Episode 64: Talking F/F Fic with Tara Scott

This week, Andi and Lise chat with F/F fic reviewer extraordinaire Tara Scott, whose reviews you can find at The Lesbian Review, Lambda Literary and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. She also hosts the podcast Les Do Books at the Lesbian Talk Show. We talk a bit of history of F/F fiction, found out what she’s reading and way into these days, and also what she sees as emerging trends in F/F fiction.

Books that came up in our convo!

Aurora Rey, Recipe for Love (audio and written); Anna Burke, Thorn; Courtney Milan, Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure; Ann Bannon’s Beebo Brinker series (HERSTORY!!!! And Tara chatted with Ann about lesbian pulp fiction on her podcast HERE); Lee Winter, Breaking Character; Elle Spencer, Casting Lacey; Rachel Spangler, In Development; Alyssa Cole, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy.

Authors who write butch characters well: KD Williamson, Jenny Frame, Nell Stark, Rachel Spangler, Brenda Murphy

Other authors who came up: Radclyffe, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Kat Sebastian, Meghan O’Brien

The LGO crew and Tara also recommend Heather Rose Jones’ podcast, The Lesbian Historic Motif, so if you’re looking to write some F/F historical fiction, check it out.

Lise’s shout-out this week was to Hugo-winning N.K. Jemisn’s collection of short stories, How Long ‘til Black Future Month? Tara’s is for looking forward to reading Tara Muir’s Gideon the 9th, which Andi and Lise love, and Andi’s shout-out is to the fact that she’s currently creating a character for a little DnD!

Episode 62: Book Talk

Andi and Lise each read a book and then talked about it. The cool part is, they didn’t tell each other which book they decided to read, so it was happy fun discovery time!

Lise read Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth (2019), which is, basically, lesbian necromancers in a gothic space palace with swordplay and intrigue and why the hell wouldn’t you want to read this awesome-ness? Gideon, the MC, is trying to escape a life of paranormal servitude but her childhood nemesis won’t let her leave without yet another service. And that nemesis is the powerful daughter of the 9th House, and in order to succeed in the emperor’s contest of wits and skills, Harrowhark needs her cavalier—Gideon on and her sword. Lise raved about the world-building, characterization, and Muir’s writing style.

Find out more about Tamsyn Muir on Amazon.

Andi read April Daniels’ Dreadnought (Nemesis Book One; 2017), an emotional roller-coaster of a ride starring teen Danny Tozer, who inherits the powers of superhero Dreadnought. In the transfer, the inheritor becomes their true self, and Danny is at last the young woman she has always known she’s been. But she has to deal with her unaccepting parents, coming out at school, figuring out where she fits in the league of superheroes, how her powers work and, on top of all that, the supervillain who murdered the previous Dreadnought. Andi loved the dialogue, the pacing, adventure, and yes, even the gut-wrenching turmoil Danny had to face.

Find out more about April Daniels on Amazon.

Andi’s shout-out this week was to true crime books; she just finished the late Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer and plz don’t read this at night kthx. AND check out the TGIFemflash fancon in February, 2020! Here’s the link.

Lise’s shout-out was for the TV series The Good Place, in which a woman ends up in a heaven-like utopia afterlife by mistake, but she then works to change her ways so she can stay. You can catch earlier seasons on Netflix.

Episode 60: Our Writing Processes

Andi and Lise get a little personal and talk shop about their respective writing processes. Both write spec fic, though Andi also writes romance and mysteries, and those genres take a different approach. They discuss how they approach different projects, what kind of preparation they do, multitasking different projects or not, outlines or not, and tools of the trade. They also talk about how writing influences how they watch, read, and analyze other creators’ work.

Writing platforms they talked a bit about:
Word
Scrivener

Notebooks (as in actual paper!) both use for project notes/character sketches/plots/timelines:
Moleskine
Link to a bunch of different notebooks (Andi uses several different kinds, usually plain-covered or something with a skull on the cover…lol)

Andi and Lise both recommend doing NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. 50,000 words in a month is what NNWM is about. Try it! Great community, great fun!
NaNoWriMo

Find them at their websites:
Lise MacTague
Andi Marquette

And finally, Andi geeked out about the start of the final (sob) season of Killjoys. Lise got raved about the excitement of She-Ra’s third season.

Episode 58: The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

LGO morphs into the Kameron Hurley fan club as Lise and Andi dive into her latest book, The Light Brigade, a time travel military science fiction novel that explores themes of militarized capitalism, war, and connection through the eyes of grunt Dietz. Through tech that disassembles soldiers and sends them as beams of light into combat zones and reassembles them upon re-entry, Dietz realizes that she is experiencing the war between Earth and Mars differently than others: she’s jumping around its timeline, which gives her a unique and horrifying view of battles and comrades lost and gained. This is a uniquely layered, tightly-written story that stays with readers long after they finish the last page, as its themes resonate with contemporary issues.

Find more about Hugo-winning author Kameron Hurley at her website.
More information about The Light Brigade HERE.
Synopsis and review of The Light Brigade at Publishers Weekly.

Andi and Lise talk with Kameron Hurley on episode 52 of the Lez Geek Out! podcast HERE.

Also this week, Lise and Andi shout out the Golden Crown Literary Society convention, which is going on right now!

Episode 52: Interview with Kameron Hurley

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!

Find Kameron:
Website
Patreon
Twitter (@KameronHurley)
Podcast
Etsy

Episode 51: A Trip down Memory Lane, Part 1

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

Episode 48: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

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. 

Find Becky Chambers at her website. 
Read an interview with her at CulturedVultures. 
Find out more about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet at io9 and the Tor.com blog. 

Plus, Lise geeks out about the lesfic novel Ask Me Again, by E.J. Noyes, while Andi talks about the show that kept her going through her recent bout of illness: Legacies.

Episode 44: NaNoWriMo

Andi and Lise discuss the annual giant writing event, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which participants hammer out a short novel of 50,000 words over the course of November. They tell you what it is, how it works, what some strategies might be to help you approach your NaNo writing project, offer their own experiences doing it, and remind you not to freak out.

If you’re a novice writer, NaNo is a great way to see what the professional writing life is like, because it requires you to write every day if you want to hit that 50,000-word mark by the end of the month. It also provides structure and a writing community, which is really valuable because you need critique to help you grow as a writer.

There other types of writing events, too:

Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo)

National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

And this week, Lise recommends the medical mystery/weirdness podcast Sawbones while Andi implores people to please watch the CW series Legends of Tomorrow.

Episode 36: Dread Nation

Andi and Lise RAVE about the book Dread Nation by author Justina Ireland, which is billed as YA but really, EVERYBODY should read it. It’s an amazingly evocative tale of American race relations set against the backdrop of the Civil War but with a twist—zombies. Or, in the parlance of the times, “shamblers.”

From the book description:

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

The book deals with race, racial hierarchies as defined by skin color, and how a zombie apocalypse didn’t re-align race relations, but rather simply grafted them onto a new backdrop. The protagonist (Jane) is amazing and the story is well-crafted and you’re swept up in it immediately. READ THIS BOOK.

Justina Ireland’s website

Dread Nation is published by Balzar + Bray (imprint of HarperCollins)

Here’s the Amazon link

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