Group Reads Book 7

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Group Reads Book 7

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1rojse
Jun. 25, 2009, 11:30pm

It's probably time to come up with another nomination for the group read. So nominate several books you would like to see discussed for the group read.

2iansales
Jun. 26, 2009, 3:06am

Are we doing the nominate five, then second another nomination later thing?

If yes, here's my five...

The Accord, Keith Brooke
River of Gods, Ian McDonald
Hello Summer, Goodbye, Michael Coney
Roadside Picnic, Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
Neuromancer, William Gibson

3andyl
Jun. 26, 2009, 8:35am

Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand by Samuel Delany
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh - ISTR that I didn't really enjoy this the first time I read it but want to try it again.

4iansales
Jun. 26, 2009, 8:49am

I've always wanted to try that Delany again, having failed to get more than halfway into it on three occasions. And I have all the Foreigner books but have only read the first one.

5geneg
Jun. 26, 2009, 10:42am

I will second Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand and would like to nominate The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

I've got stars in my eyes.

6ogodei
Jun. 26, 2009, 10:47am

7rojse
Jun. 26, 2009, 8:52pm

#2

Yes, that seemed to work well last time. Unless others wish to change it...?

#6
We only get to second one book.

Decisions, decisions…

Currently:

(2) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany

The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
The Accord - Keith Brooke
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney
Neuromancer - William Gibson
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

8AsYouKnow_Bob
Jun. 26, 2009, 9:12pm

Coney's Hello Summer, Goodbye is also known as Rax, yes?

9AsYouKnow_Bob
Bearbeitet: Jun. 28, 2009, 11:40am

(Deleted a double-post, sorry)

(I have no idea how this message posted a second time after a twenty minute delay.)

10billiejean
Jun. 26, 2009, 10:13pm

I will nominate:
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
1984 by George Orwell

I will be out of town for two weeks, so I will second now:
Neuromancer by William Gibson
--BJ

11bobmcconnaughey
Jun. 27, 2009, 12:52am

I'll nominate alchemy of stone by Ekaterina Sedia.
I'll 3rd Neuromancer

12rojse
Jun. 27, 2009, 1:23am

Currently:

(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(2) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany

The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
The Accord - Keith Brooke
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
1984 - George Orwell
Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia
Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

13andyl
Jun. 27, 2009, 5:52am

Yes.

Hello Summer, Goodbye is also known as Rax and is also known as Pallahaxi Tide

The first is the UK title, the second is the US title and the third is the Canadian title.

14ogodei
Jun. 27, 2009, 9:28am

> 7 Ooops, my bad. My second is for Roadside Picnic.

15billiejean
Jun. 28, 2009, 2:17am

I just remembered what my 5th book to nominate was:
Gray Apocalypse by James Murdoch.

I hope that I did not add this too late.
--BJ

16rojse
Bearbeitet: Jun. 28, 2009, 8:13am

For those that haven't had the pleasure of doing a group read here before, initial nominations (up to five books per person) are done for a week or so, which lets everyone who gets on LT a chance to nominate some books they are interested in.

We then second books (one per person) for a week or two. It is not a problem if some people second books while nominations are put up, and you are free to change your nomination if you find something else more interesting later on.

The top five books (more if there is a draw) are all put in a poll, and the poll usually takes a week before a winner is found. If there is a tie, we do a runoff poll between the two books. The winner of this is the book that we read and discuss.

All up, it takes about a month from starting this thread to the group having decided on a book to read. Everyone then gets a few weeks to procure a book from somewhere before the discussion board is open, and discussions occur over the period of a month or more.

17rojse
Jun. 28, 2009, 8:13am

Currently:

(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(2) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
The Accord - Keith Brooke
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada - thanks, andyl)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

18LolaWalser
Jun. 29, 2009, 12:36pm

Plenty of nice nominations... I won't bother adding any (I still have a ton of Pringle's classics to go through, and just a few newer works.)

Let's see, let's see, let's see... My first-round vote to... Sedia, "Alchemy of stone". Heard good buzz on it.

19StormRaven
Jun. 29, 2009, 1:47pm

I'll second Neuromancer.

20Pandababy
Bearbeitet: Jun. 29, 2009, 8:16pm

Hello Summer Goodbye sounds interesting but there is no copy in my county library system (population over one-half million), but there's over 25 used copies under $5 searching the title Rax at alibris.

Roadside Picnic also sounds interesting and at least there's one copy in the library.

