Blog name: On Starships and Dragonwings
Your name: Anya
Let’s start with your origin story - how long have you been blogging about Sci-Fi & Fantasy books, and why did you start?
I started the blog in 2010, so six years, time flies! It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I started blogging about sci-fi and fantasy books because I wanted to try out blogging in general and realized that books were the thing that I would never get tired of! It’s worked so far I guess :).
Are there particular subgenres that you prefer or find more interesting at the moment? Are there any trends that you are excited to see come or go?
I try to switch between subgenres every book so that I don’t get bored with any one. I’ve found that my preferences don’t align with elements special to any particular subgenre, but more what makes books excellent no matter their subject: strong voice, unique world, beautiful writing, etc. In all subgenres though I’m seeing a trend of authors working hard to bring in mythology from places other than Western Europe and I love that. Since I tend to be more interested in new-to-me magic and monsters and worlds, stories that pull in myths I’m not familiar with are exactly what I’m looking for.
Can you describe the Sci-Fi & Fantasy community? Is there anything unique amongst those contributing to and interested in this genre that perhaps isn’t a characteristic of other literary communities?
Like any community, the Sci-fi and Fantasy community is far flung and varied of course. There is an interesting split between those who read predominantly young adult versus adult sci-fi/fantasy though. I feel like I cross between those two groups of speculative fiction readers and am always trying to push books from the other age category on to readers. Something that has been under close scrutiny lately is diverse representation in sci-fi and fantasy: if you have elves and aliens, it shouldn’t be hard to also have humans with different skin tones and sexualities. Recent outspoken groups against representation seem to have largely united our community to start fixing the problem in response. I’ve always found the sci-fi and fantasy book blogging community to be exceedingly welcoming in part because we’re mostly made up of the nerds and outcasts that often didn’t fit in growing up. We know what it is like to feel excluded and want a space where no one has to feel that way.
Do you have a particular approach to writing reviews for books? Has your style evolved over the years, particularly since becoming a blogger?
When I was writing my very first couple of reviews, I tried to write them as paragraphs waxing lyrical about the book for thousands of words. Then I realized that I both didn’t like trying to write that way and didn’t particularly enjoy reading those reviews. That’s when my bullet-list review style was born! I had always taken notes of the things I wanted to discuss on a post-it note with bullet points and decided to try keeping that format and just expanding a bit where it was appropriate. I’ve stuck with that review style because I really do think that it helps my readers quickly figure out if they’d like a given book and because it makes writing reviews so much easier for me. There are times when I want to break out of that pattern a bit, and at those times I do, but I always find myself coming back to bullet-lists of pros and cons.
Which upcoming book(s) on NetGalley are you the most excited about reading and recommending to your followers? And are there any covers on NetGalley that you’re loving?
RoseBlood by A. G. Howard is absolutely gorgeous and I’m excited to see a new series starting in that world so that I can jump in without having to catch up (always so much to read!). I’m also excited to see Wake of Vultures up on NetGalley to request in the lead up to the sequel Conspiracy of Ravens and HIGHLY recommend both!
Your blog in two sentences:
Just a grad student geeking out over books. Find your next sci-fi or fantasy read here!
Your favorite character in a book or series:
Just one???? Cress from Cress by Marissa Meyer!
Book you’d like to see made into a movie or tv show:
And to finish off our interview, if you could have coffee (…or something stiffer) with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
Anne McCaffrey! The Dragonriders of Pern was my first fandom and I dreamed of visiting her in Ireland before she died.
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*Interviewed by Tarah Theoret