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.

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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

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!

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Marlon James, Moon Witch, Spider King (2022)

Author: Marlon James

Title: Moon Witch, Spider King

Format: e-book

Pages: 626

Series: The Dark Star Trilogy #2

First things first – I’M BAACK! 😉 My vacation in Poland proved to be more adventurous than expected, what with flights cancelled barely days before departure and getting covid right after we finally arrived in Poland after 72 hours of travel… But that might be a topic for a separate post, because today I’m going to write about James’s long-awaited sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf was a singular book: dark with horrifying, intimate violence, propulsively emotional, full of fantastical monsters (some of which were still wearing human skin), crass and whimsically poetic, and, ultimately, abrasively addictive. The protagonist, Tracker, was bare against the world: his emotions were naked, extreme, and absolutely understandable for everyone who ever met a boy on a cusp of manhood.

But why do I write about the prequel in the review of the second installment? Well, because Moon Witch, Spider King is not similar to Black Leopard, Red Wolf in any recognizable manner – and yet it serves as a satisfactory juxtaposition of perspective to the first book. Moon Witch… tells the tale of Sogolon, the old witch we already know from Tracker’s tale, the witch we all rather despise even though we know of Tracker’s misogyny and his total lack of empathy to anyone so vastly different from him.

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Rick Perlstein, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008)

Author: Rick Perlstein

Title: Nixonland:The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

Format: hardcover

Pages: 881

Series: –

Something a bit different today. I know, I know, except for Pokemon there hasn’t been much fantasy/SF on our blog lately 😉 I promise that’ll change… at some point, certainly. There will be new Marlon James book review coming soon, at least ;). But for now, a totally non-fiction, modern history book.

We live in interesting times, that’s for sure. Wars, pandemics, economic crises, global warming… The list goes on and on. But because we are so deeply enmeshed in our everyday life, we tend to forget that this uniqueness, this craziness, is in fact nothing new. That not long ago, the world was an even crazier place, at least in some localities ;). That, compared to those not so olden times, our present time is actually quite tame. If you thought Trump was something else, a new phenomenon, think again. Or even better, read Nixonland.

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