I’m not sure why, but popular film franchises tend to get taken over by the male taste in action/adventure. I can name a long list. The Matrix, for example. I really liked the first film, and for that reason slogged through the whole series. It degenerated from a thoughtful, complex, high-tech adventure in the first film to long, boring action scenes that did nothing to advance the plot in the second film. The third was actually offensive. (My opinion, of course). The Hobbit: This was a thin book. In order to make it into three long feature length films, Jackson fattened it with endless boring action scenes. This should be a good story, but my buddy who went to the first film with me disappeared to the restroom and never came back.

Eason, reviewing Dark Beyond the Stars: A Space Opera Anthology, suggests that this level of action is necessary for male-oriented fiction. That’s cutting off 50% of the audience. Still, part of my gripe with Leckie’s Ancillary Mercy is in the quality of the action (as well as the philosophy). Isn’t there some way to find a level of action that suits both men and women?

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