Author Archives: Act

QuickPosts: Annotated Bibliography Edition

This one needs some context:

My final project for one of my classes this semester was an annotated bibliography of recent critical works I thought were useful, so I basically wrote a quickpost in Academese for my final paper I thought I’d pass on to you. It’s ten books, 8 of which have not appeared here before, and a bunch of them are definite recs (some of them, not so much), so it should be useful! Well, I hope. I got an A in the class, so it was useful to me.

I also left on my summary at the end, which was meant to be something of a personal critical statement, which I thought might be relevant in some way to people who are interested in why I talk about what I do.

These are in pub order, because for some unfathomable reason my professor wanted it that way.

While I won’t list all the titles and authors here, I will do a special-rec callout of Literary Witches, which I had a surprisingly strong emotional reaction to. I actually ended up writing another piece about it for this course as well.

I haven’t made any edits here, so prepare for JARGON.



Fire Emblem: Back Catalogue

Hello my loves. It has been a little while.

Y’all surprised me by opting for Fire Emblem over Final Fantasy, and I shall oblige. I’ve been working through the older, never-localized FE games, which I’m going to shove into one post because no one can stop me.

Inside: Shadow Dragon, Shadows of Valencia, New Mystery of the Emblem, Genealogy of the Holy War, Thracia 776 (but not really), Binding Blade


Final Fantasy VII

So I got involved in the SaGa series recently (yes, I realize what the title of this post is). I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s clear the influence the early games had on RPGs as a whole, and even the later, flubbier games are interesting because they’re always trying to do ambitious things. I’ve played through the three GameBoy games in their entirety, and then I played the first PS2 Game and SNES games (I’m at the final boss of the second one right now). I’ve been doing a shitton of retro gaming lately. (I also scored the original Harvest Moon for SNES for a steal at a local shop and am v v excited to dive into that next.)

All of this is to say that despite how nearly unplayable a lot of old games are, I enjoy them quite a bit (even when I give up on the stupidly hard final bosses like I’m afraid is going to happen with Romancing SaGa 2…), and I think I’m pretty good at keeping them in perspective and seeing them within the context of their original release instead of judging outdated mechanics by modern standards.

So why the fuck can’t I get through Final Fantasy VII?


Ori and the Blind Forest, or, Why Do We [ART] What We [ART]

Ori and the Blind Forest is a game that got me wondering what I look for in art, and why, and how to approach what art is to me in a review.

This post has two very distinct parts I could not make harmonious; mea culpa. But IMO the second half is more interesting/important so skip to that if you’re bored or w/e.


E3 2019 Reaction

A few years ago I did a recap of stuff at e3 I thought was cool, and I thought, why not do it again? This time I started taking notes and then realized I was just doing a liveblog, so that’s more or less what this is. Each line is a new trailer, and stuff in quotes is Mr. Act’s comments.

I’m also not including Nintendo’s stuff here, because Nintendo is where I go to fangirl without thinking and my reaction to the Direct can be summed up as OMFG ANIMAL CROSSING AHHHHHHHH. They also had a clip from Silksong which was neat.

Anyway, enjoy.


Steam Summer and Winter Sales 2018 QuickPans

On the other hand I start radiation next week so here are some pans. You may notice there are twice as many of these; I did not have a good run of Steam sales last year, apparently.

Inside: Pan-Pan, Copoka, Nimble Bun, Yomawari, Salt, Alicemare, htol#NiQ



“It’s… a traditional roguelike,” was Roarke’s summation of this game. “It’s pretty fun. I’m not sure I’d rec it, though.”

‘Mildly fun grindfest with no requirement for emotional investment’ was actually what I was looking for because I’m so tired of like, life and stuff, so oddly enough if he’d been like “I FUCKING LOVE IT” I probably wouldn’t have bought it. As it was, it was indeed a very traditional roguelike that was a mildly fun grindfest that I would not recommend and also exactly what I wanted out of a game at the moment, so score one for human communication.

Spoilers inside, though calling anything ‘spoilers’ in relation to this story is a bit rich.


Updates and Papers

Hey y’all. Tomorrow morning I start four months of nonstop chemo, which is sure to be a living hell. I don’t know how I’m going to react to the new chemo drugs, but if how I reacted to the first one was any indication, I’ll be like a landed fish flopping around on the couch and whining nonstop for 16 weeks, so that will be fun. On the bright side, they don’t think I’m going to die, so that’s nice. Surgery went fine, and I had a CT scan last week that suggested it hasn’t spread anywhere, so.

I was hoping to get further into Umineko before now, but unfortunately recovering from surgery was a lot more crappy than I thought. Anyway, since I haven’t done that which sucks, I thought I’d share what I was actually able to do, which was my term paper for my independent research project this semester. My proposal was a study of contemporary (defined by me as post-1970 in my proposal, though in practice it’s really post-1980) popular women’s detective fiction. It was mostly borne of curiosity — after 1970 or so, detective fiction rather suddenly becomes completely female dominated. In what I’m sure is a complete and utter coincidence, scholarly study of the genre also basically stops then, petering out with the hardboiled era. So I thought it’d be good for me to look at where the genre has ended up and how it got here. Like all popular fiction aimed at women, the genre has gotten a reputation as being unliterary, low-hanging-fruit. I wanted to really push up against that belief in myself.

What I absolutely did not expect was to read like 25 books about rape culture. I read about so much fucking rape this semester. It was really emotionally draining, as was writing my paper about it. I did the most depressing research I’ve ever done, and found that I could only write it in like 2-page increments before I kind of wanted to blow the world up and needed to go like, playing kids’ video games for two days to work up my resolve again. (Or, as Mr. Act put it, “I think you’ve earned the right to write about teletubbies or something next semester.”)

Anyway that’s all a long way of saying I had to do this and now I’m bringing it to you because I deserve to have someone else have to know all the shit I now know.

I also thought more generally that it might interest some of you since you’re all weirdly interested in what I have to say anyway, to which end I’m also linking my spring term paper about the way the modernist era used the label ‘middlebrow’ to marginalize women’s writing. The research I did for that one has actually been really helpful in thinking about some of the books Farla’s done here, so even if you’re not willing to subject yourself to 23 pages of someone talking about rape (which, HUGE FUCKING TW ON THIS), you might be interested in this one.

I’ll also say that the whole opening section to the rape paper is kind of a mess. I rewrote it a bunch of times and at this point I’m just so exhausted with this damned paper that I’ve kind of said fuck it and I’m hoping the more focused analysis and conclusion sections can hold it together. It’s not my best work. The middlebrow paper is much better, IMO.

Anyway. Hope you’re all well. If there’s some kind of book emergency and anyone needs to contact me, please do so through Mr. Act instead. You can reach him at mr.act(at)

Much love, and happy holidays.

Fall 2018 IS Final Paper (The Rape One) — please email me for this one!

Spring 2018 602 Final Paper

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