look closely at all make-for-fun raisinlions

Hi! You may know me as [livejournal.com profile] woodburner. Or hey, you may not. Anyway, this is a mostly open journal - subscribe/unsubscribe at will, no need to ask permission. :)

Yeah no, Night Shade Books

  • Aug. 23rd, 2010 at 2:51 PM
branewurms: (Tokyo Dogs - FFFFFFFFFF)
Fail, Night Shade Books. Fail. I'm not very familiar with your company, but I'd had vaguely positive impressions of it. I guess I was mistaken. You know, what with the whitewashing (really inexplicable, considering your target audience), and the just plain bad cover design.

(For the unfamiliar: I am referring to the whitewashed, badly designed cover for Catherynne Valente's upcoming novel The Habitation of the Blessed - A Dirge for Prester John.)

I didn't know it was whitewashed until I saw people saying such, b/c I knew pretty much nothing about the Prester John legends until I uh, wiki'd it. As for my first reactions not knowing: I don't find the illustration unattractive, as some people have, although I didn't think it was gorgeous or anything. I did find it to be in the "adventuring mage-like man with sexy, half-naked, exoticized lady attached for titillation" vein, which, yeah, not so appealing, even not knowing about the whitewashing. But the overall design? Pretty awful. I mean, that title font is very unreadable, and yeah, award-winning author name pull: tiny text is doin' it rong.

I don't know who you're trying to sell to, Night Shade, but you apparently forgot the core target audience for this book ain't too cool with these kinds of shenanigans.

ETA: Well that didn't take long. Night Shade has responded to the complaints coming their way, and are going to do a redesign of the book cover. Would have been nice if they'd listened to the author's obviously sensible input to begin with, but better late than never, and to their credit that was pretty quick.

buy ALL the things!

  • Aug. 20th, 2010 at 5:54 AM
branewurms: (Pandora Hearts - YEY)



Anyway, books.

Last Bookcloseouts.com order:

White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi
The Shadow Speaker - Nnedi Okorafor
The Court of the Air - Stephen Hunt
The Hollowing - Robert Holdstock
The Salt Roads - Nalo Hopkinson
Years Best Fantasy and Horror 2006 - ed. Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant

(Only about $24 with shipping! Omg!)

And from B&N: The Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Aaand from the ever so kind [personal profile] inkstone, who took pity on me upon hearing me moaning about how badly I wanted to read it but it was soooo expensive ($18 on sale nooooooo!), I have a copy of Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.

THIS Bookcloseouts.com order that I just placed:

The New Moon's Arms - Nalo Hopkinson
Sabriel - Garth Nix
Mojo: Conjure Stories - ed. Nalo Hopkinson
A Crack in the Line - Micheal Lawrence (no idea about this one, it sounded interesting and was 99 cents)
Murkmere - Patricia Elliott (ditto)
Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales - ed. Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling
How to Ditch Your Fairy - Justine Larbestier

(Only about $30 with shipping! Omg!)

And from B&N: Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healey (Omg actually kind of excited about this one y'all)

You guys, I seriously do not know what to do with a backlog of books like this. I don't think I've ever had more than two, maybe three books in queue. (Well, not since I was a child and we had school book fairs and book fundraisers and the like and my mother was indulgent.)

I. I need to find a place to keep them protected from dust. DUSTY BOOKS ARE THE WORST OKAY you're sitting there wanting to have a nice peaceful read and then you start sneezing all over everything in sight, ugh.

Now I want to go on an incense buying spree, but I need to wait until the new Mother's Nag Champas come in. And until I have birthday money.

oh my god oh my god birthday panic panic PANIC


Aug. 16th, 2010

  • 5:30 AM
branewurms: (Half World)
RECS FOR EXCITING PAGE-TURNERS PLS. Preferably YA, but if it's the sort of thing that induces you to read it all in one sitting, adult novels work too.

Also, if one was going to try out Garth Nix, which one of his books might be the best to start with?