I read Alchemy of Stone recently and was impressed and entertained.

If we are looking at older SF, then I nominate Butterfly and Hellflower by Eluki Bes Shahar, the omnibus edition of three books from the '80s: Hellflower, Dark Traders and Archangel Blues. It is available used for pennies at Amazon (where you can find my review, and also reviewed on my pages here at LT.

(edited for population and used book availability)

21rojse
Jun. 30, 2009, 12:47am

Currently:

(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(2) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
(2) Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
The Accord - Keith Brooke
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada)
Hellflower trilogy - Rosemary Edghill or Eluki Bes Shahar (pseudonym)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

22CD1am
Jun. 30, 2009, 2:59pm

I'll second Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

I'll nominate I, Robot by Isaac Asimov and Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer.

23rojse
Jun. 30, 2009, 11:48pm

Currently:

(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(2) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(2) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
(2) Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
The Accord - Keith Brooke
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada)
Hellflower trilogy - Rosemary Edghill or Eluki Bes Shahar (pseudonym)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

24DWWilkin
Jul. 1, 2009, 11:53am

I've always wanted to read i Robot, I have The Complete Robot, but is it in there?

25iansales
Jul. 1, 2009, 12:06pm

I, Robot was a collection, so its contents probably are in The Complete Robot.

26DWWilkin
Jul. 1, 2009, 1:52pm

Now I need to find a list of what is included in each and check it to see that I really do have all the stories. (Yep, in my next free OCD minute)

28geneg
Jul. 6, 2009, 5:50pm

Are we still progressing toward a decision?

29rojse
Bearbeitet: Jul. 6, 2009, 10:55pm

Yes. I want to give everyone a week to second books before I set up a poll, so everyone who posts on here (no matter how irregularly) gets a reasonable chance to respond.

I'd like to look at Keith Brooke's novel, sounds interesting (and I haven't read any of his novels yet.

(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(2) The Accord - Keith Brooke
(2) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(2) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
(2) Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada)
Hellflower trilogy - Rosemary Edghill or Eluki Bes Shahar (pseudonym)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

30iansales
Jul. 7, 2009, 3:37am

31ronincats
Jul. 7, 2009, 8:11am

I'll second Alchemy of Stone.

32GwenH
Jul. 7, 2009, 9:29am

I'd second The Stars My Destination except I recently read that - it's an amazing reading adventure. :)

Hominids also caught my eye, but there seems to be more than enough nominations already (half of which I've already read, but time off for me that way)

33rojse
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:51pm

(3) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(3) Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

(2) The Accord - Keith Brooke
(2) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada)
Hellflower trilogy - Rosemary Edghill or Eluki Bes Shahar (pseudonym)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

#32

Don't worry, the winners usually get three votes apiece.

34Pandababy
Jul. 8, 2009, 1:45am

35Aerrin99
Jul. 8, 2009, 8:38am

36DWWilkin
Jul. 8, 2009, 11:14am

My vote is for I, Robot

37rojse
Jul. 8, 2009, 10:38pm

(4) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(3) Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

(2) I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
(2) The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
(2) The Accord - Keith Brooke
(2) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada)
Hellflower trilogy - Rosemary Edghill or Eluki Bes Shahar (pseudonym)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

38DWWilkin
Jul. 8, 2009, 11:57pm

Do you only get 1 vote? It strikes me as funny that we have 30 points of nominations and this is post 38

39iansales
Jul. 9, 2009, 3:19am

No, you nominate five books. Then later, you can second a book nominated by another person.

40rojse
Jul. 10, 2009, 3:42am

I'll change my vote from "The Accord" to "Stars My Destination".

(4) Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand - Samuel Delany
(3) The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
(3) Neuromancer - William Gibson
(3) Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

(2) I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
(2) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
(2) Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard.
The Accord - Keith Brooke
Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney (AKA "Rax" in the US, and "Pallahaxi Tide" in Canada)
Hellflower trilogy - Rosemary Edghill or Eluki Bes Shahar (pseudonym)
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
Gray Apocalypse - James Murdoch
1984 - George Orwell
Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells

I'll start the poll up on Monday. Hopefully, we will have five books or more with three votes.

41rojse
Jul. 14, 2009, 3:17am

The Group Reads Poll:

http://www.vizu.com/poll-vote.html?n=173390

I would usually include five, but since this would mean seven choices, thought that four was more prudent.

42LolaWalser
Jul. 14, 2009, 4:38pm

I voted!

