OK so here’s the thing I wrote

about the Lieutenant Leary series.

and here are some (much less coherent and professionally formatted) Brain Stuff Reasons why I like this series.

  • Adele is arguably on the autism spectrum (socially awkward, flat affect, physically uncoordinated, super. fucking. intense. about her interests.)
  • This series overall has a thing about the glory/overwhelmingness/awe-inspiring-ness of Knowing Things About The World which I find very relatable in a stimming/hyperfocus way.
  • Trauma and atypical reactions to it– well, maybe not actually atypical, but not things you often see in fiction. Feeling disconnected from your own emotions, long-term numbness, the weird physical feelings you can get from adrenaline.
  • A “sociopathic”/low-empathy character who isn’t a villain.
  • What I was talking about in the second part of this post— characters who don’t just tolerate each other’s disabilities/limitations, but really love everything about each other including those limitations.
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Oh my god I need to take a break from existence

Remember this book series?

So like. The person I saw talking about this was very aware that ths is a gut reaction and not a serious claim, so don’t be mad at them, but I still need to sit down and reconsider my whole existence anyway, because there’s an emotionally abusive character in one of the Imperial Radch books and, get this,

Continue reading “Oh my god I need to take a break from existence”

Things Minty is reading

I finished a book today which was by and large really good, but it’s part of a pattern that kind of bugs me, which is this:

— A teen/young adult character

— starts to question their sexuality

— because they had an established “straight” crush or relationship but now they also have a same-gender crush

— a love triangle ensues in which they have to decide between a male love interest and a female love interest.

I’m all for having more bi characters, and I realize that the most straightforward or obvious way to show that a character is bi is to have them be attracted to two people of different genders, but like.

When you tie it to two individual people (and only two people, with no mention of them being attracted to anyone else), and make the bi character choose between them, it kind of tends to come off like they’re not really bi?

Like, if the bi character “goes back to” their original “straight” love interest, it makes it seem like they’re giving up the chance to explore not being straight.

And if… who am I kidding, the books I’ve seen do this all slant towards the “straight” relationship.* And also the bi character is a girl IDK why I attempted to make this gender-neutral.

Also some of them have the bi girl main character date/kiss/make out with both love interests within the same timeframe, in a way that isn’t quite technically cheating but does sort of skirt around it. And I don’t think straight love triangles tend to do that as much, outside of, like, soap operas? Which is also not great.

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* If the bi character doesn’t decide she was never really in love with the guy, at least. I’ve seen some books do that. And I came away thinking they were implying that the main character was actually a lesbian, so.

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Basically the subtext of this post is that I didn’t like Adaptation by Malinda Lo, and then I just finished another book that did a similar thing, so here I am. Can we just have the bi characters without the love triangles please? Let them break up with their boyfriends and then develop feelings for a girl. There would still be angst. They would still be bi. Please.

Possibly I should question why the idea of someone having equally strong feelings for two people at once bugs me this much, since I’m polyamorous, but really what bugs me is the concept that you have to try out all the people you’re attracted to, but once you’ve done that you can pick just one.

Plus the substitution of sexual attraction and/or romantic crush feelings for actually knowing anything about the person on a basic “do we get along with each other” level.

IDK. I didn’t like Adaptation.

I just finished reading

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan.

(which is free to download at that link!)

Like her other books that I’ve read, it feels a little too short and rushed to me, but it’s SO SWEET OMG. My exact favorite thing is sex scenes that are simultaneously appealing on a sexiness-level, and also make me squee and feel so happy for the characters. On both those levels, this is my favorite of her books so far.

Some spoilery content notes if you don’t want to be surprised:

Continue reading “I just finished reading”

Imperial Radch stuff again

re: “Breq et al are positive female representation in the sense that women can relate to them and they don’t have to deal with sexism, even though they’re not actually women.”

I mean, theoretically, sure? I don’t want to devalue what other people get from these books. People can relate to & interpret & enjoy different things in the same media and that doesn’t make any one interpretation more correct than others.

And men-as-the-default is such a pervasive thing, so yeah, great, let’s undermine that by using feminine pronouns & words as the default instead.

That’s just not a thing that I have emotions about, personally? I don’t have any feelings about these books as female representation etc. I don’t think I’d feel any differently about the books if they just used gender-neutral language instead.

The thing that’s most meaningful for me about Breq is the alienation/”secretly a fake human” thing, like I said before.

About SWTFA

I’ll expand on this later but:

I feel like it was really true to the previous movies, but by being true to the rest of Star Wars, it was really jarringly old-feeling, in some ways. It has a very high-fantasy-ish approach to good and evil, destiny, family heritage, etc. which is just not how most stories– even fantasy nonvels in high-fantasy-ish settings! do those things currently. I had to keep reminging myself, “you’re supposed to take the Force seriously.” IDK.

Book Squee

I got one of the Hammer’s Slammers anthologies as a belated Christmas gift to myself a while ago. I just started reading it, and I guess I can stop having opinions about David Drake’s writing now, because the author of the introduction did such an excellent job.

It’s kind of weird to hear that a lot of people were/are against having too much military in their sci-fi? Like, intellectually, I know that, I just happen to be in the middle of a bunch of pro-military topics people.

Plus, the chunk of the book-spectrum that I typically read actually includes more fantasy than sci-fi of any kind, so (1) I feel like I Should read more hard sci-fi to compensate/fit in better, and (2) people don’t usually get around to criticizing violence in high fantasy, so it’s kind of dissonant. “Ew, the main character Commits Acts of Violence” is an extremely weird critique from the perspective of e.g. Tolkien.

And that’s all beside the fact that David Drake’s books are clearly not positive about war, and only marginally more positive about the military as an institution, either.

Another interesting genre-y thing: apparently Drake started out writing horror. That probably would have been more obvious to me if I ever voluntarily read/watched anything described as horror. (I did sort of realize, with The Seas of Venus.)