inverarity: (Default)
I banned [livejournal.com profile] fpb because of his persistent, abusive behavior on my LJ, not because of anything he posted elsewhere.

I haven't done anything to prevent him from reading my posts. I don't even know how I could do that. My journal is completely open; I have never posted anything friends-locked. I have also never deleted anyone's comments, with the exception of spammers. I have screened a very small number that were over-the-top abuse and/or trolling (or, in one instance, an enormous wall of text copy&pasted from his own LJ, for which I provided a link instead).

If banned users are now restricted from reading posts on an LJ from which they have been banned, that's a change LiveJournal has made. The banned user FAQ says nothing about banned users being unable to lurk. (It seems like it would be a silly change for LJ to make since you could cirmcumvent it simply by browsing without signing in to your LJ account.)

As for his whining that I won't answer him, there is an old Korean saying: When I walk around a pile of shit, it's not because I'm afraid of it.

I have never written anything that wasn't the truth as I see it. I may be wrong, I may even be an asshole, but I don't lie.

People are free to read what I've written and read what he's written and make up their own minds. I am happy to answer reasonable questions from people who are not [livejournal.com profile] fpb* if they really want clarification about any of my words.

* I'd answer reasonable questions from [livejournal.com profile] fpb but he's never written anything reasonable when he disagrees with meanyone.

ETA )
inverarity: (Default)
I banned [livejournal.com profile] fpb because of his persistent, abusive behavior on my LJ, not because of anything he posted elsewhere.

I haven't done anything to prevent him from reading my posts. I don't even know how I could do that. My journal is completely open; I have never posted anything friends-locked. I have also never deleted anyone's comments, with the exception of spammers. I have screened a very small number that were over-the-top abuse and/or trolling (or, in one instance, an enormous wall of text copy&pasted from his own LJ, for which I provided a link instead).

If banned users are now restricted from reading posts on an LJ from which they have been banned, that's a change LiveJournal has made. The banned user FAQ says nothing about banned users being unable to lurk. (It seems like it would be a silly change for LJ to make since you could cirmcumvent it simply by browsing without signing in to your LJ account.)

As for his whining that I won't answer him, there is an old Korean saying: When I walk around a pile of shit, it's not because I'm afraid of it.

I have never written anything that wasn't the truth as I see it. I may be wrong, I may even be an asshole, but I don't lie.

People are free to read what I've written and read what he's written and make up their own minds. I am happy to answer reasonable questions from people who are not [livejournal.com profile] fpb* if they really want clarification about any of my words.

* I'd answer reasonable questions from [livejournal.com profile] fpb but he's never written anything reasonable when he disagrees with meanyone.

ETA )
inverarity: (Default)
So, Dilbert-creator Scott Adams is an asshole and he's also a genius.

Scott Adams exemplifies the smug Internet "genius" who whips out an IQ score in lieu of a penis. It ain't that impressive, dude, even if it is bigger. And guess what? It's probably not.

Anything you can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than you )

Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above cover! )
inverarity: (Default)
One-line summary: In pre-apocalypse America, a teenage girl with a prodigious intellect and disabling empathy flees the destruction of her community, and founds a new religion destined to take humanity to the stars.



Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993, 299 pages


When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister's young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny... and the birth of a new faith.


If this had been published today, it would have been called a Young Adult novel, given a hottie cover to trick kids into reading it, and Octavia Butler would have blown a lot of young minds, raised the bar on the genre, and probably gotten optioned by Hollywood. )

Verdict: This is an exciting, complex, thoughtful, tense, dark but hopeful story that succeeds on every level. Most dystopian fiction you're reading today is weak, dumb tea, especially if it comes from the YA shelf. I'm all for reading stories just because they make you think and make you uncomfortable, and Parable of the Sower does that, but it's also just plain good storytelling.
inverarity: (Default)


Note: Originally posted to [livejournal.com profile] fantasywithbite, but considerably revised.

