A Battle Beyond the Stars: Stina Leicht’s Persephone Station

In a real way, the western and science fiction are made for each other, and have been for decades. Long before things like Firefly or Outland or Star Wars, the very term “Space Opera” is a derivation from the term for romances of the Wild West, “Horse Opera”. The DNA of westerns is in many SF stories where there are frontiers, conflicts between “civilized” and “rough” areas, the psychology and anthropology of communities very much on their own for good and for ill against the wilderness.

In this day and age though, we can work this connection further. The position of women in westerns, and frankly, a lot of space opera, is not so great. Where are the stories of women doing things on the frontier, riding the star winds, trying to do what’s right? Where are the Wild West Heroines, or even grizzled veterans just trying to make a living and get caught into a greater cause, despite themselves?

And so we come to Stina Leicht’s Persephone Station.

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For Queen and Country: The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly

The Frozen Crown is American author Greta Kelly’s debut novel. In this fantasy novel, the heir to an embattled kingdom travels to the court of a great empire, ruled by her godfather, to beg for military aid.

Askia is the legitimate queen of Seravesh, but the expansionary forces of the Roven empire have put her cousin on the throne and proceeded to terrorise her country in order to compel her surrender. She’s taken her last loyal legion and fled, in the hopes that a personal appeal to the emperor of Vishir—in whose realm her parents met their death, and where she experienced torture at the hands of an extreme anti-magic sect in her youth, who were attempting to prove that she was a witch—will have the effect she desires.

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The Magic of Competence: Maxine Kaplan’s Wench

Let there be many more books about tavern wenches. Barkeeps, cobblers, tailors, fletchers, the blacksmith who’s just really tired of how the soldiers treat her finest work—I’d like books about all of them, please. Every character trope in the fantasy toolbox can be a person who deserves to have their story told.

In her second YA novel, Wench, Maxine Kaplan plucks a longtime tavern girl from behind the bar and shoves her headlong into a tumultuous adventure. Seventeen(ish)-year-old Tanya is deeply attached to her identity as the person who keeps things running. Orphaned at a young age, she was taken in by the owner of the Smiling Snake, who’s getting on in years. Tanya always expected he would leave the tavern to her.

Maybe he just forgot to do the paperwork.

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The Rogue One Spinoff Andor Seems to Begin Before K-2SO and Cassian Meet

Last month, we got our first peek at Andor, the Rogue One spinoff prequel series about Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor. Alan Tudyk, who voices the delightfully crabby droid K-2SO, was part of the show’s initial announcement. Andor began filming late last year, but as Tudyk said in a recent interview, he’s not in it. Yet.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Drone”

Written by Kenneth Biller and Harry Doc Kloor and Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky
Directed by Les Landau
Season 5, Episode 2
Production episode 196
Original air date: October 21, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. Seven, the EMH, Torres, and Paris are taking a type-2 shuttle to watch a proto-nebula form. It’s a rare opportunity for study of a nifty natural phenomenon. However, the nebula damages the shuttlecraft, and the team is beamed back.

[How many Borg hitchhikers are we gonna pick up on this ship?]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Five Fairy Tale Mashups That Show How All Our Stories Are Connected

What could be better than a retelling of your favorite fairy tale? How about a retelling of two of your favorite fairy tales? How about a retelling that incorporates a bunch of your favorite fairy tales?

One of my favorite types of narrative is the mashup, wherein a bunch of existing characters or storylines mingle together, resulting in brand-new flavors, new adventures, and if you’re lucky, fresh nuances to explore.

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