January 2002 posts

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Help me! I'm a bad mother! -- Marie, 03:03:19 01/09/02 Wed

I truly am! I just found out that I'm not going to be able to watch 'Bargaining' tomorrow while it's actually on. Which isn't really the bad bit, 'cos I'm going to tape it, as well. I can't watch it Friday either. Bad coming up: my first reaction was to phone my boy's paternal grandmother to ask if she could have him sleep over on Saturday night... just so I could watch Buffy in peace!!!

And now I feel so guilty, 'cos our weekends are special... but it's only one time... aaargh! I'm telling myself he loves his nain (granny), and sleeping there is always an adventure and he won't mind, it's just me feeling bad, but I still feel awful.

Sorry, pathetic whining now over.


[> Re: Help me! I'm a bad mother! -- Rufus, 03:44:42 01/09/02 Wed

Every once in awhile everyone, and that includes you too Marie, deserve some time to themselves. I could see if you dropped your son at a strangers for a week while you went to gamble or something, but this is one night that you want some time for just you. Nothing wrong with that....except the overdose of guilt you will give to yourself. Plus Grandma equals goodies...:):):)

[> Re: Help me! I'm a bad mother! -- Kimberly, 05:52:46 01/09/02 Wed

Wanting to spend "quality time" for yourself in no way equals "bad mother". It equals "smart mother". My in-laws take our son for a weekend every month or two, and it's a win-win-win scenario. We both work out of the house, so weekends are our only "quantity time" with the kid, but the weekends at his grandparents give him a chance to bond with members of his extended family, with people who love him but don't ride him all the time. It also reminds my in-laws of why they're so happy they're grandparents, not full-time parents of little ones; they're always exhausted by the time we pick him up. And we get quality husband/wife time (much of which is spent in sleep lol).

So, stop whining and call Grandma. ;-)

[> [> Thanks, both of you. -- Marie, 06:26:53 01/09/02 Wed

I know you're right. And he does have a great relationship with his grandparents (my parents are both dead, so they're his only ones), as do I, thankfully. It was just, you know, getting rid of him for a tv programme!

The guilt will wear off by the weekend!


p.s. Just out of curiosity, how 'bad' would you be/have you been to get to watch our favourite programme?!

[> [> [> Sacred Tuesday - I'm addicted & I don't want to be cured! -- Brian, 06:47:42 01/09/02 Wed

I wouldn't qualify this as "bad," perhaps driven. On Tuesday nights, I turn off the phone. I tell my friends don't visit unless you want to sit and watch Buffy WITHOUT TALKING or ASKING ANNOYING QUESTIONS! Especially as I am taping the show, and cutting out the commericals, so I need to be focused. If someone invites me out on Tuesday, the answer is always no, even if it's a rerun. I'm a little more relaxed about Angel on Monday. I will go out if it's a repeat. But I also tape that show without commericals as well.

[> [> [> [> Re: Sacred Tuesday - I'm addicted & I don't want to be cured! -- pagangodess, 19:28:23 01/09/02 Wed

Same here, though we do not bother with the commercials, we just ffwd through them after. We also put the kids to bed a bit earlier. Heck, we want peace and quiet during the show too. So don't feel bad, Marie. You deserve time for YOU. If it will make you feel better, find another excuse why it's better for the little one to go to grandma's. Just make sure whatever it is get done before the show begins, like Shaglio's 'laundry night'.

Here's to parenting! Cheers!


[> [> [> Re: Thanks, both of you. -- Shaglio, 08:03:40 01/09/02 Wed

I have rearranged my schedule so that Tuesday night is conveniently "Laundry Night." If any of my friends ask me to go out on a Tuesday I simply reply, "Sorry, but that's laundry night and if I don't do it, there will be no socks and underwear for Wednesday." That way it doesn't sound like I'm putting off my friends for a TV show that I could easily tape and watch later. It's lame, but it keeps them off my back and I'm usually done the laundry in time to watch Buffy uninterupted. Sometimes, though, they suggest that I go out and buy more socks and underwear, which is just an absurd suggestion ;)

[> [> [> Well, let's see... -- Wisewoman, 08:07:00 01/09/02 Wed

Because of the type of cable service we have in Vancouver I am able to watch new episodes of Buffy from Boston at 5 pm my time on Tuesday nights, and then again at 8 pm on the Vancouver affiliate...which I do, twice, every Tuesday.

The 5 pm show is early, so I have a standing arrangement to leave work at 4 pm every Tuesday afternoon, even though I'm supposed to work until 5. That means, whatever crisis happens to be going on, whatever meeting I'm in the middle of, at 4 pm Tuesday I smile, say, "I must go," and take off!

The telephone is turned off all of Tuesday evening, because when I'm not actually watching the show I'm either chatting with other BuffyBuffs or reading their posts.

We don't have children; we have a dog and a cat. The cat is put out on the porch on Tuesday nights so she doesn't walk in front of the television. The dog has, on occasion, had to just cross his legs and pray for an hour until I am able to let him out (unless my SO happens to notice--he's not a Buffy-watcher so I have no idea what he does on Tuesday nights--I just don't see him!).

Oh, and Buffy is repeated on Saturday Nights on the Canadian YTV, so I watch it the third time then. Same deal, no distractions.

