As Kameron Hurley discusses in her Hugo Award-winning article, ‘We Have Always Fought‘, women have always fought. So why don’t we see more women warriors in science fiction and fantasy novels? History is full of women on battlefields and in brawls, even if the history books might gloss over it. Remember: much of the history we hold as the gold standard was written by men who were reinforcing the social structures they created.
When it comes to fight scenes, there’s already enough to think about without worrying about gender representation (and no, that’s not an excuse…). A well-written fight scene is a rare gem. We talk to writer and martial artist Juliet McKenna about the common mistakes writers make when writing fight scenes, from grand military battles to a pub fight, we talk weapons, fight styles, point of view, and more. What makes a fight scene interesting? How much detail is too much?
And it wouldn’t be an episode of Breaking the Glass Slipper without us championing some of our favourite examples of great women warriors in SFFH.
If you’re interested, here are some of the articles we perused in preparation for the episode. Participation in the further reading exercises does not give you mana, but it does make you a bit of a bookworm – something we heartily encourage.
- Calling all history buffs! Vikings and warriors of the Middle Ages
- Women warriors and their weapons
- Tropey tropes
- Women warriors in literature and culture
- Including women in the generally conservative sub-genre of Military SF
- A list! Badass women of SFF
- Dodgy military SF tropes in relation to women
- Some suggested reading from the lovely Juliet
If you want to learn more about Juliet, head over to her blog.
Texts mentioned in this episode include:
- Women all on Fire by Alison Plowden (book)
- Robin of Sherwood (TV)
- Xena the Warrior Princess (TV)
- Game of Thrones (TV) / A Song of Ice and Fire (book series)
- Skyrim (game)
- Age of Empires (game)
- Alien (film)
- The Terminator (film)
- Firefly (TV)
- Harry Potter (book series)
- Star Wars (film)
- The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson (book series)
- To Hold Infinity by John Meaney (book)
- The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams (book)
- Mad Max: Fury Road (film)
- Rat Queens (comic)
- Lazarus (comic)
- Nimona (comic)
- Monstress (comic)
- Battlestar Galactica (TV)