My Favorite Things with Gina Anderson

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, the weekly column where we grab someone in speculative circles to gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we sit down with author and occasional Speculative Chic guest contributor Gina Anderson! What does Gina love? Spoiler alert: old gods and new, dragons and the Iron Throne, and convicts on a futuristic Earth. Read on for more!

Thanks to Netflix, I have discovered CW’s The 100. It started with an episode, and then another, and another and another. Before long, I was on season two and consuming batches of episodes even on school (read: work) night. The sci-fi TV drama follows the lives of one hundred teens who were sent down to Earth from a space station called The Ark to see if the planet is habitable 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse wiped out the human race… or so they all thought. The hundred also happen to be a bunch of convicts who must now figure out how to survive and protect themselves from attacks from Grounders, descendants of those who survived said nuclear apocalypse. It’s obvious from their culture that human society has devolved to levels just above the hunter-gatherer stage as modern comforts like cell phones and electricity no longer exist… again, or so they think. Without revealing too much of the plot, the main leaders of the hundred, Clarke and Bellamy, drive the storyline as they make decisions for their flock that lead them to triumph, tragedy, and exploration of a green world they had only known in history class. There’s also a “technology vs.” theme as a thread throughout each season. I started a new drinking game where I have a sip every time a problem could’ve been solved if people had cell phones, or hell, even a raven.

I took a brief break from watching The 100 for the July 4th weekend to partake in my other obsession: Game of Thrones. Thrones continues to seduce me with its world-class acting, fantastic costumes, dragons and epic battles. At this point in the series, we’re down to three main characters who keep me coming back for more: Daenerys Targaryen a.k.a. Khaleesi, Jon Snow, and Tyrion Lannister. Each of them started out on different journeys, and now it appears their paths have merged as one in season 7. Daenerys and her dragons, Jon and his search for belonging (let’s not forget his luxurious curls), and Tyrion has his quotables (“I drink and I know things”). Queen Cersei, a complex woman I love to hate, ratchets up the stakes for those who dare come for the Iron Throne. The way season 6 ended, the world is anxious to know who will challenge her next. Upwards of 23 million tuned in last season. At this point, you’re either a fan or you have no interest in watching the show. I had to pay homage to the hottest fantasy TV series on the planet right now.

Like a good little speculative chic(k), I had to add one of my favorite things from a master of fantasy tales. My introduction to Neil Gaiman was through his novel American Gods, and most recently I got the pleasure of seeing the TV show adaptation of the same name. American Gods is exactly what its titles suggests: it’s a show about gods… in America. The TV show will either turn you off or turn you on to this world of gods at war, gods who were brought to America with Vikings, immigrants and slaves. The war builds between the old (Odin, Anansi, Anubis and more) and the new (“Mr. World,” “Media” and “Technical Boy”) throughout this eight-episode series and follows the journey of Shadow Moon, just released from prison after the death of his wife, and a mysterious stranger, “Mr. Wednesday.” The TV show stays true to the characters in the book, but it veers sharply from its storyline. It’s a welcome departure that makes the visual aspects of the show all the more rich. So rich that the show will go beyond the eight episodes that Starz first offered up. Catch up before the next season by reading the book and watching the series. It’s a masterclass in book-to-TV/film adaptations and shows what can happen when showrunners honor the wishes of the author who brings their massive fan base with them.

Gina Anderson is a media relations specialist by day and a young adult sci-fi/fantasy writer on nights and weekends. After graduating from The George Washington University, she taught English in Nara, Japan for two years where she wrote a short story series, The Adventures of Bianca Sukiyama. She received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2015 and BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University. You can find Gina on Twitter and Facebook.


  • Shara White August 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Game of Thrones is really doubling down on the endgame here. It’s kind of amazing to realize the show is going to finish before the books, which will make finally getting the end of the books even more interesting…. how closely will the major events hue to the show’s interpretation of Martin’s vision? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I don’t dare delay watching this show…. too many spoilers abound!

  • Heidi Ruby Miller September 21, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Jason and I binged on The 100 when Netflix picked it up. We need to catch up on Game of Thrones, though, so I may have only skimmed that section in case of spoilers. 😉 Thanks, Gina, and thanks, Speculative Chic.


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