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Currently reading

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
Progress: 27/268 pages
Pompeii
Robert Harris
Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Thich Nhat Hanh
"The Room's crew had been provided by Birns & Sawyer, largely thanks to Bill Meurer and his sales rep, Peter Anway, who realized Tommy was going to need help opearting all this expensive equipment that he knew less than nothing about. [...] It gave Tommy access to some cinematic veterans, among them Raphael Smadja, a French-born director of photography who'd done a ton of work in reality television. These were savvy and competent professionals, which meant they were completely unprepared for dealing with someone like Tommy."
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made - Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell

I can't even tell you how happy I am.

Jurassic Heart - Anna  Martin

OMG someone wrote an m/m paleontology book I can die happy now.

 

But not until I read it.

Neverwas - Kelly  Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed

It's true, the authors will flag your review and GR will delete it if you mention the authors at all. Well, here we are, the authors are dicks. They get into flamewars with reviewers and rally their (sockpuppet) army to harass them as well. Dicks dicks dick. 1/2 star for you.

Forgettable books in romance.

I know I've read a bunch of Romance books lately and even rated some of them highly, but for the life of me I can never remember anything about them, which is a mark of unremarkable writing in my book. It seems like lately I'm hitting a lot of those types of books and authors in m/m and m/f... thinking about just going back to fantasy because, there at least, I could tell you every last detail of a book I read once ten years ago. In romance it seems like I'm lucky if I can remember the book I read ten days ago!

Downtime - Tamara Allen

Big didn't finish from me. Nash, the FBI agent from the future, just seemed very, very dense about his situation (that of being yanked back in time 100 years by a group of incompetent magicians). He acted as if the entire situation was an inconvenience, like getting stuck at an airport due to a bad blizzard. He also persisted in being very skeptical about Erza's ability to see and communicate with ghosts, despite the fact that he had been sucked through time. You'd think someone who had traveled through time by means of magic would be a little more inclined to rethink their view of how the universe operates, but nope, that's not what happens. Also the plot moved very, very slowly, and other characters kept separating our mains pretty much constantly. It made for a slow, dull book with a dense as a brick main character.

Status Update: The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made - Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell

Yessss

 

This is a book about the making of The Room and it's director/producer/writer/main actor/main character, Tommy Wiseau. It is written by his (probably former) friend Gregg Sestero, who played Mark in the movie, and Tim Bissell, an award-winning author and journalist. I'm on page four and I can tell already that this is going to be a wild ride.

I am sooo biased omg

Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway: A Road Trip Through the Best of the Prehistoric American West - Kirk R. Johnson, Ray Troll

This book is about the joys and struggles of paleontology and fossil collecting. I am a fossil geek, and let's be honest here, I spent a month this summer with my dad and mom looking at a lot of the sites mentioned, and even speaking with a number of the people featured in this book. So I can't really rate this one fairly, of all the books in the world that I've read, I think this this the one that had affected me, personally, the most. If you ever wanted to get to know the fun and geeky side of paleontology, this is the book for you.

 

Also it comes with an album of fossil-related songs, too, and I am even less capable of rating that than I am of the book. so, uh, yeah. Here Ray Troll takes on not only paleontology, but also a variety of music genres, everything from reggae to jazz to rap, metal, country, and others. Probably my favorite song is 40,000 Mammals Can Be Wrong, which is about Natural Trap Cave in WY. Tentacle lovers will probably get a kick out of Ammonite, however.

 

There is a sequel planned, Crusin' the Enternal Coast, which is going to be about the Pacific Coast. I will be even more biased toward that one because there is a very good chance that Bernie and Ernie will be in there, Bernie is the oldest and  most complete ichthyosaur ever found in Oregon, and Ernie is his marine amphibian buddy we found along side him. Together they are the oldest vertebrates found in Oregon. Which me and my dad found.

