Yeah, Women Destroy Science Fiction is totally great and everyone should read it!!!!
There is not a bad story in the lot. The re-print fiction were all stories by authors I’d read before, but stories that I’d never actually seen before. The essays were all interesting, as were the author and artist spotlights, and the interviews. All in all a very well put together destruction of the genre. Christie Yant and her fellow editors did a fantastic job with it, and if you were fool enough to not back the Kickstarter, I highly recommend going to Lightspeed’s site and buying it.
There was one story that I did not particularly care for, but that’s more a matter of personal taste and the fact that I am picky as hell about anything remotely Sherlock Holmes-ian. For those of you playing along at home, remember how it took me months to work up the courage to watch the BBC’s Sherlock, because I was afraid I was going to hate it. I still haven’t watched Elementary for the same reason. It’s not that it wasn’t well written, it’s just that I could not get over my personal bias in this matter. I’m betting most of you will love it.
The stories that stand out in my mind now, are Seanan McGuire‘s “Each to Each,” which is fucking brilliant. Hell, they’re all fucking brilliant, who am I kidding. But for once, she didn’t make me cry. N.K. Jemisin‘s “Walking Awake” was just, gripping and like a kick to the gut. But a beautifully executed kick to the gut. A kick to the gut administered by a ballet dancer. As I read Elizabeth Porter Birdsall’s “A Burglary, Addressed by a Young Lady,” all I could think was, “This is Jillian Venters’s (Headmistress of Gothic Charm School) new favorite author. If she hasn’t read it yet, I will make sure she does and she will adore it, I guarantee. It’s wonderful! “A Word Shaped Like Bones” by Kris Millering was haunting, and melancholy, and I can’t tell you what I wanted to tell you, or it will ruin it.
I could essentially go on and on about all the stories. I really could.
The essays were also fantastic. Women talking about how they came to discover, explore, and love the genre and its associated fandom. Their experiences in publishing SF. A few hadn’t had terribly bad experiences, for some it was worse than others. But most of them talked about experiencing the boys’ club attitude in their forays into reading the fiction, and in some cases writing the fiction. Do I use a male name, a gender neutral name, my initials, so that male readers won’t be put off? Ursula K. Leguin’s story about selling a story to Playboy, and the editors asked to use her initials because their readers were afraid of female authors.
I wish I could say that was all behind us, but given the SFWA and other kerfuffles of the past year, I think we all know I’d be lying.
Yes, it’s getting better. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, but it is.
The dinosaurs are roaring louder, because they know they’re on the way out and they don’t like it one bit.
They don’t have to like it. And they have the same choice the actual dinosaurs had: adapt, evolve and survive; or die out.
What this issue of Lightspeed proves is that there are a hell of a lot of talented women in the SF/F realm, and they’re not going anywhere, no matter how loud the dinosaurs roar. The fucking genre was invented by women, for fuck’s sake.
I am so very proud to have the name of this website listed among the backers of this fantastic creation.
Thank you to Lightspeed for hosting it. Thank you to Christie Yant and her other editors for putting it together. Thank you to the creators, the interviewers, the essayists. Thank you.
I can’t wait until Women Destroy Horror and Women Destroy Fantasy!
If you like the blog or the podcast, please, please, please donate to keep us going, and fund my desperate need to buy all of Lightspeed’s back issues. Donations go to pay for the podcast hosting and website domain, primarily.
Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want. We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly. Check it out (we’re track 16). We’re going in to the studio to finish the new EP in late August, I caught the plague, so haven’t been up to vocals. We’ll also be in Portland, OR on August 15th for a show.