alias_sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Am trying very hard to not be a jerk about the “what if Jane Austen wrote Star Trek” post a few people have reblogged today on tumblr but godddd how can so many people take these canons that are WALL TO WALL social commentary and jokes and throw away everything except (to me) secondary aspects like character quirks and a distinctive use of semi colons.

Like...I have been rereading a bunch of Jane Austen’s character descriptions recently for a Thing, and I am pretty sure she was incapable of describing anyone for more than a sentence without insulting them, and then probably making some jab at the hypocrisy of whoever is observing them.

I was going to say this is like people in two hundred years writing about Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert and putting a lot of effort into making the language and fashion accurate but having the Daily Show just be a mainstream, earnest news show that never makes jokes but...people kind of do that now, and I GUESS it’s ok that they’re enjoying themselves, and that not everyone has fun the same way I do. I GUESS. MAYBE.

It mostly annoys me because it's not just a subset of fans doing this. There's room for all sorts. But the intellectually shallow nostalgia driven approach is the default across all of popular culture, and the more visible and well funded the adaptation the more likely it is to ignore the things that make the original unique and challenging. (I just had the mental image of Zach Snyder's Pride and Prejudice. That would be...something)

It's also possibly relevant that I am ok at matching Jane Austen's sarcasm but gave up on the semi colons entirely; this may affect my idea of the core traits of an Austen pastiche.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
Saw this yesterday, and I liked it! Unlike the previous two, it was a sincere and mostly successful attempt to make an actual Star Trek movie: There was a mildly interesting philosophical conflict, some attempt at diversity, and a LOT of bromancey interactions between Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Although most of the film was made up of fight scenes and explosions, which were pretty. It felt a bit like an original series Star Trek episode spliced with a Michael Bay film. Sometimes that fusion felt a little strained but it was enjoyable enough. It's not SUPER scary but some scary stuff does happen.

The diversity was very pasted on, it is at heart very much a story about White Dudes Saving The Day, and while the fact there's a teeny bit of lgbt representation is nice (and it was handled ok) it's just ambiguous enough that a determined homophobe could say they were just Very Close Friends, and homophobic censors can easily cut it entirely. On the plus side I thought they were going somewhere Very Racist with the villain and they weren't, though he's still a POC-in-latex villain (with an African accent I think? I am so bad at accents) being defeated by a white hero.

Also Uhura and her relationship with Spock is so quickly sidelined it felt like the start of a slash fic. If it had actually turned into Spock/Kirk/Bones it might almost have been worth it but no, it was no homo bromance all the way. Sulu could have had more to do as well. On the plus side, the "Strong Female Characters who are competent and not sexualised but ultimately secondary to men" approach to women in this film is still more feminist than "Into Darkness". And the new female character is conventionally attractive but noone seems to notice, it all feels like brotherly friendship (I don't think we ever see her talking to any women. In general this is not a Bechdel Test friendly movie)

As someone who used to be a HUGE fan of the original Star Trek movies I did enjoy the cuddly bromacey feels. Everyone felt more in character than in the previous two, and there was in general a cuddly, optimistic feel to the Enterprise and Federation as a whole. Also, since it would have been heartbreaking given that the actor died: nothing bad happens to Chekhov.

And it really is pretty. Lots of cool science fictiony special effects.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Movies: Star Trek: Into Darkness! Saw it today! Apart from one or two VERY SKETCHY DECISIONS RACEWISE(*) and some silly plot holes it was quite enjoyable. It hit me in the Star Trek TOS feels without saying or doing anything very new, I don't know how enjoyable it would be for anyone who doesn't feel lots of affection for the original series and/or previous movie, though there were thrilling explosions and all that. The female characters and POC got to do stuff and be competent but it was mostly about Spock and Kirk (and to a lesser extent Bones and then the rest of the crew) The Spock&Kirk relationship wasn't self consciously slashy, just friendship which in no way conflicted with Spock/Uhura etc *ships Uhura/Spock/Kirk even more than previously* Anyone who hasn't seen the original movies who liked this one should definitely watch them, there's some cute paralells (maybe start from 2, I have heard bad things about 1)

Music: Fantasies by Metric. Which I discovered almost entirely through Homestuck fanmixes haha. Really enjoying it, bought a copy from JB Hifi.

Games: Candy Box! Silly fun little browser game. Give it a little while to get going before you give up on it.

What I'm reading/playing etc right now:
Jade Empire, finally got it to work. It didn't grab me though so I've played like 5 minutes.

