[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Sime~Gen Inc. Presents

ReReadable Books

April 2012

"Justice Part IV: Is Justice Fair?"


Jacqueline Lichtenberg



 To send books for review in this column email Jacqueline Lichtenberg,jl@simegen.com  for snailing instructions or send an attached RTF file.  
Find these books.
Find TV fandoms online

 Share on Facebook

Moore’s Heroes At Odds by Moira J. Moore, Ace Fantasy, Aug 2011

Eureka: The Road Less Traveled by Cris Ramsay, Ace pb, April 2011

Night Mares in the Hamptons by Celia Jerome, DAW May 2011

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill, NAL April 2009

Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill, NAL Oct 2009


If you read Tarot, you know how often the Justice card turns up in readings, especially for others.  Close your eyes and look at your Tarot deck spread out before you.

Do you see a Card for “Fair?” 

In the Tarot structure I use, “Justice” is Major Arcanum #11 and fits onto the Tree of Life connecting Geburah (Mars, positive energy vigorously applied) and Tipheret, (The Sun, the energy center and Source of yourself and the Universe – i.e. Love).

That’s three Tarot cards (well 9 if you count all the Suits for Geburah and Tipheret), that can be combined in various ways to generate dynamite Romances filled with “Action” (Mars) and “Love” (The Sun.) 

Here is such a Science Fiction, Action-Romance fraught with Fantasy and the gritty up-close-and-personal of Love itself, complete with arranged marriage and magical jousting for the Bride when the marriage is disputed. 

It is Moira J. Moore’s Heroes At Odds.  This is #6 in this series (Tipheret is 6 on the Tree of Life) and brings in the clash of unique talents, drives, and ambitions, with social backgrounds.  Since it’s a series, not all is resolved in the end, but the story progresses.  It poses knotty questions about what is right, what is wrong, and what is Just.  The cover says “Heroics is easy: Honor is hard.”

The questions about Justice are blatantly symbolized by the local landlords with land grants from the King sitting to judge disputes among tenants, and then progressing to disputes between neighboring landlords fomented by the distant King who seems to pretend to keep his hands clean.

Because it’s a novel, and heavily laced with broad humor, told in the first person by a Character with personal issues, Moore’s fictional world presents us with easy answers about what’s right, what’s Just, while showing how unfair life can be to the Honorable.  It’s all presented in an “of course” framework, but that contrasts nicely with the novel I examined here in January, Ghost Story, A Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher (#13 in his series.) 

Think about them both in the same breath, and consider that simple message that seems to have been whispered into the ear of every Soul just before birth, “Life has to be Fair!” 

We all learn that somewhere, maybe a past life?  We  make it a foundation of existence.  Things aren’t right, aren’t Just, unless they’re Fair.  You can’t relax and enjoy anything unless it’s all Fair.  What schoolyard doesn’t ring with the wail to the supervising teacher, “But that’s not Fair!” 

Most of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction Romance, Paranormal Romance, Westerns, Mysteries, and every other brand of heroic fiction in print, on TV, and in film, is about what a real Hero does when, “It’s unfair!” 

The Villain does something to make the Hero’s life unfair.  The Hero, then, strikes back.  That’s almost the definition of Hero – the one who makes this fair again.  But how?  That’s the core problem our fictional heroes are set to solve, and that may be because it’s our own problem in life. 

It is endlessly fascinating in all its variations – even in the iconic TV sitcom I Love Lucy.  What do you do to level the playing field, to make it Fair!

If it’s such a seminal problem in real life, how come there’s no Tarot card labeled “FAIR?” 

Why isn’t “Fair” an archetype such as all the Major Arcana represent?

Isn’t “Fair” when “Justice” is finally served up?

Tell that to the parents of a murder victim watching the execution of their child’s murderer.  Did that help?  Did that make it all “Fair?” 

Maybe it’s not the Justice card we should be looking at?  Maybe the origin of Fair is inside the Temperance card?

Temperance (Major Arcanum # 14) is usually symbolized by a figure balanced between solidity and fluidity, somewhat like The Star card (Major Arcanum #17)

Temperance connects Tipheret to Yesod ( The Moon, the astral plane, the Foundation of our reality).  The Star connects Netsach (Venus, a kind of Relationship) to Yesod.

Temperance brings Love into the Foundation (Astral) of the material World while The Star brings Relationships into the Foundation of the material World. 

They’re both about balance among the ingredients that form the substrata of our Reality, but is “balance” all by itself the definition of “Fair” that would satisfy us?

In prior incarnations, did we learn to make things fair?  When or where would that life have been?

