Tepper / Feminism / Which books different people like by an author / etc.

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Tue Jul 3 12:48:43 EDT 2001

Well, it's time for me to step in again with a different opinion to most people
on the list!

Let's start with Tepper and Feminism.

I agree that Gate to Women's Country is a feminist book.  But, interestingly,
its feminist stance didn't bother me.  Even though I don't much like this sort
of stance-taking...

Gate seems to me to be about (inter alia) the concept of "male aggression" that
some feminists used to shout about a lot a few years ago.  I don't agree with
most of the doctrines that such feminists preached, but if they were true, Gate
provides a very good treatment.  (Minor spoiler)  By the time the reader is told
what is actually going on, I had almost decided (in my
think-myself-into-the-situation persona) to apply for citizenship of Women's
Country...  Perhaps this is a feminist book for men?

I found the feminism in "A Plague of Angels" much more bothersome.  It probably
wasn't as bad, but it was just stated and left there - it had no real relevance
to the story, and I felt something like "Why are you introducing that?"

Now, Beauty.  I'm surprised that so many of you dislike it.  I've only read it
once, but it's on my mental list of books to buy if I find it reasonably cheap.
If there is feminism in there, it is mainly of the egalitarian sort, to which I
have less than no objection.  There are unpleasant male characters, but why
shouldn't there be?  I don't see why authors should balance things so that there
are unpleasant females to balance unpleasant males, heroic females to balance
heroic males, etc.!  Real life isn't like that.  You get all sorts of
characters, of all sorts of sexes, and seldom achieve any neat balance.

That said, Beauty does preach.  It preaches the Green movement's equivalent of
hellfire and damnation.  Now, while I don't think that's a good place to start
preaching, and I wouldn't associate myself with the Green movement (however it's
defined), I am concerned about the environment, and I liked the concept of
linking its destruction with the loss of magic from the world.

(Another minor spoiler)  I also liked the way Tepper managed to work in so many
different traditional fairy tales...

While I think of it, another Tepper book that I liked, even though I disagreed
with its central doctrine, was one (can't remember the title) in which the
inhabitants of a (human) colony let the native creatures do unspeakable things
to them because of a promise of reincarnation as an (immortal) native.  These
natives also turned out to be the larval (not quite right, but can't think of a
better word) form of a creature of which a plague was being suffered on another
colony planet.  Can anyone remember what that was called?

Ob. DWJ:

I also seem to be going out on a limb about which DWJ books I like.  One of my
very favourite books is still Sudden Wild Magic - probably the least-liked DWJ
on this list - while my least favourite DWJ (apart from the ones for much
younger children, like Angus Flint) is Time of the Ghost.  Oh, and Dogsbody was
the first DWJ I read, and I became an instant fan...

Oh well.


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