Pixel Scroll 12/27 So Long, and Thanks for All the Fifths

(1) ORPHAN BLACK TEASER. BBC America says Orphan Black Season 4 has started production and will be shooting in Toronto through March.

Tatiana Maslany returns to her Emmy®-nominated role as multiple clones in 10 new episodes in Spring 2016.

Season 4 of the drama will see leader-of-the-pack, Sarah, reluctantly return home from her Icelandic hideout to track down an elusive and mysterious ally tied to the clone who started it all — Beth Childs.  Sarah will follow Beth’s footsteps into a dangerous relationship with a potent new enemy, heading in a horrifying new direction. Under constant pressure to protect the sisterhood and keep everyone safe, Sarah’s old habits begin to resurface. As the close-knit sisters are pulled in disparate directions, Sarah finds herself estranged from the loving relationships that changed her for the better.


(2) UNDERSTANDING CONTRACTS. Fynbospress provides a wide-ranging introduction to contracts for creators in “When do you need a contract?” at Mad Genius Club, a post that does much more than merely answer the title question.

This isn’t just for court; this is when you’ve submitted a rough draft to a copyeditor and found out they only did the first third of the book and the last chapter , or when you paid a cover artist $500 and they returned one proof of concept, then stopped answering emails. This is for when the small press gives you a horrid cover, no release press, and you have some real doubts about your royalty statements. This is for when you’ve agreed to turn in a sequel, and you find out your spouse has cancer, and nothing’s going to get done that’s not medically related. It’s for when you get the avian flu and aren’t going to make your slot with your editor, and aren’t sure you could make a pushback date, either, or the house washes away in a flood and you weren’t even thinking about when your cover artist finished her painting and wants paid.

(3) NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS. Lela E. Buis in “Safe spaces and personal self defense” conflates safe spaces with the convention antiharassment policies of which she disapproves.

Reading through the proposed convention policies, safe spaces apparently mean that no one can annoy you. When some evil lowlife approaches and says something that disturbs or upsets you, then you should be able to just say “no, go away” and they are required to do so. It means that you can cruise through the convention experience without worrying about anything. If anyone fails to do what you ask, then all you have to do is complain to management and they’ll take care of the lowlife who’s bothering you, pitching him/her out on the street. This is really an ideal situation, where nobody ever has to hear things they don’t want to hear, or deal with situations they don’t want to be in.

However, when you always depend on management to protect you, then you’re not taking personal responsibility for your own well-being. You end up with no self-defense skills….

(4) CHROMIUM SÍ IN AMERICA. “Here’s How Captain Phasma Got Her Silver Armor” explains Andrew Liptak in an intro to a video at io9.

Gwendoline Christie has certainly made her mark in the Star Wars universe as the silver-armored Captain Phasma. This short video shows where that armor came from, and it’s hilarious.

(5) NO SPOILERS. Joe Vasicek’s spoiler-free first impressions of the new Star Wars movie at One Thousand and One Parsecs.

Was it campy? Yep. Was it rife with scientific inaccuracies? Oh heck, yes! Were parts of it over the top? Yeah, probably. But these were all true of the original Star Wars, too. The stuff that really mattered was all there: good writing, solid plot, believable characters, awesome music, and that grand sense of wonder that drew us all into Science Fiction in the first place.

(6) SPOILERY AND FUNNY. Emma Barrie’s “The Confused Notes of a Star Wars Newbie Who Felt Compelled to See The Force Awakens” is a high comedy journal of watching The Force Awakens.  Paragraph two only spoils the original Star Wars trilogy, so that’s safe to quote….

Even as a member of the uninitiated minority, I did know some basic stuff about Star Wars, because how could I not? My birthday is May 4, so there’s that. I knew Darth Vader is bad and has the voice of Mufasa. I knew Han Solo is a person (though I thought it was Hans Solo). I could definitely pick Chewbacca out of a lineup. Princess Leia is Carrie Fisher (whom I primarily associate with hating that wagon-wheel table in When Harry Met Sally). She has those Cinnabon hair swirls and at some point wore a gold bikini (info gleaned from Friends). Lightsabers are kind of like fancy swords. Darth Vader is Luke’s dad.

