?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Marilee J. Layman

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
09:25 pm: Halting State by Charles Stross

This book is written in second person and we divided close to half with people who hated that and people who knew what it meant and just read without problems. One of our members knew almost nothing about computers, which we didn't know, or one of us would have explained things to him.

There's several layers of plot in this -- a well-known online game, Avalon 4, has a bank robbed by Orcs, Jack and Elaine are trying to figure out what happened, Sue and Liz are police who are trying to solve the real-life problems, one of which is a tiger team from other countries, and people die. Sue is a lesbian and one of our members was very unhappy about that because she felt there wasn't any need for it. The rest of us shrugged.

It's rather complicated, but I'm one of the folks who didn't really notice the second person and I really enjoyed it. I have the very semi-sequel, Rule 34, on pre-order. Charlie's been running some parts of it on his blog and you can get an idea from there.

Tags:

Comments

[User Picture]
From:dcseain
Date:June 19th, 2011 08:26 am (UTC)
(Link)
I quite enjoyed Halting State, and i only started it over once, part way through chapter one, once i'd gotten a hold of the 2nd person POV, which worked, but is unusual in general.
[User Picture]
From:autopope
Date:June 19th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC)
(Link)
Sue is a lesbian and one of our members was very unhappy about that because she felt there wasn't any need for it.

I wonder if she'd have had the same issue if there had been a black or moslem character in the novel?

Scotland is incredibly whitebread compared to anywhere in the US -- less than 1% non-white: indeed, the biggest ethnic minority is "white English" -- but Edinburgh is the gay capital of Scotland, so if you're going to represent any minority in a Scottish novel, gay comes up most often when you roll the dice.
[User Picture]
From:green_knight
Date:June 19th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
I wonder if she'd have had the same issue if there had been a black or moslem character in the novel?

Quite probably.

Sometimes a novel needs to face minority issues head on, and that's a good thing; but you also need novels in which minorities are visible for no specific reason other verisimilitude and because their _absence_ would be suspicious.

As a writer, if I cast my mind about for a group of average characters and they're all representing one group only, I'm doing something wrong.
[User Picture]
From:autopope
Date:June 19th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That was a rhetorical question. (Bigots are everywhere.)

I hope she buys "Rule 34" ... the cognitive fireworks might be entertaining.

Edited at 2011-06-19 09:03 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 19th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, I already told the group that Rule 34 has only one het-oriented person, so I'm pretty sure she won't buy it. I can offer to lend it to her...
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 19th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
No, I don't think so, but I don't know how many muslims and blacks (and in the US, most muslims are black) she knows or thinks about.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 19th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
(Link)
She's a deep-down Catholic where GLBT bothered her, and when I told her that Todd McCaffrey has introduced polyamory in his last Pern book, she blanched and almost hit the floor. I'm definitely the most liberal person in the group, but those things wouldn't really bother the others.
[User Picture]
From:fledgist
Date:June 20th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Given that some of that less than one percent is related to me (and votes SNP), I'm very aware of it.

I can't see why having a gay character is a problem, frankly.
Powered by LiveJournal.com