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[sticky post] Fic Master Post

CURRENT TALLY OF COMPLETED FIC WORDAGE: 410,457
All Star Trek stories are Kirk/McCoy unless otherwise stated.
All Avengers stories are Steve/Tony unless otherwise stated.

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... I thought I'd pop up for a token LJ post.

The diss writing goes mediocrely. I finally said fuckit and emailed the draft-in-progress to my chair, because she often has wise words and can push me in the right direction, or at least A direction. I'm pointedly not thinking about how I need to revise what I have for a talk I'm giving next month.

In the meantime, I got my author copy of Fan Phenomena: Lord of the Rings last week; it has a chapter on Lothiriel fics in it. I'm also trying to finish up some revisions for a chapter on published fics for the Fan Phenomena: Twilight volume which will come out sometime next year.

I also just got back a list of requested revisions for my Pacific Rim chapter in another book. Begin rant: Read more...Collapse )

I'm also working slowly on Literary History of Fandom; I finished the intro and posted it here under f-lock, and I'm about a third of the way through chapter 1, so it continues apace. I keep revising my chapter outline because I keep thinking of things that need to be added... I do worry if it will end up being more of a historiography than not. But who knows.

I think that's kind of it. I get up in the morning, I make coffee, I sit down at the computer, and I take breaks with the dog. This is life.

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Quick Notes on the Hugos Before Bedtime

So all I could think of while watching the livestream was Love>Hate. This was fandom bonding together over our love of genre and belief in the actual literature of ideas and of believing in the best of each other, even despite of each other.

NGL, I damn near cried a few times. I *definitely* shrieked with delight several times. But I am happy and proud to be an SFF fan.

Not A Book Review: A Random Observation

So I'm reading The Fellowship by Phillip and Carol Zaleski, which is a pretty massive biography of the Inklings. It's good, but I'm getting tired how all of the women--or at least everyone but Mrs. Moore, who possibly was the lover of CS Lewis--are always offstage having babies and doing gods know what, while the homosocial literary meetings just happen. So I've decided to pretend that while the Inklings are having their meetings, Edith Tolkien is running an unnamed group where all the ladies share their fics. And that Lewis's apocryphal "Oh God, not another Elf!" comment refers to Edith's 400,000 word response to The Silmarillion that's really just all about polyamorous Elves.

I make bad life choices (and I'm not sorry)

Sure, I need to finish a diss chapter and an article, but I totally just signed up for STBB. >_>

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Sigh, Some People Really Just Don't Get It

So we've been working on the pressroom, finishing the space up before we get ready to print, and we had a friend visiting from across the country. I proudly showed him Baby, and his response was to ask, "So are you making this like your own museum?" I answered patiently that no, I just need to get some rollers, ink, paper, and solvents, and we'll be ready to go. (Well, I actually need to clean up a lot more before that happens, but that's me being persnickity about caring for my equipment.)

But it's funny how there's these two worlds, you know? When I was at Wells there were a couple dozen people just like me, and it was kind of the norm for people to whip out their phones and show off their presses, vs. the mundane world where people stare in blank incomprehension. And to be fair, this is true for many other things, like fandom, or writing and art generally, or hell, academia, but it's still just a bit tiresome.
"Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name" by Catherine Nichols

I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours George had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project. For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests. The responses gave me a little frisson of delight at being called “Mr.” and then I got mad. Three manuscript requests on a Saturday, not even during business hours! The judgments about my work that had seemed as solid as the walls of my house had turned out to be meaningless. My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me—Catherine.

I wanted to know more of how the Georges of the world live, so I sent more. Total data: George sent out 50 queries, and had his manuscript requested 17 times. He is eight and a half times better than me at writing the same book. Fully a third of the agents who saw his query wanted to see more, where my numbers never did shift from one in 25.


"More Date on Gender and Literary Prizes" by Niccola Griffith

[T]he IMPAC, one of the richest book prizes in the world, given for “excellence in world literature,” gives zero out of the last 15 prizes to stories by women about women—but 11 to stories by men about men. Compare this to the more populist Costas, which cheerfully declare they are for “well-written, enjoyable” books: 3 go to women writing about women. In other words, no surprises: the more consciously prestigious the award, the less likely the prize is to go a woman writing about women.

