neadods: (Default)
I have decided on my resolutions for 2013, or more accurately, one overarching resolution: Git 'er done. All the things that need to be renovated, all the places that need to be picked up, all the stuff that needs to be gone through, all the organizing. Git 'er done, so that I can head into 2014 with a clear slate and the ability to find my shit.

This does not prelude my being at Gally and ChicagoTARDIS for the Doctor Who anniversary year, plus worshiping at the altar of Scott The First in Stratford. I *am* a fan, after all.

Speaking of fans, you may be aware that someone famous in comics has mansplained that cosplaying women at comic conventions are not "real" fans. I've seen scholarly takedowns and feminist takedowns, but Dork Towers does the best job of it in 15 panels. Do NOT fuck with costumers, dude; we know from experience just how much damage can be done to the human body with a rotary cutter.

And while I'm on the topic of self-appointed gateway keepers acting badly, the men behind I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere have put their foot in it by getting all "OMG, WTF?" over faunlock - which I had to go look up, but turns out to be BBC Sherlock as a faun. (The Greek mythological kind, not the little spotted baby deer kind.) They're old school Holmesians, so the whole way BBC Sherlock fandom is unabashedly bringing in all the usual media tropes is hard for them to wrap their head around, but don't take this as me making excuses because I've asked to their (Facebook) faces why this is quantifiably different than Basil of Baker Street or Wishbone.

Dudes! There are plenty of fringes that aren't my cuppa (Mystrade? Really? They've never met onscreen!) but picking one to make a public example of and apologize "on behalf of fandom" for? Bad form. VERY bad form. And also? You don't speak for fandom as a whole.
neadods: (yay!)
Warning: This post contains uncut CoE spoilers for Day 4 and bad language. It's uncut because it's not actually *about* CoE, but about fandom.


When Catherine died, a Beauty and the Beast fan who'd been chairing a feed-the-hungry charity in the show's name shut it down because there was no point anymore if there was no Catherine/Vincent romance. (No point except HUNGRY PEOPLE NEEDING FEEDING. But that's just reality, which is so much less important than a TV show.)

This is why I'm so incredibly delighted that Ianto's death has started a Torchwood charity smackdown. There are now three - three! - charity drives started because of Children of Earth:
- Children of Earth Viewers for Children in Need (aka "Thank you, James Moran"): current total: 286.25 pounds
- Save Ianto Jones: current total: 2,674.83 pounds, also for Children in Need
(A smackdown so uneven that even the BBC doesn't bother mentioning that it is a smackdown.)

And now, Ianto Jones Wants a Pony. A serious charity with a silly name, (and already at 260 pounds and rising) this isn't for saying Ianto has to live or die. It's for adopting a pony from the Lluest Horse and Pony trust, a charity that Gareth David-Lloyd has been championing.

I eyeroll about the bags of coffee and the Internet petitions to bring Ianto back (as if RTD, or anyone, ever listens to the Internet fandom that much). [ETA: That said, I find it really amusing that both pro-Ianto charities are whipping CoE for CiN's financial ass. The fandom is speaking with its collective wallet, and loudly.] But what's wonderful is that even though the kids in Children in Need may not even know who Ianto is, and the horse surely doesn't give a damn about TV, all that angst and anger is doing good in the world for real living things.

And that beats the everlivin' fuck out of punishing hungry families because a fictional character snuffed it.


Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:17 pm
neadods: (Default)
When you see this, post five unpopular fandom opinions in your journal.

I could talk about specific fandoms, but then I realized that I've always been the most unpopular when I'm being meta. So:

5) The actors don't owe fans anything just for being fans. Actors most especially do not owe the fans to stay in one role if they want to take another one.

4) The writers don't owe fans anything either; they owe their muse and their employers. They're going to write what gets them ratings and therefore cash and what makes them happy (probably in that order).

3) Fandom has never been a big enough demographic to keep anything afloat all on its own. Not even Potter fandom. ETA: Not Star Trek fandom either. That was our big chance to show fandom's power and it led to a quick recancellation.

2) Actors do not create characters. Actors are only part of the committee including writers, directors, producers, and occasionally makeup artists who create characters.

1) It's just a book/movie/TV show, no matter how much you love it and how deep you're into fandom. The fate of real people > the fate of fictional characters.*

*As of this last MediaWest, there's someone who's been pissed at me for 18 years for saying that, so it wins the unpopularity poll.
neadods: (fandom_sane)
When you've typed the same comment half a dozen times, it's time to top post.

So many people are irritated, angry, and/or hurt from something or other that was said on the anon meme ([ profile] box_in_the_box has an unlocked post on the subject). And all I can think of, every time it comes up, is "of course an anon meme is throwing up nastiness; what's going to stop wankers when not even a sock puppet will have to take the consequences?"

But I am also making an open wager to every reader right now that at some point either this troll or some other one is going to be outed as the sockpuppet of some fan who is ostensibly the opposite of whatever has been posted. It couldn't be easier to post in mouse mode something that hits all the hot buttons of your group or just smacks down the victim du jour. So I'm not going to be surprised on the almost inevitable day we find out that the anti-old-school troll is an old school fan, or that person Y swung publicly to the rescue of person X after having anonymously trashed them in order to get the chance to be a hero/ine.

Nigh onto 30 years ago, when the Internet was played by newsletters, there were two competing newsletters for each side of the Beauty and the Beast war. And even when real names and addresses were used, there were still people who joined the opposition's newsletter so they could report what was said there to "their" side, who used false identification to join, and who posted one thing in one newsletter while arguing the exact opposite in the other. Sound familiar? Technology hasn't changed human nature. NOTHING changes human nature.

When online fandom was mostly bulletin boards, chats, and mail lists, a friend of mine was caught up in the Rat Patrol sockstorm, wherein one really dedicated individual was a one-woman maillist, creating over 600 sockpuppets. Harry Potter had "Misscribe." (Make popcorn before you google; it's a lot of reading.) Lord of the Rings fandom had sock puppeteers ruining fandom in the name of charity.

Who fandom is not a special snowflake that is exempt from people pulling that crap on it. ESPECIALLY when they don't even have to pause to come up with fake names. Multiple posts on a subject doesn't correlate to multiple people holding that opinion.

While I'm making myself unpopular, I'm going to list a bunch of other opinions on fandom that have made doused me in eau du skunk over the years and yet I have changed none of them, so there won't be any surprises when I restate them again in the future:

- It's just a TV show. There is no onscreen/on page ship that is as important as real human beings. (I once sent a letter to that effect to Starlog. Not only was I pushed, pinched, and hissed at at the next dozen conventions I went to, someone held a grudge about it for fifteen years, trying to get me thrown off a panel for it. Ironically, it was a panel about fandom wars.)

- Show business is a business. The producer is going to do what makes the most amount of money (read: gets the largest audience participation), not what makes the fans happy. The actor is going to take the role that offers the most work/challenge/exposure and is not obligated to stick with a show just because the fans like the character. The writers get paid even if their work is cut to ribbons... and they sell the script in full knowledge that if they're lucky, maybe one word of theirs will make it to the final show. That each of these happens on a regular basis shocks nobody on that side of the business, so it shouldn't shock the fans either.

- No fandom has ever been fiscally strong enough to keep its show afloat all on its own. (Conversely, the crappier the ratings, the more likely there's going to be a dedicated fandom.)

- Dealing with fans is not in an actor's contract. While it's wonderful when they do pay attention to the fans, they don't actually *owe* us anything until they sign a convention contract. That goes double when they're actually at work.

- ETA: No fandom is unique. Oh, there may be *aspects* that are unique, but the basic lifecycle, the general makeup of the fans, and the fandom activities are not. The first participatory fandom was Sherlock Holmes, and you'd be surprised how little has changed since outraged readers started a "save our series!" letter-writing campaign to The Strand. I am convinced there is a fandom gene.

And to get fandom-specific, I remain convinced that Torchsong is abusively priced and a blatant attempt to make as much money as possible from a fandom.
neadods: (knitting)
Well. Been an educational morning. I've corrected the Firefox News article, and I wanted to expand here, with personal opinions. (ETA: And edit as I hear more of what was going on)

First of all, the BBC has not been expanding their witchhunt. The creator of Extermaknitty took that down voluntarily under no pressure from the BBC.

Second, the BBC has spoken publicly about this.

