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|Thursday, January 19th, 2012|
Dear Lev Ac Rosen,
I have to admit, I was rather taken aback when I realized that yours was the first book I have ever read that supported a pro-plagiarism stance. Not one that said fanfic was cool or offered their books free of charge online -- Cory Doctrow does that and it rocks -- but to depict Character A stealing Character B's work, editing and adding to it, presenting it as their own work, and then telling Character B that they should be thankful for the professional proofreading services when Character B takes issue with the situation.
That, and the fact that you are somehow both pro-gay and anti-lesbian in the same book makes me want to punch you in the face just a little.
|Thursday, July 29th, 2010|
I don't want to pick on a man with Alzheimer's, but considering that Nation managed to avoid most of these pitfalls, I think Terry can still do better than this.
Over time, Pratchett's formula has shifted more and more from using dramatic plots set in Discworld, which provide a vehicle to reflect or lampoon real life concepts in a fantasy world, to reflecting or lampooning real life phenomena in Discworld and using that as a vehicle to carry a plot. Social commentary took the spotlight from narrative construction, but it worked out for a while, since Pratchett was good at social commentary.
But I think he dropped the ball on this one.( read moreCollapse )
|Thursday, July 8th, 2010|
I swear, if I read one more story in which the heroine can't for the life of her figure out why she misses the hero or these 'odd attractions' she's felling and I didn't
pick said book out of the Romance section, I'm going to throw a screaming fit. Which, granted, won't do much good, but it should be entertaining to watch.
I get that the point of fantasy (or any story set in a different world/planet/'verse/whatever) is that you can create all the nifty details of your setting without getting horribly ensared by research. Still, you kind of do have to keep a modicum of realism. This is so that the reader can have a base of comparison with which to fill in all your unstated aspects. In Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study
, I really cannot figure out what I'm supposed to be comparing this too. They've got castles and sword fights and people traveling by horse...and showers on the second floor and outfits made with sequins
. And a bunch of other stuff that isn't coming to mind for me right now; the sequins really stuck out, though.
Also, I have to wonder, what is the point of making up new breeds of trees but nothing else? Horses are still horses, bloodhounds are still bloodhounds, chickens are still delicious, but what? Oak and pine trees are suddenly not good enough?
Wait, I think she's mixed feudal England with the Soviet Union. Only without understand much of the reasons why the SU failed. Somehow she manages to gloss over how much of an utter failure
command economies are next to market economies, how they stagnate, and how much corruption would be running around. Seriously, anywhere you've got rules so strict that you can be executed for accidentally
killing someone, there's going to bribes thrown all over the place. But, no, it all gets ignored, and the Commander's rule isn't seen as ineffective but instead just sort of mean and dull.
|Thursday, June 17th, 2010|
To the writers of the last several YA books I've read:
Authority figures are not evil just because they are authority figures. But thank you oh so much
for impressing on teenagers
that this is the case. It really helps when parents want to do reasonable things like enforce a curfew or make them do homework.
Not every kid hates their parents. Writing something set in the 'real' world and hinting in the narration
that kids in general are and should be
shocked to find a loving parental figure just makes me cry inside. And then put down your book. And possibly demand a refund.
I know it's important to make your heroine stand out in some way. Naturally, I'm going to be more interested in reading a story about someone who is special rather than someone who is so average as to be bland. The way to make your character special? Is not to make every other character in the story dull as a sack of bricks. She needs to actually be above
average, not average in a really f-ed up world.
Courts? (As in a fantasy/medieval royal court) I'd really like to see at least one or two where every female (except the heroine) isn't a dimwitted, snide bitch. There really needs to be a variety. Plenty of ladies in that time/setting managed to be well-educated and eloquent and perfectly nice, if perhaps a little dull. Even the scandal-causing ones didn't have
to be bitchy to cause scandal.
