Archive for ‘links’

October 4, 2015

Of Interest (4 October, 2015)


Books and films and stuff:

I haven’t read Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant and I don’t think I’m likely to. But there’s been a discussion about it, and tragic queer narratives, and occasionally empire, bouncing around my internet space for a few weeks now, and I thought this post by Arkady Martine was very good. Also worth reading, this storify of tweets by Heather Rose Jones.

As the possessor of a wobbly accent, I loved Rega Jha’s defense of Priyanka Chopra’s.

Because I’m reading Signs Preceding the End of the World, here’s Yuri Herrera in conversation with Daniel Alarcón.

Shameless self-plug: Me, Ethan Robinson, Erin Horáková and Ben Gabriel talk about Jupiter Ascending and (I think) say some good and entertaining things. They are all great and I want to watch movies with them all the time.

Alejandro Zambra and Matt Nelson talking about opacity, morality, other things. (Are all the good book and film pieces conversations nowadays? I’d have linked to this last week but I was linking to so many interviews.)


Not-books and not-films and stuff:

George Yancy and Paul Gilroy on Blackness in Britain.

Mirza Arif Beg has a photo essay about the bridges of Delhi and what goes on beneath them, and it’s lovely and also makes me homesick.

Ravish Kumar on the murder of Mohammed Akhlaq. Everything about this story is horrifying, but this piece is unashamedly personal and hit me harder than anything else I’ve read about the case has yet.

I’m suspicious of Public Intellectuals but this, by Pratap Bhanu Mehta,  is searing and necessary and … public in ways that feel like they might be important.

Rahawa Haile on being Eritrean, on climate change, on being human and less than human. This is so good and I just want to read it out loud to myself.

Via the Interstitial Arts Foundation on twitter, this amazing stained glass botanical garden in Toluca, Mexico.

This piece, entirely for the line “Indeed so refined were his feelings, according to his daughter Emily Bayley, that he could not bear to see women eat cheese.” Or mostly for that line, anyway. 

September 27, 2015

Of Interest (27 September, 2015)


First and most importantly:

If you haven’t read Sofia Samatar’s Skin Feeling essay, you need to do so now. I’m a little shattered by it, but in as good a way as being emotionally broken can be. (Will this be the week the whole Sunday Reading crew post the same link? It might be.)


Other good things:

Black Love Post-Death, by Jessica Marie Johnson. “I’m interested in ways #BlackLivesMatter demands a radical seeing of each other — intra-black, infrared, diasporic, futuristic, historic, archived and unimaginable”. (Via Keguro Macharia)

Multiple excellent people saying multiple excellent things on this roundtable on gender and fashion.

An article on femininity and performance in fatshion blogs (link is to a pdf), via @nanayasleeps on twitter.

I love accounts of historical links between Africa and Asia, particularly India. This piece tracing the origins of baobab trees  in India is wonderful.

I was reading through the SH articles archive, as you do, and was reminded of this fantastic Karen Burnham piece.

I am trying very hard not to be charmed by Nell Zink, damnit. “I think Mikki will appreciate how hard it is for women to be feminists in a clinch, especially around strangers. ”

I do not want to not be charmed by Kiran Nagarkar, which is good because he is a delight in this interview. Via Anil Menon.

AnOther’s history of female Afrofuturist fashion.

Morgan Parker’s “If You Are Over Staying Woke”, which I found via Vajra Chandrasekera, is glorious.

Classical pigs. Via Alex von Tunzelmann

Karen Lord introduces Jamaica Kincaid’s “Ovando“.



September 20, 2015

Of Interest (20 September, 2015)


Okay, the Jalada language issue is HUGE.

In honour of the Strange Horizons fund drive, about which I’ll be doing a proper post soon, here’s a link to a book club discussion from some months ago of which I’m very proud.(You should also read the book in question, it’s brilliant.)

Alexander Chee being wonderful on Elena Ferrante, anonymity and public personas.

Here’s Nino Cipri on what does not look like a great book.

