seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
24. NW by Zadie Smith

-So the thing about NW is that it is probably Smith's most personal novel since White Teeth. You really feel it in your gut, that this is Smith's life that she is bleeding onto the page. This is her agonies of childhood, her collegiate doubts, her romantic questionings, her maternal worries, distilled and represented as tightly as she can manage.

It is an uncomfortable experience. I will tell you that up front. It is a story about a London that is as multifariously multicultural as that shown in White Teeth or The Autograph Man, but it is not as joyously multicultural. For 22 year old Zadie Smith, intersections of cultures were sites of tension, but also opportunities for growth, causes for celebration. For 36 year old Zadie Smith, they are traps one is not sure they ought to try to wriggle out of. And that's not even the half of it. The true discomfort of NW is the intensity of the emotional connections that Smith forges between the reader and her four protagonists. There is no remove, no irony, no separation between these characters' deepest thoughts and the text that appears on the page.

Smith pulls out every trick she knows to achieve this effect. Modernist techniques like Woolfian or Joycian Stream of Consciousness share pages with scene descriptions that reminded me of Hardy's lush Post-Romanticism, while Post-Modern perspective shifts and documentary storytelling a la Pynchon or DeLillo sits next to conventionalized novel of manners narrations. I think in addition to being her most personal novel and her most uncomfortable novel, it is also her most baffling novel. I wrote of On Beauty that Smith was demanding your engagement, your participation. Smith demands something more of her readers here: She demands that you stay on your toes, keep your wits about you. This is her most suspenseful novel, the one with the most surprising plot twists. In a weird way, though it probably has the smallest amount of visible PLOT of any of her books, it might be the novel most dependent on plot.

-It's a story about Northwest London, the poor and working class and middle class districts full of immigrants and yearners, as seen through the eyes of four (well, three and a half. Smith goes as close as she can to the internal thoughts of three of the protags, then keeps a cautious distance from the fourth.) people who grew up in the Caldwell council estate (which I gather is British for 'housing project'). Leah is a white girl whose best friend from childhood is the black Keisha, who changes her name to Natalie at university to help pursue a career as a barrister. In addition to telling the stories of their sometimes intertwined lives in exacting detail, Smith tells the stories of their former classmate Nathan who has become homeless, a desperate wannabe 'player', and Felix, a working mechanic on a trajectory out of Caldwell when tragedy alters the course of his life.

Each story is told differently. Leah's narrative unfolds over weeks, Felix's over a couple of days, Natalie's over decades, Nathan's in an evening. I think Natalie's is probably the most successful, and others I've spoken to have agreed, but its success lies in an alignment between the empathy of the reader and the emotional state of the character- for a person whose empathy is aligned differently, I would expect a very different sensation. I know people who would like Leah's story best, and I know people who would like Felix's best. [If I compared the four protags to the four children from the Passover seder, Nathan would be the child who doesn't know how to ask. I know people whose empathy would be aligned with him, but they wouldn't read the book. This is one of the things Smith wrestles with in NW, as the overall metanarrative confronts the inequality of outcomes for these four strivers who came from the same beginning, more or less. Some people approach the world in different ways, and communicating those gaps is one of the tasks of the great novelist. But some people aren't even in the conversation, and the question becomes what responsibility, what moral obligation, the author has toward the child who doesn't even know how to ask.]

In sum, if you have admired or enjoyed Smith's other novels, you ought to give this one a try, but be aware that it is a more complicated and dangerous treat.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
Pearl, now five, is besotted with this book, the story of a little girl participating in her aunt's wedding She likes that they go to the hairdresser and get their hair curled. She likes that they have pretty dresses to wear. Even Ruby, aged two and a half, likes the drama of the flower girl dress at first not fitting! Oh no! But the dress maker fixes it!

