What Are You Reading Now?

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What Are You Reading Now?

Maio 30, 2010, 7:40pm

I'm about to start The James Tiptree Award Anthology 3: Subversive Stories about Sex and Gender edited by Karen Joy Fowler. Some of the contributors are Dorothy Allison, Eleanor Arnason, Aimee Bender, Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre and James Tiptree Jr.. Sounds good, doesn't it? It's been so long since I read any science fiction, and now I have 2 books at the top of my pile. The other one is Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor which should be coming from the library any day.

Jun 7, 2010, 12:29am

I just finished and reviewed The James Tiptree Award Anthology 3: and am in love with every story. My favorites are Dearth by Aimee Bender about a single woman who gets a surprising and unwelcome gift of potatoes; The Girl Who Was Plugged In by James Tiptree, Jr. about a poor, misshapen woman who becomes a virtual Lindsay Lohan; Little Faces by Vonda McIntyre in which adults are women (and space ships) and the male companions with their gnashing teeth and little but effective penises live within them; and Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason which explores a race in which a person is composed of several different and intertwines bodies of any combination of 3 sexes. There are also non fiction articles about race in science fiction, Octavia Butler, and Alice Sheldon's lament of her loss of anonymity when her sex is discovered by the reading public. To me this is the perfect science fiction anthology.

Jun 16, 2010, 1:36am

I'm reading Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, an American woman born of Nigerian parents. It's set some time in the future in the desert regions of Africa. It's the story of Onyesonwu (whose name translates to Who Fears Death) a girl born of the brutal rape of her Okeke mother by one of a band of Nuru men and women bent genocide. I'm about 1/4 of the way in, and it's very interesting. There's a description of one of the more "minor" forms of female circumcision and her reasons for undergoing it, some witchcraft, some shape shifting. Everyone has a computer, reading is valued. I think it's one of the Early Reader books being offered for this month, if anyone is interested in trying for it. I can't believe my library got it so quickly.

Dez 23, 2010, 1:28pm

I loved The James Tiptree Award Anthology 3: as well! I need to get the first two, and the 4th one. Oh, if only I had an unlimited book budget!

How did you like Who Fears Death when you finished it? It sounds very interesting.

Dez 23, 2010, 1:30pm

Oh, I forgot to add what I am reading now--Glasshouse by Charles Stross. Fascinating investigation of what gender means and how sexism is reinforced/created by societal pressures. I am re-reading this one, actually, there is a lot in it.

Dez 23, 2010, 3:55pm

Who Fears Death is a book well worth reading. It discusses genocide and religious oppression by telling a very engaging story of Onyesonwu, her family, teachers and friends. I gave it 4 stars and think James Tiptree would have approved.

Dez 28, 2010, 3:16pm

I am reading A door into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski and am enjoying it. I love stuff about different planets and their peoples. I love Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason for the same reasons.

Dez 28, 2010, 10:43pm

The only problem with A Door Into Ocean is that it'll make you want to read the whole series. She's a great writer with such good ideas.

Jan 11, 2011, 11:37am

It took me a while but I finished Door Into Ocean at last. I really enjoyed the world building and am looking forward to reading Daughter of Elysium in a few books time. (I like to leave a gap between reading books by the same author.) And then how will I get hold of the other books in that series? I have Wall Around Eden though.

Fev 4, 2011, 6:20am

I've just started The snow queen by Joan Vinge. The first chapter is awesome, but there's a long way to go! (Not sure yet if it is actually feminist, but the book has intrigued me for a while.)

Fev 5, 2011, 2:50am

Oh, yes, I'd call it feminist. There are very strong female characters.

Mar 25, 2011, 1:23pm

Thanks for the reminder, Claire. I read The Snow Queen way back when I wasn't reading scifi of any description. I don't think I ever got to The Summer Queen though, and I mean to do that before I die.
Meanwhile, I'm reading Regenesis and Oryx and Crake on my usual on/off basis. Oh. And Stardoc. Love the first two. I'll finish Stardoc and read the next one that I got from PBS, but then, I think I'm through with Viehl unless she does some actual character development.

