Friday, December 28, 2007

Welcome to my planet

Great moments from last night's reading
Book: My Fair Captain
Author: J. L. Langley
Page: 40
Spoiler level: low

I often think it would be so great to live in the olden days, and England's Regency period (early 1800's) is quite attractive. Then I think, But wait! Medieval dental procedures! Lack of women's rights!

In My Fair Captain, J. L. Langley has quite neatly gotten around this problem by creating an outer space society that's based on the Regency model. You have all the fun of Regency clothes and courtship rituals and castles and balls, plus all the high-tech conveniences you'd want. I would totally live there. And if you are a secretly gay and hunky spaceship captain on assignment to the planet Regelence, you are also quite pleased to note that this Regency society is quite different from traditional Regency societies in another key way.

I always love a good "reveal" moment in a book where a character is really surprised by something the reader already knows and this one was fun. Nate's superior, Carl, informs Nate that he'll be the guest of King Steven and his consort, Raleigh while investigating a crime. Carl goes on to say,
"I doubt you will be recognized, but if you are it will not be a big deal. And while we are on the subject, Steven and Raleigh are the only ones who will know the true reason you’re there. Off the record, I know both of these men personally. They are good men and they aren’t involved. You can trust them fully. However, officially you report to me. You’ll be briefed fully when you—”

Nate blinked, totally losing track of what the admiral was saying. Did he say—surely not. “Wait. Did you say he? The king’s consort is a man?” Societies like the one they were discussing, like the one Nate grew up in, did not tolerate same-sex relationships.

The admiral laughed. “Did I forget to mention that Regelence is a very patriarchal society?"
Very patriarchal indeed! The entire ruling class is gay. There are lube faucets in every bedroom. This book also has a delightful "duel scene" opening. The text is written in a highly conversational way, and therefore sort of lax on language, but that's part of the personality of the tale here. I find myself thinking about this story a lot when I'm not reading it. I won this book on a contest at Lisabea's Nose in a Book blog, and it's tons of fun. Thanks! I'm at the part where fair captain Nate is about to attend a ball. Will he be able to retain his professional demeanor around enchanting young swain Adrian? I hope not!


Sarai said...

OMG sounds so interesting I can't wait to read it! It is offically on the Amazon wishlist!

Kara said...

I added it to my wish list also!! Sounds like a great book - thanks for the review.

Holly said...

I think this sounds really good, too. How fun to live in THAT world. I've often thought the same thing of Regency England..on both sides. I can't imagine living without a shower and razor, but the balls and dresses would be fantastic, don't you think?

Carolyn Crane said...

It would be SO fantastic. I really like those dresses. And the idea of going to balls. You know, you could probably still get a hot bath in the Regency era. But a shower? Perhaps only in Buckingham Palace. Easily solved by marrying a prince. Or leading a palace takeover.

Kate said...

Now that's an alternate reality that is more interesting than usual.

sula said...

just found my way over to your blog (which is great, btw). I too read this book at the recommendation of dear lisabea. I really enjoyed it. All of the fun stuff about the Regency but with male courtship rituals and hot young men with electronic dance cards. The way that the society was structured really made me sit back and think about how much we take for granted as normal and how everything in culture really is a construct. It's what you're used to. Also it's been interesting to read this book while I'm also going through Gabaldon's more recent Lord John book and contrast the true-to-life Regency period starring a great gay character who has to be in the closet with this openly gay Regency society. Good stuff.