commented on Blindsight

Blindsight (2006, Tor Books) 4 stars

It's been two months since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming …

Hrm, not sure about this book. There's a sort of macho blather to the writing that is putting me off. It's clearly establishing the character of the narrator, but it's also just tiresome to read. Lots of interesting ideas and I am feeling some suspense, but I may just not make it through this one.

replied to Gwenfar's status

@Gwenfar [unless you've now read further than me] equally horrifyingly, I think I didn't notice that because it was such a routine part of my vocabulary growing up.

The book has me more engaged now, but while that means I'm more forgiving of its flaws those flaws are still there. And I'm not sure that I should forgive it for the really ableist shit, even when it is clearly in the mouth of a character we're meant to see as somewhat flawed.

replied to el dang's status

Content warning Blindsight: minor spoiler for ~halfway through the book

replied to Gwenfar's status

@Gwenfar I agree, but at the same time I really can't see a woman writing this book. I wish I could unpack what I mean by that more explicitly, but a lot of the worst things about the writing style feel intensely male to me, and that's even without the author having fallen into the really cliched male gaze type traps. That's a lot of why I specifically requested nominations not by white men for November.

@Gwenfar Oh, you're right. I was definitely getting an "older SF" sort of vibe from it along with generally thinking I'd have liked it a lot more when it came out. I hadn't connected those two thoughts, nor that the colonialist aspect of this one was so much of a piece with its other flaws.

I feel like it does some questioning of the colonialism, and at least has some female characters who have agency and aren't just there to be a foil for the men. But I am now thinking of it as sort of transitional: it represents some steps forward from bad-old-days SF, but not enough steps that I can enjoy it unreservedly today.

@eldang I've decided to give up. Too many niggles as we've discussed, and I'm really struggling with getting what is going on. I've liked 'hard' sci-fi in the past, but with the storyline not always being clear, and brain fog, it's too much of a struggle. I would like to know what happens, so if you get to the end, let me know!

Content warning Blindsight spoiler-o-rama