Griffith has also been collecting data on other literary prizes and gender, and it is fascinating reading.

~

Finally, I've been reading Charlotte Gordon's excellent duel biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, Romantic Outlaws, which I first heard about from eldritchhobbit and I have been enjoying the hell out of it. I got to the bit where Wollstonecraft decides to publish the second edition of Vindication of the Rights of Man under her own name, and all of a sudden all the reviewers who thought it was awesome before now find it silly and hysterical. Which, you know, goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Alas.

A Book Meme (For Kicks)

Bold what you've read; italicise what you've started but not finished.

1 - Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 - The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 - Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 - Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 - To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 - The Bible
7 - Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 - Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 - His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 - Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 - Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 - Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 - Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 - Complete Works of Shakespeare (I'm good with the plays, less so the poetry, especially Venus and Adonis)
15 - Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 - The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 - Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 - Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 - The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 - Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 - Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (BORING and also fucking racist)
22 - The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 - Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 - War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (BORING)
25 - The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 - Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 - Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 - Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 - Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 - The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 - Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 - David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 - Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 - Emma - Jane Austen
35 - Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis (Why does Lewis get to double-dip?)
37 - The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 - Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 - Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 - Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 - Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 - The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I know)
43 - One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 - A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 - The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 - Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 - Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 - The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 - Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 - Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 - Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 - Dune - Frank Herbert
53 - Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 - Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 - A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 - The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 - A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (Seriously, this is the third Dickens, what is UP with this list?!)
58 - Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 - Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 - Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 - Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 - The Secret History - Donna Tartt (BORING)
64 - The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 - Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 - On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 - Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (TRAUMATIZING)
68 - Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 - Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 - Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 - Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 - Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 - The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 - Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 - Ulysses - James Joyce
76 - The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 - Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 - Germinal - Emile Zola
79 - Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 - Possession - AS Byatt.
81 - A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 - Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 - The Color Purple - Alice Walker (Thank fuck we got a POC in here, Jesus, even if it is at 83!)
84 - The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 - Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 - A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 - Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 - The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (List, I am judging you so hard right now.)
89 - Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 - The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 - Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 - The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 - The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 - Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 - A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 - A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 - The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 - Hamlet - William Shakespeare (Well if Lewis and Dickens get to do it, why not?)
99 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 - Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

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Safely Back Home From Wells

I cast about 70 lbs of type and made a nice little broadside. Also, I dodged two accidents where know-it-all DUDES made mistakes with the machine and sprayed MOLTEN LEAD OUT and that was how I had some stress muscle tension for two days. >_> But it was all very fun and productive and I totally want to go back.

Right now I'm handling the obligatory cross-examination of my travel receipts by the Business Office. Like, I have three non-itemized receipts from a cafe, all time-stamped between 7:50 and 8:10 am, all for around $5. GEE I WONDER WHAT I COULD HAVE BEEN PURCHASING THEN. >_<

Oy. Such is life. Now I need to get my ass in gear with writing.

Notes from the Wells Center for the Book

FUCK they have so much type here. FUCK FUCK FUCK. Like, they have a set of Tudor Black Letter and I WANTS IT PRECIOUS, yes.

Also, I have missed staying up late setting type with Todd. Damn have I missed that. Interchanging companionable silence for occasionally wacky digressions, such as:

ME: So I've been watching Vikings--
TODD: You and your Viking kink, I don't get it, to be someone as vociferous as you are about anti-rape and--
ME: No but see, that's what makes it great, it doesn't really have rape plots. Like, they tried once and then the shield maidens showed up and cut them up and it was great. No, it's really about the two-thirds platonic one-third actualfacts gay love of a Viking and a monk--
TODD: Now I see why you are interested--
ME: YES BUT NO REALLY--

Etc. And for the record, maybe this conversation was just funny because it was late at night and we're very tired and giddy, but we were laughing the whole time.

BASICALLY I HAVE MISSED MY BEST BESTIE A LOT, surprising no one.

Back Home Briefly

Because I'm off to Wells tomorrow, but in the meantime, check out this SPN parody that has a helluvan earworm...

