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The Geek Feminist Revolution

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A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer’s journey, from one of the most important new voices in genre.

The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley.

The book collects dozens of Hurley’s essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including “We Have Always Fought,” which won the 2014 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution also features several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.

Unapologetically outspoken, Hurley has contributed essays to The Atlantic, Locus, Tor.com, and elsewhere on the rise of women in genre, her passion for science fiction and fantasy, and the diversification of publishing.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published May 31, 2016

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About the author

Kameron Hurley

104 books2,349 followers
Kameron Hurley is the author of The Light Brigade, The Stars are Legion and the essay collection The Geek Feminist Revolution, as well as the award-winning God’s War Trilogy and The Worldbreaker Saga. Hurley has won the Hugo Award, Locus Award, Kitschy Award, and Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. She was also a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, and the Gemmell Morningstar Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Popular Science Magazine, Lightspeed and numerous anthologies. Hurley has also written for The Atlantic, Writers Digest, Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, Bitch Magazine, and Locus Magazine. She posts regularly at KameronHurley.com. Get a short story from Kameron each month via: patreon.com/kameronhurley

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 832 reviews
Profile Image for Kevin Kelsey.
400 reviews2,179 followers
May 7, 2018
Posted at Heradas

Terrific essays, a little repetitive in some spots, and slightly more sarcastic than I'm used to. But, great stuff nonetheless.

At the very least read 'We have always fought', the essays on Mad Max, Die Hard, and True Detective, as well as 'In Defense of Unlikeable Women'.

I've never read any Kameron Hurley fiction, but I would really like to after reading this. It sounds like she has a fantastic grasp on writing real, living, breathing characters. She also clearly understands—and opened my eyes to—the monumental power that storytellers have to change the world, and how our worldview is flavored and interpreted through the lens of fiction.
Profile Image for Sarah.
489 reviews70 followers
July 4, 2016
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Tor Books for the advanced copy given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Pre-reading : This better be intersectional feminism. Tired of being disappointed by whitewashing in femlit.

Post- reading : Well, I shouldn't have worried about the whitewashing, Hurley definitely tried to be inclusive. She was very vocal about acknowledging the need for diversity, and in her own shortcomings as a white writer who sometimes makes mistakes with representation in her fiction.

I didn't love this collection, however. And maybe it`s because I read it on the back of the phenomenal Bad Feminist, but the essays in here just didn't move or educate me. I actually feel like 2/3 of the book is falsely advertised - this isn't a collection with feminism at the core, it is more a collection of autobiographical tidbits with feminism as a strong undertone. If I had gone in expecting to mainly be reading about Hurley's life, and her process as a writer, maybe I wouldn't be so disappointed. If you are a young female writer penning SF stories, then this is for you. Hurley gives a lot of advice on how to write (although I often felt that the essays came across as an infomercial for her own books) and she shows how she has failed in the past, and how she persevered until she succeeded. This is all great, but when a book is sold as being about feminism, but is actually a how-to autobiography on becoming a successful SF writer in a male dominated world, it is a bit frustrating.

I did ADORE her final essay, We Have Always Fought, but it was written a few years before The Geek Feminist Revolution and is available for free online. I also loved her essay on what it was like to go from able bodied to chronically ill, and her first hand experiences with the mess that was the pre-Obama American health care system. I found both essays eye opening and extremely well written.

I think one of my main issues with the collection is how thin it all seemed. Hurley mentions a few things over and over- I know she won a Hugo award (because she mentioned it way too often for it to pass my notice), and I know she lived in South Africa (but as a South African, it was really disappointing to read another thin, stereotypical representation of the homeland), I know she is passionate about feminism and standing up for women on the internet and in the Geek sphere - but there was no meat to the bones of her experiences. The essays in this collection left me wanting so much more. Hurley is talented, and seems like someone I would love to have at the dinner table, if only to have the opportunity to get more out of her brain.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,909 followers
June 22, 2017
This is the 5th book I've read of Hurley and out of all of them, I'm going to have to rate this the best.

Why? Is it because it's full of rage at the real injustice in the world? Or because it's a call to action for every one of us to do and think better than we have been?

Both of these, I think.

But because I'm a White Male of traditionally acceptable sexuality...

Who has read Adrienne Rich and has generally read voraciously about feminism and the problems of the culture we live in, thinking and believing that women's studies are not only for women but is everyone's responsibility to consider seriously as we are responsible adults living lives that we can be proud of...

I'm honored to take up Hurley's call to action or at the very least continue the dialogue in all seriousness. Feminism isn't only for women. It's just as important that men understand what's at stake here. We're either all victims lashing out or we can grow the hell up and treat everyone we know with respect.

