FREE READ Get Off the Unicorn 109

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Get Off the UnicornNe McCaffrey has created an exciting collection of telepaths secret gifts dangerous missions dragonriders and ContentsLady in the Tower A Meeting of Minds Daughter Dull Drums. This is a wonderful collection of short stories I am usually not a fan of short stories but pretty much all of the 14 stories in here work It helps if you have read McCaffrey's various series particularly in the one titled Honeymoon Ship Who Sang series However a number are complete stand alone titles Several are short stories that she thought could be books someday such as the Raven women These later did become books A general theme tends to be telepathy and variations of it in one way or another I picked this up as a vacation from life and it worked very wellAddendum Lots of people are complaining about how McCaffrey condones rape and sexism I don't really agree While they do make the point that there is some and I won't disagree I also think that people are getting too hung up on it I agree Thorns on Barevi is about a woman who comes to like the man raping her and that isn't so great However I also think people are reading too much into it She starts liking the guy well before he raped her I'll agree that attitudes have changed However I'll also point out that it isn't uncommon for people to start liking their kidnappers liking used in both a physical and non physical sense Stockholm Syndrome There is no hint in this story that the heroine is ever going to get back to her home so she needs to move on in life I also think people are getting way too hung up on potential rape in the Pern series You could just as easily say the men are being raped by the other men green and blue dragon riders or by the women ueen dragon riders who essentially chose the Weyrleader through the act I do have some issues with the Helva series but not so much the sex scenes I'm not comfortable with hiding the disabled in ships before the kids have any choice as to career McCaffrey does have some of these disabled assume other careers such as Broley the one in charge of a city But it seems rather limited in terms of careers On the other hand the kids are alive It is pretty well spelled out they would be extremely limited in their original bodies if even alive Not changing my rating of 4 starsIf you are going to get so upset over this author stop reading her

