I am going to confess. I am a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction. I am a sucker for post-human books and TV shows like The World Without Us and Life After People and the like. I have always been interested in huge catastrophes, and as I grow I become more interested in the effect of those catastrophes on the people who survive them - and not the catastrophes we know, but on a greater scale. The kind where the World Ends As We Know It and no one is feeling fine.

I was going to do a focus on this last year, but got distracted by A Song of Ice and Fire, among other things, and didn't finish my shelf full of post-apocalpytic novels. I still had them, though, and I've been working my way slowly through them. Among others, this would include In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster, Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven andcetera, and The Forge of God by Greg Bear. Not, by far, complete reading. I still have Alas, Babylon and A Canticle for Leibowitz to get through, for example, and I might also throw books like Perdido Street Station and Iron Council in here, for various reasons.

There is also Life As We Knew It which if you ask me is not worth reading, let along paying money for. ppfft. Waste of time, that was. :|

So the problem I always have with the things I like is when people don't know the terminology I use. Or when I say 'fantasy' they ask what kind of fantasy and don't recognize the names - though this doesn't happen so much anymore. I am still immensely pleased when someone knows the authors I name, but that's a tangent. Post-apocalyptic fiction, though, in recent years, is easy. I can name one book, usually, and people get what I'm talking about. The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

It's gotten a crapton of recognition - he is a well known writer as is - and lots of notice, a movie already made (with Viggo Mortensen, no less!). I picked it up with some optimism and some skepticism.

rest of review here, some small spoilers though there's not much to spoil )

That's all out of me. This has been stewing for a while. Am now reading The Atrocity Archives, definitely a drastic change in genre - and probably a much needed one. After that, I think I'll dive headlong into some urban fantasy again - Caitlin R. Kiernan - and see how that goes.

As always, anyone with dissenting thoughts is welcome to tell me what I have missed.
Silmarillion
Her Eyes - Future!fic, in which Elves are released from Mandos. Everything about this I love. There are perfect little details - Caranthir likes the modern arms trade, Celegorm makes a brief appearance as his annoyed and slightly disappointed self, and Aegnor and Finrod are spot on and it's just - adorable all over and the ending leaves it full of possibilities. I think I ship this now, just for this one fic.
Meldor - Maedhros/Fingon. The writing is lovely, it's set up as a recovery fic after Thangorodrim - the first piece describing Maedhros' pain is gorgeous and the rest of it lives up to that. There is such a sense of brothers-in-arms-but-more that characterizes this pairing, in my head, and the way Fingon shepherds Maedhros along and at the same time he's so determined to recover and is worried and focused as always - in capitalism!AU, Maedhros would be a workaholic, I suspect. Am I right or am I right?

Temeraire
Gemology - Emily Roland fic, in which she is a perfect child - curious, intelligent, asking too many questions. There is just such adorable and authentic character in this, and again, the details as when Emily considers whether she might be half-dragon...I loved it.
wisdom to the mighty, honor to the brave - I don't have much coherent to say here but pretty pretty pretty. It's set after Victory of Eagles and is just a fantastic medley of interactions between Tharkay (who is priceless), Granby (who is adorable), Laurence, and Riley, and while my attention span doesn't often hold for fic of long lengths, this filled in the gaps of things I needed to see nicely.

Doctrine of Labyrinths
Medicine for the soul - Felix and Mildmay, genfic after Corambis AND I WANT MOORREEE this has been the first fic in a while, completed, that I have sincerely wanted to see more of because what was there just didn't give me enough. I wanted! More of it! And that's a good feeling.

A Song of Ice and Fire
Snow and Stark - My actual fic that I received! It has Jon and Robb being close and adorable and brotherly, and I don't know how this person knew all my pseudocanon but they did, somehow. They steal a pie! And are competitive and adorable! Robb is noble and a little bit dense! I loooffff it.

Guesses on which fics I wrote are/are not allowed, lololol. Still working my way through, and of course there's all of Yuletide Madness yet to see...

I have so many things I want to write I can't decide what to do first! This is a novel problem.
I'm going to try to be coherent here. I know I won't quite manage, but I will make my best effort.

First and most importantly: was it "good?"

