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3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Wintersmit... · 1 reply · +4 points

And of course she used "frost to fire" not very long before this, which is to say, in the first chapter: when she used the bonfire to melt a path through the snow to rescue lost lambs and brothers.

(The sun is a bit bigger than a bonfire.)

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Wintersmit... · 0 replies · +2 points

Hello from Colorado! Glad you enjoyed our snow. :D

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Wintersmit... · 0 replies · +11 points

It just makes me think that if CSI and the rest gets the field I know so wrong, are they this bad on all the others? Do DNA and gunpowder not work like that?

YES. THIS. This is why those little slips have such big consequences.

I will probably be telling this anecdote until the day I die, because it bugs me so much, but: I read a horror novel set alternately in the Amazon and in Florida, having to do with one man leaving his small Amazonian tribe to chase down another who had taken a sacred herb up into Civilized City World where it was being made into a very expensive drug that caused a lot of havoc. You would think a detective's flashback to that time he had to help cover up a murder in New Orleans would have very little impact on a main plot like that. Except the flashback involved references to a subbasement in the French Quarter and an underground stream that would carry the body away into the Mississippi River.

A subbasement! In the French Quarter! Hon, we hardly even bury our dead below ground in New Orleans, you think we're gonna build subbasements? I don't think I ever met a real live basement until I moved to Seattle for college. And the water table's way too high for free-flowing underground streams. I'm sorry, but no.

And I thought, if he got New Orleans so laughably wrong, what else was he getting wrong? Suddenly I was rethinking the parts set in the jungle and wondering whether he'd been at all respectful toward those people's real life counterparts, or whether he was just doing another White Guy Writes About "Exotic Primitive Peoples" spree? And I got a seriously bad taste in my mouth about the author.

The little details matter. They build a case for whether the reader can trust you with the big, important details.

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Thud': Par... · 2 replies · +1 points

OK, this has always bothered me. Every single time I reread the book, I stop here and look back and confirm I'm not misremembering:

Vimes just got the news that Lance Constable Hitherto died from his wounds...

Unless we are referring to someone else (but who could we possibly...?), he was Corporal Ringfounder when he took a half-brick to the head in front of the house on Treacle Street.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 1 reply · +15 points

I'm not even sure *we* know Wrigglesworth's correct pronouns. Since we only hear about them third-hand, and Blouse is ignorant, all we know is that they wear women's clothing a lot and well. Does that mean that she's a trans woman? Does it mean that he's a man who prefers clothing that has been coded as feminine? Does it mean they're genderfluid? We'll never know. We're limited to Blouse's perspective, which is limited through ignorance and habit of thought.

[later MR]Jr jvyy, ubjrire, frr gung Oybhfr'f zrzbevrf bs Jevttyrfjbegu qb ghea bhg gb freir n aba-gevivny cybg cbvag, jura Oybhfr nethrf gung svaqvat n crggvpbng va n fbyqvre'f cnpx cebirf abguvat nobhg gung fbyqvre'f traqre. (Nygubhtu, ntnva, gung'f abg jvgubhg vgf ceboyrzf, nf vg gheaf ba n funerq nffhzcgvba gung Jevttyrfjbegu vf n zna.)

When I'm feeling optimistic, I see this as part of Pratchett's attempt to display a variety of gender expressions and gender identities doggedly existing despite their repressive society, and these must come to the reader by necessity through flawed perspectives. When I'm feeling cynical, which is often, I remember that Pratchett has a history of making transphobic jokes for no good reason; why should I cut him slack here?

Basically, even at my most optimistic, I feel like he's set himself a really challenging task that's arguably outside his skill set. Maybe if he'd had more time, his skill set (and, cynical me adds, his empathy in this regard) would have improved. I'm angry and sad that he didn't have more time.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 4 replies · +20 points

OMG you have just wrapped up my entire "WHY IS TUMBLR" rant in an amazingly pithy package. I am having a classing ARE YOU ME reaction to your first paragraph, and an IT'S WORSE THAN I REALIZED reaction to the rest of your post.

Remember Usenet? Remember "Don't quote the whole damn post! Just quote the bit you're replying to!" Tumblr is like a platform that enforces all the things Usenet etiquette discouraged. Only I never realized it because I didn't know until now that this quoting-the-whole-post thing is, programmatically, the only way conversation happens on Tumblr. I thought it was just The Kids These Days who got on the internet too late to be introduced to the elegant logic of Usenet etiquette.

(Kind of like how The Kids These Days didn't grow up with the memo that consuming visual-audio media in public IS WHAT HEADPHONES ARE FOR. But now I seem to be shaking my cane at the sky, and 42 is way too young for that.)