The author has also written *The Glory Garage: Growing Up Lebanese Muslim in Australia* which I now want to read. Her biographical note says she has a passion for promoting understanding between Anglo-Australian culture and Islamic culture in Australia and that she has three little girls who like playing dress ups and getting married.
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
It's been ages since I posted about a book here! I hope I'll be able to fix that soon -- I'm reading several other books for my history research project that are by authors of color.

Crossposted from Goodreads.

Robert A. Williams, Jr., who is a Lumbee law professor (currently at the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program), had previously written a book on The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest. He decided to write another, a "complementary study" that outlined Native people's legal and diplomatic discourse during the Encounter period. The result is Linking Arms Together.

Cut for length )
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
The 2012 Nebula Awards nominees were announced yesterday. Here are the ones by authors of color, that I know of (if you notice a mistake or omission, please let me know!).

Novel:
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

Novella:
On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
"All the Flavors" by Ken Liu (online here)

Novelette:
"The Waves" by Ken Liu

Short Story:
"Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard (online here)
"The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" by Ken Liu (online here)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Fair Coin by E.C. Myers

Thoughts on any of these? (I've only read one -- The Killing Moon, which I liked even more than Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy -- but I've been waiting to post about it until I have time to read the sequel, The Shadowed Sun.)
coffeeandink: (Default)
[personal profile] coffeeandink
X-posted from my journal.

Although this novella makes an interesting attempt to engage with the social constraints of the time in a more realistic manner than many Victorian-set romances, it founders on inconsistent characterization and on a gender subtext greatly at odds with its surface. Despite some genuinely moving aspects -- particularly the heroine's delayed emotional reaction to traumatic events in her past and the hero's painful relationship with his frail and increasingly senile father -- the story fails for me due to disquieting elements in the central romance.

Cut for length and spoilers; trigger warning for statutory rape )
delfinnium: (Default)
[personal profile] delfinnium
(recommended to link here by Deepad. First post, first review thing!)

Thanks to [personal profile] deepad, I'm currently reading the series Gameworld Trilogy by Samit Basu. (can be found here. It can be bought here!)

And it does start off a little slow, in the beginning, especially if you're like me, and have very little familarity with the Ramayan other than a very vauge understanding of 'something happens, Demons evil attack! Princess is involved, there is a vanar, Lord of monkeys and a damn good archer, involved somewhere, there is a lot of fire, and a chariot happens to be there somewhere', you might be a little thrown by all the terms there.

And it's GOOD!

I like that!

I mean there are some books (like the God of War series) that use terms so obscure and strange that it is hard to actually understand what is going on in the world unless you read it several times (and I'm not so sure I'm drawn into it), but this world is not like that!

I mean there are creatures whom you don't know what they are - vaman, pashan, vanar (though since I know passingly from School the ramayana, i know what vanar are), khuldran, and so on and so forth, and Samit doesn't explain, not at first.

But then as the story opens up, you start to realise what they are. Vaman are the equivalent of dwarves, vanar are monkeys/apes, pashan seem to be troll types, asur are... I'm not sure what they are, really, other than that no one likes them and they do all the dirty shitty jobs that no one wants.

( Yet longer incoherent flailing review here! )

Just.

You like POC cultures and fantasy? Sick of male dominated Generic White Medieval Fantasy?

THIS WILL BLOW YOUR SOCKS.

Genre: SFF, fantasy, parody
Subject: parody, trope inversion, non-white fantasy
Author nationality/ethnicity: Indian
 
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
We had a big post last year with suggestions for Hugo nominations that are [community profile] 50books_poc eligible. Nominations have opened up again- anybody have suggestions?

Among the novels I'm aware of, in absolutely random order as they occur to me:

Terminal Point by KM Ruiz
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
Fair Coin by E.C. Myers
Quantum Coin by E.C. Myers
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel Delany
Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez


There must be more. Please recommend novels, novellas, short stories, related works, dramatic presentations, editors, graphic novels, etc...
sumofparts: picture of books with text 'books are humanity in print' (books)
[personal profile] sumofparts
I finished my second set of 50, yay and started a new set. Below are some thoughts on the books.

