Category Archives: race/ethnicity issues

Random blogging about appropriation

So a blogger of [specific ethnic group] does not like the idea of [people not of their ethnic group] writing [specific ethnic group] characters because [people not of their ethnic group] will invariably fuck it up. (Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is a legitimate feel because wow, there is a lot of bs about this specific ethnic group out there.) The blogger is very vocal about not liking [people not of their ethnic group] trying to create [specific ethnic group] characters, and yet [non ethnic group] writers insist on asking [specific ethnic group] blogger questions about their [specific ethnic group].  Continue reading


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Filed under Meta, race/ethnicity issues, racism, writing

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part Three

51-tcMB5mVL._SL500_AA300_smallThe main reason why I have always been ambivalent about Telempath is that there seems to be something slightly “off” about the entire set up. Jacob Stone, a black scientist frames Wendell Morgan Carlson, a white scientist for spreading a plague that destroys human civilization and starts a war with another terrestrial species. The sticking point I think is the way that the elder Stone’s frame involves playing on a presumably white conservative audience’s fear and mistrust of black (and white?) liberal political activism. He even does the thing where the white liberal is awkwardly attempting to join in on a “black only” activity or group and is subsequently rejected on account of being white and presumably clueless. Another reason I have a problem with the setup is because when you consider it, the entire screed he wrote about Carlson is essentially projection. (Meaning that when Stone is talking about Carlson being a wing nut, the actual wing nut being discussed is Stone.) Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, race/ethnicity issues, racism, Reading, science fiction, Spider Robinson, telempath

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part Two

31955smallSo far, our mental image of Carlson is of a radical mad-scientist type. The guy who worked with him (Our Hero’s Father) has Carlson pegged as a somewhat pathetic anarchist would-be rebel without a clue, an ivory tower liberal who desperately wants to be a social justice ally. (Who is primarily frustrated by not being considered a social justice ally of the groups he wants to defend.) Someone we are primed to dislike intensely because he is an ivory tower academic liberal.

Our Hero’s Father, Jacob Stone on the other hand, is self-defined as an absent minded professor and a slightly pompous, distant authority figure. The elder Stone has basically turned his son Isham into a weapon to be directed at the villain of the piece! Isham doesn’t mind very much, as he is completely on board with the entire killing Carlson thing.

This is going to be important later. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, race/ethnicity issues, Reading, science fiction, Spider Robinson, telempath

Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part One

This is one of the few non-horrible covers.Daybreak 2250 A.D. (aka Star Man’s Son) is one of the first books I read by Andre Norton. I first read it when I was fifth grade and for some reason, it was in the adult section of the Library. (The novel actually has a “young adult” feel to it, and one of the hard back editions actually has illustrations.) After re-reading it, I found that it had aged very well, even with the “post-apocalyptic neo-barb syntax,” that makes everyone sound like movie-western Indians type “eloquent.” The general message is the importance of cooperation between groups of people and not judging people by how they look. (There is also some commentary about race, presented in a very subtle fashion.) Continue reading

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Filed under Andre Norton, apocalyptic, daybreak, race/ethnicity issues, Reading, science fiction

Book Review: Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead

390 pp.

Buy on Amazon

I think that even if the series continues that this will be the last book I read in this series. This is not because I did not like the book, though it plays a part. (I am usually pretty good at continuing a series, even when I find it somewhat lacking.) It is more because this particular book feels like a stopping point to me. Another reason is because the ending is actually pretty open, but it feels like the story arc has been completed in some respect. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, race/ethnicity issues, Richelle Mead, romance, urban

Book Review: Trickster’s Girl by Hilari Bell

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

281 pp.

This is not a book review. I was not able to finish the book or even get farther than three chapters.  This is because Trickster’s Girl is kind of awful. It is a “gee, why don’t I write a fantasy with a completely random non-specific hodge-podge of Native American mythology and then completely disrespect it via my heroine!” kind of book. It is a “why don’t I glom together a bunch of Native American belief systems then randomly throw in new agey ley lines!” kind of book. It is a “I have never heard of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland and therefore do not realize how badly I needed it!” kind of book. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, book, fantasy, Hilari Bell, near future, race/ethnicity issues, Review: Book, science fiction elements, young adult

Book Review: Kings of the North, by Elizabeth Moon

Del Rey
478 pp.

Kings of the North
Order on Amazon.

In this sequel to Oath of Fealty, the characters are still adjusting to the new situations instigated by Kieri Phelan having become the king of Lyonya and Dorrin having become Duke Verrakai. We also have indications that all is still not well in various quarters, and the activities of a pirate who would be king (or at least Duke) are beginning to cause trouble elsewhere. On top of that we learn a great deal about Pargun, the machinations of various evil gods and a little about dragons. (I think the dragon is probably one of the best parts of the book.) Continue reading

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Filed under book, fantasy, paladins, political intrigue, race/ethnicity issues, religion, Review: Book