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kuenjato

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Everything posted by kuenjato

  1. kuenjato

    YA Twitter Tribunals

    One of the articles above gives evidence that a substantial amount of support for these regressive trends are coming from the agents and/or publishing personal, with murmurs of "blacklists," and books rejected simply because a writer is writing from a gender or racial background different from their own, etc. Some demographics, I'm not sure how accurate, point to this being a trend primarily among white, women agents. This is not entirely surprising: #MeToo and the overwhelming gamut of toxic overspill from the past couple years has probably engineered a massive movement towards 'sensitivity checklists,' and careful behavior to mitigate against potential offensive conduct/speech. But the result has created this increadably censorous environment, easy to exploit and abuse and to spin into an ever-escalating whirlwind of accusation and blanket condemnation, often based on the flimsiest evidence or data (see the Kosovo stuff). I can't imagine publishers are happy to cancel books and eat the developmental costs on a monthly basis -- it seems that the thrill of performative outrage is now generating almost constant tagging on upcoming releases -- and it may get to the point that twitter mobs are ignored or reduced in consideration. There's a lot of talk about how these communities serve as the lifeblood for self-promotion for upcoming artists, but I have a feeling it is similar to the extreme right on the internet: loud and prolific but ultimately only influencing a small, specific audience, with the bulk of the audience either unaware or only exposed to echoes of the clamor. I wonder what it's like in the current "adult" sci-fi / fantasy setting? After the "Sad Puppies" fiasco, and awards trending towards diverse writers, are internal guidelines about content circulating around, or is it still a free-for-all?
  2. kuenjato

    Make Mine Captain Marvel! (SPOILERS)

    Yeah, it's this. I'm not hung up on what her body type is, it was just distracting to see someone run knock-kneed (as it is out of the ordinary and thus noticable), but I put a lot of it to the pretty much objective fact that these directors were not particularly good in framing action. Usually it's body-doubles doing the running/jumping in any case, unless we're talking about Tom Cruise.
  3. kuenjato

    YA Twitter Tribunals

    Wait 'till you read the Zhao stuff. Author writes about slavery in a fantasy book setting and doesn't contextualize it in a purely 18th-century American-centric POV about race -- the knives come out, and come out sharp. Given that Zhao had a 500k contract and the way the headliner YA authors approached their line of attack, it comes off as 'competitive outrage' -- YA is glutted and there's only so many Big Names to draw the audience in. Part of the problem with these trends is consumer backlash and how actual good progressive ideas are lumped together with extremist performative outrage. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the mob mentality is actually being conducted by professional trolls, to further discredit the 'left' in the eyes of the politically obtuse.
  4. kuenjato

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    One of my favorite reviews of this series calls Rothfuss a "carny". He really is a big contradiction, full of hot air one moment and almost in tears the next. Oh, yeah, that's right, he's borderline bi-polar, right? (I forget the actual diagnosis, it's a mild form of bi-polar). His antics sort of make sense, in that light.
  5. kuenjato

    Make Mine Captain Marvel! (SPOILERS)

    eh, she was OK. The big problem was the script and the director / editor's choices in presenting her. Some scenes she comes off as fantastic, particularly some of the emoting scenes and her back and forth with Fury, while other times it was just flat face / dead eyes. She also runs really weird -- it threw me out of the movie in the first quarter, when she's required to run a lot. In one of the first scenes she's running like she's knock-kneed (maybe she is?) and it threw me out every time after.
  6. kuenjato

    Make Mine Captain Marvel! (SPOILERS)

    This was fun and forgettable. Bottom tier MCU for me, above Thor 2 and Hulk and maybe about the same level as Ant-Man. There are some great moments -- the girl empowerment theme is fantastically realized at the climax, Jackson is Jackson, the Goose reveal, the weird but well done memory sequence -- but overall it felt rather mediocre in construction for a good deal of its run time and somewhat fumbling at the script level. A person at another forum I frequent wondered what this film would have been like with Kathryn Bigelow helming this, channeling Point Break and Zero Dark Thirty, and boy I wish Marvel would have gone bigger with this. It doesn't help that this is following Marvel's peak run of Infinity War, Black Panther, Thor Ragnarok, Civil War, etc. But most importantly, my 9-year old daughter really, really liked it, and that was who the film was really made for. I'm glad it's doing well at the box office, if nothing else than to infuriate the MRA dickheads.
  7. kuenjato