(7) SPOILERY AND SERIOUS. David Brin was greatly relieved to find things to complain about in “J.J. Abrams Awakens the Force” at Contrary Brin.

Okay we saw it.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SW:TFA), on Christmas Eve.  And although I am lead author — and “prosecuting attorney” — of the book Star Wars on Trial, and hence a leading critic of the series, I must admit that:

(1) The newest installment of the franchise — directed by J.J. Abrams under Disney management — has none of the deeply objectionable traits of Episodes I, II, III and VI that I denounced in that controversial tome. Abrams and Disney shrugged off the lunacies George Lucas compulsively preached in those vividly colorful-yet-wretched flicks….

(8) SPOILERY TROLLING. Nick Mamatas is like one of those basketball players who in the parlance can create his own shot. If there was nothing in The Force Awakens to complain about, Nick would not be inconvenienced in the slightest. His review is at Nihilistic Kid.

Like any Star Wars film, it makes little sense. I’m not even talking about the inexplicable political economy of the galaxy that has both intelligent robots and people hanging out in tents with dirt floors, or the horrifying reactionary theme of an entire galaxy being held a prisoner of fate by about a dozen closely related individuals.

Is that last part so unrealistic, Nick? Think of Queen Victoria’s family ties.

(9) A FAN OF PEACE. I thought Hank Green was a science fiction fan (among other things) yet he exhibits a practically unfannish lack of interest in quarrelling with his fellow fans about Important Genre Definitions.

(10) FIVE IS ALIVE. At The Book Smugglers, “Jared Shurin’s Five Terrific 2015 Titles That’ll Tie Awards in Knots”  actually contains seven titles. Did he think nobody would count? Or was he worried File 770 wouldn’t link to his post without a “fifth” reference? Never fear, Jared, your praise for “A Small, Angry Planet” deserves to be shared.

Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

It lurked (and won The Kitschies) as a self-published work at the start of 2015, but as far as the ‘stablishment is concerned, this utterly glorious, brilliantly progressive and undeniably joyous space opera didn’t exist until the UK release in February and the US release soon after. It has been on multiple ‘Best Of’ lists (Waterstones, Guardian, Barnes & Noble), and hopefully that translates to even more well-deserved recognition. The awards scene is dominated by a) Americans and b) traditional publishing, so this book’s… er… long way… to market should hopefully pay off with further acclaim.

(11) SMACKIN’ WITH THE PUPPIES. George R.R. Martin finally froze comments on “Puppies at Christmas” after two days spent duking it out with trolls. Martin’s last entry in the discussion might also be taken as a reply to the coverage here the other day:

When people behave badly (in fandom or out of it), or do things that I find immoral or unethical, I reserve the right to speak out about it, as I did about Sad Puppies 3 last year.

When, on the other hand, I see behavior I regard as positive, I am also going to speak out about that… regardless of whether my words are going to be “spun” to suit someone else’s narrative. So far, what I am seeing on the Sad Puppies 4 boards is a step in the right direction… a spirited literary discussion that includes everyone from Wright and Williamson to Leckie and Jemisin. That’s good.

If it turns into something else later, well, I’ll revise my opinion or raise objections. But I am not going to deal in hypotheticals. Right now what I see is people talking books.


  • December 27, 1904Peter Pan by James Barrie opens in London.
  • December 27, 1947 — The first “Howdy Doody” show, under the title “Puppet Playhouse,” was telecast on NBC.
  • December 27, 1968 — The Apollo 8 astronauts — Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders — returned to Earth after orbiting the moon 10 times.

(13) RESTATE OF THE ART. “How Weinstein Co. Distribution Chief Erik Lomis Rescued 70MM Cinema For Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’” at Deadline Hollywood.

