fairestcat: naked woman reading. vintage (Reading)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Since I last posted one of these I've spent a week at a pagan festival mostly reading and a week at a cottage on a lake mostly reading. So, I figured I'd better post before my read-but-not-crossposted list gets really out of hand.

Lots of Kris Ripper and Alexis Hall in this batch.

Breaking Down (Scientific Method Universe #4) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ripper once again puts zir characters through the emotional ringer.

This time we get the aftermath of an offscreen sexual assault and a breakup that's painful for everyone involved. read more )

Roller Coasters (Scientific Method Universe #5) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book really centers Will's struggles and insecurities about his place in Hugh and Truman's relationship, which is a thing I'd wanted (and Ripper had been working up to) for several books. read more )

The Boyfriends Tie the Knot (Scientific Method Universe #6) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

So much going on in this book and it's all just fabulous. read more )

The Honeymoon (The Scientific Method Universe #7) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

And with that the main arc about Will and Hugh and Truman's relationship comes to a perfect close. read more )

For Real - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is a fabulous BDSM romance between two characters with an 18-year age difference. I love that kind of thing, but if large age differences make you uncomfortable this book is not for you. read more )

The Art Of Three - Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese ★ ★ ★

A sweet, relatively low-drama poly romance. read more )

Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) - K.J. Charles ★ ★ ★ ★

An excellent beginning to a new series. While the romance is central and significant, this is above-all a well-built supernatural fantasy. read more )

Extremes (Scientific Method Universe #8) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★

Short and incredibly intense. read more )

Silver Moon - Catherine Lundoff ★ ★ ★ ★

Menopausal werewolves! What's not to love? read more )

Glitterland (Glitterland #1) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★

There was a lot I loved about this book and a few things that really didn't work for me. read more )

Gays Of Our Lives (Queers of La Vista #1) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★

A charming romance with a delightfully disgruntled disabled protagonist. read more )

Aftermath (Glitterland #1.5) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★

A nice epilogue that ties up some dangling threads from the book, but I'm still just not in love with this couple.

Penric's Fox - Lois McMaster Bujold ★ ★ ★ ★

Probably my favourite of the Penric stories so far. Nominally a murder mystery, but there is only ever one obvious suspect. read more )

Sand and Ruin and Gold - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★

A disturbing and unsettling story about captivity and freedom and connection.

Romantic in its own way but decidedly not a romance.

In Vino - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★

Short story starring a secondary character from For Real, available for free for joining Hall's mailing list.

Fucked up, self-destructive asshole has fucked up, self-destructive and really ill-considered sex. It's like watching a train wreck. I really hot, decidedly kinky train wreck.

Fire Thief - Jordan Castillo Price ★ ★

Short story. Picked up as a first sample of a frequently-recced writer.

Enjoyable enough, but the way the love interest's disability was concealed and then revealed as if it were somehow shocking left me cold.

Shatterproof - Xen Sanders ★ ★ ★

I found this book frustrating. I liked it, but I really wanted to love it and I could just never get there. read more )

Daughter of Mystery (Alpennia #1) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I LOVED this book and I'm definitely looking forward to the next two books in the series.

Complicated, smart and constantly-surprising fantasy with a great lesbian romance. read more )

Heart of the Steal - Avon Gale & Roan Parrish ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Well, that was completely delightful.

Philanthropist who dabbles in art theft meets cute guy at a party and decides to impress him with a gift of illicitly acquired art. Cute guy turns out to be an FBI Agent. Art Crimes divisions. Eh heh heh, oops? read more )

Prosperity (Prosperity #1) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I keep expecting the Prosperity series to be light and airy and vaguely fluffy. Airships! Skytowns! A street urchin named Piccadilly and a crime-lord named Milord! It sounds like the fluffiest of fluff. But it's so much more. It's also complex and tangled and so fucking honest about the complexity of love and emotion and connection. read more )

Beyond the Wall - GOT S7 Ep. 6

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:43 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
OMG!

That was...incredible.

eh spoilers )
sineala: (Avengers: Steve with cowl)
[personal profile] sineala
Wish Fulfillment (1427 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Ultimates, Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers (Ultimates), Tony Stark (Ultimates)
Additional Tags: Multiverse, Fix-It of Sorts, Hydra Steve Rogers, Secret Empire (Marvel), Cosmic Cube, Angst, Avengers Vol. 7 (2017), Community: cap_ironman, Cap-Ironman Bingo
Summary: When Steve hears that Tony is alive again, he does what any Supreme Hydra would do: he captures Tony. Unfortunately for him, it's not the right Tony.

For my Cap-IM Bingo card, the square of Tony breaking free from chains. Spoilers for Secret Empire #8 and Ultimates 2 #100. My goal here is clearly to write all the Hydra Cap while he's still canon.

This one's a fix-it. If you enjoy the thought of Hydra Steve being punched in the face, this may be your kind of story.
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Well, uhm, there are times that I'm not crazy about the internet or a society that provides a bit too much information.

For example? I could live without knowing the inner personal lives of television actors and writers. And I'm not quite sure what to make of Kai Cole's blog post about her marriage to Joss Whedon and subsequent break-up. Goes to show you, it's apparently really hard to stay married in Hollywood or faithful.

Whedon is in his fifties. According to the post, he allegedly had an affair with many of the actresses on the set of Buffy and various other series during his marriage. (I wondering right about now if that would explain his relationship with Eliza Dusku?) I already know that Boreanze did the same thing. In fact Charisma Carpenter once let it slip that the set was like the love boat, with everyone hooking up with each other. But I didn't realize Whedon had. Whedon had power, so that is sort of...unethical. It's also not surprising, because people in Hollywood have always done that.
[SMG has been smart about this, not said anything about what happened on the set or backstage. David Boreanze has been tightlipped as well. CC and Marsters not so much.]

It does blow the lid off of the happy marriage they appeared to have, and their ideal life.

Also, if true, it puts an interesting...twist on a lot of things...that I've picked up on over the years. But I am skeptical, mainly due to how it came out. It seems odd to just blog about it. I'm thinking this was not a pleasant divorce, and there's a bit of bitterness there?


