[identity profile] rodentfanatic.livejournal.com
Since we do the occasional Anne Rice post here when relatable to LKH/AB, I thought I'd share this. While looking at FB during my lunch break, I saw that Anne Rice was calling to her fans to combat the "toxic" reviews on her latest Lestat book and linking good reviews and asking them to upvote said good reviews. Hardly the "you're interrogating the text from the wrong perspective" epic, but amusing nonetheless, so I went to go check out just what the reviews had to say. The ones that spoke negatively of the book really weren't at all rude (at least, not the ones that I saw) but, well, I guess "toxic" is her version of "haters"...aka anyone who doesn't completely love anything you do.

While the book sounded hilariously bad in ways unique to Rice (purple prose galore, gushing constantly over Lestat who is unironically even referred to as "the James Bond of vampires" by another character, etc.) there were a few flaws cited that reminded me of LKH. For instance, apparently there's a billion characters and none of them do anything, there's no real plot, and the Big Bad just shows up for two seconds at the end and gets whipped instantly. Sounds a lot like the last few AB books, huh?

I was interested to find out that there are now a few POC vampires (but the review I saw that mentioned them didn't say who they were or how they were handled) but enraged at what I found regarding Zenobia. Zenobia is a very minor character who shows up in Blood & Gold, and was one half of a lesbian relationship with her maker, Eudoxia. Marius kills Eudoxia (well, technically Akasha does, but Marius pretty much might as well have, as he throws her to her) but Zenobia isn't mad, she's just perfect and docile and sweet and in love with Marius because he's perfect and she's helpless and she just follows him for a bit before disappearing entirely. This, by the way, is the ONLY lesbian relationship in the series, which is FRAUGHT with homoerotica between beautiful bisexual men. Again, sounding familiar?

Anyway, Zenobia reappears and now she's with a man and apparently the only mention poor Eudoxia gets is as being "the wicked female vampire" who made her. Fuuuuck your lesbophobia, Anne Rice. Guys get to have alllllll the gayness, but girl/girl is icky and bad and must be destroyed. Given the recent treatment of Jade, this is almost TOO perfectly coincidental, wow.

I have a habit of taking super duper minor villains from X-Men (like, 'minion that showed up in ONE issue during the 90s' minor) and privately concocting entire personalities/bios for them. I don't use it for fanfic or anything (well, stories in my head, but I never write them down into an actual project because I'm lazy) but I just like to imagine how *I* would have done them if I'd been in charge and they got more screen-time. I've always meant to do the same with a lot of AB characters---Melanie and the golden tigers, for instance---and now I think I'm gonna have to do that with Zenobia and Eudoxia (and Petronia but she's not in this that I can tell) So apparently Anne Rice brings out my WASTED POTENTIAL, MUST FIX impulses just like LKH too!
[identity profile] world-dancer.livejournal.com
I realize LKH had nothing to do with Charmed. I just thought the community might enjoy these reviews. Mostly because the reviewer notes many similar points about Charmed: the heroes are really the villains, narcissism, feminism fail, logic fails, male abuse, and all kinds of snark.

Season 1: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/ol/manic/38380-manic-episodes-charmed-season-1
Season 2: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/ol/manic/38467-manic-episodes-charmed-season-2
Season 3: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/ol/manic/38701-manic-episodes-charmed-season-3
Season 4: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/ol/manic/38934-manic-episodes-charmed-season-4

There's more for the other seasons, but I didn't want to flood the board, and I wasn't certain how interested you'd be.

Happy watching and discussion.
[identity profile] rodentfanatic.livejournal.com
A little bit ago, comments in a post (sorry, don't remember which!) resulted in someone suggesting that two lists be compiled: One of shitty tropes commonly found in urban fantasy, and one of UF books to avoid because of an overabundance of these tropes and/or too much similarity in the wrong ways to the Anita Blake series. So, this is that! Tell me the tropes you haaate in UF and why! Tell me the UF books you thought were terrible, either because of AB-isms in them or some other reasons! As each new addition is brought up and discussed, I'll add it to the two master lists in this posts :D

Naturally, there will be disagreements, especially over the books list. Don't be afraid to disagree with someone and say why, since part of the point of this list is to help people know what they might or might not want to read in the future, and you might bring up something will spark someone else's interest in that book for the better, but also please try to keep everything civil and respectful too!

I'll start with a book I think should be on the list: The Gillian Key series.