Mar 28, 2011, 8:53am

>11 Citizenjoyce:, 12: I really enjoyed The snow queen. I agreed with the reviewers who found Sparks a weak and unlikely object of desire for two strong women, but that reflects the story's origin in the fairy tale - Kay is a pretty passive character, it is the Snow Queen and Gerda who actually do things. But the vivid supporting cast was what made the book work for me and really brought the world of Tiamat to life. I'll be looking out for The summer queen too.

I loved Oryx and Crake, and Year of the Flood although the latter took me longer to get into.

Now I'm slowly reading Mission child, among other things.

Abr 2, 2011, 2:01am

I've just started A Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. This is a reread for me, but it's been many years. There's a group read of it if anyone wants to join: http://www.librarything.com/topic/113304

We're just barely starting, the plan is to read 130 pages/week throughout April.

Abr 5, 2011, 7:22am

>14 Citizenjoyce:: Thanks, this has been on my tbr pile for while so I'll join in.

Abr 20, 2011, 6:20pm

The Woman on the Edge of Time discussion still hasn't taken off, I don't know what the problem is. But after finishing that great book I've started Solitaire by Kelley Eskeridge and am liking it very much so far.

Touchstones is being it's usual grumpy self.

Abr 23, 2011, 3:16pm

I've had Passing for Human by Jody Scott sitting in my pile forever. Her I, Vampire was so much fun that I'm curious about her other work. Someone want to give me a nudge?

Maio 11, 2011, 5:59pm

I'm early into Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez a coming of age story about a young boy in a post apocalyptic world. The apocalypse this time seems to be a return of the 1918 flu and for some reason, at least this early in the book, evangelical Christians seem to have survived. I'm pretty sure this isn't going to turn out to be a Left Behind sort of thing, but I'll know more later.

Maio 12, 2011, 6:27pm

I finished Salvation City, It's not a Left Behind book, but Sigrid Nunez offers the possibility of such a thing as the rapture following an end of times kind of flu pandemic. Hm, I wonder why she'd write such a bizarre thing. I can't say I'd recommend it, but the last half at least was interesting.

Maio 17, 2011, 4:39pm

I am reading the latest Wheel of Time book now, Towers of Midnight, but before that, I read Sister Light, Sister Dark, by Jane Yolen. I wish I had known there was a sequel and looked for that, too! Now I need to find a copy of White Jenna, because SLSD was very good. I like alternate myths with female saviors.

Maio 24, 2011, 2:53pm

I just finished The Female Man for a group read which is very slowly happening here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/115553

Maio 24, 2011, 10:48pm

Thanks for pointing the group read out, Citizenjoyce. I hope lots of people read this one.

Maio 25, 2011, 8:57pm

I'm about a 1/3rd of the way through Who Fears Death. At this point, I'm actually curious as to why this novel has been labeled "science fiction" rather than fantasy. Besides very cursory mentions of computers, video games and satellites (which appear to be remnants of some earlier society and seem to be powered by nothing remotely possible in the small, isolated village economies found in the story), there is little here that references technology of any advanced or unusual kind; rather, magic appears to make this world go round (shape-shifting, spells and incantations all feature prominently). For those who have read the book, does science, even a very speculative kind of science, make an appearance later in the book? Or is this really more a dystopian fantasy novel than science fiction? (There's nothing wrong with dystopian fantasy novels-I usually quite like them. I just wasn't expecting one when I picked this up.)

I like Okorafor's prose, find her imagery vivid, and her characters mostly engaging (the heroine, Onyesonwu, sometimes tires me but she's still a teenager and she reads like a teenager, so that's probably more an example of the author's skill in drawing realistic characters than it is a flaw in the narrative) but (and I'm certain y'all knew there was going to be a "but" in here somewhere!) the pacing seems off. The novels begins well and Onyesonwu's mother's story is heartrending and beautifully told. I sped through the first chapters. But everything after that has dragged and much that Onyesonwu thinks and does seems redundant, adding little to her character or the plot (such as it currently is) and sometimes almost bringing the narrative to a halt. While I'm committed to finishing the book, I find myself increasingly reluctant to pick the story back up. Do things pick up soon? Does the full story fulfill the promise of the first chapters?

