content by

Hannah Abigail Clarke

God Is Change: Transformation and the Trans Experience in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

In this period of prolonged enclosure, I have been thinking about hope and apocalyptic bugs. While the calendar’s been melting, I’ve been crawling into childhood movies to pass the time, particularly the pre-Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki 1984 film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

In this titular equation, Nausicaä is a princess, and the Valley of the Wind is her close-knit kingdom in some far future post-catastrophe tech-enabled feudal world. The distant catastrophe resulted from a week of mankind’s military obliteration of Earth by giants, which I’m inclined to conceptualize as nuclear fallout, and the resulting devastation created a bug-filled toxic jungle perpetually encroaching upon our human survivor settlements. Disney dubbed the film in 2005, which means that upon its release, I was a weird little eight-year-old—young enough that I incorporated story motifs into my narratological DNA without any impulse toward the critical or analytic, and old enough that I could follow the relatively violent plot. I watched it incessantly and then not at all for upwards of a decade. Then, the other day when I desperately needed literally anything to do, I saw it again.

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Queer Visibility & Coding in The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

I’m a Gen Z. No question, I have always understood myself to be some delineation of El Gee Bee Tea Que. I cannot recall a time in which I could not google various lezzie-adjacent subject matter, which is to say that my queer self-discovery had less to do with finding resources than identifying the ache that prompted such resource reconnaissance attempts. Internet aside, people in the Midwest are sometimes great at delivering proclamations of identity from out of their truck window. Like, I get it, I get it. I’m a dyke. Anyway.

I’m a dyke who reads a lot.

Unfortunately, teen me was reading a lot of dykeless books. Until the past year, I don’t believe I’d read a single speculative fiction book with a lesbian protagonist in general, much less a genderqueer one. My entire being has been shaped by speculative narrative, and part of the speculative project has always been sounding for myself in cracks between sentences. My fantasy of reading science fiction and fantasy was that someone like me could be in it.

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