Site-Wide Activity

  • A histrionic kid has a meltdown and I have to explain to them how to block people because…

    “How I’m reading your arguement, I keep hearing you telling me to stop writing anything.”

    The review, for […]

    • That’s the working theory, but this goes so far beyond that, and if you look at the reviews it’s not like they were getting very positive responses before this. The way they so determinedly make up this persecution fantasy makes me think there’s something more going on. 


    • The push for safe spaces is a step in the right direction, but like all things Tumblr that may have hurt more than it helped
      The key thing here is that Tumblr bastardized the whole idea while popularizing it, which was the worst way to bring the idea to the mainstream. The idea of a safe space was never, “You should always feel loved and be immune from criticism,” it was the complete opposite — to give people with criticism the safety to express it without fear of retaliation stemming from homophobia, racism, etc., thus giving more people a voice. It’s not being safe from anything that could challenge the way you think, it’s literally the opposite.
      It’s the same thing with trigger warnings — they are supposed to allow subgroups to participate in discussion more freely and thoughtfully, not stifle what can be said.
      The ableist-ass way this stuff is used now for every little thing that could make someone have a sad is infuriating as someone who actually needs them.
      (Tumblr has done a similar hackjob on the idea of intersectionality that’s really damaging.) 

      • I did not know this! My concept of safe spaces has always been “place where we don’t say anything that could upset people”, but it actually makes a lot of sense that it was supposed to be the opposite.

        I do still think we need places like that for people who are this emotionally vulnerable, but the whole conversation is going to require a ton of untangling at this point.

    • Practically, it becomes a lot more difficult to come across as genuine. However, I’ve found you can do it pretty reliably if you give specifics and or elaborate. So you might say “I hadn’t considered how X’s self employment in the past would affect how they react to Y’s dropping out of uni, so it was interesting seeing that brought up. I was disappointed in how little screen time it got and how you didn’t mention any other effects it would have on blah.” Something like that is a lot harder to read as “That’s…interesting. Were you planning on doing anything with this fic?”

      Sadly this type of comment takes longer to write, so I don’t comment as often as I used to because I can’t always be bothered.

    • I went to check out the story in question and it now appears to be deleted. It appears your tactless reviews have discouraged yet another author.

      If you had visited the profile of this author you care so deeply about, you would see that they have published two stories in the three days since I reviewed.

  • Some capitalization whining, but otherwise very calm.

    re: Your review to On the Road So Far With the Very Reluctant Trainer
    Jun 23Bulbascreen
    A response to your review at […]

  • One decent fic about Guzma and a really disjointed N/Hilda fic that does nothing to sell the relationship. Otherwise boring.

    [reverse rape (F force M)]

    Do not ever call it this. This terminology normalizes […]

  • “I named him Charmander because that’s what happens when pokemon hatch and you don’t name them that was my point this takes place in the future where trainers are hard to come by so that’s why Charmander wasn’t […]

  • A fic where the trainer can talk to his partner pokemon, who calls him “Master”. But it’s totally not slavery! Other than that, very boring.

    This is ridiculous. If your story is being held back by lack of […]

  • This game is really good and you should play it. I cried so many times. It’s a bit small for a $20 game, but definitely pick it up if there’s a sale.

    I briefly mentioned Night in the Woods during my review […]

    • I literally just finished playing this game a few days ago. I was going to recommend you play it, but I forgot to.


      You’re absolutely right. I love this game. And it has a lot of secret content, by the way.

    • I will start the discussion!

      The reason I’ve been dragging my feet on making this post is because there’s one scene I’m still not entirely sure about.

      I’m talking about Bea’s final event, and the overall resolution of her plotline. I’m really not sure how to read it. It feels really one-sided on Mae’s part, like it’s handing her the relationship she wants with Bea without requiring her to address the problems or improve as a person. Bea brings up a ton of very legitimate grievances, then just kinda… gives up? Because if she pushes Mae away she’ll have no friends at all even though that scene shows she does have other friends? Mae doesn’t do much to acknowledge wrongdoing, and doesn’t seem to take any of it to heart given her solution is to go on a road trip with the money they don’t have while leaving Bea’s depressed dad all on his own for however long they’re doing this. It’s all about what Mae wants, despite the fact that Bea is the injured party who deserves recompense. Mae could have committed to being more mature and maybe helping out at the store to take some pressure off of Bea, or just… anything else, really. Instead she continues to be all take and no give. It feels to me like the story is saying Bea isn’t allowed to leave a toxic relationship because that would make the protagonist sad.

