This week’s culture round-up

From The Guardian, an interesting article about the representation of depression through the ages: From Melancholia to Prozac and, on a sort of related note, on the Cardiff Sci-Screen blog, a short essay about Psychiatrists on the Silver Screen.

From QueerReader, a review of Christopher Bram’s book Eminent Outlaws, a history of gay male authors in America

In The Guardian, Sarah Waters wrote an article about neglected writer Sylvia Townsend Warner and Belinda Webb responded with another article Neglected women writers: this is a class issue.

The Little Red Reviewer reviews Packing for Mars by Mary Roach, which sounds like about as much fun as you can have with a popular science book.

From, a review of Caitlin R. Keirnan’s new book, The Drowning Girl, A Memoir  (Hat tip: Roz Kaveney on twitter).  I haven’t read anything by Keirnan yet, although I’ve heard a lot of good things about her writing.

From the FWord, The Twilighting of Near Dark , a look at how new posters for Kathryn Bigelow’s classic vampire film have been ‘Twilighted’.  I don’t have too much of a problem with this if it gets people to watch Near Dark, but yeah …

Peter Bradshaw reviews the new CGI-ridden, budget-blowing SF epic John Carter.  He didn’t like it.

There’s been a lot of discussion about the representation of female characters recently with people getting increasingly critical of the term ‘strong female character’. From The New York Times, A plague of strong female characters  and (via Foz Meadows on twitter): Tough but Tortured: Why strong female characters shouldn’t need dark pasts to justify their power

Meanwhile, Stavvers expresses murderous feelings towards the trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl  and pointed us towards another post on the subject here, Kooky Monster.

Speaking of female characters, from Madame Guillotine, here’s one hell of a real-life historical woman Catherine de Medici

The Mary Sue has a post about a pack of French playing cards from 1902 depicting women of the future.  The cards are making fun of feminism, but I can’t help thinking that these women look rather awesome.

Via Charles Stross on twitter, a Joanna Russ book cover fail.  Talk about missing the point!

A couple of funny, but telling posts about gender and fandom, via infamy_infamy on twitter, gendered responses to male and female actors and, via @redhead5318 on twitter, What if male superheroes costumes were designed like female superheroes?

And, thanks to @zendirtzendust, something to cheer us up, a picture of Patrick Stewart being awesome and mostly naked

If that doesn’t do it for you, I think you’re a strange person, but try this  cat watching Star Wars.  The cat makes me think of Woody Allen – so worried and anxious.