Don't feel that you're a bad mother--stick with us and you can become a genuinely bad person (j/k) ;o)

[> [> [> [> LOL! Now I'm wondering, if I had a porch would I put my child there?!! -- Marie, 08:47:33 01/09/02 Wed

No! I'm kidding! Honest!


[> [> [> [> Re: Well, let's see... -- Shaglio, 09:52:35 01/09/02 Wed

"The cat is put out on the porch on Tuesday nights so she doesn't walk in front of the television."

Wow!!! Now that's extreme! And here I thought you Canadians treat your cats like royalty.

How often does your cat walk in front of the TV on other nights of the week?

[> [> [> [> [> Um, I probably don't notice on other nights! LOL! -- WW, 09:54:58 01/09/02 Wed

...and the porch is fully enclosed and heated, so it's not quite the punishment it seems, just some imposed isolation for a couple of hours...

Defensive much? Who, me? ;o)

[> [> [> How bad? -- Kimberly, 09:12:32 01/09/02 Wed

Well, Tuesday nights, the kid generally gets to stay up way later than he should because Mommy and Daddy won't interrupt the show to insist he get ready for bed until it's over. So, the whole going-to-bed process doesn't start until 9, which is when it should be ending. And, we let a little one watch despite the warnings, although we do keep an eye out for stuff that's too sexual/scary for him. (He was NOT allowed to watch Smashed; we'd gotten sufficient spoilers to know that was a Bad Idea.)

That's pretty much it; we tape, and keep, all the episodes, so if we miss something, we can always watch it later.

On that note, sending the kid to Grandma's makes you a good mother; he'll be getting her undivided attention, not your distracted one. :-)

[> [> [> Tuesday Night Delight -- Little One, 12:35:05 01/09/02 Wed

I'm with you, WW! My cats are exiled from the living room as well on Buffy Nights along with my SO. After a year of marriage, he's learned (the SO, not the cat) to quietly spend an hour playing with his stamp collection before tentatively poking his head down the stairwell (in case I'm watching it on another timezone on satellite).

BTW, I think I finally have my computer working again! Yeehaa! I'm baaaack!

[> [> [> [> Canadianificus Terribilis!!! We've missed you!! -- WW, 15:37:43 01/09/02 Wed

Good to see you back, sweetie!


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Canadianificus Terribilis!!! We've missed you!! -- Rufus, 16:48:53 01/09/02 Wed

You ban the CATS!!!!!!!!!! No No No........at least in my house they are trained to snooze while the show is on....not like they had much to learn.

[> [> [> [> Welcome back... finally! :-) All moved in now? -- Solitude1056, 21:55:44 01/09/02 Wed

Thanks, Masq! Dancing already! -- Marie, 07:46:27 01/09/02 Wed

Whistle while you work (***Isty bitsy spoiler for Gone***) -- Shaglio, 07:51:52 01/09/02 Wed

There was a point in last night's episode where Invisible Buffy was whistling and, to my untrained ears, it sounded like "Going Through The Motions" from OMWF.

[> I heard it too! (NT) -- Vickie, 08:18:12 01/09/02 Wed

[> Re: Whistle while you work (***Isty bitsy spoiler for Gone***) -- Sebastian, 08:49:01 01/09/02 Wed

it was 'going through the motions'. i rewound three times to make sure.


- S

what to do when invisible (possible spoilers for gone) -- Neaux, 08:37:45 01/09/02 Wed

As the trio said, the point of the invisibility ray was to see girls naked.

Every boys fantasy... if you're invisible, you go to the girls locker room. I dont know how the 1980's fantasy came about.. because back in my day when I was in high school in the early 90's, no one showered due to homophobia... but I digress.

anyway... Buffy really did do all the normal things an invisible person would do.. mess with some peoples heads.. and go to the boys lockerroom.. in this case its represented by Spike's crypt. She knows he likes walking around nude anyway.. the perfect voyuer setup.

Except this time the voyueristic notion is moot, because she knew Spike would figure out that she was invisible. and they would "get it on."

This scene kinda reminds me of the Kevin Bacon movie where he rapes a woman and "The invisibility is power" notion.

I'm sorta just typing this stuff out for my benefit to help me better understand the stereotypical what to do when INVISIBLE things...

Is there anything else that is normally done when a person goes invisible that was left out by the show?

Tucker's brother -- LoriAnn, 08:38:38 01/09/02 Wed

I've noticed that at least three times, perhaps four, Andrew has had to explain who he is. He's Tucker's brother, the one who made flying demon-monkeys invade the school play. Does it seem odd to you that he has to keep identifying himself. True, he's something of a cypher, so it isn't unrealistic that people wouldn't remember him. But that doesn't seem to fully explain why he must keep introducing himself in such a heavy-handed way. Is there more to Andrew than meets the eye? Truly, I'm leaning toward there being NO malignant ulterior motive for this, but I'd like your input. What do you think?

[> geek chic -- Sebastian, 08:57:50 01/09/02 Wed

i almost got the impression it is more for comic relief than anything else.

there haven't been very many 'nerd' characters used for long-term comical effect on 'buffy', and i think they needed one to round out the trio for warren and jonathan.

when tucker was presented in 'the prom' they never made any comments about siblings. i think he was the most recent 'nerd' they could bring to the show - hence bringing about lil' brother andrew.

with the exception of warren, most of the peripheral characters from S4 and S5 were either too dark or not believable for 'dorky' comical effect.

just my thoughts.

