(okay? okay.)

A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA IS WAY BETTER THAN EITHER THE DISPOSSESSED OR THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS

LEGUIN'S SHORT FICTION IS BETTER THAN HER NOVELS BECAUSE NOVELS ALLOW HER TO SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON CHARACTERIZATION, WHICH IS MOSTLY JUST "SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION," AND THAT'S RARELY NARRATIVELY COMPELLING, OKAY

ANNNNNND HER NON-SFF SHORT FICTION IS HONESTLY ON AVERAGE BETTER THAN THE SFF STUFF, THOUGH HER LIKE, TOP FIVE, THOSE ARE PROBABLY SFF

(ASIDE FROM OMELAS (YOU CAN'T WALK AWAY FROM THE ONES WHO WALK AWAY FROM OMELAS, INCOMPREHENSIBLE THEMATIC SEA KNOWN AS THE "SFF GENRE," IT'S INESCAPABLE AND IT HATES YOU AND IT'S GONNA OUTLAST YOU) THREE OR FOUR OF THE TOP FIVE ARE PROBABLY IN A FISHERMAN OF THE INLAND SEA, BUT I'M UNCOMFORTABLE CHOOSING)

(okay that's it for leguin, and, uh)

THE GOBLIN EMPEROR WASN'T VERY GOOD, LIKE, EVEN IF YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF H/C IDFIC STUFF THERE'S MORE-EMOTIONALLY-AFFECTING EXAMPLES OF IT IN LIKE THE FIRST COUPLE PAGES OF THE AO3'S HOMESTUCK TAG WHEN YOU SORT IT BY EITHER KUDOS OR BOOKMARKS

AND STEVEN UNIVERSE IS ALL-AROUND BETTER THAN THE ANCILLARY NOUN BOOKS AT >60% OF THE THINGS WHICH THE ANCILLARY NOUN BOOKS ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE

THESE BOOKS ARE NOT GOOD AT DIALOG, AND ONLY INTERMITTENTLY GOOD AT CHARACTERIZATION, WHICH RENDERS THEIR PRETTY-COMPELLING AND -BELIEVABLE WORLDBUILDING CLINICAL AND PREACHY, AND ROBS THEIR POTENTIALLY-EXTREMELY-COMPELLING INDIVIDUAL EMOTIONAL ARCS OF ALL THE ACTUAL EMOTION

BREQ'S A SHITTY CHOICE FOR SOLE POV CHARACTER, SERIOUSLY, SHE SHOULD BE A FIGURE MOSTLY VIEWED AT A LUSTFUL/SEETHING/OVERAWED DISTANCE BY OTHER PEOPLE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HER DEAL IS LIKE SHE'S SOME KIND OF A FRANCIS LYMOND, HOW WAS THIS NOT OBVIOUS

THE FACT THAT ANCILLARY SWORD DIDN'T AT LEAST SWITCH OVER TO TISARWAT'S POV WHILE BREQ WAS OFF AT SUMMER CAMP IS A TOTAL WASTE OF A GOOD TISARWAT, I MEAN COME ON

(homestuck)

MOOMINVALLEY IN NOVEMBER IS ABOUT TWO HUNDRED PAGES LONG AND EASILY ACHIEVES 95% OF ANDREW HUSSIE'S APPARENT GOALS FOR ACT 6 OF HOMESTUCK, WHICH IS GONNA BE LONGER THAN PI BEFORE IT'S FUCKING OVER, WE WILL NEVER ESCAPE THIS INCREASINGLY-SELF-LOATHING RECURSIVE HELL-NARRATIVE

YET HOMESTUCK STILL DESERVES THE HUGO AND NEBULA AWARDS MORE THAN PROBABLY ANYTHING THAT'S WON EITHER SINCE 4/13/2009, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO VOTE IN THOSE AWARDS ARE JUST AS SMUGLY INSULAR ABOUT WHAT COUNTS AS "GOOD SFF" AS THE "LITERARY FICTION" PEOPLE WHOM THEY SO BITTERLY RESENT

