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Bad words: depicting female arousal in your fiction.

Bad words: depicting female arousal in your fiction.

Recently, Kameron Hurley shared this piece by E.M. Kokie on the seeming dearth of language available to workaday prose writers to describe what arousal feels like in a cis female body. Said Kokie: When I found myself stuck and looking for the words, I started pulling books off my bookshelves and scanning for the romantic scenes I remembered from prior readings (much like when I was an adolescent reader). I was shocked to find a complete lack of language for…

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iD: something from the butcher’s block

iD: something from the butcher’s block

Over the last few days, Twitter has been all, well, a-twitter about diversity in science fiction. Most of that has to do with this piece in The Guardian, which begins thusly: Science fiction loves a good paradox. Here’s one for you: how can a genre that dreams up alien cultures and mythic races in such minute detail seemingly ignore the ethnic, religious, gender and sexual diversity right here on the home planet, here in the real world? In other words,…

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Unpacking the data on women’s submission(s)

Unpacking the data on women’s submission(s)

I was reading Damien G. Walters’ column on the “invisibility” of women in science fiction, and he brought up Julie Crisp’s explanation for the comparative lack of women publishing science fiction, from an editor’s perspective. Crisp works for Tor’s UK branch, and summed up the lack in this way: You can see that when it comes to science fiction only 22% of the submissions we received were from female writers. That’s a relatively small number when you look at how…

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References you may have missed in iD:

References you may have missed in iD:

A while ago, Adam Shaftoe reviewed iD over at his site, and one thing (among the many lovely things) he had to say has stuck with me since. At the same time, it’s not all nods and prods at the dystopian/technocratic worlds of Akira, Brazil, Portal, and Blade Runner. About half way through the novel I came across a chapter called, “The Man of Constant Sorrow.” For those who don’t know, this is the song George Clooney et al sang…

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No, you need not die alone surrounded by manuscripts.

No, you need not die alone surrounded by manuscripts.

I’ve been turning over a few different articles in my mind. This happens more often than I’m comfortable admitting. I leave the tabs up and open, headlines glaring at me, and I think about the difference between what I feel and what I want to say, and how to fill that gap with meaningful communication. Specifically, I want to pick apart the idea that being a woman who writes means being a woman who’s lonely.

How do you know if a robot is female?

How do you know if a robot is female?

Recently, Feminist Frequency recommended vN to its Twitter feed, which caused one follower to ask: “Interesting, how do you know when a self replicating robot is female?” I had to think about this for a second. Or, more accurately, I had to re-enter the headspace I inhabited when I wrote early drafts of vN. The female characters who had inspired me to write Amy, like Motoko Kusanagi and Rei Ayanami, were unquestionably female. Not because they were chromosomally female (both…

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Strong female characters

Strong female characters

Like many other writers, I spend a lot of my time thinking about strong female characters. This train of thought is so common that it even came up at a recent dinner party. We were talking about Buffy, and how it’s easy for her to be a symbol of female empowerment because she’s already super-powered. It’s a lot harder to stand up for yourself and for what’s right when you’re not The Chosen One. But that doesn’t mean you can’t,…

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Whining isn’t Sexy: Rage about Nerd Rage

Whining isn’t Sexy: Rage about Nerd Rage

So, in response to reading this Buzzfeed piece about how comics pro Tony Harris hates female cosplayers — only some of them, though, which we’ll get to in a moment — I tweeted Pro tip: geeks of all genders who are confident in their geekery and their sexuality get laid more often. Confidence is sexy. Whining isn’t. That tweet has since been retweeted over a hundred times. It’s been favourited 20-something times. I consider that license to write a longer…

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Fascists and Futurism

Fascists and Futurism

So there I was at Chicon 7, attending a panel called “Human or Robot: Is Human Spaceflight Necessary?” with Ben Bova. Bova was the moderator, and there were no other panelists beside the two of us. (There were more of us scheduled, but none of them showed. I assume they were hung over.) The panel was quite interesting, and everyone involved clearly held passionate opinions about the issue. I even joked that that was what was best about it; the…

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