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Insta-rec! And Saiyuki fic. [Sep. 12th, 2010|09:38 am]
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But first a rec: Escape without running, Yozak-centered gen. Recced by [personal profile] threewalls, and amazing.

And now, for [community profile] au_bingo: 585 Saiyuki vampire AU! Thanks to [personal profile] emungere for betaing.

Overnight )
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If you haven't seen these already... [Aug. 22nd, 2010|11:00 am]
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A nice rundown of the Avatar: TLA movie and its horrible suckitude. There is color coding.

Real yakuza review Yakuza 3.

If you're not reading the stories at [profile] 7thnight_smut, you really should be-- at least if you like Saiyuki. All the stories are locked, but membership is open. I've been working my way through them for days. (I confess my current favorite is the one where Goku's a chef and Sanzo's the world's bitchiest restaurant reviewer, although the space AU with the OT4 is fighting for top place.)
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Did I mention that Remix is up? [May. 24th, 2010|09:20 pm]
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'Cause it totally is. And the anime/manga fandoms (among others!) totally need more love! COME FORTH AND LOVE, especially the fics I don't feel like I can comment on yet LEST I TIP MY HAND.

And if you haven't read any at [profile] lgbtfest yet, you are missing out on some fine stories, including this one about Calvin's Uncle Max.

Big Bang has slowed but not been forgotten:

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Yeeeeessss. [May. 23rd, 2010|03:26 pm]
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[Current Mood | happy]

REMIX IS UP. Go read it, it's good.
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A few awesome things. [May. 17th, 2010|09:28 pm]
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[Current Mood | chipper]

[profile] satorias asked for good fanfiction, and I have found some wonderful stuff, folks.

The Mutant Problem, X-verse interactive fanfiction. It's set up as a piece Peter Parker wrote for The New York Times.

And some amazing cracked-out Star Trek: Reboot crossovers.

AND an Alien universe epistolary story.

Also, someone is trying to remember a TMNT fanfic and I swear I remember it too. HELP.
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Insta-rec! [Mar. 1st, 2010|07:50 am]
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The [info]purimgifts stories are all up, so I can finally rec my story in full!
Lighting Candles, about Gwen, Morgana, traditions and faith. It's just lovely, sad and hopeful and a broader picture of the Merlin universe. Go read it, it's awesome.
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Jorge Luis Borges (IBARW continues!) [Jul. 31st, 2009|11:03 pm]
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Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentinian writer whose impact on modern writing and letters cannot be underestimated. Borges wrote twisty, dense, devastating short stories, poetry, essays, and whatever else he put his hand to. There's almost nothing that can be said about the man that hasn't already been said: He was a genius, a visionary, a lousy politician but an excellent man and the kind of literary genius that only comes around once a century or so.

I have his Collected Fictions, a huge and heavy paperback with all his short stories, excellently translated by Andrew Hurley. But if you don't want to lay down the $13.60 Amazon is charging with just my word for it, I suggest you read one of my favorite stories of his, available free and in its entirety: The Garden of Forking Paths. It's about a labyrinth, about betrayal, about the terrible weight of fate. You will not be the same after you read it.

Donald Yates translation.

A hypertext version, which is just beautiful.

Dreamtigers at the Floating Library.
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Kazyua Minekura, Saiyuki (more IBARW!) [Jul. 30th, 2009|09:05 pm]
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Once upon a time, oh Best Beloveds, there was a baby. And this baby, due to a complicated series of circumstances we won't get into right now, got put into a basket and sent floating on a great river. So great was this river that it gave life to the people and towns around it for many miles, and so it held the little boy (for a little boy it was) as he went floating off.

Now babies can sleep through anything, but just as babies sleep, so do they wake. And this boy woke, and cried out. And-- because this is how the stories always go-- the boy was heard. And the boy was gathered into the arms of a kind, loving caretaker, who wiped his snotty nose and changed his diaper and smoked pot and hung out with....

Oh, I'm sorry, did you think I was talking about Moses?

In fact, there is another Famous Spiritual Figure who got sent floating down A Great River, and that's Tripitaka, of Buddhist legend and the great Chinese novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. (The best translation is a four-volume juggernaut, translated by Anthony Yu; I still haven't finished it, but I can testify to its high quality and readability.) Journey to the West is just what it says on the box: A story about a road trip from China to India, starring a holy monk and his three disciples/followers/bodyguards. Journey to the West has been ripped off by West and East, left, right, and sideways, and its most popular character-- Son Goku, the Monkey King-- has starred in many, many stories, in many, many forms.