I honestly don't know. Don't really care. I never worshipped Whedon. I don't worship writers. Nor did I see him as a feminist. And I've been, as you know, highly critical of his work.

Stuff...and one good thing

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:37 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Already irritated for various reasons not worth going into, a shelf fell on my head, while I was attempting to get my grill out from the lower shelf. Luckily only plastic ware was on the shelf. The little plastic thingamigs that held said shelf in place broke off or came undone for no discernible reason and the shelf fell. This is worrying me, because its the second shelf that's fallen. And I don't know if the shelves holding my glasses will follow suit. I complained to the super but the prior shelf, but nothing.

So, am sending an email to management company tomorrow to advise that the shelves keep falling and it's dangerous. And I need someone to fix the shelves that they clearly constructed in a poor and faulty manner.

2. I have eclipse glasses, whether I'll use them or not, no clue. I will be working at the time. And the eclipse is around 2:45 PM. I've set my television to record the news specials on it, where they are showing it live around the country.

Also there aren't really that many trees around my building or places to see it. I work in a city.

Apparently there are people out there who have no idea what an eclipse is. One wonders about our educational system.

Actually, I've been wondering about it since the Doofus got elected.

3. Here's a nifty Trailer for a Television Anthology Series Based Solely on Philip K. Dick stories entitled Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. It's apparently Australian produced, with Bryan Cranston and Ronald Moore at the executive producing, show-running, etc helm. Amazon has rights in the US, Channel 4 has rights in Great Britain.

4. Bloody tired of the seemingly endless debate on the ugly confederate statues and monuments.

Anyhow, I got irritated enough to waste time doing a bit of research on the topic.

The NY Times has a good article about the bloody statues, which were erected by, the Daughters of the Confederacy, along with various other white supremacists over time. Confederate Statues and Our History"

And Where and When they Were Erected -- although not sure how accurate that is.
Read more... )
From: Confederate Monuments History..

* From the Atlantic The Stubborn Persistence of Confederate Monuments
Read more... )
* Aha, found the article stating that the silly statues were mass produced from pre-fabricated parts and as artistic as well the wrought iron molding on your gate, although some people see that as art, I guess.

Read more... )
Why Those Confederate Soldier Statues Look a Lot Alike

* List of Hate Speech Cases From the US Supreme Court Note, Hate Speech is NOT protected under the First Amendment. But, most people don't know what it is.
Read more... )

The Defenders...

Aug. 19th, 2017 10:39 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Decided to take a break from the world today and binge-watched The Defenders. It's only eight episodes, so not that long.

In a nutshell? Unfortunately, it's not very good. Quite disappointing in fact. I agree with the reviews I've seen to date. They made a huge mistake in regards to Iron Fist being the centering focus. He's the least interesting and charismatic of the team. Although, will state, that the last three-four episodes weren't bad, and I quite enjoyed the last two episodes.

what I didn't like, spoilers )

What I did like, spoilers )

Sparkler needs your support!

Aug. 19th, 2017 11:08 am
laceblade: Sasuke and Ponyo; Ponyo w/light over her head, expression gleeful (Ponyo: It's a light!)
[personal profile] laceblade
It's time for Sparkler's annual kickstarter to fund their next year of comics. They have 3 days left, and they're only a little more than halfway there. They're doing great work, and they need help.
Most of our content is free to read and stream, but a paid magazine membership lets you read ahead of the free serialization, download the content, and support the creators.

Sparkler Monthly is a multimedia, digital shojo/josei magazine of original English-language fiction. Our carefully selected creators are paid advances for their work and go through a thorough editorial process. After a book or audio story is serialized in the magazine, it’s bundled with bonus material and sold as ebooks, limited paperbacks, and/or CDs in the Sparkler Shop (similar to the magazine –> tankoubon system in Japan). In addition, our paperbacks and products can be found at a number of retailers; see our Retail & Libraries page on where to buy, and how to acquire books for your business or library.

The primary audience for Sparkler Monthly is girls and women aged 15 and up, or anyone interested in the rough ballpark of Female Gaze. Our four founders and most of our staff identify as female and are committed to promoting inclusive, fem-positive, and ridiculously fun content. We welcome creators of any gender and are particularly interested in entertaining, engrossing stories that tap into the variety and diversity of fandom.

This is a link to their Kickstarter campaign. The FAQ gives great advice if the options are overwhelming.

I love their content, from scripted audio dramas to comics to light novels. I love getting paperback copies of things I've tried online, so that I can more easily share them with other people.

If you've thought about supporting Sparkler or trying it out, now is the best [and, potentially only] time to do so.

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:22 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Mary Queen of Scots - film based on the 2004 biography The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy

Stage director Josie Rourke is directing the title, which is written by House Of Cards creator Beau Willimon and based on the 2004 biography by John Guy, The True Life Of Mary Stuart. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward are producing. Pic is expected to begin shooting this summer.

Crowned the queen of Scotland before she was a year old, Mary added to that pedigree when her first husband became France’s king and she became queen consort in 1559. Despite that auspicious start, things didn’t go well form there. She later married her first cousin, Lord Darnley, a bad match that ended with his murder.

When she quickly married Bothwell, who was suspected of orchestrating the killing, an uprising against the couple resulted in her being imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. Forced to abdicate her throne to her year-old son, she failed in an attempt to wrest back the throne and fled for the protection of her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Mary had once claimed to be the rightful Queen of England, a view embraced by Catholics. Perceived as a threat by her cousin, she was confined and ultimately executed for complicity in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth.


Hmm.

2. From EW Magazine, some interesting fall flicks:

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women --basically a film about the psychologist, William Moulton Marston, who created Wonder Woman and his psychologist wife and their mutual romantic partner Olivia Byrne.

Goodbye Christopher Robin -- this isn't what I thought it was going to be about. Domhnall Gleeson portrays AA Milne who returns from WWI, damaged and downtrodden, and is struggling to adjust to life after war, he does so by reconnecting to his son, Christopher Robin. It also depicts what happens after Winnie the Pooh becomes a worldwide phenomenon and Christopher Robin the most famous kid in the world and the toll that takes on the family.

