#TagTeag – Women in SFF BLOGGER TAG
This year, we’d love to see more blogs get involved in Women in SFF, so we’ve come up with blogger tags!
First up, for Wyrd and Wonder, Bkfrgr and Ariana of The Book Nook created the Tag Team tag (HERE). It’s a chain link based on theme association, and we thought it would be a fun tag to kick things off with!
We’re going to start it on the Hive with a collaborative chain, and other bloggers are welcome to tag in either from the start of the chain, or from another book on the chain if they prefer.
Here are the rules as set out by Bookfrgr and Ariana:
The rules, as far as there are any, are as follows:
- Pick a friend to play with
- Decide on a prompt to get you started (this can be absolutely anything you want it to be)
- Make a thematic connection to the book picked by your partner, Six Degrees stylie (see link)
- See where your chain of books takes you (and make your chain as long as you like)
- Definitely link back to our posts so we can see your book chains and grow out TBRs
We would just like to add to that:
- All the books must be by female authors (Women in SFF and all…)
Prompt: Secondary Worlds
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Sophie is the eldest of three daughters in a world where fairytale tropes are accepted as a way of life, and everyone knows the eldest daughter is never destined for anything great. As she keeps telling the beautiful hats she makes, there’s nothing special about her. What she DOESN’T REALISE (UNKNOWN/SECRET MAGIC) is that she’s breathing life into the hats as she speaks to them; this draws the attention of the WICKED WITCH of the Wastes, who CURSES Sophie and turns her into an old woman.
To break the curse, Sophie must track down the heartless WIZARD Howl in his MAGICAL moving CASTLE, and strike up a deal with the FIRE DEMON Calcifer. The moving castle has a MAGICAL DOOR which opens PORTALS to four places, three of which are in Sophie’s world, and the fourth opens to Howl’s boyhood home in Wales in our world. In this original story, Sophie’s sisters play a much larger role; there’s a great deal of IDENTITY SWAPPING, a great deal more curses, a MISSING MENTOR, and the MISSING PRINCE is much more important too.
The Splendid City by Karen Heuler
I’m going to choose The Splendid City by Karen Heuler, which is an offbeat tale that also features WITCHES, CURSES and MISSING PEOPLE. There’s also a deranged TALKING CAT, and a thoughtful reflection on SOCIAL INJUSTICES. This is perhaps one of the quirkiest books I’ve read in a long time, a clever blend of DYSTOPIAN, MYSTERY and URBAN FANTASY.
The story follows Eleanor, a witch who is sent to Liberty, a state free from the constraints of the US government and run by its own President, by her coven leader, Gloria, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Daria, a witch from another coven. Eleanor also must discover if Daria may be linked to the water shortages in Liberty. She isn’t sent alone though—meet Stan, the talking, extremely boastful and oh so darkly humorous cat. Stan used to be a man, but a past unpleasant incident with Eleanor caused her to use her powers to transform him. As punishment to them both, Gloria takes away much of Eleanor’s powers and will not restore them nor help turn Stan back into a man until both of them have learnt their lesson. Essentially they are both CURSED and must find a way to redeem themselves and be free once again.
Comet weather by Liz Williams
Did someone mention WITCHES and URBAN FANTASY? That means I get to choose one of my favourite books, Comet Weather by Liz Williams.
It’s the story of four SISTERS who are WITCHES, whose MOTHER DISAPPEARED. The story is split between a MAGICAL LONDON and the COUNTRYSIDE in Somerset, and draws on British FOLKORE, PAGANISM and STAR MAGIC. There are SPIRITS and GHOSTS, ALTERNATE REALMS and TIME TRAVEL, all weaved expertly together in a story about FAMILY and LOVE.
Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso
One of my favourite URBAN FANTASY books is Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso.
It’s about a private investigator in a MAGICAL LONDON sitting side-by-side with our own, and it features an array of different magical people drawn from FOLKLORE, from our SHAPESHIFTING Wild Folk heroine to BIRD WIZARDS, CAT PEOPLE, and FIRE SPIRITS. It’s a DARK and fascinating MYSTERY that tackles the issue of flawed LAW ENFORCEMENT and MAGICAL SECRETS, but also has fantastic QUEER REP and depictions of characters with CHRONIC ILLNESS. It’s also FIRST IN A SERIES!
A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow
Let’s do this! If we’re mentioning QUEER REP, URBAN FANTASY and CHRONIC ILLNESS then I have to talk about A Mirror Mended by the genius that is Alix E Harrow.
A Mirror Mended sees Zinnia Gray back to her FAIRYTALE-fixing antics but instead of PRINCESSES needing saving this time a well known EVIL QUEEN/WITCH needs her FATE rewriting. This novella is a FEMINIST RETELLING quite like no other as Harrow takes the tale of Snow White and twists it, pulls it apart and wields it into a story where the lines between heroes and villains are blurred and happily ever afters don’t exist.
But beyond that strange occurrences are happening in the MULTIVERSE, and although Zinnia’s CHRONIC ILLNESS means that her time could be running short, her only chance at saving it might just be to stop running from her own FATE.
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
WITCHES in the COUNTRYSIDE (Comet Weather) then makes me think of another favourite, Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner, which is a delightful fantasy story about a MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN who grows tired of her family responsibilities and leaves them to become a WITCH in a small town in the Chilterns (COUNTRYSIDE). It is a fiercely FEMINIST text that rejects the social restrictions placed on women, one in which the SUPERNATURAL elements are subtly interweaved with beautiful CHARACTER FOCUSED work.
Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson
If you’re looking for a HISTORICAL FANTASY story about a MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN in the COUNTRYSIDE, then I highly recommend WARM, CHARACTER FOCUSED story Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson. This quietly FEMINIST story sees meek forty-something spinster Miss Percy finally REJECT HER ROLE IN SOCIETY when she inherits a baby DRAGON! There’s a smidgen of ROMANCE, lots of FAMILY issues, and plenty of HUMOUR in this FANTASY OF MANNERS.
Wow! Plenty of links there for you to work from – a huge thank you to Nils, Beth, Asha, and Jonathan for playing along!
If you’d like to take part in the tag, please do let us know either in the comments, on our socials, or by using the hashtags #TagTeam and #WomenInSFF. We can’t wait to see what associations you make!