my_window_seat: (QoW Read)
I'm on one of my periodic Young Adult Fiction fixes.  Being busy and broke, I'm limited to things I can find as torrents in audio book form, but that said - I've been enjoying some really good stuff lately.  Just finished Louis Lowry's three book series centered around The Giver*, and just started John Marsden's Tomorrow Series - think Red Dawn, but set in Australia. 

What all of the above have in common is the whole re-imagined future and critical look at contemporary culture and values, through the lens of - YAY! - disaster and its aftermath.  And with adolescents as the protagonists, the characters are at the same time refreshingly simple and understandable complex.  Really good stuff.

There's a lot of absolute shite YA fiction out there - I've started and deleted more than a few without bothering to listen to more than a few chapters (*coff coff* Twilight *coff coff*) - but it's worth sorting through the dross to get to the good stuff.

Okay.  Off to do more stuff.  And find out how Ellie and her friends plan to overthrow the evil invaders - hell, find out what country they came from already....!

* I'd have linked to the three-box set, but that only included a really shitty one-sentence description for each book.  If you're really interested, the other books are Gathering Blue and Messenger, this last of which ties all the separate story lines and characters together in a very satisfying way.    Highly recommend; will read/listen to again.  And shove down the throat of unsuspecting kids, given the opportunity.  Yesh.

my_window_seat: (Moi)
So tired; off to sleepies very soon, but have had this thought floating around in my head all day, so thought I'd get it out there to bother someone else with. You're welcome.

Listening to "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" on tape at work. Would have sworn that I read it as a kid, but must have been mistaken - not getting flashbacks of "Oh yeah, I remember this," so for some unaccountable reason, I must have missed this one in my voracious swath through all the rest of Heinlein's stuff back in the day.

I must say, reading it in today's world, it's a bit unnerving.

It reads like a how-to book for revolutionaries. Granted, for revolutionaries who have an all-seeing, all-knowing, virtuably indestructible and can-do-damn-near-anything-but-wash-grandma computer on their side - but hey, details.

It's sad how much of it shows, though, that there's just as much dishonesty and double-dealing that the supposed good guys are willing to do in service of 'doing the right thing.'


The one really cool thing about it that keeps poking me in the brain, though - it's whenever Heinlein talks about the some of societal aspects of what his little colony of outcasts has morphed into. Most strikingly, when he describes the interaction between men and women, and specifically what he calls 'line marriages' - where you don't marry a particular person, you really marry into family of people. A man may have three wives - and two other husbands - or vice versa - or more. You become a part of a generations-long marriage that dates back several generations. A prospective candidate has to be voted into the family - and can only be voted back out by a complete majority. Selections are made with care and never undertaken with haste, and everyone has to agree.

One of the things that stuck out to me today was when he refers to the idea that a loss, a death, in this kind of family, while still tragic, doesn't cause the same kind of devastation that the loss of a parent in a strictly two-parent family has. There's more than just the two-branched root holding the whole structure together.

It's weird that I would find something like this so attractive, though. I mean, aside from the whole warm-fuzzy close-knit extended family part of it.

I used to joke about how, in relationships, because I'm an only child, I never learned how to 'share' because I never had to. I have tried the open relationship thing, more than once even. Wasn't very good at it. Although I think it had more to do with the fact that I'm just not so ace on the whole relationship thing to begin with; may not have had much to do with whether it was open or exclusive or whatever.

It does make me wonder, though.

Would it be easier to be in the kind of relationship that doesn't focus so much on the strengths and weaknesses of just two people? Am I just being idealistic, or would it actually be easier to share if there wasn't so much hanging in the balance - if the affection and the responsibility were distributed over a wider pool?

I don't mean the kind of 'open relationship' thing that people do now, which is basically just license to screw around at will. I mean the kind of thing where several people are committed, not just to each other, but to what they are endeavoring to create together.

I can't imagine it being boring, anyway.

I really don't know.

And it's not like I live in a society where I could point to any examples.

It kind of makes me sad, though.

It makes me think, anyway.



my_window_seat: (Default)

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