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July's female (sci-fi and fantasy) month: The Group Read Part 2

2013 Category Challenge

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Jul 1, 2013, 9:09am Top

New month new thread! Just because having June in the title is going to bug me.

I think am going to open up the genre and read non-fiction too this month.. so if it doesn't irk anyone I will be posting them here...

My next read after the fabulous online comic digger http://diggercomic.com/ is
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum. I wouldn't accept a drink from me for a while.. :-)

Jul 1, 2013, 9:20am Top

>1 clfisha: especially not Port....

I'm still in my June read of Deathless but may read spook next, although I have titus groan and don quixote on my July reading list so probably best if I don't put them off for too long....

Jul 1, 2013, 10:29am Top

I have been listening to Rowling's Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix. Loving it so far!

Jul 1, 2013, 10:34am Top

Ooh, enjoy The Poisoner's Handbook!

For female writers, I don't have any SFF on deck this month, but I am reading Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell, and joining the group read of Nine Coaches Waiting, by Mary Stewart. I also have The Laughing Policeman, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, on deck for the July Awards CAT.

Jul 1, 2013, 10:59am Top

Not sure how many reads I will manage that will fit this theme for July. I will be reading The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway, a SF time travel piece that spends part of the time in Regency England.

Thanks for starting the new thread, Claire!

Jul 1, 2013, 11:46am Top

Lori, looking forward to your thoughts on The River of No Return! :) I'm planning to read Sarah Addison Allen's The Girl Who Chased the Moon this month, though it probably doesn't quite qualify as SFF. But there's magic in it, at least!

Jul 1, 2013, 12:06pm Top

Thanks for starting this new thread, Claire, and I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed Digger! I'm hoping to get to volume 3 this month. I've been reading lots of SFF written by women but I'd been away at a work-related conference the past week and unable to write up any reviews. I hope to catch up with my posts, as well as reading everyone else's posts, soon!

Jul 1, 2013, 2:27pm Top

I don't plan my reading, though I do tend to stick to SF/F, but I'm sure I'll read something that fits in here. I'm in the middle of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.

Jul 1, 2013, 10:36pm Top

Yes, thanks for starting the new thread! I've started reading Evil Genius on audio, the rule being I have to be cleaning the house while I listen to it. It's very funny, kind of a variation on the magical school theme, but this school isn't magical. It's science fictional, and all the subjects go by two titles ie Accounting is really Embezzlement. & yes 80 some pages left of Mists. MZB keeps on killing off the only characters I like... and letting Gwen live.

Jul 3, 2013, 10:20am Top

Mists of Avalon Sigh. I'm glad I read it. I'm glad I'm finished with it.

Jul 4, 2013, 8:23pm Top

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.

Jul 4, 2013, 8:49pm Top

Just listened to The Haunting by Margaret Mahy, a children's book that won the Carnegie Medal years ago. This was a reread.

Jul 5, 2013, 6:17am Top

Am reading spook by Mary Roach

Jul 5, 2013, 8:48pm Top

12 I love Margaret Mahy!!! but you already knew that.

Yesterday I finished Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks that could be classified as a YA Contemporary Science Fiction novel. It's part of a series where we follow a boy, Cadel, who is the heir to Phinneas Darkkon, criminal mastermind. We meet him age 7, with negligent adoptive parents, being influenced to do evil by his psychologist. It gets going from there. I prefer Jinks The Reformed Vampire Support Group but this one was lots of fun.

Jul 5, 2013, 8:56pm Top

Btw, I'm at a large (too large) science fiction con this weekend, and am comparing it to all the blogs about cons we've read so far. GoH is female. First panel I attended was 4 men and 1 woman, but the woman wasn't patronized at all. There was a panel on Women British Authors that was sort of meh. One of the panelists had to cancel, and one of the panelists was pinch hitting. I was almost pulled up to the table to join in, but didn't feel like I could do it unprepared. I'll give you the list of people mentioned though when I get a chance. Personally, I think our proximity to WisCon and Diversicon may have made all Minnesota Cons more feminist than most... but there is a panel on "How to talk to women at a Con" and another one with a similar title on dating, and a gender neutral panel on "Geek Dating." I'm not sure whether the "How to talk to..." is facetious or not? Sadly, I don't have time to go see.

Edited: Jul 8, 2013, 5:19am Top

Did you have fun?

I have to say I find "How to talk to women at a Con" quite offensive unless there is just 1 speaker there who just says: "like a human being" & they close the talk ;-)

oh & reading The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya now..

Jul 8, 2013, 5:53am Top

>15 cammykitty: & 16 a good yardstick is to change the word woman to "Black person" to see if statements are offensive....

Jul 8, 2013, 7:49am Top

>15 cammykitty:: The panel title, "How to talk to women at a con", sounds positively strange. It's interesting to hear your thoughts. I've never been to a con, but I'm planning to attend FanExpo in Toronto in August.

