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bear by san

August 2015

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can't sleep books will eat me

Alive. Back later.

I'm at Worldcon and mostly human (and maybe a pound lighter due to the new airline passenger dehydration regimen. eee. Maybe this is a plot to save on gas money.)

In other news, Paul Witcover (writing for Scifi.com) hated Blood & Iron with a hate that knows no bounds. Not enough smut for him, either, I guess.

Bear's real failing here is not her dependence upon models developed and more competently executed by others, for even a derivative novel can be a great read, provided it has a compelling story and vivid characters. Blood and Iron has neither. The story is a soap-opera family saga straining for a significance it does not possess, while the characters are game tokens with attributes rather than developed personalities.

(Actually, Hitler doesn't fill the paradigm. You have to be an invadee (Which is why Vlad III, who would probably have been just as big of an asshole if only he had machine guns, gets in to the list.). Hitler, alas, wasn't defending anything except his own paranoid delusions.

I probably shouldn't tell him that the Russian WWII novel, if I get to write it, will also not feature Hitler in any capacity except off-screen bad guy.

It will have more werewolves, though.)

On the other hand, SF Signal rather liked my story in YBSF #23. The review is exceedingly spoilery, though.

And, to complement the earlier picture of a Bear with a Shoggoth on her head, a picture of a Bear with a Cthulhu on her head.
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Gee, even a detective novel? Cross-genre snobbery, anyone?
Yanno, one of the best books I've read recently was Mystic River....
Wait, did I miss something? Hitler would have been an example of the "dark side" of the Dragon Prince idea, but Vlad the Impaler wasn't?

I mean, one could certainly argue degrees of darkness, but really!
He doesn't have the little moustache. Great big handlebar moustaches are less evil.
Oh, of course! How silly of me, to have forgotten about the Law of Conservation of Evil and Moustaches. ;-)
*laugh* I was thinking when I read it that it'd be awfully hard to discuss the review on boards that shut down threads whenever Godwin's Law takes effect.
a picture of a Bear with a Cthulhu on her head

You're weird, sir.
Huh. Witcover gave my first novel a really bad review a few months ago, too, but clearly he has radically different tastes than I do, so it doesn't really bother me much. I quite like Blood and Iron, and I read a *lot* of contemporary fantasy. It doesn't feel like derivative retread to me.

(And didn't you say there were only two dragon princes per millennia anyway? Which invalidates his point about there being no other dragon princes in the modern era? Or am I misremembering?)
One every five hundred years, yep. And there's that conversation about the bargain that Huang Di made, that makes explicit what the bargain is. You trade blood for the overthrow of conquerors.

Somebody else nominated William Wallace, who'd be a better candidate. And also kind of a prick. But, yanno. Only two to a millenium.
Those can't can't do and can't teach become reviewers. By demonstrating the law of diminishing returns, we should all be thankful that Paul T. Riddell blew his brains out in 2002.
Sounds like someone is reviewing the novel they want to read, rather than the one that's there.

*is puzzled*

Where did he get Hitler from, again?
A lot of reviewers review the book they saw, rather than the one that was written. The trick is to determine who they are in time to keep it from bothering you.

And Hitler can be got at Wal*Mart - on sale this month!
Hitler can be got at Wal*Mart - on sale this month!

Okay, now I need a cloth to wipe my monitor. :)
It's nice to see, in the second picture, that you are amused.
Sounds like he knows the novel he'd have written... but he'd have to change the Dragon prince rules a bit (so maybe he can still write it :) ).

Reviewed on scifi.com -- neat.





You've got a point, especially since bad reviews from the right people can be much better than good reviews from everyone else. For instance, a nasty review from Rex Reed could get another few million in ticket sales for any given movie, just from people who couldn't stand the little prat and saw the film anyway just to spite him.
There was a movie reviewer here... with whom I'd listen for certain keywords (especially with US SFnal films) because if he didn't like it and mentioned those words it'd be immersive and complex... if he didn't mention those words (and often liked it a bit better - for something not made in the UK by manically depressed tourettes sufferers) it'd have explosions and anything resembling a plot would make no sense whatever.

Certain descriptors are far more positive, and with a wider audience, than some of those who use them derogatively would wish to acknowledge. :)

(And the stuff about talent ain't so bad either)
the UK by manically depressed tourettes sufferers

...best description of British film EVAR.

... a picture of a Bear with a Cthulhu on her head.

You might want to consider switching shampoos... your hair seems far too attractive to Lovecraftian monsters.
I also am at WorldCon. Will try to find you at some point to say hello. :)
Re: Shoggoth/red left eye

The possession, it has begun! Purge it with cleansing fire!

