[LMB] Why we need Bujold

Heather Harper harpingheather at gmail.com
Tue Sep 17 19:38:20 BST 2013


On Sep 17, 2013 2:10 PM, "John Lennard" <john.c.lennard at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Heather raises various objections to Peter F. Hamilton and *Great North
> Road*.
>
> John: Um, I wouldn't disagree about Hamilton being a male writer in most
of
> the sense you mean, but I don't think casting him as Mr Cook's dreamboy is
> altogether fair. In earlier novels he has a pretty interesting range of
> female characters, and though you're certainly right that he hasn't done
> anything much with reproductive technology as such, he's done quite a lot
> with other kinds of imaginary tech..
>
> More to the point, though, is that he certainly *hasn't* conformed to the
> sort of genre boundaries that any kind of SF purist wants. In his earliest
> stuff, the Greg Mandel novels, scientifically-sort-of-grounded telepathic
> talents are fairly central, and the Night's Dawn trilogy is IMO middlin'
> extraordinary, not least in its generic engineering -- space opera, plague
> novel, zombie novel, quest story, technosublime, religious fantasy, and
> philosophical-theological argument about dualism and trialism, all melded
> on high octane. Not Mr Cook's recipe, at all.
>
> IMO he then dipped, rather, though I like *Fallen Dragon* and the
character
> of Paula Myo is interesting. But I thought *Great North Road* was
something
> of a return to (admittedly male) form.
>
> There's only one Lois, but Hamilton does know that humanity has "more than
> one viewpoint", even if his others aren't female or biological after her
> fashion.

I'm sorry, maybe I should have said I found the book very male. Though what
I remember of "Fallen Dragon" doesn't contradict my point. But I wasn't
writing to condemn Mr. Hamilton nor did I cast him as Mr. Cook's dreamboy.
I just said that his writing (admittedly of one book) seemed  like the kind
that Cook's type praises and considers "true science fiction" and noted the
very male treatment of the women characters. It's a good book in most other
respects but listening to it as a woman, I felt a distinct lack of
personhood in the women, who seem to have to be beautiful, connected to a
main male character or both to matter.


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