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This week's links inspired by Gail Carriger's piece on Steampunk and Fierce Females in Fiction (incl. Sorcery and Cecilia - huzzah!). The following are a list of some of my favorite female characters in spec fic. It is totally biased and far from exhaustive. And might be fairly different if I did the same post next month. But check out the links in any case since you may find some excellent reading possibilities.

Jaime  in P.C. Hodgell's God Stalker Chronicles. Complicated, powerful, identifiable. And the world-building is stunning.

Cordelia in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, particularly Cordelia's Honor. I wish there were more books about Cordelia.

Anna in Tenea D. Johnson's Smoketown. An artist, this time, not a warrior. And one doing art in an interesting post-apocalyptic, diverse world.

Trouble in Melissa Scott's Trouble and Her Friends. A cyberpunk lesbian hacker with an actual community!

Alexia Tarabotti in Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. Honestly, because she's such a (mostly) loveable jerk.

Flora Segunda in Ysabeau Wilce's Flora Segunda (though not, alas, in the subsequent books of the series). Really unusual spin on a YA protagonist.

Elinor in Delia Sherman's Through a Brazen Mirror. Intriguing and highly memorable queer retelling of the ballad The Famous Flower of Serving Men.

Nerissa in Pamela Dean's Liavek stories. A character that came along at exactly the right time in my life.

Loup Garron in Jacqueline Carey's Saints Astray series. A boxer, a lover and, possibly, a werewolf.

Diana Comet in Sandra McDonald's Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories. A utterly splendid transwoman in a fantastical, if not always magical world.

Who are some of your favorites?

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This week, I thought I'd focus on some of the publishers whose authors have done guest appearances on my blog. Many of them are small, women-run imprints or houses which are focused on publishing and promoting a diverse range of voices in sf/f/h and/or romance. Check 'em  out - you need some more good reading material, am I right?

The Future Fire is primarily a fiction/review site, but also they also publish books. Most recently, the anthology We See a Different Frontier A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology is garnering a lot of good attention.

Hic Dragones is a small weird/dark fiction press based in the UK. The female werewolf anthology Wolf Girls is one of their titles.

Musa Publishing is a general interest publisher, with imprints for SF/F, romance, mystery, GLBT YA, and a range of other titles. They publish author Rachael Ack's steampunk series, which features a bisexual Latina protagonist, along with numerous other intriguing titles.

Wayzgoose Press is another general interest press, with nonfiction and education titles as well as books by authors Jill Braden and Shanna Germain.

Masque Books is an imprint of speculative fiction publisher Prime Books. Their catalog includes titles by Sunny Moraine, Jacqueline Koyanagi and E. Catherine Tobler.

Candlemark & Gleam is another speculative fiction publisher that's putting out some excellent and intriguing titles, such as works by Susan Jane Bigelow, Natania Barron and Anne E. Johnson.

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I'm still finding the title nicely ironic seeing as I have never felt the need to make a real MN-style hot dish (casserole, for those of you living elsewhere). In any case, here are something of potential interest:

I was having a short conversation about the general awesomeness of Bath, U.K., with a friend on Facebook and wanted to recommend this marvelous bindery/used and rare bookstore while I was at it.
George Bayntun Fine Bindings and Rare Books is wonderful and I want to shop there forever.

12th Planet Press is still fundraising for Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Fantasy, which looks like it will be a really terrific anthology.

Kevin McVeigh has started a new column for SF Gateway called "From the Attic" on the topic of SF/F by female authors who've gone out of print or been generally overlooked or underappreciated.

For Twin Cities locals, photographer Wing Young Huie has opened a new studio called The Third Place on Chicago Ave. and 38th Street South and is doing all kinds of cool projects there. It's next door to the also fabulous Fox and Egg Gallery and Covet Consignment (consignment, art framing and art shows once a month) and two doors down from Blue Ox Coffee. Across the street is the Chicago Ave. Fire Arts Center and Smoke in the Pit Barbeque. CityFoodStudio, a test kitchen and market for new food trucks, is gradually opening up and the truly amazing StevenBe's yarn emporium and center of all things knitting is 2 blocks away. When we moved to the area, this intersection was a shooting gallery with a bunch of boarded up buildings. Let's keep the momentum going and support these terrific new places as well as the ones which have been hanging in there for awhile.

Sleeps With Monsters on has a good post on "Reading, Writing, Radicalisation," also known as actually reading more than the one or two women writers of science fiction and fantasy that most fans and reviewers seem to be able to handle, a topic near and dear to my heart.

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If you're near Duke University next weekend, check out the Race in Space Conference featuring astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison and some really interesting-looking panels.

If you're here in the Twin Cities, check out
Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals - it's getting great reviews! I'm going next weekend and really looking forward to it.

Female-identified writer of SF/F/H? fill out Broad Universe's
survey  on women writers in the genre.

Twelfth Planet Press is fundraising for a new anthology of YA about protagonists from diverse backgrounds. Support it here.

Ready for a comic about an Inuit demigoddess who commands the powers of Northern Lights? New from D.C. or Marvel? Hardly. Two intrepid archiving interns/comics fans are reviving and reprinting  Nelvana of the Northern Lights, a  Canadian comic book superheroine from the 1940s whose origin predates Wonder Woman by several months. I can't wait!


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