A few years back, a friend who is also an author, turned me on to a conference that takes place in Colorado in October. It isn’t a writing convention, but a lot of the people there are authors. It isn’t a readers convention, though everyone there are readers.
I couldn’t go last year because I chose Italy (and do not regret that decision), but I’m all signed up for this year.
One of the things I love about Sirens, is that on top of all of the conversations, panels, and learning experiences, they provide you a reading list, filled with books written by strong women authors in genres where women are often overlooked. It is a huge list of speculative fiction that hits multiple genres and sometimes mixes them together.
This year’s theme is Heroes, and the guests of Honor, on top of being kickass authors with heroes in their books, they are diverse and the words they offer bring you to new places. I started at the top of the list and bought the first three books from our Guests of Honor.
The first one I read was The Bloodprint.
A fantasy set in a world where religious extremists have taken over and twisted their holy text to keep women out of sight, with no voice or presence, and keeping the men in line with fear. It’s easy to see the parallels to our own world. The hero, in this case, is a woman who knows how to use the scripture of that religion to perform magic. Her journey takes her far from home in search of a legend in hopes of freeing her world.
I loved how different this world was from the familiar fantasy story.
Trail of Lightning was the second book I read, and I devoured it in a single day.
This falls into post-apocalyptic and dystopian type categories, and our hero is a Diné, a monster-slayer with a dark past and powers that burst out of her, giving her speed and the ability to kill. The world is filled with old gods and monsters, and she needs to come to terms with her past before she can survive to see the future.
This book sucked me in and held me through the end and at the end, I really, really wanted more. I have already ordered the next book.
I love books like these, that fill my head with ideas, that make me think and rethink. Inspiration struck me yesterday and I spilled over 2000 words on a short story before 5am yesterday after finishing this book the night before.