jade_sabre: (wall-e:  content)
So, just to remind everybody, this got started because Beth and Quark were both like I JUST DON’T LIKE SCI-FI AND I DON’T KNOW WHY, and so I decided to start theorizing as to why, because part of me loves sci-fi, but I’m also with them—I haven’t encountered much (outside of the Star Wars books, and many of those are not as readable when you’re 24 as they were when you were 10) that I actually enjoy.

So, uh, what conclusions have I reached again?
cutting the conclusion because otherwise you’ll just read this and not the rest of the post also it occurs to me now maybe I should have done a series of posts they’d be shorter )

So, hopefully maybe, this kind of explains what I see as reasons for why Beth and Quark struggle with science fiction.

Things I Have Not Covered )

All right, this is now officially open for discussion. Where have I gone right? Where have I gone wrong? What am I missing? Suggestions for continued reading on my part? Authors who might fit into a category of MWT-esque writing within sci-fi and thus appeal to Beth and Quark? If I were to begin a self-guided reading tour of classic science fiction, where should I start? Who’re the big authors of the 1970s? 1980s? GUIDE ME.

Feel free to link to this too--I simply ask that, having admitted my ignorance up front, people not attack me for it. I WOULD LOVE TO LEARN.

In other news, life is going well, getting married in twelve days, need to find a way home between now and then, family drama has lessened if not gone away completely, did an Engaged Encounter weekend last weekend that was SO AWESOME and am now like 99% ready to be married (remaining 1% is BAAAAAAAAAAAW FAMILY, like Goose pulling a “noooooo older sister don’t get married and leaaaaaaave meeeeeeeeeee”). And I have officially probably spent way too long on this, so, time to hit post!

back to gender!

back to the other problems!

back to the definitions!

jade_sabre: (sw:  scruffy-looking)
And because this wouldn’t be something written by me if I didn’t mention gender
Let’s be honest, people: sci-fi/space opera is a genre traditionally dominated by men.

in which conversations with WP have greatly contributed to this topic )

onto the conclusion!

back to the other problems!

back to the definitions!

jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  eating)
On why people like Beth and Quark might not like science fiction
spelling it out for completion’s sake )

And I am definitely not trying to say science fiction is superior to space opera—they’re simply two different ways of addressing the concept of HUMANS IN SPACE OR ON OTHER PLANETS OR WITH MASSIVE TECHNOLOGICAL ABILITIES AAAAAAAAH THE FUTURE IS SO COOL. Science fiction has serious drawbacks, as previously mentioned, but its focus also allows for a cleanliness in its approach—and perhaps it simply is best suited for short fiction.

On why people like Quark and Beth might not like space opera
(Note: I’m going to start using the phrase “sci-fi” to refer to “stuff that is marketed as science fiction but really is space opera.” Feel free to create a link between this and "SyFy" as a further indication of the denigration of science fiction in its true form as a genre.)

obviously the answer is ‘$7.99 for a three-hundred-page paperback’ )

one other problem that I forgot to fit in earlier but which needs to be said

back to the definitions!

jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  good on the inside)
On Science Fiction
double feature )

On the Space Opera
no, I am not talking about the opening music for the original Star Trek series )

For me, at least, space operas captured the imagination of my childhood (every time I watch Star Wars I’m secretly convinced that I too could go explore the galaxy), while science fiction appealed to me more as I got older and understood the ideas it wrestled with.

On the limitations of the phrase “space opera”
This is more a sub-topic, but operas (i.e. grand epic-fantasy-scale stories) aren’t the only kind of not-strict-science-fiction-space stories that get told, so I would just like to say that there are also space mysteries (like The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn, whom I love) and (and this is WP’s favorite kind) space military fiction, among other examples. The latter is a huge sub-genre that I’ll address in a minute.

onto the problems!

jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  livejournal)
So three things.

1) I went to Barnes and Noble today because I have a $35 gift card to spend and left feeling extremely discouraged, in part because they didn’t have the one book I was looking for (WP has requested Catholicism for Dummies because he is a darling dear) and mostly because there’s such a narrow selection of books available there. I KNOW there are many more (good) books in the world than what’s represented at B&N (why oh why is the Paranormal Romance section so large), but if it’s not a classic, recent release, or bestseller (the latter two of course are absolutely no recommendation of goodness), it’s not there. I’d rather go to a used bookstore because I know there will be a bigger selection and I can pay a more reasonable $1-5 for a paperback instead of $8. But I also know that I have developed an almost crippling case of new-book wariness. I can never find the YA books y’all talk about, and the ones I do see don’t appeal to me, and as far as “adult” fantasy book/series go I’m never sure where to start and whether or not I’m going to get what I actually want from it.

