Monday, November 28, 2011

Literary Frontiers: Boneshaker

by Cat Connolly

Literary Frontiers is a series in the blog which gives us the chance to offer our perspective on both new and established science fiction and speculative fiction books. The series will publish around twice a month, or whenever one of us can finish and post one of our most recent reading projects. I guess that means once this November.

The selection this time is Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, nominated for a Hugo award and the winner of the Locus award for best science fiction novel. The piece is a masterpiece of Steampunk that did more than its part to breathe life into the genre.

The review follows after the (steam-powered) jump.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Literary Frontiers: Rosemary's Baby

by Sara Crow

Literary Frontiers is a series in the blog which gives us the chance to offer our perspective on both new and established science fiction and speculative fiction books. The series will publish around twice a month, or whenever one of us can finish and post one of our most recent reading projects.

The selection this time is, appropriately for the Halloween, Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby. Not exactly sci-fi, but can certainly fit into the fantasy/speculative fiction arena, at least with a little wiggling. Horrific urban fantasy? Sure. Okay, so I bent the rules a little because of the season. So sue me.

The review follows after the jump. Just be careful what doors you open: you may not be able to close them again.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wonder Woman's Origin: Here We Go Again!

by Sara Crow

According to a post on io9 last week, DC Comics will be giving Wonder Woman a father in their November issue, and he will be none other than the head honcho of one of the most notoriously knotted family trees in mythological history: Zeus.

Dun, dun, duuuuun... More after the break!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Literary Frontiers: 1000 Steampunk Creations

by Cat Connolly
Literary Frontiers is a brand new series in the blog which gives us the chance to offer our perspective on both new and established science fiction and speculative fiction books. The series will publish around twice a month, or whenever one of us can finish and post one of our most recent reading projects.

This week's book is 1000 Steampunk Creations: Neo-Victorian Fashion, Gear & Art by Dr. Grymm. The review is available after the jump.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Literary Frontiers: Oryx and Crake

by Sara Crow 
(Find me on Goodreads!)

 Literary Frontiers is a brand new series in the blog which gives us the chance to offer our perspective on both new and established science fiction and speculative fiction books. The series will publish around twice a month, or whenever one of us can finish and post one of our most recent reading projects.

The selection for our inaugural post is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I'll be making my way through Year of the Flood before the holiday season. Atwood is currently working on her final book in the series, which at this point will be entitled MaddAddam, and we'll be reviewing that title when it's released as well.

The review is available, just for you, after the jump (to Warp?)! Make it so!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Isabel Samaras: The Geeky Glory of the Classic Form

by Sara Crow

While wandering through my favorite quirky odds and ends shop a couple years ago, I glanced at a shelf and had to do a double-take. At first, I thought I'd glimpsed an image of classic art--a renaissance painting whose title dangled on the edges of my memory. It was an image of a lone woman in an outdoor scene, holding a silver platter, a fire dancing on its surface. A goldfinch looks on from a nearby branch. I looked again. This wasn't just any woman--this was the Bride of Frankenstein! At that moment, I fell entirely in love with Isabel Samaras's work and have been crazy about it ever since.

This is what I'd seen.
Song of the Goldfinch, by Isabel Samaras
Warning: "Adult" images after the break. You've been warned. So no bitching if you see boobies, 'kay? We're all big kids here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Be a Woman.

by Sara Crow

I found this poem while I was doing research for the section of my book that takes place in Topeka. While I was zipping through the microfiche of mid-19th-century newspapers at the Kansas Historical Society, I came across this awesome poem in the Quindaro Chindowan, No. 52, Saturday, June 12, 1858. Yes, 1858. Feminism didn't start in the 20th Century, darlings! ;)

Clarina Nichols, Associate Editor of the
Quindaro Chindowan.
Be a Woman.
Oft I’ve heard a gentle mother,
As the twilight hours began,
Pleading with a son, of duty,
Urging him to be a man.
But unto her blue-eyed daughter,
Though with love’s words quite as ready,
Points she out this other duty,
“Strive, my dear, to be a lady.”

What’s a lady? Is it something
Made of hoops, and silks, and airs,
Used to decorate the parlor,
Like the fancy rugs and chairs?
Is it one who wastes on novels
Every feeling that is human?
If ‘tis this to be a lady,
‘Tis not this to be a woman.

Mother, then, unto your daughter,
Speak of something higher, far,
Than to be mere fashion’s lady –
“Woman” is the brighter star.
If ye, in your strong affection,
Urge your son to be a true man,
Urge your daughter no less strongly
To arise and be a woman.

Yes, a woman – brightest model
Of that high and perfect beauty,
Where the mind, and soul, and body,
Blend to work out life’s great duty –
Be a woman – nought is higher
On the gilded list of fame,
On the catalogue of virture,
There’s no brighter, holier name.  

Be a woman – on to duty,
Raise the world from all that’s low,
Place high in the social heaven
Virtue’s fair and radiant bow.
Lend thy influence to each effort,
That shall raise our nature’s human.
Be not fashion’s gilded lady,
Be a brave – whole souled – true woman.


Bitch did it Before I Could: Tribute to Wednesday Addams

By Sara Crow

Bitch Magazine recently posted a tribute to Wednesday Addams in the Pop Pedestal section of their website. They beat me to it! I'm sure I could come up with more to say, but we'll start with their great little tribute for the time being.

Besides, I have a couple other articles in the works at the moment.

I'd love to hear what everyone else loves about Wednesday Addams, too. Let us know in the comments!

