thiefofvoices: A book open to a page with arcan hand-drawn symbols on it. (arcane)
"To give a thing a name, a label, a handle; to rescue it from anonymity, to pluck it out of the Place of Namelessness, in short to identify it -- well, that's a way of bringing the said thing into being."

-- from Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie
thiefofvoices: Person w/face painted like a skull, wearing a high-collared jacket that covers their mouth, with a gun on their back (a dead december)
So as a good chunk of you probably already know (unless you are a random internet person who cannot see all my locked posts, in which case, hello random internet person!), I've been working on a webcomic with [personal profile] crows for a little over a year now. And today, with very small fanfare, we actually launched it.

It's over at Mortal Machine dot com. The stuff that's going up right now is the first book, One For Silence.

I'm really excited about it. We've been working on it for awhile now, and it's good to see something start to come of it, though we've got a loooong way to go, in both promoting the project and drumming up some support as well as all the extras we've got planned (right now the site is really barebones) and even just in terms of how long the planned story is.

That long way to go is the point of this post, though. Because in addition to being excited that finally, something is slowly coming of my creative projects, there's also this sort of knot of anxiety and terror about putting something out into the world. What if nobody cares? What if people read it all wrong? What if they laugh at us for the effort?

Here's the thing: that fear is hindering.

No, the art isn't as up to par as I wish it could be. The thing is, even in the ten or so pages we do have done, I've seen a noticeable difference in the quality of our art, in how we understand the way these characters look and move and exist. And, just in general, how anatomy works, and to some extent perspective. And like I said before, we've got a long way to go. We'll get there. A creator's brain is always years ahead of their ability anyway, and it is entirely possible that we have years to go on this. Which, when I think about it in terms of time to grow and learn and prove to myself that yes, I can do this, isn't quite as daunting as it might seem.

There are things about these characters that I'm sure people will take issue with. I may end up accidentally beating people over the head with the aspects of Rowan's character that I think are important to showcase. I might end up too subtle with them, so that people miss them entirely. We might accidentally skip over crucial information in the plot, or it might end up being a little too meandery, despite our editing efforts. The script for this hasn't actually been seen by anyone except us, which is also a little scary. Hell, we're still writing the script right now -- we're about halfway done with the first book -- even as we're drawing the pages and even as the comic's live.

But the thing is, if we let all this stuff stop us, we'd never get anywhere. It might be another year before we got done with the script, and then another five or so before we had everything drawn to exacting standards. Waiting until you're good enough is a damn good way to never do anything at all, as my twenty-some years has taught me. Yes, all this might be some big damn mistake, as my Internal Anxious Sixteen Year Old is screaming at me. But this might also turn out to be awesome and wonderful. And even if it doesn't, it's at least an experience, one that I'm sure we're going to fuck up here and there, and one that I'm absolutely sure we'll learn from.

And given that there's another project after this waiting in the wings (as well as my other collaboration and my umpteen billion personal projects), even if all we get is a learning experience, my life's gonna be richer for it. I just have to remember that in order to get the experience, I have to do the thing in the first place.

All that being said, I'm still hoping for the awesome. And hope that y'all will be on board for the awesome, too. <3

God's War

Dec. 5th, 2012 09:36 am
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (stories)
So while I was spending the night in the airport night before last, and also a bit on the plane yesterday, I read God's War by Kameron Hurley. And I really, really enjoyed it.

I'm pretty terrible at doing actual reviews for things, so I'm not going to try. But there were a few things about it that I really liked.

1) The religion in it -- most of them -- weren't based on Christianity. I don't know enough about Islam and other middle eastern religions to really know whether or not the religions were based on them more than anything, but it appeared that way to me. (Rather, I believe they were based on middle eastern religions, or at least had roots in them, but I couldn't tell you which novel-religion corresponded to any non-Christian religion, if they corresponded at all exactly.

