Tag Archives: writing the other

Nattering Social Justice Cook: This Is Not A Review

So I read a book recently and I loved some parts of it and other parts…not so much. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since because there was one part of it I just adored but I don’t feel like I could tell anyone to read the book without a big “hey and you should watch out for this” addendum. I’d bounced off a previous book by this author with what was supposed to be grimdark but had a big ol’ weirdly ungrimdark gendered cliché early on that made me think so hard about it that I couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the book.

I’ve talked before about reading when the protagonist is markedly not you, and how used to it women — and other members of the vast majority the mainstream media calls Other — become. And this was a good example of a very young, very male, very heterosexual book. Which God knows I’m not opposed to. I remain a huge fan of the Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir Destroyer series and Doc Savage was a big influence on me, growing up.

So why did this book hit me so hard in an unhappy place? Because it was so smart and funny and beautifully written and involved connected stories about a favorite city and magic, which are three of my favorite things. And because it had a chapter that was one of the best short stories about addiction that I’ve read, and that left me thinking about it in a way that will probably shape at least one future story.

And yet. And yet. And yet… Continue reading

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Writing: Reading in Another Land

Recently — or perhaps not so recently — much has been made of women writing science fiction. Often it’s coupled with a complaint about “PC” behavior stifles creativity or how leftist writing “has no new ideas.”

Hmm. Speaking as an unabashed leftist and someone lacking a penis, which may bias me somewhat, in my experience the opposite is true. I find much more interesting stuff in those who are willing to question the status quo, rather than simply write fiction using the same old stories, but this time with lasers! or infinity drives! or whatever. As Patty Jansen put it recently in her blog post, “There are girl cooties on my spaceship — on women writing hard SF,” “There are many younger readers out there who do not want their SF with sauce of sexist golden age nostalgia.”
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Class Notes – Week Two

We talked last week about story shapes and arcs as well as what gets set up in the beginning of a story. This week we talked about characters and dialogue, and how the first shapes the story. One of the … Continue reading

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