You wouldn’t think Science Fiction of the old school would tackle such an esoteric question, but I’d like you to consider the TV Series Eureka and its tie-in novel, The Road Less Traveled by Cris Ramsay where our Eureka scientists discover a parallel universe and how to talk – and accidentally how to cross into – that universe.  They have duplicates in the other universe who are the same, but different.  Lives go different ways in each universe, and some of the characters who have died in one still live in the other.  This is a premise somewhat like the one used by the TV Series Fringe (also highly recommended!)

Don’t expect a lot from The Road Less Traveled.  It’s aimed at pre-teens, a breezy, good read, about adults whose lives are rather simplified, and it ends with Love not quite Conquering All.  But this is a good book about a good series, and worth thinking about when it comes to Fair in Life. 

I’m sure you can name more TV Series using the parallel universe device to tell a story, however trivial, that asks serious questions about “Fair.” 

Would another universe be more Fair?  Could other life choices have made everything come out more Fair? 

In September 2011, scientists announced they had begun to suspect that they’d identified a neutrino traveling faster than light (impossible by modern physics).  If that turns out to be true, it could mean time travel could be possible, shifting the new TV Series, Terra Nova, .into the possible column.  Western Civilization could get a Mulligan.

If you add time travel to our model of the universe, does that change what “Fair” means?  Are Mulligans fair?

Here’s a novel to consider that is Urban Fantasy set in The Hamptons, another example of broad comedy mixed with Romance and the heroic response to an unfair situation. 

Night Mares In The Hamptons by Celia Jerome is about the adventures of an artist/author of graphic novels forced by family demands to move from New York back to the Hamptons where she meets the guy her family wants her to marry – for reasons of psychic talent breeding, her opinion not being very relevant.  This is the second “Willow Tate Novel” and there’s a third released in November 2011. 

Willow Tate “sees” creatures (good, bad and indifferent) from another dimension, and they seem to have their attention and mischief focused on her.  As the series develops, the mischief goes from annoying to endangering for those around her.  She takes desperate actions at considerable personal risk to protect the innocent bystanders, but her lack of formal training causes her results to lack elegance.  You’ll love this series if you like a good laugh amidst a bit of Romance and a lot of weird action. 

Is arranged marriage “fair?”  Is forced marriage “fair?”  What if the couple tends to fall into passionate sex, irresistibly smitten?  Should they resist others’ plans for their marriage and children because it’s unfair? 

If you could go back in time, or across time to another universe, could you make adjustments in the way young people, or women, are treated that would cause “their” society to become “fair?” 

Is it Heroic to force people to be “fair?”  And why should you have to force anyone to be fair since every child knows it’s wrong to be unfair?  And would someone who is forced to be fair (a villain, for example) actually be “fair” in the mystical sense? 

Is the “family unit” the fundamental building block for a “fair” society?  The biological family unit has historically ended up as a dictatorship.  Think about “The Godfather” films. 

Now read The Chicago Vampires series by Chloe Neill, Friday Night Bites and Some Girls Bite.  Another First Person narrative by a kickass Heroine who is inducted into Vampire Society against her will (unfairly), then feels she must “strike back” to make things “Fair.”  This is Urban Fantasy set in Chicago like Butcher’s The Dresden Files and P. N. Elrod’s The Vampire Files.  Chicago Vampires depicts a Vampire society that gains legal rights.  Their “family” unit is infectious, by biting, of course, and some of them kill humans for fun, in flashmob parties, Raves, they don’t want the Law to discover.  Should Vampires be treated “fairly?”

To send books for review in this column email Jacqueline Lichtenberg,  jl@simegen.com for snailing instructions or send an attached RTF file.  



[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Find these titles by using copy/paste (in MSIE use right mouse button to get the copy/paste menue to work inside text boxes) to insert them in the search slot below -- then click Book Search and you will find the page where you can discover more about that book, or even order it if you want to.   To find books by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, such as the new Biblical Tarot series, search "Jacqueline Lichtenberg" below. 


In Association with Amazon.com




Find out why we so vigorously support amazon.com 

In Association with Amazon.com

Sign up for PayPal and do business online safely and securely. Use PayPal at amazon.com auctions

Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!

Visit our Keybooks Bookstore for a wider selection.  
Or find short stories by 
professional writers to read now.
Find longer works by professional writers.



SGcopyright.jpg (8983 bytes)

Top Page|1993 | 1994|1995|1996|1997|1998|1999 |2000|2001|2002|2003|2004|2005|2006|2007|2008|2009|2010|2011|2012| 2013 |2014| 2015| Star Trek Connection||Other Review Columns


Find an error here?  Email:Webmaster Re-Readable Books

This Page Was Last Updated   EST (USA)

amzn-bmm-blk-assoc.gif (1970 bytes)Little Girl Reading a BookThe Re-Readable Collection  

Reviewed by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Submit Your Own Question

Register Today for the writing school Go To Writers Section and read stories. Explore Sime~Gen Fandom  

Read Sime~Gen Free 

Science Fiction Writers of America

[an error occurred while processing this directive]