Happy Birthday To Us! & Giveaway


Strange Charm is two years old today! We’ve had an amazing year of reading, covering Alternate History, Fantasy Romance, Transhumanism, Food and Musical magic, as well as a spectacular array of recent releases. We’re so impressed by the strength and variety of women’s writing in every area of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and look forward to another equally amazing year ahead.

But for now we’re celebrating our birthday in style with plenty of cake and presents. We’ve eaten the cake ourselves (sorry), but the presents are for you. We’ve each picked out three of our favourite books from the last year, and we’re going to send them all to one lucky reader in a spectacular surprise parcel along with some handwritten notes and other goodies.

We reckon the best presents are carefully-chosen surprises, so we’re not going to tell you in advance which books are in the parcel, but it’s a really exciting selection, and together they represent the very best that the past year has had to offer (they’ve all been featured here too).

To enter our giveaway, just follow the link to Rafflecopter here. Open to all UK residents; entries will be accepted until 23:59 (GMT) on 7th November 2016.

Finally, thank you to everyone who supports Strange Charm, by reading, commenting, tweeting, and following. We’ve had an absolute blast doing this for the past two years, and you guys make it so worthwhile — we couldn’t do it without you!

Joanna & Rachel x

An Epic Cotswold Bookshop Crawl #bookshopcrawl

Last week (21st-27th June) was Independent Bookshop Week here in the UK, an event which culminated in an organised bookshop crawl day. Joanna had taken part last year, before Strange Charm was born (and you can read about her adventures here) but this year we decided to do it together as a team Strange Charm road trip. The rules? Visit six independent bookshops between Cheltenham and Bath and purchase a women’s speculative fiction book (or two…) in each one!Screenshot 2015-06-28 12.21.47

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Dive into Diversity

dive into diversity

It may be a little late in the year to start signing up to new reading challenges, but I’ve just come across the Dive into Diversity 2015 reading challenge. There isn’t a particular goal to reach, aside from reading more diversely. Since we’re an inherently diversity-focused blog, this sounds like just our kind of thing.

I started by making a list of the various books we’ve already reviewed in 2015 — as well as those cued up for the next couple of weeks. At first I thought I might group them by themes, but there’s so much intersectionality that it became a bit of a muddle. Actually, this list is still a bit muddled.

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Women in SFF 2015: We Are Not Alone

One of the most wonderful things we’ve noticed since starting Strange Charm is that we are most definitely not alone in aiming to promote, publicise, and encourage women’s writing within the speculative genres.

In fact, there’s enough going on that it seemed a worthwhile endeavour to collect it all in one place. This is my attempt to do just that. I’ll be updating this list as and when I hear of other related initiatives.

If you know of something we’ve missed out, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it in. (I’d be particularly interested to hear of any European conferences or conventions, since I’m unlikely to make it as far as the US ones.)

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Welcome to Strange Charm

Strange Charm header

Strange Charm is a new blog devoted to discovering and sharing the very best of female-authored speculative fiction.

We are Joanna and Rachel, friends who share a lifelong addiction to reading, and a common love of speculative fiction in all its myriad forms. We both count plenty of women amongst our favourite authors, but we couldn’t help noticing that the fantasy and sci-fi shelves of our local bookstores tend to be male-dominated. This is our attempt to balance the scales by showcasing excellent work by women.

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