labingi: (Default)
2017-01-12 08:23 pm

Belated Jump into SNOWFLAKE Meme

Jumping into Day 11 with apologies for not doing the whole thing in order. I just don't have time to do the whole thing properly.

Day 11
In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


I think this means fan creator? I want to extol several.

The amazing [livejournal.com profile] astrogirl2 is the one who introduced me to LJ-style fandom in 2004. I came across her site somehow in searching for Blake's 7 fandom and was captivated by the wonderful community (doing B7 and Farscape RPGs at the time). Astrogirl herself--still posting regularly on LJ and still with quite a following--has always been such an intelligent, balanced, caring, engaged fandom presence, as well as a dashed good fan fic writer. (Alas, we are no longer in the same fandoms, but my admiration remains.)

Apart from Astrogirl, I want to use this space to praise some of the amazing people who have brought Mirage of Blaze fandom into English because I have been revisiting Mirage with much enthusiasm lately.

One of the first Mirage fans I ever encountered was [personal profile] petronia, first on her website, later through LJ. I long considered her--and pretty much still consider her--a celebrity I am rather shy about talking to. As far as Mirage goes, it does not get better than her humorous summaries. Across the years, I find I would usually rather read her account of Kotarou being mistaken for [Spoiler] than read the original. She captures very much the tone of Mirage itself when it self-satirizes with just a nance more meta and comedy. Utterly delightful.

The most professional-like of the many wonderful people who have taken a stab at translating the 40 volume epic of Mirage is Asphodel. Check out her amazing site of Mirage and other translations, complete with giant glossary and numerous hyperlinked footnotes. She is still at it! She has been at it for ten years or more now. The going is slow. (This is not her day job.) But the product she posts is always exceptional.

Also an excellent and voluminous translator is [personal profile] quaint_twilight. She is no longer active on LJ or DW, which I totally understand but makes me sad. I miss her wonderful translations and her enthusiastic fan presence, and I applaud her for keeping her account active so that we can continue to access the fruits of all her hard work on Mirage.

Other folks who have put in many long hours of translating work include [livejournal.com profile] 99me, [livejournal.com profile] tasha_poisonous, and [livejournal.com profile] demitas, as well as many others who have translated some wonderful bits in English and other languages--and round about 10 years ago, a whole host of people doing amazing multi-page meta. I can't name everyone, but I appreciate it all.

As for traditionally published creators, hands down the most influential in my life over the past eight-ish years or so is Yasuhiro Nightow. I must admit, I don't really relate to his latest work, Kekkai Sensen (3B), but both of his two major earlier works, Trigun and Gungrave, have been not only big fandoms of mine but have transformed my life. Each has been a means of profound revelation about myself, my patterns, and how I can better address my life. I am extremely grateful for that. It's a rare and precious gift.
labingi: (Default)
2014-03-24 10:42 pm
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Reclaiming Derivative Fiction

With the heightened visibility of fan fiction in recent years, conceptions of what constitutes professional-caliber fiction have been in flux, and derviative fiction (based on pre-existing works) has been slowly regaining legitimacy. I want to share my new enthusiasm for the richer, truer world that opens up for all participants in narrative when we accept the artistic legitimacy of retelling stories.

The Copyright Model

Our culture's dominant view of what constitutes quality narrative still draws its lines based on copyright. Under this model, professional writers write “original fiction”; i.e. works dissimilar enough from preexisting copyrighted works that the writer (or publisher) can claim copyright over them. Published writers who extrapolate stories in public domain are sometimes highly respected but sometimes placed on a lower tier than "original" writers. At a lower status, but still professionals, are authorized writers of works within others' copyrighted universes, such as official tie-in novels. Low status and traditionally derided are fan fiction writers, who write unauthorized derivative works.