Lomis had an 18-month lead before Hateful Eight would hit the screen, and he promptly began scouring eBay and interfacing with film warehouses and antique collectors across the country “pulling the equipment, checking it and Frankenstein-ing it together. Configuring the lens took six months alone. They needed to be adjusted to today’s stadium auditoriums, which from the booth to the screen have a shorter throw versus the lens on the older machines which had a longer throw due to the sloping floor auditoriums,” explains Lomis. For the first six months, Lomis was picking up 70MM projectors at affordable prices, but once word slipped out that it was for a Tarantino film, collectors tripled and quadrupled their asks.  Essentially, to make three solid working projectors, one needed to pull parts from as many as five projectors.  Gears, shafts, bearings and rollers were the typical replacements. At times, these parts were manufactured from scratch off original blueprints. On average, Schneider Optics made a lens a day during production to restore this antiquated technology.

(14) SIR TERRY. Rhianna Pratchett  in The Guardian“Sir Terry Pratchett remembered by his daughter, Rhianna Pratchett”.

…The reaper came for my father much earlier in his life in the form of Death from his world-famous and much-loved Discworld novels. Death was a towering, cloaked and scythe-wielding skeleton who had a penchant for curries, a love of cats and TALKED LIKE THIS. We got a number of tear-inducing letters from fans who were nearing the end of their lives and took great comfort in imagining that the death that came for them would be riding a white horse called Binky. Dad had done something with more success than anyone else – he made Death friendly.

For me, as for many of his fans, it was his gift for characterisations like this that made his books pure narrative gold. Dad was a great observer of people. And when he ran out of actual people, he was a great imaginer of them. Both his grannies come through in his witch characters, while there’s a fair chunk of me in Tiffany Aching and Susan Sto Helit, Death’s adoptive granddaughter. …

(15) THE JAVA AWAKENS. “Designers Create Star Wars-Themed Coffee Concept” at Comicbook.com.

Graphic designer Spencer Davis and product designer Scott Schenone have come up with “Dark Brew Coffee House,” a concept that imagines what a Star Wars-themed coffee shop would look like.

(Lots more thematic imagery displayed at Dark Brew Coffee House.)

Dark Side coffee

(16) DARK OUTSIDE. Then could we change this to the Darthburger?

[Thanks to DLS,and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Shao Ping.]

242 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/27 So Long, and Thanks for All the Fifths

  1. Camestros Felapton: So do we need a ‘not shouting’ emoticon now?

    I’m still trying to figure out where the ‘yelling’ emoticon was that Phantom was seeing. Is my monitor not showing all the special icons?

  2. microtherion: Maybe I’m just applying a selective reading to the text, but compared to the treatment of race and gender that Cheryl S. noted above, the sexual orientation of the protagonist seems rather conspicuous to me.

    Thanks for pulling those out. The books were returned to the library long ago, so I wasn’t going to do it. There’s a bit more than I remember — but I don’t think there’s much more than you highlighted. It seems to be something Nagata does when she first introduces characters.

    Do you feel like pulling out some of Shelley’s descriptions of male characters?

  3. So do we need a ‘not shouting’ emoticon now?
    Maybe two cent symbols? ¢ ¢

    Seems like it should have been one of the first emoticons to be developed. I don’t know if all the funky ones I have will work on WordPress.

    ETA: the funky emoticons showed in preview but not once I posted. Geez. Had a muted speaker, a mouse, a monkey covering it’s mouth. LOL

  4. JJ on December 29, 2015 at 11:40 pm said:

    I’m still trying to figure out where the ‘yelling’ emoticon was that Phantom was seeing. Is my monitor not showing all the special icons?

    OWWW!!!! My ears hurt just from you really loud vowels! 🙂

    Some other suggestions:
    µ (& mirco;) because it is really small?
    ¼ (& frac14) for quarter of the usual volume?