Maio 26, 2011, 2:29am

I very much liked Who Fears Death because of the ways it talks about sex and weaponized rape. I thought it ended well, but I didn't have the same reluctance to pick it up that you do, so I can't say if you'll find the end sufficient to continue on. I hope you will. It's not a very long book, but then I'm currently finishing an ER book (The Weird Sisters)that I certainly would have given up a hundred pages ago if I weren't committed because of the ER program. I hate being reluctant to read because I don't want to read my current book. Let us know what you decide.

Jun 7, 2011, 11:34pm

I've read a couple of Okorafor's books, and they're set in a post-apocalpytic world, with remnants of science (ie nanotech and the water reclamation units) and the re-emergence of magic into the world. Kind of a future fantasy. It's an interesting choice.

I'm reading N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms as part of my Hugo nominations read. So far, I like it better than the other two I've read. I have my doubts it will win, the non-fantasy people (like in my sf book club) won't like it.

Jun 8, 2011, 12:17am

I finished Who Fears Death a couple of weeks ago. I can't say I really enjoyed it. I thought it had an interesting premise and a strong start but the book as a whole did not work for me. The characters felt insufficiently developed (and never seemed to change or mature no matter how much time passed or trauma was experienced) and Onyesonwu seemed perilously close to a Mary Sue. Plus the pacing was just terribly off and the second half of the book dragged interminably. About halfway through, I realized that the book felt like a YA novel bloated to proportions the story, characters and narrative style could not handle. I might be interested in reading something by Okorafor in a shorter form as I find her imagery and imagination striking but I'll hold off on reading longer work by her for a while.

Jun 8, 2011, 12:24am

I'm currently reading Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction, the second in an anthology series that also includes gay and lesbian fantasy (Vol. 1) and horror (Vol. 3). Some good stories in this one. While not all the tales are explicitly feminist, most have themes I think feminist readers will appreciate and identify with and generally enjoy reading.

Jul 20, 2011, 4:41pm

>7 byzanne:, 8, 9
There was a short discussion thread following a group read of The Door Into Ocean here:

Please contribute if you wish, although the group seems to have folded.

Jul 22, 2011, 7:52am

The door into ocean is on my tbr pile. I may move it up in light of the discussion.

Jul 22, 2011, 4:10pm

It's been years since I read The Door Into Ocean. I read the whole series at once, it would be good to go back and revisit them. I could use some of that health care, now which one was that in?

Set 15, 2011, 9:27am

I've been reading quite a few books recently that fit into this group. Slow river was amazing, not least for its ability to build suspense at a sewage treatment plant. Then I finished Mission child, which I had put down for a while despite enjoying it. Maybe that was because it is almost more a series of interlinked short stories than a novel. I liked following the narrator as her view of the world gets wider and wider over time. Next up was Left hand of darkness, a classic which everyone but me has probably read before! I thought it was excellent, but found the politics more engaging and intriguing than the treatment of gender. I guess I would not class this as feminist SF, except perhaps in that it makes one think about gender roles. Now I have started Half the day is night, another Maureen McHugh, which has got off to a good start.

Set 16, 2011, 7:14am


Maureen McHugh - She really is much more a short fiction writer than a novelist, but she does do the "linked narratives as novel" thing well. I wasn't fond of Half the Day. I assume you've read China Mountain Zhang?

Left Hand - I think it's interesting historically as an early attempt to imagine no gender, but our political thinking has moved on so much since it was written than I don't feel it holds up well. I do think that the politics in the book were an attempt to think about what politics would look like if the major players weren't mostly fueled by testosterone and unacknowledged mating display issues. She did write a later short story about Karhide where she tried to deal with some of the issues she got called on in Left Hand. Coming of Age in Karhide

Set 16, 2011, 7:17am

Oh, I just finished Emma Bull's Territory which has a wonderful female lead character and lots of interesting discussion on the role of women in the American West in the 1870s. It is fantasy though rather than science fiction.

Set 16, 2011, 7:51am

>32 aulsmith:: Actually I haven't read CMZ yet - for some reason I've saved it till last. The first book of McHugh's I read was her collection of stories from Small Beer Press, which really impressed me and led me to seek out the novels. I read Mission Child first because I'd read the short story it grew from.