I just finished Chicks Dig Comics, a collection of essays from a number of women (and a few men) about the comics industry and many of them talk about experiences at cons. Most agree that the atmosphere has become more friendly for women and the attendance by women and girls has increased over the past couple of decades.

Jul 8, 2013, 10:43am Top

>15 cammykitty: There's a huge culture of sexual harassment of women at cons, so I suspect that is an anti-harassment panel. It is poorly named though.

John Scalzi recently announced that he will no longer be attending, in any capacity, cons that don't have and enforce an anti-harassment policy. He's gotten over 700 other writers, publishers, con staff, etc. to pledge too. Here's an interesting blog post about it: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/07/05/convention-harassment-policy-follow-up/

Jul 9, 2013, 5:37am Top

Hi eveybody from a really dodgy internet connection in Rogoznice, Croatia. Having a lovely time I must say! I went to an internet caf'e to check my mail, and found out I can't access Facebook from this keyboard (that's what you get from including swedish letters in your password...), so I decided to pop in here instead!

Have been managing a wee bit of reading here on beaches and warm evenings on the patio. Finished the pretty lovely At the mouth of the river of bees the other day, and am now in the middle of Dreadnought - which is decidedly lighter fare, but rather enjoyable.

~10 Geez. I'm only semi happy you read this one before me... Still, it's a blind pick, so not reading is not an option.

~16 Oh, I agree. Even if does deal with teaching utterly basic feminism, the title is poorly chosen. Enjoy The Slynx!

~19 Stuff like this makes me want to read Scalzi even more!

Jul 9, 2013, 9:14am Top

Hi everyone!

I wasn't able to participate in the June read but was following the thread and dodging book bullets like crazy. I'm really glad that the group read is still going strong into July. I've just started The hunger games, because I feel like I'm the only person on Earth that has not read it. It's a fast, engrossing read.

I've also got The parable of the sower and The wall by Marlen Haushofer (wrong touchstone for the title) on my nightstand; both are starring at me.

Jul 9, 2013, 10:38am Top

> 20 I haven't read it yet!

Jul 11, 2013, 8:28pm Top

Review of At the mouth of the river of bees over at my page. I expect to finish Dreadnought tomorrow. I'll then read Oates' Foxfire for work reasons - and then head for The mists of Avalon with a tad of dread...

Jul 12, 2013, 6:38pm Top

Dreadnought (like Boneshaker) was a bit of a disappointment in the end. I guess Cherie Priest just isn't for me.

Jul 13, 2013, 7:37am Top

I'm really enjoying the discussion here and glad we're continuing the group read into July. I've been reading a lot in this theme, going through the current Hugo Voter Packet. I've liked all of Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant's works, and there is certainly a lot of it in this packet!

I also enjoyed Aliette de Bodard's short story and plan to start her nominated novella shortly. Incidentally, that story, "Immersion", is #97 on the list that Pete brought to our attention.

One book that stands out in particular for me is Chicks Dig Comics, a collection of essays about comics and the comics industry, written mostly by women. I have a fuller review on my thread.

My biggest disappointment was Discovery of Witches. Given the bio of the author and the hype, I thought it would be an intelligent blend of science, history and fantasy. Instead, it was a long, tedious romance, with a portrayal of the main character that deeply offended me.

Jul 15, 2013, 4:41am Top

>25 GingerbreadMan: - hemmm that doesn't give me an incentive to try boneshaker and claire being a bit meh about redemption in indigo means I have very few females left to read in the SF&F genre left on the shelf apart from at the mouth of the river of bees and the grass-cutting sword

will probably go off piste and read a few female authors not on the SF&F if I finish those before end of July

Jul 15, 2013, 7:31am Top

There's Ursula le Guin short stories too.. and you can borrow Die Wand (The Wall) when I finish it :P

Jul 15, 2013, 8:51am Top

>26 mathgirl40: I didn't much care for A Discovery of Witches either, but I really enjoyed the second book in the series. It was almost all about everyday life in ~1592 and there wasn't much plot other than that. My friend who really liked the first book and likes books like that in general HATED the second one.

Jul 15, 2013, 9:14am Top

I just finished Die Wand (The Wall), which might become a favorite. Fantastic writing!

Jul 15, 2013, 9:31am Top

@30 oo that's my next book, can't wait now :)

Jul 15, 2013, 2:16pm Top

Hope you like it Claire!

Looking at the other reviews on LT, some readers were hoping for more action or resolution; but I think being the last person on Earth would actually be pretty boring and answers would be hard to come by. So I connected with the narrator and the themes pretty quickly.

And looks like there's a movie!

