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bear by san

March 2017



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writing rengeek stratford man

review roundup, because it's been a while.

One of the most entertaining slaggings of any of my work I've seen all year.

This made my entire night.

Oh dear hearts, find out a little about the author before you assume she's ignorant of queer culture. And never, ever assume that character attitudes reflect what the writer believes....

Well, okay, if all the good guys have one set of beliefs and all the bad guys have another set of beliefs, then it's pretty safe to assume the book is didactic. But not otherwise.

For breadth, some Amazon reviews of Carnival, which are (oddly) all positive. (That usually doesn't happen.)

Also, some Amazon reviews of A Companion to Wolves are in. Also, two for Whiskey & Water. And two for Undertow, including one I think I want to have bronzed. 



...I remember this one soul who wrote to one of the local newspapers saying that Charles Schulz was being disrespectful to war vets, provable by his annual D-Day Peanuts cartoons during the latter years of the strip's run.

Seems that the errant soul in question didn't get the word that Mr. Schulz himself was a World War 2 vet, serving in one of the first clean-up waves ashore in European Theatre in the wake of D-Day.

I went to town on that fact and a little rage besides, writing in to the paper's editor. My letter, with a demand for an apology to Mr. Schulz, saw print.

Never did hear if Mr. Schulz got his apology from that errant soul before the former died.

But then again, I never knew if Mr. Schulz ever saw the letter to the editor that drew my ire to begin with.

Re: Oooohhhh...

I have realized that one problem with Carnival is that it only works on its most interesting (to me) level if you've read way too much seventies feminist SF, and way too many "Planet of the Amazon Women" stories, and probably an awful lot of Norton, Heinlein, and Le Guin as well.

Because you also have to be aware of the narrative conventions of those stories, and also the narrative convention of the Tragic Romance as presented in queer fiction one fucking time too many.

Which means it's a book I wrote, well, for me.


At least I'm relatively sure it works pretty well on its own, given the award noms. But the really interesting stuff is all dialogue with other fiction.

I am sure you have carefully worked out your reasons for reading such things, but I beg you to reconsider.

For me, there is always a temptation. I love to hear nice things about my work. But when I go searching, there's an off chance that I'll run into something viscious. Landmines. Unless your ego is a nine hundred foot iron fortress of a thing, the hazard is too great.

Some people are fools. They bring their baggage on your vacation. Everything that rises refuses to converge. Tastes don't overlap. Not everything that doesn't kill us makes us stronger.



They entertain me?

Besides, I get to read things like Paul DiFilippo saying my book would be better if only it had Nazis.

And that's *priceless.*
Have been waiting for an appropriate seeming moment to drop in the fact that I got A Companion to Wolves last week, and adored it. The night I got it I got about 3 hours of sleep cuz I couldn't tear myself away until the page was blurry, and then I finished it as soon as I got home from work the next day.

Having been an obsessive Pern reader back in my teenage days, I suspect I'm an easy target for this one, but still, that was damn fine writing.
Thank you!

Seems like part of his problem is that he equates a genuine "culture clash" with one culture being better or right, and neither the Coalition nor New Amazonia are right.

I can see how a female dominated society might be anti-abortion and pro-slavery carnivores, and why the Coalition might be vegan and Pro-Choice. I think it would be phony if modern indicators of liberal "goodness" happened to occur all (or even mostly) within one culture or the other. People do things based on what their needs/beliefs/etc., and the way you set it up in the book really worked for me on that level.

In summation: obviously your book wasn't simple enough for him. Idiot.

I grew up in a subculture that believed very strongly that when the women's revolution happened, everything would magically be happy and nurturing.

I think having read "The Wanderground" at a tender age scarred me.

I much prefer "When it Changed." Because Joanna Russ is smrt.
"For instance, did you know you can tell if a boy is gay by the age of ten?"

Right, because ten-year-olds are completely asexual. Anyone who thinks that needs to read the Kinsey report on men. (Perhaps skipping the passage in the introduction about a man whose preferred sexual partners were porcupines.)

Well, if you assume that all the crazy things your culture believes is true...

For example, that women are all nurturing pre-mothers, for example...
Carnival reviewer up there lost me completely at 'the plot's relentless focus on the cutesy, angst-ridden relationship between the two men.' Er. What? That's funny, I could've sworn there was tons of focus on the politics and Lena's family issues. Having the guys's relationship described as cutesy makes me really not want to know what the good reviewer would describe as a painful relationship. Oi.
Cutesy = two guys who actually like each other, despite having screwed each other over for political expedience more than once?
"Well, okay, if all the good guys have one set of beliefs and all the bad guys have another set of beliefs, then it's pretty safe to assume the book is didactic. But not otherwise."

Mmm, I guess you're right in a way, that it's safe to assume this BUT even in this case, there is no way of knowing for real. Unless we ask or they tell, naturally. :)

If it's consistent across mutilple books, and the books include lectures of proper behavior of the reader, then....
I don't get what kind of "abolitionist principles" he's talking about. I'm pretty sure it's not the kind I learned about in school....
Hey, I'm against slavery.
Oddly enough, when I went onto the site I read the heading as 'GLIB Fantasy Fiction Resources'.

Wasn't one of the rules, 'Don't read reviews of your own work'? Is there an addendum that says, 'Unless they're entertaining', maybe? ;)
I was the dissenter, remember? I love reading reviews of my own work. *g*
For what it's worth, the negative review actually made me want to check out Carnival. :)

I wish I had coffeeem's icon set, suddenly.... she has one that would be just right.

LJ mini-review

In case you're interested:

Re: LJ mini-review

Thank you!

I haven't actually finished Carnival yet, but I got to the beginning of part 2 and felt compelled to drop you a line.

You see, I'm a high school physics teacher. I have a graduate degree in astronomy. And you managed to "explain" an inter-universal power source in a way that didn't make my teeth ache! I can't tell you how thrilled I am...

Of course, the sex scenes don't hurt my overall enjoyment of the book at all, although I think I'll leave it home tomorrow. I hadn't realized when I took it to school this morning to read at lunch that there were going to be descriptions quite that close to explicit in there... :-)
Thank you!

I have a darling astrophysicist, who is also a very talented SF writer his own self, who vets all my crazy ideas. *g*