3. Hee Hee Hee... or rather omg, LMAOOOO!But you do have to be patient and get to the midway part, when they actually perform the musical in the middle of a California Intersection Cross Walk in LA.

Conversations..

Aug. 18th, 2017 09:24 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Woke up in a good mood, then alas I went to work and my mood slowly drifted downhill from there. Not helped by the weather. Whenever I went outside, I felt as if I was treading through water. The air was thick with perspiration and electricity...

1. This week, Sci-Fi fan Co-worker, the one who loans me books...which would be cool, except he likes to loan me books that have tiny print and he'd bought in the 1960s, so they make me sneeze...

Sci-Fi Co-worker aka RZ (short for Roger Zelzany fan): I saw the worst science fiction/fantasy series on television ever this weekend. And I do mean the worse of anything I've ever seen in my entire life.
(I take a breath and brace myself...just in case it's one I happen to like, there's so many to choose from. Also this is rare, because he pretty much likes all sci-fi/fantasy shows, even shows like Midnight, Texas. )
Me: Okay...what was it?
RZ: Twin Peaks.
(I burst out laughing.)
Me: Okay, do you mean the current one? Or the original?
RZ: Yes, the most recent..
Me: Did you watch the original?
RZ: No -
Me: Because the sequel won't make a lick of sense without watching the original, or so I've been told.
RZ: My wife saw the original...
Me: Did she like the sequel?
RZ: Really not. It made no sense. Everything about it was horrible...
Me: Well, you got to understand it's David Lynch. After the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, he sort of went off the rails...and decided to be surreal. So if you don't like pure surrealism, you probably won't like it...
RZ: Maybe. Except this was just awful.
Me: David Lynch is often an acquired taste. For me he's hit or miss. I liked the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, Mullohound Drive, and Blue Velvet. Not so much the other stuff. Dune was a disappointment.
RZ: Skip this.

Considering everyone online including my mother's cousin adores the sequel to Twin Peaks, I find this conversation rather amusing and somewhat informative.

2. Discussion with freshman roommate, who happens to be African-American, lives in Boston, and works as financial planner about that Racism chart that I posted the other day. This also includes my aunt, who had to pipe in her two cents. The national debate on racism...is necessary but extremely painful.



Ex-Roommate: I have a problem with us trying to define racism. What about people who march, make space, "put themselves in harms way" for other motives? Defy parents, low self-esteem, trying to prove something? What about POC who are racist against other POC? It's fine when people are obvious about racism, but you can't get into the minds and hearts of people, look at surface behavior and yell racism. I think this chart is fine, but its so much deeper then this.

Me: Thank you. I've been wondering about this as well. Can we define it so neatly? And is there a relationship between racism and "privilege", which should be emphasized? I think you are right -- it's much more complicated than this.

Ex-Roommate: I know plus size white women who say they can only date black men because white men aren't attracted to them. Is that racist? I know a woman who adopted a little girl from China, and she would constantly say racist things towards Asian people at work. When we called her out on it she said, "I'm not racist my little girl is from China." And I constantly have black people telling me, "You should have financial education classes just for black people as we don't know how to manage our money like white people." Racist?

Me: I think it's prejudice and racism but it is socialized racism. But not necessarily discrimination in all cases? There's a huge difference between racial prejudice and racial discrimination and profiling. I mean everyone is prejudiced in some way, right? I think we all make generalizations based on physical traits and develop prejudices many of which we are socialized to believe. But, that doesn't justify racist or prejudicial behavior that hurts another. So I think it depends on the action? I.e. The woman who prefers dating black men because they see her as beautiful is a bit different than the coworker who thinks it is okay to say abusive and derogatory comments about the Chinese even though she has an adopted Chinese daughter. If anything what she's doing is worse because she's reinforcing negative racial views regarding her own daughter. Just as it is different for black people to use the "N'' word and for a white person to use it. Or a white guy to say blacks can't manage their money as opposed to the black woman stating it -- however in both cases it's not true. My white grandparents and many family members are horrific at it and I work with a lot of black financial whites.

Aunt: The chart is not diagnosing your racism. It's a tool to open your eyes as to where you stand and then hopefully, you strive to improve yourself. It's not a judgement tool. It's a self help tool.

Aunt to Ex-Roommate: No. Mentally maladjusted. I've worked in the public sector and, let's face it, there are some out there who are just plain nuts! (Whoops, I hope I wasn't being offensive to the mentally ill).



I don't know. Racism is admittedly a trigger for me. I have strong opinions regarding it. I think in part because I've seen up close and personal the consequences of it. I've met and talked and become close to people who were severely hurt by it. And I've listened to and sat with the bigots. I think I told you about my Uncle Earl, he died several years ago. The man would talk about "Nigger Ball" that's what he called Basketball. And he disowned his daughter for marrying a person of color. And at one point, he pointed out to my parents that they might want to worry about my brother marrying his wife, who was part Cherokee (and Jewish) because they tend be quite dark and will have...dark kids.
My father had to leave the room and could barely stand him. He called him "Lonseome Dove", half in jest.

I'm trying to listen. And not say too much. I think sometimes I say too much. I've been criticized a lot in my life for saying too much.

3. On a brighter note...Voyage to the Other World: A New Eulogy for Ray Bradbury by Margaret Atwood Okay, it's an eulogy, so maybe not brighter?

4. I don't know, I think several episodes of Great British Bake-Off need to be binged this weekend. I need a palate cleanser. Either that or the Defenders...although I think Great British Bake-Off would be better.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:45 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. States Remove Confederate Monuments

Following in the footsteps of Baltimore, many other cities across the United States have taken preliminary steps to remove their own Confederate monuments. This includes statues and plaques and the like, as well as schools, highways, and other facilities named for Confederate soldiers, even holidays. All told, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified about 1,503 items as of 2016. Moreover, the vast majority of statues and physical markers are located in what can be considered southern states; of the 718 monuments and statues, about 300 are located in Georgia, Virginia, or North Carolina.