The story as I understand it (and now edited due to corrections in comments) for those coming in late, goes much like this: A fan called "Mazzmatazz" is one of the Who knitters, who maintains a website with a variety of Who-derived patterns. She is known for her speed; her Adupose pattern (or however one spells that) hit the web within 48 hours of Partners in Crime. The site has been around for a while, and the BBC is ignoring it, as it ignores all the other fan sites.

Then someone who is not Mazzmatazz starts selling stuff based on her patterns on eBay for personal profit.

Mazz turns to the BBC, and that's where it all went wrong. ETA: I've been corrected. She went to eBay; eBay went to BBC. To the best of my knowledge, the BBC shut down the auctions, but it also hit Mazz with a cease-and-desist order that, from the wording excerpted on the Web, is a pretty standard form. Mazz complains loud and long, considering the BBC's history of ignoring fan crafting sites. Mazz obeys the terms of the C&D telling fandom why the patterns are coming down. The story is picked up by the Open Rights Group, a lobbying organization for digital rights, and also ends up all over Ravelry (the massive online knitting community) and mentioned in several major blogs.

Other fan sites start voluntarily taking their patterns down, such as the famous Extermaknit dalek. Communities start archiving patterns under lock, the Wayback Machine gets a workout (it has both Extermaknit and the Adupose (I suppose I need to learn to spell this if I'm going to keep talking about it)), and a merry trade in photocopies that I haven't seen since before the pre-Internet days springs up.

Now: my opinion, which has undergone a drastic change after learning more facts (including after this post was first written). While the eBay auction should have been shut down, and while Mazz was providing a service that brought much innocent amusement to the fans, and while there is a long history of fannish patterns for all sorts of crafts free on the web, once the BBC had official notice the entire playing field changes.

The BBC is pretty up front about their policy, right there in the press release. It's not that we don't admire creativity from fans - most of the time, we take the view that if it's small-scale and not for profit, then we turn a blind eye. They were, and are, turning a blind eye to the fan stuff. But legally, like it or not, when they have *official notice* of something, they CANNOT continue their willful blindness, or legally that is seen as abrogating their hold on their trademark.

A long time ago, [ profile] boogiebabe_smap was in a car accident. It was a wet night, she was stopped waiting for a turn, and the truck behind her hit her and pushed her into the car in front of her. In order to sue the guy who actually caused the accident, the man in front also had to sue her, the one who had actually damaged his car. He was very sorry for that, and apologized, and did not pursue that side of the lawsuit. But he still had to do it, because that was the law. The law did not make exceptions for "she was just as much a victim." Trademark law does not make exceptions for "all the fans do it."

Yes, the letter that Mazz has excerpted was cold, unfriendly, and distinctly unencouraging. C&Ds are like that on purpose... after all, they exist to make someone stop doing what they're doing. I'm an old school fan, and not just in Who - I know of the C&Ds that came down for fanzines, and they were inevitably due to someone jumping up and down in front of TPTB and daring them to do something about it. (And frankly, the cure was to go quiet, wait for the fuss to die down, and republish under another name, and let TPTB go back to ignoring them.)

But I also see that the BBC is willing to say, in public, that they want to talk with her about licensing her patterns. That also means something. Because if they really were trying to slam Mazz down, they'd hardly put *that* in the public record! Who knows - there was once an official BBC knitting pattern book, and I think that a new licensed book like that - Mazz's patterns, BBC's intellectual property - would at this point be the best outcome for the whole issue.

And in the meantime, the Open Rights Project may or may not make a case that clarifies everyone's rights. That would be nice.
neadods: (Default)
There is just something horribly ironic about spending 9 hours online so you'll spend less time online. However, I think I've got the cuts & filters all set. (Read: I've got a sustainable daily list and a scary weekly list. And an entirely separate private post with links to 30 Doctor Who communities.)

I'm going to do a full Torchwood review when I can talk about the last two episodes in conjunction with each other & I still haven't seen Fragments. I will say without discussing plot that it was very nice to see a large chunk of the episode be handled by the women for once, especially as Jack & Owen have been used as the "get out of plot problem free" cards so often. And, of course, I squeed fit to knock bats out of the sky at That Bit.

Enterprising Women strikes again: the latest dimbette with an agenda and a I-am-more-feminist-than-thou attitude explaining the social and psychological meaning of slash fanfiction to the poor ignorant fangirls. Go wank to your delusions of academe, child. You might be shocked to discover someday that fannish women can talk about their relative position in fringe groups and larger societies All By Themselves, and are shockingly capable of grasping both text and subtext in their own hobbies - and a hell of a lot more accurately than anyone who feels the need to assume that fangirl = drooling uneducated idiot.

