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Reading group for Gilman's Moonwise - Input Junkie
October 15th, 2012
11:00 am


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Reading group for Gilman's Moonwise
Greer Gilman's Moonwise is a remarkable book. It's dense, poetic, and has devastating puns. When I read the paperback, I was shocked with admiration for Roc, the publisher-- I've never seen anything like it come out for the mass market.

I've only read it once, and haven't worked up the momentum since. It occurs to me that making it a group experience would supply an incentive and a lot of background information. Practically every paragraph has references to other fantasy, poetry, folk dance, and mythology.

So I've started a reading group: reading_moonwise.

I'm pretty good on the other fantasy and not so good on the other references, so what I'd like is notating the references, sorting out the plot, looking for the larger themes, and noticing the puns.

This group is intended to be a refuge from political discussion as well as an enjoyable place. Please do your bit to make it fascinating.

If the group goes well, we can continue with Gilman's other works set in the same (related?) universe(s).

There are two editions: hardcover and paperback. I'd rather make it easy for people to get their reading material than keep everything perfectly in sync, so there's going to be a little slack about what gets covered at each update. The paperback is cheaper and out of print. The hardcover is more expensive, prettier, and has an introduction by Michael Swanwick.

A Cloudish Word-Hoard, a glossary by Michael Swanwick.

Tentative schedule: 2 pages twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

Monday, October 15 HC: p. 11, 12 PB: p. 3,4
Thursday, October 19 HC: 13, 14 PB: p. 15, 16

Let me know if a posted schedule helps-- I'm not going to do it if it isn't useful for people. It may make more sense to create a conversion system for the two editions.

It's fine to finish a paragraph even if it's on the next page. Everybody is allowed, even encouraged, to write updates about the current pages.

If you have something substantial to say about earlier pages, please do it as a new post. Comments to old posts tend to get lost. If the conversation in an old post is lively, please make the occasional current post about it.

The size and rate of updates is my guess about what would be reasonable. If it turns out to be too fast or too slow, it will be changed.

Ironclad policies: This is intended to be a pleasant group. No matter how strongly you feel that someone else's errors reflect badly on their intellect and/or character, I expect you to pretend you think it was an honest mistake. I'm sincerely hoping not to need to use moderation tools, but I've got them.

Furthermore, this is a group for appreciating a book that I like. If you feel inclined to do an analysis that's primarily about what's wrong with it and how what's wrong with it reflects badly on the author, please do it somewhere else.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/555196.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.


(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
This sounds interesting - I'd like the opportunity to give this book the close reading it deserves, and the slow pace might be wise - but several things puzzle me.

1) Where is this discussion to take place? In the comments to placemarker posts of yours? In LJ or DW, or both?

2) What will be the spoilers policy?

3) In the page selection for Oct. 19, you mean PB p. 5-6, not 15-16? I'm afraid it took me a minute to figure that out; at first I thought you were skipping ten pages.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your interest and proof-reading.

I've corrected the post to include the url of the reading group: reading moonwise. As is usual with my posts, it will be cross-posted between dreamwidth and livejournal. I don't love having the discussion in two places, but I've got at least one friend and valued commenter for each website who won't go to the other.

I've also corrected the pages numbers.

Spoiler policy: As you will see in my first post, I'm okay with vague thematic spoilers, but not plot events.

Edited at 2014-10-14 02:13 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, I should read this!
I went through a Gerard Manley Hopkins phase (god, it seems like everybody did), and a matriarchal/witchcraft/folklore phase, and this seems like it would hit those buttons HARD.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
I hope you do read it. I suspect that Gilman's take on goddesses is somewhat eccentric, but I don't know enough about the usual portrayals to be sure.
[User Picture]
Date:October 16th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
This sounds wonderful! I will look for the book.
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