Sunday, October 13, 2019

Lazy Sunday coming down. Lazy week ending, now that I think about it. That’s not a bad thing.

 Fall is definitely here. I don’t think it’s been over 75 all day. Right now, at 8 p.m. Hillbilly Standard Time, it is a brisk and chilly 54. Plus, after the bone-dry September, we’re having plenty of rain and rain-threatening weather. I believe at least one of the deer seasons – bow season, I think – has started but I haven’t hunted in 25 years, am glad of it, don’t really care, and just taking up space mentioning.

I finished Drovers And Demons last night by Scott Langrel. Not bad, not bad at all. Quick little read, nice little story, a sufficient amount of plot and fairly well-developed characters. Plus, it was a nice mish-mash of Navajo mythology and European/Christian myths, and I always like when fiction looks outside its own wheelhouse and mixes in lore from other than Western sources. It was, however, definitely setting up the series and that’s as irritating as a movie or video game setting up a sequel. That sort of thing always sticks in my craw a bit, but once the next book in the series becomes available I will probably give it a whack.

The older I get, the less patience I have with multi-book stories that focus on one character or just a few. I’m blanking out on the name and title, but I read a series about some urban occult detective type with magic handguns. It was an enjoyable read, but it was over 10 books or something like that. By the time the series wrapped up, the protagonist and his support characters had the shit kicked out of them seven ways to Sunday.

It’s harder for me to stay invested in a character if they get run over so often until being beaten down by life becomes a defining part of their character. It’s one of the reasons, ironically, I quit comic books both times, apart from the expense. You get over Inferno and then Atlantis Attacks sits on your head. In the early Aughts, Marvel seemed like a never-ending kick in the nuts for the protagonists. Over at DC, I bailed out before they decided to reboot the multiverse for the third time and would wind up doing it in a couple other ways.

That being said, I do like connected universe like Marvel basically invented. I just don’t understand why more authors keep the universe but bounce around with main characters. I didn’t care for what little Harry Potter I read, but J.K. Rowling made a rich universe with a passel of characters. However, she focused on one dude and that entire universe circled around him. Best I can tell, anyway; like I said, I read but a taste of it and only saw bits-and-pieces of a couple of the movies.

Stephen King sort of does that, but I never have cared for King. William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County was full of McCalsins and Sartoises and Snopes and Suptens, generations of them, all with different yet intertwined stories. If I can ever kick my brain into gear, in re: fiction, I’d like to do something like that. Maybe a book of short stories where the different stories focus on different characters before wrapping things up with a novella or maybe a full book before moving on to different characters in that story.

Because endings are good things. A story is usually more satisfying when it has an ending, but the setting can be used over and over. Jim Butcher’s Dresdenverse is fascinating but Harry Dresden is dull. Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms is great as a sitting, but too much of it is focused on a handful of very “Mary Sue”-ish characters that got very tedious very quickly.

As an aside, I wish I knew of a better way of referring to a “Mary Sue” type character without using that exact phrase, “Mary Sue”. It’s got a whiff of sexism to it and I really would like to eliminate that. Considering it was coined by Star Trek fanfiction writers to note newly introduced characters who’d win one of the male protagonist’s hearts, that sort of makes sense. Good concept, sexist phrase, kind of like calling Donald Trump a little bitch. He is whiny and petulant and self-absorbed, but it’s an insult to even the highest maintenance woman to be compared to that boob.

Do we need to wrap this up? There’s really nothing new in the News apart from this story about a Fort Worth cop shooting and killing a woman who’s only crime was being black in her own home. Sadly, though, that’s not really a new story at all, is it?

In a bit of a melancholy mood today. Last winter I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder and got gloomier than usual. Plus, the very last of Mendocino is packed away waiting for the next opportunity, so it looks like a bleak fall. I think I’m just going to finish this talk by Sean Carroll about time travel, maybe play some video games and call it a night.


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