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review 2016-10-11 00:00
Tell Slash B Hell's A'Comin' (Black Horse Western)
Tell Slash B Hell's A'Comin' (Black Hors... Tell Slash B Hell's A'Comin' (Black Horse Western) - Elliot Long Fairly pedestrian and predictable.
After the local big rancher hangs one of the small time farmers using "range justice", and then the rest of his family, the men involved start getting picked off one by one.

There's not a lot of choice about who the mysterious assassin could be, and the characters aren't fleshed out enough to make you care for them.
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text 2016-01-15 02:22
Omnibus Wrecks
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac - Tim Seeley,Daniel Leister,Jenny Frison

This is less a review and more bitching about how annoying comics are. I've been making an effort to read more comics, which has been very rewarding. But I stayed the hell away from comics for a real long time because they have just about the most confusing collections and editions. There's the single issues, that then are often bound into 4-8 issue volumes, which are then numbered themselves. Then you have all manner of crossover or supplimental stuff, which may or may not also get bound in a volume, but then sometimes only in "special edition" volumes, which may or may not collect the same single issues as the regular, non special editions. Which means if you're, say, checking volumes out of a library, you have to be really fucking careful to get all the same kind of edition, or they get out of sync, and you have no idea what's going on. (Based on a true story.) THEN you can throw in omnibus editions, which collect up several volumes, and have all of the same annoying problems of the volumes, but super sized. 

 

So. This brings me to Hack/Slash. Not sure where I read about this series. It might have just been me google stalking Tim Seeley, who also writes Revival, which I love to pieces. Hack/Slash follows Cassandra Hack, who, after surviving a slasher situation, goes on the road dispensing with slashers. She's like Buffy, the trope of the helpless, hapless teen turned on its head. Great. Totally in my wheelhouse. So I order the first couple volumes from the library, only to discover that this volume, My First Maniac, IS NOT the first volume. It's a later prequel of sorts. So I go looking, and I can see exactly what happened. The librarians ordered this, then volumes 2-4, then the omnibus edition five, obviously going by the numbers in the titles and not checking to make sure they were all the exact same kind of edition. Godamn it. I can see why they got confused and fucked that up, but urg. So then I go to ILL, and literally no one in the state has ANY editions. So then I just gave up and ordered the first omnibus. Jerks. 

 

Anyway, this was fine, but like any origin story slash prequel done during a long running series, really is only going to be useful or successful to devotees of the series. It fulls in gaps in an existing narrative. I wasn't over the moon about the art (like I am with the cover art) but it was fine. Dude does Revival too, and I can see how he's improved. So that was cool to see, I guess. Onward to the omnibus. 

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text 2015-09-24 14:38
A few thoughts about slash

Maybe this is something very common among slash writers, but I usually feel that there are people I don't want to read my stories, at all. It may be old-fashioned, immature or even unnecessary or it could be completely understandable - I don't know that many slash writers personally.

 

Anyway, here goes:

 

I don't want guys to read my stories. There. I've said it. A few actually have, and I haven't had any negative reaction so far, but also not a very positive one. Tactful is probably the word. They were curious, they were allowed to read a story. They probably didn't like it, but knew they'd asked for it and were polite. Fair enough. It just doesn't encourage me to show them any more stories.

 

One guy I know would probably like to read everything I've written eventually. He's nice. I like him. He is a graduate of gender studies. That probably means he has an interest beyond that of most 'ordinary' straight guys. I still don't want him to read them all, because you know, that would show him a pattern. Me writing slash stories more than 50 % of the time. It would feel a bit embarrassing. But as Janet Evanovich says about writing sex stories and letting someone know you read them: "Yes, it is embarrassing, get over it."

 

In fact, I try not to tell any guys I write slash stories, because you know - they usually wouldn't be interested. I had a gay friend who was slightly interested - he was mainly interested in his own business - not mine - but slash stories were at least mildly interesting to him, even written by a straight female. I suspect most gay guys wouldn't be, because we write slash 'by women for women' and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. With a close friend who's gay, I'd like to expect an understanding. "Sure, it's cool that you write those stories, for other women. Great idea, but it's not for me." You know, that sort of thing. More than that, just wouldn't be fair to expect.

This one may be so natural that everyone agrees with it: I don't want my mom to read any of my more 'adult' stories. Not that she's the least bit curious. If I've written a 'serious' story (that is, not adult) I will have to ask her nicely if she wants to read it, and then she usually does. That is, if she's not afraid it might be too upsetting, which of course is possible, even with a 'non-adult' story.

 

This reminds me of someone I got to know online, in fan fiction/slash circles. She worked as a web designer, that is made web pages for clients. That meant some clients wanted to see her own personal page (this was a long time ago). Also, her husband was very proud of her and told everyone he knew about his clever wife and her wonderful web pages and entusiastically handed out her URL to all his friends, without having read the stories on the page himself... So I told her we have another 'big' home page (the vegan one, but back then there was also a lot about many other things, that were totally unrelated). She thought that was a good idea, so maybe she made another web page, one that she could show to anyone, without being embarrassed. Not that anyone ever asks to see my homepages these days.

