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Re: YA for young males? The Hunger Games seems to be as popular with males as it is with females and when it was coming out that was something pointed to as being a good thing. Robert Muchamore has written a YA series about a secret teenage espionage organisation that seems to appeal to young males. James Patterson has loaned his name to a series of YA novels that appear to be designed to appeal to both genders equally. Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider books are about a teenage spy (almost like a teen James Bond) lot of boys like them and they were even popular enough to get a movie made. Plenty of boys and girls alike got into Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus series, same with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. There's the Percy Jacksons and the Skullduggery Pleasants too. Terry Pratchett has written a few books aimed at the YA market and I don't think they're exclusively read by girls or even YA's.
January 25, 2014, 10:39:50 PM
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Re: YA for young males?
The Hunger Games seems to be as popular with males as it is with females and when it was coming out that was something pointed to as being a good thing. Robert Muchamore has written a YA series about a secret teenage espionage organisation that seems to appeal to young males. James Patterson has loaned his name to a series of YA novels that appear to be designed to appeal to both genders equally. Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider books are about a teenage spy (almost like a teen James Bond) lot of boys like them and they were even popular enough to get a movie made. Plenty of boys and girls alike got into Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus series, same with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. There's the Percy Jacksons and the Skullduggery Pleasants too. Terry Pratchett has written a few books aimed at the YA market and I don't think they're exclusively read by girls or even YA's.

With a few variations, you just about described my teenager's bookshelf.

January 26, 2014, 11:27:49 AM
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Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean? As a teacher of middle school English, it's practically part of my job to read YA lit. We had to define the characteristics of YA lit in one of my undergraduate teaching method courses. It really came down to two traits: a teenage protagonist, and the lack of competent adult figures. If you're interested in more detail, you can check out the blog post I wrote about YA lit after I learned that my novel Maiden of Pain had been classified by several libraries as YA.
July 09, 2014, 04:44:17 PM
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Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean? I never grasped a clear definition of YA. To me, it generally implies the nonexistence of mature language and/or sex. But it is so vague, it actually tells very little about a book.
July 09, 2014, 06:50:03 PM
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Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff about books from the internet Take this however you want.  ;D


April 25, 2015, 06:30:47 PM
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Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff about books from the internet
April 26, 2015, 04:20:25 PM
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Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel Although this Forum is and should be mainly about fun and a shared creative passion, we have a community and sometimes real life intrudes. A forum friend sent me the poem below expressing the debilitating impact of depression. We all know that depression is a physical illness, like osteoporosis, if you will - not a disease of lifestyle or personal "issues." But while there shouldn't be any stigma on it, there can tend to be. Fear of this can reinforce the emotional dark night of the soul for the depression sufferer and make the person feel even more isolated.

Here's the poem:

Quote
Do you know what depression is?
Feeling down, black dog, grey clouds…
No. Wrong.
Depression is an illness, a disease. Faulty brain cells.

Do you know what depression feels like?
Feeling down, black dog, grey clouds…
No. Wrong.
Be thankful you don’t know. It’s different for every single person, every single time.

This time, a switch was installed.
It flickers on and off, with neither rhyme nor reason.
One moment you’re ok, the next you’re sobbing uncontrollably. Tears are optional, just the ragged breathing and the feeling are there.
One moment you’re walking, moving, the next you stop. You’re paralysed. Your legs feel heavy, your arms like they belong to someone else. Everything about you is frozen.
One moment the world is normal, the next the smallest decision feels overwhelming. There’s no future beyond the now.
One moment you’re laughing, the next there’s a knot in your throat and you’ve forgotten what it feels to be ok.
Nothing makes sense. There’s no night nor day.

Chemicals mean hope. Repair.
Weeks pass, months pass, a year or more. And you no longer know what depression feels like.
Until next time…

The friend asked me to share this poem, and doesn't want some big outpouring of "OMG! Are you okay?" no matter how heart-felt and well-intended.

But you may know someone - or be someone - who suffers from this disease, and the words here may be a balm or an opening of the eyes. We hope so.

May 08, 2015, 04:19:12 PM
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Re: which urban fantasy novel are you planning to read next?
It was Gail Carriger that put me off, Elfy, I am one of those who likes minimal romance in my fantasy.
I'm normally like that, too, but I felt that Gail was taking the piss most of the time with her romantic references. Gail has said that she will sacrifice a lot in her books if it will get her a laugh.

October 07, 2015, 07:26:35 AM
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Re: Ask a Brit/American what this means Only slightly related:
Jelly/Jello(?) hit with a tennis racket: http://i.imgur.com/VwYYyPA.webm

As a German, I'm amused by what you (means: all other countries) classify as bread. ;)

November 09, 2015, 04:45:53 PM
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Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes In relation to Game of Thrones (and specifically HBO), the discontent relates specifically to the way the scenes were shot, or the fact that they deeply change the characters.

