Mermaids, Music, Dune, Assassins, and ACoTaR

Today on Book Riot:

My coworker Claire quoted me in this opinion article on bookish pet peeves.

I posted “The Apotheosis of Paul Atreides” on my Medium, a follow-up to my first essay on Dune.

Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) looking down on the watery planet of Caladan in Dune (2021).

CN: sex; images of violence; spoilers

I recently blogged about an odd musical coincidence: an eerie similarity between the music in the personality test scene in The Parallax View and a current Kia commercial. Really. It’s one of my weirdest ideas. Thank you for reading it! I just re-watched The Parallax View legally and free on Pluto TV. I don’t have Paramount +.

This scene is sometimes inaccurately called a “brainwashing” scene, but it’s the last phase of Joe’s job interview to become an assassin. In the movie clip, the empty seats are shown for a second. When occupied, they’re where the commission sits in the first and last scenes to say there’s no evidence of conspiracy. Hmm.

In the movie clip linked in my essay, the music starts at almost 1:00, the humming by 1:35. After Joe exits the testing room, the score is an instrumental, tense version of the melody the singer was humming in the test. The score was composed by Michael Small.

This musical era would often use dissonant, plucked guitar strings to sound psychedelic and distorted. Jimi Hendrix’s work is another great example. So is the Beatles song “A Day in the Life.”

Similarly, some of the images re-used later in the test are reversed. This doesn’t surprise us in 2023 but may have been shocking in 1974.

I said, “the images are presented in a more disturbing, Freudian context.” Freudian ideas, such as the Oedipus complex, were more influential in 1970s pop culture than today. The juxtaposition of unrelated photos–adults undressing before sex, a boy smiling at his mother, and then a woman screaming–imply the Oedipus complex. The test gauges Joe’s reaction to these images in context.

Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) in The Parallax View. He sits under a large movie screen with both hands on white sensors (Paramount Pictures, 1974).

Yes, I know the song from the 2022 Kia ad is probably imitating that Bon Iver style of nature folk. But both pieces of music sound eerily similar to me and as if they’re trying to lull listeners. That’s why I find them cloyingly manipulative.

I first posted on my Medium blog about the series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas in December 2020. I finally wrote a follow-up on ACOTAR and ideas I didn’t explore in my original essay.

When I wrote about fantasy maps on BR a couple of years ago, I didn’t know that Hibernia was an ancient Latin name for Ireland. However, just the shape and relative positions of the countries Prythian and Hybern on ACoTaR’s map should have tipped me off and reminded me of England and Ireland. Now that I know, I think this is careless fantasy world-building.

I also mention The Perilous Gard, a major influence on my reading and writing since childhood, and what I noticed when rereading it around Halloween 2022.

I like Season 2 of Shadow and Bone on Netflix. I didn’t like the plot changes to S1, but they fixed some of my issues in S2. It’s starting to gel together (mostly) into the plots and relationships I enjoyed in the books. I was glad to see Wylan, Nikolai, Genya, David, and more in this season, plus more of Kaz and the Darkling’s backstories! I’m glad there will be a Six of Crows spinoff, although a lot of the plot of that duology is in the Shadow and Bone show anyway.

It was kind of strange seeing Dean Lennox Kelly as Pekka Rollins soon after I saw him as Shakespeare in “The Shakespeare Code” (a 2006 Doctor Who episode). I wrote about “The Shakespeare Code” and more on Doctor Who on my Medium.

I liked Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books and the show. However, I don’t want to read her book Ninth House or its sequel, Hell Bent. In 2022, Meredith Mooring, an author with albinism, criticized the Hell Bent cover, which shows a rabbit with albinism. Dan Brown’s older book The Da Vinci Code also uses albinism in an ableist way to seem creepy. I write about the intersection of ableism and the idea of the uncanny a lot.

AI and Writing

Today on Book Riot:

Since I submitted that article, a lot more has happened on this developing news topic. Clarkesworld recently closed its submissions after receiving an influx of stories written by ChatGPT. Some disabled students consider ChatGPT an important accessibility and study tool. There are plenty of pros and cons of technology like ChatGPT that I still can’t imagine.

Some of my earlier Tweets on AI writing:

“Grace Lapointe

Jan 29
Oh no. I’m sure someone has said this before, but AI writing is kind of like that old thought experiment of monkeys typing randomly and eventually producing the works of Shakespeare…”

Feb. 26, 2023:

“Grace Lapointe
Art isn’t just about “ideas.” It’s about experiences that are personal and inexpressible any other way. AI can’t make that. It can crawl original ideas and experiences but not understand why…

My essays get crawled by bots all the time, sometimes without my byline or links. When my fiction was rejected for many years, mainstream lit didn’t understand my ideas or experiences in them. They were considered unrealistic.

