HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Strangers by Gardner Dozois
Loading...

Strangers (1978)

by Gardner Dozois

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
833145,226 (3.11)2
(1) 7 (1) 1978 (1) 2006f (1) 8^) (1) aliens (1) American literature (2) boxed (1) fiction (14) first contact (1) German (2) hardcover (1) isbn (1) literature (1) main sequence (1) mmpb (2) Nebula nominee (2) novel (5) paperback (3) read in 2014 (2) reviewed (2) romance (1) science fiction (27) sf (12) sfbooks (1) sff (1) short stories (2) signed (2) unread (4) W (1)
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
What a crappy, crappy book. It's like the author thought, "Hmm, science fiction is all about expanding our ideas of humanity and sentience? Nah, I'll just be really sexist."

(This review contains spoilers, but I promise, you really don't care.)

Two things were so bad I bookmarked the pages so that I could reproduce them here:
--On page four of this book, the only named female character to that point is called a "fucking bitch" and a "cunt." (To be precise, "cunt" is actually referring to all human females, but inspired by her actions.)
--p43: "Farber, who had been used to the aggressive, self-assertive women of Earth, was delighted by Liraun's apparent submissiveness, although like most men of his generation he seriously believed himself to be 'liberated.' Nevertheless, he quickly became comfortably accustomed to having her defer to his will, cook his supper, serve him in a hundred little ways."

Here's my recap: human dude is frustrated that his human ladyfriend is manipulating him into sex after they've been dating for a few days. So he wanders off during a festival and meets a lady alien. He takes her home and has sex with her. The next day another dude is making fun of him for it and calls the alien a "nigger." (Note that word choice aside, there's no indication of why the aliens are looked down upon except that apparently that one dude thinks they smell bad and their vaginas are sideways?) Our "hero" decides he wants to marry the alien because she's really submissive and stuff, and his friend adds, "You can fuck niggers if you want but don't you think about marrying them! We don't marry our niggers back home" (p56). So he goes to the alien council and asks to marry her, and they'll agree only if he changes his genes (?!) so that he can reproduce with the alien. Uh, sure. So he does that, and they get married, and his alien wife asks him if he wants to force her to have children, and he says yes ("'My wife,' he said with great seriousness, meeting her gaze, 'I have dicided [sic] that this is the time for you to conceive, and to bear your children.' ... Then he said: 'There's no need for you to be afraid.' And, very gently: 'You're a woman; this would have come to you eventually no matter how long you waited.'"). So she gets pregnant, and then he realizes that alien mothers can't give birth without dying. And then she dies. The end.

And I just. What.



(Coming back to this review later to add that in addition to all the other problems, every human in this book is DUMB AS A BRICK. So women in the alien society are born with their father's last names, take their husband's names when they get married, and then at some mysterious time they take a third name, everyone the same one. There are a couple conversations about how mysterious this all is, and what could possibly be the impetus for the third name??? I'll give you a minute... Yup, it happens when they get pregnant. Also, every woman in the alien society dies when she gives birth, and somehow no one has ever noticed that alien women mysteriously disappear and there are no mothers. There's some claptrap [word of the week!] about how they're all suspicious of strangers and they won't let anyone study them, but seriously, humans have interacted with these aliens long enough to learn their language fluently but they don't notice that they've never seen a mother? It's another example of sexism, because clearly the author can't imagine, and therefore the characters can't imagine, the idea of a mother doing anything other than sitting around in her house raising her kids and being invisible. But it's also just bad science and bad science fiction.) ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
What a crappy, crappy book. It's like the author thought, "Hmm, science fiction is all about expanding our ideas of humanity and sentience? Nah, I'll just be really sexist."

(This review contains spoilers, but I promise, you really don't care.)

Two things were so bad I bookmarked the pages so that I could reproduce them here:
--On page four of this book, the only named female character to that point is called a "fucking bitch" and a "cunt." (To be precise, "cunt" is actually referring to all human females, but inspired by her actions.)
--p43: "Farber, who had been used to the aggressive, self-assertive women of Earth, was delighted by Liraun's apparent submissiveness, although like most men of his generation he seriously believed himself to be 'liberated.' Nevertheless, he quickly became comfortably accustomed to having her defer to his will, cook his supper, serve him in a hundred little ways."

