein and Norton when I was a little girl.

    • April /

      Nope, I was there too. I’m sure there are others out there. Although I have to say that Heinlein never appealed. Asimov, on the other hand…

  4. I liked the “13 Reasons..” from Buzzfeeds until I saw Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan. Now I question their opinion of good books. BloodSong was bad, not horrible bad, but like High School creative writing project bad.

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