Category Archives: TV Series

#SciFi Women Interview: Sally Ember, Ed.D.

This month, I am honored to welcome Sally Ember, Ed.D. as the guest of #SciFi Women Interview feature. Sally Ember reached out to me via email after one of my blog posts and I was delighted to make her acquaintance and hear her interest in being interviewed as a #SciFi Woman!

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Sally Ember, ED. D.

Sally Ember, Ed.D., has been passionate about writing since she was nine years old. She’s won prizes for her poetry, stories, songs and plays. She began meditation in her teens. Now, Sally delights fans of paranormal and romance by blurring the lines between fact and fiction in a multiverse of multiple timelines, often including exciting elements of utopian science-fiction and Buddhism. Born Jewish on the cusp of Leo and Virgo, Sally’s life has been infused with change.

In her “other” professional life, Sally has worked as an educator and upper-level, nonprofit manager in colleges, universities and private nonprofits in many parts of the USA before returning to live in St. Louis, MO, in August, 2014. Sally has a BA in Elementary Education, a Master’s (M.Ed.) and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.).

Her sci-fi /romance/ speculative fiction/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian books for New Adult/adult/YA audiences, “The Spanners Series,” are getting great reviews.

Sally blogs regularly on wide-ranging topics and includes reviews, interviews, guest blog posts, and excerpts from her books. She also meditates, writes, swims, reads and hosts her LIVE video talk show, *CHANGES*, conversations between authors, from St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

You can find more about her at the following links: WordPress Blog and main Website, Tumblr, Twitter, Patreon Crowdfunding Campaign, Pinterest, Youtube Channel, Goodreads and LinkedIn.

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NG: How were you first introduced to Science-Fiction?

EMBER: My Pinterest has a Board, “Writers I Love,” that displays the writers who influenced me and whom I admire. From there, my earliest favorites: I have to credit “Mrs. Pickerell Goes to Mars” with some of my plot ideas for “This Changes Everything.” Read it when I was 8. Thanks, Ellen McGregor! Would never have known I loved sci fi or writing if not for Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.” Read it when I was 9, then I wrote my first story, “Princess Why,” published in the Central School newspaper. Still have that. Have to thank Betty MacDonald for the “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle” fantasy series. Read my first ones of hers when I was 7. Loved every one! I must have read every story in and every “color” of Andrew Lang’s “Fairy” anthologies. Truly entertaining for a elementary girl. Kate Wilhelm’s “The Downstairs Room” stories still inspire me,and she introduced me to many other great spec fi and sci fi authors. I also love her mysteries.

NG: What are your top 3 favorites for Science-Fiction books, TV shows and movies?

EMBER: Also from this Board and another, you can find my later faves and influences, with movies and TV shows, “TV Shows and Movies I Actually Like” and from recurring blog posts in which I review current and recurring TV shows, I discuss most of them. I have mostly been disappointed with recent new shows, however. What can compare to the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Time Machine films or The Invaders and Star Trek (original and TNG) TV shows from the 1960s and /70s?

I wouldn’t want to have a world without Joss Whedon in it. Thanks for Buffy, Firefly, The Dollhouse, the Marvel shows and so many more! Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” informed me that I am bisexual while I was still in high school. Heinlein’s work inspires me to this day as a novel of great vision and writing. Joanna Russ inspires me with Utopian rather than dystopian sci fi.

I especially admire “The Female Man.” Sherri Tepper is a marvelous, inspiring, unique-vision writer. “The Gate to Women’s Country” stands alone of its kind. First feminist utopian sci fi I ever read: “Herland,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Inspiration to this day. Marge Piercy’s books and poetry first showed me the intersections of politics, personal and fictional worlds and changed my perspective forever. Thanks! “A Door into Ocean” is a another feminist science fiction novel I am inspired and thrilled by. Thanks, Joan Slonczewski! The stories from Zenna Henderson’s “The People” series still influence and resonate with me, over 50 years after reading them! Extremely powerful and first influence from an amazing author, Ursula K. Le Guin. Still writing, in her 80s.

NG: What place does Science-Fiction have in your writing?

EMBER: It is my main and only fiction genre at this time. Science-fiction/romance/utopian. I have entire blog posts about why I write sci-fi utopian fiction: go read some!

NG: Can you tell us a bit more about your writing projects?