Anne McCaffrey Ú 9 FREE READ

Open these pages and discover 14 remarkable stories of fantasy by a grand master of the genre A wonderful writer as well as successful and beloved by fans across the world An. I've always been ambivalent about McCaffrey I gave up on the Pern books fairly far into the series because the elements of sadism and rape I'd had trouble with earlier became in my opinion the predominant elements I'll probably never know if I should have given up on only that particular bookThe sex life of dragons is a disturbing but small part of their lives and the use of the mating flights to overcome the wills of the riders to celibacy for example or to other priorities some worthwhile some not or to the desire to choose their own mates is less concerning than the fact that the riders also vicariously indulge in the bloodlust of feeding dragons Mating flights are overwhelming but rare feeding occurs comparatively oftenSo it's not surprising that I found many of the stories in this book disturbing when I first read them And I appreciate the reminders from other reviewers that at least one of these stories involves rape I'll try to detect that one early and skip itContentsIntroduction McCaffrey explains that the title of the book comes from a misreading of an earlier anthology with the title Get of The Unicorn The misreading could have been prevented if it'd been given a less ambiguous name say The Unicorn's ChildrenLady in the Tower So why SHOULD high powered telepaths all be raging agoraphobesA Meeting of Minds One of the reasons the Rowan stories are so disappointing is the repetition of tired cliches Yet ANOTHER monstra ex machina In this case both literally and figuratively Why SHOULD an alien society be so implacably hostile that they transcend intergalactic barriers to try to attack a neighboring civilization Another is the idea apparently endemic to McCaffrey herself than to her generation; a throwback really to earlier attitudes that what women REALLY want is a 'superior master'Daughter If this is a true reflection of McCaffrey's own relationship with her father it explains a lot The extrapolation of current trends to the idea of a family farm run entirely by automation is untenable but it might have seemed logical at the time I'm actually interested in the mother She has chosen to sacrifice her own life to her family But it's not a true renunciation since she uses craft and subtlety to get her own way without alienating strong stubborn personalities too much This sort of adaptation has always been common among women than men and it was rapidly dying out at the time the story was published 1971 By the time the story was set in the adaptation would have been as atavistic as a giant sloth on the present day Pampas it's presumedDull Drums The society in the previous story carried forward In the Doctor Who episode Androids of Tara the peasantry had become engineers and when they were almost entirely lost in a plague the androids they'd invented took their placesort of Without enough peasants to maintain them they stopped being practical for everyday use This society is somewhat similar Programmers and other computer science folk are low status Their work is regarded with disdain and a highly talented student is steered OUT of the field The implication is that the society's development of automation is overshadowed by its development of sophisticated psychological techniues which are used largely to reconcile people to their lots in life Not feasible but McCaffrey was evidently very concerned by the rebelliousness of traditional 'underlings' It might be interesting to make up a timeline showing historical events in Ireland in the periods these stories were written in order to see how a conservative woman writer at the time responded to rather than led current developments in her writingIntroduction to a new 'set' these occur periodically in the book and are explanatory of the order and chronology than anything elseChangeling I have no problem with the polyandrous relationship in the story I do think it's bit rich to put the whole burden of household adjustments on the woman though A household consisting of one woman one homosexual man one bisexual man and one heterosexual man may reuire some complex adjustments probably will indeed But why is it always HER responsibility to make things work I have to say that the homosexual man is a bizarre personality His misogyny is carried to the point of obsessiveness He's not only sexually unattracted to women he seems to regard ANY touch of a woman as potentially contaminating Hypothetical uestion what would have happened if 'his' child had been a girl I have to say by the way that it's not true that he could only sire one child if artificial insemination is readily available UNLESS there is some regulatory limitation on the number of children each person could have Weather on Welladay The people in this story have no idea what's going on Therefore I doubt the assumption that the 'whales' are unintelligent So what is THEIR reward for permitting their thyroid glands to be 'milked' Looks like a basis for mediation to ME It does seem a bit odd that any society would have a critical shortage of I 131 thoughAnother interludeThe Thorns of Barevi This is the story where a woman accepts being raped But that's not the most troubling part of the story McCaffrey has always had a tendency to accept slavery as normative The escaped slave makes no attempt to help others escape to put an end to the system of slavery to establish an alternative society to return home She really has no plans at all She only escapes into the 'wilderness' and lives in hiding until she can parlay her rape into 'freedom' I also find the supposed hostility of the environment implausible And the habit of killing local fauna by bullfighting techniues and about as fairly since the humanoids have significantly greater strength and durability and they always start the fights and never stop until they kill the animals is truly appalling One thing that I did find interesting is the idea of an almost literal sunset clause on blood feuds If people insist on having blood feuds a time limit is a necessary amenity Sort of a statute of limitations And one day may be a little short but it has definite possibilitiesHorse from A Different Sea The men who patronize certain prostitutes are getting pregnant And the doctor decides that he has the right to kill the babies though he knows nothing about them The story is a sort of defensive rumination on his justification for these murdersThe Great Canine Chorus This is a truly horrific story A disabled and telepathic little girl is exploited by her abusive father and local crime lords And because she distrusts the authorities whom she blames for the death of her mother she refuses to allow them near her to try to help her She only trusts animals particularly dogs but she overestimates her control of her own powers and a call for help goes badly awry Almost worse than the bathos of the individual story is the dystopian society envisioned with a sort of 'gritty realism' that distorts by failing to show the 'big picture' of how we got to this horrid day and who besides individuals are trying to fix it Note that there's an implication that the little girl has a sister somewhereFinder's Keeper McCaffrey consistently conflates different psychic gifts It's less so in this story The child in this story has a form of psychometry which enables him to 'find' things His challenge is to keep himself from being exploited until he can reach maturity And then exploit himself apparently Unlike other literary characters this one is not motherless He has uite a good mother really who advises him well But has he no other family Where are his aunts and uncles Grandparents CousinsA Proper Santa Claus A small boy has the ability to realize his artworks but he begins to doubt himself when lectured in altruism In fairness he's only about five He's likely to be able to resolve this uandary eventually The Smallest Dragonboy Not one of the worst Pern stories It would be better as a standalone children's book I'd think with illustrations I don't think much of Pernese technology as represented in this story by the wayAnother interlude mostly these are descriptions of how the stories came to be written and suggested rewritesApple I'd always realized that the stories in To Ride Pegasus were dystopian This is worse than most McCaffrey evidently had no uarrel with the idea of disposable people who can be killed or abused without uarter or concern The fugitive in this story is a lost little girl who has powers beyond the ordinary including apparently significant apportive ability She's murdered by the authorities then the murder is dismissed with an attitude of 'good riddance to bad rubbish' The general attitude of the police is that the people SHOULD be afraid of the authorities 'unless they behave properly' which is of course no exception at all because the standing definition on 'proper behavior' is cowed acceptance of the commercial norms of the rich Be poor labor and MAYBE we'll let you have a modicum of our loot and not murder or otherwise abuse youif we feel like it The Talented in these stories are trying to carve a niche in this exploitative situation but they're hampered by prejudice of those who are all too aware that they could be powerful rebels if they chose What after all did the little girl she's not much above 12 apparently steal Baubles Toys Things that shouldn't even be for sale some of them sable coats Come ON Conspicuous consumption reserved for the rich while the poor get subsistence food housing clothing etc I should point out that the Romani Anti Defamation League could uite reasonably take issue against this story since the victim is a 'Gypsy' child and it's presumed that she has become so alienated from her society almost solely because of her ethnicityThe last interludeHoneymoon Ever wonder how Helva and Niall Parollan consummated their relationship Here's how As sex scenes go this one's than a little weird

