Daughters of a Coral Dawn – Katherine .V. Forrest

Daughters of a Coral Da

Entertaining, lesbian-themed escapist science fiction. A few tens of thousand of part-alien, genius-level women  (all descended from the Vernan alien whom they call Mother) steal a spaceship and flee the repressive, 70’s-era patriarchal Earth territories (where a woman using reproductive technology without a husband is a legal crime) to establish their own utopian colony.

Fifteen years later, they respond to the distress call of a crippled Terran ship. But now that their location has been compromised, what will they do with the chauvanistic survivors? And how will Megan, leader of the colony on Maternas, respond to the presence of the bewitching earthling Lieutenant Laurel Meredith?

I loved this humorously cheesy novel, and have been disappointed to find that Amazon.com only sells (currently) the first of this series. Worse still, it isn’t present in any of the local library catalogues. Woe! Daughters of a Coral Dawn works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel, but the presence of a lesbian science fiction novel reminiscent of the webcomic I was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space makes me eager to track down further novels in the genre. That it is unashamedly queer sci-fi, rather than brief lesbianism acting as a aperitif to the actions of a heterosexual hero, make me extremely happy.

“ “Six thousand I’ve spawned,” Mother grumbled, “and I’m the only heterosexual left.” “

The subject of a society of women bereft of men is both intriguing and appealing – witness the women of Whileaway in The Female Man, the civilisation of women in The Sultana’s Dream, the inhabitants of Jeep in Ammonite (review forthcoming), and of course our very own Amazons – and personally, a subject I can’t get enough of. Before you cry foul, cast a glance over many of the adventure stories throughout history, from the older: The Lost World, 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Old Man and the Sea to the more recent action novels, such as Ice Station, where women are either entirely absent, or present only as foils for heterosexual conquest. Turn-about is fair play, and long overdue!

“Once we completed our home-based education and ventured out into the world we thought it would be more difficult to hide our gifts, especially when  we all performed spectacularly well scholastically, and later, professionally. But we had one overwhelming advantage: We were women. Scant significance was attached to any of our accomplishments.”

K.L gives Daughters of a Coral Dawn 4 out of 5 winning references to emerald eyes, cantaloupe-sized breasts, and Sapphic passion.

 

And one, final quote:

“Father was furious when he learned of her pregnancy. “Great James Garfield, how could you let that happen!” he bellowed. “We’ve been married only six weeks! You said you’d take ovavoid!”

“No I didn’t, you just gave me the pills,” Mother informed him coolly. “I did what all Vernan females do when their males leave it up to them. Each time before we made love I concentrated hard and thought negative thoughts.” ”

 

 

 

Like reading? K.L. has published her first novel, The Fall of Peter Pan. Be entertained!

Like poetry? K.L. has also published a collection of poems, The Loaded Brush. Find it here.

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2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

2001: A Space Odyssey

I have never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. So when my favourite pop culture website (http://www.cracked.com/article_19138_7-hotly-debated-movie-questions-that-totally-have-answers_p2.html)mentioned the movie in one of their articles, I decided to take the book for a spin.

 

The first thing one should know, is that the book 2001: A Space Odyssey, was written and published in 1969, subsequent to the movie, which was released in 1968. In past experience, this is nearly always a warning sign as to the quality of the novel (the novel Gladiator, for instance, was simply the movie with a few deleted scenes added in, and some fairly pedestrian descriptions tacked on. Ditto for The Ghost and The Darkness).

Unfortunately, 2001: A Space Odyssey was no exception to the rule (if you can recommend any books which are, please let me know). I am still keen to see the movie, because I think that some of the pacing and events were probably framed with the visual medium in mind, but I cannot recommend the book at all. Which makes me feel a little bad, seeing as it was written by Arthur C. Clarke, a renowned Sci-Fi author, amongst other things. The writing felt not only formulaic (possibly due to many post-2001 imitations which I encountered in advance of the original), but also dense, the narrative failing to flow.

 

One interesting idea expressed was that HAL malfunctioned in the violent way that it did, because its construction and intelligence development had left it unable to practice deception. The burden of knowing the ship’s true mission, and knowing that its human companions were completely ignorant, caused HAL to experience a cascading series of malfunctions in its programming, culminating in its’ attempt to sever all contact with Earth and kill the crew-members.

 

K.L gives 2001: A Space Odyssey 0 out of 5 homicidal robots unable to deal with deception.