Someone's certainly uneducated, to come out with lines like this: Fanfic writers pride themselves on their respect for and fidelity to their original source material, and in their writing they rarely, if ever, do anything that questions or contradicts the ideologies underwriting the original texts. BWAhahahahahahaaa! Your detailed research consisted of reading 3 stories on, didn't it?

For [ profile] boogiebabe_smap, these two links from [ profile] naamah_darling of an amazing dancing dog in canine freestyle competition: The Gladiator (like Naamah, I am amused by the viciously wagging tail) and Hooray for Hollywood.

You'll probably appreciate this from the same source: the Trilobite song.

Which leads into my second set of links: the story of Dr. PZ Myers and "Expelled from Expelled."

PZ (all due respect to Dr. Myers, but "PZ" is faster to type) writes a blog called Pharyngula. Pharyngula is about a lot of things, but PZ is often adamantly posting on two subjects: 1) he is an atheist and proud of it and 2) he despises creationism and all its kin.

A while ago, he was interviewed for a movie he was told would be on religion and science called "Crossroads." It turned out to be a pro-Intelligent Design movie called "Expelled." There was an advance filming. He went. Well... he tried to go.

They didn't let him in. PZ was considered to be a disruptive element, so a rent-a-cop not only threatened to arrest him if he didn't leave before entering the theater, he followed Dr. Myers out to the parking lot and threatened to arrest him THERE as well if he didn't clear off. Someone needs to have a little lesson on "public property." But the funniest part is who they let in - PZ's guest, infamous atheist and loather of creationism/ID, Richard Dawkins. Who apparently gave them an earful during the Q&A after.

PZ has follow-up posts on it here and here, and his daughter (who was allowed in) has a movie review.

It started hitting other blogs.

THEN it hit the NY Times. (PZ's response to that.)

Christianity Today's headline is Dawkins Crashes 'Expelled' Party

The best set of links is here.
neadods: (knitting)
[ profile] skywardprodigal is whacking her head against a wall about a "Why is fandom so white" post, wherein the OP basically said that, based on a single black fan, the answer was that "black people have something better to do than go to conventions."

Gonna be a hell of a shock to the ones I know, I tell ya.

When I started going to conventions, I was one of the competition costumers. And there, everyone knew Toni, Denise, and Jeanette. They were hard to miss in the costuming world, and I'm not talking skin color - each woman was a competitor, a panelist, a judge, and Toni and Denise between them built their branch of the International Costumer's Guild into one of the rowdier and more infamous chapters, while Jeanette has been a quieter but even longer-running officer in our local chapter - not to mention one of the core members of my Shore Leave Masq. team. For people who had "better things to do than go to conventions," they were and are movers and shakers in the costuming world.

But the issue of "costuming for color" did come up. Denise announced she was tired of "costuming white*" and went historical or mythological. (Same guy. Consider it revenge for the shears.)

But Jeanette... Jeanette said she didn't want to costume "white" and she didn't want to be a slave; she wanted to do a historical that showed her background.

And so she and Jennie came up with a costume that became costuming legend.

As the presentation begins, it tells about a woman whose father was an envoy from the court of Henry VIII. The lights came up behind her, showing the outline of the perfect Tudor dress as the narration went on about how she was waiting to go to that wonderful world she'd been told about, and how she'd prepared herself from the materials at hand in her mother's home so far away.

And then the main lights snapped on and revealed African Tudor.

It was, and I mean this quite literally, awesome.

*I suddenly realize that this photo probably looks alarming out of context. It was a hilarious presentation where Toni read the bodice-ripping portion of a romance, while onstage the hero tried futilely to actually get through the historically accurate clothing. So while the narration had him about 3 seconds away from being a father, onstage he didn't even get through the first layer... until he chased her offstage with the shears.
neadods: (Default)
If you haven't been following the 10 Doctors cartoon, the most recent installment is an excellent recap of the story. Links will then take you to the archive (Look for "Dr. Who" on the right) if you want to go to the archive and start at the beginning.

