Link Round-up for a Cold Weekend

First of all, the news of the day: Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak has finally resigned. Let’s hope that this marks the beginning of a true democracy for Egypt and not the changeover to the next multi-decade dictatorship. And yes, I am actually old enough to remember Mubarak taking office.

My memory and awareness of political world events gradually kicks in between 1978 and 1980. I think that’s earlier than for many others, but then I grew up in a household where the evening news were watched religiously and very much like a church service – you were not allowed to talk, comment or ask questions until after the news was over. Of course, the late 1970s and early 1980s were also a time where a lot of new political leaders and heads of state came in (which bothered me a lot at the time, because I had problems remembering all those new names – why I felt the need to remember them at age 7 I do not know). Meanwhile, the 1980s were largely static with very little changeover.

There is a lot of commentary on the situation in Egypt everywhere on the web. I quite like this post by Ursula K. LeGuin.


Meanwhile, there is a new story from the department “fans can be jerks”:

Carla Kelly is an author of regency romances and in fact one of the few living historical romance writers whom I trust to deliver the goods. Recently, however, Ms. Kelly has decided to venture into new territory, namely historical western romances about Mormons*. Many fans were not pleased, they wanted more regencies instead of historical Mormon romances. Never mind that Ms. Kelly is still writing regencies as well, she is just branching out. And at least one fan posted a vitriolic Amazon review including what may or may not be a veiled death threat.

Crap like this makes me angry. Yes, we’ve all had favourite authors who changed direction and wrote books we didn’t like nearly as much as the previous ones. It happens. Trends change, authors change interests or just plain want to write something different. I completely sympathize with that – I would quickly burn out if I only had to write the same sort of story (regardless what sort of story) for the rest of my life. And if a favourite writer changes direction and writes something that no longer appeals to me – well, no one is forcing me to buy it. Besides, I am not averse to giving Borrowed Light a try, since it’s about a piece of history that – being German – I don’t know a whole lot about.

Anyway, once again Neil Gaiman says it best: “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.” And neither is Carla Kelly.

*I know the official name of the denomination is Church of Latter Day Saints, but that’s a very long name to type. Never mind that most of my German readers won’t know what it is.

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9 Responses to Link Round-up for a Cold Weekend

  1. Estara says:

    There is a self-published author named Moriah Jovan who writes romances/sagas with one fallen-from-grace Mormon family as the characters – all of whom are larger than life. Some of whom like Ayn Rand, heh – and I still found her books fascinating. I haven’t read outside me comfort zone in entertainment for a long time but she has huge excerpts on her site and I found the characters and story captivating.

    If you want the slow slide into her world, the second book STAY is best for that, as it has more traditional romance tropes. The first book THE PROVISO is set earlier, but I didn’t feel annoyed about meeting some of the characters in the second book, as that one really doesn’t much concentrate on them.

    THE PROVISO is more of an old school family saga (I was a bit reminded by the plot of the way Dallas and Dynasty did stuff in the 80s) with three romantic pairs all getting their happy end after lots of intrigue and derring-do.

    The books are very hot, too. The author is Mormon herself and a very opinionated person as well.

  2. Cora says:

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    I actually like the religious romance novels featuring Amish people, Mormons and other religious groups that are rare to non-existent in Germany, because they provide a window into a very different culture, which I find fascinating.

    Regarding Ayn Rand, she is another bit of very different US culture. I must confess that I’d never heard of her before I got on the internet, though I had seen the film adaption of The Fountainhead as a teenager and thoroughly disliked it, not because of the politics but because the hero was a crappy architect.

    I actually did come across a copy of Atlas Shrugged in Germany once, in a very left-alternative bookstore in Hamburg St. Pauli of all places.

    • Estara says:

      Well, her characters discuss the political side in detail and my “soziale Marktwirtschaft” self kept thinking “but that will only work if no one abuses their privilege and do you really think they wouldn’t?”.

      I was invested in the people at the time and it didn’t come as didactic or preachy so I was able to accept this part of their interests.

      Ayn Rand has only be a blip on my radar since my contact with the US internet, too. From the little politics most of my regular LJ reading list discuss, I suspect I gravitate much more towards liberal people. Moriah Jovan is a staunch Republican – to each their own.

      • Estara says:

        Also, her books have been edited professionally – and that is easily seen – and beautifully layouted – her sideline is preparing other authors books for republishing as ebooks according to whatever format they like.

      • Cora says:

        I don’t mind authors with different political views, as long as they don’t get preachy or ranty in their fiction. I like a lot of Baen’s output, for example, and many of their writers tend towards the right. They still write good SF.

        Of course, it’s also easy to get things wrong. For example, I used to think John Scalzi tended towards the right, since he writes about wars and soldiers. But he’s actually a Democrat.

        • Estara says:

          Hmm, that’s an interesting thought about BAEN. Come to think of it, you’re probably right.

          Of course, unless they’re rescuing authors like Sharon Lee/Steve Miller and P.C. Hodgell.

          • Cora says:

            Baen has done a lot of good work bringing out of print authors back and reprinting lost classics. And of course, they publish Lois McMaster Bujold.

            But they also seem to publish a significant amount of right of center authors, probably because – if some people are to be believed – the other publishers don’t want them. And some of those authors write good SF and fantasy, even though I disagree with their politics. For example, I quite like Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter books.

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