Yes, that seems like a plausible explanation for the rationale behind Left Hand, although there still seemed to be plenty of testosterone-fuelled-type behaviour going on (which probably tells us something about human nature generally!). I really enjoyed seeing the comparison of the two societies; makes me realise I need to go back and reread The dispossessed.

>33 aulsmith:: Territory is on my tbr pile, I hope to get to it soon. I read Bone dance for the first time earlier this year and loved it; it's another interesting take on gender.

Set 16, 2011, 6:24pm

Last month I read quite a few westerns, including Doc by Mary Doria Russell. I wished I'd known about Territory, it would have fit right in. Too late, but I've ordered it anyway.

Out 10, 2011, 8:50am

I just finished Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner, a YA retelling of Helen of Troy growing up in Sparta. I would never have imagined her as a tomboy.

Also Patricia Wrede's YA series Frontier Magic, about American settlers in a world including magic. Book #2 Across the Great Barrier continues to follow Eff as she is trying to figure out what to do after graduating high school, as she would rather go adventuring rather than marriage or college.

Out 12, 2011, 4:10pm

I *love* Mary Doria Russell, especially The Sparrow (despite how depressing it was...)

Jan 15, 2012, 7:24pm

I started the first of Storm Constantine's Wraeththu books today. I was expecting an interesting take on post-apocalyptic gender roles, but so far the Wraeththu seem like a race of fetishized, fey-like (male) 80's rock stars rather than a tribe of hermaphrodites. Has anyone else made it through one or more of these books?

Jan 15, 2012, 9:18pm

I tag my books Feminist Science Fiction/Fantasy, so in the fantasy realm, I've just started The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente after previously having read her Palimpsest which again is more fantasy than science fiction but both take on gender roles and are so well written they draw you into their worlds and keep you there to the end.

Jan 16, 2012, 9:02am

I've read The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland and The hotel under the sand this year, both whimsical, fantastic adventures starring plucky heroines. Excellent antidotes to the kind of story where the heroine turns to molten wax when a boy comes along.

I've also read Survival by Julie Czerneda this year, which has a strong, scientist heroine. It's not explicitly feminist SF, as the book is not concerned with gender roles per se; it takes for granted that women can be as gifted in sciences as men, and their research as valid. Would that that were the case now. The alien society that is portrayed in the book is fascinating, as is the scientific research base where the action begins.

I'm hoping that this year I will read through some of the stack of Women's Press SF editions that is on my floor, as well as more Ursula Le Guin, C. J. Cherryh and Julie Czerneda.

Jan 16, 2012, 9:39am

38: Wraeththu was introduced to me as slashy romance, not as feminist science fiction, and even with that I didn't get through more than 10 pages.

Jan 16, 2012, 3:02pm

Those were my suspicions, Aulsmith, haha. Don't think I'll waste anymore time on it...

Editado: Jan 25, 2012, 12:36pm

In the SF land I have started reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. I have been meaning to read if for a long time, but then other book caught my attention last year and I didn't do it.

In the Fantasy world, I have started reading Tiger Burning Bright, although so far the story hasn't fully 'gripped' me. But it's okay, I'm still in the first 100 pages and I understand some fantasy novels can take a while to get interesting so I am willing to wait.

I was reading a non-fiction book previously but I stopped in the middle. I may go back to it... someday, lol!

I am curious - is the book A Door Into Ocean good? I may add this one to my wishlist.

Jan 25, 2012, 1:25pm

Left hand of darkness was one of my favourite reads from last year. Not so much for the exploration of gender, which I think later writers have done better, but for the depiction of the extreme cold, and the comparison of the two different societies. I hope to get to A door into ocean this year . . .

Jan 25, 2012, 2:00pm

A Door into Ocean is great with many fascinating new ways of looking at life. You won't want to stop there. You'll have to finish the whole series. Hm, maybe it's time for a reread for me.

Jan 31, 2012, 7:17pm

Thank you Sakerfalcon and Citizenjoyce for your opinions.

Well, I started Tiger Burning Bright and The Left Hand of Darkness roughly at the same time. While Le Guin's book has me hooked already, I confess that Bradley/Norton/Lackey's book is... still slow. I will not give up, but I hope the story gets more interesting soon. So far I haven't managed to connect to any of the characters.