2) The worldbuilding! It reminded me a lot of the stuff that we're trying to do with Apocaverse, in that it's a completely different culture that has little tells in it. The part I particularly liked was the fact that whenever the narration was in the main character, Nyx's, point of view, or she was talking about some theoretical person whose gender was either not necessary to know or just unknown, she used 'she' as the default instead of 'he'. Because her culture is intensely matriarchal. Which is also something that we did in Apocaverse, or at least tried to. ...there really wasn't much related to Apoca, it was just the way little stuff was blended in there that I feel I need to take note of and keep in mind when writing Apoca, basically.

3) I just realized this one might be kind of spoilery I guess )

YEP. Vague rantramble is vaguely rantrambly. Now I should actually get dressed and pack up stuff to go poke at comic things.

Yep.

Oct. 29th, 2012 08:56 pm
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (stories)
"Writing's a disease, and if you don't pay us to do it indoors to a contract all the time, then eventually we will escape outdoors and do it in public to ourselves for free." -- Warren Ellis
thiefofvoices: a factory with smokestacks silhouetted against a red sky (the industrial park)
Disclaimer: I'm...not actually trying to write a good review of this collection. This is just a (long-winded) writeup of my thoughts, and may or may not be very coherent, as I've been at it all day. /disclaimer

So the other day I was at Borderlands (a specfic-only bookstore), and picked up I-O, a collection of stories by Simon Logan. What caught my eye about it was that it was being billed as "industrial fiction", and this part of the description on the back: "...exploring a world of dead tv's [sic], hallucinogenic chemicals, sad machines and concrete wastelands of scrap metal. the settings are as carcinogenic as a lethal poison, the characters constructed like semi-automatic pistols." In short: it sounds a lot like a few of my own fiction projects, and it sounds like the landscape that makes up my head most days. And honestly, I haven't yet encountered stories like that. This pretty much instantly got added to the pile, and won out over a Haikasoru title I'd picked up, eventually.

And today I sat down and read the whole thing.

Overall, I'm not sure what to make of it as a whole, cohesive unit. It's not really one piece, though all the stories have similar themes running through them. Most of the stories seemed close enough together, within one world (or a few worlds running very closely parallel in dimensions), that the few that didn't fit as close to these were a little jarring. Possibly I would have found it less jarring if the order of the stories had been switched around -- actually, I'm pretty sure I would have. I don't think these stories are really meant to be viewed as a cohesive unit, though, and I took each one of them individually for what they were as well. I'll talk about them individually in a minute.

The worldbuilding is great, especially the fact that he boldly doesn't try to rationalize why any of these things exist. The logic in these worlds is not our world's logic, and I appreciate that he doesn't try to apply it, or try to justify why it's not there. There's no reason the creatures that exist can with these machines soldered and welded and stapled to their flesh. There's no reason characters can or can't die, and no reason why death works the way it does. And Logan doesn't apologize for that; you either have to accept it or you don't, and the way the stories work, I was ready to accept it. Most of the descriptions in this painted a very clear, beautiful picture in my head of the ruined factory yards, the half-alive industrial parks, the workers in them that were barely separate from their surroundings, the nights blanketing everything. The stories, in a way, reminded me a bit of snapshots (specifically, of paintings, either by Jacek Yerka or...that other guy whose name I can't remember) of these worlds, giving me very clear, very short little glimpses into the lives of the things in them.

There were two things that tripped me up the most when reading: first, the prose itself, and second, the treatment of women. Sigh.

The prose itself was clunky in places, and there was a serious its/it's problem through all of them. Many times when I was reading, I found myself muttering the sentences and rearranging the words so they were more concise and got their point across better, or simply flowed better within the paragraph. A few of the dramatic single-line paragraphs elicited a bit of an eyeroll from me*, and there were a couple overwrought descriptions that could have benefited from less thesaurus abuse. The writing did get tighter in some of the later pieces -- either that or I learned to ignore the clunkiness.

