melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-06-20 11:03 pm
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FMK #15: LGBT& Content

Last week's F winner was Journey to the Center of the Earth! K was Malevil, which means another giant tome I no longer have to shelve, yay.

I am still behind on reviewing stuff because I had Six Wakes and All Systems Red and A Close and Common Orbit all in at the library, plus All The Sedoretu, and sometimes you just have to priortize?

But in honor of the Tiptree anthology I picked up for the sedoretu story in it (and Pride), this week's theme is LGBT& content! (Most of these are Tiptree or Gaylactic Spectrum finalists, in fact.)
How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll #18514 FMK #15: LGBT Content
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 45

Carnival by Elizabeth Bear (2006)

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14 (51.9%)

4 (14.8%)

9 (33.3%)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (2000)

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13 (40.6%)

14 (43.8%)

5 (15.6%)

A Distant Soil Vol. 2 by Colleen Doran (1998)

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11 (61.1%)

4 (22.2%)

3 (16.7%)

Tiptree Anthology 1: Sex, The Future, & Chocolate Chip Cookies ed. Karen Joy Fowler (2004)

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7 (38.9%)

10 (55.6%)

1 (5.6%)

Jumping Off the Planet by David Gerrold (2001)

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5 (27.8%)

6 (33.3%)

7 (38.9%)

Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackeey (1989)

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21 (56.8%)

3 (8.1%)

13 (35.1%)

Melusine by Sarah Monette (2005)

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23 (74.2%)

3 (9.7%)

5 (16.1%)

Namesake by Steve Orlando and Jakub Rebelka (2017)

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5 (35.7%)

6 (42.9%)

3 (21.4%)

Dreamships by Melissa Scott (1992)

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14 (58.3%)

9 (37.5%)

1 (4.2%)

Sign of the Labrys by Margaret St. Clair (1968)

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15 (78.9%)

2 (10.5%)

2 (10.5%)

jain: Dragon (Kazul from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) reading a book and eating chocolate mousse. (domestic dragon)

[personal profile] jain 2017-06-21 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
If/when you read Mélusine, I highly recommend having The Virtu on hand to read directly afterwards. They're really a single novel split into two volumes.
gehayi: (hermione books (lilacsigil))

[personal profile] gehayi 2017-06-21 06:32 am (UTC)(link)
Don't forget the other two books in the series, The Mirador and Cormabis. You really need to read ALL of them.
jain: Dragon (Kazul from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) reading a book and eating chocolate mousse. (domestic dragon)

[personal profile] jain 2017-06-21 10:55 am (UTC)(link)
I actually haven't read the last two books yet. (For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I tend to be bad at completing series.) But when I finished reading Mélusine, I said, "Wait, what? That's not a real ending!" and remained on tenterhooks until the second book got published and I could finish the story, whereas the conclusion of The Virtu was a lot more satisfying.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

[personal profile] rmc28 2017-06-22 02:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I think The Mirador also ends at a natural stopping point.
beatrice_otter: A horserider with a glowing blue sword--from the cover of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword (Blue Sword)

[personal profile] beatrice_otter 2017-06-21 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
The only one of these I've read is "Magic's Pawn" by Mercedes Lackey, and I put "Fuck" because I do think it important to the history of the genre and I did like it as a youth and as a very goody-two-shoes-teenage-girl I got a thrill of delight reading it.* OTOH, like many of Lackey's books it does tend to be message-heavy, and there's a lot better quality fanfic out there. I have a copy of that trilogy for sentimental reasons, and I do think that people should read it because it was important at the time and it is a decent book. But it's not so important or so good as to warrant shelf space on a private library unless you have sentimental attachment or just really love Lackey's writing.

*(My parents didn't have any content rules for reading with me, mostly because they didn't need them; the one time they ever objected was when, at age 12 or so, I brought home a dracula book from the library that I didn't realize at the time was an excuse for horror erotica. But the thing was, I was such a goody-two-shoes that they didn't NEED to set content boundaries for me, because I did it myself.)
katherine: A line of books on a shelf, in greens and browns (books)

[personal profile] katherine 2017-06-21 05:58 am (UTC)(link)
I hope you get to read Sign of the Labrys (or that I get to read about you having read it) because that author's Dolphins of Altair is quite something.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-06-21 06:18 am (UTC)(link)
Have you read Distant Soil volume 1? The art I've seen has looked very pretty.

I'm hoping Magic's Pawn will win because I would enjoy the review. Though Sign of the Labrys may also be amazing. It's the one with the infamous "WOMEN WRITE SCIENCE FICTION?! MUST BE WITH MENSTRUAL BLOOD" blurb, right?

Melusine is split between a narrator I absolutely loved and a narrator I couldn't stand. The one I loved is straight. So this may not be the best pick for this theme.

Kavalier and Clay is very good but would produce a less entertaining review than some others. Marry it.

