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And not appreciating Mercedes Lackey

And not appreciating Mercedes Lackey published on

I cannot now find it, but james_nicoll at one point made a post saying something like:

“Dear fantasy writer,

The word “gypsy” refers to an actual, reality-based ethnic group. Having gypsies appear on your imaginary world without explanation is roughly equivalent to having the 1982 cast of The Mikado appear on your imaginary world without explanation.”

I think he was talking about a recent book, so I guess this has happened more than once.

Arrow’s Flight page 258:

“The gypsy family who died of snow-sickness two months ago—the ones in the Domesday Book report; wasn’t there a child left living?” she asked, her eyes still a little glazed.

Talia gives the baby to a woman who went mad after her own baby died, and it cures her and they live happily ever after, and it turns out the baby is her son reincarnated. I don’t think these apparent gypsies ever show up again, so I guess they just popped into Valdemar to have the baby and die. That was thoughtful of them.

I don’t know what the Domesday Book was doing in Valdemar, either – it’s not mentioned again after this page, so I guess it went home.

Appreciating Mercedes Lackey

Appreciating Mercedes Lackey published on

I’m rereading the Dragonriders books. Yes, I am perfectly aware of the foolishness of this course of action.

They’ve actually aged worse than Mercedes Lackey. I don’t know if it’s that Lackey’s big fetishes (the H/C and the angsty slash and the didactic liberalism) have actually retained their cultural relevance more than McCaffrey’s (the bodice-ripper alpha-male rape-romances and benevolent fascism); or if they’ve just retained their me-relevance better; or if it’s just a matter of the politics.

Because you know something about Lackey? She really does try.

(Assume spoilers for pretty much every single Mercedes Lackey book under here, if that bothers you.)

Continue reading Appreciating Mercedes Lackey


Villainy published on

So take the sum of 5337 and 7793, then google it, and examine the second result.

This isn’t evil! I already own the books I’m using it for! This maneuver merely conserves fossil fuels by making it unnecessary for me to have the physical items shipped across the Pacific! I see nothing wrong with that! (There regrettably seem to be no torrents containing Moomins books, so my brain’s recent insistence on re-reading has led me inexorably to

Anyway, I’ve just reread The Ship Who Searched, which is a collaboration between Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey in McCaffrey’s brainship universe. Brainships are spaceships with a very intelligent bodiless human brain attached to them, generally one of a congenitally deformed infant who would die if not kept hooked up to complete life support all her/his life. Brainships travel around space having adventures with a human partner, called a “brawn,” preferably of the opposite sex.

What will Mercedes Lackey do with this premise? She will make ambiguously freaky sex out of it. That is what Mercedes Lackey will do with every premise.

This was one of the books I read over and over and over and over when I was in middle school. I think I actually re-read this more than I did Dragonsong and the Valdemar book where the pantsless furry kept raping the Native American stereotypes. (Yes, I totally read the “Mornelithe Falconsbane” book many, many times. I am not proud.) Something about the combination of McCaffreyan benevolent autocracy and Lackeyan sexual dysfunction is deeply soothing.

That said, Continue reading Villainy