My latest terrible invention

Instead of explaining about all the posts I mean to write and haven’t, about WisCon and my ankles and all the books I’ve been reading, I bring you my latest terrible invention, to go with the Catula, Elboff, the Beer Hat Neti Pot, Cat Eggs, and the Sockerchief.

You know how there are Chia Pets of many varieties? Wouldn’t it be brilliant to have… the Chia Butt?

It would be a ceramic butt, with little holes all over for the seeds to sprout, creating a fascinating conversation piece you can tend and love… a green, hairy, butt.

CHIA ABE

This made my son laugh very hard and then I further sent him into the throes of laugh-trigger asthma by explaining why underwear should have pockets. I have invented… UNDERPOCKET!

Right, so back to the semi-serious blogging about something of substance that isn’t my painful bilateral achilles tendonitis with bursitis thrown in as a bonus and sciatica and bad knees. And peripheral neuralgia that no one can explain. For the last 6 months. I miss walking, driving, bike riding and my dramatic supercrip Journey Out of the Wheelchair. Now I’m very familiar with the beeping lift things that scoop you onto buses. Though I will say that I love my electric scooter and imagining the Thunderbirds Are Go launch theme as I come out of the automatically opening garage door, scooting. OMG… yes. Scooter power!

Excellent books read recently:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Women, friendship, social class, airplanes, Gestapo, epistolary, AWESOME. Read this immediately.

Meeks by Julia Holmes.

Dystopia! gender! social class! Kickass writing that didn’t make me want to hurl (as most “literary fiction” does) Beauty and despair.

WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

Fabulous kids’ book about a kid in an underground survival pod with a robot named MUTHR. It has great illustrations and is very fast paced in the beginning so I suggest it as especially good for kids under 10 who get bored at exposition.

Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst

15,000 years ago, a fierce brave wolf cub watches her brother and sisters die, outcast from the Pack! OMG! Wolf Ayla! The Greatwolves are up to something and the 2 leggers or whatever they were called are sort of the companion animal they long to soul bond with (but it is FORBIDDEN.) I got this for Danny’s daughter as it looked like a better and more sophisticated Warriors style book about fierce animals, with mythology and hunting, then I started reading it and couldn’t stop till I was done.

Into the Wise Dark by Neesha Meminger

Surly psychic teenage girls! No vampires! Indian-American family complexities, mums who Mean Well, and creepy therapists who totally don’t! Female friendship and working together with MAGIC… time travel… Goddess stuff… a hot boyfriend back in time, tending the goats of the village… Very enjoyable. There was a scene it it where she was in these bubble things in space in isolated space prison cells and I could SWEAR I have read something else that was like that a long time ago. What was it? Anyway, this was great and I loved how it sneaked some space and future into what is usually focused around “paranormal” and history. Keep sticking those silver jumpsuits in there Neesha!! Yeah!

Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente.

Sex, desire, creativity, aesthetics, ummm fantasy? way out there! To get into this amazing ultimate Virconium city or Amber or Utopian weirdness world you have to have sex with someone who also has a piece of the map tattooed on them. This book has a lot of scenes of people having uncomfortably casual sex and freaking out about it. I am only halfway through and at first wasn’t sure what the hell was going on and if I was like, too far into Cat Valente’s Id Vortex to feel comfy and then I got really into it and felt the lid was off and let’s just go with the flow.

Habitation of the Blessed duology also by Cat Valente

Extremely good! Bears thinking about! Easy to read and lovely and packed with history and beauty and I especially love the bits that are the butterfly’s and the blemmye’s stories. I can’t remember their names and lent the books out already. If you bounced off the massively deep layers of nested stories (or the purpley prose) of Orphan’s Tales give this a try – its structure is more accessible. I really get blown away by how good and great and geniusy Valente’s books are. Bite on that Gene Wolfe. Stuff it Orhan Pamuk. These are the massive storytelling epics I’ve been waiting for and without the cognitive dissonanance of having to work around all the fucking heinous unnecessary sexism that I have to cope with while reading Wolfe and Pamuk.

Report to the Men’s Club – Carol Emschwiller.

Short stories which left me with the impression of first contact hermity mountain women of the 19th century; if you liked Souls by Joanna Russ you’ll like this… the little known first contact nun genre!

Redemption in Indigo – Karen Lord.
A great speculative novel set in west africa. Magic and gods and chaos – I want a Chaos Stick! I loved this book and will look for her next one. This story made me think a bunch about scoping out the parameters of woman centered hero tales.

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