Last week was an exciting post week. Nope, no yarn, but two pre-ordered books, both of which tick the “feminist” and “sf” boxes that sit right at the top of my personal list of literary happy makers. So: squeee! And in case this is relevant to your interests, gentle reader, let me tell you about them.
Book the first: Sisters of the Revolution, a short story collection edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. This was a Kickstarter project* – it includes classics from names such as Ursula le Guin and Octavia Butler, as well as new fiction from less familiar authors. Exciting! I haven’t yet read a word, though, because of book the second…
Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson. Originally a webcomic (you can still read the first few chapters online), now a real book, and loud was the rejoicing throughout the land. Here’s why you’ll love it:
1. The setting. A completely illogical mash-up of futuristic sci-fi and medieval fantasy that somehow works perfectly.
2. The characters. Nimona, the punky, violent shapeshifting sidekick with Secrets (TM). Blackheart, the reluctant villain. Goldenloin (not a typo), the flowy-haired hero-cum-puppet of the Powers That Be.
3. The relationships. It’s hard to elaborate without spoilers, but the relationships are fantastic. Complex, shifting, satisfying.
4. The art. The original early pages are pretty rough, as with many just-starting cartoonists (got polished up a bit for the print version), but it develops fast – and is charming from the outset. Also, check out the backgrounds carefully for sneaky jokes; “who’s hiding in the crowd scenes” is a good game.
5. Nimona. Oh, Nimona. She is bad-ass and heart-breaking and glorious. Also, she is a shapeshifter of seemingly limitless power who chooses to present herself as a heavyset girl. Forget those bizarrely jointed, weirdly inflated looking comic book babes: Nimona is short and chunky and awesome. Glorious.
Also: I’M A SHARK.
* Long delayed, btw, which made me all the more impressed with how speedily Felicity Ford turned around her own Kickstarter project, the Knitsonik stranded colourwork book – I’m sure you’ve already heard how awesome this is, but if not? It’s awesome. Buy it, and if possible, take one of her classes – I hear they’re fantastic, and I’ve seen truly beautiful swatches come out of them.