Short works

Books : reviews

Kameron Hurley.
The Geek Feminist Revolution.
Tor. 2016

rating : 2 : great stuff
review : 14 February 2017

Outspoken and provocative, double Hugo Award-winning essayist Kameron Hurley writes with passion and conviction on feminism, geek culture, the impact of women in science fiction and fantasy, and the diversification of publishing. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Atlantic, Locus, and

The Geek Feminist Revolution is Hurley’s manifesto and her call to arms, her life story and her moving personal experiences. Beyond addressing the ongoing conversations in the science fiction community, the core themes of her essays—fighting against the suppression of women, finding perseverance to thrive as an artist, and encouraging cultural change by critiquing its media—resonate with everyone. Her voice adds to today’s growing canon of feminist writing. Assembled herein are dozens of entries from her blog, including the 2013 Hugo Award-winning “We Have Always Fought,” and nine new essays written specifically for this collection. Startling in its openness and honesty, The Geek Feminist Revolution will captivate you from the first page with its wit and its gravitas, its rage and its joy, its tactical profanity and its moving eloquence.

The Geek Feminist Revolution collects over 30 of Kameron Hurley’s non-fiction essays, on a range of topics: being a geek, being a feminist, being sick in the US, being a writer, being a woman SF writer, being a copy writer, sexism, sexism in SF (both in the community, and in the literature), being trolled. Some of these pieces are from her blog, one is her magnificent Hugo award winning essay “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative” (reprinted here with added illustrations), some are new to this collection. All are worth reading.

The essays cover a wide range of topics, yet there is a common theme running through many of them: that of writing; from being a writer (including the value of sheer persistence, which here has to be read to be believed), to reviewing and critiquing the literature and community, all from an unabashedly feminist perspective. As always with books about writing, I look to see how well they take their own advice. Here, the prose style is admirably transparent, punchy, and readable. And the content is passionate, insightful, and well-argued. These essays make fascinating, if sometimes uncomfortable, reading. Recommended.