Episode #71 Transcript: Everything is on Fire

Episode Number: 71
Episode Title: Everything is on Fire (listen to this episode)
Transcript by: Susan the Great
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Renay: Hi friends! I’m Renay.

Ana: And I’m Ana.

Renay: And you’re listening to Fangirl Happy Hour.

[Music: B-3 by BoxCat Games]

Renay: Today we’re going to discuss Everfair by Nisi Shawl, Timekeeper by Tara Sim, and Star Wars: Rogue One. But before we get to all of that, we’ve gotta talk about the beginning of Hugo Award season and dive into some discussion of world events. Hopefully we’ll make it through this episode without crying.

Ana: I’m very doubtful.

Renay: This show’s gonna have some emotions, y’all. Let’s get to it.

[Music: B-3 by BoxCat Games]

Renay: Hugo nominations opened up in early January. Because the world is on fire, but more on that later, there’s been less drama over the Hugo Award this year. But there’s also been some big changes come into the award with some potential fixes for the slate voting as well as Worldcon 75 hosting a best series award as a trial run for making it a permanent category. What are your thoughts on the new category and how it’s going to work?

Ana: I have no idea how that’s gonna work to be honest. I haven’t studied it yet. It’s a sign of our times that I haven’t even started thinking about my nominations for the Hugo Awards this year.

Renay: None?

Ana: More or less know which books I recommend or nominate, but I haven’t given it a lot of thought to be honest and— and you know, you’re right! Not a lot of people talking about it! I did our eligibility post, I didn’t see anybody subtweeting saying, “Ugh is it time eligibility posts already?” Did you see any of that?

Renay: The only thing in that vein I’ve seen is a British critic going, “Don’t nominate me. This whole process makes me uncomfortable.”

Ana: So guessing that the people don’t care anymore? Or people are REALLY paying attention to other things right now.

Renay: Yeah. Well, are there things you’re thinking about nominating?

Ana: I’ve probably nominate for best novel Obelisk Gate and Ninefox Gambit. I’ll nominate Fangirl Happy Hour for best podcast. That’s as far as I’ve got.

Renay: Subtle. Real subtle.

Ana: [laughter] Self-nomination. It’s a form of self-care.

Renay: Oh, is that— is that where we’re going now?

Ana: Think about it.

Renay: You’re pushing it. You’re at the edge of self-care I think.

Ana: No, because it makes you feel good! It makes you feel empowered! It gives a sense of accomplishment and a sense of—oh you know what I’ve done, it’s good, so I’m proud of it, I’m gonna nominate myself. In these days you need all forms of self-care that you can get. So I’m taking it.

Renay: Okay, I’ll allow it.

Ana: Thank you.

Renay: Well, I have Ninefox Gambit and Company Town on my novel list, the other three are still empty because I’m still thinking. I also have Archive of Our Own on my Best Related work ballot and I will die on this hill of nominating the Archive as an integral piece of fanwork until some admin team formally declares it ineligible.

Ana: I saw you having a conversation about that on twitter the other day.

Renay: Yeah, somebody DMed me, totally upset because it’s their first year participating saying that someone was in the spreadsheet saying that it wasn’t eligible because it was fiction. It hosts fiction. And so I had to go in and be like, “This is no longer up for debate, it’s staying here until a Hugo team says it’s ineligible.”

Ana: But you are not nominating the fiction within the thing, you’re nominating the forum— the organization.

Renay: The Archive was built by a team of largely everybody else but white dudes, for free, in their spare time. And at this point it’s gotta be like a multi-million dollar piece of software. And fans did it! Fans did it. They made that thing. And so until a Hugo admin team comes all up in my business and goes, “This is ineligible because it’s fiction” also AO3 hosts non-fiction now so I’m pretty sure these people going, “It hosts only fiction!” don’t even know what the Archive is or what it’s for which seems to me to be suspicious. Whatever, this is the hill I’m— I’m— I’m on it, I’m parked, I’m not moving, I will stand up for any fan who wants to nominate it who is being told that it’s ineligible because we don’t know if it’s ineligible because no one has said one way or the other.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: Anyway! If you have space on your best related work ballot between Kameron Hurley’s Geek Feminist Revolution and Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin, slide it in there, tell them I sent you.

So yes, there is that spreadsheet that I and the folks at Lady Business got going and people have really taken to it in a way that I didn’t expect to happen, and if you’re struggling with nominations, Ana…

Ana: I can take a look?

Renay: There are a ton of resources there!

Ana: I know! But it’s not that I’m struggling with it, it’s just that I haven’t thought about it.

Renay: Well, nominations close on March 17th so you’ve got a month and a half.

Ana: Okay, all right. It’s gonna be done, it’s gonna be done, don’t worry about it.

Renay: So going back to my first question.

Ana: Oh yes! How do you feel about the series?

Renay: People have wanted that for a really long time. But when I look at that category, I see what’ll happen to it if more diverse fans don’t take part in it and I bet you can guess.

Ana: It’s gonna all white dudes writing epic fantasy about white dudes.

Renay: It becomes the Hugo version of the Gemmell Award which is Epic Fantasy’s version of the man cave, so I’m not really convinced that it’s a worthwhile addition. Although I’m sure people disagree would with me. If you wanna honor terrible old fantasy series about white dudes, buy them and hand them out as gifts. Like, already this award’s annoyed me. I’m gonna give it a chance, and I’ll be happily surprised if the ballots come out and it’s not a parade of white dick.

Ana: That’s going to be interesting. Are you going to nominate anything for it?

Renay: Yes, but it’s all women.

Ana: Can you nominate on-going series?

Renay: I think you can, yeah, because I think if a book comes out in a year it makes the whole series eligible, but I think my —

Ana: Ah.

Renay: —habit for this award is going to be to nominate finished series, because series get locked out of the Hugo quite often if they’re over three books. So I think the only thing I have on my ballot right now for best series is The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: And then we also have all those moves to prevent slate voting. I’m not a hundred percent convinced that those moves to make slate voting not happen are going to make everything go back to normal. It could be a detriment, so I’m kinda sadly apathetic about it.

Ana: Mmhm.

Renay: If last year had been a normal year and all the people and things that I loved had been on the ballot, it would’ve been super great. But because the way that last year went down, I’m just having a lot of trouble getting excited about the award itself. And because last year I was fuelled righteous fury but now I’m kinda all out of pep. But the Hugos are our brand, like, kind of.

Ana: They are, I know!

