switchbladesis: (this is some weird shit dude)
[personal profile] switchbladesis
Joanna Russ died yesterday. She was one of the people who is responsible for turning science fiction into a genre that I would want to read, both with her own stories and her essays on the genre. She was one of the first to take slash seriously as porn written by women for women, analyzing the tropes and themes found in slashfic (and she sounded really excited when she wrote about it). Her writing isn't perfect -The Female Man is kind of gross about transwomen, which Russ later apologized for-but it's a hell of a lot better than a lot else that was going on at the time. And I think more than any of the other scifi writers at the time, she wasn't afraid of being that Angry Lesbian Feminist and call scifi on some of its bullshit. And a lot of that bullshit is still going on today, if in a slightly different form (okay, some of it in the exact same form), so it definitely needed to be done.

It's surprisingly hard to find stuff by her on the web-she did most of her writing in the pre-internet era, but I managed to dig up at few links, at least.

"When it Changed" (1972)
A discussion of the reaction to "When it Changed" and The Female Man
The first chapter of How To Suppress Women's Writing (what it says on the tin)
Someone else writing about Joanna Russ writing about slash
An interview between Joanna Russ and Sam Delany at Wiscon a few years ago, where Joanna is pretty much like 'I don't know what's going on in contemporary Scifi or Fantasy these days, but Buffy is awesome'
Thoughts and Reminisces on Joanna Russ at Making Light (be sure to read this one and this one)

So yeah, all of you, go out and read The Female Man or some of her short stories. I can't guarantee you'll like it, but it's definitely worth reading.

This also seems like the appropriate place to post this: PSA: Girls Watch Porn Too

Writing this all out has depressed me more than I thought it would, I'm not really in the mood to capslock about SPN right now. Needless to say, I liked it, am looking forward to next week like whoa. My thoughts are pretty much [personal profile] whynot 's thoughts, only instead of wanting Narnia from Susan's point of view, I'm still sad about the way Dark!Willow was portrayed in season six (it should have been about her lack of self worth leading to an abuse of power, not that magic is drugs and drugs are bad, mmmkay?).  Show is actually giving me what I usually go to fandom for, and I am very happy if a little confused.
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