Monopoly and Appropriation

16 Sep

While appropriation is a two-way street, it is not always equal. Filipinos, Singaporeans, and Indians, for example, have appropriated English as their own language, and yet we are still often complimented for our good English. The corollary to that is best summed up by this statement from Aliette de Bodard: Continue reading

Book Review: SOFT APOCALYPSES by Lucy A. Snyder

14 Sep Soft Apocalypses by Lucy A. Snyder

Soft is a particularly ironic description for this collection of short fiction by Lucy A. Snyder.

Brutal. Grisly. Unflinching.

These are all words that are easier to associate with the dark nature of her stories. Indeed, a cover blurb by Seanan McGuire states that Snyder’s work “attacks the page with the raw, manic intensity of an early Sam Raimi.” Continue reading

Geekomancer Under Glass: Recent Comic Coolness, Sep. 2014

13 Sep Lumberjanes

Hello, all!

Today, we delve into the land of comics, one of my first narrative loves. I’ve been reading comics since I was a kid living in Brooklyn, taking the deposit from our cans and bottles down to the Friendly Local Comic Store and buying issues of X-Men and Spider-Man. I’ve been getting back into comics more in the last year, thanks to once again having a Friendly Local Comic Store with great taste and a friendly atmosphere. Add to that the ease of impulse buying digital comics via Comixology and things like Humble Bundles and I’m facing an embarrassment of riches.

Since it’s Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend, I thought I’d give y’all a report on some of the comics I’ve been enjoying of late: Continue reading

#25. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

13 Sep

Space rodents, emo fanatics, and dancing Groots, oh my!  In her first episode as an official member of the crew, Rachael Acks joins Shaun, Paul, and David to discuss the smash hit, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Spoiler Alert:  the following podcast contains spoilers for the film being reviewed; if you wish to see the film without having it ruined for you, download this podcast and save it for later.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Download the episode here.

Show notes (info about our contributors can be found on the about page):

Comment away!

Logic of Empire: Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs and Beyond

12 Sep city-of-stairs

With superior power, technology, and a will to conquer, an empire uses that technological advantage to reach out and dominate/subjugate much of the world. The wealth of the world is plundered and bent to the service and the coffers of that empire. No dominance lasts forever, however, and the subjugated peoples learn how to fight back, to drive the invaders out of their lands, to regain independence. More so, as the wheel turns and the empire falls into eclipse and collapse, the formerly subjugated find that they have the geopolitical upper hand over their former colonial masters.

This sounds awfully like the history of our world from the 19th century heyday of European Colonialism to the ‘rise of the rest’ and the relative decline of Western power happening right now, doesn’t it?

City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett’s first turn into secondary world fiction, tackles these concerns in a secondary world context. Continue reading

Indy Genre: Holy Motors (2012)

12 Sep Holy Motors (2012)

Over the past several years, I’ve come to the conclusion that independent film is the place to search for the weird, fantastic, and creative. You know:  the stuff of our genre. This is where labors of love and concepts a little too off beat to soothe conservative investors end up, where storytelling gets pushed to its limits… at times unsuccessfully. And with generally smaller budgets, if these films succeed, it’s not because they’ve leaned on visual spectacle and slow-motion pyrotechnics as a distraction from the fact that it’s really just a story about a white dude’s biceps and the director’s inescapable misogyny.

Since this year’s Skiffy and Fanty theme is World SF, that dovetails perfectly with the hunt for smaller genre films. I hope you’re ready for subtitles. I promise, they won’t hurt a bit. We’re taking a ride on Holy Motors. Continue reading

“Secret Option C: A More Inclusive World Fantasy Award Statue isn’t A Person At All” by Carrie Cuinn

11 Sep Sea Serpent on a Map

Recently, author and activist Daniel Jose Older started a petition to change the World Fantasy Award statue from a bust of author H.P. Lovecraft to one of Octavia Butler. On the surface, this may seem to be a change from one distinct thing to an opposite one:  moving from a white, male author who was racist, misogynistic, paranoid, and possibly without much skill as a writer, to a black, female author who is seen as one of the best-known writers of color in the field of genre fiction. However, this isn’t the difference between one side and another. Both options represent aspects of the same side, and both are wrong.

Lest you think I dislike the idea of changing the bust because I don’t read or enjoy either of these writers, you should know that I’m actually a fan of both Lovecraft and Butler. I’ve studied Lovecraft extensively, have published (to great reviews) Mythos fiction, and even edited an anthology of Mythos-inspired erotica. At the same time, I’m well aware of his repugnant aspects, and have long argued that we can only celebrate his influence if we include an effort to bring much-needed diversity into the work he inspires. Butler wasn’t on my radar until a decade ago, but since then I’ve read most of her published work and can clearly see why she’s so admired. Each author deserves their fan base. Problem is, that fan base isn’t global enough. Continue reading

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