Web Novel Recommendation: "Worm"
killjoy
lavanyasix
New fandom, new review.

"Worm" by Wildbow is no fast read. It's over a million and a half words long. To put that into perspective, it's one and a half times the total length of the entire Harry Potter series. So understand I'm not pitching an easy investment here. It's a long, long story. It also has some problems in pacing, like a slow wind-up at the beginning and finale that feels somewhat disconnected tonally from the rest of the serial. But I enjoyed the hell out of Worm, to the point of writing a lot of fanfic for it.

So what, exactly, is Worm about?

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And I'm Done
killjoy
lavanyasix
Might as well commemorate this somewhere. Since it feels more than a little whiney, I might as well do on my own livejournal, in the ghost town that is modern livejournal.

Anyway, I mean to say that I'm done with Avatar.

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A Big List of Avatar fic Recs
Kitty
lavanyasix
There was a compilation thread posted to the Spacebattles forum recently, of all the Avatar fics recommended on the site over the past few years. I apparently rec'd two-thirds of them. Go figure. Anyway, check it out. You're sure to find something worthwhile to read.


Murazor's Big List of Recommended (Avatar) Fanfics


(The only rec I'd retract is my one for the TyZula duology: Firelight/Broken Dragon. The first half isn't bad, but the sequel is godawful. Just utterly terrible. The ending was so bad that's one of the few times I've ever written a long, negative review for the author.)

The Search: Part 2 (Ursa's Fate SPOILED for Ya)
Kitty
lavanyasix
So it's laid out discretely in Volume 2, but I think there's a case to be made that we now know what happened to Ursa. Spoilers below the cut.

Ursa Revealed! Not a Hoax! Not a Dream!Collapse )

The Lesson is Learned, but the Damage is Irreversible
Kitty
lavanyasix
So recently I had a hard drive failure and lost about eight months of data...

File last modified in 2010? Oh balls.Collapse )

The Search: Part 1 review
Kitty
lavanyasix
Overall? A surprisingly good first issue... bar a few complaints.

The Search: Part 1 review (SPOILERS)Collapse )

Top 10 Fics of 2012
Raiden
lavanyasix
I think it's important to give a tip of the hat to memorable fics, because personal recs are the main way I find new stuff to read myself. For the sake of not making this list weighted toward Avatar fics (my majority fandom, even if my interest is waning) I'm going to limit this to one fic per fandom. I'll be counting AtLA and LoK as separate fandoms.

So, in no particular order, here's my Rec List for 2012.

Fic Picks of 2012Collapse )

Someone made me a podfic!
killjoy
lavanyasix
Specifically, Chestnut-filly made a podfic out of my AtLA short-fic, "The Face Death Forgot."

You can download the podfic here (it's about 11 minutes long) and read the original text version on FFN, dA, or AO3.

FFO Revisions Sticky: Remainder of 2012
Raiden
lavanyasix
FACING FEARFUL ODDS (final revision):

Chapter 09: 100% done. (12.1.2012)
Chapter 10: 50% done. (12.4.2012 -- last revision completed on 9.23.2010)
Chapter 11:
Chapter 12:
Chapter 13:
Chapter 14:
Chapter 15:
Chapter 16:
Chapter 17:
Chapter 18:
Chapter 19:

Ike to Obama - 60 Years of Campaign Ads
killjoy
lavanyasix

DrabbleDrabbleDrabble: Free Round
killjoy
lavanyasix
Over at the Avatar Spirit forum, I'm running the latest round of the DrabbleDrabbleDrabble Contest. After my first theme ended up being a dud, with two weeks of no submissions, I've decided to restart with a new theme. I'm declaring this round a Free Round, where there's no specific theme requirement, and shortened the length requirement in order to encourage new writers who might be otherwise scared away by the 1000-2000 word lengths of some entries. (The contest original started at a short length years ago, but the word limit has gradually risen over time.) The only rules are:

* Must be exactly 100 words long. No more. No less.
* Your drabble title does not count toward its length, but don't make it crazy long.
* Anything Avatar goes, so long as it's within the content standards of the Avatar Spirit forum (PG-13/T ceiling, in other words) 

The deadline is October 28th at midnight. 

If you're interested, head over there. Free registration is required to view the sub-forum that hosts the contest, but even if you're not writing in it you should check it out. There's lots of great fics from past rounds that you won't find posted anywhere else on the net.
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The Moderator's Reaction is Priceless
killjoy
lavanyasix
This is basically what destroyed Gerald Ford in the '76 election. Far from the inevitable post-Watergate blowout it's remembered as nowadays, Ford campaigned hard and was starting to edge out Carter... and then the debates happened. 



