Some Recent Newsletters You Might Have Missed!

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.

The Horrible Endgame of the Legislative Attack on Trans Kids

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?

To Survive a Year of Covid, Indie Booksellers Had To Reimagine What It Means To Be a Bookstore

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.

Yes, You Are Trans Enough. Yes, Your Identity is Valid. No, You Shouldn't Police Other Trans People's Identities.

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.

10 Hot Takes About Star Wars

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.

What Samuel Johnson Can Teach Us About Separating Art from the Artist

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.

The Truth About Literary Fiction

“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.

We NEED a Squirrel Girl TV Show Immediately If Not Sooner!

What I love about The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is it revels in the absurdity of superheroes, without ever shading over into dissing superheroes. 

Don't Let Genre Tropes Boss You Around

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.”

How to Write a Space Opera That's Not Quite So Messed Up

The good news is, lots of people are doing really interesting work right now to bring space opera into the 21st century.

Here are the Things That I Love Right Now

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.

Superhero TV Shows Are Way Better (And More Varied) Than People Give Them Credit

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. 

Some Vital Formative Experiences All Cis Women Share (Which Trans Women Don't)

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.