shadydave: (do not taunt the octopus)
Wow, last week was busy. I had three goals: 1) finish two stories to submit to Machine of Death 2; 2) finish Diana's Slytherin scarf for HP 7.2; 3) finish Basara so I could give all 27 volumes back to Courtney. Naturally, I only accomplished one of these things (1). And then, on Thursday when I had a million things to do, I came down with bizarre chest congestion and general blah and have felt like a woeful Dickensian orphan all weekend.

But I did see HP 7.2 on opening night! I was underwhelmed. )

And then I drove up to Boston to see Courtney! On Saturday, we went to the MFA:

ME: ...Does that say "Cthulu"?
COURTNEY: I think it's the Chihuly exhibit.

TURNS OUT WE WERE BOTH RIGHT. Little did we know that for all appearances the world of glass-blowing is merely a cover for the Elder Gods to break through to our universe. I don't really know what else would explain the theme of extra-dimensional tentacles... )

On a similar note, adherents of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are now permitted to wear pasta strainers as religious headgear for driver's license photos in Austria.

Thirty Days of Genre

Day 3: A genre novel that is underrated.

(Look, they don't say thirty CONSECUTIVE days.)

I can't think of a specific book, but I can think of a specific author: Patricia McKillip. It seems that no one has anything bad to say against her, but she rarely gets brought up in discussions about classic fantasy novels, and I think she's one of the most consistently good authors in the genre. She's awesome at riffing on some of fantasy's most compelling themes -- the power of nature, music, and story-telling -- and using its most familiar tropes in new and interesting ways while never really repeating herself. She also has a beautiful dream-like style of writing AND a knack for creating likable characters. What's not to like?

Here, have some reviews of her stuff:

The Sorceress and the Cygnet/The Bell at Sealey Head

The Cygnet and the Firebird
shadydave: (do not taunt the octopus)
...the hell?

"NBC [...] is busy developing a much larger-scale project with the help of Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore. The still-untitled drama is being described as “an adult Harry Potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic[...]”

::blinks::

...

?????
shadydave: (poisoning pigeons in the park)
So, it was fine when they installed automatic lights in my office and surrounding hallways. I don't turn the lights on anyway (to encourage the a/c), and trying to sneak down the hallways in the dark has proved more fun than it really should. The demon pig was disturbing, but the way it would mysteriously move around without human intervention added some zest to my day. Then they moved all our filing cabinets into the stairwell. Weird, but fine; we'll probably be moving soon anyway. All the loose wiring hanging down from displaced ceiling tiles added a certain charm to the place. Sure, they left all our floor mats out across the hallway, but at least we have clean carpets. And go ahead, don't bother to empty the trash! I'm sure the floor mats will enjoy the company as the contents of my office osmose out into the hallway.

But you know what's the BEST? Dropping a vanilla latte in my car!

What I'm saying is that I cannot wait for my vacation to start tomorrow. ::sigh::

Here, have some links:

candle cove… was it about pirates?

Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip.

Mark Reads Harry Potter

Are You Brian Blessed Or Not?
shadydave: (bad-ass helmet)
So, while I was, uh, diligently alphabetizing all the drop files from the past 10 years at work today, I came across this awesome article about plotting in SFF novels. In conclusion: IT'S FUNNY 'CAUSE IT'S TRUE. All literary criticism should be this hilarious and astute. And also bash The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever if possible.

I especially like that this was written over 20 years ago but is still widely applicable, because there's no reason a trope that had been going strong for AT LEAST 30 years when this was written (dating from the publication of LoTR) shouldn't let another two decades get in the way. For example, replacing "the Force" with "the Plot" works just as well in the Star Wars Prequel trilogy:

MACE WINDU: You refer to the prophecy of The One who will bring balance to the Plot. You believe it's this boy?

COUNT DOOKU: It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Plot... but by our skills with a lightsaber.

PALPATINE: Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Plot to influence the midichlorians to create life...


Or take Harry Potter (please! ::ba-dump chh::). The plot of each book is pretty much determined by 1) the space of one year and 2) Harry interacting with the [Noun of Noun] bit of the title. Observe:

1. Harry learns about, finds, and protects the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone
2. Harry learns about, finds, and defeats the monster(s) in the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry learns about, finds, and (eventually) protects the Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry gets attacked by Voldemort's ridiculously overcomplicated plot to destroy him, starting with the Goblet of Fire
5. Harry learns about, imitates, and eventually joins the Order of the Phoenix
6. Harry (and the reader) tries to figure out what's up with the Half-Blood Prince
7. Harry learns about the Deathly Hallows and uses this knowledge to defeat Voldemort

Obviously there's a certain amount of "NO KIDDING" with these summaries (since, you know, titles SHOULD generally reflect what's going on in the book) but my point is that the [noun of noun] bit, particularly in the first three books, is what starts the plot, keeps it going, and then wraps it neatly up in the end, barring the series-long plot threads. Conveniently, the more complicated relation of the [noun of noun] title to the plot also fits the more complicated view of the world Harry develops in the last four books.