EMBER: I was awakened one night by hearing a voice (my own) narrating Clara’s first encounter with the alien holograms. I got up to write it all down and also the outline of the entire first book and the synopsis for each of the subsequent nine volumes for the series that same night. It took about two hours!

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NG: What brought you to write a multiverse in The Spanner Series?

EMBER: I prefer to write from multiple points of view so I have many narrators and types of chapters in each volumes of The Spanner Series, probably because I see things in multiple ways and I get bored easily. “The Spanners” are the generations of people (and animals) whose ages make them the Earth inhabitants who are alive through both the turn of the 21st century AND the public announcement of the Many Worlds Collective’s existence, previous visits, and intentions to help Earth survive, thus bridging, or “spanning” both ways of living/thinking/being.

They are the “before” and “after” characters who narrate my stories, attempting to understand and live with the knowledge that all time is simultaneous (timultaneity, in my books), which we are all beginning to grasp ourselves in actual reality. Some people can view or know things (timult) about more than one timeline, alternate presents, pasts and futures, such as my main characters and those who get trained in the Excellent Skills Program (ESP) training and some are “natural” timulters, as Clara and many in her bio family are.

Necessarily, I can’t present infinite numbers of alternate versions of each scene, so I choose some to present multiply whose variations have immediate meaning for the characters. I know this can be confusing and reading books written all in the present tense is unusual (and awkward for English and other languages to manage), but I hope the challenges and intrigue make the difficulties worthwhile for readers.

NG: How do you enjoy mixing several genres in your books, like romance and Science-Fiction?

EMBER: I write, tone-wise, humorously serious or seriously humorous with a lot of science and spirituality, romance and family relationships included because LIFE. Compassion, caring, empathy, acceptance, inclusiveness, and more cooperation with less selfishness/greed and eliminating violence are the ONLY routes to Earth’s survival. Also, WE ARE NOT ALONE in the multiverse.

NG: Do you think that Science-Fiction can influence writers outside of the genre?

EMBER: I and many other authors certainly hope so, since we invite readers to reconsider and enlarge their points of view for many immediate and imminent social, political, interpersonal, interspecies and environmental issues regularly. Speculative fiction is famous for making us revisit our lives and choices from the micro to the macro levels. (and, hopefully, do better…)

Regarding science, there are websites devoted wholly or in part to delineating the inventions and discoveries which were first mentioned or “invented” in sci-fi books, movies, and TV shows before showing up IRL. Many scientists and inventors have mentioned being inspired by having learned about these potentials in sci-fi first!

NG: Do you believe Science-Fiction is a genre open to all types of age ranges?

EMBER: I write for adults, New and Young Adults together because that is the way I read sci-fi growing up (there were no YA or NA sections). I do not believe in the age-segregation that publishers and libraries have created in recent decades and I know many adults read YA and many teens read “adult” fiction. Age categories are mostly a convention for shelving and marketing that have little or nothing to do with what actual readers want to and do read.

NG: Do you believe that Science Fiction is a genre welcoming to complex female characters?

EMBER: When the authors are feminists, yes. When not, no. Graphic novels and “comics” are infamous for creating 2-D female characters scantily dressed and horribly depicted, but not all are like that. Certainly many genres in fiction are just as guilty of underestimating and denigrating female characters.

Joss Whedon is famous for replying, when asked why he creates such strong female characters, that he won’t have to do that when people stop asking him that, or words to that effect.

NG: What is Science-Fiction’s responsibility in diverse and inclusive representation?

EMBER: As a life-long feminist, activist and social justice advocate who understands and lives better having learned about intersectionality (the impact of the overlapping oppression of sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and others), I hope my writing reflects my insights and shows my utopian views of how life can be better when we all understand and reject such oppression, singly or in combinations. I do believe more “majority” authors should be more aware of creating characters that do not all look like and live the ways we do, but since I based my main characters on myself and my family, I am just as guilty as many of starting there.

However, I deliberate created a Latina main character, included many younger characters, made sure the main and other characters are not assumed to be hetero or cis-gender (Clara is bi, others are gay and lesbian, and some are undetermined regarding gender,) and I up-ended some age, class, religion and other foundations for biases in my stories’ plots and premises. So, I try and I hope others do, too.

