November 27th, 2007

writing edda of burdens fenris wolf

self-promotion salad

Another PW review, this one of johnjosephadams excellent anthology, Wastelands.

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse, edited by John Joseph Adams (Night Shade):

* Starred Review * "This harrowing reprint anthology of 22 apocalyptic tales reflects the stresses of contemporary international politics, with more than half published since 2000. All depict unsettling societal, physical and psychological adaptations their authors postulate as necessary for survival after the end of the world. Keynoted by Stephen King’s “The End of the Whole Mess,” the volume’s common denominator is hubris: that tragic human proclivity for placing oneself at the center of the universe, and each story uniquely traces the results. Some highlight human hope, even optimism, like Orson Scott Card’s “Salvage” and Tobias Buckell’s “Waiting for the Zephyr.” Others, like James Van Pelt’s “The Last of the O-Forms” and Nancy Kress’s “Inertia,” treat identity by exploring mutation. Several, like Elizabeth Bear’s “And the Deep Blue Sea” and Jack McDevitt’s “Never Despair,” gauge the height of human striving, while others, like George R.R. Martin’s “Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels,” Carol Emshwiller’s “Killers” and M. Rickert’s “Bread and Bombs,” plumb the depths of human prejudice, jealousy and fear. Beware of Paolo Bacigalupi’s far-future “The People of Sand and Slag,” though; that one will break your heart." (Feb.)

I am waiting breathlessly for my own copy of this, which I could pet and love and call George.

Night Shade have posted the table of contents for Jonathan Strahan's The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year.

And "Orm the Beautiful" is in it. *\o/* Along with some wonderful stuff by (among other shiny, shiny writers) Theodora Goss, Peter Beagle, Kelly Link, Chris Roberson, that Gaiman guy

I think the altitude sickness is making me a little faint.

Go, little dragon story that could!

And Nature has accepted "Annie Webber," (YAY!) which means I need to update my web page with two, TWO things now.

But right now, I need to feed the cat, yogize, shower, and walk down to the bank and the post office. Yay, walking!

An Amusing Aside: Amusingly, and aside, the climbing gym I am going to is offering a free Yoga class on Monday night. I wondered if they noticed that a bunch of us have been doing impromptu sun salutes in the corners between climbs.
writing companion to wolves _ truepenny

close reading 101: or, "I meant to do that."

...because I am tired of answering these questions in email, one reader at a time, and I bet truepenny is too:

There are only very slight spoilers in this. *g* And hopefully, it's at least halfway funny...

Why is it that there aren't any major female characters in A Companion to Wolves?

There aren't?

Okay. Why is it that there aren't any major human female characters in A Companion to Wolves.

You know, that's an excellent question. Especially since the authors are a pair of avowed and vocal feminists. Do you have a theory?

Because the authors wanted to write m/m smut?

...nice try. ;-) Okay. Try this on for size:

The action takes place almost entirely in homosocial, male-dominated venues--the equivalent of army camps. They male characters, like tribes of males everywhere, tend to other the women, who are largely relegated to support roles due to the military nature of the group, and the nature of homosocial bonding.

In other words, if you've ever wondered what the women were off doing during
Le Mort de Arthur or Beowulf, you got it in one.

(Actually, we did wonder what the women were off doing during
Beowulf, and I think if you read between the lines of ACtW, there are some clues as to just what those things might be.)

But women can fight. Why aren't there any female wolfcarls?


Because this story takes place in a society in which the replacement rate is barely keeping pace with the attrition rate, and any such society that sends fertile women out to fight is not going to last three generations. That's eating your seed corn, man. Yes, women can fight. But for them to fight on the front lines on a regular basis is a luxury for an affluent society.

Also, may I point out that you're talking about a job that kills fit, healthy men in their twenties like rats at a terrier run. I firmly believe that a woman can do any job she can physically handle. I don't, honestly, think a lot of women could physically handle that job. Even if she wasn't freaking pregnant nine months out of every two years, lugging toddlers around, and at risk of death from a pregnancy or birth gone bad.

But why don't the wolfcarls even think about recruiting women?

Ethnocentrism. Or, to put it another way, you're feeling a bit peckish. Why don't you think about eating a nice skewer of roasted witchetty grubs? I hear they're delicious--

You don't think about it because it's not part of your culture. (Unless you are a native Australian, in which case, please substitute "a nice bowl of clam chowder" for the above.)

Also, as a secondary reason, because making the protagonist male, and putting him into a role that is usually reserved in fantasy for female characters (The Forced Marriage, as it were) we hoped to point out some of the ways that that's a highly problematic role.

Or, to put it a third way, if he's female, we've just rewritten
Dragonflight, haven't we? ;-)

So much more comfortable for everybody when it's female characters being disempowered...

Why are the wolfcarls overcome by wolf rut, when they're not overwhelmed by their other biological urges, such as eating or taking a crap?

1) Remember that genre we're deconstructing? Ask them.

2) Ever been around a bitch in heat? A dog who can
smell a bitch in heat? No? Any kind of animal in its mating period?

Come back and ask that question when you have, if you still need to. 

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spies mfu illya all wet

somewhere up there is a dizzying layer of risen hot air...

Tonight, I sent the 5.6 that defeated me last time. And then bagged on anything else, because my forearms were screaming. There are only two 5.6s left (well, three, but I think the third one is broken, as nobody I know can figure out how to do it.), so I have picked out my first 5.7. Which I will attempt on Monday, before I wear myself out on other things. (I'm going to try the Moonchild 5.5 again too, the one with the bitchy overhang, and see if I can do it with less suck this time.)

In other news, remember the Secrit Projekt? I know you do.

Exhibit B. (1)

Exhibit B. (2)