More Sheri Tepper (was Re: Good Haul)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Sun Jul 15 03:36:29 EDT 2001

On Thu, 28 Jun 2001 19:16:54 +0100, Dorian E. Gray wrote:

>Melissa said...
>> She has wonderful stories and good mysterious plots; she usually begins
>> books with a strange, unexplained scene that sets up the main question the
>> reader gets to puzzle out as the story progresses.
>As I said in my previous post, I have enjoyed some of her books.  It was
>"Beauty" that really put me off her.

I know.  I love some of her books and hate others.  I can't remember now if
I said that I didn't even finish _Singer to the Sea_.  The thing is, even
the books that I'm put off by have good plots and interesting mysteries, and
I would like to like them better.  But the didacticism (as I see it) makes
that hard.

>> Her alien worlds
>> intrigue me.  _Gate to Women's Country_ is also one of my favorite kind of
>> books (post-global-disaster novel)
>Oh dear.  Another black mark in my view; I really don't much like
>post-apocalypse stories. 

I don't know how much this one would bother you.  It's post-apocalyptic in
the long-term sense rather than the immediate sense: it's dealing not with
the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe, but with a society that arose
afterward for which the disaster is ancient and mostly-forgotten history.  I
like both kinds if they're well done, but I dislike when they're
precautionary tales (more preaching, eh?).  I think what I'm interested in
is, for the first, a good survival story, and for the second, the way in
which our world is remembered after it's become a myth.  _A Canticle for
Leibowitz_ is one of these, also _This Time of Darkness_ (one of my
favorites) and I'm sure there are others, but it's 1:30 a.m.

> Though it can't be as bad as one I read recently,
>where the author hadn't bothered to work out properly *why* civilisation had
>collapsed, and a lot of it read like an environmentalist tract (I'm Green,
>but, as you've probably gathered by now, I dislike preaching, whether I
>agree with the subject or not). 

Me too.  I especially dislike preaching about a topic I agree with, because
such preaching tends to minimize any logical points the other side might
have.  Just because I have an opinion that I strongly believe in doesn't
mean that other people are stupid for not believing it.  And I just don't
like being nagged, period.

Anyway, I have no idea what you'd think about _Gate to Women's Country_.
All I can say is, it was very moving to me originally, and most of it is
still very good, but now I see more flaws than I used to.

Melissa Proffitt
(digging through lots of email I never had time to respond to)

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