Gender and Genre

Free Today on Amazon

While browsing the Science Fiction category in Kindle books I noticed two free-for-now novels by science fiction and fantasy writer, Andre Norton. For those who aren’t familiar with this author, here’s the Wikipedia blurb on Amazon:

Andre Alice Norton, née Alice Mary Norton (February 17, 1912 – March 17, 2005) was an American science fiction and fantasy author (with some works of historical fiction and contemporary fiction) under the noms de plume Andre Norton, Andrew North and Allen Weston. Norton published her first novel in 1934, and was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society in 1977, and won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) association in 1983.

That’s right, Andre Norton was a woman. Back in the day, she and other female science fiction writers, such as James Tiptree, Jr., used male or gender neutral pseudonyms in order to be published in the genre.

This got me thinking about my previous post, The Big Bang Theory of Comic Books. A lot has been written about women and geekdom, and all things being equal. Or not. Recently, the Fake Geek Girl meme exploded all over the Internet, due in no small part to the article, Booth Babes Need Not Apply.

The tired, sad trope is this: attractive woman + sexy cosplay costume = fake geek.

There’s been plenty (plenty) of follow-up and debate, even making it to the Forbes website, with two converse articles written by a man (‘Fake Geek Girls’: How Geek Gatekeeping Is Bad For Business) and a woman (Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away.)

Which brings us back to Andre Norton. Not a fake geek girl at all, yet she had to hide her gender to be taken seriously. Back in the day, right? Yet, what about J.K. Rowling who also hid her gender behind a pseudonym in order to be published?

What is it about gender and genre? And while it’s easy to point an accusing finger at sexism in science fiction, how many male romance writers do you know of? They most certainly do exist and, according to this Publisher’s Weekly article, also tend to use pseudonyms.

My answer to all this is to try not to allow stereotypes to color my judgment. People should be able to cosplay a character they enjoy/admire without the fear of being grilled over every tiny detail of that character’s existence and being called fake. When it comes to literature, what really matters is content: well-written, good stories, such as those authored by Ms. Andre Norton.

Time Traders  Time Traders by Andre Norton
Intelligence agents have uncovered something which seems beyond belief, but the evidence is incontrovertible: the USA’s greatest adversary on the world stage is sending its agents back through time! And someone or something unknown to our history is presenting them with technologies—and weapons—far beyond our most advanced science. We have only one option: create time-transfer technology ourselves, find the opposition’s ancient source . . . and take it down. When small-time criminal Ross Murdock and Apache rancher Travis Fox stumble separately onto America’s secret time travel project, Operation Retrograde, they are faced with a challenge greater than either could have imagined possible. Their mere presence means that they know too much to go free. But Murdock and Fox have a thirst for adventure, and Operation Retrograde offers that in spades.

Star Soldiers  Star Soldiers by Andre Norton
Only as interstellar mercenaries can humans go to the stars; the aliens who already dominate the galaxy allow no other recourse. But when Swordsman Third Class Kana Karr and his comrades-in-arms are betrayed and abandoned on a hostile world by their alien masters, the warriors from Earth begin a desperate but glorious march across a planet whose every sword is against them. Their actions may doom humanity’s future . . . or lead the way to an empire of their own! Four thousand years later, galactic civilization is collapsing, and the underfunded crew of an exploration starship is forced to set down on an uncharted planet: a mysterious, abandoned world that is achingly beautiful-and hauntingly familiar. Ranger Sergeant Kartr, telepath and stellar Patrolman, searches with his crewmates for the source of a beacon which may mean escape for them all. What he finds is far stranger: the first clue to what may become the greatest revelation in galactic history!

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Harper Voyager Submission Update

In September 2012, I wrote about the big news that Harper Voyager, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of HarperCollins, would be accepting unsolicited manuscripts from October 1 through October 14. Novels that made the grade would be published in digital format.

At the time, the guidelines stated that writers who hadn’t received a response by January 15, 2013, would not be hearing from them as their manuscripts had been rejected.

This policy has been updated and changed! From the Harper Voyager website:

We had originally set a January 15, 2013 deadline for responses to potential projects. We’re reading as quickly as we can–and in fact have our eyes on a few submissions already–but we will not make the 1/15/13 response date . And we do not want to keep you hanging if we have read it and it is not right for us.

So, we are changing our policy and will indeed be responding to each and every submission. The first wave of responses will go out in January.

If you do not hear anything via email, your submission is still being considered, and is still in consideration until you receive a response. We will also do an update in mid January to let you know how far along we are in the process.

You can read the entire post here: Digital submission update.

So, if you submitted your manuscript back in October, don’t give up hope! Keeping my fingers crossed…

Harper Voyager Now Open for Submissions

Harper Voyager, the scifi/fantasy imprint of HarperCollins, is accepting unsolicited manuscripts from October 1 to October 14, 2012.

