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Messages - Nora

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Links, Competitions and 'Stuff' / Re: The Peat's Blog thread
« on: January 04, 2020, 06:58:56 PM »
A review of Marie Brennan's Turning Darkness Into Light - https://peatlong.blogspot.com/2020/01/turning-darkness-into-light-by-marie.html
Yay, I've been looking at this book for ages, so glad to see that Marie continues to write great books :D
Hey @Nora, have you read this one?

Nope! haven't yet! Hope you enjoy it, and hope it holds up to the original series.

[DEC 2019] Tardiness / Re: [Dec 2019] - Tardiness - Discussion Thread
« on: December 07, 2019, 10:02:27 AM »
I assume he has clear beats, with a chunk being the final confrontation and resolution. If he hasn't even reached writing that, then yeah he's not even halfway in.

Time to make tough choices  :P

[SEP/OCT 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Voting Thread
« on: November 29, 2019, 11:12:45 AM »
@Jonathan Ryan don't forget to vote too!

I read it and really enjoyed it. Also read and enjoyed the second one. They are in a similar universe to The Vagrant, it ties in somehow. But there is a lot more dialogue and a lot more plot.

Don't know why you'd read it if it doesn't sound like your thing though?

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: never Heard of this award before
« on: November 05, 2019, 01:07:54 PM »
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.

[SEP/OCT 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Voting Thread
« on: November 04, 2019, 08:11:58 PM »
Yep, voted too!

This only thing La Belle Sauvage does for me in the end is justify why Oxford looks almost more like Venice, and why they can boat literally anywhere. God I was so disappointed by that book.

And btw if you remember they're not even following the scene as it was in that book either. Belle Sauvage isn't canon!! Yay!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: never Heard of this award before
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:54:43 PM »
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.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: never Heard of this award before
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:30:25 PM »
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.

Just watched the first ep of Northern Lights and it looks faaaaaab!

Great acting, completely won over by McAvoy. Fuck but this man can act! That look of his in the airship spoke volumes! The boy playing Roger is surprisingly better than our own lead, but everyone passes the bar.
Great representation.

I'd think overall so far music and cinematography are OK, but neither warrants a letter home. Which imo, at least for music, is a sadly missed opportunity.

Daemons look cool and are present enough. I often scoured the screen for them and felt they definitely saved themselves some money on numerous shots where you can only see humans, but when the demons are there, they look fab. Which is probably much better than "more daemon looking less good".

Totally on board for the whole season now, no questions asked.

[NOV 2019] Arch Enemies / Re: [Nov 2019] - Arch Enemies - Discussion Thread
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:14:15 PM »
No, if i go through with the idea I'm spinning in my wee head it's going to be pure hatred in a fantasy world. But it's a broad topic and I still don't have any clear idea of how to end the story yet, so I may do.

I can't believe I started my career here writing risqué gore and depressing end of the world settings and am now suspected of brewing love stories... Such a turn of events. Never saw it coming myself.

[NOV 2019] Arch Enemies / Re: [Nov 2019] - Arch Enemies - Discussion Thread
« on: November 02, 2019, 11:20:04 PM »
Ok this 100% brought Kate Beaton to my mind. She had that amazing running gag about pirate "nemesis". The whole thing devolved into a mad bromance it was truly epic, let me share the best examples!

I have an germ of an idea for my own nemesis story, but I gotta sleep on it.

[SEP/OCT 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: November 02, 2019, 10:58:30 PM »
Ahahaha! Well, It'll be easy to vote at least, but it's gonna be a heart breaking podium!

[SEP/OCT 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:13:36 AM »
Yay! My two last submissions have both been one day affairs, and I was sick before both I think?

And Béa, I'd be dead surprised if IKEA doesn't sell poufs. Also I have a Moroccan shop in my area that sales them, among many other things! I've grown up with them around, they're perfect for children, and are rather popular in France. But yeah, I've not seen one in anyone's house in the UK yet. Not sure about US. Just covering my bases!

