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Jul. 13th, 2016

my reading attention span is shot right now

I seem to be unable to actually stick with reading anything right now, whether fanfic or pro. This is really frustrating, for my reading to be so frazzled rather than feeling immersive and relaxing.

I need need to find something that really hooks me. Unfortunately I don't even know what exactly I am looking for. Several of the things I started and then stopped reading were things I usually enjoy. Have you read anything recently that you couldn't put down?

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Sep. 1st, 2015

link rot sucks so much

For the first time in some years I checked my rec pages to see how many links don't work any more (trying to gauge how horrible it would be if I decided to update again -- answer: very horrible), and so many stories have moved or worse vanished. A few of the vanished ones can still be found through, but many seem gone entirely. Depressing.

OTOH thanks to the import of 852 Prospect to AO3, I didn't just come across many moved URLs, but also rediscovered some authors whom I really liked in TS in the late 90s, then lost track of, only to see that they are actually still writing fanfic and posting new stuff to AO3.

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Aug. 15th, 2015

organizing ebooks and fanfic

I currently use Calibre to organize my ebooks, and I wonder if it would work out to use it to backup and keep track of the fanfic I downloaded on my tablet as well.

I do not want both mixed up, because the fanfic would totally drown out the books by an order of magnitude, and also the tags I want to use for both are very different. I've seen an option in Calibre to create virtual "libraries", but I wonder whether that is really good for keeping things separate. Has anyone experience with using Calibre for both? Or a better system?

I'm a bit wary to import hundreds of stories into my Calibre Library only to find out it would be a mess I'd have to clean up manually...

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Mar. 7th, 2015

probably I'm bugged too much by such worldbuilding questions

I'm still not reliably back online, because the eye issues are still ongoing... but since I can do screen reading right now, and just came across another story with the trope "soulmates reveal their names to each other in body writing", I just have to ask: Are there any of these stories that actually have any explanation for how that is supposed to work?

I mean, I love soulmate tropes, and I can put aside the general, inherent practical problems of just two people being fated to match each other and be compatible, but -- It's one thing to handwave a premise of "humans recognize their soulmate when they see them by some magical or biological impulse" but in these particular universes how did the name thing even start? The stories never seem to say whether these name marks just started to show up (by some magical? means presumably) once a group already had developed writing (and if so, do not all humans have them, but only literate societies?), or whether humans in these universes developed writing based on the odd marks that showed on their skin (and if so, do all societies have the same writing?).

Also if the marks precede the writing, how did humans even find out these symbols referred to their soulmates' names? If every human was born (or developed) a mark rather than both soulmates showing the same symbol or something, you'd think the natural assumption would be that this was their own mark/symbol.

Are there any stories that offer any explanation for the mechanism?

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Sep. 22nd, 2013

I think this AO3 filtering trick deserves more attention

Unfortunately the tag filtering on AO3 still doesn't have an easy way to exclude stories with certain tags, but I didn't realize that you can use a - with the "Search Within Results" in the sidebar to narrow things down and not only in the full search. (I almost never use the full AO3 search, I dislike it.)

And even better, you can (in an admittedly somewhat tedious way) exclude wrangled relationship tags by their id, so that you don't exclude text matches in the summary accidentally. This archive news post describes how. I won't use this for casual searches, but it is worth looking up the ids of the few pairings I really loathe to get them excluded in all my searches. And apparently there is an unofficial userscript for this too, so maybe I'll install that... Right now I use a blurb blocker to filter, but it would be more efficient to get the search right rather than hide results.

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Jan. 1st, 2013

you know you read to much fanfic when nature documentaries create these kinds of thoughts...

I watched a bit of a nature documentary about spotted hyena sex, the difficulties they have with copulation due to the female pseudopenis (it looked quite hilarious to watch the male trying to get the position right) and problems they have giving birth, when apparently their pseudopenis tears and they are left with a large wound of which many hyenas die. Anyway, my first thought after watching that was why I've never encountered any MPreg with damaging painful birth through penises. After all it seems to happen like that when females have penises.

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Dec. 9th, 2011

venting through tags, y/n?

Aug. 14th, 2011

*spork* *spork*

Dear XMFC fanfic fandom,

computer translation is not your friend for creating German sentences for your fiction. Not even short ones, or single words. It will inevitably get all sorts of grammar wrong, like cases, tenses, sentence structure, form of address, word choice...

Then, just as inevitably, I will be thrown out of your generally well written story by the hilariously wrong German, or stumble while trying to figure out what it was supposed to say, and along with me scores of other German speakers (seriously there is no shortage of German speakers around in media fandom). On the upside that also means that there are many, many German speakers available to you, who'll be willing to write you a quick translation as a beta-type service.

But what if you're shy, or afraid to break anon-status, and don't want to ask a German speaker for help? In that case you should consider to skip the dialog and just settle for paraphrases such as "he cursed in German" or the like.