Further Notes from Montreal

Scott flew in yesterday and we are having our first non-familial vacation in five years. We spent yesterday afternoon exploring Chinatown and today we walked all over Old Town. We toured the Notre Dame Basilica, which made me kind of sad: it's a gorgeous old cathedral filled with paintings and intricate sculptures and people taking selfies. There was a tiny, transparent-walled-off area for people who actually want to pray; one sad-looking woman was in there. This made me sad, and frustrated with the Christian faith as I so often have been. Like, I'm sure the money collected from the tourists--and, btw, the exit of the building concluded with a gift shop, of course--goes to the historic building's upkeep, but--it just seems odd and sad to have a location of faith transformed into a location of performance, if that makes sense.

Anyway, after that we walked down to a street of shops including some lovely art galleries, including a gallery of Inuit art. In a prominent spot was a statue of a Shaman throttling a Christian priest, and I loved it. Like, not only is it this image of an indigenous avatar abusing the invader, but it just so aptly demonstrated how I felt after leaving the church, so.

Then we went to the history museum of Montreal, which was a lot of fun, and then tonight we went to a Polish cafe where we had one of the most amazing meals I've had in ages: borscht, a charcuterie plate of pate, cheese, pickles, and pork stuffed with prunes, and bread, and then a plate of pierogies, potato pancakes, bigos, and kriti, with a peach crumble and sweet cream to start. SO AMAZING AND DELICIOUS O.M.G. Just. Yeah.

Anyway, tomorrow we are going to Quebec City!

Notes From Montreal

My French is rudimentary at best, but nonetheless I love speaking it. This morning I had an unpronouncable chocolate and coffee drink and the barista put pink sprinkles on the whipped cream and it was the best thing ever, except for that time I had a vanilla mocha with browngirl.

I'm in a tiny little dorm room at McGill University. The place has no AC, because Canada, I suppose. The one thing I don't like is that there aren't any appetizing places to eat in the immediate block: lots of cheap food for undergrads and some higher-end places for faculty, I guess. Well tomorrow night I promise myself I'll take a book and go to one of them--I opted to not get tickets to the conference banquet because in my experience those things always end up with an entire table chatting animatedly away as they all know each other and me, silent and to the side awkwardly. So I am way better off with a book!

The SHARP conference is going well enough--certainly better than other book history-related things I've been to. (Book historians tend to gather along the spectrum of Extremely Awkward Introverts and Asinine Egomaniacs with a handful of chill people in the middle. I flatter myself I'm towards the middle myself, needless to say.) All of the papers today were interesting, even the one in French that I only partially understood.

I meant to write a longer post, but I am tired, and honestly don't remember what else was on my mind, so.

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A tired flailpost

I haven't had time to do much more than organize my pressroom so far, and with this month being busy like it is (Tuesday I leave for a conference, followed by a week of vacation, followed by going to New York for a class on typecasting) it's going to be ages before I get to actually do some printing. Sigh.

I've made some progress on the diss--I have a few pages of chapter 1 that are going to be tooled into a talk for a conference in October and then retooled again for an article. I just need to sit down and do it.

Speaking of articles, my essay on Star Trek reboot fandom is FINALLY out after over four years in publishing delays. The citation is here, but I suggest requesting it through your local library than ponying up $18, that's just highway intellectual robbery.

I can't believe half of summer is already gone--time flies when it is sunny and warm. I'm planning on hitting two conferences in October before I have to settle down for winter.

I need to update here more often, but I always seem to be running around or flailing rather than getting writing--any writing, fic (I have so many scraps and bits of WIPs that I should give up and have a ridiculous fic amnesty multi-post), diss, etc. Reviews I am able to keep abreast of, and notes on papers and on my book, but oy. OY.

More squee

Tonight I got to spend some quality time organizing my job cases into the type cabinets.

0701151939

There's still a stack to go, amongst many other things, but still!!!!!

I just brought my Baby home!!!!!!

0630151118

That's 2100 lbs of awesome. Also three cabinets of type in the background...

AND THERE WAS GREAT REJOICING!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I look forward to ALL of the Steve/Sam, Steve/Bucky, and Steve/Tony GETTIN' MARRIED fics even more than usual!!)
"The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction" by Adam Carlson

In which a poet writes a book, the internet assumes it's about Supernatural fanfic, he thinks it's cool, and it becomes a transformational lovefest on both sides.