IDK, why look at the end result & think “I could do that” or my computer program could do that without knowing what went into the process? Why try to reverse-engineer writing with AI? /rhetorical”

Dec. 10, 2022:

“It’s also weird how articles about AI deflect responsibility from people who create and use it. One article said an AI ‘hallucinated a 1st-person prison experience.’ No, don’t anthropomorphize it. It crawled real writing from formerly incarcerated people and plagiarized them…”

Ambiguous Endings?!

Today on Book Riot:

I love Mohsin Hamid’s work! And Lois Lowry’s!

As I mentioned in the article, I didn’t like Life of Pi.

Another very popular book I disliked from my early teens in the early 2000s was The Da Vinci Code. I’ve Tweeted this since 2018, but I’m just copying my opinions from Twitter to my blog:


CN genitals; ableism

What did I hate more? The ableism of The Da Vinci Code making a character with albinism seem creepy because of his disability? Or the TERFiest part of The Da Vinci Code, comparing a cathedral’s arches to the goddess’ vulva?”

I’m watching Broadchurch. I like David Tennant’s work a lot.

I liked The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman and am reading Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve L. Ewing, which is a great, non-fiction, academic book. Eve is really nice and an excellent poet and essayist too.

Last week, I wrote about the ableism of Elspeth Barker’s novel O Caledonia.

O Caledonia and More Recent Reading and Watching

I recently read O Caledonia by Elspeth Barker, a novel originally published in 1991 and republished in 2021. The introduction to this edition is by Maggie O’Farrell. Barker died in 2022.

The book’s descriptions of its landscape are beautiful, but other parts of the book are extremely ableist. I analyzed the ableism on my Medium blog and re-posted it on my Academia profile. I’m proud of this one. I couldn’t find anything else calling the book ableist but thought I needed to say it.

I recently enjoyed the documentary Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song on Netflix. I’m a big fan of his music and have been for ages. It might only be fascinating to fans like me.

I mentioned Roald Dahl’s infamous antisemitism in my previous post. I don’t often agree with Philip Pullman, but I agree with him here that Roald Dahl’s books have had their time and it’s better to let them fade away gradually than try to censor them.

Besides, the fatmisia, racism, antisemitism, ableism, and hatred of kids are integral to Dahl’s work in ways that can’t be removed or fixed. Take Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The point of the story is punishing kids for their “flaws,” which include being fat.

I know I’ve written about ableist language, but I also write about stereotypes and ideology. Language is usually not the root or extent of the problem; it’s more like the tip of the iceberg. When I analyze literature, language often provides evidence of characters’ or authors’ beliefs–or larger cultural ideologies that the author or story may unintentionally be reinforcing. A few superficial fixes can’t begin to touch the problems with Dahl, including his antisemitic comments in real life.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Nobel Prizes

CN: examples of ableism, racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQIA prejudice, fatmisia, and antisemitism

I published this essay on Book Riot yesterday:

As usual, I went more in depth on my Medium.

I wrote on BR that I could write another blog post about the ableism of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. So, at the Medium link, there are some ideas and quotes that didn’t fit in my Book Riot article.

Connie (Emma Corrin) and Oliver (Jack O’Connell) pushing Clifford’s (Matthew Duckett’s) wheelchair. (Netflix, 2022)

And my 100th article for BR:

I recently wrote what Doctor Who has gotten right and wrong over the years regarding diversity. Biases are so insidious that they make their way into fiction, sometimes unintentionally. Biases trickle down far more easily than money does. I think it’s important to recognize stereotypes to avoid perpetuating them, even when they may be unintended. People perpetuate antisemitism, ableism, racism, and fatmisia by uncritically imitating the stereotypes in the work of known antisemite Roald Dahl, for example.

l saw some of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on TV recently. I turned it off almost immediately because the villain, the Child Catcher, seemed like such an antisemitic caricature. The script was co-written by Roald Dahl. It’s been on TV a lot lately.