On that same note, teaching things like history, dancing, deportment, penmanship, and how to eat without causing a mess
to a princess/potential princess does not constitute torture. In fact, they tend to be actually kind of important, since people generally have to like you before they'll trust you/support you/make alliances with you. Which could be vital to your rule/continued living. Yes, I said it. Having good manners might actually save your life. I'd even hazard to say that it's more likely to do so than knowing sword-fighting.( A rant on Princess Ben, the book that finally pissed me off so much that I was inspired to find this place just so I could have a place to bitch about it.Collapse )
|Wednesday, January 6th, 2010|
I have a rather large issue with the way the wizarding world treats muggles. No, I don't feel they should integrate or reveal themselves to the general public (the witch trials were nasty for all concerned, and I don't have enough faith in humanity to think we've improved enough for it to go smoothly these days), but a limited reveal to parents of muggleborns is needed.
Think about it -- these parents would be let in on the secret when thier kids started Hogwarts, anyway; they'd only benefit to know about things from the start.
Sure, some might snap and try to kill their kids or something, but this is why you keep an eye on 'em. Wipe their memories, give the kid to a nice foster family, and convince the homidal parent that it was crib death, terrible tragedy.
As for the ones who accept it on the level of finding out your kid has a natural talent for the piano and a scholarship to Juliard lined up, they'd really appreciate having some way of contacting 'Muggle Services' or something to that effect when they're at a loss as to how to deal with the cat being stuck on the ceiling.
People, on the whole, fear that which they do not understand. Education leads to understanding. Understanding leads to acceptance. Acceptance leads to a world where, if word did get out, it wouldn't end in attempted genocide.
|Tuesday, December 15th, 2009|
Decent story with one MAJOR drawback.
The response to my prompt was good to a point. The prose seemed solid to a point, and the scenario is something I could see happening. The pairing isn't one I normally gravitate to very often, but I did put author's choice for pairing, and I have read the pairing in the past so I won't quibble. Now I said in a couple of the sentences 'to a point' and here's what that point is (and where I reveal what fandom this is):
The Doctor is called The Doctor. He is not called Ten, Nine, One, or whatever incarnation he is in at whatever point in his timeline a story is set in. Everybody calles him simply the Doctor or when it's his companions 'Doctor'. Jack, Rose, Martha, everybody calls him 'Doctor' or the Doctor (Donna calls him Spaceman, but that's her affectionate nickname for him. She also calls him Doctor most other times). I can buy (and have used) incarnation labelling if one is doing a multiple Doctor fic, however this wasn't the case and seeing 'Doctor' and 'Ten' for a single Doctor story really did throw me out of what overall was a decent story.
Like I said, a good intentioned fic with a major derailment.
*HEADDESK* Did it again! ARGH! Sorry folks, this was meant for fanficrants
I think I'll just go and post this to the RIGHT comm. Again sorry folks. Current Mood: frustrated
|Monday, October 12th, 2009|
Dear author of just about every romance, paranormal romance, or erotic romance novel I have ever read,
What is with the double standard? Every time that a man is a leader, he is strong and dominant and takes charge in every aspect of his life, including a love life. On the other hand, if a woman is a leader, she needs one area of her life where she is not in control, and she is either submissive or at least doesn't take charge in her love life. This pisses me off so much. Why does a woman need an area where she isn't in control? Why can't a woman be just as much of a boss in bed as she is in the rest of her life?
This rant is sparked by a book I just read where both actually happen in the same book. The main romance is with a man who is a leader and takes charge in bed. The side romance is with the woman who is his boss, and she is with a man who takes charge in bed and relishes the chance to not be in control. Seriously, author? Your writing is good, but that just annoyed me.
|Sunday, October 11th, 2009|
Dear generally lovely author on a certain original fic comm,
Your prose is, as always, beautiful, your grammar flawless, and your characters interesting. However. I don't know if you just lost interest after the characters hooked up or what, but if someone has been thoroughly mindraped, his memories of the love of his life stolen by his own brother, someone he loved and trusted, don't you think he'd have some kind of reaction to that? Anything? It's called mindrape for a reason, sugarplum.
And another thing. I'm an unaffiliated theist who thinks that religion focuses too much on conformity and not enough on morality, but even I'm offended by your portrayal of religious people. You make such a big deal about how he (the brother) is proof that religious people aren't all OMG self-righteous and willing to do anything for their faith, and then you have him do that? For his faith?