Remainder of second set:
39. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
40. A Gesture Life by Chang-rae Lee
41. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
42. Zone One by Colson Whitehead
43. The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
44. The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
45. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
46. Snakes and Ladders by Gita Mehta
47. The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee
48. Beijing Confidential by Jan Wong
49. Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
50. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
New set:
1. Decoded by Jay-Z

Cut for length )
emma_in_dream: (Default)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
I found this book on Anita Heiss’ list of the top 100 Aboriginal books - http://anitaheissblog.blogspot.com.au.

I would strongly disagree that it belonged there.

It is a reimagining of the Myall Creek Massacre, with a cast of characters around a German Lutheran mission. And it is stunningly boring.

This is partly a result of the prose style which could most charitably be described as Hemingwayesque in that it is sparse and favours short sentences. Also, the characterisation is kind of Hemingwayesque, in that it is non-existent. And the women are kind of Hemingwayesque, in that they are Madonna/whores.

So, I like neither the style nor the characters.

And I wasn’t that keen on the plot either, because, frankly, I don’t think that the Myall Creek massacre needs to be reimagined. It’s like James Cameron doing the Titanic but instead of telling us the gripping and fascinating stories of the real people, he invented Jack and Rose and their mundane love affaire.

McLaren decided that instead of telling us the incredibly tragic story of the Myall Creek massacre, he would... write short, sparse sentences about a German Lutheran missionary raping women and setting up the Aboriginal people as the rapist/murderers until the white population snap and massacre the local tribe. It’s not like he had to call it Myall Creek. There were plenty of other massacres, stretching back to the beginning of the colony and forward into the twentieth century. It’s just that this one was well documented because the accused were taken to court and some of them eventually executed.

All in all, no thumbs up for plot, characters or style.
emma_in_dream: (Casablanca)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
I chose this picture book randomly from the shelf because I was looking for a book to encourage eating vegetables. And then, bonus!, it is eligible for this challenge.

It does all the things a book for a picky preschool eater is meant to. It has colourful foods and counting and games and at the end there is a recipe. Pearl looked at the recipe and said NO SOUP! so she is perhaps pickier than the intended reader.
emma_in_dream: (Alice Liddell)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
This is bit of a placeholder of a post - I read it, I liked it.

It seemed that the first couple of chapters on African-American art prior to 1900 are different in tone to the later chapters on modern art.

The beginning chapters are the kind of art history which trace forgotten and overlooked artists. My favourite is definitely Dave the Potter who threw large, obviously pretty strong pots (50 have survived). He wrote his own poetry on each jar. 'Great and Noble jar/ Hold sheep, goat, or bear, May 13 1859, Dave'.

The later chapters deal with developments since 1900, and the constant reworkings of the same debate: which is more important, broader artistic traditions or identity as an African-American?
emma_in_dream: (Default)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
Kim Scott, Iris Woods and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project, Mamang (2011)

This is a University of Western Australia Press picture book. It represents a story originally told by Freddie Winmer to a linguist in the 1930s, found, workshopped with his Noongar descendants and presented as a picture book.

I edited the story as it involved a man taking a ride inside a whale. In my version he made it go faster by shouting GO! GO! rather than by poking it with a spear.

Also, it was a nice change of pace as so many collections are of stories from the centre and the north west. As colonisation started in the south east, it's nice to have some stories from the bottom part of the continent where colonisation was experienced earlier and differently.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
16. Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
17. Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues.

(both noted without comment)

18. Sherman Alexie, Smoke Signals: A Screenplay.

I only had a copy of this by mistake, thinking that I was ordering a copy of the movie. But because I had it, and because I was trying to focus my thoughts about the movie, I read it, thinking it'd just be the movie in print form.