As you already know, Charlottesville’s city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the newly-minted Emancipation Park. It was this decision that led to the violence that occurred over the weekend. As of right now, the statue’s removal is on hold as the city tries to figure out how to move forward after the protests and tragedy of the weekend. Gainesville, Florida has already moved one statue, and is in the process of raising funds to remove a second. One North Carolina statue was knocked over by protesters in response to what happened in Charlottesville.


This is actually a big deal. A historic event. Keep in mind these monuments have been around since the 1800s. So they are over 100 years old. The removal of the monuments to the Confederacy has opened up a nation wide debate on the topic. A debate that everyone from Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State to Robert E. Lee Jr, V, descendant of the Confederate General have participated. Interestingly enough, Rice thinks the monuments should stay where they are and Robert E. Lee's descendant thinks they should be put in a history museum depicting the horror of the times.

You'd think it would be the opposite, it's not.





Asked about the value of preserving statues that honor slaveowners in a May interview on Fox News, Condoleezza Rice argued against what she called the "sanitizing" of history. "I am a firm believer in 'keep your history before you' and so I don't actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners," she said. "I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did and to be able to tell our kids what they did, and for them to have a sense of their own history."

"When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it's a bad thing," the former secretary of state added.

Rice's defense in favor of preservation is rooted in an argument that is the basic opposite of the reason white nationalists are rallying for Lee. They believe it to be a persistent reminder of a positive history. Rice, on the other hand, believes preserving monuments to the darker moments of our past ensures future generations are acquainted with history and charge forward rather than backward, away from the mistakes of their ancestors, rather than into their fading bronze arms.

To be clear, Rice has not yet voiced her opinion on this particular statue. But hers is an interesting perspective to consider at a time when a small but vocal group of racist bigots is drawing attention to one of the darkest times in our nation's history.



I am curious to see what she'd have said after the events in Charlottsville.

Meanwhile...



Lee, a great-great-grandson of the Confederate hero, and his sister, Tracy Lee Crittenberger, issued a written statement on Tuesday condemning the "hateful words and violent actions of white supremacists, the KKK or neo-Nazis."

Then, Lee spoke with Newsweek by phone.

"We don't believe in that whatsoever," Lee says. He is quick to defend his ancestor's name: "Our belief is that General Lee would not tolerate that sort of behavior either. His first thing to do after the Civil War was to bring the Union back together, so we could become a more unified country."

The general was a slave owner who led the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War and who remains a folk hero throughout much of the South.

"We don't want people to think that they can hide behind Robert E. Lee's name and his life for these senseless acts of violence that occurred on Saturday," Lee says.

The Lee heir says it would make sense to remove the embattled statue from public display and put it in a museum—a view shared by the great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis.

"I think that is absolutely an option, to move it to a museum and put it in the proper historical context," Lee says. "Times were very different then. We look at the institution of slavery, and it's absolutely horrendous. Back then, times were just extremely different. We understand that it's complicated in 2017, when you look back at that period of time... If you want to put statues of General Lee or other Confederate people in museums, that makes good sense."


Then there's this statement from the Mayor of New Orleans...


But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture.

America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp.

So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans.

So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.

There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.

As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other.

So, let’s start with the facts.

The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.


He's not wrong. You should really read the whole thing. After listening to the Mayor's speech, I re-affirmed my view that yes, those frigging monuments need to come down. They should have been torn down in the 1960s. No, wait. They should never have been erected in the first place. Apparently there's a memorial to a Nazi sympathizer and collaborator in NYC, why it's there, I've no clue. Particularly in NYC of all places. Although changing place and street names may be a bit more problematic from a logistical perspective. (Yes, I know, I'm possibly the only person on the planet that obsesses over logistical matters... But, say you are looking for a post office located on Robert E. Lee Avenue and suddenly it has become Forest Hill Avenue. You're GPS can't find it and neither can you. Granted, if I were African-American I would not want to be living on Robert E Lee Avenue or passing down it every day to work. So, yes it should be changed. It's just a bit problematic. I bring this up because Governor Cumo wants to change the place and street names in New York. Now, why New York of all places had places and streets named after Confederate Generals is beyond me.

2. North Carolina Protest Arrest

In the days since Charlottesville, cities across the country have taken steps to remove Confederate monuments. Baltimore removed all of theirs in the middle of the night earlier this week. And if you haven’t yet watched the video of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, who refused to wait on their city and toppled a Confederate statue themselves, I recommend doing so. It’s highly catharticOne woman, Takiyah Thompson (you can see her coming out from behind the statue in the GIF), was arrested for her part in the protest. She’s currently out on bail, but this morning, a group of about 200 people gathered outside the Durham courthouse to oppose her arrest. And many of them (about 50 by some accounts) also went full Spartacus and lined up to turn themselves in to authorities.


3. How America Spreads the Disease that is Racism by not Confronting Racist Family Members and Friends

There's a nifty chart, see if you can identify where you fall on it.

Racism Scale Chart.

I can't reproduce the chart, sorry, I tried. You'll have to follow the above link.

If you fall below “awareness”, then this is a red flag that racism is a problem for you. If it is not a problem for you, but find that it is a problem for your family members and/or friends, then it’s time to address it or it will continue to spread throughout America.

Like alcoholism, an alcoholic cannot thrive without their enablers. It is the same white Americans who enable their relatives and friends who are racist. It is important to identify and recognize that racism is a mental illness and recommend that individual to a psychotherapist as needed.

There is no easy way to contain a disease, but if we can identify the symptoms, then we can put a stop to it through education and awareness.


This is why it is very important to talk to a diverse group of people constantly. I remember ages ago being challenged by my friends, when I muttered that if only I can be around people who agreed with me all of the time. They said, a)that would be boring, and b) how would you know when you are wrong?