Via Ethan Robinson, Kurt Newman on Graham Harman on H.P. Lovecraft. (‘The knowledgeable reader is no doubt shouting at me: “Don’t go in the house! There’s so much racism in there!!!”’)

Via Gee Brunswick, Uma Narayan reviews Half the Sky.

I was lucky enough to livestream some of the amazing conversations at Ferguson is the Future, but if you missed them (or want to watch them again because they were so good) they still seem to be available here.

Really, really, really looking forward to Karthika Nair’s Until the Lions. Jai Arjun Singh interviews her here (and part II)

Also a good interview: this conversation between Mairead Case and Jessa Crispin.


Sofia Samatar:

Sofia Samatar interviews Sarah McCarry.

Sofia Samatar interviews Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Roland Glasser.

Sofia Samatar has a new story out and it’s amazing.



Ananya Jahanara Kabir on Black Magic Women, via Mahvesh Murad.

Aaron Bady on Hollywood and Africa, Taylor Swift and White supremacy, which is a good piece and also very relevant to my own interests.

… it also works well with Robin James’s piece on “Shake It Off”, here. (Via, unsurprisingly, Aaron Bady)


… Other?:

Sarah Jaffe on the “do what you love” myth feels vital.

How Britain Buried the Brutality of its Colonial Past. Maya Goodfellow at Media Diversified.

Shruti Ravindran’s science writing is wonderful and here she is on hearing (and listening to) voices.

Via Chapati Mystery, this interview with James C. Scott.

Landscapes of Exclusion: Hope Wabuke in conversation with Carolyn Finney, on blackness and environmental movements and existing in the world. This is wonderful.

Sinthujan Varatharajah on carrying his name across borders. Via Amba Azaad.

September 13, 2015

Of Interest (13 September, 2015)

Links! Unsorted this weekend.

One of my favourite authors on one of my favourite books. I’d read anything Karen Joy Fowler wrote, and that she loves The Once And Future King doesn’t surprise me, and also makes me very happy.

Something about this piece by Helénē Schouten feels to me like it should be a short animated film–and there are moments that made me stop and gasp.

America’s Wild West narratives, sheikhs and desert love. I like this Amira Jarmakani piece and simultaneously want to be reading another piece (possibly also by her) that reads the books themselves more closely.

Darren Anderson watches The Wizard of Oz.

Joshua Clover on Children of Men

On The Witch of Clatteringshaws and Joan Aiken’s vision for our future (and where is the essay on The Shepherd’s Crown and The Witch of Clatteringshaws that this blogpost (by the author’s daughter, Lizza Aiken, I think?) has convinced me we deserve?

Luke Bennett on the A380.

@piercepenniless, who I follow on twitter, was suspended by the site recently for quoting Sean Bonney and wrote this in response and it is good.

Dara Khan on war games and gaming in a time of war.

Is Anne Boyer ever not amazing? Serious question.

Tananarive Due on Fear of the Walking Dead and being this culture’s zombies.

Kagiso Mnisi interviews Lindokuhle Ngosi and it’s just a really good conversation.




August 30, 2015

Of Interest (30 August, 2015)

I’ve not done this for a couple of weeks, so this may possibly be long. Possibly.



This conversation between Ethan Robinson and Kip Manley and everything that either of them links to is wonderful (and they are wonderful).

And so Chughtai constantly invites scrutiny”.  Tahira Naqvi, here

M. Asli Dukan gives me the critical term I needed in the White Fantastic Imagination.

Young Black Writers: After Michael Brown (via Kate Schapira)

Slightly in love with Akwaeke Emezi’s prose. Via the Blaft twitter account.

“How did you ever get away with it?” Gwyneth Jones’s letter to James Tiptree Jr.

Aseem Shrivastava on Premchand in the Caravan (Via Chapati Mystery)

Jamaica Kincaid on James Baldwin


Serena Williams:

This piece by Claudia Rankine is the best thing you’ll read this week and I can’t believe you haven’t already, if you haven’t already.