It's worse than I thought. It's so much worse than I thought.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 0 replies · +5 points

Vs vg urycf gb urne n pbasvezvat ivrjcbvag: Yvxr V fnvq va gur bgure guernq - Gbfurebba jnf n uhtr cneg bs jul V yhexrq fb ybat orsber ortvaavat gb cbfg ng nyy--naq V'ir orra ernqvat fvapr gur Gjvyvtug cbfgf--naq rira orpnzr pbaivaprq sbe n juvyr gung guvf fubhyq or n ernq-bayl pbzzhavgl sbe zr. Uvf cbfg gung gur bgure qnl qvqa'g fgevxr zr nf bhg bs punenpgre sbe uvz ng nyy. Fb jung lbh'er fnlvat evatf irel gehr gb zr, fnqyl.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Ertneqvat lbhe svany cneragurgvpny: Guvf vf jul V ernq Fahss bapr naq gura tnir vg njnl. Irel rneyl ba V tbg gur hafrggyvat naq rrevr frafngvba gung V jnf ernqvat Fngheqnl Avtug Yvir pnevpngherf bs Irgvanev naq Qehzxabgg. Ol gur raq bs gur obbx gur rssrpg jnf fb cnvashy V jnf fxvzzvat whfg gb svavfu. V nz pbaivaprq gung, lrf, guvf jnf na rssrpg bs Cengpurgg'f vyyarff, fb V frr vg nf gentvp engure guna "onq jevgvat," ohg gur rssrpg vf gur fnzr.

V pna frr gur rssrpg fgnegvat va HN, ohg gurer'f fb zhpu tbbq naq tebhaqoernxvat fghss va vg gung V pna vtaber vg. Va V Funyy Jrne Zvqavtug, V svaq vg n yvggyr zber cebabhaprq, naq n yvggyr zber cnvashy gb ernq, fb V erernq vg yrff serdhragyl.

V jvyy cebonoyl arire ernq Envfvat Fgrnz be Gur Furcureq'f Pebja.

Nymurvzref fhpxf. Znl vg naq nyy vgf nggraqnag vyyf or jvcrq sebz gur snpr bs gur Rnegu.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Fnpunevffn naq Jvyyvnz ner fb fhogrkg naq vzcyvrq gung V nz fgvyy abg fher gurl ner n pbhcyr.

Va Tbvat Cbfgny, Zbvfg abgrf gung Fnpunevffn jrnef n (jrqqvat) evat ohg tbrf ol Zvff. Oyvax naq lbh zvff vg -- gung'f nobhg nyy gur pbasvezngvba Cengpurgg tvirf hf sbe gur bhgpbzr bs Jvyyvnz naq Fnpunevffn'f ebznagvp cbgragvny.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 2 replies · +7 points

Jung lbh'ir qrfpevorq va guvf guernq nf jul lbh'er guvaxvat bs yrnivat vf cerggl zhpu rknpgyl jul vg gbbx zr fb ybat gb srry oenir rabhtu gb pbzzrag va gur svefg cynpr. Naq, uryy, V'yy pbzr bhg naq fnl vg, nsgre ynfg cbfg'f oybj-hc: N uhtr cneg bs gung vf Gbfurebba. Vg frrzrq yvxr rvgure lbh nterrq jvgu gurz (aba-traqrerq cebabhaf orpnhfr V ubarfgyl qba'g xabj) be lbh jrer n genafcubovp ovtbg. V npghnyyl jnf pbaivaprq V'q *arire* cbfg nsgre V jngpurq Gbfurebba ubhaq fbzrbar npebff zhygvcyr guernqf, "Lbh fgvyy unira'g ncbybtvmrq gb zr sbe..." [V qba'g rira erzrzore jung sbe] hagvy gung crefba svanyyl yrsg gur pbzzhavgl ragveryl. Vg trahvaryl erzvaqrq zr bs Erdhverf Ungr, naq gung'f fnlvat fbzrguvat. Naq ab bar fcbxr hc. Ab bar unq n ceboyrz jvgu gur jnl gurl jrer npgvat. Fb V qvqa'g guvax V'q rire or fnsr cbfgvat urer.

Gur "jnax" whfg erpragyl? Gung jnf gur svefg gvzr V jnf njner bs nal chfu-onpx ba Gbfurebba ng nyy, juvpu gurl bayl npxabjyrqtrq nf inyvq orpnhfr vg pnzr sebz genaf crbcyr. V vzntvar n pvf jbzna gryyvat Gbfurebba gung V gubhtug gurl jrer orvat n ohyyl jbhyq phg ab vpr jungfbrire.

Fb V nz fgvyy *irel* pnhgvbhf va ubj V cbfg urer, naq V'z gjvgpuvat whfg guvaxvat nobhg uvggvat Fhozvg Pbzzrag ba guvf cbfg. Ohg V jnagrq gb rkcerff fbyvqnevgl jvgu lbh bire jung lbh'er qrfpevovat. (Naq nsgre frrvat gung rira Znex unq n ceboyrz jvgu gung pbzzrag bs G'f ynfg cbfg, V'z srryvat n yvggyr zber ernffherq gung rira pbafvqrevat n znetvanyvmrq crefba'f irel haqrefgnaqnoyr entr ng ovtbgel gurer ner fgvyy fbzr npprcgrq yvzvgf ba ubj zhpu gung entr pna rkphfr cbbe gerngzrag bs bguref va gur pbzzhavgl.)