dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
[personal profile] oursin posted the results from that silly "Vote the 100 Best SFF Works!" that some site had as a have read-meme. The results are really weird, quite skewed towards Gaiman and even contains unfinished (and currently in-progress) works, but what the heck - it's a book meme!

Filling that in sounded like excellent late night excersize to me, so here it comes!

Books I have read, failed to finish & am planning to read )

Some of the old SF I read because my mother owned them, some because the selection of what was to be translated to Swedish & later bought in by my library was eclectic at best, pure insanity at other times... As for more current books, there are those I like (Pratchett, Gaiman, Miéville; plebian like I am) and those I read for work, more or less. Working in the geeky bookstore gives excellent access to a lot of smushed, cut, crushed or otherwise unsaleable books and with my reading speed, it is hardly a chore to skim the best-sellers and see what they're about, which I like and which I will only recommend to people who like what I hate. (Customer: I think Terry Goodkind is the best author evah! Me: Ah, right. Raymond Feist, Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan might interest you...?)

Of course, this whole "reading for leisure" thing kind of fell to the wayside this year, what with lit classes, trying to read in German and generall stress, but as soon as I'm done with that I will... actually, I'll probably be in Germany, reading lit class books in German so, eheheheh ^^;;;;

Late 2012, however, you bet you're ass I'll be reading like a [bleep]!!!
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
I bought little corner shelves for that deadspace just to the side of the bookshelf. But to put them up, I had to move my bookshelves a little bit - the floor's not entirely flat, see. But before I could even think of wiggling my bookshelves around, I had to remove all the books

...

Yes, that was a project that took from about six o'clock until a bit after ten yesterday. This included taking the books out, trying to keep them in semi-sorted piles, wiggling the shelves and then frantically look for plugs for the wall (didn't find any, only lots of screws. But since I'll visit mom today, it's no disaster) before giving up on any drilling tonight and putting the books back. I re-sorted things a bit and moved my Eyeshield 21 collection out from the bedroom.

What really surprises me is that I, despite having added another 33 manga volumes (although they are in a "back row" I seem to have aquired more space - there's almost an entire shelf free! I think it's because some of the other shelves, mostly those containing manga have been filled up more compactly, but it's still a bit odd.

Anyway, tomorrow is also a free day, so I'll try to put up the corner shelves then. Need somewhere to keep liquor bottles and vases
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
That was... harder than expected. Much harder and I still have a lump of sadness in my throat

I had the honor to write the memorial text for Diana Wynne Jones for work. I've done it once before, when David Eddings passed away (in 2009, how time flies) but this grabbed me even harder. There's such warmth in her books, they are so kind and struggle as I might, it was hard to catch in words.

Do read her, if you haven't. Or give her books to someone, child or adult - we all need a bit of imagination and warmth in our lives.

Have to go eat now and try to think of other things.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
In other news, I'm down in Gothenburg again. Visiting Miko-chan and staying at Miko-chans mother as usual (alas, cat allergies). Just as well, mom has Plans for my bathroom again and now she can poke about there on her own...

Mac showed me a lovely old fairy-tale book, translated from Swedish to German. Vogel Blau by Z Topelius, which is written in Fraktur (Gothic script). The most amazing thing? I can actually read it now! Amazing, I never managed to read the old-fashioned books I was showed in Germany... of course, those were more along the lines of Thomas Mann and history books, while these are tales of Sleeping Beauty etc. Quite the bit sharper than the modern children's verisones though, very entertaining reads, even if I had a great deal of trouble figuring out out the V (Dolch? Dulp? Volf? Wolf... aha, no! That is the letter k and thus it must be Volk!! /I iz genius/). Anyway, both amusing and challenging, I am going to read through it all before I go home

Have also read My girlfriend is a geek and Bakuman. Disliked both and for oddly similar reasons... In My girlfriend is a geek, we have a yaoi/manga fanatic girl who has no sense of appropriate boundaries. Alright that she talks to her boyfriend about her favorite ship, but when she starts involving him (and his friend, partly) in her mistress/butler fantasy without his consent and the narrative treats it as comedy I am skeeved out.

The translation is also a typically "fansubby" one, with keywords such as fujoshi, otaku, seme etc left untranslated in the pages (might be a glossary, I didn't check and the book is at home). While it is part of the plot that the guy doesn't know all these words, he presumably knows at least what some of the sounds ought to be - and more importantly, the japanese readers do know them.

Bakuman is about a guy who, due to a girl he crushes on and has never really talked to, decides to become a manga artist. Everyone is either dull or ott and it lacks to moral issues and tension that made Death Note readable. I much prefer the other manga industry parodies I've read
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
Color me unsurprised that Rob Thurman used to be a fanfic author (slasher even).