Besides, that's far more fun than seeing that the misogyny of fandom never changes. ([ profile] starcat_jewel has an unrelated - and yet related - article on male privilege in fandom.)

ETA: Ye gods, is anyone else noticing that many of the arguments about "Who isn't racist" are being repolished and repackaged as "it isn't sexist to keep the women in their place"?

Slactivist sums up what I'd have to say about Huckabee and his sudden announcement to create the King James Version of the Constitution much better than I can in his essay on Martin Luther King Jr. and Huckabee: So, OK then, here's one Baptist minister who sets out to change America, leads a march on the nation's capital, and succeeds in changing the law of the land. And here's another Baptist minister who has set out to change America and to rewrite the laws of the land. So what's the difference? Why do I admire and honor the former while mocking the latter as a theocratic goof? Is it just because one was a liberal and the other a conservative?

Actually, the difference between the two cases is huge. One could almost say these two cases are opposites. King offered secular arguments in sectarian language. Huckabee is offering sectarian arguments in (mostly) secular language.

Via [ profile] starcat_jewel, a sweet vid collage of fannish/rennie weddings to the song "Geek Like Me."

So far, shifting all those comms to links has done what I needed to cut down on my f-list. Now to see if that's going to be enough when the Torchwood tsunami hits LJ tonight! (Especially since I'll be spending some of that time at the sit-and-knit at Tangled Skein.)
neadods: (par-tay)
Via [ profile] kradical: The cast of Star Trek ToS doing a Monty Python routine. Worksafe, if they can handle shrieks of laughter. Put all drinkables in another zip code from your monitor.

Oh, I LOVE fans, we're a sick, twisted, inventive lot...
neadods: (doctor09)
A couple of YouTube links that were posted on Time & Chips for the Eccleston fans. Neither one worksafe. Both wonderful.

Music vid to "Damn, Wish I Were Your Lover"

Jude the Obscure in About Five Minutes (warning - put all drinkables FAR from the screen!)
neadods: (welcome2hell)
I hadn't realized until this morning just how much of my immediate fandom experience is being affected by something that happened decades ago. I've mentioned it in passing, but the words are probably meaningless to anyone who doesn't know the background. And so, I thought an explanation here in my LJ ought to be in order. There is no point or moral to this post; it is here to explain only my headspace and how it got there. (Plus, quote chunks of a Blue Oyster Cult song.)

You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars
We see everything through the lenses of our experiences. My experiences include the Beauty and the Beast war. It's hard to explain now, to fans whose experience is primarily online and whose idea of a fight is a flamewar and maybe a few bannings and new communities, just how vicious a scorched-earth war of attrition that mess was. At the time, and for several years afterwards, panfandom spoke of it in whispers - one of the two great atrocities of fandom-gone-feral, the Beauty and the Beast war. (The other one, fought a few years earlier, was the Blake's 7 war.)

I'm not sure that there's anything left of me
A quick primer. Beauty and the Beast was presented as a modern fairy tale; he's a hairy guy who lives in a magical world under NYC; she's a chic society lawyer. They fight crime. Then there was a major casting change (she left for reasons that depend on which side you talk to) and the motto changed from "Once Upon a Time is Now" to "It's Not a Fairy Tale Anymore." Factions instantly sprang up - Get Her Back or Replace Her vs Trust the Guys Who Brought You the Show in the First Place. (All this before shooting even started on the final season.) When the shows did air - ARMAGEDDON!

They say that academic infighting is fierce because the stakes are so small. Imagine the cosmically miniscule nature of a TV show, and then do the math.

I cannot claim to have been a helpless victim; I was a front-line fighter. It seemed important at the time. I look back at some things and think even now, "Yes, that was an abominable thing for someone to do, and someone had to speak up and say so." Without refighting or even announcing what side I was on, I will simply list some of the battles in that war:
- The dissolution of charities in the name of the show, with no regard to the recipients of the charities.
- A full-page ad taken out in Variety venting fury on the producer
- Clubs disbanding, or requiring loyalty oaths to a side in the war, driving out anyone who wouldn't do so
- The silencing of the other side by "losing" letters or editing them before publication (this was when the role of the internet was played by newsletters)
- The silencing of the other side by refusing to allow "the wrong" art to be hung or "the wrong" stories to be published.
- Harrassment of folks on the wrong side... not just via letters to the letterzines, but to their homes and sometimes their families
- Outing fanficcers to the Powers That Be and/or their employers

You ask me why I'm weary, why I can't speak to you
I saw people being led through art shows blindfolded, lest they see the "wrong" art, and then complaining furiously to the art chair about the "filth" hung. I heard people snarling at auctioneers "nobody wants to bid on THAT!" when the wrong items came up.

