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Re: Describing accents...
If you dislike such techniques, then by all means don't use them.  But I think they can be an effective tool if used correctly and sparingly.

I read this as: Use accents sparingly.


June 08, 2014, 11:14:37 PM
Re: Laughing about books

If you really want to laugh you should check out the amazon reviews for 'How to Avoid Huge Ships' from the list. They are brilliant.

Still, must be quite a good seller, he got a second edition out of it.

By far some of my favorite reviews on Amazon.

September 27, 2014, 05:57:21 PM
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
December 02, 2014, 09:58:30 PM
Re: 4-Word Reviews

How is plot logical?

....I actually liked movie. :)

March 16, 2015, 03:45:48 PM
Re: Bridgeburner at 500... sign of OCD? 500 posts already? They grow up so fast.

And yet I don't see my name on there anywhere.

Nah, this is an amazing feat J-mack. (Obviously your rapper name, dawg.) You've been a great joy in this community as of late, and I completely understand the addiction that "unread threads" button is. All you have to do is keep on posting for us too lazy to follow through on our ideas.

Just think, when you get to my point, half of your posts won't be gibberish like mine! Keep up the good work Bridgeburner. Hope to see you around and stay a regular.

March 16, 2015, 04:03:36 PM
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Submission Thread Don't mind me. "Open and Shut" at 1425 words, not including the title.

Spoiler for Open and Shut:
Open and Shut

The morning was like any other, cold and wet and foggy. You got used to the weather, living in Gwyrdion for who knows how long. But that didn’t really matter. Victor Duthie woke up every sunrise with a creak in his neck and an ache in all his joints. Only remedy was a cup of coffee before he set off and the of course rounds he would make as the gas lamps flickered off.

   Birds were chirping. The cobbles were soaked. People weren’t awake yet, and that was fine by him. He liked it like no other place, even if the city set a creak in his step and a chatter box on his left called Remy. But then, partners were partners. You would’ve thought he’d tune out the noise of his coworkers discoveries, especially before the sun had really woken up, but time does not heal all wounds. One idiot punk could cut your ear off and you’d still hear out of it, damn the Almighty.

   Anyway, the duo’s walk had been unquestioned for most of the early hours. Y’know, the usual affair of two constables shuffling down one well-to-do neighborhood, gossiping about the town and waving at a few smile-stretching owners. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to worry, not until old Miss Mack huffed over to the sidewalk, blouse shaking and hair curled to a dishevel.

   “What seems to be the matt—“

   “I saw a thief!” she shrieked, higher pitch than the robins singing in the trees.

   Victor cocked his head and grabbed her round the shoulders. “You saw what, mam? Calm down please, it’s okay.”

   “A thief,” she said, eyes wide open, staring into his. “Vaulted over Miss Gavin’s wall and into her backyard.” Remy glanced at his partner and followed up the woman with a grin.

   “Miss, where’s your glasses?”

   She shook her head. “My what?”

   Victor shook his, and turned her around. “Go back home, Miss. Everything’s all right.”

   “But I know what I saw!”

   “Of course,” the constable patted her along. “Of course.” It might be ravings of a blind old bat, but eh, it was a slow day. “You go round the back,” he whispered to Remy as he led her away. “Just in case.”

   The young man chuckled. “Just in case.”

   Now this was the heist he’d been waiting for. The one to set him free. Set him on a boat and out of here, yes sir. All it would take was a quick window sweep and off from Gwyrdion he’d be. No looking back now, the young man chided as he shimmied over the wall. Time to clear the head and get to work.

   It didn’t take him long to climb up the banister to the second-story balcony, scan the grounds and give up any worry. The house was quiet. Practically deserted. O’Malley had been right; this was the perfect place to wipe away his debt.

   The windows were unlocked, thank the Almighty, because why would they need to be? Crime was a fantasy in these streets, and our little thief Tobie was romanticizing it today with his grand excursion. He slipped inside and waltzed to the jewelry table, wood strung with fine drapery and obnoxious rings. Emeralds and rubies and pearls flaunted the dresser for any time the woman of the house entered, but perhaps that was a bad thing.

