Holiday Road
I’ve never been a fan of gross-out food for Halloween, mostly because it’s entirely too evocative for me to stomach.  Everyone has their limits, I guess, but mine down’t include faux fingers or insects.  If you want to eat allegedly taboo things or the like, go get some haggis (more on this in the still-being-written post).

Also, in the last few years I’ve been less and less into candy, as a rule.  Whether this is grownup tastes or my teeth getting more sensitive, I don’t know.  Which brings up the fact that I am possibly the only woman I know who likes fruit candy better than chocolate.  No, I’m serious.  I have a mild allergy to cocoa butter when consumed; like citrus for some people, it makes my mouth and throat itch.  Dark chocolates hurt less than milk and far less than white, which is why I suspect my problem is with cocoa butter instead of cocoa itself.

Since I’ve always equated discomfort with the taste of chocolate, my taste preferences swing towards fruit flavours.  (Except faux grape or banana, the latter I dislike anyway…the British do blackcurrant instead of grape and it is brilliant.)  And there is no way you can convince me otherwise.  Of course, the lack of endorphins from chocolate might be why I’m such a cynic…

Separatist Lives
Those of you who are just here for the food can stop reading now, as I’m about to ramble a bit about feminist SF.  Sorry.

Is it just me, or did Pamela Sargent and Sherri S. Tepper write the same book, two years apart?  I read Sargent’s 1986 The Shore of Women recently, and was stunned by the massive plot resemblance in Tepper’s 1988 book The Gate to Women’s Country, though Sargent’s book depicts a less tolerant and more brutal society on both the part of women and men.  I guess that since the two haven’t fought a duel about it (whether with sabres or lawsuits) that the differences are enough, but still.   How many books about women’s separatist societies still dependent on men for one reason or another do we need?  The point is proven, in these books, in Unquenchable Fire, in The Handmaid’s Tale, in Califia’s Daughters: we have to work together to find real equity or someone gets shafted.

Which is true, and we need to be reminded of it, but not in yet another novel. 

I guess it was the 80s, which seemed pretty bloody bleak in terms of feminism (all of the above except the last come out of that decade).  But there’s information, there’s speculation, and then there’s beating the proverbial dead horse (which Tepper tends to do anyway), even though all of the books I mention are readable and enjoyable.  I’d like to see feminist separatism in SF if it’s done in a new way, to prove a different point, because this one’s met its audience.  Which is, of course, probably why there’s not been as many books on the topic written lately, even though technology and science have brought us new things.

All right, so I charge you…or maybe myself…write me a cyberpunk separatist novel.  Or a fantasy.  Something different, something also that proves a different point.  ‘Cause we sure need feminism, and we sure need women in sci-fi.  I’ll be waiting.   

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