[SEP/OCT 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Submission Thread
« on: October 10, 2019, 11:26:45 PM »
Unlikely Friendship or 'An Impending Catastrophe' - 1500 words

Yeah I've been on a Tolkien bender, but I like peaceful times best.

Also, in case anyone's gonna give me grief, this is a pouf.
Spoiler for Hiden:

They come in all shapes and sizes and this one is the original moroccan design.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Ellois opened the virio he'd received in the mail with a sigh. He turned to watch Bulla collapse on the pouf next to his with a grunt.

'I have one also,' the orc said, baring her fangs in what looked like a sympathetic smile but Ellois knew was really a grimace of dread. She twirled a little roll of parchment between her tapered fingers. 'Family not so good with technology, but same crap, you don't worry.'

Ellois laughed. 'Shall we open them together then, and find out if things have calmed down back home?'

Bulla snorted and popped the seal of her letter. 'Friend, if the news is peace, I change career, buy the Cut-Boulder inn and you drink free every night your entire life.'

'Deal,' he said, without worrying of ruining his friend's prospects.

The pure indignation of his parent, family, and the bemused wonder of his entire clan was something he'd foreseen when he'd announced he was joining the new inter-species course of the dwarvish Bolarukt Metallurgic University. He'd expected all of the unexpected. But that, as an elf, he'd find himself becoming closest to an orc lass had not made the list of his wildest speculations. It also hadn't made the list of things he'd written home about.
"Feels quite lonely, this campus under the mountain! Turns out I'm the sole elf here (haha!), but not to worry, foreigner's club is welcoming and diverse, made friends with another loner! Charming Barung orc named Bulla–"
He probably would have gone home to find his entire forest bereft of elves, his home-tree tacked with his disinheritance and banishment.

The virio's gold threading shimmered, expanding and vibrating as they formed the image of his sister's face. Her voice came tiny and distorted. She sounded exasperated. She was the one who'd started the virio message, and warned that when their mother's turn came, she might insist he come home for the Bel-Lunar feast.

"You know, I think she hopes you'll refuse? Half the family will pester you to remain, half our friends will want to put you at the forge to see how "tainted" your skills are, and right about everyone will want to hear your stories, and get fed in the process." She laughed then, a brittle sound, "I personally hope you come dressed in dwarven mail and with a filthy long beard. Give them something to be so shocked about, they'll stop plaguing me for news, get my drift?"

She was right too, his mother's message was to ask him to return for the festivities. "Maybe bring something special? Some assignment you made, that would reassure the family?"
His father, looking tired and hard-pressed, appeared next, and then the two cousins who worked with him in the family forge. It was all pleas, gossip, and grief. The usual.

'You're safe Bulla,' Ellois said, folding the metal cage over his grinning cousin's face.

The orc didn't reply. She was starring dead ahead into nothingness. Ellois glanced around the room, just in case. They weren't alone of course, he could tell from the four pair of halfling feet that cropped up from the large couch by the fireplace. The inseparable group spent every afternoon break napping on that couch, and they sat there too in the evening, feet towards the fire this time. They'd effectively turned it into a sort of inland halfling nation that none of the other members of the Foreign Student Lounge dared infringe upon. Two humans, Mel and Ardan, a couple now, were playing a game of Atrib in a corner and not minding anyone else.

'Is it bad news then,' he asked, turning back to his friend. She looked like some blue-quartz statue with inlaid obsidian eyes, she was so still. Ellois snapped his fingers.

'Ah!' Bulla started. 'Yes. News. No, not bad.'

'Wait,' Ellois felt a shiver down his spine, 'you're not busy calculating the selling price of the Cut-Boulder are you?'

'Not bad news–terrible. My fair elf friend, you come from precious society, yes?'

Ellois gave her a deadpan glare. They hadn't gone for the passive-aggressive praising in months now.

