kaigou: you are no longer in control of your life (2 no longer in control)
I never would've known this had [personal profile] raletha not posted something about the Zeonic translations. A former head writer for the Wing series is doing a novelized 22-yrs-later continuation of Gundam Wing. I can't believe I thought for even a split-second that it'd make any sense, seeing how this is the franchise that released not one, not two, but three alternate-versions to explain the absolutely mind-boggling nonsensical leap between the end of the series and the OVA. And none of those in-between stories make any sense, which shouldn't be a surprise, seeing how neither does the OVA.

(Characterization? Consistency? We know not what those words mean. NOR DO WE CARE.)

Regardless, I followed the links and ended up on the (soon to be defunct) Zeonic site, where Deac apparently put out a call not long ago for editorial assistance. Novelization, much easier for me than dealing with manga scanlations; issues of voice and pacing, ah, that's in my realm; conflict and summary, doable after reading. Hmm. Then I reminded myself: self, you need another project like you need a FREAKING HOLE IN YOUR HEAD.

And then I went and read the summary of the general premise and character listings and where-are-they-now, via the Gundam wiki, and... wow. I like Deac, and Deac's team does good work for the Gundam world. But I'm afraid there's no way I could ever edit a series for which I can't even keep a straight face. I mean, really. No, REALLY.

Or to quote Raletha's much more succinct critique: it smacks of a fifteen year old fangirl's fifty chapter mpreg, Gundam Babies: The Next Generation.

There's crack, and then there's freaking crack, and I think Katsuyuki Sumisawa's Frozen Teardrop looks like it's going to hit a scale of freaking crack that we don't yet have the scientific means to measure. And once he's done, the fangirls and fanboys will descend upon it and add in all the smut that couldn't make it into a family magazine, the world will summarily implode for the sheer gravitational pull of so much crack in a single franchise.
kaigou: Kido says, shun the unbeliever! shunnnn! (2 shun the unbeliever)
I won't go into any irons I may have in the fire (but I will say it's long since died past embers), but it still surprises me -- and disappoints me greatly -- to discover that this conversation in the pagan world is only now occurring with any significant intensity. It's 2011 already, people. This debate is long overdue.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 break out of prison)
Back when I was reading the book on women in media (Douglas, I think it was), I recall a chapter that discussed Charlie's Angels in-depth. I'm pretty sure I quoted that section at length, but one part I didn't quote but has stuck in my head was how Charlie's Angels -- the show, not the characters -- attempted to have its feminist cake and eat it, too. Or maybe I should say: to eat the cake while denying the cake existed.

Here's the logic: patriarchy is, in simplistic television terms, when men as a sex, a gender, and as a rule, strive to keep women in the position of second-class citizens. Okay. Demonstrating/illustrating the patriarchy in television, therefore, is showing men being male chauvinist asshats. So far, I'm still with the logic.

But here's what Charlie's Angels was arguing, by having the consistent villain of the piece be a sexist asshat: they were reducing -- Douglas argued -- the concept of 'patriarchy' as 'something all men buy into and intentionally (or unconsciously) support, engender, propagate, and generally make sure men stay the only sex with any significant rights or privileges' to 'here are some guys who are asshats". In short, the reduction subtly undermined the feminist argument that the patriarchy is a problem with men as a self reinforcing whole, by positing that if you could just get rid of these (specific, bad) men, there'd be no patriarchy. Rainbows and puppies for everyone!

Which is where the having the cake -- men are sexist! -- and denying it -- but only certain bad men! -- comes into play: and thus into commentary on women-in-media of kdramas, jdramas, and tw-dramas. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 angst!)

Jess, jess music! WTF, over.

3/4 of way through episode, characters arrive at music hall. Poster behind them of tall black man playing a saxophone. ahah. Jazz music.

Poker waltz, however, had me utterly stumped.

Until three episodes later, it's mentioned again, but this time with context of waiting for the 9 and 3/4 train or whatever it is.

Poker Waltz = Hogwarts.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 those who dig)
"...a leader in the field for over half a decade."

Somehow, I'm not feeling over half as impressed as they seem to expect me to be.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 grumpy cat)
1. Why does DW keep logging me out after only four hours?

2. What are they smoking over at Sunrise? Was there some kind of water-fountain dare to see how many cameos they could squeeze into one movie while simultaneously introducing seventy-nine new characters, forty-seven new Gundams, and eighteen new types of firepower? While also trying to maintain at least three canonical and five implied romances? And doing all this while also making every explosion-in-space fuschia?