Brian Philips on Williams (by way of Christopher Logue)

Mallory Ortberg wrote commemorative fanfiction of Serena Williams and Drake’s relationship (this is just a very good week for Williams-related writing, okay?)


Neither Books Nor Serena:

Nanjala Nyabola on Europe’s empathy crisis.

Hannah Black on social media, performance, violence.

Europeans attempt to draw elephants (via Richard Palmer)

More elephants! By Arati Rao.

Nadika on online dating while trans (via Supriya Nair)

There’s so much in this piece by Kate Schapira that I want to  yes but at and it’s wonderful.

Natalia Cecire on Apple, Google, modernism and childhood. (Via what felt like half the world, and you’ve probably seen it already, and it’s fantastic)

Kuzhali Manickavel watches some exotic occidental movies.

Bats inside carnivorous plants! (via Kate Schapira) (“where is my mutualism partner?”)

Nilakantan R.S. on the desertification of Tamil Nadu.


August 9, 2015

Of Interest (9 August, 2015)



Jeff VanderMeer reads Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories.

Ainehi Edoro on Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon (which I wrote about here); this piece says particularly good things about the novel’s claiming of SF for Africa (and this strikes me as a very different thing to the reverse, claiming certain African narratives for SF)

Diana Fuss on Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and “the interpretive work of being human“.

This interview with Juliana Spahr is short but great and involves a reading. (And I’m indebted to Sridala for my copy of This Connection of Everyone With Lungs a few years ago)

Mahesh Rao writes a sex scene.

H is for Hawk is one of those books I had to keep closing and kept cutting too close and I may link to a million reviews of it and here is one by Dinah Lenney.

If colonialism was the apocalypse, what comes next?


Not books:

Supriya Nair wrote about cricket advertising in India and it is wonderful. I would read anything she ever wrote (I probably have read her shopping lists) but Supriya on sport is probably one of my favourite things in the world. (See also this piece on the football World Cup from last year)

This interview with Elysia Crampton (via Ethan Robinson) is astonishing and beautiful. “[...] not only how to make sense of this split within me, but how to live successfully with such a split, knowing that it goes all the way down, cutting up subjectivities, negating false claims to nativity, erasing naturalities, denouncing binaries all by my mere existing, making everything queer.”

Via Eric Gurevitch, this podcast discussing  societies’ historical relationships with elephants in India and other places. This should probably come under books because Thomas Trautmann (on the podcast) has written one about this, but. Elephants!

Taran N. Khan on wearing and not wearing the shameez.

There’s something deeply gratifying about seeing one’s culture as of the moment.” Navneet Alang on Buzzfeed, virality, cultural imperialism and resistance (I have conflicted feelings about this one).

Prachi Patankar on yoga, Hinduism and cultural appropriation.

Malcolm Harris thinks you should probably maybe stop trying to have sex with robots.

I am so, so glad of Sara Ahmed.Via Kawrage on tumblr.


August 2, 2015

Of Interest (2 August, 2015)


“This is a story about bindis, I think”. Vijeta Kumar on Arundhati, saris, and being the protagonist. (I’m still waiting for someone to write the Baahubali-as-epic-fantasy, so can you get on that, world?)

Via Kate Schapira, this story which kind of looks like the sort of fiction she writes but is real.

Manan Ahmed Saif in the Caravan on histories of partition.

a kind of historical daybreak“; Nayanjot Lahiri on Asoka’s stone edicts, also in the Caravan.

Evan Smith on the Communist Party and its role in Britain’s anti-racist movement.

Why can’t people imagine a future without falling into the sexist past?” (You all already know the answer to this one though)

Lavelle Porter on Henry Dumas, Afrofuturism, #BlackLivesMatter, via Sofia Samatar. This is great.

[This is a space I'm leaving for an appropriately Important-feeling piece on the death of Yakub Memon (suggestions welcome)]

Always revisit this piece by Kristin Cashore on Jansson’s Moomins. Always revisit the Moomin books.