- S

[> Re: Tucker's brother -- Apophis, 08:58:13 01/09/02 Wed

The reason Andrew has to keep introducing himself is for viewer benefit, as far as I can tell. His demon monkey escapade took place off-screen (a "lost episode" deal), so outside of the Trio arc, he's never been seen before. I figure that the creative team liked the idea of using pre-existing geeks for the Trio, but they couldn't use Tucker because his demon dog attack was too violent for the tone they wanted. So they created Andrew, who never set out to kill anyone and was therefore sort of ineffectual and a loser; he just wanted to screw with people, not kill them. Making him Tucker's brother gives a reason as to how he know s about demons and how to control them.

[> [> Re: Tucker's brother -- Katrina, 09:36:50 01/09/02 Wed

I'm imagining that he's being set up as something of a foil for Dawn: as she's still mainly identified as the sister of the Slayer, he's identified almost solely, even by his friends, as the brother of one of the Slayer's antagonists. Especially since Andrew's off-screen exploit so closely mirrors Tucker's. That's another bit of obvious comic relief, but it also shows that he hasn't developed an identity beyond emulation. He's a boy who's dressing up in Big Brother's Clothes. He may never be any more important of a character than he is now, but Dawn is obviously important, and these issues are all relevant to whatever journey she's going to be on.

[> [> [> Re: Tucker's brother -- LoriAnn, 10:07:24 01/09/02 Wed

Sebastian, Apophis, and Katrina, All interesting ideas on Andrew and the idea of abject nerditude.

[> [> [> Re: Tucker's brother -- grifter, 04:54:53 01/10/02 Thu

Yeah, I can really imagine Dawn and Andrew budding over her (first?) beer, complaining how they're "just the sister/brother of B/T". ;)

[> [> Will there be Flying Monkeys on the animated series? -- Darby, 10:41:14 01/09/02 Wed

...He does keep mentioning the incident he's responsible for, like that is something they'll know, and we do know that the animated series will cover high school again...

They just need an episode where the monkeys are defeated but nobody figures out where they came from!

- Or the wrong party gets blamed to generate another plot...

[> [> [> Sure hope so... -- grifter, 04:56:51 01/10/02 Thu

"They just need an episode where the monkeys are defeated but nobody figures out where they came from!"

Or they just forget about them 'cause they're SO lame ;)

[> Re: Tucker's brother -- verdantheart, 11:51:46 01/09/02 Wed

I think they are emphasizing Andrew's need to repeatedly introduce himself for two reasons:

First, it tends to underline his loserness--no one remembers him because he's unimportant. Second, it's sort of an in-joke. His claim-to-fame (flying monkeys) appeared off-screen, the fans aren't familiar with him; ergo, intro.

Are Magic and Logic Compatable in any possible universe? -- BobR, 10:23:50 01/09/02 Wed

In "Gone," we see Willow giving up magic cold turkey. The parallel of her addiction to magic to an addiction to drugs is obvious and blatent, but very well done.

What seems to be of note is that in this episode, Willow uses her intellect to track down the Three Nerds. She seems to enjoy doing this. Willow was always the brainy member of the Scooby Gang, but after getting into magic heavily, we never saw her using her intellect. Are magic and logic somehow incompatable?

When we first saw Willow back in the first season, she was a science nerd. It seems that science (both real-world and Buffyverse) involves knowledge that isn't necessarily connected with power. Magic (at least in the Buffyverse and who knows about the real world) involves power but not necessarily knowledge, though magicians use knowledge in their workings. Before getting into magic, Willow had no experience with power and when she came to have power, it went to her head and thus there was the addiction.

I am reminded of something in the Harry Potter books which I read a couple of months ago out of curiosity. In the first book, Hermione states that many of the greatest wizards don't have a bit of logic. Hermione herself does know logic and then uses it to solve a puzzle and then advance the plot. It seems significant that none of the subjects studied at Hogwarts would teach anybody how to think logically and rationally. They learn about spells, potions, magical beasts, divination, etc. They don't learn natural science, mathematics, English language and literature, foreign languages, or any of the subjects that should and do teach people how to think. While reading the books, this struck me as strange but understandable. Hogwarts is a fantasy school and learning how to think logically is hard work, something most readers of fantasy seem to have an aversion to doing. (I might have read the Harry Potter books, but I wasn't much impressed by them.)

The Harry Potter books are somewhat off-topic, but they do seem to reflect the incompatability of magic and logic that seems to be the case with Willow on Buffy. While reading the books, the magic struck me as similar to that in the Buffyverse, which might be a conscious influence. The Harry Potter fad began before Willow began getting deeply into magic on Buffy.

I haven't posted for a while. Various considerations have led me to limit the time I spend on-line. I will be back occasionally.

[> If you don't mind the cliche - -- Darby, 10:57:25 01/09/02 Wed

- There's the old Arthur C. Clarke quote about how any suitably advanced science would appear to be magic to those that didn't understand it.

