Category Archives: geek life

‘Women don’t read sci-fi’ incites chaos on Twitter

What started out as a lovely tribute to the awesomeness of A Wrinkle in Time has ignited a hashtag frenzy on Twitter.

In the article, Pamela Paul, a children’s book editor at The Book Review, cites some sad surveys that indicate the number of women who identify as reading sci-fi is depressingly low.

So rather than talking about the book, the statistics got Twitter going.  The hashtag #womenreadSF has gotten the geek women on Twitter recommending all sorts of awesome titles and authors.

In the face of these depressing statistics, what would you recommend? Do you try to engage the girls in your life with some good sci-fi?

Etsy scavenger: Custom Star Wars nail polish

Amanda Collier makes nerd-inspired custom-blended nail polish that she sells on Etsy in her Nerd Lacquer shop. They’re pretty heavy on the glitz and glitter – be sure to take a closer look at the Star Wars line (above,) A Glitter Far, Far Away.

My personal favorite, color-wise, is the Doctor Who collection, Mad Man with a Box. There are also collections inspired by Firefly, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python, Star Trek and more. The polishes go for $8 each, or in sets of three for $24.

Same-sex romances will be “post-launch feature” in The Old Republic

Remember the message board kerfuffle in ’09 about gay and lesbian relationships in The Old Republic MMO? Well, it looks like they will be an option – eventually – in The Old Republic after all. Here’s the official statement:

Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options.

Given Bioware’s track record, this isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s good to know it is a consideration.

And the rest: Red Tails trailer tease, inside Pottermore, Kate Beaton and Twilight

Red Tails. MTV has a new trailer teaser for George Lucas and Anthony Hemingway’s upcoming World War II epic, as well as the first poster.

Harry Potter. Our pal Bryan Young got into Pottermore, and walks us through J.K. Rowling’s multimedia experience.

Comics! The Hairpin interviews Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant, whose historic cartoons entertain history/literature nerds and plebeians alike.

Twilight. Bella’s wedding dress hasn’t even been revealed to the public yet, but the license to manufacture the Carolina Herrera-designed dress has been rewarded to Alfred Angelo, who will release it under the brand ‘Twilight Bridal by Alfred Angelo.’ (Does that mean there’ll be more?!?) The replica dress will be made in sizes 0 to 30W, sure to delight Twilight fans of all sizes.

Carbonite on Carbonite: Nail polish vs. the real thing

The winners of our Revlon Carbonite nail polish giveaway have been chosen, but if you didn’t win, the polish display has been spotted in drugstores around the country. One of the people who found it was Rach, a Jader who just happens to own a life-size Han in Carbonite replica. She took some pics of her Han with the polish:

Here’s what Rach had to say: “Does it match? Well… kinda. Just like the comparisons to Graphite it’s just a wee bit too gold.”

In true dedication, Rach painted a crack on her Han’s thumb with the polish: “It blends from a distance but up close you can tell it’s been painted.”

We’re not sure if this polish is a limited edition* yet, so be aware it will be on a standalone display somewhere near the makeup. (I found mine on a Meijer endcap.)

HUGE thanks to Rach for the pics, and happy hunting, everyone!

* The bottle says ‘New Shade,’ but so did a previous Chanel dupe which don’t seem to have made the permanent collection.

Comic-Con: Her Universe panel examines what women want in their sci-fi

Her Universe hosted its second annual panel at Comic-Con last Thursday, with Ashley Eckstein moderating a panel entitled “What Women Want in their Female Sci-Fi Heroes.” The six announced panelists were Dave Filoni of The Clone Wars, Betsy Mitchell (Editor in Chief of Del Rey), Gail Simone (comics writer, including Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and the upcoming Batgirl), Chris Sanagustin (Senior VP Development & Current Programming for Universal Cable Productions), Bryan Q. Miller (Exec. Story Editor for Smallville, comic writer Batgirl), and Melinda Hsu Taylor (writer/producer- Lost & Medium and Supervising Producer on Touch) . They were joined by unannounced panelist Alison Scagliotti (Claudia on Warehouse 13).

Eckstein started the panel by giving each panelist a question regarding developing female roles in their particular media, especially with the female audience in mind. Watch portions of the panel:

  • Introduction of Panelists by Ashley Eckstein
  • Chris Sanagustin on making characters accessible to the audience, including a bit about Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome
  • Bryan Q. Miller on character vulnerabilities and breaking down the notion that a butt-kicking heroine has to be either a robot or a sexbot
  • Betsy Mitchell comparing now to 30 years ago for women sci-fi readers and women writers and editors, and the rise of female-oriented urban paranormal fiction.
  • Gail Simone on progress in the portrayal of women in comics, moving past the Women in Refrigerators trope, and the industry’s gradual awareness of growing female readership, and developing female characters.
  • Ashley Eckstein commenting on the progress in recognizing that there is a female fan base in science fiction.
  • Finishing up with Gail Simone and then Melinda Hsu Taylor on being inspired by sci-fi growing up in Maine, and some of her favorite female characters from science fiction and fantasy.
  • Dave Filoni on the process of developing a female Jedi character like Ahsoka Tano and also reading Éowyn as a child.
  • Allison Scagliotti on playing her character Claudia Donovan, the women characters of Warehouse 13 and the issues of being a female actor – and being a role model of the cool smart girl.

In the Q&A, Simone, Filoni, and Scagliotti fielded most of the questions, with Filoni and Simone clarifying how their approaches to writing female characters were similar. Even though the panel went over time, the audience remained and the panelists stayed on stage to answer questions about incorporating female biology into developing and portraying female characters, the differences in creating female villains from male villains, predicting the future of the importance (or nonimportance) of being critical of gender for characters (and for creators), and finally ended with a young fan thanking the panelists for making it cool to be a young female fan.

End of an era: Borders to liquidate

Well, it’s official: The death of retail book chain Borders is upon us. Store liquidations could be coming as soon as the end of the week.

Borders hasn’t been my favorite bookstore in a long time, but, being in Michigan, it was the most prevalent. And as someone who still likes to read and buy actual books, this is a blow.

Yes, we have ebooks now, and Amazon, and blah blah blah. We’ll be fine, and the books aren’t going to go away entirely, no matter how loudly the digital evangelists are shouting. This is still sad, because what really doomed Borders was a long chain of bad business decisions – and now 10,700 people are going to lose their jobs because of it.