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Stephen R Donaldson On the Web
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added today: Stephen Donaldson, animal nutritionist for the Alabama Farmers’ Cooperative.
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linden Avery muscles her way into the social discussion fomenting around Mad Max: Fury Road.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Commercial-News wrote:
Catlin man delivers baby at home

Thanks to the help of Catlin Fire Department first-responder Stephen Donaldson, four Catlin Fire Department cadets and a Medix paramedic, the 7 pound, 14 ounce baby boy was delivered safely — and quickly — at the family’s home in Catlin.

“Everyone was very calm,” Rancuret recalled.

By the time Donaldson and the cadets arrived, the baby had already crowned.

“It was really the most exciting and most scariest experience of my life,” Donaldson said.

After reflecting a bit, he added, “It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had.” [link]

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently, Liz Lutgendorff went and read all of NPR's top 100 fantasy/sci-fi novels, and "discovered" how offensive they were on the whole - rampant misogyny. Many of them were older stories from the 60s and 70s; times and sensitivities do change. But she wrote a scathing article about it, which can be found here: I read the 100 “best” fantasy and sci-fi novels - and they were shockingly offensive

It came to my attention, because the top 100 included the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and so the rape scene in Lord Foul's Bane became an element in Lutgendorff's commentary. I thought her conclusion was a little rash, in that it concludes Lena's rape was "a lazy shorthand to add some edginess into the world", and that there are no consequences for it having happened - there was "no character growth or resolution".

Well, if that's the impression someone gets, then that's the impression someone gets. Over time it's become clear to me that about half of the people who ever pick up and read LFB fail to clear that specific hurdle. So we really cannot judge Lutgendorff's opinion as being outside of the mainstream.

However, her criticisms against Donaldson's story specifically were refuted rather nicely yesterday, in an article by Tom Hawking. He includes some obvious responses, such as having to read the entire series (Lutgendorff hadn't) before you can judge how the author handles consequences. But he also discusses the place of art to take us into "dark places". His piece can be found here: [url=flavorwire.com/533478/uncomfortable-genre-fiction]In Defense of Uncomfortable Subject Matter in Genre Fiction [/url]

Anyway: both of the linked articles are worth a read.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links, wf. I read both articles. I found the Lutgendorff one quite annoying. I am generally pro-feminist, and this approach to reading vintage and classic science fiction/fantasy seemed like a wish to retcon or erase all previous novels and stories (since they are obviously not making enough of a political point) and replace them with a short-list of the worthy ones.

It turns out that that short list is very short indeed. It stretches to a whole two novels from the list of 100 and one new one (Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which we have lauded here on the Watch (it's easily my favourite sci-fi novel of recent times)).

Her approach to storytelling and genre writing of this sort seems to be completely one-dimensional and if carried to it logical extreme in a broader context would mean that just about all works of literature written from Homer to Yeats would be found wanting because they fail to appropriately address gender-related issues. It's almost as if she is embarrassed that her younger un-gender-politically-aware self enjoyed reading stories, and that she now wants to retcon that by dismissing all of those stories as flawed and valueless.

I read science fiction to engage with possible new ideas and concepts of the future, and fantasy to engage with the mythic and the epic. Gender can be part of that, but it is certainly not primarily why I read those genres. And, in fact, when I come across stories that are overtly addressing some current social issue I often find it off-putting (or if the story is from the 60s or the 70's for example, I find it dates very badly). Good stories transcend contemporary concerns and remain vital and fresh because of that (for us, obviously, TCTC is a perfect example of that). Art can address social and political issues, but that is not it's primary concern, and if its scope were reduced to that it would, most likely, very quickly cease to be art as we know it.*

u.

* I recently saw an exhibition of Hungarian modern art from during the time when the country was under the control of the Soviet Union. The power and energy of art as a form of political resistance was absolutely clear, but it didn't do this by attacking the oppressive system, it did it by expressing the freedom of the human spirit. Similar Soviet-approved art of the same time is by comparison static and moribund.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems the discussion on this piece has forked to a In Defense Of Uncomfortable Subject Matter thread.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, sorry WF, I totally missed this. The GF sent me the link to that "Defence" thread yesterday, so I just popped in and posted it. I can split of merge them into a single thread if anybody wants.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully this hasn't been posted elsewhere.

I ran across this academic analysis of The Gap Cycle:

Ruined Skin: Gothic Genetics and Human Identity in Stephen Donaldson's Gap Cycle, by Emily Adler, published in Gothic Science Fiction 1980-2010, edited by Sara Wasson & Emily Adler.

