Some links that may be of interest

Rose Fox, “‘It would not be logical.'”

Every time a lesbian dies, every time a wife is widowed, every time a mother grieves the death of her child, every time rape is used to define a woman’s character, it serves the story that the author wanted to tell. And I am no longer content with “it makes sense in the context of the story” as an explanation or an excuse. That “logic” is just as suspect.


James Davis Nicoll, The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein.

One of the impressive things about this book and the series in general is the way Kirstein resists having Rowan deduce too much too quickly; she’s smart, she’s good at working out how things behave but there are many moments where the reader will work out what is going on and Rowan will not, because Rowan’s context denies her information about phenomena like electricity or gunpowder.

Links on CAPTAIN AMERICA:TWS and Roman Ostia

Rose Fox talks about Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

After all that stuff about how individual people can stand up and do the right thing and effect change, after that brilliantly tense showdown in the launch room (which looked just like a NASA launch room, by the way, in a little love letter to all the places where ordinary techs and scientists do extraordinary things every day), we’re told to just sit around and hope the superheroes will save us. We are supposed to tear down all the corrupt institutions while valorizing superheroes, even though people with superpowers are just as prone to corruption as any government agency or industrial project. I understand that the Marvel universe requires this, but it’s still really jarring. If this had been a novel I was editing, I would have told the author, “Having clearly laid out all these problems, you need to envision a possible solution and then commit to it.” And I suppose they did… but it’s manifestly unsatisfying, because it’s not a solution we can actually enact in the real world. Superheroes are a very personal sort of wish fulfillment, not a plan-for-world-peace sort.

New results from research out of the Ostia and Portus survey project looks set to change our understanding of the scale of Roman Ostia:

Previously, scholars thought that the Tiber formed the northern edge of Ostia, but this new research, using geophysical survey techniques to examine the site, has shown that Ostia’s city wall also continued on the other side of the river. The researchers have shown this newly discovered area enclosed three huge, previously unknown warehouses – the largest of which was the size of a football pitch.

Director of the Portus Project, Professor Simon Keay, said: “Our research not only increases the known area of the ancient city, but it also shows that the Tiber bisected Ostia, rather than defining its northern side.The presence of the warehouses along the northern bank of the river provides us with further evidence for the commercial activities that took place there in the first two centuries.”