kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 Edward armor)
Current status:

Done Wrong — Eleanor Taylor Bland (mystery)
Dropped. Not really where my brain is at, right now, and this title is fourth in the series, I think it is. Going to try and find the one with the summary/case that was more interesting.

The Steel Remains — Richard K Morgan (fantasy)
Dropped... for now. Just not doing it for me. Story is okay, characters have potential, but it wasn't holding me.

Havemercy — Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett (fantasy/steampunk)
Dropped. See this exchange for an uncharacteristically (for me) succinct review.

The Hero's Walk — Anita Rau Badami (literary)

GET THIS BOOK. READ IT. It's not slow, it's dense, but it's rich. Emotional without being melodramatic; introspective without drowning in navel-gazing. It's a story of mourning, grief, loss, and how even inside a family, we can still be strangers.

It's about an upper-caste (but hardly wealthy) man who disowned his daughter for marrying a Westerner and ditching her arranged marriage, who after nine years of distance learns his daughter and her husband have died in a car accident -- and his is the only family able and willing to take in the orphaned grand-child. It's about an eight-year-old girl who's lost her parents, her voice, her culture, and her moorings, in that order. It's about a grown woman who's lost repeated chances at marriage thanks to her mother's selfishness, but might not have lost her chance at love. It's about a life-long obedient daughter-then-wife who realizes she's had it up to here and it's time to start declaring, and chasing, what she wants. It's about a younger son, shadowed by his older sister and desperately wanting to make the world better but getting nowhere. It's a lot of people getting nowhere, but that's to be expected when you're not sure how to get there, or if you even have the courage to try. It's a gorgeous, thoughtful story, sometimes-sad, sometimes-wryly-humorous, always human and respectful and ambiguous towards its characters.

This is not a story to swallow whole, or even to chew up in large bites. It's a story to be savored, and a story that lets you in to be the observer in complex and burdened personal histories that make up this strange new land for an orphaned child. It is also not, I should note, saccharine, in any way at all: the grand-daughter is not some bubbly Westernized child who shows up and delights, charms, and changes everyone. The grand-daughter is suffering and struggling with her own grief for her lost parents that's just as deep as her grandparents' grief for their lost daughter.

Honestly, I can't speak highly enough of this story. The plot is simple, though the story gets right into it very quickly -- and then backs up, circles around, to give you a bigger picture to understand each character's reactions and fears -- so it's both slow and quick-moving at the same time. It's written without overly-purple pretensions at poetry; it's just deft and assured writing that carries you along, giving enough description to create the place and time. The craftsmanship in the writing is just that good, that you never stop to say, oh, how the author must have labored over this description! -- which is what I mean by 'pretentious'. The author trusts the power of her story and has the confidence in her own voice to give you the story as it needs to be given, at the pace that works, with the details that belong.

Really. Find a copy, read, and enjoy.

The Devil in the Dust — Chaz Brenchley
Currently reading. Figure it'll kill some time while I wait for the interlibrary loan books to come in, even if I'm less than crazy about the alternate-history/reality version of the Crusades. (The mention of 'Catari' in the first few pages as one of the heretical groups was slight giveaway; the next four pages' details confirmed it.)

Also: commentary on Water Touching Stone, Companion to Wolves, and The Hero's Walk. )
kaigou: first I'm going to have a little drinkie, then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you. (2 execute all of you)
Yesterday I read Warchild, then Burndive, and quit a chapter or so into Cagebird, and then read reviews to see if I was the only one feeling the lack. (Far as I can tell, I am.)

When I was a teenager, I read Majipoor Chronicles, which was a collection of short stories within a framework (honestly, the only kind of short stories I'll tolerate; entirely unconnected short stories just aren't my thing). Several of the stories in that book dealt with, or implied, things like child prostitution, rape, and/or abuse -- as have other SFF books I've read over the years. While I've rarely read full-on-id all-the-details page-time in mainstream SFF, I've also rarely read truly oblique glossing. A good writer can let you know that two characters had sex (consensual or not) without wallowing in it.

I've learned to ping on when a work is ex-fanfic (or the author is). The id gets page-time (often deep emotional)... and then it's wiped with no warning. It's like the story's voice/flow was suddenly truncated by an embarrassed author, censoring lest the story show its idtastic origins or influences. The narration loses its honesty; it becomes evasive. The author doesn't just require me to read between the lines; I'm being forced to insert lines that aren't there, before I can even read between those deleted lines.