From belphegor.revues.org/483

Emily Adler examines how human identity is disrupted by an excess of biologization through the motive of the skin in “Ruined Skin: Gothic Genetics and Human Identity in Stephen Donaldson’s Gap Cycle”. The ruination of the skin concentrates the horror generated on the human body by alien genetic engineering. Such engineering is based on the idea of the individual human as reproducible, and thereby conflicts with traditional conceptions of human identity. In spite of its attempts to reconstruct identity around self determination, the novel exudes anxiety about genetic intervention.

I found a fairly cheap copy, and am just trying to find the time to dig in.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell us what you think of it after you read it!

- - - - - - - - - -

I am not trying to "me too" that, but ... Speaking of Which: when I was searching for references to Billingate on the web, I came across:

The Leprous Man: A Psychoanalytical Investigation into Stephen Donaldson's Fantasy Novels
by Kate Simons

Quote:
This book explores the extraordinarily violent and abusive nature of Stephen Donaldson’s male protagonists. Thomas Covenant of The Chronicles is a leper, rotten and physically collapsing. In Mordant’s Need and The Gap series the male characters are moral lepers. The Gap offers a Janus-faced male lead in the form of two men who are both multiple rapists. The male hero in Mordant’s Need is outwardly socially acceptable but his alter egos are overly corporeal and sexually obsessed. In spite of their unappealing condition, all these protagonists yearn to be loved. Using the psychoanalytical theories of Julia Kristeva, this book identifies reasons for Donaldson’s derogatory characterization and provides an insight into why these novels cannot allow their male protagonists to establish viable love relationships. This study also explains why maternal characters are jettisoned from the narratives, considers the problematic nature of father figures and examines the incipient undertow of psychosis.

Yeah ... not interested in reading it either.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL I suppose that inspiring all these...uh...scholarly works is a compliment to SRD. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was looking at the Goodreads ratings for the Chronicles (avg. 3.9) when I came across these couple of reviews. I don't know if they have been linked before:
    - [url=bondwine.com/2007/02/24/1977-hero-and-fool/]1977: Hero and fool[/url]

    - [url=bondwine.com/2013/10/27/to-the-end-of-the-world-and-back-again/]To the end of the world (and back again)[/url]

They're relatively well-considered and the reviewer is obviously a fan. Nothing much that new in them, but it's nice to read a couple of mostly positive reviews by someone who has actually read all of the books.

I disagree with a couple of his points, but I'll let people read the reviews forst and then maybe comment.

u.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The folks in Cabo San Lucas are preparing for a desecration, maybe.



LOL
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Hmm. I could of swore that picture said "Hurricane Kevin" on it.)

Anyway,

Amazon releases the 100 sci-fi and fantasy books you should read in your lifetime

Lord Foul's Bane made the list.

GeekWire wrote:
Do you agree with their picks? Go online at Goodreads and vote for your favorites.

Vote 'em up!

(GoodReads has LFB at #96 of 100 ... and the entire first Chronicles at #84. Not sure what's going on there.)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Gap Series gets a shout-out on the web. "Standard-Bearer," even.

The Expanse is less a TV series than a 10-hour pulpy sci-fi movie
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So make a series out of it damnit. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen Donaldson is now a character in a book.

Quote:
Stephen Donaldson, the hero of Francesca Kay's third novel, could provide a dictionary definition of non-descript, if that isn't a contradiction in terms.
[link]

Quote:
So it is that when Stephen Donaldson is recommended for a case in which the target is an inside man suspected of treason, the story's arc appears inevitable.
[link]

The Long Room, by Francesca Kay.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More props for the Gap series from someone:

Blogger News Network wrote:
A Chat with Horror Author Brian W. Matthews

What is(are) your favorite book/author(s)? Why?

In the horror genre, I absolutely love Clive Barker's Imajica. For me, it's his best work to date. He brings you so far into the story you lose track of where you are or what's going on around you. Stephen King's The Stand is also a favorite. In other genres, Stephen Donaldson's GAP series is great science fiction. For fantasy, I would suggest Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. GAP and Fionavar aren't commonly mentioned, but for those genres, they represent some of the best writing I've seen. [link]

And some author named Cantwell who loved the Chronicles a lot. (I bet they call her "Cant-spell" Smile)

Examiner.com wrote:
M.M.: Growing up, what kinds of books had the biggest impact on you? Why?

J.C.: I didn't read much growing up, to be honest. But after high school I was introduced to the "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" by Stephen R. Donaldson, and it rocked my world. I read those books over and over again. I found the characters to be so real and so flawed, and the landscapes to be so fantastical, that I had a hard time putting those books down, even after three or four read-throughs. [link]
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should hook them up with the Watch. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
And some author named Cantwell who loved the Chronicles a lot. (I bet they call her "Cant-spell" Smile)

No relation. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did wonder. Very Happy

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