That being said, I also loved these essays for Hurley's honesty, her story, and even the redefinitions of her life. I respect her for passing through the gauntlet of those bad times and refusing to back down when she sees things that are wrong. We should all be this brave and stand up to fight for that which we honestly believe rather than fall back on the trap of politeness when it's not getting the job done. :)

I think this book out of all of this year's Hugo Nominees for Best Non-Fiction work is best suited to win, and it's not only because it deals with the writing process, issues with storytelling in culture, or even because it drills down into Gamergate and Sad/Rabid Puppies, but because it's plainly excellent and cohesive writing that packs a punch.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,424 reviews8,309 followers
October 22, 2016
A fabulous, fierce essay collection that uplifted my soul in the busy season of graduate school applications. Double Hugo Award winner Kameron Hurley writes about the intersections of feminism, science fiction and fantasy, and the struggles she has overcome in her personal life. She sheds light on the sexism women encounter online and in the writing industry, in a way that conveys strength and hope. Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite essays of hers, "In Defense of Unlikable Women," which I will include various snippets of throughout this review:

"I see this double standard pop up all the time in novels, too. We forgive our heroes even when they're drunken, aimless brutes or flawed noir figures who smoke too much and can't hold down a steady relationship. In truth, we both sympathize with and celebrate these heroes; Conan is loved for his raw emotions, his gut instincts, his tendency to solve problems through sheer force of will. But the traits we love in many male heroes - their complexity, their confidence, their occasional bouts of selfish whim - become, in female heroes, marks of the dreaded 'unlikable character'."

I loved two things most about this essay collection: Hurley's big heart and her commitment to discussing intersectionality. Throughout the book, she advocates for more compassion toward women and men, more kindness on the internet, and more justice for those who suffer because of circumstances outside of their control. She writes with idealism without sounding naive. Her awareness of intersectionality shines as well, as she emphasizes the importance of supporting and strengthening the voices of minority writers. Here is another quote from the same essay, again about the double standard within writing male and female characters:

"Male writers, and their male protagonists, are expected to be flawed and complex, but reader expectations for women writers and their characters tend to be far more rigid. Women may stray, but only so far. If they go on deep, alcoholic benders, they'd best repent and sober up at the end. If they abandon their spouses and children, they'd best end tragically, or make good. Women must, above all, show kindness. Women may be strong - but they must also, importantly, be vulnerable. If they are not, readers are more likely to push back and label them unlikable."

Overall, recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about feminism, in particular its intersections with science fiction and internet spaces. Some of Hurley's essays in the latter half of the collection feel a little repetitive and lack the depth of her more critical, externally-focused pieces. Still, her courage and tenacity inspire the heck out of me, and I am confident this book will rile readers up in the best possible way. To end this review, one more quote from that stellar essay I have quoted twice above:

"Like it or not, failure of empathy in the face of unlikable women in fiction can often lead to a failure to empathize with women who don't follow all the rules in real life, too. I see this all the time in conversations with men and women alike. It's these same questions that get brought up when women who have been assaulted dare to report abuse. What was she wearing? Did she provoke him by talking back? Was she a bad wife? A bad girlfriend? Was she a good woman, or a bad woman? This line of questioning, and the assumptions that prompt it, is one we would never apply to their male counterparts - unless they are men of color...

... This justification of violence against those who step outside of the roles of the dominant culture puts them into can be reinforced or challenged by the stories we tell. Stories tell us not only who we are, but who we can be. They paint the narrow behavioral boxes within which we put ourselves and those we know. They can encourage compassion and kindness and acceptance, or violence and intolerance and reprisal. It all bleeds from the page or the screen into the real world. Who deserves forgiveness? I'd hope we all do."
Profile Image for Madeline.
771 reviews47k followers
March 26, 2019
A well-written, well-researched and well-argued critique of geek culture through a feminist lens. Kameron Hurley definitely has the qualifications for this, being a sci-fi and fantasy author herself, and I loved the perspective she brings to different aspects of geek culture (even though I believe that Mad Max: Fury Road is a feminist masterpiece and will defend it to the death, Hurley’s essay on the movie made me rethink how some of the minor female characters function in the story, and how they could have been presented better).

Geek culture is one that has always been openly hostile to women, even though women created many of the foundations that it rests on (*coughMary Shelleycough*), and it’s truly sad that even in the year of our Lord 2019 there are still men whining about how they shouldn’t have to allow women (and POC) into what they’ve always believed should be a Straight White Boys Only clubhouse. So I’m glad that we have people like Kameron Hurley to slam an entire book’s worth of arguments onto the table and say, “Move over.”

Go see Captain Marvel.
Profile Image for Monica.
582 reviews610 followers
March 16, 2020
My first Kameron Hurley book and it's a book of essays about writing, sexism, feminism, racism, capitalism, injustice, personal growth and llamas. Such a potpourri seems like it would be a little choppy in execution, but it flowed very well. Turns out Hurley is a very smart and interesting writer.