    Star Wars Thread: I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's not "mostly" ideological, it's just that the ideology is badly shoehorned into an established saga, and the content probably most worthy of exploring (like arms sales in a never-ending galactic conflict) are given short-shift to crap like Holdo vs. Poe, the entirety of which invalidates the bolded statement above. Speaking of which, the bolded is one of the stupidest statements you've ever written on this site, and I've read a lot of what you've written, be it insightful, challenging, or ideologically-blinkered. One doesn't have to "buy in" to the MRA crowd to view this as a sloppy, shoddy entry to a long-running serial, chock full of prequel-era terrible writing and shoestring plotting and tone-inappropriate humor, coupled with really crude, blunt ideological intentions towards addressing some of the underlying conflicts of our modern period. If Johnson and Disney were going to go this route, it could have become a masterpiece, with careful writing, plotting, and thematic development. Instead it's a confused mess, one which devalues one of the central characters & themes of the entire series and doesn't even do a good job of portraying Luke as a bitter old defeatist, rendering him instead a cheap representation of Boomers in the Vapor Age. After writing my screed yesterday, I reflected on its harshness in tone, then realized I dislike TLJ for the same reason I dislike Goodkind. I teach a course on propaganda, and find some of it stunningly beautiful, even while portraying a harmful message; other pieces are just hollow cartoons ejected from mediocre minds, a la Sword of Truth. Though of completely different perspective, TLJ is the Terry Goodkind of Star Wars, and it irritates to see Luke & the possibility of these new characters diminished or destroyed in such an uncouth manner. EDIT: I'm going to keep the pejorative "stupidest" above, because the other word that comes to mind is "dishonest." Every single media critic of a certain ideological bent across multiple websites love this film, and though they won't admit it -- simply resorting to "it's challenging! subversive! fanboys can't handle it!" -- the truth is, a film this big inserting these themes into the masses is a good thing, regardless of it's quality or lack thereof. It's created this weird cagey wink-wink, nudge-nudge shuffle-dance among identitarians in regards to the very fucking obvious things Johnson put in this film, and unfortunately, put them in very baldly and very badly.
  8. kuenjato

    Star Wars Thread: I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The problem with TLJ is that it's so incredibly clumsy in its execution of its ideology, to say nothing of the nuts and bolts of space opera storytelling. I hate this film, and I hate it as a Star Wars fan from the OT theater days and as a social and economic liberal with considerable distaste toward the concept of championing shitty art and/or shitty people simply because it/they are ideologically correct -- the "requires hate" fallacy. TLJ not only needlessly and incompetently mars the general Star Wars tone developed across decades to score cheap virtue-signaling likes, it does it so, so poorly. To offer a contrast, think of a recent franchise film that did basically the same thing, and generated a small fervor among MRA assholes, but not-really-much and easily-drowned-out because it was an awesome fucking film? Mad Max: Fury Road. And that film is much more explicit in assigning blame for its conflict. There are plenty of other examples of the sci-fi/fantasy medium addressing these issues with nuance and intelligence; I recently completed Horizon Zero Dawn, which delved into male toxicity but also offered perspective and variations of the characters presented, rather than stereotypical identitarian models. TLJ, on the other hand, is the product of a crude, unsophisticated approach to storytelling and thematic development; it is not so much art as it is propaganda--a crap example that should be scorned for its caricatures and general shallowness of what it is trying to represent. A dozen stern editorial passes and perhaps some collaboration, and this might have been a masterpiece. But why expect that from a studio that develops a multimillion-dollar trilogy without even a base structure?
  9. Highly recommended, but please keep in mind that I just started playing video games after a 12 year hiatus, so that probably colors my opinion a great deal. I picked up a PS4 and several games during Black Friday (200 system and 15-20 dollar games), and decided to play HZD first just because I liked the way it looks. I've clocked in around 66 hours to complete the main storyline & the main quest for the DLC, and am only about 50% done with each. The game combined a lot of elements that I enjoyed a long time ago (rpg, adventure, stealth, strategy) and I felt the story was a nice take on the post-apocalyptic genre, with some careful detail woven in for the various cultures and underlying conflict & antagonist. It helps that the game is stunningly beautiful... I spent a lot of time just hunting machines and animals and enjoying the scenery. A good portion of it takes place in my native state / region, so that was a major factor in how involving it was. I'd recommend mostly tackling the main quest for your playthrough, as the side quests vary from good to just ok, and I think the story has more impact if you follow it directly through and do the side stuff later. Lately I've been playing Nier Automata, and I can kind of understand the criticisms Zelda fans had of HZD, as Nier is quite restrictive in where you can go, what you can climb, etc. The combat is tons of fun and the story is intriguing so far. After it, I'll probably play God of War and then GTA V or Spiderman. I have Witcher 3, but as I've heard it's a major time-sink (100 to 200 hours, easily), I'm going to wait on that one until this fall.
  10. Let them purge their party. Perhaps it will lead to a dissolution of the two-party stranglehold. If nothing else, isolate the broke-brain boomers and their xenophobic harkening to a neverland nationalism, so that they will fester again at the margins, like they did for decades prior to broadcasting deregulation.
  11. kuenjato