You've hit upon an interesting dichotomy, though, and that's the authors' attitudes toward magic. I've been a budding science nerd pretty much since infancy, so I'm always looking for some sort of logic in things (you'd be amazed what quantum mechanics can be used to explain - ghosts, afterlifes, and whatnot, maybe even invisibility), some way that things can be "explained"; Joss has said (and I wouldn't expect JK Rowling to be any different) that he is not much into science, which probably removes him from my obsessive-type behavior (anyone who knows the First Law of Thermodynamics has problems with the common depictions of magic). But both of these storytellers are heavily logical - really good fantasy always has an internal consistency, or logic, or set of rules that it adheres to, and both HP and BtVS are, as much as they can be, very internally consistent. In fact, most of the posts on Gone address that consistency as it appears in the characters - has Buffy violated her "own" logic?

I'm very interested in seeing how Joss delves into an area that really needs a bit more grounding with Firefly - will he use consultants or just fly by the lit-up seat of his pants? It probably won't matter much to many viewers, but some of us will notice. And post. And annoy all of you.

[> Re: Are Magic and Logic Compatable in any possible universe? -- Tillow, 11:28:34 01/09/02 Wed

Willow was always the brainy member of the Scooby Gang, but after getting into magic heavily, we never saw her using her intellect. Are magic and logic somehow incompatable?

Giles has the ability to use magic and intellect as does Tara. Yet, Giles went through his Ripper stage when he evidently 'flirted with the dark side.' I think it's about growing up; knowing how to balance the mystical with the tangible. Willow has to learn that still.

Object of Gaze - Invisibility **Gone Spoilers** -- fresne, 10:47:01 01/09/02 Wed

Buffy had an invisible lamb Wait, she is the lamb

Through an incredible stroke of fortune, both Invisible Girl (Thank you FX) and Gone appeared on the same day. What a wonderful opportunity to "view" invisibility from two different directions.

To be invisible. The negation of visibility. Others see through and around you. We try not to, but people judge based on appearance. Rate worth. Shape the world in the negative spaces around the bodies.

Consider how Invisible Girl Marcie is judged worth only a "Have a nice Summer."

Consider the Gone social worker's lighting fast judgement of the Summer's household. See Spike, check deadbeat boyfriend. See baggie with dried plants, check some sort of drug. See Buffy, in my god girl what kind of top is that, check irresponsible sister.

Gaze is also an important element of desire. In Gone, Spike compliments Buffy's summery golden locks (interesting inversion of his previous insult, "I never liked your hair."). Thus Buffy tries to make a newer less troubled self with a new hair style. She wants to be different than she is. Then again, when doesn't she.

Men and women primp, put on nice clothes, loose weight, wear helpful supporting undergarments, wear makeup, jewelry, etc. all in the name of being different from their couch potato selves. To attract a mate. Attract desire. There are of course elements of desire: smell, sound, touch. However, vision is one of the first and most powerful parts of desire. As humans, we do after all have our eyes arranged straight ahead like predators. All the easier to pounce.

I am reminded of Hannibal Lector, in Silence of the Lambs, when he speaks of coveting others through the quality of gaze. In paraphrase, "don't you feel their eyes on you, coveting. Don't you gaze at them in return coveting."

This is exemplified by every episode where Spike removes an item of clothing and lists/boards explode with, "Oh, my god, Nekkid Spike" ravings. Because of course, as viewers of a tv show (and by the same token movies) we are the ultimate invisible viewer. We can gaze at the objects of our desire, unseen, invisible. Freeze frame the moments we like. Rewind. Review. As OnM postulated some months ago, are we not gods. We are invisible beings. Outside of time (at least when viewing fiction on tape or DVD).

Which is kind of what the evil (little e) Troika were trying to do. View naked (i.e. vulnerable, unknowing) women. The freedom of gaze. Freedom to feel desire with no consequences.

Shower scenes like this are very typical of slasher movies. One or more women are in a shower (ahem, yeah, yeah Psycho, but really Slumber Party Massacre is a great example of this). The camera, acting as the invasive male gaze, moves across women's bodies, invading their space. They are naked with no way to protect themselves. No way to inform their own identity through clothing. Their vision obscured by falling water. And then, as in whatever movie Spike was watching in Gone, there's a lot of blood.

Which brings us back to Marcie. Because she feels neglected, ignored, undesirable (both as a mate and as a friend), she becomes what she feels. Unseen. However, being invisible, gives Marcie the license to finally act on her anger. To attack the people that she feels should have been paying attention to her all along. Should have been informing her worth. Cordelia's beauty makes her the Queen of the school. Marcie covets Cordelia's power. Covets her gaze. "Notice me. Pay attention to me. Reinforce that I exist." Marcie's ultimate solution is to try and disfigure Cordelia. Make her appearance a negative. So, that when the gaze of others passes over Cordelia, they will pull away from her. Judge her unworthy.

Interesting that turning invisible ultimately gives Marcie what she wants. Approval. She is now a needed part of a society. True, an assassin for the government, but, one who fits in. Is part of a group. Who will be noticed. No longer alone even in a crowd.

In Buffy's case, being invisible frees her not because she feels unloved, but because all eyes are always on her. She's the center around which the show spins. The Slayer. She always has to be the responsible one. Protect Dawn from the truth of her creation. Protect the Scoobies from the knowledge of where she was while dead. All work and no play make Buffy a dull, listless girl.

No longer. Invisible, she's feels free to play games and tricks. Malicious in a sprightly Puck, good creature of the night, sort of way. Free to not be seen with Spike. Can't see me, I must not be here. The Scoobies will take care of Buffy's problems while she plays and tries to joke with Dawn. Isn't this cool.

