Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kickstarter Day 16 (13 to go): Rocket Talk, diversity in fantasy, and a legendary climber

Today I'm on's Rocket Talk podcast, talking with host Justin Landon about The Labyrinth of Flame and the Kickstarter and mountain climbing and figure skating and gender in fantasy and all manner of other things.  I've only done a few podcasts to date (others were Lady Business+ and Speculate), and this one was just as fun to record (Justin is a great host!).  Yet invariably the instant I step away from the computer, I think of all the far more intelligent things I SHOULD have said, instead of what actually came out of my mouth. Especially, in this case, about writing women characters in fantasy. Veteran author Kate Elliott has an excellent piece today on just that topic, and I want to point you both to her article and my comment on it, because the comment encapsulates what I really regret not saying on Rocket Talk.

Speaking of diversity and fantasy, here are a few other links from the last week or so that I want to highlight:

1) S.L. Huang: "Nobody's Sidekick: Intersectionality in Protagonists," which discusses how lonely it can be to never see any characters like you as the hero of a story

2) Renay (one of the editors for the Speculative Fiction 2014 anthology): "Adventures in Anthology Curation", which discusses why editors who want diverse voices can't simply sit around and wait for them to submit

3) Matt Waldram: "Broadening my Fantasy Horizons": a list of 20 books that Matt pulled together after asking for recs of great fantasy from women & PoC.  I don't just rec this list because it has Whitefire Crossing on it.  I've read a lot of the other books and every one is both excellent and deserving of larger readership.

Today's pics illustrate why climbers like myself can end up with the unconscious assumption that every woman is Smurfette:
I spent 3 weeks in the Sierra with these guys

Ten guys and me in a canyon
But thankfully, it's not always the case that I'm the only girl.  I hope more of my trips in the future look like this:

My friend Catherine and I enjoying ourselves at Telluride
And for today's book rec, I'm going with another non-fiction title: Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World, the biography of legendary climber Lynn Hill.  She was the first person, male or female, to make a free ascent of The Nose on Yosemite's El Capitan (3,000 feet of vertical granite in under 23 hours, with no aid gear used), and that's just one entry in her enormous list of accomplishments.  She really is a legend in the sport.  She lives here in Boulder; I've seen her from afar at local climbing gyms, but never had the courage to go up and tell her how much I respect and admire her.  (I figure she's just trying to go about her day, and doesn't need yet another climber throwing themselves at her feet.)  But I hope she knows how many people she's inspired.


  1. Great links - S. L. Huang's book had me at "Math Geek." Never seen that on a book cover before. And very cool to see you on that list, with McKillip right there as well.

    1. I definitely recommend Huang's Zero Sum Game! Very fun read. Looking forward to reading the sequel, which came out while I was in the trenches of revision on Labyrinth of Flame.