The Feminism of Old Man’s War

LiveJournaler Mosca has nice things to say about Old Man’s War, and also makes an argument for it being a feminist novel:

This is one of the few military SF novels I’ve read that has women in it — not just love interests or characters established as female, but women who act like women. It doesn’t feel like Scalzi is trying for politically correct inclusiveness, because the women are too numerous and too diverse for that. There’s also a major gay character, and he’s treated with the same multidimensionality. But it’s a feminist novel in a broader and more lit-crit sense, in the ways that Russ and Le Guin call for.

I have friends with a deeper knowledge of Russ’ and LeGuin’s positions than I do, who could vet this argument better than I could, though I don’t see anything wrong about it in a general sense. I will say that Mosca is correct that I didn’t go out of my way to be politically correct or inclusive. There was never a point in the writing of OMW where I said “hey, I need to put some women in there.” They were always in there, because why wouldn’t they be. Other than that I just tried to write all the characters as something more than cardboard.

One other comment is that I think the most interesting character in the whole Old Man’s universe (for me, anyway) is Jane Sagan. I think of all the characters, she has the most complete character arc; you see a lot of that arc in The Ghost Brigades and it’s coming to be a major part of The Last Colony as well. I don’t think any of this qualifies me for a Tiptree Award, mind you. I’m just glad she’s been such an interesting person to write about.


The Top 50 Personal Blogs in SF/F, v. 1.0

Because my daughter is home today, precluding me from doing any real writing on the book because she’s all daddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddy, I thought I’d waste my time and last remaining dregs of youth on the pointless exercise of ranking the the top 50 personal blogs in SFdom, as determined from their rankings in Technorati. Because you know you want to know.

First, selection details and trivia:

* Who was eligible for the list? SF/F writers, editors, agents, publishers, artists and fans.

* I made the decision to not to include “news” blogs or blogs whose material is not primarily personal and/or SF-related. This disqualified high-ranking sites like Boing Boing, Locus Online, SFSite, Futurismic, SF Signal, Emerald City and Meme Therapy, which are ranked by Technorati and would have otherwise been on the list. This also, incidentally, disqualified my own AOL Journal, “By the Way,” which I booted because I write it for money.

* This list is likely less accurate as one goes down the list for the following reasons: Lack of Technorati stats for various sites, Technorati’s “interesting” way of handling LiveJournal (i.e., some journals are ranked, some are not), the compiler being an idiot and missing a personal journal which should, like, so totally be in there, and so on. Consider this a “1.0” product, full of quirks and holes.

* Technorati’s ranking criteria is based primarily on linking, not visitation; so some sites ranked higher than others may receive fewer visitors than lower-ranked sites. Also, of course, a high Technorati ranking (or a high ranking on this list) may not correlate to a quality reading experience. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

* These rankings are accurate — to the extent they are accurate — only for the day they’re posted; Technorati rankings change over time. Indeed, the simple act of linking to the sites, as I will, is likely to change their rankings. That’s the nature of the game.

* For entertainment purposes only. Don’t hate me if I didn’t rank your site, particularly if your Technorati ranking is below 149,618, which was the cutoff here. Alternately, put your site and its Technorati ranking in the comment thread; I’ll keep track of it for the next time I put out this ranking list.

* The listings read: Name of blog — name of author (Technorati ranking as of 7/6/06)

And here we go.

The Top 50 Personal Blogs in SF/F, v. 1.0

1. Neil Gaiman’s Journal — Neil Gaiman (318)
2. Making Light — Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden (588)
3. Whatever — John Scalzi (1,176)
4. Beyond the Beyond — Bruce Sterling (4,798)
5. The Sideshow — Avedon Carol (4,907)

6. Paperback Writer — S.L. Viehl (5,288)
7. Kathryn Cramer — Kathryn Cramer (10,930)
8. Contrary Brin — David Brin (11,470)
9. Charlie’s Diary — Charles Stross (11,540)
10. The Mumpsimus — Matthew Cheney (11,795)

11. Vanderworld — Jeff VanderMeer (11,968)
12. Nick Mamatas’ Journal — Nick Mamatas (16,156)
13. The Early Days of a Better Nation — Ken MacLeod (17,664)
14. They Must Need Bears — Elizabeth Bear (19,322)
15. Tobias S. Buckell Online — Tobias Buckell (22,306)

16. Shaken and Stirred — Gwenda Bond (22,306)
17. Westerblog — Scott Westerfeld (23,731)
18. Nalo Hopkinson — Nalo Hopkinson (26,106)
19. Justine Larbalestier — Justine Larbalestier (26,106)
20. The Slush God Speaketh — John Joseph Adams (28,632)

21. The Prodigal Blog — Charles Coleman Finlay (34,061)
22. Notes From the Labyrinth — Sarah Monette (37,752)
23. Respectful of Otters — Dr. Rivka (39,834)
24. It’s all one thing — Will Shetterly (40,594)
25. Lorem Ipsum — Jed Hartman (42,184)

26. Lakeshore — Jay Lake (43,932)
27. Et in Arcaedia, Ego — Jennifer Jackson (46,797)
28. Robert J. Sawyer — Robert J. Sawyer (48,950)
29. Goblin Mercantile Exchange — Alan DeNiro (50,012)
30. Notes from the Geek Show — Hal Duncan (51,129)

31. Arthur D. Hlavaty — Arthur D. Hlavaty (55,145)
32. The Pagan Prattle Online — Feorag NicBhride (56,584)
33. Holly Black — Holly Black (58,064)
34. Anna Louise’s Journal — Anna Louise Genoese (58,064)
35. From the Heart of Europe — Nicholas Whyte (59,661)

36. Notes From Coode Street — Jonathan Strahan (63,319)
37. The Antic Musings of GBH Hornswoggler, Gent. — Andrew Wheeler (66,874)
38. Avram’s Journal — Avram Grumer (68,950)
39. Kool Aid Underground — Jeremy Lassen (73,417)
40. Guano Happens — Maureen McHugh (75,763)

41. Deep Genre — Group Blog (80,928)
42. 14theDitch — Jeffrey Ford (80,928)
43. Chrononautic Log — David Moles (86,593)
44. Cherie Priest — Cherie Priest (92,930)
45. Bluejo’s Journal — Jo Walton (104,231)

46. Roberson’s Interminable Ramble — Chris Roberson (117,901)
47. Web Petals — Marjorie M. Liu (129,028)
48. The Inter-Galactic Playground — Farah Mendlesohn (129,028)
49. Out of Ambit — Diane Duane (142,135)
50 (tie). David Louis Edelman — David Louis Edelman (149,618)
50 (tie). Nick Sagan Online — Nick Sagan (149,618)

There you have it. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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