1. Skytalkers

    Skytalkers is a Star Wars podcast hosted by two diehard fangirls, Charlotte Errity and Caitlin Plesher. They will have lots to talk about this week — with today’s US release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

    Commentary
  2. How do I defy my gift-loving family?

    From Eve Andrews, at Grist: “Modern Christmas as its best self, I think, is a celebration of security and abundance and love, but that all takes place against a pervasive background fear that those things might be impermanent.”

    Family
  3. Hunting Dinosaurs in Central Africa

    At Contingent Magazine, Edward Guimont dives deep into the 19th century, and tells the story of the strange European quest to find living dinosaurs in Africa.

    Animals
  4. #OptOutside

    REI Co-op started a movement for people to reconnect outdoors over the holidays. They now close on Black Friday — one of the most popular shopping days of the year — and on their blog invite America to #OptOutside with them.

    Inspiration
  5. Let Me Show You the World

    Iman Sultan explores the rich storytelling traditions that gave the world Aladdin — but that have been all but erased in the blockbuster Disney versions.

    Culture
  6. Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ and the Anatomy of the Scam

    “These archetypes give women the extremely confused message that to be truly independent, ambitious, and empowered — and dare we say, feminist — is to perform well in the marketplace of the likeable self. It also gives capitalism, which is superficially unfashionable, a second life: its mercenary logic can take on a socially conscientious sheen.”

    Feminism
  7. Storyboard 75: The Big Book of Narrative

    “Storyboard 75” compiles some of the most popular posts from the archives at Nieman Storyboard, a resource for exploring the art and craft of storytelling. Writers: bookmark this page and return to it again and again.

    Authors
  8. The Not-So-Slow Leak

    “Some are tired. All are broke. Some are gay or trans and suffer for it. All have professional ambitions beyond what they can achieve on a blockaded island.” At Here is Havana, Conner Gorry reflects on emigration, loss, and Cuba.

    Exploration
    Photo by Bibhash Banerjee
  9. For National Novel Writing Month, Two Vital Reminders

    “A novel is hard because it needs to be hard, and the novel is hard because it’s yours.” On his blog Terribleminds, Chuck Wendig offers advice to writers at the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

    Authors
  10. The Possessed: Dispatches from the Third Trimester

    “The impulse to see pregnancy as a sci-fi curiosity turns pregnant people into something that is not human, or at least adds an asterisk to their humanity.” In this longread, Sara Fredman writes about pregnancy, demons, and Stranger Things.

    Essay