February 26, 2018, 03:08:55 AM

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Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Black Panther
« Last post by The Gem Cutter on Today at 02:33:30 AM »
Seems like sort of a back-handed compliment to have a film with a distinctive African focus, describe their society as advanced, but then give them a society that isn't advanced or even stable. It's like a bunch of white guys tossed some technology at brown people and imagined what the 'savages' would do with it: violence-based transitions of power, third-world markets and farms, skyscrapers with huts in their architecture, etc. The application of technology is so bizarre; it works for Iron Man because of the expense and proprietary nature of the suits. The jungle-juice makes you wonder - why not just grow a bunch of that and have a nation of Kryptonian-like badasses?
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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: My next Audible book? Need help!
« Last post by JMack on Today at 02:16:16 AM »
I just picked up a number of Audibles, via combination of buying more credits and a sale on “first in series” books:

> Warbreaker by Sanderson
> The Stone Sky by Jamison, last in the trilogy
> Hounded by Hearne, first in the Iron Druid books
> Cryptonomicon, by Stephenson, which I read and loved some years ago. 40+ hours!

I’ve got my regular monthly subscription credit coming in a few days. I’d like a really good mystery novel, or non-fiction history, or a solid SF.
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Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Black Panther
« Last post by JMack on Today at 01:37:44 AM »
Saw it today, and really liked it. It’s a visual stunner, filled with imaginative... stuff.  ;D
The story is good, but not great. But I’ve pretty much given up on great story telling from Marvel movies. Occasionally you get it. This one was good. Like Cup, I liked a number of the character arcs. But just so many plot short cuts and conveniences.

My least favorite:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Killmonger drags the body of the Andy Serkis villain up to a village and just happens to meet the head of that tribe right off. Then T’Challa doesn’t bother to tell his friend that it was Killmonger who interrupted his capture of  Serkis. It would have been so easy to tell that truth and skip the whole thing. These people are supposed to be smart.

Meanwhile, since the movie is intentionally political, I’ll comment on it. I think the strength and role of women is much improved and welcome. Of course, women still aren’t in charge of anything, except other women or things that serve men. The movie, of course, gives prime of place to Africans and people of African descent. And I loved this for its beauty, art, music, pride, and progress. That said, it seems to argue that Africa was victimized (true, but simplistic) and that African Americans have to be “saved” from the outside rather than from within their own resources.

Going back to the story, the two ritual challenges were really fun, while the penultimate mano-a-mano was meh. The big car chase was a hoot. The air chase was sort of fun, but a bit muddled. And the rhino calvary was awesome.

All in all, a good time with great visuals.
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7 bedrooms!!!

Er, just what kind of litter do you guys have??

5 adults, 3 of which work from home and need offices.
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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in February 2018
« Last post by cupiscent on February 25, 2018, 11:29:30 PM »
100KK definitely felt fairly anime to me when I first read it. I think the world gets more interestingly explored in books two and three, but for readers who prefer epic fantasy, I'd always recommend Jemisin's other work over that first trilogy.

I aten't done with February yet, but my reading this month:

Fiction
KJ Parker's Two of Swords vol 1 -- a story unfolding like a Matryoshka doll, or perhaps pass the parcel; with every section unwrapping a new POV and passing the story into a new layer. Each part is full of Parker's usual keen eye for tension and detail, and pragmatic and capable characters. An entertaining read, I'm looking forward to digging into the second volume.

Amy Tintera's Ruined -- a pretty generic YA fantasy in some ways. The first half I found pretty taut and intriguing through great characters and dynamics, but the second half widened the lens and the action turned somewhat less compelling. Not sure I'll bother reading further.

Non-fiction
Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel -- I've often seen this described as essential for fantasy worldbuilding, and I can see why. It was a thorough and fascinating overview of the development of human civilisations across the continents of the world, digging into the foundations of society and importance of interactions and other factors.

Sort of both
Brooding YA Hero: how to become a main character (almost) as awesome as me -- This is sort of about writing YA fiction, sort of a loving take-down of paint-by-numbers YA fiction, and sort of a little meta-story about self-awareness and thinking outside the box. It's also quite repetitive and a little shallow at all of those things. But good fun.
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Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Black Panther
« Last post by cupiscent on February 25, 2018, 11:12:37 PM »
Achievement unlocked! (And we even managed to watch Civil War beforehand, which was good because otherwise the trailer for Infinity War before BP would have been even more indecipherable. My gosh, it looks so crowded.)

First up: RHINO CAVALRY HECK YEAH. (The concept was mentioned in passing in Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel and I am still starry-eyed about it, so when they showed up onscreen I made metal-hands at the screen.)

I loved it all. Visually magnificent, heaps of fun, I just loved T'Challa's arc. And Nakia's. And Killmonger's. And Okoye and Shuri's everything. I loved it all, basically.

It may have benefited from a little more rumination on that primary conflict--isolationism vs participation--but I think there was enough there to float the plot and character conflicts.
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[FEB 2018] WASIASGYNDL / Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Discussion Thread
« Last post by tebakutis on February 25, 2018, 10:21:21 PM »
I plan to both write a story for this month and vote for last month in the next few days. As usual, it's coming down to the wire, but I shall make time. Soon!
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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by Nora on February 25, 2018, 09:51:27 PM »
Kinda getting bored of Pride of Chanur right now. I have a shitty copy of it with numerous typoes, but beyond that the language is often opaque, the science of the ships and spacefaring is unintelligible, and the politics mostly happen in the Chanur captain's head, and I'm told more than I see, and understand precious little of what I'm given to see.
Will continue with Boy On The Bridge for now.
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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: My next Audible book? Need help!
« Last post by Nighteyes on February 25, 2018, 09:32:55 PM »
Does it have to be fantasy? Neal Stephenson books are long and packed full of fantastic details and action.
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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by Nighteyes on February 25, 2018, 09:31:26 PM »
Quote
Has anyone read the  Culture series?

If you are talking Banks many times over Consider Phlebas would be the first published and where I would start. some would argue Use of Weapons to be a better book to start with. Great ideas and the universe is a very big place.

Here is a bit of whimsy from Against a dark background that I suspect was a homage to Douglas Adams. It is very out of character with his writing but fun.

http://www.milezero.org/index.php/fiction/writing/quote/the_lazy_guns.html

I would say start with Player of Games. But yes Culture books are incredible. Though my favourite Iain M Banks is The Algebraist. Aliens that live on Gas Giants! Mind blowing.
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