Turns out, this is a bit more like the DVD commentary and deleted scenes what the DVD doesn't have. (What with the DVD having been mastered before deleted scenes and commentaries became commonplace, and never having been reissued since.) Within the main body of the screenplay itself, there are longer versions for some of the scenes, alternate versions for others, and scenes they decided not to use at all. (The bit where Arnold's photograph of his family says "HOME" on the back? In the screenplay, Suzie Song writes that on there.) After the screenplay proper, Alexie gives scene-by-scene commentary in which he discusses the decisions that resulted in the published film being different than the published screenplay (production problems with the burning house and that GAWDAWFUL WIG, and test audiences who didn't know if they had permission to laugh in what was such an obviously tragic film); gossips about the director, crew, and actors (he thinks he can take them all in basketball, three-on-one); and provides a bit of commentary on Indian filmmaking in general (always use Indians to play Indians!), and making Smoke Signals in particular (the scriptwriter doesn't know best!)

Recommended for fans of the film who wanted more than was on the DVD. Maybe Miramax will remaster it someday and maybe they won't, but in the meanwhile, you can tide yourself over with this.


19. Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. (re-read)

Rowdy and Junior are friends. And then Junior breaks Rowdy's heart, and Rowdy retaliates by breaking Junior's heart. Except neither of them can QUITE go all the way with the heartbreaking, and so Junior hopes and draws Rowdy cartoons of the two of them as the best superhero duo ever, and Rowdy still hates Junior but doesn't tear the cartoons up, and then Junior gets a new friend (and he's cool and all but he's still a new friend and not a Rowdy-friend), and then Rowdy and Junior decide that while being heartbroken may be forever it is also boring, so they'll just go on being friends anyway. The end.

Yes, I just spoiled the book for you.

Except that I didn't, because, as always, it's all about the journey.

Also, there's all the stuff I didn't spoil. Stuff about leaving the rez, divided loyalties, and the recurring shit-tasticness of life. (Which has exceptions, of course. But the exceptions -- people! -- can die, so there we are, right back to shit-tastic again.) Plus I didn't spoil all the times where Junior is telling jokes and ripping great big holes in non-NDN misconceptions about NDNs.

(There are times that I think Junior is a bit too self-aware when he's dropping a lesson on us all, but eh. I shall pretend that this is written from a few years older than portrayed.)

...and it will forever crack me up that the dog dies in the beginning of this book. This ain't Old Yeller or Where the Red Fern Grows, where the dead dog is the climatic tearjerker: the dog dies right off the starting block, and that should be warning enough.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
21 India Calling by Anand Giridharadas

India Calling is a book I read as I tried to write Midnight's Children fanfiction, updating Rushdie's style for an India that has changed since that book was written thirty years ago. It is in some senses typical of a booming sub-genre of nonfiction works about "the New India", coming to grips with the rise of capitalism, the rise of economic and social and intellectual mobility, and all the associated changes those things bring with them. There are a lot of such books- Giridharadas comfortably situates himself within the subgenre by comparing his experiences to those reported in a few of them. As I ended up writing in my story, "Anyone with a pen and paper is writing that India doesn't have a story, and they will sell it to you if you give them the chance."

Giridharadas himself was the son of Indian immigrants to America who then moved back to India as an adult. His perspective is interesting. He's an outsider, but he speaks the language and knows intellectually the customs, so he can get past the exoticization that true Westerners visiting India often subject their readers to. But his perspective is still outsiderly. He feels comfortable reproaching native Indians for behaviors he finds misguided, but also spends a lot of time deconstructing his own mistaken assumptions about India- as backward, religiously intolerant, unambitious, and addicted to poverty and corruption. I really appreciated the humility he brought to his study.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and though I don't think I ended up using any specific details from it in the fic, the sense he gave me of how India has evolved and how people feel about the evolution ended up being a major guiding force as I developed themes.

22 Dancers on the Shore by William M. Kelley

Kelley is a writer I would never have known about had I not literally googled for African-American literary novelists when I first started doing [community profile] 50books_poc, about three and a half years ago, and discovering him is one of the things I am most grateful to this challenge for. He writes gracefully and complicatedly about the mid-20th-century African-American experience and at times the broader American experience. A Different Drummer, his debut novel, which was one of the first books I read for this challenge, remains one of my favorites.

