A brief literary rant for all the NaNoWriMo folks.

Clan_Of_Cave_Bear_postActually, this comic is a complete lie. When I was twelve, I wasn’t reading abut psychic wolves. I think I was digging my way through the Clan of the Cave Bear series, which really, really ISN’T age appropriate for a twelve year old. (Unless you really want your twelve year old to learn about caveman rape. And hot, consensual, same-species lovin’.) But, I was one of those awkward, precocious readers who got into the book series because I heard that she had a pet cave lion and I was terribly interested in paleontology at the time, and was left wondering why anyone would write something horrible like ‘throbbing manhood’. (I wonder the same thing these days, though for entirely different reasons.)

I also read the Wrinkle in Time series, though I can’t remember how old I was at the time. And the only book series I remember reading that had any sort of animal companions in them at all were the Owl series by Mercedes Lackey, and they get a pass because the bondbirds were all birds of prey. (And the books are still kind of a guilty pleasure of mine because of that fact…)

Anyway. Where was I going with this? I don’t remember. I had a point, but I think it pretty much boils down to the fact that, regardless of how good or bad you personally think the Twilight novels are, that Bella is a shitty role model. Ayla would have totally kicked her ass.

News: Posted November 24th, 2009 by Alina

^ 31 Comments to “A brief literary rant for all the NaNoWriMo folks.”

  1. trabant Says:


    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 8:05 am
  2. SpotWeld Says:

    I’m fairly certain that Pippi Longstocking would have kicked Balla’s ass.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 9:52 am
  3. Ipstenu Says:

    When I was 11, it was ‘The Once and Future King’ – Also not a book for a 11 year old. I distinctly remember having to ask what a ‘shift’ was and why was someone being burnt in it. At that point, my elementary school teacher probably regretted telling me I could read ‘anything’ in reading time.

    Also, for weird ‘Oh no, it’s okay cause our magical psychic dragons are into it!’ rape crap, don’t forget Anne McCaffery, whom I can no longer stomach, even if I MST3K the hell out of it. And yet, at 12, I loved those books. Every generation has to have this, so we can look back and marvel at how stupid we were.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 9:59 am
  4. PedroSteckecilo Says:

    Are you sure Clan of the Cave Bear isn’t age appropriate for 12 year old girls? It cannot be a coincidence that I’ve met at least five or six women, all of whom read that monster of a novel in their early teens.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 10:09 am
  5. soilent Says:

    ramen. I havent read any of those books, but that shit i saw yesterday as preview almost spoiled 2012… then again, it’s ending is bu..sh.. anyway.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 1:02 pm
  6. tommykl Says:

    Hmm I did the quick transition from kids books, to required high school reading books, then to Stephen King before I was in the fourth grade. I am guessing I missed out on all of those books. Mind you this was the late 80’s so maybe not so many of these types of books existed.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 1:18 pm
  7. Yumi Says:

    OmG, you did not really read Clan of the Bears at that age? And I thought, I was stupid reading it at the age of 13 or 14 (after I made my way through Lord of the Rings with 10 and being fed up with fantasy books for teens)
    After that I looked more seriously at the blurb when taking my mother’s books XD

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 3:44 pm
  8. Sugar-junkie Says:

    Well, I read Twilight because I don’t like to criticize books I haven’t read.


    The whole serie is… wow. I don’t even know where to start. Women are shown as weak creatures unable to defend themselves. Love is some kind of unhealthy obsession about looks and smells. It’s not stalking if he loves you. It’s not rape if he loves you, even if you wake up covered with bruises, some broken bones and without any memory of the past night. Vampires SPARKLING ? For Bastet’s Sake !

    And the worst part. Pedo-wolves. LOLWUT. Saying it’s okay for Jacob to go out with a seven year old because she seems to be adult is just the same as saying it’s okay to have sex with a 13 year old because she looks 18 -___-

    I could go on forever but it would be giving to much importance to this crap they call “books”. Hey, even mystical psychic wolves are better than THAT !

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 4:26 pm
  9. Scott Says:

    I like Lackey, with her psychic horses and all. All of these “modern day were-critter” books, on the other hand, are annoying and repetitive.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 6:06 pm
  10. standgale Says:

    You were as old as twelve? I read the clan of the cavebear series when I was ELEVEN 😀 I think it was recommended to my friend and I by a teacher because of our intense interest in paleontology, and presumably she had forgot about the sex bit – and not many people have read beyond the first book so she might not have known that the fourth book was ENTIRELY about walking and having sex, and only those two things (well, and one brief bit of actual story at the village with the bone-fired kiln).
    Other kids used to come to us and whisper that they’d heard we knew of a book with rude bits, could we show them some, and we’d sigh and go over to the shelf (we were student librarians – what geeks we were!) and leaf through the hundreds-of-pages long book until we found something – which they would generally read for 5 seconds, go “ewww, gross” and run off – sigh, most kids have so little interest in reading 😉

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 9:28 pm
  11. pfogg Says:

    …and yet, if *everywhere* I go people keep making jokes, criticisms, and web-comics about the Twilight stories making reference to specific characters and events, eventually I’ll have to check them out just to understand what everyone’s talking about.

