Watching: Vividcon — Anything for Love by astolat and Speranza

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If you’re a fan of television or movies, especially if you’re one of those fans, then you’re probably aware that Vividcon took place a few weeks ago. And where there is Vividcon, there are great vids! I thought I’d do a series highlighting some of my favorites that came out of the convention.

Title: Anything for Love by astolat and Speranza
Summary: I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that! …oh, all right. (Vividcon 2012 Premiere)
My thoughts: A meta, multi-fandom vid focusing on the experience fans and fandom, their passionate and ultimately fickle nature, and the extent fans will go to for their love of characters (and pairings and fandom and fannish creations and sharing the love). If you have ever shared a fannish love (obsession) with any one, then you might know what it’s like to be Thelma and Louise going over that cliff. (“Let’s make that vid! Write that fanfic! Create that art! Whoosh! Plummet! Over the edge!”) As the vidders themselves put it–fans sometimes feel ‘dubconned’ into their big, massive, fannish emotions, and this video captures that so well.

Links of interest about this vid:
1) Annotations and credits as well as other information on the making and inspiration of the video.
2. The video on Archive of Our Own

My favorite parts:

1) I love that it’s multifandom. How hilarious/sad/something is it that I know every single source used in this, and have been fannish about several?
2) I adore the big, fat red X over Tumblr (I won’t do that) and how it just dissolves under the heat of fannish love (oh, all right, I’ll do that).
3) I love that the fickle nature of fandom is captured with Thor looking so betrayed at the end when the fans get distracted by Magic Mike, and Loki comforting him. “But, brother, why do they not want to write stories about our angsty, epic, not-really-incest-but-not-really-not-incest love anymore?” “It will be okay, Thor. Shh. It will be okay.”
4. I absolutely love how they’ve captured the gleeful, delightful, whimsical, gorgeous, awesome insanity of fandoms with Adam Lambert as Mary Poppins, the Lex Luthor paper dolls, the babies dressed in Star Trek uniforms, and etc.

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There is meta in the use of this fanart! 

(by Thunderfrost)

 

If this post has you thinking, “Fandom? What? Tumblr, huh? What is this crazy stuff? And, really, all this madness,time, effort over movies and tv shows? Why? Why would you spend time on this?” Well, there is a post coming your way soon about how movies and television are important media, worthy of study, and that how people interact with this modern source of story and myth is massively important and amazing. But that day is not today.

In the meantime, go forth and do anything for love, y’all. Just don’t…do that. (Oh, all right. Do that.)

Watching: TeenWolf MTV

I had some more serious post to put up today, but, uh, no. Because, y’all, stop the presses! I have a television show love affair going on. It’s the most ridiculous thing. To quote my online friend, nodetective, it’s like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville had a baby, no! puppy!, and that puppy is this show. What show it is? TeenWolf, the MTV Series.

What do you need to know about this show? Only these things:

1. It is laugh out loud funny at times. Mainly due to this guy:

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Dylan O’Brien as Stiles

2. Everyone on the show is really dang pretty, and I don’t know about you, but I’m down with eye candy. Oh, yes, I am.

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3. There is someone on the show who looks like this:

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4. And the guys have their shirts off all the time.

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No, like all the time!!
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5. And there’s a lot of supernatural urgency going on that leads to life and death situations and Stiles breathing with an open mouth.

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6. STILES!!!!!!!

And, yes, I know everything in this post is about the man candy for the most part, but aside from it being, you know, ridiculous, it’s a really enjoyable show, paced well, with interesting characters, and I can’t wait for more!

If you’re behind, you can watch on the MTV site linked above, Netflix Instant (Season 1 only), or iTunes. Totally worth a gander, yo.

Kickstarter, Publishing, and the Fans Kicking In A Buck

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Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman from a photo shoot by Kyle Cassidy

So, I was reading In Defense of Expensive Things by Kyle Cassidy, in which he clarifies a few things about his involvement in Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter Project for her new album. I thought it was a great post, and it was posted either on the same day, or near to the same day as a Facebook post from Independent Musician Casey Stratton in which he said, “My new single EP is still holding as the #2 seller on Bandcamp! It is a really great feeling. Thanks so much to everyone who has purchased it. Like a version of a Kickstarter – you can buy the music for $5 or add extra to help me with the new album fund. “The Calling of the Crows” will be released on May 16.” (Casey Stratton’s EP, When the Fates Came)

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The two posts in close succession led me to start thinking about pricing in the e-book market, and suddenly I wondered if there might be some benefit to giving the customer the option to pay more. I know that sounds odd, but the truth is, if I’m buying anything from Bandcamp, I almost always toss in an extra dollar over the requested price (sometimes more if I really like the artist or I know them a bit like I know Casey), simply because it doesn’t cost me that much to feel extra good about myself for giving back a bit more to the artist.

