melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-07-25 07:25 pm
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FMK: Discount Armageddon

Poll post coming soon! But first, I have finished Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire!

It was fun! I enjoyed it! The characters were great! Much like the other McGuire I have read, I felt like the more I thought about it, the less there there was there! (I can't think of a single piece of internal evidence other than Verity's word that it took place in Manhattan instead of, like, Columbus, Ohio. The Price-vs.-Covenant thing really doesn't work with the logistics that are set up in the book. Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice. Etc.)

And I did really like the variety of cryptids and the cryptid community, but the "cryptozoologist" thing still bothers me, in that a cryptozoologist is a very specific thing situated in a very specific time and culture - it is not something like "witch" that has enough meanings with enough history you can basically go with whatever - and I would really really love to read an urban fantasy about cryptozoologists - and Verity Price is really really not one. (I mean, you could make a cool backstory about how the Prices and allies adopted the terminology ironically in the 60s to further distinguish themselves from the Covenant - or that Sanderson got himself in WAY over his head with a Price girl at some point and came out very confused, which is a fanfic I would definitely read - but she does not seem to be doing that.)

But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that. (I would also enjoy the fanfic about how Price family sex education includes a unit about how part of their mission is to introduce the urban fantasy community to the idea of "affirmative consent" which it had previously lacked entirely.)

I have Down Among The Sticks and Bones on its way from the library, but I have learned it is NOT about the Skeleton Girl (with that title how is it not about the Skeleton Girl?) so I find I am not that excited about it coming.
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

[personal profile] recessional 2017-07-25 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice.


Ugh tho if I had a nickel for every book that did this kind of thing it would just about match my pile of nickels for every time it's obvious that whatever the character's note happens to be is clearly whatever the author wistfully wishes they were but has no idea what doing As Your Life is actually like.
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

[personal profile] recessional 2017-07-26 01:01 am (UTC)(link)

Uhhhuh.

samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)

[personal profile] samjohnsson 2017-07-26 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
Book...4? is even more about Verity's dancing, and she does spend a lot of time explaining why she loves it so much, and why choosing is so hard.
umadoshi: (InCryptid - Heroic Stand)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-07-26 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
Book 5, but yes, this.
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)

[personal profile] samjohnsson 2017-07-28 12:09 am (UTC)(link)
As far as I remember, yes, she does, several times.
umadoshi: (InCryptid - true love)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-07-26 02:43 am (UTC)(link)
But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that.

This is a thing I appreciate very much about her work. Across the board, she's good about writing consensual sex (the only exception I can think of is a pre-series sexual relationship in Toby Daye about which, IIRC, the books don't go into more detail than necessary to convey that it was, at best, badly unbalanced in terms of power dynamics and fairly skeevy), and she flat-out DOES NOT write rape.

(Has anyone linked you to her post about that? I'll dig it up if you'd like.)

I don't actually know (or maybe don't remember?) which other McGuire you've read, other than Every Heart a Doorway. (I feel like I've asked you that before, so apologies if the info's in my head and just not coming to mind.) Do you know about the InCryptid books shifting between narrators periodically? I love the series, but on a book-by-book basis my feelings vary depending a lot on who's narrating.

I hope you do like Down Among the Sticks and Bones despite the lack of the Skeleton Girl. I was quite fond of it.
fuckyeahseb: an icon with the letters FYS in mint green against a chocolate brown background with a yellow diamond below the letters and then a think stripe of mint green at the bottom (Default)

[personal profile] fuckyeahseb 2017-07-27 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
Please excuse me - where would I look for this post by Seanan about not writing rape? Would it be on her tumblr or somewhere else on the internet?

Thank you in advance for your time!
umadoshi: (Scott Pilgrim SNAP (agirlnextdoor))

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-07-27 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
No problem at all!

It was originally posted to LJ, but since she's using Dreamwidth now, here's the imported-to-Dreamwidth link.
fuckyeahseb: an icon with the letters FYS in mint green against a chocolate brown background with a yellow diamond below the letters and then a think stripe of mint green at the bottom (Default)

[personal profile] fuckyeahseb 2017-07-27 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
I didn't realize she had a DW account and now I feel kind of silly for being surprised.

I appreciate the link - thank you again. ^-^
umadoshi: (Toby - One Salt Sea 01)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-07-27 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
I think she's only technically been using DW for a month or so, but since she imported her LJ, there's a bunch of good stuff over there. ^_^
umadoshi: (InCryptid - Heroic Stand)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-07-28 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
The bit where she pauses sex just to make sure it's 100% consensual was SO GREAT and SO UNEXPECTED and shouldn't have had to be either.

The expectations we've been trained to have are SO SCREWED UP.

I think because it's all about female characters getting raped, but tbh the rape in urban fantasy as a genre tends to me more equal-opportunity

*nodsnods* I don't know if I wish that surprised me more or less. I've read very little male-led urban fantasy.

In context, it makes perfectly good sense that Seanan's post was entirely about female characters, since she hardly ever writes male POV characters. When that post came out, I think the only example was a chunk of Newsflesh that has a male POV; at this point, the only other example is that Verity's brother narrates books 3 and 4 of InCryptid. I still literally forget that she writes dudes at all. (Sorry, Alex.)

I did know that InCryptid jumped around between Verity's relatives in POV! I might try some more if they fall into my hands but I don't think I fell in love hard enough to have to go hunting them down immediately.

FWIW, I think the other female-narrated books are all stronger than the first, if only because the first sets up so much of the worldbuilding. Verity narrates books 1, 2, and 5, and this year book 6 gave us her sister, Antimony, who I adore. (I love both sisters in very different ways. Books 2 and 6 may be my favorites overall.) Next year we get another book with Antimony, and after that...IIRC a few years ago I saw Seanan lay it out up to book 10, but I don't remember exactly how it goes, just that we'll get narrators who aren't from that trio of siblings.

I'm personally very against skipping books in series, but also for the record, if you're more comfortable skipping around: while I like Alex fine and I really enjoyed some of the family things we learn in book 3 (and knowing Seanan's writing, it wouldn't surprise me if things from his books become very important...), I find him dull compared to his sisters and find his books (3 and 4) generally weaker.