Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Robert Appleton | When a Man Writes a Woman
Author Guest / February 4, 2011

Hi everyone! It’s a real treat to be here at Fresh Fiction. Before I start, I’ve a quick question to ask you: How often do you read authors outside your own gender? Based on my formative reading material, I should by rights be the worst chauvinist author imaginable. I’m not kidding when I say the first time I read a complete book by a female writer was THE LOVELY BONES in 2005. And before that, most of the female literary characters I’d read were either barbarian queens or damsels-in-distress, women locked away in modes of male fantasy inside stories written about men, for men. I know the hero journey inside out, sideways, jutting jaw to bloody hilt. Growing up with the tales of H Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs and JRR Tolkien will do that to a boy. And it was wonderful. Wonderful…and incomplete. Then something bizarre happened. Carl Sagan’s rambling but extraordinary novel, CONTACT, introduced me to a larger-than-life heroine in a traditionally (at least in my SF) male pursuit. Ellie Arroway didn’t just dream of becoming an astronomer and discovering the secrets of the universe, she went out and made it happen. She had flaws, deep scars from…