About Alis

Alis Franklin is a thirtysomething Australian author of queer urban fantasy. She likes cooking, video games, Norse mythology, and feathered dinosaurs. She’s never seen a live drop bear, but stays away from tall trees, just in case.

People worse at reading genres they don’t like.

The study is specifically about science fiction, but it could apply to any genre.

In retrospect, the fact that “whiny self-involved man books”1 are my least favorite genre may explain a lot of problems I used to have in high school English class…

  1. Yeah, I mean Catcher in the Rye. ^
2018-05-21T09:49:44+00:00 21st May, 2018|Tags: books, culture, pop culture|0 Comments

The difference is in the tights.

But this fourth space for superheroes to occupy for non-otherworldly threats poses problems for Marvel (and for DC). This vacuum was eluded too but not examined in Captain America: Civil War. Captain America’s stance not to sign the Sokovia Accords was not well examined or explained. Instead, the rightness of his stance is largely just assumed as an extension of Steve Rogers own integrity. That manages to just about work in that film so long as you don’t pay too much attention to it but on closer examination Rogers really has to choose to be either an agent of the state or a vigilante. If you call yourself ‘Captain America’ then you can either be a soldier employed and held accountable by the state or your indistinguishable from a nutty ‘militia’ hiding in a compound and plotting against the BATF.

Camestros Felapton on the problem with superheroes.

This, as some of you may be aware, is why superheroes don’t really “work” for me, at least not in their vanilla Marvel/DC incarnations (I usually quite like deconstructions like The Maxx or The Authority). As a member of groups that have historically been on the receiving end of violence from the sort of self-righteous, no-due-process vigilantism superhero comics try and make chic—and also coming from a culture where vigilantism in general is frowned on—I’ve never been able to really “sit back and enjoy the escapism” that the genre supposed to represent…

2017-12-19T13:44:35+00:00 20th May, 2018|Tags: pop culture|0 Comments

Literary fiction was, in all seriousness, established by the CIA during the Cold War—it belongs to the state. As such, an independent press with no ties to the state should inherently not be interested in “literary fiction.” Semantically!

M Kitchell on… conspiracies?

I think this is straight-up my new favorite “literary versus genre” argument.

2017-12-15T08:02:19+00:00 19th May, 2018|Tags: publishing|0 Comments


Corporate feminists and big companies love to talk about imposter syndrome because then they can shove it into the second shift work that women and minorities are expected to do.

It’s just an expected hazard, ladies, and don’t worry just fix thyself. Once you’ve made sure that we’re making the appropriate effort on the pipeline, of course – we all know that’s the biggest problem. Sometime between the talk you’re giving to those school kids and by the way we thought it would be cool if you wrote something for the company blog talking about how great it is to work here whilst female. PR will help you.

Your male teammate never mentions the blog post, but he does send back that code review you’ve been waiting two days for. He wants you to do it completely differently, and you sigh because you have three other branches on top of that, now. You stay late proving that his way won’t, in fact, work. What a waste of time. Better not include that in the the talk.

You feel discouraged, and try to talk to your manager about it. But he’s just been to the company mandated diversity training. He tells you how much the work you’re doing on the pipeline is appreciated, dodges your question about promotion, and later sends you an article on Imposter Syndrome.

Cate thinks maybe it’s not Imposter Syndrome.

2017-12-04T10:06:37+00:00 18th May, 2018|Tags: culture|0 Comments

False accusations.

Difficult but, I think, worthwhile article about the kind of person who makes false rape accusations (and, similarly, what those false accusations look like).

Spoiler alert: false accusations are both rare and, in general, distinct in character from truthful accusations. Oh, and the impacts on the accused—assuming someone is directly accused, which is rare—are minimal. Most false accusations never go to trial and rates of exhortations (i.e. people who were convinced on charges that were later determined to be false) are a significant digit lower than, for example, murder. In other words, while false accusations do occur, the idea that they occur in quantity or severity as to intentionally ruin men’s lives is a total fiction.

2017-12-04T10:00:59+00:00 17th May, 2018|Tags: culture, cw: sexual assault|0 Comments


So no matter how many times I listen to this, and on what device, all I can ever hear is “Yanny”. I even fiddled around with the equalizer; still only Yannies. It’s only on the “extreme” edits, i.e. when people delete the entire upper tone range, that the Laurel emerges.

Interestingly, I played this for my husband, who is deaf enough to wear hearing aids, and has particular difficulty with high tones, and he apparently hears… a weird combination of both words. So go figure, I guess.

2018-05-17T08:50:18+00:00 17th May, 2018|Tags: meme, science|0 Comments

Religion, to atheists.

Religion has a long history of struggling to reconcile reality and belief, to find humanity’s place in a largely unknown and complex and frequently hostile universe. If there is any saving grace in faith at all, it is that it is an attempt to find a rock of certainty in the unpredictable chaos of life — it is aspirational, a search for truth. As such, religion changes over time. It evolves.

Where it fails is when people […] give up on the search and the struggle and decide that they have an absolute lock on an irrevocable and ultimate truth, one that will no longer bend to the evidence, that will no longer care about the nature of reality, but only the nature of one antique interpretation of the words of a book. They will not change any more. They will cling stubbornly to this one unmoving stone of dogma, and they will insist that everything else is wrong. They will close their eyes and grasp tighter and tighter to that one illusion of certainty as it crumbles around them. By refusing to bend, they commit themselves to someday breaking.

PZ Myers on faith.

2017-12-04T09:28:24+00:00 16th May, 2018|Tags: atheism|0 Comments

It kind of occurs to me most of the sorts of prose people describe as “like bad fanfic” actually:

a) doesn’t sound like actual bad fanfic at all, and

b) does sound suspiciously a hell of a lot like a lot of prose written by the Great Men™ of fiction…1

  1. This post brought to you by the novel Solaris, which is basically a litany of Bad Fanfic Sins piled all on top of one another. ^
2018-05-17T13:32:45+00:00 16th May, 2018|Tags: books, sff, writing|0 Comments

“Tell me about a complicated man.”

Interesting look at the story behind Emily Wilson’s new(ish) translation of The Odyssey.

Greek myth isn’t really My Bag Baby, but the article’s point about having alternate voices (i.e. not Just Another Straight White Dude) translate and interpret ancient texts had me nodding along and is, for example, why you’ll find I’m generally uninterested1 in most takes on Norse Mythology…

  1. At best. And yeah, Marvel. I c u dere, casting your One Black Guy as the god who literally codified class segregation in general, and slavery in particular^
2017-12-04T09:23:03+00:00 15th May, 2018|Tags: culture|0 Comments