Violence as climactic conflict

Violence as climactic conflict

All stories require conflict of some kind… but does it always need to be violent conflict? There is certainly a trend in fantasy, science fiction, and horror to find narratives driving towards a massive violent conclusion. These have become set-pieces, the very...
The Bechdel-Wallace test

The Bechdel-Wallace test

Back in 1985, Alison Bechdel had the characters of her cartoon strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, jokingly make a gender equality ‘test’ for films. 33 years later, the Bechdel (or Bechdel-Wallace, to give credit to her friend Liz Wallace for the idea) test is...
2017 in review and anticipation for 2018

2017 in review and anticipation for 2018

Are you ready for your to-read and to-watch lists to explode? Charlotte, Lucy, and I discuss our favourite genre pieces of 2017 and what we’re most looking forward to in 2018. We lament terrible accents and characters that have no agency, celebrate all the...
Mythical females

Mythical females

Mermaids, Harpies, Valkyries, Succubae, Sirens, Banshees, Nymphs – We’ve been encountering the mythical female in literature and folklore for thousands of years. She appears in numerous religions, sometimes as saviour, sometimes as a harbinger of doom. She lures...
In praise of YA with Frances Hardinge

In praise of YA with Frances Hardinge

Young adult fiction is called a genre, a bookshop category, and more. It is a way of grouping books together based, usually, on the age of the protagonist. But a young adult protagonist does not mean that a book will only appeal to a younger audience, nor should it....