Aiieee! A Cthulhu on a Bear's head. How wonderful!

*covets*
Paul Whatshisname is on crack.

I've been holding off on gushing at you for doing such a good job with Blood and Iron (the second half of which I immediately am rereading after finishing the book because so much was going on and the pace had me reading too quickly to catch it all the first time).

Mist: perfect.
Ard Ri: perfect.
Elaine: perfect, especially how she grows.

Other cast perfect or nearly so. Plot: driving and very interesting.

I happen to love how complex you keep everything and how hard it is to predict what will happen. Maybe this guy Paul is convinced he's clairvoyant and so is only looking for plots that are easier to handle or something, frustrated by the complexity of yours.

I happen to love these kinds of synthetic fusions of characters, myth, plot and original storytelling. I'm sorry he doesn't, but if it were me, I would keep my personal opinion from affecting my entire review and only focus on technical criticism if I felt my personal opinions were really skewing my whole review. Maybe this Paul guy should figure on adopting that strategy instead.

If he can't tell that all your main characters (of which there are quite a lot more than in most novels) have personalities, it may be that he's just not paying attention.
You can stroke my ego any day. *g*
I don't know what's worse... The fact I love the pictures, or the fact I'm trying to convince myself I don't need to buy those plushies... :p
Hey, Scheier tells me you're going to be interviewed for NPR - cool! Do you know who will be doing the interview?
Krissy Clark, for Weekend America. *g*
Congratulations! Good job!
Perhaps the kitties can assist you with the Lovecraftian pests.....

http://www.twolumps.net/d/20060814.html
http://www.twolumps.net/d/20060816.html
http://www.twolumps.net/d/20060818.html
and the solution to the problem:
http://www.twolumps.net/d/20060823.html

Heh heh heh heh....

Enjoy the con!
IN the first one only one eye has redeye, making you look very evil indeed...And that Cthulhu is appropriately big...
IN the first one only one eye has redeye, making you look very evil indeed...And that Cthulhu is appropriately big...
Sounds like you're having fun at the convention.

Re review: I just think it was a severe case of Not the Reviewer's Type of Book. As I'm still only on about page 4, I can't yet say whether it's my type. But I'm not letting the review worry me. All the things he mentions as bugs sound like features to me. *g*
Paul Witcover (writing for Scifi.com) hated Blood & Iron with a hate that knows no bounds.

Because Paul Witcover has any reason to talk. Did he ever write a second novel? Was it as bad as the first one? (Is that even possible?)
His third book is out this month, a YA fantasy that got a v. good review from Publisher's Weekly. His second book was a Dracula tie-in novel.
He wrote a novel? Dare I ask about it?
Let's try that again with proper HTML, shall we?

Waking Beauty.

I've read more erotic cereal boxes.

Hanging out with Cthulhu

And, to complement the earlier picture of a Bear with a Shoggoth on her head, a picture of a Bear with a Cthulhu on her head.

When I was at Horrorfind last year, getting pictures of people holding a plush Summer Fun Cthulhu (as opposed to getting my picture taken with people), Brian Lumley REFUSED to be photographed with Cthulhu...

John Skipp, on the other hand, gleefully accepted, and it wasn't just a photo-op photo, but (in Mr. Skipp's words) PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE that he was hanging out with Cthulhu...

still reading

Feh.

While not opposed to critical reviews, I look with disdain upon those in which the reviewer attempts to build his own cachet by faux-intellectualism and pure damn snottiness. Essentially Witcover is dancing around chanting, Homer Simpson-like, "I am so smart, I am so smart," only more logorrheically.

BLOOD AND IRON is in my haversack at this moment.
Geez. While I have not yet read any of your material (this may soon change, though---their review on Hammered has prompted me to seek it out!), I can't say I admire the unnecessary barbs this fellow puts on his blade.

"The story is a soap-opera family saga straining for a significance it does not possess, while the characters are game tokens with attributes rather than developed personalities." That somehow just seems...Unnecessarily obnoxious. Is this fellow even aware that other human beings are responsible for the books he reviews?

I haven't watched the Sci-Fi Channel in at least 1.5 years, but I never imagined it was due to nonsense like this. What happened to them? =^(
I read Witcover's review as dispassionately as possible.

I get the feeling he wanted to look down on the book. He didn't like Peter Watts, either, as I recall.
I guess there's a silver lining in being accused of deriving ideas from de Lint, Crowley, and Kushner. He's clearly accusing you of aiming high. :-)

(Oh, and if you do ever tell him about the lack of Hitler in your Russian WWII novel, you also probably should tell him the difference between "comprise" and "compose.")