Monday, January 28, 2013

Narcissus in Chains chapter 60

So Anita heads back to Narcissus in Chains and is lead in by a nervious looking Ulysses. The other guards look nervious and scared too. Ulysses explains that their master has punished them.

Anita looks down on this. She treats it as a self-inflicted thing. Nobody who didn't want to be punished would stick around for it, after all. Because abuse is a thing you just leave cold turkey and have no other hang-ups with all the time, right?

Ulysses gets even more nervous and asks for Anita to leave her guns behind.

Anita says no.

Ulysses says please.

Anita says no.

Ulysses says Anita has no idea what will happen to them if they let her go inside with her guns.

Anita decides that Narcissus is being a really bad dom.

The readers, however, have picked up that Ulysses has said "my master" every time, and knows that something else is going on, and super-uber perceptive Anita, who can read subtle nuances into the mearest glance of most weres, is being written as EXCEPTIONALLY thick and insensative right now, and that means somebody else is in charge.

Ulysses begins to beg on his knees, saying that his master will kill the guard's lovers if Anita and Co. don't surrender their guns. And I just realized that other than Asher and Narcissus, these are the first gay dudes in the book. Asher was a prima donna, Narcissus was a psychotic sadist, and these guys are sniveling murderous cowards--or at least, they're being written that way.

Hey, you know what the difference between a gay guy and a normal guy is IRL? Absolutely nothing. They're the same person. They don't dress like June Cleaver (unless they want to) they don't flame on, and like everyone else on the planet, some of them can be VERY bad ass. Some of them can even manage to be bad ass while kicking no ass at all.  (No one else IRL has managed the sheer awesome badassery of Bayard Russtin. There were no truely awesome human beings before Bayard Rustin. There have been none since. Bayard Rustin handed Chuck Norris another fist, and Chuck threw them all down in disgust. Yes. I just said it. Bayard Rustin was more badass than Chuck Norris.)

But I guess in this universe if you are hardwired not to want to screw Anita, because you're a straight woman or a gay man, you must be evil. Or a coward.

I hate this book.

Anita decides all these poor abused men are broken little puppies and she must take them all and give them all sanctuary. Do not ask me how you can both demonize, cutisfy, dehumanize and rescue somebody all at the same time, but this book just managed it.

And then somebody shoots one of Anita's bodyguards, and she responds by putting her gun to Ulysses's head and threatening to pull the trigger. Because it's totally his fault.

So now they're all being held under gunpoint. Anita and the remaining bodyguard time a couple volleys of fire and kill a couple guards before the return fire pins them back behind cover again. (...just how fucking big is this club? And why do I keep imagining an medeval castle instead of a nightclub when I read this scene?) and then the wereheyenas rush Anita.

The text strongly implies that it's all of them. All five hundred plus.


They escape the club being chased by a horde of half-shifted heyena men.

Boys and girls, we just spent two thirds of this book reading about disgusting, humiliating, probably-not-consensual sex, and the fallout from said disgusting, humiliating non-con sex. This has been lightly peppered with so much ugliness Westboro Babtist Church would say "Fuck. Even we can't top this shit" and go home.

 We could have been reading about silver gun battles and pissed off were-heyena car chases the entire time. 

You may rage incoherantly now. I'll wait.

The heyenas swarm the car. There is much firing of weapon and much exploding body parts, because Anita only packs the kind of rounds that explode when they go into a body. At one point she runs out of ammo and half decapitates a person (most of the head is still there, just...not the important parts). It's gross and brutal and totally the book we wanted, but sadly the slog it took to get here just wasn't worth it.

Anita pulls a random Uzi out of the floorboards of the car. It has a big clip, too. Triple ammo capacity, so it takes twelve seconds to empty at full auto instead of just four. (Mythbusters did it. Look it up)

At one point the bodyguard tells Nathanial to slow down, they don't want to be pulled over with bodies in the car. I think they should be more worried about the bodies on the car (one of them is dangling through the brand new sunroof) but that might just be me.

Then Anita realizes one of the bodies isn't dead, so she questions it. Finally she catches up to the rest of us and realizes that Narcissus isn't in charge of the gang anymore. Oh, dear, who is?

We find out later, because that's the end of the chapter.


  1. ...weird, did my comment with the link not post?