Um, go fuck yourself. You were right the first time. You can be religious and a good person, I swear. Current Mood: disappointed
|Friday, October 9th, 2009|
Dear John Green fans and the man himself,
I DID NOT LIKE PAPER TOWNS.
There, I said it.
You can kill me now, world!Also, An Abundance of Katherines > Looking for Alaska. I'm going to get killed for that now too, aren't I...
|Thursday, October 8th, 2009|
Rant about tie-in novel
TV tie-in/profic novels are a crapshoot at best. At worst, they read like they were written by crack-addled pot smoking retarded monkeys who have never even heard of the fandom. At best they are like finding a lost episode.
You have a built in market with these books. Fans are going to buy them and read them. Do not piss them off.
I've been burned by these books before. It's years later and I can't even think of Ben Mezrich's X-Files novel Skin without cringing. Having Scully's cross the wrong color was just the beginning of what was wrong with that book.
But that's not what I'm here to rant about today. Today, I am here to rant about the Supernatural novels. Oh how I wish Carver Edlund were real. He would not make such stupid mistakes.
I read Witch's Canyon first and it was pretty good. Interesting plot, Sam and Dean were in character, no glaring mistakes. Then I read Nevermore. Big mistake.
Interesting plot with the Poe stuff, but not executed to potential. Really stupid original characters. A few other minor things, such as desribing Dean as short. The word you want is shorter, not short. Dean Winchester is not short. It's just that Sam is so tall.
But what really threw me were that the eye colors were wrong. Sam had brown eyes and Dean had blue eyes. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Sam's eyes are hazel with more green than brown and Dean's eyes are very definitely green. Another thing is that Dean has never called his brother 'Sammich'. Sam, Sammy, and one time Sasquatch, but never Sammich.
They should have stuck with the guy that did Witch's Canyon. He was much better.
|Friday, September 18th, 2009|
Dear book I read when I was about twelve whose title I can't remember,
You were a typical tween story about a girl who is just starting to go through puberty and obviously hates the guts of that one girl in the class who was ahead of the curve, so to speak. And there was a bit about how the teacher who everyone had a crush on was attracted to her and danced with her at the school dance. And this was used as more reason to dislike her.
You just creeped the heck out of me in memory, book.
|Tuesday, March 10th, 2009|
Oh, Eric Flint
I get that your characters have traveled back in time to the 1600s. It's neat. I get that, since they've been there for several years now, there isn't so much in the way of reliable birth control, and people are taking that into account. Useful detail.
But there are a whole lot of ways to sexually satisfy yourself and your partner that don't end in pregnancy. I mean, yes, oral sex etc is still sex for the purposes of disease, and down-time characters might not be as aware of the alternatives to intercourse, but when your modern-born character's deal is "I don't want to get pregnant so we're not going to third base!"...
...well, there's either some cognitive dissonance there or I feel really sorry for whoever you're involved with. Current Mood: irritated
|Wednesday, February 11th, 2009|
Dear Eoin Colfer
I love your Artemis Fowl-books, I enjoyed 'The Time-Paradox', it wasn't the best in the series, but I liked it.
Still, something really annoys me: Your German Doctor. He's only a minor character with a few sentences but with these he managed to annoy me very much.
You made quite clear that Artemis would only fetch the best and most famous doctors to cure his mother. Doctors don't get famous by sitting at home and doing their everyday-duty. They have to attend conferences, hold speeches, diskuss with others, publish papers...whatever to make themselves a name. If they also want to be recognised internationally (and this guy obviously is, as Artemis knows about him) at least some of this must happen in English, so they have to know the language fairly well.
I have no problem with the fact that you wrote 'He had a heavy German accent'...everybody can have an accent, but that you made him say 'Is it why I from Germany comming that you do not understand me?'...seriously that really hurt. Even if you translate it word-by-word back into German the sentence doesn't make sence.
And even when you say 'This guy had all his works translated, always an interpreter with him at conferences...or whatever reason to give him a bad English, than at least do it constantly. Apart from this sentence all otheres were in proper English. That doesn't make sense.
