What kind of teenager are you that you don’t have Class A drugs to hand? Hmm? Has The Daily Mail been lying to me?
Every 90 years twelve gods from multiple pantheons are reincarnated in young people to live for two years. The gods reincarnated are different each time and don’t necessarily live out the full two years, as the opening pages can attest with only four gods left at the end of the last cycle in 1923, skulls perched in the empty seats. Ananke is their guardian, goddess of fate, necessity and destiny. She’s their protector, but also their judge, jury and, if necessary, their executioner.
Continue reading The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie
An erudite, self-aware feminist memoir, in graphic novel form, examining a lesbian’s childhood relationship with her parents – especially her closeted gay father. Fun Home is chock full of psychoanalysis, literary criticism and commentary on gender, sexuality and suicide. You may recognise the author’s name from her Bechdel Test, which ‘asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man’ to indicate gender bias (Wikipedia).
Continue reading Fun Home: a family tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
I chose this for Banned Books Week but I couldn’t wait any longer to read it.
Disappointingly my library copy came with a warning slapped on the cover. What’s to be frightened about with ‘same sex families’?
Continue reading And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
Panellists: Tracy Berg, Jo Hacker, Jeanne Gomoll, Moira O’Keeffe, Sunil Patel
Orphan Black is one of the most critically-acclaimed and fannishly-popular SF TV series to debut in the last few years, and is notable both for being a strongly feminist narrative and for sticking (more or less, so far) to a plausible depiction of biological sciences. In the season one finale, the two themes are linked: “We have to control our biology”, one of the clone-sisters asserts. Bearing this imperative in mind, how do the show’s feminism and science interact and inform one another? How successful is the show at balancing commercial and political narrative goals?
Continue reading LonCon3 #16: Welcome to Clone Club
Panellists: Kate Heartfield, Kate Elliott, Jed Hartman, Julia Rios, JY Yang
The “Bechdel test” for female representation in films is now widely known. To pass it a film should contain two named female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. In recent years, similar tests have been proposed for other under-represented groups, including the Mako Mori test for characters of colour, and the Russo test for queer characters. What are the strengths and weaknesses of such tests? How do they affect our viewing choices? And what does the popularity of such tests say about how popular media are being received and discussed?
Continue reading LonCon3 #15: Beyond Bechdel (feminism)
Panellists: Jed Hartman, David D Levine, Rosanne Rabinowitz, Laura Lam, Cherry Potts (moderator)
In a 2013 column for Tor.com, Alex Dally MacFarlane called for a greater diversity in the way SF and fantasy represent families, pointing out that in the real world, “People of all sexualities and genders join together in twos, threes, or more. Family-strong friendships, auntie networks, global families… The ways we live together are endless.” Which stories centre non-normative family structures? What are the challenges of doing this in an SF context, and what are the advantages? How does representing a wider range of family types change the stories that are told?
Continue reading LonCon3 #5: Reimagining Families – where’s the diversity?
I hate selkie stories. They’re always about how you went up to the attic to look for a book, and you found a disgusting old coat and brought it downstairs between finger and thumb and said “What’s this?”, and you never saw your mom again.
If you know of selkie mythology, you’ll understand this opening quote, and if you don’t it’s explained within this short story (which can be read for free HERE).
Continue reading Selkie Stories Are for Losers by Sofia Samatar
“You want to film me fucking myself.”
Man is lured into participating in a super-secret medical trial. Man is unknowingly cloned, pumped with viagra and anti-anxiety drugs to lower inhibitions, then locked in a room with his clone. What happens next? Bow-chica-wow-wow.
Narcissus, from Greek mythology, ‘saw his reflection and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image.’
So, is this a form of extreme narcissism? An odd kind of masturbation?
Continue reading Cloned & Curious by Kimbra Clausen
I never thought I’d ever 1-star anything JCP had written, and I feel bad for doing so now. I don’t know what exactly happened, but I just can’t believe the quality of this final instalment. I can only assume Price didn’t quite know how to end the serial, in which I expected a big sci-fi reveal on the reason for Bermuda’s turbulence and why Marlin killed himself. What we got didn’t make much sense and was completely unsatisfactory. I hope one day Price revisits and rewrites the ending.
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