Becky’s Bookshelf: Required Reading For Fangirls

I haven’t done much with the Character’s Bookshelf series lately, but it is still a concept very close to my heart. So today, let me offer you Becky’s Bookshelf. Becky Rosen, of course, is the fangirl from within the Supernatural universe, the Mary Sue made flesh, the ultimate defiance of the fourth wall. She is a fan of the same characters every Supernatural-fan is a fan of: the Winchesters. And here’s what she, and any other fangirl, should have on their bookshelves.

Fic by Anne Jamison

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Fic is an incredible book by an incredible author. Anne Jamison is a professor of English at the University of Utah. She holds a PhD from Princeton, and she’s written an entire book about fanfiction and the way it’s changing the landscape of literature and culture. Apart from a number of surprising insights into the world of publishing and internet fandom, I also got an endless list of to-read fics from this book.

Get your very own copy here:

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World

 

Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli Continue reading

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Prospects & Presumptions: The Ebook

Ladies & Gents,

My 2014 novella Prospects & Presumptions is now available as an ebook. You can buy it through Amazon here.

As a special treat I’ve decided to publish an excerpt on this blog. Enjoy!

Part I: Northing Cottage

It is generally considered rude to wake people with bad news. However, like most unpleasant things, bad news usually has unpleasant timing. That is why Mr Porter came to Northing Cottage that night. He dismounted, wiped the rain from his brow and knocked on the door. Northing was a small house that could, with a great deal of cramming and good manners, lodge five people at most, and so it often did. This particular evening, however, it housed only three.

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Smurrie

With apologies to my English friends and readers, I’d like to share a short story of mine written in Dutch. It was published in Babel Magazine this month, a publication affiliated with the Humanities Department of the University of Amsterdam.

The illustration is by the talented Winona van den Bosch

Attached to this story comes an interesting tale of its production: I originally wrote it last year, when I was reading Neil Gaiman’s excellent bundle of short stories, Trigger Warning, and wanted to try my hand at something similar. This year, I sent the story in to be judged for the Harland Awards, where it was ranked at the very bottom. The judges did not like it one bit. Naturally, I was discouraged, so it was with some apprehension that I ended up sending Smurrie in to Babel. WhatI’m trying to say is that this story taught me something about being a writer, or an aspiring writer. Never give up.

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Text available under the cut.

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Sense8…… CANCELLED!?

For almost a year, I’ve had a blogpost in my drafts folder titled 80 Reasons To Love Sense8. It was originally going to be titled 8 Reasons, and the setup was that I’d link each of the main characters to one of my favorite aspects of the show. The reason it didn’t work was because I had TOO MANY THINGS I LOVE ABOUT SENSE8and so, after the New Year’s special and the equally stellar second season, I started working on the 80 Reasons. It’s a moot point now: the show has been cancelled.

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The first stage of grief, as you know, is denial. Is this a hoax? Is Netflix on some sick power-trip? Are they going to up their monthly rates and is this an attempt to show us how reliant we’ve become on them? Because if so, it’s working. I’m biting my nails to the quick and tearing my hair out and one wrong comment away from crying. No kidding. They don’t call me Frenzied Fangirl for nothing.

And the reason I’m sad isn’t even primarily that I won’t get to see any more of my favorite cluster, although, after last seasons cliffhanger that breaks my heart. I’m dying to see how Nomi and Neets organize their wedding. I’m dying to see what Kala’s shady husband is up to. I’m dying to know how we’re going to rescue Wolfgang, and what we’re going to do with Whispers now we’ve got his sneaky ass caught. I want justice of Sun Bak. I want Capheus to be elected president and I want to see Lito achieve commercial success as an openly gay man. Is that too much to ask?!

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But that’s not the main reason I’m sad. I’m sad because this television show was a game-changer for the entertainment industry and I’m afraid its cancellation has brought us back to square one. I’m sad because of what Sense8 means to me, and to countless other people who have felt like they were other for most of their lives. I’m sad because Nomi was shoved under boiling hot water for being trans, and I’m sad because Lito’s career has somehow become threatened by his sexual orientation, and I’m sad because Nigerian politics are corrupt and because the world is full of sexism and racism and homophobia. I’m sad because sometimes, sometimes, just for a little while, Sense8 made me believe that a strong sense of community, empathy and mutual understanding could overcome these hateful phenomena. Tonight I mourn a show that gave me a sense of empowerment and agency and belonging.

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Nomi: Your life is either defined by the system or the way you defy the system.

Sense8 was cancelled tonight, but in a thousand ways it’s only just beginning. For me, this show was the opening salvo in a long-lasting war against bigotry and hatred, which will be battled in terms of television and books and songs and comics and any type of media we deem useful. I will miss Sense8 because it reminded me of the political power of stories, and that power is not something Netflix can cancel.

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