Last night I took part in a lovely animated discussion with the followers of @tubooks about the unnecessary repeated tropes that show up again and again in fantasy, sci fi and speculative fiction. A lot of those tropes have cross-overs into other areas that interest me, such as the campaign highlighting that #weneeddiversebooks to improve and increase the representation of people of colour, anyone who identifies as something other than cis-gendered and heterosexual and any culture which is not of western European direct descent. I’m also deeply interested in the current fourth wave of feminism and its focus on women’s rights to say no, to have freedom of choice and to be sexually active by choice without condemnation, and firmly believe that greater representation of women who make these choices and claim these rights within fiction could only be a good thing for the cause.
The Shandy Media Club (SMC) has lain dormant for a long time this year, while real life turned into a sulky child and got very demanding. Real life has now been put in its place and told to behave and I find myself with time to come back to these issues, ideas and inspirations and its time to blow the dust off and get reviewing again.
I can think of several books which DO successfully flout those genre conventions and which do portray women in a positive light, without solely depending on their love stories as plot fodder. I have decided to get started on reviewing those books, highlighting them and hoping to give them a tiny bit more of the spotlight. We need to show that these books do exist, that writers are engaging with these areas of interest and – most importantly – that they are loved and they are read and they DO SELL.
I have a few to start off with, but SMC is a collaborative ideal. If YOU have read a book which flouts convention, which positively represents a wide range of people, which gives female characters a plot which doesn’t revolve around romance and gives men a plot which doesn’t revolve around angsting over the love/fate of a woman then please write me a review and I’ll look into posting it. And please sent it to me! You can reach me via my contact page with your pitch/idea and we’ll take it from there.
Hopefully by the end of the week the first review will be up. I look forward to writing it and sharing it, and I hope you all enjoy reading it!*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*