As for a trope I'm tired of, I'm sick of the Alpha/Beta/Omega system being presented as the way werewolves run because "that's how real wolves do it." No, that is not how wolves in the wild do it at all. That is how a bunch of wolves who didn't know each other and were thrown together by human scientists did it, it was not a normal pack at all. Now, if your werewolves are a bunch of non-family people thrown together by circumstance, as with most UF, then I have no problem with them running on that system, as long as it's not presented as YUP THIS HOW WILD WOLVES NATURALLY DO IT AND THAT'S WHY WE DO because noooo that's not how they do it!

BAD TROPES LIST
-Alpha/Beta/Omega system presented as natural wild wolf behavior
- The Chosen One
- Female Exceptionalism
- Oppression used for Speshulness
- The One True Mate (known by scent or psychic rightness).
- "Mate" bullshittery in general
- Vampires vs Werewolves (especially if it's Just Because)
- Werebeasts always tied to moon (also Just Because)
- Hero gets new powers every book (especially if new powers aren't needed)
- All supernaturals are really sexy; no one who is less than that by modern standards is made into a vampire, werebeast, etc.
- Wereanimals must all act just like animals! (Bonus points if that's not even how animals actually act)
- Vampires as pretty, wise, cultured, civilized monsters and werewolves as savage, grubby, wild, feral monsters....All of them. JUST BECAUSE!
- Mindless bloodlust being portrayed in therians as just natural animal hunting behavior
- Tough Chicks in Leather. Always. Because.
- Love interest who won't take no for an answer, how romantic!
- Rapey behavior is okay so long as it's DESTINY that says you're meant to be together!
- Mystic baby machine: as part of a happy ending, it's really only the woman's destiny to produce chosen one babies.
- Bi-racial characters treated as basically white people whose non-white heritage is just an exotic accesory
- Super-cool companion beast for no real reason which acts more like accessory than an animal (can also manifest as 'My soul takes form of a hawk/black cat/silver wolf')
- No matter how tough and dominant a woman is, she can only hook up with a man as tough/dominant or more so than she is
- Angels and demons are just attractive humans with extra appendages that totally want to fall in love and have sex with humans!
- Elves are just beautiful wise people with pointy ears, never really STRANGE or OTHER in any way
- Werewolf societies that demand females must mate, werewolf heroine tries to go it alone but eventually falls for jackass male werewolf who's been dogging her
- Heroine is in love triangle in which one or both men (it's always men) who are terrible to and for her
- The supernatural world is successfully hidden despite the fact that there's no good reason the average person shouldn't have noticed it. Bonus points if there's something along the lines of "People only see what they want/expect to see" for hand-waving justification
- When normal humans have no advantages/ways of dealing with the supernatural (bonus points if the supernatural is still hiding from them anyway)
- Only white vampires allowed to exist
- Fey are always pretty, regardless of breed (bonus points if it's modern Western standards of conventional human beauty to boot)
- No one suffers encumbrance from carrying too much for too long (much like horses in fantasy quest stories)
- Impossible character descriptions (Ex: Anita is delicate and petite and dainty-looking but packs lots of noticeable hard muscle and has amazing curves and big breasts yet only weighs 110 lbs if that)
- Too much gratuitous sex that is unrelated to the plot or character/relationship development
- Vampires and wereanimals are always super sexy, at least the important ones, and always by modern Western beauty standards and/or the author's personal tastes
- Black and white morality for everything and everyone. Especially for species that have no palpable reason to split into a system like that.
- Human with magical creature heritage being used as equivalent to real world mixed heritages

BAD BOOKS LIST
The Gillian Key series by Talia Gryphon -Where to even start...
Katie MacAlister - Heroine has intelligence of a slime mold, numerous bad tropes
Anna Strong Chronicles by Jeanne C Stein - Tons of Chosen One bullshit
Lori Handeland - First book alright, but characters in all subsequent books overshadowed by heroine from the first
Stephanie Meyer - Do I even need to say it?
Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin - "Tough" overpowered supernatural-killing heroine with quirky and often annoying debits that don't quite make up for the variety of her powers who narrarate "humorously" from first-person POV with a supposedly-charistmatic vampire love interest and a dark secret revealed at the end of book one that makes her even more of a Mary Sue
[identity profile] world-dancer.livejournal.com
I thought your guys would love this, so I'm posting it here in case any of you are interested. Because I know you guys know bad novels (:cough:LKH:cough) ;)

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/team-nchick/50-shades-of-green/38269-intro-to-the-50-shades
[identity profile] bookpire.livejournal.com

Hi I'm a long time watcher of this group, though I’ve never posted before. I’ve been reading posts on here for about six months or so, and I thought I’d be less creepy stalker like and actually say hi. ^^ Actually I have a rather big problem that I need some input on from fellow urban fantasy fans, and I don’t think there’s any better place to get opinions from a feminist view point then here.  