    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 10:40 pm
  12. Zoe Says:

    I tried to post a long winded rant about twilight here last night but the comment just wouldn’t post.
    I’ll just stick to saying I also read the Earth’s Children series (clan of the cave bear is just one book in the series) at about the same age. I wouldn’t have a problem letting 12 year olds read it if I had kids. The way kids are these days I think it would just be a relief to get them interested in reading at all.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 12:52 am
  13. Plasmos Says:

    Sparkly Vampires are the worse literary crime.

    At least psychic wolves could be explained as “Native American” and not a total rape of an original concept.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 5:38 am
  14. babelfish Says:

    Hi, long-time weregeeks fan here 🙂 I actually remember devouring Lackey’s books at the tender age of twelve. The sex bits might have been considered somewhat bold at that time (with all those same-sex couples, friends with benefits, non-marital sex and whatnot), but other than that, the author had been really tactful and gentle about them.

    And, yeah, the spunky heroines were the best. Now, I’ve read the first Twilight book and it scared the living daylights out of me. Not because it’s a trashy romance, trashy romances I can stand, but because of what it advertises as “true love” and “relationships”.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 6:14 am
  15. Erufailon Says:

    It’s like Harry Potter. When it first came out I was seven (and in hindsight this might have been the period where I was starting to look for something more exciting than “Lisa can read. Watch Lisa read”) and when my mom ordered the book, a monster was born. Yet, when I look at the books now, it strikes me that it’s not really that good. I mean, they all do the same in every book. Maybe from time to time there has to be a huge success of mediocre books just so that, as Ipstenu said, we can realise how naive we used to be?

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 6:31 am
  16. Denaya Says:

    I read Michael Slade books starting in 7th grade and making my way up. Yeeeeaaahhh…. twisted stuff.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 9:02 am
  17. Jessica Says:

    I liked Mercedes Lackey books too, and any of her female characters could kick Bella’s ass too, though most of them would probably bundle her off to a nice mind healer (er… psychic psychologists?) instead.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 10:06 am
  18. Bard Says:

    I read vampire fic as a kid. In the YA section. “The Monster Hunters”, “My Babysitter is a Vampire” (and its subsequent bizarre sequels, not as sappy as it sounds…the babysitter vampire is a guy, and a douche, and the main villain), etc.

    …actually, “My Babysitter” was odd in that, despite being a YA novel, it was basically a complete guide for how to fuck a vampire’s shit up. I’ve read dry mythology texts on vampires with less info in them on vampire hunting than the “My Babysitter” novels.

    Still not as clever as the “My Teacher is an Alien” novels (followed by such brilliant titles as “My Teacher Glows in the Dark”, and “My Teacher Flunked the Planet”…in which”flunking the planet” is a euphemism for “putting serious consideration into just exterminating the human race for the good of galactic civilization”).

    “Monster Hunters” wasn’t a bad series, either. The second novel contained about as much werewolf lore as “My Babysitter is a Vampire”, including some of the stranger French loup-garou myths. Odd stuff.

    Don’t get me started on Twilight. Only saw the movie. Though I *DID* go to a Vampire: The Requiem LARP and almost encite a Nosferatu elder to frenzy by telling him about sparkly vamps. “THEY SPARKLE?!?!?!?” “Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction.” (seriously also my OOC reaction to the movie)

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 10:19 am
  19. Bard Says:

    Oh…and that was also the conversation that led to serious talk of “What approval is it to ghoul Stephanie Meyer? We really should. It’d be good for the Masquerade!”

    Plans to get the Requiem and/or Forsaken games to go see “New Moon” fell through. I was dissapointed. I wanted to have friends around to hold me down and keep me from shouting at the movie screen.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 10:22 am
  20. Brier Says:

    Hah!! I distinctly remember reading Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffery and Mercedes Lackey.. and Terry Brooks. The most ‘exciting’ thing that would happen in those books was a kiss ‘on the mouth’. Although, I still vividly remember reading The Valley of Horses (sequel to clan of the cave bear) and being simply perplexed about throbbing manhoods.. I didn’t know what it meant. hehe

    Up until this point, I figured that i’d read at least one New Moon book (to see what it was about) but based on your comments, I think I might steer clear!

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 12:57 pm
  21. Valrus Says:

    Yeah, I was always reading books well above my age range. I was reading Dean Koontz novels in 3rd grade for my reading assignments.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 4:35 pm
  22. Cassiby Says:

    I just worked my way through the Cave Bear series this last summer at my mother’s suggestion. It slighlty worries me that my mother suggests books like that… Hahaha, though I remember reading some Harlequinn Romances when I was about 11 and being absolutely horrified.

