June 01, 2020, 02:17:55 PM

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Re: Series Suggestion Kings of the wyld first, because it is a standalone that just so happens to have a second book. And that second book stands alone too.

It's hilarious and refreshing because it embraces and pisses on all the tropes in turn. Of all the books you have it'll take you the least time.

May 08, 2019, 05:21:02 PM
Re: Writing Software Recommendations My personal preference goes to Ulysses. In dark mode it is perfect. Completely free of distraction, with all the tools at hand, you can write chapters indepandantly and merge files, keep things in folders and it all looks very neat.

See, full screen, when I write :

You can choose to see everything, like bellow, or only the column of pages. It's rife with shortcuts too, but I use the very minimum and it's god enough. 100% distraction free and gentle on the eyes, I've used it for years and no complaint.

And F* yeah it's pirated, sorry pals, that's not a free or even cheap software, like many beautiful designer things on mac... Totally worth the money I didn't pay for it though  :-X :-[ :P

May 11, 2019, 09:47:58 PM
Re: His Dark Materials to be a BBC tv series
So I should read the books, right?

Overall they're a unique mixed bag. I would recommend them, but they do decrease in quality as the series goes on. You will be lectured on Philip Pullman's opinions, but I was able to put up with them and I disagree with them completely.

But I do think the new series he's working on in the same world is better. There's only one book out so far, I think the second one is coming out this year, but the universe just feels more believable and concrete. I was pretty pleased with it because I always wanted him to flesh out the world a little more.

Wow, could not disagree more. I found his newest book extremely disappointing and much behind in terms of quality. I'm not sure how a weird venture in fairyland and a vilain who can outdo heroes without any of the necessary tools to do so, would be more realistic? I definitely felt he let his fancy and plot crafting go out the window.

But the original trilogy was excellent, and not especially preachy in my opinion.

Magnus will have to read on and see for himself.

May 22, 2019, 03:21:11 PM
Re: 7th-9th June Cymera Edinburgh Basking in it IRL rn.
June 08, 2019, 03:06:55 PM
Re: The Author's Hand Writing Competition - 5k Spec Fic (Due: Sept 1, 2019) It's without further ado, dear. Adieu means farewell in French, as in forever... Literally "to god", because you'll see each other next in heaven.

Edit : It'd be nice to know who your judges are. Also, blimmey, but 2nd and 3rd place get to PAY YOU? I'm sure it's interesting to people looking to self publish... But honestly you could toss in something free... If I were to be first runner up i'd have to actively decline my prize from you, it's a pretty discouraging offer.

June 18, 2019, 11:52:17 PM
Abercrombie signing in Scotland Hey guys,

I'm at work, so I'll be brief, but I just choked upon seeing that we will have an Abercrombie signing at MY SHOP!!!


It's for his new trilogy. So, I'll be sure to be there if I can...

July 04, 2019, 11:46:49 AM
Re: never Heard of this award before
But this award doesn't do anything to further that cause. All it does is to be a generic best book award that excludes a (presumably substantial) number of contenders regardless of context. The absence of something is not award-worthy. If you want to praise a work for something, it needs to be for something that it does well, not for something that is not included.

While I fully agree with your sentiment, you're only seeing this because it's presenting itself in the negative.

But an award that says "no male MCs" and "Starring Female MCs" bring the exact same stories to the table. One sounds exclusive, the other sounds like strict guidelines.
They're the same though, they're stories that star a woman and not a man.

Call it a "wholesome female roles award" if it makes you feel better.

But honestly I see where they're coming from. Women being victims is a recurrent theme, everywhere, from games to graphic novels through any novel. Just like women getting rescued, plugged in as love interests, etc. There is strong evidence also that reducing the instances of "thing X" happening helps reduce the normalcy of "thing X". If we had less naked women in our ads and less dead women in our books, it would probably be less normal to expect women to be naked or dead in our entertainment.
And that would be good for women at large.

It's the exact same argument as saying gay people should stop being in media just to have a sad ending or to die. Or the black crew member to always go first. Because this shit caters to our negative ingrained stereotypes.

