Reading the Hugos (2019) The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society

This story is quite pointless. It’s also the female equivalent of those stories written by pervy old men whose dashing protagonists bangs every well-endowed lady in the land, but with the female twist (actually, the need) of the males longing for the woman many years or decades later. But as I said; it’s just pointless. Not bad, just without a point or purpose. I do not know why it exists. I do not know why 1,887 words were arranged to form this short story. I can see this existing as a joke, a post in somebody’s blog, a somewhat comedic snapshot, but I can’t see why this is a Hugo nominee, potentially the best fantasy or sci-fi short story of the year. In fact, there’s hardly anything fantastical in this story aside from the half-satyr’s titanic schlong and Rose’s irresistible sex appeal (and legendary endurance.)

This is the summary: a bunch of faerie creatures from legend drink away while they reminiscence the titular Rose MacGregor, the girl with the best curves and largest knockers this side of the Hadrian’s Wall. And, you see, these creatures of legend, famous for their ravaging sexual escapades and seductive powers, are now humiliated by a mere female mortal! Who was not the seduced but the seducer! Who is not pining away for them but they for her! And they still remember her after all these years, so smitten they were by her boobs charms and those long sessions of casual sex forty years ago! And all her faery lovers meet each year to drink together and talk about how awesome she was! Literally, it’s in the title, you read the title and you know the entire story! One still sends her flowers although she is now a grandma!

And that’s all there is to it. And please, don’t tell me it’s an empowering tale, a subversion of a classic trope, or whatever. That makes it even worse. Besides, it’s none of those things anyway; it’s just an obvious female power-sexual fantasy. Only a woman could write about sex-crazed satyrs and immortal fae longing for a chick they banged more than forty years ago.

You can read it here so you see I’m not making things up.




6 thoughts on “Reading the Hugos (2019) The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society

  1. littlemissw

    Actually, I liked it. I mean, it’s not great literature but it’s tongue in cheek, and pretty funny. The dialogue’s good and the style reminded me a bit of Terry Pratchett (a bit, not a lot). Maybe just not for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “It’s also the female equivalent of those stories written by pervy old men whose dashing protagonists bangs every well-endowed lady in the land, but with the female twist.”

    Just so. The critics of literary-minded fiction coming from inside the house are usually pretty spot on in their critiques (when they aren’t simply based on the identify of the writer). But they rarely write anything that can exceed what they are criticizing.

    I like this story. It’s cute. But this isn’t the first time something like this has been done. Absent novelty, I can’t regard it as award-worthy.


  3. Nicholas Arkison

    If no-one else is going to mention this, I will: The title is wrong. “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” does not mean “the society for drinking and for admiring Rose MacGregor”; it means “the society for drinking and for admiring things that was founded by (or, perhaps, in memory of) Rose MacGregor”. What T. Kingfisher means, I think, is “The Wherever-It-Is Drinking and Rose-MacGregor-Admiring Society” – though it’s a little clumsy when put that way, and hopefully she would have found a more elegant phrasing before sending it off to Uncanny.

    And now, having been finagled into leaving a comment, I suppose I should offer a review, so here it is: Not enough testosterone. The idea in itself is brilliant: a bunch of immortal lechers getting together to throw back shots and reminisce about The One That (always) Got Away… I mean, this should be an instant fantasy classic, here. (Though it still shouldn’t be a *Hugo* nominee, because the Hugo is supposed to be a *science-fiction* award… but I think I’m the only person alive who still cares about that.) Even the melancholy mood ought to be an advantage; a topic like this practically begs the author to insinuate that unchastity is a serious matter, and even satyrs can’t be wholly bulletproof against its effects. But, in order for that to work, the members of the Society have to be convincing pictures of male lustiness; the story, at least in its opening passages, needed to be crackling with elfin swagger and fairy machismo – and, regrettable as it is to say, I don’t think this Kingfisher managed to catch that fire.

    (Yes, I did just make a Gerard Manley Hopkins joke in a review of a 2019 Hugo nominee. And no, I am not ashamed of myself.)


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