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Magic, Wealth and Power with Vic James

Today, the blunt reality of inequality and unequal distribution of wealth is more prevalent than ever. Our society is split into the haves and the have nots – the 1% and the 99%. A few individuals tend whole orchards of magic money trees; their extreme wealth is itself a form …

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Women’s jobs in fantasy

Rat Queens: The ultimate female questing party

While Charlotte and Megan geeked out about Star Trek (sparing poor Lucy who puts up with enough of that) when discussing women’s jobs in science fiction, in this episode, all three of us shine a light on female careers in fantasy. We have found that few women in fantasy novels have professions …

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Grimdark with Anna Smith Spark

The Court of Broken Knives

Sometimes the sheer number of sub-genres and niche areas within the SFF world can feel completely overwhelming. What do they all mean? Where does one thing become another? One of the most confusing – and most commonly talked about – sub-genres is Grimdark. Other than it being grim and dark, …

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Women’s jobs in science fiction

Women of Star Trek The Next Generation

With equality of pay and the drive to get more women in top executive jobs reaching the headlines in our current era, does the world of the future have women in the same roles they occupy now, or do they have them in traditionally male-dominated jobs? #SorryNotSorry for the ten …

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Toxic masculinity

USS Callister, Black Mirror

We started this podcast to highlight the issues around the representation of women in genre fiction. But women aren’t the only ones who suffer at the hands of harmful tropes, poor characterisation, and limiting traditional gender roles. In this episode, we discuss the men-folk. While they may tend to get …

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Women’s ghost stories with Melissa Edmundson Makala

Melissa Edmundson Makala

Ghost literature written by women in the 19th century was more about social commentary than pure entertainment, argues academic Melissa Edmundson Makala. Charlotte positively geeks out with Melissa about her book, Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Gothic Literary Studies).  Many of us will know the big names in women’s gothic …

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Idealised characters and Mary Sues

Superman: A major Marty Stu

We’ve all encountered them – characters who can do anything. They have physical and mental abilities beyond every other character in that world, perhaps even abilities that no one else in the world has in any capacity. They are so good-looking there are no words to properly capture their beauty. …

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Fighting oppression with Paige L Christie

Paige L Christie "Stories are told by those who are able to - those who have a voice."

Last year, Lucy was lucky enough to read an author review copy of Paige L Christie’s debut novel, Draigon Weather. She immediately fell in love with the story and what Paige was trying to achieve. We have previously had Paige on the blog answering our ‘five questions‘ but we wanted to …

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Describing women with Gwen C. Katz

Among the Red Stars by Gwen C Katz

YA author Gwen C. Katz came across a forum thread about men’s ability to write female characters. There was the usual toxicity there – brushing off any criticism as more ‘SJW bullshit’. She wanted to speak out, but she had no idea her comments would strike such a chord. Her …

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Jeanne Cavelos on teaching genre writing

writers can never be normal people

Every few years I see articles pop up in my news feed debating the merits of creative writing courses. Can you teach writing, they ask. Writing is a skill just like any other – you might not be able to imbue someone with a sense of imagination, but you can …

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