Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Need Some Characters--Comic Con

For a story I'm writing, I need 3-5 characters. If you want to supply one, copy this little form and reply in the comments. When the story's up, I'll post a link here.
Name:
Age-ish (ie, teen, college, out of college)
Would cosplay as:
Three things the person would buy at comic con:
How much of classic who the person has seen:
favorite Doctor:
other sci-fi fandoms.

Thanks

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Don't Tell Me My Heroes are Flawed

Don’t tell me my heroes are flawed. There’s already so much wrong with the world—I don’t want to look for shadows under the streetlight. I want to believe the best of people—is that so wrong? I know they’re not perfect, but I don’t want to say it aloud. Or if it they are flawed, let it be a flaw that makes their achievements more remarkable, because they overcame it. Let Batman be proud, that he may humbly take the fall for Harvey Dent. Let the Doctor be angry, because he cares for his friends. Let Boromir be greedy, because he defended Frodo from the Orcs. But don’t tell me that Superman never picks up his dirty socks, that Harry Potter has messy handwriting, because then they wouldn’t be heroes.

They’d be people:

just like me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

he Care and Keeping of Fans--Exclusive Comic-Con Clips

So, the clips that were shown at Comic Con are not getting put online. Drats. Double drats. And the discussion on one of my favorite fan sites generally boils down to one point, a subpoint, and counter-points of the sub-point.

  • THAT'S NOT FAIR!
  • The program's made with British licensing fee--the British should get to see it too, because they paid for it.
  • Non-British counterpoints--It wasn't all the Americans who got to see it. Comic Con is international. A lot of Americans don't have BBC America anyway--can you blame them for wanting to see it.

Point 1, I agree with whole-heartedly. Point 2--I suppose. Counterpoint--Yes. British fans, you all have access to the series automatically--by TV or iPlayer. We don't.

One of my Doctor Who DVDs says "You can watch BBC America for the low, low price--of absolutely no additional money whatsoever." Pfft! Only if you already have satellite or cable TV. Yes, there's iTunes, but you know how much one season costs--$80! Eighty dollars through BBC America. Good luck being a poor American Whovian. Especially a legal one.

But I still want a trailer.

Three Quick Reviews



The Floating Island by

Four stars Elizabeth Hayden is a wonderful combination of fantasy and the early modern genre of "traveler's tales," such as Gulliver's Travels. When the young Nain shipwright Ven encounters Fire Pirates while testing a new vessel, he ends up leaving his home and setting off an adventure. The first in a series, this book has a wonderful, exuberant imagination, with several humanoid species in a world with humans, each with their own traditions and habits. The first-person narrative has an in-story justification, and the plot has several twists and possible interpretations that could be chosen.


The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart.

When I picked up this book, I had some vague memory of reading an Arthurian legend with this title and finding it rather dull. I must have been thinking of another book, because this one was beautiful. It was like taking a drink, expecting cherry cough syrup, and finding rich apple cider with caramel syrup instead.
This book is the first of a trilogy focusing o
n Merlin. It begins with twelve-year-old Merlin, bastard grandson of the king, at his home in Less Britain, learning about his Sight and other learning from a man living in a crystal cave. When his grandfather dies, he flees to join Ambrosius. This book has a wonderful combination of historical detail and imagination, and the writing style is gorgeous. I'm planning to add the next two to my interlibrary loan request list at some point.
Four and a half stars.

The Wingfeather Saga

Unfortunately, it's been a while since I read the first book in this series, and I was only able to find the second and third at the library. So I was a bit confused while reading it. However, Andrew Peterson's series is a wonderful fairy-tale adventure. With such original monsters as toothy cows and Fangs, the world of The Wingfeather Saga is new and fresh, wonderful for reading aloud and introducing children to the genre. The characters are well-written and realistic. I'd give you a summery, but the first book's ending is necessary for any sort of overall summery, and I don't want spoilers.
Four stars.

Apollo 23

This story of the Doctor and Amy starts with an astronaut walking into a burger joint, and a woman in a red coat dying on the moon. The two time travelers are drawn into an adventure on America's secret moonbase.
While I wouldn't rate this as one of the best novels, I really enjoyed seeing the how the Whoniverse's space programs compare with ours. After all, if Britain has a secret moonbase in the 21st century (referenced in the SJA episode "Death of the Doctor), America should have something. And they do. Oh, boy, do they ever.
Three stars.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Avatar: The Last Airbender

So, as of Tuesday morning this week, I had seen three episodes of Avatar: the Last Airbender. Now I have seen through Book 2’s “The Swamp,” and wish admittance to the fandom. The ending of “The Blue Spirit” almost knocked me backwards, but the real clincher was “The Siege of the North.”

IT.

WAS.

EPIC.

First thing that pops into my head.