And there’s a lot a lot a lot of hack writers out there, or mediocre writers with pretty good plots who have churned out book upon book because they keep selling (R.A. Salvatore), but it’s been so long that I’ve had lots of time for pleasure reading that I’m not as open to just taking a bazillion books home from the library and blasting through them, maybe loving one or two and not caring about the rest. I’m going to join the library in Savannah as soon as I get some mail to my name and hopefully that will help—I’ve fallen out of the habit of library-going. Anyway the point was that since I’ve had so little time for reading, I’ve wanted to find books that I know I will enjoy, which are beautifully written, and I have no idea where to start looking. I AM AFRAID TO TRUST.

And the longer I go without reading, the longer I go without writing, because the two feed each other.

Help. (Right now I’m in the mood for a bit of the mythic, I think? Unnamed queens and dragon-fighting heroes. Quarkie, I looked for the Riddlemaster books but haven’t found them yet. I also looked for Curse of the Chalion and they didn’t have it either.)

2) I am reading a book now! )

3) This leads me into what was going to be a comment on [livejournal.com profile] beth_shulman’s journal and is getting too long and is probably going to keep being long so, here you go. She was talking about not liking science fiction, and then Quark commented about having no idea where to start in science fiction (like me and all books it seems these days), and so I was like okay look guys I think we need to do some redefining.

REPLYING TO THIS BECAUSE why make my own comment when I can just piggyback off Quark.

So first I think what we have to do is make a difference between "science fiction" and "space opera" because the two are different things. The original Star Trek generally falls into the former while Star Wars is squarely in the latter. I mean yes in recent years books have come out with schematics of SW ships and the like, but my parents have old from-the-seventies books of Trekkies trying to work out the actual science of warp drive. People are Star Wars fans for the Force, the story, the epic battles; people are Star Trek fans for the technology and the struggle with big questions and ideas and the limits of humanity.

(also I am having SO MANY IDEAS brb jotting things down)
(oh boy settle in for the long run. This sucker is almost ten whole pages in Word, FYI.)

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I have been meaning, for years, to do a more academic exploration of this, beginning with just reading everything in terms of the development of sci-fi. I own a few mid-60s copies of a couple of the Science Fiction & Fantasy-type magazines (I bought one that has the last installment of Dragonrider by Anne McCaffery--until then I had no idea that the book made its debut in serialized form) and I've read several short stories, but I'm woefully lacking on Asimov and Anthony and Clarke and pre-sex-with-myself Heinlein and the like. For years I considered myself a sci-fi fan just because I've read over 100 Star Wars books.

(Halfway through this is occurred to me that [livejournal.com profile] sartorias could show up at any time and blow this whole thing to bits with things like “actual knowledge” and “having read all these things”—LET ME KNOW IF I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK.)

Suggested accompanying music.

Also I don't even remember what the OP was about. I'm just going to go with it now.

So, really, we have two different things going here--"science fiction" and what I'm going to call "space opera." I think most of what people end up reading falls more into the latter than the former.

onto the definitions!
jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  livejournal)
You guys, I have like forty questions. And they are all ridiculous and only half are in the format I was expecting and, just, I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU.

I left out a few “write a story” prompts because I am now sick and did not feel like going back and filling those in. So I will do that later.

So first, the character list!

1. Severus Snape, potions professor, Harry Potter
2. Toph Bei Fong, twelve-year-old blind earthbending master, Avatar: The Last Airbender
3. Ged, archmage and thief, Earthsea
4. Han Solo, smuggler and general, Star Wars
5. Attolia, queen of the country and also woman named Irene, Queen’s Thief
6. Lucy Honeychurch, young lady and piano player, A Room with a View
7. Holly Short, elf LEPrecon captain, Artemis Fowl
8. Jayne Cobb, muscleman and sniper, Firefly
9. Kyouya Ootori, high school junior and shadow king, Ouran
10. Britomart, cross-dressing female knight, The Faerie Queene
11. Alistair Theirin, Warden and bastard prince, Dragon Age
12. Noah Puckerman, ladies’ man with a sweet voice, Glee
13. Scarlett O'Hara, lady and businesswoman, Gone with the Wind
14. Bishop, ranger and scout, Neverwinter Nights 2
and a fandom repeat,
15. The Cabbage Man, a merchant, Avatar: The Last Airbender

seriously, Nessa? Seriously? )

Well, that was exhaustingly fun. I hope you enjoyed!