What's next:
I'm not sure!

(*)This spoilery link captures my feelings, and I am very glad I was spoiled. Seriously, JJ Abrams, you couldn't even be as progressive as the 1960s?
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
First, something NOT ABOUT HOMESTUCK OMG


Pride and Prejudice IN SPACE
by ~sqbr on deviantART and Pride and Prejudice IN SPACE at Tumblr

And now a bunch of Homestuck art. Some of this came out quite pretty, imo, plus there's an Avatar the Last Airbender crossovery thing. Descriptions at each link.

I think one of the reason I keep creating so much Homestuck art is the active, friendly fanart community, even though any individual picture of mine rarely gets many comments it's nice being part of a bustling creative discussion.

Plus [livejournal.com profile] yuletart has started, I've started reccing Homestuck at [community profile] fanart_recs and I have my [community profile] white_lotus assignment. *is a happy little fanartist*

A hundred million Homestuck pictures under the cut )

And now to try in vain to draw for a different fandom...
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
First I made this picture of Amanda Grayson and Winona Kirk shaking hands:
Winona and Amanda

And then I got this awesome [profile] trekreversebang fic written about it:

Title: Dexterity
Artist: [personal profile] alias_sqbr
Author: [personal profile] leupagus, [personal profile] screamlet, [personal profile] waldorph
Rating (both art/fic): PG
Genre/Pairing: gen, some Winona Kirk/Amanda Grayson, Winona Kirk/George Kirk and Amanda Grayson/Sarek subtext
Word Count: 7938
Warnings: None
Fic Summary: Detailing one of Amanda Grayson's first diplomatic assignments, which happens to be on the USS Kelvin.
Link to Fic: At AO3

My first writer dropped out and my second, [personal profile] leupagus, had Stuff come up but she went the extra mile and found people to cover and between the three of them they did an AMAZING job. I love this fic, it's everything I wanted and more. Femslashiness! Snark! Linguistics! Awesometacular female characters! I was there going "This reminds me of that great George Kirk/Winona Kirk fic "What to expect when you're expecting"...and it turns out that's because [personal profile] screamlet and [personal profile] waldorph wrote that too.
alias_sqbr: Alien city skyline (atlantis)
Artist matchups and thumbnail reveals (in a locked post) came out for [livejournal.com profile] trekreversebang today.

My writer (not sure if I'm allowed to say who publicly) seems really cool and enthusiastic. I decided to draw something I have never seen in fic but would really like to, and she seems to be as enthusiastic at the prospect as I am am ^_^

It's funny seeing the different levels of finishedness of the "draft" pictures (this is quite separate to the quality) Some look pretty much finished to me (including some incredibly detailed pictures that must have taken ages) others are still mostly scaffolding, or at least have lots of scaffolding visible. Mine was about in the middle, I think, which is a comfortable place to be.

Now those who read a locked post I made a few days ago about my overwhelming anxiety about feedback on unfinished pictures and deadlines etc might wonder at me signing up for such a thing, but I think I can cope as long as I know roughly what I'm supposed to be drawing well in advance, and my writer has agreed to try and give me rough details to work from as early as possible(*). I made sure my draft worked as a finished picture as is, even if it could do with a more detailed background and shading etc. Anyway, I really liked doing [livejournal.com profile] thelittlebang but felt paralysed by indecision and the enormity of the task faced with this giant story to illustrate, this way I have the idea and basic picture finished to start with and just need to finesse it a bit.

(*)I hope me saying this didn't make her anxious! But I can finish the picture even if the story still has a long way to go.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
We don't have to warn for spoilers for Star Trek any more do we?

I was just thinking: I've seen fic dealing with Spock Prime(*)'s relationship with Kirk (mainly from an often angsty "Kirk and Spock were together in the alternate timeline but possibly not this one, and certainly not Kirk and this Spock" POV) and I think one or two dealing with Spock Prime's relationship with reboot!Spock.

But I think it would be interesting to know how Spock Prime feels about reboot!Uhura: if they weren't together in the alternate future then it would be kind of weird, and if they were then she's the alternate past version of his dead ex which would also be weird. And how would Uhura and reboot!Spock feel knowing they never got together in the alternate future despite working together for so long? Or that they got together and broke up?

For that matter, getting past the potential for romantic angst, I think everyone would be interested in what happened to them in this alternate future, and it would be strange for Spock Prime seeing all the changes (and there are bound to be many), not just the ones that personally affect him like the death of his mother and destruction of Vulcan.