  5. Well, this is supposed to be a list of supported WordPress smileys, but perhaps Mike has them overridden.

    This is supposed to be the shouty emoticon:
    but not all of them work.


  6. @Hampus:

    SO DID I! 😉

    Seriously, if The Phantom thinks we’ve been yelling, I’d hate to see how he’d react to actual yelling…

  7. My favorite bit of yelling so far is this one from Peace Is My Middle Name:

    Having a strong opinion is not the same as yelling. Peace is a great exemplar of this principle.

  8. @ Hampus
    The Male Gaze is a conformist view of how a male is expected to see and feel about attraction, what their ideal of women is supposed to be. It is a limiting template that irritates me.

    And as I’m sure you already know, this is another problem with a sexist society. It also limits what men are allowed to think, feel and do and be considered ‘normal’.

  9. @junego: “And as I’m sure you already know, this is another problem with a sexist society. It also limits what men are allowed to think, feel and do and be considered ‘normal’.”

    Reminds me of a bit from this interview:

    Boundaries fascinate me. We’re obsessed with sex, but we’re ashamed of it. We voluntarily accept incredibly limited roles that make no sense. Look at clothes. In the Western world, anyone can wear pants, but only women get to wear skirts. A man in a skirt’s considered effeminate and weak – unless he calls it a kilt, then it’s strong and manly. Makeup is right out – unless he’s on camera, where it’s mandatory. It’s all so arbitrary!

    Come to think of it, there was a meme I saw a while back on how it’s more socially acceptable for a man to come out as gay than as a straight crossdresser.

    ETA, @Nigel: I DON’T KNOW!

  10. @ JJ & microtherion
    re: Nagata’s Red series

    I’m struggling with similar issues about nomination – just The Trials or with Going Dark or the whole trilogy. Today I think it’ll be just the one book, will probably waffle tomorrow. ;). (All depending if the book survives my final cull.)

    On the ‘male gaze’, I did notice a certain amount of discussion of female attributes, even when the main character, James, wasn’t actively interested or involved. It wasn’t excessive, imo, but the male characters weren’t described in terms of attractive physical features, either. (At least I don’t remember that happening.) It was a minor “huh?” while reading for me, as the women were much more characterized by their personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, actions, etc.

  11. @ Rev Bob

    I don’t doubt that it’s true, to some extent and in some places, that it would be easier for a man to be openly gay than openly a cross-dresser. In some places neither would be healthy. 🙁

    Women were more limited sartorially in the past. Feminist women pushed to change that. I was required to wear dresses/skirts to school through HS. My mother, as an older child, was only allowed to wear pants when she had to do certain chores on the farm, but never in public. Her grandmother never wore pants in her life because it was socially unacceptable into her adult years and she couldn’t/wouldn’t change when it became more acceptable.

    I think we might be making strides in eliminating the gender binary when men want to wear skirts and no one cares if they do.

  12. @junego:

    I know from sartorial limitations. I spent six years in a private, single-sex, once-military school (grades 7-12) where shirt-and-tie was the standard uniform… plus a blue blazer every Monday during winter. Even at that, we had it better than the all-girl school we partnered with. (The other all-male school in town went coed early in my tenure, so the two remaining single-sex schools developed closer… um, ties.) They had exactly one permissible type of dress, which only varied in color and looked like no other design I’ve seen before or since. At least we got to show some individuality in our choice of neckties; I wore a skinny electric-blue one with a black diagonal stripe for a while.

    It’s been a couple of decades – or, if I believe the time machine, three millennia and change – since I’ve had to wear a tie, but I’d have no trouble executing a perfect Windsor knot if the situation arose. Actually dredging up a tie would be the tougher problem.

  13. It’s interesting to look at the history of clothing and fashion and realize how arbitrary it is.

    I recently saw some article about how to dress women, and it divided up clothing into “classy” and “sexy” based on criteria that would have looked incomprehensible to Victorians. Meanwhile, much of the visual humor in old Victorian cartoons is lost because what were once considered blatant clothing cues to character and situation are invisible to modern eyes.