      Also not a fan of how impressed Bea was by Mae’s grand heroic gesture. Grand gestures don’t make up for being a dick the rest of the time.

    • I think the main thing is that she actually still liked Mae and liked being with Mae and even the stuff that annoyed her about Mae was also something she treasured because it doesn’t seem like she really had anyone else she could do dumb things with, because she was trapped in a situation where she was forced to be an adult when sometimes she just wanted to be a dumb kid with Mae.


      So I think it was more Bea didn’t WANT to leave her relationship with Mae. She definitely felt a lot more trapped by the store and her relationship with her dad, who very much felt like he was taking advantage of her. Like, he had her basically run the entire store by herself with a sexual molester and he knew that for a fact and didn’t give a shit. And at the same time he wouldn’t give her any authority so she could either protect herself and fire him, or manage the important stuff that she needs to, making her already stressful and shitty job worse.

      • So I think it was more Bea didn’t WANT to leave her relationship with Mae.

        That may have been what the story was going for, but I just don’t see any evidence for it. The thing is, Mae isn’t her only friend or her only outlet for those desires. She’s friends with Jackie and actively tries to make more friends through her, and Mae actively sabotages that. Bea is definitely in a bad situation, but I just don’t see any evidence that Mae is helping. Bea is trying to get new friends and coping mechanisms, and Mae actively holds her back from that. The only time she’s actually happy is at the mall, and she gets angry about that at the dinner too.
        There is the argument that since Angus is leaving Mae is going to be all she has left, but then it’s just really bleak and unfair that Angus and Gregg get a happy ending while she has to make do with the dregs they leave behind.


  • Act wrote a new post, The Fifth Season 1 week ago







    I was really tempted to have that be the entire post but I’ll actually do something of a writeup. Plot details follow; proceed at own r […]

  • “This kid is a genius. He’s just not mature. He’s socially secluded and has a speech impediment that causes him to stutter MUCH more than a normal person when trying to form a complex sentence. While other […]

  • Today we’ve got a fic about N that just ends up being generic grimdark, a grimdark fic where humans are enslaved by very human-like pokemon, and a terrible pokephilia thing with a hardboiled […]

  • Let’s finish up the last dangling threads.

    To the desert and the guy asking for a “luna…” pokemon. God, I hate this desert. It’s not even a fun sort of maze, it’s just badly designed so you can’t make out […]

    • All those Mega Evolution entries were written by a single edgelord who hadn’t spoken to a living person in weeks. I’m not looking up a source on that. It’s just true.

      This pokemon generation has been really, really weird about abuse, from what I could tell. I mean, I doubt the writers intended to carry this theme of cyclical abuse that you’ve painstakingly outlined for us. Yet it happened. That kind of scares me somehow? I’m almost certain the real theme is about overcoming abuse and unfair expectations, but the people who wrote that don’t realize that becoming the abuser yourself is not the solution. Yeesh.

      I haven’t played pokemon in a really long time, so this is me being old, but damn, Pokemon’s gotten weird.

      • All those Mega Evolution entries were written by a single edgelord who hadn’t spoken to a living person in weeks.

        I subscribe to the headcanon that the dismal pokedex entries were written by RotomDex because it’s a little shit.

        • Jealousy rotom can’t mega-evolve, perhaps? “Oh no, it’s actually terrible and pokemon hate it, in fact, you should totally never mega evolve your pokemon ever again.”

      • I’m thinking a large part of it is that Japan’s much higher level of respect for elders, so there’s a higher threshold of abuse before you’re allowed to complain. There’s also the fact that I’ve seen an awful lot of Japanese media go the path of clearly depicting abuse, explicitly saying that this is abuse and wrong, but showing no interest in punishing the perpetrators and usually ending whatever was wrong simply stopping and everyone treating that as good enough, or declaring the victim the true problem for trying to get revenge.

        Under that viewpoint, Hala could easily be intended as abusive but storywise it’s fine because he’s not being abusive now. Guzma’s in the wrong because he’s still causing social problems due to lashing out at others for what’s happened, while Hala is currently not harming the community. Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with Hala telling him to stop and him going back to under Hala’s thumb.

        • That’s so weird. Well, I say it’s weird, but I basically mean I am just ignorant about it all, I guess. Not just the attitude that lets abuse go unrecognized or reported, but the attitude that lets recognized abusers slide just because it’s more or less over now. 