My 20th-century intention was to make a place where I could articulate my thoughts and feelings. I thought it would be a place where the reader and I could meet. That’s no longer the way storytelling works. Now readers enlarge the places an author has made, include themselves in this larger space, and meet with each other without the author. ...

In the driest language possible, I would say that fan fiction successfully undermines the traditional American heteronormative dynamic in ways that can’t be undone. In wetter language, fan fiction sexualizes. It’s transgressive because it suggests the possibility of the erotic. It’s political, because it complicates power structures. And it’s personal, because it grants permission for range of previously unacceptable expressions and interactions. I think my poems enact a space for complicated, multivalent relationships. I think that’s the draw.

And yet, the Wincest and Johnlock fandoms put their attention to very different kinds of interactions. In Wincest fanfic the relationship is aggressive and incestuous, forged in life-or-death battles with angels and demons. The brothers are young, handsome, similar, fated to be together, and on the run. In Johnlock fan fic, the relationship is tender and between friends. They are older and dissimilar. They don’t share a common history. They are not fated to be together. Instead, they choose each other.

Here’s the biggest question and the biggest problem: What are the consequences of sexualizing these relationships? The possibility of erotic desire may or may not be hinted at in the original work—but ignore that. The probability of romantic love could be low or high—but ignore that. The suggestion that these partnerships are necessarily monogamous, supersede all other potential loves or lovers, and could be considered a type of marriage—ignore that. The question, the problem: How can I possibly convince anyone that I could like my best friend for non-sexual reasons? How do I make room for the possibility of deep care and tenderness between men who aren’t fucking if I sexualize every male/male relationship I encounter? Perhaps the subtleties come later. Perhaps we need to push all the way into highly erotic realms to allow ourselves the room to pull back into places of possible non-sexual tenderness.
Pre-order here!

~

Fantastically busy, but thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes!!! <3 An actual post will be forthcoming one of these days.
A follow-up to Kamila Shamsie's provocation to "let’s have a year of publishing only women":

Small press And Other Stories will produce no books by men in 2018 in answer to Kamila Shamsie’s call for direct action to beat gender bias in publishing

And Other Stories, the literary press that uses a network of readers to source its titles, has become the first publisher to accept the challenge. “I think we can do it,” said publisher Stefan Tobler. “And if we don’t do it, what is going to change?”

A small publisher, And Other Stories releases 10 to 12 new titles a year. “We’ve realised for a while that we’ve published more men than women,” said Tobler. “This year we’ve done seven books by men and four by women ... We have a wide range of people helping us with our choices, and our editors are women ... and yet somehow we still publish more books by men than women.”

Tobler’s colleague Sophie Lewis, a senior editor at And Other Stories, said she expected the team would be “rescheduling male writers’ books for other years [and] digging harder and further than usual, in order to find the really good women’s writing that we want to publish” in 2018.

But the main thing she wants to do over the course of the year is “to examine the selection and promotion process, the production of their books from commissioning to reader’s bedside”.

“By taking on the challenge we will expose our systems and the paths of recommendation and investigation that brings books to us, and we will end up becoming a kind of small-scale model for a much bigger inquiry about why women’s writing is consistently sidelined or secondary, the poor cousin rather than the equal of men’s writing,” said Lewis.

“Personally, I’d rather not think about it. Why should we have to? Surely great writing will out? It seems not – or it seems so consistently that women’s writing makes it less often that we have to doubt the fairness of the systems in place. So it will be worth carrying out a year of publishing only women in order to document the difficulties involved.”

Tobler said he “hoped other publishers would join in”, but while literary agent Clare Alexander praised Shamsie for “purposefully being an agent provocateur”, she said it was unlikely that the UK’s larger publishers would commit to publishing only women.


I went to go take a look at And Other Books' catalog and am pretty impressed with the material they print. Interestingly to me too as a book historian, they also have a subscriber model to help the process, where you can subscribe to get 2, 4, or 6 of their books each year. I'm going to end up getting at least a couple books by them because I applaud their efforts.

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