Whatever they're smoking, I think they should share.

ETA: Holy crap, they turned Tieria into fucking Tinkerbell.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 pretentious with style)
I finally tracked down a copy of Legend, aka The Story of the First King's Four Gods, aka The Great King and the Four Guardians. It's got every button I want pushed: major themes, intricate relationships, major politics, a solid dose of the fantastical, a little bit of humor, continuous character development, and life and death on the line. With punk rockers. (No, really. There's fusion and then there's fusion.)

It also has Ming the Merciless! )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 fear the toolmonger)
At Nissan dealer. I mention I used to have a Porsche 914. Turns out our salesman used to have two, a '68 and '71; mine was a '70. Naturally this led to...

Salesman: It's such a great car, and no reason to spend all that money on Porsche parts, it's just a Volkswagon engine!
Me: A Bus-4 engine, at that -- parts are a dime a dozen! I had a mechanic tell me the Porsche clutch cable'd be a hundred bucks, so I walked across the street to the local Buggy Barn and picked up a replacement VW cable for $10!
Salesman: Oh, yeah! I did the same thing when I had to replace my brakes, all that money for just having Porsche stamped on it!
CP: *cough*
Salesman: And the best part is you have tons of friends when you have a Targa!
Me: Oh, no, way, I switched out the shocks and put in Bilsteins, tightened them up to the limit, and all it took was one ride and none of my friends would ride with me after that!
Salesman: What, they didn't like being in a car that's only two inches off the ground?
CP: *COUGH* We're here about a new car...
Me: Not when the ride's that tight! Man, I miss that suspension!
Salesman: And it was so easy to work on, and so much you could do with it! I upped the butterflies and recalibrated the sparks to just a micro wider and that engine just roared!
Me: I put in dual Dellorto racing carbs!
Salesman: That's awesome! Nothing like having to balance--
CP: *COUGH* New cars. You two can geek out later. Right now we're--
Me: Carbs! With the little mirror over it so you didn't get a backfire--
CP: --for a--
Salesman: --and burn off your eyebrows--
Salesman: Uhm. *looks sideways*
Me: Uhm. *looks sideways*
Salesman: *opens mouth*
Me: *opens mouth*
Salesman: *shuts mouth*
Me: *shuts mouth*
CP: *looks satisfied*

A little backstory, perhaps: clutch cable broke on veedub; decision was made (while veedub was out of earshot) to, hrmm, maybe, y'know, consider a second car. )
kaigou: Duo says: Mock your fandom. You know I'd do it, baby. (2 mock your fandom)
Per this brilliance from [personal profile] facetofcathy and especially this comment thread at the bottom, I have to ask: has anyone done a list of the authorial versions of derailing when it comes to fanfick and fanficken? As in, "some of my best friends write fanfic" and "the removal of fair use as a defensible argument hurts you, but what about my pain?" kind of rhetoricals. Anyone?
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
While writing contemplating post/modernism and textuality, I was reminded of [personal profile] bookshop's list of professionally published titles that qualify as fanfiction. Among the titles noted are (just pulling a few out as examples):
- the musical Cats, a fanfic of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
- Michael Cunningham's The Hours, a modernized reworking of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway.
- John Guare's decorated play Six Degrees of Separation, RPF of real-life con artist David Hampton and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
- Neil Gaiman's 2004 Hugo-Award-winning Sherlock Holmes/Lovecraft crossover fanfic, "A Study in Emerald," his Lovecraft fanfic, "I, Cthulhu," and his Chronicles of Narnia fanfic, "The Problem of Susan."
- Tracy Chevalier's novel Girl with a Pearl Earring and Susan Vreeland's novel The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, and the 2 Vermeer paintings they are fictions about, real and imaginary.

It seems that the definition in use here is that 'fanfiction' is "that which interacts intertextually with an existing work." By that standard, there's (obviously) a boatload out there we can call fanfiction. More than that, apparently, if the determination of "acting intertextually" can apply when the original text is a person or group of persons, or even a painting. Or two. It's possible to have intertextuality when you have this text and that text, but first you kinda need a text on both ends, and it wouldn't hurt to have a little inter, too. The more we frame retellings and adaptations — even biographies! — as intertextual, or as fanfiction, the more we dilute the concept.

