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In The Same Boat 29/44

In The Same Boat 29/44 published on 12 Comments on In The Same Boat 29/44

This storyline, in summary:

Readers: Uh-oh, spotted a problem, this is pretty concerning, it’s going to escalate into something really dangerous if Dex doesn’t have a plan for it
Dex: *has a plan for it*

Also! For the lead-up to the Leif & Thorn Kickstarter, I’m trying something new: putting a “Support Leif & Thorn” call-to-action above the comic.

Gonna switch it up every week or so, and share free, simple, low-key ways you can give the comic a boost.


Kahu: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHhuh?

[SPLOOSH]

Dex: It’s okay! This diving shield can keep out the water — and filter plenty of oxygen for both of us.

[RRRRUMBLE]

Kahu: The shield may be impervious to water, but has it been tested for resistance to boats?

Dex: Let’s not find out.

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12 Comments

Note for the random poll, not the story above: I’m assuming “World of the White Rat” is the world of several T. Kingfisher novels. If it’s a different white rat, move my vote to Discworld.

I almost feel bad for Piers Anthony that no one is voting for Xanth.

Except he’s unapologetic pedophilic garbage who’s novels often feature relationships between female children and fully adult men.

I still feel heavily betrayed by that. I read his books when I was a child. And now that I’m an adult I’m honestly angry that my school had them in their library. I used to like Incarnations of Immortality. Then in the book with the giant whale… relationship between a child female and an adult male. I just… And Xanth is worse. And he’s sexist too. It’s always a girl child with an adult man. Never a boy child. I feel like somehow that makes it worse. It’s like the GOP or the Taliban. Some sick old man’s view of ‘sexual liberation’ that doesn’t take into account how sexual liberation actually works.

Why was that man allowed to write for children?!

I feel like it’s worth noting that, unless I’ve missed something recent, nobody has ever accused Piers Anthony of abusing them. Or even being sexually inappropriate with them. No kids, no adults, nobody.

There are a whole lot of men in the SFF literary scene — including men whose fiction is way less overtly creepy — who can’t say the same.

He’s not the GOP, and he’s definitely not the Taliban. Given the choice between “person who writes disturbingly sexual content with child characters” versus “person who assaults real live women and children,” I’ll take the creepy writer any day.

…also, uh. It’s been a long time since I’ve read any of his books, and I’m not planning a reread any time soon…but. There were definitely too-sexy passages with young boy characters. (Pretty sure I remember the occasional “pairing the boy off with an enthusiastic cougar” type of scenario, too.)

https://www.avclub.com/revisiting-the-sad-misogynistic-fantasy-of-xanth-1798241312

https://litreactor.com/columns/themes-of-pedophilia-in-the-works-of-piers-anthony

You’re right that the man has self control and has never actually creeped on anyone who’s willing to accuse him of it that I can find (And given how much of a pariah he’s become lately, I see few reasons someone would be afraid to.)

That being said… the reason I hate Xanth in’t really who Piers Anthony is…

It’s what he put into it. And, uh, that’s pretty intense, creepy, and not really suitable for children.

Same reason I dislike a lot of Robert Heinlein’s later works which ALSO fall somewhat into weird Sci-Fi fantasy fad of child sexual activity (Also see The Rowan by Ann Mccaffrey for another example of this fad, although Ann Mccaffrey at least shows the responsible adult in the room immediately shutting it down when the titular tween attempts to engage sexually with him. Unfortunately this is then somewhat undermined with them winding up in a relationship in later books when both are of age. Even the Tortal series narrowly avoids it with the romance between Numar Salaman and Daine Sarasari. He is a full 12 years older than her, and an adult when she meets him as a child… but she doesn’t start thinking about him romantically until she’s old enough as well.) I also don’t really think Lolita by Nabokov is suitable reading material for children.

And for a children’s book series, written for children? ‘not suitable for children’ is pretty damning.

At least ‘incarnations of immortality’ was aimed at ‘young adults’.

And I’m really not joking about the weird fad scifi/fant went through with child initiated sexual relations with adults.

I guess there’s something worth discussing there in a novel intended at adults or young adults… what’s the adult’s role in such a situation for example. It’s a thing that happens. Children sometimes engage in sexual-like play activities with each other. Sometimes they attempt to rope adults in.

Several questions arise, including what does a caregiver do when they notice it? I don’t have the answers to those questions, and that could be something worth discussing in the structure of a science fiction or a fantasy novel that explores how other theoretical cultures handle it… or even how our own culture handles it under theoretical changes or pressures.

But it doesn’t belong in a book for children because it could easily lead to mimicry by the children in question. And that’s dangerous and bad.

(And yes, since there are children who do struggle with having been raped, or currently being abused sexually by a caregiver or even by a fellow child, there may be value in having stories for children that can help them deal with their trauma and feelings. I don’t think the way Xanth handled it was appropriate for that purpose.)

Either “he has self-control” or “he doesn’t have any interest in abusing real people in the first place, he just likes writing creepy fiction.” (Stephen King hasn’t murdered anyone, and we don’t think “oh, he must secretly want to, because of all those murder scenes he writes.”)

…also, the Xanth series isn’t a children’s book series. It openly deals with sex. The first book involves the trial of an accused rapist! It was never “written for children.”

Lolita isn’t a children’s book either.

Admittedly, I haven’t read every single thing Heinlein or McCaffrey have written, so I won’t say they didn’t write any books for children — but I can say they wrote a lot of books that were explicitly not for children.

I feel like you’re going off on a long weird tangent here, all based on accepting the premise that all of these are kids’ books, and they’re just…not.

I know Lolita isn’t. My point was that Xanth isn’t either despite the fact that Xanth has always been presented as a children’s series.

But you’re right, it’s absolutely not for children, there’s a rape trial. But it WAS written for children. By which I mean 8ish to 12ish.

And as I said, one of the most damning things you can say about a book for children is that it’s appropriate not for children.

I don’t know who presented the Xanth books to you as “for 8-to-12-year-olds”, but the problem is with them, not with the books.

(They definitely weren’t shelved with the middle-grade books in the library where I originally found them. Or in the library where I work now, for that matter.)

If I pick up a book with sex scenes and I give it to an 8-year-old without checking the content, that doesn’t make it a children’s book, that makes me a bad book-recommender.

This poll is killing me though. I like so many of these and hate not being able to select more than one! I added in Stormlight Archives, though, because if I have to pick just one it’s that.

That said, people who enjoy Leif and Thorn will probably enjoy the Elemental Logic series by Laurie J Marks, as well as the Isandor Novels by Claudie Arseneault. Both series have a ton of representation and are just amazing. Also, content warnings similar to this comic but probably more intense.

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