Fic rec

Sep. 12th, 2010 04:18 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (pointy-eared bastard)
I'm really enjoying this AU K/S fic: Leave No Soul Behind.

The AU is that there's EPAS - Emergency Personnel Ambulance Service - which is like super badass emergency medics in space, and they're affiliated with Starfleet but they're not military and Starfleet is being all incompetent about dealing with Nero. Spock joined EPAS instead of Starfleet and at the beginning of the fic, Kirk transfers to it and winds up under Spock's command. The relationship builds really slowly - I'm up to chapter 5 and I just got to the sexy part.

I really like it. The characterizations and the world-building are both great. That's one thing that's been really hard to find: fanfic where the writer really gets the characters. I love how they write Spock's dialogue in particular. Not many people can pull that off. It's so good I'm willing to overlook the occasional misuse of apostrophes and the PADDs problem.

I disagree

Apr. 11th, 2010 11:37 am
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Judge Turpin)
Someone linked to this post:Storming the Battlements or: Why the Culture of Mary Sue Shaming is Bully Culture.

It's the standard defense of Mary Sues, claiming that making fun of Mary Sue fics is misogynist and conveniently ignoring the fact that it's not about OFCs per se, it's about shitty writing. The post starts (after some insultingly obvious stuff about how Words Mean Things) with descriptions of alleged Mary Sues that turn out to be **gasp!** written by professionals! (Incidentally, why not include an example of a character from a published work that people have actually called a Mary Sue? Like Bella Swan or Ayla?) The only one I'm familiar with is Number One from Star Trek. Who appeared in exactly one episode (or two if you count The Menagerie as two episodes). A character can't be a Mary Sue if she wasn't around long enough for us to know anything about her beyond a few basic facts. Also, Author of the post? I guess I have been living under a fucking rock then, because no, I was not aware that she's been your favorite thing about Star Trek ever since you saw the movie with the hot, young actors and discovered that Star Trek existed six months ago. This lack of awareness that there are readers beyond your circle of friends might begin to explain the problem.

Read more... )

So yeah, I'm going to keep reading and enjoying Mary Sue-bashing posts. And when people criticize me for it? I'm not going to get all whiny and threaten to quit the internet.

fic rec!

Mar. 15th, 2010 10:01 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I'm kind of late to the party with this but I finally read Refractions by [ profile] bigmamag and it's good. K/S, in two alternative universes besides AOS, and they all meet up with each other thanks to a wonky space phenomenon. I liked it. A handful of misused words but the story is compelling enough that that didn't bother me too much. It came to my attention because the author posted a new sort of prequel one-off that takes place in the badass universe. That one is good too.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)






gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (pirate icon)
I started writing this as a comment in response to [ profile] stella_polaris's post, here, but it was getting long and I decided to make it an entry in my own journal instead.

Briefly, [ profile] stella_polaris said how cool Scully was and how it's so hard to find another fandom/series with such a great female character and I totally agree.

The inability of most writers to come up with good female characters reminds me of how stores that aren't stereotypically feminine (like hardware stores) sometimes have stupid marketing gimmicks to try to get more female customers, like selling hammers with pink flowers printed on them. Like women never want a hammer for, you know, hammering things, as opposed to matching our nail polish.

The problem is rooted in writers having the idea that men are people and women are Other, we're Not-Men, and therefore we can't possibly have the same motivations or feelings as normal human beings. Some writers get that they're supposed to make "strong" female characters and they end up writing the inhuman, ballbusting Mary Sues because that's the only alternative to "damsel in distress" that they can come up with. It's sad.