 

Of course, deep down, I'm not ashamed or really embarrassed. I don't see anything wrong with writing (good) stories about slash and/or straight sex. It's just like everything else - if you're interested in it and you do it reasonably well, why not? (Because you know, writing anything really badly, would be embarrassing in itself). But superficially, it does tend to get embarrassing when you run into people who don't understand at all.

 

If you write slash stories and/or 'het adult' stories, how do you feel about this? Would you show your stories to anyone who's interested? Or do you have a preference?

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/140215.html
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text 2015-09-16 22:04
Ramblings about slash and male and female in writing

Slash was, apparently, though I had no idea at the time that that was what it was, a relatively early interest for me. I remember thinking up 'slash' stories (that were never written) when I was in my early teens. In fact, I had a dream (real night time dream) about two 'brothers' in a tv series and at the time, I didn't even have any idea of what exactly those two had been up to, but it seemed very interesting to me. That continued for a while, until I learned more about gay relations etc. I didn't know anyone who wrote either slash stories or for that matter fan fiction. Maybe it's because I'm from a rather 'provincial' country or that I'm pretty old by now (I hope my readers are now saying no, you're not!) but I remember people talking about gay relations as being somehow wrong or sick. Another example: I have a second cousin, who's quite nice, but maybe a bit simple. Some pop stars came up in conversation (this guy loves pop music) and I mentioned that they were gay, and he said: no way, they seem so well behaved (as in well brought up or civilized, I guess). I didn't get his meaning - well, in a way I did, but it seemed so totally irrelevant. So clearly in his family (not very surprising, because you really should know a few things about his mother), it's the way they think about gay people.

 

From about the same time I began to get my slash ideas, I tried to write (extremely bad) romantic stories about straight couples, but they tended to bore me in the end. Traditional couples don't interest me. I always like something different, like f/m or the woman being older etc. Not that I even like 'pure' romances or will write them. It's also extremely difficult to write a good straight pairing in fan fiction, because precious few female characters are any good, to be brutally honest. That leaves you to invent an original character, which isn't very popular, but I have done it in the past (no Mary Sue, more like an anonymous, independent watcher from outside the group the writing is about) or to improve the female character so that I like her, which may not be very popular either, because everyone has a different view of what is a 'good' female character.

 

In original fiction, I've been told it's not really popular to write about female characters (at least in children's books) because apparently, girls can be expected to read all books, whereas boys can only be expected to read about other boys. Relatively recently (a year or two ago), I remember reading about how critics were lamenting the loss of the most popular children's books series (due to age I suppose - the writers are no longer up to making up new stories), because they were more or less the last ones who write about boys. Now, I'm not that picky - I also never pay attention to what colour or ethnic background the main character has. All I care about is whether it's a 'good' character (as in one I like).

 

In fact, I don't really worry too much about the age of the main character (though I'm getting more than a little tired of what is in Swedish referred to as the 'middle-aged male mystique', meaning how you get to dwell in detail on how these men don't brush their teeth, how they prefer to have a drink instead of eating a proper meal, how they don't bother to shower, don't obey their superiors and yet, despite all these drawbacks, are irresistible to significantly younger females.

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text 2015-09-03 15:03
Slash in 'conventional' book publishing

Speaking of adult stories as I did in my last blog post, it occurred to me that all these years of fan fiction/slash really has had a result on 'conventional' book publishing.

When I was a teenager, I found myself inventing slash stories, even though I didn't know anyone else who did (or read anything like that). Where I lived, in a small town, gay issues weren't discussed. I'm sure gay people suffered discrimination. I do know that being different, albeit straight, was tough here, but then I suspect this is one of the worst towns in the world. I'm not exaggerating. Anyway, for years I didn't write my stories down, and if I discussed them with anyone, it was my sister who tends to feel about the same as I do about most things.

Then a little later (early 20's and so on) I decided that I would write my stories. It was fun but a bit embarrassing, because I couldn't let anyone read them except my sister. Of course, my first stories were awful (and so was my poetry). Still, I don't regret doing all this writing, because eventually I did get better (at least I hope so).

One day in the late 1990's I was chatting on the Star Trek chat room (on about.com - I think the site still exists, but the best before date has long since expired). Someone said 'if you're a writer, then you'll be writing fan fiction too, right'? I was puzzled, because I'd never heard of fan fiction. It struck me as ridiculous and I couldn't see why people would do it. Then, only a few weeks later, I remembered hey, those kinky stories I dreamed up when I was about 13, those were fan fiction (and slash even!) so why not? After that I spent more than ten years writing, writing, writing. Some original fiction, but mainly fan fiction. Even today, when things are extremely different, I sometimes look at one of my old stories and I'm amazed I wrote such good stories so long ago (sadly, I often encounter a different kind of story that I wiill occasionally delete).

What I was going to get to, eventually, by the time I've stopped cheering myself up by reminiscing about my good old fan fiction days, is that all those years when so many other people got used to reading and writing slash stories, eventually resulted in people writing such stories for publication.

Which is so much fun. In the past, especially in older books that I'd had handed down to me, anything gay was almost never mentioned, and if anything was, it was usually as an example of something related to mental illness. That's why it's so great to find all kinds of different books, not only romance stories that deal with gay (male) couples.

On the other hand, when gay gets more accepted, you tend to lose the plot device that deals with 'the shameful secret'. I kind of miss that, even if real life is different and I think it's great that people no longer have to hide.

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/135387.html
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