Yes, yes I know I’m picking on an article from fucking 2009, and I will give that Daniel Hemmens may or may not still hold these views strongly, whatever. But let’s pick on a white dude anyway! Nothing personal, Dan. You were just the springboard.
Around the time Kristin Cashore’s book was still new and shit (didn’t get less shit since, though) Daniel Hemmens of Ferretbrain wrote about it in glowing terms.
On the other hand part of the reason for this is that Cashore spends no time whatsoever trying to make Katsa attractive to straight men. There’s little or no description of her naked body glistening in the moonlight, or of her bending over to present her buttocks for chastisement.
Katsa is a sublimely realised female character. So sublimely realised that I can’t really relate to her. The experiences that shape her are not my experiences. The issues that concern her are not my concerns. The qualities I look for in a female fantasy figure are not qualities the text shows any interest in. My fantasies are not what the book cares about fulfilling. Katsa is not for me and the fact that I even expected that she should be is evidence of how profoundly important this book actually is.
The thrust of Hemmens’ argument is that the book is Awesome Feminist Literature because it doesn’t concern him, a man, or the male gaze, or care about him as the reader, therefore it is alien and new and stupefying to him.
To which I can only ask, Dan: in 2009 had you never read a single book by a feminist, ever? Hell, let’s be charitable: maybe he meant this was the first ever fantasy or SF book he read that didn’t pander to him as a man?
So not Butler? Not Hopkinson? Hell, I’ll make this easier on him: not even big-name white women? Not le Guin, Russ, Valente, Vinge?
Not a single one?
Really? Those aren’t obscure authors, you know.
Posted by acrackedmoon on February 25, 2013
Next up! A list of anticipated SFF titles at Kirkus Reviews.
People actually read this shit and think it’s good. As far as I know, Patricia Briggs appropriates the everloving fuck out of First Nations cultures–hey, those earrings and probably those tattoos on a woman who otherwise looks totally white–and the books are endless rape-a-thon garbage with internalized misogyny, alpha males, and the whole lot (victim-blaming, rapist logic and so on), all typical of the genre. Yes, I know the protagonist is supposed to be biracial, but the author is white and from critiques I’ve read Briggs’ portrayal of Native culture is pretty much along the line of “white girl puts on a feather headdress for Halloween.” Verdict: recycle the paper, it’s not good for much else.
Posted by acrackedmoon on December 31, 2012
It’s the end of the year and a bunch of genre blogs and websites are doing their unpaid marketing drone bit probably in the hope they’ll get free books and some scraps of attention from publishers or authors. First we have Fantasy Faction’s Top 10 Anticipated Fantasy Books for 2013, a list populated almost entirely by white men from a website catering specifically to neckbeards.
Remember this Liz B review of Theft of Swords? Remember “a chivalrous knight of archaic dimensions”? Yeah, same author, formerly self-published and perpetually redditor Michael J Sullivan. I haven’t read the synopsis and have no idea what this book is about, but going by the cover I’d guess it’s generic as fuck and going by the author’s previous works it is probably about as progressive gender-wise as a Conan story. Verdict: unreadable shit.
Posted by acrackedmoon on December 28, 2012