Up for Review: Bones & All

I don’t read a lot of YA, but my interest tends to be piqued when I get offered things like a book about a young cannibal who wants to eat the people she cares about.

Bones and AllBones & All by Camille DeAngelis

Camille DeAngelis will take you on a haunting journey of self-discovery in her debut novel, Bones & All.

Maren Yearly doesn’t just break hearts, she devours them.

Since she was a baby, Maren has had serious trouble accepting affection. Any time someone gets too close to her, she’s overcome by the desire to eat them.  Abandoned by her mother the day after her sixteenth birthday, Maren goes looking for the father she has never known, but finds much more than she bargained for along the way.

Faced with a world of fellow eaters, potential enemies, and the prospect of love, Maren realizes she isn’t only looking for her father, she is looking for herself. The real question is, will she like who she finds?

 

Bones & All will be published on 10 March 2015 by St. Martin’s Press.

Links
Camille DeAngelis: Website l Twitter (@cometparty) l Facebook
Bones & All on Goodreads
Read an excerpt
St. Martin’s Press

Sister Sister by Rachel Zadok

Sister SisterTitle: Sister Sister
Author: Rachel Zadok
Published: 20 April 2013
Publisher: Kwela Books
Source: own copy
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 8/10

Thuli and Sindi are twins who were once so close they climbed into each other’s dreams. They have a subtly magical connection that no one else sees. But now they wander, homeless and lost, following the highways of Joburg. Several years before, something came between them when an uncle they didn’t know existed came to visit with news of their dying grandmother. He set in motion a series of revelations and events that mangle the twins’ close relationship. The narrative alternates between the two timelines: Thuli narrates the surreal present-day story, while Sindi takes us back to the preceding years when everything went so disturbingly wrong.

Sister Sister takes place in an unspecified near-future South Africa, after “the petrol car amnesty, when everyone was meant to change to electric” (17). Thuli and Sindi were born the day before the change, which the newspapers called “The Dawn of Fresh New Era” (17). The girls’ mother kept the newspaper clipping, and for a while the twins thought that they were the “new dawn” the article referred to.

The truth is harsher than the simple shattering of childhood beliefs. Thuli and Sindi might have been born into a changing world, but that world was always out of their reach. They grew up in a township and their mother would never have been able to afford a car. When they take public transport it’s in illegal “b-diesel junks” where they are packed in tightly with other passengers. The man who rents their tiny house out to them also converts the old cooking oil from a fried-chicken franchise into fuel.

It’s interesting to note that this often makes the novel feel as if it were in the postapocalyptic or dystopian genre, even thought it isn’t. The poverty of life in a township is in itself a kind of real-world dystopia. Then, when they’re homeless, the twins exist outside of any normal society as we understand it, and encounter sinister underground communities.

In addition, their surroundings are always filled with the imagery of broken, dead or discarded things. We first see Sindi, she’s been sleeping “in a wreck at the side of the road […] on the only seat that hasn’t been ripped out to find a new life as somebody’s couch” (13). Later, she hungrily devours dog food pellets that “crunch like chicken bones in her teeth” (23). Not only does the idea of eating dry dog food come as a sad shock, but the fact that Thuli’s reference for crunchiness is “chicken bones” is telling. Similarly, I find it unnerving when she says “I can almost taste the sweetness of her sweat on my tongue, a faint whiff like roadkilled dogs baking in the sun” (41). It says a lot about the twins’ lives.

Everywhere they go they find rubbish, wrecked cars, dilapidated buildings; signs of poverty and neglect. Lost souls wander seemingly endless roads, and the threat of danger is always present. The story of a classmate who was raped and killed hovers over them. Even at home the twins risk getting beaten by their violent mother. When visit the village of their birth to see their dying grandmother they find it deserted, ravaged by AIDS, and vultures feed on dead livestock. Grim as this all is, Rachel Zadok’s incredible writing gives the story an eerie, monstrous kind of beauty, which is often evoked by the folklore woven into the tale. It alternates between feeling fantastical and disturbingly real.

The thing is though, this isn’t actually set in a fantastical or science fictional world. The only major differences are the ban on electric cars, and the unbearably hot weather (presumably due to climate change). Mention is made of abandoned houses, although the novel doesn’t really get into the reasons for this. Otherwise, it’s a lot like South Africa today, in terms of both poverty and affluence. The twins watch people driving to work. They gaze through steel bars at the safe gated communities where they will never live. There are “crazies” wandering the highways on foot, but a friend who read the book with me says she instantly recognised them as a standard feature of Joburg’s freeways.