43yosarian
Jul. 14, 2009, 5:08pm


hi, I've not joined in on a group read here before, but I have been meaning to read neuromancer for a long time now (especially after the recent double whammy of stars my destination and demolished man), so if I can cast a vote I'd second that one (added my vote to the link above too), assuming I'm not too late as well of course :)

44DWWilkin
Jul. 14, 2009, 8:31pm

Is there a FAQ somewhere about participating. How long you have to read the selected book? What you can comment on and when, so you don't leak spoilers for the other readers. Should that be in the Group Description? Or a separate post?

45LolaWalser
Jul. 14, 2009, 8:42pm

I don't think there are any firm rules, this is a very laid-back group. Read what you like when you like--only I suppose it's advisable to avoid the book discussion thread (only one thread per book, generally) until you're ready to discuss it including spoilers.

There's also no reason not to post in the older threads, if you feel like it.

46billiejean
Jul. 15, 2009, 1:36am

I voted, too.
--BJ

47rojse
Jul. 15, 2009, 2:00am

#44

As Lola said, we aren't too hard and fast on the rules. We run the vote for about a week, and then a thread to discuss the book will be created in a week or two (a delay to allow people to buy/borrow/steal the book being discussed). The thread will be called "7th Selected Book" Group Read, or something similar to that.

Some people will have read the book immediately, other people take up to a month to find the book and participate. We then discuss the merits, or lack thereof, in the book, and all opinions are equally welcome.

Oh, and feel free to participate in the current of "Beggars In Spain" by Nancy Kress, or to read and discuss any of the previous books we have selected, of which there is a variety to choose from.

48rojse
Jul. 15, 2009, 2:45am

The current vote is tied between "Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand" and "Neuromancer."

Don't let anyone tell you that your vote doesn't count!

49bobmcconnaughey
Jul. 17, 2009, 9:23am

put in a vote for "Neuromancer" - not because i think it's the best book, but because i do think it's a v. imp. book in the evolution of SF. (I'd say "Alchemy of Stone" is the best written of the set; Gibson's style defn. progressed.)

50Pandababy
Bearbeitet: Jul. 17, 2009, 6:48pm

Aaurrrgggghh!

I'm on page 224 on Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand, and it is so dark I had to take a break (and read Dewey for balance) but it is so compelling that I can't let it go.

51rojse
Jul. 17, 2009, 11:39pm

I must admit that I am quite happy with how many people voted. For the last group read, we got eighteen votes, now we have twenty-five.

52andyl
Jul. 18, 2009, 5:41am

That's a good number of voters.

It looks like middle America (or at least that is where their flags appear) is what won it for Neuromancer

53yosarian
Jul. 18, 2009, 6:18am


It'll only be my second william gibson novel, I've only previously read idoru, I'm looking forward to it ... shall I start looking for a copy or am I jumping the gun?

54GwenH
Jul. 18, 2009, 10:08am

#52, andyl: "It looks like middle America (or at least that is where their flags appear) is what won it for Neuromancer"

I wouldn't conclude too much from that. For instance, I just reread Neuromancer for a class last December and wasn't about to vote to reread it again so soon. :)

I may even subject the book's thread to my exam question and response. I'll certainly be interested to see what people have to say about the novel.

55geneg
Jul. 18, 2009, 11:18am

It would be fun to know the question. Maybe, if we cared we could post our responses to the question as part of the discussion.

56GwenH
Jul. 18, 2009, 3:32pm

Here you go, geneg, although I'll post it again in the books thread when that gets going. It was one of several questions about several books that were part of the take-home exam:

"One of the strongest characters in Neuromancer is Molly, a razor girl who takes a liking to Case early in the novel. She has sex with him; she reveals some very personal things about herself to him. As a character, Molly could be considered the feminist ideal of a woman. Is she? Or is she a male fantasy? Argue whether Molly is a feminist's dream come true or an erotic male fantasy. Use specific textual examples to surrport your argument."

Obviously, people can answer, or not answer this, however they like, but just for reference, the instructor had a format we had to follow. It consisted of a "Claim", which was a statement in answer to the question posed. This was followed by one or more Example/Analysis pairs, where the example was a direct quote from the novel. I've always been more used to the essay format, but I found this worked out ok. I speculate that he did this to get past the vacuous bloated and generalized writing that some students do to avoid thinking about specifics or to cough up something at the last minute.