Renay: People been like, “When are you going to talk about the Hugos?!” Well, here we are and we sound super bummed. Or like, fighting mad about categories.

Ana: Do you think that the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies will make an appearance again this year, or do you think that they got tired of playing with this bone now that they won the presidency of the United States?

Renay: Honestly, I’m not sure. Given the fact that white nationalism and real life Nazis are now a thing that are getting, like, dapper interviews in national publications, is happening? Are they gonna really be that concerned with a genre award?

Ana: I hope not?

Renay: Their movement has gone mainstream.

Ana: Or maybe they are so into conquering everything, like Nazis, that they maybe they will just go ahead, and just ruin everything, everything, every single thing for everybody. And I don’t even live near these people to be able to punch them in their faces.

Renay: I don’t know, you have a lot of people in the UK who deserve a punch in the face.

Ana: Well, this is the podcast where we were both gonna just start crying.

Renay: Yeah, this is the part where we cry.

Anyway, so the Hugo season is underway, all the other awards are going to start rolling out soon too, and it’s been a really big surprise because last year there was this push behind a lot of books— these books that were doing so well, but this year it’s been much quieter and I’m curious if that is a side-effect of what’s happening in the world, or if that’s an effect of it being kind of a year where a lot of the tastemakers and establishment science fiction and fantasy folks just don’t like what’s on offer.

Ana: A little bit of both, I would wager. There is an element of… world news getting to us, definitely, and maybe we’ve reached the point in publishing where we are getting a lot of cool stuff out but not to everybody’s tastes. Because I— I read a lot of, um, novels by people of color last year? They were super great, but I didn’t see them reviewed everywhere. We don’t have a lot of blogs going on at the moment either, do we?

Renay: Mm-mm.

Ana: A lot of people just kind of faded away.

Renay: A lot of people got scooped up by…

Ana: Big blogs like Tor.com and Barnes and Noble.

Renay: I’m curious about where the Hugo excitement is. Are we just too busy with other things to talk about awards, or is it that we’ve lost interest in awards? Are they a marker that’s no longer going to be important going forward. I’m really curious if this is going to happen, if awards are going to take a back seat to other types of celebration that we don’t know what form it’s going to take yet because we’re not there, like if we’re in a transition period away from that, or if it’s just that the world’s on fire and we have no time to worry about awards. It could be both! It could be either! I guess we’ll find out.

Ana: Yeah. Aren’t we a barrel of laughs.

Renay: Yeah, a two-ton barrel at that. The nominations for the Hugos close on March 17th. By the time this episode comes out, nomination period for like the signing up to nominate is going to be over, so I hope you’re a member. That way you can go and vote for things that you love, including us.

Ana: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. You finished it for yourself, I am so proud! I was ready to just roll in!

Renay: I’m saving everybody from Ana’s two minute promotion of ourselves by ending it there. The end.

[Music: Classics by Chuki Beats]

Renay: It’s time again for our new segment, Outside The Echo Chamber, where we talk about things happening in the world! So you may have heard that the United States is on fire, by the screams of anguish from anyone with a progressive bent and a twitter account. 45 has been president for a week, and the wheels are coming off the bus. I spent a good portion of my weekend making calls and leaving voicemails for my Republican reps. and if you’re curious about that, that’s kind of like spending your weekend cleaning your car with special cloths, and giving it a nice wax job— and then driving it directly from your house into the backwoods to go mudding. Fellow space bees in red states like me, we’re going to spend the next few years dirty A F, so just get used to it now.

Ana: I just don’t know, Renay, I just don’t know.

Renay: Well, 45 issued an executive order aimed at rolling back former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He insulted the Mexican president’s intelligence so badly that Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled his trip to the United States, and signed an executive order that bans all immigrants and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US for ninety days. That same order bans all refugee admissions for a hundred and twenty days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. And who knows what he’s done between me saying this and dropping the episode. If I listed everything, we’d be here for a month!

Ana: Did you see the order that he issued afternoon?

Renay: No, I missed that, but it doesn’t matter. You can all check out corrupt.af for more egregious moves the president has made, lots of them probably orchestrated by Steve Bannon, who is an Actual Nazi. It’s really impossible to ignore that this dude’s presidency and his close advisors are a trash fire, and that real people are being hurt by their actions, and more— lots more people are going to follow too. And I’m not going to pretend everything is fine on this podcast, because I don’t think we’re really served by hiding with our media and ignoring the world, it is what it is right now. And by the time this show drops, there will probably be nine other disasters. The white lash is here folks. Hold on.

Ana: The thing that astounds me the most is the speed in which those have been issued, and how fast the constitution can be trampled down.

Renay: The constitution is just a piece of paper.

Ana: But it— it’s the piece of paper that matters the most for Americans, isn’t it?

Renay: Apparently not so much, because if they did the Republicans would be drawing up impeachment papers right now in the House, but they’re not! They’re doing jack shit, just letting him run wild!

Ana: It’s unbelieveable.

Renay: It’s called a thirty-year campaign for Republicans to undermine public education to create an ignorant populace that they can easily control with lies and propaganda. And if people don’t understand what that means, that means when I was in rural Arkansas in a public school, we didn’t learn about slavery until I was fourteen years old. We didn’t learn about Japanese internment unti l hit like high school history. We didn’t learn about the civil rights stuff at all. We didn’t cover it, it was not covered, we never reached it. History ended in 1950.

Ana: Wow.

Renay: And since I left school, they’ve been gouging public education and what we learn about our culture and our history and our government. My civics class where we had to learn about civics and being a citizen and a member of society? We spent filling huge huge huge multi-choice questions that basically amount to a class of Trivial Pursuit. It was busy work, that obviously was just meant to take up our time so we didn’t learn about what was happening. How’s things on your end?

Ana: Well the UK’s also on fire.

Renay: Ah.

Ana: Probably not a raging fire as the US, so far, but our Prime Minister Theresa May has visited the US, and shook hands with Donald Trump, and apparently everything is fine, she says he’s a very nice man and she— and that she hopes that the UK and the US can be global leaders together. And I’m like, warning signs inside my head for what are you trying to do, lady, what is this? New colonialism? New imperialism? Somehow? Make America Great again, make Britain Great Again, I mean, when was the last time the Britain was great. Inside British people’s heads, it was when the war and empire. It just makes me really queasy and then, when the— the executive order was signed over the weekend, she just didn’t denounce it. I would have expect that a strong global leader would denounce it and I don’t know if didn’t do it because she’s too scared or she agrees with it, which scares me the most? That maybe something like this is going to happen, that one day I’m going to go to Brazil, visit Brazil, come back and I can’t come home, because I’m an EU immigrant. Meanwhile our Secretary of State — gack — Boris Johnson, instead of also denouncing the ban, called Donald Trump and then came back and told the British public that it’s okay it doesn’t matter we managed to do a deal with the US in which British people that have dual citizenship with those countries that have been banned will be okay. But then the White House denied that this ever happened. So then Boris Johnson’s maybe lying to us, or is too stupid to understand the conversations that he has, either way this is really really bad. I dunno. Talk about your next topic for this echo chamber, Renay.

