Dude authors I like.

It’s amazing, the responses you get, when you say that you read mostly women SF/F authors. It’s almost like the SF/F community bends over backwards to mansplain that reading mostly male authors is a signpost of simply reading quality fiction, but if you’re reading mostly female authors, you are TEH ONE TRUE SEXIST!!!1!1111!!

I have switched paradigms — dude authors must do something spectacular to get my attention. I have readjusted my mental antennae to receive female-authored broadcasts. Changed the default, if you will: in which it’s not “authors” and “lady authors,” but “authors” and “dude authors.” If the latter but not the former makes you uncomfortable, I’d posit that this is a good starting place for examining prejudice.

So here are some dude authors I’ve discovered recently whose works are sufficiently impressive to tune in:

Richard Parks — for “The Manor of Lost Time” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #150. It uses a well-trod plot — the escape from magical captivity — to showcase so much else. The story has vivid characters and a dark fairy tale quality. And the voice! The narration! It’s somehow 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person all at once. This one is kind of impossible to describe and had me searching for synonyms for “awesome” in the thesaurus.

Benjamin Parzybok — for “The Colts” in Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Why this story is full of win: it balances grief and hilarity and just perfectly encapsulates the joy and sadness of remembering the things that you’ve lost. Also proves that there’s more to mine in zombie fiction.

Ken Liu — for “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring,” also in Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Meta-fiction told in the voice of 17th century Chinese sex workers. The point-of-view in this story is so insightful, as the female characters — one clueless, one sadly not — negotiate survival for themselves and others in a war-torn foreground.

I hear that all three of these dude authors have novels coming out soon — Yamada Monogatari, To Break the Demon Gate, Japanese mythic fiction; Sherwood Nation, a post-apocalyptic Robin Hood retelling; and The Grace of Kings, a massive tome of epic fantasy. I’m kinda looking forward to them. Don’t tell anyone.

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4 Responses to Dude authors I like.

  1. Sherwood Nation? Huh. I’m reading a “modern-day (if the world had ended) Robin Hood right now”. Umm by Paul Kane I think it was. Now I can’t remember the damn title. Arrowhead might have been the first book (there are three books. Aren’t there always three books?) Anyway, point is, I didn’t realize there was room in the world for so many modern retellings of that story. And I am surprised to find myself kind of into it. At least the end of the world variation.
    I like this post. As usual.

    • cecilykane says:

      Thank you. 😀

      I read another Robin Hood retelling this year that was very good — Mari Ness’ In the Greenwood. I think it’s a novelette. Anyway, it’s not modern, but it is a feminist retelling from the perspective of Maid Marian.

  2. Ben Parzybok says:

    Thanks for the post Cecily (and also thanks for the LGBT lit recs). To be completely honest, Sherwood Nation is not exactly a re-telling of Maid Marian/Robinhood (I’ll check out the one by Paul Kane @nikki). It’s more the story of a secession in an alternate present, with the leader of the movement/country being dubbed Maid Marian by the media (imagine if the Sherwood Forest people stepped up and tackled the running of a government. She does that). I like to deem it post-collapse, rather than post-apoc (no bombs/zombies/aliens/plagues/robot wars/etc — just good, old-fashioned empire failure).

    • cecilykane says:

      Sounds smart, and even if not a direct representation of Maid Marian, the world can certainly use fierce-ass female protagonists like that.

      And thanks for showing up in my TBR pile, Ben! (And giving it BOY COOTIES! /tongue-in-cheek)

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