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Yuletide 2014: Dear Santa…

October 22, 2014

Dear Santa,

 

I come to write this and it’s surprisingly hard. I want to say: “Wow! You’re writing something just for me! Write anything!”

So if you wanted, you could just stop reading this and go and write – but if you do want a little more in the way of suggestions, feel free to read on!

When I read I mostly enjoy the people. The world and indeed the plot I mostly tend to think of as, well, a setting for the gems that are the characters.

I’m not especially fond of sex for the sake of sex; but anything that feels true to the character is fine – and I do mean anything.

 

Valdemar Series – Mercedes Lackey: Kantor

Mercedes Lackey is probably my favourite author, even if I wouldn’t say she was the best writer in the world! Why? Because her characters are real people. They screw up, and when they do, they suffer the consequences. Bad things happen to them, and when they do, they affect the character!

Valdemar, of course, has the Companions. I admit – at least half of why I love the books is a wistful wish that in another world some other me heard bells one day and…

Kantor is a really interesting character. The way he Chooses Alberich is morally dubious and it’s one of the few times we see a Companion make that class of mistake.Also, he’s not Grove-Born, but he’s different. I’d love to see more of him, possibly when he’s younger, or if Alberich is not around.

 

Starfire Series – Various Authors: Uaaria’salath-ahn

I think the thing I love most about this series is the ways in which the different species we encounter interact with each other. I especially like the fact that the way one species thinks about issues isn’t always at all comprehensible to another; they aren’t humans with fur.

The drive of most of the protagonists to do what they believe is right no matter what and the comfortably stereotypical self-serving politicians help, of course, and I also like the cool space battles (yay, strikefighters!)!

Uaaria is a fascinating character; in a fundamentally still patriarchal and misogynistic culture, she’s chosen a military career – but clearly not because she’s seeking glory, because she’s a spook. Why is she there? What’s led to her choices? Something exploring her interactions with other Orions – whether in the choices she makes that take her to where she is, or in what happens to her after the Bahgs when things are returning to normal – would be really interesting.

 

Old Man’s War (series) – John Scalzi: Jane Sagan

I’ve only read the first two books – but don’t worry about spoilers for the later ones!

I found it hard to articulate why I chose this. I think the answer is that the characters all have to explore both what makes someone human, and what makes them them. The Ghost Brigades, indeed, have never had a ‘human’ life, their bodies are not, in fact, human…

The way Jane deals with learning about the person that she was made from makes her a particularly endearing character to me. There’s plenty of later-Jane to come, but I’d love anything about Jane before she meets John!

 

All of that, though, is entirely optional, and only there to hopefully be slightly helpful if you want it. Mainly, I’d like to reiterate what I said at the start:

“Wow! You’re writing something just for me! Write anything!”

 

The Shadowlover

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