dragonimp: (Ed linework)
A year ago I posted about a YA manuscript that was getting a certain kind of negative response from agents - basically, some said they would be interested IF a certain (gay) character's POV and references to his sexuality were removed.

But this saga has a happy ending: the manuscript has been picked up by Viking press, gay characters intact!

Details and a description of the book are in that post, but I wanted to highlight this part:
Sherwood and I wanted to write something fun and exciting, with adventure and romance and mutant powers and martial arts and a vivid sense of place. And we wanted it to be about the people who are so often left out of those sorts of books: Latinos and African-Americans, Jews and Asian-Americans, gay boys and lesbian girls, multiracial teenagers and teenagers with physical and mental disabilities. We didn't do this to fulfill some imaginary quota, but because we wanted to write about teenagers like the real ones we know, the real ones in Los Angeles, the real ones we were.

...

Stranger is a post-apocalyptic adventure, not an issue novel. But all stories have their genesis somewhere, and for me, it was my wish to say, "It's okay. You're okay. You'll get better. You'll make friends. You'll fall in love. You can be a hero." I hope it finds its way to the people to whom it will speak.


A scifi/fantasy story... with a cast that looks a lot like everyday life. A story with gay main characters that's not "about" being gay, but instead says this is normal, too.
dragonimp: (snuggles)
From the book Sex at Dawn:
pg. 78: [comparing humans with chimps and bonobos] There is a high degree of variability in potential sexual combinations in humans and bonobos; homosexual activity is common in both, but rare in chimps. [Bonobos are the only primate besides us that has sex for reasons other than reproduction.]
....
pg. 103: Recognized as a way to build and maintain a network of mutually beneficial relationships, nonreproductive sex no longer requires special explanations. Homosexuality, for example, becomes far less confusing, in that is is, as E. O. Wilson has written, "above all a form of bonding . . . consistent with the greater part of heterosexual behavior as a device that cements relationships."


In other words, homosexuality is not only 100% natural, it likely evolved because it was a benefit to society.

And ladies, there's evidence that we might all be a little bit gay.
dragonimp: (Default)
A literary agent offered to represent a YA manuscript - on the condition that one of the main characters be made straight or have his POV and any mention of his sexuality cut.

These authors aren't the only ones with a story like that. It's 2011 and this kind of unseen discrimination is happening - and not just with sexuality; authors have been told to change characters' race, disability, even gender. That article talks about it much better than I could, and also has list of books to consider if you want to "vote with your wallet" in support of diversity in books.
dragonimp: (. . .)
Borders.com just told me that Twilight: the Graphic Novel will be released in March.

O_o. Um. Yeah. No.
dragonimp: (Default)
Any desire I may have had to read or watch New Moon has been successfully killed. From what I understand, the books only got worse from there on out.
dragonimp: (. . .)
Scholastic U.S. reverses decision to ban book
... In a letter sent to her publisher, Amulet Books, Scholastic’s book fairs division asked her to clean up the relatively mild language and to change the two same-sex parents to a straight couple. “The other issues [Scholastic had problems with] – words like ‘crap’ – just made me shake my head and laugh,” said Myracle. “But the idea that two moms could be problematic ... well, astonished would be the best way to describe my reaction.” ...


Now, why am I thinking that complaining about words like "crap" was a case of "we have to find something else to take issue with so we don't look quite so homophobic!"

Interestingly, Scholastic Canada didn't have an issue with the book.
dragonimp: (inuyasha)
There is a petition you can sign protesting Amazon's new practice of stripping the sales ranking from books with homosexual themes. No telling whether Amazon will listen or not, but it's worth a shot.
dragonimp: (laundry)
Are all romance novels White, or is it just my library? Are the romances featuring non-white characters hiding behind the anonymous covers? Even the ones with titles like "The Sicilian's Mistress" or "The Spanish Billionaire's Bride" feature awfully pale-skinned mediterraneans. Out of all the romances I've seen come across the desk, I've seen one - exactly one - that had a non-white character on the cover. It made me do a double-take, which is sad. I shouldn't be startled to see a dark-skinned Cover Hunk. Do only Caucasians get to have romance or something? If this is some sort of directed marketing attempt, it's failed, because a lot of non-white women read romances.

Anyway, off to taxes, and then to schoolwork. It's getting down to the wire, so I'm not going to be around much online. I'm still reading, but if it would take more than minimal brain function to comment, I'm probably not going to ^^;;. See everyone after the 20th.
dragonimp: (Default)
One of the books I've been waiting for came in yesterday. So of course, when I got home from work, I decided to open it up, and read maybe the first chapter or two...