NG: Thank you very much for your answers, Sally! I am sure my readers will be happy to connect with you.

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Background by Rose B. Fischer.

Happy International Women’s Day and Book Release Delay

Happy International Women’s Day!

I was planning to release Sci-Fi Women Interview: The2015  Collection today to celebrate it, but due to design delays, the free eBook gathering all 2015 interviews for the monthly feature is postponed until later this month. I will share details as soon as I have some, and I know that it will be worth the wait!

In the meantime, feel free to check the first amazing guest ladies I had since January 2016: Robin Rivera and Heather Jackson, and Jennifer A. Miller. You might also want to check out Rose B. Fischer’s blog series Fangirl: Doing’ It For Herself – A Writing Journey.

I am grateful for all the amazing women I have got to interact with on the blogging scene and I am looking forward to all the future collaboration there is in store for us!

Delenn

Delenn from Babylon 5.

#SciFi Women Interview: Jennifer A. Miller

I am happy to have longtime friend Jennifer A. Miller as February 2016’s guest for this monthly feature. I met this creative and kind lady on the Star Wars roleplaying board I joined back in 2008. You would also be familiar with her name as she designed most of my book covers!

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Jennifer A. Miller

Jennifer A. Miller is a graphic designer by trade and writer by calling. Her design experience is based in advertising, identity and print design, with novice and expanding capabilities in web development and photography. You can find more about her work on her website.

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NG: How were you first introduced to Science Fiction?

MILLER: I grew up in a Western watching family. My mother liked science fiction and fantasy, but I never remember her introducing me to it (she might say otherwise…I have a terrible memory). I have a collection of defining moments when I was a kid, but they’re kind of jumbled and I don’t remember what came first. I was living in Oregon, so this would have been younger than eight. I remember going through the satellite channels and finding the tail end of a movie that just captivated me. I don’t think I knew how to see what the movie was called at that time because I remember agonizing over figuring it out so that I could rent it. Trying to describe it to my parents was frustrating (for all involved). Turns out it was Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. It also turns out it was part of a trilogy. Fast forward a couple years when we were in Wyoming I remember going to Albertson’s as a family on our usual Wednesday run when they had 99 cent rentals and trying desperately to find them all. They never seemed to have all of them at once, so it took a couple rentals, but I was completely hooked.

NG: What are your top 3 favorites for Science Fiction books, TV shows and movies?

I only get 3?! These aren’t in any particular order, just the ones that first come to mind.

Books

  • I, Jedi – Michael A. Stackpole
  • The Starlight Crystal – Christopher Pike (it took me forever to find the name of this…I’ve been searching for years!)
  • Shapechangers – Jennifer Roberson (this is technically Fantasy and I love the whole series)

TV Shows

  • Firefly
  • Stargate SG-1
  • Battlestar Galactica

Movies

  • Return of the Jedi (because it was my first)
  • Back to the Future
  • Fifth Element

NG: Which Science Fiction characters have had the greatest influence on you?

  • Samantha Carter (Stargate SG-1)
  • Leloo Dallas (Fifth Element)
  • Princess Leia (Star Wars)

NG: How has your roleplaying experience affected your creative endeavors?

MILLER: When I am actively roleplaying (and reading), my wordsmithing/sentence creativity is the first thing affected, although I tend not to notice until I’m absent awhile and read what I’ve written in the past. I’m always pleasantly shocked at how good I was compared to the current. Funny how you lose skill when habits aren’t exercised regularly.

I am a print graphic designer and I will be the first to say that my creativity has been completely lacking the past several years. I’ve also just fallen out of love with the profession. When I look back at projects and times in my life that I felt my most creative, they were times that I was constantly writing/roleplaying and surrounding myself with people that had similar passion. My brain was always thinking about characters and scenes and influenced by literally everything in my physical environment. I lived in movies trailers for my characters. It definitely makes me think about carving time out to do it again. Perhaps I’d get my actual writing projects more than partially finished!

NG: Can you tell us a bit more about your writing projects?

MILLER: I have quite a few that I’ve started… I tend to get really hyped about them around NaNoWriMo season, but sadly none have developed much further than that month.

