I haven't been feeling great this past week, and I've been kind of down, so yesterday I took the day off and just spent all day at home reading. It's been a long time since I've done something like that.
The book I read was Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. It's a science fiction novel that's getting a lot of attention lately and that is because it's really, really good. One of the extremely cool things about it is that the main character comes from a culture that doesn't indicate gender in any cultural or linguistic way, and the default way to refer to any person is "she" even if they're male. It sounds like it would be hard to follow, but it actually isn't. It reminded me a bit of when I was sixteen and reading The Barbie Murders And Other Stories by John Varley, which takes place on a far future moon colony where people switch gender and appearance like we switch shoes, where at first it's cool but very strange, and then you quickly get the hang of it and it's just really cool. And the story in Ancillary Justice is very compelling and I was glad to have the time to read most of it nearly straight through. Anyway, I would highly recommend it.
A couple of links:
* Silent Technical Privilege by Philip Guo
Okay that entire paragraph was a lie. Did you believe me? If so, why? Was it because I looked like a kid programming whiz?
* I wrote a story with a traditionally masculine character named Rachael by Teresa Frohock
I read those qualities and thought to myself: My God, he has just described Rachael. Although readers didn't see it in Miserere, Rachael does tend to drink too much and though she doesn't womanize, she does the female equivalent and has had several lovers. We won't delve too deeply into those aspects of her character here. Instead, I want to talk about her nobler qualities--those aspects of her character that are "traditionally masculine."
January 12th, 2014