I’m starting The Contortionist’s Handbook, by Craig Clevenger: I added this to the TBR and forgot that I’d already started on it years back, then abandoned it. I guess that counts as ‘currently reading’. The theme reminds me of Kate Millet’s ‘The Loony-Bin Trip‘ – the awareness that once you’re in the position of having to ‘prove’ sanity, or any other accusation/diagnosis with a circular argument – cf. alcoholism — then you’re pretty much fucked, that power is always going to be abused due to the nature of those who seek power in the first place.
Oh, The Loony-Bin Trip, what a wonderful book. A bit eye-watering regarding sexual imagery, though – sissies might need a quiet lie-down and a stiff g’n’t. Ride ’em, cowboy!
Alex Ankarr is on page 228 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF:
Finished Ellen Klages’ ‘Time Gypsy’, and for once the critics are right – pretty awesome. The MCs are really likeable, their gradually developing romance is touching and believable. (I say gradually, but – well, read it and find out.) The actual sex is a little clunky and clichéd – I said clichéd, people, not cliché, that’s right – but the romance is lovely.
But it’s not just a lovely lesbian romance with a little skipping up and down the decades thrown in. For a short story, it packs a lot of serious ideas and musings in there. How far the LGBTQ movement has come – and how far it hasn’t – in a few short decades. About time travel as a tool for plagiarism and stealing credit for other people’s ideas. About normalisation and minimisation of abuse of ‘other’ed and excluded groups. About the struggle of women to forge a place in the groves of academe, to be heard, to hack out a route through the hazing and silencing and double standards. About co-operation, solidarity, true friendship and fake collegiality.
It’s about time-travel itself, though, don’t forget that. And purely as a time-travel romp, it’s a ton of fun and lifts the heart, is joyful despite the seriousness of much of what’s discussed. If you love time-travel or you love (gay) love, this is a yes, this is a rec.
Image – public domain, photo by Bernard Spragg NZ of an artwork Passing Time by Auckland-based sculptor Anton Parsons.
Alex Ankarr is on page 214 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: The reviews are accurate for Ellen Klages’ ‘Time Gypsy’, at least – so far it’s trememendous!
(I did catch the neologistic typo before pressing ‘publish’. But I liked it, so there you go! It is trememendous!)
Yeah! Let’s! Admittedly, these chicks may be talking about the adorable joey. What a cutie! But I like to think they’re obediently conforming to the dominant paradigm and submitting to externally imposed peer-group demands, just the same.
Anyway, I’ve got into a new writer! Isn’t it always so terrific to discover somebody new-to-you, and plunge into their work, to experience a whole new way of looking at the world?
Yeah. It’s Alison Bechdel. YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF HER. I’m always a little late to the party, every time.
Really, this is the point where I ought to play at being Cooler out of Flaked. “Dennis! Your little pop-up off-licence is called Dennis Wines! Like you! Isn’t that amazing!”
Eh lol. Shoulda done that. “Hey, Ms Bechdel! There’s this thing called the Bechdel test – and I understand you’ve actually discussed it quite often! And you’re called Bechdel! Synchronicity, wow!”
Well, I haven’t read much of her work so far – really only her section in Best American Comics 2008, and nothing else in it either. But that’s the best time with a new artist: when they have a massive (throbbing?) body of work, and you’ve barely dipped your toes in the water.
Now, just to make sure: BOYS! KISSING! BOYS! KISSING!
Never wanted to pass a test that wouldn’t have me, anyway.
Image – State Library of New South Wales, no known copyright restrictions.
27.76% “Finished ‘Try And Change The Past’ by Fritz Leiber. Clever and nothing else, really – not enough for me to seek out the rest of his work.”
26.29% “Finished ‘Darwin’s Suitcase’ by Elisabeth Malartre. Good, but suffered a little by following immediately on Sheila Crosby, by comparison. It’s clever, certainly, but that’s about the minimum you expect from a pro time-travel story. Compared to the best stories in this collection – Sheila Crosby and Sean McMullen, so far – clever isn’t quite enough.
Still a good story, an important theme, and worth reccing.”
“Finished ‘Scream Quietly’ by Sheila Crosby, and it was truly amazing. Beautiful period feel, authentic with a touch of grim humor. Characterful, idiosyncratic prose, and a gently amusing basic premise despite the hateful abusive environment. I did muse ‘wow, men really are pigs’, at points. Not gonna bother #notallmen-ing. Not all ‘rahrahtehladies!’ either.
Fab story, total rec, a highpoint thus far.”