Le Guin's book is rather unputdownable, and not very long so I'll probably finish it first. :D

Abr 26, 2012, 8:40pm

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Abr 27, 2012, 3:23am

Now, that's a big rocket ship. How would that work, taking the earth away from a sun? Guess I'll have to read it to find out.

Editado: Abr 27, 2012, 8:51am

I finished The Drowned World recently, which I found interesting but distractingly sexist— the one female character literally does nothing but lay around sunbathing, reading Vogue, and being ogled by the protagonist.

Reading Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica now and waiting for a copy of From the Legend of Biel to come in the mail. I can find very little information on it except that it's apparently a take on birth/motherhood from the perspective of an alien race. I'm really curious about it.

Abr 27, 2012, 11:51am

Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica is definitely on my list.

I read Camarin Grae's Stranded recently. It was very silly.

Abr 27, 2012, 1:18pm

>49 fuguette: WhiteTrashMedicine (what?), I do love reading about childbirth, so I've ordered From the Legend of Biel. How could I resist?

Set 30, 2012, 12:37am

I'm about half way through Elizabeth Bear's Carnival. She has lots to say about gender roles and the societies that devise and enforce them. I've never read anything by her before and am really enjoying this, though there's lots of exposition.

Mar 25, 2013, 1:18pm

I'm reading We who are about to ... by Joanna Russ. Having read a few conventional "We've been shipwrecked on a strange planet - let's get busy colonising!" novels, this is a fascinating read that challenges the usual assumptions.

Mar 26, 2013, 3:42am

That's a brilliant book, Sakerfalcon. There is absolutely nothing conventional about it and I suspect it's far more realistic than virtually anything else in the shipwrecked space line.

Abr 19, 2013, 9:33pm

I'm reading Ink, by Sabrina Vourvoulias. It's a frightening "Don't you realize this is where we're heading" story about immigration. I'll be reviewing this one because I think it's an important text, in addition to a well-told story.

Abr 22, 2013, 8:14am

That looks like an interesting novel. Adding it to my wishlist!

Maio 17, 2013, 11:59am

I recommend the recently-awarded (Tiptree) collection Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam and my reading experience resembled what is told in LindaAddison's review.

Jun 3, 2013, 1:49pm

Currently reading The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski. First surprise was the space elevator constructed of biological material that was self-repairing instead of carbon nanotubes.

Out 7, 2020, 3:51pm

>58 psybre:

That's a feature of Slonczewski's Door into the ocean too, all the bio-tech.

Hello! Groups that are inactive over 12-18 months are now in danger of getting archived, meaning that posting in them becomes impossible.

Out 7, 2020, 4:58pm

>58 psybre:, >59 LolaWalser: I love all the bio-tech in Joan Slonczewski's works. It seems so completely reasonable.

Out 8, 2020, 5:39am

I for one wouldn't mind chatting about feminist SF if anyone else feels like it. I've just tried to re-acquire some old Women's Press SF from the 1980's that have somehow gone missing from my shelves over the years and plan on doing some re-reads:-
The New Gulliver by Esme Dodderige
Star Rider by Doris Piserchia
The Judas Rose by Suzette Hayden Elgin
The Incomer by Margaet Elphinstone
The Book of the Night by Rhoda Lerman

Out 8, 2020, 6:58am

I haven't been reading much SF (apart from comics) but I have the most recent Becky Chambers novella on my To Read shelf, with another of her novels coming out ?next year?, and I've read/re-read two 1980s Women's Press books this year:

Extra (Ordinary) People by Joanna Russ - work of genius imo,

and The Watcher, by Jane Palmer - interesting and Doctor Who-ish.

Which made me very tempted to re-read Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time but I'm scared it might've been mildly cursed by the hindsight fairy.

Out 8, 2020, 7:13am

>62 spiralsheep: I don't much read comics but have recently enjoyed Bitch Planet vols. 1 & 2 and am waiting for my city library to open properly again so I can get Saga vol 9.

Know what you mean by "the hindsight fairy" - I'm dithering over starting a re-read of Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski :}

Out 8, 2020, 7:24am

>63 SChant: I can't guarantee anything for you but I know several people who've re-read Door Into Ocean and reported that it holds up.

I've been unwell so I resorted to reading children's and teen spec fic comics and continue to be a fan of almost all John Allison's incidentally feminist work (he just likes women and centring women characters) and the Lumberjanes extended world.

Out 8, 2020, 7:26am

>61 SChant: I have all of those and would be very interested in talking about them! I just read The incomer for the first time and had mixed feelings about it.

And I really need to read more by Joan Slonczewski. Both The door into ocean and The highest frontier are on my TBR pile.

Out 8, 2020, 9:31am

>65 Sakerfalcon: OK then! I'll put Door Into Ocean on the back-burner for now and dive straight into The Incomer tomorrow. It's a plan!

Out 8, 2020, 10:06am

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Out 8, 2020, 10:57am

How cool is this--from moribund to so active it got a spammer! :)

>60 Citizenjoyce:

Yes--she's all about working *with* instead of *against* nature. Could be a distillation of the traditional female vs. male approaches, really.

>61 SChant:

I have a few of those and now that I realised it was a bigger line I of course want to "collect 'em all". I think I have none of those you listed.

>64 spiralsheep:

Lumberjanes--keep seeing praise for this, keep forgetting to request...

Editado: Out 8, 2020, 12:14pm

>68 LolaWalser: You did a good thing reviving this group!

Lumberjanes is definitely for children, but it's also perfect as adult brain candy.

> I'm also just going to mention generally that Rose Macaulay's science fictional satire What Not, 1918 and 1919, is available for free on Project Gutenberg and while it's not one of her better novels it is an under-read foundational work of science fiction that almost certainly influenced Aldous Huxley amongst others.

Out 9, 2020, 5:07am

>61 SChant: I built up quite a collection of those, but unfortunately it's all in storage now.

Editado: Out 9, 2020, 11:33am

>69 spiralsheep: Thanks for the info ! I had added it to my wishlist a couple of years ago, without checking whether it was available or not. I've downloaded it :-)

Out 9, 2020, 11:10am

>71 Dilara86: Glad to be of service, and good to see you here.

Out 11, 2020, 4:50am

>65 Sakerfalcon: Well, I've remembered nothing about The Incomer from first reading (30-odd yrs ago!) except the cover art. Half-way through it now and, while enjoying the fabulous evocation of a sense of place I'm struggling to find anything particularly SF&F about it apart from a few throw-away comments. Seems to me it could have been written as a recent historical about a Highands village. The feminist content is also elusive - maybe a matriarchal society is all it takes?

Out 12, 2020, 10:25am

Out 20, 2020, 5:18pm

I'm reading The Library of the Unwritten by Hackwith, great! and I also recommend Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, several strong female protagonists, each in a different way.

Out 21, 2020, 7:46am

>74 SChant: I like your succinct review, which sums up the book perfectly. I too thought the atmosphere of the remote community and the landscape was so well done, and was the high point of the book for me. I found the mystical elements rather wishy-washy and a bit too nebulous to enhance the book for me, and I wasn't fond of the sexual jealousy or the rape and revenge plot that came to the fore. I actually think I'd have enjoyed it more as a "slice of life" picture of the community without any plot! But it was an interesting book and one that I'm glad to have read.

Nov 2, 2020, 10:59am

I dug this 1905 short story out for a comment elsewhere so I'm going to re-read it: Sultana's Dream by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain.

Full text 1:

Full text 2:

Dez 10, 2020, 4:04am

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz is a time travel novel set in a future where there was never a split between people fighting for women's suffrage vs those fighting for suffrage for freed slaves. Harriet Tubman becomes a Senator. Anthony Comstock's influence continues for centuries. This is intersectional feminism at its most fascinating

Dez 10, 2020, 4:06am

>78 Citizenjoyce: That's on my wishlist. I regularly listen to her & Charlie Jane Anders' podcast "Our Opinions Are Correct" - some interesting stuff there.

Dez 10, 2020, 6:19am

Not quite feminist SF but I've just got a copy of Natalie Haynes' Pandora's Jar, which re-interprets the women central to many of the Greek myths - Pandora, Helen, the Amazons, Medea and more.

Dez 10, 2020, 9:57am

>78 Citizenjoyce: This is on my tbr pile. I'll move it nearer to the top.