I had a former friend look me dead in the eye and announce, "The reason you like [that side] is because you don't know the difference between good and evil."

I was harassed for four years about a letter I sent to Starlog. One in which, ironically, I was pointing out that the current Gulf War was far more important than a TV show regardless of outcome. (If I had a dime for every time I was told that letter "hurt someone's feelings" I'd be Bill Gates. [Don't use the word 'heartfelt' around me. After all that conditioning, it's an instant purgative.] If I had a buck for every "Starlog is a magazine about fans; how dare it print a letter dissing TV!" I could go to Cardiff right this minute.) If I had a penny for every hissed reiteration of "if the shoe fits, kick yourself with it" - a line I had swiped from the other side, actually - I'd be Paul McCartney.

Four years ago - a good 15 years after the original war - someone came to a panel I ran at Media*West with the firm intention of having me thrown off of the panel for said war.

I'm young enough to look at, and far too old to see / All the scars are on the inside
This is what I remember when I see a fandom start to angst over cast changes. These are the lenses I'm looking through when I read lines like "When she goes, I go!" and "This will ruin the fandom!" and "Fans ought to..." and "Fans shouldn't..." and certainly "Producer/writer/actor/TPTB has ruined OUR show!"

But the war's still going on, dear
I'm ashamed to say that the old warhorse got a sniff of the gunpowder and lept into the wank yesterday, challenging someone who announced they would leave as soon as their favorite character left. Fortunately for us both, she disarmed me instantly with a response of grace and dignity, allowing me my preferences while holding quietly to hers.

I lept into it again in a disagreement with a friend; having stated my side and putting the friendship over "winning," that one gets chalked up to agreeing to disagree.

I can't say if we're ever gonna be free
Actually, I can. My responses are forged into me, like Witchblade; my experiences are intertwined in my life and cannot be disconnected.

And this, too, is why I squee, and celebrate cheese, and smile at silly communities, and revel in airy, fantastical castles in the air like Steve the Oood or preposterous unified theories of future events. They delight me because they are not war. Ingenuity, cleverness, intelligence, and even sarcasm for the greater fun? Count me in! (ETA: That's saying the same thing three times, isn't it? Ingenuity, passion, amusement and sarcasm, then. Can't forget a good snark.)

I'm not asking for pity or argument or (from the chunk of my f-list who aren't fannish) even understanding. Since there are only 1 or 2 people on the f-list who were there at the time, I just needed to explain.
neadods: (Default)
Flying to "Exotic East Lansing" may be less stressful than driving, but considering all the delays getting in and out, it's not all that much faster... (And to my vast amusement, on my way to the convention, I ran into two friends who were taking the same flight as I was in order to get to a *different* con this weekend, and our talking attracted the attention of a lovely man who was waiting to take the flight to a third con...) I'm home a lot later than I expected to be, so this is going to be rather quick and dirty, with more details in later posts if there's call for it. I'm also not even going to attempt to catch up with the last 5 days of LJ, so if there's something major I need to know, please put in comments.

Quick review - had a great weekend, and am sorry to come home (although I was missing my email and LJ). Had a wonderful time hanging out with [ profile] jennetj, [ profile] signeh, [ profile] isamom, [ profile] hildy, and the new to LJ [ profile] momthemerciless. Love ya all... even if you did make me watch "Shark Attack 3: Megaladon."

More details below, cut so that folks can either read about the whole thing or focus in on the Whovian info.

General Convention Info )

Dr. Who at MediaWest )

And now I was supposed to be in bed over a hour ago, so I shall retire...
neadods: (Default)
There's someone over on [ profile] time_and_chips who is making beaded bracelets with fandom charms, like one with red and gold beads and a lion charm for Gryffindor folks, or a guns 'n' handcuffs that would do for just about any cop show.

Fun fan stuff that would be great for Media*West, subtle enough for the office, and cute, unique gifts for fans. It's a great cottage industry idea, and one worth the passing on.