"I mean you have nice society, full of the feelings.' She made a butterfly motion with her hand, her bone bracelets clicking. 'You let the children do what they feel, marry the person they feel for. Love, yes.'

'Sure,' Ellois said, confused. 'We live a long time. Maybe you can ask a human to put up with another for thirty years, but for an elf to spend centuries with another they do not like, it would be silly.'

'Yes. It is a nice way.'

'What's your practice in Barung?'

'Like this,' she said, grimacing at the parchment, 'by the mother telling her daughter "when you come home this Bel-Lunar break I introduce a fine orc to you. His family is large, runs an armoury, and they were very impressed by your work. He has two fine tusks and black hair like soot, very dashing. Your fathers approve." See, I think I made a tactical error when I sent my chain mail back home.'

Bulla was in the opposite situation to Ellois'. They were both the first of their kind to join the University, but her admittance had been the pride and joy of her family, and had, as far as Ellois could understand the very murky familial politics of Barung orcs, greatly increased their status. She suffered from jealousy, gossip and familial pressure.
Two months prior they'd started the armour course, during which the foreign students had each spent a week teaching everyone some local techniques, before moving to the dwarven four-fold layering of scale-plated cuirasses.
Karli, a Nortern woman, had demonstrated a splendid process to merge mail and plate in a single outfit, and Bulla had worked late into the night to adapt this to light orcish-style armour. She'd made a baby-sized model in copper and sent it home, and then had grinned for two days straight until the engineering professor had told her to quit it with the terrifying teeth display.

Ellois laughed a little. He felt bad for his friend, but it was funny.

'You made yourself too eligible then? Surely you can say no? Don't you have some sort of status matching going on?'

'What do you mean?'

'Well, you can already chat comfortably with the humans in midland-speak, you soak up elvish as fast as I let it out, though you'd need to file your teeth to fix your accent, you're obviously doing great in your dwarvish classes, that's four languages! You'll never be a jeweller but you're already in the top of the armour class. Plus haven't you gotten accepted in the Greater Metalworks studios for the summer months? You'll be smelting Alfuris! You must be the only orc who's ever seen that metal and lived to speak of it."

Ellois was on his knees on the carpet by now, waving enthusiastically. The human couple had turned from their game to listen to his peroration.

'You're a good friend, full of praise,' Bulla said, her cheeks flushed purplish with pleasure, 'but your value of me is– Oh! I see!'

'Right? Why not write home saying your status is much too high now to even think of marrying some armourer?'

'He's right, you know,' Mel called out, 'golden haired and golden tongued, our master elf! But you could be the first orc ambassador to the Midland Marsh as soon as you graduate.'

'Yeah, just don't open a business in the capital, no need for that sort of competition.' Ardan added, eyes already back on the board in front of him.

'Thank you, friends, I think on this now.'

And she did. She thought about what to do as she manned her bellows, thought about what to write as she peered in her crucible, tried to think about nothing as she hammered away, her broad shoulders slick with sweat, creating the assigned shapes.
By the time she arrived at the animated-goldwork class which she shared with Ellois, she'd made up her mind. She would write that she'd been privileged with extra work, and could not return home. It would buy her time.
She'd barely sat down that Ellois was upon her, his golden hair tousled and plastered to his brow, black streaks ran across his cheeks where he'd brushed sweat away carelessly. He looked like he'd run straight from his last forge.

'I have an idea!' The elf cried excitedly. 'I struck down on a piece of silver and it sang and I knew, like I had been speaking to it and it answered back! Haha!'

'What is it?' Bulla asked, bewildered. She'd never seen Ellois this out of sorts, and she'd seen him passed-out drunk under a tavern bench.

'As you know, I also got a message. It came with some advice, "to make a tremendous impression", to solve my own problems.' He grinned, eyes glinting with mischief, 'how would you feel about spending Bel-Lunar feast in an elvish home?'

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