Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
I suppose it further disinclines me to purchase any of her works, but I can't help but think that when we hear about molestation and abuse, our first thought probably shouldn't be "But what about the books!"
I wonder what impact, if any, this is going to have on her legacy. This info about MZB herself being a child molester seems new, but it's been public record for years that she looked the other way or even defended her husband when he was molesting children, and hasn't made too much of an impact.
Does anything skeezy make it into her fiction?
I am now so very glad my story was rejected from the latest Sword and Sorceress.
'Course, once I fired it up I only got 3-4 frames per second, and I'm stil screwing with my four-year-old computer to make it work. (Ironically, I also bought W:TNO since my machine is aging out of the market and I wanted a final fancy-ass title for it.)
In other gaming news, I'm quite interested in Tangiers, a stealth-assassination game that takes its cues from the Surrealists, the Dadaists, and there's probably some Existentialists in there too. It should be out in August with any luck. Here's a trailer.
So trying to pretend that something can be apolitical might just be a hand wave to avoid the issues.
Or a way of saying, "my view on [issue] is the unbiased, neutral, default, correct one, untainted by such pettiness, and people with other views just hold them for political reasons (i.e. not real reasons)".
Or consider TV shows for very small children which try to be as nonthreatening as possible. They are either completely absurd or very tedious for an adult(well, in a majority of cases). Like Teletubbies. And it's still possible to see politics in that.
So trying to pretend that something can be apolitical might just be a hand wave to avoid the issues. Of course in some cases people can turn their senses off, and that should be okay on occasion, but that has to be a very subjective matter. And for an author to try and aim for that must be a finely tuned skill and by necessity be defined by the target audience, which makes it political again.
Beyond trying to remove the more controversial issues in the service of making a romp, I guess an option would be to just try and make the whole thing so abstract that any political issues would be tangential.
I may just have an odd way of seeing these things, but I remember glomping hard onto the politics of Sleepy Hollow as the most interesting thing about it, for example. Erasing politics out of a work is a very, very political act, and sometimes fascinatingly illuminating. Jemisin, I think, isn't really saying that the problem with the book is that it isn't serious - it's that she can see the seams, see where the seriousness had to be taken out to get to 'a-political fun time adventure romp.'
Nice to see the Sunday Book Review giving an SFF author space to review SFF works, though. Thank you Robinson L for sharing the link!
It is ponderous and silly! And it seems to be coasting along at the moment plot and pacing wise, but I've found it entertaining enough. Eva Green is good.
I'm sure most of the general reading population probably isn't bothered by poor handling of intersectionality, and I probably subconsciously overestimate the minority which is because just about everyone I talk about fiction with is to a lesser or greater extent. However, I don't think the minority is so small that when you subtract it from the general reading population, "just about everyone" would be left over.
I guess it's possible that I'm putting too much thought into all this though, and getting overly hung up over choice of wording.
The combination does somehow come across with an unfortunate tone for me, but I'd tend to say patronising rather than presumptuous, and I don't think it's intentional. In context I'm sure the author's genuinely saying "if you're not bothered by that stuff, good on yer, enjoy it". It's just that it provokes the thought that it obviously isn't quite good enough for the author, so what does that say about you?
Anyway, too late to dig out my pragmatics textbooks, so night all. Hope that was relatively lucid, I'm tired.
I tend to assume that (poorly handled) intersectionality issues in fiction aren't a sticking point for most people, actually. For most of the people whose discussions of fiction I encounter/engage with? Sure. But not necessarily for the general (reading) population.
(I guess when someone says X "should be more than enough for just about everyone," I tend to assume they're including themselves in that statement, which is also pat of why I found the juxtaposition of this line with the assertion that the story is "surprisingly unengaging" so baffling.)
My presumption would be that the intersectionality issues are likely to be a sticking point for more than "just about everyone," but I guess maybe I'm just splitting hairs over word choice.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "presumptuous", though, Robinson: is that in reference to the "[that should be enough for] just about everyone" bit?
Which is fine, for readers who aren’t especially interested in engaging with those complexities. In that case, the story is exactly what it says on the tin: a rollicking adventure in which women wearing unnerving amounts of underwear tromp through jungles on dragon-hunting safaris. Really, that should be more than enough for just about everyone.
... Which to this ignorant white guy sounds just a little bit presumptuous (but, again, the key words are the two adjectives and the noun), and doesn't quite seem to jive with the "surprisingly unengaging" description.
DON'T HUG ME I'M SCARED ARE DOING A KICKSTARTER
I'm so excited...
Ibmiller: I wasn't paying that close attention when I was watching Warm Bodies, to be honest. Or are you talking about the book/short story the film is based upon?
Sorry, I was talking about the book, haven't seen the movie. I've heard a little from fans of the book about the movie as an adaptation - opinion seems to be divided over whether it's a decent reinterpretation or a horrible travesty.
There was this bit when they go see Nyarlathotep:
“No kidding.” The man’s voice turned flat. “Looks just like the last one. Where do you dig these women up?”
The loop-de-loop in my stomach flipped into a nose dive and I jerked, ripping my hand from Riley’s. He looked at me, startled. I quickly straightened my sweater, afraid to look him in the eye. “The last one?” I mumbled, my heart thudding in my ears.
“It was long ago,” Riley said stiffly. “And a grave error.”
I want to know how many times this has happened before, because now I'm imagining a Strahd-like situation.