The plot fits perfectly with this setting. Rather than being able to grow and blossom, the young twins are caught up in a dire story over which they have little control. Often when they’re able to make decisions, they’re bad or hopeless decisions. When homeless, the focus is on basic survival. In the earlier narrtive, they become the victims of family drama and poisonous traditional or religious beliefs. In an interview with the Mail and Guardian, Zadok said that her “fascination with belief systems and how they affect cultures and the individual” was what most likely inspired Sister Sister, and indeed issues of belief come up again and again.

The twins’ mother left her village partly because of the stigma associated with twins, who are believed to be bad luck. When they return, the village’s desolation (caused by HIV/AIDS) is blamed on the twins. Not that they bear the burden equally – because Sindi has a stutter and seldom speaks to anyone except Thuli, she is often frowned upon while her friendly sister is favoured. This in turn ends up affecting Sindi’s beliefs about herself and her sister in ways that divide them and drive the plot forward. Belief in this context is never abstract: it is manifested in vivid, prophetic dreams, in the ways the sisters connect with each other and perceive their world, and in the actions the characters choose to take.

I’m not going to say much more about the plot because it might be better to just watch it unfold. That said, it can be a difficult novel to get into. Thuli’s sections of narrative are narrated in a very surreal style, in which dream and memory aren’t always easily distinguished from reality. The world itself might also take some getting used to. Because I’m the kind of pendantic reader who stalls or flips back and forth between the pages if I don’t know exactly what’s going on, it took me about a week to get through Part One, which is only 55 pages long. But if you find it similarly difficult, just hang in there. Sindi’s narrative is more straightfoward and I flew through Part Two in less than a day. It’s also worth keeping in mind that when Thuli starts the story, she is hiding something important from herself and the reader. She tells us, sadly, that “remembering’s hard. The world’s an ugly place and memories aren’t something to unwrap like birthday presents” (63).

It makes sense then, that the novel is slow to reveal its secrets, even the ones you might have already guessed at. Not that figuring out the mystery spoils the story, because it’s just like Thuli says – the world is ugly and these memories aren’t a delight to uncover. Even though I soon figured out the gist of what happened to the twins, that knowledge never lessened the impact of events.

Admittedly, if I had known exactly what this story was about, I might not have read it. Child abuse, poverty, AIDS, homelessness – the novel features all of these things and I normally shy away from these topics as too harrowing unless I’ve braced myself to deal with them. However, Zadok handles the story with such grace and creativity that the novel can be a wonderful read without ever detracting from the seriousness of its subject matter.

I also think that the speculative aspects were crucial, not only to my enjoyment but to the novel as a whole. By setting the story in an alternative/future South Africa that seems postapocalyptic or dystopian but isn’t, Zadok evokes the otherworldly reality of poverty and homelessness. Similarly, the story’s fantastical elements give it a dreamy quality that often serve to detach Thuli and Sindi from their world, as if they’re moving within an interstitial space where they can never get a tight hold of reality or be fully in control.  The fantastical also just makes the story incredibly beautiful and haunting. Sister Sister is the kind of book that gets me excited about South African sff not only because it was a good read but because it explores the ways in which writers can use fantasy to tell South African stories.

Daily Reads: Malinda Lo on perceptions of diversity in book reviews

Glasses Journal

Today I was reading author Malinda Lo’s wonderful series of articles entitled Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews. Her goal was to discern and critique the way reviewers think about diversity in fiction, and how that informs their opinions. Lo focuses on the shorter trade reviews of YA books, but the issues she raises can be applied to all kinds of reviews of books in any genre.

 

Part 1: “Scarcely plausible”
The first post includes the introduction to Lo’s topic and some notes about her methods, but the main issue is the way reviewers sometimes criticise a novel’s diversity as being “contrived”. This seems to be a fundamental problem, so I pulled a few quotes from Lo’s article (emphasis in bold is my own):

The critique of The Doubt Factory‘s “perfectly ethnically and sexually diverse” cast as “scarcely plausible” reveals a deep-seated belief that a group of people are unlikely to be ethnically and sexually diverse. As in Stranger, this diverse cast is read by the reviewer as contrived — as something constructed in a less-than-subtle manner by the author, and thus as unrealistic. In the review of On a Clear Day, the statement that “Effort has clearly been made to diversify this cast” suggests that this diversity would not have existed naturally; it needed effort.