57rojse
Bearbeitet: Jul. 20, 2009, 1:31am

The Runoff Poll: http://www.vizu.com/poll-vote.html?n=174231

As there was a tied vote, same procedure as last time - you get to vote on one of the two books that are tied. Letting people who voted for one of the losing choices to change their voting choice causes too many disagreements.

58LolaWalser
Jul. 20, 2009, 10:26am

#56

Why can't she be both, a feminist male fantasy? :)

It's a good thing I'm out of school, I couldn't take such discussions seriously at all... case for Molly being a male fantasy, no matter what: Gibson, her creator, is male. He seems to like her, so she's at least one guy's erotic ideal. But she's a kickass fighter too (as un-girly a feature as possible), so it seems the olden damsel-in-distress model has been replaced by the kickass fighter bimbo--impossible anatomy and scant clothing of yesteryear; killer skillz in and out of bed. Tons of examples by now, in print and on screen.

More seriously, I question the apparent vision of "feminist" posited by the question, and as already hinted, the implication that men fantasise only about whatever is opposite to "feminist"--weak? dumb? dependent?

59GwenH
Bearbeitet: Jul. 20, 2009, 1:02pm

Lola, I think those are all valid responses to the question, and I tend to think the instructor would have thought so too (as long as you supported the statements with examples). :)

I see how you could interpret the question to imply " that men fantasise only about whatever is opposite to "feminist"--weak? dumb? dependent?" However, I don't think that's the only way to interpret the question. For instance, I argued in my answer that she certainly was a strong, kick-ass female but within the context of the novel she was more male fantasy than feminist ideal.

But I was going to wait and post in the book's thread if Neuromancer won...

60rojse
Jul. 20, 2009, 7:46pm

I think Molly was neither of the options, merely a character in the novel who happens to be female. Take whatever you wish out of that.

61GwenH
Jul. 20, 2009, 9:06pm

rojse, just a character in a novel? NOOOOO! Tell me it isn't true!!!!! ;-)

62rojse
Jul. 21, 2009, 12:11am

#61

A fun and interesting character, certainly, but a character nonetheless.

Next, I'll tell you why sandworms and Fremen don't exist...

63bobmcconnaughey
Jul. 21, 2009, 3:06pm

i am so glad the Delaney is in our county library. I liked Babel-17 a lot, but that has been pretty much it for Delaney, me and positive vibes. The request for the hold is already in.

64yosarian
Jul. 21, 2009, 3:23pm


is it looking likely to be stars in my pocket like grains of sands? i'd best try and find a copy soon :)

65LolaWalser
Jul. 21, 2009, 7:03pm

#59

I argued in my answer that she certainly was a strong, kick-ass female but within the context of the novel she was more male fantasy than feminist ideal.

Note that you're clearly opposing "male fantasy" and "feminist ideal". That's my first quibble. It's not even that the dichotomy may sometimes be wrong--it's also that some fantasies are outside feminist/anti-feminist range altogether.

As for Molly, as I said--she can't help being "male fantasy", literally, because she was fantasised out by a male. She's not real, AND she's a character in a fantastic, emphatically unreality-based genre.

By the way, even if Delany wins out, I suppose you could still open a Neuromancer thread, probably plenty of people read it. Or maybe you'd prefer to have it in the SF group... At any rate, please continue!

66GwenH
Jul. 21, 2009, 9:28pm

Lola, I think my position would be more clear from my actual examples. I am not "clearly opposing "male fantasy" and "feminist ideal". I said, and meant, she was more one than the other. However, I very much think in certain respects she was far from the feminist ideal - she worked for one man to service another, for starters.

Maybe I will post the question and response in it's own thread. Even if Neuromancer wins, there's no reason not to have two threads.

As the Neuromancer being part of an unreality-based genre - I disagree. More than many SF novelists, Gibson based his inventions on real technology extrapolated out. Some of his inventions have come into being, like plugging into one's head and controlling a computer....something now being done experimentally with paralyzed individuals. He was ahead of the technology curve (and in some cases still is) but it was very grounded in real technology, not fantasy.

67LolaWalser
Jul. 21, 2009, 10:18pm

Communication failure! When you say "she was more male fantasy than feminist ideal.", it sounds like a "male fantasy" and a "feminist ideal" can't overlap--iow, the two are opposed, right there in the sentence.

Examples won't help because it's not yet, at this point, about the character Molly; we first have to determine what are the attributes of "male fantasy" and "feminist ideal" to you and to me, since we clearly don't understand these terms the same way.

she was far from the feminist ideal - she worked for one man to service another, for starters.