One would think that a book written in 2016 and steeped with pop culture would be starting to feel a little stale, but this did not. I don't know if it's the times where it feels like civil rights and the causes of justice are in regression or that the increasingly technological, continuously evolving world of social media 5 years later is still untamed so the issues discussed are still prevalent. Online bullying is still a major issue and we have legions of embittered and entitled tribes either trying to change things or trying to maintain some privilege, the ugliness and misinformation and propaganda, the one sided edits the proliferation of websites that help people to reinforce their beliefs; it's all still here on blast. Hurley is a brash, sensible, wise, and youthful voice combating all kinds of isms and social injustices, specifically in the publishing world. She really is an activist and she is determined to make a difference.

For me this was a timely read. Hurley speaks of issues she had coming to terms with her own place in the online and the publishing worlds (which are vicious) and how she learned of her own defense mechanisms and immaturity in initially dealing with basically awful people. Legions of them. Through her writing it felt like I was reading actual growth and self awareness. When to be combative and when to live to fight another day. In our virtual presence (by virtual presence I mean online presence as well as digital personas that are extended through texting and Messenger ect). We humans can be fairly oblivious to what we put out into the atmosphere. A meaningless jibe can be received as a hurtful judgement to someone else and because there is no nuance, it comes across as deliberate. Our reactions can be equally hurtful and disproportionate. We can be unaware of how much vitriol and nastiness comes through. And in Hurley's online world, the hurtful comments are often quite deliberate and intentionally mean and vicious. Thick skins, these authors must have. All of those attacks inevitably take a toll on the psyche. That and the isms of real life are a lot. These essays were like therapy with Hurley figuring things out and taking the reader through her processing of what is happening in the world and how the heck does a female scifi writer get herself published. She is very perceptive, very smart, a bit of a geek and seems to have a little Karmic bloodlust that she apparently vicariously lives through her characters. I find myself quite anxious to read her fiction. There is definitely more Hurley in my future.

4+ Stars

Read on kindle
Profile Image for Hannah.
548 reviews16 followers
April 7, 2017
Footnotes! Get your footnotes here!

These footnotes annoy me.

A lot.

As in, if there are 22 footnotes labelled "1," they should at least be at the bottom of the page. And if not at the bottom of the page, perhaps an annotated bibliography at the back, rather than just a citation? Maybe a URL shortener? Please?

AND SO, I give you the current links, valid until they're deleted or modified in shame:


1 Bury Your Gays

1 The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino


1 Dale Cooper

1 Clarion's 2014 Literary Pin-up Calendar

2 Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens

3 Do the successful get a free pass?

1 Joan Slonczewski, but it was the Amazon bio linked.

1 Sideways

2 Young Adult

3 An Unseemly Emotion: PW Talks with Claire Messud

4 On Persistence, And The Long Con Of Being A Successful Writer by Kameron Hurley

5 Not Here to Make Friends by Roxane Gay

1 Wonder Maul Doll

2 The Women of Our Occupation

3 Why I Write Masculine Stories by Paul S Kemp

1 Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War by Barbara Ehrenreich

1 Some Men Are More Monstrous Than Others: On True Detective’s Men & Monsters

2 One Bloke to Rule Us All: Depictions of Hegemony in Snowpiercer vs. Guardians of the Galaxy

1 The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains by Leo Widrich

1 Books About Women Don't Win Big Awards: Some Data by Nicola Griffith


1 A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names by Laura Mixon

2 'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic by Kathleen Hale

3 The following is an open letter to my friends and colleagues who are established members of the science fiction and fantasy community by Elizabeth Bear

1 John Green Responded On Tumblr To Accusations Of Sexual Abuse

2 Justine Sacco Is Good at Her Job, and How I Came To Peace With Her

3 Anne Rice signs petition to protest bullying of authors on Amazon

1 Bin Laden Comes Home to Roost

2 Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan

...And now I need yet another break, so I'll continue with Part IV citations next time.

But you can see what I mean about all the "1" footnotes, right?
Profile Image for Peter Tieryas.
Author 25 books689 followers
April 3, 2016
One of the best essay collections I've ever read. Truly revolutionary. I'll do a full review soon.
Profile Image for Melora.
575 reviews140 followers
June 4, 2017
This caught my eye for a couple reasons. One being that I can imagine that if I were half my age, born in 1990 rather than 1965, I might well be participating in the geeky internet fandoms Hurley describes in her introduction, those that “have arisen around science fiction and fantasy novels, games, and other media.” In my teens and early twenties, when I was a passionate reader of fantasy and science fiction, there wasn't such a community available to me, but I can certainly understand the appeal. The other thing that lured me in is that I'm not half my age, but am in fact a fifty-one year old mom of an ardently feminist fifteen year old daughter, and her sensitivity to unwarranted assumptions and injustices has made me want to be more aware of issues which were little discussed when I was young. When I suggested to her that we might read this together over the summer and discuss it she agreed, so that's the plan.