Silver Phoenix

  • Jul. 18th, 2010 at 5:21 PM
branewurms: (Utena - Anthy x Utena)
Signal boost, just gonna quote [personal profile] inkstone here:
And as for the topic of Silver Phoenix, I've received word that Silver Phoenix is in fact NOT REMAINDERED, so could you please spread the word? Telling people to wait for the paperback is fine for those with tight budgets but for those who have more spending cash, buying the hardcover now would be more helpful. Not only because it's the cover with the Chinese heroine on it but also for Cindy because hardcover editions typically have a higher royalty rate. And the more money that can go towards her advance, the more chance she has of getting picked up for another contract. Plus, if sales of the hardcover remain steady -- it doesn't have to be a mad rush or anything (though that'd be awesome, don't get me wrong) but a copy or two sold every few days -- that'll encourage online retailers to keep it in stock longer. It'd be nice to see it stay in stock until the end of the year.

yet another thingie of things

  • Jul. 17th, 2010 at 7:18 AM
branewurms: (Skip Beat - eternal fangirl)
*claws way out of hole, hissing at the light*

- So uh. Apparently bookcloseouts.com is having a sale. Any sff/fantastical horror recommendations, anyone? Can be children's, YA, or adult, doesn't matter, as long as it's at least marginally fantastical. Gay/lesbian content a plus. I've got $20-$25 dollars to spend and 6 books in my cart already, but I'm paranoid that there are books that I would like better than these books, can't make decisions for the life of me, etc., etc.

- Add me to the "OMG OCCULT ACADEMY IS AWESOME" bandwagon. Maya. Omg Maya.


To paraphrase [personal profile] inkstone, clearly, the reason the first 5 time agents failed to save the world was because they failed to team up with Maya. This show is stylish, ridiculously over the top, hilarious, and contains Maya, what more could you ask for?

"You're such a tsun-"


brb lolling forever

- Nurarihyon: omg, your music, why is it a blatant rip off of the Harry Potter films'?

- I uh. Kind of started a fifth k_b fic. (Anthy/Utena, vehicular.) Whyyyyy can't I finish anythingggggg.

Thingie of things

  • Jul. 4th, 2010 at 2:33 AM
branewurms: (Tokyo Dogs - FFFFFFFFFF)
- In my head, Yuki Kajiura's Moonflower is totes the theme song to The Etched City. Just sayin'. It's all holy silver twinkling layered over this lush, green sound that's sort of dirty, like it's covered in a layer of grime. (...I realize my personal reaction to that song might be a little odd.) I can't even listen to it without thinking of the book, esp. the scene near the end with Gwynn in the rain.

- Am I the only person who can spend days on end writing and tweaking and writing and tweaking a story of less than 1000 words? Seriously. This is ridiculous.

(I have retooled the structure of this Umineko ficlet at least three times. Idek.)

- You know, I was gonna post about the shithead's (as you-know-who shall be referred to from now on) massacre of the Avatar series and link to all the hilarious reviews panning it (such as Roger Ebert's), but everyone's already done that, and I just don't have the motivation to deal with talking about it anymore.


- On the subject of whitewashing (but not bad movies), Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix is getting a new cover for its paperback release... and well, just look at it. The cover of the upcoming sequel will pretty much be a carbon copy, too. Sigh.

As I said to [personal profile] inkstone, regardless of whether those women are white or not, we are obviously meant to interpret them that way. And not only are they whitewashed, those covers are completely inappropriate to the material. Those clothes? What the fuck? That modern, teen paranormal romance look? The story is a fantasy adventure set in ancient China, people. I just. What.

I have seen some inexplicable covers, man, but those should come with some 4chan-esque "pic unrelated" label.

- Oh! And I just watched the new eps of Leverage! I spent the whole of 301 going, "Billy is AWESOME! Where did they FIND this guy?! ...And why does he remind me so much of Hardison???" Well uh. Apparently dude playing him was Edwin Hodge, Aldis Hodge's (dude that plays Hardison) brother. *g*

Random things

  • Jun. 16th, 2010 at 7:48 AM
branewurms: (Umineko - ahaha.wav)
- I finished reading The Alchemy of Stone yesterday morning and it somehow triggered a dream about an automaton. (Although a different automaton than the main character of said book.)

