Linky wants to tell you about mummified kings’ heads

Buzzfeed on King Henri IV’s Mummified Skull?

In 2008, two Frenchmen tracked a mummified head believed to belong to King Henri IV to Jacques Bellanger, a local tax collector. Bellanger reportedly purchased the skull in the 1950s for 5,000 francs from a woman who bought it at a Paris auction house in the early 1900s.

Hilary Mantel on Royal Bodies:

The royal body exists to be looked at. The world’s focus on body parts was most acute and searching in the case of Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife. No one understood what Henry saw in Jane, who was not pretty and not young. The imperial ambassador sneered that ‘no doubt she has a very fine enigme’: which is to say, secret part. We have arrived at the crux of the matter: a royal lady is a royal vagina. Along with the reverence and awe accorded to royal persons goes the conviction that the body of the monarch is public property

Equal Writes on Conan the Barbarian: Jason Momoa Performs Masculinity in a Skirt:

Half an hour into the movie and we finally get to see Jason Momoa in his manly skirt and very little else, because barbarians don’t wear clothes. Conan by this point has acquired a Black Best Friend, Artus (Nonso Anozie) who I think is supposed to be a pirate or something. Anozie was born in Lincoln and in real life has a rather posh British accent, but for this movie he does a Nigerian accent. I’m assuming this is to emphasise how ~Foreign~ and ~Exotic~ Artus is. Yes, it’s that kind of movie.

Radish Reviews on Fan Fic Sensibility and the Id Vortex:

It is the idea that there is a locus of shame in pro fic that I find so intriguing and why I have different reasons for reading fan fic versus pro fic (I like both!). But every so often, there’s a piece of pro fic that has qualities that strike me as particularly fannish–they’re usually the books where, as I’m reading them, I’m thinking to myself, “This is a terrible premise for a book and I can’t stop reading it because I am completely sucked into it.”

How to Justify a Private Library.

I collect more links

Because other people have interesting things to say, and I’m trying to finish reading a couple of tomes on anthropology and faith healing, so my brain is not with the making of clever things to say.

But first, I want to mark a new departure. For the first time since I’ve been keeping track, the Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks at Tor.com features a majority of books by women: 6.5 to 4.5, with one anthology edited by John Joseph Adams. (If we count names on spines, we have 6.5 to 5.5, which gives us rough parity.) Thanks for that, guys – and I hope that parity’s the new normal for the Bookseller’s Picks.

The Mary Sue reports on an academic study of harassment in Halo 3:

Findings indicate that, on average, the female voice received three times as many negative comments as the male voice or no voice. In addition, the female voice received more queries and more messages from other gamers than the male voice or no voice.

Aliette de Bodard talks about racial passing and her reaction to Seraphina:

It’s a bit like… imagine an SFF book with a made-up universe which has a species with two genders, one of which is deemed inferior to the other, prone to hysterics, and only suited for bearing and raising babies at home. Would you really be praising the forward-thinking and awesome depiction of gender issues of such a book?

(LJ discussion.)

Jenny’s Library on Invisible Hoverboards and Zombies on Mute:

I would love more young adult science fiction and more conversation about young adult science fiction. The problem is that I get the impression from reading their pitch that Strom-Martin and Underwood’s issue isn’t even so much with the quantity or even the quality, but rather the flavor young adult science fiction that is currently popular. In doing so they ultimately limit and stifle conversation rather than encourage it.

And for the archaeology/history geeks:

New Graeco-Roman tombs uncovered in Alexandria.

The Carian Trail: a new long-distance walking trail opens in Turkey.