Posts Tagged With: feminism

New Story Appearing Soon!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted regularly. There’s been a book review here and there, a repost even less seldom. Nothing about my own writing in ages. Why is that? Continue reading

Categories: Books/Authors, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“‘Tis not right, a woman going into such places by herself.”* – A Book List

As promised, here’s the list of books containing older women as important characters that my friends and I came up with on Twitter a couple weeks ago. Clicking on the photos will take you to the book’s Amazon page.

Thanks to @grumpymartian, @whateversusan, @chrysoula, @AthenaHelivoy, @JustinSRobinson, @byharryconnolly, @LJLietya, @KateElliottSFF, and @clundoff for chiming in!

Mindscape Mindscape, Andrea Hairston: an older woman gets the action going; another older woman has a hand in trying to destroy what the first set out to accomplish.
The first four books of the Deverry series, Katharine Kerr: I didn’t get any details on this one. Deverry
Crown of Stars Crown of Stars series, Kate Elliott: “One of the POVs … is a scholar who is about 50. She’s technically a secondary POV.”-@KateElliottSFF
Silver Moon, Catherine Lundoff: main character becomes a werewolf as part of menopause at 50.  silver moon
 paladin Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold: the main character is in her 40s/50s, possibly late 30s (there was some discussion about this).
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle: Molly Grue and Mommy Fortuna  last unicorn
175px-CherryhDownbelowStation20thAnnCover Downbelow Station, C.J. Cherryh: I’m not sure of her age, but as commander of an interstellar battleship, Signy Mallory must be a mature woman, close in age to Captain Janeway.
Tehanu, Ursula K. Le Guin: the main character is Tenar, a woman who has aged through the Earthsea series and is now middle-aged.  tehanu
throne Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed: “majority of characters are older”-@grumpymartian
The Day Before the Revolution (from the short story collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters), Ursula K. Le Guin: the protagonist from The Dispossessed returns as a much older woman. twelve
Swan Song Swan Song, Robert R. McCammon: “mostly the older characters tell the story”-@grumpymartian

Another book was brought up in our conversation that hasn’t been published yet: The Great Way, an epic fantasy trilogy by Harry Connolly. It’ll be out later this year.

And, to finish up, these are the Discworld books that involve Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. To quote Wikipedia:

[Weatherwax] has starred in six Discworld novels (Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade and Carpe Jugulum), has appeared briefly in Wee Free Men, acted as a significant supporting character in A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight, and was referenced in three other Discworld books (by name in Mort, and anonymously in Thief of Time as well as Going Postal). She also appeared in the short story “The Sea and Little Fishes” and in The Science of Discworld II: The Globe.

Nanny Ogg appears in the same Discworld novels as Granny W., as well as the short story “The Sea and Little Fishes.” She also makes a cameo appearance in Thief of Time. Have you read any of these? Are there others you’d recommend? Let us know!

*–Granny Weatherwax, Wyrd Sisters (Terry Pratchett)

Categories: Blog Tour, Random Linkroll, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Aging children, I am one”*

Jim Hines’ call for guest blogs about representation in fiction got me thinking. And the folks who have posted over there since have kept the thoughts coming. Seriously. Go check out the last several guest posts on Jim’s blog. They’re great.

Another thing that’s added to my thinking is the latest kerfuffle with the gatekeepers of “real” science fiction. Some folks have been remarking that when all the old farts die, the sexism/racism will die with them.

Hahahahahaha. No.

That’s not how it works. Assuming that the only sexists/racists/homophobes/trans*phobes/etc are old guys is lazy thinking. And assuming that at 51, I’m one of those folks? Well, that just pisses me off.

It also makes me want to do my best to wreck spec fiction by writing about people who aren’t all straight, white men. Which brings me back to the matter at hand. Continue reading

Categories: Books/Authors, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Roger Corman – Accidental Feminist

So, I’ve been pondering the Bechdel Test lately. You know the Bechdel Test, correct? Like it says in that link there, it’s a set of rules created by Alison Bechdel (and Liz Wallace) to determine gender bias in a film. Those rules?

1. The film has to have at least two [named] women in it,
2. who talk to each other,
3. about something other than a man. (Not limited to romantic relationships, for example two sisters talking about their father doesn’t pass)

Passing this test doesn’t make your film good, necessarily. And some really great films have failed the test. It’s there to point out whether a film (good or bad) has interesting women in it who interact with each other. Continue reading

Categories: Movies, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin – A Review

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native tongue

Suzette Haden Elgin published Native Tongue, the first book in this eponymous trilogy, in 1984. I was 22 in 1984.

