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  #301  
Old 08-06-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Steele's first few were fun. Have you read Ben Bova's "Mars" books?

Look forward to your new book. Do you have a title?
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  #302  
Old 08-06-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I did, a long time ago. Good example of what I consider boring. No new ideas. Same old astronaut stereotypes. Bova wrote some interesting stuff decades ago (what was the title of his move-the-Earth novel?) but "Mars" was dishwater dull - Robinson's Mars series not much better. No real drama. Heinlein understood how to combine human drama with a unique setting and imaginary culture - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the best example. Heinlein's Luna busted the old stereotypes - he did not write about an Air Force base on the moon, which everyone else was doing, but a penal colony, populated by a culture developed uniquely for Mars. That's not what I'm doing, but it's a fine example of a true imaginative work and a fascinating read that transports you outside of your normal realm. Nowadays, writers can't seem to do that unless they evoke the paranormal. There seem to be two choices: If you're going to write about Mars, there better be alien-ghost thingies there to take over your brain, OR if you want to do "realistic" sic-fi, your technology and characters must be cribbed from NASA and the ISS. In fact, just transport the whole damn ISS to Mars, make sure you have your stock characters (the arrogant ex-fighter pilot, the beautiful lady physicist who is self-assured and womanly at the same time, etc) and have them say "mission control" at least every other page. Ugh!
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  #303  
Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I read this book over the weekend while waiting out the thunderstorms. I loved the sailing parts - very exciting and as mentioned already, the language used is friendly and I feel like even non-sailors could follow along and enjoy it. The writing was really good for a first time author. Good job dude!

I did not however enjoy the parts about the ladies. Especially the continued jabs at their weight and looks. I get wanting to make it realistic and true, but I thought it was kind of mean. I feel like there was enough drama in the sailing that you didn't need the added discourse with characters we never really had enough time to get to know - one of the reasons I think the women all came off as kind of terrible.
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  #304  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Haley,

Thanks for your input, and glad to hear that (for the most part) you liked the book! The parts with the female crew members should not be taken in a vacuum. Overall, it fits in with the original reasons I decided to quit everyday life, in an ironic way: I was, myself, judged on my body. It's a human characteristic. Also, nearly all men will agree with me, they often observe that it is acceptable for females to be negative about a man's appearance ("Oh, he's too short for me,") and other traits outside of appearance, but the same sort of judgments coming from men are, for some reason, unacceptable or rude. This double standard irks men but it is rarely, if ever, broached in mass media.

Have to run to the airport now but I will be watching this thread for comments from anyone.

Best regards,

Glenn
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  #305  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I don't really want to get into a gender politics discussion - as a young women in tech I've gotten into this several times with much aggravation on both sides haha. I think having a "type" is fine. You judge women based on your standards, they judge you based on theres'. All good.

But you referred to "Megan" as a butch Rosie O'Donnell and extremely obese (and then mentioned she was the same size as you) several times. At length. Kinda harsh is all I'm saying.
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  #306  
Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenndamato View Post
nearly all men will agree with me, they often observe that it is acceptable for females to be negative about a man's appearance ("Oh, he's too short for me,") and other traits outside of appearance, but the same sort of judgments coming from men are, for some reason, unacceptable or rude.
Dude, you got a real chip on your shoulder for the opposite sex.
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  #307  
Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Actually the attitude part was what drew me to the book. Glen obviously knows it is politically incorrect to judge women by their looks just like he knows it stinks when people judge him by his looks.
He is also fully aware of the irony of the situation.
He also knows his chances of finding a 22 year old 110 lb yoga instructor to fulfill his dreams.

There are all kinds of studies that show that no matter how politically correct we want to be we make judgments about others we may not even be aware of.

I know I do. The difference between me and Glen is that I'm not typically willing to admit it.

His attitudes about women shaped the story a great deal. Yes it is a a little painful to read but without it we would not have really heard enough the story to even make sense.
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  #308  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

@Haley: Did I really use the term "butch" and the name "Rosie O'Donnel" together? That would have been redundant!

@David: Yeah, you're right, without the personal issues (of various kinds, the women thing being just the main one) it would not have been the same story, or even an interesting story, just instead merely a cruising log - and a short one at that.

The number of people who read books avidly - especially fiction - has been steadily decreasing for decades. One of the reasons for that, I suspect, is that authors and publishing companies have grown timid. They choose to "play it safe" by telling the same stories over and over, with different names and settings - stories that have been stripped of any hint of any truly controversial topic, or that use faux controversial topics in their stead. A faux controversy is one which 99-percent of everyone you'll come in contact with will agree: "Should men be allowed to beat their wives?" or "Should black people be discriminated against in stores and restaurants?"

If writers started stirring minds, imaginations and emotions as they once did, maybe their books will be able to compete with the latest video game or episode of Honey Boo Boo.
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  #309  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Actually, here is the author's Rosie O'Donnell comparison: "Physically she was on the pudgy side, but it was a dainty sort of female pudgy as opposed to Megan's rough-and-tumble Rosie O'Donnell biker-chick heftiness." (Sorta neat to be able to search e-books.)

I'm not personally offended by the repeated jabs like this--he can write whatever he wants--but for me it only adds to the off-putting feeling of pretentiousness which exists in this story. Some people (think stand up comics) can pull this off. This story does not.

Now, I'm not sure if the author is suggesting that his story is part of some literary revolution aimed at "stirring minds, imaginations and emotions as they once did," but if so, that sort of reinforces my thoughts about all this. An easy worthwhile read? Sure. A work of literary fiction? No.
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

@caberg: You're over-evaluating this. The reason that description is so "precise" is practical. "Megan" (not her real name of course) was gross. She was not just "average looking." She was not "the girl next door." She was gross. Masculine. Seriously. I wanted to make it clear I was not one of those men who "only dates 22-year old 108 lbs supermodels with high cheekbones and green eyes," as many people assume. Understanding this issue is crucial because it followed me throughout the trip, and before: I just could not catch a break with my luck with women. I portrayed this not to be "literary" or write some kind of literary classic (!) but just to write an honest book. Which probably has a lot to do with it's popularity.
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