Kitty: Angry Calico

March Review Round-Up

Here are the reviews posted during March. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of books I read in March, but rather the books I had the time to review before month's end.

1) Grant Morrison: Joe the Barbarian: Couldn't Put It Down
2) Mark Budz: Idolon: Worth Reading, with Reservations
3) Maria V. Snyder: Touch of Power: Worth Reading, with Reservations
4) Gail Carriger: Timeless: Couldn't Put It Down
5) Rebecca Guay: A Flight of Angels: Good Read
6) Elizabeth Bear: Chill: Worth Reading, with Reservations
7) Martha Wells: The Cloud Roads: Good Read
8) Margo Lanagan: Black Juice: Worth Reading, with Reservations
9) Seanan McGuire: Discount Armageddon: Couldn't Put It Down
10) Rick Yancey: The Monstrumologist: Good Read
11) Nick Spencer: Morning Glories: Deluxe Collection: Volume 1: Couldn't Put It Down

As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

Looking for suggestions for a Twitter chat on feminist/queer/outsider cyberpunk

I'm co-moderating a Twitter chat with @bleedingchrome on October 9th on the topic so I'd love lots of participation and suggestions. I've read some things (Scott, Cadigan, Pollack, etc.) of course, but don't think I've run across much international cyberpunk and virtually nothing by writers of color.

You can see the full schedule of feministsf twitter chats here.

Say Yes to Gay YA

Rachel Manija Brown (rachelmanija) and Sherwood Smith (sartorias) were told by a literary agent that their Young Adult novel would be represented -- if they made a gay character straight or wrote him out altogether.

They refused.

They have written a blog entry about the gatekeepers of publishing who may be keeping gay characters out of young adult fiction, and are asking you to help change the status quo.

See what they wrote, and pass it on:

(Twitter hashtag: #YesGayYA)
skywardprodigal Cog Flowers

Two sets of links

1. Via unusualmusic @ ecominded_poc @ dw (with three further links):

UK-based Zimbabwean author Masimba Musodza has written the first science fiction novel in ChiShona, the native language of the Shona people of Zimbabwe and Southern Zambia. And it tells the story of native beliefs clashing with corporate mad science. MunaHacha Maive Nei is also the first chiShona novel available on the Kindle. According to the ImageNations blog, this is a huge step forward in a region where English, or a pidgin version of English, is still considered the "most common form of communication." Musodza, who's also the author of some detective novels and the novel The Man who turned into a Rastafarian, has lived in England since 2002. (ChiShona is a common enough language in England that it's used on official forms.)

Here's how Musodza's press release describes the novel:

MunaHacha Maive Nei weaves issues of greed & corruption, sustainable development, international corporate intrigue and concerns around bio-technology. Chemicals from a research station conducting illegal experiments begin to seep in to the local ecosystem, causing mutations in the flora and fauna. When a child is attacked by a giant fish, the villagers think it is an affronted mermaid-traditional custodian of the ecology- and seek to appease it according to the prescription of folk-lore. However, the reality of what is happening soon becomes evident, a reality more terrifying than any legend or belief.

2. Also, via unusualmusic @ her dw journal Zadie Smith (excerpt from this interview @ literateur):

"This is a long way of saying that On Beauty was the end of all that for me – of trying to get people’s approval by writing myself IN to this English tradition. I just don’t care any more. All I can do is continue to work very hard on my little projects, taking in any influence I feel like, and not fearing subjects that interest me. 19th century Jamaica interests me. The 70’s Black Power movement in London interests me. The feminist lesbian movements of the 60’s and 70’s interest me. At the moment, sci fi, speculative fiction, interests me enormously. I’m so excited now about the next decade. I feel free!"

Mod note

Due to recent spam comments, I've turned on Captcha and screening for anonymous comments for the community. whileaway members, please unscreen anonymous replies from non-spammers when you get them on your entries if need be -- you can do it yourselves without help from moderators (see the LJ FAQ), but contact us as usual if you get trolls or flames that need further action. Thanks.

Anno Domini 2000; or, Women's Destiny

Sir Julius Vogel based his 1889 utopia on three principles, which he helpfully lays out in the epilogue:
  1. there's no reason women can't do everything men can [except for a telling blind spot he has regarding participation in and leading of the armed forces];
  2. there's no reason the various British colonies shouldn't form a British empire;
  3. there's no reason we shouldn't eliminate poverty [on the grounds that a) it's easy enough to give everyone basic sustenance and lodging, and b) this won't eliminate ambition but rather stoke it because ambition increases the higher up the foodchain you get, and the poorest people are actually too poor to have energy for ambition].
I review the novel on my DreamWidth (or my LiveJournal), and the book is available in various e-formats at the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.