I’ve got a lot of great material planned for this week. I’m going to be looking at a lot of reimaginings of great classics, including new interpretations of Dracula, Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland and Greek Mythology. On top of that, I’m going to look at what happens when science goes horribly wrong and finally, after a long, long hiatus, bring back Badass Princess of the week.
One of the new features I’m going to include is Pick Of The Month where each month I’m going to be over viewing all the stuff I’ve looked at each month and choosing the best I’ve seen. Here are some of the categories I’m to include:
I look at quite a range of media each month- anything from comic books to short stories to film in my reviews and ‘top 11’ lists. This category is for the best work I’ve come across this month overall.
Best Short Story
I review a lot of short stories on here for a variety of reasons (mostly because I’m pressed for time and it gives me some new material to put up until I finish the novel reviews). One thing I’ve gathered after reading so many is that it’s an even more difficult art than novel writing, as you have to develop characters, ideas and worlds in such a small space of time. (FYI If I did January, Little Noises would be the winner).
Ghosts, gryphons, androids and aliens… there are a tonne of brilliant creatures in horror, fantasy and sci fi, and this award looks at the species/ character which has caught my attention the most.
Best Male Character
What it says on the tin. They may be the hero, the villain, a great support or even a great concept, this reward remains there for the most interesting male I’ve come across each month.
Best Female Character
The same with the men. Even if there are a lot of female novel writers, there are still a lack of great female characters whose stories aren’t stunted by sexism. In this section I’ll look at the best female portrayal I’ve come across.
(Optional) Best Genderqueer Character
99.9% of the world are clearly one sex or the other, even if they see themselves as being very androgynous, tomboyish or effeminate. That includes transgender people too, as most percieve themselves unreservedly as one gender deep down, so a kickass trans women will fall under the ‘best female’, while trans men will fall under ‘best male’.
However, there are a very small percentage of characters who don’t fall under either gender category; and in sci fi you also get genderless/ gender changing characters too. For when that happens and there’s this one character who really just kicks ass, there’s this category, to honour the characters whose sex just cannot be pinned down that easily.
Best POC portrayal (person of colour)
Considering that the overwhelming population of the world isn’t white, POC make up a tiny percentage of characters in books. When they do appear, there are just so many negative tropes and awful portrayals attached to them- from tokenism, to fetishisation and to making them servants whose life revolves around white people. In this part, I’m going to look at the good representations of POC. In the case where our best POC is also one of the best characters overall (which is looking very likely this month) , I’ll try not to double up on awards and include another great POC portrayal to fill this slot.
(Optional) Hall of shame
I try not to tear down authors too much. Afterall, the world of writing is a merciless one and most writers just want to get the stories they want to tell out there. However, there are some works which are filled with events that are so unpleasant, so badly written, so mean spirited, homophobic or racist, that they need to be take down. This award isn’t for stories I thought were poor or just didn’t like very much; this section is for characters or stories that are so goddam awful that they deserve to be made to sit in the corner and never leave.
What are your thought? What are the best stories you’ve read recently, and who are the characters who really resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.