I cleaned out my research queue so I can catch up on some fiction I’ve been wanting to read: Stina Leicht’s Fey and the Fallen.

Leicht had a guest bloggo on Charlie Stross’s site a while back and what grabbed me about her writing was her humanity, her location (Texas) and her politics (humanist) despite the social pressures. That combination is important. It’s courageous, of course, but it’s also inevitable. It is now possible to dissent from conservative doublethink and state one’s dissent publicly with broad distribution. The social consequences still exist; stepping outside the role of self-hating-redneck is best done if you don’t rely on self-hating-rednecks for work or family.

So my appreciation of her blog was political. A while back I read and wrote a blub about Mur Lafferty’s Shambling Guide to New York City. At WorldCon last week Lafferty won the John W. Campbell award for new writers. Leicht was up for the same award and suddenly I felt guilty. I began following Lafferty because of her work on the Escape Artists podcasts. I mirror the ambition of her podcast, I Should Be Writing. I also use The Magic Spreadsheet to keep myself motivated and my wordcount up. But Stina Leicht has a wider scope on her blog.

The competition between new writers is played down to a degree (everyone gets a tiara) but I feel like my attention to Lafferty’s work was unfair given Leicht’s place in my feed. It’s not a competition, I know, and I lack both power and readers so the unfairness is just a feeling. Perhaps I should be more fair to me and begin submitting work. Maybe I could wear the tiara as a bracelet.

So I now have trade paper copies of Leicht’s two Fey and the Fallen books from Powell’s. More to come.