Wednesday Reading Meme

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:54 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Therese Sellers, Alpha is for Anthropos: Look, I read a book this week! Okay, so it's a children's alphabet book for Attic Greek, but it's still a book and therefore it counts. Anyway, it's very cute; all the art is done in the style of red-figure pottery, and the accompanying little rhymes scan (more or less) to various children's songs.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther and the Crew #5, Generations Wolverine And All-New Wolverine #1, Invincible Iron Man #10, Secret Empire: Brave New World #5, Spider-Men II #2, US Avengers #9, Ultimates 2 #100, X-Men Blue #9 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.

meme: least kudosed fics

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:52 pm
snickfic: (Faith)
[personal profile] snickfic
I've seen a meme going around where you talk about your five most and least kudosed fics. My most kudosed are all hockey fic, all fairly recent, and I've talked about them a lot, so I'm saving those for another day. Instead, here are my least-kudosed, with the restriction that I only looked at stuff more than 150 words long. No proper drabbles here!

In ascending order by kudos
Better When Aged - I seem to have written Darla/Rupert Giles! I'd forgotten all about it. Apparently it was for [personal profile] bruttimabuoni, which suggests it might have been that one year I did Christmas drabbles? Anyway, it's set during the pilot and is awfully fun - I wouldn't mind seeing more of those two together.

A Wyndam-Pryce Tradition. So once upon a time an enterprising soul tried to start a Buffyverse kinkmeme. The problem was that nobody in Buffy fandom had any idea how kinkmemes worked. For example, someone prompted "Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, solo" and I wrote a fic about Wes on his first vampire hunt. (I'm also not sure most of us were self-aware enough to know what kinks where, although it's possible I'm projecting a lot there.) It's... fine? This might be the only time I have ever written Wes, come to think of it.

Abandon Hope (the Mary Quite Contrary mix). This is the one and only remix I've ever written, and it was like PULLING. TEETH. Hence why I have never written another. But if you fancy a character study of Drusilla, trippy dark queen of my heart, via drabbles, this fic is here for you. I think it turned out rather well, considering how torturous it was to write. The drabble about Dawn is my favorite. I also like the soul/wineskin parallels. One of the reasons I always enjoyed writing Dru was how I could use Christian language and metaphors with her.

Two Suckers in an Icebox - the only abandoned WIP I have in namespace. It's Faith/Giles in a post-apocalyptic world that I also wrote about in Oz, After the Apocalypse, and I could never figure out where it needed to go, alas.

Lacking. This is actually my FIRST EVER Buffy fic which I wrote almost immediately after seeing 5.07 Fool for Love. Quite frankly it's the kind of plotless meandering thing people mean when they say they don't like character studies, but I was tickled to rediscover it anyway, because: first fic. :')

Bonus: a sonnet by Spike, circa S6, which doesn't technically have enough words to appear but otherwise qualifies. I am to this day, eight years later, super freaking proud of this sonnet.
fairestcat: Bobbi Morse, a blonde woman standing in the rain, with a mask-like pair of glasses pushed up on her head (Bobbi Morse)
[personal profile] fairestcat
I'm really excited about this. I stepped outside my comfort zone and volunteered to write a monthly Column about Marvel comics over at Women Write About Comics.

My first post went up today and you can read it here.

This is my first time in a long time writing for an audience that isn't people I already know and I'm both nervous and excited about it. Mostly excited, I think. Ask me again when I have to put together my August post.

GoT - to S7 - Episode 5

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:54 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
All caught up on Game of Thrones now..just a few things or questions/answers really...

major spoilers )

TV Meme...

Aug. 13th, 2017 06:44 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Eh, television friending meme from tv talk.

Name (see above)
Location Brooklyn, NY (USA)

Favorite currently airing shows: Great British Bake-Off, Game of Thrones, Nashville, (by current, I'm guessing during the summer which I'm watching now? Because not up to figuring out all together.)
Pilots you're most looking forward to: The Defenders, The Gifted, Star Trek Discovery, The Orville,
Other shows you maybe haven't mentioned yet: The Doctor Who Christmas Special, Sense8 Two Hour Movie Wrap Up premiering in 2018, Lucifer S3, The Expanse (which is taking up space on DVR), The 100 (ditto), Legion S2,
Top Five finished/canceled shows: Buffy, The Wire, Sense8, Farscape, The Good Wife (Oh wait, did you mean this year? Vampire Diaries, The Great British Bake-Off, Sense8, can't think of anything else.)

Other Hobbies; Writing novels, reading books, movies, cooking, sometimes I hike, long walks, sometimes I water-color and draw, yoga, listening to music,
What sort of posts do you post in your DW? Pretty much whatever I feel like at the time - see title of journal, although I am trying to pull back from discussing politics because it makes me unhappy and stressed out. I keep deleting political posts due to a tendency to ...well...pontificate, rant, and beat people over the head with my opinions. Apparently when it comes to politics at the moment, I've zero patience for the other perspective. (Trump getting elected pretty much crossed that line in the sand.)
Anything else interesting: I published a novel, it's called Doing Time on Planet Earth and available via Amazon. I'm technically challenged, so couldn't get it on the other electronic platforms.

Dear Femslashex Creator

Aug. 13th, 2017 02:41 pm
snickfic: half-portrait of Natasha (art by Noto) (Natasha)
[personal profile] snickfic
Yaaaay femslashex! I've never done this exchange before, but I am super excited about it! In particular I'm super excited to receive fic or art for any of my f/f ships here. I can't wait. <3

General likes/dislikes )

MCU / Guardians of the Galaxy – fic, art )

Marvel 616 - fic )

Stranger Things – fic, art )

Frostbite (Comic) – fic, art )
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Uhm...whoa? A demonstration of what happens when a country's democracy implodes.



What’s it like to watch a country implode? To see a democracy destroyed and an economy crater?

Since 2014, American journalist Hannah Dreier has documented just that in Venezuela, once one of the world’s wealthiest nations and still home to what are believed to be the planet’s largest oil reserves. She wrote for the Associated Press about what it was like to live in a place with the world’s highest murder rate—and the world’s highest rate of inflation. About the breakdown of hospitals and schools, and how the obesity epidemic that plagued a rich country was quickly replaced with people so hungry they were rooting through the garbage on her doorstep.

Most of the time, few paid attention, at least in part because Dreier was the last U.S. journalist even to get a work visa to live in Venezuela; when she moved there to cover the story, she says, “I felt like I had walked across a bridge as it was burning behind me.”