What does surprise me a little - though I know her books kinda predate the show - is that she didn't belong to Supernatural fandom, but to some variant of Ghostbusters, according to fandom_wank. Yep, she ended up there

Her books didn't feel as "ficcy" as Havemercy, but there's something about the snappy voices coupled with the utter lack of depth to her badass MOFO characters that remind me about fanfics. The thing is, of course, if you're writing for a series where there already is plenty characterization, a fic that just rehashes all of that gets boring. It's like reading the whole "And they have identical blonde hair and blue-green eyes..." on the second page of every damn Twins of Sweet Valley High book ever
When you lift the characters out of their fic world and have to make them work on their own, however? Then you need some more fleshing out of likes/dislikes and other general personality traits
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I am not very fond of romantic literature and movies in the mainstream sense, where people meet, fall into argument and/or love and after 2,5 hours they get married. Romcoms as a genre bore me (although, interestingly enough, plenty of my favorite fanfics are romantic and comedic, but use tropes differently)

However, the high drama and tragedy of older shoujo manga, early yaoi (Zetsuaiiii~) and that kind of love has always appealed to me. Take Anne Rice, or at least my reading of her as a teenager. Plentiful tragic and failed love stories there, although I didn't demand that the love ended in tragedy. Then there is the other kind of love story, the kind that doesn't burn like insanity, but is nevertheless true and deep. In a way, it's an even rarer find, because it's easy that stories about that just fall flat or end up in some kind of trite "and then they married and lived happily ever after yay" cliche, without any real emotion at all.

One of the novels I remember most fondly from before, and which I re-read not all that long age with great enjoyment, was Guy Gavriel Kay's A Song for Arbonne (Cover image of the first edition I've owned).

How the flowers bloomed in Arbonne )

A final note, perhaps of importance to my point? This is one of the few books I've owned twice.

The first I inherited from mom and after years of intense reading (her's and mine, she bloody kills the spines), pages stained with tears, food and a rather memorable nosebleed, I felt it was time to retire that copy. Because somehow, a book about the beauty of love and how one should cherish that, deserved to live within a nicer cover.

Except for Good Omens and some Pratchett books, this is the only book I've re-bought just because I want to have a more polished copy. Even Tigana only got one buy, because I borrowed it from the library the first six times I read it.

And now I really gotta get back to studying. Abelard and Heloise was it, wot?
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
Staffars serier is a lovely little comic shop (with a plentiful yaoishelf too, ahem) in Stockholm. They've been doing a reading circle for a while now, and I think I might try and go to the next meeting.

Höstens läsecirkelprogram: 16/9 Girl Genius

Discuss one of my favorite series with other well-read comics people? Hmm, yes please!
dancing_moon: Mana looks angsty (woes)
So apparantly Jasper Fforde has a problem with fanfic. This is me when I first read this:

- Wait, Jasper Fforde? Isn't he -
*checks heap'o'books to get rid of*
- Well fuck. Jasper Fucking Fforde is the author of the Thursday Next books which, whoops, are pretty much crossover fanfic to literary classics. With his own OC, Thursday Next, as the main character.

I was planning to write a thoughtful, well-researched post here. Then I thought, fuck it, I'll just rant. So, rant ahoy!

I will angrily type about the sheer entitlement that comes of a male author using (mainly) female author's works for his post-modern meta-commentary series, and then forbidding other authors to re-contextualize his stories once more. I mean, it just gets better when you consider that Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and other early female novelists faced various levels of prejudice and ridicule because they were 1) female and 2) wrote stuff. oh hai, that's kinda like fanfic!*

F-u-r-t-h-e-r, the dickhead isn't even only hiding behind (faulty) legalese protection, i.e. my copyright won't work if I allow fanfic, oh noez, but he's taking some moral high ground.

Because his characters "mean so much" to him. Ummm... When your first book is called The Eeyre Affair and your main chara interacts with the main chara of that book, I think it's a leeetle biit hypocritial to discuss respecting other characters. What does it matter if the author is dead? Is smearing someones name less bad, just because that person isn't around to hear it? Should I, as a reader, have to investigate what you the author thinks on every little issue before I comment on your work?
Honestly, if all that respect entails means is that you don't want the author to see the icky, icky fic, then firmly tell your readers not to show it to you. Most readers won't even try - the ones that do, smack them down.

Now I definitely regret wasting fifty crowns or so on his book during the book sale.

In fact, a staunch (and stupid) anti-fanfic stance is one of the few things that really makes me a firm boycotter of an author whose books I might otherwise buy. Iffy political opinions and general euugh-ness tends to be less of a problem, since I often don't like those books anyway. It'd be a bit like boycotting bananas for me - I've hated them with passion since I was 6, so it's not as if its a sacrifice to avoid Chiquita. Aand I mean, I've heard from several people at work that John Ringo, David Weber et al don't just write military sf gun-porn, but are severely right-wing themselves - hey, no problem. I can totally avoid buying your books, any day *sincere nod*

What sucks is when it's authors I enjoy, or that I would like to fic.