    Assassin's Apprentice Opinions?

    I may be misremembering, as I read the trilogy in 1999. So the lingering fumes of impressions were a) not much assassinating going on (or, at least, Fitz never "grows into the role"), b) rather shallow worldbuilding as a whole--politically and geographically--though decent in the micro setting, and c) a glutton's feast of emotional manipulation on the part of the author to milk drama and inspire sniffles from those that like to cry at the end of books (as I see frequently in topics like these), but the emotional manipulation was so boldface bald on the author's part that, by the third book, the trick had worn to the nub and simply left me cold. These are dimestore romance novels with some fantasy trappings slathered on. I'd still recommend them over 80% of the fantasy market, though.
  12. kuenjato

    Assassin's Apprentice Opinions?

    First two books are pretty good, though the title of the series is rather misleading, as there is very little "assassinating" going on. Lots of emotional porn, if that's your thing. The third book cranks this to 11 and is a major travelquest/woe-is-me slog, to the point that I checked out on reading future books. It has massive appeal to a select audience, which isn't me. Fairly well written for the genre.
  13. kuenjato

    Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

    All of this. It's why people were theorizing as of 2009 that the army must serve some ulterior motive, to be sacrificed somehow for Kellhus to achieve his goals. As fodder to erect the No-God or as some sort of skeleton soul-key to access the God of Gods and rewrite the code of existence or... or something. But no. It mostly feels like it was a chance for RSB to go all Edgelord with the cannibalism rape. Which in itself was extremely predictable--but again, it was thought there'd be some point to it. Harvesting that amount of sin, or something. But no. But no.
  14. thanks guys, this was all very helpful. My concern was 1) comparative analysis ( which mean Witcher should go last, as it has the best story) and 2) rusty gaming skill -- the last button masher/fight simulator I played was the original Devil May Cry. From the feedback, it sounds like God of War and Horizon Zero are good ways to relearn gameplaying, and eventually transfer those skills to Nier (which I wanted to play first because it's so frantic and intense, but... probably not a good idea.)
  15. kuenjato

    Malazan: High House Shadow edition

    This is a problem across the board. Lots of people talk about how tragic the Chain of Dogs was, but for me it was just authorial schmaltz, constantly telling rather than showing how EPIC and how DOOMED all of this was as shorthand for actually developing character for Coltaine or the moustache-twirling, cowardly Nobles. Whiskeyjack was another example, Erikson's shallow characterization not jiving with how much love everyone on page has for this cipher. Part of me wants to re-read Malazan, but then I remember stuff like that above, and how arrogant Erikson regards his series & how some of this stuff apparently gets worse after book 4, and I just. cannot. commit the time.
  16. What does ROTE actually stand for? Reign of the Emo?
  17. Wondering if yall could help me out... I snagged one of the PS4 trims with spiderman for $199 on Black Friday. This is my first gaming console since the PS2 and I haven't played any games from 2006 (Final Fantasy XII). Some basic research generated the "best of" the kind of games I like and/or seem like must-buys, so I blew another $100 for five games. I haven't even cracked the machine out of the box yet, because I'm in the final stages of buying a house and will be purchasing a 55 or 65 inch TV once that's finished -- about two weeks away. Problem is, I need advice on what to play first, because every game looks sweet, many have 100 hours + content, and I won't be playing more than an hour a day on average (with work, kids, and other creative projects and other media consumption, like books). I'm not sure where to start, and it's kinda driving me crazy, because I want to start them all. The games: God of War ($17 at Gamestop!) Nier Automata The Witcher 3 Grand Theft Auto V Horizon Zero Dawn
  18. kuenjato

    Fire and Blood: Just arrived!

