cafenowhere: close-up photo of champagne cork (champagne)
Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Edited by Phoebe Wagner and Bronté Christopher Wieland, published by Upper Rubber Boot Books, Sunvault promises "a revolution against despair. Focusing on solutions to environmental disasters, solarpunk envisions a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom."

I'm proud that my poem "Strandbeest Dreams," cowritten with my husband, José Jimenez, is included in Sunvault, alongside work by Nisi Shawl, Daniel José Older, Bogi Takács, Jaymee Goh, and so many talented folks.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)
Last night J and I watched John Dies at the End (courtesy of [ profile] handful_ofdust). Originally, I'd planned to read the book, but then I got confused as to whether it was a book or movie, and I ended up with it in my movie queue. Given David's narration in the movie, I think it worked out for the best. I'm not sure I could've handled that voice in my head for long. (Although I was curious about whether the book made David's mother's mental status do more heavy lifting. Feel free to spoil me in the comments!)

That said, I'm unsure what I think of the movie itself. I'll have to watch it again. My first impression is that it wasn't as wacky as it made itself out to be. Also, I don't think it's just my degree in philosophy that made the film's questions about time and space feel sophomoric. David's philosophizing actually made Catholicism sound logical in comparison--which is not meant as a dig at Catholicism, because faith and religious paradoxes, etc. (The Catholic detective had the strongest characterization and some of the best lines in the movie.) As I watched, I kept thinking of Vonnegut and Lynch and Naked Lunch--all tough acts to follow. Or maybe I'm missing something, maybe I'm too old. The munitions factory sequence especially reminded me of Slaughterhouse-Five.

But Clancy Brown! I've loved him since Highlander.


Michael Northen reviewed WisCon Chronicles 7: Shattering Ableist Narratives for Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. Northen pays special attention to essays by s.e. smith, Nisi Shawl ( [ profile] nisi_la ), Kathryn Allan, and Andrea Hairston (who provides a seriously awesome analysis of the movie Source Code). Northen also mentions my essay, "Dead Man Not Walking: Bobby Singer's Paralysis and Repair on Supernatural." Here's my thesis:

One might expect a show revolving around combat to tell its story through a range of handicapped bodies and injured psyches. Instead, Bobby's paraplegia is the only physical disability of a main character on Supernatural. In fact, Bobby's reluctance to "emote" about his disability mirrors the show's reluctance to depict a physically disabled character. Its limited depiction reflects discomfort with highly visible assistive devices, value judgments regarding accommodation, and fears of uselessness and lost identity. Furthermore, the miracle cure Bobby receives at a plot-convenient moment suggests ease of storytelling trumps full participation of the disabled character.

This was a really important essay for me to write because I love Supernatural like whoa, but the whoa is sometimes because the show is deeply flawed in its treatments of race, gender, sexuality, and yes, disability. (In fact, I've outlined another essay about how Bobby's wheelchair storyline is used in the show.) I am deeply grateful to editor JoSelle Vanderhooft ( [ profile] upstart_crow ) for choosing my work for WCC7 and to Michael Northen for the in-depth review.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)
Hi! I feel crummy, and have for about a week now! But I don't want to talk about that because it is BORING. So instead I offer five happy-making things, with LINKS!

1. Pontypool. I'd been wanting to see this movie for a long time, and it finally appeared on my Netflix streaming queue. Here's the trailer. (Incidentally, the DJ's tirade against the winter weather is about twice as long as what you hear in the clip. I could identify.) Pontypool is an ambitious little horror movie uniquely suited to writerly audiences. It takes place almost entirely in a small-town radio station, over the course of one day. The three main characters (two of them women) gradually piece together the nature of a viral outbreak turning their town into babbling psychos. There's little gore (though what there is, is effectively distressing) and it comes maybe three-quarters of the way in. Almost all the suspense depends on storytelling: the DJ tells stories, people who call into the station give reports, messages come in via internet and disembodied military announcements. I found the premise imaginative and quite disconcerting. 

2. "Girls on Film: The Battle between Feminism and Horror". This essay does a super job of conveying both feminist successes and remaining challenges for portrayals of women in horror films. And note that the title itself is not careless. The central females in these movies are usually *girls*, not women. And that in itself is something to think about...

3. Gross bikes! You know those people whose reaction to smelling something truly heinous is to try to make YOU smell it? I'll admit, I'm being kind of like that here. I was looking up customized motorcycle gas tanks and I found, in addition to copious breasts--including some pneumatic examples on the Mona Lisa--this really disgusting bike that squicked me out, maybe even more so after I'd seen the smutty ones that give a whole new meaning to "crotch rocket." Because on this one, the gas tank looks like a human heart. The bike cost $120,000.

4. shared a youtube video by Caitlin, a fun, friendly mortician willing to answer random questions about death and funerary practices. In the posted vid, Caitlin explains rigor mortis and how long it lasts, as well as what does and does not happen during the cremation process. And she shows off her pet python.

5. I've been rewatching "Twin Peaks" (that's the happy-making thing) and I'm intrigued by its portrayals of characters with mental and physical handicaps (not happy but thoughtful-making). For example, Donna's mother uses a motorized wheelchair. A reason has not been given (I'm on ep 2.5 or 6), and it's not really relevant. There's a handsome young man who's a shut-in due to agoraphobia. The Log Lady, although she can be taken for laughs, is no sillier than any other character. As much credence is given to her log's eyewitness reports as to Agent Cooper's dream visions. There's a one-armed man who remains suspicious, and Nadine's bipolar behavior is over-the-top, but a lot of the characters are over-the-top. It's a soap that pokes fun at soaps. Still, much to think about...


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