 

What disturbs me more than a review’s denial that diversity is realistic, however, is the belief that purposely creating — contriving with “effort” — a diverse cast is pandering to the diversity movement that has been simmering for decades, and has exploded in YA and children’s literature over the past year.

 

It reveals a belief that simmers beneath all those critiques of diversity as implausible: the belief that nonwhite, LGBT, and disabled characters are simply unnecessary; that adding in these perspectives derails a story; that “reality” is white and homogenous.

 

Part 2: So many (too many?) issues
This post addresses the idea that including too many issues gets in the way of good storytelling. Reviewers often want things to be simpler and easier, but one of the problems with this is that it excludes people who have to deal with multiple minority identities (e.g. black, gay, Muslim).

 

Part 3: A lot to decode
This is a particularly interesting issue, which I’ve struggled with more than the others – if a book is written from the POV of a non-dominant culture, to what extent should it cater to those outside of that culture (typically white or westernised readers)?

Lo finds that many reviewers criticise diverse books for not explaining unfamiliar cultures to readers, and for using unfamiliar slang and non-English words. The underlying assumption here is that most readers are white and westernised, and thus it is of utmost importance to cater to them, rather than anyone else (who might not need or want all those explanations). As she politely suggests, you could just try harder – if you stumble at something unfamiliar, look it up, figure it out from context, or ignore it and keep going. Just like you would do with any other word or concept you don’t know.

And maybe take a moment to consider the validity of your opinion as a reviewer:

Instead of demanding glossaries and criticizing a book for including non-English words and non-Western cultures, reviewers who find these kinds of novels “frustrating” should consider whether they are culturally informed enough to review the book properly. Not all books are meant for white/Western readers. This is not a problem, and I hope that reviewers and review editors will realize this.

 

Part 4: Readers may be surprised
This one addresses cases where the limited or bigoted perspectives of reviewers affects reviews. For example, a reviewer might criticise a minority character for being unrealistic because they do not fit the reviewer’s idea of that identity. Or, a reviewer might express surprise at the existence of a certain community, because the reviewer’s understanding of the world is pretty narrow.

 

Overall, these articles have me thinking about how I’ve handled issues of diversity in my own reviews, and how I should do so in future. On the one hand I do want to highlight diversity and related issues for readers, to spread the word about more diverse books and capture the interest of those who are looking to read more widely. But in doing so, am I also portraying those books as non-standard, with dominant cultures as the norm? Or is it fair to argue that that’s just the way things are anyway, so it helps to single certain books, characters or themes out in the hope that the literary scene as a whole eventually becomes more diverse?

Mind you, I often feel a bit odd when pointing out diversity in novels, as if I’m pointing at someone and going “OMG look! This guy is black and gay! Isn’t that just wonderfully exotic and therefore awesome?” There have been a few occasions when I was treated as kind of exotic or weird (How can you be (South) African, your skin is [the wrong colour]! Oh, you speak English!), which I found ridiculous and annoying if not offensive. Still, I think it’s ok to say that you find someone’s identity new and interesting and you’d like to know more about them. I suppose it’s a matter of approaching them with respect rather than just curiosity?

Then I got to thinking about books with a lot of unfamiliar content – words, cultures, etc. I see no problem with looking things up, but having to do it too often really is going to get tiresome. But if I don’t know enough about the context, should I be writing a review? Well, I think there’s a loophole here – make it clear that your opinion comes from a position of general ignorance, and don’t automatically turn your failure to understand something into a criticism of the book. Trying to read out of your comfort zone is admirable, but it doesn’t lend any kind of authority to your opinion.

Anyway, I’ve blathered on for long enough now. Does anyone else have any thoughts on discussing issues of diversity in reviews? Or is it something you feel safer avoiding?

 

Daily Reads helps me organise my online reading and share my favourite posts with you. If you know of any good SF/F and other literary articles, link to it in the comments.

Photography for this post is courtesy of Ruth Smith. You can view or buy her work here, or contact her at photobunny24@gmail.com.

