MIND MELD: Comic Book Characters Who Deserve Reboots

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

The recent announcement of the Falcon taking over Captain America, the announcement of a female Thor, Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, the new Ms. Marvel, the various incarnations of Green Lantern…there is opportunity in rebooting comic book characters to reflect our diverse society, or to cast new light and new angles on old characters.

Q: What are the perils and challenges and opportunities of doing such a reboot? Pick a comic book character that you’d like to reboot. How would you do it, and to what end?

Here’s what they said…

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Join the Space Unicorn Rangers Corps!

by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

We want you to join the Space Unicorn Rangers Corps!

Okay, we should probably explain that a bit.
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MIND MELD: Our Favorite Convention Panels

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This week, we asked our panlists about their favorite Convention Panels:

Q: What was the best convention panel you ever attended? What was the best convention panel you were ever on? If you could set up your ideal convention panel, what would be the topic and who would be on it?

This is what they said…

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In episode 202 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes Lynne M. Thomas (2013 Hugo Award winner – Best Fancast), Michael Damian Thomas (2013 Hugo Award Nominee – Semi-Prozine – APEX Magazine, and John Kilma (Hugo Award Winner – Electric Velocipede 2009) to discuss the genesis and journey of the Glitter & Mayhem (APEX Books) anthology from conception to publication launch party at Worldcon in San Antonio, Texas.

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MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A strong anthology that transcends the seeming limitations of the theme to bring a set of high quality genre stories.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: An excellent set of original stories, some clearly in award-nomination class; beautiful cover art.
CONS: Readers not interested in the theme or subject matter will find little purchase here.
BOTTOM LINE: The stories in Glitter and Mayhem? Absolutely fabulous.
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Sigrid Ellis and Michael Damian Thomas are the editors of Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It , the latest in a series of books of essays on genre from Mad Norwegian Press.

I sat down to ask Sigrid and Michael about themselves, and the book.


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REVIEW SUMMARY: An interesting and illuminating look at Doctor Who through a queer lens.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A collection of essays and personal reminisces about LGBTQ fans’ reactions and thoughts about the show.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Intriguing, interesting essays and perspectives that invite the reader to reconsider Doctor Who and by extension their relationship to it.
CONS: A stronger focus on analysis would make it a stronger work, academic-wise; more connections to the audios and other media would have been welcome.
BOTTOM LINE: Anyone with an interest in Doctor Who will enjoy this set of perspectives.

A media property approaching fifty years old has, just by the sheer fact of its longevity, invites interpretations, reflections and connections from its fans. In five decades, there is something for every stripe if you look hard enough and sometimes you find it without even looking that hard. You just need a slight change in perspective.

Thus, enter Queers Dig Time Lords, A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It…the latest collection of essays on genre from Mad Norwegian Press.
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Editors John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas, and Michael Damian Thomas, in partnership with Apex Publications have announced the table of contents for Glitter & Mayhem:

Here’s the book description:

Welcome to Glitter & Mayhem, the most glamorous party in the multiverse.
Step behind the velvet rope of these fabulous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror tales of roller rinks, nightclubs, glam aliens, party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, and debauchery.
Dance through nightclubs, roller derby with cryptids and aliens, be seduced by otherworldly creatures, and ingest cocktails that will alter your existence forever. Your hosts are the Hugo Award-winning editors John Klima (Electric Velocipede) and Lynne M. Thomas (Apex Magazine), and the Hugo-nominated editor Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Magazine).
Join glittery authors Christopher Barzak (One for Sorrow) and Daryl Gregory (Pandemonium) on the dance floor, drink cocktails with Maria Dahvana Headley (Queen of Kings: A Novel of Cleopatra, the Vampire) and Tim Pratt (Marla Mason series), and skate with Seanan McGuire (InCryptid series), Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian series), and Maurice Broaddus (The Knights of Breton Court series). The fantastic Amber Benson gets the party started with her floor-rattling introduction (Calliope Reaper-Jones series).

And here’s the star-studded table of contents…
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MIND MELD: Books You Eat Like Candy & Books You Savor

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Many readers have different gears when reading books. Some books are ones in which you luxuriate and spend time with, others are such a ride that you turn the pages rapidly, carried along through them at warp speed.

We asked this week’s panelists about this phenomenon:

Q: What books do you savor? What books do you eat like candy? What makes for you a book that you savor, or speed through?

Here’s what they said…

Sandra Wickham
Sandra Wickham lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two cats. Her friends call her a needle crafting aficionado, health guru and ninja-in-training. Sandra’s short stories have appeared in Evolve: Vampires of the New Undead, Evolve: Vampires of the Future Undead, Chronicles of the Order, Crossed Genres magazine and coming up in The Urban Green Man. She blogs about writing with the Inkpunks, is the Fitness Nerd columnist for the Functional Nerds and slush reads for Lightspeed Magazine.

As a fitness professional, I have a hard time comparing books to popcorn and candy. I’m sorry. It goes against my nature. Is it all right if I call them fruits versus vegetables? Fruit is yummy, quick to eat and always fun. Vegetables can be yummy, are a bit more work to eat but you know they’re extremely good for you.

I always read because I want to be entertained and I admit I don’t always read because I want to learn something, or broaden my mind. Sometimes, I really just want to have fun and read an entertaining book. That’s when I turn to the fruit.

The fruit books I grab for a quick, fun read are urban fantasy. Give me a Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Diana Rowland, Kat Richardson, Kevin Hearne (the list goes on and on) and I’ll disappear. I’m not saying that urban fantasy can’t be mind expanding or explore important issues, when they’re well done they certainly do that, but I don’t need to rethink my entire life to read them.

I’d also list horror books under this category, though it depends on the author. Some of those are a mix of fruits and vegetables with a side of bloody dip.

My vegetable books tend to be fantasy that take after the Tolkien mold. These are the stories I want to dive fully into, to be immersed in the world the author has created and linger there, enjoying every aspect of the characters, the setting and the story.

I’m interested to see other people’s responses on the books they savor, because I know I need more vegetables in my reading diet.

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Book Trailer: Glitter & Mayhem: The Speculative Nightclub Anthology

Here’s a stylish trailer for Glitter & Mayhem: The Speculative Nightclub Anthology, a book that was successfully crowd funded:
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Michael Damian Thomas is the Managing Editor of the Hugo Award-nominated Apex Magazine and an Associate Editor at Mad Norwegian Press, where he’s worked on numerous books including the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea). He is currently co-editing the forthcoming Queers Dig Time Lords with Sigrid Ellis.

What is a Speculative Nightclub Anthology Anyway?

Like many things in my life, this anthology idea came from goofing around on Twitter. (Who says we’re all there to avoid work?)

John Klima and I can get pretty punchy at night on Twitter. We were basking in the post-Worldcon feelings and missing all of our SF/F friends, when John suggested a “glitter party” at LoneStarCon. I didn’t know what a glitter party was (nor did he), but for some reason it made me think of glow roller skating.

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Mad Norwegian Press has sent us the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming essay collection Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It edited by by Sigrid Ellis and Michael Damian Thomas.
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