Well, as I said, I think we have a deeper underlying disagreement going on, but I'll respond to this now--it covers way too many situations. Lots of female employees have male bosses and serve men--can none of them be feminists, or "feminist ideals" etc.? Again, I have to wonder what is it you see as a "feminist ideal". (By the way, just to make clear--I am not arguing for Molly being feminist anything, to me her character is outside this dichotomy, like many other modern fictional creations--Lara Croft, Angelina Jolie in assassin roles etc.)

Neuromancer and unreality: no matter what elements of reality it employs (after all, one could claim that even the fact that it was written in "real" English language makes it "real"), it is an "unreal" plot, with "unreal" characters, "unreal" gizmos and McGuffins, more so than any ordinary fiction. Gibson may have been a visionary, but I doubt he meant to write (or would describe it as such) about "reality". Today we have satellites, robots, nanotechnology, but this doesn't make the sf with these topics "real". Anyway, this seems trivial to me, no one reads sf for "reality"--my point was that the character Molly, belonging to a fantastic genre, isn't meant as a naturalistic portrait of an actual young woman, and shouldn't be judged as such.



68GwenH
Bearbeitet: Jul. 21, 2009, 11:13pm

Yes, definitely a communication failure. To say that something is more one thing than another, does not mean they are opposed and can't overlap. For example, I might think aqua is more blue than green, but that doesn't mean there aren't some of both in the color aqua.

You are take my specifc off hand comment about working and generalizing about it. In the novel, Molly's early experience was as a prostitute, and then she became a female being a kick-ass female working for one man to service another. Off course in general, working for a male or female boss doesn't say anything about feminism.

You misconstrue my comments about SF - Gibson write's science fiction, he extrapolates from real technology. Some other people write fantasy which may be a consistent world but its based on arbitrary stipulations.

I do think Gibson writes about reality, and people do read SF for what it says about reality. Not all SF and not all the time, but a variety of issues from the impact of technology, to alienation, to confronting the unknown are seen in SF in the guise of talking about future worlds and aliens. The SF that tries to say something, is saying something about our current society and where it is or where it is going.

For an example, read Gibson's short story "Dogfight". It speaks effectively to the psychological aftermath war veterans deal with - an issue the repeatedly crops up in the news in the form of suicides, drug addictions, PTSD, and murders. However, the setting of the story is much the same technological future as Neuromancer.

67: "my point was that the character Molly, belonging to a fantastic genre, isn't meant as a naturalistic portrait of an actual young woman, and shouldn't be judged as such."

No one has judged her at all at this point, beyond your comments to her physical prowess and mine to her working situation. She's hardly an actual woman in todays society, but I do disagree that you can't judge her by comparison with one. There are many ways of analyzing a work.

The test question I presented is not necessarily one I would have posed, so arguing what is says about what I assume is silly. True, I had an exam to do, and I approached the question with the intent of answering it as best I could. In doing so, for me the scale tipped in favor of her being a male fantasy. One of the major reasons for doing so ......I have to erase what follwed, as it may be considered to contain spoiler info. ;)

Think of the question simply as one point of departure for reflecting on the book, or don't think of it at all.

Well, as I said, I think we have a deeper underlying disagreement going on... Again, I have to wonder what is it you see as a "feminist ideal".
I'm curious what this deeper underlying disagreement is you see. You have no idea what my definition of feminist ideal is, if that is what your beef is. As for your objection to the either/or set-up of the question, yes, I understand your point, there is no disagreement there, other than to note that there are plenty of minds in which those may well be exclusive. You don't like the question, I get that.

I now return this thread to it's rightful purpose. Sorry.

69billiejean
Jul. 22, 2009, 12:02am

When does the voting end? I have been looking for the Delaney book without success, so I will probably have to order from Amazon. As soon as the results are final, I'll send in my order. :)
--BJ

70DirtPriest
Bearbeitet: Jul. 22, 2009, 12:53am

I already have both from my local library-ha ha
I did vote for neuromancer, though

71rojse
Jul. 22, 2009, 1:17am

I suppose we could do a thread for "Neuromancer" and "Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand", and the next group read book is number 9.

Whatever works for everyone else - I'm fine with whatever the group decides.

72rojse
Jul. 23, 2009, 9:53pm

"Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand" is winning... by one vote.

Having posted this, I well expect that someone will now put a vote in for Neuromancer.

