Good summer reads

SnakQueer and Trans Lit

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Good summer reads

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1chrisjones
jun 22, 2008, 8:04pm

Since there seems to be a revival in this group, let's see if we can get another topic going. How about recommendations for summer reading. Something light without a lot of angst and good glbt content.

I'd recommend Melissa Scott's and Lisa Barnett's Pointsmen series. Matriarchal culture, interesting gay male protagonist, fun fantasy culture and a mystery thrown in for good measure.

2monarchi
jun 22, 2008, 8:44pm

I had fun with Self Made Man by Norah Vincent, about a cisgendered woman's year-long experiment into living as a man (or at least posing as one most of the time), although I didn't always agree with it.
It's more "fun experiment as an undercover drag king" than "soul-searching memoir of a gender nonconformist," but Vincent does get into how the experience reinforced or changed her (fairly staid) conception of gender roles, and writes some pretty compelling diatribes on what it means to be a man in our society and what's wrong with that picture. What kept me reading, though, wasn't her theories on gender, but her punchy wit and apparent knack for inserting herself into the 'secret lives' of somewhat exclusive groups (What really goes on in a monastery? What keeps shady salesmen going door to door?)

Check out the insightful reviews on the Work page for more.

3constant09
Redigeret: jun 22, 2008, 10:50pm

I never read Eleanor Arnason's Ring of Swords but it kept popping up in your libraries so I tried it. I was surprised by how much I liked it, and I recommend it as an oldie-but-goodie. My feminist/queer speculative fiction tastes have moved on from anything-genre to highly crafted novels. I think this one almost achieved the latter. As a writer, it felt like one of those great tales that starts going somewhere surprising, but then the mind gets too tired to figure out what all to do with it. The best things for me were the protagonist, Anna, one of the only Latina leads I've seen in s/f; the power dynamics in the matriarchal Hwarhath, a humanoid species; and the relationship between the lead man and the male Hwarhath general. For me the missed opportunity was a story confined to the start: Anna's tantalizing efforts as a scientist to communicate with a truly alien aquatic species. Her empathy seemed to me more attuned to this than to becoming a 'Hwarhath expert.' And, oddly, learning to talk in flashes of light to photoreceptive octopi turned out to be more interesting to me, as a queer reader, than cuddling up to a big, furry, hypermasculine/feminist lug of a warlord. Hmmm ... ? If you read it I'd love to hear what worked for you.

4Qwofacenosehead
jun 23, 2008, 1:38am

I'm reading Daniel Heath Justice's final installment of The Way of Thorn and Thunder trilogy, Dreyd. A very intense and incredible ending to his Indigenous-rooted--and very queer--epic fantasy.

5chrisjones
jun 23, 2008, 6:34pm

3: I read Ring of Swords awhile ago now. I really liked it when I read it. I'd been reading and writing a lot of slash (m/m romances using TV characters), and I liked how Arnason used slashy elements while giving the guys a fairly mature relationship. She's done some short stories in that world as well, but I've never felt she really pegged what an all male society would be like.

If you want to pursue highly-crafted genre novels, you might want to try Geoff Ryman's Air. That one has a third-world woman heroine in a near future setting.

2: I agree. It's the portraits of the people Vincent meets that make the book.

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