Daily Reads: 16 February 2015

I’m just going to avoid talking about how very very long it’s taking me to finish my current review, and instead give you a moment to appreciate the Joey Hi-fi cover of my current read – Fletcher by David Horscroft, published by Fox & Raven.

FletcherDavid Horscroft is a South African novelist and Fletcher is his debut, a postapocalyptic sf thriller with one of the most insanely violent main characters I’ve ever read. I took a break from all its bleeding and screaming to see what was happening on my favourite blogs.

I’ve been seeing the Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear floating around the internet lately, but, for no reason in particular, I didn’t take a closer look. However, I put it on my priority list after reading Bear’s guest post about writing an authentic prostitute character for whom selling sex is a job, not a definition of who she is. Yay for interesting, complex female perspectives :)

Then today I learned that Neil Clarke, creator of Clarkesworld magazine, is publishing a new digital-only sff magazine called Forever. I find this both exciting and kind of depressing. Exciting because I’m expecting more wonderful sff from it, and depressing because I feel like I’m being buried under all the short fiction I need to read. But the nice thing about this new magazine is that, for now, it will only have one novella and two short stories. That means I might actually be able to finish reading one in a month! I used to be able to do that with Clarkesworld, but they’ve since expanded to six stories a month, and I never get around to reading all of them. I know I don’t have to; it just feels good to finish the whole magazine.

Finally, there’s this nice, short personal essay by Haralambi Markov on writing queer characters in sff – the fear of doing it, and why you absolutely should do it. The essay is part of Lightspeed magazine’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter campaign. Can’t wait to check out that edition :) Surprisingly, this brings me back to Fletcher, whose raving psychopath protagonist also happens to be openly bisexual… Lemme go see if I can finish that book tonight.

Happy reading!

Daily Reads helps me organise my online reading and share my favourite posts with you. If you know of any good SF/F and other literary articles, link to it in the comments.

Photography for this post is courtesy of Ruth Smith. You can view or buy her work here, or contact her at photobunny24@gmail.com.

Guest posting at A Dribble of Ink

I was thoroughly chuffed when Aidan from the Hugo-award winning A Dribble of Ink asked me to do a guest post for his blog. My initial ideas were a tad ambitious in the context of my current time constraints, but I ended up writing what I hope is a fitting tribute to South African speculative fiction and its fundamental role in getting me to read local fiction (because, sadly, there was a time when I avoided pretty much all of it). You can read my post here.

After reading some dreck this morning about how sff should only be for fun, never political, and always exactly the same as it was in the fifties, it occurs to be that my post might come off as having similarly apolitical sentiments. I sincerely hope not, especially given the novels I recommended, which are all political or progressive to some degree. If anything I feel that pleasure and politics are not mutually exclusive, and that a book can be entertaining or beautiful and still tackle weighty themes. Rather, my gripe with (English) fiction publishing in South Africa was that for a long time there seemed to be some kind of resistance to publishing anything that wasn’t deadly serious and unwaveringly realist. I was almost afraid to read an SA novel because it would no doubt be harrowing. It’s only recently that I’ve seen more variety, and it’s the publication of spec fic that encouraged me, first to give local fiction another chance, and then to read as much of it as I could find :)

The Just City by Jo Walton

The Just CityTitle: The Just City
Series: Thessaly #1
Author: Jo Walton
Published: 13 January 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: eARC from the publisher via NetGalley
Genre: science fiction, mythology, fantasy
Rating: 8/10

Across the ages, a few hundred people pray to the goddess Athene to live in Plato’s republic, the Just City. In response, Athene conducts an experiment. She brings together all those who prayed to her, to design and build the Just City, of which they will be the Masters. She sets it on the island of Kallisti, also known as Atlantis, so that the city will be destroyed. No trace of it will be left to screw with history, but it could “leave legends that can bear fruit in later ages”. Using her time-travelling abilities, she helps the Masters collect all the literature they need, and rescue original works of art for the education of the citizens. To populate the City, they buy 10080 ten-year-old child slaves to train and educate to be their best selves, thus producing a just city ruled by philosopher kings.

Among the children is Athene’s brother, the god Apollo, in the form of a ten-year-old boy. Apollo couldn’t understand why the nymph Daphne would rather be turned into a tree than have sex with him and decided to live as a human to understand this strange idea that other people have their own desires that are just as important as his own.

