His Neuter Face

Rated 4.57/5 based on 7 reviews
The night that Tafeth's House ejected it without fanfare, it expected to go to a life of uselessness. But that was before a strange male dropped into its life, and challenged the young neuter: Will you be what your house and society claim you are--useless and lesser?--or will you reject that and become something greater?

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Words: 12,290
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452320779
About M.C.A. Hogarth

Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.

Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers.

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Reviews

Review by: Altivo Overo on Aug. 20, 2011 :
This tale of finding oneself and purpose is another deep insight into not only the Jokka culture and individual character, but ourselves as well. Born anadi, turned eperu, Tafeth has self doubts but becomes whole in the context of a completed triad, once the other two elements are found and matched properly.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: K. Starbuck on Nov. 24, 2010 :
To those who are familiar with the Jokka world, you will be grateful to find an emodo who is neither useless, nor overbearing. The three main characters in this story are fantastic.

The anandi female in the tale is a personal favorite of the reviewer, an illustration by the author of how there can be positive aspects of many different situations; and how something might at first appear broken but really be fine how it is.

The main voice of the story faces a particularly wrenching personal situation, and the resolution within the story is perfect. There is a tiny situational detail that snagged my mind and begs for further examination, but that is neither here nor there. For those that are a fan of the Jokka this certainly is worth your time and reading. For those new to the series, there are other shorts that I would recommend first to broaden understanding of the culture that drives the heart of the book.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: MeiLin Miranda on Nov. 07, 2010 :
I wanted more of this. I want very much to know what happens to this new-founded House. The Jokka stories are all wonderful, and for the price of a fancy coffee you could have handfuls of them (many free). Go buy dem. :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sia Kay on Nov. 05, 2010 :
One of the better Jokka stories - and let's face it, they're all good! Very solid. Evocative in several ways of 'The Worth of a Shell,' but more like an alternative or an homage to it than a rip-off. It's like Stephen King's 'The Regulators' and 'Desperation' being alternatives, only I didn't care for 'The Regulators' and I love both of Hogarth's stories. 'Neuter Face' did get a little rushed or heavy-handed towards the end, admittedly, but all in all, very much worth the ride. Read 'Shell' first, and then come back to this. (You'll need it.)

Special mention goes here to Sunife! She's unique as far as I know among Hogarth's Jokka females, and a very valuable addition to their number. She fills a gap in anadi characterization very neatly and very charmingly.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth McCoy on Oct. 19, 2010 :
This is... well, a Jokka love story, in a way. (If you look, you can even see a few of the tropes for human ones!) It's also a story of Jokka who take the sweet from the bitter -- by luck and by work both -- and is therefore one of the most cheerful of the lot that I've read, thus far. (The Jokka's world is a harsh one, if you haven't read any of the others.)

The ending may be trying to wrap things up just a leeeeeetle too hard -- I'd probably ding it half-a-star for that -- but is otherwise reasonably satisfying. (I say "reasonably" because I want more! Not because the story is flawed for want of length, or brimming overmuch with loose ends, but because I want to know more of Tafeth, Anel, and Sunife, and house Keloi -- there's a lot of potential for complications and growth there.)

So. Good story. Lots of stars. Sunife is a scene-stealer, and it's good to see the middle ground that some of the other stories haven't shown thus far.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: satyridae on Oct. 18, 2010 :
Further exploration of the world of the Jokka. In other stories we have not seen brain-damaged females much, so to see Sunife is good, although I'm interested in seeing more of her. Showing us how females have value as people even though their intelligence is sapped is something that has been neglected in other Jokka stories.

Holding back spoilers of The Worth of a Shell, it appears an important location in that book has been discovered by others. Intriguing and I hope we'll see more.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Razz on Oct. 15, 2010 :
Another lovely Jokka story by Hogarth. My sole complaint is that it was too short (the ending caught me by surprise)! :D This is a refreshingly different look at Hogarth's aliens that adds further color to the setting. I fell in love with Sunife from the first and my heart went out to Tafeth on page one. I'd love to see more of this trio and find out what happens next.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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