renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
I will never be able to thank [twitter.com profile] KateElliottSFF enough for her Omniscient Breasts essay.

Some recent reading because I've been, as stated mournfully several times, very unconscious recently. Don't even ask how long it took me to stay awake to read some of these books.




I made it 63 pages into The Dinosaur Lords and tapped out when it was clear that regardless of the gender of the narrator the entire book was going to be an Objectification Fest. Saggy boobs, small boobs, the narrative gaze that lingers on the women and judges their bodies but fails to do the same to the men? Nope.

Hey. Hey, editors. Let's talk. Maybe let's start reading some critical writing on sexual objectification of women, some film theory about male and female gazes, read Kate's Omniscient Breasts essay, watch some Tropes Versus Women, and then apply what you learn there to the fiction you get to decide to buy/edit. This would be really good for me. I'm just imagining what fantasy would be like if we spent this much time describing the clothes that covered or framed dicks. PS if anyone knows any mainstream fiction like that where the writer lovingly described the fabric and the dick underneath (especially if the words member/shadows/girth were used), call me.

If you like dark fantasy/grimdark (I'm not sure which it is because I didn't read far enough) and dinosaurs used like particularly inbred pack animals, this may be up your alley!

Because I was coming off such a disappointment, going into The Kingdom of Gods was a shock because it's immediately clear that all the characters are valued for themselves first. What did confuse me: the book's blurb really makes this sound like it's from Shahar's point of view, not Sieh's. I kept waiting for her to take over and she never did. This isn't a complaint, per se — she's still important and I love Sieh a lot — but it was strange! It's been awhile since I ran into a book that did such a good job of misdirecting me with the cover blurb. GOOD WORK, BLURB WRITER.

With every entry into the series I love the newest book the best. I loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, then I loved The Broken Kingdoms even more, and I was certain that it would stay my favorite. But I was wrong! So I've just decided they're all my favorite. I've gotta say, though, Enefa/Nahadoth/Itempas sure did screw the pooch, each in their own way. N.K. Jemisin is THE GREATEST.

Words for Pictures was a nice look at writing comics, collaborating with artists, and some business aspects of producing comics for money. It was a good overview for someone more used to prose writing, and Bendis doesn't pull his punches when he talks about the amount of effort it takes to really carve out a place for yourself in a crowded industry. There's a lot of great art, here, too. The one criticism I had is that he interviewed quite a few writers/artists and the women are a severe minority. Which makes no sense, since this book was published in 2014. So there are a lot of perspectives from men. And I disagreed with him and everyone else who kept using the concept of "the cream will rise to the top." to talk about finding success. Ah, men. Bless their hearts.

I've been waiting months for The House of Shattered Wings because I love Aliette de Bodard's short fiction so much. She wrote a fantasy gothic murder mystery with angels and magic! There is a Grumpy Soulbond relationship! It is full of tragedy and woe where you expect a happy ending and somehow a happy ending where you least expected one and you feel conflicted about it? This woman can make you feel some seriously complicated emotions with her work. I'm more used to her in a science fiction context, but what a fascinating world this is. I was worried the whole religion/angel thing would get me (I've had Just About Enough of Religion, thank you rural Southern upbringing), but it reads smoothly and all the religious elements are seamlessly woven in between the magic and murder and politics of bickering Houses. It's eerie and mysterious and full of Tough Love. I give it four magical bees.

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire is the second book in the October Daye series that Jodie and I started last year with our co-review of Rosemary and Rue. I started reading urban fantasy with The Dresden Files and was so grossed out/put off that I was like "wow, this genre does not want me!". I KNOW, I know, "How could you judge the whole thing by one series!" But to be fair to myself at the time it was the series people were making the most noise about. It was popular in book circles and people were also writing fanfic about some of the characters. I made it one book and I know I'm never going back. I was surprised by Rosemary and Rue and because I had enough distance from it, also surprised by A Local Habitation. It was so charming and the mystery really did keep me guessing the whole time (I was both right and wrong about the end). Except for one part where I felt like Toby was being a little too obtuse, it was delightfully fun.