Melissa Scott's books universally sound great and I universally bounce off them.
Edited 2017-06-21 06:19 (UTC)
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2017-06-21 05:50 pm (UTC)(link)
This is also my experience of Melissa Scott! It's like that great friend whose fandoms you never like.
gehayi: (Default)

[personal profile] gehayi 2017-06-21 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
So far as i know, the LGBT representation in the Gerrold book consists of "a newly lesbian mother who venomously chases [her ex-husband and their three sons] into space." That doesn't sound too positive.
boxofdelights: (Default)

[personal profile] boxofdelights 2017-06-21 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
I voted Marry for Dreamships, but if you decide not to keep it, send it to me!
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2017-06-21 07:08 am (UTC)(link)
I loved Magic's Pawn when I read it, but I think the general consensus is it's one of those books you have to be a teenager to really appreciate (especially a teenager in a time when there was waaaaaaaay less LGBT representation than there is now).
birke: (Default)

[personal profile] birke 2017-06-21 07:32 am (UTC)(link)
I read Magic's Pawn when I was in middle school and I thought it was pretty bad then. I don't remember all the reasons, but I know I thought it was shallow and overdramatic.
Edited 2017-06-21 07:32 (UTC)
copracat: close up of Lance Bass from topless beach photoshoot (an emotion of beauty)

[personal profile] copracat 2017-06-21 02:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Do you know I hardly remember a thing about the Chabon. Mostly the beginning, but the rest of it is faded. My then corner of fandom was all over it at the time, which may have had more to do with how so many of them were in to Comics fandom than anything else.
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 2017-06-21 09:23 pm (UTC)(link)
There is one fantastic element in the book, which has little impact on the plot. The rest is not fantasy. Regardless, I love it so much.
copracat: dreamwidth vera (Default)

[personal profile] copracat 2017-06-22 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
It is definitely a must read then.
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2017-06-21 06:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Sarah Monette is a very specific kind of Id Porn that you're either Hell Yeah, or "oh god, still? More?" So, my feeling is, if you don't like it after 1/3 of the book, you're not going to like it. Her Katherine Addison stuff is a little less... "Oh god, still?" for me.
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)

[personal profile] ellen_fremedon 2017-06-21 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Same. I do like some of her short fiction as Monette, but she's much more disciplined at short lengths.
cypher: (the ground whereon she stands)

[personal profile] cypher 2017-06-21 08:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Such a perfect description. I think I made it all the way through Melusine but it had about 450% as much whumping in it as I actually wanted to read.
cypher: (not easy being chosen)

[personal profile] cypher 2017-06-21 09:04 pm (UTC)(link)
It's been more than two decades since I read any Lackey and I can't remember it very clearly, but the Monette definitely reads like she has an angst bingo card that she's trying to make a blackout on.

To be fair to her, she's also having a really good time rolling around in the worldbuilding with names and calendar intervals and lots of little fiddly things; it's not all about the angsty stuff.
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-06-22 03:04 am (UTC)(link)
That was exactly how I felt. That is, I would have been totally fine with the whump if there was also comfort, but given that was never any ever...
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2017-06-21 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
The wolf-soulbonding one doesn't have so much her characteristic feel, to me, although maybe it's just diluted to below my threshold.
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)

[personal profile] stardreamer 2017-06-21 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
I like A Distant Soil, but it's got some very weird (non-sexual) stuff in there that's not for everyone.

Magic's Pawn is one of the few books that I have actually had tears rolling down my face as I read it -- and I was 30 at the time, not a teenager! But anyone who's ever been an outcast can empathize with bullied!Vanyel, and this book is very important in both canonical and historical terms; I think it may have been the first major fantasy book with an openly gay sympathetic protagonist, and in the 1980s that was a huge risk for the publisher to take. If you read the entire trilogy, he does eventually get some genuine happiness before his tragic end. I still have the entire trilogy, but I don't re-read this one because OMG the angst!
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)

[personal profile] stardreamer 2017-06-22 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
It's funny, but I never think of Herewiss in discussions of gay protagonists. I think it's because the world is so different -- there's literally no such thing as gay or straight in the Middle Kingdoms (because there's no "normal" or "default" for people to be measured against), there's just love. It's like the Platonic ideal of a society with no gender-related prejudice at all.
ambyr: a dark-winged man standing in a doorway over water; his reflection has white wings (watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) (Default)

[personal profile] ambyr 2017-06-23 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I really liked the worldbuilding in Carnival, but I found the romance very, very flat. So Much Angst! So Little Reason For It!

I liked the Doctrine of Labyrinths (Melusine) series enough to read all four books, but as with almost everyone I know I liked it in spite of the protagonist (well, one of the protagonists). Probably there is someone out there who doesn't find Felix tedious, but I haven't yet met them. (I am actually willing to give him something of a pass in Melusine, given recent trauma and whatnot, but it takes him far, far too long to grow up over the course of the series.) Others are right that you really need The Virtu on hand, because it pretty much stops mid-scene.