I’ve started reviewing for Strange Horizons and Women Write About Comics recently, so here are my first regular reviews for both (I had a couple of guest posts at WWAC last year about the compelling queer resonances of the National Theatre’s genderflipped Malvolia in Twelfth Night, and – as Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to play the Doctor – why so many women want a TARDIS full of coats).
Reviewing Jeff Noon’s A Man of Shadows at Strange Horizons:
Dayzone and Nocturna are metropoles of underhand business and alternative religion that sometimes resemble a blazing or pitch-dark Viriconium, sometimes call to mind China Miéville’s juxtaposition of two cities separated in the same geographical space by an impassable, conceptual Breach. Dayzone sizzles and whirrs with chronologists’ guilds, cults worshipping every solar deity from Apollo to the holy trinity of earthed electrical wire, and sprawling markets and red-light districts blurring “the artistic and the sexually bizarre” (p. 46). Its contrast with Nocturna might occasionally echo pseudo-Habsburg Beszel and Levantine Ul Qoma, the co-located cities made invisible to each other’s inhabitants that frustrate the detective protagonist of Miéville’s The City and The City—a novel that set the philosophical pace for what the genre might expect diametrically opposed cities to reveal about the society that has been divided between them, or the society that uses them to imagine a truth about itself.
And yet the history of Dayzone and Nocturna is as hard to view as both cities’ physical sun…
‘A Compendium of Resistance: Comics for Choice Fights for Reproductive Justice‘, reviewing Hazel Newlevant, Whit Thomas and Ø K Fox’s anthology Comics for Choice: Illustrated Abortion Stories, History and Politics at Women Write About Comics:
Newlevant’s editor’s note explains the editorial team wanted to produce a book that would “educate readers about many facets of the history of abortion in America, the incredible diversity of reasons people choose it, and what we can do to protect this crucial right.” Many of its rawest comics are the narratives of women and non-binary people who chose to have abortions, clinic escorts, abortion doulas, and reproductive rights advocates, illustrated in simple but evocative storytelling styles.
At the same time, Comics for Choice provides a history of the reproductive justice movement in the US that powerfully accentuates the intergenerational memory of its more intimate stories…