I was thinking last night about the reasons why people like slash (because, according to [ profile] mijan, some asshole at Phoenix Rising gave a talk claiming that slash fans hate women's bodies and want to be men*. Nice.). I say the reason male slash is so much more popular than femslash in most fandoms is because most fandoms have no more than one, and often zero, female characters that are interesting and well-developed (as characters, not boob-wise) enough to write about. Buffy and Xena are two exceptions, where there are more cool female characters, and there we see more femslash. It occurred to me that Harry Potter fails DTWOF's movie litmus test "The Rule", which states that a movie (or book series in this case) should have:

1. At least two female characers who...
2. to each other...
3. ...about something other than a man.

Harry Potter fails on the third one. We hardly ever see two female characters talking to each other and when they do, it's always about a male. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure there isn't one single scene out of all six books where two female characters have a conversation that isn't about Harry, Draco or Voldemort. In contrast, the male characters talk to each other about all kinds of things besides women: school, sports, plans for the future, other people of their own gender.

Not that I'm trying to hate on J.K. Rowling - she's no worse than any other mainstream author. My point is that HP slash is naturally going to be pretty male-centric because the source material is male-centric. It's harder to write a relationship between two characters when we never see them interact with each other in canon. I think even more important than the difficulty in writing femslash is the difficulty in getting an audience for it. Fanfic is much more popular than unpaid, web-based original fiction because you already have a built-in audience. That's why bad writers warp the canon characters beyond all recognition: they want to write original fiction but they recognize that if it isn't attached to an established fandom then hardly anybody will read it.

When a fanfic author works with less-developed characters, there are going to be more gaps to fill in with original stuff and the impression I get is, unfortunately, the more original stuff you have to add about the characers, the harder it is to attract an audience.

Therefore, liking male slash doesn't automatically make you a misogynist.


* ETA: OK, it looks like, although the abstract said that, the actual talk didn't. But still.


Oct. 30th, 2006 05:26 am
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Guess whose drabble got rec'ed on [ profile] snupin_prophet! :D

They missed the '4' out of my name but that's OK, the link to the fic is correct.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Again, it's been a few days since I've updated. I guess one of the primary purposes of the LJ before was whining about work. I can't exactly whine about sitting around reading all day. Heh heh. But I have managed to do a few things since my last update:

Going to Lake Tahoe
I went to Lake Tahoe with some work-friends (except they're still stuck working there and I've escaped) for Labor Day weekend. It was tons of fun. We went kayaking, swimming and walking. Walking in the dark. It would've been cool to go when it was, y'know, light enough to see where we were going. But it was still fun. We tried to make up "yo' mama" jokes. And they taught me how to play Texas Holdem which, contrary to what [ profile] aimlesscoyote thought on AIM, is a poker game, not something vaguely sexual. Heh heh. We also did the one thing without which an awesome weekend would not be complete: ate lots of food.

Making web sites
One of the former bosses - who left shortly before I did, to take a faculty position at a university - asked me to help make the web site for his new lab. That's cool because I still love making web sites and this gives me something productive to do. Until I figure out some productive things to do on my own. Like setting up the site for my consulting business. I'm going to get a day job too but it'll be cool if I can find small companies that need web sites and/or databases and make some extra money. Mostly databases; a ton of people already make web sites better than I do (though they charge a lot, which I won't do) but I can make good databases.

Reading fanfic
Those of you who've known me since my earliest participation in the fandom know I've always been kind of against Snape/Hermione on general principle. The whole teacher/student vibe just creeps me out (unless it's Draco. Because, come on, it's Draco!) I saw someone's rec (no idea whose, I read recs all over the place and often bookmark them then read them much later) for a Snapemione which involved them accidentally swithcing bodies and thereby coming to a better understanding of each other.

I normally wouldn't have given it a second thought except I had the exact same idea, a fic where some mysterious artifact causes them to swap bodies and they have to figure out how to get back (in the rec'ed fic, it was Neville screwing up a potion instead of an artifact). Except in mine, there wasn't any romance, it was more of a comedy where Snape is forced to realize he ought to respect women more (not that we see much of him relating to women one way or another in canon but him being thoughtlessly male-priveleged is one quite plausible interpretation). So I had to read it just to see what happened. And it was good. Dammit, I can't like Snape/Hermione!

