Sleeps With Monsters: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

A new column over at Tor.com:

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power showcases a variety of powerful women, making a variety of different choices about what to do with their power. This is a show with an argument to make about community and responsibility, and being honest about (and responsible for) one’s choices.

Sleeps With Monsters: Epic Fantasy and Feminism in THE WOMEN’S WAR and THE RUIN OF KINGS

A new post over at Tor.com:

Who doesn’t like epic fantasy? And feminist epic fantasy, at that?

The Women’s War by Jenna Glass and The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons are both opening volumes in new epic fantasy series. I read them one after the other, and can’t help comparing their approaches to feminism—because both of them set themselves within oppressive societies. And yet, though The Women’s War spends more of its time with female main characters and sets itself amid a violent struggle for the liberation of (some) women in a rigidly patriarchal society, I found The Ruin of Kings more inclusive and more persuasive—more liberatory—in its approach to a patriarchal society.

Sleeps With Monsters: Queering Classic Fantasy Stories

A new post over at Tor.com:

New year, new queer! If that’s not a catchphrase somewhere, it ought to be, and—as you may have guessed—queerness is the element that unites the stories I want to talk about this week. The presence of queer women in the stories I read is becoming so delightfully frequent as to begin to feel unremarkable, and I’m really enjoying this current state of affairs. It’s not something I feel I can allow myself to get used to, because it was a rarity for years.

 

 

Sleeps With Monsters: Phyllis Ann Karr’s Sword and Sorcery Novels

A new post over at Tor.com:

Recently, Sonya Taaffe chanced to mention Phyllis Ann Karr in one of her blog posts. Karr has never been a prolific author of science fiction and fantasy, and she remains best-known for her Arthurian murder-mystery The Idylls of the Queen and for the pair of fantasy novels, first published in the 1980s, which I’m going to talk about here: Frostflower and Thorn (1980) and Frostflower and Windbourne (1982).

Sleeps With Monsters: More Books to Look Forward to in 2019

A new post over at Tor.com:

In a previous column, I outlined many of the sequels and series continuation books that I’m looking forward to in 2019. (Which I, like many people I know, continue to type “2018” as often as not. It feels very strange to be this far into the science fictional future of the 1980s. But that’s time for you.) In this column, I want to mention some of the standalone or series-opening novels that are due out in 2019, which I’m looking forward to very much.

Sleeps With Monsters: Swords and Salvage

A new post over at Tor.com:

It seems appropriate to talk about Melissa Scott’s Finders and Ursula Vernon’s (writing as T. Kingfisher) Swordheart together. Although in terms of setting and tone they’re very different books—Finders is a space opera with elements of a thriller, a fast-paced adventure story that ends up shaped like an epic; Swordheart is a sword-and-sorcery story with a romance at its centre—they share an interest in relationships and in consequences, and in a certain underpinning of kindness that unites them despite their otherwise disparate elements.

 

Sleeps With Monsters: Jumping Into C.J. Cherryh’s Alliance-Union Books

A new post over at Tor.com:

A little while ago, I received an ARC of Alliance Rising, C.J. Cherryh’s collaboration with her spouse Jane Fancher, set in Cherryh’s Alliance-Union continuity—the universe of Cherryh’s acclaimed Downbelow Station (1981) and Cyteen (1988). While I tried to read Downbelow Station years ago, before I understood the rhythms of Cherryh’s work, Alliance Rising is the first work in this particular setting that I’ve ever finished. It spurred me to find a couple more—the omnibuses Alliance Space and The Deep Beyond, available in ebook form—to see just how representative Alliance Rising is of the works in this setting.

Sleeps With Monsters: More Stories With Queer Women

A new column over at Tor.com (though it’s last week’s, because I’m behind in everything due to moving house):

Let’s start with a novel, the humorous and playful Daughter of the Sun by Effie Calvin, published by Nine Star Press. Daughter of the Sun is Calvin’s second novel, after The Queen of Ieflaria, and it’s a much more forthrightly humorous work, one with a fine eye for the ridiculous and a deep sense of compassion about human nature, and human (or human-adjacent) weakness.

Sleeps With Monsters: Angels and Demons

A new post over at Tor.com:

f I were a cleverer sort of person, I’d find a nice thematic commonality that links Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Want and Ruin and Juliet Kemp’s The Deep and Shining Dark, two books that I want to tell you about this month, and spin a persuasive line on why they’re connected (when really, I’m talking about them together because I read them back-to-back). But while they share a concern with community (communities) and with the bargains one might make with intangible powers, they approach these concerns in ways that are sufficiently different that I’m hard-pressed to find any other points of commonality.

Sleeps With Monsters: Science Fiction Romance from Ada Harper

A new post over at Tor.com:

I came across A Conspiracy of Whispers and A Treason of Truths by Ada Harper (also known as A.J. Hackwith) quite by accident. A friend retweeted the publication announcement for A Treason of Truths into my timeline, with commentary along the lines of “empress/spymistress science fiction romance.” As you might imagine, it rather piqued my interest.

Sleeps With Monsters: Queer Retellings with Women

A new post over at Tor.com:

 

If you haven’t already read—or aren’t already planning to read—Aliette de Bodard’s In the Vanishers’ Palace, then I want to know what’s wrong with you. This short novel (49,000 words) is one of my favourite books of the year. It may in fact be my favourite, for the glittering precision of its worldbuilding—a postapocalyptic fantasy world ravaged by disease and decay, left that way by careless alien masters who have since vanished, in which humans and the occasional dragon build their lives amid the ruins.

Sleeps With Monsters: Atmospheric and Compelling Stories

A new post over at Tor.com:

Due to the vagaries of e-publishing (and my personal preferences), I continue to only read Lois McMaster Bujold’s self-published novellas after Subterranean Press has picked them up and published them in gorgeous hardcover. The latest of these is Mira’s Last Dance, the fifth Penric and Desdemona novella to be published, and a direct sequel to Penric’s Mission.

Sleeps With Monsters: Disgraced Witches and Norse Mermaids

A new post over at Tor.com:

Thanks to my own peculiar interests, this is another queer-lady heavy column. Perhaps eventually it’ll get boring to keep coming across work that features women who love women—perhaps one day, we’ll reach the kind of excess that produces tedium, or at the very least complacency—but that day is not today.

Sleeps With Monsters: New and Upcoming Books Featuring Ladies Who Love Ladies

A new post over at Tor.com:

You may have noticed that I’m very interested in books with queer female protagonists. Everything, as a friend of mine said once, is better with lesbians—though I’d just say women who love women, myself.

I suspect some of you reading here have a degree of overlap with this interest of mine. So let me share with you some of the new and forthcoming science fiction and fantasy novels where I’m reliably informed there are queer female protagonists, and where I’m reliably informed that their queerness doesn’t end in tragedy.