toy story 3

Jul. 2nd, 2010 01:10 am
jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  livejournal)
I have now seen it! so you can discuss it with me. or with each other. Whatever.

also this week I reread Allegiance and it made me so happy inside that now I am rereading the original Thrawn Trilogy. And, unlike the novelization of Empire Strikes Back, the prose has held up to its sturdy, quick and entertaining memories, while even containing a downright good line or two. (Stylistically. Character-wise, I hear the actors' voices in my head and just start squeeing while reading.) This may or may not be connected to the Star Wars exhibit that rolled into town (pictures maybe forthcoming? There are not many good ones, which was a point of contention for the night, also Daddy kept taking pictures of things instead of me looking at things, which was clearly more interesting), and YOU GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYS I RODE IN THE MILLENIUM FALCON IT WAS AAAAWESOOOOOOOOOOOOME and things like ZOMG ALEC GUINNESS SAT THERE and

oh right I remember what I was going to say here, once I started off with that little Tim Zaaaaaaaaaaaahn I love you and Mike Stackpoole so muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch thing

so once upon a time [livejournal.com profile] lily_handmaiden wrote this post talking about how she loves Star Wars, including the prequels? And, like, I mean, don't get me wrong, the prequels aren't too good, and even ROTJ has some seriously lacking moments, and sure I have my own little what-could-have-been canon in my head with the prequels (which has lots of room for Obi-Wan/Padme, mostly because I wasn't remotely interested by Anakin at all) (ugh passive sentence) (anyway), and sure I think Darths and Droids has many more coherent explanations for the plot, and sure George Lucas has made some seriously bad decisions, but you know what?

at the end of the day, I don't care. I will never not have that feeling, when I sit down to watch the movie, that this is a whole UNIVERSE I would love to be a part of in any way. I will always giggle to myself when references are made to it, I will probably always get excited when we see Alderaan at the end of ROTS (IT'S ALDERAAN! LOOK! LOOK! IT'S NOT ALL BLOWN UP!) and somewhere in my mind Luke and Leia's long-lost little sister still lives, sneakin' around the Millennium Falcon just beyond the camera's sight.

I love Star Wars, I love the prequels too, I love the space ships, I love the whole EU, I love the galaxy, and all its silly quirks,

boom de yada boom de yada boom de yada boom de yada
jade_sabre: (sw:  scruffy-looking)
So on last night's post (which is still open; it's lovely to stretch the writing muscles, even if I'm just producing mediocre stuff), [livejournal.com profile] jakia gave me the following prompt:


And dragons.


Or a unicorn.


Well this quickly spun out of control, so here you go, HK-47 finds a unicorn. The dragon story will probably be along tomorrow.

I blame the copious amount of reading I've been doing about sexuality, and the fact that the mentality of the PC of KOTOR is really--just--delicious to play with, for the way the story shifts from nonsensically humorous to suddenly not and then back again. IT'S JUST AN EXERCISE, OKAY.

uuuuh I'm not sure it deserves a title )
jade_sabre: (avatar:  Jon I killed the moon)
best fan reinterpretation of Star Wars ever

also I have an awesome AWESOME new icon, it is AWESOME

also Nessa got me addicted to Girls With Slingshots help help I can't stop reading
jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  livejournal)
So [livejournal.com profile] sartorias linked to a review of The Phantom Menace that explains what goes wrong with it in surprising and awesome detail. I highly recommend it--it's broken into pieces so you can watch a bit at a time. In the first few segments there are some highly questionable bits of non-humor, but if you push past those you'll be well rewarded. (A commenter on [livejournal.com profile] sartorias's journal said that apparently this reviewer's thing is to treat the subject as "if you're this much of a fanboy nerd, you're probably also a sociopath"; I haven't watched any of his other reviews, so idk.)

on Obi-Wan Kenobi, or little things that make me squee )

on the EU, or how Jade barely touches the tip of the iceberg )

anyway, sometimes I wish I had a way of getting into the Star Wars fandom, just because most of the people I know who have read as much as I have are, like, nerdboys around here, and while I'm so grateful for my Star Wars group, it'd be nice to have someone else to talk to.
jade_sabre: (sw:  scruffy-looking)
oh my God. Jade Empire has Sky, but frankly, Sky is not angsting enough, given his past. Also I don't care how roguish he is, he's entirely too cavalier about having wooed hundreds of women. Honestly? He must've gotten a damn early start, and somehow found the time to woo a bunch more while taking care of a baby. Like, Sky, you're really incredibly nice (almost too nice, too perfect; you don't really have to toy with him much, he's just like HI I AM THE ROMANTIC INTEREST I WILL FLIRT WITH YOU AND SAY ALL THE RIGHT THINGS), but...I've seen better.

