Stealth review of The Steerswoman series, discovered via search for poetry.


You remember Mary Alexandra Agner, right?  I’ve mentioned her before:  Science writer and poet — I signed up as a buck-a-month patron of hers on Patreon. 

Mary sent out an email recently to her Patreon patrons, alerting us to the fact that she had two poems in the January issue of The Cascadia Subduction Zone.   CSZ is a print-form (as opposed to online) literary quarterly, with reviews and essays and poems, with a particular interest in the works of women writers.  Although the physical version costs physical money, CSZ is nice enough to put PDF copies online for free, six months after the original publication.

So naturally, I clicked over and started scrolling down to find Mary’s poems.  But before I got there:  a review of the Steerswoman series, by none other than SFF author Kate Elliot.

Not to keep you in suspense: she likes it!

I found it a really interesting analysis, bringing up aspects I hadn’t thought of before, while highlighting some of the things that I especially do try to accomplish with the series.   I’m so pleased.   Kate is an intelligent, deep-thinking person.  I was most recently impressed with her one-person presentation at Worldcon this year on Narrative Structure and Expectation (alas, I came in late, about when she was talking about the example of modern society’s ingrained expectations of what Cleopatra was like, as opposed to what she was really like…).

So, surprise!  A review  I didn’t know about.   You can pop over and read it, and take a look at Mary’s poems, as well.    (Kate is page 6, Mary is page 15.)

3 Responses to “Stealth review of The Steerswoman series, discovered via search for poetry.”

  • Lindig Says:

    Very nice review, even if short. She’s right about the necessity of reading it in order and being difficult to review without giving away major underlying structure. I was halfway through Book 1 before I said to myself “this isn’t fantasy! it’s sf!” And halfway through Book 2 when I muttered “it’s about the scientific method!” Revelation and delight. And she didn’t even mention your world-building, which I think is particularly good. But what I really really like is your approach to language, especially the native lifeform one (trying not to do spoiler). Blew me away. And the language of power was both vague and specific at the same time, and I could see the concepts and meanings being grasped and worked through. Outstanding.

  • bnanno Says:

    I would also mention the sheer quality of the prose. Not a word wasted & everything is there for a reason. Very few writers are that conscientious (to say nothing of publishers!)