Renay: Move us away from the trash fire of the UK? Okay. In lighter, less “the world is ending” news but still political, a week ago or so I saw on twitter this tweet about the inauguration cake and I cannot let it go. Pictures of 45’s cake went around, and it was an exact copy of a cake made for President Obama. The person who made Obama’s cake, Duff Goldman, was all, “What the hell, I didn’t make this cake and it looks similar!” but it turns out that 45’s team took a photo of the cake and told the artist they wanted it to be exactly the same. This woman made a copy of Duff Goldman’s cake and donated the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign. I love this story! Because it’s pure 45. He and his team are so thirsty to be considered legitimate that they copied Barack Obama’s cake. It’s literally chasing the crumbs of legitimacy.

Ana: Okay, and did you see that it was not even actually a cake? It was made of styrofoam.

Renay: Yes.

Ana: That’s the best part.

Renay: I laughed so hard over this, y’all, I’m just gonna go back to this whenever I’m sad. His inauguration crowd was small and his inauguration cake was plagiarized.

Ana: Oh my goodness.

Renay: You’re next!

Ana: Well, one of the thing that I really liked this weekend: Phil Noto, one of the artists, updated one of the Ms Marvel covers, that was one that quite iconic in which Ms Marvel was ripping apart a picture of Captain Marvel during the Civil War events. He updated it with a picture of Donald Trump. So basically it’s Ms Marvel, who’s a Muslim-American, ripping apart a picture of 45, and I thought that was really cool.

Renay: Beautiful. Next for me, there was recent outcry about Milo Yiannopoulos getting a quarter million from a book deal from Simon & Schuster. There are specific imprints that probably all big publishers have where they push out these trash conservative books which uninformed people buy to prop up their skewed worldview, but I was really surprised that they went so far as to publish Yiannopoulos. It’s gonna end up in some remainder pile pretty quickly because Yianopoulos is a one trick pony, but I really really enjoyed watching lit twitter drag him and SImon & Schuster.

What’s most about this story is that Roxane Gay found out that she had a book coming out from another Simon & Schuster imprint and pulled her book. That is a really epically bold position to take. Her official statement was super classy as well. The book she pulled is called How To Be Heard and I’m sure it’s gonna find a new home somewhere else, at which point I will be buying it and putting it into my face.

Ana: It was really cool. I loved seeing that too. And the book would have been out in two months, nearly April? And that is just—that blows my mind, because there’s gonna be so much money involved in this and breaking off of this deal, she probably lost some money too, which makes her action even more awesome.

Renay: What’s next on your thing?

Ana: I’m sorry, again, politics. It’s the only thing in my mind at the moment. The head of the African Union has criticized Donald Trump’s ban on immigration. It was beautifully worded statement that said, “The very country to which many of our people were taken as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade has now decided to ban refugees from some of our countries.” And boy… That punched me? I felt like a punch, reading this, it’s so powerful, like BURN!

Renay: That is amazing. They’re on fire.

Ana: Probably it will make no difference and no one will care, but it has been said, it has been done.

Renay: I care that they did it.

Ana: And I care too, yes. Absolutely.

Renay: People have got to stand up and state the truth. We just have to stand up and say facts. Tell it how it is. During his campaign, people kept going “Oh he tells it like it is,” NO. He LIES. He is a liar.

Anyway, so this was fun, this was great. what a great trawl through culture this was for us. I’m sure that everybody listening to this episode has already turned it off and they’re not even here anymore.

Ana: We’re talking to no one! Just like Trump’s inauguration.

Renay: Our crowds are small. And/or non-existent.

[Music: Power by Chuki Beats]

Renay: Last December, the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise dropped, it’s called Star Wars: Rogue One and it’s about the team that goes to get the plans to destroy the Death Star. I’m sure you’ve have some feelings about this film.

Ana: Yeah, most of them positive because I loved it.

Renay: And I some feelings about this film that were the exact opposite.

Ana: [sigh] Okay, where do you want to start with this? Do you want to start with the good, the bad or the ugly?

Renay: Okay, let’s go with the good first.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: What did you love about this film?

Ana: It was reminiscent of the old trilogy but with more up-to-date tone. It filled that gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, as we didn’t know what had happened, but we knew that people had stolen the blueprints for the Death Star. And it also kind of like answered that question of why was it so easy to destroy the Death Star. It was because it was built that way on purpose!

It was also fun to see a movie that had a woman and an entire cast of people of color. I thought it was fun. I liked that there was no romance, apart from the one between Chirrut and Baze.

Renay: I don’t know what movie you watched, because they sure tried to jam some romance down our throats at the end of that film.

Ana: Um, more or less, they didn’t even kiss.

Renay: Do you really need kissing for romance, Ana? Really? I mean, really?

Ana: It kind of, like, clinches it for me? I get your point, you are right. It doesn’t need to have a kiss for it to be a romance. I liked the shout-outs to favorite characters, Carrie Fisher’s appearance in the end, and the overall idea of having ordinary people do extraordinary things and fighting oppression with no Jedi powers in sight. What did you like about it? “Nothing, Ana, I didn’t like NOTHING!”

Renay: The world building was really really good! It felt super rich and complicated, which I appreciate when I watch Star Wars films, even those that aren’t that great, I always think that some of the strengths of the prequels is their worldbuilding and the original trilogy has really good world-building too, just because of the way that they just like flesh out the background of the world itself, and this movie definitely carries that forward. I liked all the places we saw, I liked all the different background characters we met, and then I also had a robot pal!

Ana: Yeah, I was expecting you to say something about that.

Renay: He was sassy and hilarious. K2S0 I love you.

Ana: I loved him too.

Renay: You were my favorite thing about this film.

Ana: Ugh, god. [laughter]

Renay: He was my favorite thing about the film.

Ana: Was it not Diego Luna?