Me Current Mood: annoyed
|Friday, January 23rd, 2009|
jPod. . . *facepalm*
Dear Douglas Coupland,
I enjoyed the TV show that was based on your book, so I figured I'd check it out. The main story is entertaining and fairly solid, and I like some aspects of it even better than the show.
But the gimmick page-fillers can get tiresome, like the eighteen pages of prime numbers between 10,000 and 100,000 (and one non-prime). Or the list of all the three-letter words which are legal in Scrabble. Or the 23 pages of decimals of Pi. Or the 24 pages of random numbers . . .
Also the self-insert. I know you're not the first to write yourself into your own novel. But you wrote your characters as fans of everything you've ever written, making references to previous works left and right, and then they met you flying first class to China where you were working on an article for Wired that I'm thinking you never actually heard any feedback on (if this wasn't entirely made up).
Your publisher wanted you to write something over 100 pages longer than the initial novel, I'm guessing . . . but there are much better ways of making up for the missing page count. Current Mood: annoyed
|Saturday, December 27th, 2008|
Dear Gail Z Martin
Ok, so -any- book about a good necromancer-prince with white-blonde hair is probably going to be trash. That's fine. I can cope with trashy. Sometimes, I really like trashy.
All the same, please to be remembering your own details. He cannot have both (paraphrasing here) "the same vivid green eyes as his grandmother" AND "beautiful blue eyes", k? Especially not in 3rd person narrative.
|Friday, November 7th, 2008|
Why is it that every male in just about every romance/erotica book ever written is considered an "alpha," is protective to rediculous extremes, coddles whatever woman he's with, and talks about "his" woman as if she is his possession. I finally got around to reading some femdom, and it is true even then. You still don't see the same possessiveness and coddling from the women that you do from the men.
It isn't a question of whether real men are like this. These books are pure fantasy. They are supposed to be about what women want. Is this really what women want? Do we all want to be coddled, protected from the world, and considered a possession?
Am I the only one who finds this sexist and insulting?
|Saturday, July 12th, 2008|
To all authors who write a series,
Let's play a game!
It's called "Pretend your readers are paying attention". The idea is that, well, you pretend your readers are paying attention to your books, following the entire series, and that you write your books to reflect this. A statue changes clothing? They'll notice! Better fix that! A secondary character does a 180 in terms of characterization? At least put in some development to explain it.
I could go on -- there's probably several examples in your own works you can think of, the possibilities are endless! The trick is to reread your own work before starting the next instalment -- it's understandable that some things will slip your mind, and even your readers will pick up the previous book to reacquaint themselves with the world you've built. This game is not only fun, but will leave your readers happy and more inclined to buy your books and recommend them to friends. And not opt to recycle them rather than inflicting them on some poor reader who was browsing at the used bookstore.
|Tuesday, June 17th, 2008|
Dear Kinoko Nasu,
I don't care how artistic you think it is, when you describe a woman's breasts as feeling like "a perfectly ripened fruit" I don't see how you expect me to not pause and laugh out loud. Totally bad timing
on that one. Your sex scenes are awkward enough ("I want to smell you!" anyone?) but I think that one takes the cake as the most thought-derailing one yet.
That is all. Current Mood: drained
|Tuesday, June 10th, 2008|
You know what, Stephanie Meyer...
The Host is actually a pretty decent step up from Twilight. I'm not too far into it, but there seems to be the workings of an actual plot introduced fairly smoothly into the story. Wanderer annoys the crap out of me, but I enjoy her struggle with Melanie, and the few paragraphs where it was written in "we" perspective, I thought that was pretty neat. However...
Just because you tell me this is how she feels doesn't mean I have to believe it. We are inside the mind of the Wanderer. It's first-person, so if she thinks it, we get to see it. Melanie magically telling us that she's totally in love with Jared all on her own does not prove to me that she is. We need character developement, SMeyer. You did well when she met up with Jamie again (I actually felt really bad for both of them and wanted something to happen), but once again you fall flat when involved in romance.
This does give me hope for the fourth Twilight book, though not much.