2. Ugh.

Rise of the Valkyries

sure to rise the hackles of any nice kind good person on the planet )

Ugh, and here I thought it was going to be a cool article about Norse Mythology. Not so much. Instead it's an article about demonic female nazis.

3. And just in case the above article wasn't bad enough...here's more fodder.

Read more... )

This is the Science Fiction and Fantasy community's response.



Yes, these examples are fictional. And yes, it’s far more important that we fight white supremacy in the real world, by donating to organizations like the NAACP, having tough conversations with our family members and friends, showing up to protests, calling our representatives – or just refusing to shut up when we see bigotry. However, fiction can make us feel less helpless, and it can remind us what we stand for. With science fiction, fantasy, and comics in particular, these imagined worlds and heroes can remind us what kind of person we want to be, and what kind of future we want to create. We need those reminders, and those inspirations, on days when it’s easy to despair at humanity.

As Jemisin tweeted before she signed off to do some work, “Ideas can change the world.”


Hmmm...this is another answer to a previous post that I wrote pondering the artist and writer's responsibility to inspire change and to write about this things in a constructive manner. (As opposed to a destructive one.)


4. 2019 - two women superhero films in a 30 day span

Hmmm...they are making a movie with Silver Sable and Black Cat, two lesser known female superheroes in the Spiderman books.


The movie is set to hit theaters on February 8, 2019 – four months after Sony’s Venom, and exactly one month before Captain Marvel arrives on March 8, 2019.

This release date means Silver and Black comes out only 28 days before Captain Marvel (thanks, February!), so we get two women-led superhero movies in less than 30 days. Yessss.

Aside from that, though, I’m not sure what to make of this choice. On the one hand, February is traditionally a cinematic “dump month,” when studios release their films with lower box office expectations. I don’t love the idea of Sony dropping this film – with its two female leads, helmed by the first black woman to direct a big-budget superhero movie – in a cinematic graveyard. After D.C.’s lackluster marketing for Wonder Woman, I’m out of tolerance for studios constant underestimating and underselling of women-led and women-created films. Prince-Blythewood, who’s doing a rewrite of Thor: The Dark World scribe Christopher Yost’s script for Silver and Black, wrote and directed an honest-to-goodness modern classic with Love & Basketball. Maybe have a little faith in her?


5. New NASA Space Training Video Featuring Gina Torres Makes me wish I was a whole lot younger and could train to be an astronaut. Well almost. I'm claustropic and 6 feet tall, not conducive to astronaut training.

6. Hollywood Summer Blockbuster Films Flopped at the Box Office via the Guardian. (Hmm, should tell Hollywood, they don't think they flopped.)


The defining lesson of this year’s flop crop: there’s no such thing as a sure thing. We’ve watched studios incrementally move away from original, creator-driven projects seen as “risky” (meanwhile, the first-time director Jordan Peele’s Get Out is the most profitable film of the year, with a $175m payday on a measly $4.5m budget) towards franchises and other projects ostensibly boasting built-in audiences through brand recognition. But this summer, audiences drew a line under what they’ll buy into on simple merit of nostalgia or the sunk-time fallacy, and now the chickens of failure have come home to roost.

2017 was the year that moviegoers finally rejected presumption. This year saw a crop of films boldly positing themselves as franchise-starters crash and burn on arrival, learning the hard way that audiences don’t want to spend 90 minutes on what feels like setup for something they’ll get in two years. The Dark Tower condensed seven novels of knotty Stephen King prose into one incomprehensible package that then positioned itself as Act I in a grander, dumber vision with its final minutes.

................

While public discourse continues to rage over the position and utility of identity politics – the championing of marginalized groups along lines of gender, race and sexuality – executives have found that the topic isn’t so embattled in cineplexes. Girls Trip, Wonder Woman and Get Out all earned public goodwill by offering someone other than a white man their moment in the spotlight, and proved that audiences aren’t afraid of diversity. Quite the opposite, in fact; white men have been calling their bankability into question left and right. Once upon a time, the mention of Will Ferrell, Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp would have been enough to sell The House, a Mummy revival or another lackluster Pirates of the Caribbean flick. But with no wattage to hide behind, The House face-planted and the latter pair failed to meet earnings expectations, despite objectively large sums.

Which leaves the confounding case of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. On paper, it should have been huge: an unfamiliar story in a time when audiences grumble over Hollywood’s lack of creativity, a ravishing sci-fi spectacle with enough CGI to make Avatar look like a student film, a cast featuring a supermodel and a pop star bringing their huge followings to the table. Perhaps in practice, it was all too outré to sell to the American people, an incoherent mishmash when compressed into ad form.

Maybe critics wield more power than conventionally assumed, as the majority of reviews warned that the complete bafflement of the ad campaign carried over to the film itself. Either way, the most expensive independent production of all time had to rely on overseas markets to make its money back, settling for a $37m haul in the US. (Things are just peachy in China, Hollywood’s twin to the east; its entertainment economy keeps growing as US films develop a foothold, with Wolf Warrior II’s nearly $600m take setting the national record for highest-grossing film of all time.)


Hmm...rather interesting. I admittedly have only seen one film in theaters this summer, and that was Wonder Woman. Nothing else really appealed to me. And movies cost $20 bucks, without treats. Cheaper to rent on demand or subscribe to HBO monthly.


7. The Hugos Awards are Announced

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
Best Novelette: “The Tomato Thief” by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
Best Short Story: “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
Best Related Work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form: Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form: The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes,” written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
Best Editor – Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Best Editor – Long Form: Liz Gorinsky
Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Best Fanzine: “Lady Business,” edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
Best Fancast: Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman
Best Fan Writer: Abigail Nussbaum
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)


Hmmm...for once, I'm actually intrigued by the winners. (I don't really care that much about awards, highly subjective things, but this years slate of winners is rather intriguing.) Best fan writer surprised, it's the blogger I'd been following for a while on LJ, but stopped once I hopped over to DW, because I couldn't figure out how to add her blog to my reading list on DW. Abigail Nussbaum of "Asking the Wrong Questions", she does a lot of insightful reviews of sci-fi and fantasy, and meta on the above. She also edits a OnZine with sci-fi stuff, and is an Isralie programmer/coder.

