osaraba: (merlin arthur chillaxing)
I think this series was started just after I'd stopped shooting up with Merlin fic. But it's almost a year later and not only is it GOOD, but it's also almost 500,000 words of it. I'm only just started part 3 now, but I can't express how fucking happy I am to read really fucking well-written military fiction in ANY fandom, and even moreso in Merlin fandom!

My one gripe so far is that of Arthur's characterization in part 1, but he's gotten a lot better as the story moves forward.

I can't recommend this highly enough, and I'm not even halfway through yet! I suspect it'll take me til at least tomorrow to finish, but I can already tell that I won't want it to end.
Loaded March (series) by Footloose. Eventual Arthur/Merlin. Modern AU. The reason SAS Captain Arthur Pendragon can't keep a communications specialist in Team Excalibur because none of them are good enough. And then Lieutenant Merlin Emrys gets assigned to his squad, and Arthur does everything he can to prove that Merlin isn't good enough, either. Except he is.

ETA: So unfortunately I have to admit that there's some odd (maybe internalized?) misogyny sprinkled throughout this otherwise awesomely epic fic. It's not relegated to a specific character or two, so there really isn't an "in-character" excuse. It does make me a bit uncomfortable but the rest of the plot is so darn good it still outweighs the unfortunate parts. So there's a bit of a trigger warning for you. =/

And yes, I realize that everyone has probably already read this. But dammit, someone should've told me about it! =P

This makes me want to reread pretty much everything by David Weber, who writes the best military sci-fi EVER. But of course, that reminds me that there are a few of Weber's series I have to catch up on. \o/
osaraba: (inception arthur pointman)
Have I ever mentioned how much I love serial-killer romance? Like, a "normal" person (of clearly questionable morality) romantically involved with a socio/psychopath? Well, I do.

Have I also mentioned how much I love Inception fandom? Because it gives me things like Arthur, the gentleman killer and Eames, the profiler. <333
[livejournal.com profile] cobweb_diamond's serial-killer WIP: the origin thread.
    Or if you want to go direct to the fic:
  1. commentfic: why Arthur will never again go by another name
  2. the part where Arthur "protects" Eames by sabotaging his subway train (in 7 parts)
  3. sequel to the subway fic, involving a tattoo gun (in 3 parts)
  4. sequel fic: wherein Eames is kidnapped by someone not-Arthur (in 5 parts)
  5. future fic: wherein Eames snoops through Arthur's stuff (in 2 parts)

Can I also mention how much it pleases me that this takes place in NYC? I may need to go re-read the Detective Kathy Mallory novels, by Carol O'Connell. I highly recommend this series!!!! O'Connell hasn't come out with a new one in a year or two, but I still have hope because she's done this before (to write stand-alone mystery novels) and then gone back to the Mallory series. BADASS SOCIOPATHIC FEMALE NYPD DETECTIVE: what more could you ask for? Well, I suppose a romance, but considering the level of her sociopathy, I don't know how much it would really work. So basically, she's as awesome as it gets. <3


So hey, I've been reading fanfic (off and on) for about 14 years now. And I've got all these new friends, which is lovely! (Hi guys! *waves*) And I've been reccing so much from Inception fandom because the writing is inordinately high-quality and prolific. So I find myself wondering... WHAT DO *YOU GUYS* LIKE TO READ? (Mostly I mean fic-wise, but include any kind of reading you wish!) I'd do a poll but why should I make you put your answers into a little ticky box?
osaraba: (laby sarah readingfic)
READING. OMG have I been reading. Mostly devouring fic like you wouldn't believe. And I've been meaning to make another rec post but I think I've been too busy to stop and gather my thoughts. I'm less busy this weekend I think, so I'll try to do that then.

what? historical romances? like, het romances? yes, i still read them... occasionally. )

In other news -- \LUCE/ YOU ARE POSSIBLY THE SWEETEST PERSON ALIVE!!! <3333 [livejournal.com profile] lucifuge_5 randomly sent me a book -- because of how much I have talked, recently, about reading M/M stories -- which I am very excited to read! It is First You Fall(A Kevin Connor Mystery) by Scott Sherman and I will (of course) let you all know what I think about it when I've read it! I always enjoy passing books along to others that I think will be interested in them, so I'm delighted when others do the same for me! =D

So. I have written a few ~500-word ficlets lately, which I have really really enjoyed. They're kind of like dipping my toes in water I already know is relatively warm. Which is to say, I know I can write 500-word ficlets and so I'm pleased to have written them lately because I haven't really been writing otherwise.