 

So, uh, yeah. SOoooo biased.

sometimes I feel like I'm shouting into a void

Anyway, thinking about giving up m/m for awhile, except for a couple of my favorite authors. There's so much crap coming out right now that it's hard to sift the wheat from the chaff and I'm tired of trying.

 

Even most of my favorite authors aren't catching my attention like they used to. Sarah Black was the one author I could count on for an interesting story set in the West--but with The General and the Horselord I've kind of lost interest (short version, guy cheats on his wife for 25 years with his best friend and when she finds out it's played as if she had no right to be angry... yeah). It just left a sour taste in my mouth and I'm not sure I'll be able to read much by her anymore. Martha should have been handled a lot more sensitively.

 

The one exception is Josh Lanyon, who came back from his 2011 sabbatical with greater depth and maturity as a writer. But one or two authors isn't enough to keep me in the genre. Even though I love it. Hopefully in a few years publishers will stop publishing every single semi-coherent manuscript that comes their way and will publish only the best, and I'll start coming back again. But right now... I'm done. I am just done with all the crap.

 

Unrelated, I'm reading a beautiful collection of short stories by Kji Johnson called At the Mouth of the River of Bees. This is a lovely collection of female-centered fantasy and science fiction stories, each more beautiful than the last. The title story is sure to wring a few tears out of any dog lover out there. It's nice to know that there are still good books being published, even if they aren't being published in m/m.

Author Spotlight: Madeline Ashby

I might be a bit premature in highlighting this author, given that I have only read some of her short stories and none of her books, but I feel that we have a great up and coming science fiction author on our hands.

 

I mean, just read this, in one short story she united the Quiverful movement with zombies, Chinese factory working conditions, fandom, and the way the internet can unite us all. It's really fantastic.

 

She's gotten a short story published in Nature, yes, that Nature. I didn't even know Nature published fiction, but I guess if it's short enough and science-related...

 

Probably my favorite thing by her so far is Permacultures in the anthology Cautions, Dreams, and Curiosities, where she takes on sustainable agriculture and the prison industrial complex all in one fell swoop (be sure to check out the rest of the anthology)

 

Keep in mind, I haven't read her Machine Dynasty series yet. It going on my TBR pile.

 

You can find the rest of her fiction here.

 

Alert, Badly Behaving Authors on a rampage!

Reblogged from Princess Eva Rose:
Neverwas - Kelly  Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed

This three authors have been harassing reviewers, they went into Litchick's (Cory) review and harassed her for not finishing the book. Accused reviewers of intentionally triggering her PTSD. They later attacked Shelby and then Kelly Moore followed Shelby into BL and started posting in Shelby's space about how all this is "harming" her and that reviewers are "punishing" her and her daughters when they post 1 star reviews.

 

I just received an email from GR saying this:

 

Hi Eva,
 
We are contacting you in regard to the following review:
 
 
As the reviews is predominantly about the author's behavior and not about the book, it violates our review guidelines. We will give you 2 calendar days to decide what to do, whether that means backing up the information through our export feature for your personal records or editing the content to comply with our guidelines. If the review continues to break our rules, it will be deleted per our policy after 2 days.
 
If you do not wish to edit the content, we might suggest moving it into the private notes field for your own personal use.
 
Best regards,
The Goodreads Team
 
I have already taken down the text but this was my review.
 

EDIT: 20/12/2013

More reasons never to read any of this author's future books.

http://shelbypj.booklikes.com/post/734993/author-from-hell

_____________

For reasons, that can be explain in the link, I have decided not to read this book.

https://www.goodreads.com/user_status/show/36121904

 
Quite obviously these authors are going hyperbole flagging down 1 star reviews in anger and in effort to get these reviewers to shut up and get rid of their reviews. I will not stand by it, GR might had taken down my review but my voice will not be silence. 
 