Oh, and authors? She also does a "book" bracelet; I'm sure that you could discuss adding charms to it that would suit your various series.


Oct. 2nd, 2005 11:54 am
neadods: (Default)
Well, this was inevitable. One of the books I tossed in the TBR purge got fished back out now that the numbers are down - and I've fallen fanatically for it.

Fables is a serial graphic soap opera about the refugee characters from children's stories. Run out of their land by an anti-magic conquerer known as The Adversary, the survivors escaped through a magic portal, with a fair number of them settling in New York City, living among the "mundys."

Beginning to get why I love it? The book that I have - Compilation #3, "Storybook Love" - continues the 10th Kingdom parallels by having Bigby Wolf (formerly The Big Bad Wolf and now the sheriff of Fabletown) somewhat accidentally knock up Snow White. I have no idea why I suddenly love angst when you stick a tail on it, and Bigby Wolf isn't 1/5 as handsome as Scott Cohen's Wolf - but there is AAAAANGST in the highest, between him being in love with Snow, Snow being ambivalent about him, and his general low position in the pecking order due to his species and his job.

In addition to that, we've got Prince Charming, a serial user who seems to have wandered off the Into the Woods set, because he was definately raised to be charming and not sincere. (He has married and divorced Snow White and Sleeping Beauty "Briar Rose," with a stopoff banging Rose Red in between.) Also Jack, of "and the beanstalk" fame who is renowned for his get-rich-quick schemes that never work; The Frog Prince, now known as "Flycatcher" for his Renfield cuisine; Bluebeard who has stopped killing wives and started making his own mythical mafia; Goldilocks who has since become a gun-toting radical; and a host of others, including the MPs - the "mouse police," an itty-bitty spy force consisting of Lilliputians riding intelligent mice. (They're too small to notice, while other "Fables" who can't pass as mundy live in a farm upstate.)

Multiple plotlines in the novel I have include the Snow/Wolf stuttering romance, Bluebeard's and Prince Charming's machinations, how to cover up Briar Rose's pricking her finger at a jewelry counter and making an entire shopping mall fall asleep, a mundy reporter who thinks the Fables are a nest of vampires and intends to publish, and more. The drama is offset by one-off comics retelling urban legends and "the truth" behind certain fables; these solo stories are much shorter and lighter.

The comic is still running, published by Vertigo. For those who prefer to have graphic novels instead of single comic books, compilations 1-5 are available at Amazon and #6 comes out in January. Although I got my first one out of order, it has long-running arcs and is best read in sequence.

Anyone who likes reimagined, modernized tales with a bite to them will probably enjoy Fables, although I warn you that they aren't kidding when they call it "graphic." 10th Kingdom fans, cheated by ratings out of a continuing story, will find themselves practically coming home.
neadods: (Default)
[ profile] ginmar, [ profile] fanthropology, and [ profile] geezer_fen have all been discussing RPF - that's fic, not slash in specific - this week, so it's on my mind. Especially since the book I'm reviewing is RPF - and more F than I expected it to be, and that aspect is overwhelming me in response particularly to lasst week's discussions.

So, for a minute I'd like to talk about professional RPF, although I'm not sure I have a coherent thesis.

In the professional stuff I tend to draw the same lines as I do for fanfic. I intensely dislike people taken out of their own context - I flat-out refuse to review the Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott mysteries, for example. Those horrify me on three counts, two of which go well above and beyond my opinions of fanfic:

1) The author is using a real person well out of context for their own purposes.
2) Worse, the author is doing so for personal profit, which I consider unspeakable.
3) And possibly worst of all, the author is riding the coattails of a much, much better author.

I have yet to see an imitator of Alcott or Austen who can come near the power of the orginal, either in power of the writing or in staying power in publishing. It's obscene to me to see someone whose book will disappear without a trace within a year trying to hitch their career to someone who has lasted for centuries. Work on your own craft and don't try to steal someone else's reputation! The only living author who could equal Austen is probably Susanna Clark, and she wisely stuck to her own work.

And yet... I did review a Edgar Allen Poe mystery, despite objections 2 & 3 above. Poe wrote such stories, it didn't seem to me to be so disrespectful to imagine he might want to write one, if handled properly. That the author completely reimagined him into "Eddie the Accountant" and wrote such eyeball-bleedingly bad prose that I slammed the book here as well as on Reviewing the Evidence is a different matter. Why would anyone center a series on someone they so obviously have contempt for?

