stillsostrange: (Aeryn)
Sorry guys, but this rant was too long for Twitter.

So, I'm told this obnoxious Nightwing wannabe is a character from a tie-in novel who the writers felt the need to tack onto the game? All I really know is that he is a) fucking obnoxious, and b) obviously tacked on. The game acts like he's Shepard's personal nemesis, but we just met the guy. He's some errand boy for the Illusive Man who wears a dorky mask, but the writers seem to think we care about him. We don't. I don't even want him to die, except on principle. I just want him to go away.

And, over the span of ten seconds' bitching about this, I thought of a better way they could have given Shepard a personal nemesis and an emotional connection to Cerberus, and given a little oomph to the second game.

Cut for the five people who don't want spoilers for these games... )

Also, as much as I love Tali, the quarians are way too human under their masks. I feel she ought to have Yautja mandibles or something. Because those are sexy.
stillsostrange: (Queer)
So, this amazing vicissitude* of literature as performed by Orson Scott Card (link provided for context--I don't encourage actually reading it unless you like the taste of shit and increased blood pressure) was just brought to my attention, and while I won't comment on the work in question, this prompted me to reaffirm a manifesto of mine.

Every time bigots like OSC open their mouths--or set fingers to keyboard--in public, the healthiest nonviolent response I can muster is to write something really fucking gay. So congratulations, bigots: a few more fictional queers have just been born because of you.

Another reasonable response is to take a few moments to (belatedly) celebrate Freddie Mercury's birthday.

And my favorite tribute:

* I mean that more in the White Wolf sense than the dictionary's.
stillsostrange: (Ginger Snaps Back)
Recently I read a post by a writer of my acquaintance which said that she is reluctant to write books--in this context urban or contemporary fantasy--with female leads, for fear of not being taken seriously, or being tarred with the brush of Romance.

Reader, this makes me angry. I'm talking flames on the side of my face angry. And not even so much angry at the writer in question, who I like and whose work I enjoy, but at the fact that this is probably a valid concern on her part. [ profile] nojojojo's epic fantasy books--and the books of many other female authors--have been called "Romance"*, presumably in a dismissive way, and presumably because a) the author is a woman, b) the main character is a woman, and c) someone has sex somewhere in the book. I'm guessing the only reason I haven't heard this said about The Necromancer Chronicles is because I don't have Google alerts turned on. To this fear and to the sexist fuckwits who engender it, I have only this to say:

Fuck. That. Noise.

My books are full of women. Fighters, spies, witches, academics, queens, starving artists, acrobats, whatever. They're cis, trans, lesbian, straight, bi, or asexual. They may have relationships or not, they many fall in love, fall out of love, seduce, betray, sacrifice, save the world, destroy the world, or not. Some of them may even end up happy, for a while. (But everyone dies alone.) Which is not to say that my male characters won't also do all those things, but the gender or sex of my protagonist has no fucking bearing whatsoever on the merit of my books.

My job is not to cater to sexist twits. My job is not to try to change their minds. My only job is to write the best book I'm capable of at any given moment, and by Cod the best book I can write will have women in it.

Some of them even have back tattoos.

*My deep and abiding hate-on for genre writers slagging on other genres is a rant for another day.
stillsostrange: (fatale)
Adjustment Bureau: Sweet and well-acted, with a nice understated SFnal twist. A little too heart-warming, maybe, or at least too easy, but I like the characters enough that I mostly don't care.

But. Comma. I am so fucking sick of romances wherein all the narrative weight is given to one character. By which of course I mean the male character. David was completely privileged by the narrative. David and Elise's lives didn't intersect; she got caught in his orbit. Damon and Blunt made me care about their characters equally, but the narrative didn't. And in a romance where both characters are supposed to be risking terrible sacrifice to be together, I damn well want to see both sides.

And speaking of characters and narrative weight, my decision yesterday to splice two characters in Prayers into one is having much greater effect than I imagined. The book is spinning in wildly different directions now--the brooding love interest who was supposed to be an equal third has fallen almost entirely by the wayside. Another character whose role hasn't changed has started taking on a whole new appearance and demeanor in my head. The plucky paleontologist love interest--one of the characters who got spliced--has grown back in a new body, with a new personality, and is now the female lead's love interest instead of the male's. This is all very alarming, but I'm curious to see how it will shake out.
stillsostrange: (Ginger Snaps Back)
Cod help me, I tried watching the new Criminal Minds/Criminal Waste spin-off thing. Wow, that's bad. There is not an unstilted line of dialogue in the first episode (except possibly Garcia's). The script is so bad Forest Whitaker* can't even breathe! Michael Kelly's character backstory assaults the viewer with stupidity, like being backhanded with a fistful of dumb. Janeane Garofalo, I will buy you a new water heater!