Dez 10, 2020, 1:46pm

>80 SChant: My library doesn't have Pandora's Jar but it does have Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics: Series 1-4 and The Children of Jocasta. I love myths retold, so I'll check these out.
>79 SChant: I'll check out the podcast. I have a hard time with many podcasts because too often the people are so cutesy.

Dez 11, 2020, 8:09am

>82 Citizenjoyce: Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics is really good - also available as a podcast. She covers some of the mythological women mentioned in her book, too, as well as real classical authors. BTW the book's not actually a re-telling of the myths, more an analysis of different ancient versions and how we got to the standard (often more misogynist) tropes we see today. Also, pretty funny!

Dez 11, 2020, 2:07pm

>79 SChant: I just listened to two of their podcast birth control in the future and the one about Lovecroft And the other 70s male science fiction writers. It’s a great podcast.

Jan 12, 5:04pm

I just finished Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica, speculative fiction about a future in which a virus affects animals making them poisonous to humans. The solution seems pretty easy, stop eating animals, but people, lead by the meat processing industry, think that equates to starvation, so cannibalism becomes legal. A side effect is that they become enraged at animals, killing them all because they see no purpose for the existence of animals if they can't be used as food. The narrator is a man in charge of a head processing plant (humans raised for consumption are referred to as heads). He seems to be growing a conscience about his profession. I don't know if Bazterrica is a vegan, which seems a difficult thing to be in South American countries, but she makes strong points with an entertaining though very gory story.

Jan 12, 11:59pm

Another bright star in my reading of the bests of 2020, Lakewood by Megan Giddings is speculative fiction about medical experimentation. Are aliens involved? What's going on? Who is who they say they are? Giddings is concerned about medical experimentation on women and people of color and coercion to participate. The reader stays confused throughout.

Jan 13, 7:46am

>85 Citizenjoyce: I read Tender is the flesh last year, and was very impressed. It was both extremely powerful and totally repulsive, the latter adding to the former. I would have said it was unbelievable that humans could disassociate enough to accept the new system, but then you see comments comparing immigrants to insects, etc, and it becomes all too plausible.

Jan 13, 8:48am

>87 Sakerfalcon: Cannibalism has a very long history in human cultures – and not just in prehistoric times. Some palaeontologists think that cannibalism by Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens may have had some sort of spiritual meaning as well as just not wasting available protein – keeping the ancestors with you or imbibing virtues of the deceased perhaps. Anyway, sounds like a very interesting book – something like Tiptree’s story “Morality Meat” perhaps?

Jan 13, 4:27pm

>88 SChant: Is Morality Meat a short story? Do you know what collection it is in?

Jan 14, 4:05am

>89 Citizenjoyce: Yes, short story. I've got it in Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind but I think it was originally in Tiptree's collection Crown of Stars

Fev 15, 11:09am

Speaking of speculative fiction, I recently read Compass Rose by Anna Burke. It was a great imagination of what humanity might have to do to live on a planet ravaged by climate change. Namely, humans move to ships and floating islands, living underwater because of large pockets of methane gas that rests on the surface. Very imaginative. The author did a wonderful job of flipping the idea of claustrophobia. These humans who grew up underwater fear the open air. I was starting to get a little anxious when reading! It is a great story and definitely recommend.

Fev 16, 5:54am

>91 CatRd: That sounds really good. I will look out for it. I thought Maureen McHugh's Half the day is night was a good take on life in underwater domes, though that conveyed the usual claustrophobia - very effectively.

Fev 18, 1:34pm

>92 Sakerfalcon: I will have to check that one out. Add another book to my list!

Abr 1, 3:14pm

Autonomous, the second book I've read by Annalee Newitz, is about robots and drugs with some very interesting ideas about gender. The addictive drug is one that gives people extreme pleasure in work, so they work themselves to death not taking time to eat or drink. I'm sure it's one Amazon would like to hand out to its employees.

Abr 5, 10:59am

Well, I've treated myself to something a bit different - Mary Shelley Makes a Monster - poetry looking at Shelley's Frankenstein from a feminist perspective. Published by the excellent Aqueduct Press, and written by Octavia Cade.