Dancers on the Shore is a short story collection published not long after A Different Drummer, and it is more of a mixed bag, as short story collections often are. Some of the stories are a part of a roughly continuous family cycle that continues throughout Kelley's novels and culminates in the messy post-modern soup of Dunfords Travels Everywheres. Others are standalone. Some of them feel like early sketches added to fill up the book, while others are marvelous in the depth of character and emotion that Kelly is able to show in so little space.

Though all of his characters are African-American, explicit and even implicit discussions of racial politics are rare (the first page is an invocation from the author begging to be treated as an author instead of as an African-American author who has anything at all to say about the Race Question). The stories are mostly family dramas, characters discovering things about themselves and about the people close to them. A mother contemplates divorcing her husband. A son visits his extended family and learns about his father's childhood. A young woman contemplates an illegal abortion. Two old men endure retirement together. All of these subjects are handled with sensitivity and ambiguity.

23 Terminal Point by KM Ruiz

I loved the first book in Ruiz's Stryker Syndicate series of cyberpunky post-apocalyptic psionic action-adventures, but this one, the second, was more uneven. It was beautifully plotted and paced, and it had more of the great characters from the first book, but it stinted on setting. I knew I was in for a good show with Mind Storm from the first scene, which threw us on a train moving across the radioactive wasteland between the husk of Las Vegas and the husk oif Los Angeles. The location was so atmospheric, interesting, and real feeling that it intensified all of the action. Terminal Point bounces through a lot more locations, and a lot more exotic locations, but none of them feel as rich and real as the settings from the first book. Many of them have their interesting features infodumped at us rather than being allowed to present themselves naturally. The plot subordinated the world building, unfortunately, and the result was a book that offered satisfying resolution to open plots from the first book, but not a book that was as satisfying on its own terms.
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
Has anyone else read this yet? Comment if so, pretty please! I'd love to hear the thoughts of someone who is better qualified to discuss this kind of book -- YA near-future science fiction of the teenage-protagonist-gets-involved-in-a-massive-conspiracy variety is just not my cup of tea.

Appealing to me: the heroine, Reese is (as per usual, I understand) torn between two love interests who symbolize conflicting forces in her life, but in this case one love interest is a boy and one is a girl.

I also liked Reese's relationship with her mother, and the way Lo describes the physical and psychological effects of the thing that happens to Reese at the beginning of the story.

But I didn't get much else out of it -- conspiracy theories set my teeth on edge and if my science fiction is going to have science-fictional biology, I want a much more detailed explanation.

(Note: if you're the sort of reader who wants to wait for a series to be completely published before reading any of it, definitely wait to read Adaptation -- the story doesn't end with this book and it's clear that there's much more to be told in the sequel, which is supposed to come out next fall.)
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
Pierre L'Errant, once known as Owl, has come to the Otter Lake Reserve on a mysterious errand. He prefers the basement to a comfortable bedroom, won't eat any pancakes, and sleeps all day, but at least he's paying rent. Tiffany Hunter, at least, is very glad that he doesn't want her room after all: with high school, her problematic new boyfriend, and fighting with her father, she's got enough to worry about.

The story follows these two in alternating chapters -- Owl/Pierre as he re-learns the land by night and remembers his long life, spent mostly in exile; Tiffany as her frustrations build to a crisis.

No, (thank goodness,) this is not a love story. Owl/Pierre and Tiffany are not Edward and Bella or Angel and Buffy. Tiffany isn't even particularly interesting to Owl/Pierre. But he does give her something -- maybe the only thing that a supernatural being many times older than an ordinary teenage girl really can properly give her -- memories. Memories of life, of experience that she doesn't yet know and he knows much too well, and of the past that can be important now to her as well. As he says: perspective.