I also tend to agree with the winners for dramatic presentation, best series, and they left off the one who won non-fiction memoir category -- it was Ursula Le Quinn, whose book I'm considering purchasing.

So for once, I'm intrigued. And most of the winners were women. Take that you white supremacist male asswipes. (For those not in the know? The Hugos have been plagued the last few years by a lot whingy white male supremacist types who think they can aspire to their heroes of yesteryear, but alas do not and are rather unreadable.)

Links...worth commenting on...

Aug. 12th, 2017 06:43 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Hmmm..this article sort of comments on what I was talking about in my previous post but in a different way...

Caitlin is not Groot: Finding Proper Communication Adaptations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Read more... )

So do writers have a responsibility to do this?

2. Reading Between the Lines Church -- wow, just, wow.

3. Five Mythic Eclipse Monsters Believed to Have Messed with the Sun and Moon -- hee. The US is in full eclipse mode.
My brother is journeying to Kansas to see it with an old high school friend.

I really don't care that much. But bought glasses at a cheap price in case I end up being in a situation where I'm looking at the sky.

[Above three links are courtesy of conuly.]

4. Sigh. The political stuff in the US ranges from the frighteningly comically absurd to the just plain old frightening. And it's completely divisive and triggering no matter how you look at it. The country is even more divided than it was last year at this time, the two sides HATE each other. The only way to remain sane is either to avoid completely, or to poke fun.

So...one group has decided that maybe sharing a meal with the other side will help...

Sharing Dinners with the Opposing Side for peaceful and uniting political discourse.

5. View on Nudity Grin and Bare it




The veteran German leftist politician Gregor Gysi wants his compatriots to take off more of their clothes. He is angry that the long German tradition of therapeutic nudity in the open air is being undermined. Only this summer the nudist portion of one of the beaches in Berlin was brutally shortened by the authorities, and the mostly elderly users are furious. They are right. Mr Gysi argues that public nudity can be much less erotic than a bikini and that the beaches he remembers his mother taking him to in his East German youth were places where women of all shapes and ages could enjoy their bodies for their own sake.

It was, he says, the “pornographic gaze” of westerners after reunification that destroyed the pleasure of nude bathing, which had always been more widespread in East Germany and – he claims – something promoted more by women than by men. Of course the east was then a tyranny in which there was little frivolity or choice on offer. For all but the most confidently young and gorgeous it is more fun to choose a bathing costume than to make do with what nature has provided, so in a consumer culture this is now what people do.

But there is a useful lesson in humility and in the appreciation of life as it is when you let it all hang out, even in some cases flop out. It is neither concealment nor display but simple acceptance of who and how we are; something valuable has been lost with the sexualisation of nudity, and you do not need to be German to see this.


I did notice this when my family briefly visited Berlin (east and west) in the 1980s, before the wall came down and during the Cold War years. The Germans seemed to have no issues with nudity, while the British and Americans, really do. Also noticed that the French had no issues with it -- women bathed topless on beaches in France, but in the US you receive a fine. (I personally blame the Puritans...)

Also neither German nor French films have issues with explicit sex, at least they didn't use to as far as I could tell, while US and British did. This may have changed, overseas, not certain.

But as a teen visiting France in the 1980s, I picked up science fiction mags covered with nude photos. And many of my French girlfriends went topless.

Thanks to oursin for the link.

6. I apparently can't metabolize sugar well. Had a bowl of ice cream, okay two bowls, and a cookie and my nerves feel frazzled, I've broken out in hives, and felt a bit sick. Seriously?

7. The Great British Bake-Off As We Know it is Over

And apparently PBS isn't picking it up. Damn. Just, damn. Also PBS has no plans to show more than one more season of the series. It's shown four of the seven seasons. The last four. It may pick up one of the first three.

Oh well, we do have the Great American Baking Show spun off of it...

Thanks to petz for the link.

8. Norwegian Site That Makes Readers Take a Quiz Before Commenting...here's an update on how it is working


When my former colleague Joseph Lichterman wrote about a Norwegian news organization that makes readers pass a quiz on the article before they can comment on it (one of the most-trafficked stories in Nieman Lab history, by the way) the site — NRKbeta, the tech vertical of Norway’s public broadcaster — was lauded for its creativity. But NRKbeta’s editors and journalists said it was too early to tell if the program was a success.


But now, five months in? NRKbeta’s team says readers may have treated the quizzes on 14 articles more like reading comprehension games than as a gateway to the comments section.



Hmmm...sort of wish we employed that on fanboards.

(Thanks to yourlibraian for the link)

9. Most Watched Television Series Around the World in 2017 according to Parrot Analytics

Actually wasn't that surprised by the results if I think about it -- since all of them have been mentioned by people on social media sites. Vikings is amazingly popular with people online as is Suits. I honestly don't know why. The other ones, I sort of get, for the most part.

[Thanks to yourlibrarian for the link)
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
I don't know what to call this entry, nor am I even sure how to address this or what I think in regards to it. Except...it bothered me and it's clearly been bothering me since I started reading reviews and interacting with folks online as far back as 2002. So it's not by any means a new issue.

I read two reviews over at Smartbitches that were deliberately posted back to back in order to show how an incident or issue in a book can completely ruin a book for the reader. Now that in of itself doesn't niggle at me, there are things that just throw people out of books. OR bug them. But in this instance, both reviewers got up on their soap-boxes, did a bit of a rant, and gave the book a D or F, regardless of how well written or entertaining it was. They even went so far as to get upset at the writers for not commenting on or examining in more depth this horrible thing in their story, not being social activists with their storytelling or at the very least being aware enough not to do it, and just mentioning the thing in an off-the-cuff, blase fashion.

The reviews can be found:

1. Wedded Bliss by Celeste Bradley, Review done by Carrie


Wedded Bliss is an incredibly enjoyable story with one horrible problem that ruined the whole book for me. I’m going to start off by describing the plot and why I liked it, and then I’m going to get into the problem. There will be a history lesson and ranting. Prepare yourself.

Unfortunately this book has one terrible problem for me, and as I said, it ruined everything.

