This month’s Reading Roundup offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including utopias, Black burnout, and Nathan Philips. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!
End of year list: 2018 Compilation List: Books
End of year list: 2018 Compilation List: Short Fiction
End of year list: 2018 Compilation List: Comics
End of year list: 2018 Compilation List: Television & Miniseries
End of year list: 2018 Compilation List: Movies
“Another Word: The Trouble with Utopia” by Kelly Robson for Clarkesworld Magazine: “In a previous Another Word column, I got grumpy about dystopias. They’re fun, but often also a bit of a cop-out from a worldbuilding point of view. A dystopia instantly feels momentous, serious, tense. The more dystopian the setting, the weightier the story, increasing the chances that the story will be taken seriously. A dystopia creates its own external conflict. It also means the writer can stack the story with violence, because in a world gone wrong, violence is often the only option.
But damn, I’m sick of them. Let’s talk about utopias instead. Chirpy, bright Utopia, land of health and happiness, where the good are great and the great are heroes. All our many beloved, utopian classics—”
“Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in Her Teeth” by Sarah Zhang for The Atlantic: “Who was that person? A woman, first of all. According to radiocarbon dating, she lived around 997 to 1162, and she was buried at a women’s monastery in Dalheim, Germany. And so these embedded blue particles in her teeth illuminate a forgotten history of medieval manuscripts: Not just monks made them. In the medieval ages, nuns also produced the famously laborious and beautiful books. And some of these women must have been very good, if they were using pigment as precious and rare as ultramarine.”
“This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like” by Tiana Clark for Buzzfeed: “Yes, we are all so damn tired and in debt, but that pain and exploitation are stratified across various identities, which is why we need more diverse voices in this conversation. I’m glad to see there was a broader follow-up to Petersen’s point of view. I understand that one article can’t speak for us all. Because for me, black burnout is different.”
“Mixed Race, Half Enough?” by Kristen Simmons for Medium: “Since becoming an author, I’ve been told that I might sell more books if I used my Asian name (for the record, this never came from my publisher or agent). I have been told it might help sales if I take off my glasses in pictures so people can see my eyes. I have been told my stories, including one based on my great-grandmother’s experience in a Japanese internment camp, are not #ownvoices.”
“Staring Down the Smug Face of American Violence” by Hunter Hooligan for The Cut: “As the boys molded our huddle, I felt panic growing in my gut.
I felt trapped. There were so many of them around us that I couldn’t see out beyond them. All I could see was cold faces full of empty laughter, boys intoxicated on their own false sense of power, control, and entitlement.”