Lise was under the weather for recording this week, so enjoy this rerun instead! Did you miss what Andi and Lise think of the recent Marvel movie? Then check it out now!!
Andi and Lise FINALLY got to talk about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse because Lise put off seeing it until recently and then, as Andi suspected, it blew her mind.
Into the Spider-Verse is an animated origin story about Miles Morales, a teen who is, of course, bitten by a radioactive spider and is faced with taking on the mantle of Spider-Man in the wake of his universe’s loss of the previous Spider-Man. He also has to deal with villain Kingpin’s manipulation of the multiverse, which results in several incarnations of Spider-Man (that include two women) entering Miles’ universe. It’s an origin story and a story about found family and mentorship set against ground-breaking animation that includes fabulous characterization, dialogue, humor, anxiety, and sadness. It’s pretty much everything you want in a film, and both Andi and Lise highly recommend it. Good for all ages (but if you have trouble with animation and flashing lights because of a medical condition, maybe check the trailer first).
Andi and Lise get a little personal and talk shop about their respective writing processes. Both write spec fic, though Andi also writes romance and mysteries, and those genres take a different approach. They discuss how they approach different projects, what kind of preparation they do, multitasking different projects or not, outlines or not, and tools of the trade. They also talk about how writing influences how they watch, read, and analyze other creators’ work.
Notebooks (as in actual paper!) both use for project notes/character sketches/plots/timelines:
Link to a bunch of different notebooks (Andi uses several different kinds, usually plain-covered or something with a skull on the cover…lol)
Andi and Lise both recommend doing NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. 50,000 words in a month is what NNWM is about. Try it! Great community, great fun!
Andi and Lise fangirl over season 2 of She-Ra: Princesses of Power, which is sadly only 7 episodes but they love it anyway, especially the way the characters interact and how they deal with very human problems as they’re caught up in bigger issues. In this season, there’s a bit of an impasse between the princesses and the Horde, though Catra is trying to prove she can take over the world while the Princess Alliance tries to work together to keep the world safe. S2 is more about characters and relationships, past and present, and adds a lot of depth to the storylines and character arcs.
You can watch Seasons 1, 2, and soon (August 2!) 3 on Netflix.
Also, Lise recommends the D&D podcast Spell Check, which is a group of YA authors playing…you guessed it. D&D! Find it on Soundcloud and all over the podverse.
Andi caught the latest Hayley Kioko video, starring Hayley and a group of friends as teenaged witches at private school. The song is “I Wish.”
LGO morphs into the Kameron Hurley fan club as Lise and Andi dive into her latest book, The Light Brigade, a time travel military science fiction novel that explores themes of militarized capitalism, war, and connection through the eyes of grunt Dietz. Through tech that disassembles soldiers and sends them as beams of light into combat zones and reassembles them upon re-entry, Dietz realizes that she is experiencing the war between Earth and Mars differently than others: she’s jumping around its timeline, which gives her a unique and horrifying view of battles and comrades lost and gained. This is a uniquely layered, tightly-written story that stays with readers long after they finish the last page, as its themes resonate with contemporary issues.
Andi and Lise talk with Kameron Hurley on episode 52 of the Lez Geek Out! podcast HERE.
Also this week, Lise and Andi shout out the Golden Crown Literary Society convention, which is going on right now!
Andi and Lise talk about “queer coding” this week, and how it appeared in the 2007 movie Hot Fuzz, a British parody action comedy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. HF is part of a related trilogy of movies called, loosely, the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, based on a joke from the first of the three, 2004’s Shaun of the Dead.
“Queer coding” means that a movie’s creators and characters don’t deny a queer subtext in a movie. In HF’s case, there was supposed to be a cisgender heterosexual female love interest, but instead, script writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright gave all her lines to the other male character, which resulted in a really interesting relationship between the two male main characters, that could be coded as queer and wasn’t denied by the characters or the writers.
Also, it’s just a hella fun movie.
For more info on HF and queer coding vs. queerbaiting, see Mary Kate McAlpine over at Medium.
For a peek at how the show’s writers and characters thought about HF as slash fiction, see Fanlore.
And Lise’s weekly woo-hoo is Amazon Prime’s Good Omens miniseries, in which sworn enemies an angel and a demon have to team up to save the world. It’s based in the 1990 novel of the same name by the Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett.
Andi’s woo-hoo is for the first season (not sure there’ll be more!) of the series Gentleman Jack, based on the 19th-century diaries of English noblewoman Anne Lister, who, if she had the terminology, would most likely have identified as lesbian.
Lise is in the weeds with edits for her upcoming novel (shameless plug alert!!!) Hunter’s Descent, the sequel to Five Moons Rising.
As a result, we don’t have a new episode this week. Instead, please enjoy this re-run of Episode 11: Wonder Woman!
This week, Andi and Lise discuss (and rant about) queerbaiting, which is a marketing technique used in entertainment and fiction in which creators hint at a same-sex romance but don’t actually give you one and have no intention of giving you one. This is done to attract (i.e. “bait”) a queer audience while at the same time avoiding alienating cisgender heterosexual consumers. They also discuss the “Bury Your Gays” trope in which a same-sex relationship is depicted, but as soon as there’s a kiss or consummation of some sort, one of the couple is killed off or is wrenched away, thus perpetuating the idea that queer relationships are always doomed and are inherently “bad.”
Andi just finished up the CW’s Legacies, and that, unfortunately, does fall into the Bury Your Gays trope while Lise notes that cartoons like Steven Universe and She-Ra are really good at queer rep and not falling into tropes.
Bury Your Gays trope: history; fanlore wiki
GLAAD report on representation in TV, 2018-2019
Autostraddle has been keeping a tally on queer women killed off in TV since 1976
Autostraddle 2016 infographic
Andi and Lise are way into the first collected volume, “Awakening,” of the multiple award-winning comic series Monstress (Image Comics) by writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda, who combines elements of manga and Art-Deco in the portrayal of this grim world wracked by violence, racism, slavery, and war. The protagonist, Maika Halfwolf, is the descendant of a wolf-goddess, but there’s something else inside her that’s older and stronger and it may or may not be key to saving this world, in which most of the world’s human population despises Arcanics – the human/deity hybrids like Maika. The sadistic witch-scientists called the Cumaea may hate them the worst, and they capture Arcanics and run terrible, painful experiments on them.
The world-building in this epic fantasy series includes steampunk and magic and nods to Asian history and culture but also Egyptian mythology as it explores themes of survival and violence, the commodification of mixed-race bodies, and women’s rage and power, and how the latter can corrupt. The world of Monstress is almost entirely female and WOC, to which Andi and Lise say, MORE OF THIS, PLEASE.
Lise also highly recommends the second season of She-Ra, Princesses of Power, streaming on Netflix while Andi is sad about the end of the AMC series Into the Badlands, though she does think it didn’t do justice to its female and queer characters in the end.