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Fickle [userpic]
oh my god.

So this fic. This fic, you guys, holy fuck.

I read it because, well, I'd gone through everything else that author had written and I love her stuff so much that I was willing to give even this a try despite it being a crossover between 1984 (which I like) and Hetalia (which makes me cringe).

It is fucking fantastic. Seriously. It's told from the viewpoint of the anthromorphic personnification of England that's being held in captivity by the personnification of Oceania. It hits so many of my favorite tropes dead on - imprisonment, defiant prisoners, people starting to lose their sense of self, people fighting back no matter what and it doesn't ignore the English colonies that aren't white and always in the press. Haiti pops up there. India is mother-fucking-terrifying and so damn cool. Canada and America get their mentions, sure, but India gets more screentime than both of them put together.

The entire world is fighting and it's a clash of ideologies because Oceania tries to erase the past, erase the countries that they were, so they're fighting for their survival.

Disclaimer: I don't read or follow Hetalia in any way so idk if it's any good at as a Hetalia fanfic but as a general fanfic, as a 1984 fanfic, it absolutely blew me out of the water. Seriously. Even if you're like me and dislike Hetalia, go read it. I am still all starry-eyed and stunned1

Fickle [userpic]
...oh man, I forgot how funny Boston Legal was.

Watch the first couple of minutes!

You can stop as soon as the credits start -- it's basically just two men who are friends, one of whom has night terrors and asked the other to sleep in the same bed with him to keep him safe from wandering off the balcony or something in his sleep and what happens when they actually share a bed.

Both the guys are supposedly heterosexual, btw.

Current Mood: amused amused
Fickle [userpic]

I don't remember how old I was when I read Ivanhoe for the first time but I know that I immediately decided that Rebecca was my absolute favorite character and that she should've ended up with Sir Wilfred instead of Rowena. Judging by the published, unofficial sequels and the author's note, I'm not the only one. Sir Walter Scott offered the the following explanation/apology:

"The character of the fair Jewess found so much favour in the eyes of some fair readers, that the writer was censured, because, when arranging the fates of the characters of the drama, he had not assigned the hand of Wilfred to Rebecca, rather than the less interesting Rowena. But, not to mention that the prejudices of the age rendered such an union almost impossible, the author may, in passing, observe, that he thinks a character of a highly virtuous and lofty stamp, is degraded rather than exalted by an attempt to reward virtue with temporal prosperity. Such is not the recompense which Providence has deemed worthy of suffering merit, and it is a dangerous and fatal doctrine to teach young persons, the most common readers of romance, that rectitude of conduct and of principle are either naturally allied with, or adequately rewarded by, the gratification of our passions, or attainment of our wishes. In a word, if a virtuous and self-denied character is dismissed with temporal wealth, greatness, rank, or the indulgence of such a rashly formed or ill assorted passion as that of Rebecca for Ivanhoe, the reader will be apt to say, verily Virtue has had its reward."

Sometimes Word of God can change my mind about pairings or endings that I don't like. K. A. Applegate did it best with her explanation of why she had a cliffhanger ending for Animorphs. Louisa Alcott, on the other hand, the author of Little Women actually had her Author Avatar Jo mention being deluged with mail asking her to change the pairings in her books and tackle the issue in character but still failed to convince me that Jo/Professor Bauer was better than Jo/Laurie. The notion that Rebecca shouldn't be rewarded for being virtuous makes me facepalm so very much.

I've copied my favorite speech of Rebecca's under the cut. If you want to read the full novel, go here.

Read more... )

Bois-Guilbert is one of the biggest badasses in the book, Rebecca's Gentile counterpart descends into tears when she's in a similar situation and of everyone that's kept prisoner in the castle, Rebecca acquits herself the best.

I fear thee not.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Fickle [userpic]
Icon dump!

Text Only x 28
Galactik Football x 14
Dragon Age: Origins x 11
Misc x 9
Total: 62

(Is there something in your tent that needs... assassinating?)

Fickle [userpic]
Little Brother: READ IT NOW

Whatever you're doing right now, stop. Go read Little Brother instead.

Little Brother is the best book I've read all year. This would have more meaning if it wasn't the start of the year, so let me rephrase that. Little Brother might be the most awesome book that I could possibly read this year.

There's an excellent summary of the book here, so I'm not going to hash over the book. Instead, I'm going to give you bullet points as to WHY you should read it.

  • The author references our culture. Flashmobs, Linux distros, game systems being cheap but the games expensive, livejournal, Flickr, everything. And he gets it right! You've seen what happened when the media tried talking about Anonymous versus Scientology. This guy actually manages to create a believable 17-year-old narrator.
  • It's about Homeland Security and what happens when safety trumps freedom. The title's a homage to 'Big Brother' but unlike 1984, this book is set in our times. Modern times. It's much easier to get sucked into this book because the protagonist is our age and deals with our tech, instead of being an adult with a forbidden love affair.
  • On that note, the book deals with the generation gap and how adults are more likely to buy into the scare tactics of the media. But it doesn't present all adults as rigorously inflexible. There are good guys amongst the grown-ups, and bad guys amongst the kids, and the way that he manages to make moral ambiguity and self-righteousness a major theme of the novel is amazing.
  • Race issues! It's a bit of a throw away in that it's not a major theme of the book, but that's part of what makes the sudden discussion of them so fantastic to me. There's a quick convo between the protag and a friend of his about how the friend will suffer more if they're caught, and the protag acknowledges that yes, brown people have the scales balanced against them. It's a tiny little thing, not a major part of the book, but oh, how fantastic it is to se it acknowledged as a part of real life instead of glossed over or forgotten about.
  • Awesome female chars. There's not just the standard love interest and the best friend chick, but also female chars with authority, female chars who are bad guys, and female chars who rock the geek world. They're depicted as being as much a part of the world as the male protag is, and the author's Net-savvy enough to even have the protag be wary of one girl that IMs him because the protag knows how many guys like pretending to be girls online.
  • Neil Gaiman, Scott Westerfeld, Brian K Vaughn, and I love it. I fully intend on buying copies IRL and making my friends read them. Since most of you are lucky enough to not live near me, I'm instead devoting the entirety of this post to trying to convince you to read it.

You know what else is awesome? The author himself and his thoughts on ebooks and sharing books/music online. His explanation for why he gives his books away for free online is quoted below, because it's just said so well that any attempt on my part to sum it up would pale in comparison to his original words.

I recently saw Neil Gaiman give a talk at which someone asked him how he felt about piracy of his books. He said, "Hands up in the audience if you discovered your favorite writer for free -- because someone loaned you a copy, or because someone gave it to you? Now, hands up if you found your favorite writer by walking into a store and plunking down cash." Overwhelmingly, the audience said that they'd discovered their favorite writers for free, on a loan or as a gift. When it comes to my favorite writers, there's no boundaries: I'll buy every book they publish, just to own it (sometimes I buy two or three, to give away to friends who must read those books). I pay to see them live. I buy t-shirts with their book-covers on them. I'm a customer for life.

Neil went on to say that... )

Love him, read the book, and spread word of the book around as much as you can. This guy is one of us. He talks about our technology, he writes about our world, and he's good at it. He's a geek to the core, and one who doesn't back down from tackling politics head-on. I'd fangirl about it more, but I'm going to see if he's written anything else.

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