   Tobie scooped them up into his coat pockets, crammed all that he could fit, and wondered for a second if he could nab some more. It wouldn’t hurt, not in these halls of illustrious paintings and bronze-encrusted busts. All was silent, too much of a hush, so he pulled out his knife to make room and went out toward the hallway. His veins were on fire with excitement, something no number of jobs makes you get over.

   Still nothing.

   The worth of the place was grotesque, even to him. Draped in muted noises, Tobie tip-toed to the winding staircase and peered over the side. Gawked at rich velvet. Stared down on the Jadiian rugs underneath silk sofas, and muttered curses at the family. He could pull off millions of sweeps, much more than he could count, and never reach this kind of wealth. Not under O’Malley’s thumb at least.

   But it was that urge to knock them down that willed him forward, down, down, down to the bottom rung of that empty mansion. He saw only fruits and a pup sleeping beside the dining room bowl, and felt a fear creep up in his stomach. Maybe best to leave before the dog alerted somebody. Let’s snatch that silver pistol above the fireplace and be gone, hope to hope the world stays still. And as if his dreams had become reality, a knock on the door broke him from his mullings. The dog’s eyes jerked open and out came that yelp, that terrible alert.

   “Miss, are you home? Constabulary here.” The voice was deep and probing. Almost unconcerned if you were looking. “We heard reports of a thief in the backyard.”  Tobie’s heart leapt just as he bounded to the back door; most people would freeze, however, he had learned long ago that was wrong. That’s what got you killed in the back alleys. But he faced an even worse predicament as the exit opened for him.

   Out strode Miss Gavin in her garden attire, brow furrowed in sweat and mouth puckered from work. How he had missed her he knew not, but instinct would not allow him to miss this time.

   Muscle memory is a strange affliction. Spend enough afternoons with your younger cousins, beating them with your punches, and you start to think you’re tough. You get rough holding a knife and think you know what the world expects. But nobody knows how they’re going to react in a crisis, not really. Not without enough practice. Problem was, Tobie had had a little too much. What should’ve been a cut and dry operation turned out to be anything but.

   The knife went for arm’s length and that just happened to be her throat. Blood sprayed the sweet mahogany, and he could only stand there as she reached for his comfort. She fell to the floor. None came. Job didn’t pay that much, and quite frankly, he didn’t know what to do. Hadn’t seen death before, because that wasn’t true. Only in the big bad stories and the prison folk did people fall, and he sure as hell fell that day. Tobie let her lay there, hold the tiles down as he reeled and wished to move.

   Funny how your life can change at the flick of wrist, quite literally. No seventeen year old wants to be a killer, but life laughs at the paths we choose when we’re ignorant children.

   Victor pushed open the unlocked door and saw the youngster standing there, head down, knife on the ground by a puddle of blood. Oh how big it was and growing. The constable drew his pistol and bit his jaw. “Hands in the air, mate.”

   The boy did not listen. Bolted in fact, and Victor missed thank the Almighty. Say what you will, but another murder might’ve been too much for the town. Victor chased him to the edge of the wall, huffing and puffing. Saw him jump into the unsuspecting hands of Remy, or we could pray so. Good job, he thought, but that was fleeting. Sunlight was peeking out as he pocketed his pistol and heard the racket, stared at the poppies getting ready for winter. Too bad they wouldn’t last without a caretaker.

   He went back to the woman, hoping in some vain attempt the pool wasn’t too big. Maybe it was a face wound. Maybe he could still save her. They tended to be pretty gruesome, right? And one summer with a physician had taught him something, surely? He knelt down to make sure. Just double check for the report, he said. Just so he wouldn’t second guess himself tomorrow.

   It wasn’t.

