Neil McCrea Neil's Comments (member since Mar 18, 2009)

Neil's comments from the fiction files redux group.

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Anti Mary Sue? (8 new)
Oct 25, 2013 08:44AM

15336 This is a thing. The pop culture website The Mary Sue is named after it, and it pops up frequently in reviews here on FB. I resisted using or acknowledging the term for some time, as I found it irritating, but it seems so ubiquitous now that I've given in.
Anti Mary Sue? (8 new)
Oct 24, 2013 11:54AM

15336 Zuckerman is a good one. A friend of mine suggested calling it a Woody Allen, which fits well and made me laugh.

Since I've become interested in labeling the phenomenon I've noticed it more and more. Dickens and Austen are literary heavy hitters that have famously created Mary Sues. It seems to me that Celine, Hamsun, Dostoyevsky and Sartre regularly create Zuckermans.
Anti Mary Sue? (8 new)
Oct 23, 2013 11:14AM

15336 Is there a term for the opposite of a Mary Sue? If a Mary Sue is an exaggeratedly kick-ass author surrogate that gets to live out the writer's fantasies, what would you call a ridiculously pathetic author surrogate who is relentlessly punished for the author's self-perceived flaws?
15336 Neat bit of literary detective work there.
15336 Nietzsche was obsessed with Dostoyevsky and quoted from him often in his letters. C&P was his personal favorite Dostoyevsky novel. There are many, many papers attempting to establish points of connection between the two, but as far as anyone can tell Dostoyevsky was completely unaware of Nietzsche and his work. Could it be that Nietzsche was quoting the scene in question?
15336 Doesn't reading Crime and Punishment count as wedding planning?

wokka wokka

Try the veal. I'll be here all week.
Jul 11, 2013 11:01AM

15336 I'm in agreement on 4 through 10, but I apparently have an inner book fascist that would like to trample rights 1 - 3.

Fortunately, I can keep him under control during polite conversation.
Stoker Awards (1 new)
Jun 18, 2013 02:03PM

15336 The Stoker awards for excellence in horror literature took place the other day. I was very excited to see that two of the winners are friends . . . er, internet acquaintances . . . er, people who tolerate me pestering them online. Caitlin Kiernan won the award for best horror novel with the amazing The Drowning Girl. L.L. Soares won the award for best first horror novel. I'm not really a big awards fan, but it's always nice when your horse comes in.

Someone other than me, please go read these books.
Dork 2013 (238 new)
Jun 15, 2013 08:14AM

15336 I'm out. I'm not in the dire financial straits I was in past years, but Chris' new business and various minor family difficulties have sapped any extra money and time we may have had.

drat. I'm not even at 50% attendance anymore.
Octavia Butler (10 new)
Jun 12, 2013 03:48PM

15336 Maybe her Earthseed books? The Parable of the Sower and its sequel. I haven't read them, but they come highly recommended. They're a post-apocalyptic storyline, but I believe the focus is on the rebuilding of society after a massive environmental/economic collapse rather than on the turmoil of the collapse itself. Micha rated the Parable of the Sower 5 stars.
Octavia Butler (10 new)
Jun 12, 2013 03:28PM

15336 I haven't read it, although it sounds very much in accord with the themes she liked to play with.

I don't recall Fledgling as being particularly scary, but I devour so much adrenaline inducing, fear driven media, that I may be a little desensitized. I would suspect that there may be a few scenes that would prove too uncomfortable. For that matter there is a heavy suspense element in Kindred that may make that one a poor choice as well.

I will think about it for a bit.
Octavia Butler (10 new)
Jun 11, 2013 03:04PM

15336 I've read a bunch, and when she passed I was surprised to learn she lived just down the street from some friends of mine.

Kindred is probably her most famous novel, and it's certainly a powerful one. It is a time travel story dealing with a contemporary black woman who finds herself repeatedly sent back in time to the antebellum South.

I also enjoyed Fledgling. Every time I tell myself I'm done with a particular genre trope I seem to find a novel that makes me care about it again. In this case Butler managed to make me give a crap about vampires again.
Dork 2013 (238 new)
Jun 05, 2013 01:49PM

15336 One weekend I'll have scraped up enough to go, but before I buy my ticket there will be a new crisis with Chris' salon, or the lawsuit I'm involved in, or my damned car.

It's looking less likely, but I haven't given up hope.
Amazon is coming (36 new)
Apr 14, 2013 08:03AM

15336 Ha! At the same time Patty was writing that last post, Chris was extolling the virtues of to me.
Apr 04, 2013 11:41AM

15336 If you are looking to find writers that don't read much, or read within very narrow parameters, simply attend a writing workshop or two at your local community center, library, or community college, you'll meet plenty of them. There are plenty of on-line writing groups to find them in as well. And the answers to your final two questions are yes and yes.
Mar 20, 2013 04:14PM

15336 Reflecting on the situations I mentioned earlier in the thread, I am certain that the conversations were more focused on me defending my reading of fiction rather than my actively attempting to get them to read fiction.

This does seem to come up regularly in my life, always from men, and always as a challenge to my "shiftless, useless, bohemian lifestyle".
Mar 15, 2013 04:51PM

15336 I have work from a number of friends and colleagues to catch up on.

Nirvana Haymaker

It Broke Anyway

Bandana Wasteland
Mar 15, 2013 04:47PM

15336 I absolutely loved The Terror, and view the upcoming television mini-series with a mixture of curiosity and concern.

I read all the Ian Fleming Bond novels and short stories when I was in high school, but I don't remember much about them other than I enjoyed them and that they were considerably more subdued than the movies.

Right now, I'm in the midst of a giant Hard Case Crime marathon, Mickey Spillane's last novel is up next, and I'm muddling through the intriguing but slow pacedHarbor
Mar 15, 2013 04:41PM

15336 I have encountered a couple of people like that. Asking about their movie and television tastes was no aid as neither of them never watched anything other than sports/music events/documentaries. I was able to sell one of them on the hardest of hard Sci-Fi, speculation on what may happen based on the most up to date scientific information. Pretty much Ben Bova and his ilk. Even then he was iffy on the non technical parts of the novels. The other guy maintains a hearty disdain for all fiction.
Essays (20 new)
Mar 03, 2013 11:47PM

15336 You've got to start with Montaigne, as he is credited with popularizing the essay form. I had a grand time reading his complete essays in dribs and drabs over the course of a year or so.
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