ALSO. I feel like (men,) and women who've been raped, beaten, nearly escaped death at the hands of a partner, or know one who has, or one who's died by violence, deserve to have a prize that showcases books that won't spring any triggering, nasty content.
"Here, have a shortlist of books we found praise worthy that don't contain stuff like the horrid shit that happened to your sister". isn't that nice?
Surely we can have as many awards for as many people as we care for.

November 03, 2019, 09:30:25 PM
Re: never Heard of this award before
One of the shortlisted books is about a 15th century murder of a man. Does this not make it hypocritical? I think I would have more time for this if it was no one instead of no woman.

Sorry for double post, but reading this makes me unhappy.

Seriously, it's the exact same argument people had when Ann Leckie brought out a scifi book where everyone was she/her regardless of biological gender, and half the male readership lost their minds saying "boo, why not everyone he/him?!"

A work that is meant to not bring violence to "women" doesn't have to do the same for men. Men aren't the topic. Men don't need protection. Two men don't die each week at the hands of their current or former partner in the UK, but women do.
Books featuring men certainly don't feel the obligation to make their work egalitarian. Will you propose every crime novel from now on should always have either no death/beatings or deaths/beatings of both men and women, in perfect ratio? No. Of course. It's fine for men to write about women being raped and cut in pieces by men, and a man catching that man, so the girl's dad/boyfriend can feel better, unless he's the culprit! But if a woman writes a book in which a man dies and no woman does, for an award that refuses titles that show harm done to women, that is worthy of note, of discomfort, of a forum post.

What if someone decided to bring out a book prize that says "Gay people don't die or have a sad ending in these books". Will you come out and say it's bullshit that a straight person dies? That a straight person has a sad ending?

Please tell me no, because that would simply be reactionary. And I feel like this "dubious reaction" to a prize that no one forces any of you to read is a knee jerk reaction. It doesn't affect your lives. Other people will read the books and other people will finance the award. You don't have to care. You don't have to even know it exist, just like you may not know about this award :

"The Stonewall Book Award is a set of three literary awards that annually recognize "exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience" in English-language books published in the U.S."

Have you heard about it? read from its shortlist? cared? Has it affected your lives as writers or readers?

Is it something to complain about too? Because a minority wants to showcase itself and to offer a shortlist of good works to people who can identify with them?

Maybe that new award that protects women isn't for you, but I sure am grateful for it, and apparently so is Lady T.

Let's not start a war on hypocritical behaviour related to prizes and awards and gender, because trust me, men wouldn't win it.

Edit: and if you wanna educate yourself on "book awards and women" and feel why challenging female representation is in bad taste, you can read this fascinating article : https://qz.com/838175/the-national-book-award-and-other-top-literary-prizes-seriously-under-represent-women/

Pretty damn shocking to see these numbers. 90% of awards going to men in massive awards in france, spain, international. Awards existing for over a hundred years barely giving away 12 spots to women!
And then you have us, with the Hugo, leading the world for fairness in representation with a shitty 30% going to female authors.

And the closing words :

Of the 17 women who’ve won the National Book Award, seven did it in the last 15 years. But as well as the gender gap in prizewinners, the literary world has to also contend with the gender disparity in the winning authors’ main characters. Novels in which the main character is female win far fewer prizes than novels with a male main character.

So yeah, dissing on small, female driven prizes is in real bad taste. Let us have something to enjoy please.

November 03, 2019, 09:54:43 PM
Re: never Heard of this award before
I see Nora's point of view and I agree with it, but when I read the article it felt a lot more like what Rostum and Dan said: any book that didn't have violence against women, regardless of quality or if the plot made sense, could enter the contest.

As Skip and Cupiscent pointed out, anyone can enter a book award if it is open to the public, so why judge the quality of entries before a shortlist is out, or a winner even? I assume an award is best judged by the quality of what it selects over some years.

I'm sorry if I came across as angry, it certainly flusters me to see people challenging why women should have anything that's free and doesn't take anything away from anyone, and I've been dealing with more sexism than usual IRL recently.

