wMar 9, 2009

Rather than many coherent posts, I make one fragmented one instead

For those going for the Minimalist RaceFail experience....
I found sparkymonster's RaceFail, Silence, and Words quite valuable and link-rich.

miriam-heddy's Where is your home? is intense and true. I don't think it's difficult to become informed about RaceFail.

Also love tablesaw's O HAI RACEFAILZ: Notes on Reading an Internet Conflict.

Does the wording of any of the WisCon panels make you cringe?

I found one! Emphasis added by me.

The freakish antics of true believers, the willful naivete of not-so-true-believers, and on the other side "Society Without God", the president of the United States acknowledging "non-believers", Darwin's 200th birthday, and the possible discovery of simple life on Mars. Are we finally going to shake off the institutionalized fears of our ancestors? What will we replace it with? Is "replacing it" even a valid point of discussion?

:[ is what I have to say. I have yet to attend a WisCon panel about religion. I do not think that it would go....well....for me.

I finished reading Tamora Pierce's Trickster's Choice and have Things to Say before I go on to the next book in the duology.

Cut contains spoilers, but also thoughts on narrative choice and cultural appropriation.

I think I really would have liked these books without the POV character of Aly. I love the court intrigue, the inability to trust everyone, even the trickster god. I really really love the Tudor-esque royal stuff going on. LOVE. It's what keeps me reading.

Why couldn't Dove have been the POV character? Dove is so intelligent and so central to the plot - being the younger sister of Sarai, the woman who might become queen? What a great POV character!

Alternatively, I would have loved a girl who actually was the servant Aly was pretending to be. If a Trickster god is picking someone for their potential/skills in eavesdropping and planning and stuff, I think a servant could have been a very workable a choice. The fact that Aly's constantly hiding her noble birth and true parentage seems unnecessary to me.

Instead we get Aly, a white woman from a different country, who's captured as a slave, chosen by a god, and ends up being the honky who comes to sort out this mess of court-rule, entangled by race and centuries of in-fighting.

To begin with, she arrives fully formed, with an arsenal of skills at her disposal. I really liked the Lioness Quartet and the Protector of the Small Quartet a lot more, because we get to see the protagonists working hard, sweating, learning, getting better, getting stronger. Aly's already learned everything from her father, and she does everything perfectly, especially in the first 150 pages or so. Also, maybe it was just me, but her thought process was spelled out almost ad nauseum. Judging people's character as related to court drama is cool, but EVERY TIME she got on a horse, Pierce reminded readers that she was pretending to be a bad rider so that she could play a role. I found Aly to be extremely conceited, and she kind of ruined the books for me. To me that's a flaw, but not really a self-acknowledged one. I think Kel was very self-aware of all her failings, but she also had a fear of heights that was pretty spelled out. Ditto to Alanna's issues with intimacy and trusting people.

Anyway, I found her presence problematic for other reasons, too. The book is basically a version of What These People Need is a Honky, which is part of why I would have vastly preferred Dove or a raka [ie, person of color] servant as the POV character.

"That's not what I learned at my da's knee," Aly retorted. Her mental image of people executed by righteous natives was too awful for her to let Ochobu's prejudices stand without argument. "The raka used to kill all the time. Your nobles and your rather temporary queens in the years before the luarin came were so busy battling each other that you didn't have the strength to fight off an invasion. By the time you banded together, it was too late."
"I know that," Ochobu growled, mashing her berries with ferocity. "All of us who inherited this mess know."


Ochobu laid her pestle aside. "We have lived too long as tenants on lands that our foremothers owned. I know that. I know what is at stake. I can see for myself that a certain young woman is royal in two bloodlines, and that seems to fit the prophecy. But I am no lapdog, trained to roll onto my back for you or any other luarin. I am here to make up my own mind."
Aly brushed a speck from her sleeve. "Then let me tell you something I've observed. Those you call luarin here, including the ones who are part luarin, part raka - they aren't citizens of the Eastern or Southern Lands. They see themselves as Kyprians. They took your land's names for thier own. They've made the Isles prosper. I think they've earned the right to stay, if they don't side with the Rittevons when the time comes."
"Is the god speaking through you?" Ochobu demanded, eyes flinty. "Or just you?"
Aly fought the urge to give Nawat's shrug for a reply. "I assume the god picked me for my opinions as well as my skills, however temporary I might be. I am an outsider. Sometimes we see more clearly than those who live inside the problem."
"I'll be better off when you leave," Ochobu complained. For the moment she sagged, the lines of her face deepening. "You've given me a headache. Go away."
Aly went.

I started a Kingdom Hearts game, which means I'm now in the middle of Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, and this game.

I recognized something extremely familiar as soon as I heard Squall Leon talking.....LOL DAVID BOREANAZ. What a perfect combination. It was like....suddenly there was liquid sex in my video game!

I find a lot of the interface stuff super annoying, like the fact that I can't be moving my character while simultaneously controlling the camera angle. Also found myself longing for the ever-present Final Fantasy XII map. Maybe I should just play FFXII some more. I love it, but I remember last saving in a place where my characters were in a bit of a pickle. Hopefully I have another save point close to that one.

Lots of people have blogged about Kaori Yuki manga before BUT I DID NOT BELIEVE THEM.

I have now read 1.5 volumes of Cain Saga. OMG!!! Tortured soul Earl Cain Hargreaves lives in Victorian England. He keeps a collection of poisons handed down in his family for generations. He solves mysteries! He has a curse to never have anyone love him.....BUT HIS HOT BUTLER RIFF CARES FOR HIM AND HIS MAN-PAIN.
I loved the sidebar in which Kaori Yuki was like, "Lots of people say they like Riff, and I think it's funny, because I don't get it." And I was like, OH YOU ARE SO SILLY, YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, HAVING THOSE HOT MEN KEEP HOUSE TOGETHER.

I am so excited to read more! Heinous Victorian gothic manga is apparently exactly what I need right now.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 11:34 PM

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