Space – the only superlative you will ever need.

Not kidding. Put space in front of something and it will instantly become greater than the sum of its parts and in some cases even strike through the in of intolerable and neuter it into tolerable. That is the greatness of SPACE.

So I can’t say I am too baffled by the fact that I’m currently reading a novel about Fox Hunting and finding it immensely pleasurable. Your ability to read is still intact, so are your comprehension skills. Yes, I am reading about fox hunting and it is awesome. Not the hunting of foxes, for obvious reasons (ethics I haz dem), but the reading of this book. Thus space fox hunting trumps fox hunting and my point has been proved. But I shall go on.

Maybe I should rewind a little. The book in question is Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon (yeah, she be the lady who wrote about Paksenarrion and we all know you loved that shit). Picture this; SPACE….it’s big, it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s full of pseudofoxes and aristocracy, smugglers and the dishonoured seeking redemption and revenge. Your basic space opera if you will. Only this time it’s all womanly all the time. Not in the sense that there is menstruation happening left and right. Simply a matter of women left, right and centre. Captain Serrano and the aristocrat lady Cecelia get all jiggy with their somewhat unorthodox (only in the sense that this is so shitting rare you’ll swear you’re watching a unicorn hump a rainbow) relationship. This is a thing of beauty so far. All respect of mutual abilities and skills and a nice little two-way mentoring going on. I’m being serious, I’m not making this up. This is a novel containing two women who develop a strong respect for each other. No undertones. No tension. Just pure fucking R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And to make things just a little sweeter Cecelia is a mature woman past society’s, but not her own, prime, and Serrano is described as an independent woman of colour and immense skill.

Which is why the various covers of this book confuse me so. Does something happen in the later part of this book that turns Serrano white? Does she in her hunt for redemption throw slumber parties for boys and dangle babies from balconies? Maybe one of the medboxes malfunction and turn her albino? Because surely space is too awesome to white-wash, right?

That’s wishful thinking, I think. And white-washing the one thing not even SPACE can make tolerable, I know.

Still the novel minus its cover is making me smile for all the right reasons (none to do with the killing of foxes and all to do with diverse women driving the story). And if space is the best superlative, then surely Feminist (with a capital F as in F U) is the runner-up. Which in turn makes this Feminist Space Opera all kinds of wonderful.

So far at least. I might have to revisit my opinion if Serrano starts getting fresh with the youngsters.


~ by Ape on September 15, 2012.

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