Monday, June 02, 2003

Meredith Ann Pierce... I think I once read a Clan of the Cavebear knockoff she wrote. There was nothing original about it, just more reindeer and more sex. That's it - The Girl Who Loved Reindeer. Actually, I think there might have been a little magic in it, to separate it slightly from the Auel pseudo-anthropology method.

That's interesting about the girl books/boy books stuff. There are definitely boy-books in SF, although girls certainly sneak them occasionally. (Not I... unfeminine as I may be, I still need some dose of plot other than evil aliens with explosions in my books.) Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series is about as open to both genders as any books I've ever seen, possibly because Bujold grew up as the kind of girl/woman who read boy SF.

Girl SF is very frequently the kind of SF that has magic in it. Come on, McCaffrey's dragons are dragons, not alien species. Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series has a pseudo-feudal culture with definite and decided magic, and gender is a frequently considered question. (Hey, I'd take the oath of a Free Amazon with no trouble at all. Except the part about defending myself in a world without distance weapons. I don't have the coordination to manage swordplay, or even knife-two-inches-shorter-than-a-sword-play.)

So, is gender separation in books a good thing or a bad thing? I'm inclined to think it's indifferent, as long as people with tastes that don't fit into the common mold are permitted to read the books they want. (Hopefully not McCaffrey. No offense, Iris, but I can't imagine why anyone reads McCaffrey. Her books don't even have the mockery value of a Piers Anthony.)

Meanwhile, Lore and Dave of the beloved comedy website Brunching Shuttlecocks have hung up their sunglasses and black sweaters and moved on to other things. Let us ring a knell in their honor.


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