Gondor. It’s Gondor, made of snow. It’s a beautiful, old civilization, and even if it survives, the scars of war will last for generations.

This is not just a kid’s show.

And then I went on to season two—I’m not sure which episode it was—but when Zuko is talking with the girl, and she says “The Fire Nation has hurt you—-” the irony of it all is that she’s right. Fire devours itself and consumes everything in it’s path, when there are no foundries. Iroh is wonderful, yes, one of my favorite characters, but…Zuko.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fanfic In Progress

Apart from peculiar temporal origins, uncertain aging, psychotic depression, malnutrition, and dissociative fugue state, I’m perfectly healthy.”

“If that’s healthy, what’s sick?”

--The Subtle Thief of Youth

My current fanfiction in progress, "The Subtle Thief of Youth" is already five thousand words long, with at least another k to go. The title comes from Milton's Sonnet VII, and should serve as a hint to the general theme of the story. It's unusually dark for me, stemming from a dream I once had.



Tag: I'm it

If you are tagged/nominated, you must post eleven facts about yourself.

- Then, you must answer the eleven questions the tagger has given you and make eleven questions for the people you are going to tag.

- Next, tag eleven more bloggers.

- Tell the people you tagged that you have tagged them.

- No tagging back.

- The person you tagged must have less than 200 followers.

Eleven Facts about Me:
  1. I got my driver's license less than a month before my brother got his permit.
  2. I am making a cloak to wear to the Hobbit premier.
  3. My hair looks like River Song's from Doctor Who.
  4. I originally met one of my roommates for next year on a book forum.
  5. I have three blogs (This one, I Firnie Elenion and Notes from Naveyl)
  6. I used the TARDIS as the setting of my essay final for Classic Lit.
  7. Doctor Who is my favorite TV show.
  8. I have traveled overseas.
  9. I have completed four NaNoWriMos, one JulNoWriMo, and two Script Frenzies.
  10. I write Doctor Who fanfiction.
  11. Eleven is my favorite Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith my favorite companion (Doctor Who again)

Questions I Recieved
1. What's your favorite place in the world?
Camp Forest Springs--and I'm going to work there this summer!
2. What do you think about Kansas? (>:D)
flat. full of wheat.
3. Favorite song?
Oooh...at the moment I'd say Geoff Moore's "Listen to Our Hearts." It's one of my character's unofficial theme songs.
4. Favorite quote?
Another hard one, but I think I'll have to go with this exchange from the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour:"
Amy Pond: I thought...well, I started to think you were just a mad man with a box.
The Doctor: Amy Pond, there's something you better understand about me 'cause it's important and one day your life may depend on it...I am definitely a mad man with a box.
5. G. K. Chesterton is, to you, what? Your opinion?
Clever, witty, one of the best Christian writers of the past two centuries, and creepily relevant to modern culture.

6. Best speculative fiction you've read recently? In absence of speculative fiction, what's the best book you've read recently, non-fiction or fiction?
I'd have to say Tales of Goldstone Wood, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.
7. Best kind of cookie?
Do those little rosette things that one only finds at Christmas count? Oh, they're marvelous.
8. Your opinion of pie?
Great, as long as it isn't pumpkin or irrational.
9. What color is your favorite shirt?
red
10. Are you procrastinating?
Yes.
11. If you're a writer, what are you currently writing? If you're not a writer, what big thing have you done recently?
I'm working on typing up the "Fall" for the Roni'ith mythology.

Eleven Questions for the People I Tag
  1. If you could date any fictional person, who would it be?
  2. What book would you like to have adapted into a movie, and by whom?
  3. What's your favorite thing to eat when it's over a hundred degrees outside?
  4. What is your favorite number and why?
  5. What is the last thing you ate?
  6. If you could have anything as a pet--real or imaginary--what would you have?
  7. If you could join a movie/TV show/band as an extra/backup singer (Regardless of ability) which would it be?
  8. What blog do you read most?
  9. Do you play video/online games; if so, which ones?
  10. Do you like spoilers for things or not?
  11. When was the last time you went to the theater?
I tag

And anyone else who's interested.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crater

Over a hundred years in the future, the moon has been colonized as the human race takes its first step into the stars.

Except not really. In many sci-fi novels, moon colonies are the basis of future scientific explorations and discoveries. Crater, by Homer Hickam, focuses on a different scenario. Miners process Helium-3, formed by solar winds, for nuclear fuel to power Earth. The author’s research helps ground the novel in real science and gives it a gritty, realistic feel. The colonies are described as “more Wild West than the Wild West,” populated by criminals and exiles. The worldbuilding is well done, described so that it fits with the story instead of interrupting it. The only area I find disappoint is the lack of description for the gillie.