I don't remember much of it, but I recall that she had many masks for faces, and the one that she preferred the most was an elaborately painted, beautiful woman's face, with a stylized boar's snout in the place of a mouth and nose. There was a book cover that depicted a medallion on a long chain, and the medallion itself was this face.

- ADVENTURES IN BAD BL. Watched some more of Uraboku, despite being profoundly unimpressed by the first two episodes. (I blame Sakurai Takahiro. Stupid sexy Sakurai Takahiro.)

Well, it's still just as bad, but the action picks up and it's more in the hilaribad territory rather than the just plain bad. Also the animation quality improved somewhat.

There are bad guys in this show called mid-villains, you guys. I am not even kidding.

Well, son, I guess it's good you know your place in this narrative, but should you really look so happy about it?

(This becomes 10x funnier when you realize that the protagonist's guard dog/love interest is an "Opast", which translates to "Final Boss".)

Plus there's this guy that shows up and starts constantly wondering exactly WHY the protagonist keeps running off on his own, is he dumb as a sack of hammers, and hey, Mr. Seme, why do you keep leaving him by himself, are you ALSO dumb as a sack of hammers? SERIOUSLY WHAT IS WITH YOU PEOPLE. He's supposed to be tsundere but it's more like he's the audience's voice of reason.

Also, guys, guys. There is. A black pikachu. Named Sodom.

Sodom is. He's. The demonic seme's familiar.


I can't

dying, brb

That ladies of SFF meme

  • Jun. 5th, 2010 at 6:54 PM
branewurms: (BOSS - gotta be the shades)
That women of SFF meme (based on the SF women periodic table, apparently) that's going around! Most of my faves are up here, suprisingly, but for some reason it seems to be missing Justine Larbalestier... So I added her at the end. :D

Bold the women by whom you own books (I’m assuming this includes books or magazines edited by people who are not fiction writers).
Italicize those by whom you’ve read something (short stories count)
*Star those you don’t recognize

Considering about 3/4s of my reading material is written by women, I have starred way too many of these. Although I'm so terrible with names, I've probably starred a whole bunch of people that I've not only heard of but read stories by. (Also many of the ones I haven't starred, I've only heard of in terms of "Yeah, I rememeber this name being mentioned occasionally on the author blogs I read...")

The list! )


Some books that I have read!

  • Mar. 27th, 2010 at 6:29 PM
branewurms: (Default)
Oh my gosh you guys, Cadbury owns my soul.

And now, for some books that I have read! (*) indicates [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc eligible books.

*The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin (aka [livejournal.com profile] nojojojo):

I was a bit excited about this because it kept popping up on my f-list. I was kind of expecting a somewhat different story than the one I got, but that is not to say that I was disappointed. It was incredibly fun! A real page-turner. I tore through it in two and a half days, and this is book is a tome.

In which we revisit why it's never a good thing to be favored by the gods. )

But anyway, overall verdict = CRAZY FUN READ, I recommend it.

Soulless, by Gail Carriger:

Another ridiculously fun read! This is a mashup of paranormal romance, steampunk, and Victorian comedy of manners. Basically it is about an acid-tongued spinster - who just so happens to lack a soul - having madcap adventures as she gets tangled up in vampire and werewolf politics (and also a bizarre scientific cult!) while attempting to navigate polite society.

This book is *hilarious*, y'all. )

Verdict: If you like or at least do not outright hate the paranormal romance genre, and you like steampunk and irreverent hilarity, it's difficult to go very wrong here.

*Ash, by Malinda Lo:

This is the one the internet has dubbed "Lesbian Cinderella". Well, that is certainly what it is! The book's major conflict boils down to the heroine having to choose between the King's huntress and her childhood dream of being stolen away by the fairies. Kaisa, the huntress, basically represents down-to-earth, real-world happiness, while Sidhean, the fairy, represents forbidden attraction, escapism, the appeal of the dangerous and the strange, and all that jazz.

