I really enjoyed two recent takes on The Jupiter Pirates that I wanted to share.
First up, here’s Jay Shah of Eleven-ThirtyEight on Hunt for the Hydra. Eleven-ThirtyEight is a site for hardcore Star Wars fans (like me), so Jay’s take is from a Star Wars perspective, but he’s really talking about storytelling, which is universal. I hope you’ll read the whole thing, but here’s a passage I really zeroed in on:
Where The Hunt for the Hydra succeeds admirably is how it deploys female characters. The captain of the pirate ship that serves as the main story setting is a female: Tycho’s mother, Diocletia Hashoone. She’s the captain, and basically the head of the family too. The most important part about this, and why I think it is particularly important for a young audience (but really, everyone) is that it isn’t once commented on as unusual. It’s not an issue: mom’s in charge. Her husband doesn’t make a fuss, her father doesn’t make a fuss, and the only person who could have ever had a claim to the captain’s seat is her sister: but Diocletia earned it by merit (how one earns a captaincy is a running theme in the story), and that’s that. Tycho also has a twin sister – Yana – who seems to have a decided disdain for dresses, and there’s a scene where a particularly snooty character remarks that it’s not very ladylike of her to be a privateer but then that character doesn’t think anyone ought to be a privateer, so it’s not a gendered put down. Yana wants to be who she is, and nobody really has an issue with it.
It’s unclear whether Fry thinks hard about it or if it’s natural, but he tells a story that feels like it is steeped in history, yet it is not lazy about buying into historically sexist standards such as stereotypical gender roles. When I closed the first book of The Jupiter Pirates, I felt like my nieces and nephews would all gain from the story being told.
Huh. Really interesting. I guess I need to write that post I kind of promised, don’t I?
In the meantime, many thanks for all the support you’ve given the Jupiter Pirates. Please keep helping get the word out about the book! To assist with that, I’ve got order information for books and ebooks over on the home page, or there’s your local bookstore. If you’d like to give someone a sneak peek at Hunt for the Hydra, anyone can read, download and share the first five chapters here.
Finally, join the Crew – that’s the Jupiter Pirates email list — and within an hour you’ll get a link to download an exclusive dossier about the Shadow Comet‘s crew, prepared by Vesuvia. It’s a thank-you for signing up, and there’s more good stuff to come!