  14. @ Peace

    After I said men wearing skirts would be ‘progress’ I thought, “Well, as long as fashions don’t change to togas and/or kilts for men!” :-]

    It boggles the mind a bit to think how the Victorians would interpret our clothing signals! Someone in bleached out, holey ‘dungarees’ and a jacket over a tee shirt can be considered very well dressed and flaunting their importance – if the clothes came from the right designers.

    @ Rev Bob
    My husband has hoarded preserved ties from the 60s – 00s. I can let you have skinny or fat or striped or paisley or spotted or neon or abstract or argyle or.. Just let me know what you need, anything at all…(please?)

  15. I think a Victorian eye would have a great deal of trouble trying to sort out our status signals.

    To someone used to coy jokes about dresses that did not hide the ankle, all women’s dress shorter than that would likely be looked at as roughly all the same level of indecency.

  16. Regarding clothing signals: One of the hard things about being serious about researching clothing history and understanding the social context of clothing in historic societies, is accepting that many (most?) people who wear historic or historically inspired outfits (whether in specific hobby-related contexts, or simply as fashion), are not trying to evoke the historic signals associated with those fashions and may, in fact, be invoking entirely different signals.

    I’m thinking of how “visible Victorian-style corset” went from being “intimate-gaze/prostitute” to “kick-ass steam-punk”. Or on the male side, how “shirt with no waistcoat or coat” went from being “working class” to “sexy”.

  17. Snowcrash said: ” 1. Oh honey. If this is you not caring, I wonder how you would be when you did care about something.
    2. It’s not a free country, it’s the Internet. Welcome to it.
    3. And yet here you are insisting that those who didn’t like aspects of it for their own reasons of being wrongfans having their wrongthink.

    People enjoy and interpret things differently than you do. You can choose to be fine with that, or you can spend your time tilting at windmills. Your life, your choices. But try to get used to people not taking you seriously when you do the latter.

    1) Shao Ping posted something patently and obviously false. I called him/her on it, and here we still are, discussing… me. Because “SHUT UP, Phantom!”

    2) Lots of pretzel logic trying to show what a dork The Phantom is for saying characters who are clearly more than ‘sex objects’ are… not mere sex objects. Most important part of the argument being to prove what a dork that Phantom dude is. Because “SHUT UP!!! Phantom!”

    3) I care when people make shit up about stuff I like. That’s what this is about.

    I don’t care if no one else on Earth shares my opinion of a book, movie, whatever. I remain very happy that tights and skimpy tops are in style for women, I profoundly don’t care what other people think about that, or if I’m the only one left who likes to see women wearing them. My Male Gaze is taking in the scenery, and I’m a happy camper. I also like books with characters in them that look good in tights and skimpy tops.

    Your mileage my vary, and if it does, my condolences. But I’m not changing my ways even if I’m the last dude on Earth who likes the tights/skimpy top combination. I’ll add at this time that I’m against Islamic fanaticism because it’s really hard to see the tights and skimpy tops with all that burka fabric in the way. Also, winter. I’m against it. Parkas, you know.

    Because this is the Internet, like you said. Also still a free country so far, despite how hard some people are working to change that.

    4) ‘Honey?’ Really? You want to go there, Crashy? Seems kind of “SHUT UP!!!” for a ‘reasoned argument’ to me.

    5) For all the sound and fury generated so far, we are still at “Ass-kicker monster hunter CEO hot chicks with degrees in Fine Art and sniper skillz” are not SEX OBJECTS, because a sex object is a ‘f-and-forget’ non-character. By definition. Two definitions so far by my count, apologies if I missed one.

    That’s what ‘sex object’ means. An object to do sex upon. A blow-up doll with no other purpose in the narrative. “Win the affection of, marry and have children with” is not the same thing. Apples and Aardvarks. One of these things is not like the other, sing it with me now.