*is a geek about time travel stories*

(*)The one from the alternate future, played by Leonard Nimoy
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
EDIT: Oops, this was supposed to go to [livejournal.com profile] fan_comics. Well, since they're here, enjoy the recs anyway :)
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
A while ago I saw [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn's awesome Gender-reversed Star Trek 2009 cast picspam and was hit the horrible realisation that I was going to have to draw it.

EDIT: Coloured and slightly corrected version below.




This image was the best I could find with a majority of the main cast, so not everyone's in it. You want the rest, you draw them yourself :) See my delicious bookmarks for the other reference shots.

If it was a smaller picture I'd fiddle with various aspects but I just don't have the energy.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
The word "race" means many things in sff: real life ethnic groups (europeans, africans etc), fictional ethnic groups (Numenorans, Darthacans etc), and (possibly non-human) sentient species (vulcans, elves etc)

Often these fictional "races" are used as a metaphor for, or draw upon, real life ethnic or cultural issues. This can be done well, part of the long tradition of sff using metaphor to make broad and powerful statements about the human condition. But often these stories are warped by the authors unexamined prejudices, as well as the problems inherent in equating the arbitrary divisions of race and culture to the objective biological divisions between species.

In Part One of this essay I go through some of the issues involved with using non-human species as a metaphor for race. In Part Two (if I write it) I'll go through some of the issues with using made-up ethnic groups and cultures as a metaphor for real ones.

EDIT: I never wrote Part 2, but here are the notes for a panel I took part in on the subject.

Disclaimer: I'm feeling sleepy and stupid but need to get this out of my head (I've been putting off posting it for like a year while it gets longer and longer in my head) I know I'm prone to over-generalisations and am not all that good at expressing myself, but please don't point out my minor errors without also thinking about my actual point. Though really, if anyone read the whole thing at all I'll be grateful :)

I don't really have a point as such (beyond pointing out how dodgy it all can be), just disconnected thoughts. It's not something I've seen explored beyond discussions of individual stories, and I'd like to get the ideas out of my head and hear other people's POV. I'm considering a Swancon panel on a topic like this, and also may do a redraft and post to a relevant community, so any and all suggestions, corrections or thoughts would be VERY appreciated.

Oh, and if the length of the disclaimer didn't tip you off: it's LONG.
Part One: Different Species )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
First off, I ended up being sick for three and a half weeks (!!) so have horribly ignored many people's posts, comments etc. I do care! Really!

I have been converted to the total joy that is rosemary on roast potatoes after eating the ones Katie made at Terracon. She is a culinary queen.

Watched Enterprise with Cam, and it's actually not that bad once you get past the incredibly bad first season, especially in seasons 3 and 4. As in, not that bad for Star Trek. I realised recently that watching Babylon 5 significantly raised my tolerance for superficially crappy tv sf, since underneath the crud lies a really good story. Of course Star Trek is frequently crap all the way down, but now I can enjoy the good bits here and there.

I have been playing Final Fantasy X and really enjoying it, I think partly becuase it's a lot quicker and easier to get into the meat of the story than with the others, and is also very pretty. I find myself liking the somewhat cheesy voiceover, even. Unfortunately my FF8 saves were lost when I discovered that our 8mb ps1 cartridge was not designed for ps2s, and since the fact monsters level up with you takes a lot of the fun out of my level-up-till-you-know-you're-invincible approach I may not get back to it. Anyone got a copy of ff7 I can borrow for a Very Long Time once I'm finished with ffx? (I'm crap at computer games)

Oh! And we've decided on our wedding cake, we're booking them tommorrow. I designed it myself, keeping it a surpise :) (Except from other upcoming bride-to-bes like [livejournal.com profile] nico_wolfwood)
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
Well, despite being very (ok, slightly) ill I have drawn...another comic. Not an entirely true and accurate account, we actually watched season 2 first but I felt that would be an unneccesary complication.

Cam's anti-spam measures seem to be working which is nice.

While I did enjoy some of the episodes I still don't think I'd watch it except over Cam's shoulder. I find myself increasingly put off dramas which use the reset switch every episode, probably because I've been spoiled by Buffy. Still, the fact that very few if any episodes ended with the moral "See, if only you silly aliens had been more like the crew of the enterprise (ie mildly liberal middleclass americans) none of this would have happened!" was a definite plus. And I now understand why the one black human character gets so little attention, it's not racism it's because the actor is really annoying.

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