Year Roundup: 2016

Father time. Comin’ to reap yo ass, 2016.

So, despite the shitpile that was 2016, we’ll give you some of the highlights from the CIRCO blog.

We started our Epic Catalog tag in 2016, which contains all our lists and will be an ongoing thing.

The #BLAThoughtOfTheDay ranged from J.K. Rowling conspiracy theories to superhero reboots.

Our favorite BookTuber Tuesday posts this year was this one and this one.

Gabbler’s favorite GABBLER RECOMMENDS was this piece by Che Gossett and this one by Elizabeth King.

Also notable events of 2016:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out and BLA had feelings about it.

Maria Bamford’s TV show Lady Dynamite came out and it was good. 

Elena Ferrante’s true identity was exposed by an asshole.

BLA wrote an essay on the representation of gods in stories and has some things to say about the American Gods adaptation being made.

Gabbler wrote an essay in response to Hugh Howey’s “Like Unto Children.”

But besides all that, fuck you 2016.

#BLAThoughtOfTheDay – J.K. Rowling is crying for help

I choose to believe that Fantastic Beasts was more cry for help than actual story. That is the only way I can go on living.

June, July, August, September Roundup: Dear Hades, keep your wife.

So, the monthly roundup isn’t so monthly anymore…

In June, we posted about how authors shouldn’t guilt trip readers and about Theodora Goss on why she writes.  One of June’s BookTuber Tuesday posts covered an interesting discussion on Book Packagers, and a GABBLER RECOMMENDS included Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite. 

In July, we started the EPIC CATALOG category on the blog. Check out all the lists we have categorized so far. That month, we posted about a film written by AI and what not to do with a nom de plume.  Also, why we need to consider how ghostwriting/ghostwriters harm our culture.

August led to BLA’s rants on The Cursed Child and this post about how multiple versions of a book might sway opinion of it. Gabbler RECOMMENDED this RadioLab podcast about why Homer never mentions the color blue (not just because he’s never sad; seriously, listen to it!).

In September we celebrated the anniversary of THE AUTOMATION by hosting a giveaway. If you didn’t win, that’s OK, you can read it for free or download it as an ebook on Goodreads.  A #BLAThoughtOfTheDay included this post on why we need to talk about Lionel Shriver. And, to end with, we really recommend reading this opinion piece by Amy Hungerford on why you might not want to read ALL THE BOOKS.

Here’s to the next season when we’ll eventually get to our monthly roundup!

BookTuber Tuesday – Disappointment with Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

“I could have written something better.”

Check out other book vlogs we’ve featured here.

Have a book vlog video you want us to check out? Submit a link below in the comments and it could make the CIRCO blog.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

#TBT – Potter Puppet Pals

That one time Neil Cicierega uploaded a version of Harry Potter the world will never forget. 2007.

Also, talk about a “cursed child”:

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: BLA’s Twitter Rant about The Cursed Child

b1

b1

Indeed, why did J.K. Rowling not think that her screenplay for Fantastic Beasts would be enough to delight readers? We’ve waited this many years for something for her that is “Harry Potter” — that would have been enough. Why would she give up more of her rights and her story to a play that was so sub-par? Did Jack Thorne and John Tiffany blackmail her? Is she trying to prove to us that she isn’t perfect and makes mistakes? That the fanfiction community is her bitch? What?

Also:

Indeed, where is Remus and Tonk’s child? Clearly there were some characters Rowling didn’t allow Jack Thorne to touch.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

BookTuber Tuesday – Monthly Reading Wrap-ups

 

Have a book vlog video you want us to check out? Submit a link below in the comments and it could make the CIRCO blog.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

“…the audience asked if she thought Lovegood is a vegan, with Lynch ultimately stating that she thought Lovegood would be”; When a character is further written.

lunaWhen actress Evanna Lynch, who played the wonderfully whimsical Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series, walked into the room, you could feel the excitement building in the crowd. “It feels like I’m on trial, damn. What’s my crime?”, the actress joked as she walked past the eager crowd. Lynch immediately appeared comfortable and approachable, setting the tone for the remainder of the session…

She explained that the environment is not the reason she made the decision to cut meat and animal products from her diet. Instead, simply put, she believes that “killing and eating animals is a betrayal of our own core humanity” and that “killing an innocent goes against our nature”. From this point, her argument looked at history, evolution and the reasons consuming meat and animal products continue to be the norm in our society. Finally, she urged the audience to “check [that their] practices align with [their] principles”.

At the end of her speech, she half-jokingly mentioned that her father warned her that she would probably be heckled and booed when speaking on this topic. This was not the case, as the crowd listened cautiously and subsequently asked insightful questions during the Q&A session.

