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And here was I complaining about the covers that showed women posing extra sexily in impractical heels. We ARE going to get around to a time when women ARE NOT SEEN AS FUCKING TROPHIES AND AWARDS FOR OBNOXIOUS MACHO MEN, correct? At SOME point in time? Also? Put DOWN the photoshop. No really. Put. it. DOWN.

via: [livejournal.com profile] cofax7

ETA: And then there the cover that features actual fucking. Right then.
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So I added another link to the La Maupin post, and I link jumped to the edit: white lesbian romance section on Amazon. And there are some damn beautiful book covers that section! Granted, they are mostly compositions of things and landscapes, there aren't many with the couples themselves featured on the cover. But after the photoshop disasters that are so many gay romance book covers? I'll take these:

Breaking the ICE

Sea Legs



The Scorpion

Photographs of Claudia

Summer Winds


Songs Without Words

Ms. McGhee


Definite difference in marketing lesbian romance as opposed to gay romance. Gay romance is all about the men. Lots of couples or only man on the covers. Which set the stage from some truly awful photoshop. Whereas very few of what I saw of the lesbian romance had anyone at all on it, much more couples. So less room for headache-inducing covers. I wonder why less couples are featured on the covers of lesbian novels?

yes, most of these seem to feature white couples. I need some time to dig in to find the POC.
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And her third book is actually coming out in February!!!!!



Her books are your typical European fantasy, up to and including the occasional mention of the ominous Arabian-based empire that is among one of the threats to your standard Middle Ages kingdom. I should note however, that a running theme of the story is that said Middle Ages kingdom is a product of colonization and war. And the effects are still being felt. But the writing style!!! HILARIOUS. And characters! Deliciously wry and sarcastic! People, I have reread the damn books at least 7 times each. You do NOT get me to reread most book until a couple of years have passed. Much more that many times at all. And did I mention that sh now has a blog? Marvelous! We can now communicate with her and not wonder whether she'll ever publish again!!!

(Now please god, please make her a nice woman who will refrain from being a protagonist of anything even remotely resembling racefail. my heartbreak will be truly and absolutely EPIC if that happens. I will CRY, you all!!! I will bawl, scream and wear sackcloth and ashes. I am serious.)

In other news, I got a swine flu shot today. It amuses me that I psyched myself up for it and it was over before I even registered the needle prick. Twas free. Which was a very good thing for my wallet.

Also? Someone recced me a few books by Elizabeth Moon. Her name sounds familiar. Do you all have any info on her?
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John C. Wright author of Chronicles of Chaos, among other things is a raging homobigot who thinks that gay sex is equivalent to bestiality and incest What is amusing is that he thinks that his homobigotry, when dressed up in nose-in- the-air snootiness, is actually intelligent. *eyeroll*

And he's an insecure racist asshole as well. Mohammedan?!?!?!!?!? "Inuit" insults HIM??? WT Fucking FUCK??? Thank the universe I am an atheist, cause if this is an representation of what's going into heaven, I would have been starting revolutions and rebellions already. Christ almighty save me from your followers!!!!

Thou hast the info. Do with it as thou wilt.
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Simply put: Nyota Uhura is not a white girl.

While women of color are not necessarily embroiled in an entirely different feminist struggle than white women, they sure as fuck are not in the same place. (emphasis mine)


Uhura being single in TOS was not empowering.

She was single because the male leads were all white and as a black woman she was less of a person than them, she was less of a person than a white woman, and the fact that this serendipitously ended up meaning that she didn't have to spend all of her time mooning pathetically after dismissive men does not make that any more acceptable.

She got to sit in the back and rarely do anything and have her sexuality ignored not because they respected her so much as a colleague and a person, but because she was not a full, real human being and when you're not a full, real human being the idea that actual people would ever desire you or romance you or love you is ridiculous. You are invisible.MORE

[IBARW] Announcement and Ecumenical responses to the Northern Territory (Austrailia) Intervention Basically the Australian gov't is fucking with the Aborigines "for their own good".

Prior to the 2007 Election, the Howard Government began an "intervention" into Indigenous Communities in the Northern Territory. It was supposedly in response to levels of child abuse found in some communities, but used a "one size fits all" approach, and implemented draconian measures such as income "quarantining", getting rid of the permit system in NE Arnhemland, and other bizarre actions that would not be accepted by any other segment of the Australian community without utter uproar and outrage.