Course she isn't really free. Dawn can't talk to her while she's invisible. Spike's throwing her out. She could die. Just fade away. Being invisible can't really solve her problems. A new social worker will be assigned to Dawn's case. She still needs a job. She needs to resolve her whatever relationship with Spike. Help Dawn. Help Willow. She still has responsibilities. She just can't see them for awhile.

I thought the running joke about Buffy's hair was interesting. Even unseen, her friends try to make her seen, "I bet it's adorable, cute, etc." We can see you. As Xander says, "Focus Buffy." She's been unfocused all season long.

And yet, I don't think that this is the first time that Buffy has felt free since she came back from the dead. In a real way, I think this is the first time that she has felt free from responsibility since she went to die the first time around. Sixteen years old and she didn't want to die. But someone had to go down into the earth. Sweet sixteen and dressed in flowing white. A girl's first death/apocalypse is an important event in her life. And everyone complimented her appearance. Reinforced her image. "What a pretty dress." With her hair up. Her neck slender, exposed, vulnerable. Responsible for the world.

Actually, it's interesting that visible Buffy and invisible Marcie are ultimately responsible for doing the same thing. Killing. Yeah, yeah insert long semantic argument of the ethics of being the Slayer here... Buffy does kill things. Those things are defined by her ethics, her nature and what she has been trained to kill. Invisible Girl Marcie ends her episode being trained to be a weapon. Killing is cool. Like Buffy in Tabula Rasa where staking the vampire was cool.

Here's hoping that once Buffy's vision clears (I think it's still occluded by waking from her long sleep) that she can finally learn to see clearly. Actually, does anyone see clearly in Gone? Xander thinks Willow's doing magic. Xander doesn't see what's going on between Buffy and Spike. The Troika drive into a fire hydrant. Anya doesn't see that her seating arrangements are just plain mean. Buffy doesn't see Dawn clearly. Tara is totally unseen.

Where do we go from here? Alas, the future has literally not yet been written.

[> Thanks! Very interesting -- verdantheart, 12:03:35 01/09/02 Wed

[> Re: Object of Gaze - Invisibility **Gone Spoilers** -- DEN, 12:08:42 01/09/02 Wed

On the "responsibility" issue, note the scene early in the show where Buffy automatically accepts Dawn's blaming her for not helping Willow with her problem.

[> Re: Object of Gaze - Invisibility **Gone Spoilers** -- neaux, 12:45:00 01/09/02 Wed

your analysis on voyeurism sounds like a Documentary I saw last nite on "Indie Sex: Taboo"

about sex on the big screen.. did you see that?

[> [> Voyeurism **Gone Spoilers** -- fresne, 13:32:32 01/09/02 Wed

No, I'm afraid I didn't. What did it talk about/say?

My thoughts came from a long ago college class, the Gothic something, something, in which we read Carol J. Clover's article, "Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film," coincidentally mentioned in this quarter's Slayage. (possibly why I was thinking about it.)

As part of the class, we watched, Slumber Party Massacre, which point per point illustrated everything in Clover's article, down to the bit where the male killer, who has been attacking all the naked (read promiscuous girls) with his big old penis/knife gets castrated by the "last" girl who (I forget quite how) breaks his knife. The look on his face was hilarious. He may as well have said, "I can't believe that you just symbolically castrated my symbol of male power." See classroom of punchy 19-20 year olds laugh.

Anyway, at the beginning of the movie there is a scene where the camera/which is also the hidden killer's gaze, lingeringly looks at a group of women in a shower. And I mean lingeringly. We're talking slow pan up and across the bodies of these women. At this point in the story, the viewers (generally adolescent boys), who are watching what's going on the screen, are thus identify/aligned with the killer, who they cheer on during each kill. By the end of the movie, the audience switches gender identification and ends up cheering the "last" girl (wears glasses, isn't obviously pretty, buxom, doesn't have sex, is a tom girl) as she kills the killer.

What's interesting in Gone is that we don't see naked women (once again Buffy the horror story codes against type). Buffy is wearing clothes. Impressive that she can even find invisible clothes. Methinks that she took them off when she came in. It's Spike whose clothes get ripped off. Buffy can see Spike. Spike can't see Buffy. It is Spike who is literally and emotionally naked to Buffy, while she tries to conceal herself. Did anyone else get a resonance in her invisibility = freedom from rules tot Spike's FfL speech, vampirism = freedom from rules.

And yet conversely, although she is invisible, Buffy's motives may be opaque to herself, they are transparent to Spike. He knows that for Buffy, sex with him is a freedom from responsibility not unlike death. And he calls her on it. Lays his emotional cards and the table. He doesn't want that. He wants live Buffy and he kicks her out.

[> [> [> Indie Sex: Taboo -- neaux, 04:46:07 01/10/02 Thu

Well what I watched of the Documentary was interesting, it was about the pushing of boundaries of sex in the movies.