For the want of this gaffe, Ford might have won the poisoned fruit of the '76 election. After twelve years of Republican rule and a tanking stagflation economy, the Democrats would have pretty much won the '80 election easy-peasy, meaning the Reagan Revolution would have been averted (which itself was no sure thing, as Reagan was, once upon a time, deeply unpopular among Republicans as something of a RINO).

Fic Rec: "Scorched Earth"
killjoy
lavanyasix
Scorched Earth by J. Idanian -- (AtLA) -- A story is centered around four OCs as they travel the war-torn Earth Kingdom: an escaped slave searching for a way to free his village, an exiled warlord from the Si Wong desert, a merchant from Ba Sing Se seeking to defeat the Fire Nation through any means necessary, and a firebender POW who's trapped between both sides. Together, the four of them will stand against a world at war. (Rated M, 200,000+ words) (Incomplete)


I know, I know. An OC-centric story is always a tough sell. So far there's been a grand total on one real cameo from the canon cast; when Toph spends a scene beating up the ex-slave earthbender who wises to become her student. Despite that, the story works, and in fact uses its lack of canon characters as a legitimate plot point. The goal of Our Heroes is basically to convince the White Lotus to become active in the war, rather than keeping to the shadows and safeguarding their ancient secrets. To do that, they need to work their way up the ladder of the organization by jumping through the necessary hoops, thus earning the right to meet with the great masters of the White Lotus (Bumi, Piandao, Iroh, etc.). They can't just cut right to the chase because not only wouldn't the great masters speak with them -- they're small fish -- but their political enemies would use the overreach as an excuse to crush the militant faction of the White Lotus. Just because everyone's opposed to the Fire Nation's imperial ambitions doesn't mean they all agree on a single course of action to counter them.

But that's just the grand overarching plot. There's other ones for the main characters. The ex-slave, for instance, becomes a White Lotus initiate in order to become strong enough to liberate his village. As the cast travels the Earth Kingdom, he trains in different styles of earthbending, and the story devotes a fair amount of time to developing the martial styles of the four elements and their spiritual nature. Worldbuilding is a real strength here, and makes the story's setting feel lived in. While it doesn't reach the achievements of fics like The Golden Power (Zelda) or 100 Years (AtLA), it still does a good job.

For fans of intrigue, there's a lot of it going around this fic. The protagonists are knee-deep in criss-crossing plots involving factions of the White Lotus, Dai Li, and some sort of Fire Nation assassins' guild call The Academy. Despite being low-ranking fish, the protagonists are doing their best to influence the course of the war and defeat their enemies, foreign and domestic. It'll be interesting to see how canon events tie into this. We know the White Lotus eventually does become openly militant in the series finale, but here the advocates for that policy are an unpopular minority, so it's quite a road to how they'll convince their leadership to go to war.

Unlike pretty much every fanfic author that stops their story to do major revisions, he actually finished them. And not just minor grammar edits. A major supporting character was worked into the mix, whole chapters were broken up and extended, and more time was devoted to character development and worldbuilding.

This recommendation does come with a few caveats, though. The author occasionally uses the same word twice in short order. There's the rare typo. The big one, however, is the lack of scene breaks. Whether he just doesn't trust FFnet to not eat his scene breaks the next time they revise their formatting method or if he simply writes in a looser style as far as narration-goes, the result is the same -- you're going to need to be careful picking up when scenes transition. It's not a major problem in the first ten chapters or so, when the cast is small and traveling close together, but later on, as the cast expands and they start doing their own subplots within various chapters, it can get tricky keeping track of thing. I had a few "wait, back up" moments myself.

That said, I still strongly recommend it. It's a good Avatar fanfic, with an interesting story and solid worldbuilding. The "lower deck" mentality of it is a real draw. The author also puts a lot of effort into battle scenes and sword fights.

Gene Yang and the Muddled Message; Or, the Promise Trilogy Wraps Up
killjoy
lavanyasix
Tumblr user with-eyes-wide-shut summed up my own issues with this comic trilogy better than I ever could, so I'll point you thattaway. Below is just my own incoherent rambling on the subject.

You made TLoK's exploration of class issues look nuanced, Mr. Yang. That's impressive.Collapse )

Answer Meme
killjoy
lavanyasix
Stolen from Loopy, who got it from many others back up the chain.

"Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any fanfic I’ve written and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what’s going on in the character’s heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track."
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