Jul 15, 2013, 5:01pm Top

I finished The River of No Return, a debut novel by Bee Ridgway, last night. It had a great premise - a man travels back to his own time period of 19th century Regency England after having 'jumped' and spent the last decade in 21st century upper New York State, in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past. Sadly, it was a 'meh' read in desperate need of an editor.

Jul 15, 2013, 9:12pm Top

29> I'm with your friend. Tried reading the second book twice and just couldn't. The men are such jerks.

Jul 16, 2013, 3:07am Top

Jul 16, 2013, 9:48am Top

>34 BookLizard:, I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, but thought that Shadow of Night suffered a bit from second book syndrome, as it was rather clunky and there were bits that definitely could have been left out.

I finally got my hands on His Majesty's Dragon and really enjoyed it. I'd tried to get it for the June read, but the interlibrary loan took almost three weeks to get fulfilled, and it didn't get here until July. Some things are worth waiting for, and this was definitely one of them.

Jul 16, 2013, 10:05am Top

>34 BookLizard: I thought the men in the first book were jerks too. The difference is that the second book takes place when that kind of sexism was status quo.

Edited: Jul 17, 2013, 4:57am Top

I finished The Slynx which I found hard going due to the style (translation?) and 1st half of the book going way over my head (Satire on Russian society)

I am now 1/2 way through Die Wand and resenting the fact I am not reading it right now. Utterly gripping.

Jul 17, 2013, 5:48am Top

Shame about the Slynx! I remember it as a rather riveting read. Perhaps the translation is to blame.

JCO is very much hit and miss for me, but Foxfire was a definite hit. Great, angry, restless book.

I'm one page into The mists of Avalon.

Jul 17, 2013, 5:53am Top

Just finished Traitor's Knot by Janny Wurts. Outstanding as usual, with complex chracters who actually think!

Jul 17, 2013, 4:10pm Top

"I'm one page into The mists of Avalon."
Making great progress then. :)

Edited: Jul 18, 2013, 4:42am Top

@39/41 I did like that ominous statement :)

@39 not sure. it had an over exuberant narrator and a slightly farcical humour which I found tiring. I suspect I missed quite a lot of nuance though.

Finished Die Wand and probably my last female SFF this month as I am off to try The Long Ships. Fabulous last read though, very very haunting.

Jul 18, 2013, 12:11pm Top

I'm reading Touch Not the Cat, which is a fun Mary Stewart first-person thriller with a touch of ESP.

Jul 19, 2013, 11:14am Top

have just finished (not SF but a truth is stranger than fiction book) colonel barker's monstrous regiment & since I have another gender swap book but from the other direction becoming drusilla I'll be moving onto that next (not a women, not SF) but will be back before the end of the month (I hope) to read Die Wand...

Jul 22, 2013, 4:39pm Top

About 200 pages into Mists of Avalon. I have some issues with the romance bits (it's like they cannot EVER stop the game of "My eternal love is bigger than yours"), but the pages fly by fast enough. I expect to make some breaks during the read though.

Jul 24, 2013, 8:27am Top


This award supports travel for the purpose of research on, and work with, the papers of feminist science fiction authors housed in the Knight Library.

Jul 31, 2013, 3:40am Top

Taking a break from Avalon, after spending two weeks reading the first book at a pace of about 17 pages a day. It's alright, but very put-downable. Now for some Sandman and another book soon due back at the library. Back to the pompous priestesses in a week or so.

Jul 31, 2013, 6:07am Top

I've only managed two more fantasy books by women this month - Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Both were great reads.

So pleased that I read Mists of Avalon so long ago that I don't have to suffer through it now. I can remember enjoying it at the time.

Jul 31, 2013, 9:53am Top

I did manage to read The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen this month. It's not technically SFF, but there are many magical elements to the story. It was a lovely summer read -- can't wait for Lost Lake next year!

Jul 31, 2013, 11:07pm Top

I'm getting increasingly convinced that Mists needs to come off my to-reread list and remain a memory of a great read - it looks like it'd be a sure disappointment.

Aug 1, 2013, 3:49am Top

>50 -Eva-: Part of the heavyhanded feeling has to be due to the translation as well, Eva. There's a lot of "var hälsad, min fränka" going on. It should alsonbe said that high fantasy romance is not my scene.

Aug 1, 2013, 2:09pm Top

->51 GingerbreadMan:
Haha! OK, I'll absolutely not read it in translation if I do get to the reread mood.

Aug 4, 2013, 12:09am Top

In addition to City of Glass, I also ended up reading Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton & Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning.

Aug 4, 2013, 7:57pm Top

It's not July anymore, but I just devoured Parable of the Sower. Unputdownable!

Aug 5, 2013, 4:33am Top

Shall I create a thread where we can highlight any new female authors we read over the coming year? Or we could keep this one :)

Group: 2013 Category Challenge

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