SO THEY REFUSE TO READ IT BECAUSE IT'S GOT DICK JOKES AND EMBEDDED FLASH GAMES AND AN ENTHUSIASTIC FOLLOWING AMONG PRECISELY THE PEOPLE WHOM "SERIOUS SFF FANS" OF EVERY MAJOR POLITICAL STRIPE LEAST RESPECTS

FUCK US

I REGRET US

(AND HUSSIE'S JUST GOING TO KEEP POSTING OPAQUE HORSE JOKES ON TWITTER AND HATING THE WORLD FOREVER, WHICH IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE REACTION!, BUT IT'S GENERALLY DESTRUCTIVE AND SELF-DESTRUCTIVE AND Y'KNOW, UNGRACEFUL. AND I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER HIM SOME OF THE DRUGS I'M A LITTLE HIGH ON RIGHT NOW, I GUESS?

JUST, LIKE, TAKE A BREAK AND MAYBE WRITE LITERAL GODDAMN CON AIR FANFIC UNDER A PSEUDONYM OR SOME SHIT UNTIL YOUR HEAD'S IN A BETTER PLACE? TAKE SOME BRAIN-LASIX AND FLUSH THE RESULTING FLUIDS DOWN A SEPARATE NARRATIVE. THEN MAYBE SEGUE THAT ONE BACK INTO HOMESTUCK IF YOU WANT. BLOW SOME GODDAMN MINDS.)

(/homestuck)

THE HUGO AND NEBULA AWARDS ARE PRESENTLY WALLOWING IN A STATE OF SUCH DEEP INANITY AS TO BE USEFUL ONLY FOR MAKING PRIOR WINNERS FEEL BAD ABOUT THEMSELVES - WHICH OF COURSE IS THE WAY OF MOST ARTISTIC AWARDS MOST OF THE TIME! - BUT JESUS PEOPLE WE HAVE THE FUCKING INTERNET NOW, AND YOU'RE ALL NERDS WHO ARE ON THE INTERNET ALL THE TIME, IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS TO YOU THAT YOU'RE NOT VOTING FOR "THE BEST SFF BOOKS" YOU'RE VOTING FOR "THE BOOKS MOST APPEALING TO READERS OF A COUPLE OF OVERCOOKED AND SOON-TO-BE-RIGHTFULLY-ABANDONED SUBGENRES OF SFF"

SO THE PUPPIES THING IS NOT AT ALL SURPRISING, IT'S BARELY EVEN A THING

THIS "COMMUNITY" IS SO INSULAR AND LAZY THAT MEDIOCRE TROLLS LIKE VOX DAY AND MEDIOCRE DICKHEADS LIKE AJA ROMANO ARE REGULARLY ABLE TO HOLD PEOPLE'S ATTENTION, WHILE THE MULTIDIMENSIONAL SHITARRAY THAT IS WINTERFOX WAS ABLE TO OPERATE COMFORTABLY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME JUST BECAUSE EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON IN HER GENERAL VICINITY WAS SO GODDAMN BORING

LIKE "LET'S ARGUE ABOUT WHETHER SLASH IS APPROPRIATIVE FOR THE THOUSANDTH FUCKING TIME, AND WHY THE GENRE'S FULL OF MONARCHIES EVEN IN SPACE, AND COMPLAIN ABOUT YA DYSTOPIAS AND ALSO DEFEND YA DYSTOPIAS, AND MOURN FOR OUR YOUTH FOR OUR SEPARATE INDIVIDUAL IDEOLOGICAL REASONS

BUT LET'S NOT READ ANYTHING BUT THESE FIVE OR SIX GODDAMN THINGS AND REMIXES OF AND REFLEXIVE REACTIONS TO THESE SPECIFIC THINGS"

LIKE YOU KNOW WHEN CERTAIN TEENAGE BOYS DON'T HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO, AND THEY START DARING EACH OTHER TO PUNCH THEMSELVES IN THE FUCKING FACE, AND INEVITABLY SOMEONE'S GOT TO GO TO THE ACTUAL ER

FUCK US, YOU KNOW?