One part of docu focused on the voyueristic qualities of nude scenes and in fact reiterated the point that the viewer in the theater in darkness is the ultimate voyuer. They then showed clips from Videodrome..

the rest of the documentary showed the significance of John Waters, Cronenburg ... and I remember some clips from "Crash" and "Blue Velvet" (I think)

[> Damn, that was good! -- OnM, 18:52:37 01/09/02 Wed

[> [> Damn, that was damn good! -- grifter, 04:41:25 01/10/02 Thu

But I'm eagerly awaiting your essay OnM. (No pressure here :)

[> Re: Object of Gaze - Invisibility **Gone Spoilers** -- ponygirl, 20:35:38 01/09/02 Wed

Lovely essay fresne! I thought this ep. was a bit of a bookend to Life Serial. There Buffy was involved in the social construction of her reality, she took on one proscribed role after another, student, construction worker, shopgirl, creature of the night. Here she's involved in a more personal construction of her reality, by altering her appearance first with the hair and then with invisiblity she was attempting to alter her situation. As invisi Buffy she could mess with the social worker, have guilt free sex, and be the fun sister. But all the changes were surface, completely cosmetic.

[> [> External as costume **I guess Spoilers Gone** -- fresne, 09:01:26 01/10/02 Thu

Interesting point about Life Serial. Often the first question that we ask someone is, "What do you do for a living?" People being someone pegged by function. Just as we recognize faces from the outside (general outline, hair, etc) to the inside (facial features).

Since, Buffy tried to add another signifier onto the Slayer tag and couldn't, trying to change more personalized aspects of herself makes sense. And while on one hand these are cosmetic changes that won't cure her problems or change her personality, I'm not sure she's that far off.

It is interesting the internal permissions changes in appearance can give to your subconscious.

I do a lot of costuming. And for the most part, I just behave like me in medieval/renaissance/victorian clothes. Every now and then though, you hit on that costume that gives you license to let out hidden aspects of your personality. And thus in some ways, it isn't even really a costume. It's the you that you could be, if you let yourself go. Of course you can't dress or act that way all the time, but acknowledging that part of yourself can be "pleasant."

And back to the question of gaze and vision, the costume that I have found the most liberating is the one with which I wear sunglasses (nighttime events, so often Sunglasses After Dark). There is just something about being freed from the burden of eye contact (and okay a leather waist cinch that changes how I walk). It's not like wearing a mask, which is hot and sweaty and still leaves your eyes open with the whole window's to the soul thing. Perhaps, sunglasses are the Venetian blinds to the soul.

And clearly both Buffy and Marcy play with the same thing freedom. Again, it's not just that people can't see Buffy or Marcy, it's that people can't see Buffy or Marcy seeing them. There was nothing to stop Marcy from just shouting out the answers in class, except the inhibition of appearance. Invisible, she feels free to be loud.

So, now that Buffy tried on jobs to define herself, has lost her memory and done the clean slate thing, played with cosmetic changes and been loud, perhaps she can start the one day at a time approach to life.

[> Great post! -- Marie, 07:48:41 01/10/02 Thu

Buffy cutting her hair reminded me of the time I did that, when I was a teenager, after a row with the man-of-the-moment. Part of the reason I did it was that I wanted to cheer myself up, but with the hindsight of a (hopefully) more sensible older person, I can also see that I was testing him. "Will he still love me if I get rid of something about me he loves?". I wonder if there is a little of this going on with Buffy, too, subconsciously?

Also, while I think of it, a lot of people seemed to be upset by the Bronze sex scene. But sex in a public place, while it can leave you thinking "I can't believe I did that!" can also be some of the best sex you can have! To me, part of growing up is the realisation that you can do things like that and it doesn't make you a horrible person. Part of growing up is an acceptance of certain things that maybe you can't change, however much you want to. A down and dirty sexual relationship needn't necessarily be harmful if you can accept that "this, too, shall pass". If Buffy and Spike can both accept that eventually it will be over, no hard feelings, then good luck to them. He's making her feel alive, at least.


[> [> There was a sex scene in the Bronze? How did I miss that? -- Dyna, 09:11:59 01/10/02 Thu

[> Re: Object of Gaze - Invisibility **Gone Spoilers** -- Rufus, 23:43:48 01/10/02 Thu

Consider the Gone social worker's lighting fast judgement of the Summer's household. See Spike, check deadbeat boyfriend. See baggie with dried plants, check some sort of drug. See Buffy, in my god girl what kind of top is that, check irresponsible sister.

Oh....don't hold back....how about........see Spike, check, deadbeat boyfriend with hand down pants and a crib?....See baggie with dried plant material, check, baggies can only contain pot, they were made for that function. See Buffy...in an almost, sheer top......check.....irresponsible slut...refer back to boyfriend with hand down pants that sleeps in a crib......Do not pass go...head straight to probation hell.

Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- Sheri, 12:02:32 01/09/02 Wed

Oh, the beauty of coincedence! As I'm sure those of you who watch the Buffy reruns noticed, the rerun of "Invisible Girl" was shown on the very same night as the invisibility themed "Gone". The similarity between the two episodes is not ignored... Xander in fact asks if Buffy has been feeling ignored lately; to which Buffy replies that, no, she's not like Marcy. Is that really the case, however?

Why did Marcy become invisible? One could say that she simply felt so lonely and ignored that she simply vanished; however, Marcy more than just felt ignored, she really and truly was ignored. Since, people could no longer see her emotionaly as a person, they were no longer able to see her physically, as well.

