Tag Archives: telempath

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part Five

$(KGrHqJHJCoE9rfTjDVbBPcm3jPyRQ~~60_35What is interesting here is that from Isham’s point of view, things like racism, homophobia and sexism are non-issues. (Of course, he considers homosexuality to be a non-issue because there is only one homosexual person in the entire world.) Isham has experienced bigoted individuals such as Alia’s father, but he has been more or less sheltered from actual systemic racism. Contrast this with Jordan (or even Jacob Stone) who have experienced systemic racism and whose personalities have been shaped by it. When Jordan tries to get Isham riled up and knocked of balance by calling Isham “boy,” Isham doesn’t even realize that he should react. Jordan seems to read Isham’s non-familiarity as evidence that Isham “acts white.” (Jordan also levels this accusation at Isham’s father.)

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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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Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part One

$(KGrHqJHJCoE9rfTjDVbBPcm3jPyRQ60_35smallWhen I was much younger, I was a big fan of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Saloon stories. I also liked some of his other works, but I never really got into them the way I did with the earlier Callahan stories. Telempath is one of the novels I am particularly ambivalent about because I am not sure about the way Robinson handles race in this book. (In other words, there is something bugging me about the way he writes the black protagonist of the story. There is also something bugging me about the set up for the apocalypse that I can’t quite put into words.)

Another reason why I am ambivalent about this book is the odd little side plot where we discover that the plague made it impossible for anyone to be homosexual. There is only one gay character and he only seems to be there to be the only gay character. (For a while, I was toying with the possibility that the implication is that being bisexual is more of a thing instead. But no, if that were true, surely Last Gay Dude Standing would not be single and stiff-upper-lipping about a lack of romance in his life if bi were a thing.) Continue reading

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