(deep breath)

AND BUJOLD SUCKS NOW

May. 27th, 2015 07:51 pm
Re: Everything Marvel - Tilda Swinton linked to Doctor StrangeDate: 2015-05-27 03:42 pm (local)(Anonymous)Tilda Swinton is on her way to the Marvel Universe.The actress is in negotiations to join Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, being directed by Scott Derrickson.

I saw this thread-title and was briefly excited because I had the following beliefs about what was going on:

1) There exists a superhero comic wherein the title character’s secret identity is not known to the fandom,

2) There exists within a recent issue of the comic sufficient evidence that the secret identity is real human person Tilda Swinton to prompt a thread about it,

3) Dr. Strange sounds to me like “guy who has a handlebar moustache and a cape” and thus there could theoretically be a comic with at least one scene in which Tilda Swinton hurriedly puts on her false moustache and cape before going into battle.
someone: I'm gonna stop existing, see how that works out for me.

same person a little later w different hair: I did not like it.
What fic should I read? Is there stuff about what Dupree and Gil were doing during the timeskip?
The dude's name is Blood Guy, and he's all muscly and grimaces a lot and is mean, but you can tell he's the hero because he's in spandex? He's fighting the bad guy whose name is Sciencetar, and you know the bad guy's the bad guy because science is really bad. And they're going like,

"Blood Guy I am going to do a bad thing that's basically equivalent to setting off a nuclear bomb. We're calling it something different because people are used to nukes right, they're not scary anymore."

"I won't let you set off that bomb! I will never let you set off another bomb - the way you set off my wife. By which I mean you killed her. I was trying to do that "mirroring" thing, with re-using your words for dramatic effect, but I fucked it up."

"You cannot stop me! Misused Nietsche quote."

"Is that why you do your evil deeds!?"

"Yes it is because of my inadequate understanding of Nietsche."
1) I'm able to admire it in aesthetic terms, but yeah, I still find its basic premise exasperating.

2) Wow, there are kind of a lot of similarities between this and Homestuck. Circular spoiler:  )
I got two books, a sweater, a flashlight, incense, chocolate, a replacement breadmaker, and Homestuck updated.

One of the books was the second Finder omnibus. Why is Finder so ridiculously good? And creepy? "Dream Sequence" is unbelievably creepy. There are horror writers who spend their whole careers failing to come up with ideas as awful as the scarecrow people. And then McNeil switches tracks to the relentlessly adorable "Mystery Date," because she has an approximately one-volume-long attention span.

The Homestuck update was perfect and upsetting. Both things simultaneously. My heart hurts.

I hope that we get to see the moment at which Dave finds out about this. Actually, I hope Dave meets the sprite before he actually meets Dirk. I just want Dave traumatized forever, I guess. Hasn't been enough of that yet.
This is like my third attempt to get through the one where Varian Wrynn gets amnesiac and split in two like in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. I just can't do it. Syaoran needs to sit him down and give him a stern talk about how to handle this sort of sitution. "Listen, Varian - no, listen, stop scrunching your face up in an agonized way like that. If neither of your halves are interesting in themselves, then the fact that they're the same person will not be interesting, either. And this sort of Jungian double thing really works better if both halves have consistent personalities and motivations from one page to the next."

I've decided that Varian envied Thrall's backstory and wanted it for himself, and thus the whole thing where he got himself enslaved and became a gladiator was planned and intentional. He just wanted to be more like Thrall! This is my new mental canon.
Finder Library v 1, by Carla Speed McNeil

I wanted something like City of Diamond, and this is it!