As an aside, I also notice that I skip giving feedback to stories I otherwise like that have
this unfortunate problem, because I feel awkward to tack on some sort of red pen correction section onto my squee, but otoh I also don't want to not say something when there are such embarrassing errors there, and pretend I didn't notice. If I know the author, I usually have no problem to mention such nitpicks, but it's different with strangers or anon posters. The same goes for deciding whether to rec things. Argh.

Jun. 20th, 2011


I don't understand how people who try to insert German endearments into their Charles/Erik fanfic end up with female endings. I get that English is deficient when it comes to the concept of grammatical gender, but the auto-translate bots tend to default to male (e.g. if you enter "my Beloved" into Google translate it gives you "mein Geliebter" as first choice not "meine Geliebte" though it gives you neuter if you don't capitalize, presumably because it assumes some noun ought to follow and is indecisive or something), and plenty of endearments authors could pick are the same for both genders anyway (e.g. "mein Schatz"). So how do authors arrive at the female endings? An additional question is of course whether Erik would choose German of all things as his love language to begin with.

Jun. 17th, 2010

warnings I don't get

I just came across a header with the line "Warnings: miscsquick". What is that supposed to mean? I guess there is a typo in there somewhere so the warning could be "misc. squick" which has to be the most useless warning ever, because just knowing that "miscellaneous squicks" are in there doesn't help you any to decide whether to read or not, unless you are sure that you have no squicks whatsoever. After all "miscellaneous" could mean the story was say someone killing puppies and then molesting their corpses in necrophiliac bestiality. (Glancing through the story I think the warning was just intended for a worn underwear fetish, not puppy necrophilia. That was just my mind combining the first miscellaneous squick I thought of, i.e. animal harm, with the PWP genre of the story, in a guess.)

Or the line could have been intended as "might squick" which is equally useless, because any kink is someone else's squick. I guess both could just be a variant of "caveat, author doesn't use warnings", which is fine, but then why not say so?

Seriously, if you warn for some squicks, say what the potentially squicky things are, or say outright that you don't warn.

May. 26th, 2010

random fanfic musing

I've been wondering whether there was any Star Trek fic that somehow deals with the ongoing consequences of that apocalyptic phase Earth had before the utopian Federation in the Trek universe with the Eugenics Wars and WWIII and such. Not adventure stuff like some frozen Augment surfacing, but more slice-of-life fanfic in which the mundane longterm annoyances of living on top of former sites of industrialized warfare come up. Like the environmental damage or how the Earth citizens in former target and strategic places may on a semi-regular basis get their lives disrupted, because some uncleared weapon remnants resurface or the like.

I guess that with the improved Federation tech making cleaning up easier they probably have cleared much of that warfare legacy and pollution by the time the Trek series take place. OTOH from what I vaguely recall of the flashbacks we got over time to that era it's not out of the question that in hurried and chaotic rebuilding with first contact on top of it some duds somewhere in the ground that hadn't been exploded so far didn't seem like a priority. Or they just poured some concrete on the nuclear contaminated waste hoping for the best and that it won't be worse than the increased overall background radiation they are bound to have.

(This was brought on by some idle musing as yesterday evening there was once again some travel chaos and public transport disruption, because they had to evacuate an area, after they found some unexploded WWII bomb or other that had to be defused. Which is a fairly common occurrence here, especially when they are digging around in the harbor area. They usually have to evacuate five hundred meters around such a site, so that means a couple of thousand people living there have to be elsewhere for a few hours, and inevitably some train track is affected and closed, and a bunch of buses get disrupted and you get chain effects in the connected lines too.)

So have you ever read any Trek fic like that?

Feb. 26th, 2010

unwanted associations

Am I the only one who gets horrible associations if in a romantic scene the POV character describes their partner as having "liquid eyes"? Like horror images of liquefying eyeballs.

(ETA: It does not help if later the eye colors -- don't ask why there are several, it's that "hazel" phenomenon -- are described as "melting" into each other.)

Dec. 26th, 2009


I am not actually in the "adverbs and adjectives always suck" camp of stylistic advice or anything, but wow, I just tried to read a story in which the overabundance of them threw me right out. I don't think I've ever had that happen before. Not recently anyway.

I counted over twenty adjectives and adverbs in the first paragraph of six sentences with 130 words in total. And that was not including nouns being modified by other nouns in some sort of tacked on thesaurus, like if I wrote "the purple prose, this murky miasma of adjectives,..." I counted only the two adjectives, not the whole mess -- what do you call that kind of construction anyway? (The story didn't do it with alliterations though, I just did that in my example for humor, it was just two nouns, both modified with adjectives, saying the same thing, one after another.) That was even more jarring than the adjectives. The writer should just have settled on one of the two choices.

Dec. 6th, 2009

name smooshes: endlessly amusing, also less than clear for threesomes

I have just seen a Kirk/Spock/McCoy fic tagged as "Mckick". Granted, on the story itself rather than the journal's tags it was written out, so don't know whether this was just for tag brevity or is really used as pairing name proper somewhere, but even with knowing the pairing it took me a bit to decipher what this tag on the post meant. Smooshes just get the more confusing the more people are involved.

Nov. 28th, 2009

sort of a kink poll...

