Love this! Thanks to Lynne M Thomas for the heads up.
Happy International Women’s Day!
So, one of those things you might not know about me, internet, is that back in the day when I spent part of my first ever professional book sale cheque on a Playstation 1 (that’s how long I’ve been in the writing biz!) the games I played most obsessively were: Spyro the Dragon, anything with ‘Discworld’ in the title, and Tomb Raider. We are so overdue for a new Discworld game it’s not funny, and the adorableness of Spyro has been utterly destroyed by the cynical and macho ‘Skylanders’ reboot. But Lara Croft as Tomb Raider is about to make her comeback…
And this time, she’s written by a woman. Rhianna Pratchett, heir to the Discworld IP and one of the most prominent female writers in the game industry, has been doing a bunch of media about her role as head writer on this new Tomb Raider prequel. It’s rare to hear a writer included so openly in the PR about a new game, especially when that writer is a woman, and Rhianna has some really interesting things to say about the creative choices made for this game, especially in a piece she wrote herself for the Telegraph (though she was quick to point out on Facebook that the awful title of the piece was NOT chosen by her). Don’t read the comments of this one, they will ruin your day.Meanwhile, Gail Simone has been signed up to write for Red Sonja which immediately makes me interested in the character in a way I never have been before. A female warrior mostly portrayed as a male fantasy, now in the hands of a smart writer who does smart characterisation? BRING IT. Oh, and as an added bonus, while the regular artist is male, the covers will be handled by all female artists including HELL YEAH FIONA STAPLES, our own Aussie Nicola Scott, Jenny Frisson, Stephania Buscema and Colleen Doran.
Back to the book industry! The big dramatic discussion of the week was the terrible boilerplate contract offered by Random House Hydra, one of several new digital imprints of the Big Publisher. Scalzi and the SFWA Writer Beware blog had much to say about this contract, and its most problematic aspects – if a publisher is not paying advances AND charging the author for set up costs, then exactly what investment are they bringing to the table? A recent update on Writer Beware includes the response of Random House.
The response to my Tor.com post on “Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy” has been pretty overwhelming. Not only have there been many, many readers over there (the comments thread is still going strong, though it has turned overnight into a discussion about gender in children’s fiction which… is not a bad thing to be talking about?) but over 2500 people have tuned in to this blog to check the post out here, since Thursday. That’s… a lot, by my standards.
So if you’re here for the first time, hi, I’m Tansy! I write books, and talk a lot.
Here are some other Gender & Pop Culture posts from this year that I’m quite proud of:
Sexing Up the Classics
Mothers & Daughters, Battle-Embroidery & Bears
Babies & Bicycles: Watching Call the Midwife
Hack, Slash, Squish: Gender and Sex In Season One of Game of Thrones
What Geek Girls Wear (is none of your business)
When sparkly pink and black retro Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman t-shirts first turned up in the girls section of Target a couple of years ago, I bought them for my daughter Raeli because I thought they were awesome. Luckily, she agreed with me, and they came at the beginning of a long and fun (and occasionally frustrating) journey of discovering comic book heroes together.
For the next year, though, the only superhero t-shirts I found were “for boys” and though I grabbed a couple I thought she would like, she immediately recognised the dark blue and black code as not being “for her” and rejected them. (she has since got over this and I suspect still regrets the loss of the awesome plain black Batsymbol t-shirt that her younger sister wore as a dress for 3 years because it was enormous on her)