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Calling all female mad scientists

A friend recently asked on her blog what fictional characters we (her readers) relate to. Two that immediately came to mind for me were Helen Narbonic (from Narbonic) and Agatha Clay (from Girl Genius). Both are female mad scientists from webcomics, which got me wondering what other female mad scientists I might be missing out on. A quick glance at Wikipedia’s List of mad scientists confirms how male-dominated this field is. Though I admittedly only skimmed it, I didn’t see any female mad scientists on the list whose names I recognized other than the above two. Nor have I been able to come up with others off the top of my head (though maybe that’s just due to poor memory/lack of imagination). So, readers, help me out. What other female mad scientists are out there?

(By the way, if you haven’t read them, I highly recommend both Narbonic and Girl Genius. Narbonic is rather slow getting started, but the story and the art both improve tremendously.)

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Webcomic: the Linking

I think quite a few HRSFANS will get a kick out of today’s Irregular Webcomic!

(via Language Log)

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Calvin and Hobbes

I feel like I shouldn’t need to preface this, because everyone should know Calvin and Hobbes already. But for those who don’t, it’s one of the best comic strips of all time, drawn by Bill Watterson from 1985 to 1995 (and rerunning on the web at gocomics.com). If you’ve somehow never seen it before, you’re missing out. I don’t really have words for how much I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Anyway, I was recently debating with a friend how Calvin and Hobbes ended, and came across this interesting collection of post-series takes on Calvin and Hobbes. The last one is the fake Calvin and Hobbes ending that broke my friend’s heart (and temporarily mine, before I came home to confirm that it was false). If you need a boost after seeing it, you can find the real final strip here.

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People of Color in SF

A friend of mine pointed out that the 12th Annual People of Color in SF Carnival is seeking submissions now–they’re looking for weblinks, blog entries, and the like. They’ll then weave them together to give a sense of what the present conversation is when thinking about race in SF/F. You can check out the call here or see an example here. It seems pretty cool, and it’s already pointed me to a new webcomic (Magellan, for those who are interested in superheroes). So if you know of any links related to the theme (or wanted to write one for hrsfans.org), send them to mvelazqu AT umd DOT edu by 2/27/09.

From http://thehathorlegacy.com/books/poc-carnival-yay/:

This month’s theme focuses on the role PoC characters have in the products of our fandom — as accessories, as absences, and as convenient plot devices. This issue of absence is particularly important — what does it do to fic to have the “real” experiences of PoC constantly referred to but never there? What does it mean that series like Xmen or [Harry Potter] draw on specific histories of race and violence, but do this without themselves referring to racism or anti-Semitism in text? Here, we’re focusing will be on science-fiction and fantasy, speculative fiction, and other types of mediated imagery, including webcomics and movies.

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