Girls and Guns discussion

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message 1: by Thad (last edited Feb 07, 2014 06:19AM) (new)

Thad Brown | 50 comments A sister group to ours (in that it has a similar focus), here on Goodreads is Action Heroine Fans, started in 2009. Some members of this group might be interested in checking out their discussions, and bookshelves. That link is: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/2... .

Some links to lists with a lot of reading suggestions for books featuring lady protagonists who kick butt are:
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/38...
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/39...
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/26...


message 2: by Thad (new)

Thad Brown | 50 comments A respect-worthy Internet site some members of this group might be interested in is Girls With Guns (www.girlswithguns.org ), run by a husband/wife team in Phoenix, AZ. Their main focus is reviews of movies featuring fighting females, but they also occasionally review books and other media. While I don't always agree with their reviews, they're serious in intent (though often quite witty) and well thought out, with a lot of good insights. One thing I appreciate is their attitude; while they recognize that male fans tend to find strong, tough warrioress types attractive, and even sexy, they understand that that's not all they are, and that the appeal of the genre isn't about sex. Their site also hosts a moderately-active forum (no obscene posts allowed!), which might also be of interest. It doesn't have a separate Internet URL that's independently clickable, but there's a link at the top of the main site, and joining is free.


message 3: by Werner (new)

Werner Alex Smits is a professional photographer with a long-standing interest in the armed woman motif, and a serious online reviewer of portrayals of women in action roles in all media (mostly films). His online essay "Thoughts and Observations on 'Girls With Guns' Films" is a thoughtful, perceptive analysis of what this subgenre is (and isn't) about, and why, when it's approached rightly, it has a legitimate appeal. (The title refers to films, but his observations are just as applicable to books.) I might disagree with a detail or two, but basically I agree with his thesis, and think this is one of the best critical essays ever written on this whole subject. If anyone's interested in reading it, here's the link: www.alex-in-wonderland.com/GirlsWithG... .


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Red Sonja is one of Robert E. Howard's leading ladies. While she has a gun & uses it upon occasion, she's more at home with a sword. Here's one of her stories for free.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Sha...


message 5: by Werner (new)

Werner Great link, Jim; thanks for sharing that! I ran a copy for myself just now, and plan to read it as soon as I can work it in (probably over the next few weekends). Of course, I've seen (and liked) the movie Red Sonja, which totally remakes the title character into a contemporary of Conan. But I was aware that it bore no resemblance to the original REH story, which I've always wanted to read.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) The movie 'Red Sonja' is much more like Valeria, a companion of Conan in "Red Nails". That is available free on Gutenberg.org here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32759

OR on Wikisource here:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Red_Nails


message 7: by Thad (new)

Thad Brown | 50 comments Just now, I posted this link (www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/1... ) under another topic, but thought it might be worth cross-posting here as well. It's a guest blog post I did back in November 2011, discussing the rise of female characters to action roles in today's hard-boiled crime fiction.


message 8: by Werner (new)

Werner This link struck me as interesting: www.postindependent.com/news/11970006... .


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I guess they don't have much crime. Good link. Thanks.


message 10: by Werner (new)

Werner You're welcome, Jim!


message 11: by Werner (new)

Werner The Girls With Guns website is mentioned above (message 2), with the comment that they occasionally review books. As I mentioned recently on another of our threads, they invited me, late last year, to contribute book reviews to the site from time to time, so I've been doing that. They now have a single link that takes you a menu of just the book reviews (www.girlswithguns.org/book-reviews/ ), which might be of interest to readers in this group. (Not all of the books reviewed are actually about heroines who pack guns; action heroines with any kind of weaponry are covered.) Most of the reviews are mine, but the older ones are included in the menu as well.


message 12: by Werner (new)

Werner In contemporary U.S. discussions of whether or not women should serve in the military in combat roles, those who oppose women in combat tend to treat the idea as a far-fetched innovation that's never been tried, and at which women are bound to fail. Interestingly, possibly as many as 750,000 Soviet women served in the Red Army during World War II, and were allowed to serve in combat roles early on. For a fascinating, solid online article on this, check out www.girlswithguns.org/russian-world-w... .

As that article makes clear, women served in practically every combat role: as air force pilots (two became aces, meaning they shot down at least five enemy planes), in front-line tank, artillery and infantry units, and as snipers. The best of the latter, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, racked up 309 confirmed kills --plus two she didn't count because then she was just trying out for sniper duty, and hadn't officially started! Many of them laid down their lives; some 200,000 earned medals for valor, with 89 awarded their country's highest military honor, the Hero of the Soviet Union. Ladies, us guys salute you!


message 13: by Werner (new)

Werner Although it isn't book-related, the equestrian sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting (in which competitors shoot revolvers at targets from horseback while the horse is galloping) is one of the few sports where men and women can compete for titles against each other. The current issue of Cowgirl magazine has an article on the (I believe) reigning World Champion of the sport, Kenda Lenseigne, which can be read here: http://www.cowgirlmagazine.com/kenda-... .


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