Gloria's take: First of all I don't like how the authors have responded to this mess and how they treated some reviewers who have left one star reviews on GR. The fact is bad reviews happen. Not every person is going to like every book, and some people are going to dislike your book so much they rip it apart in review sites. I've done that, certainly. The best way to respond to bad reviews is to simply ignore them, and if an author encounters the reviewer elsewhere (in an interview, on the street, wherever) they should be polite and respectful. Authors who act classy about bad reviews get good reputations. Apparently causing drama is thought of as a marketing tactic by some authors in order to drive up sympathy reviews and even gain more notice via those same one and two star reviews. It might work short term, but it's a bad idea long term.
 
I also don't like GR taking the author's side and banning reviewers over this. Frankly they should be checking the IP addresses of everyone who flags a review to make sure they don't match other flaggers, since this looks like a case of a sockpuppet army flagging the shit out of reviews they don't like.
 
But you know what else I don't like? People commenting about how they thought the daughter was lying when she said she was raped. Sure, maybe she brought it up first in a bid for attention, but the best thing to do is say "I'm very sorry that happened to you but it has no bearing on my review of your book," and then to move on and discuss what is relevant to the book, and not bring it up again. It is off-topic and a very sensitive topic for other rape survivors. It is entirely possible for a person to be a victim of domestic violence and rape and to deserve sympathy and help for that, while at the same time be a drama queen trying to stir up attention for their book. These two things are not mutually incompatible and acting like they are and victim blaming her are Not Okay.
 
http://shelbypj.booklikes.com/post/734993/author-from-hell (some of the comments here are what I'm talking about)
 
On the other hand accusing some random person on the internet of being your daughter's rapist is also not okay, even if they were victim-blaming her. It doesn't make you look more credible, for one thing, and it's basically continuing to drag your daughter's terrible trauma back into the spotlight when the discussion should be about the review and the way the authors are reacting to them (in my opinion).
 
So that's my take on it, people are acting bad on both sides but the authors started it by harassing reviewers. Had they simply ignored or responded politely to bad reviews this wouldn't have happened.
 
Both sides really need to calm down and let things cool off for awhile.

booored of bdsm

Am I the only one getting tired of seeing BDSM in every single romance novel I look at these days? BDSM is so fucking boring to me, it isn't hot and when I read bdsm scenes it's all I can do to keep my eyes open. I can't be the only romance reader not turned on by this stuff, yet it's EVERYWHERE. Soooo bored of bdsm. so, very so bored.

catching up

so, for nanowrimo i had a huge initial start, easily averaging close to three thousand words a day for the first six days. i had a clear idea of how this story was going to go, and a will to write it. then i got the flu, and as you can tell from this post (which i am too lazy to edit) one of my shift keys died. specifically the one that i normally use. so right now i'm ground zero for first world problems, haha.

 

anyway, thanks to that huge initial start i barely managed to stay even with the expected word count. oddly enough some of my best writing has been done on my iphone, hyped up on nighttime cold meds, in the note function. but the result has been an almost total derail of the story so i have no idea what i'm going to do, other than keep writing.

My goodness, do some people get worked up over the difference between science fiction and fantasy. The line between the two is actually extremely blurry with tons of crossover in terms of authors and audience... but god forbid someone hint that they may not be sharply defined either way.

SPOILER ALERT!

Don't be a Redshirt

Redshirts - John Scalzi

A Redshirt is a character who is ultimately pointless. They exist in a certain type of science fiction show (you know the ones I'm talking about) simply to provide a brief bit of drama when they die on screen, usually on an away mission, and generally their lives and deaths are forgotten by the viewers and main characters before the end of the next commercial break. They are a symptom of bad or lazy writing, generally. Cheap entertainment, more or less, and not generally worth getting worked up over. Unless they are real. Unless you, yourself, are a Redshirt.

 

The crew of the Intrepid have a problem. Oh, not the main five characters, the captain and first officer and head medical officer and head engineering officer. Not Lt. Kerensky, even though he gets the shit kicked out of him every two weeks. Not those guys. They don't have a problem. No, it's everyone else who has the problem. Away missions always go bad and at least person dies. Always. Entire planets get terrible plagues just so that the crew of the Intrepid can save them. It seems that everyone in this universe is a Redshirt. And it's so god damned pointless.

