February 20, 2019, 10:30:28 PM

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Messages - J.R. Darewood

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1

Grimdark;

Try Monstress

If you want more sci-fish : I found Gantz incredibly violent but addicting

It's not grimdark, but growing up I loved Elfquest and comicwise the Spiderman-Deadpool crossovers are hilarious

2
Writers' Corner / Re: Do you want to contribute to the Main Site?
« on: February 19, 2019, 05:21:30 PM »
Haha she never replied to the first one, which is making me wonder if she'll reply to this one either

3
I've found the umbrella academy to be wildly entertaining

4
@Eli_Freysson  You should check out Paul Shapera. He's got a bunch of rock Opera and other concept albums.  Steampunk,  Weird West and other crazy stuff.

I will. Thanks.

Unrelated to that... I'm in the middle of a deliberate ten-day break from sweets and pastries, and I can feel it affecting my mood...

Grrr.


EDIT: On the bright side I've discovered that dried mango slices make great candy.

Eli you've inspired me to try the same. Last time I tried this I wanted to kill everyone so we'll see v how long i last

5
General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 19, 2019, 04:31:00 PM »
Bernie announced he's running and already my Facebook feed is full of people who supported Clinton in the last election vomiting vitriol. In fact the only reason I even knew he's running is from posts by angry centrists

6
General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 17, 2019, 12:26:31 PM »

I saw this circulating elsewhere. It's incredibly scathing, but too irresistible not to post, so I put it in spoiler tags.


Spoiler for Hiden:

Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"

Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:

"A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

'My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."


7
Bradley, that sounds horrible. I would have smashed something, I think.
Did you think about setting everything on fire and start someplace else a new life?  :P

Do you have a long-term goal or plans? Because I think you can only endure so much shit if you know it a) won't be forever  and b) helps you achieving said goal.

I honestly feel like this kind of shit just follows you when in the United States (perhaps even the "developed" world in general. you just sort of hemorrhage money and get swallowed up by exploitation in the expensive countries).

I've been looking for long-term work outside of the US (preferably Latin America, but I wouldn't mind Europe or Africa) and just haven't been having any success at all. A lot of the bigger NGOs seem to be replacing their expat positions with local hires (my last interview with Oxfam was ages ago and they said I was the only Westerner they even considered interviewing, today the most interesting program positions at Oxfam and Amnesty and the like often say "must have the right to work in xyz country before applying"), and I haven't been able to break in.  And doing something remote (like writing) hasn't really panned out yet either.  I haven't figured it all out.

I've got some contacts in DC that might be able to get me a position with USAID but that's almost as awful as working for the World Bank.

8

Frustration:

* My car's speedometer is not working for the 4th time. It's been in the shop for two weeks.  I called the mechanic Fri and he said it was raining and then he got sick. His voice sounded like it was slurring so idk it could be his diabetes but probably he was drunk.  So no car.
* I pay 100$ to park in a dirt lot, which leaves my car perpetually covered in dirt.  Since I can't use my space I let my friend park there since he lets me borrow his car when I need it.  The officious old lady that hangs out in the parking lot accused him of being a gang member and said i can't have him use the key to the spot and lied about 3 people complaining to the lot owner.  (He'd parked his car there once and it was physically impossible that 3 people even saw him). So they made me take his car out.
* My kitchen is 2 burners and a sink in a tiny single unit.  The sink leaks out of the handle of the faucet every time I turn it on.  There's no space so i have to wash dishes as I cook, but when I do that water pours onto the burners, which is dangerous.  It leaks onto the floor.  it's a big leak.  I've been trying to get the landlord to fix it for like 6 months and he just won't do it
* the landlord just increased the price of laundry from 1$ to $1.50 to wash and 1.50 to dry.  There was only one dryer that actually dried and that seems to no longer be drying.  You have to run it twice to dry anything.  so that's basically 5$ in quarters to do one tiny load of laundry. It's actually really infuriating, like i basically have to go to the laundromat now.
* subway (the sandwich place) just changed their menu and everything is more expensive.
* my macbookPro has been held by these repair guys for 4 weeks.  i called them. They didn't know what was going on, then called me back to say that they can't get the hard drive working b/c the logiboard (motherboard) won't connect to any hard drive.  But they replaced the battery so i'm supposed to pay for the battery even though the damn thing won't boot up when it turns on.
* cookie ice cream sandwiches just went up from 5$ to 8$
* I  owe 800$ because I didn't have insurance last year
* I tried to get Medi-cal this year and they left a message saying I needed to call some number to provide documentation/additional "proof".  I called the number and it had a phone maze that took 20 min b4 I hung up.  I tried again and apparently if you just stay on the line after it tells you to hang up, it routes you to a person (who knew?).  After talking to a person they said they had no record of me and told me to call a different agency altogether.  i called that agency.  Another 20 min phone maze, which tells you to hang up.  i stayed on and reached someone who told me i needed to send them stuff, but our connection got bad so they hung up on me.  I called back, another 20 min phone maze and the person said no, I didn't need to send anything but I need to send stuff to the county.  I was like "that's not what the other person said" and they're like. "stop asking questions just call the county."  i called the county.  Another terrible phone maze, and when I finally reached someone they were super rude (which I suppose is to be expected as all people who work for the local govt are pretty awful, but it still pissed me off).
* I was supposed to teach a class in South America this summer. They have the kids submit an application (including passports, immunizations the whole nine yards) in one system, then they get a PIN from me to register in the college's system.  Me and the other instructor thought that we just needed 9 minimum in the first system, but I guess we needed 9 minimum in the second system.  We hadn't even approved anyone 3 days before the date that we needed our 9.  As soon as I found out, I approved everyone but my PIN wasn't working because IT problems.  It got fixed the day before our deadline.  We got 6 students.  They didn't deny us, but now I'm not even sure if we're going or not afterall it's insanely frustrating and I need the money I was going to get from the course :(

