Science fiction, for me, is a kind of background hum, a staple food. Asked to name my favourite novels I would gleefully list a dozen works of literary fiction, but when I’m simply absorbing words as daily fuel to keep the boiler of my mind ticking over, often it’s to speculative fiction that I turn.
Another habit of mine is reading about reading, so the websites frequently open on my browser include, for instance, the wonderful Ana Mardoll (featuring, among other things, a truly excellent ongoing feminist analysis of the Chronicles of Narnia), Doing In the Wizard (which has hilariously eviscerated Patrick Rothfuss, saving the rest of us the bother of reading him) and Athena Andreadis’ beautifully acerbic Astrogator’s Logs.
It’s through the last that I came to learn of The Other Half of the Sky, a collection of science fiction stories, edited by Andreadis and co-edited by Kay Holt, which centres on “heroes who happen to be women, doing whatever they would do in universes where they’re fully human”. Well. That had to be read, didn’t it? And it was. (Slurp.)
Image shows the cover of The Other Half of the Sky – a woman in the foreground, looking into the distance, with towers twisting into a starry sky behind her.