I have a trilogy that I started in middle and high school based off a dream I had. It involved all of my favorite people (and crushes). I loosely based the characters off of them. I finished the first and most of the second. Unfortunately the documents were saved on some floppy disk (this dates me…) that was corrupt. I don’t mind TOO much because I still have most of it printed out and honestly it needs to be rewritten. I’ve been trying to figure out how best to do that. It originally started as a group of kids having a sleep over and getting sucked into a fantasy/sci-fi world in which the lead character actually hailed. The first book was a big long adventure figuring out her past and getting introduced to the villains. The next two involved defeating the villains with the help of her best friends and then figuring out her future (whether she’d stay there or on Earth). It was fun to write as a kid, but a little hokey for my tastes now.

I started a series a couple years ago that involves a lonely kid that lives in a not too distant future where natural disasters are happening on an epic level all over the globe. He soon discovers that there are invisible fissures/rifts in his town and he might be the only one that can see them. After testing what happens to a baseball when thrown through one, he adventures through and gets sucked into another plane of existence… There’s much more to it, but I don’t want to give anything away! I realize that most first novels tend to be horrible, but I’m hoping it turns out decent because I really love the concept, story, and characters I’ve developed!

NG: What is your favorite type of character to write in a Science Fiction setting?

MILLER: The accidental hero. And this goes for all genres, really. I just love characters that aren’t setting out to be a hero, lead ordinary lives, and somehow get pulled into a situation that tests their mental strength and moral compass. I love the complicated types, the lessons they learn, and the inevitable roller coaster ride of their journey.

NG: Do you believe that Science Fiction is a genre welcoming to complex female characters?

MILLER: Definitely! My favorite movies, shows, and books are great examples of such complex female characters. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find Sci-Fi media that doesn’t have at least one.

NG: What is Science Fiction’s responsibility in diverse and inclusive representation?

MILLER: I think it’s every genres responsibility to be diverse. Our world is not just one type of person or another—whether a certain skin color, culture, or gender—at its core, it’s a collection of human beings all trying to live. We’ve been experiencing gender division and overall bigotry for centuries, which is why I love that most Sci-Fi is futuristic and depicts the human race having accepted all skin colors and genders as equal (usually). I can’t wait to see that in real time!

NG: Do you think that Fangirls are an expression of Feminism?

MILLER: I rewrote this answer twice. I’m not big on putting labels on people. The terms fangirl and feminism get such a bad rap because the definitions mean something different to everyone. Fangirl makes me think of a teenager obsessing over a pop idol. I would probably only use fangirl and fanboy in that reference. But that doesn’t mean I’m not considered a fangirl by someone else for loving Star Wars and Firefly. I use the term fan because dividing it out into gender does just that; divides.

That said, I think fans (girls or boys) are an expression of self (at least that’s the idea…).

As for Feminism, I wouldn’t call myself a feminist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t share the same passion for women’s equality. I am most certainly an advocate.

So, I guess my answer is not really. You can certainly be both, but I don’t think one is necessarily an expression of the other. I think it’s an expression of yourself, your individuality, and your passions.

NG: How do you think fangirls can change media industries?

MILLER: Yes! Anyone can! As long as they have passion for what they love and do, they can most definitely impact the media industries. If you take a closer look at the people behind books, television shows, and movies, you’ll find both men and women that have positively influenced the media because of their passion for it. Passion is the basis behind any fan and with it we can create incredible things that shape and influence all sorts of industries and like minds.

NG: Thank you so much for accepting to be part of this interview series! I am certain my readers will enjoy reading your answers.

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Background by Rose B. Fischer.

#SciFi Women Interview: Robin Rivera and Heather Jackson

To start 2016, I am very happy to bring a twist to this monthly feature, with not only one but two guests this month! I am delighted that Robin Rivera and Heather Jackson accepted to do a joint interview. I met them via the great blog Write On Sisters (which I highly recommend if you aren’t familiar with it).

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Heather Jackson

Heather Jackson

Heather escaped her small town for the big city of Toronto where she attended Ryerson University’s Radio & Television Arts program and the Canadian Film Centre’s Prime Time Television Writing program, which led to a career penning cartoons and tween dramas that are broadcast all over the world. But recently she transferred her screenwriting skills to a new medium: video games. She wrote an episode of Bloom Digital’s dating adventure game LONGSTORY, and is currently writing a super cool educational game for a top-secret client.

