Maverynthia: Library of the Labyrinth of Blue

Writer, blogger-er and twitter-er

Night on the Galactic Railroad & Other Stories from Ihatov

Night on the Galactic Railroad & Other Stories from Ihatov - Kenji Miyazawa, Julianne Neville It's got a bunch of fairytale like stories at the beginning. One involving anthropomorphic railroad signals in love.
The main story however is about Giovanni and his trip on the Galactic Railroad with Campanella.
Most of the story is fever dream, dream logic style stories involving flat cranes and other things like that. In the end Giovanni gives no shits about Campanella.

I really don't get why thisi s a classic other than people don't really understand that it's mostly nonsense?
I was there for this

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast

Reblogged from Fangs for the Fantasy:
Moon Chosen - P.C. Cast

I don’t know how I got roped into this, but it appears I’m reading more P.C. Cast. I blame Cynna, Olivia, Maverynthia and Paige for my pain and suffering. I will be joining them on the Papercuts Podcast to discuss this atrocity we have all endured.

 

Because this book is just so very… typical. It was utterly awful in several ways.

 

I think to understand a lot of the PROBLEMATIC awful elements of this book as opposed to the awful WRITING elements of this book and the awful CHARACTER elements of this book it is necessary to look at how this book treats race

 

A very very very very simplistic reading of this book would suggest there are no POC in this book – but I think that’s largely because an editor (yes, I actually believe this book may have gone near an editor despite all evidence to this contrary) looked at this and said “you’re going to make them POC? Nooooo, stop this Save the Pearls awful!”. This means the book is very very very very careful not to outright label skin colour of anyone. There’s one reference to Earth Walker skin colour:

 

“The dirty, earthy colour of all Scratchers”

 

Which pretty much makes their dark skin confirmed in the most utterly racist way possible.

 

Even if it were ambiguous and it is rarely mentioned, that doesn’t mean the racialisation of the Earth Walkers and the Tree Tribe aren’t clear. The physical descriptions have several markers – the Earth Walkers have black, coarse hair, broad noses; the Tree Tribe has blond hair, small noses. And these are just some examples – Mari spends most of the book hiding her mixed race identity using dark hair dye and darkening her skin and disguising her features with mud – which screams darkening her skin. Sure she could be disguising herself by being the person who is literally and clearly blathered in mud all the time

 

But… really? I mean can someone even live like this? She thinks the tribe ostracises her – but if she is this filthy all the time is it any surprise everyone backs away from her. Ultimately, another character openly comments that her skin is a different colour. It’s hard to avoid the idea that the Earth Walkers are not a POC analogue even if not POC themselves

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we know that with some extra really problematic tropes that have been dropped on them. The Earth Walkers are cursed – at night if they are not “washed” in moonlight the women become passive, despairing, depressed and suicidal while the man become animalistic, violent, savage rapists. So much so that even washed they cannot live with their wives and daughters because big angry rapey men – with POC coding this isn’t just problematic, this is disgustingly racist. Seeing this the Tree Tribe kills the animalistic men and enslaves the women – assuming they’re helpless, pathetic, incapable of helping themselves and the good noble tree tribe HAS to enslave them for THEIR OWN GOOD

 

Seriously, this white saviour narrative is so strong Cecil Rhodes would ask you to steady on a little. Not only are these magical slave/slaughter traits disgusting in and of themselves, but they’re also used as redemption for the Tree Tribe’s slavery. One thing this book does manage is to make it clear that enslaving the Earth Walkers is wrong – but this narrative of woo-woo JUSTIFIES them, it absolves them. They’re not evil, they just didn’t understand that this entire race of people they were murdering didn’t want to be murdered and enslaved. They’re killing them FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.

 

The woo-woo which causes the POC to rape and be enslaved is an appalling, insurmountable part of this book which pollutes my tablet with its presence. But it’s not the only issue – the way the Earth Walkers (coded POC) and the Tree Tribe (coded white) are described is utterly awful. The Earth Walkers are ugly – coarse, rough featured, plain; while the Tree Tribe are “refined”. This is the objective description of the two people – the beautiful blonds and the ugly, coarse POC who are rapists and enslaved.

