It’s been a couple months since I left Substack, and I have been meaning to send all my Substack subscribers a set of links to my recent newsletters in their new home at Buttondown. I keep forgetting, so here’s one big dollop of recent stuff, all in one go. If you’re not subscribed to my Buttondown newsletter, you can do so here.
What kinds of conversations could we be having about trans kids if we weren’t having to spend all our time arguing against this legislative abuse and all of the misinformation behind it?
I talked to a dozen local booksellers about what they’ve learned from a year of covid-19, and the lessons range from inspiring to dispiriting.
You never have a magic wand come down and boop you on the head and sparkle-anoint you as a fully qualified trans/nb/gnc person. I think if I ever stop being confused about my identity, I will just vanish in a puff of certainty.
It’s weird enough that the Jedi use this benevolent, empathic power to go around slicing and dicing with their laser swords — but it’s especially incongruous that they go around imposing their wills on everyone else.
Johnson wasn’t here for any “death of the artist” nonsense, partly because Roland Barthes hadn’t shown up yet, but partly because Johnson apparently saw the artist’s life as inextricable from his (and it’s all dudes in Johnson’s book) work.
“Literary” novels include beach reads that sell hundreds of thousands of copies, as well as odd experiments that sell hundreds of copies – which is also true of science fiction and fantasy, of course.
What I love about The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is it revels in the absurdity of superheroes, without ever shading over into dissing superheroes.
We spend so much time consuming genre stories, we start to take for granted that of course your spy thriller is going to have a ticking time bomb or a heist or a chase scene at exactly the same point in the story, every time. It’s hard to take a step back and say, “I’m going to only use incidents and world-building that serve the story I’m trying to tell.”
The good news is, lots of people are doing really interesting work right now to bring space opera into the 21st century.
Here’s a special newsletter with just all the things I’ve adored recently. Including Plan B, We Are Lady Parts, plus books and music.
The history of superhero shows over the past twenty years has been pretty varied, and has consistently featured some really wild, big swings — some of which even reached a pretty widespread audience.
People’s faces appear to melt, turning into a kind of facial slurry, around your eleventh birthday. In some cases, people might also seem to cry tears of pure milk out of one eye and some sort of fruit juice out of the other.