Locus Meme

Dec. 31st, 2012 11:53 am
caper_est: A cartoon virus. (meme)
Via [ profile] birdsedge:

Meme - The Locus best of lists. Bold the ones you've read, italicise the ones you gave up on and leave the ones you haven't read yet.

Massive listosaurus: )

Okay, that was interesting...

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
On First Finishing Mira Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy

Seldom I've dabbled in the realms of red,
Or splashed my cricket bat with sanguine stains:
Who once the zombie genre sore disdains
Not lightly is amused by dudes undead.
At whiles attempts most valiant I'd read:
Bill Swears and Alden Bell took noble pains,
Yet none, meseems, did nosh upon my brains
Till Mira Grant scooped mine from out my head.
Then felt I like stout Rudyard Kipling when
Of all the well-worn ways to tribal lays,
He stumbled on that lost Threescore-and-Ten,
That closes hidebound books, and opens eyes
To all they asked - nor craves we read again,
But do, and do! - and cry, "When will we rise?"


Keats' original can be found here, for those unfamiliar with it. 

[ profile] wswears's Zook Country* and Alden Bell's The Reapers Are The Angels are the other good books reffed above, and indeed are the only other literary zombie-fests I have so far finished.  Not even unmentionable-smashing ninja Bennet sisters have otherwise managed to carry me along with the Brainsss Brigade.  This is probably because I get my RDA of shambly zombie goodness by 5.30 most mornings, courtesy of my trusty shaving mirror - but I digress.

For those unfamiliar with Mira Grant (alias the excellent contemporary fantasist [ profile] seanan_mcguire), what more can I say? Go on, get some read on you!

 * ETA:
Which first persuaded me that a zombie apocalypse book could also be a right good read, and in whose absence I might never have tried out the others.

caper_est: Sharpening the quill (writing)
Because I'm still somewhat hung over, and harbouring an enormous vortex of negative energy which sucks the inspiration out of anything it touches, here are some new beginnings for famous works of Western literature, in approximate chronological order.  Classics Without Tears*, here we come!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was "in".

Sing, Muse, something bouncy and feelgood by Stock, Aitken and Waterman!

I got to tell you this story about guns and this geezer.

Here, listen: you know how the old Vikings used to stick it to their enemies.

April's wet and windy, and the pigeons are shagging in your gutters all day.  Time to hit the tourist trail!

My brother's the king of parties, but I'm an unprepossessing ratbag!

Dudes!  Who wants to hear my twelve-book epic about original sin?!

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a romantic heroine possessed of a good spirit, must be in want of an arrogant prat.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was chucking-out time at the Star and Garter.

Call me an unspellable and unpronounceable symbol, as a mark of my disdain for my publishers.

In a hole in the ground there lived an earwig.


*Or other unseemly evocations of human emotion.

caper_est: Sharpening the quill (writing)
I've just run across some excellent posts on the subject of Mary Sue and her variously-named male equivalent - that Very Special Character, arising from the world of fanfic, who can scarcely be better described than in these words of [ profile] blackholly's:

Spock gets a long-lost daughter with purple eyes who's an even better doctor than McCoy and when she arrives, Kirk instantly falls in love with her and makes her captain in his place. She takes them to the planet of the Sparkle Ponies where she defeats Khan with her beauty and that of her new glittery equine friends.

Heh! But also not so much heh, because here are some good cases made in that very article and several others within the same conversation, to the effect that 'Mary Sue' has become a lazy and insidious way of dinging on female characters disliked by the reviewer - most especially, female characters written by women - in ways which are both unfair to said authors, and in danger of limiting the public supply of awesome female characters. All sorts of subtleties of the true and false Mary Sue Effects are explored in these discussions, and I highly recommend all of them. In chronological order:

You Can Stuff Your Mary Sue Where the Sun Don't Shine, by Zoë Marriot (Aug 1st 2011)

Ladies, Don't Let Anyone Tell You You're Not Awesome, by [ profile] sarahtales (Aug 4th)

Ladies Ladies Ladies, by [ profile] blackholly (Aug 7th)

I Know a Little Girl and Her Name Is Mary Mac: the Misuse of Mary Sue, by [ profile] seanan_mcguire (Oct 11th)

What Would Mary Sue Do?, by Zoë Marriot (25th October)

Here is my head hitting the desk, repeatedly.

