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Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
11:49 am - PSA: This journal will no longer be updated.
I'm not comfortable with LJ's customer service, and especially the way that they're handling their latest PR disaster. The part that bothers me most is near the end:

Read more...Collapse )

ETA: I've checked now, and only paid LJ users can add syndicated feeds of a journal. Since I don't want to give LJ any more of my money, this is a conflict of interest for me. If someone does want to set up an RSS feed of my InsaneJournal, that'd be great; tell me so I can point others to it!

Thanks to the brilliant and lovely tortoises and pointytilly, there is now an RSS feed of the InsaneJournal. limyaael_ij will display all future public entries, which includes all the rants. Friend it if you want the new entries to drop in on your f-list.

Natural Child of ETA: This feed displays only public entries. If you would like to read friends-locked entries, please friend me on InsaneJournal; then you can read f-locked entries on the feed, as long as I add you back. If your username is not the same as your LJ one, please comment on one of the public posts to tell me who you are.

Third Child of the Son of ETA: Comments made to the feed will not show up in my journal. I will, though, check the feed regularly so that I don't miss them.

Grandson on the Wrong Side of the Sheets of ETA: kutsuwamushi is awesome and provides a link to familiarizing yourself with RSS feeds here.

Yet Another ETA, Its Family Is Getting Tired of Reproduction: I know some people are uncomfortable with IJ's layout, so the GreatestJournal will indeed be a backup of everything, including friends-locked posts. That won't happen until next week, but I can promise it'll happen.

current mood: uncomfortable

(129 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Thursday, July 19th, 2007
10:51 am - Science fiction and fantasy hybrids
Once again, I want to define some terms. I’m talking here about books with the “equipment” of both fantasy and science fiction: elves and lasers, for example, or magic and anti-gravity. I wouldn’t consider it a hybrid if there were a few machines that resembled magical artifacts but were fully explainable by any scientific laws and in any case were just named after the magical artifacts to be cute, or if there’s magic that seems like physics in disguise but turns out to be plain supernatural magic after all. And saying that a work can mingle the “attitudes” of fantasy and science fiction will just involve me in endless arguments, because you can always argue about what attitudes a book actually expresses. Equipment is the easiest standard to judge by, so I’m using it.

So why use them at all?Collapse )

The next rant is apparently on “happy things about urban fantasy.” I’ll get to thinking of those right away.

current mood: cheerful

(72 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
4:49 pm - Turning idealistic characters gray
Before I start, I just want to make it clear that, in this case, I’m not lumping all characters who have strong beliefs into the idealistic set. This rant deals, instead, with protagonists or secondaries who have both strong ideals and a lack of information about how they apply to the pragmatic world, or about their consequences.

So this rant is about moving them towards seeing those applications, or those consequencesCollapse )

The next rant will be on fantasy-and-science-fiction hybrids.

current mood: satisfied

(50 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Saturday, June 30th, 2007
6:08 pm - Showing different cultural viewpoints as not 100% correct
Sorry for the very long delay. On the other hand, my written qualifying exams for my Ph.D. are done.

Some ideas on culture clashesCollapse )

The next rant is slated to be on turning idealistic characters gray, and should be up in a few days.

current mood: hopeful

(72 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007
9:12 pm - Book review post for May (part 1)
So this is part one of a post logging the books I’ve read so far in May, because if I did all of them at once, this would be extremely long.

Julie Phillips, James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. SheldonCollapse )

Roger Zelazny, Lord of LightCollapse )

Susanna Clarke, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other StoriesCollapse )

Meredith Ann Pierce, Birth of the FirebringerCollapse )

current mood: cheerful

(42 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Sunday, May 20th, 2007
9:46 pm - On possession, mind control, and hypnosis
This is a broad general topic, admittedly, but each one by itself would probably be too narrow for a rant. Thus, we’re doing it this way.

Interesting, but not when they’re used as an escape clauseCollapse )

And I suppose that, for now, that’s all I really have to say, since each point covers a lot of ground.

current mood: cheerful

(85 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
7:25 pm - On nonhumans living with their nonhuman attributes
Apologies that this is so late; I’ve had spotty Internet access for most of the last week and a half.

So, on to the subject of nonhuman attributes- whether those be immortality or infinitely flexible stomachsCollapse )

More could be done with this, always. A story like James Tiptree Jr.’s ”Love is the Plan The Plan is Death doesn’t work for everyone and has not a human character in sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good story.

current mood: cheerful

(83 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Sunday, May 6th, 2007
8:43 pm - Rant on whores.
And courtesans, harlots, streetwalkers, ladies of negotiable virtue, and other various hangers-on.

Here we goCollapse )

I think fantasy could use more whore characters—with their own voices, thanks.

current mood: bitchy

(97 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
8:43 pm - Class/caste systems
So the little poll said, so shall it be.

About both kindsCollapse )

current mood: bouncy

(79 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Monday, April 30th, 2007
2:29 pm - Books I read in April
(Along with others, but these are the ones I had interesting reactions to).