(Also the fact that you can get BOTH Dawn Star and Silk Fox is just piggish, man. I mean, sure, video games, esp. RPGs, are about fulfilling your fantasies, but come on. The male/female romantic options in this game are not as balanced as in others.)



kinda not really spoilers for KOTOR 2 which has been out for so long I imagine if you care you've played it )

...this post is incredibly incoherent, probably because my head is being torn between writing Sagacious Zu fanfic for Jade Empire (DAMN YOU JADE EMPIRE) (also speaking of characters who you actually have to work at to get anything out of) and needing to finish Fable fanfic and wanting to edit my NaNo and knowing there's like stories I'm supposed to be betaing and wanting to write a huge sprawling epic fill-in-the-holes KOTOR 2 fanfic (maybe I could get paid for the latter? because homg I could stick Bastila/Canderous in there and secret babies and Atton-as-Dustil-ness and Revan coming home) but



quick poll

Jun. 18th, 2009 12:18 am
jade_sabre: (sw:  scruffy-looking)
[Poll #1417407][Poll #1417407]
jade_sabre: (lost)
...even though he didn't really do it this time.  I'm sure it was his idea, though.

So I had a guest come through my lane today who was buying KOTOR II (or some expansion pack thereof), and I said something about reading Star Wars, and that I was reading through Legacy of the Force, and he said, "Y'know, I swore off reading them after the last series, but I just finished that one."

And I said, "Yeah, I'm halfway through, marathoning them now that they're all out."

"Yeah, that's what I did!"

So the thing about Legacy of the Force is that the first novel was the first Star Wars book I had picked up in a while, after reading the first bit of Troy Denning's bug series and deciding I didn't want to sit through that man telling me all about how he was going to destroy the neural makeup of some of my favorite characters.  Instead I went and read plot summaries online.  TENEL KA DESERVES A HUNDRED TIMES BETTER THAN WHAT YOU'VE GIVEN HER, YOU JERKFACE.

Anyway, I picked up Betrayal, by Aaron Allston (who I trusted because he wrote X-Wing novels, rather like I trusted Tim Zahn and was totally not disappointed by Allegiance which was also a ton of fun [forced-to-defect, in-earnest stormtroppers!  IT WAS FRICKIN' AWESOME]), and loved it.  It was funny, it had political stuff (there's a LOT of political stuff going on in these novels, and the more you go into the series the more the authors go into the politics), it had JACEN THINKING ABOUT GOING TO THE DARK SIDE, and it was just--such a relief to sit down and read a book that wasn't all about "What is the nature of the Force?" or "How can we totally fuck the galaxy over today?"

...of course, that was just the first novel.  They suck you in with that first novel, you know.  You think, oh, this is going to be a good series, because the writing is good, and then you see Troy Denning's name attached to one of the novels, and you think, hm, well, I really like the other two authors (three authors are working together on this series, and they're really, really working together--it's just an incredibly awesome example of how tag-teaming should work) so I'll keep going...

...and then it turns out to be really sad.  And depressing.  Because Jacen is going TO THE FUCKING DARK SIDE.  But it's so well-written!  Not just prose-wise--the prose doesn't make you cringe (although Troy Denning is my least favorite for many reasons, including his not-as-good-as-the-other-two's prose), and in some places is quite good--but plot-wise, and character-wise.  The main character paths--Jacen and Ben--have just been amazingly well-thought-out and -executed.  Everything involving Ben Skywalker has been awesome, from the fact that Luke and Mara have that "oh we have no moral high ground as parents" failing to his determination that "this must be how the grown-up world works, so I'll just keep it to myself"--my heart aches for the kid.  And Jacen's oh-so-controlled fall--he keeps telling himself that he's not following his grandfather's path, but they start out the exact same way--both going "wait, don't kill the Sith yet, I need to know."  I am in trips of fangirl bliss just thinking about it.  SO WELL DONE.

I keep reading (and at this point, the depressing stuff is getting to the point where angst-happy me is having trouble coping) because it's so well done.  The end of Sacrifice was just...hoshithoshithoshit.  I--yeah.

So, er, all two of you Star-Wars-reading fans on my list...this series will probably make you very unhappy (because I'm very unhappy, although at the same time I'm so happy because it's so much better than NJO), but I do recommend you give it a try.  I might change that when I hit the end.  We'll have to see.  But for now--do pick it up.


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