Heather is also working on two YA novels: PSYCHO SMART and DEMONS DON’T DO LOVE. Neither is autobiographical. Mostly.

RobinHeadshot

Robin Rivera

Robin Rivera

Robin trained as a professional historian on the West Coast. Her studies led her to working as a museum curator, an educator, a shipwreck hunter, a curriculum developer and media consultant. After a lifetime of writing nonfiction, Robin loves the freedom of writing fiction. However, old habits die hard so she always grounds her young adult fiction in solid historical research. Her finished projects include: a novel set in an alternative vision of mid-Victorian Egypt, and a heist novel set in Italy. She is currently working on a YA Gothic retelling of the 14th century novel, The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.

You can find Heather and Robin at their blog WriteOnSisters.com.

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NG: How were you first introduced to Science Fiction?

RIVERA and JACKSON: Both Heather and I were late arrivals to the genre. I’m a huge Sci-Fi TV addict, but both of us didn’t read these books as kids. I was a pretty hard core mystery reader in my youth, and we both favored the classics. For me the big turning point was meeting my husband; he is a huge Sci-Fi reader. I remember he would rave about books I had never heard, the Ring World series, Dune, the Stainless Steel Rat or Starship Troopers and he would want me to read these books too. He gave me my first copies of many of the big authors. He still reads more Sci-Fi than I do, and he sure trained our kids from an early age. When a new book comes into the house, there can be some massive debates over who gets to read it first. At one point last year three of us were all reading the same book (Feed by M.T. Anderson) at the same time. It was crazy! We had a list of page numbers written down because we kept losing each other’s bookmarks. Now both Heather and I read a ton of young adult Sci-Fi and we often have long discussions over books we like. Or we don’t like. Our taste is somewhat different. Heather likes her books much edgier than I do.

NG: What are your top 3 favorites for Science Fiction books, TV shows and movies?

RIVERA and JACKSON: Only three? That is cruel and unusual punishment! We’ll go with just the top picks for each so we don’t crowd the whole page.

My book pick is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Perhaps that is an unorthodox pick, but it’s one of my favorite books of all time. It’s funny and fresh, I just love it! There are others, I’m a River World fan and I can’t pass up on anything in the steampunk genre. Heather is a dystopian fan, so The Hunger Games gets her vote. It’s pretty darn high on my list too. Also the Lunar Chronicles gets a nod from both of us.

TV shows is much harder. As I said before, I’m a huge TV fan, I live for the Sci-Fi channel. Firefly, Warehouse 13, Eureka, X-Files, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Red Dwarf, Stargate… Brain implodes into mushy glop from overload. Okay, nope, can’t pick. I have been known to binge watch all of these shows and about two dozen others, over and over again. For Heather it’s Firefly. Lets face it, it’s a great show on every level and one any writer can learn a lot by watching. Oh, and Orphan Black! Heather is an emphatic member of the clone club.

Movie pick for both of us is Blade Runner! Honestly, there is no contest, that movie just has it all. We both loved the fact that it stands alone! Sometimes sequels just end up messing things up. Blade Runner stays pristine in a bubble, at least for now. Yes, we’re glaring at you Scott and Ford. Don’t mess with our perfect Deckard!

NG: What place does Science Fiction have in your writing?

RIVERA and JACKSON: I think I’m more influenced by my background in history than I am by Science Fiction. However, Sci- Fi taught both of us a lot about writing outside the box. The way we combine facts with fiction trying to make the impossible seem plausible, is taken right from Sci-Fi style writing craft. All the best Sci-Fi makes you think events could happen the way the authors describes it. Also Sci-Fi weaves social commentary and current societal concerns into other worlds and times, and we both love to weave deeper context into our writing. We both know as writers we are products of our own experiences, what we care about on a deeply personal level is what we make our characters care about, regardless of their race, age, or imaginary environments.

NG: Can you tell us a bit more about your writing projects?

RIVERA and JACKSON: Heather and I always have several projects going at once, all it various stages. In my case I have two sci-fi projects currently in the works, a serial that’s sort of Area 51 inspired, but it’s still in first draft mode. I also have a space opera that’s still in the plotting stage. However, I did write an 80,000 word steampunk novel. That project is packed with all sort of futuristic gadgets. Plus, it has Victorian social, gender, capitalist and colonial commentary of every sort. I really channeled my inner Jules Verne on that project. Heather is currently working on two young adult novels, one horror and one paranormal. She also has several media projects in the works, including a video game and a new TV script.

