Home



Ambling Along
the Aqueduct

The Cascadia
Subduction Zone


The Monthly Aqueduct

Subscribe to our
monthly e-newsletter


Spring-Summer 2017
Catalog

Our Mission

Submission
Guidelines





info@aqueductpress.com

Aqueduct Press
PO Box 95787
Seattle, WA 98145-2787

Sleeping with Monsters:  Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy

by Liz Bourke

$19 (paperback)
 
$7.95 (e-book) EPUB
 Add to Cart
MOBI (Kindle)
 Add to Cart

Anyone familiar with Liz Bourke's work knows she isn't shy about sharing her opinion. In columns and reviews for science fiction and fantasy website Tor.com and elsewhere, she's taken a critical eye to fantasy and SF, from books to movies, television to videogames, old to new. This volume presents a selection of the best of her articles. Bourke's subjects range from the nature of epic fantasy— is it a naturally conservative sort of literature?—to the effect of Mass Effect's decision to allow players to play as a female hero, and from discussions of little-known writers to some of the most popular works in the field. A provocative, immensely readable collection of essays about the science fiction and fantasy field, from the perspective of a feminist and a historian, Sleeping With Monsters is an entertaining addition to any reader's shelves.

"A majority of the pieces in this collection come from Sleeps With Monsters, and ultimately, its purpose is more similar to Sleeps With Monsters than not: to be a little loud and angry. To celebrate the work of women in the science fiction and fantasy (SFF) field. To offer a snapshot, a limited glimpse, of what I think is best, most fun, most interesting."—from the author's Foreword

"[Bourke] consistently raises questions about the sort of content in books that for a long time was invisible to many reviewers or considered not worth examining. Uncovering the complex morass of sexism, racism, classism, ableism, religious bigotry, and homo- and transphobia that often underlies many of our received assumptions about narrative is right in her wheelhouse. ...[She] talks to us as if we're in conversation. What a pleasure it is to read pithy reviews of often-overlooked work I already admire, as well as to discover books I need to read."—from the Introduction by Kate Elliott

Reviews

This strong collection is culled from Bourke's similarly titled Tor.com blog as well as other online sources, and features eight original selections. Bourke's critiques of fantasy and science fiction—most running fewer than 1,000 words—demonstrate both her critical acumen and her appreciation of the genre. Nearly all of the works she discusses are by present-day female writers, and though she purports to bring "an explicitly feminist perspective" to her reviews, she mostly applies the classic critical yardsticks of plot, character development, and authorial voice. Bourke has read widely, especially among multi-book sagas, and her familiarity with so many modern writers' oeuvres gives gravity to her appraisals of the limitations of a literary canon for science fiction and fantasy. She observes that depictions of queer womanhood in contemporary fantasy and science fiction are often disappointingly "titillating or tragic." Her critical standards are high—she doesn't flinch at pointing out weaknesses in favorite books by popular writers—but not inflexible, as is implicit in her observation that "an interesting failure can prove far more entertaining than a novel that's technically successful but has no heart." This collection is sure to provoke debate among genre fans, and also to drive them to the books under Bourke's scrutiny.  
  —Publishers Weekly, June 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61976-123-0 (13 digit)
Publication Date: 2017
paperback 264 pages