    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 5:59 pm
  23. Thorne Says:

    Huhn. I was always confused about the whole ‘being inside’ thing, and them fitting – the accompanying mental images I had at the time were possibly more … um .. literal then they should have been…..
    I’m not sure how old I was when I first read ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ and the accompanying books… Oh, and Anne McCaffrey. And the Sime/Gen novels. Can’t have been much older than ten or eleven. If that old… I was /definitely/ older than that when I discovered Mercades Lackey, though. <.<

    Posted November 26th, 2009 at 2:25 am
  24. LogicMouse Says:

    I can’t believe this discussion has gone so far without anyone mentioning having read Thomas Covenant too young. I was 13. On a vacation trip with my parents. I got to the rape scene in the middle of the night (when I should have been asleep) and it SCARED THE CRAP out of me! (pardon my french) I put the book down, didn’t come back to it for five or six years, and had to suffer through the rest of that trip with nothing to read!

    I would second the opinion that sparkly vamps are more of a literary crime. You don’t even have to look to the NAs for examples of sentient, WISE animals. There are the equivalent of animal/spirit guides in many folk tales from all over the world.

    I like Kyree (Mercedes Lackey) but the giant riding wolves in Elfquest always bugged me for some reason. I also appreciate that (at least with horses and birds) Lackey has a lot of real world experience to bring to descriptions of their behavior and abilities. She doesn’t just pull the stuff out of nowhere.

    Posted November 27th, 2009 at 1:08 pm
  25. ImmortalGreene Says:

    I was reading anything and everything at that age. Clan of the Cave Bear and the sequels, anything about the Holocaust, The Cat Who mysteries, Mercedes Lackey. Geez. I just in the last few years read her book Brightly Burning novel and cried. I used to read my mom’s romance novels too, but I learned quickly that skipping the squicky parts didn’t hurt the story at all.

    I read the first two Twilight novels before I quit in disgust. If I want to read Mary-Sue, I’ll find some fanfic of any genre, it’s bound to be better than the sparkly vampire kind.

    I read all of the Harry Potter stuff. And yes it is terrible, but you can dream about how good it cold have been. I’ve read HP fanfic that’s epic and so much better. It seems to have been good inspiration anyway.

    Posted November 28th, 2009 at 12:35 pm
  26. Bard Says:

    Well, the kyree also aren’t quite wolves, since she describes them as being built more like the great cats but with the pelt and heads of wolves. I blame Urtho. He just didn’t know when to stop doing genetic engineering.

    …I admit that I may or may not have read…errr all…the Valdemar novels. Once upon a time…

    Posted November 28th, 2009 at 5:19 pm
  27. Kgirl Says:

    I thought you where talking about something by Tamora Pierce to start (and she is age appropriate) I LOVED her Tortal books when I was little and they had enough romance for me to still be in love with the one characters but all the specifics are off the page

    Posted November 29th, 2009 at 2:01 am
  28. Chels Says:

    I read the clan of the cavebear series in grade 6, making me 10 or 11? It was given to me by my dad of all people (I also assume he forgot the sex bits, but my parents are a bit hippie so?) I think my objection to twilight is entirely the type or relationship it portrays, Controlling, obsessive and “he hits you because he loves you” -.- Plus encouraging lifetime commitment to someone at 16 Oo God if I’d ended up with some of the guys that I thought were “sooo hoot” at 16 …*shudders*

    Posted November 29th, 2009 at 12:56 pm
  29. Lady J'ssem Says:

    I feel mildly out of the loop, I have yet to read Clan of the Cave Bear (though I think it’ll have to be on my list, out of curiosity), but when I was at that age I was “forced” to read the Dragon Lance Chronicles. Not exactly age appropriate, but not too bad, still. I simply tore through those books. And in recent years I have read (almost) all of the Vladimir series.

    But these Twilight series, holy crap! I admit I haven’t read any of them, (sparkly vampires ~twitch~), but just from what I’ve heard alone makes me want to cry. And the fact that my 16 year old sister LOVES them… I’m frightened to see what new fiction this series will spawn, and what’ll happen to these kids.

    Anyone got a good manuscript ready to publish? Maybe with enough support we can get it to replace Twilight’s popularity o.o

    Posted December 3rd, 2009 at 12:44 pm
  30. Tamarisk Says:

    You forgot all that rhino dander which is breathed into the lettuce.

    Posted December 5th, 2009 at 12:42 pm
  31. Avilan Says:

    …I read the Cave Bear books at 13, I think; only because of the sex. I was a teenage boy… Girls are supposed to mature slightly earlier, so…
    realized already then that the rest of the books are complete dumb (again, teenage boy. By the age of 10 I could name 50 kinds of dinosaurs and 20-30 extinct mammals, which is normal for any boy born in the western hemisphere, and I knew that everything was just… wrong).

    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 4:33 am

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