This is why, as much as I'd like to applaud [personal profile] bookshop's collection of titles, I think it's also a disservice. I get the intention (or at least the intention appears to be) tacking some credibility onto the label of 'fanfiction'. I get that it's supposed to make the average fanfiction person say, "gee, I'm in a long line of Very Credible and Certainly Valid legacy of storytelling!" From the number of responses, there's no denying the list hit a major nerve, and I think that says something right there. But I think it's saying something else, something possibly even more important, that's getting drowned out in the self-congratulatory aspect of the post. )


22 May 2010 09:23 pm
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 mao amused)
Dear author:

You wrote, "Solicitations for volunteers [for the survey] were sent to Buffistas.com, All Things Philosophical on Angel and Buffy, Slayage.tv, and the Bronze; these either did not respond to the solicitations or refused to post them."

Unh-hunh. After reviewing your pathetic excuse for a hypothesis: "Series-oriented fans see themselves as loyal to the series; whereas story-oriented fans see themselves as loyal to the story, the characters, and/or the relationships.*" ...I suspect it's less that ATPoBtVS refused to post the survey link, so much as the First Evil is a smart enough evil that she saw little reason to make the rest of us suffer through your idiocy.

the Second Evil

*Did you really think the owner/moderator of a site called All Things Philosophical — with pages listing extensive treatises comparing the existentialist, pragmatist, and essentialist themes in the show and that's just for the appetizer — wasn't going to be able to nail a false dichotomy at a hundred paces?
kaigou: The two things that matter most to me: emotional resonance and rocket launchers. (3 whedon wisdom)
Someday, I'll find a story with a scene like this, and I'll be very happy. Don't tell me I'm gonna have to write it myself. I have enough on my plate. (Also, it was supposed to be much shorter, but tonight I didn't just have Good Sushi, I had Okonomiyaki, and thus is bliss.)

A short scene. SFW, snark, some cussing. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 point and laugh)
I probably shouldn't find this so amusing, but I do. Okay, I take that back. I have every right to find this amusing.

On September 29TH, 2007 -- did you miss that? we're talking almost three years ago -- I posted a novel critique: for those times when wiki just ain't enough. It's linked over on the sidebar (on my DW layout) because it remains a fond favorite for no reason other than how the story is an absolute wealth of amusement on all the ways exoticization -- of another culture and of the inscrutable homosexual -- can lead you wrong, though when writing the review I was too busy being amused in general to bother with the fancy words for the philosophical side of things.

Tonight, I got this anonymous reply. )

Being an author -- in terms of one's interaction with the public -- is a lot like being a cat, I've figured out. When you forget yourself for a moment (or for an entire book) and do the equivalent of raising your leg to lick your own ass and then promptly fall off the sofa, you do not pop up with fur flying to hiss at the humans laughing at you. No, a public-skilled author is like a cat, barely a ruffle and at most an attitude of, I meant to do that. Perhaps a bit of self-grooming just to look like the cat, err, author is simply Too Busy to deign to react to the silly humans' reactions, and then a calm and self-possessed stroll from the room, tail in air. No words are needed for the cat to make it clear that We Will Never Discuss This Again.

The authors I respect as professionals, that's pretty much how they react to negative reviews, at least publicly: they don't give those reviews the time of day, because doing so is only guaranteed to make the humans laugh even harder.

Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Don't go replying to negative reviews -- and if you do, keep in mind that taking three years to get around to (a) discovering the review and (b) getting all self-righteous is only going to lead to (c) a bunch of folks rediscovering the fun all over again. Which, I would hope, is not the author's intended outcome.

[I especially like the part about "try and write a mystery novel"... because I have, and I find it a lot easier if you write it without excessive references to wispy hair. What kind of hair, you ask? Why, just read the review to find out!]

ETA: and another response, in comments, scroll down to enjoy. *rolls eyes*
ETA 2: please remember to sign your comment if you're replying anon... well, unless it's really obvious who you are. And I mean really obvious.
kaigou: I am zen. I am BUDDHA. I am totally chill, y'all. (2 totally chill)
Apparently some 'shippers are convinced that this is a post for (or maybe against, I'm not sure) a specific ship. Or several ships. Like I said, I'm not sure, so for the record: the notion of shipping pro/con didn't even enter my head when writing this. If you want to read into the essay as an argument for/against A+B vs B+C, do whatever, but leave me out of it. I'm not even in the blooming fandom, so it's equally possible that fandom-savvy folks wouldn't even find any of this all that new and/or startling. This is me, deconstructing, for my own contemplation and entertainment. That is all.