Anyway: a joint NATSIEC/NATSICA (Indigenous ecumenical bodies originating in the mainstream and evangelical churches respectively) forum earlier this year released this statement. An excerpt:
We believe that Aboriginal Peoples have not been listened to and our stories have
not been heard. The Intervention was implemented without consultation with
Aboriginal Peoples and Government continues to fail to listen with respect and in a
manner which is culturally appropriate.

For the White Person who wants to be my friend

Pat Parker

The first thing you do is to forget that i'm Black.
Second, you must never forget that i'm Black. MORE

Cages, Vick and Cherry

I remember, as do most people, a couple of years ago when Michael Vick was sentenced to prison. I also remember that a lot of the talk about him revolved around him being a brute (beast/monster/animal/Black) who gained pleasure from torturing dogs. The nail in the coffin for Vick was of course his abuse (murder/torture) of animals that Good people cuddled with, instead of the numerous animals that most of americans are cool with killing for pleasure (meat tasting so good and all). It was, of course, many of my fellow herbivores who went nuts with the racialized and brutal imagery. MORE

International Blog Against Racism Week - Indigenous Small Presses

the Australian Productivity Commission has just released a report on the parallel importation of books. Basically this is a proposal to cut import costs on books, which will probably lower the price of books and almost certainly knock some small presses out of business in Australia. Which would include the small Indigenous presses. I have written to the Government asking that they take the likely impact on small presses into account. Closing small Indigenous presses would mean fewer great books like Sally Morgan’s *My Place* (Fremantle Arts Press, 1987). It would mean losing great books to educate kids about Australia’s indigenous culture like *Aussie Toddlers Can* (Magabala, 2006).* It would mean losing a record of Australian experience, like Yami Lester’s autobiography (IAD Press, 1993). If not for books like *Yami* how would people know about the experiences of Western Desert people exposed to nuclear testing at Maralinga?MORE

Looking for my particular brand of Unicorn

There are talented actors of Persian or Middle Eastern descent in America. They would really like to play roles that do not involve terrorism. Us Middle Eastern people would like to see them play roles that do not involve terrorism. Why? Because media representation of our people fucking matters. It matters to our own perception of ourselves, and it matters to the world's perception of us. The news is bad enough with portraying all Middle Eastern people as some bloc of terrorists, potential terrorists, and oppressed people what need saving by white people. For once, we'd like to see Middle Eastern people living the same stories on the big screen that the white people get to live. And failing that, we would fucking like to see Middle Eastern people playing the roles actually based on our cultures and peoples.MORE
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STOP WHITEWASHING YOUR BOOK COVERS!!!! You are actually LOSING customers because of that, assholes! I saw both of her books and decided against picking them up because I was sick and tired of white protagonists all day long and was looking for books with POC on them!

Speaking of which, I have REALLy got to congratulate my Barnes and Noble. I have complained before about the mostly white section of YA fic. In teh past few weeks, it has diversified to an ASTONISHING extent. There are book featuring black people with black faces on the covers, that aren't necessarily about blacks in the ghetto, all over the place! There was even a book written by an American of mixed Indian and African descent featuring an Indian/African American girl and her Hispanic stepsister! And historicals. With black girls wearing awesome dresses on the cover!! SQUEEEEE!!!

Now, I want more books featuring lesbian characters (seriously guys, it ain't only white boys who are gay WTF!!) more Muslim Americans and Hispanic and Latina Americans WHO AREN'T REPRESENTED BY WHITE OR HIGH BROWN PEOPLE ON THE COVER BECAUSE SKIN COLOUR OF HISPANIC AMERICANS ACTUALLY ENCOMPASS THAT AND FIRST NATIONS AND BLACK PEOPLE AS WELL AS THEIR VARIOUS MIXES AS WELL WTH IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! And trans teens as well as Native American books aside from "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" would be nice! Great start! Now lets do more!!!

Also, the extra seating, especially those squishy armchairs, is GREATLY appreciated!

EDIT: Huh:Kimani Tru (YA African American fic) is an imprint of Harlequin! I didn't know that!