I badly need to watch Ghost Dog and Mystery Men to get this taste out of my mouth.

* An alarming insight into my psyche: The Crying Game has forever conflated Forest Whitaker in cricket whites with orgasm for me. Yeah. Good luck not thinking about that.
stillsostrange: (Bitch please)
So, I'm watching Freejack*, and I was immediately struck by something.

The plot** says that Emilio Estevez is carried 15 years forward in time, while his fiancee, Renee Russo, keeps on aging as normal. So what do they do? They cast an older actress. An actress. Older than her romantic counterpart. Not a 22-year-old playing the same character looking exactly the same throughout a decade's worth of story. They even gave her a different haircut.

You hear me, Batman Begins? A different fucking haircut. It's not so hard. Are you listening, Superman Returns? How is a lousy C movie from 1992 kicking your asses in this regard?

* What? Don't judge me!

** I know--I'd forgotten it had a plot, too.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
38,000 words into Kingdoms as of today. Hurray for forward motion. This thing is much less streamlined than the last two books, POV-wise. I hope it turns out okay at the end of the draft.

My thoughts on bullying are as angry and incoherent now as they were twenty years ago. Like [ profile] yuki_onna, I hesitate to use that word because it was never physical. It was scorn, rejection, mockery, from the ages of 9 through 16. It wasn't until after college that I could walk past a group of people laughing and not flinch, assuming they were laughing at me. The knowledge (delivered by the Schadenfreude-machine that is Facebook) that many of my "peers" who picked on me peaked at 16 and can barely spell now helps a little, but some days not nearly enough.

I'm a card-carrying misanthrope, and I come by it honestly. All I can hope for is to leave the world a little less miserable than I found it, and that often seems impossible.
stillsostrange: (Miss Muffet)
Two out of two hot chicks agree: Sam Worthington has a strong heart.

I think Avatar is gorgeous*. I don't actually know for sure because 3D is the most ridiculous fucked up thing I've ever seen, and I had to watch the whole movie out of focus.

What I do know is that it's insultingly hamfisted. I won't call the Na'vi noble savages, because they're better than that--they're a harmonious indigenous people with a rich culture. Which is just as bad a cliche these days. And for fuck's sake, stop basing alien cultures on non-European earth cultures. WE SEE WHAT YOU DO THERE! Everyone was straight out of central casting, humans and Na'vi, and the bad guys were so flat I could hardly muster any contempt for them. When you find yourself playing a caricature of Paul Reiser, you should stop and reevaluate your life. And the music, jeeze. Just play "Colors of the Wind" over the end credits and have done.

Mind you, in spite of all of this--no, let's face it, because of this--it was effective. I probably would have cried if my eyes hadn't been busy trying to put things in focus. I like Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver in just about anything, and I'm sure thousands of people will feel deeply for the plight of the harmonious aliens.

I, however, do not need my hand held to root for the non-humans. That is my default state. Candycoating it just pisses me off. Screw skin color--I'm sick of human saviors.

Despite that, I will be over here watching Aliens, because I need a xenomorph chaser something fierce.

(...okay, maybe Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein make me warm to humanity just a little. At least for a couple of hours at a time.)

*Did anyone else get a Michael Whelan vibe from the set design?
stillsostrange: (Romance ferrets)
I just watched The Abyss again, and then had to spend ten minutes shaking my impotent fist and cursing Titanic. And then I realized why exactly Titanic bugs me so much.

Cameron is actually quite good at romantic subplots. Sarah and Kyle. Bud and Lindsey. Ripley and freakin' Hicks. Ripley and Hicks are best couple in the world and they don't even kiss. The magic here is competent adults acting like competent adults in impossible situations and saving each other's asses. That is awesome.

And Titanic with the romance as its A-plot has a couple of boring-ass kids who I couldn't care less about.

And so, of course, it made more money than god. :P

I think Kingdoms of Dust needs to be a competence-porn romance.

In other news, Bone Palace has grown 2,000 words since I started revising, and I have five more chapters to go.
stillsostrange: (Aeryn)
Good Idea:

Agent Appreciation Day! [ profile] arcaedia is the very bestest agent ever! She sells my books, buys me drinks, and sends me comforting email even with horribly sprained limbs. Everyone should sing her praises and send her litter-bearing cabana boys.

Bad Idea:

Peter Watts being beaten and arrested by US border guards.

I have hated this country for its hypocrisy, bigotry, and grade-school-bully tendencies since I was 10. It has done very little in these twenty years to change that. I will refrain from praying for cataclysm, however, and instead ask that anyone who can do so please consider donating to Peter's legal defense, spreading the news, writing angry letters to politicians, or helping in any way.
stillsostrange: (Aeryn)
I'm angry, and probably shouldn't post when I'm angry, but I'm going to do it anyway. This anger isn't going away. So I will leave my opinion here for posterity.

