Nov. 15th, 2010 12:21 am
jmtorres: Morrolan from the Taltos books. Dark Star.  (dark star)
[personal profile] jmtorres
Dragaera qualified for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, so if you are interested in more Dragaera fic, you can request or offer it in the Yuletide exchange.
jmtorres: Morrolan from the Taltos books. Dark Star.  (morrolan)
[personal profile] jmtorres
Follow-up questions re a group reading!

Poll showed preference for chronological by publishing date:
Tiassa (due March 29, 2011)

Preference for time per book seemed pretty evenly split in 2-4 week range; I would suggest splitting down the middle at 3 weeks per book except for: when Tiassa's due out. Does anyone who wanted longer think it would be worthwhile to trim it down to 2 weeks a book (+/- a week here and there for Major Holidays(/School Finals), whatever ones we find most relevant distractions in our lives) to be ready jump on Tiassa when it comes out?

appended question: What times of year should we allow more time for our group reading on account of great business? I am personally tempted to throw out most of December due to finals/Hanukah/Yuletide/Christmas; they all overlap and most of December looks pretty overwhelming.

vaguely related question: What do you think the spoiler policy should be for this community? Most recent book goes behind spoiler cut? Everything goes behind spoiler cut out of deference to those of our members who haven't read everything? Everything from a certain year on? I mean, I still refer to The Orca Spoiler and it's been--holy crap--14 years.

separate question: Those of you who want to do a reread of the Paarfi books together, do you want to run that concurrent to the Vlad reread, or after?
jmtorres: Morrolan from the Taltos books. Dark Star.  (morrolan)
[personal profile] jmtorres
So I had this idea that we could reread (or read, for those new to some!) the Vlad books together, to get talking about them. Would anyone be interested in a scheduled group reread?

Poll #4366 Reread the Dragaera books
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10

Are you interested in a group reread of the Vlad books?

View Answers

9 (90.0%)

1 (10.0%)

On what kind of time scale? How many weeks between books?

View Answers
Mean: 2.89 Median: 3 Std. Dev 0.74
10 (0.0%)
23 (33.3%)
34 (44.4%)
42 (22.2%)
50 (0.0%)
60 (0.0%)

What order should we use?

View Answers

Order written: Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla, Taltos...
4 (40.0%)

Chronological order: Taltos, um, Dragon, Yendi, Jhereg...
5 (50.0%)

Pull book titles out of a hat!
1 (10.0%)

Would you also be interested in a Paarfi reread?

View Answers

Yes, in order written, so after Phoenix we'd hit The Phoenix Guards
0 (0.0%)

Yes, in chronological order, so we'd do all the Paarfi before the Vlad
2 (20.0%)

Yes, separately from the Vlad reread
7 (70.0%)

1 (10.0%)

Thoughts? Concerns? Answers too complex to fit in a radio button? Your comments, please!

Unrelatedly, in the course of double-checking the book sequences I stumbled on the Adrilankha Gift Shop. I may have purchased a Shut Up, Loiosh tee, a Valabar's menu magnet, and a Klava recipe magnet (I've always meant to try that out, I bought a French press expressly for the purpose). I was tempted by the cycle tee and Paarfi's version of "My parents went to Dragaera and all they got me was this stupid t-shirt," but alas frugality won out. Shut Up, Loiosh is a much more important message to have on my boobs.
jmtorres: Morrolan from the Taltos books. Dark Star.  (morrolan)
[personal profile] jmtorres
This is a question that's been on my mind, as I just finished reading Iorich, found its spoilers? ) then jumped back to Taltos, a long-time favorite of mine, and started doing some compare and contrast. I also discovered that I cannot remember some of the later books well at all--while I can remember weird minutia from up to Teckla or so, I didn't think I'd read Jhegaala until the first twenty pages were unrelentingly familiar once I actually cracked the book, and I'm currently rereading Dzur because I can tell from my reaction post that I enjoyed it at the time, but that post is not specific enough to remind me why I was cackling hysterically. Actually, I think the last novel I have detail recall on is Orca, and the last one I have broad strokes recall on is Issola. So this may be relevant to mocking my opinions of Vlad in various eras of his life, and I am trying to correct it by going on a rereading spree.

