Welcome back to My Favorite Things! Every week, our columnists rave about the best of the best in the world of speculative fiction. This weeks column is all about one of our favorite topics here at Speculative Chic, awesome ladies! This includes powerful leaders in a classic sci-fi series, ass-kicking party girls saving the world, authors proven to be be worth your time again and again, and your #1 stress relieving tool-bobblehead princess Leia. Intrigued/confused? Then read on!
Sherry’s Favorite Thing is…. V: The Original Miniseries!
My favourite thing has been V, the original TV miniseries. It first aired on NBC in 1983, and ever since I bought the DVD, I watch it at least once a year. There is so much to love about the original series, but a few things repeatedly stand out. The theme of It can happen here that some radical comes in and uses fear to convince the rest of us to follow them, to become insular and fear all others, is timeless. In fact, it seems to be more relevant as time goes on. Another of its appeals is that as much as violence is needed to fight the temporary battles, the war is won using knowledge and science. Again, a timeless, and maybe even more important idea, now more than ever. But probably what stands out most to me, is that I first watched this show as a small girl of… and while I already knew that women could be powerful and equal thanks to Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, the leads, and the leaders of both the Visitors and the Resistance, are both women. Their gender is never questioned when it comes to their leadership.
Erika’s Favorite Thing is… Rat Queens!
It’s hard for me to find new comic books that I want to read. When I saw the first volume of Rat Queens in my co-workers inbox, something about the cover made me take a second look and place myself on hold. It wasn’t the large dragon that caught my attention, or the sword, or the magic emanating from — Oh. There we go. That’s it: the magic and the sword are held out by women — four beautifully competent and fierce-looking women. With different body shapes and skin colors. These women looked fucking normal…as much as someone with pointy elf ears can be considered normal, but I think the point is I was thrilled to find another adventurous comic book that not only explores the unique situations these women find themselves in, but their fierce friendships and loyalty to one another along the way. They like to drink, have sex, defend the defenseless, and—as long as you don’t eat the green ones—don’t mind sharing their candy. These women-for-hire defend their home turf against all manner of evil creatures and sentient manipulators who would spare no expense or humanity in their lust for vengeance or power. Rat Queens delivers fast-paced, bawdy sword and sorcery. Unapologetically violent and to-the-point, there is little lost between the panels of a comic book that promises a rowdy, colorful ride.
Lane’s Favorite Thing is…. The Bone Key by Sarah Monette!
This month I’m reminded how very much I love period piece weirdly gothicky tales, courtesy of rereading Sarah Monette’s The Bone Key. It’s a collection of stories about an archivist in a rather terrifying museum who keeps running into occult problems. Rereading The Bone Key made me dip into other older rereads. In 2006 and 2007, Wordsworth Editions put out a whole bunch of reprinted supernaturally-tinged fiction from the famous likes of M.R. James and Sheridan LeFanu, but also from a huge array of authors I’d never even heard of. Many, many of them women. RH Riddell. Gertrude Atherton. Louisa Baldwin. DK Broster. HD Everett. Amelia B. Edwards. Marjorie Bowen. Edith Nesbit, who I’d heard of, but only as a children’s author. I can’t tell you how much I love these things, despite many of the stories having aged poorly. But there’s something amazing to me that women have been writing horror and weird tales for so long. And so prolifically. It’s inspiring.
Keyes’s Favorite Thing is… Desk Toys!
I am a tremendous advocate of the desk toy, if your workplace happens to allow for them. Few work environments are not immediately improved by the festive addition of an appropriately posed action figure. Plus their stress relief value should not be understated. I am a lawyer (hah hah yes, lawyer joke, I have heard that one, kthnx). Sometimes the only thing that’s keeping me from telling people exactly what I think (rarely a sterling idea in my line of work) is reaching out and flicking the heads on one of my Funko Pop bobbleheads. Yessss, Leia, I agree completely: opposing counsel IS a scruffy-looking nerfherder and should be immediately fed to the Sarlacc.
Do you count any of the selections above as one of your favorite things? What are you falling in love with this week? Let us know in the comments.