I remember Reagan’s election and how many of us on the left (I was already quite at home way over on the left wing) were frightened by the possibilities, many of which have come to pass. I also remember the beginnings of the backlash on feminism, a backlash that just keeps growing 30 years later. So, I get where Haden’s coming from with her story of a dystopian future USA where women have lost all their rights and are now the property of men in worse ways then they were before the second wave of feminism. My 22 year-old self would have eaten this book up and looked for more.

I’m sad to report, however, that the book didn’t really do much for my 51 year-old self. The story immediately irked me with the premise that the constitutional amendments revoking the 19th amendment and turning women into minors under the law would have happened by 1991. I mean, okay, Reagan and his ilk scared me, too, but 1991? That seems awfully premature.

That’s always a risk writers take, putting events in the super-near future. I’m still miffed that 2001 came and it was nothing like the movie. There was a 33-year gap there. To predict something this cataclysmic happening less than 10 years from when you’re publishing? Might have wanted to think that through a little more.

So, I had to try to push that aside as I read further. Fortunately the rest of the book takes place centuries in the future, the 22nd to be exact. There we discover that not only do women still not have any rights, but society has been divided up into two antagonistic groups: the Linguists and everyone else. The Linguists are the only people capable of communicating with all the alien societies humans have met, so they’re necessary as translators to make all the treaties and do all the negotiating. Regular people hate them, so the Linguist families (the Lines) live in large communal houses buried in the earth away from prying eyes and violent reaction.

One of the reasons that regular folk hate the Linguists is that Linguist women are allowed to work outside the home as translators because, apparently, there’s so much translating that needs to be done, they have to. Then we have all the stuff happening with babies blowing up because they can’t fathom non-humanoid alien languages (no, really). I haven’t even gotten to the Linguist women’s work on creating a language that allows women to express their thoughts better than standard English, French, German, whatever. This, one might argue, is really the point of the book, but it gets lost, to me, amidst all the other stuff.

Oh, and there’s a serial killer. (Who’s actually my favorite part of the novel; her first murder? That chapter would make a great Tales from the Crypt of something.)

I hate to say this, because Elgin’s short story “Old Rocking Chair’s Got Me” remains one of my favorite short stories (Top 10, no question. It’s awesome. And hard to find. I have it in Dick Allen’s Science Fiction: The Future (1983 edition).), but I found Native Tongue to be too bloated and ponderous, too preachy and heavyhanded. While not all the women are saints, by any means (see: serial killer), most of them are and there isn’t one kind man in the whole thing. They’re all stupid, misogynistic assholes, every one of them, which is just bullshit. Even in 1984, I had allies. Still do.

None of the characters are really developed at all; they’re all just game pieces for Elgin’s philosophical/linguistic chess board. And there are so many plot holes. What do the aliens in the Interface do all day when they’re not communicating with (and occasionally destroying) the babies? And what happened to all the kids who’d been fed hallucinogens in an attempt to keep them from blowing up after they were taken to the orphanage? The list goes on.

Things I liked? The serial killer character, as I said. She’s really the only person whose character evolved (however slightly) over the course of the novel. I also enjoyed Elgin’s discussions of language and the linguistic “tricks” that one male linguist in particular would use to win arguments. Those were interesting. And I liked the notion that an academic field such as linguistics would become so powerful. But the negative outweighs the positive for me.

Biggest disappointment? The cover of the edition I read. Nothing like that image happens in the book. I wanted my motherly alien! (2.625/5)

Categories: Books/Authors, Reviews, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Link Treats

Well, this has been the longest break I’ve taken from the blog in a while now. Life has been busy. Last weekend involved a drive down to the Eastern Shore of MD to see family. Much fun was had and many crabs were eaten. We returned with many pics of family gravestones and pounds of scrapple. (You can’t get scrapple up here in New England. Yes, that’s a bad thing.)

These links have been sitting around for a while, so there’s a good chance you’ve already read them. You know, if you hang out in the same neighborhoods I do. Hopefully, they’re not too redundant. I like them, anyway.

Hey, Everyone — Stop Taking This Picture! (No, I Mean It.)
This is the oldest one–from last year. Fit, Feminist, and (almost) Fifty hipped me to it.

Beta Readers
Minerva Zimmerman shares her thoughts about a writer’s dearest asset, her beta readers.