Oh yeah. Yeah, it was good.

Things happen. The pace is picking up. It's a return, for me at least, to the wonder of first picking up the earlier books, unable to stop reading, just - hooked. While I have since read a number of criticisms of the series and a number of very highly acclaimed fantasy serieses, Wheel of Time, I am pleased to see, has lost none of its shine. I would recommend to people who were discouraged by the slow bit in the middle of the series to pick it up here after reading a summary of whatever books they don't want to read. But of course, I am probably biased.

So was it good? Yes. And I'm satisfied.

I should note before going any further that I made a point of not looking up at what point Brandon Sanderson started writing; but I couldn't tell. Just personally. Well done Brandon, I'm proud of you, at least. Haters to the left!

Spoilers start here. )

I feel ridiculous for feeling like the guy in the prologue was going to die. I have clearly read too much GRRM lately.

So yes, in conclusion - I liked it. I liked it a lot. I liked it a lot a lot. And I'm very curious as to how other people will react.

And really, really need the next book right about now.

ETA: OH YES my new project is making a fanmix that tracks Rand's character arc. Because. If anyone has suggestions they are welcomed with joy! For any point, really. Though I already know I am using this song for sure for this book. Is my Rand song.
Because it's where my head has been - a post, primarily related to A Song of Ice and Fire but with a couple other things thrown in there too. I was thinking in Chemistry today (not about Chemistry, alarmingly enough) and a few things came up in my head.

Firstly is that the great thing about this series (and others, but this one especially) is that GRRM is very good at creating characters we want to see again with very little space. I have a list of characters I barely knew that I want to see again, whether they're actually dead or just unlikely to turn up again. First and foremost and most obviously among these would be Oberyn Martell who was alive for exactly one book and around for probably under 200 pages. And yet the man has his own LJ comm and a legion of still grieving fans (I'd like to think it's not only because of how hot he sounds but also because he's a very interesting and intense character). Then there's Bronn who is pretty much the most secondary character to ever secondary a secondary, but he has his fair share of supporters in fandom. Not to mention Renly who we don't see much of and isn't coming back. And then there are the characters we never see firsthand at all - Lyanna and Rhaegar - who somehow still have a draw and connection to the reader even though they've never even been spotted onscreen. And isn't that interesting?

The second thing was that I cannot stand the pairing Theon/Robb. I suppose I see the attraction and, actually, in normal mode might go for it myself, but I think it's a measure of how much I loathe Theon that I don't. Because I really do hate him. And I don't want him near Robb because the boy deserves better.

So then I was thinking about why I dislike Theon so much...

and this is where it gets long. )

Finally, rereading Half-Blood Prince, all the 'Snape is ebul!' things are making me sad and all 'STFU HARRY YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW' but those are two separate canons.

I may have an essay in the works on Brotherhood in A Song of Ice and Fire (and possibly sisterhood, but I'd need more sister pairs, ideas :O?) but that shall be later.

I leave you with that, and apologize sincerely for any major incoherency that may have occurred.
minviendha: (puzzled)
( Feb. 14th, 2009 11:09 am)
God thinks all blacks are obsolete farm equipment
God thinks the Jews killed his son and must be punished
God thinks the white man is Satan
God, they know what God thinks

God thinks we should all convert to Judaism
God thinks we must all be Christians and
God thinks we should all embrace Islam
God thinks the only true religion is Hinduism

And I
I know what God thinks
God thinks you're a waste of flesh
God prefers an Atheist

God God
God thinks all people like you are hateful
God thinks all people like you are an embarrassment to creation
self-righteous, judgmental, first to throw a stone
and using His name for your own protection

more... )

Example A of why I love Voltaire and his lyrics...
Why people insist on turning on story alerts...for my oneshots. Um, people, if it's marked as completed chances are I'm not going to finish it. End of story. >___< I do not understand people sometimes.

Also, because I feel like it: my favorite Unsolved Mysteries (TM). Enjoy. References from Wikipedia, of course. Where else? 

