Cycler: smart YA novel about sex and sexuality


17 Responses to “Cycler: smart YA novel about sex and sexuality”

  1. Yamara says:

    Like Maze: Mega Burst Space, too.

    Yeah, the Japanese are all over this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    McLaughlin does an admirable job of nailing the voice of Jack — I know that hormone-addled, enraged teenaged boy. I was that boy.

    That hormone-addled, enraged teenaged boy is a demeaning stereotype. This is not a criticism of the book, which I have not read, and may include a character who is not a stereotype. But the character as Doctorow describes it is. I really don’t believe that teenage boys are “addled” by the hormones.

  3. Keneke says:

    > squicky fluid-exchange

    Hey, them’s the best reading when you’re young and curious.

  4. The Paul says:

    While those both use the idea of mysterious male-female transformation, I hardly doubt the handle it at all like this story.

  5. LB says:

    Funny, my bi-poly-kink friend thought this book was crap and at times, offensive.

    (And she admitted to being raised on a steady diet of Ranma 1/2.)

    I personally haven’t read it, but I think it sounds like the movie Zerophilia, so I don’t know how “novel” it actually is. (Zerophilia is an okay, but not great movie, BTW. Good premise, flawed execution.)

  6. Santa's Knee says:


  7. qlfwyyd says:

    I’ve read this and it’s a truly excellent read. As a bisexual reader, I didn’t find it offensive, and felt that the author captured quite a lot of the confusion, hysteria and confusion about gender and gender stereotypes. Having read a few of McLaughlin’s blog posts about sexuality and feminism, I feel that she has outdone herself with this. Has just come out in Australia, too, so Australian BoingBoing readers can track it down at your local bookstore!

  8. Avram says:

    It’s like — y’know that old joke about how women are crazy for a few days out of each month, while men get that same amount of craziness distributed evenly over the month? It sounds like that joke taken literally. (Which isn’t a bad way of coming up with fantasy premises.)

  9. jichikawa says:

    So what would be an appropriate age for this book?

    (I ask as a not-particularly-kid-savvy uncle.)

  10. monstrinho_do_biscoito says:

    Hmm, how very Jekyl and Hyde

  11. ZippySpincycle says:

    This reminded me that I should re-read one of my favorite SF novels, Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness.

    Of course, it also reminded me of this considerably less noble pair of National Lampoon short stories by John Hughes in his pre-movie-making days.

  12. Itsumishi says:

    I’m sure they’re nothing alike at all however if people would like to read excellent gender bending books don’t go past Myra Breckinridge and the sequel Myron by Gore Vidal.

    These books were both wrought with controversy at the time of publication and it’s not hard to understand why. I’m sure a lot of people will still find them offensive, however I personally thought they were brilliant.

    If you’re lucky you may even be able to find a copy of Myron with the special censorship throughout the book. As a means to get past the censors with offensive language Vidal replaced words such as ‘Breasts’ with ‘Father Hills’ referring to a priest at the time with the surname Hills that was campaigning against smut in literature. Genius!

  13. LaurenM says:

    To #8, Jichikawa, this book is appropriate for “older” teens and, of course, for adults. Younger or less mature teens might find some of the sexual content challenging. There are no graphic descriptions, but as the review indicates, sex happens.

  14. Zig says:

    Thanks for the reminder that this came out, Cory.

    I knew I’d forget it since you originally had posted about it…and had…even though I knew I wanted to read it when it became available.

  15. Brat Prince says:

    Your book was something else…I was so happy to find it. I’m very much into reading I guess what you can consider “out there”, original, or hard-to-find ideas. I’m very much into the Uglies Series, Vampire Chronicles (A.R.), and a book called “Snakes and Earrings”. (If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it.)

    But, damn! How did you think of this storyline??? I mean, I’ve considered the instances after a dream in which I would become a different gender, but really, how did you come up with the idea?

    Btw, throughout the book, I really felt for the characters. Like no other book, I really sympathized with them. I loved them. Specially’ Jack, but that’s just me. The biggest thing though, is the fact that you didn’t make it into a Disney to where there would be the Perfect, happy ending. And it wasn’t a J.K. Rowling, in which entirely everything was explained. Booorrriing! It just seemed like very out-there situations, but it was life. Life doesn’t always have explanations or promises fulfilled. for closing the way you did…THANK YOU!

  16. wile_e_quixote says:

    F.M. Busby wrote a really cool SF novel back in the 1980s called The Breeds of Man in which scientists developed an immunization for AIDS that causes an unforeseen mass sterilization problem. To get around this the scientists engineer a Mark II type human, but they don’t know is that the Mark II’s become cyclic hermaphrodites when they reach puberty. It’s a really good book by an author who, in my opinion, isn’t as well known as he should be.

  17. WilliamsBK says:

    Sound like Ramma 1/2.

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