...And yet I signed up for that 20k [livejournal.com profile] ds_c6d_bigbang thing. Ahahahah. I've been thinking (while trying not to scare myself off) about what to write and what I keep coming back to, what I think I'll be the most comfortable trying my hand at, is a kind of AU where Fraser and Kowalski are in their late teens and probably takes place in Chicago. *groans* I really haven't gotten far enough with this... I need to try to be free for the next skype chat (is that this Sunday?)...
osaraba: (merlin arthur *sadface*)
Tell me why I started watching Merlin again? This show is completely ridiculous, though I suppose that does slightly alleviate the depression I always tend to feel whenever thinking about the Arthurian Legends. (I've never been one to insist on happy endings, yet the Arthurian Legends have always had that Epic Misunderstandings quality that I can't stand, where everything that can possibly go wrong does, and everyone betrays or (mistakenly) feels betrayed, and all because people can't just pull the sticks out of their own asses.)

ASLFSASLFJASLJKLFSLJDFLJ I get upset just thinking about it. I remember reading one of David Gemmel's books in his Arthurian series... unfortunately it was one about Uther, I think -- I was so enraged for days afterward, I just couldn't continue reading the series. I must have been around 13 or 14? This is perhaps why I've never actually *read* Mists of Avalon...?

In any case, Bradley James's adorable, pouty, prideful face (see icon?!) may have been a factor in the decision to give Merlin a second chance. Along with the fact that episode 2x04 is full of angsty!Arthur and 2x03 had Merlin actually being useful for once. <3333 Good timing, self!

I really like thinking of Arthur the way he's presented in the show. Now if only there was less Morgana...

ETA: SPOILERS for 2x05-06 )

This show is so fucking ridic, I have no idea why I'm watching, WTF.
osaraba: (welcome to the reality)
I haven't been online a whole lot in the last week as I've been caught up reading things offline. There are a whole bunch of fic I've meant to rec and to comment on (though since I've got at least tomorrow free to do nothing, I hope to get on that).

I'm reading a gay romance (ebook, by Jet Mykles) right now that reads like a yaoi fic. It really isn't bad at all, but it's kind of... unpolished? And not very deep. Which is fine! I was just surprised, I guess, because I'd read something else by her (a more recent one, though) that was waaaay better. In any case, I'm more amused than anything else... except for the fact that two of the characters are playing Final Fantasy X.

Um, together? (It's not really a two-player game...)

And all the words the author uses to refer to "playing" the game are... not quite what I'd use to describe it?

It's actually quite hilarious because I've never seen anyone include a FF game in a story just to appeal to a larger audience? I mean, why else would you put it in, if you aren't actually into video games? And FFS, couldn't you play some of it first, or watch someone else play it, or something?

I'm half laughing ridiculously about it and half wincing in pain.
osaraba: (Default)
from [livejournal.com profile] koyappi: Ahh, it feels like high school all over again... )
osaraba: (dS rayk woe)
Caught sight of a tweet by LKH re fanfic policy. In response, I replied with this (have not received any response...yet?). And couldn't help myself so I went to see her other tweets. I really should have known better because then I got to read this and though she doesn't agree with Gabaldon's analogies to criminals/rapists, she does feel similarly.

After a second of a reaction of disgust and disappointment, I realized I wasn't really surprised. Oh, LKH. I love you and hate you with a paradoxical and startling lack of passion.

Maybe it's more that I have become resigned to my feelings about you.
osaraba: (dS fv srsly?)
From [livejournal.com profile] ravenwings_7's post on [livejournal.com profile] c6d_universe, she links to Diana Gabaldon's blog post about "Fan fiction and moral conundrums". In which Gabaldon states that she does not enjoy/appreciate/support fanfiction in any form and finds it to be not only illegal, but immoral.

As one might expect, there are already over 350 comments arguing for or against her statements. So far (up to comment 200), everything has been very civil, which I quite appreciate. Because I do think that presenting dissenting (civil, not ranting) views on the topic is beneficial to anyone who's straddling the line and is able to use the thoughts presented as a starting point to further inquiry. And yeah, I know that, for the most part, the back-and-forth arguments aren't likely to change anyone's opinion who has already made up their mind one way or another. Of course, this argument isn't new by any means, and I suppose I'm reading the comments in almost a watching-a-train-wreck sort of way, since I know what to expect.

But there are quite a few commenters who have made really intelligent, logical, clear arguments as to why fanfiction is not only NOT ILLEGAL NOR IMMORAL; how it can be, in fact, beneficial to a published author's fanbase and bottom line; and who also comment on the disrespectful way Gabaldon likens fanfic writers to perverts, criminals, pedophiles, and the like (in an "off-handed" way couched in analogy, but the implication is there nonetheless).