1. The Oak Island Money Pit. Okay, okay, so as Unsolved Mysteries (TM) go it's not that big, but...this one has always fascinated me. I'm not even sure why, as treasure hunts and such have never been really my thing...though, I have to think that whoever made this thing must have been pretty ingenious. And pretty desperate. And also kind of wonder if maybe someone didn't just do that to bury...nothing...but that's because I'm me and that's the kind of thing I would do. XD

2. Voynich Manuscript. This one actually has it, right there in the first paragraph: "has also given weight to the theory that the book is simply an elaborate hoax — a meaningless sequence of arbitrary symbols." But nonetheless, this is another one from my childhood that periodically turns up (I was a weird kid, I read about this kind of stuff all the freaking time, probably explains something) that always interests me. Mysterious manuscript, turned up out of nowhere, totally indecipherable...stuff of a book, there. I'm sure there is one, and it's probably bad, but.

3. Taos Hum. Okay, so this one, on the weird scale, is not that bad, it's just...peculiar. Because seriously what is not odd about a pervasive low frequency hum that everyone is hearing but has no apparent source? 

4. The Bloop. Two words: Cthulhu's. Rising. That is all.

5. The Mothman. I don't know what's oddest about this one - the description given of it, the way it's connected with the bridge disaster, or just...the whole story. I don't know, it's a weird thing. This probably has something to do with reading The Mothman Prophecies, though.

6. Dancing Mania. Okay, seriously - this would have to be the oddest thing ever to witness. A bunch of people. Randomly begin dancing. And literally cannot stop even as they're dropping from exhaustion. Seriously, what the hell? And sure, it's explainable, but still...weird, wacky, and awesome.

7. Dyatlov Pass Accident. Weirdest. Thing. Ever. So, basically. Couple hikers go up into the mountains. Experienced hikers. Don't come home on time. So, not that weird yet. But here's where it starts getting odd. So the search party goes up, and finds that the hikers ripped their way out of the tent - from the inside - and ran out into the snow. In their underwear. So that's odd enough, and unsurprising that they were all dead. What is weird? That "while the corpses show no signs of struggle, one victim had a fractured skull, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue." And weirder? The inquest "suggested that the fatal injuries of the three bodies could not have been caused by another human being, owing to the extreme force to which they had been subjected." And. The only footprints in the snow were the hiker's. Brrr. Read the article for more, I'm going to try not to think about this too much.

8. The Green Children. After the above one, in my opinion this might be the weirdest one on here. Basically, in the 12th century, two children, a boy and a girl, appeared in a village in the United Kingdom, confused and disoriented. Their skin was colored green, they spoke an unknown language, and at first refused to eat. While the boy died, the girl survived and eventually lost her green coloring. Perhaps weirdest is the account of the surviving child. "When she learned English, she explained that they came from the 'Land of St Martin', which was dimly lit because the sun never rose far above the horizon. One day, while tending their father's herd, they heard the faraway sound of bells. They crossed a "river of light", entered a cavern and eventually found themselves in Woolpit."

Of course, all of these probably have a simple explanation. But still. Weird, interesting, and eternally fascinating to me, at least. And I don't know. But I like a little bit of the unexplained in my life...even if it creeps me the hell out.

ETA: Just realized - "end of story" hahahahaha I made a funneh. :D

But Wait, There's More!: ....okay I kind of want.

#275: Something Lovecraftian. Two, actually - one that's actually creepy and one that's just...a little silly. The silly one will be easy. XD

#276: Also, I want to make a journal for Cthulhu (at i_fhtagn) and start making daily posts. And see what happens. I think it'd be fun.

Also. Please, can I stop feeling like a failure at family? I do not like this. :\
minviendha: (kelpie in moonlight)
( Apr. 29th, 2008 09:41 pm)
I HAVE SO MANY FRIKKIN MOSQUITO BITES. IT'S MAKING ME ANGRY.

Also, trawling Scott Lynch (author of The Lies of Locke Lamora)'s journal, I found this, and found it so ...

Well, I had to share.

"Jim Rigney, better known to literally millions as Robert Jordan, passed away this weekend. I read this at Nielsenhayden.com last night and found myself in an unexpected funk.

