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Showing posts from May, 2013

Language and Gender in Utopian SF

For my Utopian Science Fiction class, we just finished reading Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. We have also recently read The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, Triton by Samuel R. Delaney, and The Female Man by Joanna Russ. The following post looks at the use of language and gender in the utopian society (Mattapoisett) in Woman on the Edge of Time and compares to the other books. Connie, an older Mexican-American woman in a mental hospital, is the protagonist from our time (the 1960s) and Luciente is a woman from the future who is able to mentally link with her and allow her to see her time. In class, we discussed terms having to do with feeling such as "bottomed" (sad), "feathered" (happy), and "bumped" (frustrated/angry). We observed that these terms feel more physical in nature, rather than abstract like our current terms and what this means about the difference between our society and Mattapoisett. If we accept the premise that these

Book Review: Every Boy Should Have a Man

14. Every Boy Should Have a Man by Preston L. Allen Release Date: May 7, 2013 Every Boy Should Have a Man is a classic in the vein of Voltaire and Swift. A quick read in simple language, this account of a world where giants keep men as pets and for food has many implications on issues ranging from animal rights to racism to environmentalism. There is nothing else quite like this being written right now. This is one of those books that will appeal on many levels to multiple people. Both children and adults could get something out of this. In the first half of the book, I couldn't help thinking my dog would get a kick out of it! What is the relationship between ownership and companionship? Can loyalty be commanded? What is consent and what is bestiality? Some of those latter questions might not have relevance to our world, but then again they might or might in the past or future. I wouldn't strictly define Every Boy Should Have a Man as science fiction, but it definitely

Mini Reviews

I have been doing more reading than the blog lets on, but I don't have enough time to dedicate to full reviews. Below, I've marked the books that I intend to review fully later on and provided brief reviews for the rest. 6. Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear I received an ARC from the publisher and there will be a longer review to come. Briefly, Shattered Pillars moves further from alternate history and closer to fantasy than Range of Ghosts and is one of those rare second books in a trilogy that outshines the first. 7. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory Gregory opens with a teaser from Katherine of Aragon's divorce trial, but this book isn't really about that-it's about Katherine's time as a Princess of England-first, as Arthur's wife and then as the princess dowager who tempted both Henry VII and Henry VIII. I don't agree with Gregory's take on the central controversy of Katherine's life, i.e. whether or not she was a virgin