So willow is pointing out that the Kimani Tru Imprint has skanky SKANKY RACE AND CLASS ISSUES

And I remember that that there is issues with the way black teens are being presented in their YA books vs the way white teens are presented Oh my god. This is annoying the fuck out of me now.
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The new book-banning, courtesy of the United States government

It’s hard to believe, but true: under a law Congress passed last year aimed at regulating hazards in children’s products, the federal government has now advised that children’s books published before 1985 should not be considered safe and may in many cases be unlawful to sell or distribute. Merchants, thrift stores, and booksellers may be at risk if they sell older volumes, or even give them away, without first subjecting them to testing—at prohibitive expense. Many used-book sellers, consignment stores, Goodwill outlets, and the like have accordingly begun to refuse new donations of pre-1985 volumes, yank existing ones off their shelves, and in some cases discard them en masse.

The problem is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), passed by Congress last summer after the panic over lead paint on toys from China. Among its other provisions, CPSIA imposed tough new limits on lead in any products intended for use by children aged 12 or under, and made those limits retroactive: that is, goods manufactured before the law passed cannot be sold on the used market (even in garage sales or on eBay) if they don’t conform. The law has hit thrift stores particularly hard, since many children’s products have long included lead-containing (if harmless) components: zippers, snaps, and clasps on garments and backpacks; skateboards, bicycles, and countless other products containing metal alloy; rhinestones and beads in decorations; and so forth. Combine this measure with a new ban (also retroactive) on playthings and child-care articles that contain plastic-softening chemicals known as phthalates, and suddenly tens of millions of commonly encountered children’s items have become unlawful to resell, presumably destined for landfills when their owners discard them. Penalties under the law are strict and can include $100,000 fines and prison time, regardless of whether any child is harmed.Urge to kill rising...
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It got worse, since the last time that I made a comment about it. [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong has the details if you want to see.

[livejournal.com profile] skywardprodigal's take is for me, one of the best insights about the whole affair.

I'm thinking that the current race fail in SFF reflects that neither technology nor progress could create a better world when one group of people aspire to and worship manifest destiny and American style imperialism without critiquing what it costs communities from which its default heroes are excluded.


Dec. 30th, 2008 08:06 pm
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triggered by this post on Americablog. Which I don't agree with, by the way. See how one commenter links to an answers his jackassitic assertions re: local economies

Damn. See, I want to buy books from Southend Press. But I don't buy new books anymore, stopped buying them years ago and started buying the used books on Amazon, cause I read too much and simply cannot afford teh quantity of books that I normally buy if they were new. And where a library is concerned, if I like the book, I'll end up buying it anyway, so that doesn't work out. So I find myself in a situation where a gift of $25 can buy me three books on Amazon used books rolls, but only one, if I'm lucky, at South end. And thats with the discount that I get as a Comm. Supporting Publisher subscriber. And that fucking sucks. The heart is very willing. But the wallet is not strong enough, unfortunately. Fuck.

From a commenter:Dammit!!!

commenters are suggesting an alternative. except that the books I like are not exactly mainstream fodder.

another commenter links to Amazon's 2008 Special Interest Donations

Bargain Hunting for Books, and Feeling Sheepish About It
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Mar. 6th, 2008 01:40 am
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I found it! i fucking found it!!! Steven Barne's "Zulu Heart"

Saw it in Barnes and Noble a year ago, didn't take down the relevant info and it wasn't there next time. But random look at ABW's Blog and he's in her blog roll!!! Yeah!!!
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Via [livejournal.com profile] skywardprodigal

How To Promote Diversity in Fiction Markets
Posted on May 2, 2007 by the angry black woman

The Internets are abuzz lately with talk about inclusiveness and diversity in Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction. There’s the whole dustup with SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) which NKJ touched on in this post. There’s the Hugo nomination list that includes only one female writer and about two or three writers of color. There’s this insane argument pertaining to that. And then there’s the issue of diversity in fiction markets and the slush pile*.

That last issue came up several times in the last few weeks both in public (see Mike Resnick’s comments here) and in private conversation regarding Fantasy magazine. (Yes, again… it never ends.) In both instances, two editors who differ in age, experience, and probably ethnic or religious background said nearly exactly the same thing to me. To wit: ” I didn’t know (or care) if [the people who submitted to my markets] were black, white, purple, or polka-dot” (Resnick) or “I don’t choose stories based on race or culture or gender, I just choose the best stories” (an editor friend).

I really, really hate this excuse - for several reasons. The first of which is that it gives the appearance of being reasonable, thereby shutting down further discussion or debate. In writing, only the story should matter, not the writer! It also assumes that the submission pile represents an adequate and accurate cross-section of writers and stories. Therefore, by picking the best, the editor is automatically being fair.

