asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
Features on Pluto are being named after non-Western myths and characters from Western fantasy novels.

A large splotch that resembles a whale was named Cthulhu, a deity from a H. P. Lovecraft story. Other splotch names included Meng-Po, the goddess of forgetfulness in Chinese mythology; Balrog, a creature in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books; and Vucub Came and Hun Came, death gods of Mayan mythology. --NY Times, Kenneth Chang

On the one hand, I'm always happy when they go to non-Western myth. On the other hand, it feels disrespectful to put them on the same level as Western fantasy novels.


Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Anne McCaffrey was my first introduction to Sci-Fan, or at least the first one that stuck in my memory. Lessa and the Rowen were role models for me, showing me strong women who didn't let men stand in their way. Damia working through her pregnancies instead of being forced into some protective feminine seclusion, continuing to work alongside her husband as they raised their children together, this was the norm. Even Menolly's situation was shown as being a throwback to an older and worse time when men didn't think girl children were worth anything, a backwards and backwater way of thinking. I didn't need to be a feminist in my youth because McCaffrey showed me that it was completely normal for women to work alongside men.

And I knew I had finally come of age as a feminist when Kristin Bjornsen's meek acquiescence, nay welcoming, of her own date rape disgusted me and made me turn away from McCaffrey's works.

For a short period of time. I cannot stay away from her works forever. She is -was- the product of a more backwards age, and like Menolly she was always struggling to leave it in her writing. I hope for her sake that she has found a better and fairer place.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
I'm reading Ben Bova's "The Alien Within", Book 2 in the Voyagers series, and it's been years since I read the first one. Bova writes interesting complex characters*, with layers upon layers of deception, sometimes including self-deception as well. His women however are always described in terms of their sexuality - their appearances are described in sexual terms, they react to the other characters* in the story in sexual ways, the other characters (both male and female) react to them sexually (men analyzing their sexual attractiveness, women treating other women as rivals for sexual favors), and every woman with a name slept her way into her current position. It's absolutely disgusting.

*Where for Bova "character" means "white male", and everything else is an exception.

Bova also exoticizes the "orientals" in the story, using the exoticism as another sexual attribute in the "oriental" women, and as a sign of strength/power/fighting skill in the "oriental" men.

This book is really the product of a maladjusted mind. I'm willing to finish it (there's very few non-fiction books I won't finish after I've voluntarily started them%, and fewer yet in SF/fantasy), but I don't think I'm ever going to read another Bova novel. Shame, he's written so much.

%A couple corrections are noted in this sentence - strike throughs indicate removed, italics indicate added.


Aug. 12th, 2007 10:51 am
For my next copious free time project, I will start converting a milk-crate's-worth of scrawled notes and formerly typed completed short stories into again-typed short stories posted on LJ. I was surprisingly prolific when younger, now I want to do something with it all. I found a few unfinished stories that frustrate me b/c I want to know how they end - mayhaps I'll invite ideas from others.

While I'm thinking of it, in the various LJ/6A fandom Deletegate shitstorms, did they tag anyone for deletion based upon material that was posted behind a friendslock? As I understand it, the community or account had to be tagged by someone, so my small audience to start, combined w/ putting anything potentially questionable behind a friendslock (which even further weeds down the potential audience) should keep me safe. (Not that I have all that much questionable, but I did find one story about a recovering child murderer, a story which was even published in my HS Sci/Fan journal.) I'll probably friendslock everything anyway to keep the copyright infringement down.
It's not a spoiler if it's just speculation, but still, read on at your own risk.

WGL and I, w/ a little help from JT, decided we know how Year 7 is going to end. Firstly, she said two major characters are going to die, right? Well one's obviously gotta be Voldemort. Harry has to be the one to kill Voldie according to the prophesies, and as the main character he can't be the other one. It's going to be Snape: he will die giving Harry the assist on Voldie. It's just perfect, we've been wondering all along which side he's on. He *has* to redeem himself after the acts of the last one, and the best way he can do this is to give his life in the process.

Snape is Judas. He's the inside job. He's the necessary betrayer, his actions required by the victim of his betrayal. I guess the only question in the end is whether Voldie or Dumbledore is Jesus. (If not both.)

And speaking of Dumbledore being Jesus, he's not dead. Or he's coming back. (A) They never found a body. (B) His familiar is the phoenix, who dies and rises again. Ooh, I think I'm on to something here, w/ the death and rebirth and Jesus imagery... Is Harry Paul or something then?



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