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Little Valkyrie

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Everything posted by Little Valkyrie

  1. Little Valkyrie

    The Books That Have Just Come Out: New Release Thread

    I mainly remember Ashok Banker from a subsequently-largely-deleted-so-don't-quote-me-on-this-I-could-be-misremembering fluffle over how his books were categorized and his refusal to footnote/explain/whatever his specifically Indian context and vocabulary for an international (i.e.) American audience. Is this a new foray into said audience, given the publisher?
  2. Little Valkyrie

    Popular Book series you’ve tried and failed to get into:

    Also, if you started like I did when the third book had just come out, there was a small but intense online community that worked on puzzling out the backstory and the hints, which was so much of the fun of reading it. Who killed Asmodean? What really happened in the past with Lews Therin? Is Moiraine dead? Those sorts of things really help generate a fandom and a following for the books, even when they fell into slog territory. The scale of the thing was beyond anything else at the time, and for all his faults he wasn't doing the Eddings five books/rework five books model. And yes, we now joke (and did then) about braid-pulling and all of that, but multiple powerful and interesting women were a significant appeal.
  3. Little Valkyrie

    YA Twitter Tribunals

    There are some similar concerns about representation/quality thereof, not falling into stereotypes, promoting diverse perspectives, etc. But I get the impression that YA is a particularly ferocious beast due to a number of factors. The networking is even more intense than sf/f, there are some clear trends with groups and leaders, early reviewers can be surprisingly influential, etc. On this last point, let me editorialize and emphasize this is my own reading, but: there's also a wobbly but present consensus that to be a good YA writer one has to be *responsible* because you are literally shaping impressionable minds, and there's accordingly a lot of discourse about harming readers and having to make sure that you don't do that. I don't see quite the same moral language in books for grownups, at least not as often, and I think it's a huge component of how the YA discussing community talks about itself. Personally, I think that tends to veer into the therapeutic fallacy and underrate what teenagers can deal with and the many ways people are able to read books to their own ends, but I think it's largely sincere.
  4. Little Valkyrie

    YA Twitter Tribunals

    With the obvious caveat that I haven't read any of the books myself (I don't go looking for YA ARCs, and they were withdrawn), I was a little...cautious about the Kosoko Jackson book to begin with, in part because something as complex as the Kosovo War seemed like a really ambitious and difficult background for a first-time author to be taking on as a YA novel that was, by his own admission, more fundamentally about the romance than necessarily the setting. [One of my best friends came to the US as a Bosnian refugee, and was a bit incredulous when I linked him to the annoyed review; he then approved of someone reccing the author "My Cat Yugoslavia" in a twitter thread.] Real world settings have, IMO, far more actual pitfalls to them than secondary world settings, even if you can see some of the obvious parallels or inspirations in the latter. That said, the pattern of people withdrawing books worries me. Some other people also pointed out the pitfalls of an overly American-centric perspective that were shown here. Zhao said she was writing in part out of her own cultural background but was openly lambasted for potentially hurting readers by not foregrounding a specifically American framing of slavery. Jackson bragged on twitter that he spent "three whole months" researching the topic, but felt comfortable wading in as an outsider, and apparently hadn't considered that his invocation of "stay in your own lane" might apply to HIM on this front. Ironies.
  5. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    I didn't like Michael Cray but if there's a Zealot mini I'd be all over it like woah
  6. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    New Wild Storm is probably mappable to a world on the giant Map of the Multiverse--there was a particular gimmick I did not like in the Michael Cray mini that reflected that--but I don't think it's heading for a mainline crossover any time soon, and Ellis is focusing on WS characters.
  7. Little Valkyrie

    Duologies, what would you reccomend?