I was not a fan of the Wheel of Time books, probably because I came to them in my twenties with my tastes already fairly developed. I was never able to get past the opening of the second book, and those of you who've known me for ages I'm sure absorbed my criticism and invective years ago. I once wrote at excruciating length upon the weaknesses of the books as I perceived them, and while I thought it was extremely clever and somehow necessary at the time, the years since have drastically mellowed my taste for mocking the work of other authors who aren't huge assholes in person or pushing a distasteful agenda with their work. About the best I can say for my mosquito bites is that I sincerely hope Jordan himself never had them called to his attention. Something tells me he would have given them the eye roll they deserved.

I was bitten at a very impressionable age by the Hugely Epic Series bug. I read L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth decalog starting in fifth grade, and was too young to realize that it was schlocky, thinly veiled Scientology propaganda. Somewhere in the back of my mind I still have the glowing impression of my personal Misconstrued Mission Earth, a heroic galaxy-spanning epic that seemed to unfold endless promise in front of me. And if that glowing feeling is what kindled in the minds of Jordan's readers when they thought of the Wheel of Time sequence, then he helped them conjure something to be treasured.

It's pretty fashionable, in the online goldfish bowl that seems to be the majority of genre criticism, to reflexively spit on the very concept of the fantasy series. But fuck 'em. Snark is the cheapest of all forms of prose, and it comes no cheaper than from those who never had the vision or the persistence to create something grand with their own words and time. Robert Jordan brought a huge audience a little dose of the numinous; something that caught their imaginations and helped the slow and painful parts of their lives pass more quickly. It takes a freakish combination of drive and ambition to lay out the architecture of a literary work so vast, let alone actually write the damn thing.

What Jordan created was grand, and worthy, and special. I regret that the words at the end of the last page will trail off into nothingness, and that he didn't get whatever time would have been needed to close the sequence as he saw fit. I envy his readers who found themselves caught up in a private magic while reading his books.

His was a good work, and a difficult work, and the rest of us should be so goddamn lucky as to do what he did.

My condolences to all of you who were his family, friends, and readers."

RJ. I MISS YOU.
minviendha: (Default)
( Apr. 14th, 2008 05:23 pm)

Sometimes Locke can be such a morbid pessimist he makes me facepalm.

Icons!



And since I have nothing to do and it are raining, I do my usual and come up with PBs for my characters from various stories, and I FINALLY SUCCEEDED in finding myself a Keearh. So, that just leaves finding a really good Taine, which is haaard. I have one, but there are no pictures where he is not headbanging on a cello. Bummer. ETA: Scratch that, I have an appropriately pretty Taine. :DDD And I'm now addicted to sort-of-not-porn, aka whynotmodels.com. Ahahaha.


Cut for those interested parties... )
minviendha: (lucivar fandom posts)
( Feb. 2nd, 2008 11:54 am)
I finished Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell yesterday. I am here going to attempt to write a coherent review/summary of my thoughts about it. I hope. Suffice it to say that it was good: read it. I may be a little spoilery, though I will do my best.


I like writing reviews. I only do them rarely, but still...they are highly fun and entertaining and all that whatever.

Maybe I'll go and write something actually original now. On the off chance that I actually ever finish FullMoon would anyone want to read the whole thing and give me an honest opinion of its quality? I like it, but... *chews nails* Just a question.
minviendha: (kelpie in moonlight)
( Dec. 24th, 2007 08:33 pm)
I finished Perdido Street Station.

The ending made me cry. My favorite character was Yagharek, hands down.

I kind of want to join as him on DF...mostly I just love him, though. MEH, YAG, I LOVE YOU. D:

....anyway. On to Archangel by Sharon Shinn...I'm only a little ways in but it is fascinating already. :D!
minviendha: (Default)
( Nov. 27th, 2007 10:20 pm)
I'm reading Polgara the Sorceress and Mimi made an offhand comment about "going back to my roots" and it got me thinking...

What are my fantasy roots? What got me started on this obsession with the genre? What was the first fantasy book I read that got me hooked? And I realized that I have no idea. It might have been Eddings...but even earlier than that I was reading fantasy in the juvenile fiction section. But I think it was really Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic series that got me hooked on fantasy and had me looking for more...and from there I just kept branching out.

But my introduction to the world of adult fantasy...that's a little harder to pin down. I think, however, that it was the Darkangel trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce, though some count that as young adult...if so, it would have to be Wheel of Time. Which is funny...and makes Robert Jordan's death all the more sad. The man who really introduced me to what fantasy can be just died.