Reading these essays I often had the feeling of having walked in on a heated debate, in which the main speaker occasionally threw clarifying comments in my direction but whose main attention was, naturally, primarily given to the active long-time participants in the group. The first section, particularly, “Level Up,” which consists of essays written to encourage other sci-fi/fantasy writers, is furiously angry at the obstacles that she and others have dealt with in becoming successful in this field. Having grown up reading female fantasy writers – Norton, Le Guin, McCaffrey, McKillip, Kurtz, etc. – I had no idea that sexism was such an issue. Apparently it is. Anyway, I thought the last two essays in this section were particularly good -- “Taking Responsibility for Writing Problematic Stories,” in which Hurley talks about perpetuating unfortunate tropes in her own writing, and “Unpacking the “Real Writers Have Talent” Myth,” which is, unsurprisingly, about valuing sheer determination rather than hoping to find oneself “gifted” with writing talent.

In the second section a number of the essays were challenging for me but, as a result, especially interesting. “A Complexity of Desires: Expectations of Sex and Sexuality in Science Fiction,” was particularly hard for me to wrap my brain around, but, then, being jarred by novel ideas was part of why I chose this book, so that was okay, and the difficult essays were also, often, the most eye-opening, which says much for Hurley's skill as a writer. Two essays in this section, “Women and Gentlemen: On Unmasking the Sobering Reality of Hyper-Masculine Characters” and “Our Dystopia: Imagining More Hopeful Futures,” seemed especially well done to me, but, really, most of them were good.

The third and fourth sections, “Let's Get Personal” and “Revolution,” similarly, were pretty much all interesting, though, again, the rage sometimes gets tiring. The essays about “Gamergate” were particularly instructive for me, as that was a thing that I recall seeing mention of not too long ago, but only in my peripheral vision, as it were. Fortunately the book has a nice bibliography at the end, and I plan to read a little more deeply into a number of things she mentioned.

I can't resist noting that, having been repeatedly confronted with my ignorances and complacencies, I was a little gratified to notice that Hurley, too, has a blind spot. In “The Horror Novel You'll Never Have to Live: Surviving Without Health Insurance,” she writes about her health crises before the Affordable Care Act (on its march toward the scaffold as I write) and says “Can't afford it (health insurance)? That's okay. The government will subsidize plans for people who can't pay for them. You don't have to worry about being unemployed and homeless and dying of some treatable thing in an alley somewhere.” Which, is, I suppose, the situation in many places, but in other areas, including the one where I live, those nice subsidies are only available to those above a certain income level, and those who fall below are still directed, as Hurley puts it, to go die in an alley somewhere (though, being rural, I am more inclined to imagine a ditch). Still, on the whole I have to admit that Hurley's spreads her sympathies widely, encompassing … well, pretty much everyone but straight white men, and her demands and tirades are clearly not on her own behalf but intended to create a better society for everyone.

As with most essay collections, there were some that were five stars for me, some four, and a few that were forehead-wrinkling threes. Hurley is fiercely protective of the women and men she sees as being persecuted, erased, and minimalized in our culture, and sometimes her insistence on the divide between fragile victims and evil persecutors seemed to me rather over the top. I decided that this was a five star read for me based on the fact that I chose it to shake me out of my complacency and to offer me a really different way of seeing things. Much as I want to be more aware and support people of all sorts in being fairly represented in media, my personal tastes in literature/movies/etc. are, by Hurley's standards, fairly “status quo.” I've never read any of Hurley's fiction, but her character that she describes most frequently, Nyx, is a vicious bounty-hunter who casually copulates with whoever catches her eye, and, even after these enlightening essays I find that rather repellant. Much as I love Eowyn and the way she rides out and defeats the Nazgul, I'm also happy when she ends up marrying Faramir. If instead, after Sauron's defeat, she seduced Arwen, Galadriel, and Rosie and started up the raunchiest brothel in Gondor, I'd be put off. Still, while my tastes are unlikely to change, my understanding of the real importance of having greater diversity of representation in science fiction and fantasy, and even of the reasons these new visions need to be recognized through awards and “best of” lists has been much improved by reading Hurley's fine essays.
Profile Image for Jess.
82 reviews38 followers
June 17, 2016
Reminiscent of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist in that it framed feminist concerns in relation to representations of pop culture. I found it very engaging and accessible, although as it was a collection of previously available essays naturally the content could be somewhat repetitive. Also, as a postgraduate historian (and I believe Hurley is too) I couldn't help but wish there was a little more theory/research/critical engagement in there. In saying that, that might be a little unfair as Hurley has repeatedly acknowledged that she disavows academic writing because she wants her book to be accessible to as many people as possible. Still, this is absolutely necessary reading for anyone who's ever been concerned about the representation of women in sci-fi and fantasy, and for those people out there who dismiss Hurley's concerns as irrelevant- she is completely successful in demonstrating how fictional narratives are inherently linked to questions of power, gender, and sexuality. Great work.
Profile Image for Ksenia.
783 reviews193 followers
February 12, 2016
Required reading for everyone: whether you're a woman, man, geek, a non-geek, or just simply, human. This book will make you angry and frustrated, but with good reason! It will make you want to rage against the machine and the man and society, and make you want to get off your butt to change the world. Kameron Hurley sheds light on all the things one should be angry about, but also lets you know that all is not lost. This collection will allow you take a step back and reassess the world, the media, and the people around you. So much to think about!! Highly, highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Coral Carracedo.
Author 9 books167 followers
July 26, 2018
The Geek Feminist Revolution no ha sido un avasallamiento de información desconocida que necesitase. De hecho, no me ha enseñado nada que no supiese ya de moverme en la red y ser de izquierdas y pro LGBT+.
The Geek Feminist Revolution ha sido una conexión con una hermana. He llorado, me he enfadado y me he esperanzado. Me ha llegado a muchos niveles. Como escritora. Como Mujer. Como geek. Como blanca. Como bisexual. Como gorda. Y como todas esas cosas relacionadas que forman una identidad.
Necesitaba esa conexión.

