Thursday, February 25, 2010

Novel in a Blender 2

Back in the mid-eighties, I branched out from mainly reading fantasy and fell upon sci-fi. These books were littered with male main characters. Which is fine, yet, not as fun for a young women looking for someone of the same gender to identify with that wasn't playing a dutiful secondary character or love interest.

Ms. Wildstar was having a hard time finding a spine, and I needed some inspiration, darn it. I wandered off to the bookstore.

What's this, a women in a lead role and a man as her underling? I like it!

I quickly realized that this was the final book in a series, but it sounded so good, I didn't care that the other books weren't available in the store at the time. When I finished it, I hunted down the original three books that had been published ten years previous. The first of which turned out to be C.J. Cherryh's first published novel, the Gate of Ivrel.

In trying to get back to my original mindset now that I'm working on the sequel, I've pulled the Gate of Ivrel back off the shelf. Unlike many of my other old favorites, this one is still as good of a read as it was before my critiquing eye ruined my joy of getting lost in a novel. It's currently in my coat pocket so I can squeeze a few pages in where ever I happen to find the time.

Neither of these novels appear to be sci-fi upon first glance at the cover, which is probably what drew me to them in first place -- having just come off a fantasy binge. There are swords, magic and horses, and gates, various planets and time travel! Yes, young readers, there were transportation gates before any Stargate movies or series.

This is where the seed for Jumping came from as well as the inspiration for a certain Mr. MC's name, whose original name was much more befitting of Ms. Wildstar's early draft than that of her current bossy incarnation. Though, you won't find Mr. MC's teen self milling about the Barthromians, he's been reincarnated -- the only character to date to have had that honor.

If you happen to be looking for a book/series with an old race that used time travel and transporation gates, a strong female lead, magic, swords, an honorable but conflicted male character, no swearing or overly adult situations, this one might be for you. Who knows what seeds might get planted in your head.


  1. Ooh, this sounds like a good one. I love sci fi, but most of my sci fi reads have been dystopian sci fi. I am on the look-out for good hard sci fi. Thanks!

    I know what you mean about not being able to see books the same way after critting. I am always resisting the urge to scribble a correction or note in the margin. :D

  2. The series is wonderful! C.J. really belted the 'weak female' sterotype in the chops with Morgana. The relationship that develops between the two characters as the series progresses is rich and complex. C.J. never opts out and switches roles, she continues to add layers.

    In many ways, that series is a masterpiece.


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