    1. I guess I'll post it again to be sure

    2. Well, I checked and the spam filter didn't eat it. So IDK where it went...

    3. As for the article...reading it makes me want to find the gay co-worker I had, who was TOTALLY awesome, a great waiter and hilarious when it came to keeping morale up--and go give him a hug and tell him "I'm sorry."

      I'm sorry this series exists, I'm sorry its out there. I'm just...sorry. UGH. I'm going to go run my own writing past as many GLBT people as possible to make sure I'm not guilty of the same thing. Because I know I could be and I don't want to make another person feel like a shitstain. Ever.

    4. Huh. Well, basically what I said in it, besides the link, is that there are indeed an awful lot of lesbians who are evil or at the least presented as needlessly/randomly hostile to Anita for no particular reason, usually attracted to her at the same time. Off the top of my head there's Yasmeen from Circus of the Damned, and Lieutenant Thurgood from Skin Trade. Skin Trade also featured a female stripper hitting on Anita and offering her a lap dance for free. Anita's explanation of this to Edward is that being treated crappy by customers "can make you a little bisexual"

      ...because it's not possible that a beautiful feminine stripper could be a lesbian or a bisexual woman just because she IS one, no, it must be bad treatment by men. Or just be looking to make a profit from the money she'd get off men who watched the lap dance. The idea that lesbians who are pretty and femme must be gay because of abuse instead of naturally so (like tougher, butchier ones such as Sylvie or Thurgood) reoccurs twice in Bullet--there's Jade, who is described in the link, and Bianca, a swanmane girl who only likes girls because the previous Swan King before Reese treated her badly.

      I guess LKH is just so man-crazy and misogynistic herself that the idea of a woman JUST LIKING WOMEN CUZ SHE DOES can't compute in her head. Unless the girl is somehow 'mannish' but not in the good hot way like 'One of the Guys' not-girl Anita *eyeroll*

    5. Yeah, Hamilton has some pretty retrograde ideas about gender. Which is OK-ish, sorta, except for the part where she tries to ram them down our throat as absolute laws of biology and human nature.

      " I'm going to go run my own writing past as many GLBT people as possible to make sure I'm not guilty of the same thing. Because I know I could be and I don't want to make another person feel like a shitstain. Ever."

      One beta-reader who you trust on those issues would probably be enough. That and, if you do let anything problematic slip into your work, a willingness to say 'Crap, my bad, I'm sorry'. Most of the racefail/genderfail controversies that have come up recently have more to do with the author doubling down on stupid than they do with the original problem in the story.

      "No you don't understand. I HAD to erase native Americans from history to write the story I wanted. They were in the way. Why are you all being so angry?"

    6. Yeah, in my experience with people being upset over things like that, the main issue is usually not so much with that a problem happened but that the person responsible refuses to admit it's a problem at all, therefore will neither apologize nor try to fix it. Fucking up happens, especially in a culture where ignorance around these issues is the norm and what we are taught; it's how you act after you are told you fucked up that really determines what kind of a person you are, imo

    7. *nods* I don't want to go into a lot of in-depth commentary about gayness because I KNOW I am in way over my head--it took about twenty two years for my upbringing to totally wear off--and I'd probably say something wrong...but I do know my own issues. And most--if not all--of them have been present as long as I can remember, with the exception of my SI issues. Which means most of them aren't "issues".

      The handful of homosexuals I've known are people. Nice, good ordinary people who don't need rescuing (unless it's from a flat tire) who don't need preaching, who are fully capable of making their own choices like any other adult. I don't swing that way, so I can't understand it, but it's not something I need to understand. It's not my fight, I don't really have the right to make a commentary on gay lifestyles. The fact that I've chosen to write stories means I have to and that means I'll probably get just about everything wrong, but I'd rather be wrong in acknowledging someone else's existence, and then be corrected for being an idiot, than I would pretend that the thing I don't understand just doesn't exist. In the first case, I can learn what "right" is. In the second, I'm denying somebody else their humanity. And that's just fucking wrong.

  2. "I'd rather be wrong in acknowledging someone else's existence, and then be corrected for being an idiot, than I would pretend that the thing I don't understand just doesn't exist."

    This. I'd rather risk screwing up and having to apologize for it than say "Oh, you were kind of problematic so I erased people like you."

    And I really don't understand that in speculative fiction genre writers. I mean, these are people who are willing to research mythology and folklore, read about foreign cultures, check their astronomy and biology textbooks when designing alien worlds... But then just look away when something close to home makes then sort of uncomfortable.