Me han gustado todas las partes, aunque quizás, la II parte, la geek, la que menos. Me ha interesado mucho más la vida personal de Hurley. Sus ideas. De donde viene y cómo ha cambiado. Y no solo eso, como sigue cambiando.

Generalmente no me gusta subrayar los libros ni dejar que un par de frases, a modo de eslogan, representen una idea que se explica mejor con mesura y bien detallada, pero Hurley ha hecho que me salte todas las reglas. Tiene frases potentísimas y muy cuidadas.

Pude obtener la firma de la autora en el Celsius cuando iba por la mitad. Cada vez que la leo o la escucho me dan ganas de seguir luchando. Y creo que esa es la clave de este pequeño compendio de artículos.
Gracias Hurley, por la rabia y la esperanza.
Profile Image for Danika at The Lesbrary.
510 reviews1,257 followers
September 14, 2016
I was so excited by the title of this that I missed that this is an essay collection. It's definitely focused on sci fi books in particular as opposed to geeky fandom in general. Even though I had different expectations, I loved this. It makes me want to pick up her novels as well. The writing is engaging and smart, but it's also got a lot of rage bubbling underneath. I was impressed with how inclusive it is: Hurley is trans-inclusive and talks about racism as well as misogyny. This is definitely one I'd recommend.
Profile Image for Trin.
1,744 reviews550 followers
September 16, 2016
I am both the best and worst audience for this book.

Best, because the issues that concern Hurley -- the intersection of feminist and geek culture, women's place in the SFF community and in the world, the importance of representation -- are all major concerns for me.

And worst, for the exact same reason: I know all of this already. This is what I already think and believe. I have heard all these arguments made before, both more and less effectively. There is nothing new for me here.

I think for someone else, younger or newer to these ideas, this collection could be eye-opening and wonderful. But to me it seemed like stuff I might find posted on Tumblr every day of my life.

Again, I'm glad Hurley's voice is out there -- more strong voices are always good! -- but for me, at least, this wasn't as stirring as it could have been.
Profile Image for Silvana.
1,119 reviews1,110 followers
March 23, 2017
Warning: This is not a review. It is more like a personal rant. Let me just tell you that everyone especially SFF readers should read it. It is a no-holds barred, highly opinionated writings about various subjects from personal struggles, discrimination towards women, the importance of non-binary gender, how to survive in the publishing industry, gamergate, Sad Puppies and so on.

Okay? Okay. Now let's start the non-review.

Reading this feels like having a direct life lesson / motivational seminar from Hurley herself. Obviously I don't find everything she told relatable but heck yeah most of them happened to me in some ways.

One that stroke me the most was her defiance on not letting people get her down because of her weight. When she was dying in a hospital (she suffered an immune disorder), she overheard her mom saying that she never looked that great because she was so thin. I broke down and cry after reading that.

