New “Dystopian” Little Women Might be Missing the Point

Little Women gritty dystopian remake wtf

Little Women is described as a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation of the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, in which disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined—all while trying not to kill each other in the process.

What the actual f***? Have The CW’s executives actually read Little Women? Probably not, though they likely patted themselves on the backs for having Rory Gilmore be seen reading it on Gilmore Girls a decade ago.

Lifetime already tried transplanting Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy into modern-day, and it was disastrous. I never thought that there could be a worse version of the adaptation where Jo ghost-writes tweets for a pop star and then Amy leaks said star’s naked photos from Jo’s phone… but here we are. Let’s take ...

Little Women gritty dystopian remake wtf
Little Women gritty dystopian remake wtf

Comic Book Creators Share How Diversity Bleeds Into Their Work

Gotham Academy Becky Cloonan

On the heels of We Need Diverse Books’ Diversity in SFF panel at BookCon two weeks ago, the second annual Special Edition: NYC also took time to focus on diversity and how it impacts some of the most popular comic book series and graphic novels being published today. The convention did so through three panels: Representation Beyond Characters: How Diversity Bleeds Into Work#BlackComicsMonth: Diversity in Comics, and Creating Comics: The Real Stories.

I was able to attend Representation Beyond Characters and Creating Comics. The former’s panelists were primarily people of color; the latter was all-female, including several women of color. Both talked about sneaking small but relatable details into worldbuilding, the difference between work-for-hire and creator-owned comics, and how publishers have responded to calls for greater diversity. Though the panels took place at different points during the con, they presented a refreshingly diverse lineup talking about real issues in modern storytelling.

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DMC comic book cover
Wonder Woman Rescue Angel
X23 Marjorie Liu
Black Canary Annie Wu
DC Bombshells Marguerite Bennett
Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan

We Need Diverse Books Talks True, Political, Global Diversity in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

We Need Diverse Books Presents In Our World and Beyond BookCon 2015

A year after its establishment, the We Need Diverse Books movement brought two engaging panels to BookCon 2015, partnering with bestselling authors to address the need for greater diversity in sci-fi and fantasy and children’s literature. In the panel In Our World and Beyond, SFF authors Kameron Hurley, Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor, and Daniel José Older, along with Saga Press Executive Editor Joe Monti, discussed the obstacles to depicting full representation of marginalized characters in SFF.

The panel discussed whether SFF should be political, and even tackled the term “diversity” itself—how politically correct it is, and the difference between a U.S.-centric diversity movement and the adoption of more global perspectives. Read on for the highlights!

Diversity is Truth

From the start, Older (author of Half-Resurrection Blues) established that “diversity is about the truth. When we’re not writing books that show the [truth] of the world, we’re lying. A lot of the history ...

Debut Tor Authors Play “Would You Rather: SFF Edition”

Tor Books The Next Generation panel BookExpo America 2015

The “Tor Books class of 2015″ (a.k.a. Tor Books’ next generation of debut authors) took to the stage at this year’s BookExpo America to talk about their forthcoming books. In keeping things college-themed, moderator John “Principal” Scalzi asked each panelist a series of Would You Rather questions—all about shadowy cabals, magical music, and sentient animals, of course.

Seth Dickinson, Ilana C. Myer, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Fran Wilde gamely played along with the Would You Rather shenanigans. The moral and ethical dilemmas that ensued were a great way to get to know each author, as well as their predilections when it comes to cats versus dogs, earworms, and their preferred methods for stirring the pot when it comes to rebellion. Each author got Would You Rather questions related to his/her book, but all of the panelists were allowed to throw in their own answers. And at the end, they took this cute ...

The Traitor Baru Cormorant Seth Dickinson
Last Song Before Night book cover
Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard book cover
Updraft Fran Wilde

No Strings, But Plenty of Switches in the Whedonverse

Avengers: Age of Ultron Hulk Black Widow lullaby

From the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, with its creepy rendition of Pinocchio’s “I’ve Got No Strings,” we know that Ultron seeks to free himself, and the human race, from the physical and metaphorical strings holding them down. But while he delights in the fact that, upon achieving artificial intelligence and something approaching the Singularity, “there are no strings on me,” there are still switches. Throughout the movie, characters (both good and bad) and plot developments are activated through the use of code words or literal buttons.

In fact, for the past ten years and more, in almost all of his properties, Joss Whedon has placed entire dramatic arcs around a switch being thrown. Sometimes it serves simply as a deus ex machina, but on other occasions, Whedon has used the trope to explore issues of control and ownership, over both men and women.

[Read ...