Archive for ‘links’

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.

July 5, 2015

Of interest (5 July, 2015)

So much that is good this week!


Books (kind of):

Megan Milks on fanfiction; this is good, and then there’s “it expresses an attitude not of denigration or gentle mockery, but desire mixed with betrayal. It’s infatuated, and it hurts. It wants”, and my heart is doing funny things. 

Tipu Sultan’s dream journal. I want to read all of this.

Peepli’s gorgeous landscape glossary, via Dala and Kate separately.

Hari Kunzru on Dune is fantastic; also well worth it for the unhappy fans wellactuallying in the comments.

Frederic Jameson on Neuromancer at Public Books.


Not books (kind of):

Sara Ahmed on academia and its “problem students” (hint: those scare quotes are there for a reason).

Margaret Biser on some of the questions she was asked while giving tours on a plantation.

Bree Newsome Bree Newsome Bree Newsome.

Alexander Chee on America’s queer future, and then a coda to the earlier piece.

Rakesh Dixit reporting on the bizarre Vyapam story.

Alyssa Rosenberg on (Western) pop culture’s use of white supremacist villains to create comforting narratives–this is good, though I’m not sure it goes far enough for me. Perhaps a companion piece/coda is needed?


June 28, 2015

Of interest (28 June, 2015)


Things that made me hurt:

“On Black grandmothers and the art of dying on your own terms” by Hanif Abdurraqib, via Rose Lemberg on Twitter.

“The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning,” Claudia Rankine in The New York Times.

This Climate Anxiety alternate history by Kate Schapira. Honestly, I cry at quite a few of these, but this one is about grief more directly than many of the others and I probably cried a bit extra.

Oh but there was Bree Newsome and this and it hurt in the best ways.


Other things:

This roundtable of AfroSF contributors at Omenana.

I moderated a book discussion on Rendezvous with Rama at Strange Horizons, here and here. The participants were Karen Burnham, Vajra Chandrasekera, Martin McGrath, Ethan Robinson and Vandana Singh, and the result is this fun, smart, joyful thing. Am I allowed to be proud of this when I didn’t actually contribute? Because I am.

Paromita Vohra is generally great, and she says some really insightful things about Sunny Leone, her public persona and her success, here.

Claire Light on Sense8, via Amba Azaad on Twitter. Some really good thoughts on geographic and cultural specificity and universality and the global American imagination.

Bizarre native customs.

June 21, 2015

Of interest (21 June, 2015)

Here are things I thought were good and worth reading this week.


Not-genre (loosely):


Megan Milks interviews Daviel Shy about her upcoming film based on Djuna Barnes’s Ladies Almanack. (via Milks)

Diana George on Antoine Volodine’s Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven, which is a thing I didn’t realise was out and I need it now and so do you, probably.

This essay by  Ken Chen starts from Goldsmith and Place and goes on and is long and meaty, so that I haven’t fully absorbed it (and therefore) nor am willing to *endorse* it, but it is certainly worth reading. (via Dala)

Nandini Ramchandran being wonderful on Jessa Crispin’s Dead Ladies Project and, relatedly, Subashini Navaratnam on spinsterhood and, relatedly, Crispin herself on Kate Bolick’s Spinster.

Jennygadget on this week’s whole John Green thing.


Genre (loosely):

Joshua Clover on change, Mad Men, Mad Max and The Coca-Cola Kid.

Annie Mok on queerness, community and Moomins (this wrecked me).(via Ben Gabriel)



June 14, 2015

Of interest (14 June, 2015)

(This has been a fun week! We had multiple domestic plumbing disasters and had to evacuate the house for a few days [a flood and subsequent exile, it was very Biblical], I injured myself, and my laptop decided we were no longer friends. Nevertheless, I survive to bring you links.)


Phenderson Djèlí Clark on George Schuyler’s Black Empire.

A new Karen Russell story in The New Yorker.

Keguro Macharia on Octavia Butler’s Survivor and romance. (Lots of other very good things in the new Interfictions also, particularly Peri Himsel, Natalia Theodoridou, and Sunny Chan’s pieces)

People keep linking to that Samuel Delany piece on racism and SF and it makes me feel complicated things every time but here, you might as well have it so you too can feel complicated things.

Molly Smith on Northern Ireland’s new sex work laws and the trouble with the “Swedish model”

On Twitter, @AmbaAzaad and others started a project to crowdsource recs for trustworthy, non-shaming gynaecologists in India. I’m not contributing because all the gynaecologists I know have been family friends (which is frequently awkward, but has also meant I’m protected from a lot), but I think it’s a fantastic idea and hope it helps people find safe medical treatment. The form is here, the directory is here.

On Twitter, Paul Gilroy linked to this 1981 special issue of Urgent Tasks on the life and work of C.L.R. James.

Thanks to Ethan, I’ve been reading excerpts from Almeda Sperry’s love letters to Emma Goldman and they are stunning.