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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Progress notes for 18-19 June 2006:

"Venom Cock"

New Words:  2041
Total Words: 6832
Pages: 31
Stimulants:  coooooffffeeeeee
Exercise:  Gym yesterday with ashacat and commodorified
Mail: Strange Horizons review the Jenny books and Blood & Iron: there is the love! for the first, (perhaps unreasonably so: I almost feel constrained to point out that the book isn't really that good, but this is me NOT DOING THAT, because it would be dumb and ungrateful and we don't argue with reviews.), and pretty much hate for the second. THERE ARE MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR SEVERAL PLOT TWISTS in the Blood & Iron review. Seriously, I would recommend not actually reading it if you have not read the book.

Can't complain about the charge that the first half of the book is overwritten: it absolutely is, or Seeker's POV is, anyway. (I just did a word count on the manuscript: four "greasy"s in the book. I was probably doing something repetitive with their use. (Good job he didn't notice all the blinking.))

Which leads me to the thing about this review that makes me absolutely happiest: the reviewer's reaction to one thing that didn't work for him. He's absolutely correct. From a human perspective,  Faerie is the bad guys. Seeker knows it, Matthew knows it, and the reader is meant to know it, too. This is a story told from the POV of a villain.

(I thought I did a better job with Carel's motivation and the actual nature of hers and Seeker's eventual choices than this would tend to indicate, but--fwoosh--sometimes what is transparently, stupidly simple to the writer is not so clear to the reader. Alas! Alackaday!) (Actually, I quite like the scene he quoted.)

Today's words Word don't know: liaise
Mean Things: Matthew is getting hit on by pretty girls again.
Darling du jour:  His city, which he loved, dehumanized; Matthew considered it the responsibility that came with his gifts to humanize it right back. It was in some ways rather like being married to a terrible drunk.
Tyop du jour: the sore running puss down into his beard
Books in progress: Martin Cruz Smith, Stallion Gate
The glamour!: There was a scantily-clad fangirl doing my dishes yesterday while I was at work! This writing gig is really okay!


So to get a scantily-clad fangirl or fanboy(!) doing my dishes all I need to do is write a few books? Why didn't I think of that?

And offer your pad for crash space. *g*

Tha'th a cock, hey-o!

Sorry. I couldn't resist.
Unwise it is, etc.
Well, I liked Blood & Iron. And, uh, I disliked Hammered so much that I didn't bother reading the other two. There's no accounting for taste. ;)

In fairness, I would much rather be trapped in an elevator with Jenny than with Elaine.

I think my favorite line in the WW review was: ...and along the way has helped to expand my knowledge of how to talk dirty in the French-speaking Canada of the future. You can rest on your laurels now, having accomplished such a feat. ;D

(And belated congratulations to you on the Locus award! All kinds of things happen when I'm off sewing for 3 days and not paying enough attention to LJ!)
yeah, I think I want that one on my gravestone. *g*
Does it make me a traitor to the human race if I um like Elaine a lot?


But not as much as if you like Kelpie a lot.

OTOH, that was kind of my point. I wanted to establish some sympathy for the other side to make a couple of points. *g*

Re: I may be missing the point entirely

I believe the point is that my book is long, dull, drawn-out, and full of Nazis.

Oh, wait. That's Cabaret.
Okay, so it's been a while, but I'm having that weird Twilight Zone feeling that the B&I reviewer read some alternate dimension version of the book that I read.

For instance, I remember the stagnation of Faerie as being noticed, problematized, commented on, and otherwise part of the plot--certainly not unquestioningly accepted by either narrative or characters.

Likewise for Seeker's highly problematical status as a "hero." Or even likeable, for that matter.
Um, yes with the problematizing. At least that was my intent--thus the lack of weather, and the reasons for it, and the whole thematic thing about failure to adapt with the werewolves (Their society isn't, to my mind, sane either--and Keith would be the first to agree) and with Faerie, and Morgan playing her games to try to force change, and the Protean dragon, and....

But again with the arguing with reviewers thing. *g* (watch me try to behave.)

(and fail.)

*falls like lucifer, trailing matches*

There were some other factual problems with the review, that seems to me projections (i.e., project an assumption onto the work without checking it at the door)--for example, the idea that the Prometheans are meant to be technomancers.

...they're not. They're a pre-Enlightenment cult that uses magic to suppress magic for the betterment of non-magical humanity. So we're not, you know, in danger of being chased down and torn to bits by the Wild Hunt.

Technology is one of the tools they use to do this... but so are Shakespeare's plays.

It's about telling stories.

(Also, Elaine's not that pretty. Okay, Matthew says she's lovely. But Matthew has a painful fixation on her mother. If you read the actual description, you get a tall rawboned woman with a crooked nose....)

The whole POV-character's-perception being unreliable thing. It appears to be way too subtle for some readers, though. I need to work on that.

this 'dune' book, sir, is no 'star wars'

I like the part that implies you would be better off taking ideas from White Wolf's Mage...

Re: this 'dune' book, sir, is no 'star wars'

Sure. Between them and LKH, they did everything I do, better and first.
Oh, for heaven's sake.

All right, that perhaps isn't the best exclamation for a review of Blood and Iron. I'll just roll my eyes a little. How I hate the assumption that if one quotes a lot, the only reason one could possibly have to do so is that one is Showing Off. I think that says a lot more about the reviewer than about the book.

I veered between thinking that there were no villains and that everybody was a villain, which is actually what might be expected from a complicated situation in which everybody is constrained by reality and history. I liked it, though it was very painful. It seemed true.

My intent as a writer was that everybody was a villain, and possibly the people we had the most sympathy for were the worst villains of the lot.

Except Matthew. He's working for Bad People, but he's rather a decent guy.
I can't say anything about the review, as I'm avoiding spoilers and haven't read it yet (hell, I haven't read the chapters online, as that would take a large chunk out of my already non-productive workday) to avoid spoilers, but I can say all this controversy/discussion is certainly making me happy that I pre-ordered this one.
Oh, please tell me it's not a controversy. :-P
As the only person who is not going to comment on the review (I didn't read it because it's spoilerific)...

I've enjoyed watching your Venom Cock updates, because I'm working on a Venom Cock story, too. (I found a new title last week, though.)

When the whole "unwise to mock the phallus" thing started up a couple months back, I thought There's a story in there. I know it! But I thought I was so slow that the whole VC furor would be old news by the time I finished.

Now that I see you working on yours, I'm trying to finish quickly....
Race! Race!