This fantasy trilogy consists of Tomoe Gozen (also published as The Disfavored Hero), The Golden Naginata, and Thousand Shrine Warrior. Sadly, they are all out of print, but you can find them from used booksellers or PaperbackSwap or BookMooch, and it's well worth getting the complete set. It is my all-time favorite fantasy series. Not "favorite samurai series" or "favorite Japanese fantasy series" but favorite fantasy series period. I am not much of a rereader; for the most part, I prefer to devote my reading time to books I haven't read yet, but this is one of the few I do reread now and then. (In fact, it's been a while since I last read them -- my literary perspectives have shifted a bit since I started reading and reviewing a lot more in the past few years, so I probably need to revisit them. The review below, therefore, may be considered somewhat dated as it's based on my recollection of these books from some years ago.)

The dire history of fantasy heroines, and why Tomoe Gozen would totally p0wn Red Sonja )

Verdict: The Tomoe Gozen trilogy is an awesome, rocking adventure from start to finish. I'd classify Salmonson as a "literary fantasy" writer who mixes the language of fairy tales with the action and drama of pulp serials. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm now in the process of reading some of Salmonson's other, even less well-known works, and I'm sorry she's not writing more contemporary stuff. Where is the Tomoe among the current crop of sparkly/godly/angelic-dick-pursuing fantasy "heroines"?
inverarity: (Default)
One-line summary: A sensationalistic saga of oil and politics in 1920s Southern California.



Reviews:

Goodreads: Average: 3.57. Mode: 4 stars.
Amazon: Average: 4.0. Mode: 5 stars.


In Oil! Upton Sinclair fashioned a novel out of the oil scandals of the Harding administration, providing in the process a detailed picture of the development of the oil industry in Southern California. Bribery of public officials, class warfare, and international rivalry over oil production are the context for Sinclair's story of a genial independent oil developer and his son, whose sympathy with the oilfield workers and socialist organizers fuels a running debate with his father. Senators, small investors, oil magnates, a Hollywood film star, and a crusading evangelist people the pages of this lively novel.


There Will Be Blood -- also, oil, sex, money, politics, war, and CLASS STRUGGLE! Sinclair is the anti-Rand. )

Verdict: It's a product of its time and its author, but still a surprisingly good read. If you're interested in the setting and time period, definitely read it. But the movie is better.
inverarity: (Default)
One-line summary: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again. C'mon, it's Jane Austen!



Reviews:

Goodreads: Average: 4.23. Mode: 5 stars (53%)
Amazon: Average: 4.5. Mode: 5 stars (74%)


"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."


When I asked people to recommend me a classic, Pride and Prejudice was by far the most recommended choice. (By the way, I actually ended up downloading most of them.)

So I'm probably the last person in the world to read Pride and Prejudice, right? What am I going to say in a review that hasn't been said already a million times in the last two hundred years? How ever can I make a review of Pride and Prejudice remotely interesting or new?

Well, I probably can't, but I can sure write a lot when I'm enthusiastic. Below the cut, much text ensues.

Whereupon the reviewer becomes an Austen fanboy. Readers without a jaded sensibility and an extraordinary tolerance for teal dear are advised to venture no further. )

Verdict: Okay, I can understand why Austen's hyper-elegant romcom about 19th century English gentry might put off those who aren't fans of the genre. But once I got used to the style, I loved Austen's finely-crafted prose. It's a work of genius: even if the story is not your cup of tea, you should appreciate how perfectly the plot is constructed and the nuances of characterization.

Austen on Netflix Bonus Feature



So, after reading (listening to, actually) the book, I decided to go back and watch the film version again. Oh, wait -- which one? There are four versions available on Netflix. (Not counting the Bollywood version, the Mormon version, and the AU fanfic version.)

So, I watched all of them. In a row.

Yes, I know this is bookish, so skip the cut if you don't want a comparative review of 65 years of Pride and Prejudice on film.

A Pride and Prejudice marathon )
inverarity: (Default)
One-line summary: An epic fantasy full of unoriginal cliches that is nonetheless EPIC and FANTASTIC.