          • It always seemed really weird to me until I started thinking about how it impacts the rest of the group.

            One of the things that comes up a lot is where someone will say they told their extended family that they’ll only show up at Thanksgiving/Christmas/etc if the guy who molested them isn’t there, and their family chose the molester over them. At first this makes no sense ever happening, yet alone happening over and over in people’s stories – even if the point is they want as many family members to be part of their gatherings, they can only have one or the other, so why deliberately and intentionally pick the molester? And this plays out even when the guy is the sketchy unemployed uncle and not the wealthy patriarch controlling everyone’s fate.

            But then you think, the molester didn’t issue a similar ultimatium. The molester said that they were fine with the other person coming, even though that person says such mean and terrible things and tried to get them kicked out of family gatherings. The only person standing in the way of everybody being together and happy is the victim demanding someone else be excluded, and no one’s actually stopping the victim from showing up, why, they include them in invitations ever time! And besides, if you did kick the molester out so the victim shows up, why, they’d probably just whine about how the family ignored their complaints about molester all childhood. (…and maybe they wouldn’t ignore the complaints of that grandkid who’s always making up stories…) 

            So, if you look at this completely from what makes your life easier, it’s obvious which side you should be on. One person is disruptive and the other isn’t. One person aids you in covering up problems while the other person tries to drag them into the light. Supporting the victim does nothing to remove the disruption but kicking them out and saying they can’t come back until they stop talking will. And worse, supporting the victim usually involves admitting you yourself could’ve done more to help them before. (Or admitting that there’s similar things still happening that you should get involved with, which would be even more of a headache.)

            Abuse thrives in situations where it’s just plain easier to not bother. That’s also why you usually need to be relatively powerful to abuse people left and right, but even people near the bottom of the pecking order can abuse their own kids with impunity – getting involved would mean having to deal with the kids yourself, or spending your tax dollars on paying someone else to do it.

            One of the really interesting things is that a good chunk of fandom is arguing tooth and nail against Guzma being abused, because he’s a violent thug and that’s not what victims are, and if his dad DID ever try to beat him, it was PROBABLY just the one time after he ran off, which he DEFINITELY deserved becase kids only run off because they’re privileged whiners who like causing problems. The instinct to side against the disruptive party is so strong it happens even with fictional characters who won’t actually cause any social fallout for you. (From the looks of things, even Lillie is on thin ice with some people and she’s the ideal soft-spoken doormat going up against the central villain – she’s supported, but let’s not say it was like, abuse abuse, you know?)

            • Huh, wow. Yeah, I think I do get it. That urge to preserve the status quo is really frightening. It reminds me of this one time my mother cajoled two uncles, the elder of whom was a huge jerk to his little brother their entire life, into coming to our Christmas party. They’re grown men, but this kind of thing doesn’t just go away. I’m going to say there were predictable and negative results and leave it at that. And yeah, it was the younger brother she had to convince to come, not the older one, who didn’t really care. 

            • Act replied 1 week ago

              This seems like a good chance to plug Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That?”, a book which literally everyone should read regardless of your experiences with abuse.

              The short answer to why is: society trains those in power to abuse it, and then rewards them for it.

    • Shaping up to be partial canon retelling + extra scenes. Original idea was doing to be just hitting Lillie’s scenes but I wanted to develop Bonnibel’s character better and she plays her cards rather close to the vest.

    • Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if that was every tapu’s reasoning.

    • Farla replied 1 week ago

      There was an ever-rising tide of poison water, filled to bursting with things that were all fin and teeth.
      Some fought each other for the last peaks of land, but soon it rose above even those.
      They beat against it with all their might, but only the very strongest could pull free from the clutching syrup and fly above.
      For the rest, sourness stung their eyes and bitterness choked their dry throats, and the things tore at them from below.
      Some of them learned to grow gills.
      “Help us,” cried those who could not. “Help us, we are drowning!”

  • Book of Phoenix is a prequel to Who Fears Death, and I found it very disappointing. The technical quality of the writing was the same, but it smacked of the publisher demanding a money-grab followup and was just […]

  • Okay, I’m going to the GTS.

    Time to trade ultrabeasts!

    Buzzwole. The upper half is too reasonable, but I quite like the legs.

    A mysterious life-form called an Ultra Beast. Witnesses saw it pulverize […]

  • Looker: Amazing! Bravo! You have done it! I must call the chief back at once!