The patterns and echoes are also clues, I think, for the Ursa storyline. In S2, "Zuko Alone", we get Zuko's backstory. I can see why [personal profile] snarp argues that Ursa is stuffed in a fridge, but I don't think that's entirely right, because that definition would require her body be presented solely for the purpose of the (usually male) character then having a whole lotta angst. No, Ursa -- like Kya -- is simply Missing Mom. Both of them have impact on the story, and are important to the story, only insofar as they don't exist. They're both Most Important Adult Female Not Appearing In This Story.

[Side-note: in most references, Kya is called only "Katara's mother"; she's named just once, when Hakoda calls out her name in the middle of the Fire Nation attack. Hell, some of the fansites don't even have entries for her at all, including the biggest fansite, AvatarSpirit. Now that's some serious Not Existing In This Story.]

So here's the timeline:

2.07: we learn Zuko's backstory, and hints that Ursa (like Kya) died to protect her child
2.18: Zuko dreams of his mother asking for help
2.20: Katara's mention of her mother's death prompts Zuko to mention his own loss
3.11: Zuko confronts his father, then asks about his mother's whereabouts

Note that in between, there's no mention of Ursa at all, by Zuko. She shows up the first time to give him a reason to angst (and to be alienated from the rest of his family, having bonded pretty much only with her). She shows up again as reminder of his loss, and possible foreshadowing for his continued ties to his father (that is, breaking ties with Ozai means losing hope of getting Ozai's knowledge of Ursa's whereabouts). Two episodes later she's referenced as basis for Katara to sympathize with Zuko, and vice versa. Then nothing for a long stretch, until the logical place/time, when Zuko has Ozai in front of him and can ask the question.

Let's presume that Ursa's storyline is going to be resolved. Until S3, episode 11, Zuko hasn't had any information on Ursa's life or death, so her existence has really acted only as evidence for why he's at odds with his father, and what influence might have kept him from truly going down the same road as Azula. There's a small boost in that this also lends him credibility with Katara (and gets the audience's sympathy), but until he has Ozai in front of him, Ursa's story doesn't really have any further impact except in recycling those two notes on the scale: original influence and later sympathy.

Immediately after 3.11 goes down and the comet is over, things get even tighter for the storytelling. First, Zuko has to convince the Gaang that he could be Aang's teacher, which moves us into resolving Zuko's storyline by providing outward proof of his internal change: his fire, once motivated by anger/hatred, must find a new source. Enter the dragons, etc, etc. Now he has Aang's trust, but not the rest of the Gaang.

Next, then, we have resolution of a major part of Sokka's storyline (not that it's not part of Katara's, only that for Sokka it's shown to have particular resonance), and that's rescuing Hakoda. Note that Zuko is there during the Boiling Rock episodes, which means now he's (a) gained Sokka's trust by helping, and (b) seen firsthand what it means to have a positive, healthy relationship with a parent on an adult's terms.

It's a perfect setup for Zuko to then request help in return, to rescue his mother. All signs point to it. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 dot dot dot)
There's no point in deconstructing Ursa, because there's no use in deconstructing a stereotype. The only thing you get is plot holes, plot devices, and the sad reminder that american media hasn't really come a long way, baby.

Over dinner this evening:

Me: ...I wasn't truly annoyed with the character, so much as with the fact that the character was a stereotype. I kept wanting depth and getting none, and that just annoyed me even more.

CP: Snake in the grass. "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up..."

Me: No, more like, "You knew I was nothing more than a drawing of a snake. Why are you now getting annoyed that you didn't get bitten?"
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
The protagonist has decided she's going to

...seduce the sexist men in the room...

and I'm thinking, my god, why would you bother?
kaigou: sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (2 flamethrowers)
If I ran the world, here's my list for linkspam, though also applicable to linkspam's siblings fandomnews & metafandom. (See comments for further discussion, clarifications, and digressions of interest.)

The list: four simple things... or not-so-simple, in some ways. )


If you reference past events, be glossy; if you point out issues in the track record, SUGGEST SOLUTIONS. The value of critically constructive discourse relies on making sure no one feels like they're being personally attacked, and it can be hard to distance oneself when specifics are getting specified and names are being named and sleeping arguments are getting poked with a sharp stick. Therefore, I recommend when outlining, identify only the general pattern you've seen; if you suggest ways of undoing past damage, do it from both sides, as if you were party A and as if you were party B, to give both the benefit of the doubt. Alternately, suggest how such a pattern could be prevented in the future without delving into the two sides, but that means neither mentioning who is on what side, nor how those sides formed.

