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Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
James Tiptree Jr.
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Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement (Pivotal Moments in American History)
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Firebird (Apocalypto, #3) - L.K. Rigel Unlike the first two novellas in this series, which leaned much more towards SF/F than Romance, Bleeder is unapologetically a Happily Ever After (or Happy For Now) romantic fiction. Still, I think it would be a mistake to classify it completely as either Paranormal Romance, or Urban Fantasy, and in truth, I probably never would have read this except for the strong science fiction and fantasy influences that were present in Space Junque and Spiderwork. All of this makes Bleeder both wonderfully and frustratingly unexpected.Wonderfully: I am not a particular fan of the romance genre, for many reasons, primarily because beyond my teens (when I read mostly gentle classics,) I've read so few romances that were worth my time, being jammed full of brainless twits making bad decisions, having clichéd misunderstandings, in ridiculous situations, and still getting the guy (or girl) in the end. Bleeder had no brainless twits, although it did sport the requisite underdeveloped villain-as-catalyst. In fact, the story relied on very few of the typical romance ploys to move the story along, instead it developed an actual story – the remaking and recovery of a destroyed and nearly barren world – told from a limited viewpoint. As such, it works very well to drive a satisfying romance. Frustratingly: There are such Big Ideas in this story. You have the concept of womb slavery, an idea that Margaret Atwood treated with such disrespect in The Handmaid's Tale. You have caste systems, and environmentalism. Oh gods! you have emergent religions! progressive and regressive politics! Eugenics! But each of these ideas are seen as if through the window of a speeding train. It was these ideas that really got me excited about the story, and ultimately so, so frustrated at the tease.That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story. In fact, I enjoyed the hell out of it. The writing is excellent, and the lack of clichéd expressions in a romance novel, refreshing. Storyline loose-ends from the previous novellas were definitely addressed, deftly woven into the story. Definitely recommended.