    But I am not allowed to make this argument, because “SHUT UP!!!1!!”

  18. Red Wombat said:
    “Phantom, did someone actually call you a beast or a pig? I missed that. Certainly that would be uncivilized.”

    I’m reading between the lines. The subtext is kinda hard to miss.

    “On the other hand, we do seem to have gone from “Point this out to me! How did you read this in this book!?” which seemed to be where your original comment was going, to “If you don’t like it, don’t read it.” Which, since I have been seeing people bend over backwards to say “It doesn’t mean you can’t read this and enjoy it,” seems to mean you’re in agreement with the majority of commenters that it is perfectly okay to enjoy this.”

    There is disagreement on the meaning of the term “sex object”. Some are arguing that “object to have sex with” includes all the female characters in the MHI novels. I disagree. That’s where we are. All else is people telling me off for daring to hold this opinion despite anyone coming forward with a compelling reason I should change my mind.

    People may not enjoy it for their own reasons. You asked about them. People told you. That doesn’t mean they think you’re a bad person–and indeed, if anyone said outright, in so many words, that you were bad, please point it out, because that would be dirty pool.

    Well, no. I asked how you get ‘sex object’ out of ‘Julie Shackleford’ and have so far been unimpressed with the answers. Because they’ve mostly been ‘how dare you!’ and not so much about the ‘Julie Shackleford is there for sex and sex alone because…’ Personally think this is because the sex object argument is a dead letter, but maybe somebody has something brilliant they’re saving up.

    Of course, so would assuming that “disagreeing, and here’s why” is the same as calling someone bad…

    Well we do have all the discussion of Male Gaze, which certainly implies all manner of Bad Things about me…

    But I think it’s more that some people have a lot of emotional investment in a certain author being all about treating women as sex objects, so they have to make stuff up when he doesn’t cooperate.

  19. But I am not allowed to make this argument, because “SHUT UP!!!1!!”

    a) You’re obviously allowed to make whatever arguments you want because you have, repeatedly.
    b) Your arguments are almost entirely bad and in uninteresting ways. So not surprisingly, no one agrees with you.
    c) I couldn’t care less that you find other people’s arguments unconvincing and feel absolutely no need to convince you of anything. But if you feel everyone is insulting you (which they are not), maybe you should go elsewhere.

  20. Pardon me, @The Phantom, but you keep making things up and pretending people said them to you.

    No one in this thread has used the abusive language you are citing. This is a simple matter to check, since Mike Glyer does not alter coments on his blog, nor does he delete them except in a few cases of extreme provocation.

    I am sorry that you are so upset about the use of the term “sex object”. It is clear that you are using a definition at odds with most posters’ understanding of the term here, and perhaps you might consider why that might be so.

    Please recall that many posters here have said that it is okay to enjoy that sort of fiction, that many people here also find it enjoyable.

  21. @The Phantom:

    Wow. That’s quite the vehement display of apathy you’ve got going there. It would be easy to confuse it for a persecution complex.

  22. A happy new year, The Phantom, Hampus Eckeman, Mike Glyer and all the Filers.

    I am still living in the past at the moment, but soon I shall join you in the Century of the Fruitbat.

  23. @The Phantom, feel free to like what you like and explain why you like it. Also, the reverse. I can’t think of anyone who will disagree with you, ever, because Tastes Differ. You liked Monster Hunter International. Great! Even secondhand, someone finding a book (especially one that starts a series) they really like is a cause for celebration.

    I read MHI shortly after it came out from Baen and managed to finish it, but that universe wasn’t for me so I didn’t buy the sequels. I’m guessing, because I remember some sighing and putting down of the book, which is usually my response to mild disappointment in the treatment of female characters, that I found something problematic in the way Correia wrote his women.

    You are not me and you should feel free to not have that response and instead insist that there is nothing wrong. Just…understand that’s a personal opinion, rather than a universal one. If you do that, there is a lot of good discussion around here.