    Anabel: I’ve finished sending the data from the UB you protected to HQ. And to Ms. Wicke as well. Thank you for your hard work, […]

  • I head to Route 8 and go in to chat with the woman behind the counter. Has that other pokemon’s owner shown up?

    Nope but apparently Gladion moved out, which, I already knew. And he left a letter to his mom, […]

  • This was an absolutely incredible book. I finished it and thought, “That may have been one of the best books I’ve ever read.” That’s likely hyperbole, but not by much.

    Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor is […]

    • Rushdie’s prose is like swimming in molasses — sweet, but exhausting.

      Ha! That’s pretty fair, yeah. I sometimes felt it was like being swept up in a rapid river, too — it violently and powerfully drags you along. But I did often find myself needing to read some passages twice.

      Rushdie is one of my favorite writers, so if this author has a similar style, I should definitely read this! The passages you quoted sound excellent as well. It’s so rare to see books talk about the medium’s own biases so directly.

      • I’ve loved what I’ve read of Rushdie, but man is his prose heavy. I can usually kill a 300-page novel in a day, but his books takes me weeks.

        It’s so rare to see books talk about the medium’s own biases so directly.

        I know! I wish more books did this (it’s more common in video games in my experience). Sometimes it’s like writers don’t quite know the specifics of the tropes in their own genre even as they push against them, so seeing her make really specific callouts was so satisfying.

    • J. K. Rowling. :-P (Come on, Act, we want more Reviewing Rowling! :-P)

      Let’s see, for serious suggestions…

      I really liked Cornelia Funke’s Ghost Knight, although some might not consider it traditional fantasy – it’s set on Earth in modern times, and the fantastical is basically limited to a single, overt element, the eponymous ghost knight. I haven’t read her Inkheart novels yet (because the movie was so boring it made me afraid of the books), but I have a friend who swears by them.

      In the same vein of contemporary fantasy (although it straddles the line, since there are no overt fantastical elements), I can recommend Doll Bones, by Holly Black, who apparently has a terrible taste in friends.

      Now, for the classic authors: I’ve only read some of their short stories, but I can also recommend Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip, Louise Cooper and Lisa Goldstein. I had already read a short story by Ursula K. LeGuin which I didn’t like so much (“Darkrose and Diamond”, if you’re curious), but having just finished A Wizard of Earthsea, I emphatically recommend it! Or was that already in your list? I can’t remember if you said something about it.

      Finally, there are Mary Renault’s novels about Theseus, the mythological hero: The King Must Die and The Bull From the Sea.

      I think that’s it? Oh, wait, there’s another one: it’s not a deep novel in any meaningful way, but Joan D. Vinge’s novelisation of the movie Ladyhawke is quite an enjoyable read, and an adaptation which only adds to the source material (especially the scenes from Isabeau’s point of view and the ending, which is vastly superior!). It won’t change your life, but if you’re looking for a quick, fun read and enjoyed the movie at least a bit, I recommend it. (It’s still mostly a story about men doing things, though, so it’s not what you’re looking for, I think?) It seems Vinge is an author of science fiction, but I haven’t read anything else by her, unfortunately.

      Argh, I’m sure I’m forgetting other authors, but I believe those would be my top recommendations anyway.

      • Nerem replied 2 weeks ago

        I read the first Inkheart book! Not really intended to, but it literally fell off a truck and onto my feet and so I decided it was divine will.


        Eh. It was okay. I really didn’t like the love interest, because he came off as incredibly forced. In the sense that it felt like he was there to be the contractually obligated love interest.

    • Nerem replied 2 weeks ago

      I super love the Enchanted Forest books. I read them all as a kid. Though my first taste was the very last book, which actually worked surprisingly well as an introduction. Though I finally found the other books and liked them better since the princess was way more interesting then her son.


      And yeah, strangely, I think it’s a lot easier to find ‘mainstream approved’ manga by women than mainstream approved western novels.

      • Nerem replied 2 weeks ago

        Also thinking about it, the protagonist wasn’t very important either. It was the dad who was the center of everything.

      • And yeah, strangely, I think it’s a lot easier to find ‘mainstream approved’ manga by women than mainstream approved western novels.

        I think about this a lot, and I think it’s one of the major reasons I gravitated so much to Japanese media at such an early age, and why I continue to.

        Basically, Japan sees women as a viable market, and the US does not.