The problems Vlad solves have gotten bigger. (Issola aside) we're mostly talking societally bigger, having to do with the populist movements of the "little people" and institutional oppressions perpetrated upon them. This should be very interesting to me, because in real life that kind of thing is interesting to me, but the problem for me is--Vlad's apolitical. He solves these problems like puzzles, and he solves for personal motivations like the "get my friend out of jail free" card, with no greater interest societal change. It's not out of character, but it's a dissonance that makes the later stuff harder for me to read, because I want to care and my narrator's emotionally uninvolved.

(Oooh. You know what I want? Fanfic-wise? The Cawti-and-maybe-Norathar POV of some of this stuff.)

Vlad was more emotionally invested in his assassin days, because everything he was working on was more personal. That's one reason why I like the earlier books better. And those books weren't devoid of world-built social problems; Vlad is a product of a racially prejudiced society, which was something that was interesting to read about. He was an extreme case of how someone functioning under the weight of institutional and casually violent prejudice might handle it, but just because it was extreme didn't mean parts of it weren't recognizable to me. But when he's introduced to the idea that he could do more than look out for himself and his loved ones in this harsh environment, that he could work to change the environment, he doesn't want to, doesn't think it has any chance of working because he's cynical and pessimistic about human--or human--nature, and doesn't have any investment in making things better for anyone else because for him the value of human life is the effort he didn't have to expend killing someone. That's part of his character. There's a scene in the flashbacks in Taltos, in between trying to remember at what age he first committed manslaughter, when he asks Noish-pa about Dragaeran worship of Verra and blood sacrifice, and Noish-pa says no, we don't do that, someday you will understand, and Vlad remarks that no, he never did understand. And there's a moment at the end of Iorich when spoilers? ) Vlad grew up in a really nasty environment and he's broken and he'll probably never be at a place where he can look further than the handful of people he considers his own, but the fact that he's been asked to and refused makes the later books rough for me--I am a "bring down the broken system" kind of person, so Vlad's reaction stops being something I recognize.

All societies form protections around privilege, those with power being invested in keeping their power. The Dragaeran Empire's mechanism for getting people to buy into the system is the cycle: everyone can look forward to the day that their people will be on top, so they can just bear what they have to go through right now on the strength of that promise. It makes me wonder how much power really does shift as the cycle turns--we've only seen what Dragaeran society is like in Phoenix/reborn Phoenix reigns, so I wonder, when it's flipped all the way around and say, Jhereg is on the throne--do Dragonlords lose class, do they seem less noble? I can't picture Jhereg or Teckla seeming more noble, actually getting respect from other groups. Is that how it's supposed to work? Someone should write fic from Sethra's POV on the matter, as I think she's the only person around with the perspective to say.

jmtorres: Morrolan from the Taltos books. Dark Star.  (morrolan)
[personal profile] jmtorres
This community is a recreation of the former [livejournal.com profile] valabars community, where many years ago we held a ficathon. The archive for that ficathon has been down for some time (some might say years!) so the current order of business is to get that fiction archived at Archive of Our Own, where it will be maintained without me having to pay much attention to it, since I am bad at paying attention and we would like it maintained despite my personal failings.

If you do not already have a login for AO3, this is where you request one. If I recall correctly it usually takes a day or so.

I have created a collection called Valabars and a subcollection called Valabars_2005, and when you post your story there is a box of options titled Associations, under which one line is "Post to Collections/Challenges" where you can type in "Valabars_2005". You can also type in the name of the person the story was for under "Recipient." I have tested this process, and you can see my results here: Valabar's 2005. If you have already posted your story at AO3 (I know there's at least one up there) you can edit the story and add this data to the relevant fields.

If you no longer have a copy of your story: fear not, I DO! Unfortunately I cannot post it for you; only the author can post at AO3. Please leave me a comment with your email or email me directly at juliette dot torres at gmail dot com to request anything you need.

I have HIGH HIGH HOPES that the automation of challenge and archival processes at Archive of Our Own mean I might get off my ass and run another challenge. And perhaps even run the damn thing annually. Who knows. We'll see. Let's shoot for me getting some info up on this community profile first, hey?


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