Apollo – living as the boy Pytheas – learns a lot from his friendship with Simmea, a Libyan girl who loves the City and always strives not only to be her best self, but to understand what that means. Apollo and Simmea frequently clash with Kebes, a child who hates the City because no one ever gave him a choice about living there.

Kebes is in the minority because for most, the City is a utopia or at least a far better home than the times and places they came from. Maia, for example, used to be Ethel from Victorian England, where she was warned that her passion for reading and studying would cause her to be labelled a “bluestocking” whom no man would want to marry. In the Just City, however, she can do fulfilling work by learning and teaching what she loves most. Most women feel similarly liberated.

But it’s definitely not a utopia, as many realise from the very beginning. It suffers from the flaws and absurdities in Plato’s work, as well as the circumstances of its creation and simple human imperfection. Then, when Socrates is brought to the City against his will, he starts questioning everything about it in his classic style.

I’ll admit that I’ve never read a word of The Republic. Presumably those familiar with Plato will get a lot more out of The Just City, but I loved it anyway, and I think anyone who likes philosophy would enjoy it too. Much of the book is made up of philosophical debate, whether internal or between characters, as they reflect on the creation of the City, its ability to fulfil its ideals, and their own places in it. The City itself is a magnificent setting for a novel, with its beautiful architecture, fine art, delicious food and wine, expansive libraries… Basically, I want to live there, except perhaps for the bit about the naked wrestling and weird breeding practices (more about that later).

However, the most interesting thing about the novel is not the way the City lives up to Plato’s ideals but in the many ways it fails to be just or good, because these tend to be the most though-provoking aspects. Firstly, the way it was created leads to fundamental problems. The Masters are all people who prayed to Athena to live in Plato’s republic. The circumstances of history mean that most of the people who would have the education and inclination to do such a thing are men from the ancient world, most of whom are old and come from very conservative times. Thus the Masters suffer from a distinct gender imbalance and lack of diversity, so the City is heavily influenced by people who are used to being in power, have no respect for women, and think it’s perfectly fine to keep slaves. Even though Plato argued that women can be philosophers too, they end up having less say in the way the City is run, and their personal lives are affected by it. For example, it’s decided that the Masters should not have any children, but the responsibility for preventing contraception seems to be the women’s alone. When the issue of rape arises, the City suddenly seems a very backward place, not a philosophical utopia.

One of the biggest problems is the text that led to the whole experiment. All the Masters admire The Republic, of course, but many of its principles are what we would consider fascist. The children are not allowed to acknowledge the truth of where they came from; they have to repeat the Noble Lie of having been born from the earth in the City. All texts and artworks are carefully chosen to suit Platonic ideals. The children are forbidden from reading The Republic because it would reveal the extent to which the Masters (and the future philosopher kings) have to lie to and manipulate them. Slavery is forbidden, but only insofar as it is considered immoral for one person to own another; the work reserved for slaves still needs to be done. Athena provides robots from the future to do this, but this is only meant to be a temporary solution until the children have grown up and a worker class of inferior minds is identified. In fact, the Masters are expected to categorise all the children according to a hierarchical system, with the best philosophers at the top.

It gets worse. When the children get older and the girls reach childbearing age, the Masters start the breeding programmes that Plato described, and it becomes abundantly clear that “what Plato knew about love and real people could have been written on a fingernail paring”. Ditto for what he knew about what it’s like being a woman (i.e. a female human being and not, say, a baby-making machine).

So far I might have made this seem like a very cold, analytical novel, but it isn’t. It’s the characters who grapple with these issues in their daily lives, so that the philosophy becomes a very personal, engaging thing. I cared about all the POV characters – Simmea, Pytheas/Apollo, Maia – so I wanted to know how philosophy affected their lives and what they thought about it. And Walton has chosen characters that present some of the most interesting perspectives.

As one of the Masters, Maia experiences the deep-seated inequality among the people responsible for building the City, and worries about the way they’re raising the children. Apollo, as the boy Pytheas, experiences all this as a god in human form. He has all his memories and knowledge, but has none of his powers. He’s read The Republic and knows, for example, that Plato was wrong in his ideas about the soul. He can also compare being a god with being a human, and compare the way the gods think about humans to the reality of living as a human.

