Geek Feminist Revolution: Kameron Hurley's measured essays on the importance of rage
Kameron Hurley is first and foremost a talented novelist (see, for example, her critically acclaimed God's War books), but her first Hugo was awarded for an essay, "We Have Always Fought," which is just one of many significant, eloquent, and insightful nonfiction pieces collected in The Geek Feminist Revolution, just published in paperback.
Like her fiction, Hurley's essays draw on her own history, growing up in a sheltered, working class white suburb; a disastrous relationship with an emotionally abusive boyfriend; a failed bid to move out at 18 and then a more successful migration to Alaska at 19; a near-death experience when her lack of medical insurance left her late-onset Type 1 diabetes untreated; her medical debt; her queer identity; her graduate research on woman revolutionaries in South Africa; her grandmother's experiences in Nazi-occupied France; and her day job as a successful marketing writer and her struggles with depression and her political awakening through science fiction.
An occupational hazard of this sort of collection -- collecting the author's columns and essays for diverse publications -- is a certain amount of repetition. The essays are written to stand on their own, and so they recapitulate bits of the same background. It's unavoidable (and universal -- my own essay collections suffer from this, too), but it's not too intrusive, and is really the only complaint I have about this collection.
Because otherwise, it's excellent. Though the collection is divided into thematic sections (Level Up; Geek; Let's Get Personal; and Revolution), the overarching themes are of understanding the role of culture in exploring and addressing social injustice. Sometimes, Hurley explains the notion of "privilege" with crisp, critical language that acknowledges the shortcomings of using "privilege" as a shorthand without minimizing its importance. Other times, she's writing hot takes on some of pop culture's ugliest moments -- Gamergate, Sad Puppies, etc -- and manages the nearly impossible: a hot take that stands up in hindsight, capturing truths that endure past the scandal's brief flash.
Whether offering advice to up and coming writers; or reflecting on how to remain professional in the face of abusive harassment campaigns; or explaining how her own thinking was changed by science fiction; or talking about the foundational injustice of economic inequality in a nation without universal healthcare, Hurley is cogent and measured, wielding her anger like a scalpel rather than a cudgel, deploying a rage that is as tactically sound as it is genuine.
The Geek Feminist Revolution [Kameron Hurley/Tor]
Chicago's Volante (previously) bills itself as "streetwear for superheroes," and I love their clothes. They've just released an addition to their existing canon of Star Trek-themed, cosplay-adjacent clothes: the Picard Sweater, a stretchy knit tribute to Jean-Luc himself, the perfect thing to wear while you're watching Wil Wheaton host "The Ready Room," which airs after […]
Last year, McMansion Hell (previously) inaugurated its annual gingerbread McMansion competition, inviting America's bakers to challenge themselves to build the largest, most ostentatious, most ill-conceived McMansion in gingerbread form.
Nathaniel Stern writes, "The World After Us: Imaging techno-aesthetic futures (Flickr set) is an art exhibition that asks, 'What will — and what can — happen to our gadgets over geological time?' For the last few years, I have been working scientists to artificially age phones and computers in different ways, growing plants and fungi […]
The latest iPhone cameras are undeniably impressive, but they’re still no match for a professional camera when it comes to taking clear, wide-angle shots. These six accessories will transform your iPhone into a pro-level camera in seconds, thanks to powerful and easy-to-attach lenses. 1. Lemuro 18MM iPhone Wide Lens MSRP: $100 | Sale Price: $80 […]
Few things in life are more universally dreaded than going to the gym, which is unfortunate since a new year usually means making new resolutions to get in shape. Thankfully, this BodyBoss 2.0: Portable Home Gym has everything you need to burn fat and build muscle in the comfort of your own home. With just […]
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to travel more, you owe it to yourself to learn the language of the place you’re visiting. If you’re not sure where to start, give these resources a look. From mobile apps to online courses, these products can get you conversant in a new language before you […]