It's sad that a person can't understand the reasons one would write fanfic, and even more sad that a clearly creative person would be so narrow-minded and possessive in a way that excludes others from sharing in (but without attempting to possess or claim credit for) that creation. It gladdens me to know that other authors are able to understand or be sympathetic to their fans in this way -- authors like Jim Butcher and Mercedes Lackey -- who have given permission for "fanfiction to be licensed as derivative fiction under the Creative Commons umbrella."

Clearly we all know on which side of the argument I fall, and maybe my interest in this particular "train wreck" is high right now because I recently spoke with someone who stated, with no room for argument, that fanfiction is illegal after I referred to it as a "grey area". Really, I don't propose to know it as well as a copyright lawyer, but as far as I can tell, it is a grey area. (See: OTW, "I'm done explaining why fanfic is okay.")

While I have no argument with Gabaldon disapproving of fanfic for her own works, and supporting her right to publicly and officially request no fanfic of her works be produced/posted/shared, etc., I find her arguments against it to be inconsistent, illogical, and demeaning.

I whole-heartedly approve of those commenters who said they would now never read her fiction. I'm all for boycotting the products of people/groups/companies that I am in strong, fundamental disagreement with. It's quite ironic, actually -- I never before had much interest in her works as I'm a little wary of epic historical fiction (especially those that simultaneously cohabit the romance and the mainstream fiction categories), but some of the comments have revealed that I actually would have been interested in many of the situations Gabaldon writes about -- including situations that would be considered "perverted", "deviant" and "immoral" by prudes around the world.
osaraba: (laby sarah fuck)
I started reading the Nodame Cantabile manga (visit stoptazmo.com!), and so far it seems the anime stuck very close to the manga while slightly glossing over certain parts. None of which was really so significant that it had to be shown.

mild spoilers ahead )

I'm also currently reading Irvine Welsh's The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs. It's interesting and entertaining and very much in the vein of his other novels, like Trainspotting and its sequel Porno. That is, dominated by the question of the working class and Scottish national identity... and as one critic said, "full of what Welsh does best -- sex, drugs, and drink." There is an interesting twist, however, in that there's an element of the supernatural/magical realism(?) in it which I don't think Welsh has ever really included in his other works. (Discovered that he does use it in several of his novels, just not in the ones I've read. After reading the Wiki on him, I think I should read his novel Filth next.)

I've been thinking about how I think about novels/films/etc. lately, and I've come to the conclusion that although I do analyze stories in certain ways, I'm not thinking quite critically enough. This is a sad realization. Where possible, I'm trying to prompt myself into thinking critically from different angles, but it's difficult. I feel like I should challenge myself to a book report, or at least the outline of one, and then look up critical essays to compare my thoughts to.

I think my brain is dissolving into something kind of... boring.
osaraba: (harumichi love)
Went up to fskip=120 then decided to stop. Hi people.

Just finished reading Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English by John McWhorter. Barnes & Noble's online synopsis puts it succinctly:
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar.

Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more,
Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English- and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it's not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).

For anyone who has an interest in grammar, linguistics, or languages in general, this was a great read. Always engaging; never boring; very enlightening. Nothing in it has "changed" the way I use grammar, but it certainly has revealed the depths and quirks of English grammar and how it has come to have the shape it does. I HIGHLY recommend it!

It does help to have a passing knowledge of a romance language, a germanic language other than English, and a celtic language; the little I know of German, combined with the several years I took of Spanish, helped make some of his examples understandable in practice rather than theory. Unfortunately, I was mostly lost on the Celtic even though I've had an interest in learning Scottish Gaelic since high school. Still, if you're familiar with any of those languages on an introductory/beginner basis, you're good.

If anyone wants to borrow it, I will be happy to lend it out as it was really a pleasure to read!

There's more that I wanted to talk about, but actually have a lot of work to do. =( More later.
osaraba: (sdk genius at work)
I just realized that in a previous post I neglected to mention that Carrie got me three volumes from the Samurai Deeper Kyo manga series which I'm in the middle of, but haven't kept up-to-date with in a while. I'm actually quite pleased to have received those so that I can read several volumes at once, for a more satisfying experience! =D Thanks Carrie!

books! )

In other news, the Rangers suck.

That is all.

Just no.

Mar. 19th, 2008 11:01 pm
osaraba: (angelina wtf)
"But with the invention of the computer and the Internet, access to pornography has reached a crescendo."

