This blog has become so much more than I originally intended it to be and as such I am beginning to extend what I write about, to reflect much more of my life, rather than the narrow confines of what I planned when I started it in August last year.
As such, I feel like I have been lying to you. There is a whole side of me which I haven’t introduced you to.
I am a geek. A real geek. Not only in the swotty, reads all of the books she writes on her bibliography (although that is me too), but a geek who loves sci-fi and fantasy. I play World of Warcraft (WoW). And watch Star Trek, Buffy, read all sorts of fantasy and sci-fi and love graphic novels etc etc. And right now I am really, really digging The Big Bang Theory – seriously I have watched series one and two in a dvd marathon which leaves one bemused when resurfacing in to the real world. And then gone back and watched them all again.
I hope my confession hasn’t caused you to sneak away.
One thing which repeatedly annoys me, makes me infuriated and angry in fact, is the lack of strong women in sci-fi and fantasy. More often than not the women are there to be raped, has been raped/abused/beaten etc etc etc and this is their driver.The alternative (in fantasy predominately) is that they are there to be mothers or should be mothers, etc etc. It really bugs me and really makes me want to be a writer so that I can address this and write decent female characters with feminist principles. (Minor problem of not having any ideas!)
As a long-term reader of Boing-Boing I knew that Cory Doctorow was big sci-fi writer and when I got Little Brother out of the library last year I was hooked on his work. And then I read Over Clocked. His writing is amazing. He writes strong women characters who just are. My favourite story in this book is Anda’s Game. Click here for the background to the story; just as an overview:
This is a riff on the way that property-rights are coming to games, and on the bizarre spectacle of sweat-shops in which children are paid to play the game all day in order to generate eBay-able game-wealth.
It’s written from a girl gamer’s point of view and I really can identify with it. When I first started playing WoW I played a female elf sorcerer and…. wow. I got so much crap from disgusting guys harassing me and making nasty comments that I quit playing as it disrupted my game and made me feel really uncomfortable. The whole point of WoW is it is a fantasy game and I really would like to be an elf who can throw fireballs! Nowadays I play as a male gnome rogue, with a full on beard, sideburns and moustache. I haven’t had a single bit of harassment, but I am not playing as I want to either (although I really do like being able to sneak up on people, garotte them from behind, punch them in the kidneys and then stab them repeatedly until they die). Ahem.
The story also touches on sweatshops and child labour in a cyber world, which made me think about a new angle on the topic of sweatshops. This is one story in a collection of shorts, but I really do recommend the whole book. Cory writes really well, is relevant and writes strong male and female characters. He also is quite politically active – he has been leading the storm surrounding the Digital Economy Act.
So, that was my geek confession. As I have decided to start writing in a wider capacity I will be coming back to the geekiness. I hope that’s ok with you and if you are geeky then please feel free to confess!