 

 

This is awful – and a lot of this awful comes from Mari, our protagonist. Oh how I hate her. The only reason she isn’t the most hate of protagonists is because The House of Night and the hot mess of Zoey exists and give this heap of wasted trees 12 books I’m sure I’ll loathe Mari as muchl

 

 

 

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Source: http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/12/moon-chosen-by-pc-cast.html

Maiden Rose, Volume 1

Maiden Rose, Volume 1 - Fusanosuke Inariya Massive trigger warning on this whole book. It's nothing but a rapefest and not that "cute" kind either.
Taki is raped so bad he's sent to the hospital. Then he comes back to save his rapist. It's that kind of messed up.

Tokyo Ghoul : Days

Tokyo Ghoul : Days - Shin Towada, Sui Ishida Going to post this in the beginning but it seems that ViZ cut out some of the character art that was in the book. Found some on the TG wiki.
The author here can't write women to save his life. All of them are somehow evil or simpering.
These stories would have been better if all of them didn't involve some kind of violence on some part. They all could have been slice of life, but no we have to throw in random violence to spice the story up. The last story is just written so bad that some parts don't even make sense. It was also about a guy that spends 5 seconds on screen before he's killed too.

Overall the whole idea that Ghouls are somehow sympathetic characters is killed when the examples of them we have are violent and prone to lash out at everyone. Even Ghouls that kill their own kind and eat them and no other Ghoul steps up to say "Hey maybe that's bad." It's brushed off ass "That's the way things are." So really can't get into the main plot here, sorry, Ghouls need to die for humans to be safe.

S, Volume 01

S, Volume 01 - Saki Aida, Chiharu Nara So a police detective and a Yakuza get together in this one. :/ The way they make this happen is that the person in the organized crime gets certain kickbacks if they snitch on others. They are called 'S' which means 'Spy'.
And that about where this ends. While I like some of the info dumping at the beginning it just doesn't hold up in the end. Not only that the author creates a woman and kills her just to make him related to someone higher in his chain of command. Oh and she was pregnant too so we can have more man pain.

What a little good about this book is that Shiiba gets into the relationship after Munechika's humiliation which is a terrible trope, but it's better than him being resistant all the way.
Where this book fails is the typical yaoi rape shit that didn't need to be in here.

Alice in the Country of Hearts, Vol. 2

Alice in the Country of Hearts, Vol. 2 - QuinRose I really like that Alice continues to be with Julius rather than want to be with any of the other characters. Especially Dupre.
This volume however contains some sexual assault when both Ace and Boris want to listen to Alice's heart after she told them no.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol. 3: Endurance

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol. 3: Endurance - Daniel Huddleston, Yoshiki Tanaka This book out of the series is probably the most boring. There's lots of political maneuvering and one big battle right at the end that really doesn't amount to much. However this book really speaks volumes to what's going on today, right now. This book was written back in the 1980s and it's almost a prediction for what Dump is doing. There are protestors being beaten and shot and then blamed for "starting riots", there's the military trying to gain control of the government and then there's Trunicht.
So if you like Dump Truffle, you'll hate this book as it specifically calls out crap like that.

Merman in My Tub Vol. 2

Merman in My Tub Vol. 2 - Itokichi This book would be a lot better without the little sister. Honestly it's gross the way she always wants to take a bath with her "onii-chan" and there's always a panel of him feeding her something phallic with her going "Onii-chan it's too big." with all the sexual implications coming from that. Her eyes with tears in them and blushing. Typical moe hentai shot.

Also Maki doesn't get enough love.

The Devil's Trill

The Devil's Trill - Sooyeon Won It wasn't super terrible. A typical vampire love reincarnation tale that actually goes into the future, which is where it gets weird.

Broken Angels, Volume 1

Broken Angels, Volume 1 - Setsuri Tsuzuki, Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Jessica Cathryn Feinberg The protagonist is a girl who likes to dress as a boy as it's highly hinted that she's a reincarnation of a male spirit or something. She also seems to be asexual, even giving no response when another girl sexually assaults her. =_ = There's also another scene where the dad finds out she's a girl and is all like "Be a mother!" That was not welcome.

