Tag Archive: alternative-history



19841984 by George Orwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second reading of this book. It was required reading in high school (about 1967). I remember it being very scary and prayed it would never happen. As the actual year of 1984 flew by many of us began to relax. Maybe the science fictional prophecy was far from ever happening.

Many people have recommended this book again what with rumors of Newspeak/Fake News. The book shows that anyone can be convinced of anything given the right set of circumstances. I believe that to be true, which is why I don’t believe that torture would ever bring out the truth. Many are in jails because the good cop/bad cop or other tricks of coercion have brought the suspect to admit to something they never did do. Much of the book shows how this can happen.

Regardless of which side of the political system you may stand, this set of possibilities should shout at you. You should feel free to tell your truth without worry of being tortured or demeaned in any way. After all your set of circumstances have brought you to your belief. But on the same line, we should have respect for another point of view, even if it seems crazy. If you stop that truth from coming out, you may miss a grain of truth you may need to learn to live more openly.

I relate that to the lowly dandelion and my mother. My mother was anemic and had very bad health in general. But when I was young I would see her out in the lawn digging out the dandelions and tossing them away. Knowing what we know about that so-called weed, this could have been the medicine my mother could have ingested and become much healthier, regardless of the ungroomed lawn. What gems or weeds of health are we missing by calling each other names and not learning someone else’s truth?

On another level… As scary as the world of ‘1984’ is, the misogyny of past sci-fi and fantasy is very clear here. I didn’t notice this when I was a teen. Almost all the books I read were male-heavy. I remember asking about it only once. The answer was we had to have these books because boys have a hard time learning to and then liking reading. Having watched my brothers with that very problem I didn’t think about it again. I had trouble with reading but found ways to get around the problems and I LOVED reading. (Still do.)

In this book the main character’s wife won’t give him a divorce, they had infertility problems. He gets the wet dream fantasy fulfilled in a woman who gives without requiring anything from him, not even or especially not wanting love. Finally, there is the woman out in the yard who sings with clothespins in her mouth and he finds her big hips sexually appealing though in another segment he is reminded how like his mother she is. So beyond sex and birth, it seems this generation of sci-fi writers seemed to have nothing to do with women. That should have been our biggest warning! Of all that happened to this character!!!!! I find myself feeling foolish that it took me until my 60s to figure out how little part women play in most men’s lives. I have a friend that tried to tell me this when I was still into makeup and clothes–and making my own babies. But it is because I decided to make my reading diet be mostly female writers with female main characters, and not in the romantic chic-lit stuff. More along the lines of Bechdel. (Google her) This is also how I choose to watch TV/Movies. Women have to hold up half of the sky of whatever I read or watch. Equally important. That was not the case in this book. And years ago I might not have noticed. Now I am nearly blinded by it. So if you haven’t seen it as strong as I have, try my ‘diet’. Give it a year or so. I especially challenge male to try this. When you notice the lack of human equality in reading or what you watch maybe you will be part of the change? Maybe if women hold their own in a story like ‘1984’ we may find ways to avoid that crazy kind of life.

Do read this. No matter which side of the fence, or gender, there are weeds of health here we all need!

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Lamia's FistsLamia’s Fists by D. Omars

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a very unusual book. Let me start with the good. This book starred a strong lesbian boxer. In spite of everything else, I liked her and her boxing friends, and the romantic interest. I cared about how it was going to end. I stayed with this book no matter the errors, just to make sure there was a decent ending. Though, I didn’t think it an actual ending. No strings of the tale were left undone. I wondered if there was to be a part two.

Another thing that was fun was the werebeings or other fantasy types. In this case, the main character is a lamia. I never knew what a lamia was before this book.

Sorry, the rest isn’t as nice. This book was a VERY long book. It is especially long because of the confusion of present tense and past tense. Neither of these were used consistently. Had it been that present tense was used during the fights, it might have been like listening to the sports commentator during a bout in the ring. But even there it got old and was interrupted with past-tense of thoughts of everyone in the arena, it seemed. And about those matches, GODS! That got old fast. Unless you like boxing, or understand it, this part will be as boring for you as it was for me.

There were words used that were in wrong places, such as ‘been’ being used where the word ‘being’ should have been. It felt like the author wasn’t a natural English speaker, that maybe he had another language as his prime. Now I can’t be a judge of that as I can’t write anything in another language, so he’s got to be smarter than me. I struggle with this first language of mine. Still, a good editor, or another set of eyes before going public would have been good.

Last… I noticed that the relationships were weird. A lot of blushing and very little women-moving-in-with their mates. Things like that made me wonder who was writing this. I only found out today that the author is male. That made it clear as to the whys.

Now if I haven’t discouraged you, I want you to know that this book is free on Amazon. Maybe it is a better edited read. If not I found that if you have text-to-speech on fast it helps get past the boring or difficult parts but maintains the storyline.

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