This is a science fiction comic set in a sort of post-post-apocalyptic future - the world has suffered some sort of sharp technological descent and the survivors have reformed a basically stable but systemically unfair society. They are kinda lackadaisically trying to rebuild, in between genetically engineering themselves and building evil theme parks. Most of the action takes place in an ancient domed city called Anvard, inhabited by fairly technologically advanced people who nonetheless can't figure out exactly what the dome's made of or why there's no night inside of it. The ruling classes consist of the members of heavily genetically-engineered collectives called Houses, whose members are chosen according to a very specific physical and emotional aesthetic.

The nominal protagonist is Jaeger, a nomad from outside the city who has a secret calling as a "Finder" - someone who finds important things for people without any reward. He's in a relationship with a formerly upper-class woman named Emma, formerly of house Llaverac and recently escaped from an abusive marriage with a man of another caste. Emma spends half her time in a complex dreamworld engineered to protect her from the trauma of her marriage. She has three daughters, the eldest of whom, Rachel, has a crush on Jaeger and the youngest of whom, Marcie, wants him to be her father. The middle daughter, Lynne, is in fact a boy raised as a girl, and has reason to think of Jaeger as a traitor to their family.

Those two paragraphs sound like they ought to sum up the plot, but they don't, because there are a couple million other things going on. The worldbuilding is extremely, ridiculously complex, and I had to flip back and forth a lot to figure out what was going on. Lynne's biological gender doesn't come up in the text until eight issues in, and it's not because it was supposed to be a secret, it's just that McNeil didn't find space to mention it until then. She needed to fit in all these functional oracles kept in museums, tribes of sentient bipedal lion-women with semi-sentient quadrupedal mates, and homages to Osamu Tezuka's Ode to Kirihito. The woman's busy, okay? The lengthy footnotes for each chapter are just as likely to go off on a tangent about psychoanalysis as they are to actually explain what's going on. You just have to pay attention and pick it up. There will be a quiz.

The problem with making comics with this level of visual complexity is that it takes a lot of time and energy, if you don't have a pile of assistants like a Shounen Jump artist. The speed at which McNeil is developing this world in her head seems to be outpacing the speed at which she's able to get it down on paper. (Kubo Tite needs to send her some of his dudes, it's not like he's doing anything important with them.) I obviously do not complain about the result, but it's not something you want to read for the first time when you're tired.
Kiwi Blitz

This is so cute. It's about a girl named Steffi who does Pokemon-seriousness-level arena fights in big cute mecha. Her dad, a roboticist, gives her a special one of her own, which looks like a giant kiwi bird. She naturally decides that she needs to fight crime in it. Her dad also thinks that this would be great. Her best friend/sidekick Benzene is less sure about the wisdom of the idea, but agrees to help her in a vain attempt to keep her out of trouble.

Oglaf

This, on the other hand, is extremely filthy. It's by the Platinum Grit people, and it is filthier than Platinum Grit, so. Extremely filthy. The archive page labels the comics that are not pornographic: "SFW", "Not dirty at all," "Low level swearing, questionable attitude." It's funny.

The present plotline, if you can call it that, involves a very angry bounty hunter woman and a hyperactive "doctor" who actually just gives blow jobs. Both of them are trying to destroy the Fun God, whose followers have been kidnapping the monks whom the doctor has been fellating. But I had to read it twice to figure out that that was what was going on. Plot progression is not exactly the main focus here. There's a sequence where, upon consultation with the monks, the doctor dresses up as a "fruit viking" to seduce information out of a bad guy, because none of them are entirely clear on the concept of seduction.
I have gotten through the first three arcs in three days. This cannot possibly be good for me. I dreamed about soulbonded wolf-riding elves last night.

(I think they were in Las Vegas, though? So, that's something.)
Thin mints and a Second Life bender, apparently. (I can't sleep.) I actually set up a frigging Tumblr during the early stages of the bender, and now I'm sitting here fiddling with libopenmv trying to make a little bot, because that is what I do when I cannot sleep. I attempt to create software for which I have no conceivable use.