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things, On Tiers
I used to be one of those folks who creates best-of lists. I was very Rob Gordon about it, but then I met Alpha Reader who refuses to makes lists like that. At first, I found that kind of quaint; over time I saw his point. It was interesting to see Scalzi’s take on the concept.

Your Ultimate Feminist Mixtape
A good collection of tunes from Vagenda’s Emily B. Fun suggestions in the comments, as well. What would you add?

#510: Falling out of love with your creative work and losing momentum
I so needed to read this today. As I said on Twitter yesterday, I’m trapped in the third act of The Travelers and can’t get out. Well, the only way out is through, isn’t it? Finish the fucking novel, M.

Categories: Random Linkroll | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Link Treats

Where have all the link treats gone? Well, they’ve been sitting in my drafts folder waiting for me to get off my ass and post them, is where. *sigh* It’s been kind of busy/nonblogmotivational around here lately. (and that is so a word) There’s been writing, just not of the blog. (New story about to be submitted if I can come up with a title! Psychic Depression-era noir-ish detective thing–any suggestions?)

Not That Girl
I’m not that girl either. Oh wait. I totally am. Some fine writing from the Belle Jar

Today’s Time Waster: Literary Figure Collective Nouns
John Scalzi with a new game. Lots of creativity in the comments.

Evolution 101
Andreas Heinakroon talks about evolution. It’s fun and smart, as his posts always are.

10 Worst Mistakes That Authors of Alternate History Make
Good stuff to take into consideration if you’re writing alternate history. I think I did all right with “So The Taino Call It.” Did you read it? What do you think?

Rules of Writing: Get to the Fucking Monkey
Some good writing advice from Justin Robinson plus a killer song.

That Girl

Okay, how could I not use this random pic?

Categories: Random Linkroll | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Link Treats

Huh. Now that I’m coming up with links randomly, I’m getting a decent list more quickly. That’s good, right? Or maybe I’m spending too much time surfing? That is a possibility. Nice mix today. What do you think?

The World Needs Writers
Johanna Harkness on writers and storytelling. Telling those tales is important.

So You Just Had Your Book Published
Chuck Wendig talks about the interesting mind game that is being published.

Changing the Creepy Guy Narrative
I love this. Chris Brecheen turns the tables on a subway creeper.

New Big-Nosed Horned Dinosaur Found in Utah
Christine Dell’Amore reports at National Geographic on the new dinosaur that’s been found in Utah. Neat!

Take a Closer Look at Bizarre Dinosaurs
And thanks to that last link, I just spent half an hour playing with this National Geographic interactive dinosaur thingie. Much fun.

Big Nosed Dinosaur! Illustration courtesy Lukas Panzarin

Big Nosed Dinosaur! Illustration courtesy of Lukas Panzarin

Categories: Random Linkroll | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Link Treats

This batch of links isn’t quite as heavy, at least in my mind. I hope you find something of interest.

Lessons sports teach you: Perfection is the enemy of excellence
Sam B. at Fit, Feminist, and (almost) Fifty shares her thoughts on the problems of perfectionism.

Trayvon Martin, The East, and the Consequences of Inaction
My inner seven-year-old is a lot like the Belle Jar’s. It’s part of why I’m so cranky all the time.

OMG, like there are totally things called Valley Bees!
I’m so sure, Bug Girl!

Angry Young Woman
A poem from Wordlander. It’s awesome.

To Succeed, Fail Boldly
The Weekly Sift offers some words of hope.

Categories: Random Linkroll | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Link Treats

It’s Wednesday, and I’ve counted to five, so let’s have some links.

The Times, They Are A-Changing (And So Should Your Dictionary)
Kory Stamper takes on the idea of preferring older dictionaries. Not really a good idea.

10 Signs that Feminism May Not Be For You
The Belle Jar guest-posted at the Outlier Collective last week. Some good tips here.

fill up your rainbow tank
Poetlandia was one of many celebrating SCOTUS’s decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 last week.

Reporting Harassment at a Convention: A First-Person How To
Elise Matthesen’s thoughts over at Whatever on reporting sexual harassment at conventions.

An Open Letter to Paula Deen
Michael W. Twitty at Afroculinaria shares his thoughts about and for Paula Deen. It’s an awesome read.

northernlights smaller

I thought a random rainbow pic might be nice today, but decided to go with this: the Northern Lights outside our house several years ago. Neat, huh?

Categories: Random Linkroll, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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