   It never is. Remy entered from the front, our offender handcuffed and cuffed across the head. He had a little dribble of blood on the temple, and Victor made a small mumble about irony to his friend. Some sentence lost to the wind. Made his smile wither pretty quickly, quick as she was dead.

   It was an open and shut case, Victor understood, staring into those wide eyed tears. Burglary gone wrong and all that nonsense. But then, sometimes those’re the worst investigations to get.

March 16, 2015, 10:43:02 PM
Re: Member birthday calendar Holy crap I forgot about this thread.

Feliz Cumpleaños Marc y Dom!

March 21, 2015, 12:36:07 AM
Re: What are you currently reading? Finished Dark Star by Oliver Langmead. Brilliant read. Now debating on whether I should continue with Mr Shivers (considering absolutely nothing has happened halfway already) or if I should try my luck with more Hannu shorts.

Hmm, decisions.

March 21, 2015, 10:01:43 PM
Re: Tea
Breaking news: Raptori just came worryingly close to putting flour in his tea instead of sugar. Experts are divided on whether this is a sign of dementia or mere stupidity.

And now back to Baking with his Wife: Where'd all the Flour Go?

March 22, 2015, 12:18:41 AM
Re: Women Write Fantasy (The Giant 'Women in Fantasy' Database)
I think it's really interesting. I do wonder how much of it is just feedback loops - even though I couldn't care less about the gender of the author, I think most of the books I've read were written by men (even though my favourite author is Robin Hobb). Therefore, when I recommend books to people I'm stuck with a list that is male-dominated, and the cycle repeats itself.

The question is: where does that bias begin? Publishing houses (either in submission acceptance - which according to statistics isn't true - or in marketing budgets)? Subconscious prejudice? From what discussions I've read, a major part of the problem is that there are fewer women writing fantasy - and that's another thing that reinforces the feedback loop.

You make a really good point. But there's no easy answer, much to my dismay. As you pointed out, we read primarily from our own gender. (Having a hard time finding that list on here but it's recent.) And as you might point to later, there are 10:1 males on this forum. This certain "traditional fantasy" blogosphere we work in is dominated primarily by males. As JL said, if we were to look at Fantasy as a whole, it would be dominated by women. Question is, why don't we show that? (And frankly JL, the second you stuck "My personal experience" in as a help, I tuned the statistics out. Least you didn't use Amazon! :P)

Because we care about either "Epic Male Fantasy" "Pulpy romps such as UF or S&S that don't have PR or YA in them" or "Progressive New Weird that focuses on gender and race, predominately pushed by women." (See big names like Kameron Hurley, Ann Leckie, NK Jemisin, or well, Saladin Ahmed, but when's the last time he put out a book? 3 years.)

Raptori also stated that there wasn't a bias in publishing house submissions, but in actuality, there is. Problem is, it's purported not by the gatekeepers but by the subs themselves. Little over a year old so apologies, but it is done by one of the Big Five. As that shows, there is a big skew in "Historical/Epic/High Fantasy" "Horror" and "Science Fiction" toward male submissions. UF and PR is actually split down the middle, but how many PR by men can we name off the top of our heads? As for YA, surprise surprise, it's dominated by women.

Still, not all fault lies here. As you said, there is a feedback loop bias. I'm not a fan of that blame however. I read what I want and recommend thusly. I happen to enjoy pulpy S&S or Epic Male Fantasy, then that's probably what I'll recommend. Go to a YA forum that's probably dominated by JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Sarah J Maas, Kristin Cashore, Cinda Williams Chima, and Eoin Colfer. Does that make them sexist? I see no outcry there. (Nor with Romance, but that's an entirely different conversation.  ;))

I keep telling people Fantasy as a whole isn't sexist. If you're going to include the Big F, you need to lump in ALL sub-genres. Now, is Epic/High/Pulpy Fantasy (the one that gets the most "recognition" around here) skewed toward males? Absolutely.

I also note this is only a piece to the puzzle of "Is there a Bias in Fantasy?" answer.

March 22, 2015, 05:22:43 PM