When I first heard about a novel about a Native vampire returning to his homeland for the first time in centuries (thank you, [personal profile] sanguinity!), I was overcome by the potential of such a story. I'd just learned about the rediscovery in the 1970s of an eighteenth-century village at Ozette, and its effects on the Makah people. Ownership of Ozette dig resulted in the archaeological confirmation of oral history, evidence that won a legal case, a renaissance of Makah traditional culture and language. I heard about The Night Wanderer and imagined that the artefacts of Ozette could literally talk: the oldest elder ever whose memory went back before contact with Europeans, who could tell everything, who could soothe some hurts with his memories, who could himself be healed by the end of his exile.

I forgot that vampires are not just immortal: they're also monsters who drink human blood. And this is a Gothic novel. So Pierre has, over the centuries, stopped caring very much about individual people, and he's much too scary to make his age and identity known. He's seeking healing for himself, but he doesn't intend to offer it to others -- he might end up killing them instead. It's in spite of his monstrousness that he gives what he does: a longed-for Anishinabe word in the sleeping ear of an old woman; a story for Tiffany; and, also for Tiffany, a material connection to their past.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun (TW for discussion of sexual abuse in TSS).

I know her Inheritance trilogy has a fair number of readers, but I'm sad there isn't as much discussion of this series!
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
Patternmaster is the last book in this series by internal chronology, but it was the first published -- in fact, Butler's first published novel -- and it shows.

There is actually a fifth book in this series, Survivor, but it's never been reprinted because Butler decided it wasn't good enough. She described it as her Star Trek novel.

...Patternmaster is her Darkover novel. The kind without lesbian separatists.

Cut for length )
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
At first I expected Clay's Ark to have more ... human interest? for me than Mind of My Mind.

Both novels concern a sort of new development for humanity -- Mind of My Mind has people with psychic abilities who are gaining power by working as a group, and Clay's Ark has an isolated set of people infected by an alien disease which changes them completely. All of the major characters in Mind of My Mind were part of the in-group of psychics; there was no real voice for the ordinary humans whom the psychics were able to use and prey on. I think this had a purpose in the novel, but one of the effects was to make it cold -- the psychic characters are difficult to sympathize with.

More than half of Clay's Ark is told from the perspective of three people who are kidnapped by the disease carriers. The disease, like a souped-up Selfish Gene, changes its victims' behavior and thoughts, driving them to infect other people so that the disease can survive and spread. The carriers remain in some control of themselves, able to choose to stay in an isolated ranch instead of going into a city and infecting a vast population, but most of their decisions do revolve around the propagation of the disease, making them selfish in ways similar to the psychics of Mind of My Mind. So, the three kidnapped people, not yet changed by the disease, are able to struggle against it and speak loudly about the problems it will cause for humanity.

I thought that these viewpoint characters would give the book a warmer, easier feeling -- a heartier and more obvious sense of moral indignation, maybe. But they don't. Cut for length )
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
Mind of My Mind is set roughly in the present (that is, the present of 1977 when it was first published) and is the story of Mary, the greatest success of Doro's program of breeding humans with psionic abilities. Through Mary, some of Doro's people gain unprecedented power.

What prevented me from finding Mind of My Mind actually fun -- the coldly unsympathetic nature of all of its characters -- is also something that makes it excellent speculative fiction.

Mind of My Mind is told entirely from the perspective of Mary, some other psychic people who are close to her, and Doro. None of the characters are people without psionic ability. Doro (whom I described in my review of Wild Seed) is an immortal mass murderer with no conscience. The other viewpoint characters are all psychic -- they can read other people's minds, project their thoughts, and manipulate other people with their psychic power. All of them have grown up using those powers to get what they want and need. Some are nicer than others, but all of them are manipulative and have preyed on people who are defenseless against them.

Butler designed these people -- the Patternists, as they come to call themselves -- so that it would be almost impossible for them to exist without abusing ordinary humans. Cut for length )

Profile

50books_poc: (Default)
Writers of Color 50 Books Challenge

August 2017

S M T W T F S
   12345
67891011 12
1314 1516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 16th, 2017 09:32 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios