ASoIaF vs. GoT, Seventh: Ser Bronn and Lollys Stokeworth

I am enjoying this entirely too much. Quick, let me write this here post before HBO releases the third episode and I get some other shiny thing to chase!

S5:E2 gives us our first glimpse of Bronn’s wife-to-be, Lollys Stokeworth. Tyrion had called her “dim-witted,” and she appears to be unsophisticated, but Bronn likes unsophisticated just fine. Especially if it comes with lands and titles.

The Stokeworths are a minor family in the Crownlands, regularly seen at court. There’s an elderly mother, Lady Tanda, with two grown daughters: the older one, Falyse, who is 40 and has no children to show for 10 years of marriage, her husband Balman, and the younger one, Lollys, who is 34, still maiden, and is known as “Lollys Lackwit” for a reason. When we see Lollys in the books, she’s not just a silly girl who prattles on about wedding plans. She appears to have the cognitive capacities of a small child. I’d put her mental age in the 3-5 range. Lady Tanda tried to get Tyrion to marry Lollys at one point. Tyrion wasn’t having it.

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Is the word “Hello” not in your vocabulary?

This here is the sum total of an interaction I had with some dude who is more than old enough to know better. Yes, he opened with THAT.

I consider a 76% match too low. This guy isn’t making me feel differently.

“You will never get a man like that.” Heeee! Funny, how I’ve had plenty of conversations with people who didn’t think it was cute to begin a conversation with, “But do you like sex?” Yes, even on OKC! I’ve been on the site long enough to have found many perfectly decent people using it. This one is far from the worst, but he’s hardly the best it has to offer. I’ve already attracted the notice of a number of people (both men and women!) who have better social skills and more respect for boundaries than Mr. 76% Match. 

Commenting on the supposed ridiculousness of the site doesn’t make your asshattery any more charming.

Oh, and I hear from 22-year-olds who behave more appropriately than this 54-year-old.

ASoIaF & GoT, Sixth: Big Bitch and Little Bird

I understand if you mentally switch that title to “Big Bird and Little Bitch.”

As much as I’ve been waiting about the GoT crew like the Lannisters are my own family, I must now confess to you all that my true favorite is Brienne. When I watched the first season, I was most enamored of Jon Snow and Daenerys, but ever since I saw seasons 2 and 3, it’s been all about the Big Swordswench of the Sapphire Isle. So for this entry, I’m going to show my big stubborn Sapphire Islander some love, and focus on the encounter between her and Sansa in Season 5, Episode 2. This essay will focus on the similarities between books and show, rather than the differences. In this case, I think the common elements are more illuminating than the contrasts.

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Don’t let me stop you from going your own way!

Dave Futrelle shows us this…fascinating…suggestion from some MGTOWer who combines homophobia with misogyny in a way that tries to sound incredibly smug but mostly just seems really insecure. His idea is that women are screwing ourselves over by supporting gay rights because that’s creating more gay men and thus fewer husbands for women. (Riiiiiiight.) His theory?

My opinion on homosexuality is that a small number of people are born gay, maybe with a “gay gene” activated or something of the sort, or brain of the opposite gender, but most gays are created by their environment (upbringing, lack of sexual interest from the opposite sex, etc.).

…and, supposedly, the increasing acceptance of sexual diversity is creating an environment in which a lot more gay men are “created.” Which means fewer men available for women to marry. And that would be such an incredibly terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing for the women of such societies.

Let’s go over that again:

My opinion on homosexuality is that a small number of people are born gay

Yeah, we totally need your opinion.

maybe with a “gay gene” activated or something of the sort, or brain of the opposite gender,

“A brain of the opposite gender”? People still think like this? Mert da ferk? It’s 2015!

I’m sure I’d have to slap a massive trigger warning on anything this character says about trans women.

but most gays are created by their environment (upbringing, lack of sexual interest from the opposite sex, etc.).

Upbringing? Like…so many children raised watching nearly everyone around them pursue same-sex relationships and eschew heterosexuality? Relative paucity of representation of heterosexual relationships in the media? Is there a universe in which this is happening?

And then…lack of sexual interest from the opposite sex. By that reasoning, the MGTOW movement in general should be full of men discovering the joy of fucking dudes. Which would be fine by me! Instead, the Men Going Their Own Way are overwhelmingly preoccupied with hating women for being too ugly, too independent and way too picky for them. (And if that sounds like a mass of contradictions, welcome to the world of organized woman-hating.) And that shouldn’t really be a surprise, as most gay men have way too much self-respect to go anywhere near this bunch. The one putting for this theory also makes sure to shout “NO HOMO” while suggesting that he might have turned out differently if he’d grown up in a more accepting environment.

I can’t stop giggling over that image of gays being “created” by an environment. I’m picturing babies growing in tanks like they do on Krypton as shown in Man of Steel.

Keeping Up With the Hugos, 4/20/15


From Scalzi’s post:
“Also, can we please now stop pretending that this whole Puppy nonsense began for any other reason than that once upon a time, Larry Correia thought he was going to win an award and was super pissed he didn’t, and decided that the reason he didn’t had to be a terrible, awful conspiracy against people just like him (a conservative! Writing “fun” fiction!), as opposed to, oh, the voters deciding they just plain liked something and someone else better? Can we stop pretending that a fellow who practically begs people to nominate his work three years running, hiding the begging behind an oh-so-thin veil of “let’s stick it to the SJWs!” doesn’t desperately crave the external validation that he thinks the award will bring? Can we stop pretending that this is anything other than a grown up child stomping his feet, screaming look at me, look at me, loooook at meeeeee? Because, come on, folks. We’re well past the point of genteel here. Let’s call it for what it is.”

Oh, dear. Y’all may be too polite and compassionate to point and laugh, but I’m not.

Originally posted on Whatever:

Hey, look, I’m home! Finally I’ll have a Hugo post whose comment thread I’ll be around to moderate. So let me present some not-terribly-organized thoughts on the current state of things (if you missed my previous Hugo-related posts on Whatever, they are here, here and here; also, File770 is doing a fine job keeping up with all the latest on the Hugos):

* I probably shouldn’t admit that I’m having a schadenfreudilicious time watching Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen now desperately try to put sunlight between themselves and that toxic bigot Vox Day, but I’m not going to lie: I am, and also, it’s not working for them at all, as there is a fairly obvious evidence trail to suggest there was hardly any sunlight between them until Day suddenly became inconvenient. Correia and Torgersen are two guys who brought an arsonist to a party, and when the arsonist…

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“Authorly” is a real word because I say so.

It’s been a lovely, sunny weekend here in Maryland, so of course I’ve spent most of the day indoors and doing my authorly duties. The paperback of Suicide is for Mortals is not quite ready, but I spent much of yesterday formatting a nice shiny final version, and I uploaded the new interior today. Once Createspace lets me check off some boxes, then I’ll order the proof copies to verify that it looks the way a paperback should.

If you subscribe to my mailing list, you will receive a short story as told by my character Scanlon Ness!

I have verified that Suicide is for Mortals is available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble! And of course it’s always available on Kindle.

There’s a new page in the top menu: After the Resettlement, as told by “Professor” Julian Teng. This is another view of the After Rezarta world. Is Professor Teng an entirely reliable narrator? That’s a good question, but he’s always sincere.

Finally, the Suicide is for Mortals paperback giveaway is still happening. Winners will receive the nice shiny final version of the book. If you don’t have a Goodreads account, there’s no time like the present to sign up.

ASOIAF vs. GoT, Fifth: Tyrion’s First Wife

 There’s a recent article at Cracked, by Michael Hossey, featuring “5 Scenes on Game of Thrones That Make No Sense.” The first one he describes concerns the characterization development that I want to discuss today: Tyrion and his first wife, Tysha. Hossey’s article gives some examples of why I feel the need to write these books/show comparisons. It’s not because I think the show is  inferior to the books, or that every deviation from the source material needs to be explained and justified. Some changes actually make the show better! Some are perfectly harmless. That adorable conversation with Tyrion and Jaime reminiscing about their poor brain-damaged cousin Orson, for example, contributes absolutely nothing to plot development or characterization, but I love it. No justification needed there! Sometimes, though, the showrunners change things in ways that honestly don’t add up very well. I wrote that incredibly long post on Jaime losing his hand, with that even longer citations file, because the show left us with a cheap and flimsy explanation for why the sword hand had to be chopped. I didn’t go to all that trouble because I’m so pleased with myself for reading the books! I started with the show before I tried the books, and I’ve only just now read (most of) the first one. With Tyrion and his relationships to Tysha and Shae, I think the showrunners left out valuable information, and truncated an important conversation, in ways that sell the characters short. Bear with me, and I’ll show you what I mean. Here are the citations. Everything I talk about in this post is backed up in the file.

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ASOIAF vs. GoT, Fourth: Maggy the Frog

Who else here is thrilled as fuck that HBO Now is a thing? *raises hand* Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to watch the new episode last night! Yeah! And it was a good one. Imagine my perverse delight when I realized that cute little blond girl in the opening scene was Wee!Cersei. For the benefit of the TV-only folks, I will tell you about what’s going on in that scene.

Cersei and her friend are visiting Maggy the Frog. Her friend’s name is Melara Heatherspoon. The name “Maggy” is a bastardization of “maegi,” or “witch.” In the books, Maggy is a very old and ugly woman, hence the “Frog.” The prophecy as told on the show is mostly faithful to the books, but incomplete.

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Something called “Puppygate” is now a thing.

GRRMartin is writing with his thoughts on a new controversy in SFF fandom, concerning the politics of the Hugo Awards. Introduction here, beginning opinions here. More posts to come.

Meat of the controversy:

And for those who do not have the appetite to wage through thousands of posts, well, the basics are simple. A group of writers and fans, many of them of a conservative political and/or literary bent, felt that they were not being adequately represented in the Hugo Awards, and put together their own slate of stories and writers they wanted on the ballot. They blogged, they organized, they got out their voters, and they were wildly successful… to the extent that this year’s Hugo ballot is dominated by their choices.

Call it block voting. Call it ballot stuffing. Call it gaming the system. There’s truth to all of those characterizations.

You can’t call it cheating, though. It was all within the rules.

But many things can be legal, and still bad… and this is one of those, from where I sit.

I think the Sad Puppies have broken the Hugo Awards, and I am not sure they can ever be repaired.

Further explanation:

If the Sad Puppies wanted to start their own award… for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be… whatever it is they are actually looking for… hey, I don’t think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn’t. More power to them.

But that’s not what they are doing here, it seems to me. Instead they seem to want to take the Hugos and turn them into their own awards. Hey, anyone is welcome to join worldcon, to become part of worldcon fandom… but judging by the comments on the Torgesen and Correia sites, a lot of the Puppies seem to actively hate worldcon and the people who attend it, and want nothing to do with us. They want to determine who gets the Ditmars, but they don’t want to be Australians.

This is why I tend to stick to a Don’t Read the Comments policy.