Category Archives: race/ethnicity issues

And Also, I Hate Holden Caulfield

Adapted from a rant posted elsewhere.

Actually, Holden Caulfield, who is somewhere between Thomas Covenant and Elric of Melnibone on my Least Favorite Male Character Ever List doesn’t have a lot to do with this post. Instead, I’m going to talk about Earth Abides, and why I hated the protagonist Isherwood Williams on sight. (The book itself I’m largely ambivalent about, but I know that I despise the protagonist.)

Earth Abides is a post-apocalyptic novel involving a plague that Destroys Civilization. Our protagonist it one of the few survivors, and he is supposed to be a very intelligent loner type. He wanders around meeting people and inevitably feeling superior to them because they do not have his highly evolved brain and motivation to better themselves that he does. The problem is that he is not actually that smart, and he is a dick.

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Filed under apocalyptic, Meta, race/ethnicity issues, Ramble, science fiction

Book Review: Water Logic, by Laurie J. Marks

Small Beer Press
332pp.

Water Logic: An Elemental Logic NovelWater Logic is the third book in the Elemental Logic series. In this book Zanja gets thrown two hundred years in the past by a water witch, Clement is unable to come up with a plan C for dealing with a mutiny, and a bunch of Shaftali rebels refuse to believe that Karis is the real G’deon. We also continue the theme that has been developing since Fire Logic: finding away to integrate the Sainnite invaders (who are actually refugees) into the Shaftali population. Searching out a way to accomplish this task leads to a shocking discovery.

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Filed under fantasy, Laurie J. Marks, non-earth, paladins, race/ethnicity issues, Review: Book, slash/thots on yaoi

Book Review: Earth Logic by Laurie J. Marks

 Tor
400 pp

Earth Logic takes place a few years after Fire Logic. Karis’ odd little family is doing its best to stay together and support her while raising their daughter. (Technically, Norina’s biological daughter, but everyone is raising her. Considering how extremely hyperactive the kid is, they might be outnumbered.)

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Book Review: Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks

Tor
359 pp.

I tend to dislike the plotline of “band of patriots versus the evil invaders,” so one of the things I like about Fire Logic is that it does not really use that trope. I have also gotten slightly tired of the “lost heir” trope. Instead, we have “non-evil but slightly stupidly desperate refugee soldiers versus equally desperate patriots who are slowly alienating themselves from their own people because their own people are deeply sick of the fighting.” There is also a “lost heir,” but the aforementioned desperate patriots judge the lost heir unfit to be the heir. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Laurie J. Marks, non-earth, paladins, race/ethnicity issues, Review: Book, slash/thots on yaoi

Enemy Mine: Hate the Movie, Love the Novella

I really, really did not like the movie. And when I say “didn’t like” I actually mean loathe. Part of the reason is that the movie did not make sense. (Especially the Davidge-on-the-conveyor belt scene. I never understood what the heck they were doing with that. Also, they don’t really explain if I recall, why the kid was growing up so fast, or make it more clear how much time was passing.)

Another part of the reason is that my dad’s theory-crafting about the movie (while the damned movie was playing) was enough to make me want to scream bloody murder. (Dad’s theory-crafting about science fiction movies and tv shows was generally annoying enough to warrant its own post.) For Enemy Mine, dad decided that the Drac religion was meant to stand in for Islam, and that Dracs were coded as black. (No, I am not sure why, and questioning/disagreeing with him generally caused a hostile response back in the day.) The point where I think he’s more or less right, is that the producers of the film turned this story into a very sloppy anecdote about racism. Continue reading

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Filed under book, Meta, movies, race/ethnicity issues, science fiction, sociological

This Post Is Filler for the Essay I Want to Write

Which is to say, I have an idea for an essay about my general feelings about David Eddings’ handling of race and ethnicity, but I don’t have anything written down yet. I can point out various instances of his writing that have disturbed me to a greater or lesser extent–but I can’t narrow it down to “here is what seems like a problem to me.” The general argument/response to an essay that deals with issues of race (especially where a popular writer like Eddings is concerned) is that you get the people who use the “but it makes sense in context!” argument, and the “how dare you call [writer] a racist!”  Continue reading

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