However, the presence of these kinds of plotting isn't necessarily BAD (despite all the mentions of crap). After all, it's popular because it WORKS. Readers usually like fiction to wrap up neatly, and Chekhov's gun (or whatever) to be governed by rules, but they also like to be surprised. Plot coupons, plot vouchers, and dei ex machina et al. are ways to deliver the conventions readers expect; they're just more obvious in SFF because it's cooler when they're played by killer robots and magic swords. In the end, they're just a tool, and a good writer can use them well and a bad writer will still be bad even if s/he avoids them.
shadydave: (Default)
So, apparently the trailer for HBP is out, but I can't watch it because my dad's computer lacks vital Quicktime components. Boo.

Anyway, people have apparently been complaining about this rather amusing picture:



The first question is, of course, "Why is Dumbledore's hede pastede on yay?" However, the second and more compelling question is "Why is Starbuck at Hogwarts?"

DUDE.

Jul. 21st, 2007 04:06 pm
shadydave: (THAT WAS AWESOME!)
ZOMG HUGE HARRY POTTER SP0ILERZ!!!1!3.14159265!!cos(0)! )
shadydave: (THAT WAS AWESOME!)
Goddammit, the internet is being stupid, so that after taking FOREVER to load, Safari has crashed and lost my post.

Meme! )

Anyways, at lunchtime here at the revered and glorious halls of UDHS, the kids from Summer Stage like to hang out in the courtyard behind my dad's office. Today, there are a whole bunch of them dressed in long bathrobes and waving wand-like objects at each other, and occasionally, drawing scars on one another's forehead. (Wow, "one another" is a weird phrase, if you think about it.) I have declared the kid with the black bathrobe, floppy dark hair, and large wooden spoon to be the winner. Heh.

I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the High Blood Pressure Half-Blood Prince this morning. HBP is officially the book I have re-read the least, have only gotten through it 2.5 times (the half comes from an attempt at Thanksgiving one year that was quickly squashed by nasty things like final papers and exams). However, I still like it a lot. Especially the first half, which I rather suspect is because Dumbledore is all over the place, being awesome. In the second half he is still all over the place, but is instead being fallible, or, at the end, being dead, which is not quite as awesome.

So, my obligatory wish for Book 7 (DH looks weird to me), apart from finding Sirius hanging from the rafters, is that Tonks is revealed to be actually evil. Not because I don't like her, but because I have ALWAYS gotten incredibly shady vibes from her, and I would like them to be justified and not have to confront my paranoia.

Quote o' the Day:

Ok, so this isn't an actual quote, but yesterday, this guy called to find out when school started next fall. He then proceeded to tell me -- at length -- all about his cabin, which he needs his son to fix up. On the upside, now I know how to block a faulty chimney to keep the squirrels out.
shadydave: (leather coat guy)
Lunch time at work. You may be wondering why I'm posting on LJ, instead of eating my delicious strawberry and brie sandwich. This would be because my mother is trying to KILL ME, and gave me moldy bread. Again. So now I have stolen my father's computer until he returns from the deli.

Saw OotP on opening night with Mal, Marge, and the Kirstin. Not all of us have the emotional range of a teaspoon. )

I want to go see it on IMAX (hahaha, I started typing iMax. I don't own numerous Apple products, nope) but apparently they are sold out until, like, next week. Also, Kirstin wants me to wait until she gets back from Michigan. We shall see.

Quote o' the Day

ME: Principal's Office, how may I help you?
CALLER: Is this the Principal's Office?
shadydave: (Default)
"Because it's Harry Potter weekend at the movies, we're adding a shuttle bus to run to and from the theaters on Saturday and Sunday" -Sam Sadler

we win at cool!
shadydave: (Default)
ack, i am going to die of humidity. either that, or start growing mold. the condensation on the windows at work is absolutely ridiculous, you can't even see out them.

had an exciting weekend that mainly revolved around all things harry potter. for the record, i thought the book was awesome: well-plotted, surprising, and best of all, FUNNY. no more ANGST and WOE like in ootp. this one was actually fun to read. plus, dude, the ending. that was WICKED. some thoughts with my sister are here if you are interested, although i fail to see why my commentary shouldn't answer your every burning question. spoilers, obviously.

dad is kicking me off the computer. off to go find work.
shadydave: (Default)
do you remain unconvinced that the directors could possibly fit the 4th and 5th harry potter books into individual 2.5 hour movies? well, fear not! i present to you the super-duper director's cuts (now available for wide-spread consumption)! presented in DAVE-O-VISION!!!!!

Goblet of Fire: The 'Special' Edition )

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