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By Ellen Kushner

Discussed September 2003

Buy Swordspoint


  1. Did you enjoy Swordspoint? Why, or why not?
  2. What did you think of the Riverside, setting of Swordspoint? Was it plausible and well defined? Would you want to live there? Discuss Kushner’s description of the city in the Afterword on page 289.
  3. Were the characters well done? Did the relationships between the characters work (including, of course, the gay relationships)? Did you like any of the characters?
  4. How do the moral and legal codes in Riverside differ from those of our society? Are they closer to those of any medieval or other past European society?
  5. Last year we read Point of Dreams by Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett. There are a number of similarities between these books. Let us compare and contrast.
  6. Would you consider this book to be a fantasy? If not, what genre is it?
  7. What is the significance of the "play within a play" in Chapter 14?
  8. Do the short stories at the end tell us anything new about Richard, Alec, and Riverside?
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