Yamaku Book Club (20200323 Objects in Space)

WORDS WORDS WORDS
User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3518
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Meeting Thoughts, Next Reading, Next Meeting

Post by brythain » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:03 pm

So far, I think the range of opinion on Guestdude's 'Going The Distance' is that it's light entertainment, possibly a bit heavy on flat stereotyping (which is technically a contradiction in terms), and it doesn't work so well if considered as a heavier piece because it doesn't have sufficient development in some areas. Some readers had fun with it, but for some old-timers, it was just 'meh'.

Recently, dewelar posted in another thread a comment that began with, "Hope nobody minds if I go into YBC mode here, because for some reason this story is bringing that side of me out." I hope he doesn't mind that I'm cross linking this, because it's very much something I enjoy, watching certain ideas about the nature of KS fanfic develop in our community.

The relevance of that piece to this is his musing on the kind of cliché that rears its head in KS fanfic, and also this: "My biggest problem, though, is that even though several years have passed, neither character feels like they've changed much since high school, and they really, really should have, given what they've been through."

Is that true of fanfics around here in general? I feel slightly guilty of this myself. Just a bit. Something to think about before the next meeting...

The next reading will be:
A Memory Hisao has of Lilly — by Paddy
The piece is in four parts, but navigation may be difficult. Links to each part below:
[Preface]
[Drunk By Ourselves]
[How Can She Keep From Singing]
[Gloria]

This is an odd one. It has old, contentious themes, and it even explores something we seldom seem to like exploring in KS fanfics, generally: religion. In particular, Lilly's given religion... Longish piece in five parts, let's say a bit more than our usual week?
Next meeting: Thursday 14 May-Friday 15 May

Thanks for going through 'old' fanfics together! If you have any more comments on 'Going the Distance' (or 'going', or 'distance'), please feel free to add them before the next meeting.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3518
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Meeting Begins 14/15 May 2015

Post by brythain » Thu May 14, 2015 9:00 pm

Hi everyone, meeting is open!

Current book is:
A Memory Hisao has of Lilly — by Paddy
The piece is in four parts, but navigation may be difficult. Links to each part below:
[Preface]
[Drunk By Ourselves]
[How Can She Keep From Singing]
[Gloria]

All are welcome. Suggestions for future readings are appreciated. Carry on!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
Blank Mage
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:29 am
Location: My own personal hell, with a metered internet connection.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by Blank Mage » Fri May 15, 2015 1:08 am

Alright, Blank, time to reaffirm some commitments.

Hmm. Narration-wise, I think Paddy has a lot in common with you, Bry, but perhaps that's just the 'older characters reminiscing about the past' niche you so neatly occupy. I'll admit I'm more than a little curious about Akira's accident, a huge source of drama that was essentially glossed over in favor of a (I'll be blunt) poorly written drinking scene.

I should clarify. I have never tried to drown my sorrow. I've really never had sorrows worthy of drowning. But I'm fairly certain my mental process wouldn't go 'Here's an idea, drunk, celebrations, coma'. If anything, drinking would only serve to lessen my resistance to tragedy. It was also just a bit over the top. *shrug*

And religion. I'm not a religious man, nor will I ever be, because I'm far too cynical. Just the idea that God loves you, but has also made a place of eternal suffering from which there can be neither escape nor redemption.... doesn't ring true. I've seen religion save families, I've seen it tear others apart. It's a powerful force, and one I choose to avoid, lest I end up on the wrong side of it.

My views aside, I don't like it in the context of this fiction. Healing the blind is a bit cliche, and given the KS moral 'perfect despite your flaws', it seems forced. It's the kind of super perfect scenario you might read in a cheesy propaganda pamphlet or Christian email chain. And then killing her immediately after? Dick move, Christ!

...what smells like brimstone?
And we're back.
-----------
"I wish I could convey to you just how socially inept I am, but I can't."
"I think you just did."
"No, I really, truly haven't."

