Books Film

In which I write a longish list of things I’ve read or watched recently, only to make a tiny point

Except for the last one, there’s no particular order to these. The movies/TV shows are all since mid-June, the books & comics go back at least into May, maybe as far as April:

Taking those in order we have protagonists who are: trans/gay (more so in the movie than the comic), female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, and…female. I would have to go back for a proper analysis to be sure, but I suspect many (most?) of them wouldn’t pass a male version of the Bechdel Test.

Which is maybe why early in Rage is a Wolf after yet another douchey male character showed up, a little voice in my head sighed, “I need to read something with some proper dudes in it.” This was quickly followed by a dawning realization. “Oohhh…is this what it’s like for women and minoritized groups who hardly ever see themselves properly represented?”

Yes, I’m well aware this is a dilemma of my own making. It’s not like there’s a shortage of male-centric fiction out there. I just happen to have stumbled into a run of works that are less so, and had that weird little moment of clarity that seemed worth noting.


A pair of books

Chuck Wendig is forever exhorting people to talk up the books they read to help get the word out. I’m not convinced anything I do here will move the needle for anyone, but I guess it can’t hurt. So, in addition to the recaps I’ve been doing the last few years, I’m going to try and surface books every once in a while as I go. So, let’s talk about The Spare Man (Mary Robinette Kowal) and Station Eternity (Mur Lafferty).

If you know your classic Hollywood, one look at The Spare Man’s cover will tell you what to expect — it screams “The Thin Man in Space,” and that’s very much what it is, with a handful of twists to the formula. I think my favorite of these was Gimlet being a service dog instead of just a pet, which adds an interesting layer. It’s a small thing, but I also appreciated the extra bits at the end touching on the science behind some bits in the story. This was the first novel by Mary Robinette I’ve read, but I’ll definitely be checkout out more of her work.

Mur Lafferty, on the other hand, I’ve been following since I first got wind of The Shambling Guide to New York City. Like The Spare Man, Station Eternity is also a murder mystery set in space, though the inspirations there are “Murder She Wrote” and “Babylon 5.” Pretty sure you’re not going to hear a character in either of those shows declare, “FUCKING METAL PRINCESS!” though… They’re calling the book “The Midsolar Murders #1,” so hopefully there will be more coming. Anyway, there are no dogs in it, but there are symbiotes, a sentient space station, rock aliens, a hive mind, and aliens who think humans and their leaky fluids are utterly disgusting. What’s not to like?