I fully intended to post this review before this dreamy little book went on sale, but alas, I failed. Anyway, that will not stop me from telling you I loved it and hugged it and called it George, to use a reference that marks me as an old. Sam Maggs has put together a really impressive and easy-to-read reference of badass ladies throughout the world’s history. And it includes some lovely illustrations of those ladies by Sophia Foster-Dimino, who also did that rad cover.
I feel like taking this book on the beach in weather well over 90 degrees really helped me get into that whole “people burning from the inside out” feeling brought on by the fictional spore, without the pesky bursting into flame. It was like method reading. I’m hardcore like that. However, this book is also thoroughly enjoyable from an air-conditioned environment. Wherever you read it, you won’t want to put it down.
At a time when both feminism and geek culture are pretty large topics of conversation in the mainstream, with feminist essay collections and assorted genre movies, TV shows, and books getting tons of attention, the arrival of Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution seems natural. From chainmail bikinis to GamerGate and whiny puppies, it’s never been super easy to be a female fan or creator of sci-fi and fantasy stuff. Hurley has been at it a while, and she has plenty to say about all of it, which is good for those of us who want a better world — a thoughtful, messy, diverse, and nerdy world with stories by and for everyone.
I acquired my love of Wonder Woman as an ’80s kid, through reruns of the TV series with Lynda Carter. She was a badass, she was pretty AND she didn’t wear pink. Of course I loved her, and had the lunchbox & pajamas to prove it. Despite that, I never really read the comics too much. I’ve read a few here and there, but as of yet, haven’t gone through any significant number or a writer’s full run. This is a thing I finally want to rectify, I think, partly sparked by reading this book and perhaps as a natural development in my full-blown comic nerdery. Anyway, I got a copy of The Secret History Of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore for Christmas and finally read it. It is a thoroughly fascinating read.
What happens when two middle school friends bond and break up over being bullied, grow up, grow apart, reconnect and also have to stop the end of the world? A lot, as you might expect. All the Birds in the Sky is written by Charlie Jane Anders, who is the editor-in-chief for io9.com and an award-winning short fiction writer. Her ability to write fully-developed, likeable, flawed characters is at its best as we follow Patricia, a witch, and Laurence, a tech genius, from childhood to adulthood. We’re with them as they face normal human issues like challenging parents, horrid bullies, and assorted social situations, while also dealing with their own unusual abilities. Even background characters have enough personality that you find yourself getting attached. It’s never good to get attached in a book about the apocalypse, by the way.