Links: Saturday, September 28th

September 28, 2013 Links 5

An animated gif of actors performing the Simpsons intro in live action.Simpsons à la real life

  • Personal, Political, Cultural: Parsing the Concept of Author Behavior in Goodreads Policy – When I said “no more Goodreads posts, I swear” I hope none of you believed me. Anytime I say I’m over some sort of drama, I am lying. Besides, this post is excellent.

    Arguably, GR could take the tack … that these are historical actions, and it’s not like the authors are going to be flagging these reviews from the grave (or prison). But let’s take Orson Scott Card. (Take Orson Scott Card! Please!) Paul’s review notes Card’s very active and visible status as an anti-gay crusader. Mr Card has called for the overthrow of the American government, and worked visibly to pass Prop 8 in California. There are boycott movements all over the place for the upcoming film. Noting this isn’t “Card owes me money” or “Card was mean to me on Twitter” but a contextualizing of his work within a political and cultural framework. Orson Scott Card impacts me politically. This isn’t gossip. This is cultural engagement. Of course you don’t have to agree. Of course you can compartmentalize Card’s political beliefs from his work. But the refusal to read Card as a political act is valid too, and it’s a political act that cannot occur without knowledge of the larger context, context provided by reviews such as Paul’s.

  • Rant: The Highest Stakes of All by Sara Craven – I thought this post combined with the below post from Romance Novels for Feminists made for interesting commentary on the “alpha” hero. Willaful talks about how just checking boxes on the caveman score sheet doesn’t necessarily recreate the “old skool” charm.

    Those who know me well know I sometimes like to kick it old skool. But as I read The Highest Stakes of All and skimmed around — because I also like to do that — I started to feel uneasy. There’s “old skool” and then there’s “what the hell is this?” Even for a Sara Craven hero, this guy seemed extra rapey with potential slaver sauce on top — he not only essentially buys the heroine from her father, but he actually threatens to resell her to someone else when he’s done with her. Okay, there’s a line even a dark romance hero should not cross and unapologetically selling people as sex slaves is definitely on the other side of it.

  • The Appeal of the Obsessive Alpha? – Jackie Horne points out that even if you can clone the caveman, they don’t need to be in everything.

    Though I’m sure that marketers would prefer it otherwise, the caretaking fantasy is not the only fantasy in which women indulge. And I for one am not willing to give up the myriad delights of my diverse romantic desires to purchase the same fantasy over and over again. I swoon over many different types of heroes, not only (or in the case of Christian Grey, not at all) over the hyper-obsessive alpha. I may have checked the Crossfire books out of the library, but I’ll be placing putting my book-buying dollars in baskets far more diverse than those containing Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, and their look-alike progeny.

  • Black Gay Romance – A quick look at some early examples of romance featuring the stories of black gay men.

    Regardless of whether or not one thinks of these three novels as “romance” or “romantic fiction” they’re an important part of the history of black and gay romance novels.

  • A Rosie the Riveter original, still on the job at 93 – I just loved this story. Still riveting airplanes 71 years later. /salute

    Remember that cliche ‘Age is just a number?’ Meet Elinor Otto, 93, who gets up at 4 a.m. each morning and drives to the Boeing plant in Long Beach, Calif., where she inserts rivets into the wing sections of C-17 cargo planes. It’s a job she’s been doing at various aircraft assembly plants since 1942.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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5 Responses to “Links: Saturday, September 28th”

  1. willaful

    I’m honored to have made your links. :-) And thanks for continued coverage on the GoodReads situation — I, for one, am not tired of it. I want what they’ve done exposed to the world.

  2. willaful

    Slightly off-topic — when people were proposing boycotting “Ender’s Game” because of Card, I got into some discussions with Facebook friends who are geeks and really wanted to see the movie and not have to feel bad about it. Which I do get, but what came out of the conversations were that they had *no idea* how much Card had actually done with his money, time, and fame to damage the gay rights movement. They thought he was just sort of generically homophobic. So this information *needs to keep getting out there.*

  3. Roslyn Holcomb

    My husband didn’t know what an ass OSC was either Willa until I told him. I haven’t followed the fuckery all that closely, but I was able to give him a broad outline. He was appalled and bewildered as to how someone could write a book that is the exact antithesis of his own belief system. Does make you wonder.

    As for Goodreads, I haven’t been particularly impacted one way or another. I’m a librarian so I can upload my own books, but I don’t use it personally. The social media aspect of it doesn’t appeal as a busy WAHM I prefer to use my limited spare time writing and reading books as opposed to discussing them. Even when I had more time and sometimes read a book a day, I was never interested in talking about them all that much.

    I do find their decision making process a bit odd, especially if it’s spurred by their new overlords, Amazon. Amazon made it clear to me that the customer is always right, when I complained about a review from a reviewer who hadn’t read the book and one-starred it because of the price, so the notion of taking down reviews that badmouth authors makes no sense. Just really odd.

    I’m not particularly fond of the alpha male trope that’s so pervasive in romance these days. And when I do write an alpha type I make sure the heroine is just as strong as he is. Maybe I worked domestic violence too long, but in my mind, an alpha male with a doormat of a heroine is a set-up for a DV charge, not a romance.

  4. Laura Vivanco

    I’m very pleased to have been included in the links too, but I wasn’t sure what the protocol was so I didn’t say anything earlier.

  5. Ridley

    @Laura Vivanco: You’re a regular commenter here (yay! we have regulars!) so it’s not like a comment from you would intimidate anyone and kill discussion. Comment away!