PDF Suzy McKee Charnas Ì Ì The Slave and the Free Books 1 and 2 of 'The Holdfast

After thirty years Suzy McKee Charnas has completed her incomparable epic tale of men and women slavery and freedom power and human frailtyIt started with Walk to the End of the World where Alldera the Messenger is a slave among the Fems in thrall to men whose own power is waningIn continued with Motherlines where Alldera the Runner is a fugitive among the Riding Women who live a tribal life of horse thieving and storytelling killing the few men who approach their boundariesThe books that finish Alldera's story The Furies and The Conueror's Child are now available Once you start here you won't want to stop until you've read the last word of the last book


10 thoughts on “The Slave and the Free Books 1 and 2 of 'The Holdfast Chronicles' 'Walk to the End of the World' and 'Motherlines' Holdfast Chronicles

  1. says:

    amazing hard to explain it without making the book sound totally weird but i read this and HAD to read the others in the series i was totally sucked in and just to give the book some credit the way i learned about it was while working at CU textbook's it was being taught in a class bc it deals with so many interesting themes feminisim ueer theory end of the world science ect


  2. says:

    A post apocalyptic dystopia in which women are enslaved to men and life is bleak But don't assume it'll be that way forever Yes this is classic 2nd wave feminist Sci fi but it's also really dang goodBut I'm going to tell it to you straight I think that they put these two books into one single volume because the first one is rather dull andor hard to get into Don't get me wrong it's a fascinating dystopia but NOTHING beats the complete change of pace character development and engrossing tale that follows in the 3 books that follow only 1 attached Seriously Suzy McKee Charnas is one of my heroines and these books are so smart and compellingI LOVED them You just have to slope your way through the first one to get there think of it as setting up the background


  3. says:

    Made me sick The world Charnas portrays is too grim too extreme and depressing Women are viewed as non human beasts of burden What finally turned me off and turned me stomach is how the free women procreate


  4. says:

    Old school feminist future dystopia? Sign me up


  5. says:

    I had trouble with the first part of this book originally a novel of itself Walk to the End of the World The reality Charnas created seemed over the top largely because of the manner in which I could see shreds of the modern world in this future society's misinterpretations of certain things common to us and then on top of that the culture she described was such an amplified version of masculine ideals It read to me as pretty heavy handed in much the same way Heinlein was heavy handed only from a strongly feminist direction instead I found the forwardness of Fossa and the risk she takes in presenting Alldera as a companiongift to our outlaw main characters not entirely believable given the set up of the world and culture we are presented with The brushes and streaks of resistance in we as readers see in fems at times seem too forward or too muted I had been comparing it without actively examining this notion to women I'd known who lived in abusive relationships because of the heavy handed brutality Charnas writes of Yet at the same time there are moments when Charnas describes the threat contained in a master's whim his gaze his notice which rung terribly true to my everyday experience I was left when Alldera finally risks opening up to Eykar Bek with a bit of feeling of bewilderment I did not feel like their dynamic up to that point would lead to that kind of interaction as its natural conclusion It's in Motherlines that Charnas began to really grab me in her comparison of the riding women to the escaped Free Fems and seeing these two cultures unfold It seemed clear to me that Charnas has a soft spot for her Riding Women; the details of their society and interaction felt so complete It was deeply satisfying and saddening to watch the Free Fems replicate the very culture they had fled Though it hurt to see that dynamic it felt real to the very bone Seeing Alldera grow here and learn to act as a bridge between the two cultures mainly by finding her own way and exercising her freedom was gratifyingThere is a gap in style between the two books contained in this volume you can watch Charnas' development of her craft For parts of Walk to the End of the World there were pieces that felt talky in the way of an author expounding on an idea rather than setting up the parts setting them in motion and showing you what happens That feeling disappeared in MotherlinesI still feel complicatedly about these books I am fairly certain if I'd not had them paired as one volume I might not have continued past Walk to the End of the World but I am very glad that I had such and that I did


  6. says:

