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Women in F&SF

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Girls on TV – who’s watching? Campaigner Jess Day looks at the links between toy marketing and children’s media, and why discussion of how girls are represented in media needs to talk about boys too.

Girls on TV – who’s watching?

We know that when children learn to share, or not to wallop one another when they get cross, or to use the toilet properly, they do so because we’ve taught them that this is the right way to behave. So it seems amazing to me that anyone would dismiss the gendered labels and marketing that are plastered across toys, books, clothes and children’s media as having no direct influence. @HopeJahren @docrocktex26 @Nebula63 Also one of the reasons men fought so hard/long to deny them the vote. Future Interrupted: All That Science Fiction Allows. Interzone #262 is a thing in the world.

Future Interrupted: All That Science Fiction Allows

Those desirous of their own copies are urged to visit the TTA Press website, Smashwords or any purveyor of eBooks with a search bar and a robust commitment to science fiction. This issue’s non-fiction is typically excellent. Nina Allan kicks things off by considering the ‘One Book a Year’ publishing model imposed on most contracted authors and how the pressure to deliver a new book every twelve months serves to bridle the impulse to innovate or experiment. Allan’s piece rather reminded me of this quick trip delivered via M.

John Harrison’s blog: In History and Fantasy, Diversity is the Tradition. Fantasy wargamers are fascinated by race.

In History and Fantasy, Diversity is the Tradition

From Warhammer to Warcraft to the all the major conflicts in The Lord of the Rings, race, and the racial composition of armies, is almost always the pivot point. Writing Women Characters Into Epic Fantasy Without Quotas. The cold equations of “realism,” some claim, suggest there is little scope for women taking an active and interesting role in epic stories set in fantasy worlds based in a pre-modern era.

Writing Women Characters Into Epic Fantasy Without Quotas

Check out these great female literary heroes for readers young and old. March is Women’s History Month, and Buzzfeed is celebrating with a list of 29 books featuring strong female protagonists.

Check out these great female literary heroes for readers young and old

It's a great starting point for young readers of any gender looking for female-centric stories. Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing With Dragons, Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, and Tamora Pierce’s Alanna books were in constant rotation in my own childhood. In that same spirit, I wanted to share a couple of my own personal recommendations. These are perfect for anyone looking to introduce their kids (or themselves) to stories about kick-ass ladies: Mrs. Looking back at my childhood favorites, I realized I read a lot of books about white characters. Fantasy worlds that break history's back. If you’ve ever wondered why the future looks the same in so very many sci-fi games, books, and comics, you would be well served by considering their histories.

Fantasy worlds that break history's back

We can often blame poor character design or latent prejudice for the suffocating tropes that bedevil so much fictional media. But what role does worldbuilding play? After all, the society characters inhabit shapes and defines them, as does the history of the world you’ve drawn for them. In fantasy worlds, historical accuracy is a lie.

I'd like to welcome you to Thedas, a fantastical place lots of us have lived in since BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins launched in 2009.

In fantasy worlds, historical accuracy is a lie

The borders of this lush fantasy world have sprawled ever outward through the release of Dragon Age II, and welcomed ever more players. With the most recent game, Dragon Age: Inquisition we can end up a leader, whether we're a human, an elf or a dwarf. But though almost anything's possible within Dragon Age's beloved world of Thedas, something feels off. Although Dragon Age is a fantasy roleplaying game, Thedas is overlaid with a faux-European sociopolitical landscape -- and that means there are few people of color among its citizenry. Why do the sinister old arguments of "historical accuracy" still apply to this fantasy world?

Paul Cook On SF: In Which I Lack The Ability To Even. You know, as strange as it may sound given how much time I spend ranting on the internet, I actually live a rich, full life, one in which I regularly leave the house and talk to my friends about a wide range of things that do not, in fact, suck.

Paul Cook On SF: In Which I Lack The Ability To Even

I’m also a fairly busy person, especially right now, what with finishing up a new novel, writing various reviews and columns, tending my seven-month-old son and – oh, yeah – the fact that we just moved house. PSA: Your Default Narrative Settings Are Not Apolitical. Image taken from tumblr.

PSA: Your Default Narrative Settings Are Not Apolitical

Recently, SFF author Tansy Rayner Roberts wrote an excellent post debunking the idea that women did nothing interesting or useful throughout history, and that trying to write fictional stories based on this premise of feminine insignificance is therefore both inaccurate and offensive. To quote: “History is not a long series of centuries in which men did all the interesting/important things and women stayed home and twiddled their thumbs in between pushing out babies, making soup and dying in childbirth.History is actually a long series of centuries of men writing down what they thought was important and interesting, and FORGETTING TO WRITE ABOUT WOMEN. “‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative” by Kameron Hurley — A Dribble of Ink - Iceweasel. I’m going to tell you a story about llamas.

“‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative” by Kameron Hurley — A Dribble of Ink - Iceweasel

It will be like every other story you’ve ever heard about llamas: how they are covered in fine scales; how they eat their young if not raised properly; and how, at the end of their lives, they hurl themselves – lemming-like- over cliffs to drown in the surging sea. They are, at heart, sea creatures, birthed from the sea, married to it like the fishing people who make their livelihood there.

Every story you hear about llamas is the same. You see it in books: the poor doomed baby llama getting chomped up by its intemperate parent.