More Sheri Tepper (was Re: Good Haul)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Thu Jun 28 14:16:54 EDT 2001

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.

> 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.  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).  The author also committed the cardinal sin
of setting half the book in Ireland, but having no apparent knowledge of
this country!  Bad enough saying that Glendalough is west of Rosslare (well,
it is, slightly - but also about 100 miles north!), but when she put a
thriving steel industry in Limerick I nearly threw the book across the room
(Ireland has sod-all coal or iron deposits, and the story clearly stated
that the island was self-sufficient).


> Her later works in particular have this rigid worldview that doesn't leave
> lot of room for dissent.  There are a lot of men who are just Evil or
> and sometimes both.  Women in general are more intelligent, more feeling,
> more capable of humanity than men in general.

Oh dear.  I find that kind of thing terribly tiresome.  A similar problem
bothers me in Elizabeth Hand's "Waking the Moon", where she depicts a really
horrible type of Paganism and, though she doesn't go quite as far as to say
that *this is what Paganism is like*, she comes disturbingly close to it.
She also uses this version of Paganism to demonise feminism.  A most
uncomfortable book, but I do like it, even though I disagree with a lot of
what she presents.  Odd, that.  I think it's partly because the *story* is
so damn good, and partly because she never quite crosses that line into

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I feel that if a character cannot communicate, the very least he can do is
to shut up!"
--Tom Lehrer

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