One of the many interpretations is Gensomaden Saiyuki, by Japanese mangaka Kazuya Minekura (a comic artist and writer). Minekura took many of the bare bones of the story-- the baby in the river, the four travelers, the journey itself-- put them in a box full of crack and awesome, shook the whole mess up, and came out with something extraordinary. It has damn near everything: myth, monks, magic, monsters, mad scientists, martial arts-- and that's just the "m"s!

I could, and have, talked about Saiyuki all day. But here are a few things that, for me, take Saiyuki from ordinary to extraordinary:

-- The four lead characters. They are drawn together by shared tragedy (child abuse, neglect, loss of a guardian) but they will never let those tragedies define them. They express affection by yelling, teasing, and smacking each other around. They refuse to apologize for themselves. They protect others but never stop respecting people or treating them on their own terms. Also, best. dialogue. ever.

-- The world. The author's Japanese. The main characters are Chinese. The main antagonists live in India. Along the way, they meet Westerners, criminals, madmen and zombies (well, one zombie. technically.); they stay in inns, homes, and temples; they have cigarettes and guns and newspapers and none of it's really explained. And somehow this scratched-together universe works, and works beautifully. Oh, and the food. The food!

-- The art. Holy cow, the art.

-- When Minekura deals with The Big Issues (genocide, racism, abuse) she does it so damn well. So many stories-- pro and fan-created-- slide the plot completely off the rails whenever The Big Issue comes up, or uses it as an excuse for Drama and Angst. Minkeura never does this. She respects The Big Stuff by treating it as what it is-- Big, and Important, but another part of the bigger tapestry of her world rather than a derail or a plot device. (It makes Harry's terrible childhood, for example, look like the cheap stunt it is...IMO of course!)

Is Saiyuki perfect? No. There's not enough women, the women there are don't get to do enough stuff, and sometimes the story has dragged a bit (although the payoff is usually amazing). But it's worth it. So very worth it.

Other Minekura works translated into English include Wild Adapter, the story of two young men and their entanglement with the Japanese yakuza, and Bus Gamer, which has one of my favorite female characters ever.

The manga's also been adapted into an anime. It's not as good. Oh, and there's a musical. I leave it to someone else to pimp that.
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Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology (IBARW continues!) [Jul. 29th, 2009|09:20 pm]
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I was planning on pimping this pretty hard anyway, especially after how much fun I had at the Comic-Con booth. (They were wonderful. Everyone introduced themselves, there was hand-shaking, we had a lovely conversation, and they let me hang out at the booth until Parry Shen signed my book. Parry Shen! Even though I keep spelling his name "Perry.") Also, they gave me a paper superhero mask. LOVE.

Secret Identies is a deliberate project, spawned by some conversations about how many Asian creators write and draw superhero comics and how few Asian superheroes existed. Secret Identities was created to fill in the gap, and it does a remarkably good job.

Almost all (if not all, there's a Handy Chart at the end but I'm lazy) of the characters are interconnected, and have lives, cultures and backstories (some better illuminated than others). There are two-fisted tales of the Second World War, an encounter with John Henry, and a silly, fun take on outsourcing.

There are, of course, a few complaints. I would have liked more openly gay characters and more women, and the creators themselves have noted that their characters and creators (at least this time around) were mostly East Asian. But overall it is so. Good. Particular gems include a cynical take on the Green Hornet, a clever and tremendously funny story set at a superhero costume laundry and repair shop, and the story of a girl who's the only one in her family without superpowers...or so her family thinks. There are ordinary heroes, extraordinary heroes, and everything in between, in an engagingly diverse selection of art styles-- if you don't like one story, you'll probably like the next one, and there are dozens and dozens here.

The book is black and white with a beautiful section of full-color glossy character concepts and origin stories.

Buy it directly from the creators here!
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IBARW: Just Above My Head, James Baldwin [Jul. 28th, 2009|06:33 pm]
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[Current Mood | thoughtful]

Apparently this is going to be more of a pimping week. I am okay with this. This is mostly rec and only slightly review, because I love James Baldwin so damn much.

Really, you could read anything by James Baldwin and come out on the good side. But I'm going to review and recommend one of the first books of his I read, Just Above My Head.

Baldwin is perhaps the closest thing Americans have to Jorge Luis Borges in that his essays and fiction were equally strong, engaging, and challenging in the best way. Unlike Borges, who used opacity and confusion as some of his favorite tools, Baldwin writes with a scalpel-sharp clarity. His words are carefully chosen and they have deep beauty. A gay black man who grew up in church communities in New York City and spent most of his life as an expatriate in France, Baldwin wrote passionately and directly about the civil rights movement, politics, and the reality of his life; his fiction and essays cut right to the bone.

