Posts tagged: romance
"Fifty Shades Generator"
“The Fifty Shades Generatoris a breakthrough in erotic fiction. At the click of a button, it…
Romance Editor Chris thinks about story and memory at the Gutter this week.
Recently I moderated a panel discussion on CanLit and the SF/F genre and it got me to thinking. Specifically, it got me thinking about memory. And that’s because if there’s one thing modern Canadian literature is full of, it’s memory. Years ago (a decade, mebbbe?) an industry journal published a chart detailing the subjects of that season’s big-bet books. It was a tongue-in-cheek piece, but it turned out that some ridiculously high percentage of the ‘must read’ novels were all about memory. Ha, it’s funny ’cause it’s true! Next to identity, memory is one of the themes that helps define a distinct Canadian Literature.
Here’s the thing, though: that’s not just true for CanLit. All stories are about memory.
Painting: “Memory or the Heart,” Frida Kahlo (1937)
Romance Editor Chris explores the charms of winter:
This week, I thought I saw the first snow of the season. Turns out it was actually sleet, which is kind of like snow’s annoying idiot cousin. But I got excited anyway, because the thing is…
I love winter.
Don’t get me wrong: that doesn’t mean I don’t love fall and spring too. Bright green things unfurling; leaves flaming against a crackling sky – both are wonderful. Spring and fall are energizing and beautiful. Summer… eh, not so much. The heat’s nice, but the humidity can go back to hell at its earliest convenience. I like to do things in the summer, but the season itself is on the bottom of my list.
Winter’s on the top.
Romance Editor Chris takes a look at the bad boys of romance—“I’m talking about the seriously bad. The criminal.”
That’s a tough character choice. The writer has to make someone who already has already demonstrated that he has no respect for the law and by extension, public welfare, into the hero. That’s hard going. Thing is, when it works, it works really REALLY well.
Image via Existential Ennui
Romance Editor Chris shares a thing or two she learned from reading romance novels.
[C]urrently I’m after exploring how one might develop a more general sense of learning from Romance novels. And because right now the humidity is making me grumpy, I’m thinking about how Romance novels have in fact taught me a very useful life skill: how to deal with things that annoy me.
You think I’m kidding. You’re wrong.
Painting by Frank Townsend Hutchens.
Comics Editor Carol writes about a Sea Mutant torn between a taste for teens and a love of Shakespeare:
As Romance Editor Chris Szego has often noted here at The Gutter, the theme of modern romance is that the hero can change. But what about sea mutants—can they change? In Jonathan Cases’s Dear Creature (Tor, 2011) a sea mutant falls in love with a human woman. It’s a beautifully-drawn and beautifully-written Shakespearean comedy with a monster or a Sixties monster beach movie in iambic pentameter with a sea mutant named Grue, a woman named Giulietta and a chorus of crabs urging Grue to consume people.
(Jonathan Case also provided the art for The Green River Killer and is currently drawing, Batman ‘66).
Romance Editor Chris has some things to say about strength and strong female characters.
Ever have one of those months in which several disparate threads from different aspects of your life all suddenly seem to be part of the same cloth? I’m having one right now. The recent truly excellent articles by carol and alex combined with the current interwebs-fueled firestorm over ‘fake geek girls’ and the collective cognitive failure of the Texas legislature have combined to give me some deeper insight into why I so dislike the ever-growing trend of the ‘kick-ass’ Romance heroine. More specifically, the way ‘kick-ass’ has become the default instead of ‘strong’.
The kick-ass heroine possesses at least moderate physical skill, often carries a weapon, and tends towards snark. She’s usually in leather clothing and/or stompy boots (and probably has a tattoo or two). To be clear: there’s nothing wrong with any of those attributes, taken singly or even together. But the combination is now so prevalent that it’s become the standard of ‘strong heroine’ when it is only one example of what is truly an infinite variety -and not the most interesting at that. The clothes, the one-liners, the boots: those are just accessories. A character isn’t strong because of how tough she looks, or talks, or even how many punches she takes: she is strong because of what she does.
"Strength" from the Visconti Tarot Deck (15th Century)
"The Cameraman’s Revenge"
A 1912 silent short film of infidelity and insects by Władysław Starewicz. (via @NitrateDiva)