So, remember that time you visited margaretdunlap.com, reached out through the contact link, and beside the checkbox that said, "If I ever started a newsletter, would you want to get it?" you checked "yes?" Well, I finally started a newsletter.
If you've been awaiting this day with baited breath for years: Congratulations! The wait is finally over!
If you are already cursing your past self for their poor life choices: There's a handy unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.
If you can't remember who Margaret Dunlap is: Here's a quick refresher:
I'm a writer for television, animation, fiction, and new/interactive media. I work mostly (but not exclusively) in the SFF space.
You might know my work from TV shows like: The Middleman, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, or because I was a writer/producer on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and co-creator of Welcome to Sanditon. Lately, I've been doing a lot of writing for animated series where I get to tell stories for audiences that range from preschoolers to adults.
If any of the above are things you're interested in, stick around. I'll be sending out a quick note about once a month with updates on what I'm up to professionally, quick thoughts on things I'm particularly enjoying reading or watching, and a bonus update from the Duolingo Dystopia.
But since this is both the end of the year, and the start of my newsletter, I thought I'd kick things off with:
Happily, it's been a busy year. (If you're an SFF person nominating for upcoming awards seasons, consider this your handy guide.)
I published three essays in 2021, in two Hugo-nominated publications. They are:
“Pacific Rim: Eruption,” The Full Lid April Fools’ Edition, 2nd April 2021.
A film review for the (as of this writing) non-existent third installment of the Pacific Rim franchise. I pitched this as a joke to Alasdair and Marguerite and to my shock, it not only became an actual thing, it ended up being surprisingly heartfelt.
“Waiting for Natasha or: How the Pandemic Turned the Black Widow into my White Whale,” The Full Lid 9th July 2021.
An essay not so much about the movie, but about anticipation and the weight of expectations. One of the most personal pieces I've ever written.
“Fade to Black. The End,” Journey Planet, Issue 58: Cancelled Too Soon, published 2 Nov 2021.
My love letter to The Middleman, the first television show I ever worked for. The essay is about how that show came to an early end, and how it lives on.
I'm currently writing for several series I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but Blade Runner: Black Lotus (which I was working on back in 2018, yikes!) has finally come to the screen! I wrote two episodes. The first, "Persistence of Memory," dropped on Adult Swim (English) and Crunchyroll (Japanese) on December 12. The other (title still undisclosed) should be out in January 2022.
And that's it for 2021. Before I sign off, a couple things that aren't (entirely) about me:
Happenstance of visiting a friend for Thanksgiving put Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self by Gish Jen in my path and I'm delighted it did. The book is a written version of three lectures originally given as part of Harvard's William E. Massey Sr. lecture series in American Studies in which Jen discusses different conceptions of self in China and the United States and how having a foot in both those worlds has shaped her as a writer. Thought-provoking and entertaining.
I try to keep the main thread to Hebrew, but Yiddish offered up this gem (and good advice):
(image description: cartoon of Vikram from Duolingo saying: "Why be normal when you could be crazy?" in Yiddish and English)
Pfew! Maybe not as short as I promised, but we'll work on it. Thanks for your patience as I get this process ironed out. In the meantime, if you have questions, or something you'd particularly like to see, drop me a note. In the meantime, see you in 2022!