Although Buffy became invisible under very different circumstances than Marcy, Buffy stayed invisible to those around her for very similar reasons. After their early attempts to assess whether or not she has come back wrong, Buffy's friends have not been concentrating their every reserve on making sure Buffy is okay. In fact, the everyday life upon the Hellmouth has come to the forefront, while Buffy's understandable devistation over being booted out of heaven is given very little attention. Truly, Xander was correct to ask Buffy if she had felt ignored. I know a lot of us found it very odd that Xander wasn't able to figure out that the newly invisible Buffy was in bed with Spike--after all, we have a moaning bed and Spike's magically twitching ear as evidence. How could Xander possibly not see what is right in front of his face? Before we condemn Xander, or insist that he makes a prompt trip to the eye doctor, I think we need to look at one of the main lessons from "Invisible Girl." Ignoring a person = Not seeing that person (i.e., the person is invisible. In "Gone", Xander is ignoring Buffy's situation/problem and, thusly, he is no longer able to see that she has a problem at all. Metaphorically speaking, Xander's inability to "see" Spike and Buffy together is no different from the SG's inability to see that Buffy is having serious coping issues in general.

Upon turning invisible, both Marcy and Buffy experience a liberation from their everyday selves--the part of themselves that was the only thing that the rest of the world could see. For Marcy, becoming truly invisible meant that she no longer needed to be that shy girl hanging at the edge of the crowd. She could now intermingle with the popular kids--and even become like them. For from Marcy's view, popularity was equal to cruelity--so she returned the favor as good (or should I say, as poorly?) as she got it.

For Buffy, becoming invisible provides the freedom she needs from the mask of control that she is continually presenting to those around her. Buffy attempts to brush off her behavior as simply being a moment of "giddiness". But is that really all it was? The invisible Buffy reminded me of the Buffy we saw during season one a great deal--is that part of her simply no more? I think the invisible state that Buffy found herself in was the catalyst she needed to be able to drop the facade of control (she's similar to the facade of a building--the portion of a building that is visible to us...under a buildings facade, the paint may be cracking and the foundation may be in disrepair... we just don't see that). Becoming invisible helped to reveal what was within Buffy--an ardant wish to go back to her pre-Slayer days: a time without responsibility.

One last observation before I leave you all in peace, I think Buffy's wish to live--to not disintigrate into a puddle of pudding--represents her first step in reintigrating her former love for life and her responsibilities in her life. She knows that being invisible is fun... but she also knows that she can't be invisible and still truly live... the question is: will she realize that she can't truly live if she doesn't realize that part of being alive is accepting and showing that part of her that lies under her facade?

[> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- neaux, 12:54:58 01/09/02 Wed

maybe I'm giving Xander too much credit, but I still believe he is capable of putting 2 and 2 together about Buffy and Spike.

the fact he reiterated the point of Spike's Naked Exercising.. makes me think he might know.. but he just hasnt told anyone or the viewer that he knows.

or its just my wishful thinking ^_^

[> [> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- MaeveRigan, 13:04:39 01/09/02 Wed

Xander: "Kidding aside, Spike--you really should get a girlfriend."

Maybe it's just me, but I suspect Xander knows perfectly well that invisiBuffy is there. He's playing along for the time being, for his own reasons. Xander has always seen more deeply into Buffy's heart than Buffy herself, even though he hasn't always liked what he's seen.

[> [> [> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- neaux, 13:19:44 01/09/02 Wed

Yay! I'm not insane for thinking that!

[> [> [> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- Sheri, 13:23:37 01/09/02 Wed

Oh I agree with you two that Xander knows full well what's going on... I'm just saying that from a metaphorical point of view it's interesting that Xander is not able to see (even if that not being able to see is simply subterfuge) that something is going on between Buffy and Spike. (Aack! Boss coming... must get back to work... hope this reply made sense!)

[> [> [> Xander refusing to see (spoilers) -- Lilac, 13:23:47 01/09/02 Wed

While you would think that any semi-observant person, looking for an invisible girl, and coming upon someone engaged in the kind of activity Spike was when discovered, would put two and two together, I think there was a set up for Xander not making the connection. When he came upon Buffy and Spike in the kitchen that morning, he overlooked their body language (pretty close together and comfortable with it, not moving apart when he came in) and immediately started berating Spike for continuing to hit on Buffy when it would "never happen". I see this as the set up for Xander's later inability to see what is literally right in front of his face -- he doesn't accept that it could ever happen, so even when he sees it happening, it can't be.

Someone in a post elsewhere mentions Xander's coming from an alcoholic/abusive family as a further reason for his ability to deny what is right in front of him. I think this too is a very valid point. A lifetime's training in denial can be hard to overcome. And Xander really, really does not want to believe that Buffy could be involved with Spike.

The other thing I noticed about this episode is poor little Dawn. The kid is justifiably upset with the "adults" around her, and continues to act out. She is told to come right home from school, but sneaks in late anyway. This should be good for a confrontation with Buffy, but no, Buffy doesn't notice that Dawn has been out late (where?) and trumps her misbehaviour by being invisible, and not too upset with it. No wonder Dawn refuses to talk to her.

[> [> [> [> RE: Dawn (spoilers) -- Caligo, 13:39:10 01/09/02 Wed

I keep remembering the first line of what should have been Dawn's solo in "OMWF"

"Doesn't anyone even notice?"

Here she is sneaking in expecting to be in trouble for being late and all her invisible sister can do is make jokes. No noticing that Dawn is stealing or coming home late. The ironic thing is that Dawn is doing everything Buffy probably would have done if she wasn't called. Yet Buffy doesn't notice and (at least it might seem to Dawn) doesn't care.

