Fanfiction Fridays: One of the Crazy Ones by starandrea

Whether or not a sufficiently advanced AI can learn to independently think and feel is one of the hallmarks of science fiction, and an existential dilemma that, as far as I’m concerned, has endless avenues of exploration. The show Almost Human missed a lot of opportunities to dig right into the cold, robotic heart of this concept, but in all the places the show itself failed, One of the Crazy Ones by starandrea on AO3 was there to pick up the slack.

Though there are some very conventional elements of relationship fanfiction throughout (hurt/comfort, “forced to share a house,” first time tropes) the writing avoids cliché by thoughtfully revisiting the question of whether or not Dorian actually has free will and is able to consent. Can he, as a robot, actually want or enjoy any of these relationship norms that humans love, or is he simply hard-wired to respond positively to them? Are his opinions real opinions or does his complex and deliberately human-like programming simply obligate him to obey his partner under the guise of independent decision-making?

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“We Are Grounders!” The 100 Season 1 Finale

The 100 character roundupI think The 100 has proven that it’s a show worth watching. I wrote a post on it a while back, and sadly, some of the issues that I had hoped the show would address, it never did. However, in other regards, The 100 more than surprised me, and I think that overall, this first season was a great start.

Spoilers after the jump.

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5 Awesome Star Wars Ladies Who You Should Bow Down To

Rin: Greetings, fellow travelers of the Star Wars universe! Although this isn’t quite going up on the correct day, Ace and I wanted to do a little something special for the Fourth. And what better way to celebrate this expansive franchise than to laud some of the ladies that put the awe in awesome! Now more than ever, given the newest reveal of Episode VII’s cast, we need to show the ladies of that galaxy far far away the love that certain Hollywood directors named J.J. Abrams aren’t willing to.

Obviously, there are more than five amazing women in the Star Wars universe, and there are certainly aspects of canon that Ace and I haven’t read up on; no matter how painful it is to admit, we are not actually perfect. With that in mind, if there’s someone who didn’t make the list who you think should be brought to our attention, drop us a line in the comments! Compared to Ace, my knowledge of the Star Wars canon is passable at best, so I’d love to see more reasons to delve further into the extended universe.

Keep in mind that since the both of us are involved with different parts of the SW universe, this list isn’t ranked from not-as-awesome to most awesome. It’s completely arbitrary.

Spoilers for SWTOR and The Clone Wars below the cut.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Why Are There No Female Religious Leaders in Geek Culture?

xcheia-de-graca-vogue-brasil.jpeg.pagespeed.ic.BQu0flMx8lDid you ever notice that when a fantasy or sci-fi story includes female priests or female religious leaders, the religion is almost always a pagan or pagan-like one? Why is that? Perhaps it’s because in a lot of a fiction, especially within the fantasy genre, the mythology of a fictional world incorporates or is based on some type of religious belief. Because writers so often use religion to build their fictional universes, it’s possible that when creating their own fictional religions, they feel they need to remain true at least to the spirit or structure of the religion on which they are basing their fictional religion.

I don’t know about structure, but I certainly hope writers don’t feel as if the spirit of my faith, Catholicism, is all just patriarchy and female oppression. Despite this, I have never read, watched, or heard of a fictional religion based on Catholicism which features women as priests, bishops, or even, dare I say, the Pope.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Con or Bust

Web Cursh WednesdaysI am at my happiest at a convention—anime cons, comic cons; just give me a venue where I can be in costume and fraternize with nerds all weekend and I will be happy. However, I have it pretty good. I have enough of a disposable income to afford the costs of travel, hotel, registration, and cosplay. Plus, I’ve got the privilege bonus that no one questions my involvement in fandom based on my skin color.

Fans of color tend to be less well-represented at conventions, and that’s where the wonderful organization Con or Bust comes in.

Con or Bust is:

a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited by geography, type of con-goer, or con; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves.

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Ambrov X and A Call for Help

In the wake of the Bioware fandom’s explosion after Jennifer Helper’s departure, some news managed to surface and through hushed whispers and the sound of wallets whipping out, I think it’s safe to assume that it’s good news.

Obviously a talent like Helper couldn’t be allowed to leave the industry just like that. Loreful, a small indie company stationed in Ohio, realized the possibilities in hiring the accomplished writer. However, this isn’t about Helper potentially hopping on Loreful’s wagon: it’s the about the necessity in hiring Helper—or someone like Helper—to join their team.

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Sharks. Tornado. Sharknado. Enough said?

Lady Saika: Ohhh yeah, folks. You may not know this about me, but I am the biggest sap for terrible Syfy-channel original movies on this planet. I legit was Sharktopus for Halloween one year, I’m not even playing with you.

Hot, I know, right?

Hot, I know, right?

So imagine my incredulous delight when I saw the teaser trailer for Sharknado, a film that appears to have come about by putting a bunch of dangerous words in a hat and then grafting the first one they picked onto the word ‘shark’. (Hey, it worked for Sharktopus.)

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Trailer Tuesdays: After Earth

Yes, I know this movie just came out recently, but I haven’t seen it yet, and it only came out a couple days so I think I’m still within my blogger rights to review the trailer.

It’s summer time and Will Smith is in an action movie. That seemed to be the norm for a long time, but now that I think about it, I haven’t seen Will Smith in many movies lately, or at least many action ones. But this time it seems like the burden of providing most of the action actually is on Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith. In After Earth, Will and Jaden play a father and son team that crash lands on… Earth? So apparently one thousand years ago humanity left Earth for… reasons, but now Will Smith and his son have crash landed there, and they need to retrieve some sort of beacon in order to get home. But there’s a twist: everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans now. Again because of reasons… reasons that I assume will be connected with some surprise twist ending about why humans left the planet in the first place. Maybe the plants killed people? No, wait, it’s all actually Jaden Smith’s dream, or it’s faeries, or normal people dressing in yellow robes to scare everyone and hide the fact they live in modern times. Or maybe the twist is that it’s set in a world where Avatar: The Last Airbender didn’t suck.

As you may have guessed from my thinly veiled sarcasm, this movie is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Which leaves me in something of a conundrum when it comes to whether or not I should see this movie. You see, almost all Will Smith movies are good. That is just fact. Even if it’s not good in the sense that it has a good plot, it’s always at least entertaining and enjoyable to watch. But M. Night Shyamalan has, in recent years, been a terrible director, but his early movies were so good I think I just want to always given him a chance to redeem himself. The movie looks exciting. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the movie stars two characters of color, which is something movies don’t often do, especially sci-fi movies. That alone might be the reason I see this movie, even if the plot seems to set itself up with one too many twist endings.

We’ll have to wait and see if this will be an exciting movie or another M. Night Shyamalan failure at making a comeback.

Mystical Pregnancy: Keep Your Tropes Off the Bodies of Female Characters

Mystical pregnancy. I have talked about this particular trope before, but only in conjunction with mpreg fics. This time I want to go into more detail about how harmful this trope is to women, especially since, beyond its popularity in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, this trope is being used more often in recent popular culture.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Mystical Pregnancy trope, watch this video first. Anita explains things better than I ever could.

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