See I’ve been reading the ever loved Dresden Files series after my friends called it ‘the Tolkien of Urban fantasy’ and seeing it praised all over the net. I was pretty damn hyped up to get my teeth into them after a long and painfully dull semester of work, picked up Storm Front on the way home and starting things while riding the late evening train.

I can quite honestly say that Storm Front is probably the worst none romantically lead urban fantasy story I have ever read. Dear god the level of disappointment I felt, at least the Anita Blake series started good and went down one bar one book at a time. Heck I can honestly say Guilty Pleasures towers over Storm Front in terms of almost everything.  I even skips the final confrontation with the villain, something I have never done even while reading books like Anita Blake. But it’s the first in a series right, And Jim Butchers just testing the waters? I did some research, went to sources I trust including someone who had a list of ‘what to read instead of Anita Blake’ and found that the Dresden Files were at the top. She said the series start to become epic amazing in the third and fourth books.

So I read the second book, it was okay. ALOT better then the first I have to say. (lol rhythms) I liked JB’s ideas about werewolves and the different types, so it gave me hope for the third book; maybe it would really start becoming epic.

Let me just say, I am a somewhat feminist like in my tastes, and I imagine some people reading this now and have finished some of the DF novels  are either laughing or raising a brow at what I’m getting at.

After reading three books in this series, I can honestly say I hate Harry Dresden with a passion. Not as much as our good old crazy ass Ms Blake, but dammit to heck I hate this guy so much I couldn’t even understand WHY until I had stopped spazing on the floor. So here’s what I’m asking,

Am I the only one who wants to punch him in the face so hard the sexist, chronic nice guy bullcrap flies right out of him? Seriously Harry Dresden is loved by so many people, yet he’s probably one of the more frustrating protagonists I have ever read. In the first three books his problems all relate to him trusting, protecting or feeling sorry for women at some point in the story, since you know their his greatest weakness and all that. All the females in this universe are apparently so attractive JB has to describe their appearance and compare them to ‘cheerleaders’ or call them ‘all leg’ and what not. Harry justifies his sexism by calling it chivalry, and the story obviously agrees with him, and the only ‘badass’ female character so far seems to be a woman who needs rescuing from her own stupidity, though in truth I read it as Harry not giving Murphy enough information to work on, hence giving her a REASON not to trust his lying ass.

Also a little piece of interesting trivia, in every book I’ve read a woman has been either naked at some point or wearing something revealing and sexy. And let’s just forget about the Harry naked in Storm Front scene where Susan tries to sex him up under the influence of a magical spiked drink.  

When this happened again in the second book I thought ‘oh hey well that’s it, Harry is going to learn not to hold back information from women just because his Y chromosome feels a need to protect them. Then I read the third book, and I seriously wanted to outright murder Harry for not laying a ghost to rest by force because AGAIN it was a woman and he felt sorry for her.

Yeh I know people are going to say ‘well yes that’s Harry’s character flaw’ and good characters have them. But the fact that his weakness resolves around beautiful women in distress feels like such Nice Guy Syndrome. I’m glad Susan is gone, considering she had ‘boring love interest’ printed against her forehead right from the start.

I’m beside myself with confusion because people I respect and know have good taste in books love this series. Am I just over reacting? Or does anyone else feel this way? Should I pick up the fourth book? I’m kinda scared the main focus will be Harry angsting over losing Susan. X-x so I just don’t know.    

[identity profile] flirtswithfan.livejournal.com
Much has been said about Hamilton's "Dear Reader" blog but today on Amazon Candace Sams had the dubious honor of making that blog look like a love song. What started with one reviewer's one star post exploded into an awe inspiring, possibly career destroying event as Ms Sams took exception to almost everything almost everyone posted.

Calling posters stupid, comparing them to flies, insisting there was a vast conspiracy directed at destroying herself, Ms. Sams ordered posters not to buy or read her books and to burn them if they had a copy. Her editors at Love Spell came in for a share of blame too.

At last count replies numbered over one hundred and forty replies. Even Meljean tried to talk her down but Ms Sams seems to be past all hope of regaining any semblance of sanity.

