Gather ’round, my dearest little chickens. Once upon a time, I thought that I had retired from reviewing books. Indeed, I thought that I had retired from even semi-serious blogging. Life has a way of Happening, you see, and it has been Happening to me in great, terrible quantities for the last six years. I broke in 2019, in ways that wouldn’t let me write or review with any kind of reliability. So I stepped back.
I’m not entirely sure that I’m un-retired. This is a special performance; I’m one small voice, but if even one person is inspired to read the book that I’m about to discuss, then it will be something. That might be enough.
I’m here to talk about Mira Grant’s Feedback.
Not nearly enough of you have read this book. I know this, because of something that I found on Twitter. Here, just take a look:
Further digging reveals that Into the Drowning Deep has done well! Feedback, sadly, still needs to catch up.
So I’m here to contribute to the cause. Let me see if I can remember how to do this…
Star Wars wasn’t my fandom.
Oh, I saw most of the movies. I watched Episodes IV – VI with my father and brother when they were re-released in theaters when I was in high school. I had watched A New Hope at some point in my childhood and…
…it didn’t go well. It scared the ever-loving snot out of me, to the point where I avoided most space-centric fiction unless somebody else happened to be involved. My father and childhood best friend both liked Star Trek, so I got a fair amount of exposure to that particular corner of nerd. Other than that? Space was not my friend.
Not until Firefly. However, I would argue that Firefly was more of a western anyway. But that’s neither here nor there for the purpose of what I’m doing today.
So no, Star Wars wasn’t mine, and as such, Carrie Fisher wasn’t mine. I re-watched Episode IV last week with my husband and a friend and while I enjoyed the experience a great deal, I believe that Rogue One will be the Star Wars movie of my heart. If there is a scrappy female to thank for me getting into the franchise this late in the game, well, that honor goes to Jyn Erso. Anyway, after my viewing of EpIV last week, I was in awe of Leia and her completely unimpressed attitude at her supposed rescuers. She’s resourceful and tough, and I wish that I had grown up with her the way that some of my best friends did. I went home that night and purchased Fisher’s memoirs (all three volumes).
Then I learned about her marvelous writing career beyond her personal accounts (which are marvelous). Her work as a script doctor. Her unabashed transparency about her own mental demons and struggles. Wow, I thought. Carrie Fisher is pretty damned awesome.
Tragically, 2016 attacked and swept Fisher away just as I was starting to truly understand how fantastic she is. I am saddened at her death, and I wish that I could claim her as a role model the way that so many of my peers in fandom do.
I would say something witty and a little self-deprecating right now, but I don’t think that’s the best way to go about saying this. So I’m just going to say it:
I’ve been sick. I had to take some time off from most of the things that I usually do. Internet usage was one of those things. Unfortunately this particular illness flare came about at the same time that I was trying to begin building my page here. It also lasted for a really, really long time, SO MUCH LONGER than I thought it would. But I’m getting over it and I’m trying to take back my life. Go me!
What, you may ask, have I been doing in the meantime? (You probably aren’t, we just got acquainted and all of that.) In between sleeping a lot and working not much at all, I managed to read a few things that I really loved. Here’s a bit about a couple of them. (PS: links will open in new tabs/windows.)
Borderline by Mishell Baker is one of the best things that I’ve read this year. It’s a strong contender for most enjoyable piece of fiction, certainly. It was refreshing to read an urban fantasy that bucks so many of the trends of the genre. From Baker’s website: “A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she’s sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.” Millie also lives with borderline personality disorder, which is an extremely misunderstood psychological condition. Baker skillfully weaves her tale around a set of characters who aren’t always likeable, but who are compelling nonetheless. I can’t wait for the sequel, Phantom Pains, to be released next March.
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley is easily the best nonfiction that I’ve read in a long, long time. Not all of the material is new, if you’ve followed Hurley’s online presence in any sort of capacity. Having it all collected in one handy, llama-covered volume is excellent either way. Hurley is insightful, straightforward and powerful in her call to arms to geeks and feminists of all flavors. I would recommend this volume to anyone who considers themselves a part of any of the above mentioned camps. Pick it up. Read it. Re-read it. Give it to your friends. Read it yet another time. And then pick up your sword and get to it.
Vive la revolution.