This publisher does not ordinarily accept unsolicited submissions, so this is a big opportunity for speculative fiction writers with a completed manuscript. Please note that they are not accepting uncompleted manuscripts. Your novel must polished and ready to submit by October 14, 2012. Books that are accepted will be published digitally, not in print format.

You can find the guidelines here. Read them carefully.

You can submit your manuscript here.

FYI, along with your manuscript, you also must submit a brief synopsis, no more than 1,500 characters, including spaces, the best scene or first 1,000 words of your novel, and your query letter.

Good luck!

Baen Free Library

Free Science Fiction and Fantasy eBooks

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Baen Books has held a place in my heart as the publishers of one of my favorite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold. I fell in love with her Vorkosigan Saga after reading Shards of Honor. Though there are a number of books in the saga with different protagonists, anyone familiar with the saga knows that it’s all about Miles Vorkosigan. When I read the Warrior’s Apprentice, I was delighted to discover a wonderful series character, a dwarf protagonist determined to prove himself a true warrior. Fans of Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister will probably also enjoy reading the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan.

Baen, along with publishing great science fiction and fantasy, has a library of free eBooks by its published authors. These books are formatted for a number of different eReaders.

This is a great place to find quality scifi and fantasy, so check it out. The Warrior’s Apprentice is offered as a free download. However, I recommend first buying and reading Cordelia’s Honor, which tells the exciting and romantic story of Miles’ parents.

Baen Free Library Books can be found here.

Kindle Freebies – June 25, 2012

Today I Loaded My Kindle With…

A book I’ve had my eye on for awhile. I’d just made my mind up to buy “You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)” and it showed up in the freebies on Sunday. Woot! I’ve already read half of it. Great motivational stuff. The link is below.

I must be in a eclectic mood today. I picked up a sort-of travel book about the expat life in France and a sort-of cookbook about how to buy and brew kopi luwak coffee. What is kopi luwak coffee? It’s the most expensive coffee in the world and it comes out the nether end of a weasel. Not kidding. People pay top dollar (or euro, yen, whatever currency) for this stuff. I once happened to go to a cafe that offered this coffee for $25 a cup. Err, no. But it is fascinating and I would love to read more about it.

Fiction is mostly fantasy with the exception of a short story by a well-known scifi author, Peter F. Hamilton. I’ve listed two books titled “Bound.” Both are YA fantasy, so don’t be thinking “Fifty Shades of Grey!”

Fiction

If at First . . . by Peter F. Hamilton
It starts in 2007 with a break-in. The victim: Marcus Orthew, the financial and technological genius behind Orthanics, the computer company whose radical products have delivered a one-two punch to the industry, all but knocking PCs and Macs out of the ring. The perpetrator: a man obsessed with Orthew. Just another simple case of celebrity stalking—or so everyone assumes at first, including Metropolitan Police Chief Detective David Lanson. But when Lanson interviews the suspect, he makes a startling claim: Orthew is from the future. Or, rather, a future—a parallel timeline. Thus begins the ride of a lifetime for Lanson, as his pursuit of the facts tumbles him headlong down a rabbit hole—and the hunter finds himself hunted.

The Written (Emaneska Series) by Ben Galley
Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await.

Bound (#1 in The Crystor Series) by C.K. Bryant
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

Bound, An Arelia LaRue Novel by Kira Saito
Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college. When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees. However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.

The Soulkeepers by G. P. Ching
When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. A beautiful and mysterious neighbor offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. But in exchange she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a protector of human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions her motives for helping him.

Nonfiction

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
Author Jeff Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional. He gives you practical tips for freelancing, how to get published in magazines, and what it takes to build a platform that brings the gatekeepers to you. This journey of becoming a writer begins with a simple but important belief: You are a writer; you just need to write. Readers will learn the importance of passion and discipline and how to show up every day to do the work.

Best of Blog in France by Stephanie Dagg
Five years ago we left our large, brand new house in Co. Cork, which we’d built ourselves, for a two-hundred-year-old hovel in Creuse, France (actually, two, plus a crumbling barn, and not forgetting 75 acres of land and lakes). Why, oh why? Why did we aspire to go down in the world, to leave the country where we could communicate successfully and actually use our painstakingly acquired professional qualifications to make a living? Why did we abandon all that and go abroad where, at least at first, we would be scratching a living so far below the poverty line as to be complete out of sight of it? Insanity? Bloody-mindedness? Misguided romanticism? The spirit of adventure? None of the above. Quite simply – necessity. It was the only thing to do.

Don’t Buy Kopi Luwak Coffee Before You Read This Book by Rudi S. and Kang Manul
This book consists of around 9500 words and 48 pictures; to review everything about kopi luwak or civet coffee, starting from the very basic. We give detail explanations starting from types of luwak or civets, various types of coffee beans as well as how to harvest, how to process, how to cook (roast) and how to serve kopi luwak. We also cover the standard price of kopi luwak, certificates and inspections to ensure its safety, and tips regarding how to get the real kopi luwak.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current list for people who didn’t see them the first time.