The dividing line for professionalism in this model is how much the writer gets paid. Original and authorized authors make money through traditional publishing (and, more rarely, self-publishing); unauthorized fan fic writers are legally barred from profiting on copyrighted works. Read more... )
labingi: (Default)
2013-12-08 06:13 pm
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Story Recs Please

It's that time again, when I get really frustrated with my inability to find anything to fan over and ask for your help. It's worked in the past, bringing me such great recs as Banana Fish and Trigun in recent memory. So please, help me, please! Here's some info on my tastes:

* I'm looking for a story that has at least two very well-developed characters (ideally more or less equally well developed) who spark off each other in an interesting way that is a major part of the story. It needn't be romantic. It should involve some sort of interesting tension/contrast. Both characters should care about something besides just each other. (Mirage of Blaze note: yes, Naoe does care about things other than Kagetora; for example, he cares about his own ego.)

* Genre: sci fi, fantasy, historical, mythical are my favorites, followed by non-Anglophone/foreign cultures, with least interest in contemporary Anglophone texts (though I may go anywhere for a really great story). Basically, I like to get beyond the daily external world I run errands in.

* Medium: any really, though I'm rather in reading mood just now. Movies tend to be a bit short for the necessary character development, but you never know.

* Women: I truly love it when I find a story with a good female character I can invest in... but this is so rare that I tend to have a knee-jerk wariness about male/female pairings. (I don't know that I have a single female/female pairing high on my personal fannish list, but there's a first time for everything. I would have had one with The Innkeeper's Song, except...)

Random stuff I've liked in the past: I've been subsisting on renewed Les Mis love this past year (it's great but I need something new). Japanese stuff includes Mirage of Blaze, Trigun, Blade of the Immortal, Gungrave, Banana Fish. Space opera TV shows: Blake's 7, Babylon 5, Crusade. Other: The Lord of the Rings, The Brothers Karamazov, The Left Hand of Darkness, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, the Iliad, X-Men.

Help appreciated!
labingi: (ivan)
2013-08-30 09:58 am

Happy Birthday, Mary Shelley!

If any 19th-century woman can claim a place as quintessential geek girl, it is surely Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. Not only is she the progenitor of one of the icons of geek culture and a founder of modern science fiction, she is also, I will argue, firmly situated in the grand tradition of women fan fiction writers. Born August 30, 1797, she would be 216 years old today.

Brief Biography
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley seemed marked for literary accomplishment. The daughter radical philosopher, William Godwin, and prototypic feminist and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley was a natural heir to literary talent. Despite this advantage, however, her life was fraught with sorrows. Her mother having died in childbirth, she grew up close to her father. This relationship, however, was shattered when at sixteen she eloped with scandalous Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley (of the “Satanic School”).

Though the Shelleys loved each other and were surrounded by a stimulating social circle of Romantic intelligentsia, their lives were troubled, not least by the loss of several children: Percy Florence was the only child to survive his parents. After Shelley’s untimely death in a boating accident, Mary found herself a widow at twenty-four with a son to support. Though Shelley’s father was a baronet, his disapproval of his son’s elopement meant that he provided little financial support. She ended up significantly augmenting her income by writing and editing.

She was a prolific writer. In addition to Frankenstein and her futuristic science fiction novel, The Last Man, she wrote lesser-known novels, short stories, children’s stories, travel literature, and essays (and, of course, voluminous letters).

Today, aside from some slight attention to The Last Man and her novella, “Mathilda, ” about an incestuous father-daughter relationship, she is only remembered for Frankenstein. But, really, isn’t that enough?

Read the rest at The Geek Girl Project.
labingi: (Default)
2013-08-02 09:32 pm
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labingi: (ivan)
2012-03-21 04:31 pm
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An Open Letter in Response to ACTA et Al.

To ACTA and Its Handlers:

You can slow us, but you will not silence us. If you deny us the internet, we still trade stories; we will listen to music; we will create vids and fics and share images. We will do so through 'zines, through CDs, on sketchpads or typewriters or photocopiers. We will return to the post office. And if you compel the post office to censor our mail, we will leave parcels in the trunks of trees or behind garbage bins. We will blog on leaflets. We will hold our illegal public showings of films in people's houses by word of mouth. Our technical experts, who are legion, will still rip DVDs for us so that we can be about the human business of artistic creation.

