Links of Great Interest: Tons of signal boosts this week


Signal Boost: Support Split This Rock!

Signal Boost: Crowd-funded YA fantasy.

Signal Boost: Hollowstone ahoy!

Signal Boost: Blog Like It’s the End of the World 2012 is already organizing.

Signal Boost: Support HeroRats.

Signal Boost: Soulfege is back!

Signal Boost: Woman who kicked her abuser out needs some help.

Like what you hear? Sistah Vegan needs help to continue her research.

Al Qaeda has a new leader who has been involved in the organization for years.

From Finbarr: A wishlist for aromantic characters.

Vijay Prashad on the sorrows of Afghanistan.

Boy suspended for wearing heels.

Talk to your kids about gaming before someone else does.


The Help… is not a good book.

Tensions rise in the Afghan gov’t.

On fanfic and the Holocaust

Professor Sun won her case.

Only two Miss USA candidates believe in evolution. TBH I think this is less about the contest/pageant and more about a growing trend towards conservatism and fundamentalism in the US.

US Airways likes their men in panties… but not pants!

Be still, my heart! <3 <3 <3

Damn. Real Talk on being the wife of a Wounded Warrior.

Some Catelyn Stark looooooooooooooooooove.

Dental school app includes Native languages!


  1. Jenny Islander says

    Apropos of links of great interest, has anybody here heard from Bellatrys, AKA Philosopher at Large or P@L, in the past two years? IIRC she was featured in a LOGI post some time back. Her LJ features some mind-blowing posts about what it’s like to be gaslighted by your own parents, life in a patriocentric household headed by a narcissist, and the philosophical underpinnings of the Discworld. (Full disclosure: I used to comment there. There’s a post somewhere in the archives where she more or less tells me “I spit on everything I think you stand for” and *wince* I think I used the tone argument. After that I just lurked.)

    For some reason, she’s on my mind tonight–as if I have to make an effort to find out whether she’s okay before I can sleep. Maybe it’s her compelling writing; I hadn’t looked at her blog in ages before tonight, but memory chains pull up bits of her story occasionally. Plus there’s her needle-sharp sense of wordplay. Lexicution. Gandersauce. Plus the illustration she did for the first Gor book, in which she used John Norman’s exact descriptions to lay the real underpinnings of Norman’s hyper-macho prose, um, bare.

  2. Korva says

    Thanks a bunch for the “aromantic characters wishlist”. As an asexual who is very much fed up with the SEXSEXSEXSEXSEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! obsession in our culture, I want to underline every word in the former with bold neon colors, because it is very rare to find someone who understands how I feel about such things, and even rarer to find a story that I can identify with.

    Also thanks you for the “fanfic and the Holocaust” link. I don’t care for X-men and haven’t seen the movie it refers to, but it is definitely a post worth reading, because the “message” I get from it should true for any writer in any setting.

  3. says

    Re: D&D and kids, ouch. I was getting a bad vibe off the author when he claimed that an adult man writing about being a female child was just as inauthentic as an adult woman writing about being a female child. Well, 1) not really, he’s missing two instead of one demographics, 2) why is he so defensive about “authenticity” from the start and 3) I may not be a female child now, but I have been one in the past, so I still have firsthand knowledge that he doesn’t. So reading his past misogyny just confirms my initial impression.

    It’d be nice if someone does write up a how-to guide on girls and tabletop games, though. Not necessarily a woman, I think a father of gaming girls could also have a useful perspective. I played D&D for a few months in college but was driven away by the misogyny of some of the players, despite the female dungeonmaster sticking up for us when she could. (Of course, the only reason they disliked my roommate and I was because we were “newbies”. Had nothing to do with our gender. They don’t even see gender! No really.) Now I’ve run one short GURPS campaign for my kids and their friends, despite having little experience, and they keep begging me to run more for them. They love it and I’d like to encourage that love.

  4. Jaynie says

    I’d like to second the thanks for the aromantic characters wishlist link, even though I am neither aromantic nor asexual! There are two reasons for this — one is that, despite being basically inclined towards romance, it’s not something I want in my life at this precise moment and the media makes me feel like that’s a terrible thing. The other (more significantly) is that my own preferences inform my writing, often without me noticing, and articles like this remind me to branch out. There is certainly one character I’m writing who ought to have been aromantic and asexual all along, but who I kept trying to pin distant hints of romantic interest on, probably because I’ve been trained to do so by a media which thinks aromantic = evil. I mean, I knew RATIONALLY that that wasn’t true, but it does help to be reminded once in a while, because these problems are so hard to spot if you don’t go looking for them. So, thank you for (hopefully) making me a better writer!

  5. says

    I could try and write a “my perspective on what works and doesn’t work for girls in tabletops” thing. It’d be pretty short, though, honestly: respect the choices they make as far as characters and plots are concerned; help out when they ask and maybe even offer assistance if they seem troubled, but don’t get pushy or condescending; pick up on relative levels of enthusiasm for different types of interaction…

    …y’know, treat them like people. Weird idea, I know.

  6. says

    Jaynieprobably because I’ve been trained to do so by a media which thinks aromantic = evil.

    Also: sexually repulsive and/or emotionally damaged. Yeah. I’m actually writing a novel with an aromantic character right now, and I’ve been working on said novel off and on for decades, and everyone in Hollywood who read it when it was in script form? “It’s great! Just needs some sex.” Head, desk.

    It’s almost impossible to write an aromantic character because the audience is so trained to assume romanticism that they interpret the lack of it as an omission rather than a statement in and of itself.

  7. Maria says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I think that’s one of the neat things about Resident Evil 4 — not only does it pass the Bechdel test in the first five minutes, but there’s no romantic subtext. Just zombies and psychic awesomeness and some really weird dogs.

  8. M.C. says

    Jennifer Kesler
    It’s almost impossible to write an aromantic character because the audience is so trained to assume romanticism that they interpret the lack of it as an omission rather than a statement in and of itself.

    Unless it’s aimed at children, which is one of the reasons why I like many kid’s shows/books.
    “Maid Marian and her Merry Men” ran for 4 seasons and Marian never had a love interest – she was even outright disgusted when Guy and Much showed some interest.
    In “The Sarah Jane Adventures” Maria Jackson had a very close friendship with Luke and Clyde, but that was it.
    In the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” novels Violet was so busy keeping herself and her siblings alive that she never thought about taking some time for romance.
    And George & Annie from Lucy & Stephen Hawking’s children’s novels spend all their time exploring the universe with not even one hint of sexual tension.
    Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome Talia from the “Percy Jackson” series who chose to be one of Artemis’s virginal hunters.

  9. says


    Agreed, but I think most people assume the characters are still sexual/romantic, but that it’s being kept off-screen for the benefit of an audience that’s not yet particularly interested in that stuff (yet). The presumption that all fully and properly developed adults must be sexual and romantic in nature is extremely prevalent. I have heard many, many people over the years express outright disbelief that ANYONE could be intentionally celibate or uninterested in sex/romantic relationships. Those are just lies people use when they (a) are too repulsive to get any sex or (b) are a sexual deviant and don’t want to admit it, these people claim.

    Of course, these people are of the same ilk as the folks who assume gays are child molesters because many molesters are same sex abusers, and would never think to, like, look up some actual information on that before going forth to vote most ironically for the DOMA.

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