When I was growing up, in my part of the world, it was very unusual for girls to like science fiction. None of my friends knew what a Vulcan was, or what was so special about Bilbo Baggin’s Ring. I was unusual because I would pick the thickest book I could find on the library shelf for ‘free reading time’.
Oh, I tried. But then I would go home, sit down with my notebooks, and write about things I wish would happen to me. Adventures through space and parallel worlds. Being chosen to complete some incredible quest. Even being recruited to join a secret government agency that deals with extra-terrestrials – these were the things I dreamed of!
I was a geek, heart and soul.
It was liberating once I accepted this. I finally knew the reason why I was good at weird subjects like Literature, Science, or Art. I could sit by myself, when every other girl in my class was on the oval, sharing a cigarette. I could even go to the library at odd times, like when I wasn’t even supposed to be there! I’m not saying you have to be a glasses-wearing, timid geek like I was. We come in all shapes and sizes, interests, and fandoms.
But it’s incredible how times have changed. With the advent of the internet age, I don’t think it’s quite so socially unacceptable to be a geek girl as it used to be. There are far more pop culture, science fiction and comic conventions these days. LARPing and cosplay is huge and getting huge-er. You can find loads and loads of webcomics, fan forums, and online communities where we, the geek girls, can freely express ourselves.
But I don’t think it’s just this. I think women are finally seeing themselves in the characters in science fiction and fantasy books, TV shows and comics. Men have always been able to identify with the masculine images of Thor, Colonel Jack O’Neil, or Aragorn. But women in these shows and books are also very empowered. Think of Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. I idolised her – a strong woman, in command of a starship! Think of Galadriel, the guardian of Lothlorien, who is strong enough to resist the lure of the Ring!
With so much out there, this is a great time to be a geek girl. If you’re a woman who creates comics, books or art, I recommend joining with women creators online. You will find a welcoming and supportive bunch of people who are happy to provide feedback, point you in the right direction, or answer questions.
Across the Bridge of Ice
The Bridges Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Hague Publishing
Date of Publication: 31 January 2015
Number of pages: 175 pages
Word Count: 55,000
Cover Artist: Ruth Fox
In 'The City of Silver Light', Keira Leichman spent the night lost in a wild snowstorm that struck Cassidy Heights. But what really happened that night? Not even Keira can be sure. What she does know is that she's been having strange dreams since the accident, and now she's stuck with a broken ankle and the possibility of never playing soccer again. That is, until she finds Jake's telescope, and is drawn across the Bridge of Ice to Shar.
Now Keira is marooned in the City of Silver Light with Daniel, Jake’s younger brother, with no way to get home. But that is the least of their worries, for the secrets they discover in Shar are more dangerous than Kiera could ever have imagined. And the fate of both their worlds are in their hands.
Excerpt 3 – Chapter 6 (460 words)
THE strange dreams come again, full of sharp white ice. It slices my skin whenever I move. Those voices, a woman’s and a man’s, echo in my ears.
‘... will be sentenced to time in the cell beneath the Chambers. It’s the only solution.’
‘I don’t like the idea ...’
‘But she’s broken the Edict! She needs to be punished.’
‘We can’t use the –.’
I don’t understand what they’re talking about.
I wake up a zombie. Mum has the day off and she makes me breakfast. It’s a rare treat, usually I’m left to fend for myself. It’s hardly gourmet food, just toast and vegemite, but it doesn’t taste quite right.
I push my plate away. It’s hard to care about food right now. All I can think about is the telescope and what happened last night with Molly. The telescope must have some kind of strange power.
But then … what happened with Baz? I touched his hand before Jake dropped the telescope. And those weird dreams have been happening for ages, ever since I hurt my ankle.
There must be something I’m missing. The best thing to do, the only thing to do, would be to ask Jake. But I can’t. He’d know I took his telescope if I did that. So once Mum leaves for work, I hobble back to my room feeling as if the telescope is calling to me.
I pick it up and run my fingers over its surface. I examine the imperfect circles of glass in both ends. I put my eye to it and aim it at the walls. I run it over the ceiling. I peer at my desk and the bits of lint on the carpet. I turn to the window.
And I gasp.
I’m looking at the sky above the hedge between our neighbour’s house and ours, and I’m seeing something that’s impossible. There are buildings and towers stretching up like the delicate pale fingers of angels, linked by a cobweb of bridges as fine as lace. I can’t believe it. It’s an entire city hanging in the sky.
I lower the telescope and blink my eyesrapidly.
Nope. It’s definitely gone but … I know it’s still there. And, somehow, it seems perfectly natural for it to be there.
Something inside me tingles. The sensation runs down through my injured leg and pools in my ankle, prickling the skin.
There’s something else ... the buildings … I’ve seen them up-close. I’ve stood beneath them, climbed their stairs, walked through their cavernous rooms. It’s almost like … I can remember what it’s like to be there.
In the city.
The white light from my dreams, it’s not white at all. It’s silver.
About the Author:
Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 2006. Her other published works include “Monster-boy: The Lair of the Grelgoroth”, Book 1 of the Monster-boy Series, and “Sand Dog”, an illustrated picture book for younger readers. Both are available from Amazon.com.
Ruth has been an avid reader her entire life and, inspired by the books that engrossed her as she was growing up, she aims to create stories that can draw readers in and enthral them for days or weeks. She writes every day and lives in Ballarat, Victoria, with her partner, her cat, and an ever-expanding library of books.