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January 5th, 2011 06:09 pm - Why I Have Gotten Nothing Done Since New Year's
I was going to save this to post after I had done some of the other things I am supposed to be doing (finishing up yuletide, making those two recs posts I owe people, answering comments, etc and so on) but it is becoming increasingly clear that I need to post this now so that I can at least attempt explain why those other things aren't getting done.

So, here it is:

How [personal profile] melannen Gets Into A New Fandom


A Case Study using The Dresden Files )

Current Music:: incidentally, this timeline also covers the period of "me being on the rag"

(43 comments | Reply)


June 15th, 2010 10:41 am - More Fake News In Heaven And Earth
arglflgul.

Does anybody know of a way to download The Bugle podcast without installing iTunes? I refuse to install iTunes *just* so I can get the Bugle - partly because I don't really have the system resources for it, partly because I viscerally hate the thing, partly because the iTunes store needs to *not* crash my browser every time I go there, thanks. But the Times website has finally put it under pay-only lock (and now it turns out that the Times was several episodes behind what itunes has anyway.)

I recently acquired an ipod and was forced to install itunes just long enough to flip the bit that lets you use your ipod as an external drive (though it still doesn't work right) and I really, really don't want to have to put it back on. :/ Dear Apple: if I can buy an $8 mp3 player that has all the capability and more of my iPod shuffle and can, oh, use software that doesn't try to malignantly take over my computer, surely you can design one that does the same for eight times the price.

I suppose I can just wait for the new season of the Now Show to start for my Andy Zaltzman fix, because oh look, BBC Radio Four streams internationally! -- but I can't wait until after the World Cup for my next Andy Zaltzman fix!1!! D:

Why yes, whinging about the evil of Apple does count as working on my copyright primer for con-txt, shut up.

Anyway. Since I'm asking for help about the Bugle already, I shall just make the post I've been playing with for a few weeks now, about Fake News (and "Real" News and Politics) fandom around the world and around the web.

The goal here is to get a guide to 'canon' sources and fandom sites for that somewhat-expanded RPF fandom that is, really, one of my most abiding loves. (My earliest datable memory involves Reagan giving a campaign speech. I would have been two.) I'm reasonably competent on the American ones (though my attention there is ... sporadic, and I might have missed something) and on the British ones (though, not being British, I've probably missed something.) I have a vague idea of where to start for Australia and Canada. I've no clue whatsover beyond that, and if there's anyone on my reading list who does know of other awesome fake news sources - English language or not - I would *love* the contribution!

This is meant to be video, audio, and text sources that I think everyone into current events from a fandom perspective ought to be at least minimally familiar with. (either because they're fundamental to the current fandom community, or because they're so awesome everybody should know about them.)

Here's what I've got so far. What have I missed? What should I cut?

Too Awesome To Be Bounded By One Country )

The United States of A )

The UK )

Places that are neither the US nor the UK )

What else should be on those lists? Help. Especially from people not living in the US.

(31 comments | Reply)


January 4th, 2010 12:20 am - Why yes, this post is longer than the fic.
I haven't had time to do much reading in the yuletide archive yet, but I want to talk about the fandom I wrote in, which was Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective.

When I was hinting around about what it was, [personal profile] elspethdixon guessed "a steampunk comic about superheroes fighting crime in 1890s NYC, that being the most awesome madlibs example I can think of at the moment."

She was incorrect: it's actually a collection of short stories and two mostly-lost silent films, not a comic; and they were written between 1909 and 1914, not in the 1890s.

...the rest was pretty much right. I was going for "A hundred-year-old book about lesbians fighting crime in gaslit New York City."

Since it's mostly only steampunk in that Madelyn carries a pocket telephone, and in that it's set in the era when most of the steampunk technology was actually becoming real; and it's mostly only superheroes in that her dear companion Nora is a girl reporter working for the Daily Bugle, and in that they are both very good at fighting crime.

But then, they're only lesbians in that ... no, actually they're fairly obviously lesbians to anyone who's read the book, and my yuletide feedback agrees with me on that :D

[personal profile] cinaed, my assigned recipient, describes the fandom as " - it's pretty much a genderswap of Holmes and Watson". It's not the fandom we matched on (there will be a post about that one later), but how was I supposed to resist at least looking it up with a summary like that?

The complete Madelyn Mack story collection is available for free download through archive.org, and the PDF is illustrated with stills from the films. The Alice Joyce website also has contemporary reviews of the lost films.

I started reading ...three pages in, and Madelyn telling Nora how she's a greater detective than "our old friend Sherlock Holmes" because women are naturally better at that sort of thing, and I was pretty much a lost cause.

So is it really just a genderswap of Holmes and Watson set in gaslight New York City? I have prepared a convenient comparison chart so you can judge for yourself!

Convenient Comparison Chart for Sherlock Holmes and Madelyn Mack )

Final score: Sherlock 4, Madelyn 12 Madelyn wins!

Am I seriously claiming it's better than Holmes? No, of course not. Nora and Madelyn and the world they inhabit are fabulous and fabulously drawn, and as Edwardian genre stories they are certainly still eminently readable, and I am so very, very glad they exist; and a blatant Holmesian pastiche that consistently fails the reverse Bechdel is just so much *fun* to play in, and I really do wish they had a living fandom like Holmes has (or, failing that, they were part of Holmes-universe fanon!) But realistically, the mysteries aren't nearly as clever, as a writer Hugh C. Weir is no Conan Doyle, and with only five stories and two lost film shorts to work with, there's not nearly as much there.

And then there's the last and longest story, The Purple Thumb. TPT is ... problematic.

Extensive notes on 'The Purple Thumb' and its problems )

An outline of the fixit fic I would have written, had I world enough and time )

As for the story I actually wrote, as opposed to the one I dreamed about:

Silver Buttons All Down Her Back, 4300 words, explicit Madelyn/Nora first-time, gratuitous Sherlock Holmes crossover and clapping-rhyme references. I think it's possibly the best fic I have ever published, certainly the best I've done for yuletide. Damning with faint praise, I know.

Notes on 'Silver Buttons' )

I really feel like I want to talk more about why Miss Madelyn Mack is so deeply awesome, but really, the story I wrote is 4,300 words of me showing you all why, and after staring at this entry for several hours days, I realize that what I actually want to do is a line-by-line director's commentary of my fic. So...there is going to be another entry up shortly with that.

Anyway!

If you didn't feel like wading through all that, here's what you should know: Miss Madelyn Mack and Miss Nora Noraker are genderswapped Holmes and Watson in New York city; they are awesome and every bit as slashy as their counterparts, only with petticoats; and you can read the entire book at archive.org legally: Miss Madelyn Mack Detective; and you should. Also I will so be cosplaying her at some point: I already have a vintage 1914 black gown and black lace petticoats a Victorian adventurer's magnifying glass and stompy boots and an awesome hat; all I need is some cola berries and a locket to put them in! (I really want to find & try some kola nut, actually, it sounds interesting.)

Here is a picture of Miss Madelyn Mack:

Current Mood:: [mood icon] artistic

(24 comments | Reply)



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