Reviews:

Goodreads: Average 4.5. Mode: 5 stars (63%)
Amazon: Average: 4.4. Mode: 5 stars (72%)


My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me...

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view —- a story unequalled in fantasy literature.


Great writing and a great story beats everything else when you're walking down a well-trod path. )

Verdict: If this was the first epic fantasy you ever read, it would set a pretty high bar. If you're a veteran of the genre, then while it may not rock your world, I guarantee you'll find it a highly enjoyable read.
inverarity: (Default)
One-line summary: Scalzi channels Lovecraft, gets Terry Pratchett & Joss Whedon instead



Reviews:

Amazon: Average: 3.3. Mode: 5 stars.
Goodreads: Average: 3.59. Mode: 4 stars.


Captain Ean Tephe is a man of faith, whose allegiance to his lord and to his ship is uncontested. The Bishopry Militant knows this -- and so, when it needs a ship and crew to undertake a secret, sacred mission to a hidden land, Tephe is the captain to whom the task is given.

Tephe knows from that the start that his mission will be a test of his skill as a leader of men and as a devout follower of his god. It’s what he doesn’t know that matters: to what ends his faith and his ship will ultimately be put -- and that the tests he will face will come not only from his god and the Bishopry Militant, but from another, more malevolent source entirely...

Author John Scalzi has ascended to the top ranks of modern science fiction with the best-selling, Hugo-nominated novels Old Man’s War and Zoe’s Tale. Now he tries his hand at fantasy, with a dark and different novella that takes your expectations of what fantasy is and does, and sends them tumbling.

Say your prayers... and behold The God Engines.


A creepy dark sci-fi novella )

Verdict: A good, brisk story mixing dark fantasy with science fiction. It's quite different from Scalzi's normal work, so not the best sample to see if you like his writing, but for the length and the price, if you find the description moderately interesting, you can't go wrong checking it out.
inverarity: (Default)
Charming drawing by Becca, aka clabbert2101, of MNFF
Alexandra Quick looking for ghosts

I am actually rather agnostic about both the Word of God and the Author Is Dead, but I do believe that a story should stand on its own, without intervention, explanation, or clarification from the author. You may not care or want to know what Inverarity intended, what Inverarity was thinking, or how Inverarity feels about what he wrote. If that's the case, no problem, and if you still have critiques, lemme have 'em. But if you don't mind having your reading of the book "tainted" by the author's voice, this is my big rambling tl;dr Author's Notes on Alexandra Quick and the Deathly Regiment, in which I will answer questions (but not give any extra-book "canon" information) and discuss my reasons for doing certain things. All below the cut...

Above the cut, though, a special mention to people whom I've mentioned before but deserve mention again: my betas, Miles2go and [livejournal.com profile] swissmarg. They pointed out everything from typos to plot holes, and the result was absolutely a much tighter story. For those who say that my writing has improved since Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle, I'd point out that AQATTC was never seen by betas or anyone else before I posted it online.

Also, I neglected to mention (gotta fix that when I post revised versions of the entire story) that the reference to "dead man's finger" in the last chapter of AQATDR actually came from [livejournal.com profile] swissmarg's story Survivors, which is the only Snape/Hermione story I've ever read that didn't suck greasy hairballs. (I still think Snape/Hermione is complete mindfuckery, but seriously, Survivors is a good story.)

Second, a shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] anthonyjfuchs, the diligent maintainer of the Quickipedia, which I'm sure will be useful to those of you trying to remember who's who and what's what when you come back to Alexandra Quick after a year or more. Although it's a public wiki, and therefore open for anyone to contribute, almost all of the work has been done by Anthony. (I occasionally make small corrections, but otherwise try to leave it alone.) Yes, I actually named William's familiar in his honor. Anthony has recorded nearly every little detail about the AQ universe revealed in the books so far. (Though I notice you never did catch the passing mention of the names of two of the Pritchards' brothers. ;))

All right, on to the authorial pontificating...

In which I pontificate pontificatingly )

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