Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where our writers share all of their favorite nerdy obsessions. You can tell we love a good book here at Speculative Chic, as three of our picks this week are related to awesome sci-fi/fantasy books. This includes a ghostly (and addictive!) ebook series, everyone’s favorite urban fantasy pet, and a kick ass trailer for a television adaptation. Rounding out our weekly selections is a new piece of Star Trek Merchandise that honors an important woman — not just in sci-fi — but in television history in general.
Sherry’s Favorite Thing is…. the Uhura Barbie!
In honor of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary, Mattel has come out with an Uhura Barbie. Now, I’ve never enjoyed playing with Barbies, and it didn’t take me long to see that there was a general body image issue with her. I did, however, want her camper and her car, so, not all bad. But I love the Uhura Barbie. Nichelle Nichols being on television in the 60s, in a role that, to quote Whoopie Goldberg, “wasn’t a maid,” but with an important job on the Starship Enterprise, inspired many a young girl, and not just those with darker skin. Ms. Nichols’s Uhura was also a part of the first interracial kiss on television. Groundbreaking. This is a great start to recognizing the importance of Uhura, and the incredible woman who portrayed her: Nichelle Nichols.
Lane’s Favorite Thing is… Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper!
Last month, someone recommended JL Bryan’s Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper. I found it entertaining enough. Nothing super special, yet, somehow, by the end of the week, I’d plowed through books 2-6, growing more enthusiastic as I went. When the seventh book came out, I leaped on it like a starving lion on a slow, fat gazelle. These books are bingeable in the best way. They start off slow but steady, nicely grounded in Savannah, GA, with relatable characters. Bubbly Stacey and wary, ghost-traumatized Ellie are cleaning out the most haunted city in America one residence at a time. Girl ghostbusters in e-ink! Then Bryan starts twisting the plots. Gives Ellie a nemesis in the pyrokinetic ghost Anton Clay who murdered her family. Gives her a ghost-intrigued but vulnerable boyfriend. Gives her a real friendship with Stacey. And then gives her new bosses who may or may not be utterly evil…. It’s crack, I tell you. Starts off simple and familiar, then races off into the ghost-haunted darkness and takes you with it. I am impatiently waiting for book 8. They’re the perfect lunchtime read — creepy, yet fun.
Keyes’s Favorite Thing is… Seanan McGuire’s Rose Goblins!
I’ve always been reasonably good with plants, and I have a particular fondness for roses. For many years, I kept a miniature rose bush alive (in a pot) as we dragged the poor thing between three states and both American coasts before it finally succumbed (probably from exhaustion). I am also reasonably good with cats (my inability to keep my geriatric half-Maine Coon, who is usually not at all destructive, from digging a hole in the rug of my last rented apartment notwithstanding). I have been re-reading the last few of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books in preparation for the release of the newest, Once Broken Faith, in early September, and I am as ever painfully reminded that I am being criminally deprived of the one thing that would allow me to combine my love of roses and my love of cats. That is to say, it is immensely unfair that I do not have a rose goblin. Rose goblins are one of McGuire’s most enchanting creations (…pun semi-intended), and are best described as either cat-shaped rose-bushes or rose-bush themed cats (take your pick). They also chirp, which fills me with the need to shriek like a overjoyed toddler and clap my hands in delight (as I do whenever my cats make a particularly adorable noise. There is much applauding of cats in my house). Toby has one as a pet/houseplant, Spike, which features heavily in last year’s A Red Rose Chain, and is a pure delight.
Whitney’s Favorite Thing is… the Trailer for The Expanse: Season Two!
Did you watch the first season of The Expanse? Well if you didn’t, you have a few months to take care of the terrible injustice you’ve inflicted on yourself, because a trailer for season two debuted at Comic-Con, and it is most definitely my current favorite thing. Why should you stand beside me in uncontainable excitement about season 2? Well, because for starters, Season One did a tremendous job adapting some already stellar science fiction and making it even better. The show is crammed full of diversity, fantastic female characters, and it treats space as a character, not an incidental. Season Two will not only delve into the second (and best) book of the source material, but it introduces one of my favorite female characters in all of science fiction (the other one being already woven in to season 1). What makes this Season Two trailer my favorite thing? How do you feel about six-foot-tall lady Martian marines? How do you feel about this amazing character being played by a Frankie Adams, a six-foot-tall Samoan boxer from Australia? How do you feel about seeing her in this trailer wearing power armor? Yeah. That’s why this is my favorite thing.
Any thoughts on the selections above? Are you as excited as we are to see Bobbie Draper in action on The Expanse next year? Let us know in the comments!