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The Geek Feminist Revolution: Essays Paperback – May 31, 2016
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“An incisive, opinionated, and demanding blend of analysis and personal storytelling that will inspire her readers and peers in the science fiction community to work toward change.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Plenty of inspiration here for promising writers and for young women drawn to a culture where sexism is rife.... Passion and commitment permeate the writing as Hurley illuminates the online cultural vanguard from a feminist's perspective.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“A call to arms for those who care about the future of science fiction and fantasy.”―John Scalzi, author of The Old Man's War
“Hurley writes with passion, power, and raw, unapologetic honesty. Her essays are both blunt and thoughtful, and will give you a great deal to ponder about the speculative fiction genre and the world at large.” ―Jim C. Hines, author of the Goblin Quest series
“Kameron Hurley writes essays about feminism, geek culture, online discourse, and changing the world that piss people off, make them think, make them act. This is good stuff. Read it."―Kate Elliott, author of Black Wolves
“The Geek Feminist Revolution is is an essential book for working and aspiring authors. It's part writing advice, part call to revolution, part manual for how to be a writer and an activist and a loudmouth even when (especially when) you're not a straight, white, cisgender man. This book is the next step in the conversation about how to write the Other. It's also about how to challenge mainstream nonsense when you're 'the Other,' even when you're desperately pretending not to be. Hurley's essays are a beacon, signaling to writers in the trenches that they're not alone, and they're not imagining how hard it is to push against the mainstream, or how the culture shoves back ten times harder.” ―K Tempest Bradford
“Listen, and understand: Kameron is out there. She can't be talked over. She can't be sidelined, ignored, or shut down. And she absolutely will not stop, ever, until things change. ”―Seth Dickinson, author of The Traitor Baru Cormorant
“Kameron Hurley's a brave, unflinching, truly original writer with a unique vision-her fiction burns right through your brain and your heart.” ―Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Southern Reach Trilogy
About the Author
KAMERON HURLEY is an award-winning writer of essays and SF/F fiction. She is the author of the Hugo Award-winning "We Have Always Fought," as well as the Worldbreaker Saga, the Gods' War Trilogy, and numerous short stories.
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This book is about a revolution that is happening in the world of geekdom. Women have always been geeks but over the years our numbers have increased and some of the white boys are getting upset with the disruption of the status quo. "Women have gone from making up 25 to 30 percent of gaming audiences just ten years ago to over 50 percent of video game players, and 40 to 50 percent of creators. Forty percent of science fiction authors are female, as are 60 percent of speculative genres. Thier voices, their presence cannot be denied or explained away with talks of tokenism and exceptionalism. Women are here."
This author is the great-granddaughter of resistance fighters from France and studied resistance movements in South Africa for her Master's degree. She knows how to fight back and isn't afraid to do so. She also believes that she needs to in order to make things easier for those that will come after her. She's been fighting for over ten years now through her blog and in a way her books which broke barriers by featuring strong women characters and characters that are from the LGBT community. She has won the Sydney J. Bounds Award and the Kitschies Award for her first novel, God's War, and the Hugo award twice, once for a blog she wrote that is included in this book and has been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, and the Locus Award among many others. She is well qualified to speak on this subject.
The first section of this book is titled "Level Up" and deals with helping you to try to hone your writing skills. One of the most important lessons is persistence and that anyone can be a writer if you keep at it long enough. Also how the book business is, in fact, a business and a cutthroat one at that and you will have to be tough to survive it so make sure that this is really what you want. She stresses the importance of responsibility of writing. That what you write is important and you have to own it so make sure you are not reckless or get something wrong or perpetuate a damaging stereotype.
The second section is titled "Let's Get Personal" and lets you get to know her. She talks about why she writes what she writes, which is dark fiction and about how she has always been overweight and that that is just how she is built even though she eats healthy and excersises and how that has affected her life. When she lost a job after being very sick and put in the hospital where she found out she was Type I diabetic she needed to stay insured or risk having her diabetes being considered a pre-existing condition. So she paid a lot of money for private insurance while she looked for a job and eventually ended up living on the couch of a friend and using expired insulin and testing the minimum amount of times. Then she lucked out and got a job working at a company that paid for full coverage with no cost paid by her. She also writes about dealing with online criticism and being a rebel and fixing a broken system.
The third section is titled Revolution and it's just that: a call to revolution. It's meant to inspire you to be the hero and go out shake things up and do your part. Yes, she does do one essay on Gamergate and one on Sadpuppy. She also covers bullying and censorship online. And the bullying can take the form of trolls whose only goal is to upset you in any way they can with suicide the ultimate prize. Then there's those who call a SWAT team to your house, stalk you, and threaten your life and there's nothing the police can do or are willing to do about these people. They tell women to just stay off of the internet the way you would tell a woman to avoid getting raped to stay at home. Maybe the laws need to be more strict. Also included in this section is her Hugo award winning blog "We Have Always Fought: Challenging the 'Women, Cattle, and Slaves' Narrative". This blog focuses on how women have fought in wars across time and have largely been ignored.
This book really made me rethink what it is to be a woman and a feminist. It also inspired me to take up the banner and be a part of the revolution. The essays were quite interesting and if you are a blogger or writer you will definitely get something out of this. But even if you are only a geek this book is well worth reading.
It’s easy to pretend you’re “normal”, just like everyone else. But normal is a lie. Normal is a story.
-Kameron Hurley (The Geek Feminist Revolution p 104)
For every good you do, you do harm somewhere else. Maybe sanity is simply accepting this truth, and carrying on regardless, and doing the best you can.
-Kameron Hurley (The Geek Feminist Revolution p 197)
The truth is that who is good and who is bad is highly dependent on who wins, and whose point of view we’re writing from.
-Kameron Hurley (The Geek Feminist Revolution p 203)
Life is a series of unrelated incidents. It is the human mind that seeks to string them together into narratives, into story. It is the human mind that gives events meaning.
-Kameron Hurley (The Geek Feminist Revolution p 274)
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