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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

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And I continue to dig around in my archives:) I wrote the bulk of the post below, in Feb of 2012; which seems perfect, as I made the braid I'm featuring today that goes with it in April of 2012. So let's get started:)

First up the library recently got Janice Radway's Reading the Romance. This is rather dated—it's copyrighted 1984, and even the rewritten intro dates from 91—but I found some of her observations very interesting. She was, at the time, evidently writing during the forefront of mass-media cultural critiques (as opposed to doing litcrit of “good” literature, such as Shakesspeare. The irony being, of course, that Shakespeare himself was writing for the masses. But I digress.)

The author herself admits that the romance field has changed considerably from the era when Kathleen Woodiwiss ( The Flame and the Flower, Shanna ) were considered the height of the genre. (At the urging of a friend, I read them. It put me off romance for close to twenty years.) Since then, the romance field has, like sf&f, developed conventions, reader reviews (my go-to site back in the day was All About Romance, or AAR, but there's lots of them now, I believe) and fannish crit; even more so, fanfiction.net burst upon the world.



The last comics review I wrote was of the decently drawn, but often quite beautiful story in Scott McCloud's The Sculptor: the man's generosity towards humanity was very much present in that story. Continuing my sweep through the archives, today's fridayfugly is a critique of a gorgeously drawn book with very ugly sentiments that I wrote back in October of 2012: Jonathon Hickman's Nightly News. If'n you're in a good mood for a rant, this will be a treat.


I picked up the first book in Martha Wells’ Raksura trilogy, The Cloud Roads, because a) it was recommended by someone as a comfort read on Making Light and b) the short stories suggested the protagonist, Moon, an outsider because he can magically transform into a winged creature who has an appalling resemblence to the predators who hunt the various peoples of the Three Worlds, was appealing. That right there pretty much tells you where the plot arc is going, but the really spoiler averse will wish to stop here.

Though Moon starts out as your typical poor persecuted princeling and/or uber-talented who Just Is Not Understood (the sort of thing Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey in particular do so well—i.e. traditional, as opposed to updated, fairytales) Moon's motivations and emotional shifts seemed to go all over the place, and I often couldn't follow them, so (hurt)comfort thing fell by the wayside. Which is really too bad, because when that is done well—as in The Goblin Emperor—I absolutely adore it. But where the characterization failed, the worldbuilding made up. I loved the many colored races. The scales, frills, tails and other decorative doodads the various characters sported sounded absolutely delicious to draw.



Some random links of fun stuff I want to clear out my tabs, at any rate....

Really liking the music of the punningly named Fourplay—a non traditional string quartet in this vid. Oh be still my beating heart, oh the color combos of this variegated perle cotton...

I've alluded to a major controversy in the (book) sf&f world, the sad puppies campaign. Well, they got pretty soundly trounced. ML (and Abi Sutherland in particular) are more gracious than I could be, but I will admit that there does seem to be a lot more effort getting the word out on interesting stuff, especially the shorter fiction. In fact, I gather that internet has really brought the short fiction markets back to life, but obviously haven't pursued them. S'pose I should start...



Here's a blast from the past...

Why is it that bloggers feel so compelled to apologize when they fail to post—I mean, folks like me, who basically donating their time? Because, of course, other folks are sacrificing the time to type in our urls and wait for them to load, and time is the most precious commodity at all. So, yes, of course I have excuses. They're lame bad, or at least I don't feel like exposing them—so, yes, sorry, now, onward.

And what a hash this is going to be, given that it's been weeks since I posted. (Well, years, really, seeing as I pulled this out of the archives some 7 years after I wrote it, in July of 2008...) Thanks be to the wizard for fixing my 1 GB card, which has been acting up—the fix was pretty simple, formatting it—but I was thankful all the same. When I stepped on it, I figured I'd have to pitch it. Despite the dent, it worked fine for years. (I now have no idea where this thing is—in fact, my 8 GB card started acted a little wonky, so now I'm using one that's 32...) When this weird behavior cropped up, I thought at first I'd accidentally locked some images, which my camera allows me to do. But it happened again with some other pix, so I finally concluded its abuse had caught up with me. Perhaps. But now it's working again. Hallelujah!



I've really been enjoying the This is Colossal website. Today's goodie is a bunch of really cool fungi photography that would make absolutely fantastic inspiration for a fantasy world a la Avatar. (Hopefully, one with less appropriation...) The Colossal people pulled some of the most spectacular; or you can go through Steve Axford's 11 odd flickr pages.


Or you can look at my vaguely rainforest colored bead embroidery.

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