Renay: I liked the fact that he used his accent. They didn’t whitewash his voice to make him a hero.

Ana: Is that all you have to say about it?

Renay: Those are the things that I liked!

Ana: Wow. Okay, so what didn’t you like about it?

Renay: Oh, are we already moving on to bad? Wow, that didn’t take long. Okay, so, it was really fun while I was watching it, but as soon as this movie ended I was just super depressed and miserable. I have never felt so dejected when coming home from a movie before. I mean, not since like, House of a 1000 Corpses. I was real sad.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: I didn’t understand why at least one person from the Rogue One crew couldn’t have survived. This type of film is not what I go to watch space movies for. I don’t need grimdark in space. No matter how much flimsy hope for the future it’s wrapped in, especially now, at this time. I did not need to watch a bunch of heroes die to get the tools with which to beat an oppressive regime sometime in the future maybe. Because right now we’re seeing this happen and it’s happening before the original trilogy and we know that they defeat the evil space Nazis in that trilogy, but now we have a whole new trilogy that’s happening right now. And the same thing is happening all over, so we know that it’s just a cycle that just continues and continues and continues.

And on one hand, yes it’s a great message to send, you have to fight for freedom and democracy at every point, you can never stop, it never ends, but I just didn’t need that right at this moment in time. It doesn’t help that I really dislike gratuitous character death, it’s— I find it really boring especially in this case when you already know, like, the outline of the end of the story, but you don’t know how you’re gonna get there. And the story is rocks fall everyone dies and that’s the end.

Ana: I get what you’re saying.

Renay: I know— I know you disagree with me and that’s fine! A lot of people love this movie and that’s great! I’m happy, I’m just this really particular kind of person, who doesn’t find this narrative hopeful in any way. I just really hope that future stories in the sidelines of this franchise choose more hopeful narratives with lower body counts of heroes.

Ana: That makes sense.

Renay: This movie has really upset me, and then also the problem with the fact that, yeah there was a majority POC cast…they all die. And Tessa Gratton talked about this in a post about building the hope and triumph of the original series on the bones of this film, now? Means that you’re building an entire heroic narrative on the bodies of people of color. And I think that in the movie itself it doesn’t matter, because it’s great to see all those people to get that chance to act and be in this universe and to be heroes and that’s really important to see and I’m super glad we have that, but I also think we have to think about Tessa calls the meta narrative, and how that looks when you step outside the media that you’re consuming and look at it as a whole. And once you start doing that, it becomes it— like I don’t know how you look at it and go, “Oh, all these people of color are dead and now the white heroes are taking the information they got to go on to win against the space nazis.” And it becomes kind of uncomfortable for me.

Ana: What makes me uncomfortable is I don’t know how to answer to that as a white person. Either I say then this movie shouldn’t be there because— because of that, but at the same if isn’t there, then you, you wouldn’t have all of these characters.

Renay: It’s really hard.

Ana: Representation it’s really important. Because you are right. The original trilogy’s incredibly white, the heroes— the main heroes are white, the heroes that survive are white, but can’t rewrite the originals. They are there.

Renay: That’s the big problem. And I don’t know how— I don’t know how you solve it. I mean, maybe, don’t kill all the original members of the Rogue One team, let one of them survive.

Ana: Yeah, but then, what—what happened to that person during the original trilogy then. So why would that person, that one survivor, was not fighting with Luke Skywalker. That’s the answer that we don’t have that—

Renay: I’m not a member of this writing team, so I don’t gotta answer that.

Ana: I don’t have those reservations that you have.

Renay: Also, this movie had to a lot of heavy lifting for me, and it didn’t. The characterization was terrible. I don’t understand how the same group of people who beautifully characterized Rey, bungled so badly with Jyn, who I never connected with at all. She was like a white avatar for the white people watching the film who felt plugged into a narrative of people of color. She was almost invisible. All of the other actors around this women were knocking it out of the park, and she’s just standing there like a lump. I’m just “Why did you— why did you get this role, lady?”

Ana: Oh, I don’t think it was that bad!

Renay: Oh, I thought it was pretty bad.

Ana: I was way more bothered by the fact that for the vast majority of the movie there was not another woman.

Renay: I mean, that’s a problem too.

Ana: I got so upset about that, I was like trying to count and see—

Renay: Oh god.

Ana: —when the battle started. I was like, “my god please let me have at least one woman inside of one of these fighters!” Finally another woman, and that’s nearly not enough. So there are problems everywhere.

Renay: And for you the problems didn’t bother your enjoyment, but for me the problems just did not help. Maybe if I wasn’t so sensitive to character death, this wouldn’t bother me so much.

Ana: Mmhm.

Renay: But I am. I am totally cool with people who love this movie, because like I said, there are plenty of people who are not white, who went to this movie and were like “Oh my god I’m on the screen, oh my god I’m a hero,” that’s perfect. I wish we had more of that!

Ana: So that we wouldn’t have to criticize the ones that we have.

Renay: Yeah. I’m totally glad that I went and saw it, because I want them to get this money so they know that movies with this kind of cast can succeed, but I’m not— I’m never gonna watch it again.

Ana: I wanna watch it again.

Renay: You can do all my rewatches for me. You can have them.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: I send them to you, with love.

Ana: Thank you.

Renay: I’m just really— I’m just—I’m mad and then K2S0, he also died! Why!

Ana: He also dies!

Renay: Couldn’t! The robot have lived?! I am judging this film forever, for giving me a robot pal and then brutally murdering him before I could even start dreaming of the fanfic of him and BB-8 together.

Ana: [laughter] Oh my gods. No.

Renay: Think about all the great banter fic you could have wrote between those two robots.

Ana: [laughter]

Renay: Augh,it’s so depressing.

Ana: I have a question for you.

Renay: Oh no.

Ana: I had an entire argument with one of my coworkers with very much into Star Wars, he really liked Rogue One. Do you think that Chirrut had the Force?

Renay: No.

Ana: Yeah, I didn’t read it like that either. I think he believed in the Force.

Renay: Mm-hm.

Ana: He could be sensitive to it, but he didn’t have the Force.

Renay: Yeah, I didn’t think he had it either.

Ana: He felt like— my coworker thought that he had!

Renay: I thought that the whole point of that chant was the fact that he just believed in it and he was like inherently awesome himself.

Ana: Exactly, yes.

Renay: I’m so mad these character’s died, Ana.

Ana: Maybe we could have another movie with the early adventures of Chirrut and Baze.

Renay: I don’t like that, because they’re DEAD.

