Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 22:35 on 20-02-2012, Arthur B
They're hanging with the Tau these days and calling themselves the Demiurg.

The filthy treacherous xenos.
at 20:18 on 20-02-2012, valse de la lune
Yes, but what about the Squats.
at 18:53 on 20-02-2012, Arthur B
Strapline for the movie? I think it should be the strapline for the franchise. "In the grim darkness of the far future there is only Chaos Marines and... stuff."
at 18:01 on 20-02-2012, Dan H
I don't remember much about the plot now except that there wasn't much of one, but they were on this planet to do... stuff and there are Chaos Marines and... stuff

That should totally be the strapline for the movie.

Ultramarine: There Are Chaos Marines and Stuff
at 17:14 on 20-02-2012, valse de la lune
Cheers, no hard feelings.
at 17:04 on 20-02-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
And now, slightly happier things.

The movie Beyond the Black Rainbow, a movie I have been very interested in, has finally got itself an American distributor, though there's still no word on if/when/where it will appear in theaters (or if it will ever appear in Canada). There is a new trailer, though.

This movie is so Seventies they had to make it in 2010 because the Seventies couldn't contain it.
at 16:57 on 20-02-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
valse, I would like to apologize to you for that post I made yesterday. We may have fundamental disagreements in worldview, but there was no excuse for writing what I did. It was a crude insult written out of anger and frustration at the tone of the conversation, and I am sorry that I wrote it.
at 05:20 on 20-02-2012, valse de la lune
@Shimmin: It looks, to be uncharitable, low-budget. It's also fairly nonsensical. I don't remember much about the plot now except that there wasn't much of one, but they were on this planet to do... stuff and there are Chaos Marines and... stuff. Actually if you watch it and can explain the plot to me that'd be neat.
at 23:18 on 19-02-2012, James D
Yep, the choice of maps is fantastic.

I was especially pleased (and surprised) to see the map from The Phantom Tollbooth featured so prominently, I spent a lot of time as a kid studying that map. It's still one of my favorite children's books, and still stands up today.
at 23:00 on 19-02-2012, Michal
I have started reading the cartography article, but am intimidated by the literarytheoriness of it and keep giving up.

Aw, the literarytheoriness was one reason I liked the article so much.

I have a passing interest in the history of cartography, and I am (like Nicholas) surprised that no one's done a full scholarly monograph on the fictional maps. I really love the idea of maps in fantasy novels that somehow reflect the culture that may have produced them. That ties right into the Yggdrasil point, too, in that fantasy maps need not conform to our own expectation of what a map "is", and can be read as their own texts (what's emphasized? What's not? And All That) beyond their function as representing the geography of some imaginary place.

I just didn't have any responses to it beyond "buh pretty pictures".

Yep, the choice of maps is fantastic. (There are some terribly bad fantasy maps out there, after all, that fail at both an artistic and practical level)
at 21:45 on 19-02-2012, Arthur B
@Michal: I thought the article was great, I just didn't have any responses to it beyond "buh pretty pictures".
at 21:44 on 19-02-2012, James D
The Yggdrasil point I also thought was very sound.

Yes, I liked that part too. Gene Wolfe's Wizard Knight series has that sort of 'cosmology map' at the beginning, and coincidentally enough those books draw heavily on Norse mythology.
at 21:08 on 19-02-2012, Shim
@Kyra: it's on LoveFILM, I'm happy to take you up on that.

@Valse: I'm intrigued. Could you expand on that, or is it just Generically Bad?
at 20:59 on 19-02-2012, Shim
@Michal: Okay, so I think I agree with the bits that I understand. Also there are lots of pretty maps.

In fairness I think the point about ambiguity slash room for interpretation is a very strong one that's undervalued. Maps can tend to constrain your imagination in terms of the book, and reduce the sense of being limited to the characters' knowledge, and they do increase the likelihood of plot holes. Also they tend to make geographers cry. The Yggdrasil point I also thought was very sound.
at 20:34 on 19-02-2012, valse de la lune
I watched the Ultramarine mini-film. It's... it's so very, very bad. I tried so hard to like it, I wanted to be charitable--Dan Abnett wrote the script!--but no. No. It didn't want me to like it.
at 20:28 on 19-02-2012, Shim
@Michal: I have started reading the cartography article, but am intimidated by the literarytheoriness of it and keep giving up. But I will try again.
at 20:28 on 19-02-2012, Wardog
OMG! Ferretbrain movie evening and podcast! And I know fuck-all about 40k :P
at 20:26 on 19-02-2012, Shim
I just remembered about the Ultramarines film they were making, which is now apparently out on DVD. Must find, watch.
at 20:24 on 19-02-2012, Michal
*Hopeful voice* Like fantasy cartography, maybe...?
at 20:22 on 19-02-2012, Guy
Here's a fun story about a fairly uncontroversial dude, one Mr Hitler. On her deathbed, Jean-Marie Loret's mother revealed to him who his real father was. I'm sure it would have added real poignancy to his viewings of The Empire Strikes Back, except he adds the detail that he was too depressed to go to the cinema for 20 years.
at 19:47 on 19-02-2012, Wardog
Okay, you'll probably have noticed that I've been avoiding the Bakker thing, and I don't have anything to contribute to that particular debate.

However, I think it's fair to say that this discussion is not productive – so can I ask that we talk about something that isn't Mr Bakker.
at 18:50 on 19-02-2012, Frank
When you whine about tone, it just shows your privilege and the lack of awareness of that privilege which is in itself, a privilege.
If you, a non-racist, say something racist even unintentionally and a person of color calls you out on it in a tone you dislike, do you disregard what that person has to say? It is not the responsibility of that person to make sure your feelings are okay when it is your statement that continues the dominant culture's oppressiveness. The comment doesn't need to be racist. It could be sexist, misogynistic, ablist, agist, homophobic, transphobic, sizist, classist, and whatever I'm missing. Those statements still devalue the human.
at 18:36 on 19-02-2012, valse de la lune
I read it in the sense of, at some level, "worthwhile art." I've already admitted I didn't read much in Bakker, but what I did see (yeah, I actually read more than five pages) didn't especially interest me--hence my original remark that the prose is "leaden as fuck." And the names with all their diacritics are hilarious. This holds true across most of the grimdark fantasy: take out the way it handled homosexuality and homophobia (and I think my opinion on that and Arthur's differ somewhat) and The Steel Remains doesn't have much to offer except swearing and cinematic violence, take out the fail of lesbian rape and I'm not sure what's there to see in The First Law trilogy except, at best, a middling effort to subvert popular fantasy tropes. What else? Maybe we could discuss the merits of objectivism as presented by Terry Goodkind.
at 18:28 on 19-02-2012, Arthur B
I'm sure Bakker's books, too, are great art by the way. Arthur? You aren't wrapped up in your sexuality or ethnicity, right, so I am sure you can teach me how to look at those books rationally.

If you put gender and sexuality and ethnicity aside what you're left with is some page-turny brick-sized grimdark fantasy novels which happened to come out at the time when that was the fashionable bandwagon to be on. So not what I'd call "high art", if I had to sort things into high and low art categories despite my disinclination to.

On the other hand, I didn't read Alasdair's use of "art" as implying "high art".

On the third hand, if you worked engage what the story was actually doing in that trilogy rather than paying attention to all the fail surrounding it, I'd have to say it was... um... wasting everyone's time. Sorry, Alasdair, but the Aspect-Emperor doesn't have any clothes.