I forgot to mention that last week I re-read Herland
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which was a good thing, as it turns out I am moderating that Readercon discussion on the book for which I volunteered at the last minute. I am still annoyed by the ending, because the story stops right before the guys are banished and Ellador is supposed to visit the outside world. Unless, of course, Gilman meant to leave us with nothing but questions.
Spoilers ahead, if you can spoil something published in 1915.
It's pretty clear Ellador is not going to be down with the roles of women in 1915ish America - so when Ellador goes back, would Van be allowed to go with her? Would he want to, or would there now be a rift between them? Jeff doesn't leave. His wife is pregnant, and he was getting along in Herland quite well. He expresses no regrets, but would he ever want to bring his child into his own world? Terry, after his crime, would not be allowed back, and I wonder if, once back home, he would sever his friendship with Van. Or if the guys would stick together regardless. I don't like the idea of Ellador potentially dying of disease once she leaves Herland, but that is hinted at as a possibility by Van's narration. At the beginning of the novel, as an introduction, Van states he doesn't have the notes and drawings he made in Herland, and he sounds as if he is alone, though that might just be to conceal future plot elements from the reader.
Does anyone know if some modern writer ever did a follow-up novel?
This week, I bought and read Persona
by Genevieve Valentine. It's not that long. Set in a future where international politics takes place (nominally) through the medium of national celebrity diplomats - Faces - and the freelance press is underground, sometimes in the guise of paparazzi (Snaps), it follows one Face (Suyana Sapaki) and one Snap (Daniel Park) through a series of dangerous events. It's essentially a thriller but with a lot of excellent characterization and worldbuilding. I would love to read a sequel to this, with more on the Snaps as well as the Faces.
Also purchased as an ebook this week: A Hat Full of Sky
by Terry Pratchett. This will be a re-read, for a Readercon book discussion. I thought about excavating for my print copy, but decided against it partly because that would be a pain, partly because the e-book means I can carry it easily to the con. Also, with an ebook it's really handy to be able to highlight relevant passages.All For One
by ironychan is a fanfiction novel that starts out with Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson looking for Bucky Barnes, but almost immediately veers into an adventure story involving Natasha Romanov, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, lots of clones, a talking bird, trust issues, an eventful trip to South America, and a monkey. I highly recommend this one. Also, it appears the author has another novel featuring Iron Man.
If you're in the mood for a long, indulgent angst-o-rama, and don't mind lots of Britishisms in a story about Americans, I'll Keep You Safe Here With Me
by sara_holmes is long and meaty. It's Hawkeye/Winter Soldier slash, which I hadn't previously encountered, but is apparently a largish subgenre. Set post-Avengers
, Hawkeye is hiding out and drinking himself to sleep every night when the Winter Soldier, who's just barely getting some memories back, kidnaps him. A massive road trip ensues, in which they help each other with their assorted issues and PTSD. I will confess the Britishisms grated on me, but I liked that both characters needed a friend, and I love road trip stories.
Finally, roboticonography wrote Frozen!Peggy in Flames We Never Lit
. It is one part from being finished, but it felt reasonably finished already to me. The continuity of it bypasses Agent Carter
because it was written earlier than the show, and involves some comics canon (Nick Fury has been around since the 1940s). Peggy volunteers for a cryogenics program and is not revived until 2012, when she is the only survivor. I am pretty sure this is the first time I have ever seen a story in which Steve and Peggy get to have a happy relationship together in the future, which surprises me a bit. It was written before CA: Winter Soldier
came out, so the eventual Bucky plotline goes in a different direction. Pepper Potts takes the place of Angie as Peggy's main female friend.
I'm still considering myself on a book-buying ban until I read more things I already have. Sort of. I want to buy a print copy of Lisa Bradley's collection at Readercon, so she can sign it for me. Also, I might allow myself one nonfiction book from Wesleyan Press if there is something I absolutely can't resist, because they give you a discount at the con.
That said, for future reference: Shadowshaper
by Daniel José Older is out.