    I agree that's cheating because IIRC, it doesn't give you any proper closure and I went onward and tried to keep going to get some of that and bounced off of it in total bewilderment. I've been told if you can power through it coalesces, but...YMMV. I still have those paperbacks, maybe it's time to give it another try. Carol Berg has a set of two duologies wherein you can read one and not the other, but if you put them together you get a fuller picture of both events: Flesh and Spirit/Breath and Bone, Dust and Light/Ash and Silver. I do recommend reading in that order, although it'd be interesting to do it the other way around.
  8. Little Valkyrie

    December 2018 Reading

    I can see it for the first one, where the narrative conceit is very, very well-done, but three years in a row? It didn't fall apart at the end, which is very good etc., but I don't think the latter two books have the ingenuity and drive of the first one. I also came to a realization about the inspiration for the Guardians/orogene relationship that explains so, so much about it and shades it for me. (Think popular Bioware dark fantasy series, and you absolutely have it.)
  9. Little Valkyrie

    December 2018 Reading

    The Red Knight was such a riff on Arthuriana (among other things) and accordingly heritage played a role for a number of characters--although not all the major players. The themes in Cold Iron are very deliberately timely, and one of the big ones is precisely that talent and will come from unexpected sources, hence the naive protagonist, who is a thoughtful creature to begin with but comes to know both himself and the world better as the book goes on. I found some of the tricks of limited POV well-done in the book, definitely more deft than your average YA.
  10. Little Valkyrie

    November 2018 Reading - remember, remember the blade of Ember

    This is largely how I felt--I was hoping for more twists than we got given some of the really weird places Braided Path ended up going (although it's been a long time since I read it, I remember some legitimately surprising deaths and other choices in there). My largest problem with the book, exacerbated by reading it right after Miles Cameron's Cold Iron, is just how much straightforward narrative "And this is what Cade thinks about his oppressors and their culture" the narrative indulged in, direct infodump about how WE do X but THEY do Y and THEY think we're primitive but WE are actually good. I don't think the cultural conflict narrative was worked with much delicacy, although okay, maybe it doesn't need to be. But there are some solid hooks in the metaplot that mean I'll probably pick up the next one to see what the driving force behind everything really is. I'm a sucker for that stuff.
  11. Finished Miles Cameron's Cold Iron, started Wooding's Ember Blade. The latter I'm just 5% into, but it's very basic so far, heavy-handed on the portrayal of resentful young men versus culturally distinct and snobby oppressors. I remember Braided Path taking some very weird jogs and zigs, so I'm hoping for some of that, but right now it's a bit of a lecture. I feel like I need to do a re-read to really comment on it, but Cold Iron in contrast is a lot more subtle but also surprising me, struck me as absolutely and deeply topical/political for 2018, without drawing any crude or direct analogies like fantasy is often wont to do.
  12. Little Valkyrie

    August '18 Reading- (Insert Clever Subtitle)

    The prose was an acquired taste, it was more a case of feeling like none of the narrative threads had much impetus or direction to them. Things happened, other things happened, it was often rather oblique why people were doing things--it felt like wheelspinning until maybe the last 20% or so of the book.
  13. Little Valkyrie

    August '18 Reading- (Insert Clever Subtitle)

    That first book of hers was one weird read, so I'm interested in whether this one gets more coherent or keeps that driftiness.
  14. Little Valkyrie

    Hugo time! Your packet is available! 2018

    It's not exactly a standard summary, but I found this take on Bitch Planet v. 1 to be the best thing I've read about it: http://whitelippedviper.tumblr.com/post/132545988392/bitch-planet-more-ras-kass-than-chuck-d
  15. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    IIRC, the motivation is that Lazarus would be DOA if it were going by the sales of the singles, but it has a steady amount of trade sales that play out over a longer period of time (as opposed to how singles are ordered by shops and sold and not kept on the shelf for an extended period). So reorienting the work flow toward the trade waiters makes sense for both the creative and the money side of things. I would worry about the pacing (I haven't read any of this book, but I've read enough of Rucka to know that he likes to take his time/holy decompression, Batman) in this extended format--some people really make it worth the while, some people need the tighter structure of the monthly to not indulge themselves.
  16. Little Valkyrie

