Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


Over at the Friday the Thirteeners blog, we're doing a giveaway to celebrate our namesake day. Each of us named one book in our own writing genre that we wish we'd written, and the lucky winner, chosen at random from among the entrants, will receive all the books on the list we've complied:

WHITE CAT by Holly Black and HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter (from Natalie)
BATTLE ROYALE by Koushun Takami
(from Elsie) 
PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White (from Shannon) 
WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson (from Brandy) 
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (from Mindy) 
ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake (from Jenn)
UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi (from Erin)
HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff (from April) 
THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson (from Alexa) 
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo (from Ellen) 
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (from Kasie) 
TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson (from Megan)
(Actually, I really wish I had written WHITE CAT and HOW I LIVE NOW, too. And WINTERGIRLS. And THE HUNGER GAMES. I have a lot of author envy. Maybe too much, since I've just named every book on that list that I've actually read.)

I chose THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, because I think it embodies everything a science fiction novel can offer its readers. It has compelling characters and a driving mystery, but it also brings up fundamental questions about what it means to be human. Many people think of science fiction as spaceships, aliens, and cold theory, but I think science fiction is at its best when it uses scientific elements to extrapolate what our own future would be like and make us question what that future would mean for us as human beings.

What, you may ask, does any of this have to do with anagrams? Not a lot, really. Except that someone let us near an online anagram-maker, and of course, being writers, we plugged our own names, and then the names of our books. There are a surprisingly large number of words you can make with the letters in my name, but my favorite ended up being "Duenna Lax-Canard," because it sounds vaguely like a real name, and I love the ideal of a careless duck. We all ended up making fake covers or, in my case, fake author photos for ourselves. Then we decided to give away some books so that it didn't just look like we had gotten carried away playing with Photoshop and anagram machines.

Some of my fellow Thirteeners have mad Photoshop skills and made frighteningly professional-looking fake covers. My lack of Photoshop forced me to go a little more low-tech, but I did manage to frighten Jeremy by putting my hair in a beehive, drawing very pointy eyebrows on myself, trading my real glasses for a pair of 3-D shades stolen from the movie theater, and donning a truly magnificent houndstooth cape we found at Goodwill one time, all despite our house being about 95 degrees.

As Jeremy says sometimes, thank goodness we married each other. I don't know how many other people would put up with me traipsing around in capes and demanding to have my fake author photo taken at dinner time.

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