    As far as my not liking Larry Correia, he’s in good company. I also don’t like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Terry Gilliam movies, or Seinfeld. Because, you know, Tastes Differ.

  24. snowcrash on December 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm said:

    Pssst!. ITYM Century of the Anchovy

    Well, fiddlesticks.

    I fear I have always been a bit unstuck in time. Happy new year, whatever century this is.

  25. To recap the last few comments:

    Shao Ping mocks the Phantom instead of defending his assertions. Unsurprising, given they’re indefensible.

    Peace IMMN, redefines the dictionary definition of sex object to defend her argument. Creative! Also Happy New Year. 🙂

    Rev. Bob goes straight to the mental illness smear. Bold move, Reverend.

    Hampus Eckerman is a mench, I’m hoisting a cold one to you sir. Happy New Year!

    Cheryl S. said: “You are not me and you should feel free to not have that response and instead insist that there is nothing wrong.”

    I’m not saying anyone should like it, I’m just saying it annoys me when people make stuff up about it. You didn’t do that, your comment is well taken. Happy New Year.

    And now if you’ll all excuse me, there’s beer to be drunk and fine women to look at. See y’all next year.

  26. Yup, definitely resembles a persecution complex from here. I’m so glad he keeps telling us all exactly how much he doesn’t care, so we all know it’s just his vast reserves of apathy at work instead.

    I wonder how he’d respond if anyone here gave him one percent of the bile that Larry, VD, and Brad expend on an average Filer who dares to comment at their blogs…

  27. @Phantom I don’t know how many times we can say it’s ok to like the books you do and we are all for them to be written and published before you believe us. Just because we don’t want to read them doesn’t mean we don’t want them written and published.

    One of the great things about publishing today is less gatekeepers so it’s easier than ever for readers to find books which appeal to their taste. I love it.

    You do seem to find disagreement as insult or attack.

    Happy New Year all. May 2016 be full of good health and good books.

  28. Ah, this thread is still going — well if common definitions can not be accepted; there is little chance of agreement / understanding.

    For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the books but rolled my eyes at the gun porn, closeness of the author to the hero, and the portrayal of women. It’s very thin characterization; and while the women have a role in the books one of the axis that they are described is in terms of their attractiveness; the other axis is most often their capacity for violence 😉 Two male power fantasies as applied to women.

    Happy New Year to to all.

  29. Took me a while to get around to finishing it but my thoughts on the book didn’t change much. It’s fairly predictable, there’s a lot of inadvertent humor,* and for all the gun porn, the guns seem really ineffective most of the time. The action scenes are ok I guess,** but generally spoiled whenever someone talks. Mostly it’s pretty bland and forgettable. So my basic response to the book remains: ::shrug::

    That said, the main character talks a lot about finding his people amongst the Monster Hunters. Given the character is very much a Mary Sue, that makes me feel rather sorry for Correia. I just wish he had channeled his loneliness and need to belong to a group in a better fashion than Sad Puppies.***

    *The funniest passage to me was when he visited an insane asylum (the narrator’s term) for people who have survived monster attacks.

    “Look, everybody. These two people are from Monster Hunter International. They are real live Monster Hunters.” I waved sheepishly. Some of the patients oohed and aahed. Others held back, and sullenly smoked cigarettes. “You are so brave.” “Hunters saved my life.” “You were my savior.” “Thank you.” Probing hands grabbed at me. I was hugged and kissed on the cheeks, and tears fell onto my clothing. I was stunned by the outpouring of emotion, and mostly tried to keep my hands on my concealed weapons.

    **I trust people who say he writes action scenes well, but it’s hard for me not to think that suggests that there are a lot of people who write action scenes really poorly. Nonetheless, I can definitely see how they could be better in future books.

    ***assuming, of course, that’s at all accurate. which is a rather big assumption.

  30. Pingback: More on harassment policies (reply to File 770) | Lela E. Buis

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