    SPACE OPERA: It will ROCK YOU IN THE FACE

    Fandom norms have changed a lot since those LJ days, but Valente was one of the first fandom people I can think of who actively monetized access to her non-professionally published fiction (through Omikuji Project) as well as generally selling access to her online self as the authentic author at work, engaged with her public, "anchorite of the internet". Patreon didn't exist at the time, and asking for money within fandom was a lot more fraught than it's come to be now, for a variety of reasons. And Omikuji was messy as all get out--things didn't come out on time, people never got things, and much of the time the unique fiction readers were signed up for was stuff she'd already sold professionally and would be coming out that way. So you generate a cult of personality fandom, you get judged in part by how you act, and if you mobilize your fandom to abuse a travel agency because you didn't get the right visa? It's the kind of thing people remember. If this is OT/against forum rules, I'll delete.
  17. Little Valkyrie

    SPACE OPERA: It will ROCK YOU IN THE FACE

    >explanations go on for paragraph-length sentences. So it's typical Cat Valente and your experience of it will be deeply dependent on whether you like her ultraviolet style of writing? Thanks for the review--I love the concept, but every time I try one of her books that I'd love the concept on, it's the same experience.
  18. Little Valkyrie

    March 2018 reads: share your latest books read

    I found Red Knight choppy and very slow going at first and then something kind of clicked and it flowed along. But I can't think of anything I've read recently that packs in as much meaningful detail about the world and the rhythms of life--Cameron's re-enactor background really shows there. You know he's actually worked out all of those distances and logistics.
  19. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    As best I can tell, some of the Wildstorm characters also exist in the DCU with somewhat different histories etc. (N52 Stormwatch was a book that somehow no one could make work, and is best left in the past), but The Wild Storm is off in its own Earth. In fact, in the Michael Cray book, there are Wildstorm versions of DCU mainline characters, which isn't a conceit I'm crazy about and the execution has been meh, but it's a thing. As someone who's always been meh on The Authority in part for how it came to take over WS, it's nice that Ellis has been spreading the love around--not a hint of Apollo or Midnighter yet, but lots of the C.A.T.S. and others.
  20. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    DC owns everything Wildstorm lock stock and barrel. The Ellis reboot is pretty good stuff, Jon Davis-Hunt really gives it a modern and coherent feel. And it's more of a bonus feel if you happen to have read a shitload of 90s stuff than any kind of prereq.
  21. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    I'm on and off peeking in on Saga and I understand on a certain level why it's the juggernaut that it is but I don't think it's actually very good, no. Sarah Horrocks, who has a very distinctive POV on comics I don't always agree with but always appreciate, did a good rundown on it from an art-centric perspective here: http://whitelippedviper.tumblr.com/post/165251937847/pop-comics-4-saga-46-come-mush-with-me
  22. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    I don't read BKV books until they're done because IME he has a sterling track record of 1) middle-run slumps 2) Gainax-class fuck you endings. But that Cliff Chiang art...
  23. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    It's pretty much what I expected from an artist-driven book when the artist is Tony Daniel. We'll see if any of the others are more compelling and less ~*~SPLASH PAGES!!!~*~
  24. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    I dunno, I still don't get it--DC is doing really well for itself right now, and Bendis-qua-Bendis as a selling point is something I'm pretty unconvinced by. Sure, way back USM was a juggernaut, but that was in a different market and also hit the zeitgeist incredibly well. Much the same with his Avengers: it's not shocking that you could boost the sales of a venerable but never top-shelf book by adding Spider-Man and Wolverine to the team. But a number of his personal pet projects you might expect to sell on his name didn't, and CW2 was just godawful. So I wonder: did he jump or was he pushed? Maybe we'll find out in a few years. (I should add and be very clear: I have an incredibly low opinion of Bendis as a writer, which I am happy to discuss in specific detail. This is kind of a nightmare scenario for me as a fan, except he'll probably end up on a Batbook.)
  25. Little Valkyrie

    Comics XIII

    Great, now it's time for the speculation on "What book that I would otherwise like is Bendis going to shit up with his inability to direct a plot, his maybe-slightly-more-than-one character voice, and wait, I don't actually know what DC stories he's read and will lean upon repeatedly". Sigh. Still, something must be deeply weird/wrong at Marvel for him to leave a place where he's gotten to do everything he wants with very little editorial oversight.
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