All of these things happened on Friday and I'm SO ANGRY. Plus the restitution checks I'm supposed to be getting stopped mysteriously so now i have to call the DA and i really just don't want to have to deal with anything else.

9
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« on: February 15, 2019, 12:45:44 AM »
The review is so positive it sounds almost pandering... that said if I ever finish my WIP I think I'd want him to review it :)

10
This was interesting:

https://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-us/news/post/55715

It's about how elder scrolls lore was actually community built

This. Lawrence is an awesome guy, and I thought this was a great way to say goodbye before traveling across the sea.

Well if you're looking for a LA-based loremaster... uhhh.... I can volunteer.

On another note, this article is incredibly touching!!!

Terry Prachett was penpals with this modder and they worked together to improve an NPC mod, which ultimately helped him keep playing Oblivion as he developed alzheimers, guiding him when he got lost.  She made him a goblin peace amulet so he could chill with Elders Scrolls goblins while writing his book Snuff.  THIS IS SO COOL!!!

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-01-29-the-story-behind-the-oblivion-mod-terry-pratchett-worked-on

11
These days we have to look for a science fiction/fantasy category to separate us out from the teenage romance and light porn.

Speak for yourself, I don't mind a little light porn in with my sci fi or fantasy. ;)


Well... in the 90s i seem to remember feeling like SF author Piers Anthony was the closest thing i had to porn available, and of course the fantasy art of Boris Vallejo.  I kind of miss the subtle ways porn was mainstreamed back then.  Now we've got Chuck Tingle and romance categories specifically defined by what animal the MC is having sex with in the title.  Subtext is dead.


1980s and 1990s:






2019










My god, there is a lot of erotica involving actual bears. I knew it was a thing but damn that was overwhelming in quantity.  All sorts of other animals are things too, my fav title doing this, uh, research... uh, was "Wolf's Nipple."

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Non-Fantasy Books / Re: Your top 3 Classics
« on: February 13, 2019, 07:58:27 PM »
Hmmm now I'm wondering what counts as a classic and what doesn't. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell would top my list of nonfiction counts I have to think about the other too but probably something by Twain for sure

13
Yeah I can't believe anyone would say that.  It's too bigotted for me to even process (but he does sound like a lit-snob so there's that).

I'd add Margaret Atwood, NK Jemisin, Robin Hobb,

Males make up like 75-80% of all writers period, I think. This was the most interesting article I've read on the topic AND it has data, which is too often missing from the discussion:

https://pudding.cool/2017/06/best-sellers/



14
I remember reading this one! So glad it won!!

15
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 12, 2019, 04:21:25 PM »
So I picked Shadow's Edge off the floor and forgave Elene and Kylar by skimming the problem chapters made it nearly to the end... and Logan made me throw the book across the room and vow not to finish it.

So I finally got around to reading more of The Blade Itself.  It's really enjoyable, but I also know what happens and I'm not sure I can emotionally invest in a bunch of awful people who I know will continue to be awful and disappointing through the end of the trilogy. If I didn't know what was going to happen, I'd love the Bayaz and Logan chapters.  All the Union stuff is just agonizing, Jezal is somehow more tortuous than Glotka, but they're both pretty sickening.

That made me crave some good old fashioned high fantasy good-and-evil so I picked up A Memory of Light for like the 900th time while sitting on a cozy chair in the Last Bookstore on Sunday.  It's been so long so I reread quite a bit before I got to new stuff.  I'm easily to the halfway point now.  I think it's been long enough that the differences in the characters (and the world itself) don't seem so glaringly painful.  But it *is* weird to be subjected to what amounts to exclusively military fiction after, you know, 15 books of sword and sorcery/political intrigue. I mean the politics is still there... it's just not intriguing. It really just feels like the gamification of story elements and I find myself wanting desperately to skip entire chapters because they are so painfully boring to me. War blah blah blah.  But I didn't find it as painful as the last few times I tried to read it so that's progress!

I've also got Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows sitting on my shelf so i might abandon all these half-read books and read that next.

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