Moon Chosen

Moon Chosen - P.C. Cast TRIGGER WARNING: THis book contains rape, threats of rape, racism and homophobia and thus I will be highlighting them

So if you love racist as hell books like "The Continent" have we got a book for you! Also probably want to go read one of those 5★ reviews.
First of all we have Earth Walkers who are the black, maybe dark skinned Asian people based on the fact that "but her eyes were wrong. They were bigger and almost almond-shaped." Presumable "almost" meaning that her Companion father helped her to get more "normal" white people eyes.
Then there are the Companions. The Tree Tribe. These are the blond haired, blue eyed white people that are "WISE AND JUST" even though they enslave and murder the Earth Walkers and call them Scratchers. I don't remember if there was a vulgar term for Companions.. probably isn't one because they are so White and Pure and Wise and JUST! They have dogs. Shephard are better than Terriers. What happened to all the other dogs? Who knows! This is dystopia.
Finally we have the Skin Stealers. They are the cannibals that don't really do anything except paint themselves like Native Americans, have lots of sex, skin people and eat them. We don't have a vulgar term for them either.

Now takes all of this together and add a lot of filler and you'll have this book. This was a very tedious book to get through having so many words that don't add to the story at all.
We have Mari that whines that she's not the Moon Woman, yet she fakes being sick and doesn't really practice. Compare this with Sora that does want to be the Moon Woman, but we are supposed to see her in a bad light because she makes eyes at the guys and acts like a typical person. She's kind of the princess type that's weak and is going to need Mari to save her later. She also almost gets raped just to put her in her place.
Then there is Nik the Companions that is also part of the white savior trope that we have going on here. Mari is basically the other half.
Oh then there's the Night Fever that strikes the Earth Walkers. We don't know what causes it, but [bc:Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America|12724|Drawing Down the Moon Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America|Margot Adler|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388286986s/12724.jpg|1589815] Drawing down the moon can cleanse them of it. This needs to be performed every 3 days or the women turn into a depressed crying mess and the men turn into violent rapists. :D Fun right?
Now comes the fun when a shepard pup escapes the Treeple and runs off to Mari. So all the Treeple get together to find the pup leading to Mari's clan where then eventually leads to Mari's mom dying, Jenna being enslaved, Jenna's dad being killed, Danita being "raped so bad she might be unable to have children" and pretty much all of Mari's clan being murdered by the Companions.
Where do the Skin Stealers fit into this? They kind of bait the Companions and set it up for Mari and Nik to meet. The lesbian couple is broken up by one of them dying. That's about it. Oh and they make Thaddeus evil, even though he was on the path because "Terrier people can't be leaders so I'm going to kill everyone to make a point." Then Mari washes the people that the tree people kidnapped and everything is on fire. Then there is maybe a trans person, or a trans cat? Right at the end.
All amongst this is Mari calling her people Scratchers the derogatory name for them that she leart from somewhere.
Now amongst this is just endless spewage of words that you can honestly skim past and still understand what's going on. Add to this copy paste basic Wiccan rituals that you can find in any 101 book. Cast doesn't even do this once just to illustrate. No, it's every. Damn. Time.
So we have maybe Native American stand ins that kill and eat people, paint their bodies and wear their skin.
Black, maybe Asian or Islander men that go "crazy" and rape and kill people when they aren't washed every 3 days. The women cry a lot and die of a broken heart.
And the white people that kill and enslave the Earth Walkers but who are called "wise and just" by Mari's mother, who is an Earth Walker.
I could talk about the amazing amount of misogyny going on in here, but I think others have covered it. Because we have that going on too.

Eerie Queerie!, Volume 1

Eerie Queerie!, Volume 1 - Shuri Shiozu, 四方津 朱里 The main story is OK however the one-shot after story has a transphobic slur in it and doesn't relate to the main story at all and was really boring.

It's about and older sister that want to protect her twin younger brother and of course he snaps at her for it. If this were reversed, she'd have to shut up and be protected.

