Nominations for Book Discussion Group (BDG) from October 2004 to January 2005

Nominated books: 13.


Bishop, Anne: Shadows and Light

Goonan, Kathleen Ann: Crescent City Rhapsody

Nominated by: Monika P.

A multi-narrative storyline that develops over many years; not exactly feminist, although there are some strong female characters. The premise is that a "pulse" from outer space knocks out most of Earth's advanced technology, forcing the world to confront a major political, social and economic re-think against the backdrop of this pulse as proof of extraterrestrial intelligence. I loved to read it and agree with the review on this site: But opinions on this novel are very much divided, the reviews range from praise to slating.

Holland, Cecilia: Floating Worlds

Nominated by: Petra M.

First published in 1975

I found this in a SF bookstore in Berlin. On the one hand it is published as part of Gollancz' Collectors' edition (i.e. it is sort of a classic). On the other hand I had never heard it mentioned as one of the (lesser) feminist classic of the seventies although the first chapter showed me that it is gender-conscious and showed an anarchist society. I am not further along in the book yet but I think it is worth a discussion.

Book description by publisher:
When the Styths, a powerful and aggressive race of mutants from Uranus and Saturn, launch pirate raids on ships from Mars, Earth's Committee for the Revolution sets out to negotiate peace. The task falls to the resourceful and unpredictable Paula Mendoza. The initial meetings hold little hope for success--until Paula adopts a less conventional approach and appears to obtain her objective. But, the consequences for Paula prove considerable, when she finds herself on the floating cities of the Gas Planets, the tenuous, and only, link between Earth and the Styth Empire.A profoundly moving portrait of one determined and strong-willed woman.

Kirstein, Rosemary: The Steerswoman's Road

Nominated by: S. McI.

Unfortunately I think this book is out of print but it has been reprinted in a new version called The Steerswoman's Road, which is a compilation of the first two books in the series: The Steerswoman and The Outskirter's Secret.

Brief description from Amazon:

If you ask, she will answer. If she asks, you must reply. A steerswoman will speak only the truth to you, as long as she knows it—and you must do the same for her. And so, across the centuries, the Steerswomen— questioning, searching, investigating—have slowly learned more and more about the world through which they wander. All knowledge the Steerswomen possess is given freely to those who ask. But there is one kind of knowledge that has always been denied them: Magic.

When the steerswoman Rowan discovers a small, lovely blue jewel of obviously magical origin, her innocent questions lead to secret after startling secret, each more dangerous than the last—and suddenly Rowan must flee or fight for her life. Or worse, she must lie.

With every wizard in the world searching for her, Rowan finds unexpected assistance. A chance-met traveler turned friend, Bel is a warrior-poet, an Outskirter, and a member of a barbaric and violent people. Or, so it would seem.

For Bel, unknowing, possesses secrets of her own: secrets embedded in her culture, in her people, in the very soil of her homeland. From the Inland Sea to the deadly Outskirts, surrounded by danger and deceit, Rowan and Bel uncover more and more of the wizards’ hidden knowledge. As the new truths accumulate, they edge closer to the single truth that lies at the center, the most unexpected secret of them all...

Lange, Sue: Tritcheon Hash

Nominated by: Dave B.

Nagata, Linda: Limit of Vision

Niffenegger, Audrey: The Time Traveler's Wife

Ore, Rebecca: Outlaw School

Richards, Leigh: Califia's Daughters

Ruff, Matt: Set this House in Order

Scott, Melissa: Trouble and Her Friends

Vonarburg, Elisabeth: Dreams of the Sea

Winterson, Jeannette: The PowerBook