It was months ago, and saying that still seems surreal. I can't believe he's really dead. I just can't. It's the weirdest thing.

No, wait...it wasn't Wheel of Time. Never mind. It was David Eddings that got me hooked. And even now, his voice is still one of the most engaging, fourth-wall breaking ones I've found. It's not quality, but it's incredibly fun to read.

And <3333Silk.

Meanwhile, the NaNo creeps along at a glacial pace...sounds familiar, don't it?
minviendha: (last unicorn)
( Aug. 28th, 2007 08:42 pm)
I feel so crazy. It's like there's a big hole in my chest and it hurts, but I don't miss anyone. I feel like angsting but I don't feel sad. I just feel...crazy. And I'm bouncing off the walls and inside my head and oh my god I don't know what is up with me but I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight. If I felt a little safer around here tonight would be the kind of night I would go running really late.

I need a sedative. Sedagive. Whatever.
Tags:
minviendha: (lucius=not impressed)
( Aug. 8th, 2007 10:21 am)
"I do know what I'm talking about; I've read many many of these communities. It's sad, I know it is. But it's not illegal to aspire to be thin. It's not against the ToS to give people bad advice.

LiveJournal does not support girls harming themselves. There is a line where we will suspend a pro-ana community or require removal of an entry. That line is when content is specifically instructing or inciting self-harm. Generalities aren't against the ToS, but specificities may be."

...

WTF?? )
minviendha: (*blinkblink*)
( Jul. 21st, 2007 10:18 pm)
It does my reader's heart good to see people reading a book in the streets at 1:00 am.

Gone for a week, on a mission trip to Yakima. Be back next Saturday.

minviendha: (life's a bitch)
( Jun. 20th, 2007 10:14 am)
Should have known I'd regret posting a rant. Reading flist this morning, found only more posts mentioning and citing said article as GOD. Now I just feel like a wangsty teen who can't take critique. Meh. That's not the kind of person I want to be, godammit.

So here we are, in Computer Tech...what to do, what to do. I could make icons, but I don't have any ideas, could play games but am not really interested in anything...*sigh*

I is going on a book-buying binge right now, and hence running out of space on the ol' bookshelves. Pity the parents won't let me have another one. Ah well. Oh, and some person at the high school apparently posted death threats directed at specific students and the student body. Some dude got arrested. This is so stupid - I can't believe that someone would actually do that. People disappoint me. This includes myself.

I felt good last night because I had the chance to help out a good friend...now I just feel kind of lost. Thank God that school's almost over. Two more days of middle school and then I'm out of it for good. Will be going on hiatus in four days for two weeks for trip to France. I'm sure something major will happen and I'll miss it. That's just what happens when I'm gone.

I'm just sort of rambling on here...I don't really know what the point of this post is, other than the first sentence.

Is this a reasonable thing to get angry at? Not the poster, but a few of the comments and the article itself, the general tone of the writer, etc.


So yeah. I'm done...and maybe I can get back to life now. Or something. There was something meaningful I wanted to say here, but I forgot what it was.
minviendha: (last unicorn)
( Jun. 18th, 2007 08:46 pm)
You know, for such a superior race, humans really aren't that great. We take an enormous amount of energy just to keep our basic functions running, and more to keep us in good help. There's an enormous amount of things that can and do go wrong on a daily basis, even with proper care. We are incredibly helpless after birth and take more than 15 years to begin to be able to function on our own. And on the topic of birth: reproduction in humans is painful for the mother and drags on for nine whole months. Nine whole months of having a parasite feeding off your body. Excuse me, but what?

We have horrible waste management, a delicate digestive tract (so we can't eat a wide range of foods without ill effects), we tend to get sick a lot (even only mildly). We can't run very fast, smell, hear, or even taste very well, we have parts of our body that are essentially just wastes of space and energy, we're not very strong and our social structure is somewhat needlessly complicated.

Bacteria had the right idea, really. Small, compact, self reproducing, energy-efficient...

They may not be able to solve quadratic equations, or even open doors, but they make a hell of a lot more sense.
.

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