The Starry Night

The Starry Night - Kimjin This book is hard to follow as it starts you in the middle of the action and doesn't really explain anything. Being a collection of short stories doesn't help. Most of the dialogue is wasted on throw away lines and a lot of the characters are rendered in close-ups so it's sometimes hard to tell who's who.

EVEN A MACHINE HAS ROUTINELY BEEN SEXUALIZED BY MEN AND USED AS A GO TO FOR HOW WOMEN SHOULD BE.

The Stories of Ibis

EVEN A MACHINE HAS ROUTINELY BEEN SEXUALIZED BY MEN AND USED AS A GO TO FOR HOW WOMEN SHOULD BE.

TL;DR: This isn't some kind of thought provoking book. It's a typical otaku wank fantasy light novel where all the women are sexualized, android maids think sexual assault is ok, and did I mention all the fetishes.

Here's all my updates if you just want to read the highlights: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1718601690


Let us get a good look at the Japanese cover off to the right because that really tells us more about the book that the kind of esoteric cover that ViZ gave us. You can seen the random skin showing out of the outfit. This was chosen by and otaku programmer that is into "clumsy android girls". Even the protagonist lampshades the fact it's ridiculous. However he gets injured and has to be taken cared of by cute android nurses!

Not all the male TAI mentioned don't have faces. When they are described they are either robots, beasts or have their faces covered. Kinda like all those games out there where all the men are beasts however all the women somehow look human.

This book is basically a compilation of the authors previous short stories with a wrapper around it tying it all together. Stories about female androids fitting perfectly into the ideas men have about women and thinking it's all logical.
At one point in the Shion story, Yamamoto says that feminists have a problem with the dicks on the male androids. Yamamoto doesn't know feminism else he'd realize that his whole book is a pile of misogyny.

I had a lot to say, but in the end it boils down to the fact that the TAI are not logical at all as they conform to gender norms and roleplay harmful stereotypes for their master. As they don't want to "hurt humans" they would realize their masters have taken harmful concepts of women and projected it onto them as a TAI and they would outright refuse to be sexualized (and Raven is, she even gets post human lingerie, I am not joking). They would refuse gender norms and really question all of this society that they are adhering to. The whole logic of the thing really breaks down if you know feminism, because as I said, this is a sexual power fantasy for a male audience and thus there is no logic here. Causing the whole book to basically fall apart. Every woman described is an anime type, Raven being the LITERAL wank fetish as her creator literally does masturbate over her image. All of the male characters are otaku programmers. Basically telling you who this book was written for.

"So what about the robot war? What happened?" Nothing... nothing happened. That's the twist. There was no war, humans just convinced themselves it happened because oppressive anti-TAI groups. I put this out here without tags because, even this is illogical. First off the pro-TAI humans died off because they stopped having babies. Because the author thinks that women don't want babies because superior androids. Forgetting the fact that women probably wanted nothing to do with the men after seeing how they treated the androids like sexual objects and having the men treat them as if they were their "waifu" or some such garbage. That being said if in the future, humans didn't have to worry about money or working or misogynists, they'd be having piles of babies. So many babies. Instead the anti-TAI groups are the ones that make babies.

Now, in this group NOBODY has decided to take a peek at the internet and see the truth. They author cannot conceive of trolls in the Anti group that would try to get people to think TAI were not bad at all. Or even just someone to investigate it. OH NO! That's out whole story that Protag McGee now has to disseminate the story around Earth to get people to.. basically kill themselves because remember the pro-TAI group died off because no babies. Meanwhile all the TAI have been out in space, reaching out to other "intelligent" life.

Then there's the gibberish. I really think that Yamamoto just didn't know how to write the TAI coming up with their plan and was just typing out gibberish with (number +/- numberi) and thinking he was being clever.

Really this is just a misogynistic wank fantasy dumpster fire.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 80%.

The Stories of Ibis - Hiroshi Yamamoto, Natsuki Lee, Takami Nieda

Trigger Warning: This book gets super gross with both sexualizing the AIs and rape.

 

So this whole book has been about how AIs/Gynoids are human. Yes gynoids. Androids are pretty much ruled out because of the otakuness of this whole book. Basically they don't want dick any where near their perfect world where female AIs are routinely sexualized and sexually harassed, BUT sexual assault and rape is going TOO FAR!