Ana: Everybody’s dead! We’re going to have a Han Solo movie and you know that Hans Solo is dead!

Renay: I don’t know that I’m gonna like the Han Solo movie, because he’s gonna be dead! I went through this argument with people in the Final Fantasy X fandom, and everybody was always like writing these, you know, adventures of the three characters that, when the game starts, are dead. I mean I get why you’re doing it, and the stories you write are beautiful, but this does not appeal to me at all. I’m just like they’re fucking dead, they’re dead, they’re dead. They’re dead. What is— I can’t do it, Ana, I just can’t, I, they’re dead!

Ana: You do know the second trilogy is all about dead characters, too.

Renay: Yes.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: I think the problem is that I going into things like wanting fanfic for it, but if the characters are dead writing the early adventures doesn’t make me feel better because they’re dead.

Ana: I don’t have that.

Renay: I know you don’t have that problem. I am alone and a minority.

Ana: You’re not alone! I’m sure there will be someone out there, who feels exactly the same way. Please email us to let us know that Renay is not alone.

Renay: [laughter] Let me know I’m not by myself in not caring about the early adventures of characters who are dead!

Ana: Dead!

Renay: This is such a great episode of Fangirl Happy Hour, y’all, it’s wonderful.

Ana: Full of warm feelings of glee and a lot of happiness.

Renay: But by watching Rogue One I had so much more appreciation for Episode VII. Wow. What a great movie that was. And I know I’m judging this film too harshly, because I know the writers of this movie didn’t know we were gonna elect a sentient cheeto to be president. It’s just a really bad timing for me, this movie, maybe if I’d watched it at a different time it wouldn’t have been so bad, because I’ve watched movies where people die before, it’s not a big deal. But this one is just, ugh, I went in with hope and love for space adventure and got socked in the jaw.

Ana: Aw man, that’s a terrible feeling. I’m so sorry that that’s what happened for you.

Renay: At least I got the robot pal for a little while. Well how many space bees are you gonna give to Rogue One?

Ana: Five!

Renay: I have to choose how many space bees I’m gonna give this movie.

Ana: I’m prepared, I’m ready, I ready, the Force is me and I am one with the Force, the Force is one with me I am one with the Force. say it.

Renay: Three space bees.

Ana: That’s fair enough, I’m okay with that. I’ll take it.

[Music: Joy by Chuki Beats]

Renay: Everfair is a 2016 alternate history novel by Nisi Shawl, positing what might happen in the Belgian Congo if a group of diverse people settled in a small piece of land and discovered technology that could allow them to stand their ground against Leopold and build their own society.

This is a pretty complicated novel. I ended up liking it, but it was a struggle there for a while until I hit the halfway point. What did you think about it?

Ana: I have complicated feelings for it. I appreciated the novel on an intellectual level, I’m not as sure I liked it. No, that’s not it either—I liked it. I didn’t love it. I think that’s better.

Renay: I ended up liking the second half much more than the first half.

Ana: I liked certain parts of it more than others. Okay, here’s my problem with Everfair. It’s a sprawling novel that takes place in different places at different times. It has eleven viewpoint characters and each one of them has a certain number of chapters, I think there are some that have four chapters, there are some that have up to eight, and they interconnect, they come together, and they move apart from each other. And it takes place over a certain of years and each chapter is quite small? And sometimes from one chapter to another, you lose months, sometimes even a couple of years, if I’m not mistaken.

Renay: Mm-hm.

Ana: So each chapter reads like a short story? And from what I understand some of them were written as short stories, and published as such, at one point or another. Although there is a cohesive feeling to it, there is a point where everything integrates. I almost feel like it’s too disjointed.

And the fact that I kept missing months and years from the stories and from those characters…at some point the story would just diverge from a character that I was really into and things would happen to them offscreen and would—and we would hear about them from other characters. and I think there may be that’s why for me, from a personal point of view the emotional connection with the book was not there.

This is why I say that I appreciate it from an intellectual point of view. I appreciate the story for what it was, for what it was trying to accomplish, for showing the building of a nation, a utopia of different people coming together like this alliance between African-American missionaries and Native— yeah Native Africans and all of them fighting against an oppressor from Belgium. and you had white people coming over because they have this ideas and and you have a side of science with the steampunk addition to it. And you had a side of fantasy as well, with people that could run with cats inside cats’ minds, and I liked some of the characters very very much especially the African king Mwenda? I think that’s how you say his name. And his favorite wife, Queen Josina, loved her, and I loved Lisette and Daisy too. I mean I loved their relationship and didn’t love Daisy, but I also want to go back to that at some point. So this I think is it for me. Why I appreciate it, why I could see what it was doing and think it was well done and an interesting novel from various perspectives, but I just didn’t feel as connected to it as much as I wanted to be.

Renay: I agree with you about the time skips. I thought that they were very disjointed and they interrupted the narrative. It didn’t help you stay emotionally connected to the characters, but I’m not sure how else she would have told a story crossing that many years without that conceit.

Ana: Maybe a trilogy. Maybe spreading the story out in more books. I think it’s a good sign that we both wanted to connect more with the characters.

Renay: So this was promoted as neo-Victorian alternate history steampunk, but I’m not sure that I would call this steampunk exactly? Steampunk for me is a more about busting up an existing society or oppressive system completely, using, like, steam tools, and I’m really in favor of having subgenres but I’m starting to worry that people are throwing them around so much that they really become meaningless. Half the reason I picked this up wasn’t for the alternate history, it was for the steampunk.

Ana: Right.

Renay: Even though they did use the steam technology to overthrow the system that the Belgian king had placed over the Congo, but that wasn’t the focus of the novel. Like it was much more about interpersonal stuff and interpersonal reactions to decisions made about how to form a society. And I really think this novel fits better just solely established in the alt-history category.

Ana: As a political novel, even.

Renay: But how else does this compare to other alternate history that you’ve read?

Ana: How does this compare in what way?

Renay: Do we think based on Shawl’s work we’ll start to see more people get more creative with their alternate history and dig deeper into the problems inherent in their societies? Because what I get from steampunk right now is it’s kind of a white-washed genre.

Ana: Yes.

Renay: Her book, her entry into this genre is very different and dramatic and features characters who are black and queer and socialist, which is very different, I think, than what we sometimes see in other alternate histories and/or steampunk novels. How does this compare to those? Does this mark a change in how genre handles? Because this novel came out from Tor.

Ana: Yeah.

