The Ugly Underbelly of Fandom

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:13 pm
keiramarcos: (Default)
[personal profile] keiramarcos
There is a certain kind of writer who attaches no value to their own work on an emotional level. They write for attention. It’s the same kind of “writer” who dreams of writing a book so they’d be rich and famous. This is also the kind of “writer” who wants to write a book about their life because apparently, we ALL want to read about it and just don’t know it. This attention-seeking writer actually taints the fandom, and readers, with their pathological need for attention. They encourage readers to offer them suggestions for future plot developments, character arcs, and even pairings. Then when they write themselves into a hole because of they actually listened to all the crap they get back—they blame their “muse” for not being inspired to complete the story.

Of course, the worse part of an attention-seeking writer are the readers they leave in their wake who feel entitled to intrude on the process of other writers because they felt validated by a previous experience. They are utterly comfortable providing a list of wishes and wants to other writers in their feedback. If they want a certain pairing in a story—they demand it and will abuse a writer if they don’t get it.

I’ve said before that reader entitlement is the ugliest part of fandom. I’ve been threatened with rape and murder for not updating when a reader felt I should. There have been times when readers have essentially had screaming fits on my contact form or in an email because I didn’t write the pairing they wanted or I chose a Stargate project over a Harry Potter one for Rough Trade.

Some readers take my decisions regarding my own writing as a personal insult and have no problems letting me know that I’m ruining their life by not writing what they want me to write.

Recently, I had a reader send me a single sentence email, and it was:

“I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, I hope you finish Phoenix before I die.”

At first, I was outraged, but I wasn’t particularly surprised since I’ve seen this kind of emotional blackmail in fandom before. I deleted the email without a response, and I put the sender on a filter in my email that automatically trashes any email she sends me in the future. Because I want no part of her bullshit but I do wonder how many other writers she’s approached with this disgusting tactic.

Those who only read in fandom don’t genuinely understand the creative process. They don’t understand the intimacy of writing or the emotional risk of posting it in public. They never will understand, really, and investing yourself in trying to make them is just intellectual masochism.

Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:32 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Brother to Dragons, Companion to OwlsBrother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is a weird book. I liked it, some parts of it quite a bit, but it's a weird book. I think I started out with the wrong expectations; I'd just read a YA book, and the cover of this one looks like a YA novel. It's also told from the perspective of someone who believes her plastic dragons can talk to her, so initially I thought I was going to be reading a YA fantasy novel.

Pretty quickly, though, the book veers into adult territory; the protagonist Sarah is actually in her thirties, and there's a fair amount of sexual content, including mentions of child prostitution, although none of it is graphic or detailed, just alluded to.

This is set in some sort of possibly dystopic future, but we don't get a lot of details about the world because everything comes from Sarah's very limited POV. That's actually one of my favorite parts about the book--the way the author lets little details about the world slip through (everybody uses some kind of credit system, hovercars are a thing, etc) without really explaining anything.

Another part I really like is that Sarah can speak to inanimate objects. At the beginning of the story, the reader thinks she's hallucinating and then gradually comes to realize that she truly can hear her plastic dragons and other objects speak. I also like that Sarah falls in with a group of marginalized people who have banded together to protect each other and live together in what sounds to me like an abandoned chemical plant. Their society is based on the Jungle Book, and is very cool if also very disturbing in many ways.

So, pros: very cool world building, very interesting protagonist, very interesting plot.
Cons: mentions of child rape and child prostitution, consent issues, really bizarre (dated?) understanding of autism (the story begins with Sarah in an institution, and she's believed to be autistic because she was mute as a child and now can only communicate in quotations from stories that she's memorized)

Recommend with reservations.



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So You Want to Be a Wizard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:18 am
lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
[personal profile] lunabee34
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was wonderful! It's YA, and on the younger side of YA, but such a fun read. It follows Nita and Kit who both find books about becoming wizards and choose to take the oath. They meet a white hole and senior level wizards and become responsible for the fate of the whole universe along the way.

The magic is really cool here--based on the Speech, on knowing something truly by saying it truly. It also features sentient trees and mechanical objects and some really cool magic involving time.

I don't want to spoil the ending, so I won't say what happens to make me cry, but I was surprised how moved I was by the ending. Full on sniffling. :)

Definitely recommend this one; I think it's the start of a series as well.