Simmea is essentially the City’s perfect citizen – highly intelligent, analytical, focused, hard-working, creative. She knows how much worse her life would have been if the Masters hadn’t rescued her, and she’s wholly invested in the core ideals of the Just City. At the same time, she’s smart enough to think critically about it, even if that if it means facing uncomfortable truths. Together, Simmea and Apollo also reflect on various kinds of intimate and sexual relationships, between themselves and with other people. The Just City doesn’t allow for any kind of close, long-term sexual relationship, which is terrible on the one hand, but also gives room to explore other ways that intimate relationships grow between people.

Then there’s Kebes. He’s an unlikeable oaf (especially since we never read from his POV) but he articulates one crucial problem – the children were not given any choice in becoming part of the Just City. At first it seems like Kebes is being unnecessarily rebellious, since the children were saved from slavery and now live what many would consider an idyllic life. But Kebes doesn’t seem so unreasonable when you consider the fact that no one is allowed to leave the City (and they’d have nowhere to go, either). In fact, he gets flogged for trying to run away. He’s considered a troublemaker by the Masters because he doesn’t buy into their idea of his ‘best self’ (another problem with the City – you can criticise it if you’re trying to make it better, but you don’t have the freedom to reject its ideals completely).

The story spans about a decade, pensively exploring its way this thought experiment. I know this sort of thing wouldn’t be for everyone, and lots of people might find it dead boring. It’s mostly ideas and debates, with a meandering plot. But that’s part of what I like about it. Intellectually, it’s very engaging, but I also find it to very soothing. It’s easy to follow the various trains of thought, to see characters backtrack through their thoughts to examine their assumptions, or see how a new experience changes the way they think. It’s a kind of meditation, but one that caters to a contemporary sff reader. I think the basis of its appeal is captured by Maia, when she expresses her admiration for Plato in response to Socrates’ criticisms of him:

I think he invited us all into the inquiry. Nobody reads Plato and agrees with everything. But nobody reads any of the dialogues without wanting to be there joining in. Everybody reads it and is drawn into the argument and the search for the truth. We’re always arguing here about what he meant and what we should do. Plato laid down the framework for us to carry on with. He showed us—and this I believe he did get from you—he showed us how to inquire into the nature of the world and ourselves, and examine our lives, and know ourselves. Whether you really had the particular conversations he wrote down or not, by writing them he invited us all into the great conversation.

The Just City has a similar effect. For that, and it’s many other lovely qualities, I recommend it very highly.

Daily Reads: 27 January 2015

Glasses Journal It’s been a slow reading week, and I’m still busy with The Just City by Jo Walton and Sister Sister by Rachel Zadok. The one downside to moving back to Cape Town and studying/job hunting/enjoying being back in Cape Town is that it’s not easy getting used to having a ton of things to do other than read and blog. But it feels good to be busy, as long as I have a to-do list to stop my brain wandering :) And I rounded up a couple of great articles for today’s post:

Francine Prose warns us that they’re watching you read – Kobo recently released an analysis of trends in ebook reading, based on data gleaned from reading devices. You can read more about it at the Guardian, but the gist of it is that many readers don’t actually finish acclaimed bestsellers like Goldfinch or Twelve Years a Slave (although they’re still bestsellers). Prose considers the implications of this and what it might mean for the future of publishing. In the process, she throws out a couple of ideas that would look good in an sf novel (“Will it ever happen that someone can be convicted of a crime because of a passage that he is found to have read, many times, on his e-book?”).

Take a moment to consider the crucial role editors play in bringing you the books you love by reading “Stet by Me: Thoughts on Editing Fiction” (discovered via Aerogramme Writer’s Studio on Facebook). This amusing, honest article describes the delicate but mostly thankless job of getting books from authors to readers.

Not that it would downplay the rather more harrowing work of the author. Kameron Hurley’s recent blog post about working on her upcoming novel Empire Ascendant, depicts the editing process from her POV.

Now, after all that heavy reading, a list! Hurley shares a couple of upcoming sff titles she insists you should be pre-ordering. And I trust her judgement :)

Happy reading!

Daily Reads helps me organise my online reading and share my favourite posts with you. If you know of any good SF/F and other literary articles, link to it in the comments :)

Photography for this post is courtesy of Ruth Smith. You can view or buy her work here, or contact her at photobunny24@gmail.com.