I'm also taking my fiction far too personally; I was in the middle of a Basara binge before the surgery, but I can't go back to it now because it will destroy me. Tamura does not know how to pull punches.

And while Tom Siddell does - and in fact does so far too frequently, to be honest - Gunnerkrigg Court's current plotline is unnerving me badly. Don't fight, Annie and Kat! Be friends again! My heart can't take it!

Thoughts.

Aug. 22nd, 2010 12:31 am
  • I re-read a couple volumes of Ranma. "St. Bacchus High School" and "Kolkhoz High School," huh.

    I first read Ranma when I was about twelve, and I assume that it did not occur to me at the time that "Kolkhoz" might not be a Japanese word. But I knew Greek mythology, and yet I do not recall thinking anything in particular about the name of Kodachi's school.


  • I also read Jeff Smith's Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil. Jeff Smith, these giant robots look suspiciously like the rat creatures from Bone. Also, in this comic, everything that happens happens for essentially no reason. Not that I mind! It's way too cute for me to mind!


  • Apparently Saburo Ienaga went to school in Aichi and taught in Niigata! I totally followed in his footsteps! Except for, you know, the part with all the fighting for justice. I need to get out and do that more.


  • Sometimes I just feel the urge to shout, "Fools! I'll destroy you all!"

    Relatedly, I'm considering engineering school.
From an email I sent to Mom today:

Yesterday I was in a used bookstore and saw the first five volumes of the comic book Bone for sale half-off. You may remember it as the extremely thick comic book - 1300 pages - that I'd borrowed from the library which [livejournal.com profile] thegeekgene* managed to read all of on the drive to see, I think, U of Chicago and Beloit. She finished it up as you guys were dropping me off back at the dorm.

I had been thinking about re-reading it, and I'd rather have the multi-volume color version than the one-volume black-and-white, so I got them. Today [livejournal.com profile] thegeekgene texted me wanting to know if I'd ever actually bought a copy. Clearly her long-latent psychic powers are finally emerging. Or else mine are. Possibly both. Tests will be necessary.

-

* I do not actually refer to [livejournal.com profile] thegeekgene by her LiveJournal name in correspondence with her mother. Though Mom reads my blog and knows our screen names, so far as I know she does not herself have a LJ, or even a DW (though I hold that getting them would probably aid her in her eternal quest for like, Lensman slash, or Foundation slash or whatever kind of prehistoric slash it is that she's reading over there). The convention would not, therefore, be appropriate. I feel certain that Miss Manners would agree.
Dicebox, by Jenn Manley Lee

Griffen and Molly are a hard-bitten semi-lesbian sorta-couple who move from place to place in a dysfunctional far-future world, going whereever work is, and sometimes finding explosions in the same places. Griffen, alternately charming and acid-tongued, is a former highly-ranked civil servant. Something happened that left her deeply damaged and bitter, and she compulsively picks fights and keeps secrets. Molly, younger by at least a decade, has brain damage that makes her forget things, and causes her to see vivid hallucinations that may not entirely be hallucinations. She's both protective of Griffen and bewildered by her, though empirical evidence would suggest that she does a better job of understanding Griffen than Griffen does her. Image-intensive snark and sexiness under the cut! )

Afterschool Charisma, by Kumiko Suekane

Shiro Kamiya is the only ordinary human kid at an exclusive private boarding school where every other student is a clone of a famous genius of some kind. Along with his best friends, Napoleon and Hitler, and his crush Marie Curie -

You may still be stuck mid-way through that sentence. I'll give you a minute. Image-intensive shoujo manga insanity under the cut! )

Otoyomegatari / A Young Wive's Tale, by Kaoru Mori

This is another gorgeous, charming, carefully-researched, occasionally-slightly-less-than-feminist historical comic by Kaoru Mori, artist of Emma. Image-intensive prettiness under the cut! )

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