So, I started thinking, I wonder if e-book publishers could feasibly consider doing that? I mean, yeah, maybe 90% of buyers won’t use the option, but if 10% do that’s just found money basically, right? And perhaps the author gets a higher percentage of that money than they do for the regular price of the book since the assumption could reasonably be made that the reason someone is willing to chip in more is due to liking the author’s previous work or due to the author’s reputation.

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Another thing I started thinking — is there something like Bandcamp for authors? Like a place where someone can sell their own book but also allow the possibility for someone paying more for it? Is that what Smashwords is like? A fast google tells me that, yes, Smashwords does seem to do that: https://www.smashwords.com/ But I think a problem with Smashwords might be that it’s too broad. They have everything there.

As a tangential but related thought, the thing with Kickstarter is that it’s all about trust. If you fail your supporters then it’s no good, but I think that it’s a game changer in the world for a lot of reasons. Like, for example, the Husbands folks have basically funded their entire 2nd season through Kickstarter? And, of course, there’s the Amanda Palmer example. But if you can get enough of a following to by-pass the industries? Wow, you know? That’s amazing. Of course, Amanda Palmer (and Husbands folks) couldn’t have gotten that following without the help of the industry and where that’s gotten them. Amanda Palmer was on labels, etc, for a long time to get her loyal fanbase. Cheeks (Brad Bell) from Husbands gained fame the hard way, via YouTube, etc, and basically made nothing from that for a long time, but Husbands has Jane Espensen behind it which gives it credibility, and she was involved with Buffy, etc, and now is on Once Upon a Time, so everyone knows she’s legit, and I think that’s why they were willing to give over some bucks to the project.

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Jane Espensen on the set of Husbands: The Series

I hope Tori Amos is eying this Amanda Palmer thing closely — she should be! She’s having so much trouble with the studios lately, but she has loyal and rabid fans. She could probably fund her next tour via Kickstarter, or at least part of it. Lord knows I’d kick in some bucks!
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By the way,  just a reminder that my new book with Keira Andrews can be purchased at both Ellora’s Cave and at amazon.com,

Reading: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

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After reading and loving the story Foundling by Diana Peterfreund in Brave New Love: 13 Dystopian Tales of Desire, I decided to see what else she had written. After reviewing the offerings, I decided to give the Killer Unicorns series a try.

Yes. I know. You read that right. The Killer Unicorns Series. You, too, can give it a try if you wish. You can find it HERE.
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All in all, I loved the book. It took me quite awhile to suspend my disbelief about a) unicorns, b) killer unicorns, and c) unicorns in the middle of Rome, but once I managed it, the book was really fun, thrilling, and a page turner. It read very much as a young adult novel, which is fine since that is the target audience, but I think that anyone with the ability to actively suspend disbelief and embrace something fantastical for the sake of an adventure will enjoy this novel. As I was reading, I was reminded of my youth when reading was the most captivating for me. I still love to read, and I still think that reading is one of the best ways to spend time, but it has been a long time since I was able to read a book with the same suspension of disbelief that I was able to achieve when I was, say, 12 or 13.

This book, when I was able to put my adult disbelief aside, took me to that magical realm of reading that I remember from that age. It was exciting, sweet, silly, and serious at times. The only mild complaint I might have is that the ‘reluctant heroine’ trope was a bit worn out, but it wasn’t as if I didn’t understand the heroine’s reluctance. The requirements for the job of Killer Unicorn Hunter aren’t fun — virginity and probable death? Yeah.

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As a reader and writer of fanfiction, I admit that several times I wondered if this book started out as a seed of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction, but I couldn’t draw conclusive parallels between any of the characters. I only think this warrants mentioning because I believe a person who enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and could suspend disbelief to the point of loving that show, could also really enjoy this book.

I haven’t read the second in the series yet, but I look forward to it very much.

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And, as a reminder, my book with Keira Andrews, Earthly Desires, comes out tomorrow! It is most definitely not a Young Adult book, but for those of you of proper adult age, do please consider buying it! 🙂