Renay: So this is a mainstream published book that’s, like, throwing down in a pretty established subgenre. so do we think that that’s gonna change anything?

Ana: I didn’t see it reviewed or talked about a lot. and I’m interested to see if it will feature in Hugo Award conversations at all. Because I think it should. It is deserving of a Hugo nod. It is a type of fiction that I want to see.

Renay: I see your point about the reviews because I didn’t see a lot of people talking about this novel when it came out, and it got a lot of buzz initially. I’m curious like, do people not know how to talk about it because it doesn’t have a white majority cast? Are they afraid to not like it publicly, if they didn’t like it? Which is the only reason I can see why people might not review it, because they’re afraid of what might come out of their mouths.

Ana: If the vast majority of us are white people it could well be something like that. It might well be ignorance about the history that it’s based on, I don’t know anything about Congo. Before I started this book I went on Wikipedia to read a little bit about it so I had some context so I can fully grasp how revolutionary her alternative history is. Because millions were killed by King Leopold and this book shows them not only not dying, but also taking over, rebuilding their own country, making alliances with other people, and fighting oppression. One of the most visually impacting bits in this novel is how they used the steam technology to give new hands to people who had hands chopped.

Renay: That sort of thing was where the steampunk label comes from. You pointed once that steampunk, when it comes out, focuses on the steam part not the punk part and I think that’s where my, because I’m way more on your side, I like the punk part, and here I don’t think it applies so much because I mean they’re obviously trying to tear down Leopold’s structure of oppression in the Congo. But they’re also trying to build something else. Which, because the focus is so much on building and creating a safe space for these people to go and live, I don’t get the steampunk feel from this book.

Ana: It’s difficult because it is present, it is there, it is used to propel the colony, well it’s not a colony, the nation, up. It is used to fight off the invaders. It’s used as a personal thing.

Renay: So that’s my question. Has Nisi Shawl changed what steampunk is? I’m just like, I think she’s just come in and said “Your understanding of steampunk is flawed and inadequate. Here is how you can look at steampunk, this is what you can do with it.” Like she’s thrown down a gauntlet.

Ana: That’s really interesting. That’s a really interesting point. I think yes, I think there’s a side to that. Honestly, very little— lately everything, every single steampunk novel that has been called steampunk, I would question that it is indeed steampunk. It’s all about aesthetics, and the pretty clothes and the steam part of it. In Everfair, I think she went a step further and did something— she did something with the punk part of it.

Renay: That’s totally different than my understanding, and dissatisfaction with a lot of the steampunk that exists. So now I’m kinda like well I didn’t go into this book for steampunk I don’t think it’s steampunk, but I don’t think it’s steampunk by this other definition that I’m using, which she’s totally upended and that fascinates me and that’s what I’m curious about if it’s going to change anything about how other people write steampunk and I guess the answer is “only if they read it” and if they’re only reading white people, then the answer is no.

Ana: Yeah.

Renay: Because steampunk as far as I can see right now is a very white subgenre.

Ana: It is indeed.

Renay: Beyond the questions of how it’s gonna change things, I did really struggle with it, because I don’t often read historical fiction. I don’t like historical fiction that much. But she created some really, like, fascinating characters here. I mean obviously there’s Lisette, who you sympathize with and like almost the entire time that you are with her in the book.

Ana: Yes.

Renay: She’s young and she’s naive and you watch her grow up and she becomes smart and capable and clever. But then you have characters like Martha. I said, I think to you, when I was reading it that I thought Martha was the antagonist of the first half of the book.

Ana: Mm-hm.

Renay: Martha is an African-American missionary, and I’ve met this woman. I’ve met her, and the religion she wields like a stick, and I’m just not a fan. I had a lot more sympathy for her in the second half of the book, but in the first half I was just like “you are using your religion as a weapon and I’m not a fan of it.” And also her grooming behavior of a little boy—

Ana: UGH.

Renay: —was so creepy. I’m like “What are you doing?!” What— he—

Ana: He was like, fourteen, fifteen?

Renay: Yeah, and she waits until he’s like seventeen and she’s like “let’s get married” and apparently it’s okay in her eyes because they don’t consummate the relationship. Oh, so you marry him and you don’t fuck him and then that’s supposed to be okay.

Ana: And then she sends him away so he can do the work for her.

Renay: So I’m like on the one hand I get it, but on the other hand I’m like ohhhh boy.

Ana: But there is a lot of that in this novel too, because Lisette when she first entered the polygamous relationship with Daisy’s husband, she was very young, too.

Renay: Mm-hm.

Ana: She was sixteen, and I think Fwendi? Was also very young when she entered the relationship with the much older Matty.

Renay: Mm-hm.

Ana: And Tink and Lily?

Renay: Yep. So this was happening all over the place, this weird young/old relationship, and I couldn’t figure out if there was something happening, being said?

Ana: But it’s not like, young/old for example fifty and twenty, or fifty and thirty, no, it was like teenagers with much older people.

Renay: And I don’t know how to feel about it. Okay, so you have Daisy—Daisy and Lisette, and I’m sure when they get together Daisy wasn’t that old, but like why— but why don’t I have a problem with Daisy and Lisette, versus the problem I have with Martha and George, what’s driving my feelings of creepiness with—?

Ana: Probably because we never saw the beginnings of the Daisy and Lisette, and we were never told explicitly Daisy’s age? Whereas we saw Martha’s grooming of George, we saw that explicitly in the text.

Renay: And also she blackmails Lisette over her—

Ana: She’s mixed race, yeah, she’s a mulatto.

Renay: And she’s just really— she’s not a nice person.

Ana: But at the same time I admired that the character was written as a pragmatist.

Renay: Mm-hm.

Ana: She was driven by her religious fervor, but she knew that she had to use, for example, George as the face of the mission because he was a white person. She also knew that she could have some power over a half-white person such as Lisette. Maybe she was grabbing power where she could as a former—she was a former slave, right?

Renay: Mm, I think so, yeah.

Ana: Yes.

Renay: So much of this story is grounded in the relationships people form with each other and it’s complicated and nuanced and— I mean you could talk all day about some of the characters’ relationships in this book. Like, I could talk about how Lisette and Josina are sisters, like how they consider themselves sisters and are close with each other.

Ana: That was my favorite relationship in the novel. The alliance that formed between Queen Josina and Lisette. Queen Josina was fucking awesome. She was between kingdoms, her father a king of Angola. Her husband was the king of the Congo, and she had multiple languages. She had bees!

