2017 is set to be a big year for Laura Lam. With two new books, the final in her Micah Grey trilogy, Masquerade, and the second in the Pacifica series, Shattered Minds, as well as a short story included in the anthology Nasty Women, she’s definitely one to look out for. If you’ve not come across her books before, now is the perfect time – after all, what better way to start a series than knowing you can read the whole thing in one go?!

In much of Laura’s writing, she explores ideas of gender identity and sexuality, attempting to ensure diversity of representation. After all, science fiction and fantasy are the perfect genres to do this. Writing in these genres necessitates the creation of ‘other’ worlds. And why not create worlds where these issues are not really issues at all or explore the current state of affairs through the lens of fiction? But why has it taken the genre world so long to embrace LGBTQ issues and characters? While YA has been leading the charge, the rest of SFF is dragging its feet.

While it can be said that Laura’s writing does focus on challenging the gender binary, she also explores issues of ‘the other’ in all its aspects. The key thing to remember is to be sensitive in your research and your representations of others.

This episode is focused a lot more on personal experience than examples, so fewer texts are mentioned than usual. Lucy and Laura do, however, mention the following:

  • Serenity (film)
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer

Masquerade is out now from PanMacmillan.

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