Lucy Cooke, Bitch: On the Female of the Species (2022)

Author: Lucy Cooke

Title: Bitch: On the Female of the Species

Edition: e-book

Pages: 416

Series: –

Disclaimer: this review is a one-off till the end of December, I’m sad to say. It’s going to be shorter, too, which you may find a relief 😉 Iwon’t be able to visit your blogs either, unfortunately, so please be patient. I’ll be back in full, just not yet!

Al right, on to the review. Let’s not beat about the bush: I initially chose this book on the strength of its title. And it’s a cool title, no question about it. That hyena doesn’t hurt, either ;). Lucy Cooke tackles a topic that has been avoided for years, decades and centuries. Most representatives of the biological sciences, on the account of being human and as such subjective and subject to the strictures of their cultures, tended to treat the females of other species as they treated their own: negligible and, in general, uninteresting. Weaker, drab, passive and condemned to live their lives as a background for the virile males, females were perceived as a secondary sex: important, sure, but never truly in power. Cooke, with the help of many contemporary scientists, proves these assumptions wrong.

Continue reading “Lucy Cooke, Bitch: On the Female of the Species (2022)”

Out of office, reading comics

I don’t think I mention how I hate what WordPress became often enough. Here’s another chance, as I just lost an entire post I spent most of the afternoon writing, despite saving my draft multiple times. 1000 words, multiple pictures… and not a trace of it anywhere. I hit the “publish” button and my draft changed into an empty post. Terrible user experience, I’ll try to recover it somehow, but if I don’t succeed, it will likely be another week without a post on Re-E, as I have quite a hard week ahead of me.

Usually I write my texts in Write and just copy the results here, but this time there were so many pictures, as I wrote several mini-reviews of graphic novels… and gone. Has something like this ever happened to anyone here?

I hate WordPress

PSA: Temporary radio silence

Hello everyone!

This is a short announcement that I’ll be sadly much less present on WP for the next ten weeks or so – approximately till mid-December. It’s not blogging fatigue, on the contrary, blogging gives me as much fun as ever. It’s a crazy year for me, though. After much soul-searching I decided early this spring to make a career change. I love social anthropology and sociology, but unfortunately my love is not widely shared by the job market 😉 

I have made the decision to switch paths completely, and a few months back I enrolled in a programming bootcamp. It is very much a proper bootcamp, cramming years of study into a bit less than five months of very intensive training. For the last six weeks I’ve been studying for ~50-60 hours a week, and now as I’m entering the final phase of the course, I’m looking at ~60-70 hours a week. I tried very hard to find time for blogging and reading, but there really isn’t much time for anything, except learning javascript and a bunch of other programming languages ;). 

So, wish me luck and forgive me if I don’t comment or write much over the next two months. After that, hopefully…

Also, feel free to pester Piotrek for some more posts! Re-enchantment is still very much alive and kicking 😀

Patricia A. McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (1974)

Author: Patricia A. McKillip

Title: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Format: paperback

Pages: 200

Series:

Patricia A. McKillip won the first World Fantasy Award for this novel, third she had ever written. And let’s be frank: her writing skill by that time was already masterful. The prose of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld echoes the mythopoeic style of A Wizard of Earthsea, and McKillip’s novel seems to have been inspired by Le Guin’s masterpiece in more ways than one.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld tell the story of Sybel, the heir to the wizarding family tradition of acquiring power over sentient creatures through the subtle yet ruthless art of name-calling. Sybel doesn’t conjure fireballs or ice towers, and yet is extremely powerful: gaining knowledge gives her total control over others who, bereft of free will, become her slaves. Oh, she’s a benevolent master, but a slave master all the same. She controls fantastical beasts from myth and legend, and while they retain their individuality, they are tightly leashed indeed. Only when she herself becomes an object of such magic does she begin to realize how harmful that control can be. And then she just flips out and embroils several kindoms in an all-out war in her quest for revenge. Hell hath no fury like a woman disrespected and abused.

Continue reading “Patricia A. McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (1974)”

Neal Asher, Dark Intelligence (2015)

Author: Neal Asher

Title: Dark Intelligence

Format: hardcover

Pages: 402

Series: Transformation #1

As weird as that may sound, Asher’s Polity books are my go-to comfort SF. Yes, they are filled to the brim with gore, lethal action, and body horror, and brazenly discussed issues such as free will, determinism, identity, and the origin of emotions, but they are also written (especially the newer ones) in a very accessible, quick and unobtrusive style, non-stop action, incredibly imaginative space battles and a general cinematic feel to the vast vistas of the void. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s the real deal.

Plus, let’s be honest here, this series boasts my favourite black AI Penny Royal as its protagonist. I just couldn’t pass this!

Continue reading Neal Asher, Dark Intelligence (2015)