Friday, March 11, 2011

An Auspicious (Monstrous) Anniversary

by Sara Crow

On this date in 1818, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley published her first edition of a novel that would rock the literary world to its core--a book about the monstrous, about being an alien in a human world, and about living a life beholden to an even more monstrous majority.

During the dark and cold summer of 1816, known throughout Europe as "The Year Without a Summer" due to the ash spewed across the globe from the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Tambora halfway across the planet in Indonesia, Shelley and friends were stuck inside at a summer home rented from friends. Shelley's dark tale was written as a part of a contest between herself, her husband, her sister, and their mutual friends, John Polidori (author of "The Vampyre," a concept he actually lifted from Byron's tale that night), and Lord Byron, in an attempt to help them all write through the chill and the rain and avoid their own boredom-induced madness. 

Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus recounts the story of Doctor Victor Frankenstein, who discovers the spark of life and uses it to "give birth" to a new form of life with body parts filched from the freshly-dead. Chaos and moral ambiguity ensues. 

And no, before you ask, Frankenstein is NOT the name of the monster. So stop calling the Monster Frankenstein, okay? Good. Moving on.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Born This Way" Offers Sci Fi Geek Gurrl Love to all Little Monsters

by Sara Crow

Lady Gaga has been my “Mommy Monster” since I first saw her video for “Bad Romance,” loaded with enough horror, feminist and silent film references to give a geek like me a complete nerdgasm. Her music has its own fun and strength on its own, but she’s constantly raised the bar with her music videos, usually revealing layers of meaning to her lyrics by the drama playing out in glorious, sublime imagery.  

Imagine my delight when I came across Gaga’s newest video, which implants a healthy dose of science fiction on top of her already established cinematic alchemy of classic film and horror/gothic imagery, enlivening the very straightforward message of “Born This Way” with a commentary on the problematic qualities of any utopia, alluding to science fiction masters such as Philip K. Dick and Ursula LeGuin in content and imagery.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Introduction of the Feline Sort.


I am Cat.

Yes, the "meow" kind.

And please don't pull my tail.

Now that introductions are out of the way, let me tell you a bit about myoddself. In particular, my trans-temporal preoccupation with Victorian culture.

My goal in life is to become a 19th century gentleman, sans the Oxfordian pasttimes (lest they involve David Tennant). In accordance with such proclivities, I have a bevy of fancy waistcoats at my disposal.

All right, let me make this clear. I am not of the Sapphic sort, although I do adore poetry of the same name and can enjoy a light bout of shojo-ai from time to time. Despite my lingering affection for Emilie Autumn and her darling henchwomen, and the wishes of my more adventurous female friends, I remain ever-faithful to the tall, dark and smexy archetype. Alan Rickman, that means you. So, while I am enamoured of Queen Christina, I am not *enamoured* of her.

Right ho, onward. Why not continue with a catalogue of my genteel artifacts? Be forewarned, they might cause an antiquarian to drool slightly.

- A collection of four pocketwatches (my favorite being a piece from Cash's of Ireland)
- Two smoking jackets
- A tobacco pipe which, sadly, was in the pocket of my smoking jacket when I trod upon it....I suppose it should be crossed off the list....
- Mother-of-pearl plated opera glasses, circa 1910
- A variety of waistcoats, courtesy of the DAV
- An etoile-style, black brocade corset, which I often wear (well-laced) beneath my day clothing
- Monocle!
- Walking sticks. One cannot be without a walking stick. And one *certainly* cannot be without a sword cane.
- Various jars of poisonous herbs...though this may only gain precedent from Victorian gentlemen such as Sherlock Holmes and Cain Hargreaves.
- Absinthe.
- A full head of literary and historical facts, thought of as arcane by the masses, but quite useful when playing Pictionary.
- Melancholy.
- My own personal library. I hope it will one day rival that of Inkheart's Elinor Loredan.
- A chamber dressed in scarlet, dark wood, and a good deal of garish gold trimmings. Ooh, the Aesthete in me is well-nourished!

And I suppose it is rude of me to count out all of my shiny pennies in front of the poor, but heavens, how nice it is to realize how far I've come from being a simple little goth girl in cat ears.

And what kind of toys do *you* play with?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Alien's Corruption

By Sara Crow

Slightly Behind and to the Left by Claire Light

Claire Light, from her bio at the 
Aqueduct Press website

Slightly behind and to the Left is a collection of short fiction and “drabbles,” as Light calls them—one-paragraph to half-page installments of highly conceptual flash fiction. The book is from Aqueduct Press’s series, Conversation Pieces, which examines feminism with a focus on feminist science fiction.

Light’s prose throughout this book is infused with an aura of menace and loss. She isn’t afraid to throw her characters into torturous scenarios like a mad scientist trying to see what sort of atrocity will emerge from the next diabolical experiment. She illustrates the feminist struggle for equality as a common conflict across not only gender lines, but across alien worlds as well, creating characters that struggle for much more than survival—they struggle to remain human when endowed with responsibilities of power that give them the opportunity to become monstrous.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


by Sara 

I think it best to start with a shameless plug for my favorite "geek poet." Published prolifically and nominated for the Pulitzer at least twice, Bryan D. Dietrich is a fantastic poet who happens to spend his time delving into the darkness by way of our American mythologies--comics, Lovecraft, and Universal Monsters being among his subject matter.This one is among my many favorites.

The poem, after the jump...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Geek and Gamer Girls

Welcome to the first installment of Chronicles of the Geek Gurrls

Yes, we do exist, and we are NOT the only ones. Geek gurrls unite!