Unreliable narrators, storytelling pattern-breaks, Barbara Cartland, word of god is not my canon, aliens vs Asia, and geisha as the final straw. )

Now I'm reading Eleanor Taylor Bland's Done Wrong. It's not the first book in the series, but I already have five books reserved on interlibrary loan and I really wanted to read Bland's series, so I picked the earliest in the series that was actually on the shelf. It's another genre-jump, as Bland writes present-day Chicago homicide investigator mysteries, but already I'm sucked in. Will report back, next time I come up for air.

(After this, it's onto Anita Rau Badami's The Hero's Walk.)
kaigou: the kraken stirs, and ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. (3 the kraken stirs)
Show broadcast on US television in... I want to say the mid-90s. It was another "world at war with aliens", set in the future, with the main cast being a small squadron led by a young woman. One of the characters was a clone, apparently grown in a vat along with his hundreds of siblings, "born" as a teenager to provide more cannon-fodder. For the life of me, I can't recall the show's name, only that it was (sadly) cancelled maybe halfway through the season. Is this ringing bells for anyone?

ETA: Found it. Space: Above and Beyond, which is a dorky name but overall, the show should go in the list of all the other things that were awesome in the 90s and against which the US media backtracked severely in the decades since. Like, say, a SF show where the Captain is a woman, and her crew is a white guy, a guy created in a test-tube, a black woman, and a Hispanic guy (though oddly, the character has a surname of Wang). I still recall the way the show tackled racial issues head-on, mostly revolving around whether a person created in-vitro deserved the same rights/humanity as the full-humans. But mostly I remember thinking it was awesome that once a week I got to see women kicking ass and taking names, and that the captain didn't take anyone's shit -- and more importantly, the guys on her team didn't dare to give her any, either.
kaigou: Roy Mustang, pondering mid-read. (1 pondering)
Last week (after we got back), I was bored enough and hadn't read a book in awhile, felt like, so thought I'd check out what new ebooks were on offer from the publishers I like (read: who seem to be somewhat consistent in decent quality). One area I almost always check out is "multicultural", but this time I noticed something and I'm not sure whether it's me, or if it's not me.

When I say "multicultural", I mean as in: where the two (or more) main characters come from a variety of cultures. Kinda culture-clash, even if on a superficial level the characters may have a lot in common, visually. Someone from Australia and someone from Britain might look like they have distant-distant-distant kin, possibly, but culturally they're going to have some differences. The lack of a language barrier meaning the differences may be less than, say, Australia and Peru, but still, culturally it's still not quite exactly the same. Still, that's what I'd consider a watered-down multiculturalism, because between language, ethnicity, and culture (on a very broad scale), there's still a lot in common between the two characters, more than there's difference.

When I say, multicultural, I mean, lots of cultures, coming and going and complex and textured. )

If it seems like it's an odd request, it's because I've realized that we can extend that meme about "if you don't like panels with only white guys, as a white guy, don't agree to be on panels with only white guys". If I don't like books with only white characters, stop agreeing to read/purchase books with only white characters -- and to be honest, settings in which the white culture dominates quietly, in the background, as an unquestioned assumption, is part of that refusal.

I'm thinking it's time to paraphrase the Dalai Lama: read the change you want to see in the world. I'm ready to read. Throw some titles at me!
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
This is entirely starscream/recession's fault. Probably in retaliation for the APPLESAUCE.



Is that guy in the middle Matt Damon? Same smirk.

Long tunnel is long. Be foreboded! And just in case, the music reminds you.

Don't these people realize burning brands right near a horse's ear would piss off the horse?

Oh, look, it's what Hadrian's Wall wanted to be when it grew up.

Where is this filmed. No, seriously, where is this filmed.

So far, love the dialogue! Very snappy. That is, none at all. Hard to improve on silence.

Obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl. It's like adding salt to bread. I wonder if Hollywood knows how to makea movie without obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl when it's a forest.

...and more. )
kaigou: Toph says: hell yeah, meeting adjourned. (2 meeting adjourned)
Per the poll in a previous post, I'm clearly not alone in being more likely to do the teeth-gnashing when it's a badly-written story with a theme I'm normally pretty invested in. And pursuant to that...

