This week’s culture round-up

I was hoping to make a start on my enormous backlog of posts and get some actual writing done this week, but an evil head cold has left me with just enough energy for a link round-up and nothing else.  The rest will have to wait until the New Year.

Let’s start with something serious.  From Lambada Literary, one for the queer theory fans, a review of an interesting book from Judith Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure

Quite a decent article about Jane Austen in the Guardian (via @nineteenthcenturystuff on twitter)

From Adventures of Comic Book Girl, another contribution to the recent feminist discussions about the term ‘Mary Sue’, Why the concept of Sue is sexist

From Tor.com, a post about one of my favourite SF novels, The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin

From Robert Ebert, a review of one of my favourite SF films, Contact.

From Den of Geek, an article about Philip Kaufman’s excellent 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I love the 1956 one too.  Not at all feminist either of them, but excellent films both.   The 2007 version, Invasion, which stars Nicole Kidman is a bit more feminist, but sadly not as good in other respects – although I didn’t think it was as bad as the reviewers claimed.

Personally, I think horror films about sweaty, beardy, paranoid men are for all the year round, but Den of Geek tells us why The Thing is just the thing for the festive season

From science fiction and other suspect ruminations, some doomed cities, post-apocalyptical ruins and war wrecked landscapes. Festive, no?

Here’s some silly Lord of the Rings stuff.  From Deeky at Dharma Pancakes a Lord of the Rings Pez Set. Also, (via @Scriptrix on twitter) here’s a well creepy Elvish wedding ring

From Tor.com, Star Trek people drinking coffee

And here’s one for the season.  My Mum used to have a knitted Virgin and Child tree ornament (which has since “disappeared”), but it had nothing on any of these:  The 11 most unintentionally creepy christmas ornaments