My feelings about this novel are rather mixed. Longwinded! And very vaguely spoilerish. )

Final verdict is, I do recommend this book - it was a very enjoyable read - but it was a little lacking in some areas.

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld:

You guys. You guys.

Deryn. Oh my god Deryn. ♥__________♥

So this book is set in a steampunk AU WWI and follows a teenage girl that crossdresses as a boy so that she can enter the Royal Air Force. A swashbuckling, slightly batshit nuts teenage girl. Do I really need to say more? Oh, and there's also a young mech-piloting Austrian prince, I guess.

...Okay no really, the prince was adorable and I loved him, but he was up against a crossdressing girl who throws herself off the side of airships to save people and holds royalty hostage with a pocketknife in front of enormous mechs, so I can be forgiven if I maybe didn't notice him as much. Basically what I am saying is Deryn is pretty much the greatest thing in the history of EVER.

I do not even know what to say about this book, it's like being repeatedly punched in the face with AWESOME so many times I've been rendered insensible. )

Verdict: I have nothing particularly intelligent to say about this book because I am too busy FLAILING WITH GLEE. :DDD Why are you not reading this book right this minute.


  • Feb. 3rd, 2010 at 8:17 PM
branewurms: (Vassalord - :D:D:D)
I would just like to note that I bought Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan without even realizing that one of the main characters is a crossdressing girl.

Who's a surly, snarky tomboy trying to pass as a boy so she can join the air force.

O-oh my god SCORE.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

  • Oct. 14th, 2009 at 10:55 PM
branewurms: (Burst Angel - all aboard the AWESOME BUS)
I rarely review books here. This is largely because while in my anime/manga "reviews", I feel free to throw coherency to the wind and keysmash to my heart's content, with books for some reason I feel I should be more formal and actually, you know, review it, rather than just going "S:LDKFJ:SLKDJ THIS WAS AWESOME." I don't know why. But whatever, I should just get over it. It's my journal and I can gibber senselessly if I wanna.

ON THAT NOTE! A book that I have read! Later I will try to work up the motivation to write up the rest of everything I've read recently.

Liar, by Justine Larbalestier

First heard of this one because of the outcry that sprung up regarding the whitewashing shenanigans that were going on with its cover prior to release. Saw it in the store and went "!!!" and sat down with it to see if it was any good. I emerged 45 minutes later after it ate my head whole, and promptly bought it.

Guys, this book. THIS BOOK. It is really awesome. I don't want to say too much about it, because (and I say this as a spoiler monster who rabidly seeks out spoilers to everything) it really is better if you go in knowing as little as possible. Suffice it to say that the narrator, a senior in high school, is a pathological liar, and thus is about as unreliable a narrator as you can get. The boy she liked has just been murdered, and many people suspect she's the culprit, though she denies this.

The prose is very terse and spare, and creates this sense of uneasy quiet and space. It was like a high-contrast black and white drawing, all clean, thick lines in ink stretching across the page. The language itself was just, ffffnggg. It was really atmospheric and a joy to read.


can't stand up, too much orz

  • Aug. 12th, 2009 at 9:45 PM
branewurms: (Skip Beat - orz is over 9000)
- And on the subject of prompts! KJ Bishop is putting together a short story anthology, and is asking for story prompts over on her blog. If she writes a story based on your prompt and it makes it into the book, she'll send you a free copy, signed and personalized.

- It would be nice if I could make it off the couch for longer than five minutes at a time. I am so. tired. (For absolutely no reason, as usual.)

I have been extra-lame about replying to comments and such-like recently (granted, I usually maintain a baseline level of lame), so apologies if I've inadvertently ignored you.

- Wow, what a douchebag. (Warning: Homophobic crazy-pants frothing at the mouth behind that link.) Now there's a writer I can guarantee I'll never read. eta: Read Jeff Vandermeer's hilarious comments on the subject. (Gave me a chuckle, anyway.)

whole lot of what

  • Aug. 2nd, 2009 at 9:17 AM
branewurms: (what)
- So, funny thing from the other day that I forgot to post about. You know those obnoxious door-to-door magazine salespeople? The "I have a chance to win blah blah blah if I sell enough of this crap" people? Yeah, we got one of those despite the "no soliciting" sign at the entrance to the neighborhood. So there's this knock at the door and Dave goes to answer it, and the guy's first words:

"Hi, I'm just your friendly neighborhood pedophile! :D"

...Yeah, hon, I don't know where you got that idea for an ice-breaker from, but it is, shall we say, ineffective at best.