        There are definitely issues with the idea that certain things are “for” certain demographics, and god knows the actual content of mainstream manga is a misogynistic nightmare, but in Japan that something was made by a woman or has a huge female fanbase is not seen a problem to be overcome in the same way as in the US. There’s not even issues with women writing Shonen — Fullmetal Alchemist is a major example of this. This isn’t to say there aren’t extra barriers to female content creators in Japan, but that at a cultural level the idea of a art being for women isn’t nearly as devastating — at least in manga — as it is in the US. (It’s hard, for example, to imagine an anime being cancelled for attracting too many women as fans, or for a manga by a major company to be boycott because the mangaka is  a woman.)

        There’s just not targeted hate campaigns about women being mangaka in the same way as in the US, and as a result it’s so much easier to find media by and for women. This isn’t to say Japan is some egalitarian paradise — god knows it’s not — but I do think the US is significantly worse.

    • Nice, this sounds amazing but I’ll have to tread carefully with the content.
      Firefox just ate my comment, so here’s the abbreviated version:
      Leah Bobet – An Inheritance of Ashes – Looks like fantasy but it isn’t, nice answer to the ‘post-apoc means racism and misogyny and Hard Men!!!!’ chestnut
      Ursula Vernon – Read everything she’s ever written, the end
      Corrine Duyvis – On the Edge of Gone – Autistic main character tries to survive the end of the world and its associated ableism
      Becky Chambers – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit are great SF with a focus on characters and enhanced by fascinating worldbuilding
      Transgender author bonus round: Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit was recommended to me by Negrek and it’s fantastic, it’s W40K but less bonkers and just as awesome


      • Transgender author bonus round: Yoon Ha Lee

        Ah, awesome! Not only are transgender authors rare, but so are Korean (and other non-Japanese East Asian) ones.

        I basically need to like carry a sheet of paper with me with all these names.

    • You all rock! (I’ll reply to individual comments eventually!)

    • They’re light-hearted early YA fantasy, so they aren’t going to be as meaty as this book, but I remember them being quite entertaining.

      I’m actually in the market for more lighthearted stuff right now, so this sounds perfect.


      The novel series is currently available in the US and is by a female author.  I’ve been enjoying the first book.

      !!! I did not realize this got an English release! That’s great news; I’m definitely going to grab it.

    • I’m not sure 100% what you’re asking, but major global successes in anime/manga by women, off the top of my head:

      YURI!!! on ice
      Fullmetal Alchemist
      Cardcaptor Sakura
      Sailor Moon
      Case Closed

      And that’s not even including writers who are massive in Japan but more niche in the West, like Anno Moyoco, Tanemura Arina, Yu Watase, Momoko Sakura, and Hagio Moto.

    • At that level, personally I’m a big fan of Mochikuzi Jun, Takano Ichigo, Kozue Amano, Midorikawa Yuki, Keiko Tobe, and — of course — Anno Moyoco, among others.

      Also, Yuri on Ice is so good. I know it seems like typical pandering yaoi a la FREE, but it’s actually so so good.

    • The well-reported interview from 2015 that discussed this which can be read about here. It’s pretty emblematic of how the whole industry, from TV to toys to clothes, functions.

      • As young girls playing Pokemon, did you tend to group up with the other Girls Who Played Pokemon or did you mingle with the Boys Who Played Pokemon? What’s up with that?

        I got into this a little in the Blue playthrough –  I was of an age when kids segregated by gender, and there was also a worry that the boys would say it was a boy thing only, grab it and run off (this may not have been an accurate reading of the social situation, but it had happened when I was younger). And although I got all the girls in my group playing, the only kids I ever encountered already playing were boys, because they were more likely to already be gamers and/or because boys were more open about it. A number of them never knew I was into Pokemon because I stayed quiet about it myself. Of the kids who’ll admit to it in my area (and of those who play the card game that’s the main face of it among little kids) it’s boys.

      • Yeah, it was boys playing it when I was in grade 6 and got a game boy color, but there were a few girls that got on board too and we’d chat about it now and then. Once I got online it was still weighted toward boys but there were quite a few girls around as well.

      • You have to separate fandom as a whole from fanfic. Fanfic is heavily female dominated. Fandom otherwise was weighted heavily toward boys; I just never really participated in it, since it didn’t appeal to me.

