Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guest Blog by Francis Knight - Women in SFF and how they shaped my life - January 30, 2013

Please welcome Francis Knight to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Fade to Black (Rojan Dizon 1) will be published on February 26, 2013 by Orbit.

Women in SFF and how they shaped my life

Oh my, women in SFF, that could be a can of worms – so I’m not going into that. No, I’m going to concentrate on the women in SFF who helped make me the person I am.

We’ll start right back at the beginning of my SFF love affair. Blake’s Seven (for those of you who aren’t British, this was a 70s space set drama, and very good it was too, despite the wobbly sets). Now, this was the 70’s but even so, we had Jenna – space smuggler and pilot extraordinaire. We had Dayna, weapons expert, and Callie, guerrilla fighter. All vital and important members of the Seven. Then we had…oh, the best part…we had Servelan, female ruler of the evil Federation, who gained that position by leading a military coup. Smart, sexy, and oh so evil.

Not only were these capable women being capable (and occasionally evil) the men seemed to like them that way too. *gasp!*

My first exposure to ‘You want it, you can do it, and you don’t have to turn into a man either.’

And then came the 80’s, with Ripley and Sarah Connor. Ripley lived in a world where men and women seemed fairly equal (at least aboard ship). She was one of the crew, capable, shrewd, and a survivor. Sarah Connor? Yes – okay, Kyle Reece was protecting her, helping her out with things she couldn’t know about. Yes, she was scared silly to start with (who wouldn’t be when told a machine that will not stop wants to murder you?) but she steps up to the plate and gets on with it – even more so in Terminator 2. Her grit and determination made John Connor the man he would be. At the same time I was reading about Eowyn who had the blood of kings in her veins and okay, she “settled” in the end but she showed a few people what a woman can do, that courage comes in many bodies.

My exposure to: ‘You may have to do things differently (you may not), but you can still beat the Bad Dude and Be Awesome.’

These are just a few of the characters that really helped shape the person I am – they showed me what was possible. Without them, I almost certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today, and that’s a good reason for strong female characters anywhere – not necessarily strong in arm, but strong in soul. Flawed or not, kick arse or not, emotional, or not. Strong, independent thinkers who are women.

Ladies, I salute you.

About Fade to Black

Fade to Black
Rojan Dizon 1
Orbit, February 26, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala

It's a city built upwards, not across - where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.

Rojan Dizon doesn't mind staying in the shadows, because he's got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can't hide for ever.

Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And unlucky for Rojan - this is going to hurt.

The cover for Before the Fall (Rojan Dizon 2), which will be out in June:

Last to Rise (Rojan Dizon 3), the final novel in the trilogy, will be published in November 2013.

About Francis

Francis Knight was born and lives in Sussex, England. When not living in her own head, she enjoys SF&F geekery, WWE geekery, teaching her children Monty Python quotes, and boldly going and seeking out new civilizations.

Website : BlogTwitter @Knight_Francis


  1. You're a fan of Severlan? Okay, my interest in your work just went *up* :)

  2. I for one am certainly glad for this part of your journey that has made it possible for us to have to opportunity to devour what looks like a very promising trilogy. I wish you all the best on the upcoming release and even if sounds shallow, LUV the covers. Thank you for sharing with us (raising fist with a wink) stay strong ;)

  3. GREAT post! I am so thankful for all those pioneer women in SFF that paved the way for today.

  4. Very stoked for you, my friend - and these covers are freaking fantastical. May I also put Princess Leia out there? Ass kicking snarky princess. My favorite.

  5. Ah yes, Leia. Loved how she stood up to Vader. I forgot so many while I was writing the post! I loved Kitiara as well, and more lately Nanny Ogg, who I want to be when I grow up.

    And Servelan is sheer class.

    Loving covers isn't shallow....or if it is, shallow is my middle name :D