I had a whole other post planned but then, Eugie Foster.
I discovered Ms. Foster via one of these podcasts. I can’t recall which one but I will tell you that I really love her work.
I have probably mentioned her story Biba Jibun as one of my favorite stories ever on Pseudopod.
Okay let me fangirl for a minute before we get down to why I love her work so much.
Just, damn it. Okay we know I have a weakness for people who create a mythos I can sink my teeth into as a reader. Eugie does that in her stories and it is not a constant mythos. There are many and they are wonderful. I want to hug this person in my usual aggressive fashion, then probably scuttle away because I’ve embarrassed myself.
Now, down to the hard reasons.
First thing, Eugie Foster gives us readers of color, mythos that is not White. We’re included.
I see on her website she writes YA and I wish I would have heard and read her stories I might not have wandered away from genre fiction feeling to bruised about it.
Also she has a really beautiful style. Look at this tidbit from her story Black Swan, White Swan.
Concentric circles lap beneath the dock’s wooden planks. A swan floats out, its shining plumage driving the water’s void back.
That is such a beautiful image wrought from a trope that could have been tired and boring. This is a short story and I seriously recommend going to listen to it. Of the stories of hers that I have read and listened to, there is a thread of female characters who are not so pretty they can’t say fuck or express desire or anger or joy in retribution. That is something I crave in SF/F stories so much.
From a writing geek standpoint, there is a fearlessness in her stories that I absolutely treasure. Her female protagonists are not mewling creatures. Yes they have problems but in my head they aren’t flailing their arms waiting to be rescued or for some dudebro to come and fix it. They are contained whole people (to use the term loosely) and that is so important. I feel like it’s more important in genre fiction because of the sheer pervasiveness of the damsel in distress.
Just last night I listened to a newly published piece, find it here at Escape Pod. Trixie and the Pandas of Dread.
That story, god damn it.
That story just swept me off of my feet. She had me inside the first two paragraphs but this:
“…A just god would leave you to your fate, deeming your self-wrought misery punishment enough for this lifetime. But I am not a just god, and I’m sure as hell not merciful.”
That is one pissed off God and I was into it. I have a special love for deity fiction. Go listen to and read the story but COME ON MAN. Really? gotta push ALL MY NERD buttons at once?
Do I have to go on?
So. Homies. You need to know Eugie Foster. If you didn’t’, now you do. Go to her website, read her stuff, buy her books.
Also note: I’m going to start doing this sort of thing more. I’ve been discovering some really great writers and I want to share with my friends. There you go.