There’s an interesting interview here (via Ta-Nehisi Coates) about an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks whose cervical cancer cells were taken as samples in 1951, shortly before her death, and were found to reproduce in a culture so quickly and efficiently that they revolutionized research on human tissue. They called them HeLa cells, and her family knew nothing about it until twenty-five years later, when her daughter Deborah was contacted by researchers who were interested in getting a sample of her own cells.
There is no earthly way that Octavia Butler didn’t know about this when she was writing Dawn. The heroine with whom the frightening, inexplicable alien falls in love/lust mainly due to her body’s fascinating ability to develop tumors? I think that is what a metaphor looks like.
Neither Darkover Nor Manga
- Fool Moon (Dresden Files 1), Jim Butcher
I heard somewhere that Jim Butcher and the Ah! My Goddess guy can combine to form a bigger misogynist.
- Dawn (Xenogenesis 1), Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler punches you repeatedly in the stomach.
- Adulthood Rites and Imago (Xenogenesis 2, 3), Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler punches you in the stomach more lightly, provides gender-bendy but oddly heteronormative tentacle sex utopia, repeats.
- The Spell Sword, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Guy from earth lands on the planet of the red-haired sorceresses and goes native (he doesn’t turn into a red-haired sorceress, ’cause that would be, like, weird). Disney could make the movie of this without changing it too much.
- The Forbidden Tower, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Guy from earth’s adjustment to his new psychic family life is hampered by his wife’s psychic powers accidentally zapping his testicles and his attraction to his sister- and brother-in-law. Maybe orgies will solve these problems?
- Heritage of Hastur, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Being gay is wrong and bad, but Regis Hastur thinks he might be gay! Betraying the Comyn is wrong and bad, but Lew Alton thinks he might betray the Comyn! OH NOES
(I would argue that “OH NOES” does not constitute a sentence.)
- Stormqueen!, Marion Zimmer Bradley
People have terrifying uncontrollable psychic powers that may destroy them and EVERYONE THEY LOVE, and pregnancy is TERRIFYING, and everyone’s family is trying to KILL THEM, and so is the WEATHER.
Goddamnit, Octavia Butler *can’t* die, I only found her stuff *this month*. That is just fucking not fair.