User avatar
Atario
Posts: 1358
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:06 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by Atario » Fri May 15, 2015 2:39 am

Well. Of all the fanfics I've read, that was one of them.
NB: none of the above is a request

Mutou Gets Fired — a little one-shot fanfic I wrote

User avatar
HipsterJoe
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:24 am
Location: Silicon Valley (The Show)

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by HipsterJoe » Fri May 15, 2015 2:50 am

Damn it Blank, you responded too quickly. Now my answer is going to boil down to "What Blank said, but less eloquently."
Blank Mage wrote:But I'm fairly certain my mental process wouldn't go 'Here's an idea, drunk, celebrations, coma'. If anything, drinking would only serve to lessen my resistance to tragedy.
To be fair, almost no one's thought process for drinking ends with 'coma,' it's generally more of an involuntary decision. Dawnstorm mentions in the original responses that the natural reaction would be to rush to the hospital which I agree with 100%. In my experience, the drinking yourself into a stupor comes later. Regardless of when they started drinking though, I think that while drinking themselves into the hospital is a definite possibility, they would definitely not be happy right before the point, they would be sobbing wrecks. I get that the message is supposed to be that 'alcohol won't solve your problems,' but this was probably the most heavy handed way to portray that. Also, what bartender is serving such clearly inebriated customers?
Blank Mage wrote:Healing the blind is a bit cliche, and given the KS moral 'perfect despite your flaws', it seems forced. It's the kind of super perfect scenario you might read in a cheesy propaganda pamphlet or Christian email chain. And then killing her immediately after? Dick move, Christ!
My initial interpretation of the scene was the same as yours, Blank. After thinking about it a bit more, I then came up with a more generous interpretation: Lilly's last wish is to witness Hisao's face which God grants right before her passing. After even further thought, I rejected it though. Cynical thoughts about faith healing aside, I can't imagine that being able to see is that important to Lilly. She never comes across as resenting being blind, so having it cured doesn't seem like one of her priorities. I'd imagine her last wish to be more along the lines of her and Hisao passing away together in their sleep. So I'm back to Blank's interpretation, but what do I know? Religion has always been more of a cultural thing to me than a religious thing.
brythain wrote:deweler posted... "My biggest problem, though, is that even though several years have passed, neither character feels like they've changed much since high school, and they really, really should have, given what they've been through."
To get back to the original prompt, I do think the first piece about Hisao finding Lilly singing in the garden did a good job of sounding like it came from a more mature Hisao. I actually enjoyed that piece because of how plausible it seemed. It's the type of experience that you would expect to sit clearly in someone's mind for decades. The way it was written, I could picture the scene quite clearly. In the end, this was the only piece that really resonated with me.

User avatar
Fardels
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:47 am

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by Fardels » Fri May 15, 2015 8:00 am

Dewelar is right, but it's a convention that's tough to break. You can do a story with Hanako as a giraffe, a Klingon, or the ranking Commissioner for the Patapsco Drainage Area, and it might work as long as the character acts like Hanako. If she doesn't, you've just attached Hanako's name to some other person, and you'll be called to account. An older character needs to connect to the canon character, but you have to justify whatever disconnects exist to avoid charges of heresy. Easy to say - not always easy to do, especially with fanfic. And it's not just fanfic either. If you do a story about Gandhi as a six-year-old, it has to connect to older Gandhi, or it probably won't work.

Blank Mage and HipsterJoe pretty much covered my thoughts on the stories. Like HipsterJoe, I thought the singing scene caught something special.

SirKaid
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:33 pm

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by SirKaid » Fri May 15, 2015 11:33 am

I've got to echo the others here; the singing scene was something special. The rest of the fic I don't care for, but the singing scene is good.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 6039
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat May 16, 2015 2:16 pm

Oh well...

Never much cared for that one. Too preachy for my tastes and not really any reason to make it a KS story at all.

Might be why my one comment on the story back then was a bit on the sarcastic side...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by dewelar » Sat May 16, 2015 10:28 pm

Yeah, I did not care much for the story. My biggest reaction actually came in the final chapter, where I thought to myself "Padre Pio? Seriously? Good God, do people still give a rat's ass about that charlatan 70 years from now?" The fact that the whole thing was in italics bugged me to no end. The drinking scene was horribly written, the navigation post didn't work (not that it mattered given how disjointed the parts were), and overall it just felt kind of cheap. I agree that the singing scene was interesting, and had it been left at that it might have had some redeeming value. As it was, the author just threw all this stuff out there and then did nothing with it. Basically, this was a waste of time and energy, both mine and the author's. Not as bad as some things the YBC has covered, but maybe the biggest letdown among them.

One thing that didn't bother me was the religious overtone. A good story within this 'verse that dealt with religion is something I would be very interested in seeing, but this...this is not that.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3518
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by brythain » Sat May 16, 2015 11:00 pm

Well, at least I'm seeing strong reactions. :D

I would love to have YBC discussions on really long fics, but their very length tends to cut the readership down.
Breaking them up into shorter chunks doesn't work for some other people.

Are there any other mental rules that people have when choosing what to read next?
(Apart from the most-recently-updated tendency, that is.)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
Oscar Wildecat
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:28 pm
Location: A short drive west of Kingdom Come.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Sat May 16, 2015 11:02 pm

dewelar wrote:One thing that didn't bother me was the religious overtone. A good story within this 'verse that dealt with religion is something I would be very interested in seeing, but this...this is not that.
That sums up my opinion of the story quite well.

For some reason, I've always imagined Lilly to be a little bit "spiritual", and have an intellectual curiosity about religions -- both eastern and western. Thus, I've imagined that among her stacks of books are works about Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Shinto.

On the other hand, I see Hisao, to be a bit agnostic about such matters. As such, he tends to defer to Lilly on such matters.

EDIT
brythain wrote: Are there any other mental rules that people have when choosing what to read next?
(Apart from the most-recently-updated tendency, that is.)
In such matters, I tend to pick works mostly at random... :?
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain
“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.” - Winston Churchill
Checkout SordidEuphemism's Logo Thread.

User avatar
Blank Mage
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:29 am
Location: My own personal hell, with a metered internet connection.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by Blank Mage » Sat May 16, 2015 11:29 pm

Regarding what to pick, longer things are fine by me, at once or in chunks. I only showed up sporadically due to a lurker mentality, which isn't really the case these days. I think I've posted more in the last two weeks than I have for the entirety of my stay on these forums.

Point is: pick whatever, although my opinion, as always, may not reflect the views of the club in general.
And we're back.
-----------
"I wish I could convey to you just how socially inept I am, but I can't."
"I think you just did."
"No, I really, truly haven't."

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by dewelar » Sat May 16, 2015 11:54 pm

brythain wrote:Are there any other mental rules that people have when choosing what to read next?
(Apart from the most-recently-updated tendency, that is.)
My aim when submitting suggestions has been to pick stories that featured characters and/or genres that were either un- or under-represented in what had been covered to date (or at least within the past 10-12 meetings).
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3518
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by brythain » Sun May 17, 2015 12:01 am

dewelar wrote:
brythain wrote:Are there any other mental rules that people have when choosing what to read next?
(Apart from the most-recently-updated tendency, that is.)
My aim when submitting suggestions has been to pick stories that featured characters and/or genres that were either un- or under-represented in what had been covered to date (or at least within the past 10-12 meetings).
Apparently, sometimes there's a good reason for that. :) That said, suggestions are always appreciated...
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting 14/15 May 2015 onwards)

Post by dewelar » Sun May 17, 2015 1:05 am

brythain wrote:
dewelar wrote:
brythain wrote:Are there any other mental rules that people have when choosing what to read next?
(Apart from the most-recently-updated tendency, that is.)
My aim when submitting suggestions has been to pick stories that featured characters and/or genres that were either un- or under-represented in what had been covered to date (or at least within the past 10-12 meetings).
Apparently, sometimes there's a good reason for that. :) That said, suggestions are always appreciated...
The opposite of this could also work. Themed months could be interesting, for instance, whether they be by character (maybe keyed to the apocryphal character birthdays), by genre (maybe a whole month of crossover stories or something) or some other stylistic element (a month of nothing but prologue stories, or third-person PoV stories, or poetry, or parodies, or pumpkins or...well, um, whatever). The more I consider this idea, the more I like it. There's your suggestion from me :D!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

Post Reply