    Oh yes, I did read that and felt it was well put together... but from the feel of the appendix & the online timeline drawn from it, along with your material, it felt as if a 600+ page volume like Fire and Blood could be do-able. But yeah, unlikely.
  19. kuenjato

    Fire and Blood: Just arrived!

    This is just up my alley as a history buff & someone working, periodically, on my own textbook of a fantastical setting... but that excerpt is rather dire. I'd really like this sort of project by Bakker, probably would have preferred it to TUC.
  20. kuenjato

    Malazan: High House Shadow edition

    Midnight Tides is where I bowed out on this series. I was disappointed with the fourth book, and the complete switch of locale/characters coupled with the very purple prose of the beginning made me just put it aside... and as all the issues I had with the series (forced humor, inconsistent writing, cartoonish world building that is occasionally ridiculously overblown) seem to get magnified in the later books, according to reviews, I never returned. I've thought about picking up the series now that it's complete, but it seems more effort than it's worth.
  21. kuenjato

    Bakker LV - Nau's Ark

    Just gonna bang my head against the wall... *Many* potential endings have been discussed before. The second series, flawed as it was by the end, had many potential interesting paths. But Bakker went the grimdark wet fart route, and even then it was bullshit. What would have been truly subversive? To kill *ALL* of the characters at the end, rather than have Akka and Esme and Mir. escape for future installments. Instead, TAE ended as just the typical cut-off for a complications volume of a serial, not too different from Empire Strikes Back or innumerable other "heroes get stomped down but survive to fight another day." That's just rote storytelling. I would have preferred they all get wiped out, except for the kid, who wasn't in harm's immediate path.
  22. kuenjato

    And now Barnes & Noble faces the Headman's axe

    Dunno if Amazon would want to deal with the fixed costs, but they could open B&N clones across the country. It would solidify their stranglehold on the big six.
  23. kuenjato

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    Dorky schlub fantasizes about za wemins, grows up and makes himself loudly a feminist, while regressive concepts lurk within his creative work and erupt openly on the blog (what is that Hobbit post but the teeth gnashing lament of the White Knight's pixie mystique soiled? Draw thy sword and slash thy offending image from sight! that damsel was mine, I tells you!). Kvothe's awful "i'm Denney's special me" speech is White Knight epitomized, and one of Rothfuss's more uncomfortable and intimate writings. Came from the heart, yo. This, I suspect, is part of the delay for book 3. Reveal to the adoring fans that Kvothe is scum stalker egomaniac for critical appeal, or appease those who vigorously buy his crap swag and give him likes and protect him from the meanies of the world... hard choice, to be sure.
  24. kuenjato

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    He's a classic White Knight. It's not that uncommon among nerds, particularly those who grew up in the 80's and 90's. Most of us outgrew it as real life experiences tore away the fantasy. Some never have.
  25. kuenjato

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    I'm still curious about Z.'s info on book 3. I think we can safely assume that a draft of it is complete -- Peter Brett once tweeted that he had a beta copy & was reading it, a long time ago, maybe 6-7 years? -- but the floating idea that it basically sucks would be in line with the extreme delay and Rothfuss's refusal to discuss it. And I just gotta say LOL at the decorum-buttons pushed earlier about criticizing the author. This is a forum where Tairy Yeardkind has 50+ threads bashing his douchery and R. Scott Bakker discussions routinely devolve to dissecting his foot-in-mouth disease. If Rothfuss a) wasn't so popular and thus influential in the gnre, b) if his books were a lot better than his obnoxious fanboi / girls proclaimed, c) he didn't make grandiose statements about the series and seem completely unable or unwilling to back these statements up with evidence other than an utter, utter dogshit slice-of-life novella with a whinging "don't judge me imma unicorn, u can be unicorn too" prologue & epilogue to boot, d) if he wasn't making bank milking the swag of the series to the nth degree while failing to deliver, e) write misogynistic blog posts and hate on series he ripped off wholesale (HP... even then, the decorum button need not be pushed. Polite discussion about overrated authors is not the reason many of us visit westeros.
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