cereus: Cereus cactus blossom (Cereus)
(this post inspired by this series of posts on my Kemetic blog)

So when we're talking about "representation" in books (and movies and...)

I think that one of the most important types of representation in books for me, personally are desert books.  Even more than trans or disabled characters, for example.

No matter where you are in the United States, the "default paradigm" for stories is very northern temperate forest-based.  Like the whole tolkein and D&D and Arthurian mythos.  And a lot of stuff is built off that mythos.

And you can't just substitute some trees for cactus and have things work either, there's a whole different set of understandings underneath.  For example, the whole idea of Light being purely benevolent and Dark being purely malevolent doesn't work here.  It doesn't map onto reality well at all.  And even the idea of any force being purely malevolent or benevolent starts to become iffy.  Also "purity" is less of a central concept because "pure" things are often not condusive to the flourishing of life and life can use all the help it can get.  Mud isn't always something to wash away, it's something to shelter.

And I think that this stuff is why I latched on to Dune so hard, despite the fact that it is "problematic" as hell and sometimes I want to yell at Frank Herbert through the page..  Because it was also the first book that gave the highest honors to the Kangaroo Rat.

And that is precious.

A (incomplete) list of "Desert Books" -

Bless Me Ultima - Rudolfo Anaya
Territory - Emma Bull
Joshua Tree - Emma Bull (actually a short story)
The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
Dune - Frank Herbert
Song of the Magdalene - Donna Jo Napoli

And I'm coming to think that the Myst series of video games have some of this too.  It's complicated because your adventures take you across many worlds, few of them desert.  But Atrus and Ti'ana both grew up in the desert, more or less.  And a lot of the attitudes and understandings are there.

cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
And then at odd moments she would see in her mind's eye the black dunes, the white ice, the silhouetted figures against a sunset sky.  She would shiver and come to with a sigh.  Ann had already arranged another trip and was gone, this time south to the northernmost arms of great Valles Marineris, to see more unimaginable marvels...
Maya complained about how much Ann was away.  "It's clear that she and Simon have started something and are just out there having a honeymoon while we slave away in here."  That was Maya's way of looking at things, that would be what it would take to make Maya as happy as Ann sounded in her calls.  But Ann was in the canyons - and that was all that was needed to make her sound that way...

This is one quote I really like from Red Mars - I might add more to this same post as I write them up, or give them their own post, whichever is less confusing.

Red Mars is a novel about the first 100 colonists on Mars and how they interact with it and how Mars changes them.  And how they get along with eachother.  And then there's environmentalism, and politics, and a mystery...  It's a very "big" book for the number of pages it has. :)

I really love and respect Ann Clayborne and her love for Mars.
cereus: Sandworm and Fremen from Dune (sandworm)

Remember the NPR “Top 100 SF/F”  list that came out a while back?  That (at least in my opinion, although opinions vary) cane out very white, male, and also boring.  There was a process by which the judges narrowed the selection I don’t fully understand.

Eruthros has gathered nominations for the past two weeks for a list of the top 100 Speculative Fiction works.  It’s very long, so here’s where she’s taking votes to narrow it down to a short list.  Please go vote!  You can also vote with OpenID.

The Poll:
http://eruthros.dreamwidth.org/325707.html

Go vote!

EDIT:  Voting is closed, but the short list should be out sometime soon.

15 authors

Nov. 13th, 2010 03:44 pm
cereus: Sandworm and Fremen from Dune (sandworm)
A Meme courtesy of Cheshire and I think Urocyon as well.

Name 15 authors that have affected you in 15 minutes or less.

Authors Here! )

Anyone who wants to do this can take it and run with it.

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 02:33 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios