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30th-May-2013 04:32 pm - Books You Should Have Read Meme
Harmless Tarvek
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - read some, but not others...
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 
19th-Jan-2013 09:02 pm - Agatha
Harmless Tarvek
16th-Jun-2012 12:29 pm - Tarvek and Mimmoth, C. Phil Foglio
Harmless Tarvek
This is Phil Foglio's work.  This is not intended for sale or distribution, just to let friends see Phil's neat picture.

5th-Apr-2011 01:37 pm - Writer's Block: Homeword bound
Harmless Tarvek
 Free, secure, conveniently located. Comfortable, efficient. Cozy, light, roomy, private.
Harmless Tarvek
Idiot Ball = stupid for no reason but stupid.  Unfounded.  Deus ex machina-style stupidity.

Stupidity within the realm of normal human error in a situation that has built-in grounds for error is NOT IDIOT BALL.

If you folks had not freely and of your own will raised Zeetha up on a pedestal that canon does not support, you would know better.  This is the woman who, in a berserk rage, killed an entire group of unprepared pirates who thought she was sick and weak...but forgot to question any of them.  The woman who spent three years giving circus shows, NOT hiring out as a sell-sword or urban strong-arm.  The woman who, oddly enough, was only spared death-by-gun-in-the-face by the fact that Gil didn't want to kill her and was carrying a flare gun in any case. Who was repeatedly surprised by Lu's strength and ability to rack up the combat points.  The one whose pride and cockiness got in the way of several of those fights.  She's a trained fighter, but she is NOT a vastly experienced, super-human killing machine who can't be stopped by less than the angel of death. She has never been presented as any sort of seasoned vet, much less a super ninja goddess of war.  YOU made her that, and I sometimes swear I think it's because she's so sexy half naked with swords that it's too, too tempting to jack her up a few levels more and make her a Perfect Green Haired Valkyrie.

She's the woman who was indeed beaten by Klaus.  Was repeatedly caught off-guard in (admittedly) a mock battle with Gil.  Who needed to be TAUGHT the basic hand-to-hand martial art approach that "anything is a weapon." Who got cocksure and paid for it fighting the Beastie Horse.

If you had not imagined her as the Perfect Warrior, but had weighed canon for her flaws as well as her virtues, you would have known this was within her character shortcomings even without taking the Nepenthe and the Moveit into account.

Further, if you had taken ANY of the repeated indications of Zola's murderous potential seriously, or for that matter chosen to take the Moveit and Nepenthe, and Zeetha's lack of one weapon when she is trained for two seriously, you'd have been aware of Zola was a real threat.

Instead the Foglios played fair with you and you "lost" the round because you preferred your own sloppy head-canon to the real thing.  Nu, it happens to ALL of us.  We all have head-canon.  But now....NOW...you have the nerve to blame THEM for handing Zeetha an idiot ball?

Do cocky young warriors with limited (or even extravagant) amounts of actual combat experience fail to treat all enemies as potential deathtraps?

D'oh.  Yes.

Do even experienced warriors make that mistake?  I suggest you attend some military or police funerals to get your answer...but I'll give you a hint: Yes.

Do circumstances like being drunk or drugged affect a fighter's judgment?  Um-yup.

What about a ginned up opponent on 'ludes or steroids, or, say...moveit #11?  Does that screw with a warrior's judgment?  Again, I suggest you go to a few cop funerals.

It is exactly those sorts of variables that make this a completely plausible, if devastating, plot twist.  Zeetha was and has always been a good show fighter with limited experience of real rough and tumble.  Her one major kill-sweep was in the pirate citadel when she took out a group of people by surprise, when they weren't expecting attack from that quarter, when she was in a fighting fugue...a condition she appears not to recognize in others.  She's fun, and funny, and a smart-ass, but she loves to get a quip in when she can, and she has been surprised and caught off-guard many times within canon.

She got put in a situation where exactly that set of traits were combined with her ignorance of Zola's skill level, inability to factor in the effects of drugs on herself OR Zola, and probably failure to factor in the fact that she was short a weapon.

And she got nailed.  I hope she lives.  But her death is not idiot ball.  It's supported by the character's own personality and demonstrated skill levels, and if you had not cranked her up higher than she actually warranted, cranked Zola lower than the danger level the canon had attached to her repeatedly, and failed to accept that the situation was utterly unpredictable for the people in it, you'd know it wasn't Idiot Ball before you even trotted out the term.

You don't have to LIKE having walked into an emotional shock with a blindfold you tied around your own eyes, but it would be really nice if, just once, the Foglios could fool people appropriately without egos and emotion instantly leading to fan squalls of cheating or bad writing.

Jeez. Sometimes I swear I think the entire lot of fandom has grown so used to reruns, and the ability to quote Buffy line for line before the actual DVD makes a sound, that you've forgotten that good writing tosses you surprises and shocks every so often.  They are not idiot ball if they are supported, and they are not deus ex machina if they are supported, and they are not OOC if they are supported.  If the writers put in the effort to follow through on an ongoing pattern -- which ALL of this is -- then it's YOUR fault for failing to keep it in mind, not theirs for successfully surprising you anyway.
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