My only real addition to the debate concerns the case where the name's deserved. I think one good test for whether a character is a genuine Mary Sue/Marty Stu or not, is whether they have the defects proper to their virtues - or, indeed, the virtues of their defects. If what is wrong with them has nothing to do with what is right with them, except to serve as a foil for the sparkly shininess of it, this is a warning sign. And if their most salient flaw is wangst, and yet they are in no other way anything of a wanker, that is an enormous neon warning sign flashing DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER !

At the age of thirteen, I independently invented the concept of fanfic and the character - but not, alas, the concept! - of Marty Stu, as a side-effect of the dire worldwide shortage of new Pern books. To encounter him at the age of thirty as a known public nuisance was both a revelation and a sort of relief, not to mention a salutary reminder. But if his sister is now being seen more often in pieces of vaguely girl-cootied speculative fiction than the Virgin Mary has manifested in pieces of vaguely toasted bread, then it may be that the pair of them are coming to the end of their useful work as Awful Warnings.

Either that, or Marty is going to have to start pulling more of his own weight. Which one, eh?
caper_est: A cartoon virus. (meme)
From [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll:

Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of. Come up with improvements to flavour your versions.

Marcia J. Bennett
Poppy Z. Brite
Mary Brown
Lois McMaster Bujold
Emma Bull

Pat Cadigan
Isobelle Carmody
Brenda W. Clough
Kara Dalkey
Pamela Dean
Susan Dexter
Carole Nelson Douglas
Claudia J. Edwards
Doris Egan
Ru Emerson
C.S. Friedman
Anne Gay
Sheila Gilluly
Carolyn Ives Gilman
Lisa Goldstein
Nicola Griffith

Karen Haber
Barbara Hambly
Dorothy Heydt (AKA Katherine Blake)
P.C. Hodgell
Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Tanya Huff

Kij Johnson
Janet Kagan
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
Katharine Kerr
Peg Kerr

Katharine Eliska Kimbriel
Rosemary Kirstein
Ellen Kushner
Mercedes Lackey
Sharon Lee
Megan Lindholm*

R.A. MacAvoy

Laurie J. Marks
Maureen McHugh
Dee Morrison Meaney
Elizabeth Moon
Paula Helm Murray
Rebecca Ore
Tamora Pierce
Alis Rasmussen (AKA Kate Elliott)
Melanie Rawn
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Jennifer Roberson

Michaela Roessner
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Melissa Scott
Eluki Bes Shahar (AKA Rosemary Edghill)
Nisi Shawl
Delia Sherman
Josepha Sherman
Sherwood Smith
Melinda Snodgrass
Midori Snyder
Sara Stamey
Caroline Stevermer
Martha Soukup
Judith Tarr
Sheri S. Tepper
Prof. Mary Turzillo
Paula Volsky
Deborah Wheeler (Deborah J. Ross)
Freda Warrington
K.D. Wentworth
Janny Wurts
Patricia Wrede


Mar. 31st, 2011 10:44 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Booksquee!  I just acquired - free, gratis, and by unanimous and enthusiastic accord that nobody but me wanted it - a quite nicely preserved Everyman hardback of Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Vol I.

It isn't particularly rare or financially valuable, but I've been seeing references to Reliques since I was about fourteen, and never ever have I actually seen or held a copy of it.

Inside my head, I am boinging away like Zebedee off the Magic Roundabout.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

The Snakeshead and the Spelldesk
A burnt-out sorcerer and a sassy tattooed rune-hacking wereserpent must solve a series of mystical murders in a decadent metropolis at the low-rent end of Time - but their investigations come up against a sinister barrier.

The Brighteyes and the Banespork
The mad mongoose-god is no more, but the demons of his ichneumon horde are burrowing through the corrupt souls of Noisette City into the sensual world! Can hard-boiled sorcerer Pebblefall and passionate pythoness Hiisi Fitt save their world from drowning in a tidal wave of unspeakable squick?

The Wyrdbook and the Worldwall

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

I just saw a bloke sitting down quietly reading Winter's Bone. 

I've never seen anybody wear disposable plastic gloves to read a book before.  I'm not sure I should take this as a recommendation.

190 words this morning, and the Rising begins in earnest.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

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