content by

Meg Elison

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Consent, Coercion, and Common Ground in K.M. Szpara’s Docile

K.M. Szpara’s debut science fiction novel Docile is already being compared to other seminal works in genre on sexual violence, including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The comparison is legitimate; like Atwood, the danger in Docile is too real. Szpara has taken the danger of the world we live in and used it to construct the world as it might be.

Content warning: discussions of sexual violence.

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The Hidden Layers of Every Novel (and Why They Should Stay Hidden)

Charlie Jane Anders has a secret notebook full of background information, histories, linguistics, and might-have-beens about her book, The City in the Middle of the Night. And you will never see it.

You shouldn’t ever see it. Even if you are her biggest fan, even if she is one day enticed by ample money or sweet-talked into publishing it as bonus content, even if her heirs are tempted and desperate enough to do the same, these notes should never become part of your reading experience.

[Allow me to explain…]

The Book of Flora

In the wake of the apocalypse, Flora has come of age in a highly gendered post-plague society where females have become a precious, coveted, hunted, and endangered commodity. But Flora does not participate in the economy that trades in bodies. An anathema in a world that prizes procreation above all else, she is an outsider everywhere she goes, including the thriving all-female city of Shy.

Now navigating a blighted landscape, Flora, her friends, and a sullen young slave she adopts as her own child leave their oppressive pasts behind to find their place in the world. They seek refuge aboard a ship where gender is fluid, where the dynamic is uneasy, and where rumors flow of a bold new reproductive strategy.

When the promise of a miraculous hope for humanity’s future tears Flora’s makeshift family asunder, she must choose: protect the safe haven she’s built or risk everything to defy oppression, whatever its provenance.

Book three in the Road to Nowhere series, Meg Elison’s The Book of Flora is available April 23rd from 47North. Read an excerpt below!

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Magnificent Labor: The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is the kind of book I want to shove into people’s hands like an overzealous missionary. I can talk anybody into it, because it’s a book like a diamond: view it through any facet you like and fall slack-jawed at what you see.

Read it one way and it’s a stunning literary work, suitable for academic discussion, shortlisted for the National Book Award. Present it to a true-blue science fiction fan and it’s Philip K. Dick and Octavia Butler’s love child with prose that’ll stop their pulpy heart. Tell a horror reader that it builds dread like a Stephen King classic. Throw on top of that an incredibly skillful first-person narration by a female character handled deftly and authentically by a male writer and you may as well start warming up the baptismal font; the reader is going to convert.

[This isn’t exactly a surprise…]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

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