The treatment of women, however, bothered me. For the most part, they had no agency, or they were violent and overly sexual. Even in the one story that had a woman who wasn't sexual (I honestly don't care about the violence all that much), who had her own agency and her own ideas, all of that was eventually put aside and discarded -- even within herself. A good chunk of the stories in this, though, consistently had me thinking "Simon Logan does not have problems with women!"** in the back of my head. Without deconstructing the individual stories, though, that's about what I have to say on the matter.

So let's deconstruct the individual stories! )



* (though I'm fully aware that I'm as prone to doing this as Logan >.> -- food for thought, self: all your dramatic pauses and revelations mayyybe don't work as well as you want them to, edit some of that shit out)

** It's an injoke, originating from Silent Hill 2 (in which, in case you weren't aware, all of the protagonist's internalized fear and hatred of women come to life in the form of demons and try to kill him -- no, that's not the plot of it, don't worry). I found a fan icon that someone (don't know who, anymore, someone on LJ) had drawn depicting protag James standing next to a twisted mannequin-monster yelling "I DO NOT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH WOMEN!". Oh, James, honey. Yes you do.
thiefofvoices: a person in a black lapelled jacket and yellow glasses with a labret piercing looking to the left (part of this voluntary machine)
I know this is probably a long shot given my flist/reading list, BUT:

Anyone out there know of any pretty good magicky/spiritual blogtypes that deal with technological magic, rather than natural magic? Or can recommend any books (if there are any)?

I feel like I should start reading up on what's already out there, if I'm (eventually) going to start putting my own stuff up somewhere.
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (biomechanical)
"Humans are unable to experience the death of another of their selves and have no vocabulary to express it."

- Ibis, from The Stories of Ibis by Yamamoto Hiroshi

:3

Sep. 1st, 2011 12:00 am
thiefofvoices: A catlike machine made of bones and scrap metal, holding a small talisman in its claws. (catbeast)
Went on a hunt for an image of the Cat Beast in 9 for a comment to [personal profile] hakuchou, and found this (but of course only after I posted the comment XD).



You guys. So cute. I am ded of cute. X33


The beasts in 9 are some of my favorite mechanical things I've seen in a movie yet, even if they're still painted as the bad guys. They really do feel like they evolved, rather than being man-made, even if they emulate animals.
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (desert prophet)
"So will it hurt?"
"It will a bit. I'm sorry. I will endeavor to be gentle, though."
"No. Be as brutal as you want. Etch the pain into me. It's proof I had a life worth living."
"Indeed, my young master."
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (biomechanical)
Because I've not been in the right mindset to write words on the internet lately, and because I felt like it, I think y'all should have a kitty.

So I give you a Dima )

*sigh*

Jun. 19th, 2009 10:34 pm
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (biomechanical)
It would be really awesome if I could go a day at work without encountering homophobia, transphobia, racism, rape jokes, the works. :/
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (Default)
I'm surprised to find that I kind of wish I could go to WisCon. I mean, the first year I went was very iffy for me, as a) I'd just returned from a road trip to New Mexico, which overshadowed the whole event and b) I wasn't established as a writer and felt kind of like I didn't belong there with all the other awesome people. It felt a bit more like 'and here's a few of Rachel Swirsky's students along for the ride' than anything, and made me feel a little silly.

Last year I was just the driver for a few friends (Sam and [personal profile] dokkaebi), and it was much easier. I spent the majority of the time bummin' about on State Street, reading books whilst lounging on the campus/by the lake, going to lunch with people. Snuck into the bar with Jei, Sam and Rachel, snuck into the dealer's room with Jei, snuck into Sarah Prineas's release party for the first Magic Thief book -- I need to get my hands on that, as a side note -- and overall it was easier to exist around the con when I felt like I didn't have to be a Writer with a capital W. Not, by any means, the easiest thing, and I didn't talk to a whole lot of people who weren't Sam or Jei, but I didn't feel like I wasn't supposed to be there anymore (even though technically I wasn't, having no badge).

