Heroes and Villains

Heroes and Villains
This week is a tale of a president, some mooky chicks and a computing giant who really ballsed up their latest ad campaign – oh and there are bows and arrows, obviously…


Microsoft – Apologies for the slight deviation from a literary focus but these guys need to be named and shamed for their mind-blowingly sexist X-Box One ad. The web-based ad which pigeon-holes women somewhere in the region of 1875, includes a handy, customisable letter for guys to give to their gals, in defence of their coveted console. It’s hard to decide whether it would be better if Microsoft created this plea to the “knit” loving, technology hating other halves of their customers, due to a complete ignorance of their market, or, because some dude thought it was mighty witty – no wait, they’re both crap excuses at best. Microsoft have issued an apology for the “oversight” and are in the process of adapting the ad.


The all-women Costa Novel Award shortlist – Congratulations to Kate Atkinson (my, oh my, she’s on fire), Bernardine Bishop, Evie Wyld and Maggie O’Farrell for making up a damn fine shortlist for the prize that recognises “the most enjoyable books of the year”. Massive well done to Kate Clanchy, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Olivia Laing, Helen Mort, Sarah Naughton and Elizabeth Wein for their nominations in the other four Costa book categories.

The Obamas – for commemorating Small Business Saturday by patronising independent bookstores in D.C. Good to see that the president is supporting our spiritual homes, and is there anything more adorable than a father book shopping with his daughters? No, no there is not.

Suzanne Collins – for inspiring girls to take up archery. USA Archery has seen their young women membership double in the last two years. Creator of Katniss Everdeen, we salute you.

Femflash 2013 winner and finalists - Back in September we announced the launch of this year’s Femflash competition and this week, the results were announced. Hurray for Krystyn Bacon and Stephanie Lord as runners-up and three cheers for the winner, Chloe Goodwin, for her poem addressing street harassment, “My Mother Checks the Weather Before She Leaves”. Check out her tumblr, A Fangrrl Assembled.