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The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley [May. 31st, 2016|05:16 am]
Marissa Lingen

Review copy provided by Tor Books. Full disclosure: Kameron and I are not besties but are the “have a long chatty lunch at a con” level of cordial. Do I always remember this kind of disclosure? I should. This field, ack.

If you follow Kameron Hurley’s blog, most of this book will be familiar to you. I say “most” because, in addition to the pieces written specifically for this collection, even the most adamant follower of a blog scarcely memorizes every post. There will always be the day when you were at your grandmother’s, the link you didn’t catch, the time when you totally meant to come back to that later…but never did. Also, blogs–even the best-curated–get choked down a bit with ephemera. There will always be a post that, in retrospect, turns out not to have been among the best. A post that needs an update, and you read it five minutes after it went up and missed the update.

These, then, are the selected favorites of Hurley’s blog posts, edited to be their best selves. They are the form she wants to stand by, the form she wants to discuss in the long-term. This is not her only argument, but this time around, this is her argument. This is her fight.

Some of the essays that were written for this collection are at least as important as the blog posts that went viral. They make it fuller, more rounded argument. They have perspective. One, in particular, “When the Rebel Becomes Queen: Changing Broken Systems from the Inside,” takes on one of the hardest topics for people in our culture in my generation and the one before it: admitting to power. Because, as Hurley points out, the difference doesn’t always feel immensely powerful on the inside. It doesn’t come with a sceptre or an army or a giant bank account. But that doesn’t mean that the power differential isn’t real and important in how you treat people, and I’m very pleased to see someone like Hurley–who is not a multimillionaire, who is not a household name in households other than mine–explicitly recognizing that and grappling with its implications in a book like this.

So the new content is well worth having, and if you want to, you can take a minute to find out what you think of that old. But I do think that if you’re having the kind of conversation that genre tends to be, putting this kind of essay online so that it’s widely accessible, and also publishing it in this kind of format so that it’s more polished and permanent, has a lot of value. I’ve been glad to see authors like Jo Walton and Cory Doctorow do it in recent years, and Hurley’s is a valuable voice in that thread of discussion.

Please consider using our link to buy The Geek Feminist Revolution from Amazon.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux


[User Picture]From: asakiyume
2016-05-31 01:31 pm (UTC)
So true what you say about recognizing power, and about how power doesn't always feel like power. It's further complicated by the fact that what one person reads as an honest admission can read to someone else as aggrandizement--so a person wanting to admit to power can be caught between attempts to self-abnegate (so as not to come off as self-regarding) and attempts to own up to power (so as not to shirk responsibility). That's tough!

Claire Cooney, who read the audio version of the book, adored it. It sounds great!
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2016-05-31 02:03 pm (UTC)
It's legitimately tough--the balance between being a little self-deprecating and taking responsibility for the power you do have is a genuinely hard balance. And then you have to figure out whether people who are criticizing you for coming down too hard on one side or another are speaking sincerely or whether they're using the legitimate difficulty as a channel for preexisting hostility. There is no closed-form answer--each case is different--but it's more worth talking about and being aware of because of that, not less.
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