Then again, I'm not really sure cons are my thing. I like the idea of them, because who wouldn't like the idea of a big get together of people all more or less interested and passionate about the same things? But I'm not good with large groups of people (even if they don't make me anxious enough I have to leave, it's hard to follow conversations with a lot of background noise and cons have a lot of background noise), and I'm iffy on the way the panels are structured, at least the larger ones. I remember really liking the ones I went to, but the ones whose content I remember now are the smaller ones, that seemed more like eight or ten people chatting than three people up in front of a room discussing things for the benefit of the audience.

Possibly next year I'll do the same I did last year, if I have the money to fly up, and hang out with people for the sake of hanging out, be nerdy at people for the sake of that, and try not to feel pressured about the fact that I'm not published and probably won't be for another couple years. Especially if I never finish anything and send it out.

I should get on that. >.>

Oh!

May. 14th, 2009 10:51 am
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (stories)
So! I'm finally getting stuff worked out re: filters on here. So here's the question:

Who wants to be on the writing filter? That'd be the one that lets people see actual writing I've decided to post here for whatever reason (I will probably state the reason in the post).

A couple of you are already on it, but I figured I'd let people decide whether or not they wanted to see it and let me know. So drop a comment or sommat on this if you're interested.

Also, interest isn't a guarantee you'll be added (though there's always the possibility of being added later if I don't add you right away). Doesn't mean I don't like you. I've kind of stopped questioning myself as to why I feel uncomfortable showing writing (or anything else) to people and just going with it, because otherwise intarweb interaction becomes an anxietyfest and I'd really rather not have another place those happen).
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (Default)
Finally, the time has come to at least put my vague ideas to paper. I can't promise they'll be well-formed. A good number of my ideas don't grace paper well-formed to begin with; it's the process of writing that shapes them into something, and I'll follow the same logic on this blog.

My aim with this journal is to have it be an exploration of the more spiritual side of me, as well as a place to talk about things which define me as Me (in my own eyes, and maybe in others'). This means this journal will include discussions of stuff like gender, sexuality, spirituality, neuroatypicality, science fiction, music, writing, and any instance of my life that makes me feel like I'm home and not stuck in the mundane real world with my mundane mortal body. Most things in this journal will be subjective. I may not back up my words with research, because what's real to me is what I'm feeling rather than what other people tell me is true.

On Access and Filtering )

There'll probably be a bit of shifting around of all this as I get settled and figure things out, etc, but it's nice to have something up here, at least.

ETA: I think I should probably add that at first, if I don't know you but I'm interested in reading your journal, I will only subscribe to you and not grant access. Afterward, should we either get to know each other better, or maybe the stars have aligned correctly, I might add you to the access filter. Just saying, the initial 'not granted access' is entirely subject to change; it's just me sending out feelers. :)
thiefofvoices: Profile of a person with long black hair in a ponytail wearing a high-collared leather jacket, hair obscuring their eyes (machine empathy)
Sooner or later I will do an introductory post, about me or about what I want to use this journal for, or both, but for now I think I'm just going to talk briefly about cyborgs without saying much in the way of anything at all. (I'm planning on making a more in-depth post on my personal cyborgian opinions later on. When I don't fail at words.)

I was recently reminded of The Cyborg Manifesto, which I had read awhile back but not absorbed. I reread it today, and I still don't think I've properly absorbed it all the way, but more sank in than last time, and that's always a good thing.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with everything in it, though it poses neat ideas, but I'd be hard-pressed to discuss what it was that bothered me without another read-through (someday I will print it out and comb through on paper -- I'm infinitely better at critical reading that way, not to say I was all that great at critical reading to begin with). The quotes I've taken out, also, speak to me with a different -- though similar -- definition of 'cyborg', a more personal one. A personal identity definition rather than a societal identity definition, I could say. By far a more science-fictional take on said identity, at least.

Take them with what you wish. Or, read the entire thing and take them both with context and without.

The quotes )

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Thief [if,not.]

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