The Cultural Gutter

dangerous because it has a philosophy

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Interview with Ytasha L. Womack

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Kentake Page has an interciw with Ytasha L. Womack, editor of Afrofuturism: The World Of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy (among many other things). “In this interview with Kentake Page, Ytasha discusses the origins, rise and meaning of Afrofuturism as well as her own personal journey in this burgeoning movement.”

The Miracle of Ajooba

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Ajooba is one of those Bollywood movies that almost everybody dismisses—cheap costumes, awkward giant monsters, make-do special effects—until you get them to actually think about it. Released in 1991, this  bank-breaking Indian and Soviet co-production features a plot that sounds more at home in the 1970s in the golden era of the type of film […]

10 Comics I Liked in 2015

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I’m a little chilly after a strangely, even eerily warm Yuletide writing my annual list of comics I liked in 2015 suddenly snowed in in Montreal and then subjected to what I can only call, “Frost Giant Snot” on the long road home. As always, I try to choose comics I haven’t written about much […]

“The Indisputable, Irrefutable, Wholly Objective Best of 2015 List(s)”

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It’s time for Pornokitsch’s The Indisputable, Irrefutable, Wholly Objective Best of 2015 List(s)!

An Interview with Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng

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SF Signal talks with authors Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng about Southeast Asian steampunk and their anthology, The Sea Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia.

Cello Version of the Steven Universe Theme Song

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Aubrey Webber of the Doubleclicks performs the Steven Universe theme song. (via Geek Girl Con)

Three Islands

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A homophobic Tumblr post becomes Queer dystopian adventure fiction in two responses. Behold! (Thanks, Adele!)

“The Greatest Actor Alive”

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The Atlantic profiles Max Von Sydow. “For a significant portion of his six decades onscreen, he has been the greatest actor alive. Now, in his 87th year on Earth, he may be on the verge of becoming a pop-culture icon. In December, he’ll be seen in Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, in a role […]

Two Interviews with Marjorie Liu

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Author and comics creator Marjorie Liu is interviewed by Nerds of Color and The Beat about her latest comic, Monstress. “There are a couple ways to describe Monstress. The first way is as a dark steampunk epic fantasy about a girl who has a psychic connection to a monster. On another level, there were a […]

“Strong Female Characters and the Double Standard”

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At Tor.com, Liz Bourke writes about the double standard in how strong female characters are evaluated: “But show me a female character whose major characteristics are competence with violence, willingness to defy authority, and the occasional ability to make entertaining banter, and I’ll show you a character who—I am willing to guarantee you—has been dismissed […]

“Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders”

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At Teleport City, the Gutter’s own Keith writes about a classic of the Czech New Wave, Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders. It’s a really fine piece, historically and emotionally grounded and also fun. “Released in 1970 and couched in the harmless looking vestments of a fairytale, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a […]

Beta Ray Bill, Fin Fang Foom and Frog Thor!

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Thirteen Covers celebrates Walt Simonson’s birthday with… 13 covers, including Beta Ray Bill, Fin Fang Foom and Frog Thor!

“Sci-Fi’s Difficult Genius”

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The New Yorker has a profile of author Gene Wolfe. “His narrators may be prophets, or liars, or merely crazy, but somewhere in their stories they help to reveal what Wolfe most wants his readers to know: that compassion can withstand the most brutal of futures and exist on the most distant planets, and it […]

Strange Men and Magic

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This week’s Guest Star Kate Laity writes about the television adaptation of Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell. Laity is an author, Medieval Studies scholar and History Witch. At Edge-Lit 4, my publisher, Adele Wearing of Fox Spirit Books, was on a panel about Grimdark. What is ‘grim dark?’ Well, that was the first topic. It […]

One Comic: “When Red Sonja met her match(ish)”

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Pornokitsch’s One Comic Podcast looks at Red Sonja #10: “To everyone’s surprise, despite some of the covers and the character’s reputation, this isn’t the exploitative boobs’n’swordplay production it could have been. How did it achieve that? Listen and find out.”

