I have been reading… Leona Carver’s Transformation
Leona Carver’s Transformation (LT3, goodreads) caught my eye. I’m not sure I knew that it was the third novella in the series when I bought it, but I gave it a go anyway. (While it’s not really necessary to read the other books, it would probably be better to.) Lesbian romance and terraforming – what’s not to like? Plus, I adore the cover.
I dislike stories where the reader is well ahead of the main character, and nearly abandoned this at the start, but once the story shifted onto the planet I found it much more enjoyable. Not only the characters, but the careful thought that went into the science and technology of terraforming a hostile alien planet. (Reminded me a little of Sheri S. Tepper’s Hobbs Land Gods.)
I have been listening to… Elektra
I enjoy listening to BBC Radio, and two plays stood out this month. One was Catriona Knox’s Almost Like Being In Love. The main character describes herself as heteroflexible, in a very philosophical way, and finds herself falling for a lesbian. The script is full of the almost clichéd responses to this apparent change (or non-change) of orientation that you might expect, adding an element of not-quite-comedy to the romance. It’s really a sweet and simple tale of an open-minded ‘straight’ girl discovering she’s bisexual and everyone generally being in denial of bisexuality. What it isn’t, really, is what the description said: “What does love look like in a world of non-binary, gender-fluid, constantly hyphenated thinking?”
The other play was Sophocles’ Electra, which is all about Orestes and Elektra complaining about how evil their mother is. Never mind that Agamemnon murdered Clytemnestra’s first husband (and child, possibly), or that he sacrificed his daughter (and their sister) Iphigenia, or even that he’s been away for over ten years doing whatever it is kings do with captured slave-girls (he even brings one back with him), no, the only thing that matters is that their mother took a lover and killed their father.
It’s tragic, really. But it inspired this little tale of Agamemnon’s home-coming:
- Cassandra, The ill-fated princess speaks; her last prophesy falls on deaf ears…
Everly (2014) blends kick-ass girl, vengeful woman and determined mother in the talented and beautiful form of Salma Hayek. A desperate attempt to escape a life of confinement, abuse and slavery fails, putting her mother and daughter’s lives in danger. As a string of deadly assassins try to kill Everly, she struggles to guide her family to safety. Often dark, often funny, always brilliant.
Also on Netflix, Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman (who were Carmilla and Laura respectively in the fantastic Carmilla webseries) star in Almost Adults, a delightful coming-of-age film with elements of humour and romance.
And the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One, was also much enjoyed.
National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)
Last year I didn’t have a theme for NaPoWriMo (see April 2016 Iphigenia @AlinaMeridon) but in 2015 I had a theme of steampunk, and in 2014 (my first NaPoWriMo) I chose Supergirl – which started my poetic love affair with Kara El.
In the spirit of perversity, for April 2017 I chose the theme of sexbots. They are of course a recurring theme on this blog, in connection with my unpublished and ill-fated novella Alexis 5-1-8. I recognise that this is a subject that few are interested in, and one that is somewhat antithetical to poetry (sexbots being base sexuality versus the elevated refinement of poetry), but in challenging the assumptions about and the instinctive reactions towards sexbots, it’s intriguing to see the mirror they hold up to society.
some mirrors reflect
The following collection of poems and articles is not erotic. Sometimes there is humour, and sometimes darkness, but I have aimed for compassion and truth.
- Sexbots Are Coming, or: haiku, sexbots & the inevitable
- That which we call a sexbot, definitions & developments
- Making Judgements, who judges the judges?
- The goddess and the sexbot, a personal note on women, divinity & respect
- The Sexbot as Protagonist: rules, and an excerpt, how to write a sexbot as an interesting character; and Alexis 5-1-8 makes love
- The Stepford Horizon, or: life imitates art
- Disgusting – Sexbots? Or humans?, the human fear of contagion
Sexbot Poetry: Mythology
- beautiful, Helen of Troy
- reviled, Lilith in Eden
- Creation Myth, humans as gods
- avra k’davra, a golem, not a sexbot
Sexbot Poetry: Sexbot as Lover
- Magnificent, a sense of humour?
- What real man?, artificial men are better
- An end to virginity, when no one else will have you
- Someone, when you will have no one else
- And I?, a star in bed
- The only way we can, and why not…
Sexbot Poetry: The Dark Side
- Machinery of Lust, mechanical sex
- undrunk, a monoku on disgust
- deflowered, a casual brutality
- telestich, a callous brutality
Sexbot Poetry: The Sentient Sexbot
- Pointless, what a waste!
- Desire me not, fear of self-betrayal
- Body, Mind & Soul, the reality of self-betrayal
- Semi-colon love, bitterness
- A pleasant bride? – or a younger model…, happy – for now
- Inch by Inch, a transformation tale
- Who I should be, a dark double-transformation tale
Sexbot Poetry: Objectification
- parts, a haiku/haibun
- She, both robot maid and sexbot
- Ever Since, a different perspective
- What gender?, the imposition of gender
- Arms and legs to match, factory production
- These little buttons, she lies
Sexbot Poetry: Humour
- Designing Divinity, a little too perfect
- Making Love, made too well
- Segmentation Fault, oops!
- Pretty Girls, an allegory
- An end to NaPoWriMo, a final haiku