The advent of the internet makes it easier to "meet" artists of all varieties, and therefore to discover that they're people with opinions just like everyone else, and those opinions often run counter to our own. Getting bent out of shape because an artist doesn't agree with you on everything is certainly one's prerogative, but usually a very silly one.

But I draw the line at basic human rights. Including the right not to be fucking raped.

There is no moral grey area here. There is never a time when rape is maybe okay. Or not really that bad. And if anyone says there is, they have lost any respect I might ever have given them. I don't care what kind of art you make, or what your other political views are. If you think rape is okay, I think you're a waste of skin.
stillsostrange: (Monster)
He found that years of being taught in lit classes had finally paid off in the form of a feature film.

(Might be a tiny bit spoilery)

On the one hand, District 9 is a fabulous movie. Fabulous. It hit my transformation and redemption squids like it was made for them. It did something that I often think can't be done: invest me in the redemption of a character who starts out a bigoted douchebag. That is almost on par with making me invested in a child molester. (Peter Watts managed that.) And the prawns were beautiful. And and, it had the added bonus of not featuring America at all. Yes, the world does not revolve America. Thank you.

On the other hand, the Nigerian Problem. Which, yeah. Oh my god, that is stupid and offensive and then more offensive. I didn't mind having bloodthirsty superstitious criminals as characters, but they are identified only as "Nigerians". Because everybody knows that all Nigerians are like that... Yeah. Stupid, offensive, thoughtless shit, that only takes five minutes to think past and correct if you put even that much effort into it.

So, yes, a problematic film, but in the end my affection for Christopher-the-prawn will make me see it again. And probably binge on Alien Nation in the near future, too.

I am now inspired to work on Salvage, my theoretical SF novel. It features a world-weary cop on the verge of retirement, her crooked partner, a plucky journalist looking for a story, a criminally connected priest-with-a-past, and a desk-jockey Yautja alien who survived the crash of her ship. Set on an ocean planet to facilitate speed boat chases. Elevator pitch: Predator meets Miami Vice. But not in a way that turns into Predator II.

But instead I'm going to crawl back to Bone Palace and try to describe a creepy ruined castle and demon birds.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
Never avert your eyes.

stillsostrange: (Bitch please)
What the hell is wrong with this language, people? Seriously!
stillsostrange: (Bitch please)
Dear Vista,

Please cease performing illegal acts with Mexican donkeys for just long enough to print my fucking document.



Dear Assholes Who Stole My MacBook,

If I ever find you, I am installing printer drivers in your fucking skull, with a nailgun.

Even less loff.
stillsostrange: (Bored)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
62,500 / 75,100

Nothing like internet slapfights to remind me of the irony that my chosen profession consists of communicating with other talking monkeys, when there are few things I loathe more. Ah well. (Yes, my defense mechanism of choice when faced with an argument wherein everyone dismisses everyone else is dismissal. What's a girl to do?)

Though I may be insufficient as a monkey, I'm at least a virtuous dogmom this week. Gretchen even managed to pay attention to at least three-fourths of class before turning into a raging spaz. Pretty good considering how many weeks we've missed lately.

And most important, I've finally stayed up late enough to see both of the teahouse foxes go to sleep. I'm kind of sad for the backyard fox, who suffers from gigantism and is too big to sleep indoors.
stillsostrange: (Wild roses)

3. Candyman. I haven't seen this in its entirety since the theatre, where it scared the crap out of me. Now I just love it (production values and tragic 90s clothing aside). I like Tony Todd like I like my women: covered in beeeeees!


1. Black Magic Woman, by Justin Gustainis.

Here's a tip for writers. If you are going to put in an honest-to-god, no-shit, no-really-I'm-not-kidding puppy-kicking villain, please have the common decency to put in on the first page, where I would encounter it in the bookstore. If you put it on the last page, anything else you might possibly have done right will be obliterated by my burning wrath. I read nearly 500 pages, and you pull a goddamn puppy-kicking villain on me. I am now pissed off and would like my time and $7.99 back.

stillsostrange: (Default)
Watch out, it's spam weather today.

This article makes me happy, as it involves word origins and spunky Texans telling off McCain. Also, Terrellita was my husband's landlady back in the day.

Also, it's lovely and cloudy out, I'm full of panang curry, and I think it's time to make coffee and edit a short story for lobbing.
stillsostrange: (Bitch please)
Do not speak! Listen! Remedy this situation, restore the economy Criminal Minds, or you will live out your life in a pain amplifier!

Where the hell is a Guild Navigator when we need one?


stillsostrange: (Default)

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