Episode 83: Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

Andi and Lise greatly admire Jacqueline Koyanagi’s novel Ascension, an excellent space opera with elements of magic and mystic-ness layered in. Great diverse cast of characters; queer WOC main character who also deals with a chronic illness; fabulous world-building. This one stays with you in many different ways.

“Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually-advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. …” –from Amazon book description

Koyanagi’s website

Lise’s shout-out: super see-krit new project she’s working on but she’s not sharing it yet! Plus, finishing up via Netflix the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Andi’s shout-out: Wynonna Earp Season 4, people! Episode 2, “Friends in Low Places,” has what Andi predicts is a history-making F/F love/sex scene (and no, that’s not a link to the scene LOL).

Episode 79: Decolonizing Our Media

Andi and Lise have been working on expanding and decolonizing their media consumption, seeking out more creators of color and more creators who are differently abled, neurodiverse, and from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds than they are. They each share some of that media in this episode.

Lise:
Binti novella series by Nnedi Okorafor
Octavia Butler’s Kindred graphic novel adaptation
N.K. Jemisin, Inheritance trilogy; see also her short story anthology How Long ’til Black Future Month
Movie D.E.B.S., written and directed by Angela Robinson (We talked about this movie in our very first episode!!)
Ebony Warriors Studio, cosplay (also find on Instagram)

Andi:
Ascension, by Jacqueline Koyanagi
N.K. Jemisin, Far Sector comic series
Movie Black Panther, directed and written by Ryan Coogler
Website Black Girl Nerds (LOL Andi and Lise lost count and Andi did 4 instead of 5); NOTE: website was fine at recording time, but afterward, it appears to be undergoing some work. You can find BGN on Twitter and Instagram, too.

Shout-outs: Lise enjoyed the zombie apocalypse movie Anna and the Apocalypse while Andi was glad for Legends of Tomorrow season 5 this week.

Episode 72: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Andi and Lise dig into multiple Hugo-winner N.K. Jemisin’s amazing and multi-layered The Fifth Season (2015), the first in The Broken Earth trilogy. Andi and Lise talk about Jemisin’s use of point-of-view for different characters, how their stories interweave with the world-building, and the world-building itself, which they found utterly engrossing and brilliantly presented.

Synopsis, from the site Deadline:
The Fifth Season is described as an epic drama set in a world where civilization-destroying earthquakes occur with deadly regularity. A small minority of inhabitants has the ability to quiet these earthquakes, but they also can cause them. The series follows three women, each of whom possesses these special, Earth-controlling abilities: Damaya, a young girl training to serve the Empire; Syenite, an ambitious young woman ordered to breed with her bitter and frighteningly powerful mentor; and Essun, a mother searching for the husband who murdered her young son and kidnapped her daughter mere hours after a Season tore a fiery rift across the land.

Info about N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy
NPR: “’Fifth Season‘ Embraces The Scale And Complexity Of Fantasy”
Deadline: “N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Book to be Developed as TV Series at TNT”
Info about N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy
GQ: “N.K. Jemisin Is Trying to Keep the World from Ending”

This week Andi geeked out about the CW’s Nancy Drew, and the Eddie Flynn series of novels by Steve Cavanaugh. She had to do two because Lise has been too busy editing her new manuscript to geek out properly.

Episode 71: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Andi and Lise chat about Rebecca Roanhorse’s debut novel, Trail of Lightning, the first in her Sixth World series.

“Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.” –Simon and Schuster

Roanhorse builds a post-apocalyptic world in what was the American Southwest, populated largely by Indigenous people. In this world of Dinétah, resources are in short supply, and myth and mythical beings roam freely among the humans.

Verge: “Trail of Lightning is a breathtaking Native American urban fantasy adventure
Locus: “Rebecca Roanhorse: From Legend to Fantasy
Lightspeed: Interview with Rebecca Roanhorse
Indian Country Today: “Trail of Lightning is an appropriation of Diné cultural beliefs

Shout-outs!
Lise: Sex Education, the series on Netflix (Gillian Anderson, y’all!)
Andi: TGIF/Femslash convention in Long Beach

Episode 70: A New Year of Geeking Out!

Andi and Lise are getting ready for a new year of geeking out! They each chat about movies they’re looking forward to, books/authors they want to read and other geekly things. To that end, here are some things they’re looking forward to:

Movies:
Wonder Woman 1984 (trailer)
Possibly the re-make of Dune, though both are a little more cautious of that. (trailer)
No Time to Die (latest James Bond; trailer)

Books:
Lise is looking forward to more Seanan McGuire
Andi will be reading more Rebecca Roanhorse and N.K. Jemisin
Both Andi and Lise are really looking forward to reading more diverse spec fic. Here’s a good anthology to get started finding some authors: New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color

TeeVee:
Andi is finally watching the animated series Star Wars: Rebels and she’s loving it; she’s also watching the latest season of Dr. Who (Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor); and will be continuing on with her usual series.

Gaming:
Lise is stoked to check out Cyberpunk 2077 (info).

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 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.

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