Science Fiction & Fantasy Mashups

Science fiction and fantasy, in my experience, are rarely all one thing.  Sometimes – often! – SFF blends elements of other genres of fiction into it.  For instance, I think just about every Philip K. Dick novel I’ve read is either transgressive fiction or a detective/crime novel. Sometimes those elements seem so weird that not […]

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Star Wars’ Vice-Admiral Holdo and Our Expectations for Female Military Power

By Arkady Martine A vast and detailed selection of spoilers follow—if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, go see it and come back to this one afterward. The first time we see Vice-Admiral Holdo in The Last Jedi, we see her through the eyes of Poe Dameron: hotshot flyboy, recently slapped down twice in the Resistance’s scramble to evacuate […]

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How NOT to Write Kick-Ass Heroines

(Image features Cordelia Vorkosigan, nee Naismith, from the Vorkosigan Saga; an amazing example of a kick-ass heroine!) I was reading an SFR with a “kick-ass” heroine recently. The book is universally lauded. But something happened early on that ensured I wouldn’t go on to finish it, much less read the rest in the series. The heroine was […]

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Fighting and Gender

By Nancy Jane Moore At a recent meeting of my writers’ group, we discussed fight scenes while critiquing an early draft of my novel in progress. The discussion went something like this: “Women fight differently from men,” one of the guys said in pointing out that the sword fight scenes didn’t vary much. I didn’t […]

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