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Between the Covers Podcast

Crafting with Ursula : Karen Joy Fowler on Experimental Women, Animals, Science & Story

Today’s guest on Crafting with Ursula, the award-winning writer of science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction Karen Joy Fowler, was a longstanding friend of Ursula K. Le Guin. And they both shared a deep interest not only in science, but also in raising questions about the biases deeply embedded in the way we conduct it (species biases, cultural biases, gender biases, etc.). These questions about science enter and animate their stories, stories that examine the foundations of species supremacy, of how we define intelligence (and why), of what qualities we want to reserve and defend as human or humane, of the implications on both animals and women when we feminize certain approaches to knowledge and inquiry and then discount them. This is a great complement to the last Crafting with Ursula with Isaac Yuen, both deeply engaged with questions of the human and nonhuman in storytelling, and yet these two conversations go to very different, if kindred, places.

If you enjoyed today’s conversation consider transforming from a listener to a listener supporter of the show. Join the collective brainstorm of who to invite on the show going forward, get the supplementary resources that go out to supporters with each episode, and check out the other potential rewards of doing so, from rare Le Guin collectibles to bonus readings from everyone from N. K. Jemisin to Ted Chiang, at the show’s Patreon page.

Finally here is today’s Bookshop with many of the books by Le Guin, Fowler, and others mentioned during the conversation.