Just Above My Head is not his best book, but it's one of my favorite Baldwin books, written mostly from the perspective of Hall Montana, a quiet, married man coming to terms with the life and death of his brother, brilliant musician Arthur. It's a big book, and it covers a lot of territory; love (gay, straight, familial), death, life, pain, race. While it is clearly and solidly rooted in its time, it's beautifully timeless too, and many of the tensions Baldwin illuminates have not even as much as faded in the past thirty years.

Random House has a bio and excerpts from Baldwin's work.

American Masters page for James Baldwin.

A portrait of Baldwin by African-American painter Beauford Delaney, Baldwin's mentor and friend.

Hilton Als has the best appreciation of Michael Jackson I've read, with a nice and dead-on quote from Baldwin, showing the man's insight held right up until his final years (Baldwin died of stomach cancer in the late 1980s).
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Remix is up! [Jul. 21st, 2009|07:06 am]
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[Current Mood | pleased]

GO READ MY REMIX RIGHT NOW OMG. Paradise Is an Island... (The Three Sparks Waltz Remix), a remix of We Never Had a Paradise to Lose.

It's amazing. Go read. And then read all the others, too. Well, maybe not all the others, but have fun!

And I'm going to steal from [info]ranalore and give a drabble to the first...two people who guess which Remix I wrote. And one for my beta, too, because se can't guess! :D

Comments are screened.
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Because I am well aware we all need good news [Jun. 27th, 2009|10:34 pm]
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[Current Mood | pleased]

The Jena 6 are free. Finally.

Found via [info]willow on dreamwidth.

And I still plan on writing this for [info]saiyuki_time myself, but I don't think anyone will write a better fic for the challenge "Gojyo tops Hakkai" than this one. (Feel free to prove me wrong, y'all. If you can.
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Steampunk fans! [Jun. 26th, 2009|11:54 pm]
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I keep forgetting to link this enormously good Weiss Kreuz steampunk AU. You don't have to know the canon, I promise!

The figure turned, revealing its face to be obscured by both a muslin cloth tied about the nose and mouth, and thick goggles covering the eyes. With a dismissive wave of one black-gloved hand, it turned back to the machine, made a few, final adjustments, then turned and strode to where Schuldig stood, pulling down the cloth and taking off the goggles as it did so, revealing the filthy and perspiration-drenched face of a Japanese youth.

"What?" Nagi inquired peremptorily. "I'm working."

"Well, stop offending God and nature for half an hour. It's time for dinner."

See? Eat up, it's tasty.

[info]daegaer wrote me a sequel, too. Squee!
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Housecleaning. [Jun. 19th, 2009|07:19 pm]
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[Current Mood | cheerful]

There will be a meme later.

Just a general note: I find myself running low on silverware when it comes to matters of anti-racism/anti-sexism/anti-ablism/anti-oppression. This does not mean I will stop reading entries! I may just be a bit quiet.

New fic!

Written for [info]springkink:

Observer, Race/Doc Quest, Jonny Quest

Push a Little Harder, Conrad/Yozak, KKM

Mama Says There'll Be Days Like This, Yozak/Gwendal, KKM

I seem to have not linked my last [info]saiyuki_time fics, so here they are: The tale of the dragon, all-dialogue, and A time for silence, no dialogue.

Go and read!

Be sure to check out [info]remixthedrabble. All the fics are only 100 words, so check out the ones in your fandoms! There's RPF, and bookfic, and anime, and Joss Whedon.

Someone remixed my fic Here, and it's completely wonderful. I myself wrote two drabbles, but it's a sekret for right now.
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I have all my Purim Treats now! [Mar. 11th, 2009|08:15 pm]
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[Current Mood | cheerful]

Go read my story. It is Arrested Development and it is hilarious. Also, I made this icon from some of the art. Tiger!
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Insta-rec! [Jan. 22nd, 2009|08:39 pm]
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[Current Mood | pleased]

Two Business Cards, a Backstage Pass, and a Multi-Purpose Tool.

Gundam Wing, post-series, not particularly spoilery.

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Life is awesome. Oh yes. [Dec. 8th, 2008|04:24 pm]
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[Current Mood | chipper]
[Current Music |chaos! amusing chaos!]

I don't know what really happened with them, but one of the furries ended up with a singed tail and Kuwabara keeps saying shit about pedophiles, so I don't think I want to know.

In short, Yu Yu Hakusho/Twilight crossover.

Because things weren't crazy enough already in Seattle, now people want a Festivus pole. Hahahaha.
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Places to go and things to read! [Nov. 8th, 2008|09:48 pm]
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[Current Mood | bouncy]

[info]mayatawi is having a very specific problem with Biblical verse citations. I know there are people I know who can help,

I wrote moar Gwendal/Yozak. Or perhaps Yozak/Gwendal.

And I wish I'd written something as lovely as this. Yami, Wakaba/Terazuma.
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