Authors I know are anti-fanfic & have expressed it in a way that really irks me:
- Anne Rice
Ah, the classic! Her writing is crap these days, anyway, but this means I'll definitely never buy some nostalgic hardcover of the first three books or so. I will however still read the old VC fic I've saved - some of it was pretty good ^_^ And, I mean, I would probably have kept buying her for a while after the books themselves turned to shit - I mean, I collected merchandize and comics and stuff - but when I can't even use the universe for ficcing purposes? What's the point?
- Jasper Fforde
- George R. R. Martin
Not that I'm likely to ever be in danger of being tempted with a finished Song of Ice and Fire, anyway, but if I want to read/re-read his epics, there are workmates. And heaps of smushed books, sooner or later a Martin turns up.
- Diana Gabaldon
Just heard of her (and had to link to fandom_wank due to deleted posts), which is kind of a shame, since her books were on the queer-rec list at work and I was slightly interested in them. After the descriptions of Outlander as 600 pages of badly written romance smut, with one scene of torture-porn, I am feeling less inclined to do so anyway...
- Robin Hobb
Also deleted her rant, but fear not, the Internet remembers!
- C.S Friedman
Deserves a special mention! Because while she is pretty much in the don't ask, don't tell (but do disclaim) camp about fic, she comes off as rather homophobic in her reply about slash fanfic. And as I feel the same urge every time I read this sentence:
As [slash] this kind of material often deals with subjects and character interpretations I emphatically disagree with, I do ask you make it very clear to any potential readers that it does not reflect my work except in the broadest inspirational sense.
...I will now indulge in it. Ahem.
IF YOU DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO SLASH YOUR GUYS, TRY LEAVING AT LEAST ONE FEMALE CHARACTER OF IMPORTANCE ALIVE/NON-AMNESIAC! I mean, jeez, I liked the Coldfire trilogy (and it was slashy as hell btw) but the women getting killed thing was really, reeeaaally obvious. And of course I know that slash happens, and wtf woman, let it happen and just don't read, but. Come on. There's making it easy, and making it pretty much inevitable.
- Ursula Le Guin
Aww, it makes me sad to include her there. Otoh, she's an author that can be found in the library pretty easily, so no big loss. (but why, Ms Le Guin? U b so cool otherwise!)
- Katherine Kerr
:( Another delete, another f_w write-up. Kerr was one of the first authors whose characters I mentally slashed, years before I found out about fanfic
(And it wasn't even Rhodry/that elf guy. I thought about the tragic'n'smutty non-con story of the dark magic apprentice and his boytoy sexslave young Lord what's-his-name that appeared in one of the early books. No, the internet didn't make me depraved - I was like that before I turned 13 and ever turned on a computer. Oh, and Salamander. I slashed him with eeeeverything.)

That was a depressing list to write/collect links for. Here, see some squee which I found/remembered while doing it
Patrick Rothfuss upon finding the first slashfic of his work: YES!
Cory Doctorow: In praise of fanfic

* not saying that fanfic in general is Austen-level good. But, y'know, there were probably a whole bunch of women who wrote stuff and put in their drawers that was just as non-literary-classicy as the average fic.

See... this is what happens when I have the laptop in bed. Late night rantings. 01.40 - logging off the internet now.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I had a sudden craving for Pratchett recently and read Nation and Unseen Academicals again. Perhaps influence by the football fever in Germany...?

Anyway, they're both so good that I get all happy. And sad-ish, because how am I supposed to follow those up? It's not just the story but - particularly in Nation - what the book says. How it says it, too

I look forward to the last Tiffany Aching book so much, and at the same time, I suspect I may well cry when I read it. Because it might just be the last book from Terry Pratchett and that hurts.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Do I, at the moment, keep up with fandom? No, not really. I read ANN for work, I check the swedish forums occasionally, and lanjelin is showing me the highlights of Dr Who and the interesting wankbaits at fandomsecrets. I read some fic and try to leave at least a "great stuff!" for the great stuff. That's about it, really, except an obsessive control of the latest Hetalia merchandize.

No time for more, unfortunately.

I do however try to keep up with the news of the real world. This is easier, since I can read the newspaper on the bus. During my lunch break, I also have access to the Serious Business Newspaper, unless a workmate stole it first

Anyway - better get to the point before the internet dies again - I am a bit behind. But I haven't seen anything talked about the new, french, movie based on Alexander Dumas life. And more specifically, the fact that he's to be played by Gerard Depardieu, which has upset people who knew more lit history than me, because Dumas grandfather was a black Haitian slave. Aaand they've basically whitewashed that part of his history completely in this movie *

Which sucks. It also sucks that, despite this being such a commonly known issue that the non-too-radicall Wikipedia mentions it explicitly, with a striking but bitter quote even! Not one of my school books, nor my teachers (nor, it turned out, any of my mother's teachers or books) ever bothered to mention this fact. Despite me being a devout fangirl of The Count of Monte Cristo when I was much younger and, you know, pretty interested in this dude. Not interested enough to go out and read his biography - I was, what, 11? But I would have remembered if it mentioned anything about his writing being affected by racism and colonialism.
Heck, my swedish Jungle Book edition - for kids, shortened and everything - had a page talking about Kipling and colonialism. Dumas? Not a peep

* This is hearsay. Or, well, newspapersay, I haven't seen the movie, I don't even know if it's finished yet.

Also, my foot hurts and is blue-purple-green today
/intresseklubben antecknar

ETA: And of course this reminded me of fandom because of racefail and all the meta-undercurrents that I have vaguely sensed but not really had time to read in-depth.

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May 2012

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