- Another thing I keep forgetting to post about: whitewashing book covers is nothing new, but pretending you did it for the sake of the story is a pretty wretched new one on me. The author herself, Justine Larbalestier, talks about how her US publisher, Bloomsbury, whitewashed the cover of her book Liar, putting a white girl on the cover when the protagonist is black. [personal profile] rachelmanija also has a post about it here. Both of those posts sum things up better than I could, but what really burns me the most about the whole business is summed up in this quote:

“I do think it’s going to raise awareness of race in teen literature to new levels,” said Cecka. “Clearly, our striving for ambiguity with this cover, and for it to be interpreted as a ‘lie’ itself didn’t work for everyone. But again, if this jacket proves a catalyst for a bigger discussion about how the industry is dealing with its books on race, that’s a very large good to come of this current whirlwind.”

Yes, because it's not like you were deliberately buying into the racist assumption that black people on book covers won't sell or anything. You did it for the story. Even though the author herself told you the protag was a black girl - clearly you know more about the story than she does! And you're just so concerned about racial issues in the industry; that's totally why you perpetuated the long-standing, racist tradition of white-washing characters of color on book covers - it was to ~open up a dialogue~! Clearly, you deserve a medal for this service you have done.

Oh please, gag me with a spoon.

Anyway, if you're also displeased and would like to let Bloomsbury know, you can contact either Deb Shapiro or Melanie Cecka at deb.shapiro@bloomsburyusa.com and melanie.cecka@bloomsburyusa.com.
branewurms: (Pandora Hearts - curiouser and curiouser)
Got a bunch of old books from home to sell, and as I'm going through the boxes, what should I find but my old, battered copy of Dragon of the Lost Sea! M-MY CHILDHOOD. Although if I want to read it again, I'll probably need to wear a particle mask, because Jesus Christ everything in that barn was sending up these huge, sinus-wrenching clouds of dust and pollen and other evil things.

In the back of the book, I found, in what would be my handwriting now if I was deranged and maybe had the DTs, "This is a great book". LOL. Man, I was a retarded kid. Flipping through the books to check on their condition, I'm finding other odd little things, like, for instance, in An Acceptable Time by Madeline L'Engle, a post-it note that inexplicably reads:





Again, it looks like my handwriting, if I'd perhaps downed a bottle of cough syrup and then drank 10 cups of coffee. I dunno, maybe it was for a spelling quiz? But why a post-it? I didn't exactly keep a supply of post-its in my bookbag when I went to school... (Also, if it was for a spelling quiz, the handwriting would sure be unfortunate, since I could barely make out a couple of these words...)

(If anyone's interested, btw, you can find my books for sale here. I'll be putting up a few new ones at a time over the course of forever the next couple of weeks. There's a few BPAL auctions and a few manga and DVDs, too. ALSO DISCLAIMER OH MY GOD - some of those books were given to me, LIKE SAY THE DR. PHIL ONES. Let no one ever come to the mistaken impression that I have anything but the deepest contempt for that man.)


UNRELATEDLY, I kind of wish someone would do another one of those pan-fandom friending memes. I have trouble resisting a friending meme, for some reason. I know I shouldn't! I know I can barely keep up as it is! Well actually it would be quite a stretch to say I keep up, tbh. B-but I'm always getting into things and having no one to talk about them with and, and! And uh every time I see a fandom questionnaire I sort of just feel this burning compulsion to fill it out. :Oa


Something to look forward to!

  • Jul. 9th, 2009 at 11:16 AM
branewurms: (Mononoke - hither hither)
Kuuchuu Buranko

"Irabu Ichiro is an eccentric psychiatrist. Patients, who visit him to have a counseling, are perplexed with his weird behavior."

