When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Princess Leia (RIP Carrie Fisher)

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Diane Morrison

leiastampIt grieves me deeply to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher, whose humour, cleverness and bravery have been an inspiration in my life.  Carrie Fisher’s legacy includes bravely sharing some of the most intimate details of her lowest points, from her struggles with drug addiction and bipolar disorder to the objectification that she was subjected to as an actress, to nasty, petty remarks from an entitled media whom, it seems, were angry that she didn’t just stay perfect in her gold bikini forever and had the audacity to get old.  She faced it all with courage and a cynical and sarcastic wit that I, who have had some considerable struggles in my life, find both inspiring and smugly satisfying.  She was an accomplished writer, penning memoirs, script band-aids, and her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, which was later made into a movie starring Meryl…

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Seeking Beta Readers!

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Diane Morrison

Hello there, friendly readers! I’ve been working on a hard science fiction project for National Novel Writing Month and I’m just about finished. Sometime in early 2017 I will be looking for beta readers to give it a peruse and offer opinions.

A beta reader, if you don’t know, reads an unpublished manuscript at some time before it’s submitted for publication to help guide the author in the editing process. The benefit to you is that you get to read a brand-new novel for free before anybody else has a look at it. The drawback is that, being as it will be an unfinished manuscript, it’s not as likely to be as well polished as a published work you’re buying from the store. Also, I’ll be circulating questionnaires after each chapter that I’ll need you to fill out in order to pin down areas where the work needs improvement.

Part…

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Book Review: Web of the Witch World by Andre Norton

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Diane Morrison

Web of the Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #2)Web of the Witch World by Andre Norton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read for the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge.

I think I really like Andre Norton. This is only the second book of hers that I’ve read, the second of the classic Witch World series. I really love what she’s done here but I think you’ve got to have read the pulp fantasy and sci-fi classics – in particular Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s Barsoom series – in order to fully appreciate it. She’s spun a new take on classic pulp fiction. In a way she was the George R. R. Martin of her time; she was flipping the tropes. But she was also establishing new tropes.

In this, the second book of the series, it’s like a continuation of the story of Witch World where it left off. Simon Tregarth, interloper from our own world into the…

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Book Review: Witch World by Andre Norton

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Diane Morrison

Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1)Witch World by Andre Norton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read for the Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge and the Second Best Reading Challenge (for sci-fi/fantasy books that were nominated for awards but did not win).

Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, and Andre Norton – the forgotten triumvirate of women who moulded the science fiction and fantasy we know today. Well, also Ursula LeGuin, but for some reason people remember her. I think perhaps the difference is that LeGuin is considered a “literary writer”; not that this is something she asked for or sought out.

Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, and Andre Norton (who took said pen name because when she was writing sword and sorcery, publishers believed it was necessary to market to adolescent boys because girls didn’t read that sort of thing) are legends in the field, if you ask other science fiction and fantasy…

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Seven Things I’ve Learned from the Science Fiction Masterworks Book Club

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Diane Morrison

A little more than a year ago I decided that I was going to read an imprint called the SF Masterworks in order of publication, and I formed a book club so that others could join me, share my interest, and discuss the books in question.  The imprint was created to circulate classics of the genre that might otherwise be out of print or hard to find.  I have found this to be an extremely worthwhile experience!  I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve gotten out of it so far, maybe to encourage you, if you love the genre, to join us!

Science Fiction is not just about space and aliens.

Okay, so I already knew this one because I love the genre, but it’s amazing how many people don’t know this, and this list really drives the point home.  Science fiction is taking something that…

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