Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nebula Awards and Diary of a Mad Fat Girl

This is true:

"Each book has a story, or rather history. As objects, they are
tangible, tactile, solid. Their spines creak as you open them and their
pages lie as individually as a woman's hair on a pillow. So it is with
most every book....

"Not that I've anything against e-books and Kindles. Some day I'll
likely buy one and be thoroughly impressed. But can you throw it at the
cat or flatten a roach, can you hide things in it, use it as a filing
system, or dribble wax onto the back cover and stick a candle on it to
enhance the atmosphere of a faraway room and, in those flickering
shadows, make love?"

--Grant Buday, from his essay "Old Paper"http://www.shelf-awareness.com/ct/uz3642037Biz13432493 in the latest issue of Brick

Having been a science fiction and fantasy reader for over 40 years, I had to post this year's Nebula winners, noting that Neil Gaiman's wonderful Dr Who episode in which the TARDIS came to life in a woman's body, won the Bradbury award. Amen.

The winners of this year's Nebula Awards
http://www.shelf-awareness.com/ct/uz3642037Biz13448386, sponsored
by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, are:

Novel: Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
Novella: "The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson
Novellette: "What We Found" by Geoff Ryman
Short Story: "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu
Bradbury: Doctor Who--"The Doctor's Wife" by Neil Gaiman, directed by
Richard Clark
Norton YA: The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee was an impulse by at the MVG library book sale, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Usually, books that purport to be about fat girls aren't about larger women at all, and while the protagonist, Ace Jones, doesn't really qualify as fat, in my opinion, being only 20 pounds overweight (which seems to just make her curvy), she does have the proper attitude toward people making assumptions about her and trying to get her to lose weight or eat foods that she finds loathsome. Ace refuses to let anyone define her or get the better of her, and she spends a lot of time in this book telling people off, especially those who deserve to be told off. She has a "chiweenie" dog named Buster Loo and an ex-boyfriend that she's still in love with named Mason. She's got a kick-arse attitude and a salty, witty mouth that seems to get her into and out of trouble in equal measure. As a literature teacher, she's got quite a bit of drama inherent in her soul, and a need for romance and independence. She also has two friends, Chloe and Lilly whom she manages, with the help of the local wealthy Southern widow, to get out of bad/abusive relationships. Of course, there's an HEA, complete with marriage proposal, but the whole point of this book is the hilarious roller-coaster ride that is the life of Ace Jones in Bugtussle, Mississippi. Highly recommended for fans of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and Jennifer Wiener's Good in Bed.

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