Anthology: Queers Destroy Science Fiction!

Spoiler Warning: I tried to avoid spoilers, but if you want to be really careful you might want to skip some of the story descriptions.

Trigger Warning: I didn’t really go into detail about those elements which are likely to be triggers, but there are some stories in the anthology which have potential triggers. Of the ones I read, I think “Trickier With Each Translation” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam describes sexual assault in some detail (though it does not progress beyond that), and “Nothing is Pixels Here,” by K.M. Szpara, while a fantastic story (which I discuss more below), could be triggering for someone with dysphoria.

A Note on Language: I use the word “queer” throughout this post, partly because that is the word used in the anthology. However, I wanted to warn for that because I recognize that for some people it is still a slur. (I’ve categorized the post as lgbtqia+, however, since that is the most widely recognized term).

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Image description: Cover of Queers Destroy Science Fiction!. Image from Lightspeed Magazine. In the foreground is a head, split down the middle, one side feminine, the other masculine. Set just behind that, in the upper left and lower right of the image, are two couples, two women and two men respectively. In the background is a spacescape.

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ALG: Voice and Agency in Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose

Series: Archetypal Looking Glass

Spoiler Warning: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Trigger Warning: Briar Rose is about the Holocaust. I don’t talk a huge amount about the camps themselves in this post, however.

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Image Description: Cover of Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen. Roses grow on barbed wire. In the background there is the shadow of a face: closed eyes, nose, and a mouth. Picture taken from Amazon.

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Archetypal Looking Glass: Agency in Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

Series: The Archetypal Looking Glass

Spoilers: Spoilers for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente. Major spoilers at the end of the review have a warning and several line breaks before them.

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Image Description: Cover of “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making. A red cover with an oval image of a little girl and a wyvern with it’s wings chained. The little girl is holding an over-sized key.

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Review: Colleen Houck’s Tiger’s Curse

Spoilers: Tiger’s Curse

Warnings: This review discusses threatening and coercive behavior from the main love interest toward the main character. I also discuss some pretty pronounced racism in the book.

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Image Description: A blue book cover with an intricate border, an image of a white tiger, and the title “Tiger’s Curse” written in white.

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Shira Glassman’s Climbing the Date Palm

Previously, I reviewed Shira Glassman’s The Second Mango. Today I review Climbing the Date Palm (link to Prizm Books), the second book in the series.

Spoilers: Some spoilers for the The Second Mango

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Image Description: A book cover with a date palm on a green background. A green dragon flies in the background. Across the bottom, the words “climbing the Date Palm” in black. Below that, the name “Shira Glassman”. Image from Prizm Books.

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Review: Akata Witch

Spoiler Warning: Akata Witch (only in one specific section, which is noted beforehand)

Trigger Warning: Discussion of ableist tropes in fiction

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Recently, I read Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch. It’s a young adult fantasy novel, set in Nigeria, which came out back in 2011 from Penguin Books. If you enjoy narratives about characters discovering their magic, or are interested in learning about magic in a culture that isn’t often seen represented in the US, I highly recommend this book. It’s a lot of fun, and the characters are vibrant and interesting.

I’d also like to point out that the cover art actually fits the book.

The main character, Sunny, is 12.  She’s American-born, but moved to Nigeria with her parents and brothers. Sunny, like most of the people she knows, is Igbo, but often feels out of place because she is (a) from America, and (b) an albino.  Nnedi Okorafor herself is also American-born, and her parents were Nigerian immigrants. During the book, Sunny makes new friends and meets new enemies as she discovers the world of Leopard People, African sorcerers.

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