Dear screenwriter(s):

It's episode 14 of a 16-episode series, and I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. I get that you really wanted Miss Female Lead to be something other than a damsel in distress, and that's great. And I also get that you didn't want her being the usual thriller/action Action Girl, either, but just to be a relatively normal person stuck in a tangled web. That's fine. We could probably use more relatively normal people stuck in tangled thriller/action webs. But here's the problem: apparently in your dictionary, "agency" is spelled S-T-U-P-I-D-I-T-Y.

Let's review what Miss Female Lead knows to be the facts on the ground, shall we?

1. Her (biological) father is a Mafia boss in Thailand.
2. A guy, who works at some nameless IT corporation, likes her.
3. The guy has a brother (adopted) who works at the same company.
4. Adopted brother turns out to be her childhood sweetheart.
5. She likes Brother better than Guy.
6. Also, Father works at the same nameless IT company with his two sons.

What she doesn't know -- at first -- is that "nameless IT company" is really NIS (the kdrama's version of FBI/CIA/whatever, National Intelligence Security, I think it is). When Brother gets fired for mucking up his first mission, he realizes he now has time to actually, y'know, be a human being and possibly show some emotions (as opposed to continue being eaten up by the usual kdrama I Must Have Vengeance For My Parents' Deaths rigamarole). Anyway, somewhere in there, Miss Female Lead finds out that all three men in the family work for NIS. Then, tragically, Brother dies in Horrible Car Accident! Much grieving abounds.

...Three years later, Mafia Boss Dad comes to Korea, and in tow, is a guy -- we'll call Undercover Guy -- who looks exactly like her dead boyfriend! I'd say it's a kind of coincidence that only happens in kdrama land, except that I've seen the same thing in animanga, Hollywood, and probably one or two Brazilian soap operas. ANYWAY. So she briefly lampshades that this bizarre coincidence could only happen in dramas, but what does she do now?

Stab stab stab stab stabbity. )

Sorry, show, I know I stuck it out with you for this long, but I can't take it anymore. Stop loving me. REALLY.

Noloveatall,
me
kaigou: just breathe (2 just breathe)
So I'll just link outright: Nobuta wa Produce review: part one & part two.
Admittedly, Nobuta wo Produce hardly looks impressive on the surface, and can be dismissed by the casual observer as just another idoru vehicle set against the disposable backdrop of high school — with the fluff, the stereotypes, the puerile laughs — only to be swallowed in a sea of other mass-produced Jdramas of the same teen-wanking formula… But no. This one is different. Because once in a while we drama fans are gifted with a viewing experience so transcendent in both style and substance, a triumphant synergy of directorial creativity, of writing deep and resonant, and of characters so heartbreakingly authentic.

At first I was leaning towards dismissing the series as just another fluffball, if a slightly odd fluffball considering the only way I could handle one character's behavior/delivery was by seeing him as a permanently-stoned, slightly-tipsy, Spicoli done over as a Japanese idol. But before I knew it, the story grew on me, and by the halfway point (maybe even by ep3), I could see why the reviewer raves over the series. It's certainly not your average idol-based drama, that's for sure.

It's a little more insular than My So-Called Life, with its focus more on school-time; the characters' families or homes are in passing at best and afterthoughts at worst. The real focus is between the three leads; also, unlike MSCL's understated grittiness, and provocative introspection, NwP is really, as endersgirrrl puts it in her review, pure magical realism. A fair bit of goofball who's the wise fool, a withdrawn shy girl, and a lonely boy scared to reconcile his true self with his popular image... with Santa Claus, shared dreams, and piggy good-luck charms. Also, the granting of wishes, even if the one that comes true is the wish for curry bread.

Maybe someday I'll have the brain cells to tackle some of the marvelous ways this little fluffball-series showed a core of real passion and strength. Probably not today, though, so I must rely on another's review to do the convincing. All I can say is: it's a series worth watching.
kaigou: (1 buddha ipod)
Women in Movies and TV: Why Does Hollywood Always Portray Women as Weak and Helpless?
So brainwashed is the public that women should always be portrayed as weak, hapless and defenseless, that a most-brilliant Nike commercial was pulled shortly after it was aired on TV: Woman is sleeping. Man with chainsaw breaks through front door. Woman bolts awake and escapes through window into the dark. The chainsaw man storms through house and out same window. Woman is running through woods. Viewer hears chainsaw man in pursuit.

But something is peculiar here. The woman is running with beautiful strides, easily clearing forest-floor obstacles, and doesn't stumble! The scene switches back and forth between the agile woman and the increasingly out-of-breath man. Woman continues to run effortlessly, while man eventually slows, panting heavily, stops completely and can barely catch his breath.

