pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
Last December, the self-published author M.C.A. Hogarth ([personal profile] haikujaguar) received a notice from Amazon that her e-book Spots the Space Marine was being taken down due to trademark infringement.

It turns out Games Workshop, also known as the UK company that created Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, own the trademark to the term "space marine".

How is this possible, when space marines are a science fiction trope that have appeared in stories, comics and movies at least since Bob Olsen wrote "Captain Brink of the Space Marines" in 1934?

That's where the corporate bullying comes in.

Games Workshop, apparently, have a horrid reputation for being lawyer-happy. They've filed suit against one of the largest Warhammer fansites, against Chapterhouse Studios who make conversion parts for miniatures, and they reputedly hit independent toy and game retailers with clauses that they cannot stock any other gaming system if they want to stock GW miniatures.

For the past couple months, [personal profile] haikujaguar has been quietly contacting five separate IP lawyers and finding that the cost of fighting GW's claim would start at $2000 US and quickly climb into the $50,000 range when the lawsuit began. It wouldn't make business sense to protect the book. Independent authors don't make that kind of money.

If Amazon had investigated GW's claim, they might have discovered it stood on shaky legal ground (per legal publishing blog Scrivener's Error). But they didn't. They just pulled the book, and are refusing to reinstate it without GW's okay.

So essentially we have a situation where a dubious legal challenge from a corporation in another country has censored an independent author's work with no recourse. This is not a system which can claim to protect individuals' rights. It is a system where money can buy the best-equipped mercenaries, and those without it knuckle under in fear of having their livelihood crushed in the modern arena called a courtroom.

The only hope of the individual is enough publicity to embarrass their opponent into withdrawing their claims. This will be difficult against a company of lawyers, MBA's, and wargame designers which has pursued aggressive litigation since the early 1980's. A few days ago, it looked near impossible. Then [personal profile] haikujaguar made a clear, calm and concise call for help. Her relatively small group of friends and fans stepped up to the plate.

The internet rage machine is powerful once the ball gets rolling. 24 hours brought the attention of Elizabeth Moon, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorov and Neil Gaiman. 48 hours brought the Electronic Frontier Foundation and articles in The Guardian, The Register, and a host of other news sources. (Full list of media coverage here.) The Games Workshop lawyers probably thought a self-published author of e-books was easy pickings. Only time will tell just how wrong they were.
pyraxis: j-t as Sen from Spirited Away (j-t)
A bare-breasted older woman sitting in the crook of a tree, looking out with a broad mischievous smile. She has a cloth sarong wrapped around her waist and a neck ornament made out of a chain of coins. Another web of coins hangs down from her waist. She has long, prehensile toes, red-orange hair in dreds, and she's holding an ornamental staff.
Photoshop, Wacom and MotionComputing tablet

T'noui is an elder of the Tirothi, a shapeshifting people from Karn. Their other form looks something like a triple-jointed lemur with fangs. They live on woven platforms high up in trees in the jungle. They're known for their gemwork and craftsmanship of all kinds, their love of sweet fruit, and their constant chatter.


This has been brought from the [personal profile] shashigai, the storytellers of Karn.

T’noui told us this story )

Aeclectic.com on the Queen of Pentacles (Coins).
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
For Nano this year, I am going to be working with Studio Pyraxis to edit my part of the Water Song trilogy. This is the project we drafted and finished for Nano 2009, so we'll be breaking with protocol to revise it instead and get it to the point of being ready for publication.

We're looking for feedback....

The book, which doesn't yet have a title, is one side three sides of the coin octahedron in the story of my homeworld Ua. The water had already drained from the oceans when I was born, and all the magic in the world couldn't tell where it was going. All we had were fragments of a prophecy, our will for a better life, and all the ingenuity we could muster. It is the story of my people, some of whom disagreed with my extreme methods of conservation of natural resources. It is my story, and the stories of my anza Uz'qi and the rogue priest Ua'vic ([personal profile] shashigai/Javik). It's a story about ambition, desperation and the currency of power.

If all goes well, we'll be posting about 2300 words/day. You'd be welcome to read as much or as little as you like. Any response would be much appreciated, from rough first impressions, to detailed writing critique, to anything that will help keep our spirits up. (You may also be as insulting as you like; I don't stand on protocol when I can avoid it, and I've heard much worse in my twenty-odd years as Raba Ua.)