If you haven't encountered the Sams Meltdown out there in Facebook or Dear Author , check it out on Amazon. It is by turns fascinating, horrifying, and sad,
pith: (brainsoap)
[personal profile] pith
You may remember Chris of Chris's Invincible Super Blog. He was the dude who was, to borrow from LKH, taking one for the team and reviewing the abysmal Anita Blake comics (and was later quoted on one of the Anita Blake GNs, funnily enough).

He's found something that may even be worse than Anita: Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. He gives it a sound snarking, and then isolates this gem:

"Samantha Brown! You have to get out of here! Your vagina is haunted!"

If that's not prime bumper sticker material, I don't know what is.

Part of me is amazed LKH hasn't had a haunted vagina yet. Part of me isn't surprised that Tarot was beaten to the punch in the haunted-vagina game by a musical/play/thing (The Haunted Pussy) and another novel (http://www.carltonmellick.com/id76.html) at the very least.

Now just imagine how wanktastic a Tarot/Anita Blake crossover could be!
[identity profile] missamii.livejournal.com
How do things like this get published? I submit to your approval the third in the series written by LKH's former bodyguard Talia Gryphon, Key to Redemption: http://missamii.livejournal.com/4324.html

Gillian Key has a lot in common with Anita Blake. She loves cervix pummeling sex with a bunch of wusses who dress like Liberace. She's an anger-prone basket case who, for reasons that defy logic, has been put in a position of authority. She loves sex of dubious consent. She's out to stick to all the prudes who would question her right to get her rocks off on mentally broken men. Despite how off putting and horrible she is, everyone loves her!

That pretty much seems to be the base-line for being an urban fantasy these days, but what makes Talia more special than most of the fellow followers of the LHK-skool of riting is that she takes her former employer's already horrible tropes and adds to the mix her three times as terrible original ideas.

What really gets me about the LKH-skool of writing is why would uber-fans like Gryphon want to write like their idol in the first place? I mean besides the fact that the post-porn books are awful, but they obvious think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I mean, the hardcore fan culture seems pretty dedicated to the idea of Hamilton as the one true Vampire Porno writer and everyone else is a dirty copy cat. It can't be a case of 'I Could Do It Better' one-up-manship because Gryphon already thinks it's great if all the little butt-kissing shout outs that have peppered the books are any indication. What's the motivation?
[identity profile] easol.livejournal.com
There must be something wrong with me. Not only did I read Swallowing Dark Peen earlier this month, but I have voluntarily read "Key To Redemption" by Talia Gryphon. I wanted to see how bad it could get.

Well, this little gem shows off post-LKH urban fantasy at its worst -- this woman is obviously desperate to be LKH, so she lifts all the worst parts of lkh's fiction and grafts them onto her OWN worst ideas.

I'm not sure I can stand to summarize it again, so here's my take on the book. I assure you, none of this is made up. I wish it were.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1DBZMM10IA82V/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
pith: (why hast thou forsaken me?)
[personal profile] pith
We've often mentioned how repetitive supernatural/paranormal books are becoming: "strong but beautiful" heroine, complicated love life, etc. Unfortunately, the covers aren't much better, as the aptly titled "Urban Fantasy Butt Parade" (which, really, is just crying to be the name of an indie band) video shows.

(However, I didn't spot a single LKH cover, and I know she must have some that fit.)

http://www.sandrewswann.com/blog/2008/10/urban-fantasy-butt-parade.html
[identity profile] leda0000.livejournal.com
  
There has been some talk on here about other authors copying LKH's style.  Well, I just received an arc of this book from Library Thing.  From the back cover:

"I discovered urban fantasy with Laurell K. Hamilton.  I wanted to write something just like that. "

And she succeeded.  She is clearly a fan of LKH's later work.  The main character must have sex to increase her paranormal powers.  She permanently assumes the powers of the men she has sex with.   Naturally, the men she must have sex with are all sexy and handsome.    There is a couple chapters of nonconsensual sex.   I guess this is required.  On the other hand, the book is slightly better than the last Anita Blake book, so maybe LKH should watch out.    Liz Phoenix (why do they always have funky names in this genre?)  is a lot less annoying and self-rightous than Anita. The paranormal aspects seem a bit different than most paranormal fantasy, so it may be worth a read if you have a lot of time on your hands and nothing else to do.    