    • Recently I’ve read Fable of the Swan by Jenna Katerin Moran. It was interesting. I would hesitate to call the book great since I found it meandering at times, but it’s definitely worth checking out as it explores some neat ideas, the world is well-crafted, and the narration is rather charming.

      And speaking of directly discussing the medium, a quote from it:

      “The older a story is the more it becomes a story about men. The story of Harald and the cintamani is no exception. He isn’t human, of course, but he’s usually described in human terms. He’s “a giant of the old blood,” because you’re not supposed to expect that an important historical figure would be a giant. He’s “thirty feet tall if he’s an inch,” because everyone knows that giants measure themselves by the feet of English Kings. (I guess there could be a giant who collected the feet of English Kings and used them as a kind of measuring tape. Not everything is about ideology. —but importing them from Europe would be quite the terrible pain and what would the giants do if one of the feet they were using broke? They would probably need to have a farm for breeding large numbers of appropriate Kings, and that would cast divine right into all kinds of problematic perspectives.)

      Harald isn’t human, so we have to talk about that, right there at the beginning of the story. We have to boggle at it, just like we do at the occasional female hero. Then, having gotten it out there, we have to either treat him for the rest of the story like he’s exactly like a human would be, or we have to make a big deal out of how tall and slow and ancient he is, always bumping into doors and talking about “back in the old days, by which I mean yesterday,” and the like.

      We can’t just show him being one of the old people, one of the people of the old blood, one of the people with the stuff of mountains and forests and fields and wind and trees in him, having in him the old truths, the old ways, the old majesties, giant and magician and hero as well in him. It has to be about how he’s not human or about how exactly like humans Harald is. The story of Harald and the cintamani has to be a story about, well, men.

      Standard usage to the contrary, though, when I say “men” I don’t just mean “humans.” His story went through generations of the Jotun before it got to us, after all; before they bred to us, and they became us, and we took over with our movable type and our flurry of bookmaking the processing of legend. When I say “men” I don’t just mean “humans.” I mean “male humans.”

      The story of Harald and the cintamani is a story that drops the female perspective entirely. His wife and his three daughters—”each more beautiful than the last,” presumably so that the math geeks can freak out and argue about intransitive qualities of femininity—don’t get a voice in it. They’re just there to be used by him, to assist him, to follow him on his journey and then become the vehicles for his execution of it.

      If it were a new story then I’d say, oh, that’s just how it was written; or oh, that’s just how it happened. The story of Harald and the cintamani isn’t a new story. It’s a very old one. I’m telling it the way I’ve learned it because it’s an old story, and it deserves better than my screwing around with it, but the price of that is that it’s a story told and retold by generations.

      Generations of patriarchs.

      So I think that when you see where the fable ends up you have to expect that it’s not exactly the same as where the fable started.

      It could have been.

      This could have even been the way it actually happened, way back when. I just don’t think it was.

      I think that back in the old days—back when this kind of stuff was real, back when there was magic under every tree and bush, back when the giants were giants and they fought the people of the void, back when Harald went out beyond the world to seize the cintamani stone—that his family must have had voices of their own.

      I think that Gerd must have been a girl with her own thoughts and interests, like, maybe she really liked bugs and didn’t like people. Or maybe she was brave.

      I think Hild, I think maybe Hild was there voluntarily, heroically, you know, trying to do the same thing that her father was. Or if not, then I think that she was a victim, that Harald didn’t have the right to do what he did to her, even to get the cintamani it would have been wrong, you know?

      If she wasn’t there on her own.

      Tola-I like to think that Tola was, I mean, she could have been, the one to have the original dream. I like to think that she saw the cintamani first, from afar, and that she was the one who took them out into the void.

      The problem is: if that’s true, if any of those things are true, nobody bothered to tell us them. Nobody bothers to talk about how some girl who was used as part of her father’s quest for the cintamani, all those years ago, how she hated people but was rather fond of bugs.

      That isn’t interesting to the kind of men who tell stories and pass them down. Maybe it survived one generation, two, three, whatever, and then someone said, you know, let’s just skip that boring part.

      Maybe Tola had the original dream, not Harald, but then somebody said, along the way: you know, it makes more sense if that was Harald. Didn’t he find the stone, at the end? Wasn’t it his hand that closed over it, and got burned “red and black and orange?” Wasn’t he the one who fought against the lord of Death’s dominion he? Wasn’t he the one who took Tola’s heart out, in the end; used her flesh in magics?

