Viking Warrior Women: An Archaeodeath Response Part 1

Fascinating piece on the “discovery” that the famous warrior found at Birka was female

Archaeodeath

The last week has been a fascinating and disturbing time for Viking mortuary archaeology in the public sphere.

On 8th September 2017, an international academic peer-review article was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropologyreinterpreting a single skeleton (i.e. not multiple skeletons from the same grave) from a 10th-century chamber grave from the Viking Age trading settlement of Birka. It was discovered in the 19th-century excavations at Birka by Hjalmar Stolpe (in 1877). The Bj581 chamber grave contained a skeleton in a flexed position on its right side suggesting the person had originally been interred in a seated position. The body had been furnished with rich apparel with Eastern links, weapons, gaming pieces and two horses at the foot of the grave.

This grave’s occupant has been shown through multiple skeletal determinations to be a ‘female’, and the article proves this by presenting the osteological sexing and the…

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Book pricing and entitlement on both sides of the reader/author fence

Definitely worth a read on the pricing debate in the romance genre

Jay Northcote

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about ebook prices in the circles I move in online. The gist of these discussions tends to be one of two things:

  • Readers complaining about ebooks being priced too high, and making statements like “I’d never spend X amount of dollars on a book that’s only Y pages!”
  • Authors complaining that nobody will buy their book that’s priced at X dollars anymore, because there are too many books priced at 99c and they can’t compete with that.

Readers complaining about how authors/publishers price their books come across as entitled, because nobody is forcing them to buy that book. If you don’t feel a certain book is good value for money, then you can give it a miss and buy something else.

apple-589640_640 Amazon isn’t a magic money tree, sadly…

I’d like to point out that publishers or self-published authors don’t just pull a…

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TRANS BOOK MONTH: Jay Northcote on “Trans Visibility in Fiction”

One of my best author buddies has been writing about his experiences again, please read it.

Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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We at Just Love are absolutely thrilled to present Trans Book Month throughout July, elevating the voices of trans authors, readers, and allies in discussing trans representation in books. Today we’re honored to have author Jay Northcote on the blog, talking about the importance of trans visibility in fiction.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Jay!

Trans Visibility in Fiction: How a Story Changed my Life
By Jay Northcote

Thanks for inviting me to post on your blog during Trans Book Month. I love that you’re celebrating trans representation in fiction, because I know first hand how important transgender visibility in fiction can be.

I’m a transgender man. I finally came out last year (age forty-five), after a long and painful process of sloughing off layers of denial. But if it wasn’t for reading the right story, I might never have realised who I really was.

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Writing Fiction in a Time of Genuine Crisis, by Patrick S. Tomlinson

Some intelligent thoughts on the power of writing, telling stories and the capacity to fight back and resist being silenced.

Strange Currencies

A funny thing happened to me one year ago today. A random tweet throwing shade at the typical right-wing response to police brutality put me in touch with an editor for The Hill. Today is the anniversary of adding paid political commentator for a national platform to my other job titles of sci-fi author and stand-up comic. Many, many articles have followed, and I’ve added bylines in other venues such as The New York Times.

Which has given me a unique perspective on how to keep writing about spaceships and ray guns while Rome seemingly burns around us.

First of all, Don’t Panic. We are facing a crisis of a kind our nation has not seen since 1861 at the dawn of the Civil War, but no one person is doing all the work. If the Women’s March taught us anything, it’s that the resistance is massive, unprecedented, organized, and…

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This is a disabled parking bay…

Some thoughts on why the Blue Badge scheme is important and why people abusing it should be fined.

The long chain

This is a disabled parking bay. There are four of them at my son’s school. They are close to the school entrance and they are wider than normal bays. Doesn’t it look inviting?

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This is my son Benjamin’s blue badge. I had to apply for it, and pay for it. Many disabled people have to fight for it. It entitles me to park in the disabled bays at my son’s school (and anywhere else) when I have him with me and he will be getting out of the vehicle, or when I will be picking him up and putting him into the vehicle.

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These are four of the cars that were parked in the disabled spaces at my son’s school today. None of them is displaying a blue badge.

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Maybe their drivers aren’t aware that although this isn’t a public road the school still enforces the blue badge scheme? Maybe…

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If Corbyn has no chance, why are Tories spreading #fakenews about him? #GE17

For those who don’t believe the right wing media bias exists, check out the difference between the official Getty Image and the one a member of the Conservative Communications Team has apparently been promoting.

The SKWAWKBOX

In spite of a stellar start to his campaign that has Theresa May in hiding and social media buzzing, the Tory and MSM (mainstream media) narrative is that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has no chance of success.

If that were true, you’d think the Tories would be relaxing, taking it easy, waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Instead, they’re going to desperate – and foolish – lengths to smear him, as a recent exchange on Facebook showed.

Suzan Walsh is, according to her Linkedin profile, an information officer for the Tory party:

suzan walshOver the last few days, it appears – if the pictures and account are genuine – that Ms Walsh has been touting a picture apparently showing Jeremy Corbyn receiving short shrift from a resident whose door he knocked on while campaigning:

walsh fake

Others have jumped at the opportunity to propagate the jibe, such as the vice-Chair of the Young…

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On being an ally, and why it’s never us v them

Some wise words to think upon.

Jay Northcote

Sometimes in the queer romance community — and especially when there is something going on that’s caused offence and triggered a heated debate — it can feel uncomfortably like an us v them situation, with cis straight allies feeling unwelcome and unappreciated.

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This makes me sad, because I know that the vast majority of the cis straight authors and readers are doing their best to support the LGBT+ community.

But also, I think it’s really important to remember that it’s not us v them. Those of us who identify as LGBT+ still need to be good allies to each other.

Just because you identify as LGBT+ yourself, that doesn’t automatically give you a free pass. We can still fuck up and make mistakes and hurt people. I’ve done that myself, more than once, and it’s hard to admit that and apologise (humble pie tastes like crap) but it’s necessary.

Saying…

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