I'm opening up a friendslist. Please let me know if you would like in. :)

- Ua'lin, the fourth Raba Ua
pyraxis: j-t as Sen from Spirited Away (j-t)
Book cover mockup with a stormy sky and a single winged silhouette flying out of the clouds
Shashigai - The Sky Alone My Partner


[personal profile] shashigai has been planning his NaNoWriMo project for this year. A griff story set on Karn. :D Yesterday he showed me a photo he took that's so perfect I wanted to grab it and make it into a mockup of the book cover. (There's also a version with his IRL name.)
I also designed a seal for the back of the book. )
pyraxis: j-t as Sen from Spirited Away (j-t)
[livejournal.com profile] ksol1460^Jay's response to my Marai post and the article he linked about the controversy over Mary Sue really got me thinking. Why am I even working against the Mary Sue stereotype? I remember in the 80's when strong female heroines were all the rage. I'm too young to remember Night of the Hunter but I grew up with Alanna the Lioness and J. H. Brennan's Shiva and Lisa from The Girl Who Owned a City.

What I was reaching for )

That was when I stumbled on this article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior by Amy Chua. This, not Mary Sue, is the real face of perfection. What it looks like and how you create it. It caused a huge controversy when Amy Chua published it earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal.

It's scary. )
pyraxis: j-t as Sen from Spirited Away (j-t)
Icicle centuries burst into gentle breeze
Somewhere a curse had been lifted
She turned around in her chair and he touched her hair
And the universe shifted

Olivia, won't you let your heart come home
Olivia, leave those wild young boys alone....


(Edie Brickell, "Olivia")


This is for Marai. The song that Bonnus Canny sings her on the storm wind. PK wanted to do the translation to rsakki and then back to english but she could not.

Wolf has been telling me Marai's stories. I knew she was Grehti, knew she'd been born in Dekan and they pulled her to Karn like they always do when someone comes along who has enough of the diluted bloodline to still shift. I know she had a twin sister, and her sister is gone. Like the gone she calls Marai always, and that is why Marai went back to Dekan after three years and can not step foot back on Karn.

I didn't know that Bonnus was her brother but not by blood. Wolf's story (friendslocked but if you want on it just ask)

There is so much more that I would tell, about the rsakki dancers at Ak-shamalim where Marai lived for those three years, how they moved like ballet or more like ice skating, gliding and arching their arms, darting because even in nok, rsakk are swift and sudden, they run and freeze like lizards. About the lyrical rhythms in the song, and the drums, and how it makes Marai heartsick for that place.
pyraxis: Pyraxis (Pyraxis)
Word count: 51,230
Today's goal: 48,333

Made it!

NaNoWriMo 2009 winner graphic

The story's not quite finished. It'll probably be about 60,000 words altogether. But it is very close now!

And here is another excerpt, for your potential reading pleasure....

The last bow and greeting of the day was finished. Her caller Shindo had been dismissed a few minutes earlier. Qi swallowed a sip of water to ease a throat hoarse from singing and stepped aross the threshold of her private chambers. )
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)
Qi is actually the name of one of the two main people in my NaNo project. I shall hope I can get away with this excerpt just for fun.





Character study, Lin and Qi

(click to enlarge)

Acrylic on canvas paper, 9x12, Dec 2007


Word count: 19,415
Today's goal: 23,333

Title: none yet (The Other Side of Water?)
Community: [info]brigits_flame November week 2
Prompt: "key"
Rating: G
Word count: 400



A silhouette at her door interrupted Lin from her thoughts. She watched it from the corner of her eye for a full peg, her hands still working busily at her packing, before it spoke.

“What are you doing?”

“Taking matters into my own hands,” Lin said.

Qi stood motionless at the edge of the bustle, observing. Hot sunlight from the high arched windows hazed through motes of dust, making it hard to see clearly into the shadows. Lin moved deftly nonetheless, not needing to stop to read inscription markings.

'Lin,' Qi said, 'I am coming with you.' )
pyraxis: Lin (Lin)

Word count: 14,231
Today's goal: 20,000



Is it possible to have a purely intellectual flashback?

We're writing the days when I was on Karn (talk about uza saturation. That world is a scary place) and sparring with cristal, and I am disoriented and detached as I was when I was actually living it.

Not good for the flow of good prose. But truly amazing to be able to put pen to paper and have words, even crappy ones, come out. So different from being too stalled out to even think about working. Or the horrible spiralling descents when we would step into the dreaming years ago and get tossed helplessly around the speritu world until it spat us back out into reality dazed and exhausted, without a word on paper of coherent story, and deadlines waiting. This time we may prove capable of simply plowing through.