Next scene against a black screen are the words: Why sport? It just might save your life. Nike. Just do it.

This brilliant ad was pulled because of complaints it was "offensive." Shame on anyone who complained. These overly sensitive viewers just couldn't grasp the concept of a woman outrunning a man. Yet I wonder how many of these feeble-brained viewers have enjoyed movies and TV shows showing women clumsily running from men, then tripping and falling, then being captured by the men.

A solid rant, with several good points to keep in mind when it comes to those damned drama wrist-grabs. Sheesh....and more. )
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
I read articles like this and I find it baffling that anyone could ask me why I'd ever want to write something with an LBGT action-hero main character who does not die at the end. Maybe because someone has to, considering the crap that's out there. And I'm not saying I should be the only one, nor that I'd be an expert or write the best one ever, only that I don't want the people who are writing (something other than dead gay celibate characters) to be alone in the wilderness. Because articles like that one really piss me the hell off.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 raise questions)
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.

This is the next in line on a series of back-and-forths about Azula, from Avatar (not the one with the smurfs, the other one). To catch up, first read [personal profile] snarp's post, Girl Power Corrupts. My reply-thread to that begins with this comment, and [personal profile] snarp had enough to reply overall that we got a post out of it.

The first thing to note, just so we get that out of the way, is that I think my original reply may have triggered a bit of defensiveness in whether it's "okay" to critique a work, even one so much admired. Those of you who've been reading me for awhile know I'll deconstruct pretty much anything that catches my interest, including ripping apart my own work publicly if there's something worthwhile to be learned in dissecting what I did wrong. Hell, I've already given Avatar the dressing-down for where it failed for me, in terms of story-telling. Frankly, I don't particularly adore the series overall (though I do admire it), and even where it falls short, it still stands head-and-shoulders above most American cartoons... which, considering I see the bar as being pretty freaking low for American cartoons, is kinda like thinking it's impressive to be the best damn clogger in Kanorado, Kansas*.

But that's not entirely relevant to my points here. It's mostly as disclaimer, because there's still a good story under there, and Azula is one of the most fascinating, and complex, chapters in that story.

Notes about Avatar's origins, and then into Azula's backstory, her familial relationships, and finally, deconstructing the final showdown. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 break out of prison)
A few links of essays about female action heroes that I want to remember, currently simmering on the way to becoming chocolate cake. )Also, the abstract of an article called "Are Female Action Heroes Risky Role Models? Character Identification, Idealization, and Viewer Aggression":
[Discusses a survey] designed to determine whether identification with and/or idealization (wishful identification) of a favorite female action hero was associated with aggressive tendencies. Results show that behavioral idealization of an action hero was linked to increased self-reported aggressive behaviors and feelings. Behavioral identification (perceived similarity), by contrast, was not significantly associated with behavioral or affective aggression and showed an inverse relationship with relational aggression.

So if idealization is based on a wishful impulse, and identification is based on perceived similiarity... the subtext in there, as it seems to me, is that if I identify with, say, Sarah Connor in T2 because I perceive an existing similiarity between us, I'm less likely to be aggressive. Maybe. Maybe that's because if I consider myself akin to the character, I'm probably pretty damn confident in myself and don't feel I have to prove myself, hence less aggressive about it. If, however, I'm nothing like her but wish that I were -- in which case, she's a role model rather than compatriot -- then my wishful idealization will lead to aggressive tendencies.

Unh-hunh.

Assuming, of course, that the authors aren't conflating aggression with assertion, which is not the same but often taken as the same, especially when leveled against women claiming agency. I mean, little boys go through a stage of acting out in adolescence, learning the balance between assertion and aggression, and part and parcel is learning that fisticuffs aren't the answer to everything. Seems to me that the problem isn't that women idealizing female action heroes suddenly learn that fighting is the answer. The problem is that those women never even had the chance to ask the question.

And, on a lighter note, someone else's brilliance: Everybody's Free (To Be Fannish).
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 so you wanna revolution)
Reading urban fantasy. What book? Doesn't matter, because this isn't the first time I've seen this or similar. (Aside: publication date is 2008.)
White witches weren't so bad, though maybe that was only because most of them [weren't very powerful]... Black witches gained power by killing or torturing things: from flies to human.