The plot, on the other hand, lags a bit. While the tension is strong at points, the ending doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story, and I became confused about location after the drive ends. Some of the characters are interesting, but others are clich├ęs—such as the ex-Prince of Wales, and the terms can be a bit confusing at points. Three Stars

One group I would heartily recommend this novel to is fans of space Western, such as Firefly. It has that stars-and-cowboy feeling.

I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze but was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties in a Decade of Drama

I haven't finished reading this book yet, but there's an excellent reason for that--the book has so many intriguing questions and helpful points that I don't want to rush through. As someone who typically speeds through books, that is high praise indeed.

Stress Point’s ten chapters focus on issues like career, self-image, independent living, spiritual maturity, and financial responsibility. The self-contained chapters make it easy to focus on the areas that challenge you.

Each chapter has multiple journaling sections to let you focus your thoughts and challenge you to take on a Biblical perspective. While the title focuses on stress, the book itself challenges you to focus your attention on God’s plan for your life, instead of your difficulties.

As a college student, I have already faced some of these struggles, while others still lie ahead. Some of these areas—such as self-image and dating, could be applied to those still in high school, while the career and spiritual maturity chapters are applicable for 20-somethings and beyond. I highly recommend this book for young women struggling to find God in their chaotic lives, especially because the author focuses intently on God’s word and the impact on your life. Four Stars.

I received a free copy of this ebook from BookSneeze but was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Freedooooooom!

William: Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.
Soldier 2: William Wallace is seven feet tall!
William: Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
[Scottish army laughs]
William: I AM William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country men, here, in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that FREEDOM? Will you fight?
Soldier 1: Against that? No, we will run, and we will live.
William: Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!'

Yes, I have finally watched Mel Gibson's film Braveheart, the tale of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. I haven't really been into Scottish-ness before, unless you count Amy Pond from Doctor Who.
(Side note: The Doctor keeps telling Amy that she's "so Scottish," which led to the following exchange between me and my brother:
Brother: So, does Scottish mean stupid?
Me: No, just stubborn.
Brother: Oh, so Braveheart is about a lot of stubborn people?
Anyway, I have to admit it was more graphic than I'm used to, but I really liked how the director used a lot of wordless scenes to communicate emotion and events without getting sappy or expository. And I wish we had a William Wallace to lecture Congress on its responsibility to Americans.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shipping Wars


(No, I have not yet seen enough Avatar: The Last Airbender to pick a ship. I just like the image)

I was considering writing a nice, leisurely post on Ian and Barbara, the first humans ever to travel the TARDIS--even if they were kidnapped--when I came across this image:

Well, I was planning a post on shipping at some point anyway--now's as good a time as any.
For the uninitiated, "shipping" is a term used among a fandom to indicate romantically paring individuals, regardless of gender, orientation, culture, personality, age...anything goes. And I do mean anything. I will not provide details, because I want this blog to remain family-friendly.
Anyway, I will start by discussing the Tolkienverse, where I support all the canon couples (Aragorn/Arwen, Eowyn/Faramir, Sam/Rosie, Luthien/Beren etc), which were straight and intended to be lifelong. Tolkien was a Catholic, after all, and even if authorial beliefs aren't always shown in text, interpreting his works against his religious views is absurd. Unfortunately, the abundance of male main characters (especially in the Silmarillion) means that the ships are slash. Lots and lots of slash. Or Mary Sues. Or even just wrong ships, such as Aragorn/Eowyn. But Bilbo/Smaug? Youch. I've seen Sherlock, so I understand the crossover Sherlock/John shipping, but please. Think logically for once. I don't read Lord of the Rings for romance, though, (actually, I rarely read/watch anything for pure romance), so I just get annoyed by the shipping.
Doctor Who, though, is another story. Partially because it's a TV show, partially because I began watching it at college, and partially because it is that kind of fandom. With the classic episodes, I don't really ship the Doctor with anyone, partially because most of them are older and because the Time Lords are still around. Basically, if the Doctor wanted to "dance" with anyone, he might have found the prospect of doing so with humans slightly gross. Plus, his wife (Susan's grandmother) might have still been in the picture. Maybe he had feelings for Romana somewhat, but I never really saw their relationship in that way. Most of classic who, I see the Doctor's relationship with his companions as wise mentor/mentee. Maybe clever uncle sometimes, but not romantic.
NuWho shipping is a huge pile of worms, really. My "Best of Me" series pretty much covered shipping, but I do ship Doctor/River in a big way, partially because they're both so complicated and also because they do have on-screen chemistry. Eleven is just so adorable and awkward with River, it's so cute. Since The Doctor's Wife, I've also been a huge Doctor/TARDIS shipper, but I think that covers most of the fandom, because it doesn't really interfere with any other ship. I think the Doctor only began to look at humans as possible romantic partners after the Time War; not only was he guilty and self-loathing, he was lonely. But I don't think he has flings with his companions, because he knows they move on and it would just make him lonelier.