In the words of one of the great commentators of our times, “everything happens so much”. I hate to do it, but between research, thesis writing, Exciting Career Stuff, and, well… [gestures to the world at large] my queue of blog articles has run dry, and I think it’s sensible that I take a break and come back fresh with my brain switched on, rather than trying to fill the space with writing that may not be that good. The plan at current is to take June off and return in July, but we shall see how things pan out. I will, of course, still be saying words into the void over on Twitter.
Stay safe out there, everyone, and take care of yourselves and of each other. I know I sign off with some variation of that every time, but it feels more pressing than ever.
On the blog this month
Fate, a Retelling About Retellings (and Stickin’ It To the System) – a dive into metaphor, magic, and metallurgy starring Fate/Stay Night‘s protagonist Shirou, and how his personal arc spearheads a story about disrupting old patterns and upending harmful traditions.
The Power of Magic and Whimsy in Queer Stories – a musing on the importance of quieter, more personal fantasy tales that let their queer protagonists just be, starring the wonderful Euphoria Kids.
Opalised Storytelling: A Review of A Fixed Place: The Long and Short of Story – TEXT reached out to me to review a new collection of poetry and short stories! It’s a little different from what I usually read, but I enjoyed it, and I think I pulled together and made it sound like I knew what I was talking about in the paper.
I’m now officially listed as a contributions editor for AniFem! The site has been an amazing place to work with for the past three years (!) and I’m very much looking forward to being part of the moving wheels behind the scenes.
Yet another great digital authors’ panel, this one about the blending of magic and queer community in YA fantasy – featuring many books I really want to read!
Dom’s Lost in Adaptation series continues to be a delight, this time providing a charming and thoughtful dive into the 1996 Pride and Prejudice miniseries (with, as always, adequate amounts of costume skits alongside the literary analysis).
Trans Representation in YA Fiction is Changing, But How Much? – stats, author interviews, and personal stories build a picture of the current state of trans rep in young adult novels.
Allegory, Allegorier, Allegoriest: Visual Storytelling and Empathy in Revolutionary Girl Utena – Utena is full of notoriously bizarre spectacle, but the core of the stylistic narrative is empathy and love, and going in/rewatching with that in mind will give you a keener eye for the metaphors at play.
Joan of Arc, for Fascists and Feminists – good ol’ Jeanne d’Arc is one of the most fascinating cases, I think, of a historical character that’s consistently reinterpreted for the needs of the present (from medieval propaganda to 21st century mobile games), and this piece touches on the use of her image for two very different political perspectives.
How The Matrix Universalized a Trans Experience – and Helped Me Accept My Own – a post from last year looking at the trans themes woven into the first Matrix movie, always clear but only more prescient after the directors both came out.
The Rise of Magical Realism in Young Adult Fiction – how the hard-to-classify-but-always-very-cool genre of magical realism is appearing more and more in YA, and why those motifs of liminality and strangeness-yet-familiarity might uniquely suit that demographic.
In Video Game Stories, It’s Often Sidequests That Are the Most Meaningful – those quirky little character-focused missions where you step off the path of your Heroic Destiny to take a pause and help people have a lot of emotional reward, to the player and to the overall story.
And here, for the first time in absolutely ages, is a podcast rec! You’re Dead To Me is a BBC-run (and crisply British) history show in which a historian and a comedian take a moderated journey together through a specialist topic, sometimes focused on an individual like Eleanor of Aquitaine, sometimes looking at a broader concept like The Ancient Olympics. Very fun and informative, with a nice touch of that Horrible Histories energy (the host is one of their writers, after all).
Everyone stay safe (as always, but with even more gusto than usual) and I’ll see you all in a while!
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