Yes, I do find those adjectives to be hugely offensive. A writer's stock in trade is the power of words, and thus one best equipped (and possibly expected) to ask: is this really the best word for my purposes? Especially when, as in this case, the answer is a resounding FUCK NO.

I mean, let's say you argue that white and black are 'just colors'. Why must it be those two? What about Orange Witches and Purple Witches: what's your first impression of which must be good and which must be bad? How about Chartreuse Witches and Puce Witches: no value judgment and probably even less of any meaning, thus demonstrating color in and of itself does not dictate a thing's morality.

The story even adds that on the whole, witches are untrustworthy regardless; the only reason White Witches aren't scary Black Witches is because the former type isn't all that powerful. Implication being that if a White Witch could be more powerful, s/he would immediately fall into Black Witch territory and go haring off on torture and death sprees, which takes the fail to even greater levels.

Plus, this good/bad division ultimately makes no sense in context; the good guys don't even like witches. They consider witches a necessary evil, and the operative word here is evil, though they may cooperate with certain witches when needed. What's the logic here, then? Good guys can't ally with (bad) witches, so we must minimize the evilness of the not-worse witches? Hmm, let's call them white — because white is automatically less-bad/better than black. Righto!

This is like saying, "well, he murdered, but y'know, it was just that one time — it's not like he murdered lots of people!" Even when we have need (eg for state's evidence), we don't dance around with euphemisms: a murderer is a murderer, be that once or many (serial) times. We don't label the former as less murderous; we label the latter as more murderous.

That's why I say it's not just racist, it's racism by dint of inertia. It's falling back on the status quo, same as defending the use on historical grounds (black magic and white magic). It's equally historical to use left-hand/right-hand, sinister/dexterous, dark/light, night/day, even clockwise/widdershins, to name a few. The black/white dichotomy is hardly the only cultural set of monikers to designate magical morality. Furthermore, I'd say it's ingenuous (if not outright disingenuous) to protest that 'history' justifies ignoring a term's modern meaning. 'Cunt' may have once been a compliment, but that was a thousand years ago — and if you call a woman that now, don't come crying to me after she punches you in the face.

TL;DR version: the predominant rationale for white=good and black=bad is based in racism.

It's not that hard to try something else. It just requires a few seconds' thought (although that does require a willingness to be arsed enough to be aware of the need). In this story, frex, if a witch gets power from controlling life, call that a Life Witch. If it's via torturing living creatures to death, call that one a Death Witch. There, see? Two seconds' thought and I came up with a descriptive term that actually tells me something — and doesn't require I tap into racist slurs to grasp the text's meaning.

Our language has millions of words. I refuse to believe that the inadequate and essentially bland color-adjectives are an author's only freaking choices to describe bad and more-bad, and I further resent being made to feel a silent accomplice in the text's racist undercurrents. If the combined gatekeepers+author never stopped to even realize what's being said in the text, that's idiocy. If they realized but didn't see it as worth addressing, that's reprehensible.

But if they didn't see reason to change it because they figured I'd never realize or care, I find that the most offensive of all.



note: if you comment anonymously and don't sign your post, I reserve the right to ignore your nitwittery. Have the decency to stand behind your words.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 grumpy cat)
I think it's not just that fanfiction rests (in part) upon a ground of potential plausibility; I think it also works within a framework that's similar enough to original fiction that this gives the impression that one should be able to make the leap quite easily: genre assumptions. That is, fanfiction has canon assumptions which are closely analogous to genre assumptions, so you'd just be trading one for the other. When the author is familiar with the concept of shortcuts, after that it's simply a matter of learning what they are for any given genre.

And since I wouldn't mention it unless I find that a problem, it's that both are cop-outs. They're a way to treat the underpinnings of fiction as superfluous and extract them one by one, until the work feels almost hollow... and much philosophical crunchiness follows ) but I just finished dinner and I wanna just chill for a bit, so I'll leave it at this and pick the next points up when I get around to it again. Probably after more contemplation, since obviously I'm not done here. Most stuff is still standing, after all.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 what I do)
Recently I followed a link over to the ferretbrain, a review-site from a group of Brits, with a focus mostly on SFF (fiction and games) but with occassional forays into romance, history, and other fiction genres. After reading (and being generally pretty impressed by) the original review linked to, I started following links within the site, and ended up on a DNF review for Cassandra Clare's first book.