The inevitable shift from a focus on Lynch’s beliefs on veganism to her role in the Harry Potter series came when a fan asked: “Shifting from animal fears to human fears, did you have any fears about playing that role in Harry Potter?”. The audience as well as Lynch immediately broke into laughter, and Lynch responded with saying that “there was no right way to make that transition, was there?”, well aware that the crowd was interested in hearing about her role as Lovegood.

She answered several questions regarding Lovegood and the Harry Potter series with a fan wondering if she would rather be Lovegood or act as Lovegood. Lynch stated that said she would rather act as Lovegood, as she is now in a place where she’s happy with herself. Another member of the audience asked if she thought Lovegood is a vegan, with Lynch ultimately stating that she thought Lovegood would be.

Lynch was also questioned regarding the newest addition to the Harry Potter franchise, the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The session finished with Lynch answering one final question about the positive impact Lovegood has on fans and readers in terms of being proud of who they are and accepting themselves. She ended the session by saying: “That lovely message of ‘I’m weird but I’m ok’, you know. I’m happy to spread that, and I’m glad she’s such an advocate.”

[Via]

 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Tweets of the Week: Flippin’ the bird

Important tweets, as usual.

On the state of fan fiction

Of course, Clare was reviled—and adored—in Harry Potter fandom even before the plagiarism charges against her came to light. And fan fiction itself has come a long way, spawning numerous real-world stars, fan writers such as E.L. James who move on to publish best-sellers. Clare was among the very first to do this. But the prospect of going pro and striking it rich seems to many fan-fiction writers like a serpent in the garden, corrupting what once felt like an idyllic, egalitarian gift-economy of like-minded dabblers. Once, fandom was a destination in itself; now it’s just another stepping stone for ambitious writers with their eyes on a richer prize. Like so much of the idealism of the early Internet, this, too, has become an offshoot of the marketplace. “I think what you don’t understand,” one friend told me when I expressed bafflement that Clare’s fellow fan-fiction writers didn’t view the popularity of her books as a feather in their collective cap, “is that a lot of them just feel used.” When I admitted that didn’t make sense to me, she added, “It’s hard to explain, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

[via]

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

October Roundup: Fall back an hour for fall

Happy Day of the Dead!

Here’s the main highlights from October for the CIRCO blog:


Jesse Eisenberg talks about the footnote. 

Gabbler recommended some things, especially this. 

Commentary on The Martian came out. 

And we reminisced about Harry Potter here. 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to check out our tweets of the week under the Social Medea tab (because why would you follow us on Twitter if you don’t have to?).  Oh, and THE AUTOMATION Vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero Series is free on Goodreads. Start reading now!

 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Tweets of the Week:

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Maybe your book will be a better movie/Maybe you should be writing screenplays?

A confession: I didn’t love Andy Weir’s The Martian. Despite all the people telling me at coffee shops/airports/etc. that it was their favorite book, I struggled to get through the prose. (I know, I know…) The story of astronaut Mark Watney and his fully science-enabled quest to stay alive while stranded on Mars was fascinating, but the book’s use of repetitive plot devices and phrasings (“shit,” “holy shit,” and “well, shit” appear regularly) made it a slog. In short, it was fine—I just thought it needed a good edit.

Ridley Scott’s The Martian is that edit. Freed of Watney’s long monologues and Weir’s deep explanations of botany and chemistry, the movie is far more agile than the book. It’s no less compelling and a whole lot more fun. (At one point, I actually spent an evening doing my taxes just to avoid delving into another chapter of The Martian.) Simply put, the movie is better than the book.

And Scott’s not the only one hungry for material. Earlier in Steven Spielberg’s career, the director filmed a mix of scripts he’d been involved with—Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind—and those written by others. (His Jurassic Park was The Martian of its time.) In recent years, he’s steered toward adaptations. His last three films—Lincoln, War Horse, and The Adventures of Tintin—all have been book adaptations of one variety or another. And his next two are adaptations of Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Ernie Cline’s nerd-favorite Ready Player One.

If there’s a future analog to what happened with Weir’s book for The Martian, it could end up being Ready Player One.

Ready Player One, in fact, has a lot in common with The Martian: a good yarn told competently, but not astoundingly. The characters are likable and the worldbuilding is impressive, but frankly, it reads like a movie treatment. (Cline, an admitted ’80s movie obsessive, came to prominence because of his script for Fanboys, a love letter to Star Wars). It’s now up to Spielberg to turn Ready Player One into a story told well.

