Monthly Archives: April 2010

Official Versus Fan Translation: I Grumble About Snobs

From what I’ve heard (and seen), in the early days of manga and anime coming over to the US, the official translations tended to be very poor, incredibly inaccurate, and on occasion the “translators” would completely change the story line. (As evidence of this, think about Warriors of the Wind , an early English dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa.) So I can more or less understand where the “fan translation is the only one true way, all official translations stink!” crowd are coming from. But… Continue reading


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Book Review: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Harper Collins
400 pp

Unseen Academicals (Discworld)This Discworld novel is about football (but as is often the case with a Discworld novel), not just about football. Vetinari, the Patrician (and best Tyrant EVER) of Ankh-Morpork has decided to revive the tradition of the Unseen University fronting a football team composed of staff, faculty and students. Oh and, he would also like the game altered so as to cause fewer riots, brutal deaths, and maiming. (The reason why he wants this has to do with an urn revealing that the game was originally held in honor of a goddess–and the winning team usually strangled the losing team. Pies are also involved, so basically, the game is about Ritual Sacrifice, With Pie.)

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Outline of Crystal Singer, by Anne McCaffrey

This is an Outline, not a serious review or critique, meant for parody and humor purposes only.

Other Outlines can be found here

The Crystal Singer Omnibus

Crystal Singer is a great book when you’re fifteen and/or know nothing about music. (Why a writer who supposedly does have voice training would hold something like perfect pitch in such high universal regard is mystery to me, for instance. Also, it’s kind of weird that there’s apparently no “popular” genres a of music in The Future–just classical. Instead of recommending non-classical music careers, the maestro immediately jumps to things like “crystal tuning.”) It doesn’t really stand the test of time in a lot of ways, but it does manage to be entertaining…if you like the main character, which I don’t all that much. Much like the irritating burr in her voice, I find her to be a bit annoying.

In which there are Divas. Continue reading


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One of the Many Reasons I Love xkcd

Alternate text: Telescopes and bathyscapes and sonar probes of Scottish lakes, Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse explained with abstract phase-space maps, some x-ray slides, a music score, Minard’s Napoleonic war: the most exciting new frontier is charting what’s already here.

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101 Tropes 1-30

This is a repost from a meme that was floating around on another blog’s friendlist. (It was originally called 101 Kinks, but “kink” was being used in the sense of “thing I really like” instead of “thing that turns me on.” I’ve expanded on some of the tropes in some cases.

1. Characters who have some variety of “damage,” but aren’t crippled by it. Characters who have something severely wrong with them, but are still able to “get by” in one way or another. (Or, if they’re literally crippled, they still have the determination to keep going.)

2. Hurt/Comfort where the emphasis is on the comfort. Heart to heart conversations on the porch, friends hugging, breakfast in bed for a friend, lover or partner who’s sick.

3. Domestic. I love casual interactions between people who are just having an ordinary day. Tomorrow they might have to do Important Things like slay vampires or something but right now they’re doing the laundry, or feeding the dog and cat. Continue reading

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Book Review: Shalador’s Lady, by Anne Bishop

476 pp.

Shalador's Lady: A Black Jewels NovelShalador’s Lady takes place not long after the events of The Shadow Queen. Cassidy has successfully solved the riddle left behind by Prince Theran’s ancestors, and has at least partially come into her own as a Queen. Despite her successes and having “won the hearts and minds” of most of the males in her First Circle, and her work in helping the Territory’s recovery, the Warlord Prince is still only backing her with great reluctance. (His cousin Gray on the other hand, thinks she rocks like a rocking thing that rocks.)

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Filed under Anne Bishop, book, fantasy, non-earth, Review: Book, romance

Bad Ass Babes (With and Without a Man)

This essay is something of a sequel or companion piece to a previous article I wrote.

Early science fiction and fantasy tends to be mostly male-oriented. Which is to say, the main character and a large percentage of the supporting cast will be male, and female characters generally have tertiary roles more often than not restricted to “love interest,” “femme fatale,” or “innocent.” Even when the female character has a primary role within the story, she’s usually sidelined in favor of the Hero of the piece. Because of this, I generally paid more attention to/identified with the male characters because it was very rare for a female character to have the same depth of personality and character motivation as a male one. Continue reading

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