AfterEllen.com Book Club: Your Choices for November!

Time for a change of pace. We spent the last month delving into lives that were often almost too painfully real. Now let’s jump into stories where shit is completely made up! It’s time for some fantasy and science fiction!

I’m pumped for these choices for November. Whenever I do sit down with a fantasy or science fiction novel, I find myself completely enthralled, re-remembering the magic of reading and the worlds it can take you to. Yet even knowing this, most of the time I find myself submerged in the depressing reality stuff, because I like to be depressed? I don’t know. Regardless, I’ll be glad to dive into any of these choices.

1. Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey

I have had this book recommended to me approximately 2327 times. Many of you have recommended it to me, in fact! But I still haven’t read it yet because I’m a lazy jerk! This is what I hear about it, though: it’s set in a futuristic United States where life doesn’t sound that great because life never sounds that great in futuristic United States. Our main lady, Loup, apparently has some super powers and is kick ass and also likes boxing. Also, there’s something about werewolves. And, she likes girls and one of the reviews I read included the word “sensual” and I always like that. This may not be an adequate description, but on the upside, no spoilers.

2. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is the stuff of legend when it comes to science fiction, and The Left Hand of Darkness is undoubtedly considered a classic. And it’s nice to read classics because then you can sound smarter at parties full of pretentious people. Also, sometimes, you get a really good read along with the deal, and it seems like this might be one of those times. The thing that intrigues me most about this story, once again set in the future, is the commentary on gender. In the Hainish universe where the novel takes place, there essentially is no gender; there are no rigid binaries, and perhaps as a result, there has never been war in this universe. And then I assume a bunch of other stuff happens. It’s noted to be one of the first important feminist science fiction novels ever written. (And Gray Haired Grad also suggested it last month, so thanks for putting it on my radar!)

3. Adaptation, Malinda Lo

I contemplated which novel to include for the third selection of this month for around a hundred hours (note: exaggeration), including trying to decide between an overwhelming number of Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey books among many others, before finally deciding to go with Adaptation. Since Left Hand of Darkness is such an oldie, I wanted to include some newer selections for the other choices, and this is pretty darn new. You can check out my official review of it here, but to save you time, I can tell you this: this book is major fun. It includes a bisexual love triangle, Area 51, and all kinds of weird, fascinating, creepy stuff. And dead birds. It’s also a YA book, but if you’re one of those types who’s still prejudiced against YA books, you maybe haven’t been reading the right ones.

So, what’s it gonna be, nerds?

I’ll leave this poll up over the weekend to give time for voting for those who may be affected by Sandy and are without power for a while. I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

In the meantime, keep discussing Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, and let me know what fantasy or science fiction novels I absolutely MUST include next time we hit this genre. Also, if you have any suggestions for the type of book we should target in December, write a comment, as well. I was thinking of returning to plain ol’ general queer fiction, particularly because I have Emma Donoghue’s new book Astray sitting on my desk that I’d really love to explore. But if you have any other thoughts, let me know!

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