You see, I have someone very close to me making comments on my weight almost every single day. I did lash out a few times and asked that person to stop because it hurts. It stopped for a while but then when I lose a few pounds that person said 'Hey good that you lose weight!' and 'How much weight did you lose?'. Repeatedly. Then when I gained some the person made another comment 'Oh but you were thinner the other day. Look at your [insert body part]'. Over and over again. To this person, it seems to me that my worth revolves around my weight. And my appearance. My life achievements do not matter. The person does not care if I am a straight A student and graduated with honor (which I did). The person does not really care if I have a good career, have lots of friends and activities, in good health and overall happy with my life. That person never made any comment on that. It is always about how I look. I am not one of those pretty, feminine girls with luscious long hair in trendy clothes and nice shoes you see walking in malls. I am a fat, frizzy-haired, spotty-faced girl with jeans and tshirt as her staple clothing. I'd rather buy books than make-up. I know I won't be able to be as slim as I used to and I have accepted that fact. But when I hear that comment it still hurts. Maybe I have not let go completely. Maybe I still give that person some power over me. And it is not just this person. I found a lot people making that comment as if it is the only that defines me. 'Hi there, OMG you are getting fat!' I rarely see people making that comments on guys, at least in my social circles. In fact, fat men are sometimes applauded (!) as fat bellies signify prosperity.

Hurley said that as a woman, you/we are always going to be fat. People are always going to trot that one out to insult you, like taking up more space in the world, as a woman, is the absolute worse thing you can do. So yeah, I refuse to have my success measured in the width of my ass.

Okay. Lots of other great stuff to talk about from this book, but since I am on vacation I am too busy enjoying it and can't write longer reviews.

PS: If you are in Patreon you should support KH even just for $1 per short story. Her short stories are excellent. And of course you should read all of her books too.

PPS: Kameron Hurley retweeted and replied to my review. Sweet.
Profile Image for Liz Janet.
582 reviews381 followers
October 24, 2019
Recent Reads: Orientalism, The Satanic Verses, and The Geek Feminist

I’ve waited a long time for the masterpiece essay‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative to be put into a lengthy book collecting incredible works about representation, and feminism in general, and although I expected that collection to feature many other voices, Kameron Hurley’s work alone is just as fantastic.

This collection of essays, with a focus on Hurley’s life dealing with feminism and geek culture, gives an insight into what is like being a female in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, from the “criticism” often associated to being a female, to the lack of representation in media, not just in books, but films as well.

My one criticism would come from the collection being that, collected works previously published with very little new content. If a follower of her blog or commentary, not much of new things would be found here. I am glad though, since now I can buy it, and own it, and annotate it. But for new people, interested in what she has to say, this is a fantastic introduction.

“Your voice is powerful. Your voice has meaning. If it didn’t, people wouldn’t work so hard to silence you.
Remember that.”

Profile Image for Shara.
312 reviews26 followers
June 23, 2017
I would buy this book for everyone if I could.

Edit 6/22/17: I actually wrote up a bigger review/blurb/squee for one of Speculative Chic's very first My Favorite Things column, which you can read here:

Profile Image for Sandra Uv.
1,019 reviews232 followers
May 7, 2018

Un libro que deberían leer tanto hombres como mujeres, de cualquier raza, edad o religión. Porque en la lucha tenemos que estar todos y todas más unidos que nunca. Gracias Kameron por visibilizar tu voz y por animar a que todas alcemos la nuestra por encima de cualquier osbtáculo. No solo no nos callaran, si no que gritaremos más fuerte. Yo estoy contigo, a tu lado. Siempre.

Reseña completa:

-Wordpress: https://suenosentreletras.wordpress.c...
-Blogger: http://addicionaloslibros.blogspot.co...
Profile Image for Hal Johnson.
Author 7 books133 followers
February 16, 2016
If you were a book about an "ongoing conversation within the science fiction community," on what page would you first compare your opponents to Nazis?

If you are this book, the answer will be the fourth page of the introduction.

[ETA: The rest of the book is not as bad as the fourth page of the introduction led me to expect.]
Profile Image for Melissa.
2,268 reviews144 followers
June 27, 2016
A+ - every essay is well-written and well-constructed. Spoiler: I agree with pretty much everything she writes here and when I don't agree she's got a good argument for her opinion.

"We Have Always Fought" is *diamonds*
Profile Image for Miquel Codony.
Author 11 books249 followers
March 15, 2017

Ya lo he ido comentando a medida que lo leía y no tengo mucho que añadir. En resumen: es una recopilación de artículos muy interesante, que hace pensar y te ayuda (o a mi me ha ayudado) a identificar algunos sesgos cognitivos que pueden estar influyendo en tu forma de leer (expectativas al enfrentarte a personajes y asignarles raza o género inconscientemente, forma de valorar determinados comportamientos ficticios, etc.). Creo que Kameron Hurley articula muy bien sus ensayos, con una combinación de recursos de tipo personal y de tipo más bien intelectuales (y emocionales) que hacen que el texto sea provocador y sugerente. Hacen que sea más efectivo, en definitiva. Ese tono "provocador" (acabo de ver que se define a si misma como "intellectual badass" en su blog xDDD) se enfatiza aún más en la versión en audiolibro que yo he utilizado, estupendamente leída por una tal C.S.E. Cooney que, en ocasiones, puede crispar un poco (pero en este libro eso no es problemático).