NG: Which Science Fiction characters have had the greatest influence on you?

RIVERA and JACKSON: This question is so hard, Heather is bowing out! But for me growing up I think I was bit like Spock. I wanted the world to be a logical place, I just didn’t understand so many things others took for granted. At a very young age I started calling out adults for acting illogically, like punishing the whole classroom when one kid made a mistake. It took me a long time to let go of that inner lens that made me see everything as black and white. I still have a strong need for personal order. Now that I’m a mom, I can relate a lot to Beverly Crusher of Star Trek: Next Generation. I’m raising my own sons, two Ensign Crushers in training, smart, driven, independent boys. I know they need me to be a strong female role model and they also need me to be someone who drops everything at a moment’s notice to make them cookies for the school bake sale. It’s a challenge being a mom, even on a good day. I’d like to think in my next phase of life I’ll be a bit like Doctor Who. Taking on new challenges, having adventures, and being willing to risk everything to stand up for what’s right. But I’m not there yet. Maybe someday.

NG: Do you think that Science Fiction can influence writers outside of the genre?

RIVERA and JACKSON: We both know it does. It’s ingrained in our imaginations and into popular culture. People who would never consider themselves Sci-Fi fans make Dark Side jokes. We even talk about light speed travel, suspended animation, and death rays as if we have personal knowledge of these things. That’s the power of the genre.

NG: Do you believe that Science Fiction is a genre welcoming to complex female characters?

RIVERA and JACKSON: We would both like to think it’s getting better, but it’s still a mess! Look at how many films, TV shows and books don’t pass the Bechdel test, and it’s hardly a challenging standard:

The movie, show, book has to have at least two women in it,

The women talk to each other,

And those women must talk about something besides a man.

Also we both feel there is a tendency to over-sexualize all female characters, and they are too often relegated to the sidekick, love interest, or other secondary story roles. There is also an unfortunate age issue we still need to address. People want young, good-looking female Sci-Fi characters; the masses welcome a Zoe from Firefly, or a Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, someone who stops traffic with how beautiful she is while she kicks ass. But don’t let those female characters get over forty, or put on any weight and develop some wrinkles. I think the blowback over Carrie Fisher reprising her role as Leia has shown us all how far we still need to go. It’s not a comforting thought! We all get older, yet we live in a world where 40, 50 and 60 year-old male characters are expected to hook up with a person in their late teens or early twenties. Men dating women younger than their own biological children has become Hollywood’s standard relationship. But if a 50-year-old woman does the same thing, she is perceived as emotionally damaged and the relationship is ridiculed. We both feel like the one place making some fantastic headway is in young adult fiction. The characters are still young, and often pretty, but at least they are usually the stars of their own stories. And they are sometimes mentored, parented or partnered with some fabulously strong, smart, practical female characters. We think Hunger Games is a great example of this. It gives us a lot of hope to see teen Sci-Fi stepping it up and bringing us some complicated and memorable female characters.

NG: What is Science Fiction’s responsibility in diverse and inclusive representation?

RIVERA and JACKSON: We both agree the main responsibility of a writer is first and foremost to write great stories with great characters. The problem is too many writers seem to think what makes a great story is the life experiences of a pretty limited group of people. We are both tired of writers who take the easy route and just stick in a secondary character pulled from the same old (often negative) stereotypes. That’s not helpful to anyone. We want to see all writers step up their game and write better diversity, diversity that bridges gaps and creates unforgettable characters.

NG: Do you think that Fangirls are an expression of Feminism?

RIVERA and JACKSON: Neither one of us is a huge Fangirl, but I’m a bit more of one than Heather is, however we both identify as feminists. Short answer: we think it can be. There is a sense of solidarity when any group of women share a common interest, but we don’t think the two are necessarily related. We know some fandoms are more welcoming to feminist members than others, but if a Fangirl truly loves something, we hope she sticks with it regardless of the haters. Fangirls getting involved with any community can help pave the way for less enthusiastic women to also take part. Plus, if enough Fangirls decide to boycott or support a cause they can create a powerful voice. Giving women a voice that must be recognized is potentially beneficial to all women.