At Comic-Con International this summer, Cline spoke to me about the adaptation process and said something very interesting. He had written the first two drafts of the RPO script, but told me that “they couldn’t wait to get rid of the guy who wrote the book, because I was too precious about everything.” As the screenplay went through rewrites, it got further from Cline’s original story—and lost a lot of his pop-culture references. Then, as Cline tells it, Spielberg had a meeting with Zak Penn, who was working on the script at the time, and came armed with a copy of the book that had “100 Post-it notes” of things he wanted to re-introduce into the movie. (Penn later told Cline about the meeting.) Spielberg had seen the story, and he knew how to tell it.

Ready Player One was nominally a young-adult title, but not a franchise, and as such is an exception to the recent spate of YA adaptations. However, with the exception of Veronica Roth’s Divergent books, most successful YA adaptations have been qualitatively on par with their literary predecessors: Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were both great stories, well told…

Read the rest. 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

#TBT – Harry Potter (in other things)


[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Critique My Critique: Lev Grossman and being “Subversive”

“Perhaps if one knows Lev Grossman they will understand the clever joke behind it all, but your reader shouldn’t have to know you in order to understand your intent.”

PINEkindling Wordsmithery

It has been pointed out that these critiques may suggest that I don’t understand what Lev Grossman was doing with The Magicians—that is, writing a “subversive” adult version of children’s high fantasy, in which the terrible realities of our world aren’t hidden, but rather that the “reality” of having magic and the world being magical, would actually not be so full of wonder and awe as it is in Narnia and Harry Potter.

Trust me, I understand. Grossman goes out of his way to hammer you over the head with how depressing and sad he thinks the world actually is. But let me be clear—simply because he was attempting to be subversive in fantasy, does not mean he succeeded. The main character being depressed and the reality of his dreams always being disappointing is not subversion—it’s a misunderstanding of the genre and it’s boring.

First, to be subversive in…

View original post 829 more words

July Roundup: Gaius Octavius

Well, it’s August now and it seems we’re still dealing with the Roman Emperors invading our calendar.

Augustus, about to punt that stupid baby.

Here’s what happened in July:

THE AUTOMATION got a 4.5/5 Talisman Review here.

We posted another TEN MORE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE AUTOMATION – IN GIFS! 

And, as always, Gabbler Recommended some things and you can check out more stuff we like talking about in our Tweets of the Week here.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

 

#TBT Tunes – Mermaid Songs

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

Ten MORE things you might not know about THE AUTOMATION – in GIFs!

finalbday

In follow up to our original TEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE AUTOMATION, here are TEN MORE THINGS!!!

1. If you did not know, THE AUTOMATION is a novel that thinks it’s a memoir, but whose editor thinks it’s a brilliant work of fiction.  Thus, there are footnotes that argue with the Narrator…

2. In the very first chapter, there’s a man who appears to be a time traveler (that, or he’s prepared for the next steampunk convention). However, he’s just traveled through time the old fashioned way—living it.

3. This man proceeds to commit suicide in front of young man named Odys Odelyn [alliteration purposeful]. 

4. But before all that he gives Odys Odelyn a gift. A – um – magic coin, you might say.

5. When Odys touches the coin after the man dies, something unexpected happens. The coin is not a coin. In fact, it turns into an Automaton. Kinda like a jinni in a bottle. But not.

6. This Automaton functions off of Odys’s soul—she is an extension of his body. Theoretically, the more Automatons you have the more bodies you have. Sort of like chopping up your soul into little functional pieces. Like Voldemort. But not.

7. BUT, in order to get more Automatons, their “Masters” have to die. Thus, most Masters agree you should only have one.

8. HOWEVER, there’s one master, named Leeland, who disagrees with this only-one rule. Like I said, most. In fact, he’s picking off Masters right and left and collecting their Automatons like some demented Pokémon master.

9. And let’s just say Odys has a hard time being both a boy and girl at the same time. He goes through a reality check or two.

10. Eventually, Odys will get closer to finding out why the suicidal man gave his Automaton to Odys. …And why he was willing to die to do so.

BONUS: Publishers Weekly called the Automation “charming” and you can read the entire novel for free at circodelherreroseries.com.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

Tweets of the Week: Bird Brain

Here are our headlines tweets of the week:

[BLA and GB Gabbler (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: These Halloween-themed tunes to get your Automaton gears a-grindin’

“He get paid by the grave…”

 

“Scare me up a little bit of love.”

 

“I wanna go to the devil!”

 

[Of course this would make the list. Classic Shakespearean stuff.]

 

“I was walking with a ghost.”

 

…Eartha Kitt wins scariest song.

 

BLA and GABBLER are on Facebook and Tumblr.