SUMMARY Get Off the Unicorn

FREE READ Get Off the Unicorn 109 á Open these pages and discover 14 remarkable stories of fantasy by a grand master of the genre A wonderful writer as well as successful and beloved by fans across the world Anne McCaffrey has created an exciting collection of telepaths secret gifts dangerous missions dragonriders and ContentsLady in the Tower A Meeting of Changeling Weather on Welladay The Thorns of Barevi Horse From a Different Sea Great Canine Chorus Finder's Keeper A Proper Santa Claus The Smallest Dragonboy Apple Honeymoo. Yes this is how far I have sunk reading McCaffrey books which I read as a virgin teen This stuff I wouldn't recommend bec it was written way before women's lib and the sexism and racism is so casual and endemic it's rather chilling Actually what's shocking is her seeming lack of recognition that there are extremely sexist and even anti female elements in some of the stories I mean sure your Dad Daughter et al is a big sexist asshole but the number of times one female protag is grabbed by men and doesn't protest the manhandling instead sees it as sign of caring it was sickening Or in Honeymoon HAHthe assumption that a brawn must be watched for signs of obsession with the brain for fear he might be so overcome by lack of sexual stimulation during long space flights that he might crack open the shell of his defenseless brain and rape a physically stunted person covered in nutritive fluid whos brain is exposed and connected with wires to the very functions of the ship which keep him alive What True I did not read The Ship Who Sang and now I don't really want to if that's the dynamic and I had been looking forward to it Helva was nervous at first during the trip Can I trust him not to crack my shell Basically Can I trust him not to rape me in a fit of crazed lust inspired by lack of available vaginas to poke and his wanting to join with her and the jibe about don't play that virgin crap with me What You're on a methane gas alien world without your usual physical body potentially dangerous beings watching you and you press the advantage to merge by yelling abuse Hello not the time for gettin' it on no matter that it's sex by proxyIt's just depressing that in her world we can have hyperspace sophisticated ships and explore strange peoples and lands but there is no way to deal with the male mammalian sex drive Oh yeah that's the point no matter what a woman's a woman and a man is a man and he's gotta have it and she's gonna give it one thousand years of techinical advancement notwithstanding Sheesh How backward Sign me up for some Cherryh Reeves Aguirre or Liz Moon