Perceptions: Aliette Harkens

OOC: A collection of Alex’s observations and perceptions on various people he’s met over the years.

A stack of papers, tightly bound and securely stored in a small box, can be found in Alex’s bedroom. The papers appear to be a collection notes on various people, scribbled and used at random. For what these notes are is unknown, as their nature seems to be more of a private possession than work-related, and a paper labelled “Aliette Harkens” is among them.

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I feel like I’m getting somewhat spoiled for books.

When I was a teenager I used to read sci fi/fantasy and often the female characters would be non-existent or underdeveloped, there’d be casual sexism/racism/ableism etc., there’d be zero MOGAI characters, it’d always be from a white, western perspective… and that was just how it was.* Putting up with this most of the time was just the price of getting to read a decent amount of spec fic.

But now after a while of reading Zen Cho, Aliette de Bodard, NK Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor** among others, and actively seeking out other non-white-male authors, my expectations have risen dramatically. I’ve gotten a lot more picky about my books.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. Part of me feels like I’m being overly judgemental and missing out when I give up on a good book/series. I mean, everything has its problems, and there’s nothing wrong with liking it despite then. (And there’s nothing more awkward than responding to a rec with ‘actually it made me pretty uncomfortable so I stopped reading’, unless it’s getting that response to a rec.)

But then again, if I have the alternative of reading stuff which has all of the things I liked in the other book AND is written from a perspective which is less limited and same-y and biased and uncomfortable to read - why not?

*Back then my choice was limited by what libraries had, the authors I had heard of, and mostly just not knowing how much better stuff was out there.

**FYI consider this a rec for these authors - they are awesome. Three of them have books coming out this August and I may die trying to read them all simultaneously.

Excuse my glee...

While I was offline, Publishers Weekly singled out SILVER ON THE ROAD (as well as many other fine books, including Aliette de Bodard’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, which if you haven’t pre-ordered you really should) as one of “this fall’s most exciting books.”

Needless to say (but I’m gonna anyway): I’m chuffed.   :-)

“Gilman reworks American history and legend in her first epic fantasy novel since 2012, a richly detailed and eloquent story of magic in the Old West.”

(the on-line version is subscription-only, sadly

Sarkozy engage une lutte «à mort» avec le FN
VIDÉO - Le président des Républicains était en meeting jeudi à Châteaurenard, dans les Bouches-du-Rhône, afin de soutenir Christian Estrosi en vue des régionales de décembre.

Venu à Châteaurenard (Bouches-du-Rhône) pour soutenir Christian Estrosi, le chef de file Les Républicains en Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur pour les élections régionales de décembre prochain, Nicolas Sarkozy, a adopté un ton guerrier, déclarant s'être engagé dans une «bagarre à mort» avec le Front national, et appelant «la majorité silencieuse» à s'exprimer en soutenant les candidats Républicains. «Moi, je ne veux pas voir, au lendemain des régionales, au Sud la petite-fille et au nord la fille. La France, ce n'est pas cela. La République non plus!», s'est exclamé l'ancien président de la République. Il appelle les élus des Bouches-du-Rhône mais surtout du Vaucluse tout proche à l'unité. Car dans ce département, les divisions ont fait perdre Avignon et Orange, a rappelé le président des Républicains. Et la révélation d'un accord secret entre une candidate Rassemblement bleu Marine et le jeune député du Vaucluse, Julien Aubert, entre les deux tours de l'élection législative de 2012, a créé des remous dans le département. Sarkozy a toutefois renouvelé sa confiance à la tête de liste départementale pour les régionales, «un de nos brillants espoirs».

«Quand nous montons sur le ring, nous sommes les seuls à avoir à nous battre sur notre gauche et sur notre extrême droite. Nous devons dénoncer les mensonges des socialistes et la démagogie du FN. Nous n'avons pas les moyens de nous permettre une guerre interne», a-t-il fustigé, rappelant que «la situation du pays est trop grave». Il a rappelé qu'il fallait «gagner au niveau régional comme on l'a réussi au niveau départemental», notant que «quand les électeurs veulent nous donner (…) Lire la suite sur

Régionales: Christian Estrosi gagnerait de peu en Paca 
Le Pontet: Marion Maréchal-Le Pen et Christian Estrosi s'invitent dans la campagne 
Une ex-candidate FN réclame une contrepartie à la droite après son retrait en 2012 
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Review of On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette De Bodard

Review of On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette De Bodard

Literally everything about this cover is horrible. On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette De Bodard. ★★★★ On a Red Station, Drifting is an excellent little science fiction novella. In the far future, a galactic empire is crumbling and Linh is a refugee, fleeing to Prosper Station, run by Mistress Quyen. The two women are very different, and it was interesting to read their opinions of each other.…

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People on File 770 were talking about their favorite science fiction short stories which led me to write this comment:

Can’t guarantee these are my *favorite* five, but here are some that occur to me right now:

“Knapsack Poems” by Eleanor Arnason

“Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler

“The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change” by Kij Johnson –

“In the House of the Seven Librarians” by Ellen Klages –

“Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link

And, listed in shorter form, a few more: “Mono no Aware” by Ken Liu, “Fade to White” by Cat Valente, “Like Daughter” by Tananarive Due, “Immersion” by Aliette deBodard, “Flat Diane” by Daniel Abraham, Maureen McHugh’s “Necropolis”… honestly, I have to stop there because otherwise this is going to be so long. So, so long. (My annual favorites lists tend to be much more even than this in terms of gender, or rather I get the scatter I’d expect where if there’s disparity one year, it tends to even out the next. I wonder if the reason stories mostly by women are on my mind is because I was recently reading for the women destroy SF reprints section.)