Now, the disclaimer here is that I've not read it, and had no interest in reading it, and that for the most part, whether or not Clare's fiction is any good -- as an objective value -- is pretty much irrelevant to what I'm about to say here. She's getting mentioned only because that review discussed her work, and more specifically highlights a pattern found in a broader scope of works. The reviewer seems to me to be pretty fair about the fact that the work is ostensibly a rewrite of a Harry Potter AU, observing that:

...there are three possible attitudes, or at the very least a spectrum with some definable stopping points on it:

1) Fanfic is art, man, art and there is ultimately no difference between If You Are Prepared and Bleak House. They're both pretty damn long for starters.
2) Fanfic is like original fiction but not as good, and is basically written by people who can't get their own stuff published
3) Fanfic is entirely different from original fiction

Since the first one is clearly non-viable, and the second is actively rude, I subscribe to the third. Writing for fans and writing for publication is vastly different, and to assume that the one aspires to the other is rather to miss the point (and, arguably, the pleasures) of fanfic. Even so, I would have thought the gulf between fanfic and original fiction to be eminently jumpable. I mean, the ability to string a decent sentence together is a transferable skill, right. Right?

From there the reviewer considers the specific story, the characters, per the usual review. What crystalized things for me was the reviewer's explanation about where she stopped reading. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 dot dot dot)
1. post a list of about 20 books/movies/anime/tv shows/video games/bands [fannish etc.] that you've had an obsessive fannish love or interest in at some time in your life.
2. have your f-list guess your favorite character/member from each item.
3. when someone guesses correctly, strike through the item and put the name of your favorite character next to it.


the list, such as it is, and in no particular order )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Because I'm halfway tempted to track down the book based on this sentence alone:

If the bastard daughter of Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a lovechild with Aaron Sorkin, its slash fandom would produce something like this.

I mean, honestly, how could I resist?


ETA: whoops, sorry, didn't mean to forget the actual, y'know, BOOK info. The quote is from a review at Uniquely Pleasurable, about Sakana Sara's Cheesecake and the Art of Political Warfare. Free story posted on LJ. And gotta say, within the first four paragraphs, I'm totally down with the reviewer's observation.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
All thanks to this conversation, I went perusing the 'net for more on this Torchwood thing, having been completely convinced for some time (for reasons still unclear) that it was a western. Oddly, when I mentioned to CP that the show had tentacles, CP's response was, "isn't that a western?" So apparently it's a group hallucination.

Regardless, what we have here is your basic quasi-live-blogging. Sort of. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (A2] start drinking heavily)
So here's the deal behind the last post, with context. Have a seat. This might take a bit, but believe me, it's amusing enough. (Or is, if you're me.)

Awhile back I joined a number of comms on LJ while trying to track down some of the more obscure fan-translated manga out there. I'd search for what I wanted, maybe check each comm every few days to every other week or so, and the rest of the time none of them show up on my daily flist. (That flist is long enough already, without high-traffic comms making it worse.)

[Note: I am not even getting into the legalities of translations and copyrights in this post. I can, if you're wondering, since I did look them up, but that's beside the point for this rant.]

At some point, I opened one comm to see what was new, and what did I see but at the very top a post about -- and link to a mediafire download for -- an ebook. Not a fan-translated manga, not a raw/original-language manga, but an American e-publishing company's ebook, written by an American author, and one whose work I've enjoyed and support. (And you know who you are, my dear, so have a drink and relax, this story's got a happy ending.) Well, mystified as to what an English-language, clearly-copyrighted work was doing being traded in a manga forum, I went looking at the tags -- and lo and behold, there's not just one or two authors that have slipped into the middle of a manga-trading community.

No, more like seventy authors -- and for a lot of those authors, the comm's trading their entire body of work. Two titles. Three. Five. Entire series: seven titles, ten titles, more. If on average every author had around four titles, and let's say the average price might be around $5, that's fourteen hundred dollars worth of ebooks listed. For free download.

Perhaps I should also mention: this is all listed a comm with more than three thousand members.

Potential losses? Oh, in the area of about four million two hundred thousand dollars.

Flabbergasted doesn't really begin to cover it. )

Dear author: I adore your work, but please to stop enabling the cabbages in the audience, mmkay?

Dear LJ: you still suck. Even when you don't do anything at all. Sometimes, especially when you don't do anything at all.

Dear mod: this is a bucket of ice water, this is your head, this is your head in a bucket of ice water.

noloveatall,
Me.

with slight footnote. )

whois

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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