- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Fujoshi: Fujoshi, which literally means “rotten girl,” refers to a type of anime fan who is especially interested in imagining male homoerotic subtext in her favorite media. But while the term “fujoshi” was only coined in 2001, rotten girls and their male counterparts, “fudanshi,” have been around since the Edo period. In “The Forgotten History of Fujoshi,” Keith and Mari Minton—two self-professed fujoshi—shared some of the fascinating origins of a subculture that is typically somewhat misunderstood.
- The Ostrogothic Military: Whether the Ostrogoths themselves were an army, the nature of the army’s settlement and salary in Italy, and ethnic identity’s role in the formation of the army are all discussed. The army itself has rarely been studied as a separate institution, which may be because, throughout the Ostrogothic kingdom’s short life, the military was inextricably bound up with the nature and the fate of that polity.
- Alternate Futurescape: The Bubblegum Crisis We Never Got: Where Bubblegum Crisis’ Knight Sabers were a mercenary team that’d take any job for the right price, FutureScape’s “Night Saviors” were advertised as “Four girls who will accept no money in their never ending battle against the Boomers!“ Fans familiar with Bubblegum Crisis and the Knight Saber mercenary group that were mostly motivated by revenge would probably have been a little more than shocked to see them instead portrayed as a super-heroine team fighting for “freedom and justice” under the new name of “The Night Saviors”.
- X-Force by Cory J Walker: Great, 90s nostalgia drawings of various X-Force characters.
- Your audience doesn’t think you suck: To make your audience happy, you don’t need to be the most talented person. You don’t need to invest tons of cash into a project to make it watchable. You need an idea that you believe in and the enthusiasm to power through and put it out into the world.
- The Left’s Long History Of Transphobia: Trans people generally lean left because we feel that we have to, but we’re also aware that liberalism won’t protect us when the chips are down. It’s easy to oppose an enemy that is consistently hateful, and at the end of the day trans people know where Republicans stand on whether or not we should exist.
The Emu War, Headless Folk of the French Revolution, Norse God Family Tree, how Voltaire broke the lottery, Mummy Brown and other Historical Colors and the Management Secrets of Genghis Khan are just some of the Veritable Hokum dregded up from history and served in comic form by Korwin Briggs. I discovered this by accident, following an ant’s trail of links after somebody had stolen that Mummy brown comic for their own site. Glad I did, because Korwin’s artwork is charming and he has a knack for finding interesting historical tidbits.
The Riddle of the Labyrinth
363 pages, including notes & index
published in 2013
Linear B is one of those ‘mysteries from history” I’d read about in the local library in the early eighties as a child, browsing through the stacks of occult, ancient astronaut and weird history books, listed along with better known examples like Schliemann’s quest for Troy. It’s one of those pieces of history I sort of, kind of knew about, of how tablets in an unknown language were found on Crete, providing evidence for the existence of a literate, “advanced” Bronze Age civilisation hundreds of years before the rise of the Classical Greek civilisations. But I never read much more about it because other subjects like Schliemann’s discovery of Troy looked much more interesting.
in The Riddle of the Labyrinth Margalit Fox sets out to prove me wrong by telling the real story of the decyphering of Linear B and Alice Kober, the largely forgotten woman at the heart of it, as well as of the archaeologist who found the tablets, Arthur J. Evans and the amateur linguist who finally decrypted them, Michael Ventris. In many ways this is a sad story: both Alice Kober and Michael Ventris died young, one dead of cancer, the other in a car accident, with Kober’s role in the decypherment for a long time remaining obscure because of her untimely death, while Ventris’ accident came at a time he was feeling depressed about what to do with the rest of his life… It’s also a detective story, as Fox tells the story of how the three of them each in turn helped the process of decyphering along.
A History of the Vandals
Torsten Cumberland Jacobsen
360 pages, including index
published in 2012
Of all the Germanic tribes invading the Roman Empire, the Vandals have the worst reputation for reasons that have little to do with what they actually did. Mostly this is of course due to the simple fact that they lent their name to vandalism, coined in the wake of the French Revolution to describe the destruction of religious artworks by revolutionairies by equating it to the infamous sack of Rome in 455 CE, which in itself had already been exagerrated by pro-Roman historians for various political reasons. The Vandals then have never had an even break, always been the bogeyman to an Europe much more inclined to identify itself with the grandeur of Rome than with the ‘barbarians’ that ended its reign.
This attitude perhaps explains why books about the Vandals are rare in English, with A History of the Vandals being the first general history of them in English. Then again it could also be because unlike the Franks or Lombards or Goths, the Vandals had their largest impact outside of Europe, in the empire they created in North Africa and hence can’t be used as semi-mythical ancestor tribe for a modern European nation. This, as well as the fact that for a century they were the most successfull of the ‘barbarian’ successor states to the Roman Empire could also explain why they and not those Goths or Huns were used and abused as the villains in the Fall of the Roman Empire.
Part something in an irregular series.
So yeah, today I would like to spotlight some of the female bloggers I started reading in the past of couple of weeks, partially thanks to the whole ongoing SFWA kerfuffle. Everytime we’ve had an outbreak of sexism in science fiction fandom it also has brought new female voices to the foreground and this time hasn’t been any different.
Natalie Luhrs has been one of the most sensible voices during the SFWA controversy, as well as with the more recent Loncon Jonathan Ross fiasco. Beyond that, she also has a great ability to find interesting and thoughtful links.
S. L. Huang like Luhrs has been a voice of reason during the recent sexism scandals, is a new writer whose first book will be published this year and who keeps writing great posts on the same subjects I would’ve written about, but she does it better.
Susan Abernethy writes about history and her blog is a treasure trove of posts about well known and not so well known parts of history, especially British history.
Loretta Chase & Isabella Bradford also write about history, both in their dayjobs as bestselling writers of historical romances and on their blog. They seem to have a real affinity for the Georgian era, but roam wide and far and have a knack of finding links to other interesting blogs — like Susan Abernethy’s above.