So I dithered about posting on these because I don’t like bringing the authors any additional publicity. For many books, the worst enemy is obscurity. But I had to share my pain, folks.
I bring you the latest Foyt-esque forays from two other authors. You’re welcome.
So I haven’t read either of these books. But reading the premises has me wanting to put my head through a wall. First:
I’m linking to her promotional post at John Scalzi’s blog because her own description of the book is even worse than the blurb:
In Necessary Ill, the neuts (naturally genderless humans) have many pursuits to satisfy this basic urge of mammals to ensure survival of their own species. Some go into medicine, others teach, others research and develop methods for helping the human race overcome its need to overconsume and create long-lasting waste. But what if, with the drive to reproduce removed and the aptitude toward science in place, all that you learned, all that you could see, told you the primary threat to human survival, and the solution was clear and logical: cull the population to more manageable levels?
That’s where the spreaders come in: neuts who spread carefully engineered plagues with the end goal of survival of the species over survival of individuals.
Yes, this book seems to have “invented” genderless, asexual people as a scifi concept and made them emotionless scientists who are sociopathic enough to think mass murder is an elegant solution to overpopulation.
Because there aren’t real-life genderqueer and asexual people, right? Because what people who are outside the gender binary, or are asexual, or who otherwise fall outside of society’s expectations in terms of gender and sexual desire need is a piece of media portraying them as emotionless sociopaths with “inhuman” bodies who don’t form caring bonds with other human beings? By the way, notice how Taber neatly equates genderqueerness and asexuality, because of course one implies the other. And of course a lack of male/female gender or sex drive is code for both a lack of purpose in life and NO EMOTION OR HUMAN CONNECTION. Oh yeah, and if you’re not a nice cis hetero person who wants to copulate like a bunny, you’re probably cool with mass murdering people.
What the hell?!
She also uses “it” as her pronoun of choice for her genderless people. Which at this point is probably the least of the book’s problems.
This is the sort of book that makes me wonder about the publishing industry. A whole bunch of people had to read this and approve it before it went to print, and nobody said anything?
It’s a self-published novel about a nice white guy in the 1800’s who is kidnapped by a jealous rival, dipped in a “staining solution” to paint him dark, and sold as a slave in the South. Despite him trying to explain that, y’know, he is white, so this shouldn’t be happening! The injustice!
Slavery: it’s so much worse when it happens to white folks who don’t deserve it.
Again, I haven’t read either of these books. Could they be AWESOME SUBVERSIONS? . . . well, I think it unlikely, considering the language their authors have been using to promote them. And I think they needed to be blogged about anyway, because seriously, what makes people feel like this shit is proper fodder for their scifi/alternate history/other fictional playgrounds?