The appearance of fairness, though, is false. That’s not readily apparent. Thus, anyone who disagrees seems, to the casual listener, unreasonable and strident.

I submit that I am neither unreasonable nor strident (at the moment). I hope that means people will hear me out.

Read rest here: http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/2007/05/02/how-to-promote-diversity-in-fiction-markets/
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The colour line. Oh yes, I'm going there. [livejournal.com profile] delux_vivens got me thinking with this piece about the characterizations of Native Americans in romance novels.

Excerpt: For those who might have missed the literary content involved, Cassie Edwards main oeuvre is historical novels based on Native Americans.

Sort of.

She's penned 100 tomes, with titles like: Savage Illusion Savage Spirit Savage Secrets Savage Passions Savage Longings Savage Tears Savage Fires Savage Honor Savage Moon Savage Arrow Savage Obsession Savage Innocence Savage Heart Savage Torment Savage Paradise and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Ms Edwards is part Cheyenne, having had a full blood Cheyenne great granny (not just a cheyenne, but a FULL BLOOD!!!) and these Savage books (of which there are, literally, dozens) are part of the way in which she honors her Cheyenne heritage. And I quote:

I am writing these books now in a way to honor our Native Americans, past, present and in the future. And I am honoring my great grandmother who was a full blood Cheyenne. She would be so proud of me if she could read what I am writing about the Indians who have been so maligned for so long.

OK. Here's the thing: these books, as far as I know (I once tried to read one, but I couldn't slog through it, really, I tried) are all about white women climbing the ecstatic heights of passion's snowcapped mountains with Native men. Not Native women, who sometimes figure in her books, but not enough to actually, you know, be the heroines and get to climb the ecstatic heights of passions snowcapped mountains with Native men.

The full entry is here:

This reminded me of another reason that I began to hate the average romance novel. It was the whole sale exoticification of other people's cultures in order for white women to get their jollies. Now, aside from the recently introduced lines of black romance, most romance novels feauture white women and white men or exotic men. By exotic I mean Italian, Greek, occasionally Russian and Native American, and sheiks. I have never seen a romance book featuring inter-cultural relationships that have black men and white women as protagonists, not surprising considering the history that behind that particular pairing.

Read more... )
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Oh Lord. This one is making me think. A couple of years ago, I stopped reading heterosexual romance novels completely. I'd been reading them since I was 10 or 11, against the rules of my parents. Mommy had 2 huge boxes of them, plus about 20 more on a shelf in the library next to my bedroom. I started with those ones on the shelf, old time Harlequin and Mills and Boon, you know, the ones with 18 or 19 year old fresh, innocent, virgin girls being wooed by 30 something jaded, experienced, men, with a sexay 20 something, sophisticated bitch lurking the background trying to fuck up the pure, true-love relationship. And also that Dutch writer, I can't rememeber her name now, whose protagonists were all plain young nurses who fell in love with aloof 30 something Dutch doctors (somehow they all ended up in Holland within the first couple in pages, which is where all doctor ignores me and is fucking rude, but somehow round the end of the book we find out that he was fighting his feeling for the pure, plain girl and he would neva  fall in love with that beautiful bitchy slut that was lurking around in the background.

Then I graduated to the bigger books, Cassie Edwards, Connie Mason, and their ilk. Exotic men galore: sheiks, Indians, Spanish (men from Spain, that is). Also loads of pirates, dukes, kings, warriors, highway men (who usually turned out to be wronged dukes, earls etc., and so did the pirates); and other manly, powerful men. Never any peasants. Always young women, about 18 years old, always "sassy", "feisty", "fiery" who were kidnapped from their homes by these virile men, were raped, humiliated, sometimes spanked, or slapped but somehow in the end, all of this was rationalised by the hero as being done for love of the heroine. In one particularly distingusting case, the heroine was raped until she bled for defying the hero over some stupid thing or other, (I read it about 10 years ago, and have spent a hell of a lot of time trying to block it from my mind since) and right after the bullshit, he hugged her tenderly and said something to the effect that he needed to punish her because she wouldn't listen to him. At that point, I threw down the book in disgust and swore heatedly. There was no way my 12 year old mind as going to accept that raping a women was proof of your love, no way in hell! So I tried the others.


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