Plus, Tybalt gives Toby his jacket. I've read this fic. I've written this fic. I love fans. :D

Lumberjanes #17 is Noelle Stevenson's last issue. :( But what a great ending to her run on the comic and this art. This comic continues to be one of the highlights of my comic reading, so full of joy and adventure and teamwork that it gives me warm fuzzes whenever I think about past issues. The relationships! The conflict resolution. I mean, you wouldn't think that conflict resolution would be so fraught with emotion and intensity from a fantasy adventure comic about girls at summer camp. BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. The BEGINNING of this issues! THE END OF THIS ISSUE! Reading this issue makes so many other parts of the comic featuring Jo resonant in a way they weren't before. It makes me want to go re-read the entire comic again.

Who else has read this? Please come weep in bittersweet joy with me.

I saw Zodiac Starforce #1 mentioned somewhere online and made a note of it. When I saw the first issue in the comic shop, I couldn't resist. The art is so cute! The Mary Sue has some screenshots of the first issue. The first issue sets up the ongoing drama and introduces all the girls, and asks, what happens to a magical girl team, after the villain is defeated, the team disbands, but evil returns? I love magical girl stories, so I'm excited to follow this. It's a miniseries, so I assume it has a determined end. Although maybe if it does well they'll pick up more issues? :D

Date: 2015-09-02 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] couchtomoon.wordpress.com
"PS if anyone knows any mainstream fiction like that where the writer lovingly described the fabric and the dick underneath (especially if the words member/shadows/girth were used), call me."

Oh,the wonderful Joanna Russ has got you covered: "He was a medium-sized man with round buttocks and lumpy testicles, one longer than the other. They swayed as he walked. Sometimes they swayed freely. His penis hung down in front. I decided to take him on those terms."

It's from her mocking review of Pig World by Charles Runyon, which she published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in December 1972, which I found in her AWESOME collection The Country You Have Never Seen. She also says, "every woman in it has pubes, breasts, buttocks, and sometimes even a navel! I tend to take these things for granted, but Mr. Runyon... has apparently never gotten over that first shock of peeking into the girls' locker room." Then she lists the page numbers on which female anatomy is mentioned. I love her so much.

Date: 2015-09-02 01:28 am (UTC)
umadoshi: (Toby - One Salt Sea 01)
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
Except for one part where I felt like Toby was being a little too obtuse

That's...kind of Toby's MO, but I think it gets less so as things progress. ^^; She's SUCH a blunt object in how she approaches things, which I both enjoy and find a bit frustrating. It's like she's got layers and complexity and stuff!

I'm very keen to see what you think of the third book. ^_^

Date: 2015-09-02 10:22 am (UTC)
dolorosa_12: (matilda)
From: [personal profile] dolorosa_12
It is full of tragedy and woe where you expect a happy ending and somehow a happy ending where you least expected one and you feel conflicted about it?

Perfect summary of the book. I loved it very much, and am glad you enjoyed it too.

Date: 2015-09-02 03:36 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Yay Kingdom of Gods, House of Shattered Wings and A Local Habitation!

Date: 2015-09-04 09:29 am (UTC)
captainraz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainraz
*makes incoherent squealing noises about The Kingdom of Gods*

Date: 2015-09-06 06:40 pm (UTC)
litomnivore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] litomnivore
THANK YOU for the link to that Kate Elliott post. I am always so infuriated when women's POVs suddenly start talking about how conventionally sexy she is without any reason.

Date: 2015-09-07 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS WE WANTS IT PRECIOUS. In a cruel twist of fate, my NYPL library card expired, but my NYPL Overdrive account doesn't know that I can't get to it anymore, so it keeps sending me notifications of e-holds that have arrived for me. Including (sniff) The House of Shattered Wings. It's so cruel. :p

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