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Ethan Frome

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:20 pm
lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Ethan FromeEthan Frome by Edith Wharton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I last read this book in 8th grade about 26 years ago. I remembered liking it and the general plot but not much else. Recently, a bunch of people on FFA were talking about how much they hated the book, so I thought I'd revisit it and see if my opinion had changed.

I still like it. :) I am a huge sucker for stories in which much of the narrative is ambiguous or imagined or a deliberate fantasy (see the Haunting of Hill House, which also shares a climax with this novel, or "The Last Man" episode of SGA). We don't actually know if the backstory the narrator of Ethan Frome has invented is true; he imagines the bulk of the story in the second before he crosses the threshold to Ethan's home. Conversations he has with Ethan and with other townspeople corroborate parts of his fantasy, but our unnamed narrator could be misreading the clues as badly as Lockwood does in the beginning of Wuthering Heights (although probably not; there's no textual evidence he's doing so).

The language here is so beautiful. It isn't spare though the scenes Wharton describes are often spare and stark. Here's an example: "A mournful peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep."

Overall, an enjoyable and quick read. If you're looking for a happy ending, this is not the novella for you. Everyone in this story is trapped and has very few choices if they have any at all. Poverty is a vise around Ethan and Mattie and Zeena that they can't dislodge. It's beautifully written, though, and a good look at the shape despair sometimes takes.



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lunabee34: (btvs: buffy gun by eyeconic)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Let's do a silly meme.

Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have.

Here's mine.

Buffy: I always wished that Buffy's dad had showed up again after Joyce's death. I found his complete disregard of his children horrific, and while I didn't want him to be redeemed at all, I wanted him to show up at least once again so Buffy could tell him off for abandoning her.

Firefly: I would have liked a trip home for one of the crew, maybe to meet Kaylee's parents or Jayne's siblings or Mal's extensive network of female cousins.

Star Trek TNG: I really wanted more episodes with Beverly and Deanna being besties. I would have especially loved an episode where they were trapped on a planet and in survival mode or spent the episode with only each other to rely on.

What about you?

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Premiere

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:49 am
lunabee34: (got: sansa by bluelantern)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Man, I love this show. Last season was so strong, especially the finale, and this opener promises another really strong season.

SPOILERS )

Reading

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:07 am
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars, #3)The Liberation by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is the best of the series. So many times, an otherwise excellent series ends on a faltering note; endings are really, really hard, and making the final installment worthy of what comes before is a difficult task. Tregillis hits it out of the park.

Many, many aspects of the situation are left unresolved. Years, decades, maybe even centuries of work are left to be done to figure out how the three empires will coexist, share or withhold resources and territory, and police themselves.

But the character arcs are resolved quite satisfactorily. I do not want to spoil even a mote of this wonderful conclusion, so I will just urge you all to read it. If you like artificial intelligence, steampunk, female characters (strong, flawed, stubborn, sometimes bordering on evil), tight plotting, and beautiful language, then this is the series for you!



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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking RecipesThe How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes by America's Test Kitchen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is an excellent cookbook--meticulously researched with a great introductory chapter that explains what gluten is and how it functions in the foods we eat as well as going through all the different types of gf flours and grains. There are even some product reviews like in the magazine (best already-made sandwich bread, etc.).

I like that this isn't just about desserts. Baked goods get more than half the cookbook and rightly so, but there's all sorts of savory dishes and salads with grains that look amazing.

This would be an excellent addition to the kitchen shelf for anyone who's eating gf.



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Book 2: The Alchemy Wars

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:09 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Rising (The Alchemy Wars, #2)The Rising by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This series is so good. Tregillis's writing is beautiful; his descriptions of the natural world are a delight to read.

Without giving too much away, this middle installment sees the hopes of both Jax and Berenice fundamentally altered. Jax in particular discovers that sometimes a myth is just that.

I especially enjoyed the sections from Longchamp's POV. His stoicism and crudity and perseverance make him such a interesting and colorful character.

I am very interested to see what happens in the concluding book. I hope all my favorite characters make it to the end, but I suspect that's a naive hope.



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Spiderman plus Downton Abbey

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:32 am
lunabee34: (avengers: cpn america by youcallitwinter)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Emma and I went to see Spiderman: Homecoming a couple days ago and loved it. SPOILERS )


We are also continuing to watch Downton Abbey. Y'all, I love this show, truly, but I am getting a bit fed up with some of the plot lines. Please don't spoil me for future episodes.

SPOILERS )

I don't think we're that far from the end; we're about halfway through this season, and then I think there's just one more.

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Kym

May 2017

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