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January 17th, 2010

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09:51 am - Take Back the Sci-Fi followup
*waves hello* I was the moderator for last night's Take Back the Sci-Fi panel. I'd like to that everyone again for coming - having a full room on Saturday evening for a topic like this speaks so well of fandom's willingness to engage in discussion on difficult topics as seen through the lens of genre fiction!

I promised a reading list. This one was generated last year, and it doesn't include all of the books mentioned last night, because I don't remember all of the books my fellow panelists brought up (I'd been on the go since 11am; it's a wonder I was coherent!).

There was also a question about YA fiction and about books from the perpetrator's POV. Inexcusable, by Chris Lynch, is a book that fits both of those categories; I think it handles it well. My list of YA books about rape and sexual assault is at home; I'll post it next week.

Brochures for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center are on the freebie tables. And I talked about our 5K fundraiser last night - get more info here. You can register to walk with me on Tam Venture, or sponsor me!

Things I Wrote
I can't say for myself whether I handled things well or poorly; I'm fundamentally biased! But I have writted about the aftermath of sexual assault, in my story in Ravens in the Library and in "The Angel of Fremont Street"; the latter, though it's mostly about recovery, does have a bit about the rape itself, so be warned.

Doing it Right
* Mary Doria Russell - The Sparrow
* Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series - the handling of Elena Bothari's parentage, and how both of her parents deal with it.
* I'm almost through Cyteen by CJ Cherryh, and so far, so good.
* The Stepsister Scheme - Jim Hines
* The Rifters series by Peter Watts is appropriately complex; there are parts that are way triggery, but he portrays emotional aftermath well, particularly in Starfish.
* Identity Crisis - my husband disagrees, saying "they raped her and killed her!", but I pointed out that the rape happens years before the murder, and I like the way her friends react; I find that as realistic as you get in a superhero comic.

Doing it Oh So Wrong
* Anything ever by Stephen R. Donaldson.
* Anything ever by John Ringo (OH JOHN RINGO NO.)
* The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop.
* Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel
* Red Sonja
* The entire series and concept of Gor
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike's attempted rape of Buffy is terrible and well-filmed, but - then she goes right back to trusting him fully? Even her friends think thats fucked up. And Buffy's sexual assault of Spike when she's invisible is portrayed as sexy - if the genders had been reversed there, everyone would've called that scene rape. SRSLY.
* The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Alan Moore. Yeah, I like it that the Invisible Man pays for him crimes, but not like that!
* Oh Zeus No!
* The threat of rape in Firefly. He could've threatened any number of things, including blowing up the engine, but he went straight to rape. Lazy writing.

Things I Have Not Read (but got a thumbs-up from the audience
* Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs
* Poison Sleep - TA Pratt
* DeGrassi: The Next Generation

Things I Have Not Read (but got a thumbs-down from the audience)
* Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan (17 rapes. Yes, you read that right. And it's YA.)
* Melusine - Sarah Monette
* A Companion to Wolves - Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. (got a chorus of ugh!s.)
* The Fionavar Tapestry books - Guy Gavriel Kay
* The Cross-Time Engineer series - Leo Frankowski (apparently particularly heinous.)
* Hominids - Robert Sawyer (several people threw this across the room.)
* Peach Girl
* The Pern books by Anne McCaffrey
* Darkland - Liz Williams
* Friday - Heinlein

Mixed or Unknown
* Deerskin - Robin McKinley
* The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon
* Dollhouse is mixed so far.
* Omaha the Cat Dancer
* Hepcats
* Watchmen. The comic is more nuanced than the movie, and you can see more of Sally Jupiter's recovery process. At the same time, this is case in point of "let's show that this character's a bad dude by having him rape someone." At the same time, you see The Comedian's process, too, in how he deals with Laurie. All of this is flattened and made one-note in the movie, unfortunately, and the rape is far more brutal than in the comic.

(11 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 18th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for a terrific panel and the recommendations :-)
[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
I have some patchy information of titles and authors from the panel (I think; there might be some from the earlier panel on general trauma included in this list, or random other panels I was at which I didn't distinguish). Unfortunately, I fail at note-taking skills, so I neglected to mention why they were mentioned. If anyone else who was at either of these panels can fill in the gaps in my information (or correct errors), I'm sure it would be appreciated =).

The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asario

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

The Truth Teller by Faith Hunter (also mentioned was Skinwalker, by the same author)

In Fury Born by David Webber

Jim Butcher (Dresden Files?) also got mentioned.

[User Picture]
Date:January 20th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
Well, that helps confirm that the list I thought I took from this panel was in fact from this panel. Here are my brief notes on books where the author handled rape/sexual assault/trauma right (I did not write down books where it was done wrong):

Quantum Rose

The Dome, by Stephen King

something by Jim Butcher (not Skinwalker, some other book)

The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkel Riley

The Alchemy of Stone by Katerina Sidia (?)

Expanded Horizons magazine (although I have no idea what about it specifically)

David Weber's In Fury Born and The Dresden Files

I thought it was a really good panel, and I'm glad to see the list from last year - I was curious about the Rifters novels, but didn't ask.

My recollection of Deerskin is that the rape was handled well, but I read the book at least 15 years ago, when I was a teenager, so I can't say for sure. It definitely disturbed me, perhaps because it did seem realistic, and I remember bits of that scene and what followed in ways I don't remember the rape in Donaldson's atrocious novel (I really only remember that I hated Donaldson's book/chief character, and I also read that as a teen). I have reread a number of McKinley's books, but I have had a hard time picking up Deerskin again.
[User Picture]
Date:January 20th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Oh, the Rifters books could fill a panel all on their own. There's a lot to unpack in there.
[User Picture]
Date:January 20th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)

I just read them a couple of weeks ago and I still feel a little o.O

That could be an awesome panel.
[User Picture]
Date:January 20th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Hey, we could suggest it for next year. (But I don't think we could get Peter Watts as a guest, considering what happened last time he crossed the border!)
[User Picture]
Date:January 20th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
I adore the Rifters books, but if there's a panel about his works, I don't see how it could have any title other than, "Now that's just really fucked up: A look at the works of Peter Watts."
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
something by Jim Butcher (not Skinwalker, some other book)

The panelist (I think it was Mr. Hill?) mentioned the Dresden Files series as handling a "metaphorical rape" very well (I happen to agree). He said he started Butcher's other series, Codex Alera, and it looked promising as well.

There is an urban fantasy series called "Skinwalker," but it's not by Butcher; I think the panelist was referring to the most recent Dresden Files book, which involved a skinwalker and was generally failtastic about Native American cultures.
Date:January 20th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)

Thanks for posting this...

I was not able to attend this session, so I appreciate having the info.!


Suzanne :-)
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
I just want to say how much I loved this panel. It's a subject that's been bothering me more and more lately (add me to the list of people who threw Hominids across the room), and I was glad to find some thoughtful discussion of it.
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

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