So, when bigotry is blatant, like Dahl’s himself, it’s important to point it out and avoid supporting it. I agree with everyone boycotting Hogwarts Legacy for reasons including a former developer’s inflammatory, pro-Gamergate statements, JKR’s history of ableist and transmisic comments, appropriating Indigenous history and folklore for her US magic school, and the antisemitic plot of the game. Good for this article for also using Dickens’ Fagin as an example of antisemitism. He’s Jewish in the book Oliver Twist. In the musical movie from the 1960s, Fagin wears green (like money, not subtle!), and his songs sound like klezmer (a form of Jewish folk music), compounding old stereotypes.

I recently read the Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White: And I Darken, Now I Rise, and Bright We Burn. I enjoyed them. I might write more later. I also liked White’s later Camelot Rising trilogy, which I blogged about here in 2021.

I watched the Thirteenth Doctor episode “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror” recently. Spoilers ahead, but . . . I loved it. It has it all: Tesla and Edison’s rivalry, the AC/DC debate, Edison stealing Tesla’s work, Wardenclyffe Tower . . . The aliens also steal people’s work and inventions. It also mentioned Tesla supposedly receiving a radio signal from Mars. I loved this detail because I learned it while researching The War of the Worlds.

Catherine Called Birdy; More on Doctor Who

Content note: ableism, sexism, racism, abuse, and antisemitism discussed; spoilers for Catherine, Called Birdy and Doctor Who here and in links

Published today on Book Riot:

Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper), a white woman with brown eyes and braided, dark brown hair and wearing medieval clothes (Prime Video).

Billie Piper, who played Rose Tyler on Doctor Who in the 2000s, gives a moving performance as Lady Aislinn, Catherine’s mother. There’s also a cover of one of Piper’s songs, “Honey to the Bee,” at an amusing, inappropriate moment. This is kind of an inside joke if you know Piper’s career as both a pop singer and an actor.

I tried to write my BR essay as more of a personal reflection than as a movie review. I didn’t like some of the changes from Karen Cushman’s book and am not a Lena Dunham fan. In the book, Birdy’s father isn’t developed as a character beyond being physically and emotionally abusive. As Jeanna Kadlec wrote, he represents the oppressive patriarchy in general. I like the movie scene showing his concern for his wife because Andrew Scott, Billie Piper, and Bella Ramsey are all such great actors.

In the book, Birdy’s original suitor dies, and she marries his son instead. At the end of the movie, though, she ends up more like Merida in Disney’s Brave: not marrying anyone yet. I liked that, but I didn’t like the scene in the movie of Birdy’s father, Lord Rollo, dueling her suitor to win her back. Despite Lord Rollo’s character growth, I don’t think such an abusive character can be redeemed. It was a pat attempt to give his character a big, dramatic scene to “heroically” reverse a problem he created.

Speaking of Billie Piper, I really enjoyed the Doctor Who connection with this movie (through her) and the film’s use of Billie’s song! I blogged about my observations on Doctor Who on my Medium. Thanks for reading and sharing!

First Article of 2023!

Today on Book Riot:

This essay is very personal. I know there are lots of reasons why many people can’t read every word, “read what’s there,” or read to music. My mom has always known that too. She thought that would help me. As I say in the essay, this was just what worked for me as a student. There’s no single best or universal approach. That would be impossible.

A note on the podcast I link in this essay: I disagree with some of it. I understand why some adults say, “There’s nothing wrong with this kid,” but there’s nothing wrong with ANY kid. It’s especially concerning if they’re saying, “there’s nothing wrong with them” to mean “this kid isn’t disabled.” It’s possible to say which teaching methods work for which kids without implying there’s anything wrong with any children.

I could write a whole post on how much I love Robin Williams and hate Dead Poets Society, but I won’t. I like Deaf Poets Society, who published one of my stories, way better. I’ll never understand why some people treat this quote by one irresponsible, fictional character like a universal rule of writing (there’s no such thing):

“So, avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired; he is exhausted. And don’t use very sad; use morose.” And then his character’s next lines are: “Language was invented for one reason, boys: to woo women. And in that endeavor, laziness will not do.” Why do so many people take this tongue-in-cheek speech seriously or out of context?

My advice: know yourself. Do you hate adverbs? Maybe you like this quote. Do you love them so much, people say you overuse them? Maybe cut a few adverbs. We’re all different. That’s good!

Also, I never could highlight in books. What do I highlight? Thesis? Main idea? Or small details I’m likely to forget? We all do it differently.

None of these points fit in my short Book Riot essay, but my habit of using and misusing “big words” also contributed to some of the ableist bullying I experienced. Kids and even adults (particularly ableist and misogynistic adults) said, “Do you think you’re smarter (or more important, or better) than we are?” just because I had a big vocabulary. I think this is a common experience, especially for neurodivergent kids. I fictionalized this in my story “The Lost Year,” written from 2011-13 and published on p. 20 of Kaleidoscope literary magazine in 2017.

I also write about logical fallacies and biases all the time because I try to aware of my own biases. This is why, even as a kid, it bothered me that I was apparently being taught to make assumptions–and then accept as true them without question. Shortcuts can be good, but I try to understand when they work or don’t work for me.

Some people think I’m overanalyzing or nitpicking because of how my ND brain works. Those critiques don’t bother me. I love close readings of literature, which my English professors in college taught me to do in-depth. How do I do close readings? By reading every single word, taking notes on recurring themes, and sometimes rereading and analyzing passages. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m being nitpicky or judgmental. It’s how I find and present evidence in the text.

Another example from the podcast Sold a Story: one kid thought Germany “invited” Poland in 1939, the opposite of the truth: Germany invaded Poland. There are many reasons why a kid might make this error. However, I think it’s much harder to learn if you’ve been taught to rely only on what you already know and expect. That’s teaching kids confirmation bias, probably unintentionally. Combined with parent groups who don’t want their kids taught history, teaching kids to make assumptions for standardized tests is concerning.

2022 in Review


Jeremy Klemin, who also has cerebral palsy, interviewed me for The New Republic. Physical therapy and specialists for adults with lifelong disabilities can be almost impossible to find and cover, and the news media rarely mention this.

I added some thoughts on sci-fi “predictions” here on my blog.


Thoughts on Disability and The Little Mermaid, Many Years Later

Like The Uncanny, “The Little Mermaid” is one of my lifelong hyper-fixations. I wrote my story “Categories” in Jared Green’s class in college in 2009.

As usual, I added more thoughts on influential fantasy on this WordPress blog.


Early in March, Corporeal literary magazine accepted my story “The Only Way to Travel,” which they’d publish only a few months later. It had been almost 5 years since I’d last published original fiction, so I was thrilled. They’re very nice to work with.

The National Arts and Disability Center at UCLA listed me on their directory of disabled artists.

I also listed a lot of other literary band names on my blog and pointed out lyrics with ableist slurs.

I’m glad so many people have read my 2021 essay on the ideology of Explorabook and Earthsearch. On my WP, I added some more observations and memories of these books.

a review on Medium of Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today by Rachel Vorona Cote


I’m not an academic, but because my work gets taught and cited, I created profiles on Google Scholar and Thanks for citing my work in books and educational materials all around the world!

This year, I also collected all my work on Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny,” which you can download at the link. You can also download my story “The Lost Year.” These are free to read and download. I’m so glad people still read, cite, share my work!

Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan in a still from Space and BBC America’s Orphan Black. Rachel is a young, white woman with brown eyes and short, blonde hair. She wears a navy-blue suit and is lit from below in a tall building at night, making her look intimidating.

Orphan Black’s Neolution is Tryborg and Eugenicist


more on POV on my blog

I wrote the first chapter of my Our Flag Means Death fan fiction, “Full Circle” on AO3.

more observations on OFMD and fandom


And speaking of fandom:

followed by more observations on fanfic

“The Only Way to Travel” in Corporeal, my first published fiction in over 5 years. I recorded myself reading it. CN: ableism and sexual harassment.

Plus, here’s some more context on this story and how it interpolates “Good Country People,” a short story by Flannery O’Connor. All my work on O’Connor is collected here.


I added another fanfic chapter here and made it a silly crossover between OFMD and The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, a YA, LGBTQIA, pirate fantasy novel which I liked and could find nothing about on AO3.

Taika Waititi as Blackbeard and Rhys Darby as Stede Bonnet on the pirate ship Revenge on Our Flag Means Death.


Joie de Vivre, a Good Omens fanfic on AO3 about Aziraphale and Crowley


Brian Koukol thanked me and several other people in the acknowledgements for his novel All the Idle Weeds that Grow. This is a funny, and well-plotted mystery and coming-of-age novel with lots of disabled characters by a disabled author. I’m glad I got a chance to read it before he even published it.

I wrote and posted the first chapter of my Doctor Who fanfic, “The Veil Between the Worlds,” on my AO3. It combines the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler with “The Ballad of Tam Lin.”


I also explained some of my influences on my Doctor Who fanfic, with photos. My inspirations include “Tam Lin,” The Wicker Man (1973), and The Perilous Gard.

The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), reunited in the TARDIS and looking thrilled.

I also added a final chapter to my Ten/Rose (Dr. Who) fanfic.