Here they are. I'm about half-way through part 2.
Part 1
Part 2

After some postal screw-ups, I finally got the Little Endless Storybook, along with the Sandman Companion. I like them both. The summaries in the Companion are unnecessary but I guess they'd be helpful if I hadn't read the comics recently. The interviews with Neil are super awesome. And I was right, Alianora and Eleanora are the same person.

OK, time for dinner.

Well, crap

Apr. 19th, 2006 03:50 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I've started reading this fic, Academic Curiosity on [ profile] anadamous' recommendation and it's a WIP and now I need to know what happens next! Yargh! Hermione's in the hospital wing! Is she OK? I'm pretty sure she's going to be OK because the ship categories were HG/VK and HG/SS (yes, I'm voluntarily reading a fic that's going to be Snape/Hermione. I have been corrupted. Thank you, [ profile] anadamous) and neither of those has really happened yet. Viktor only just showed up and he's obviously pretty smitten with her. There's also been some foreshadowing of the dreaded SnapeMione, though I don't know if I'd have thought of it that way without seeing the ship categories in the fic's header. If I didn't know which ships to expect, I'd be expecting flashbacks of Snape/Regulus and Snape and Hermione learning to work together and get along with each other. Alas.

By the looks of this last chapter, there's going to be a whole pile of Snape/Hermione Hurt-Comfort coming up. He's already sprinted up to the hospital wing from the dungeons with armloads of medicinal potions for her (no wonder he's so thin, always running up and down so many flights of stairs in what's obviously a huge-ass castle). I get a little tired of the Hurt-Comfort fics sometimes. I like them in moderate doses but sometimes I just think "if it's so implausible that those two characters would get together because they just spend time together and grow fond of each other, and instead the author has to force them together by having one almost die and the other have no choice but to take care of her/him, then it's not going to be a very health relationship, is it?" That's especially true in my own OTP (Snape/Lupin). I've read my share of Snape/Lupin Hurt-Comforts but I much prefer a story where the author finds a more interesting and original way of getting them together than either smacking them around or getting them drunk. Heck, stranded-on-an-island-together is preferable to that. I get that something extraordinary has to happen to get around Snape's psychological defensive walls (not to mention his rotten personality) but the severe injury and/or alcohol thing has already been done.

On an unrelated topic, Viktor Krum is a total non-entity to me. I'm glad JKR pretty much abandoned him after GoF, because he's just not an interesting character.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (mountain)
And I was not disappointed! 19 stories! Read this poem and weep for humanity! Can't you just picture Ennis sitting in his truck, writing that with a stubby pencil in a little secret notebook? And then closing the notebook, kissing it and tucking it away in a secret compartment under the seat so his wife doesn't find it? And then applying a new coat of nailpolish and whipping out his copy of "Tiger Beat" because he's somehow transformed into a twelve-year-old girl?

But seriously, this is a huge pet peeve of mine: in order to qualify as poetry, a piece of writing does not necessarily rhyme but must have some kind of rhythmic structure. Even if it's free verse poetry, the author pays attention to how the words sound. If it's a bunch of rhyming lines with no attention paid to rhythm then it's not poetry! Maybe it's rhyming prose, I don't know what to call it. Wait, yes, I do: "turdpile."

I'm big on the turd metaphors lately.

Speaking of which, the other thing a piece has to have to count as poetry is figurative language. Which the above-linked piece, I admit, has.


Dec. 9th, 2005 10:43 am
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Somehow I missed the most recent installment of shoebox_project.

And good Lupin fic will be had by all.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Bored and unable-to-be-arsed to do the laundry, I have resorted to combing for decent Lupin fic. It's happened about four times that I've begun reading something that looked promising and then something just ruined it for me. Blatantly American language, sexually-abused!Snape (god, that gets on my nerves) and just general bad writing.

It's too goddamn bad I'm not a writer because I'd love to see a fic about HBP Lupin going to talk to the werewolves and I haven't been able to find a single one.