Come on, Dr. Schaumburg, you know you wanted to say "...has reached a climax"!!!

Exerpted from False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction, which I recommend you NOT read, if psychology books that talk about god as if he were real, scare you as much as they do me.
osaraba: (saimono shuurei blushsmile)
Over the past couple of weeks I've been reading The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. I've so far read up to issue #14 and I'm completely hooked on it. I picked it up completely at random, just attracted by the style of art, but boy am I glad I did!!! Lots of blood, gore, sex, violence, profanity, and black humor. Oh, those Brits Irish? They make me smile. =D

Oddly enough, Maryann has been reading Preacher and I look forward to reading that soon, as it's been recommended to me by a number of people.

Also, I'm trying to get ahold of myself because I'm still in the middle of a couple other things and I kind of try to avoid that: Watchmen and the first book in the Drizzt trilogy of Forgotten Realms. And yet, I just know that as soon as I can get my hands on the next Butcher book (and/or comic) -- that's all I'll be reading for what, 2 days? 'Cause that's probably how long it's going to take me to finish it. Unless it's a weekend day when I don't have any plans -- then it'll be just about 6 hours, most likely.

Damn good books for going so quickly.
osaraba: (minako bored now)
Thompson says, "From where I sit, traditional "literary fiction" has dropped the ball. I studied literature in college, and throughout my twenties I voraciously read contemporary fiction. Then, eight or nine years ago, I found myself getting — well — bored."
Clive Thompson on Why Sci-Fi Is the Last Bastion of Philosophical Writing

Welcome to the club.
osaraba: (sdk genius at work)
You should check these out:

17 Sensational, Free and Downloadable Graphic Novels, including Fell, DMZ, Hellblazer. You NA regulars will already have read most of these, I'm sure, but still.

Damn Cool Pics: Sleevefaces: pictures of people posing with album covers in clever ways!

Belatedly, I finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods quite a while ago but forgot to post about it. It isn't fresh in my mind anymore, but I did enjoy the story. The ending wasn't exactly a let-down, but I wasn't completely satisfied by it either. I think it's because as much as I was interested in the story, and thought it was excellently researched and told, and took an unusual and interesting perspective, I wasn't all that emotionally invested in the character(s). Above all, I read for the characters. I've said before that I can enjoy a story with a "bad" plot but good characters, but it's more difficult (though not completely impossible) for me to get into one with a good plot, but boring or flat/undeveloped characters.

Shadow was certainly an interesting character, but he was definitely emotionally distanced from all that was going on. I also enjoy protagonists who are emotionally distant/cold (of which Carol O'Connell's Detective Kathy Mallory series is an excellently! written example), but then there has to be a secondary character who brings the emotional connection into the story, and American Gods just didn't have that. You know, I think I remember having a similar problem with Gaiman's Coraline.

I'm still making my way through Watchmen, and am also re-reading David Weber's Honor series (currently on book #3, The Short Victorious War). Upcoming books on my To-Be-Read list: Keturah and Lord Death, Drizzt trilogy (Forgotten Realms series), Life of Pi, Off Armageddon Reef.
osaraba: (utena roses|ushitora_icons)
Finished Chainfire by Terry Goodkind. This was like the 8th or 9th book in the Sword of Truth series. The conflict of this book was good. It was a slightly more straightforward, as well as frustrating, problem for the main character, Richard. The thing with Goodkind, is that you know that it will be resolved by the end of the book, and that the two main characters, Richard and Kahlan, aren't going to die. This is sometimes reassuring and sometimes really irritating in its predictability.

I still have the same problems as I've always had with Goodkind. He takes a moral/ethical/political stand on something in particular and bashes you over the head with the principle of it. As if you didn't get it the first several times he said it. None of the books have been as bad as the 6th book, Faith of the Fallen, in this respect, but now that I've realized it, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Otherwise, it was overall a good enough book that I finished it in a few days. I have to say this for Goodkind -- at least he writes well, and has a few interesting characters, even if he has to lighten up on the moral (not religious, at least) preaching.

I borrowed Eric Flint's The Rivers of War and am somewhere around page 80-something, possibly. It's his new book that is an alternate history, like in the tradition of Harry Turtledove. His other alternate history, 1632 (as well as sequels 1633 and 1634) have been sci-fi-based alternate histories, whereas this one is pure historical alternate history (no sci-fi to be found). It takes place around 1812 -- not the most interesting time period for me. I don't really prefer US history, but it's Eric Flint; I've got to give it a chance 'cause he's a great writer.

