Another month, another Tor Books themed playlist from Lauren Jackson!
Written by Lauren Jackson
I spent most of last month thinking about important women… women in the news and in my life. I thought about my favorite women in literature and how their characters have evolved over time to become more complex… and how far yet we have to go. Tor author (whose debut novel, ZERO SUM GAME, is out this month) SL Huang (@sl_huang) wrote a killer essay for the blog called “Sharp Edges.” Here’s what she had to say on fictional characters who aren’t cis men:
“I want women with sharp edges. Female characters who are risky, extreme, gross, strange…Female characters you remember even if you don’t like them.”
Don’t get me wrong; princesses are great. But you know what’s more impactful than a princess? A sword-wielding power hungry antiheroine princess who readers can just as easily despise as they can adore. Know why? Because little girls regardless of race, class, or assigned gender at birth should know that it’s okay not to be perfect, inoffensive, and morally righteous all the damn time. They should know that those traits aren’t qualifications they need to be the heroine of their own stories. So, I present the first half of Tor’s October playlist: Sharp-Edged Women from the Future.
But, on a completely different note, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention epic space battles this month, right? Don’t worry, I have some shiny, space operatic tunes, too. If you haven’t read Jason Heller’s (@jason_m_heller) Strange Stars yet, I highly recommend it for all fans of speculative fiction, especially those who delight in the crossover of their favorite books into film and music and vice versa. Heller’s book heavily influenced my soundtrack to space opera. But, while my love of Bowie, Rush, Led Zeppelin, and Hawkwind is well-documented (check my Xanga) and long-enduring, I was entirely ignorant of Afrofuturism before reading his book. And, honestly, I was a little horrified at how whitewashed my knowledge and taste in sci-fi music was. So, here exists my on-the-record shout out of thanks to Heller for expanding my horizons and giving me a mind-blowing new subgenre to learn about and love. And here I present the second half of my playlist: Subwoofers in Space.
And, of course, what’s an October playlist without one Halloween song? Enjoy and #stayspooky.