Guy Gavriel Kay, YsabelCollapse )

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s OwnCollapse )

Ian McDonald, River of GodsCollapse )

Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of DarknessCollapse )

Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My BackCollapse )

C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderCollapse )

Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. NorrellCollapse )

Ursula K. LeGuin, Changing PlanesCollapse )

I have a whole pile of books and am not sure what I’ll begin with next. Maybe the biography of James Tiptree, Jr. Or Joanna Russ’s The Female Man. Or Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light.

current mood: cheerful

(63 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Friday, April 27th, 2007
8:05 pm - Attitudes towards killing and violence.
Since this deals with attitudes, I won’t be addressing strategy and tactics here; it’s mostly about the social and cultural associations of battles, duels, and other methods of killing. Also, it has few separate points; most of the ideas I wanted to present are gathered together under general ones.

You can’t swing that sword that wayCollapse )

Class/caste systems is next, according to the poll.

current mood: contemplative

(84 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Friday, April 20th, 2007
6:23 pm - On using non-Western influence in fantasy.
So here we areCollapse )

And so far, it looks like attitudes towards killing and violence is next.

current mood: cheerful

(118 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Monday, April 16th, 2007
11:03 pm - Poll
There are two questions here, but that's just because one question can only include 15 options; the rants that are most popular will come first no matter which question they're listed on. I tried to respond to people in the suggestion post itself when I didn't think I had enough knowledge to talk about a subject or when the suggestion fit a rant I've already done, so if this poll is missing your suggestion and you didn't get a reply, try checking the thread you posted in on the last entry. Thank you to everyone who made suggestions.

Poll!Collapse )

current mood: sleepy

(75 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

9:03 am - Suggestion post
I've been trying to come up with new ideas for rants so I could do a poll, but unfortunately my brain seems to run best on prompts at the moment. If you'd like to see a particular rant, go ahead and suggest it here, and it'll probably make it into the poll. (Feel free to second/third/etc. someone else's idea that you like).

I may not do rants just because I don't feel I have enough knowledge in the area. I may also not do them because I've covered the subject before. If you want to know whether it's been ranted about, here's the list of all of them.

Suggest away!

current mood: energetic

(135 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

12:05 am - Characterizing animals
This is meant to apply as broadly as possible—to normal animals, telcoms (telepathic companions), shapeshifters, and author-created fantasy animals. Some of it does assume that you’re writing from the animal’s point-of-view, but it could also be useful for describing them from the outside.

So here we goCollapse )

current mood: bouncy

(84 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
11:05 pm - Writing fantasy about oppression
All right then.

Frankly, this rant was difficult to write. Part of it is simply that I’m afraid I’ll leave something important out. The other part is that I’m white, middle-class, and American, and so I’m approaching a lot of this in theory, not in the experience of living with it. Given the time period I live in, I don’t even have to deal with some things that would have been de rigeur for an American white, middle-class woman a few decades ago. So, if you see something in the rant you think is biased, ill-chosen, wrongly-worded, or offensive, please correct me. The nice thing about using an LJ post as a format for this rant is that I can clearly show the correction of mistakes by strikeouts.

So here we goCollapse )

All right. After all, I am hardly immune from criticism, either.

Tell me what you think.

current mood: happy

(175 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
8:19 pm - PSA: The list of rants
If you want to find all the fantasy rants I've done, you can look in my memories or at Coyotecult's Handydandy Reference Index. If you want smaller numbers of rants at a time, I've also tagged them. (I'll be linking this post in my profile).

Rant tags belowCollapse )

And now, it will be a much simpler process just to tag and memory them as I write them.

Looking through the older rants was...an experience. I would no longer state some of the things I said then in the exact same way, and some rants overlap. But, in the interests of leaving in various wordings that might aid someone more than a more recent rant, I won't be revising them. According to the memories count, there are 372 of the damn things, and if I started revising them, I'd never write a new one.

current mood: phew

(40 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Saturday, April 7th, 2007
9:36 pm - Moments When the Protagonist Awes Other Characters, Curing the Addiction To
As threatened promised hinted at.

Sure, sometimes it’s cool, but the problem is the frequencyCollapse )

The next one might be on oppression, though the Invisible Pink Unicorn knows it’s a rant I’m wary of writing.

current mood: hyper

(121 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Sunday, April 1st, 2007
9:08 pm - Mentor rant
A few people have asked for a rant on mentors, so here it is.

How to keep your teacher from becoming a pale imitation of GandalfCollapse )

No idea what will be next, yet.

current mood: bouncy

(77 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

Saturday, March 24th, 2007
5:10 pm - Non-villain rant
Both digoraccoon and marumae asked for a rant like this. And, after all, there’s no reason that you need to assume a villain in order to have a story. Mainstream fiction and many “classic” novels get away quite handily with having no villain, or only one truly despicable character in a populated world where many other shades of morality exist.

The only thing I do assume for this rant is that your non-villain is a fairly important character, and therefore you’ll be thinking about how his or her activities matter to the story as a whole; obviously, if they appear onstage in only one scene, your concerns in developing them will be different.

Beyond good and evilCollapse )

The next rant will probably be on ways to focus and tighten stories.

current mood: bitchy

(56 startled dragons | Sing to the dragons)

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