Approaching any reply with this in mind will go a long way towards making sure this doesn't devolve into beating at the water long under the bridge. After all, that's not the goal of this post, which is focused more on coming up with ways to keep the next bridge from getting burnt in the first place. ...to totally whack the metaphors, there, heh.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 walmart the unsleeping evil)
I took my 3-yr old camcorder to Fry's yesterday, in an attempt to find out a) what sim-card to use, b) whether I could record for longer with card or mini-dv, and c) what kind of security/exterior cameras they have.

Actual conversation.

Me: *holding up camcorder* I'd like to find out--
Clerk #1: We don't sell that camera.
Me: --what---wait, what?
Clerk #1: We don't sell that camera.
Me: *mildly annoyed* I would certainly hope not.
Clerk #1: *smug look goes away* Hunh?
Me: I've already purchased it once. I have no interest in a second one.
Clerk #1: *blank stare*
Me: Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'd like to know what kind of card it uses. )

Some days, leaving the house just isn't freaking worth it.
kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
Well, you have to start somewhere. (Examples somewhat edited/paraphrased to protect the guilty.)

ETA: If you're here from the fandomworks comm... well, I'm not really sure why this post got linked to there, because it's not really about fandom per se. It's about writing, and relates to fanfiction only as one springboard towards writing original fiction. If you're expecting a rant about how to write good fanfiction, let alone for a specific fandom, this post ain't it. If you're interested in a low-key rant about derivative writing and doing it wrong, then, welcome.

1. Grammar.

When I read the excerpt of an author's story, and the very first line of the story is a run-on sentence lacks a coordinating conjunction.MAYDAY. )

2. Repetition.

When I find myself going back to check and make absolutely sure that the work in question was, in fact, associated with some kind of editorial process -- and yes, the publishing company claims to have slush readers and editors -- this is a warning sign. )

3. Serial numbers, or, "Man, has Cassie Clare got a LOT to answer for."

In general, I don't have a problem with a fanfic writer who poaches his/her own work for use in an ofic. You'll see the advice all over the place: you can get away with basing an original work on a derived work, as long as you file off the serial numbers.

All good and well, but how does one know just how much filing is enough? I asked a Tor editor that, once, and the reply I got was this: "If someone who is generally familiar with the fandom reads the story and is reminded strongly of the fandom, then the story is derivative and potentially copyright-infringement. If someone who is generally familiar with the fandom does not immediately think of the original fandom in reading the story, then the serial numbers have been sufficiently filed clean."

Thing is: the agent reading the story? Possibly familiar. But also possibly not. The slush reader? Same. The editor? Same. The problem is, if any of the usual gatekeepers (agent, slush, editor) are not generally familiar with the fandom, their silence does not mean that the story passes the serial-number test. It could just as easily mean they've never bloody well heard of the fandom, and thus are not qualified to gauge if the filing was sufficient.

What, you ask, does it mean to be 'generally familiar'? )

sometimes I really wish I got a link-warning, a la linkspam, when I end up on metafandom. at least so I have some warning and can neaten the place up a bit before everyone shows up.

ALSO: the whole 'filing off the serial numbers'? Very old analogy. NOT original with me, not by a long-shot. It's a nice visual in the sense that if you're running a stolen VCR ring rehashed fanfic scam 'inspired by' concept-story, you can lift huge chunks of it from many places, from Shakespeare to soap operas -- but filing off the serial numbers is what makes it yours in that you're removing the definitive marks that would allow someone else to identify a prior owner/creator of your stolen VCR story.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 point and laugh)
Alright, headcold proceeds apace, other things generally suck, I think we're getting rained out over here, but it's 1am and I'm awake and I figure might as well launch into the story, because some things simply cannot wait. So, get comfortable, pull up your popcorn and/or your socks, have a seat, this won't take too long.

Two weeks ago, I had reason (don't ask) to go knocking door-to-door among my neighbors (no, not selling anything!). We've lived here for, oh, four years now, I suppose, and I'd never really met much beyond the neighbors just on our tiny cul-de-sac. But now I was meeting people who live a block or two away, and some of them I got talking with. And we kept talking, and eventually my informant neighbor let me in on the story of U-Haul Guy, Sweet Momma, and the Iranian Rug Dealer. )


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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