brightknightie: Schanke reading Emily's novel (Reads)
No mainstream media content specifically relevant to my own dearest fandoms again this week, but I did bump into two essays that I thought could be of general interest fandom-wide:

  • "Can ‘Harry Potter’ Change the World?" by Hanna Kozlowska (The New York Times; September 17, 2014)
    Kozlowska discusses studies in which fiction readers, once exposed to story passages in which the protagonists are treated badly for belonging to a fictional minority group, are later less likely to express hostility toward real minority groups. The experiments in question all used passages from Rowling's novels, but I would presume that the effect, if real, would be easily duplicated with e.g. well-chosen Uncanny X-Men selections and so on. Stories matter! (You and I knew that, even if they didn't.)

  • "The Last Amazon: Wonder Woman Returns" by Jill Lepore (The New Yorker; September 22, 2014)
    Lepore recounts the history of the character as a media property (from her 1941 premiere to the upcoming Dawn of Justice* movie) through the biographies of the people who originally created the Wonder Woman character, the history of the United States and the history of feminism. Even though I knew the bones of Wonder Woman's creation by William Moulton Marston and have read excerpts from her early years, I was still unaware just how deeply, profoundly, blatantly, daringly — and yes, even pow!bam! ludicrously — feminist those early stories were. I learned a lot. Take a look!
    * per a tweet quoted in the article: aka “BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN WITH ALSO SOME WONDER WOMAN IN THERE SO SIT DOWN LADIES WE’RE TREATING YOU FINE: THE MOVIE.”"
brightknightie: Darius pours tea for Duncan. (Other Fandom HL Darius)
I didn't happen see any articles this week that specifically pinged the Forever Knight corner of my fannish imagination, but I did see these three with general fannish implications, and thought that you might be interested in them, too:

  • "From 'Doctor Who' to 'The Leftovers,' TV tries to regenerate the hero" by Jeff Jensen (9/6/14, EW)
    Jensen proposes that the age of the TV anti-hero is ending, and that perhaps we're seeing the dawn of a new age of genuinely good protagonists, who, where they have troubled pasts, have repented their misdeeds and work to repay society for their sins... to put right what once went wrong... to battle the forces of evil... to go where no one has gone before... (I'd so love him to be right!)


  • "Why 1994 Was One of Network TV’s Last Truly Great Seasons" by Josef Adalian (9/2/14, Slate/Vulture)
    The glory days of traditional television, network and syndicated? Adalian makes a strong argument for the 94-95 season. He even mentions that two Treks (DS9 and Voyager) aired simultaneously around that time, though he (not inexplicably, but, you know) fails to mention FK's second season or HL's third. Along with the qualitative comparisons, he offers some eye-opening quantitative comparisons of eyeballs on screens. (The numbers that FK was pulling then, network executives would drool over today.)


  • "The Body and the Spirit" by David Brooks (9/4/14, NYT)
    Regarding the horrific murders by so-called "ISIS" of the US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, Brooks reflects on the very particular barbarism of decapitation. I don't mean to belittle this serious reflection by saying that after considering it in what I hope is its proper real-life context, I also then considered what its analysis could mean to Highlander fandom, how we read and write about our characters, as well as how our characters themselves cope within the stories.
brightknightie: Schanke reading Emily's novel (Reads)
We're 5 stories into this year's [community profile] fkficfest/[livejournal.com profile] fkficfest/FKFicFest, with 4 to go!

From the bottom of my heart, I thank first our 9 writers, and then all the wonderful readers who found time to dive into an FK story during this busy work-week. Some people plan to dig into the ficathon over the weekend. I wish them very happy reading! The stories to date have collectively referenced (at least!) every one of the opening-credits cast of characters, and they cross several genres and span all the ratings.

For when you're happily caught up on the fest stories, here are 3 items that happened to cross my radar this week, all of which struck me as FK-related:

  • A book about Natalie. I read an engaging, intriguing excerpt on Slate from the new memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, MD, and immediately added the book to my Amazon cart, visions of better-informed Natalie fanfic dancing in my head.

  • An analysis about Nick. Also on Slate, I read a Quora answer: "Could Modern Troops Defeat Medieval Knights in Hand-to-Hand Combat?" by Jon Davis, Marine sergeant, Iraq vet, weapons instructor. If I may spoil the ending, he concludes that, all else being equal, a medieval knight would surely defeat a modern Marine in solo hand-to-hand combat; his reasoning covers both culture and technology.

  • An essay about all of us. Over in the NYT, columnist Timothy Egan wrote a reflection on Robin Williams's death, and concluded: "My plea here is for people to give the needed space to artists and performers to fail every now and then, and to understand how exposed someone feels when trying something new." That's a profound consideration for everyone, and I'm trying to take it to heart and become better, myself. With my mind full of FKFicFest this week, though, I couldn't help also hearing it specifically in terms of this year's players; with only 9 writers and all FK's diverse perspectives, some of the matches invited bold moves outside of comfort zones. That's hard! And everyone rose to the occasion! There's a lot of "trying something new" in this year's game. I hope we can give each author just the right space.

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Amy R.

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