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review 2018-03-22 01:55
The Gate to Women's Country
The Gate to Women's Country - Sheri S. Tepper

If I had read this when it was first published, in the 80s, I think I would have really liked this book. Alas, I read it now and it mostly made me angry.


This book channels second wave feminism pretty heartily, and unfortunately it also falls into some of the movement's pitfalls. Powerfully negative attitudes towards men lie the foundation for this story - an idea that men are innately violent and aggressive, and women are not, is the true dividing line. This book pretends that personality is based purely on nature with nurture making little difference. Bodily autonomy and emotional connectivity fall to the wayside in favor of eugenics and manipulation. And to make it even worse the lack of gender non-conforming or non-heterosexual individuals in this world is not an oversight - the book flat out states that queer characters were bred out (see page 76 in my edition). To say that the story is misandrist, gender essentialist, and aggressively heteronormative would not be inaccurate nor unfair.


As much as I wanted to throw this book across my room at times, or to give it a half star rating, I will give it some credit where credit is due. This book is of its time, and it came from an angry place. And I get that. I've felt that. A lot of people have. It is interesting to use science fiction to play around with thought experiments, and our book club had an excellent discussion about this one. Tepper quite obviously put a lot of thought into her world, and the world-building was fairly intricate. The characters were drawn well enough that I truly hated many of them, and some mirrored individuals I've known in my past. There are some really excellent insights in here, and even passages that I reread because they struck a chord with me. However, I just couldn't get past the politics. It's a great book to talk about and critique, but it is not a book I feel I can recommend outside of that capacity.

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video 2018-03-20 13:47
Valentine - Michelle Hughes

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review 2018-03-12 16:58
G. Willow Wilson is the best
Alif the Unseen - G. Willow Wilson

Picked this up because of a book club selection (and I'm a fan of Wilson's work on Ms. Marvel). I think I like her comics work better, but I thoroughly enjoyed the merging/analogous relationship between magic and technology!

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text 2018-03-02 03:34
Reading progress: 1 out of 190 pages.
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1) - Madeleine L'Engle

Re-reading for Virtual Speculation Book Club on booklikes.  Partly in anticipation of the movie.


Not sure I'll have much to say.  At one time, I could practically quote entire chapters.  


On first read of it, I loved it but was confused (took me a bit to figure out the time aspects and that by wrinkle they were talking about theories similar to folding space theoretical  FTL space travel -- although not nearly as confused as reading the sequels out of order made me).


 I remember being fascinated that a book with a female kid as main character still had adults present and M.C. wasn't only one with a brain nor super-speshul (I had just had a bad run of books supposedly geared to teenage girls that all seemed to have unbelievably powerful perfect chicks often with  parents who were cardboard, stupid, absent or overbearing -- many of them with the moral that you needed to be careful not to be too uppity speaking to males of any age, always let the boy win and hide your intelligence to keep them ).

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text 2018-02-28 23:20
Abandoned (may come back to) at 46%.
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

I'm sorry.  I really tried because a bookclub read.


I just cannot face still yet another character or set of characters traveling to another part of ship.  Where they find a new environ with new genetic mutations.  To leave to find a new environ with ... POV changes so more characters can wander into *holds breath* new environment with new genetic ...


I may come back to because did get pretty far along and because it may have been too much reading this one back to back with the first in series, Dust - Elizabeth Bear .


Doubt I'll carry in to last book unless some amazing ending to Chill (if I return to finish it someday) or y'all reassure me all the traveling to new environs is finished or actually goes somewhere with the story or the worldbuilding.


Reading for booklikes' Virtual Speculation book club at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/50/virtual-speculation if anyone wants to see the group read or join.

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