David Thomson’s review of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night made me very happy.

I’d like to start our time together with a moment of breath and awareness for this work and what we are holding.”

July 26, 2015

Of Interest (26 July, 2015)



Austin Walker on superheroes and cities, via Ben Gabriel.

Casey Plett on kindness, call-outs and having people Ally at you. I love this for the word “oogy” which is exactly right for what it describes, and I love that it reminded me of this gorgeous piece by Elena Rose, and it’s just good in several ways. Via Keguro Macharia.

A Kuzhali Manickavel thing.

Ness Io Kain on expressing gender identity in video game avatars, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf‘s weird committment to the gender binary, via Maureen Kincaid Speller. (Lots of really good linked pieces as well)

By Metta Sáma, Rage, Rage Against: For the guy who said it wasn’t about race but about bad choices in friends. Via Sridala Swami.

Always reread Sofia Samatar (as Ethan Robinson reminded me)

Kian Ganz on the Indian Supreme Court’s history with the death penalty (via @JiManish on twitter).

A collection of papers from last year’s Visualising Fantastika conference.

Deepanjana Pal on Sujoy Ghose’s Ahalya and the Ahalyas of Hindu mythology.

Genevieve Valentine on Shirley Jackson’s Let Me Tell You.

This lost documentary about homosexuality which has recently been rediscovered. Via Matthew Cheney.

Paromita Vohra on being the new girl at a school in Delhi in the 1980s. “I think one can go so far as to say it was a lot about the skirt.

I linked to a beautiful Anne Boyer thing last week and this is a different beautiful Anne Boyer thing.

Nicola Griffith on the Anglo Saxons, being elf-shot, medicine and belief.

July 20, 2015

Of Interest (19 July, 2015)

(These lists have, slightly reshuffled, been available for the last couple of weeks as part of The New Inquiry’s Sunday Reading, and will continue to be that way. Keeping any commentary on them here, but at that link you’ll also find other lists of links by people with excellent taste, so you should go and look.)



Devaki Jain on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and Indian feminism.

Eric Gurevitch’s useful contribution to the Sanskrit-and-plagiarism conversation.

We’re all agreed that Anne Boyer is amazing, right?

How early photographers saw India.

On mourning, repetition and re-memories. All of this.

Reading Comprehension, via Sayak Dasgupta.




Niall Harrison reviews James Bradley’s Clade and asks important questions about scale and empathy (and the difficulty of naming climate change fiction).

Sara Paretsky on V.I. Warshawski and talking back.

Victoria Patterson on Barbara Pym. Much that is uncomfortably familiar here. (And speaking of LARB and spinsters, this is also good.)

Sofia Samatar on writing queerly (many of my favourite words there).

Anis Shivani on “plastic realism“, in two parts.  (This comes via Ethan Robinson)

This fantastic interview with Namwali Serpell, via Sofia Samatar. Contains Afronauts, artist-readers, mutiny.




July 12, 2015

Of Interest (12 July, 2015)

Unsorted this week.


A Portrait of the Indian as a Young Dalit Girl by Priyanka Dubey.

On Whiteness and Sound Studies, by Gus Stadler.

Via Ethan, Gorgeous as a Jungle Bird, on gay marriage and religion, by Jacob Bacharach.

Keep Your Sorry”: On Slavery, Marriage and the Possibility of Love by Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

In Muse India’s SF issue, Vandana Singh on SF, Climate Change and the Future (I linked to the whole issue a few weeks ago but this essay deserves more love than I’ve seen for it).

Amartya Sen on the revival of Nalanda.

Rose Eveleth on the Subversive Science Fiction of Hip-Hop.

J.A. Micheline, the White Privilege, White Audacity and White Priorities of Strange Fruit #1.

Is fun fun? Nakul Krishna on Aubrey Menen.

Karen Burnham on SPACE

From Nowhere, an interview with Antoine Volodine.