Spoilers for GoT below (as well as descriptions of how they depicted rape - fair warning)
Spoiler for Hiden:
Problem 1:
In ASOIAF, Dany is married to Drogo by her brother, Viserys. In the books, Dani is initially hesitant to be with Drogo, and very frightened. There is a (by GoT standards) rather tender scene where Drogo gradually warms up Dani and seduces her, to the point where she actually agrees to make love. Only then does Drogo actually make love to her - after she verbally consents.

In the HBO show, Drogo simply rapes Dani, forcing her without her consent. And (as will be a problem later) this doesn't change the arc of their relationship development in any way, implying the rape was trivial.

This is the first time the HBO show changed something from the books to add rape, and it didn't go over well. Unfortunately, they didn't learn from this.

Problem 2:
In ASOIAF, there is a scene in a later book, after Joffrey dies, where Jamie and Cersei have sex next to the grave of their son. While this is rather twisted, it is presented (in the book) as consensual. They are both extremely messed up.

In the HBO series, the scene and lines were changed to imply that Jaime rapes Cersei (she doesn't want to have sex, and he forces her) which significantly changes Jaime's character, and Cersei's - yet the shows continue without any change to their relationship. So HBO changed consensual sex to rape, but nothing else. Not only does this piss people off as "character assassination" but it also trivializes rape, implying it has no effect on either of them.

Problem 3:
In the books, Jeyne Poole (who was cut from the HBO series) is posing as Arya Stark, and has the extreme misfortune of being married to Ramsay Bolton. On their wedding night, he forces Theon to "get her ready" and then rapes her.

In the HBO show, Jeyne Poole's character was cut and Sansa replaced her. This led to Ramsay raping Sansa instead (also conveniently destroying all the "Sansa becomes a powerful woman" plot that preceded this scene, where Littlefinger was tutoring her), and that wasn't even the biggest problem with how it was handled and shot.

In both the books and the show, Ramsay orders Theon to remain in the room and watch as he rapes Jeyne (book) or Sansa (show). But in the case of the show, HBO shot it so that when Ramsay begins to rape Sansa, we cut away to Theon's face. We see how horrified Theon is that he is forced to watch Sansa being raped.

That's the problem. The show was shot, and the showrunners focused, on how sad it was that Theon was being forced to watch Sansa being raped. Not on the fact that SANSA was BEING RAPED. Basically, their presention was "so Ramsay is raping Sansa now. Look how bad this is for poor Theon! Poor Theon."

Whether or not they intended to present it that way, that's how it came off. So at the least, they didn't think it out very well. This is the scene that finally raised the discontent to high levels, I think.

Problem 4:
GoT on HBO is fairly liberal with "sexposition" - where, in order to make worldbuilding/infodumping more palatable (in their view) they will have people randomly humping in the background while characters talk. In several cases, HBO has even taken it beyond that to women being raped (as in the scene at Craster's Keep) where they used Night Watch deserters raping Craster's daughters as a backdrop for another dialogue scene unrelated to that topic at all.

They could have simply had the scene without rape of any kind, but chose to use multiple rapes as a backdrop, lingering on shots of it going on in between panning between the characters. So in that case, not only was it completely unnecessary, it was shot to titillate.

Now, I'm not saying the show is terrible. In many ways I love what HBO has done with GoT, and I do enjoy the show despite its missteps. But the complaints over how it has depicted/handled/added rape are pretty well documented, and I agree they have f'ed it up several times. Hence why people (rightly) call them on it.

As I understand, the showrunners are FINALLY getting the message, and have promised to handle rape more intelligently in the future. I really hope they do.

Outside of spoilers, rape is a very tough subject to tackle in fiction, particularly because it is not just "fantasy or science fiction". I don't have any friends who have been killed in a war for a medieval throne, tortured by a demon, had their soul stolen, been killed by vampires or ripped apart by werewolves, or been forced to kill other children in a sick gladiatorial contest. But I do have friends who have been raped.

What people forget is that rape is a VERY real threat for at least half the population (e.g., anyone not male). It is something that could happen to them at any moment. It's not something most people want to see in their "entertainment". It is NOT titillating, nor should it ever be, but people often make the mistake of writing or presenting it that way in entertainment, whether it's the way it is described (lurid) or the way it is shot.

That's why rape is a more difficult topic to tackle than all the ridiculous amounts of fantasy violence you see in media. Fantasy violence isn't reality for us. And it's why both writers and showrunners should be very careful in how they present it (and with GoT specifically, the showrunners f'ed up the way they presented it time and again).

If you want an example of a show that handles rape in an intelligent and non-titillating manner, watch Jessica Jones on Netflix. They do a great job dealing with the aftermath of violation without EVER showing any actual rape.

January 20, 2016, 06:17:29 AM
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