 

Ensign Andrew Dahl is assigned to the Intrepid and quickly realizes that he's going to die on it, just like everyone else. Well, fuck that, he's not taking that lying down. He and his fellow Redshirts come to the horrifying realization that they are on a TV show, that's killing them left and right just for the drama. With the help of Lt. Kerensky and a lost crew member they travel to 2012 to convince the actors, writers, and producers of the show to stop killing them.

 

That, at least, is the surface story. But the three Codas reveal something more, as the writers and actors deal with the fact that their fictional characters are considerably more real than they thought. The head writer gets writer's block--he's terrified of writing because he's terrified of killing his characters off. Or is he? Perhaps what he's really terrified of is the fact that he is not writing at his full potential. He's coasting, and using his schedule and deadlines as an excuse for bad writing and lazy plotlines. Lazy plotlines that, as it turned out, are affecting real people. People die, this is a fact, and it is inescapable. But there's no reason to make their deaths pointless. Does he have the courage to use his full potential as a writer, and to make his character's lives meaningful?

 

Coda two deals with a young man who gets a second chance at life. As the son of the producer of the show, he was given the occasional bit part as an extra when he expressed an interest in being an actor. Unfortunately for him (but not for the character whom he plays) he gets in a bad motorcycle accident and is all but braindead. The world of 2012 doesn't have the technology to fix him, but the world of the Intrepid does. Or rather, the world of the Intrepid has the technology to fix the character. So they're switched, and the young man wakes up one day perfectly healthy. The problem is he's been drifting, not doing much with his life, and comes to the depressing conclusion that being an organ donor could have been the most significant thing he could have been. He finds a recording made by his doppleganger, 'Choose one thing' he's told, 'and throw yourself into it utterly. Quit trying things out, and just do,'.

 

Coda three features a woman who is a teacher, and who one day several years ago acted as an extra on a cheesy science fiction TV show who existed just long enough to die. She doesn't think about it at all, until one day a stranger shows up on her door and hands her a box of letters and holograms and tells her to do whatever she wants with them. She opens the box and reads--letters. Love letters, written by the character she'd played to her husband. Holograms of them on the beach. The character looks and sounds exactly like her (of course she does), and the woman feels like she has lost a sister, or has seen a glimpse of another life, or another world. Eventually she makes a copy off all the material and burns it. She takes the ashes to a beach very much like the one the character and her husband will visit, and sprinkles it into the water. As she finishes she realizes a man has been watching her. He's the head writer, who was once shanghaied into playing an extra at a funeral on his own show, the role of a grieving husband for her character.

 

One of the main criticisms of this book is that the Codas go on too long, but I disagree. The Codas are the real story. They are the main point of the novel. If you just let your life drift by and don't try to do anything with it, you are the Redshirt. Throw yourself into your life fully and make something of it. That is the point of the Codas. The moral is a bit heavy handed which is why I docked half a star, but it's a good one even so. Don't be afraid to write well, even if it means your characters suffer and die, provided their lives have meaning. Don't be afraid to commit yourself fully to something. Don't be afraid to embrace the life of a person you've never known. Don't be afraid to live.

 

The audiobook is narrated by Wil Wheaton which adds another layer of meta to the story.

Heeeere kitty kitty

 

e. I have the flu so I'm just messing around at the moment and not getting any serious writing done. Good thing I got ahead on Nanowrimo.

giant allosaurus
giant allosaurus

I dug up dinosaurs at Como Bluff this summer. This is a tooth from one of the larger allosaurus species. The quarry (Nail Quarry) consisted of Stegosaurus, sauropod, and allosaurus remains, all jumbled together. It was pretty cool.

 

This tooth was about the size of a decent steak knife, but very thin.