A formula

Aug. 29th, 2008 07:10 pm
[identity profile] sfph.livejournal.com

(Success as a writer of vampire books) x (Duration of success)

Predisposition towards sanity

=

Craziness

 

 

Discuss: )
Edits because my formatting skills are butt
[identity profile] gehayi.livejournal.com
Apologies if this is off-topic.

Stephenie Meyers, she of the Sparkledammerung and Mormon vampires (and I'm not kidding--follow the links), has out-Laurelled Laurell. (In fact, I'm trying to picture what Laurell's reaction would be to a similar situation.)

SMeyers is taking her toys and going home. )
[identity profile] missamii.livejournal.com
Lately I've been enjoying the hilarious fall-out from S. Meyer's Sparkledammrung. I remember picking Twilight, finding no plot within the first two hundred pages and putting it back down about the time  the second book came out. A few days ago I went looking for interview's with Sunny because I was finishing my latest flog of Mona Lisa Craving and I wanted to find out if this person is for real.

Smeyers and Sunny tend to get lumped in with LKH because they are all awful paranormal fiction writers, but they all have something else in common: Their writing, as they portray it, seems to come from some kind of magical place that they have little to no control over.

[identity profile] missamii.livejournal.com
I read Mona Lisa Blossoming by Sunny so you don't have too. And I flog it too.

http://missamii.livejournal.com/3695.html

This one has even more putrid, purple sex in it (crammingly so!) and a total lack of point or purpose that can rival even Danse Macabre in its literary worthlessness.

Le sigh... how come when fan girls get a publishing contract, they want to slavishly copy the LKH after she threw all the good points of her writing into the dung heap?
[identity profile] missamii.livejournal.com
Because two people asked for it, the book flog for Key to Conspiracy is here.

 http://missamii.livejournal.com/3217.html

If Gryphon and LKH were to have a "Who's the Sue-iest" Deathmatch, it would be close.
[identity profile] karmyn75.livejournal.com
http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2007/11/22/look-virginia-crime-fiction-authors-get-super-paranoid-too/#comments

It seems that Patricia Cornwell is upset about recent negative reviews of her latest novel and is asking her 'true fans' to write positive reviews and vote the negative reviews as unhelpful. I guess she thought it worked for LKH, it could work for her. Although I don't remember LKH ever blaming a government conspiracy. She probably never thought of it.
[identity profile] moonbeamdancer.livejournal.com
Has anyone here read Carrie Vaughn's Kitty and the Midnight Hour? It's about a closet werewolf, who's a night DJ, and the talk show she starts (by accident) for things that go bump in the night. Anyway, I noticed that one of the reviews for it has that the book is "vintage Anita Blake meets The Howling." Nice to know that others are getting tired and unhappy with the series as we are.
pandorasblog: ("pegged" (Eternal Sunshine))
[personal profile] pandorasblog
On the BookCrossing.com forums, we were discussing errors we'd found in books. Once I'd controlled my involuntary 'laughing uncontrollably' response, I posted the following:

I'm amazed not to see any Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton references!
I adore their early work, but these ladies are the queens of editing howlers in vampire-bookdom.

Laurell K. Hamilton is even worse. Her books have nose-dived in more general (content-related) ways in the last few years, but her grasp of the stuff I mention above has, strangely, also not been caught by an editor. The fandom's pet howler is in "Incubus Dreams", where the word 'deity' is mis-spelled not just once, but every time it's used. She also mis-uses it in another way, saying of a character that they [paraphrase] 'are diety', rather than that so-and-so is *a* 'diety'. An entire fandom is shaking its head and wondering when the madness will stop. :-O

***

So I'm hoping to find out if there are other fans lurking over there who will appreciate the scale of the problem. I'm also going to read the whole thread carefully to see if any other authors are having edit bypasses on the scale of LKH. If anyone seems enthusiastic about the subject, I'll point them in this community's direction.

[see the whole thread]
[identity profile] vanity-lost.livejournal.com
I was discussing some other running book series with some friends and noticed some gripes that they had with their fandom series that sounded curiously similar to some of the issues I've developed with Mad Mrs. Hamilton.

So, I thought I'd ask you all and see where the discussion went...

Have you noticed any problems with other series that seem to parallel what's happened with Anita Blake and/or Merry Gentry?

I was wondering if some of the problems that AB has developed aren't just a symptom of any long-running book series (or TV series for that matter). After a point, don't they all just devolve into soap operas of varying sudsiness?

(And yes, this is all really my way of not thinking about finals...)

my own thoughts )

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