I've been reading a slash story in which a heated argument between the couple (who are also friends) results in punch being thrown, and then the one punched actually finds the aggression a turn on and it goes on to sex. Somehow this combination of sex and violence doesn't work for me at all, not even in fiction, where I'm not averse to combinations of sex and violence.

Like, I can go along fine if the aggression is against some kind of third party, and one character is turned on by the other being violent, or they are turned on mutually, say if they are both in a barfight or even slaughter others. I can also go along with non-con that involves violence with the victim not being turned on, but I as a reader like it. But if the violence is between the couple (and they are supposed to like each other), uncontrolled violence segueing into sex (rather than say rough sex that is mutually agreed upon) is squicky for me, more so if the violence is not mutual (the latter would be more fighting leading to fucking in some kind of hate sex, which I also don't like, but it is not as bad as one sided violence).

Most often this is shown from the POV of the character the aggression is turned upon rather than the violent character being turned on by the escalation, i.e. A hits B, usually after some provocation, then B somehow finds that aggression/violence (or sometimes the loss of control) hot, and sex follows. I have to admit that I find this particular combination of sex and violence to be surprising as a kink, and it always startles me, but I see this every now and then, and I'm wondering whether it is something that many people like in sex scenes.

So, a poll:

Aug. 8th, 2009

delicious use?

I've seen some fans say that these days they primarily use delicious to find fanfic to read rather than following fic comms or watching archives directly. I also do that when I search for specific stuff and look for tags, but I don't really use the social network functions. Every now and then I try adding someone, especially if a rec comm also keeps track of their recs on delicious, but somehow I never really stick with it. (And only part of the reason is that delicious often tends to crash or freeze my browser if I view it with javascript enabled, which I suspect is because it can't deal well with my large number of tags or something. It's really quite pathetic -- ~4900 tags is not that many.)

So do any of you use delicious' network feature? Which people (or comm accounts) do you follow to find new fanfic? Currently I'm particularly interested in ST:AOS (though TOS also to some degree), SGA (*clutches*), Merlin, Supernatural (non-Wincest, non-RPS only), and Numb3rs, but as I'm really multifannish and fickle in my interests I'd be interested in what you follow for other fandoms too. Do you have any recs whom I should follow there?

ETA: And please feel free to point out your own account if it fits what I'm looking for.

Jul. 31st, 2009

pet peeve revisited

I know I have ranted about the usage of "Spock Prime" in the narrative and dialog just a few days ago, but since then I've come across this far more often. Like every day I see stories doing this. More than one. It occurs even in stories that I found on rec lists, not through random, at-your-own-risk browsing. (In case you're wondering, [info - personal] musesfool recced this offender.) Just, WTF? This is getting out of hand if you can't even trust recs to protect you.

Please tell me that some fan somewhere has written a Greasemonkey script or something to do word replacements on the fly in your browser to fix epithets, and I can adapt this to replace every "Spock Prime" with "Ambassador Spock".

ETA: Thanks to the awesome [info - personal] gnatkip I have now indeed found a script that will do this word replacement for me. Greasemonkey to the rescue.

Jul. 21st, 2009

my pet peeve of the day

It drives me absolutely crazy when in ST:AOS fic the older, time-traveling Spock is called "Spock Prime" within the story text, assuming the story is told from a POV character withing the fictional universe rather than some jokey outside parody narrator or omniscient meta fiction narrator. It's fine for a pairing label, but please, please find some other way to distinguish the character from the younger Spock in the text. I am usually not that picky about narrative voice, but this just throws me out of the story in a way from which I can't recover. It's one of the few things that will just make me stop reading immediately in this fandom.

May. 27th, 2009

The Listener fanfic?

I've recently watched The Listener, and quite liked it. So naturally I'm now wondering whether there is any fanfic to be found for it. I've tried with various likely tags without success, asked google, looked on and nothing turns up. Not a single story anywhere. An interest search on LJ yielded a single community [info] - livejournal.comthe_listener_tv (no comms on DW or IJ), but the only fanfic posted were two very short comment ficlets.

I just can't believe nobody has written anything for it. It has a main hero Toby who is pretty, angsty (with some past trauma), orphaned and a telepath, and can be easily shipped with both his on-and-off again girlfriend Olivia, but just as well slashed with his paramedic partner Oz thanks to Toby and both Olivia both being somewhat waffling about their relationship, or paired with any number of other people. The whole series is like a fanfic blueprint what with the mix of mild supernatural SF elements, crime/medical drama, tragic mystery past and relationship options. And yet, thirteen episodes of this and I can find no fanfic anywhere? How can that be?

Apr. 21st, 2009

revising my internal "best of pairing smooshes" list...

Up to now I've thought that "Snermione" was the most unfortunate smooshed pairing name I've seen "in the wild" (i.e. used by someone unironically just to name the pairing rather than in posts mocking the most hilarious potential name combinations), but I think I may have to revise this in light of having just seen "Spirk" on a story search. I'm not completely sure what I object to in particular, except that calling it "Kock" would be as easy to pronounce, even funnier and comply with the traditional K/S order. Seriously though, "Spirk"?!?

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