Renay: There were bees in this book! So dear space bees, you have to read this book.

Ana: What I liked the most about Lisette and Daisy’s love story was the way that it was fraught with racism. Because Daisy was a white person that had the best of intentions. She saw herself as a good person she was building Everfair as a place for everybody, but she still had internalised racism, the unchallenged racism that she couldn’t see. She didn’t even realize the things that she was saying.

So when she found out Lisette was a mulatto, she had definitely feelings that they were not positive and that threw a wrench in their relationship for so many years, so many years. And one of the things that I liked the most was how they found their way toward each other, with an appreciation for how good people can do bad things, and should we write people off. And for Lisette it was okay, she was okay with talking to Daisy and finally letting her know what was bothering her. That’s a very complex way of looking at how difficult relationships can be between people when one of them is a racist.

Renay: And Shawl does this in almost all the relationships that she builds in this book. They’re all complicated like that. I recommended this book to people who like queer romance, who don’t wanna deal with like, you know, miserable character death. And somebody was like “well I hated Daisy, so I would not recommend it at all as a queer romance.” And I understand where they’re coming from because sometimes you just want people to be happy, you don’t want there to be drama, but this book works for me as a queer romance because the relationship? It’s so complicated. This is what it’s like to have a relationship in the real world. It’s messy.

Ana: Mm.

Renay: And painful. And it hurts. And it’s wonderful. It’s human. If I could only say one good thing about this novel, it would be that Nisi Shawl has created in this book, these immensely human characters that have flaws and good intentions and are good people who sometimes make mistakes. This is a book with humanity at its core.

Ana: I completely agree with that.

Renay: So how many space bees would you give this book?

Ana: I would give it four space bees, wishing that I could give five.

Renay: I will probably also give it four space bees, because I just realized that I had a lightbulb moment about the steampunk. So I’m really curious to see where Nisi Shawl goes next. I don’t know what she’s gonna write, but she’s largely a short fiction writer, and I don’t know how long this book took her. But I’m interested to see what she does next. I hope that she drops a bomb on every subgenre that is overly white and homogenous. I can’t wait to read it.

Ana: Absolutely.

[Music: Slow Down by Chuki Beats]

Renay: Timekeeper by Tara Sim dropped last year in November and it’s about an alternative Victorian England controlled by clock towers, where mechanics fix and maintain the clocks and therefore the time in the cities themselves. Also, in this universe you can fuck clock spirits.

Ana: [laughter] That’s one way of putting it. Well actually you can’t. If you do, you fuck up time.

Renay: Oh right, oh I guess we never did see anybody get hundred percent fucked.

Ana: No, we didn’t.

Renay: Because time went screwy.

Ana: Absolutely. They can’t be too passionate. So is that an effect of a YA book usually having to be PG, or, just, some…

Renay: A really weird piece of world building.

Ana: Yeah.

Renay: So,Ana what did you think about this book?

Ana: I liked it!

Renay: Oh, okay. That’s interesting! Go on…

Ana: Oh, hey hey hey! I am—I get scared every time you say things like that. I liked it. I thought it was an interesting fantasy novel. I decided from the moment it started that I would read it as a fairy tale retelling, because otherwise it would not work.

Renay: What fairy tale?

Ana: Rapunzel.

Renay: Oh! Okay, I see that. I get you.

Ana: But there is a boy trapped inside a tower, he can’t leave, and then a very sad boy comes and meets him and they fall in love.

I had a few issues with this novel, but overall I liked it? I thought it was an interesting world building, even if I can’t think too hard about it because plot holes. There were lots of elements that I— that I liked, for example the relationship between Danny and his mother, the relationship between Danny and his best friend Cassie, how Danny was feeling so much guilt for not being able to go and rescue his father, who was trapped in a town where time stopped. I liked Daphne, one of the secondary characters. I liked the ideas behind keeping of time and how time controls humans and not the other way around.

So in our world we created the idea of time, we created clocks and we control—we control it. In this book, time and the clocks control humans. If something happens to a clock, anything can happen, time can jump from one minute to another, people can get just stopped in time for years, and that’s a really interesting concept.

Renay: Okay, a question.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: Is this steampunk?

Ana: No?

Renay: Exactly.

Ana: That’s fantasy.

Renay: Exactly. Because I saw…

Ana: Was it, was it, was it sold as steampunk?

Renay: I don’t think so, but I saw someone referencing it as steampunk because of some of the technology that’s in it. But I’m like no.

Ana: No, it’s magic.

Renay: Nobody is punking in anything, he’s not trying to tear down the mechanics guild.

Ana: No, no, it’s not.

Renay: Guys, just because there’s, like, some steam technology doesn’t make it steampunk. This episode is where we go in on steampunk apparently. I was so bored.

Ana: Were you?

Renay: I was so bored. I thought Danny was a whiner. I did not sympathise with him very much, he went and did things, and I was just like “Am I supposed to feel sorry for you for doing that stupid thing that you knew was stupid when you started to do it?” Colton was a non-entity.

Ana: He was a non-entity, that was my main problem with the— with the novel, was that Colton did not have a personality, and more than that I thought that was a power dynamic that—that was problematic because he was trapped inside a clock, he couldn’t get outside, and all of his knowledge and his piece of news came from Danny.

Renay: The characterization of Colton was so light as to be non-existent and I didn’t understand why Danny cared so much for him besides the fact that Colton—he offers him a handjob. I don’t get it, what else is there, what else is going on here?

Ana: The way I saw it was because he was lonely, he was feeling so guilty about his father, nobody was understanding him. and Colton was beautiful, was there for him, was obviously so into him.

Renay: But then you go back to the power dynamics thing. why was he into him?

Ana: Yes, absolutely.

Renay: I went into this novel like going “Oh, this is really neat, we have this fantasy with this queer character and there’s gonna be like a romance and it’s not going to be depressing.” EXCEPT the romance is depressing! The kid can’t leave the tower. Danny, who’s obviously not asexual, cannot fuck him or time will go all wonky.

Ana: Yeah, they tried to and then things go really bad in the town.

Renay: And I know this was not the intention but it’s just like “Your sexuality fucks up time” is not a good optic.

Ana: But hence the fairy tale aspect of it, of the sacrifices that one must make for love. Because in the end, he just moves to that town and basically becomes that clock’s keeper. The very idea of him being the keeper of that clock also tells you about how problematic that dynamic is.

