Novel Gazing Redux
[On Lois McMaster Bujold…] One of the things I love about Lois’s work is that she is extremely speculative about relationship, family, and reproduction. You cannot separate out the “science fiction plot” and the “family plot” or the “fantasy plot” and the “romance plot,” because they are always, always inextricable. The speculative conceit is never window-dressing, but neither are the human relationships tacked on as an afterthought. The worlds the characters live in are integral to how they relate to each other in families, how they consider building their families in complicated ways–how they have children but also how they form other kin-bonds, which affines receive what kind of loyalty and why.
It’s sometimes hard to realize how ground-breaking some of her books were because they broke so much ground that two houses have been built and torn down for an entirely new gigantic business development in the short time since Lois broke that ground.
I wish I had time to follow up on all the works this series points us towards, but thankfully there’s no tearing hurry to get to it now. This sort of resource, hopefully sitting round for readers to discover for years to come so long as search engines and linkblogs continue to be a thing 1 is exactly what the web was designed to be good at.2 Here’s hoping that the content being written about is still available to read too.3
A terrific resource.
- Until some bright spark at Google or Facebook or Twitter comes up with a more compelling content delivery service that causes everyone to treat the World Wide Web as we do gopherspace nowadays and let all that content disappear from view. ↩
- Writing this, I feel a little guilt at how much of the content posted on Sore Eyes over the last couple of decades is not at present available online, due to my bad habit of saving off archives of content when the site undergoes a change in CMS or hosting service or software platform and my always meaning to get round to re-uploading/reformatting that content for the new service/system/platform but not getting it done. I know I’m a bad citizen of the Web for doing this, but I comfort myself that in the end Sore Eyes is primarily a linklog pointing at the real useful content other people post and hopefully that’s still online even if the pointer to it from Sore Eyes isn’t. In these days of powerful search engines linklogs aren’t really needed any more, and perhaps I’m just in denial about that fact. (I just plain refuse to contemplate the amount of linkrot that afflicts older posts linking to content elsewhere. That’s just too depressing.) ↩
- The question of ebooks and the state of the publishing industry is a topic for another post. ↩