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Master List of Books

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Comments

  • I still want to force Jon to read House of Leaves because he is going to hate the fuck out of it. That, and all of the Borges references.
  • Awesome, Good Omens is great and I haven't read it in a while.

    And that reminds me I really want to read Pratchett's recent collaboration The Long Earth. I like Stephen Baxter more than I like Neil Gaiman, so expectations are high.
  • I remember years ago reading Joan D. Vinge's The Snow Queen and totally loving it. Then I bought Catspaw and never got around to reading it. WHOOPS. Any good?
  • I happened to like it quite a bit. At times the series reads a wee bit like a fanfiction, but at least it's a well written one.
  • Fanfiction for what?
  • Maybe he meant it had some tropes of fanfiction? As in Mary Sue characters?
  • KammiSmash, is that what you meant?
  • Sorry for the late reply.
    The main character, Cat, does occasionally give me the Mary Sue (or rather Marty Stu) vibe now and then. However it was one of those things where you notice it after reading, or if you pause for a while to really think about it.
    Though that may just be me.
  • Why can't all characters just be Mary Sue. Why do we need a gender swapped version of the term.
  • The very EXISTENCE of the term is sexist because it implies that only WOMEN would ever do something like that. Even a "guy version" implies a historical derivation where the female-gendered term came first. Much better to use "self-insertion".

    (...I'm actually not sure whether I'm joking or not.)
  • The term originated from a Star Trek parody fanfiction in which the female lead (named Mary Sue) was flawless in every way. She saved the ship, had all the male leads' attention, but remained chaste and pure and perfect. In that case I'm pretty sure it was used to call people out on bad self insert characters, but the phrase has grown beyond that.

    I use the gender swap version now and then because it still gets the point across. Self insertion doesn't always mean horrible written two dimensional character. The lead of The Millennium Trilogy was basically a self insert of Stieg Larsson.

    There can be a lot said on the existence of "Mary Sues". I once saw it said that the term Mary Sue is applied to any female character that has the skills to make it home alive. I say thee nay.

    It's one of those things that's hard to define. You can recognize it easily enough, but it can take a very long time to explain. There are variations, or you only get certain tropes...

    Perhaps a better term will one day come along. But in the meantime it seems like a much easier way to call a concept of a character to mind than to list off their traits and explain how in context they're a problem.
  • Or you could just say "self-insertion". I'm aware of the history of the term, and the more I think about this, the more I think people should just be saying "self-insertion". Because, frankly, "Mary Sue" contains a big element of "lol girls, so silly". And to understand it, you need to have a big lecture about the history of fanfic--and to think that casual geek sexism is endearing.

  • There can be a lot said on the existence of "Mary Sues". I once saw it said that the term Mary Sue is applied to any female character that has the skills to make it home alive. I say thee nay.

    It's one of those things that's hard to define. You can recognize it easily enough, but it can take a very long time to explain. There are variations, or you only get certain tropes...
    I agree with you that not every self-insertion or author stand-in is a Mary Sue, and it's not simply a matter of character competence. I heard a definition that the Mary Sue must be "broken" in the sense it's used in gaming: the character isn't just very good by the rules of the fictional world, the character does not need to abide by them. Like an author-created character who lived in the Talespin universe but was also a Super Saiyan Level 5 and thus did not need to use airplanes. Another hallmark I generally associate with it is that every other character puts their personality and motives on hold to feel love/friendship/admiration/pity/jealousy of the Mary Sue. There should be a Bechdel test variation for it: do two characters, neither of whom is the potential Mary Sue, have a conversation where they talk about something other than the potential Mary Sue?

    Now, I'll agree that many people use the term to dismiss ANY female heroine who displays unnatural competence whereas your Jack Bauers and Jason Bournes would get a free pass.
  • The problem is that "self-insertion" doesn't fit all the criteria. There are Mary Sues that are self inserts, but that's not always the case. Some characters are just bad. Some self inserts are just good. I would love if we could find a new term for it, but the problem is that it's a simple phrase that encompasses a huge range of concepts and tropes.

    I will never find geek sexism of any kind endearing, and I am truly sorry if the term did offend. I'm not the kind of person who thinks it's fair that a guy in a batman shirt gets a high five while a girl is quizzed about the name of every robin just to see if she reads the comic. The amount of patriarchy in geek culture is sad, and sadder still is that both the fans AND the companies producing the material are encouraging this behavior.
  • I am going to have to recommend Lucian's 'True Histories'. I am not going to ruin any of the absurdities for you guys, but we need to do this book.
  • edited April 2013
    I think I have recommended them before but:
    Storm Front; The Dresden Files Book 1 by Jim Butcher
    Hounded;The Iron Druid Chronicles Book 1 by Kevin Hearne
    The Way of Shadows; Book 1 of the The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

    Any of these would be great for the podcast
  • edited May 2013
    I will have to officially request an all-Philip K. Dick (henceforth referenced as 'PKD') Book Club podcast. Similar to the ones where you talked about three books for an hour, I think it would be great to do multiple books because they all carry similar themes. Most of his books were relatively short, 200-300 pages maximum. Good PKD books:
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Ubik
    The Man In the High Castle

    Also, There is a fantastic biography of his life and mental state:
    I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K. Dick
  • Valis and some of the short stories would be great too. You could get Paul and Jeremy to talk about them.
  • The whole VALIS trilogy blew my mind. Those books deconstructed pretty much all of my religious beliefs...
  • Erin suggested this

    http://www.amazon.com/Constellation-Games-Leonard-Richardson/dp/1936460238/

    via email I guess because she's shy?
  • I like it. I need to update the list soon.
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