Same director, character designer, and animation studio as Mononoke! Broadcasting in October! EXCITING.

It's based on stories by Hideo Okuda, which are suprisingly actually out in English.

oh god get it off meeeeeeeee

  • Jun. 15th, 2009 at 8:30 PM
branewurms: (Skip Beat - orz is over 9000)
So I'm wearing a heart monitor! Until 5:30 tomorrow afternoon! And it is the most obnoxious thing ever! And I had no idea they meant to put it on me today and oh my god do you know how awkward I felt leaving covered in wires?! And I have to go out again tomorrow for my ultrasound! While still wearing this thing! laskdjf;aljsd;fl don't look at meeeeee

Also, how am I supposed to sleep tonight! Jesus god this is so uncomfortable!

(disclaimer: This test is not for any dire reason or anything. I've just been having trouble with heart palpitations for a long time, so the doc wanted to make sure there was nothing going on there.)


In other news, I kept thinking my strawberry-kiwi Vitamin Water tasted disconcertingly of incense. Then it hit me that it smelled and tasted (?!!) incredibly strongly of labdanum. In fact, it smelled/tasted of labdanum much more strongly than it smelled/tasted of strawberry or kiwi. I was like, there is seriously labdanum in my drink oh my god this cannot possibly be normal.

...But apparently it is. Apparently it's commonly used by the commercial food industry for things like soft drinks. Go figure. It still kind of freaks me out. Especially since it might as well be called "labdanum" instead of "strawberry-kiwi". I'm not sure I want this flavor again, um.


In OTHER other news, Catherynne Valente and her husband have fallen on hard times financially. She has decided to write a YA story - a particular YA story.

She is writing The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making, a book within a book: it was the character November's favorite book from childhood in Palimpsest.

She is going to be posting chapters weekly, for free, but with the request for people to donate what they can, if they can, in exchange. (Needless to say, this book will involve quite a lot less sex than Palimpsest, being YA lit. Also, presumably it will be able to stand on its own without the need to read the other.)

Just wanted to put that out there, in case any fans on the list hadn't heard - and if you haven't read Cat before, this is a good chance to check out her stuff!
branewurms: (Vassalord - SPARKLE)
I have never done one of these before; my dreamwidth profile is still blank so why not? Please come up with the most ridiculous and absurd testimonials you can think of. Like, idk, I crap unicorns or something.




Upon realizing that I've had some tabs open for 6 months+ (I am totally serious, what the hell) I started combing through them. One tab was [livejournal.com profile] alankria's short story Tattoos of the Sky, Tattoos of the Days, published in Sybil's Garage, which I had apparently opened god knows how long ago and forgotten to ever read (and apparently that it was, you know, there). So. I uh, read it! And it was awesome, so you should read it too.

(...Actually, I think that one might have even been a year+. I don't know.)

And this is not a 6 month+ old link, but one that popped up on the f-list recently - awesome collection of photos from around the turn of the century, (er, the 20th century), mostly from Japan but many from other locales as well.


That thar book meme goin' around

  • Jun. 13th, 2009 at 12:11 PM
branewurms: (The Etched City - Beth)
List 15 books you've read that will always stick with you -- Don't take too long to think about it. The first 15 you can recall in 15 minutes.

1. The Etched City, KJ Bishop
2. The Orphan's Tales (series), Catherynne Valente
3. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
4. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
5. The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
6. His Dark Materials (series), Phillip Pullman
7. The Neverending Story, Micheal Ende
8. Harry Potter (series), JK Rowling
9. The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
10. Dragon of the Lost Sea, Lawrence Yep (I haven't read this since I was a child, and it still sticks with me)
11. Breath, Donna Jo Napoli
12. Viriconium (series), M. John Harrison
13. Grendel, John Gardner
14. The Icarus Girl, Helen Oyeyemi
15. Larklight, Philip Reeve


brb lolling forever

  • May. 13th, 2009 at 1:28 AM
branewurms: (Pandora Hearts - YEY)
Neil Gaiman would like you to know that George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.

"This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now."

laks;dflakj sometimes I love Neil.