“Urban Fantasy Writers of Color: An Ongoing List”

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Daniel José Older has an ongoing list of people of color who write urban fantasy. You can see it here–and seem some discussion of “narrow genre subdivisions” and writers of color between Older and Nalo Hopkinson. “And as complex as it is, I think there’s power in seeing who’s out there making literary magic out […]

“Black Women Horror Writers: Interview with Jayde Brooks”

Graveyard Shift Sisters Eden Royce interviews writer Jayde Brooks and reviews Brooks’ Daughter of Gods and Shadows. “If you’re looking for a sweeping, dark adventure/quest novel, look no further. This story had what I love to read in a book: strong female characters and the ultimate in high stakes – saving the world. Blend that […]

“Strange & Norrell: III–Away With The Fairies”

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John Reppion continues his series on English magic and Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell. Next up, “Away With The Fairies.”

“Strange & Norrell : II–On Fairies & Witchcraft”

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John Reppion continues his discussion of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell at The Daily Grail, “pluck[ing] out some of the more easily disentangled fragments of folklore, magic, and the like from the book (and the show) and takes a closer look at them.” This time, he considers fairies and witchcraft.

Interview with John Boorman

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At the Guardian, Xan Brooks interviews John Boorman, director of Point Blank (1967), Deliverance (1972), Zardoz (1974), Excalibur (1981) and the upcoming, Queen & Country. “If he could rewind to 1952 and reprise the entire trip, he cannot imagine exactly what he would change. Boorman frowns. ‘Actually, I can’t even contemplate it. I’m a completely […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Los Angeles Times has an interview with Margaret Sixel, editor of Mad Max: Fury Road. “I wanted every single shot to progress the story. I don’t like repetition. And I think we applied that rule religiously throughout the film….I watched a film last night and they kept cutting back again and again and the expression on the actor’s face was exactly the same. I felt like, ‘You’ve used the shot three times already!’ That’s what I don’t like. There’d better be some progress.”

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    “During the 1970’s Black filmmakers found their voices by making films that spoke to urban audiences in a way that had never been done before. Films like Sugar Hill, Abby, The Zebra Killers and so many more packed theaters with audiences hungry for Horror Movies where the Black Guy didn’t die first. 40 years later, Black horror films have made a lasting impact within the Black community. These films are national treasures and should be a part of any film collection. The Museum of UnCut Funk pays homage to the Blaxpolitation Horror films of 1974.” Click through for more. (via @GrveyardShiftSisters)

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    Mubi has a collection of film posters designed by Eva Švankmajerová, Surrealist painter, writer and filmmaker. Learn more about Eva Švankmajerová with an posthumous interview with Gwendolyn Albert, the translator of her novel, Baradla Cave.

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    At The Toast, Mo Moulton watches Downton Abbey and discusses its portrayal of Neville Chamberlain. “Here, then, is Neville Chamberlain in 1925. He is fulfilling the expectations set by an extraordinary political family. His father, Joseph Chamberlain, ran a screw factory in Birmingham, where he became passionate about urban improvement as a method for bettering the lives of his workers. As Liberal mayor of Birmingham, he was an early, passionate proponent of what became known as “gas and water socialism”: he wanted to put those services within reach of every resident by putting them under the management of local government. So far, it’s hard to imagine the Earl of Grantham having much in common with this energetic, egalitarian entrepreneur.”

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    In honor of Black History and Women In Horror Month, Graveyard Shift Sisters take a look at Audre’s Revenge Film collective, which was founded by Monika Estrella Negra:  “Audre’s Revenge Film was created in order to promote visibility of womyn, queer, trans and intersex folks of color in the sci fi and horror universe.

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    Please enjoy an hour of rare Bollywood synth funk (and an interview with DJ Fitz who put the mix together). (via @BethLovesBolly)

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