I'll just go and browse [ profile] lupin100.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I was reading the recent wankitude over at [ profile] deleterius that [ profile] tviokh mentioned in her journal and it got me thinking: a lot of people seem to have the misconception that if people like something then it must be good. I thought about it too when I was in the car with my brother last week. I started ragging on Britney Spears, which I like to do from time to time, because it's pretty funny how she makes millions of dollars for being a singer when she cannot, in fact, sing. That'd be like a construction worker who can't build houses. Like, the houses look OK, but the walls are actually made of cardboard and stuck together with paste. Only in real life, the analogy would be funnier. I'm a little tired right now. So there's my excuse. But I digress.

it's getting long so the rest is behind the cut )
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Snape/Brian Kinney! I haven't read 'em yet. I just saw it and I was like... well, I don't know how to spell the sound I made. Sort of a laugh and a squee at the same time. I think Brian/Lucius makes more sense. Lucius is the Harry Potter equivalent of Brian. I guess. Or maybe Sirius is. I don't know. I'm sleepy.

Edit: ongoing comments as I'm reading it:
-Ok, the first section strikes me as "here's a little perfunctory plot before we get to the porn. It's not a PWP! It's not!"
-Gahh! Snape is a "tough cookie!"
-Double gahh! He's compared to Alan Rickman. Bad movie fangirl! Bad!
Ok, he's started interacting with the guys and I just can't go on. It's too ludicrous.

You know, I don't really have any desire to read QAF fanfic. If I want Brian/Justin, I can just watch my DVDs. For me, the point of fanfic is almost exclusively to have things happening that don't happen in canon, or at least about which there aren't a lot of details in canon. And in QAF, unlike Harry Potter, X-Files, Star Trek and the like, there isn't anything further I want to know. That's weird. I don't really know what it means. It's not that I don't look forward to seeing the next episodes. I guess the difference is that QAF doesn't stimulate my imagination the way the other fandoms do. Although it stimulates certain other pa- *is wrestled away from the keyboard by the bad joke police*
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I read part of a fic in someone's journal, yesterday or Wednesday I think, where there's this religious Mary Sue at a slashy fandom!Hogwarts. Sirius and Remus were professors. And I was told there'd be Snape/Neville. And the name of the American school from which she transferred was Glitterspark, which made me think it was a reference to Sparklypoo but it wasn't. And I wanted to read the rest but now I can't find it! Arrrg! Anybody seen it?
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Thanks to [ profile] deleterius, I searched for my name and came up with this. Gillian Skywalker! I haven't read it yet. I guess my name is pretty popular among Sue writers. I'm proud(?) to say there are HP and LOTR ones there. I hook up with both Harry and Ron in one. Bleagh. Why not Snape? Or at least Lucius. Hey! One of the authors is named "HarryHermione4eva"! Amazing. I couldn't make this stuff up. I guess there's a character with my name on MacGyver, so there were a lot of those. I'm going to have to read that Star Wars one later.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Have spent the entire weekend reading [ profile] luciusmalfoy's fanfic. And, intermittently, watching LOTR and this movie called Saving Grace, which has Craig Ferguson and pot. It's cool. Now I want some tempura. I've done two more drawings for the big mystery project for my site but they aren't great. I'll see how long it takes to do the rest and then maybe try to fix these. I've also, for just about the first time, tried putting a beard on Snape and it looks pretty darn good. So now I'm not sure whether to user the pic of Snape with the beard or without. For this big mystery project.

I was going to plan out a program I'm supposed to write for my class this weekend but the teacher never got around to printing out the requirements for it so I don't know what the crap it's supposed to do. He was supposed to give us the assignment a week ago but he's trying to hold us back because most of the class is about two weeks behind. Oh well. Why do I always end up not doing anything productive over the weekend? The trouble is that I'm so busy during the week, what with every evening devoted to programming class, Tae Kwon Do class or being too exhausted to do much of anything, I need a few days after all that to take a break. Then, just when I'm ready to get some serious webite-related stuff done, it's Monday and I have to go to work.

I believe I will go now and get me some tempura.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (bunny)
squeeee! I haven't even read it yet. I'm about to. Go and read it. Read the other four if you haven't already. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Best. Fanfic. Ever.

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