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Ack. Dropped off the map a bit longer than intended.

Re(re)ading K.J. Parker's Fencer trilogy, which is still as messed up as I remember it, but also kind of fun (in a messed up way) so no complaints here.

It's still their most accessible work, I think, without the 'want to build a house from scratch? here's how!' of the Scavenger trilogy or the mechanically intensive 'guide to siege engines' of the Engineer trilogy. Plus, there's a whole cast of characters who are all, if not always sympathetic, then at least understandable and/or motivated in their actions. True, 'well, basically I just want to get on with my life' may not seem like the best reason to burn down a city, but it makes sense in context?

And then there's the magic system, which may or may not exist, but which, if it exists, probably doesn't work. (Their other books are firmly magic-less, which er, takes some of the magic out of them?) There's just something refreshing about wizards who are convinced there's no such thing as magic, except that there kind of is, except that the ability to turn people into frogs is a side-effect, not a goal - or would be, if it existed.



Needed more Luis, more funky Latin music, less training sequences, less final battle.

I was (to me) surprisingly okay with Scott's family stuff, and I loved the ants, but ... the part where Scott and Darren were slugging it out just felt kind of uh like it went on for too long. I wanted more heist movie shenanigans, I guess, and fewer 'guys in special powered suits hitting each other'.

Will rewatch for Luis, Cassie and Hope, but will skip the last (fifteen?) minutes in favor of going straight to Luis telling Scott about that thing. I love Luis telling Scott about Things.

Terra Nova (complete series)

Considered rewatching this before I decided whether or not to keep it, then realized I didn't want to, which ... may be all I need to know?

Put it on the 'consider dumping this, if you don't experience any burning desire to rewatch within the next three weeks' shelf.

Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (S1 + S2)

The Good Awesome:
They're dancers! Who fight crime/evil! By dancing!

The Bad:
Here's a touching story about two people who sacrificed Love for Duty!

... because she's married to someone else already and her husband kind of hates that other guy she loves.*

Also: statements like 'A small moment can change everything ... or can it?' count as profound only if you use them sparingly, which is to say: less than about five times per monologue. Erk.

The Ugly:
If you're a girl in this universe, there's a 90% chance you're either (a) someone's girlfriend/wife who will require rescuing or (b) evil. Either way, you will (c) not be an extraordinary dancer. Also: 'we'll recruit only the very best, most highly skilled dancers, who've worked hard to get where they are ... unless you belong to a special family because then you're dancing royalty and you're destined to be a leader in our movement'.

(But, more or less seriously, I don't get the lack of female dancers. Are there just fewer women who dance professionally? Did none of them show up for the audition?)

* So kind of like Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot, depending on which version you've seen/read? But it still felt like a bait-and-switch, because I was 100% OK with 'they can't be together because they need to FIGHT EVIL' but, as it turns out, far less down with 'they can't be together because she's married to someone else'. That's not putting duty before love; that's just a love triangle.


( 11 flourishes — Tell me stories )
Jun. 27th, 2016 12:54 pm (UTC)
Given that all of Parker's novels reference places from each other and seem (sort of) to take place in the same world, I've always worked under the assumption that the magic system from the Fencer trilogy exists in all of them--it's just that the characters outside that series aren't aware of it. It would explain why, in the Engineer trilogy, the world so often seems to warp itself to accommodate Ziani's desires (albeit often not in the way he might wish it to were he in conscious control of the process)....
Jun. 27th, 2016 02:30 pm (UTC)
... That actually sounds quite plausible, and wasn't something I had at all considered before. Huh.
Jun. 27th, 2016 02:37 pm (UTC)
I haven't read K.J. Parker before. Sounds interesting (especially the magic system that may or may not exist).
Jun. 27th, 2016 03:15 pm (UTC)
There's also a law system that works by er duelling. As in: you hire a guy with a sword, the other party hires a guy with a sword, and depending on who wins, you win the case. (Hence, the Fencer trilogy.) You could argue that it encourages lawyers to convince their clients to settle, rather than waste the Court's time?

I er do feel obliged to mention that Something Rather Horrible happens in the second book. But if you enjoy messed up family dynamics and a wry British writing style, I can definitely recommend these.
Jun. 29th, 2016 10:26 am (UTC)
Interesting law system, for sure.

This SRH doesn't involve incest, does it? Given you also mentioned messed up family dynamics. That'd be the main thing I'd probably turn away from, I think?
Jun. 30th, 2016 10:43 am (UTC)
There seem some obvious drawbacks to it, but also some real advantages - although in the end, deep pockets still get you a better chance at winning. (Plus, well, the whole bit where people actually die to settle a lawsuit.)

Definitely no incest.
Jul. 2nd, 2016 02:51 am (UTC)
Yep. Seems pretty extreme in some ways, but otoh, probably quite successful?

Ok great. :)
Jun. 28th, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC)
I haven't read the books and haven't seen any of the movies/tv-shows you are talking about (sorry) but I still want to say: welcome back :)
Jun. 29th, 2016 05:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)

(I don't think any of them were really hugely popular - except maybe Ant-Man, being yet another entry in the Marvel movieverse.)
Jun. 29th, 2016 07:11 pm (UTC)
I love Luis telling Scott about Things.

I was so pleasantly surprised by how well that worked for me, and how well "the wombats" in general worked for me. I feel like normally that kind of comic relief would come across as try-hard and unfunny to me, but I really loved it here. Which is actually true of most of Ant-Man, come to think of it (though I agree on the Scott-vs-Darren slugfest being too long and way too boring).
Jun. 30th, 2016 10:56 am (UTC)
Until I see a (modern) Marvel movie that I actually dislike, I'll go with: I guess Marvel has figured out how to make a fun superhero movie, and just mixes and matches the ingredients a bit for each new one.

(Er. I say that as someone who's enjoyed pretty much all of them so far.)
( 11 flourishes — Tell me stories )