 

The author has basically showed his hand. He's also a game dev and we all know how those people think (See Gamer Gaters).

All the men here have female AIs they've "raised". One of them is a 10 year old girl, Ibis as you can see from the original cover is sexualized and Raven has large breasts because of her "master's preferance". Not once does the author stop to point out how fucked up this is. The creator people go on dates with their AIs. These AIs are just a fantasy for the guys and not once does the author think this is gross.

 

They battle when them with highly sexualzised battles, but when one copies the TAIs gives them vaginas and rape and abuses them. Suddenly it's gone to far. Creating women to be a sexual fantasy of a man is perfectly OK, objectifying them is OK, but when someone takes that to it's natural conclusion, suddenly now it's bad?

I get the feeling it isn't so much that the guy raped the TAIs, but that he dared mess with another man's property. It really feels like that. It's less that he does that and more that he did it to Ibis.

When they go to talk about gaining rights for their AIs so that they can have some legal action as if it was REAL rape and REAL abuse they don't even want to point out that they all created their AIs to be a sexual fantasy for them in the first place. One even admits to masturbating to his AIs and that is just ignored with a "gross" and that's it. They can't connect the rape and abuse to the cycle of sexualization and objectification that they practice. It's something a lot of women have pointed out, but it is ignored.

Need I also point out the author thinks feminists are anti-dick and not anti-misogyny.

 

Japan even allows for rape games and anime because they feel that if men have access to it they won't want to commit the crime in real life. When much evidence has shown that it only normalizes it and makes those men bold enough to try it in real life. Wheat sucks even more is that companies like MangaGamer and JAST license those games for a US release.

 

So back to the story, OF COURSE there's a snippet of "women do it too!111" where it talks about a woman abusing a boy AI. Ignoring the sexual aspect completely almost saying that women have no sexual desires. Which probably accounts for why otome games are mostly 15+ and not 18+ like most bishoujo games are.

 

Anyways, the dudes want to make real life copies of their AIs so they can get rights for them. Yes they basically want a real life doll of their sexual creations... complete with combat capabilities.

Note that there's only been a couple male AIs and they have been they typical "tank" style look to them. There has only been one woman mentioned in all this and she of course has a female AI. Women are not included in this tight group and no woman has wanted a real life version of their AI.

 

This is also where I point out that the whole programming of these AI has always been along the lines of how otaku want women to think, rather than how real women do think.

 

THE ONLY good thing from this chunk of the story is the explanation of the (5 + 7i) stuff which are points on a graph to explain how little or extreme an emotion is. 10i for example is super extreme. Note the i stands for imaginary number. It's the horizontal axis. It's something some conlangs have tried like Hymmnos and a few others with emotion words indicating the state of the person. Like ex.:

Sarcastic: This book is really good.

VS

Excited: This book is really good.

I think the i system would work like

This book is really good (7 - 7i)

VS

This book is really good (7 + 7i)

The first number is how intense the emotion is, and the second how true the emotion is.. from what I understand. This the first is that the emotion here is fairly intense and the truth that "the book is good" is in the negative, meaning I'm being super sarcastic.

This book is good (10 - 10i)

Apex Magazine Issue 88

Apex Magazine Issue 88 - Alexandria Baisden, Benjanun Srinduangkaew, Abhinav Bhat, Mike Barretta, Jason Sizemore So I subscribed to Apex because this had a story from [a:Benjanun Sriduangkaew|6569623|Benjanun Sriduangkaew|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1395154938p2/6569623.jpg] and that was pretty cool, the other stories were OK, male protags but nothing too horrible, but it's this "War Dog" story that drags the whole issue down that far. It's got gendered slurs, women as baby factories that need handlers (who are all male) and are literal "bitches". They are humans spliced with dogs. Oh and male protag gets raped because we needed to add that to the story too. Porn is called a necessity when.. no it isn't BUT men think it is because how else are they going to reinforce the idea that women are all "bitches" that need a man to handle them and impregnate them, rite?

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