And you will lose our money because, by eliminating or gravely restricting our use of the internet, you will have removed our incentive to go online and pay for our Netflix, our Hulu, to watch the ads your sponsors pay you for, which today so many of us choose to do because we understand that creative outlets need revenue.

But we will not consent to forgo any access to art you have priced out of reasonable means or deemed not legally available in our country or not legal at all because it pays tribute to some preexisting piece of art--as all art from the dawn of human civilization has done. We will not blind and deafen ourselves to pacify your fear of us. And if you do not behave reasonably toward us, we have no moral obligation to show obedience to you.

I am an American. And much of the time I'm ashamed to be. That my corporate government is one of the prime proponents this assault on the intellectual work of civilization makes me ashamed. Yet there remain precepts of America to which I adhere: that a people should not lightly undertake a revolt against their government, "But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."*

I do not mean to overstate the case, to call you George III or accuse you of enacting tyranny against me. Up to now, the tightening of the copyright noose has caused me no more than annoyance. Up to now, you have not silenced my voice or deleted my art or blocked my eyes and ears from more than a handful of works of art I love. You have not denied me the internet I daily use for work and information and entertainment. You have not bankrupted me with fines or imprisoned me at taxpayer expense. You have not done so yet. But if you do, then revolt will be my duty.


* I did not need the internet to find this quote. I found it in a book. We will still have our books.
labingi: (inu)
2012-01-02 10:45 pm

Links

[livejournal.com profile] ewans_gal_4ever put me onto YouTube's Epic Rap Battles of History videos. She recommended:

Kirk vs. Columbus, which I greatly enjoyed.

I also quite liked:

Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking
Mr. T vs. Mr. Rogers

For Mirage of Blaze fans, a pretty picture of Nagahide by Jillia.

And a Naoetora video.

For Gungrave fans (I know 1 or 2 of you exist), an excellent Harry and Brandon vid.
labingi: (Default)
2011-06-30 10:29 pm
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30 Days of Fan Fiction Meme

Via [personal profile] andraste. I don't know if I'll manage a 30-day commitment, but here's question 1 anyway:

1 – How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

The very first stab I took at fan fic (before I ever heard the term) was, I think, Star Wars, where I made a very abortive attempt at some fic the purport of which I don't remember. It quickly got rewritten as "originalized" in my own universe (not that it's ever been completed). Ditto my first foray into B7: it started out "originalized" in a very transparent way. This was all based on natural literary drive, quite apart from any knowledge of fan culture (c. 1996 or so).

My first explicit "fan fic"/earliest posted fic was in Buffy (2003). I remember its being newly written and my pattering heart as I showed a copy to my hotel roommate at the Buffy Conference in Nashville. By the time, I was reading fic somewhat regularly, and Buffy was a well-archived, active fandom. I was, at the time, deeply into Buffy (viewing, doing scholarship, reading fic, thinking, etc.), so fic was a natural outgrowth of that love. I never wrote much for Buffy though. Mainly I needed to exorcise my sense that Spike and Dru never got a satisfactory ending.

The rest of the questions )
labingi: (Default)
2011-04-12 08:42 pm
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Mary Van Deusen Vids - Yay!

I had lost track of the fact that Mary Van Deusen has her fan vids on a website. She is a very good, old-time, old-school vidder, who does fandoms including Blake's 7, Star Trek (TOS), Pros, Forever Knight, Boston Legal, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, House, and others. So go check her out.
labingi: (Default)
2010-08-06 11:14 pm

Slashing Jeremiah

Slash in the Jeremiah-verse

This installment of my Jeremiad is on its slash fandom and my own perspectives on slashing the series. The impulse is understandable. In "Fathers and Sons", Aaron Severson describes the female characters as "comparatively colorless," and with the exception of Theo, he's not kidding. They're not bad, mind. They're just not very present. So you focus on the men, but getting them together is trickier than it sounds (and trickier, I think, than most of Jeremiah's slash writers give it credit for).

Read more... )