mark monday mark's Comments (member since May 20, 2011)

mark's comments from the Sci Fi Aficionados group.

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Oct 08, 2013 11:03AM

48322 John, Mieville is definitely considered new weird.
Brothers in Arms (23 new)
Oct 07, 2013 07:41PM

48322 oh no! really?
Brothers in Arms (23 new)
Oct 06, 2013 06:10PM

48322 hi everyone and welcome to the next installment of the Vorkosigan Saga. this one stars the irrepressible Miles and the equally lively Elli Quinn (last seen in Ethan of Athos, minus Miles). it also features... clones! now who doesn't love clones?
Sep 26, 2013 09:06PM

48322 I just finished the story "Borders of Infinity" - right before its due date. not sure if I will get to "Labyrinth".

sad to say, I thought the superb "Mountains of Mourning" really blew Borders away. Borders is enjoyable enough, I liked it, but I thought the ideas behind it were a lot more interesting than the actual execution. it seemed rushed and the obstacles were all too easily surmounted by genius Miles. still, it was great seeing Miles again after missing him in Ethan of Athos. and those two deaths at the end of the tale were shocking and certainly drove Bujold's point home.
Moderator Thread (236 new)
Sep 26, 2013 12:44PM

48322 I don't mind continuing with the Vorkosigan Saga.
Sep 16, 2013 10:58AM

48322 too many topics to choose from!
48322 I think that is correct. I think! its been confusing.
Sep 11, 2013 08:26PM

48322 I agree
Sep 11, 2013 08:01PM

48322 what formula are you seeing, Banner?
Sep 10, 2013 09:32PM

48322 James Tiptree Jr! man I just love her. her collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever is brilliant.
Sep 10, 2013 07:30PM

48322 he's a great author!
Sep 10, 2013 03:30PM

48322 ever since that bully Eve hit the scene!
48322 a passionate response! I agree that this book doesn't qualify for a group read and I particularly agree with your last paragraph.

however, as far as some of your other points go... because the heroine (1) inexplicably changes gender and (2) changes gender, that sounds to me as if the book actually does have some place - even tangentially - in both fantasy and within a discussion about gender bending? I don't think either are central to the novel's brilliance, but they are both there, to different degrees.

also from Wikipedia:

He falls asleep for a period of days, resistant to all efforts to rouse him. Upon awakening he finds that he has metamorphosed into a woman – the same person, with the same personality and intellect, but in a woman's body.
48322 an amazing classic at that. but yeah, I agree, a fantasy.
Ethan of Athos (18 new)
Sep 09, 2013 05:53PM

48322 very interesting point, Alexa! food for thought.
Ethan of Athos (18 new)
Sep 09, 2013 12:11AM

48322 I just finished this one tonight. sad to say, it is my least favorite so far. I don't think Bujold did too great a job thinking this one through, mainly around what has been discussed in the past few messages.

I sorta wish I had actually read those messages before I wrote my review because I think one of the problems/questions I had is discussed here: even images of women are verboten! so I guess that's why heterosexuals on Athos aren't unhappy? they don't know what they are missing? their heterosexuality then turns into asexuality? is that even possible? that just feels off to me. for a place that is painted in fairly benign terms by Bujold, that is really disturbing. sexuality that is not healthily processed creates emotional disturbance in humans. is this why the Athosians seem so child-like? the novel raises many questions but I don't think that is the point of the novel. which in my opinion makes it a rather weak novel. there is so much going on in the background that doesn't make sense, yet all of the plot is on Kime Station and so it feels to me like Bujold thought of this idea, didn't think it through, and didn't care because that's not what the story is even about.

I do think she is saying that sexuality may be environmentally determined and I'm not sure how I feel about that either. as far as nature vs. nurture goes, I'm definitely on the nature side of things.
48322 ok based on your response, I'm happy to let the nomination stand.

but I have a question: would the lesbianism of the Kephri be something that would lead to a discussion of this particular theme? is it something that is featured in the book, rather than a minor part (like say a minor lesbian character who no one would discuss versus a lesbian protagonist or antagonist). I'm asking because, if so, I may have to revisit the book myself. I have a lot of interest in scifi & fantasy novels that feature cultures and identities that are queer or otherwise outside of the norm.
48322 same here. although I only got about halfway (did not enjoy the book), I don't recall any queer/trans/gender-bending activities going on. when I saw that Perdido was nominated, I assumed that that subject matter must have popped up in the second half which I did not read. I guess that is not the case?

Martyn or Samantha, can you let us know if we are missing something here? because if not, then this book probably should not be considered for this theme.
48322 Mickey, definitely self-contained. as with all the novels of Darkover.
48322 although now that I think about it, I'm not sure I'm into the title of this theme because I don't know if I would actually identify as a "Gender-Bender", and I'm a bi/queer guy. certainly no questions about my gender identity nor any interest in bending it! I guess my issue is with the phrase "Gay, Trans or other Gender-Bender cultures".

however, I also want to make it clear that I know no offense was intended and I have not taken any offense either.

all that said, I'll nominate The Heritage of Hastur by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

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