This week’s culture round-up

Here’s a lovely post from fantasy writer Catherynne M. Valente, in which she attempts to explain the Arthurian legends to a 5 year-old: In which I completely fumble a child’s education

From Bad Reputation, Mark Graf reviews Cheek by Jowl’s production of John Ford’s tragedy, Tis’ Pity She’s a Whore, which sounds like an intriguing take on the text, and who doesn’t love a bit of 17th century revenge tragedy, eh?

You know, the older I get, the less I like Jeanette Winterson’s writing, but I found her essay in the New York Times about Henry Miller’s novel Tropic of Cancer really interesting. Hat tip: A Piece of Monologue.

Michael Cunningham, what have you done?  This new book sounds quite awful.

From Bitch Flicks, a review of the Glenn Close film Albert Nobbs: Exploring Constructions of Gender and Class 

The BBC showed a powerful documentary about the impact of AIDS in San Francisco in 1981: San Francisco’s Year Zero: We were here

On twitter, Roro of Creampuff Revolution pointed me in the direction of this lovely, touching site: Woolf and Wilde which features vintage photographs of men together (and sometimes women together) circa 1880 to 1950.

From Tor.com, here’s a bit of an offbeat take (which really hadn’t occurred to me) on the Charles Dickens bi-centenary: Happy 200th Birthday to Charles Dickens: A Man Integral to Science Fiction/Fantasy.

I haven’t even read much fan fiction, and yet, here I find myself riveted by the ongoing debate about the use of the term “Mary Sue”. I think this is because it raises so many issues around women’s writing, particularly the gendered cultural responses that are used to deny the value of women’s writing. So here’s another post on the subject: Who Mary Sue is and Who she Isn’t 

I love this: The Quiet Despair of the Starship Enterprise

From i09, 60+ Amazing Spaceship Concept Art Wallpapers

Now I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer (can’t stand Angel & ambivalent about Firefly), but I do get weary of all the feminist praise thrown Joss Whedon’s way when even Buffy is often problematic on that score, so I enjoyed this little post which draws connections between the sexist narrative patterns in Whedon’s shows: Seriously, it’s a really disturbing pattern.  Hat tip: Hoyden about Town.

Little Red Reviewer reviews SF novel  Faith by John Love, which sounds right up my street

Pickled Think has a list of SF&F anthologies relevant to feminism, activism and queer issues: Anthologies Relevant to my interests 

And, in science fact, Hubble captured a stunning image of barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073

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2 thoughts on “This week’s culture round-up

  1. Thanks for the Valente link, I don’t get to her blog as often as I’d like, and I do just adore her! Reason number eight hundred and fifty three that Catherynne Valente is awesome: Her best friend’s daughter’s name is Serenity. Also, Valente’s husband has a very sexy sounding first name.

    • I haven’t actually read any of her fiction, although Andy is a big fan. I do like her blog – lots of interesting posts about science fiction, fantasy and writing on there.

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