I have enjoyed every single one of Nicola Griffith’s books to date. They are very female-centric, with lesbian protagonists and a focus on mind-body interactions (often but not always involving martial arts), the sensual experience of the physical world, and the details of how things work – things being anything from carpentry to aikido to group dynamics. They do lack humor, but I don’t find that I miss it, since the other elements I mentioned above are particular interests of mine.

Ammonite is sf on the perennial theme of stranger in a strange land, in this case a woman who comes to a planet where a virus has killed all the men, but society survives. I have read a lot of “society of women” stories. With a few exceptions, when men write them the societies are fascistic, ant-like, and often prostrate themselves with gratitude at the arrival of male saviors. When women write them the societies tend to be individualist and bad-ass, or cooperative in an appealing, non-insectlike way. Griffith’s is cooperative in some ways, not in others, and has a strong streak of bad-ass. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys worldbuilding sf with a focus on made-up cultures a la Ursula K. Le Guin or Eleanor Arnason.

Slow River I don’t recall terribly well except that it managed to hold my interest despite the fact that a lot of the plot involved, if I recall correctly, sewage treatment or something equally industrial and unpromising.

The Blue Place, Stay, and Always are a set of character studies masquerading as suspense thrillers about Norwegian-American Aud Torvingen, ex-cop, self-defense instructor, carpenter, and private investigator. Aud, who is practically perfect in all physical ways, is also a strange and closed-off person, beautifully attuned to the natural world and her own body but perpetually one beat off the rhythms of normal human interactions. But not so much so that she doesn’t have a love life. Both The Blue Place and Always feature sexy and romantic romances.

You can start with Always, the one I just read, but it will spoil earlier events. In alternating chapters, Aud has a disastrous experience teaching self defense in Atlanta (in the recent past) and investigates suspicious events involving a movie shoot in Seattle (in the present.) At first I was more interested in the self defense story, which features many useful pointers (Griffith is a former self-defense instructor), but I quickly became caught up in both after Aud has the unusual (to her) experience of being a victim when the set is sabotaged. I spent a very enjoyable Sunday lounging in the sun and reading this.

The Aud novels are well-written, smart, gripping, and even educational in an entertaining way. If you’re looking for lesbian heroines in stories that do not center around coming out or homophobia, or tough female protagonists who don’t hide or apologize for their competence, these books are for you.
I have enjoyed every single one of Nicola Griffith’s books to date. They are very female-centric, with lesbian protagonists and a focus on mind-body interactions (often but not always involving martial arts), the sensual experience of the physical world, and the details of how things work – things being anything from carpentry to aikido to group dynamics. They do lack humor, but I don’t find that I miss it, since the other elements I mentioned above are particular interests of mine.

Ammonite is sf on the perennial theme of stranger in a strange land, in this case a woman who comes to a planet where a virus has killed all the men, but society survives. I have read a lot of “society of women” stories. With a few exceptions, when men write them the societies are fascistic, ant-like, and often prostrate themselves with gratitude at the arrival of male saviors. When women write them the societies tend to be individualist and bad-ass, or cooperative in an appealing, non-insectlike way. Griffith’s is cooperative in some ways, not in others, and has a strong streak of bad-ass. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys worldbuilding sf with a focus on made-up cultures a la Ursula K. Le Guin or Eleanor Arnason.

Slow River I don’t recall terribly well except that it managed to hold my interest despite the fact that a lot of the plot involved, if I recall correctly, sewage treatment or something equally industrial and unpromising.

The Blue Place, Stay, and Always are a set of character studies masquerading as suspense thrillers about Norwegian-American Aud Torvingen, ex-cop, self-defense instructor, carpenter, and private investigator. Aud, who is practically perfect in all physical ways, is also a strange and closed-off person, beautifully attuned to the natural world and her own body but perpetually one beat off the rhythms of normal human interactions. But not so much so that she doesn’t have a love life. Both The Blue Place and Always feature sexy and romantic romances.

You can start with Always, the one I just read, but it will spoil earlier events. In alternating chapters, Aud has a disastrous experience teaching self defense in Atlanta (in the recent past) and investigates suspicious events involving a movie shoot in Seattle (in the present.) At first I was more interested in the self defense story, which features many useful pointers (Griffith is a former self-defense instructor), but I quickly became caught up in both after Aud has the unusual (to her) experience of being a victim when the set is sabotaged. I spent a very enjoyable Sunday lounging in the sun and reading this.

The Aud novels are well-written, smart, gripping, and even educational in an entertaining way. If you’re looking for lesbian heroines in stories that do not center around coming out or homophobia, or tough female protagonists who don’t hide or apologize for their competence, these books are for you.
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