Renay: So I went into this novel really excited and I came out bored and a little ticked off about some of the dynamics that were present. I thought that the best part of this novel was the mystery at the center. I don’t know what else there is to say about this book. Like I went in super excited, and came out blah.

Ana: I probably liked it a little bit more than you did.

Renay: Yes you did. But now that I’m talking about it, I’m getting angry about it which is not a good sign.

Ana: [laughs]

Renay: I’m gonna adjust my rating of this book as we speak.

Ana: Uh-oh.

Renay: I’m fine if a romance novel has asexual characters or aromantic characters, that’s cool, but when it’s obvious that characters have a specific sexuality and they’re attracted to a certain person sexually, and they can’t fuck each other because it fucks up time, I’m mad about it. I’m mad about it.

Ana: I don’t know if the ending is romantic or incredibly horrible because these two are stuck with each other but they can’t be together.

Renay: It also feels like this is the first in a series. Is this the first in a series?

Ana: It is, I think so.

Renay: And now I just want to read the second book to figure out if this “can’t fuck cause time will go sideways” is resolved, because listen, it—

Ana: I bet it will be resolved, I bet they will find a way.

Renay: I swear that I’m not generally this concerned about characters fucking.

Ana: Uh, what?! Since when? You lie! That’s an alternate fact.

Renay: [laughter] Oh god. I mean, when I—whether i judge a book is like worthwhile or not, but here it’s integral to the character’s relationship. And now I’m gonna spoil the novel, the end of the novel. The bad guy Matthias, does this mean that he didn’t fuck his clock at all during that time?

Ana: No, because she’s—she’s already left.

Renay: Does that mean that if he leaves a clock they can fuck? Very serious question.

Ana: They can, but then the whole town will be stopped. Everybody will be trapped in time. The same second forever, just so that they can fuck. I thought this was an interesting idea, about self-sacrifice, about the things that you do for love or not, and how do you deal with being in love with a person and that love can affect the lives of so many other people in a really really bad way, and what do you do then?

Renay: That’s the argument that evangelicals use to shock the gay out of people. “Your relationship is gonna fuck up our lives, so it can’t happen.”

Ana: So you think that the meta narrative around this is more complicated.

Renay: Mm-hm.

Ana: Because the two main characters are gay.

Renay: Somebody did not think this through.

Ana: Actually Colton’s not even gay, he says that he would have assumed the form that the person he wanted, wanted him to be. He’s a spirit, basically, he’s an idea, more than anything. He became a boy because Danny was into boys.

Renay: It’s okay. I’m sure that the author will keep writing books.

Ana: Yeah. I liked it. I still liked it.

Renay: You are allowed to like it. Like, I didn’t dislike the whole thing. I just disliked those specific things that I pointed out. And also I was bored. I wanted to not be bored.

Ana: Which is a fair thing to ask for when reading a novel.

Renay: Yes it is. Okay, space bee time, hit me.

Ana: Three.

Renay: Two.

Ana: I was gonna say three and a bottle of honey because that is my new way of giving a half space bee without halving a space bee.

Renay: That’s nice! I’m still giving this book two.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: Your cute little jar of honey is not gonna convince me to give it more.

Ana: But it’s so sweet though!

Renay: What part, the part where they can’t fuck each other?

Ana: No, the honey.

Renay: Oh, the honey, yeah that’s fine. Fangirl Happy Hour: I wonder how many times I used the word fuck in this segment? Oh, Susan’s gonna count them now, I know it.

[Music: Blessed by Chuki Beats]

Renay: We’re at the end of the episode, and it’s time for recommendations. Ana, what’ve you got for us this week?

Ana: I’ve watched a couple of episodes of a new TV show that appeared on Netflix. I saw it on Netflix in Greece, I’m not sure if it’s on the US or the UK, it’s a show from Channel four here in the UK and it’s called Crazy Head and it’s about two girls, the main character, the most powerful character is a black woman, or black girl, they are both I think in their very early twenties. They can see demons and they are demon hunters. But there are a lot of really cool twists in the first two episodes. It’s kind of like Buffy, if Buffy was a black woman. The series had so many twists that I was so—it was so surprising because I was not expecting any of them. Every time I thought, “Oh, I can totally see this coming” I was completely surprised by what they actually did, and I don’t say that often.

Renay: Are you sure?

Ana: I’m sure of what?

Renay: Are you sure you don’t—that you don’t say that often? Are you sure? Because we just discussed things and you’re like, “Oh!”

Ana: Do you think that’s an alternate fact?

Renay: Ana, are you using alternate facts on me now?

Ana: Am I using an alternate fact on myself right now?

Renay: Maybe.

Ana: What’s your rec?

Renay: All right, my recommendation is targeted at US space bees. There is this handy tool that I’m going to recommend called 5calls.org where you can go and type in your zip code. Then it will give you a long list of issues and a series of calls to make to your reps, as well their phone numbers. They have scripts, and I know that a lot of people have been sort of down on needing scripts, but ignore those people they probably like calling strangers on the phone. We’re ignoring them.

If you’re still anxious you can make the scripts even shorter if you need to. This is really super easy way to make the calls, and you should make calls to your reps every single week. You all are, right, seriously?

Ana: Mm.

Renay: Whenever you make a call, tweet at me and let me know that you made it and I will send you so many bees. So many bees!

The bees! They’ll be tremendous.

Ana: No, you just—you didn’t—no.

Renay: You’ll see. Tremendous bees! And that’s my rec. So, Ana, tell people what we’ll be discussing next time.

Ana: On our next Friday episode we’ll be discussing Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor, Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana, and Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau. We hope you can follow along with us. It will be a lot of fun. And hopefully happier.

Renay: We can only hope.

[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]

Renay: That does it for us this week. Ana, thanks for being rad.

Ana: Thanks for being tremendous, Renay.

Renay: You’re welcome. You can follow us on twitter @fangirlpodcast if you want even more of our thoughts. And we want to hear from you! Our email is fangirlhappyhour@gmail.com. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or wherever quality podcasts are acquired. And if you want to give our new episode announcements a retweet we wouldn’t say no!

Ana: Our music this week is by Boxcat Games and Chuki Beats. Our show art was made by Ira and you can find links to their work in our show notes, plus some of the media we discussed.

Renay: And for the space bees watching the United States slowly imploding, please remember to take care of yourself. There are a few million of us trying to fix things. Shut twitter off now and then for your own mental health. US space bees: have a nap, but then call your reps!

Ana: Same thing goes for UK space bees.

Renay: Thanks for listening, guys.

Ana: See you next episode.

[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]