Tag Archives: LJ Cohen

Guest Post: Growing up in Fandom in the 1970s, by LJ Cohen

14 Jun

I’m not sure if this still holds true today, but if you came of age in the 1970s, were a strong early reader who had read through all the books specifically written for children, and you were lucky enough to have a sympathetic librarian, you’d be directed to the science fiction and fantasy shelves.

At least that’s my story. The Heinlein juveniles had been published a decade before I was born, but they were the first genre books I read. From there, I found all the Lensman books — written even earlier! I may have only been 10 or 11 when I read these, but even then I was frustrated by the insistence that only one special, fierce woman — to be born in some far future — could be a Lensman. Lenses were objects of power that amplified the qualities within a person. The message I got was that girls, as a rule, didn’t deserve power and couldn’t wield power. That I didn’t deserve power; that I was wasn’t good enough. It angered me that girls weren’t the ones leaping up to explore the stars. Asimov’s Robot books fascinated me, but the only woman portrayed in them — Susan Calvin — was more robotic than the robots. Continue reading


My Superpower: LJ Cohen

18 Aug

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome LJ Cohen to talk about how the power of Ninja Time Wasting relates to Derelict.


If you ask my family, they will tell you I have several superpowers. One is to fight parking tickets. But that is another story for another time (and in case you’re interested, I eventually won. Because I was right and also more stubborn than our city hall). Another is to adopt strays. This includes animals as well as people. But that’s also not relevant to my creative process. No, the superpower I want to talk about today is one that, unfortunately, hampers more than helps my creativity.

I can appear to be busy and productive even as I waste time. I am a stealth ninja at wasting time. Continue reading

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