Spent the rest of the evening in a book coma ^^;.

Which I would've known would happen, if I'd stopped to think about it. It was worth it, though; the book (How to Ditch your Fairy) is a quick read and very, very charming. The best kind of YA fluff. (Which was a nice change, considering the last book I read was Twilight.)

On the down side, that means I didn't get any schoolwork done yesterday. I spent most of the day today at work, so no schoolwork is getting done tonight, either. I'm going to have to chain myself to the computer or something tomorrow (though I can't do much about that internet distraction, damnitall). Oh, and I work part of Saturday and all of Sunday, too (I'm not complaining, I need the hours).

Twilight

Feb. 2nd, 2009 06:44 pm
dragonimp: (portrait)
I finished Twilight this morning. It's ... cute. And yeah, I can see why it's so popular with teenage girls. But I kept finding myself reading like a writer. I'm not sure exactly why. But if the story can't grab me and keep me reading like a reader, then the book's not doing its job.

It really does read like Mary-Sue fanfiction. Which I think is part of its appeal. What teenage girl doesn't want to be Bella, the awkward nobody who suddenly becomes OMGPOPULAR and has Mr. Gorgeous Vampire falling all over her? I felt like I was reading one of my teenage fantasies (except for the popularity part; that sounds more like a nightmare). Problem is, most of the fantasies I had as a teenager wouldn't make for good writing. The book was a little too heavy on the wish fulfillment for my tastes.

And, I'm sorry, but I can't take the sparkling thing seriously. I like for there to be logic behind my fantasy, and that smacks of nothing more than "Oooh, wouldn't that be cool??" Why the hell would they sparkle?

Will I read the rest of the series? Eh... my reading list is already a mile long.
dragonimp: (portrait)
Philip Pullman does odd things with his narration at times, mostly staying in tight third, and then popping out into omniscient, only to jump back into tight third. It's not bad, I just find it a little jarring. It's like I'm riding along with the story, and then, every now and then, a voice whispers "pssst - you're reading a book." And I go "Huh? What?" and turn to look, but the voice is gone. Otherwise I'm enjoying The Golden Compass. It just takes some getting used to.
dragonimp: (Ranma's up to something)
Stopped into Barnes and Noble today. I haven't browsed - truly browsed - through a book store in a while. It was very satisfying. It also got me thinking about books and Amazon's e-reader, kindle. Personally, I don't think an e-reader could ever completely replace the physical book. There's something sensual about books that can't be reproduced. The heft of the book tells you something about how much information is inside and what kind of read it's going to be. When you're reading it, you can see at a glance how much you've read, and how much of it is left. Browsing in a book store as I did today is a completely different experience than browsing Amazon. I found two books serendipitously on the bargain shelf that I never would have gone looking for. You can follow trails at Amazon and find some interesting things, but it's still not the same as moseying through the shelves. And then there's the feel of the book, the paper, the cover, the binding (I know I'm not the only one who looks at a book's construction) - and flagging pages doesn't work the same with an e-reader.

I read an article last semester talking about the kindle and the pros and cons of e-readers in general, and I will admit that e-readers have their place (or will, when the price comes down to something reasonable). Text searching, for one thing. Being able to carry many volumes at once. Instant access. But it won't replace the codex.

After the book store we went shopping for clothes, which was ... productive (at least in my case - 4 pairs of pants for $24!), but not nearly as enjoyable an experience.

Back when I first put on this weight I had the thought of "maybe I'll actually be able to find clothes that fit now!!" Obviously that was a moment of delusion, because I had forgotten that today's styles simply are not cut for my body type. I don't think they're cut for anyone's body type, but they're really not cut for mine. Probably 95% of pants that otherwise fit gap at the small of my back. Even pants that are otherwise too small will gap. All four of the pairs I bought today come with belts, otherwise they wouldn't be manageable (okay, yeah, for $6 a pair I would have bought belts, but it's nice that they come with them).

Ironically, I'm still apparently in the same size range I was in before, even though I've outgrown most of my old pants, but that's the vagueness of the fashion industry for you. Where a size 6 could be larger than a size 8, and neither of them fit right anyway.

(I'm getting a kick out of having to shimmy my pants over my hips, though, I haven't had to do that in years.)
dragonimp: (portrait)
My mom was actually caught by surprise by the events toward the end of Half-Blood Prince. Usually I'm the clueless one, and I thought the foreshadowing there was really bloody obvious. Or maybe I've just gotten more jaded and cynical when it comes to the Harry Potter books; she seems to be getting more out of the last 3 books than I did.

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