The book I'm reviewing is slightly younger - so much so that the author specifically said he was waiting for everyone involved to die. I'm still making up my mind about that...
neadods: (Default)
Prepare for Fair
[ profile] tchwrtr gets rights of first brag so I won't mention amounts, but PfF was very successful - and had the fastest breakdown/cleanup EVER! There were bargains galore - raw silk for $3 a yard, bodices for $30, skirts for $5, and more. I might have blown my "mend for fair" resolution, but I bought plenty of garb to make up for it. Also some fantastic baskets, including one that's probably going to become my new favorite, and a couple of thoroughly wicked brownies. M got some linen for a mind-boggling price (mostly because she saw it before I did!)

Now home nursing sore feet and sucking down water because it's killer heat out there, but quite pleased - with my haul, with how well it ran, and with the take.

Someone read The Velveteen Rabbit a few too many times
The Real Person Fic thing continues to rage on Fanthro, with this comment to me regarding Real People - What makes someone real? What makes them more real than a fictional character? Are there levels of reality? ... How is [fanfic] not demeaning to fictional characters? Don't they have humanity (those fictional characters which ARE humans, of course) which is being denied? How is this not wrong?

Which I would blow off as snark, except that other comments on the thread suggest that she is being completely, utterly serious - stuff along the lines of "how do we know that we're not just a dream?" and "But character X swore that she had free will in her book."

To quote The Librarian, "I hear thorazine comes in vanilla now."

And in other news...
...Hugh Jackman rocks my world and I just can't watch him say "You're a dick" often enough. I'm missing the O'Danny Girls live album taping, alas - too far away and I'm too tired - so instead we're on the couch tonight - X Men, Les Miz in concert (complete with 21 ValJean salute) and the Bollywood version of "Sense and Sensibility." Wheee!
neadods: (Default)
A quick random post to prove I'm still breathing...

If nothing works loose, lights up, cracks, or needs to be replaced by the end of the day, this will be my first trouble-free week with the new car. It is an anniversary I devoutly hope to celebrate. With the price of gas up to $2.50, just driving is problem enough.

When will I ever learn?
I was stupid enough to fall for the baiting over on [ profile] fanthropology re: Real Person Fiction. I restated my usual opinion, right down to the "dancing meatpuppets" line and got this mind-blowing response - that if I don't like real people being forced to do fictional things, then I must hate all movies/TV/theater/radio shows, because it's all real actors doing fictional things.

You read it here second, folks, acting is just like fanfiction! Except for the part where the actors know they're participating. And get paid. And in some powerful cases, have script approval.

"I like doing it and I don't think it hurts anyone and I resent your picking on it" at least makes sense as an RPF argument...

Team Wench
Prepare for Fair is tomorrow; I'm heading to [ profile] tchwrtr's tonight to help set up. Details in a previous post - come make this a success!

And afterwards, I'm going to step down from heading the Team Wench bylaws committee because it's just too much on top of the stresses of the new job. Still going to strike out the "bylaws" part of my resolutions with a clear conscience, though - taking us from a standing start through drafting through mostly adoption and two of the remaining 4 edits is pretty darn good!

I enjoy being a girl
Or maybe not, but I'm having one of those bursts of girliness and am getting fully detailed this weekend - hair, hands, feet. If Dress Barn (such an alluring name!) is open on Sunday, I'll even do a little clothes shopping.
neadods: (academia)
I'm not sure if it's better to read the books before or after listening to the lectures, but for anyone who's interested, this is the required reading list for the Teaching Company Science Fiction - Literature of the Technological Imagination course.

Is anyone surprised that I've already read half of them or surprised that I haven't read them all? )

When I get around to doing this one, I'm also going to take the advice of a teacher from Torcon, who said that he had his classes read Tunnel in the Sky and Lord of the Flies back to back, so that they could compare/contrast two philosophies on survival situations.
neadods: (Default)
By now most of the people on my f-list have heard about the little boy who got in trouble for pledging allegiance to the United Federation of Planets instead of the American flag. His mother has started a Cafe Press store with the full pledge on it.

If I order one now, will it show up in time for Shore Leave, I wonder?


neadods: (Default)

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