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marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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marthawells

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I'll be revisioning all day today, so here's some links:


Murderati: Non-white heroes: the kiss of death in the marketplace? by Tess Gerritsen
Memory #1: I am ten years old, sitting in the back seat of a parked car with my best school chum as we wait for her mother to come out of the grocery store. My friend is white. We are chattering, giggling, making noisy girl noises. A woman walks back to her car, which is parked beside ours. Maybe it's the fact we're laughing so loudly. Maybe she thinks we're laughing at her. She glares at us.

What she sees: a white girl and an Asian girl sitting in the parked car.

What she says is: "Damn noisy chink."



Linda Nagata: What’s in a Name? I haven’t done a lot of interviews in my career, but the question I least like to answer goes something like this: Do you feel it’s hurt your career being a woman writing hard science fiction?


I got a mention (Yay!) on this list of "What To Read When You’re Not Reading Pratchett." on Patrick Rothfuss' blog


And I'm on Google+, if people are into that. It's interesting, but I think I still have more fun on Twitter. (There, I'm @marthawells1)


Book I'm reading:

Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders by Gyles Brandreth

I've been reading this series for a while and would have missed this one, because I didn't know it had been released. If Murder by the Book wasn't the kind of store where you can go in and have this conversation:

Me: "I wonder if there's a new one in a series...British...sort of historical..." :makes vague hand gestures:

Murder by the Book: "Oh, you mean the Oscar Wilde series by Gyles Brandreth! Yes, there was a new one a few months ago."

I would never have found it on my own.

I actually think I saw this book in a store at one point, and didn't realize it was from the Brandreth series because the cover (instead of matching the previous books) makes it look like one of those mash-ups, of which I am not a fan. But I managed to find it anyway, and am really liking it so far. Instead of being from Robert Sherard's viewpoint (or Oscar telling the story to Robert) it's written more in the style of Dracula, with Robert's narration interspersed with diary entries or letters from Arthur Conan Doyle (who is involved with Oscar in solving the mystery), Bram Stoker, and the other characters. This is great, because one of the flaws of the series is that while Oscar is awesome and a charming narrator, Robert is vaguely creepy. Anyway, I recommend the series and this is a great installment.
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I am currently reading Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders, not having read any books earlier in the series, and I am finding it charming.

The earlier books are great, too.

Thanks for linking to Murderati - I'm interested in reading The Silent Girl. I tried to think of series with Asian hero/ines these days...two off the bat (that I love) are Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri mysteries (set in Communist Laos) and Liz Williams' Detective Inspector Chen novels (sooooo good - about an alternative-universe Singapore where Heaven and Hell intrude on everyday life. That would be the Chinese heaven and hell, though the Indian heaven/hell is touched on, as well.) I'm pretty sure there are others, though I'm drawing a blank right at the moment.

I think a lot of this "books won't sell if your protagonist isn't white" bullshit is a self-fulfilling prophecy. There aren't books available to buy, the publishers expect them to fail so don't promote them worth a damn, etc. ::shaking head::

Yes, publishers love self-fulfilling prophecies. And they never seem to remember all the examples of the books that did sell, even the recent ones.

I never realised there was much of a bias against female fantasy and sci-fi authors until reading some of the links you post up. Im a bit more disapointed in the industry now.

I think a reason I never picked up on it is the way I browse books. I totally ignore author names until a new (to me at) book/series interests me enough that I go looking for other works by that author. Ignoring the names isnt deliberate, Im just not interested in them until I want more like what I am reading.

My collection is actually the opposite of the bias though, just giving my huge stash a quick glance I would say at least 50% (I actually think its closer to 2/3 rds but no way Im counting all of them!) are by female authors. Not to say I dont have favorite male authors though!

I think it comes down to the fact that there are readers who pay attention to gender of the author and let it influence their decision whether to read or not, and that there are readers who never thought about paying attention to the gender of the author and it doesn't influence them at all. I wouldn't be surprised if the people who never thought about taking the gender of the author into consideration probably end up with a good representation of women authors in their book collection, anywhere from 30 to 50% or more, depending on what genres they read most.

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