Photo: Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, a young, white man with blue eyes and long, brown, curly hair, wearing black armor and holding a sword over his head. (Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Dune, 2021)

Dune’s Intellectual Ableism as a Function of Its White Supremacy


I created a profile on Wattpad as glapointewriter, the same as my Instagram and Twitter usernames. A lot of writers post the same stories to AO3 and Wattpad. So far, I’m enjoying it, as many stories, writers, and readers are different from AO3. I love both but find Wattpad’s interface easier to use.

I cross-posted my fanfic “The Veil Between the Worlds,” posted first on AO3, to Wattpad. It’s the exact same story in both places, just formatted differently on each site. Chapters on Wattpad tend to be shorter than on AO3. So, my fanfic is 2 longer chapters (with section breaks) on AO3 and 8 shorter chapters on Wattpad.

You may notice some broken embeds in my old posts because my Twitter and IG are usually private now.

Ableist Tropes in Stephen King’s Fairy Tale

Issue 4 of Corporeal Lit Mag, which was published online in June, was printed. It contains my story “The Only Way to Travel.” You can read it online for free, and here’s the link to order a print copy of the issue.


I was promoted to Senior Contributor at Book Riot. I was a Contributor from January 2018 through November 2022.

Wattpad Account and Stephen King book analysis

I recently read Fairy Tale by Stephen King and had a lot of thoughts on it on my Medium.

This wasn’t relevant to my thesis, but I think there’s a huge nostalgia element for many Boomers reading Fairy Tale that’s totally absent for me as a Millennial.

Mom: The dog’s name is Radar, but she’s a girl!

Me: ?? Radar isn’t a name at all. It’s not gendered. I don’t associate it with dogs.

Mom: Oh, there’s a male character in M*A*S*H called Radar.

Me: Oh.

I also made a Wattpad and uploaded my Doctor Who fanfic, which I posted earlier on AO3. I love reading and writing on both sites. So far, Wattpad’s interface is much easier for me to use. Bigger fonts and easier formats, for example. Lots of writers enjoy cross-posting the same stories to AO3 and Wattpad. I’m enjoying exploring new sites and stories.

Wheelchairs on Book Covers; More on SFF; Social Media Update

Last week on Book Riot:

Thank you to Autumn Wise and Emily Ladau for letting me interview them for this article. I’m grateful to all the people I’ve gotten to know through Twitter. Like many other people, I’m concerned that we’re losing a vital place to connect, organize, and share our work if Elon Musk tanks Twitter. There are a lot more slurs and misinfo on there lately, and staff are being fired with almost no notice. However, I don’t want to move to any of the alternative sites yet.

So, I’m still on Twitter and Instagram, at least for now. I’m glapointewriter on both sites. Both accounts are now (usually) private. Feel free to send a request, especially if you know me. Now that Musk has reactivated Trump’s account (or “reinstated” as he said it, pandering to insurrectionist conspiracy theories), I’m mostly logged out.

Some embeds from IG and Twitter on my old posts are broken, but the links to my writing should all still work. I recently fixed this post about my fanfic by uploading the photos directly.

New today on Book Riot:

Two of the sci-fi works I use as examples in this article are Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 and the TV show Doctor Who. Props to my BR editors for publishing it today, the 59th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, and the day before Doctor Who Day, the 59th anniversary of the show’s premiere.

I’ve been reading, watching, and writing about SFF a lot lately. Here’s an essay on my Medium blog on Dune. Unlike the new owner of Twitter, I quoted Dune correctly.

And here’s my fanfic crossover of the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler on Doctor Who with the ballad of Tam Lin. I’m proud of how these both turned out.

I enjoyed this essay analyzing the Tenth Doctor’s character and David Tennant’s performance.

Arguably, Lady Cassandra from Doctor Who is a tryborg too. Back in April, I called Orphan Black‘s Neolutionists tryborgs. Lady Cassandra feels entitled to everything because of her money, from a front-row seat watching the Sun explode to taking other people’s bodies. She invades Rose Tyler, the Doctor, and Chip’s bodies in the episode “New Earth,” which I alluded to in my fanfic.

Why do I use disability theory to analyze fiction like this? Fiction can illustrate truths about the real world. My point in making these comparisons: believing in bodily autonomy, but only for oneself, as Cassandra and the Neolutionists do in fiction, is dangerous and evil. I believe in bodily autonomy; therefore, it must be for everyone. Excluding anyone–for example, for their race, gender, disability, or poverty–is contributing to eugenics.