    Brilliantly realized but a tough minded vision of a feminist dystopia followed by a ualified feminist utopia in which two communities of women forge worlds of their own Charnas' prose flows and her eye for detail and social custom immerse the reader in the worlds of Holdfast and the Riding Women Charnas' sympathies are clear but the main male protagonists in Walk are complicated and fallible in believable ways They are products of their world and convincing as such though each of three men is also unconventional in his own way But of course they only think they know what's going on Walk is slightly let down by a rushed ending but this edition moves the reader right on to MotherlinesThe second book is slower and deliberate taking its time to establish a complex community that has long standing rituals despite its relatively short existence It's the sort of book that might have been easy to get bogged down in but again Charnas' prose keeps the reader moving along It helps that the cast of characters expands dramatically with several memorable women who struggle to reconcile their varying goals with a shared understanding that their future depends on their ability to live and thrive together Eventually it becomes clear that this is a story about social change and about opposing communities coming together despite themselves and that the long introduction to the Rider Women was necessary to make the importance of that change apparent A very solid work that holds up extremely well


  7. says:

    Walk to the End of the World was good buy a lot of times I feel that the development of the story was very slow very few action I don´t understand why the first book is often put in utopian list Is told from the perspectives of males and didn't show anything of the all women comunnities far from the HoldfastThe second book Motherlines is definitely my favorite yes is a utopia at least at the end but all the women are protrayed with all their strongs and fails they are not perfect they are not simply living in armony with one another there are fights conflicts gounds even hates but at the end they live the best they can as an all female society is sexual violence free and of course that is makes that society utopian at the end


  8. says:

    See my reviews for the individual stories in this omnibus edition


  9. says:

    As a whole this series really influenced how I think of my autonomy and my concept of freedom It was a slow read but I really enjoyed the journey of the characters


  10. says:

    The Slave and the Free where do I begin? So much intensity going on in this collection of the first two novels of Charnas' Holdfast Chronicles Walk to the End of the World 1974 and Motherlines 1978 This is feminist dystopian science fiction at it's best Inducted into the Gaylactic Spectrum Hall of Fame in 2003 and winner of the James Tiptree Jr Award the Slave and the Free addresses both LGBT and gender topics in a fabulous way The world has been almost eradicated by an apocalypse referred to as the Wasting with the exception of a group of white middle class men and their wives who survived by secluding themselves into a shelter called the Holdfast Following the Wasting women are blamed for all of the damage and enslaved What develops is a world of extreme sexism where women called Fems are treated worse than cattle all animals or 'un men' as both animals and fems are referred to are dead and so are all individuals of colour and ordered to perform all work duties for their male masters Men are so repulsed by fems that they limit their contact with them to the best of their ability and instead form relationships with men Fems are left to form relationships with other fems and it is widely understood that partnering with your own sex is the proper way to do it Men who enjoy sex with women are considered perverted and deranged To continue the species women in heat are sent to 'breeding rooms' where they are inseminated by men via rape then when their 'cub' is born it is sent to a 'kit pit' until it is old enough to work All in all to say it's a dismal misogynistic world is a gross understatement The suffering of the women is extreme and parts of the book are hard to read but thankfully Charnas does not describe acts of rape or violence in intricate detail only enough so that you know what is taking place Where is all this going? Well the captive fems hear rumours of 'free fems' that have escaped the Holdfast and are building numbers on the outskirts so they can then return to the Holdfast and wage war on the men Walk to the End of the World establishes all this story while we follow 3 men on their own journey on the way picking up Alldera; a fit fem who has been trained to run The first 34s of this book is about the world building and the story of the men which I found pretty boring We move through the POV of each of the three men before finally arriving at Alldera's and from there the book improves as we begin to understand her role and about the 'free fems' Moving into Motherlines the book is all about Alldera and her experience after escaping the Holdfast Before she can reach the free fems she is captured by the Mares who are women on horseback who patrol the edge of the Holdfast and kill any men who travel out and may expose the existence of the free fems Scenes of violence between men and fems have disappeared as there are no men in this book but Charnas has added a new element of disturbing content which I won't spoil for anyone despite the fact that it is revealed fairly early on The character development is pretty strong and things wrap up as well as they can before leading you into the third installment The Furies Overall I thought Walk to the End of the World was a pretty dull book but I appreciated all the work Charnas put into her world building disturbing as it may be Motherlines is exponentially better than the first I'm looking forward to continuing the seriesOther inductees include Joanna Russ' The Female Man Nicola Griffiths' Slow River and Ursula Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness Also in 2001 Joss Whedon won a Gaylactic Spectrum Award for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series In conclusion Gaylactic Spectrum rad