Archive for October, 2015


cover_art_teaserJust this morning I received the sample from the completed cover art for Bifrost!!!! I am VERY excited about it. I’ve given you a tiny sneak peak here!

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Very shortly, I will have the final, full-resolution copy in my hot little computer and will commence work turning it into an actual cover (complete with a title and perhaps even my name somewhere!).

I am also in the process of engaging the services of an editor for Bifrost (again – super excited).

Now…all of my excitement aside, I have decided that because Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in December and (as previously mention) it appears that the writers and I have been drinking coffee from the same beans, I am going to publish a sample chapter or two (let’s see hot it goes) here on iekenner.com. Please understand that though these will be as polished as I can make them in the short time I have – these will not be the finished product and there may be changes here and there as we move from now until release day (an as-yet undetermined date in early 2016).

Keep your eye on this site for when the sample chapter goes up and please give me any feedback you have once you’ve read it!!

— IEK

g_greerYou may well ask: How can someone who identifies as a trans person support an organisation which allows a person with clear and stated transphobic opinions to give a lecture?

To me it’s obvious – she is not being asked to speak about transgender issues.

Germaine Greer is an icon of the womens’ liberation movement; a product of a very ugly time in our society’s past when women were treated as little more than property, an accessory to be admired, yet not heard. Greer grew up, as all women did in those days, seeing the hatred and violence directed at the suffragettes who came before her, suffering and seeing the hatred and violence directed at her – all for nothing more than being female and daring to imagine she could have a say. Greer chose to use all of that frustration she felt as a woman living under this oppression and to direct it into making a stand.

Many of the things she has said and written have been bold, confronting, angry and made her the target of hatred from almost every male who heard about it. This seemed to make her only more staunch in her views. I don’t agree with a lot of the things she says and yet I respect Germaine Greer for what she has done and the voices she has allowed to be heard.

Like many heroes of a time and of a moment, however, Germaine Greer is not perfect. Obviously for all of you people who are flawless of character, this must seem strange. Greer harbours many opinions which, though they allowed her to focus and drive through the ocean of negativity she had to navigate during the infancy of feminism as we know it, they have no place in the world today. Greer’s belief in herself and her bravery in the face of untold opposition is what has made her a hero of feminism and she will not change her stripes today just because a comparatively small number of people demand that she do so.

I don’t believe Germaine Greer will ever change her opinion of trans women (though it would be interesting to know her views on trans men). From what I derive from her stance, she believes that to be a woman, one must face the challenge of being a woman from birth – make your way through sexism, the absurd expectations of society that you must “look your best” all the bloody time, menstruation – all of the challenges faced only by those who grow up female.

Though I may not agree with it, I actually understand this argument. I don’t believe that being born with a vagina necessarily makes you a woman (there are many exceptions to this rule), but I understand that very, very few trans women could possibly understand what it truly is to be born as and grow up as a female.

Equally, though, very, very few people born female could understand what it truly is to be born in a gender you do not identify with and face the hate, violence and negativity which so sadly often accompanies the lives of trans people.

In this respect trans people and women are not so very different.

In looking over all of this, you may well say “But hey – you just said her opinions have no place in the world of today!” and you’d be partially right: her stance on the very existence of trans people has no place in the world of today, in fact she has not repeated her hateful opinions for decades and she said as much very recently. She is an intelligent person and I believe she realises her opinions don’t gel with today’s more open and understanding society which is why she hasn’t aired them for a very long time.

And her lecture at Cardiff University IS NOT ABOUT TRANSGENDER ISSUES – the lecture is entitled “Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century“. It is a historical look over the womens’ liberation and feminist movement in the 20th century and how women have managed to fight their way to the right to vote, to legislated (if not real) equal-pay, to legislated equal rights and to the highest, most powerful jobs in the world. It is also a lecture on the work still to be done. I personally think it would be fascinating.

But now (misguided, in my opinion) activists are backing Germaine Greer against an opinion wall. If I know anything about Germaine Greer it is that she is at her most vocal – her most forthright when she is backed against a wall. And so she has made it clear that she has not changed her opinion of trans women. Important note: her opinion.

But if her task at the university is not to discuss transgender – why must we silence her on all subjects? In reality the trans movement only started gaining traction in the last 5 years, so it has little place in a brief university lecture about women in the 20th century!

I would absolutely support a ban on Germaine Greer if she were being asked to speak on the subject of transgender* because I feel her opinions are deeply negative, spiteful and ill-informed, but this lecture is absolutely not that. It is a lecture the subject of feminism and womens’ rights and on the history of the issue. On that subject, I think you could find few more important voices than Germaine Greer.

— IEK

*  Unless it were a debate because I love arguments and I also love winning them

Ranger Smith in Jumpsharkoid’s spacecraft. From Yogi Bear – definitely not Star Wars*.

!!SPOILER ALERT!! If you are one of the very odd people I know trying to avoid all social media, clips screenshots or information about the upcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens, read no further (and understand that I think you are odd for trying to live in a time-bubble as if streaming video & a 24-hour news cycle never happened). Oh and that image you didn’t click on because you broke into a cold sweat isn’t from the new Star Wars film*, no…um…it’s from a lost episode of Yogi Bear where Ranger Smith climbs into a cave only to find an alien spacecraft and that annoying green martian who completely ruined the Flintstones. “Jumpsharkoid” I think his name was.

So…My WIP I’ve been working on for the last two and a bit years (Bifrost) just happens to introduce the MC with what appears to be a nearly identical scene to the new Star Wars film (a female scavenger in a desert landscape working through a huge, wrecked spacecraft).

This really is annoying me because it’s a completely freaking cool scene I don’t want to change and now (because I can’t get Bifrost released before The Force Awakens) it’s going to look for all the world like I ripped it off. Which I most certainly DID NOT!! I wrote that scene over 2 years ago.

I cannot believe this has actually happened. I only JUST watched the latest Force Awakens trailer (Trailer 3) and it was like watching another person’s take on my scene. Which was strangely cool, but also extremely worrying.

Anyway…I suppose the Pollyanna takeaway is that my ideas are just as completely awesome as Lawrence Kasdan & J.J Abrams’ ideas (hopefully even better!), but it’s feeling a little like I’m going to have to modify my intro for the Witch**.

— IEK

 

* This is a complete lie

** OOPS! Spoiler alert! ;o)

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