Overall I just don't understand why we're discussing the legitimacy of a new award, as we should all be pleased it means one more type of entry for a potential writer, and some truly silly topics exist out there, with plenty of room and freedom for writers who like their women raped and dismembered.

November 05, 2019, 01:07:54 PM
Re: What to do about the writing contest? I personally dropped out of the forum for a variety of reasons. Some people I didn't get along with and put me off entire threads, I reached a point where I felt I didn't have much else "to say" in talking about SFF in general, and have never been one much to talk about books in specifics.
This has been wildly accentuated by my job becoming an SFF specialist bookseller. I talk about books with book lovers 7h a day and have tended to come home wanting to think about something else.  I've also decided to teach myself 3D art as a way of making my work situation bearable throughout Xmas, and this new hobby has pushed writing to the corners of my creative time (and what little I write these days mostly goes to a Star Wars fanfic I'm doing for kicks and giggles with a mate as a pissoff middle finger to the end of the trilogy).

Now there is nothing that can be done about any of that.

However, a few of the topics also did not appeal to me, and that will always be the case, but I do agree that either voting on topics or releasing 4/6 months of topics ahead of schedule might be refreshing. It'll let people who need more time plan ahead on topics they like.

There is also the lack of goal. I get frustrated when I see that some writers post yet don't vote, which carries a ton of weight when there are 5 voters tops. The stories aren't posted on the website, they're not getting exposition, so in the end 4 people read me here, I may never get feedback. So if I don't get an official publication, I may as well post the story on the sf writers subreddit, where I'll get dozens of reads and a handful of reviews. (spoiler alert, I don't do that a lot, I'm too busy animating weird shit these days, but I have done so in the past instead of writing here).

The forum does feel a bit tumbleweedy. We're far from the glory days where Jaymack recruited out new writers the breath after welcoming them to the forum. I don't have any ideas about that. I came to this place on a feverish quest for human company and help at a weird, dark time in my life when I was going insane having a bunch of horses for main company for days on end.
I highly doubt that's the main stream of newcomers. But yeah, if the fb people don't know about us, then what gives? It'd be nice to have the winning stories posted on fb too!! It's sad but true, there is no perks in winning besides patting oneself on the back and the gratification of beating someone else by a single vote.
I can't wait for Bea to get a hand on the staring wheel in that department. She's been relentlessly helping with the contest and always ready to step forward for more while other mods did less and less (for perfectly natural and justified reasons), I'm just chagrined that she hasn't been offered more sooner. The contest has been let to fade from the main site for years, so I suspect this is a negative feeding cycle where the neglect from higher up drips down to lower down, where all the main party involved decide to all go do other things somewhere else.

Which is why I voted for the first and last entries both. It'd be ideal imo for Bea (or anyone, at this point), to work the backlog on the main site, and the powers that be to beat the drum to remind our apparently large community that the forum exists and has a cool contest that is officially back on track.
The contest itself could use a little revamp, with either a thread for topic votes (maybe through likes, each person submitting an idea, and we simmer the best down to a pol, establishing the next 2/3 months that way?) or an open list.
This of course has the perk of being temporary. We could go back to a month by month system if the other doesn't stick.

I have to point out it's something I'm really behind. Sometimes I know from day one I have zero interest in trying the topic and I despair because I have the writing juice but really dislike the topic (like every single fanfic month), could have seen me instead spend two months polishing the next topic if it's more to my taste.
Of course I realise participation might end up even patchier than it is if 5 writers are each writing for a different month... Which is why getting fresh blood is number one.

Erff. Sorry. Might be rambling a bit, it's so late!

Don't take my words or advice too much to heart. I don't feel like I've been participating enough to get much weight in the topic.

My last word is this : please don't stop the contest if there are other options! It is fantastic and is what kept me writing all these years and I'd never have fucking guess I could write a compiling romance in 1500 words in all my life if it weren't for it, and for you guys making this fun. This is just a bump in the road. Please stay strong.

February 06, 2020, 02:42:30 AM