It's going to be on hold, probably for the next week, however, because I just (finally!) picked up Sanctuary by Mercedes Lackey. The last book in the Jousters Trilogy, this is the concluding book about Vetch/Kiron, his dragon, and the trials and tribulations of the two countries (Alta and Tia) caught in the middle of a war. I don't really remember what happened at the end of the last book, so I'm hoping the story will give me a good idea of it. I'm somewhere shortly past 30-something.

But I am happy to be finishing up the trilogy (if it is a trilogy, that is, but knowing Mercedes Lackey, it probably is).

More to come on other readings as they are read. (Makes sense, right?) ^^

28 days...

Jul. 1st, 2005 01:08 pm
osaraba: (osakana)
I'm seriously restless today. Gah, another of those wanting to update things. Jeez, you'd think I was actually going through withdrawal, but it's not like I haven't posted. This is getting out of hand. However, I think it's mostly because I'm bored out of my mind at work. Yes, yes, that may be it.

It's really ridiculous for me to be counting down the days until I don't work here anymore. But. Only 28 left.

I would like to write something of significance, or at least something that will prompt a conversation.

Okay. Um. An interesting tidbit: Liz's friend Katie can play guitar and bass guitar. I knew that already. She has a really nice singing voice! (I didn't know that one.) She made up a song based on inside jokes from hanging out one day, and it's really cute. She gave Liz a CD of her singing/playing guitar -- mostly covers, but it did include that song that she wrote, and possibly a song that a classmate wrote, but that she wrote the music to. It was cool to listen to her CD. ^^ And our taste in music does overlap a bit more than I thought.

Picked up and finished It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn last night. That was very amusing. She's one of the last authors whose historical romances I'll actually still read. They're ever so entertaining, and never stupid, nor excessively dramatic. Most importantly, her characters are not stupid. You wouldn't believe how common a problem that is in the romance genre. It's really too bad because I happen to like (certain) romances.

I also picked up the most recent in the Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon (yes, another romance). But I'd really have to re-categorize this series as het-pairing modern-day fantasy fics. Yes, fics. The author is really good: she writes darn good plots, reoccurring!characters that you want to *squee* about, all the good parts of fandom fic; she doesn't write like someone who can't use spellcheck, or like a 16-year old girl who can't get her metaphors straight. (Yes, that is a reference to that fic that made my brain explode out of my head, after Duo fell out of the top bunk, with the line, "the floor was an unforgiving mistress." ::gag:: Sorry, pet peeve there.) Anyway, I recommend checking out her site, dark-hunters.com.

Well, now. That took a good little while to write. Time for lunch. =D
osaraba: (twice the fun|inuvampy)
Last night I read (in one sitting, no less!) Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, the latest installment of the Harry Dresden series. Oooh, it was good. One thing that is always consistent with Butcher is his sense of humor; his dry wit is irrisistible and delightful. And I love that he makes grammar jokes within the story. OMG, yes I do; yes, I am a nerd. Sometimes he'll have a story that is less than captivating; his humor -- shot straight into your veins via the main character -- always pulls me through those trouble patches. Luckily, Dead Beat was not one of those less than captivating. The plot held up, as did the humor. And I think that this one was just a bit darker than usual, Dresden was a bit darker, and I loved it. I hope Butcher continues in this vein (no pun intended, I assure you).

Yesterday, I saw [livejournal.com profile] ponderosa121's post of commissioned original fanart for [livejournal.com profile] maderr's original fiction story, Treasure. For background information, you must understand that there haven't been many works of (fan)art that will make me go out and read a fic or start a series because of it. One exception is Pond's pic of Duo and Hilde that I love so much (and I'm not a 2xH fan) -- it really, really makes me want to write a fic for it! The other exception being the fanart linked above. I loved that it is two parts, not just one pic; I feel like you get to know the characters a bit better just because you can see them in two different ways -- the night/kiss scene is that much more powerful because you see them not kissing (but obviously sharing some kind of communication) in the day scene. And the dynamics and emotion in her art really leaps out of these pics!

I don't think Maderr could get any better advertising for her fiction than Pond's pics; I just don't think I can gush enough about them. It's really odd, but even without knowing the characters, I was really effected by their personalities -- that's how you know it's good art. =D

Well, I went to go read the original fiction, and by god, it's some of the best fiction I've read in a long time! Her characters and interesting and well-developed, and sensible! (Oh, the rarity of sensible characters ~ it pains me!) Her plot is also interesting and well-developed! I am highly impressed and feel the need to make everyone who hasn't read her stuff, go read it!

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