LOL, they've started secretly calling this my 50,000 word scream. Melodramatic idiots. There won't be much scream behind it unless somebody can figure out how to get both emotion and communication systems online at the same time as me.

- Lin, Raba Ua
pyraxis: j-t as Sen from Spirited Away (j-t)
Title: The Shape of Change
Community: [livejournal.com profile] brigits_flame October week 4
Prompt: "hands"
Rating: G
Word count: 1583

Where I grew up, you're not an adult until you know how to change. Not change like changing your clothes. Change like your whole body turns inside out and becomes something else.

Ashvir from my village thought it was the funniest thing in the world. His laughing woke me up one morning. I looked down and there was Mother Kiri in tiroth-shape, her hair all standing up on end and her fangs bared, facing off against the biggest fattest spider you ever saw. Her eyes were bugging out from a face all covered in fur, and her arms had grown an extra elbow. Ashvir was hopping on a branch right behind her, pulling his eyelids inside out and biting his bottom lip. She kicked the spider off our platform and I burst out laughing because Ashvir kicked the air too and tripped. He fell down so hard it shook the whole platform and knocked the mother right on her furry tiroth butt.

Grownups hated him, but to me he was like the fruit you weren't supposed to touch. I shadowed him wherever he went, secretly hoping some of that daring would rub off on me.

We played Change, me and Ashvir and the other kids. )

I'm going to be out of town from today till next Wednesday, so I don't know if I'll be able to respond to comments right away. But thank you in advance for reading, and I hope you enjoy. :) I will answer people's posts as soon as I can when I get back.
- Pyraxis


pyraxis: Pyraxis (Pyraxis)

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

What would make this navel any different from the ones nobody wants to see?

Some sassy in-your-face rant?

A heap of peeling sticky notes?

A little brown girl and a little white boy playing with bugs in the dirt, running like wolves and roaring into the sky?

Belly button lint in the form of post-its, spilling out over the desk, collecting gunk in the bottom of my purse, stuck together like the layers of an onion.

The pain and confusion of not being able to trust your own mind. Of having your muse get a sudden case of stage fright in the one moment she needs to sing loud and clear. Of curling up beside your patient lover, pen in hand, and when he leans down to nibble your arm, shrieking and hitting him. Freezing in terror at what you've done. Trying to explain in your best calm voice, through helpless tears, “No, no, it's okay. I didn't mean to hurt you.” Words failing. Hurt recoiling. I'm just trying to teach myself it's okay to come out and play.

I'll count on the stickies instead. Gather them into an unceremonious pile and meticulously peel them apart one by one:

People who live in glass houses shouldn't walk around naked.

People who want to look tough shouldn't pretend to be dragons.

Not even fear. Fear could be fought, faced down with a gaze willing to take the consequences, lasted out like an ocean storm. I could take manual control of the hand with the pen and force it to scrawl words on the page, any words, freewriting until the spell broke. But this is not fear, it is nothing....

The internet is a fishbowl full of navels. Little fleshy bundles floating in a magnifying sea, trailing bits of umbilical cord. Some haven't been washed in years. Some are pierced. Some sag in tattooed rolls of postpartum fat. Stare at yours long enough and everyone else will stare too.

People who live in internet fishbowls shouldn't walk around naked.

pyraxis: Pyraxis (Pyraxis)
[livejournal.com profile] brigits_flameis a fiction community that holds a monthly American-Idol style writing contest. I decided to try it this month... and then found out that the October week one prompt was "instep". XP So here goes.


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yonjuunanaand [livejournal.com profile] jimnightmare, who are the reasons I have robots on the brain. And to Jeeney, who helped immensely with dialog. Most of the comments in here are direct unprompted quotes.

Bui Van Vinh typed a last calculation onto his console keyboard and then wearily lifted the forty pounds of metal and plastic and wires which lay crumpled by his worktable, until it stood straight again. Its knees locked with a whir and click, and for a moment the robot shell stood perfectly upright, its legs balanced in what he prayed would someday resemble grace.

His desk was littered with empty meal trays and caffiene chew wrappers. He took a deep breath, trying to soothe his jangling nerves. Then he turned back to the screen and hit Run.

MARIA took one jerky step, another. Then her toe caught on a minute crack on the floor, her whole body swayed alarmingly, and she fell flat on her sculpted plastic face.

In which a robotics engineer gets more than he bargained for. )



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