Debo decir, y por eso le he restado algún punto a mi valoración del libro, que su naturaleza como recopilación de artículos de su blog perjudica al conjunto del libro (no a los ensayos individuales): la estructura temática es un poco arbitraria y la repetición de ejemplos y argumentos personales un tanto excesiva. Ya digo que eso no perjudica a los ensayos individuales, pero el hilo conductor entre ellos es menos consistente que en un libro ideado como tal. Los temas van más allá del feminismo (como el título sugiere) e incluyen cuestiones realcionadas con el sexismo en general, el racismo, la profesión de la escritura (técnicas, marketing, aspiraciones, responsabilidades), o el sistema sanitario en EE.UU. (que pone los pelos de punta, más teniendo en cuenta el alivio de Hurley ante la llegada del Obamacare, hoy con los días contados). Ese saltar de un tema a otro hace que los intereses a priori de cada lector influyan en la recepción de cada uno de los artículos.

En cualquier caso, me parece un libro muy recomendable, para hombres y mujeres, con el que cada cual se puede sentir más o menos identificado en función del tema tratado, pero que te mantiene atento y creo que puede ayudar a cambiar algunas actitudes (seguramente cuanto más necesites cambiarlas menos te va a ayudar, claro...). Ya lo dije en otro comentario: no es que diga cosas nuevas si eres una persona que se fija en lo que sucede a tu alrededor, pero las articula muy bien. Además: opinión personal, sociología y ciencia ficción. ¿Cómo no va a molar?

Muchas ganas de que salga en español.
Profile Image for Rocío Vega.
Author 26 books276 followers
February 4, 2017
No tengo palabras para describir esta lectura. Resulta que tengo una gemela espiritual en Estados Unidos y no lo sabía.

Kameron Hurley dice palabra por palabra lo que pienso sobre el valor de la ficción, la narrativa de la normalidad, la importancia de la representación y la construcción de un mundo mejor. Leer el libro es una tanda de asentimientos.

Interesantísimo e imperdible. ¡Que lo leas!
Profile Image for Jeanne.
932 reviews63 followers
July 29, 2018
Kameron Hurley's The Geek Feminist Revolution is a sharp, thoughtful, often (appropriately) angry book on writing, writing science fiction, and changing the world.

Maybe science fiction isn't your cup of tea – I haven't read any of Hurley's novels (yet). If you like reading about the process of writing, like I do, than you will enjoy Hurley's essays. She hates the ways that many of us create barriers to writing. She clearly argues that being good, being talented, is the easiest part of this business. That’s just when things really get started (p. 26). For most successful writers, writing is hard-work: you aren’t going to get it right the first time, but that doesn’t mean that your efforts were failures (p. 45).

Hurley confesses to working hard: full-time as a marketer, a novel a year, 1500-3000 words a day on her blogs and fiction each day. Most of us don't know this level of "hard." Carol Dweck has written persuasively about the roles of growth and fixed mindsets in success at any task; Kameron Hurley should be the poster girl for growth mindset.

Hurley's feminism informs every essay. She unpacks the messages in what she reads – and writes – to consider what it means: Let’s be real: if women were “naturally” anything, societies wouldn’t spend so much time trying to police every aspect of their lives (p. 111). As a result, she looks for the ways that we limit people in our writing (and thinking).

Hurley challenges herself and is open to admitting her mistakes – both to herself and her readers. Her first published novel included a bisexual bounty hunter with the brute sensibilities of Conan and grim optimism of a lottery junkie (p. 98). Nyx lived in a world where bisexual and lesbian women was the norm. If it was the norm, Hurley wouldn't need to comment on this. That she did, that her editor noticed that she did, indicated that she was writing with a straight white male gaze in mind. I was writing with the idea that her desire was somehow other, something that had to be explained to a reader who viewed straight as default (pp. 98-99).

I don't read as much science fiction as I would like, partly because I get pulled in and forget to do anything else. Still, one reason that I read it is to help me see my world and other possible world more clearly. She would remind us that the emperor wears no clothes.
It’s easier to tell the same stories everyone else does. There’s no particular shame in it.

It’s just that it’s lazy, which is just about the worst possible thing a spec fic writer can be.

Oh, and it’s not true. (p. 262)
Like other feminist bloggers, Hurley has received threats of sexual assault and death. And still she writes.
What are we risking by speaking up? Everything, certainly. But the far riskier business is not speaking up at all. The riskier future is the one where we all fear a madman incensed by something he read online plowing a car into our house more than we fear being hit by a random bus on the street. (p. 16)
Hurley asks that we be honest and courageous. When someone is this honest in hers, it's hard not to promise to try.
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,548 reviews2,934 followers
July 7, 2016
Okay so I have never read a collection of essays up until now, but for Kameron Hurley, a woman with an extraordinary imagination when it comes to fiction, I had to try it. I'm so very glad that I did pick this up (I'll admit that the wonderful cover played a big part in that decision too) as I had been reading a fair few mediocre books, and this was a really great one in the midst of the no-so-great.