73LolaWalser
Jul. 23, 2009, 10:19pm

Gwen, I have no "beef" with anything you said, I'm merely trying to understand what you're thinking. If you don't want to discuss it further, no problem...

You have no idea what my definition of feminist ideal is,

Lol! Yeah, I know I don't know--and I said so!

for me the scale tipped in favor of her being a male fantasy.

There it is again. Let me try this approach: how do you define "male fantasy"? What do you mean by "male fantasy"? And if it helps to clarify, the "feminist ideal"?

By the way, when I said "judging" I didn't mean it in some stern legal or moral sense, I meant the way in which we judge a work of art, an essay or a plate of spaghetti.

Yes, I think the way the question is posed is problematic. That's what I was getting at--the assumptions underlying it. (I understand it's not YOUR question and set-up.)

74GwenH
Bearbeitet: Jul. 23, 2009, 11:37pm

"for me the scale tipped in favor of her being a male fantasy.

There it is again. Let me try this approach: how do you define "male fantasy"? What do you mean by "male fantasy"? And if it helps to clarify, the "feminist ideal"


Again, my statement was referencing the original question I posted by the instructor. That meant that I was answering the portion of the question that was asking us to pick "male fantasy" or "feminist ideal" and support it with quotes. Of course, as a character in a book, (or a woman in real life for that matter) Molly could be both or neither. I was however, responding to the question and found it easier to find quotes to support her being a "male fantasy" than the other. Tipping the scale does not mean "all one and none of the other", it means "more one than the other", and in this case, in the context of the character's role within the novel.

From your first post it was obvious what your objection was, although you act as if I don't "get it". I've said I agree being one doesn't preclude the other, but the question was posed the way it was, geneg had asked what the question was, and I posted it.

I actually do feel her role in the book was male fantasy. I can see how someone might see her as a feminist ideal, but for me she was too much a tool at places in the story to be convincing in that regard. I don't want to elaborate here though as I don't want to post any spoilers in case someone stumbles across this who hasn't read the book yet.

75rojse
Jul. 25, 2009, 6:26am

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is the winner of the runoff poll.

#73, 74
Why do so many people insist on a dualistic view of the world - Molly is either a male fantasy or a feminist ideal? That there is no possibility that she is not either of those choices?

76GwenH
Bearbeitet: Jul. 25, 2009, 9:50am

75 rojse,
perhaps you missed this paragraph (and others) in my post just above yours...

"Again, my statement was referencing the original question I posted by the instructor. That meant that I was answering the portion of the question that was asking us to pick "male fantasy" or "feminist ideal" and support it with quotes. Of course, as a character in a book, (or a woman in real life for that matter) Molly could be both or neither. I was however, responding to the question and found it easier to find quotes to support her being a "male fantasy" than the other. Tipping the scale does not mean "all one and none of the other", it means "more one than the other", and in this case, in the context of the character's role within the novel.

edit - as to why some people insist on a dualistic view of the world, I'm not sure. That's been the stuff of philosophers for ages. Perhaps they are comfortable following a longstanding tradition? That's a discussion aoll on its own. ....and I was able to get Delany's book from the library. YEay!

77billiejean
Jul. 27, 2009, 7:31am

I ordered a copy from amazon with the supersaver shipping and will start it when I get it. It seems to have some pretty good reviews!
--BJ

78yosarian
Jul. 27, 2009, 7:48am


thanks for letting us know rojse, I'll order in my copy now. can I ask when it officially starts / how long I have to procrastinate? :)

79GwenH
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:34am

#78 yosarian -

For past books, people have been pretty spread out in their acquisition and reading of the month's book selection. In fact, it's been said it's never too late to add to a books discussion!

80ronincats
Jul. 27, 2009, 2:29pm

The library just got my copy in!

81rojse
Jul. 28, 2009, 8:39am

#78
I do whatever I can to sort of... oil the wheels, if you will.

Feel free to start whenever you are ready. We're quite laid back that way. Some people have started reading "Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand" already, and others will get around to it whenever our copy of the novel arrives in the mail or at the library.

#79
It was me who said it.

82geneg
Jul. 28, 2009, 10:05am

We don't really read books by month, it's more casual. We spend several weeks selecting a book and then a month or more reading it. Once most people are finished, energy builds behind selecting another book and so it goes. A very laid back operation. Not tied to calendars except when we vote on the next book, even then it's just to provide a cutoff date for voting.