Here's my recap: human dude is frustrated that his human ladyfriend is manipulating him into sex after they've been dating for a few days. So he wanders off during a festival and meets a lady alien. He takes her home and has sex with her. The next day another dude is making fun of him for it and calls the alien a "nigger." (Note that word choice aside, there's no indication of why the aliens are looked down upon except that apparently that one dude thinks they smell bad and their vaginas are sideways?) Our "hero" decides he wants to marry the alien because she's really submissive and stuff, and his friend adds, "You can fuck niggers if you want but don't you think about marrying them! We don't marry our niggers back home" (p56). So he goes to the alien council and asks to marry her, and they'll agree only if he changes his genes (?!) so that he can reproduce with the alien. Uh, sure. So he does that, and they get married, and his alien wife asks him if he wants to force her to have children, and he says yes ("'My wife,' he said with great seriousness, meeting her gaze, 'I have dicided [sic] that this is the time for you to conceive, and to bear your children.' ... Then he said: 'There's no need for you to be afraid.' And, very gently: 'You're a woman; this would have come to you eventually no matter how long you waited.'"). So she gets pregnant, and then he realizes that alien mothers can't give birth without dying. And then she dies. The end.

And I just. What.



(Coming back to this review later to add that in addition to all the other problems, every human in this book is DUMB AS A BRICK. So women in the alien society are born with their father's last names, take their husband's names when they get married, and then at some mysterious time they take a third name, everyone the same one. There are a couple conversations about how mysterious this all is, and what could possibly be the impetus for the third name??? I'll give you a minute... Yup, it happens when they get pregnant. Also, every woman in the alien society dies when she gives birth, and somehow no one has ever noticed that alien women mysteriously disappear and there are no mothers. There's some claptrap [word of the week!] about how they're all suspicious of strangers and they won't let anyone study them, but seriously, humans have interacted with these aliens long enough to learn their language fluently but they don't notice that they've never seen a mother? It's another example of sexism, because clearly the author can't imagine, and therefore the characters can't imagine, the idea of a mother doing anything other than sitting around in her house raising her kids and being invisible. But it's also just bad science and bad science fiction.) ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
Humans have peaceful, if ineffectual trade relations with the alien humanoid race on Lisle. They know next to nothing about their biology, a closely guarded secret.

This all changes when a human falls in love with one of their women, and finds out that their evolution and reproduction has a great cost.

A reasonable, short, and dark toned book.

http://notfreesf.blogspot.com/2006/11/strangers-gardner-dozois.html ( )
  bluetyson | Feb 3, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gardner Dozoisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grimando, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weston, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
for Tom and Sara Purdom, who won't read this one either
First words
Joseph Farber met Liraun Je Genawen for the first time during the ceremony of the Alantene, the Mode of the Winter Solstice, the Opening-of-the-Gates-of-Dun, which was observed annually in the ancient ciety of Aei, on the North Shore of Shasine, on the world of Lisle.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
SBN 425-03924-2
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0600383822, Paperback)

The return of a classic science fiction novel by Hugo and Nebula award-winning author and editor Gardner Dozois! Hundreds of years in the future, Earthmen have moved out into the galaxy of inhabited worlds, but only through the gift of advanced technology from alien interstellar traders. Earthmen do not dominate among inhabited worlds, as many races are older and wiser - in fact, space travellers from Earth are second-class citizens or worse on most of the planets they visit. Joseph Farber, an artist, is part of the uncomfortable and decadent Earth colony among the alien Cian on the planet Weinunnach. As with many earthling spacefarers, Farber suffers a decline in spirits when faced with the utter difference of aline cultures, yet he is deeply moved by the rituals of the Cian - and by Liraun, a humanoid Cian, with whom he falls in love. And though love between races is forbidden, he allows himself to be genetically altered so that he and Liraun may marry and interbreed. But the couple soon discovers that the fundamental differences between their races and cultures prevent adequate communication between them. This lack of communication leads to a powerful climax of tragedy and revelation.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
3 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.11)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 2
3.5 1
4 2
4.5
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,606,776 books! | Top bar: Always visible