I have been told that a lot of these essays appear on Hurley's blog so if you've followed her there for a while you may not get as much out of this becuase it's not all new. However, if like me, you haven't seen much of the blog or have only recently taken a look then this is probably a fabulous start point for you.

Hurley comes across incredibly well in her writing, especially surrounding the topics of feminism, online abuse, weight harassment and ideas of gender stereotypes. I think that the background in Marketing which she often references is probably a big part of how well she creates pieces, and her essays did often ring very true for me.

One thing I will say about this is that I found myself agreeing A LOT with some of the intent and messages in her essays. Hurley is a character that I found myself relating to in all sorts of ways, and I think this is a major part of why I connected and liked so many of these. I think of the whole collection there was only one essay which I didn't really like as much, and yet every other one I found a few quotable sections and points I agreed with.

Fantastic collection and I hope we see another one in the future filled with more new content. 4*s overall, and recommended :)
Profile Image for jess b.
96 reviews6 followers
March 10, 2016
The thing about this book is, if you've been Paying Attention on the Internet the past few years, none of it is going to be new to you. Hurley makes a lot of good points, but if you're a geeky feminist, you know them all already. Hell, you may have even read Hurley's take on them already. This book (as far as I can tell) is basically just a compendium of blog posts Hurley has written recently. Which is fine, except that means all the essays in this book are too short to really dig deep into any particular topic, and they don't interconnect that well, or lead up to a cohesive point. Hurley also draws a ton from her personal work and experience, which would also be fine, but for its purported topic I'd have liked a bit more digging into the current state and history of the field. More substance, more research, and fewer rallying cries, I suppose. That said, it's an enjoyable, blood-pumping read, and if you HAVEN'T been Paying Attention on the Internet the past few years you should probably read this posthaste. I'm definitely glad Hurley is talking about this stuff, and doing it loudly.
Profile Image for Café de Tinta.
560 reviews197 followers
July 17, 2018
Tengo una mala noticia... Me he sentido un poco "meh" leyendo este libro.
Que empieza genial, que tiene artículos interesantes, todo lo que quieras. Pero quizás no necesito comprar un libro para leer un análisis sobre La jungla de Cristal, Mad max o sobre la tenacidad necesaria para convertirse en escritora y que te publiquen algo. Quizás me he equivocado en la premisa del libro, porque creí que era una recopilación de ensayos sobre feminismo (geek) y al final termina teniendo puntos de "querido diario..." que a ver, que está bien (al final han sido las partes que más me han entretenido).
Reseña completa: http://www.cafedetinta.com/2018/05/re...
Profile Image for Jenni.
3 reviews
August 7, 2016
DNF. Really lazy, messy repetitive writing. Clunky and self-important. So many "here, I'll tell you:"s dropped into cultural essays that skip across well-traveled territory. It got to the point where I felt like I didn't like the author as a person. I am really disappointed- couldn't even make it halfway through. This reads like an angry 15 year old trying to reproduce Bitch magazine articles. Extremely unsatisfying; I don't understand the favorable reviews.
Profile Image for Jenn.
Author 10 books24 followers
May 6, 2016
Very interesting read. I wasn't sure what to expect - sometimes people's opinions can end up being extreme, even if the blurb/description doesn't make you think it will be. But this book brought things to my attention that I didn't necessarily always realize other women thought of as something being an issue.

But as someone involved with the book medium and having at least published my poetry, there were quite a few things I could really relate to the author with. I found myself angry on her behalf, as well as frustrated sometimes that even still she would either have to deal with certain attitudes or those with the attitude never suffered much - instantly in the form of retort or argument, or karmicly in their own work lives. Who knows? Maybe - just maybe - by now they have. In some way.

I felt that Kameron Hurley took a bit of a crusade for those of us who either play video games, read obsessively and compulsively, write (whether it's for our own enjoyment, fanfic, or with the goal of being published), draw, paint, create music.... for those of us who are artistic in any and so many ways, but who also love so-called "non-tradtional" genres for women (says who!).... she's given us a voice. She's done it while keeping her head, acknowledging the bullshit and soldiering on (while not looking down or trashing the women who can't take the industrial abuses anymore).

It isn't often a subset of a culture will get someone willing to speak out for then (and acknowledge that their views and opinions may not match on everything and that's okay), and the women like me and millions of others who enjoy sci-fi, horror, comics and so much more we "shouldn't" are damned lucky to have Kameron Hurley on our side.
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