This past weekend, Andi went to ClexaCon!!! Lise tried but was rebuffed by a blizzard in Minneapolis, and doesn’t want to talk about it. Since we weren’t able to record, we’re offering up Andi’s first recollections of ClexaCon. For our next episode, we’ll be back to our usually schedule programming.
Andi and Lise take another stroll down memory lane, this time chatting about gaming and cosplay and Andi cleverly makes sure that Lise talks about both of those because SHE’S REALLY GOOD AT THEM! And Andi had all kinds of questions for her.
The games that got Lise started: Zelda and Quest games like King’s Quest. She was also into Elder Scrolls and open world role-playing games. She also plays Fallout, Borderlands, Mass Effect, and is currently designing some cosplay elements from Skyrim (Elder Scrolls). Also, heads up on the forthcoming Outer Worlds!
Also, Lise geeks waaaaay out about Kameron Hurley’s latest novel, The Light Brigade (see episode 52). Andi mentioned the new seasons of Into the Badlands, Legends of Tomorrow, and Killing Eve as things she’s looking forward to.
Andi and Lise lost their sh*t when award-winning sci fi/fantasy writer Kameron Hurley agreed to chat with them about writing and her very latest release, which just dropped March 19, The Light Brigade.
Hurley’s website bio states she’s a writer “specializing in war and resistance movements,” but she’s also known as one of the most important voices in the field engaging in intense world-building and explorations of gender, sexuality, and politics. You may know her for her essay collection Geek Feminist Revolution, which included the Hugo-winning essay “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ Narrative.” She is the author of the fantasy series the Worldbreaker Saga; the Bel Dame Apocrypha (God’s War Trilogy), and the space opera The Stars Are Legion (which Andi and Lise raved about in episode 19).
On this episode of LGO, Hurley dished about writing, her own process (upshot: writing is hard!!!!), her work, and specifically about The Light Brigade, which has been described by a reviewer as a cross between Starship Troopers and Edge of Tomorrow. Another reviewer described it as a “time-twisting, genre-redefining military science fiction novel.”
Thank you, Kameron, for joining us!
Andi and Lise chat about the formative books, movies, and TV shows that kickstarted their geek sides and why these particular media were so important to their development as geeks and writers and why representation matters in media.
Interested in what helped shape their geekdoms? Here are a few of the things that came up:
Books: the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs; J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and associated books; Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series (disclaimer: Andi and Lise both stopped reading MZB after they became aware of the terrible); Terry Brooks’ Shannara series; Anne McCaffrey’s Harper Hall and Dragonriders series; Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series; Ursula K. Leguin’s Earthsea trilogy
Movies: Star Trek; Star Wars; Goonies; Godzilla/monster movies
TV: Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter); Bionic Woman; Star Trek (original, Next Generation, Voyager); X-Files
Andi and Lise celebrate their 50th show with the 2015 movie Mad Max: Fury Road, an Oscar-winning post-apocalyptic tour de force with overt and covert feminist themes. Fury Road’s pulse-pounding pacing, gorgeous and brutal cinematography, and tight writing intertwine into layers of characterization and narrative. Don’t let the title fool you; Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa is the focus, here, and her journey both literal and thematic provide the underlying structure of the movie while Tom Hardy’s Max is the viewer’s window into Furiosa’s life and motivations when he’s thrown into her escape plan from a tyrannical ruler. The alliance Furiosa and Max forge while they race to escape the clutches of Immortan Joe and his forces is masterful story-telling, and will stay with you long after the movie ends.
This week, Andi and Lise gush over the 2018 Netflix animated reboot of She-Ra Princess of Power, which is now She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (note the plural). Fab artist and writer Noelle Stevenson is the showrunner (and the writing team is all women); you’ve heard Andi and Lise rave about her with regard to her work on Lumberjanes and Nimona. The new She-Ra explores character development and the relationships between characters (something Stevenson does really well) as well as the ramifications of choices they made.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the story of an orphan named Adora, who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra. Along the way, she finds a new family in the Rebellion as she unites a group of magical princesses in the ultimate fight against evil. –Fandom Wiki
IMDB: The original She-Ra
Screenrant: updated She-Ra voice cast and character guide
The Verge: Noelle Stevenson talking about She-Ra
Lise and Andi rave about (and discuss) the first book in the Wayfarer series by sci fi author Becky Chambers, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2015).
Human Rosemary is running from her past, and lands a job on the Wayfarer, a wormhole-punching ship whose crew is made up of a variety of sentient beings (some humanoid, some not), and the ship’s AI stitched together into a family of sorts and working toward common goals. The crew lands a major contract for a wormhole job, but the job comes with some risks. This is the crew’s journey to that job, told through 9 different POVs of the crew members.
It’s a fabulously-wrought road trip space opera with gorgeous world-building expressed through Chambers’ characters and their interpersonal relationships and cultural and historical backgrounds, which reveal themselves in layers. The characters that populate this beautifully written journey make this debut unforgettable and Andi and Lise are pretty sure that when you read it, you’ll immediately read the next two books in the series and then read the whole thing again.
Andi and Lise are complete fangirls of the graphic novel (and National Book Award finalist) Nimona, written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, part of the creative team behind Lumberjanes and currently the showrunner of Netflix’s She-Ra: Princesses of Power.
Stevenson originally posted Nimona as a webcomic while working on her art degree. It was then published in book form by HarperTeen. Nimona is infused with elements of fantasy and science fiction and follows the story of a young woman who wants to be the sidekick/squire to Lord Ballister Blackheart, formerly a staunch enforcer of the law until his best friend blew one of his arms off after which Blackheart began to follow his own moral code. Throw in a shady kingdom with shady officials secretly manufacturing bioweapons along with Nimona’s cloaked and traumatic past, and you have a recipe for a brilliant story that deals with not only larger contexts and the ramifications of choices made, but also the hurt and healing that can come from interpersonal relationships.
Totally appropriate for YA and younger.
Andi and Lise are doing a top 10 Christmas movie roundup! And most likely, it’s not going to be what you expect. Because…well, Andi and Lise!
So grab your eggnog or beer or whatever and hang out for this nutty film talk about what we watch to get us into the mood this time of year.
Lise: Nightmare Before Christmas (1993); Home Alone (1990); The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992); Scrooged (1988); The Ref (1994)
Honorable mention: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (1966)
Andi: The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996); Die Hard (1998); Scrooged (1988); Gremlins (1984); Enemy of the State (1998)
Honorable Mention: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
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Happy whatever you celebrate!