NG: Do you think Science Fiction is a genre that speaks as much to children audience as adult ones?

RIVERA and JACKSON: Heather is not a mom, so she is leaving this one to me. I have no concerns for movies and TV, but as a mom I do wonder about books. So many of my son’s friends have no interest in reading and if they do read it is for an assignment and not for pleasure. Sci-Fi has a reputation for being less approachable for fledgling readers. The books are longer and the words are harder. It’s a more challenging read, and kids have so many other activities that give them more immediate gratification than reading. If the decline in reading skills continue much longer, the next generation might have very little interest in reading Sci-Fi. Or any books.

NG: Thank you so much for being part of this project, ladies! I am sure my readers will be glad to connect with both of you.

SciFiWomen Interviews 2

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

2015 Publishing Retrospective: A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars

Star Wars has had a significant place in my nonfiction and academic work for many years, so publishing a collection of essays about different parts of the franchise was a natural choice.

I released a New Revised Edition of this book in both Kindle and Print last Fall, with extra chapters and updated content.

Galaxy - Revised Cover

Cover designed by Jennifer A. Miller.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Why Representation Matters and Why Star Wars has a Role to Play
  • Chapter 1: Star Wars Rebels: A New Text to Link the Old
  • Chapter 2 : Lando Calrissian : Iconic Scoundrel
  • Chapter 3: Star Wars’ Jedi Younglings: A Benevolent but Controversial Education System
  • Chapter 4: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II – A Milestone for Star Wars Female Characters
  • Chapter 5: Mara Jade: Pillar of the Star Wars Expanded Universe
  • Chapter 6 : Female Wizards: Jocasta Nu and Kreia
  • Chapter 7: Tenel Ka: Negotiating Acquired Disability
  • Chapter 8: Nala: The Missing Link between Disney Princesses and Leia Organa

Book Links (Kindle and Paperback)

Amazon USA – Amazon UKAmazon CanadaAmazon Australia

Goodreads Page

Author Interviews

Book Reviews

Guest Posts

2015 Publishing Retrospective: Talyn’s Heroic Journey in Farscape

The second essay I published on Kindle in 2015 was Talyn’s Heroic Journey in Farscape. It was at that point that I decided to have simple covers in the same style for all those essays to be released independently in digital format.

Created in 1999 by Rockne S. O’Bannon, the Science Fiction television series Farscape focuses on the eclectic crew of a living ship called Moya. One of the supporting characters, Talyn, is Moya’s hybrid offspring, is born at the end of the first season and also experiences his own heroic journey.

Since the show belongs to the Science Fiction genre, it is interesting to study how a non-human character that isn’t even humanoid might become a hero. While cyborg and alien heroes have existed in Science Fiction narratives of many kinds, it remains rather rare that a space ship, even alive and sentient, is given significant character development.

Three elements are of particular significance in the analysis of hybrid’s heroic journey: Talyn’s origins and likeness to a Chosen One character type, his two mentor figures – Aeryn Sun and Bialar Crais, and the darker times Talyn faces before finding redemption upon his death.

The essay is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia. It also has its Goodreads page.

Cover Talyn

Free #Kindle Days (Dec 17-19) for ‘A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in #StarWars’

In honor of the release of the new Star Wars movie, I am offering A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars (New Revised Edition) for free on Kindle from December 17 to December 19.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Why Representation Matters and Why Star Wars has a Role to Play
  • Chapter 1: Star Wars Rebels: A New Text to Link the Old
  • Chapter 2 : Lando Calrissian : Iconic Scoundrel
  • Chapter 3: Star Wars’ Jedi Younglings: A Benevolent but Controversial Education System
  • Chapter 4: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II – A Milestone for Star Wars Female Characters
  • Chapter 5: Mara Jade: Pillar of the Star Wars Expanded Universe
  • Chapter 6 : Female Wizards: Jocasta Nu and Kreia
  • Chapter 7: Tenel Ka: Negotiating Acquired Disability
  • Chapter 8: Nala: The Missing Link between Disney Princesses and Leia Organa

You can find more information on the book on this page, and below are some of the Amazon links:

Amazon USA – Amazon UKAmazon CanadaAmazon Australia

Happy reading!

Galaxy - Revised Cover

Cover designed by Jennifer A. Miller.