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text 2019-10-09 13:29
Halloween Bingo 2019: Tenth Extra Square
Ladyhawke - Joan D. Vinge


I'd been planning to only get to this one after Lehane's The Given Day, but I couldn't sleep last night and there it was right next to my bed ... and a few hours later I'd finished the whole thing; so here we are.  (In my defense: It's a movie novelization, so it's not that long to begin with.  And yes, afterwards I slept just fine, thank you.)


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text 2019-08-02 16:45
Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty -- Question for 08/02 (Day 2): Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?
The Little Witch - Anthea Bell,Otfried Preu├čler,Winnie Gebhardt-Gayler
Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition Through the Salem Trials - Brian A. Pavlac
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
Women & Power: A Manifesto - Mary Beard
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
Men at Arms (Discworld, #15) - Terry Pratchett
Ladyhawke - Joan D. Vinge
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice


One of my very first literary heroine was a little witch who manages to get the better of all the bigger, older witches after having been put down by them -- the heroine of Otfried Preußler's Little Witch.  (In fact, I loved that book enough to write my very first fan letter to the author about it ... and I still love it enough to have put it on MR's "1001" list.)


Ever since, I've come to be interested in them because women are almost always maligned as "witches" when people are afraid of them because they -- the women in question -- happen to be better at something (or are merely perceived as being better at something) than others.  That's true for the poor ladies of centuries past who just happened to know their herbs a bit better than their neighbors, potentially even better than the local monastery's herbalist, and who, after having helped countless community members with every ailment from headaches to abortion, were duly burned at the stake for their troubles the second they even inadvertently stepped on someone's toes.  And it's still true for women who happen to be better at their jobs nowadays than their (mostly, but not necessarily male) colleagues.  Other slurs such as plainly denigrate -- "witch" (and to a certain extent also "bitch") implies an irrational element of fear.  In light of that, the transformation of witches -- or their perception -- from the worst of evil bogey(wo)men conceivable to a positive identification with the "women's power" movement is a thing to behold; not least in literature.


Which, incidentally, is just one more reason why I love Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.   And along the same lines, who wouldn't love Mr. Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax and her coven?



Though, speaking of Pratchett, he has also created just about the only werewolf I can get behind (and for similar reasons) -- Angua of the Night Watch. 


And, well, yeah, in terms of stories that were films before they were books, Ladyhawke of course ... which isn't so much a horror as a "doomed lovers" story, obviously.



Vampires, though?  Hmm.  I mean, on the one hand, give me Dracula rather than Edward Cullen any day of the week (and I'm saying that as a confirmed non-horror reader).  On the other hand, I read Anne Rice's vampire novels -- until she turned BBA, that is -- for just about everything but the horror aspect; in fact, if she'd ramped up that one I'd have been gone in a flash.  (Incidentally, Rice once revealed in an interview that Lestat's character was inspired by Rutger Hauer's portrayal of Etienne de Navarre in Ladyhawke.  Go figure.)




And zombies?  Leave me alone and get the hell out of here.  They creep me out so badly I won't even go anywhere near them in a supposedly humorous context (like the "white trash zombie" novels that are currently all the rage).



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review 2017-05-25 00:00
Catspaw - Joan D. Vinge Q:
Did they really know who I was? My paranoia started doing the multiplication tables.
I wondered what his problem was; if he was on drugs, or if just being a taMing was enough to fuck him up this bad.
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review 2017-02-22 00:00
Psion - Joan D. Vinge I've been procrastinating to stave off reading this series for, like, 5 years? And now I finally have gotten to reading it. And it is as good as expected, maybe even a bit better. Love this.
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review 2016-12-31 00:00
Cowboys and Aliens
Cowboys and Aliens - Joan D. Vinge I haven't seen the film that goes with this novel, so didn't have any expectations about characters or events.

Stands on its own as a good hybrid of sci-fi and Western.

The characters start off as the typical Western tropes; silent and mysterious stranger with a past, cattle barons who think they run the town, worn down sheriff trying to keep the peace.
As the action progresses they realise they all have things that will help the others, and they become a lot more sympathetic than if this was just a run of the mill Western where good and bad is often shoved in your face.
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