      There’s no way we’d remember her, not really, not Tola as she was, not by the time the story’s got here.

      The heartless do not tell stories, nor the dead; and suddenly here I am telling you stories of people who are both.

      So I feel like I have to explain this to you. Like I have to remind you of it. All this story, this whole Fable of the Swan—not just the bit with Harald and the cintamani–I’m having to put words in the mouths of others, the best words that I can remember, and I’m having to tell you their lives as stories, and as their stories, but I cant really do that, I cant really tell you that, because they’re dead.

      So anyway.

      Here’s Harald’s story, as it came down to me: how Harald dreamt of a stone.”

    • That’s actually not what I meant. The book does have a very distinct, very informal narration style and often goes on tangents like this one, but I’m actually OK with it. It fits the story it wants to tell (mostly a low-key character piece) and it clicked with me, though I understand that it may not be appealing to other people.

      No, when I said “meandering,” I meant plot. Specifically, there is a stretch in the book where it seems like the plot is going into a new direction, with the protagonist seemingly burning bridges with her old friends and making new ones, some characters being introduced… but then it gets back on track, which leaves those new characters severely underdeveloped.

    • …She wrote novelisations for “Willow” and “Mad Max”?! I must find those!
      There’s just so much more meat to the story that it feels like the movie is an adaptation of a novel that didn’t have enough time to get through all the book’s characterization.
      Yes, that’s basically the “Ladyhawke” novelisation, too. And “Ladyhawke” was actually a good movie!

    • You must be a very generous person. :-P

      • …But “Willow” is also a good movie! In fact, both “Willow” and “Ladyhawke” are considered cult classics, so I’m quite surprised I’m the first person you’ve seen compliment either movie.

      • Hardly “most”; it’s just one reason for movies becoming cult classics. May I suggest you tone down the condescension?

    • Dude, you could have just asked “Huh, how does that work?” and waited for an answer before assuming there wasn’t a valid explanation and diving into a condescending history lesson like most people aren’t perfectly aware of all that.

    • I’m going to agree with Anon and say that was a weird amount of pedantic assumptions to make when a simple, “Can you elaborate?” would work just as well.
      It’s also a bit weird to look at a Sword & Sorcery book and go, “Wait a second: lesbians in power? That’s just unrealistic.” There’s a million ways to make that work; surely we can assume one of them was chosen it instead of coming at it from the point of view of it needing a shitton of justification in excess of any other element.
      I get that you likely weren’t trying to imply anything, but it came off Unfortunately.
      We generally have a thoughtful comment base who are happy to speak for themselves when prompted; there’s no need to function under the assumption you have to provide your own answers.

  • “The way you review really irks me. You’re too critical and it gets on my nerves. I know you’re trying to help, but the way you go about it is not helping. The word “Pokemon” is Trademarked by the way. So it can […]

  • I took some time off so these posts could catch up with present day, but I still reviewed SYOC stories as they came up, and some standard cliche stories I couldn’t resist.

    You should separate your author notes […]

    • Oh, I didn’t even notice that, I was skimming by that point. Fake fanfic does not deserve that much brainpower.


    • No. If I wanted to read high school drama, libraries are overflowing with them. I come to to read fanfiction. People who clutter up an already barely-useable archive with stories that shouldn’t be there in the first place do not deserve my time.

    • Same reason I review mislabeled anime fic: to get people to put it in the right place.

    • I report it.

  • For some reason the revenge reviews got really active this round. I got 8 in a row, and that was before normal reviewers started arguing with them!

    St Elmo’s Fire,

    A new review has been posted to your […]

  • The topic here was a pretty standard argument, but it ballooned tremendously because my opponent turned out to be a master goalpost-mover. Observe:

    re: Your review to Galactic Hero
    Apr 13RSBCS
    A response […]

  • At the end of the gauntlet…is this Blue and Red? Because they don’t look nearly as old as the chatter suggested.

    ???: You’re Bonnibel, right?


    ???: See that, Red! I’ve still got it!

    Red: … […]

    • Hm. Well, one of the games basically confirmed that people were enslaving using friendly with pokemon as early as 3000 years prior to the series. Since there are records of the scales being ‘processed’, you’d have to go farther back than that, but not far enough that civilization itself is just gone. Or it could just be an Alola-specific thing, like, they came to the pokemon party late. That seems to have been the theme here. They armored themselves in scales, and then the first conquistadors from Kanto or whatever walked in and blew them away.

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