So, yesterday was various errands, including the Getting of the Flu Shots, and tomorrow there are more errands. Today, I believe there is cleaning, including post-writing disaster control of my office. Which, to be fair, is Slightly Less Awful than it Often Is in terms of Sheer Volume. On the other paw, I can’t just sweep stacks of paper into trash bags, either, because there are Large Swaths of at least one other book interleaved with the pages that finally came to make up Dragon in Exile.
Speaking of Dragon in Exile, or at least, speaking of Val Con and Miri, who are more-or-less major actors in the novel, something went past my eyeballs a while ago, regarding characterization in the Liaden Universe®. The assertion of the writer was that while the authors get positive points for writing strong female characters, those points are crushed under the number of negative points the authors get for pairing said strong, intelligent females with a male characters who are even stronger and smarter.
It probably goes without saying — but I’ll say it anyway — that I don’t see it that way. Speaking specifically of Miri and Val Con, what I see is two smart, capable people who have had vastly different lives, and who therefore have different strengths, and weaknesses, who happen to complement each other.
As a question of craft, I’ve always felt that it’s a cheat to demonstrate that one’s female character is strong and intelligent by deliberately pairing her with a weak or venal, less-intelligent male. Just as it’s a cheat to demonstrate that your hero is strong, smart, and morally upstanding by pairing him with Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes.
Also, just personally, I wonder why a strong, smart character of any gender you like would partner with a dummy (OK; maybe in terms of muscle or money). But, generally, in terms of survival, wouldn’t you want the smartest, strongest, most sympatico person you could get for your partner?
So, anyhow, that’s what I think. What do you think?