Katarina is repeatedly stated to be rich because her mother owns a sugar plantation in Barbados.



[The writer goes on to provide a history on the horrible slave conditions on sugar plantations on Barbados.]

2. Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long




Confession: I spent a long time thinking about how to grade this book. Here are the three grades I swung back and forth on. Let’s call them Without Incident, With Incident, and But is the Incident Equivalent to an Entire Book. (I’ll address the Incident later.)

Without Incident: B minus



Lengthy depiction of the plot.


With Incident: F minus

This was the Incident:

“You know nothing of farming,” Colin said. It sounded like a warning. She wanted to say, How do you know? But he was right, so she simply waved a disdainful hand. “I learn quickly. I can certainly fire a musket, and I daresay I should hold my own against an Indian or a bear. And I thank you for your concern.”

…he smiled a little, no doubt picturing her in battle with an Indian or a bear.

The first time I read that, I definitely smelled a musk in the air. When I read it again, in disbelief, it felt a bit like falling on a knife.

I actually stopped reading the book after that for a few days. I thought about that line quite a bit. It followed me around like a big toxic miasma, probably more noxious than bad gunpowder. My main question was, “why?” Why drop that in there? What was it for, what does it achieve? Why couldn’t Madeleine just “hold her own”, full stop? Plus – the conversation was about farming. Why would Madeleine be needing to shoot Indians and bears in the course of farming? Was her farm on their reservation? Does she mention Indians in the same breath as bear because both are supposed to be equally savage animals?


Okay from my perspective these are relatively accurate historical items, those characters would say and think that way back then. The historical novels take place in the early 1800s. In the early 1800s, Native Americans were called Indians (blame Columbus and the Europeans Explorers for that misnomer) and people were afraid of them - it may not be nice, but it is history, they were the equivalent of today's view of Syrians. And yes, upper crust, classy ladies obtained money from nasty plantations they never visited. And lived off the profits of horrible things. That's still happening today. There are actually other things in both books that reviewers mention that would have bugged me more to be honest.

And I do understand having issues with something...politically incorrect? I'm not sure politically incorrect is the right word? That just turns you off, and throws you out of a book. Or makes you angry. I've had that happen to me. (notably with the contemporary best-selling novel Me About You).
Anyhow, despite how it may appear this post is not about issues people have with romance novels or historical accuracy...but well, in the second review...the reviewer goes on to state the following:


Perhaps it is historically accurate for someone like Madeleine to speak of shooting Indians as par for the course. But I somehow feel that writers of historicals are uniquely placed to help retell histories from the perspectives of those whose voices have been suppressed or stories misrepresented. Every time a person of colour appears in historical with his/her own agency, motivations and fully-fleshed individualism, it is a push-back against the dominant narratives that we’ve lived with for centuries. I shall not say more, as this topic has been covered at length by far more eloquent and insightful commenters, which I am grateful to encounter regularly in this community.


I've seen the comment in bold mentioned in various venues and in regards to various television series etc and it brings up a series of questions that I've been pondering for a long time and don't really have any answers to.

1. What responsibility does a fictional writer truly have in regards to the reader? Outside of telling their story the best way they know how?

2. Are stories supposed to have an altruistic or socially just purpose? Are they meant to morality plays? Can they just entertain? Is there a responsibility in ensuring the story doesn't reinforce stereotypes or unjust tropes?

3. Are stories in essence merely reflections of our society, our culture? Do they hold up a mirror of sorts to us? Showing both the nasty with the good? And what responsibility does the reader or viewer have to the story they are watching, reading or listening too? Are we meant to passive onlookers? OR are we meant to interact and question what is being told?

4. What would happen if we avoided all the stories that made us uncomfortable? Or uneasy? Or censored them? What if we cut out or edited out the offensive bits? Would that make what the story is in essence commenting on go away?

On the other hand, does white-washing or telling the story in a way that reinforces certain stereotypes and views...do excessive damage? Does the writer have a responsibility to use the proverbial soap box they've been provided for better ends? To promote better understanding?
Does the reader have a responsibility to avoid books that...may not do that?

I don't know. I know in the US right now there's a bit of a push-back against the edict of telling more socially aware stories, and not reinforcing negative stereotypes. That's actually, at least in part, what the battle over the Hugos and now Dragon Awards was about. In genre, you see it more than in literary fiction. Because literary fiction tends to address and contemplate these issues more.

I also have seen this push-back in Britain in regards to the whole Doctor Who casting, along with other things.

And on the Buffy fandom, there was some push-back in the other direction, in regards to how the writers handled the death of a lesbian character, along with that relationship, which previously had been handled well. Not to mention considerable rage and push-back regarding a sexual assault, and how it been handled. In Buffy, I thought the push-back made sense, but at the same time...from the writer's perspective they were challenging their audience, and perhpas showing a reflection of the culture that we were in at the time. The writers didn't want the viewers to be comfortable.

Also, years ago, there was a massive kerfuffle on live journal in the sci-fi fandom in regards to how a female white science-fiction writer was writing POC and homosexual characters in her novels. Many critics felt that she was not handling the characters with care and reinforcing negative stereotypes.
Of course at that time, someone, can't remember who, posed the argument that maybe it was up to the reader to question this, not the writer. The reader to see something that didn't work, see a reflection of that also in their own life, and deal with it. Which...I'm sort of on the fence about.

I keep wondering as readers and viewers what are our responsibilities to the content that we interact with daily? How critically do we interact with? Are just passive viewers who...let it fly by. Or do we question it? And to what degree should we? Also, should we be critical of creators of content that are merely reflecting the world and our culture back to us? Should we not be critical of the world and culture it is reflective of? I mean, wouldn't it be more pro-active and for more useful, to try
to change a discriminatory ban against immigration than rail about a book that depicts immigrants in a negative light? On the other hand, does the book make things worse? And if it does...is the best response to write and publish a book or series that counter-acts its message? That actually appears to be what Amazon is doing in response to HBO's Confederacy, creating their own AU series that questions HBO's.

I don't know the answers. Just that it's not quite as clear cut as I'd like it to be. When it comes to human beings, few things are.
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