Author Archives : Sharon Patry

Too Close for Comfort: Margaret Atwood and The Handmaid’s Tale

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This Month on Changing the Map Last year’s announcement that Hulu was remaking Margaret Atwood’s chilling tale of religious fundamentalism and female oppression couldn’t have been more timely. Her imagining of a takeover of the government and its impact on one powerless woman affected readers deeply when it was first published in 1986. Worryingly, elements of Atwood’s fantastical story are…

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Gender, Xenophobia, and Prescient Politics in The Left Hand of Darkness

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This Month On Changing the Map It’s not often that you pick up a nearly fifty-year-old novel only to find that it mirrors your current political climate with uncanny precision. It’s a bit like hearing a sermon at the precise moment you need it. You’re grateful for the enlightenment, but vaguely unsettled that the good lord or the universe knew…

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Changing The Map: Mid-Century Feminist Science Fiction Pioneers

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This month on Changing the Map So if the turn of the twentieth century produced the First Wave of speculative feminist fiction (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Rokeya Hossain), and the late 1960’s ushered in the great Second Wave (Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia E. Butler, Margaret Atwood), what was happening in the middle of the century? Who were the speculative feminist writers…

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Changing The Map: Feminist Utopias and Why They Matter

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In This Month’s Changing the Map Gentle readers, why are there so many more dystopias than utopias in fantastic fiction? We’ve seen a staggering resurgence of dystopic movies, books, and television shows, all portraying terrifying and depressing futures. Zombies, ecological disasters, oppressive political regimes, alien overlords… and that’s the short list. So what’s up? Do our inner cynics find it easier to…

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A Very Chilly War: A Review of K.J. Parker’s Savages

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Savages (2015) Written by: K.J. Parker Genre: Fantasy Pages: 392 (Kindle) Publisher: Subterranean Press   Why I Chose It: I’d never read any of Parker’s books, and I was intrigued by the news that after 17 years of writing as K.J. Parker (presumably a woman using a pseudonym to avoid being discriminated against in the field), it was revealed last…

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Steampunk: A Review of Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass

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The Aeronaut’s Windlass (2015) Written by: Jim Butcher Genre: Steampunk Pages: 768 (Kindle) Series: Book One of The Cinder Spires Publisher: Roc Why I Chose It: As part of a Speculative Chic dare to review this year’s Hugo Nominees. And because my editor told me there were talking cats in this book. TALKING CATS! Premise: Since time immemorial, the Spires…

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