[> [> [> [> Re: Xander refusing to see (spoilers) -- Brian, 14:15:13 01/09/02 Wed

I thought that Xander thought that he had caught Spike masturbating, which led to the comment about "you need a girlfriend."

[> [> [> [> [> Well, yes... -- Lilac, 14:25:36 01/09/02 Wed

I think that is the assumption that Xander chose to go with, which I would suspect Spike knew, hence his chagrin. But it seems like Xander could have figured out what was really going on if he had been willing to think about it.

[> [> [> [> [> well, maybe, except... -- anom, 22:27:07 01/09/02 Wed

...look Ma, no hands! @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: well, maybe, except... -- Lilac, 08:21:07 01/10/02 Thu

So Spike is not embarrassed at being caught, presumably, doing "it", but doing "it" wrong? Hah

[> [> [> [> Thanks, Lilac -- verdantheart, 06:09:23 01/10/02 Thu

I think that if Xander thought there was something going on between Spike and Buffy he wouldn't be able to contain himself. He would have to do something--beat Spike up--something. I don't think he'd be able to pretend he didn't notice.

[> [> [> [> I completely agree. -- Spike Lover, 20:03:01 01/10/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- Shaglio, 13:39:47 01/09/02 Wed

I was thinking that maybe Xander figured out Buffy was there, but didn't want to say anything to protect her from embarrassment. But then I remembered that Xander was looking for Buffy to tell her that her life was in danger. So why would he spare her some embarrassment if he knew she would soon turn to human pudding?

[> [> [> [> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- Shaglio, 13:47:26 01/09/02 Wed

To further clarify what I meant:

If Xander HAD figured out that Invisible Buffy was with Spike, but didn't want to embarrass her by letting her know that he knew, he could have at least told Spike WHY he was looking for Buffy so she would still get the message that she was in danger. But he never once mentioned it to Spike, which I thought was odd. Xander should have at least told Spike in case he ran into Buffy before Xander did.

[> [> [> [> [> Good point, Shaglio -- Dichotomy, 16:04:08 01/09/02 Wed

I also thought it odd that he didn't tell Spike of the "pudding predicament." Unless, of course that's Xander's subconcious so much not wanting to realize it was foreplay he saw in the kitchen, he's assuming that no way would InvisiBuffy visit Spike.

But really, I think he just didn't know she was there.

[> Re: Why don't they see? (spoilers for "Invisible Girl" and "Gone") -- Rufus, 15:52:28 01/09/02 Wed

Buffy's situation and Marcy's are quite different. They both became invisible, only one was an accident rather than the result of not being visible to the world. Buffy took that time to cut loose and have a bit of fun. It was when she heard the answering machine about the possible end result of her condition did she figure out that she was beginning to like it here again. As for Xander, I remember in Something Blue when he saw Buffy and Spike "engaged" he wanted to be blind like Giles. I think he has an idea of what is going on but finds he just isn't ready to deal with it given the wedding he is planning for.....his bigger worry is about where to seat D'Hoffryn at the reception and how many bridesmaids will be wearing "blood larves". Xander is only capable of dealing with his visible problems instead of an invisible fear.

[> Don't forget "Fear Itself" -- Kvon, 19:32:55 01/09/02 Wed

Buffy was the one who mentioned Marcy, but when Xander asked about being ignored, I remembered his "invisibility" in the Halloween-at-frat-house episode. He knows what it is like to feel disconnected from those around him. (Although in his case it was also about not being in the gang, at college, being the outsider; which is not really Buffy's case ever, being the star of the show)

[> [> Re: Don't forget "Fear Itself" -- Sheri, 19:51:46 01/09/02 Wed

Although in his case it was also about not being in the gang, at college, being the outsider; which is not really Buffy's case ever, being the star of the show

well... Buffy's been isolating herself from the gang since her return from the dead... she's no longer in college... and being the only slayer/single mom/returned from the dead/college dropout of the group, I'd say she also qualifies as an outsider. Seems like she's got more in common with Xander than you might think!

[> Re: Great observation -- Leeann, 01:08:56 01/10/02 Thu

Gone (spoilers) -- skeeve, 13:59:53 01/09/02 Wed

Total withdrawl is not the obvious solution for Willow. Often the Scoobies need magic. Oz could use it now. Willow almost certainly could cure him. She does need persuading to not use it on innocent bystanders.

This one has little trouble with Buffy's treatment of the unsocial worker. Telling her to kill would have been a problem if she'd taken it to heart. She didn't seem inclined to take the suggestions of others to heart.

BTW the street with the invisible fire hydrant should have gotten wet when the hydrant turned to pudding.

[> Re: Gone (spoilers): aftereffects -- anom, 22:06:55 01/09/02 Wed

"BTW the street with the invisible fire hydrant should have gotten wet when the hydrant turned to pudding."

I agree...I figure that happened later, since I don't think we saw anyone return to the scene after Willow & Xander left. Besides, it probably takes longer for something solid like a hydrant than for a flimsy traffic cone--just like Buffy hadn't started to dissolve yet.

Does anyone know for sure--I didn't get the impression the Legion of Dorkness (still like that name, vhD!) knew about the pudding effect beforehand--did they, or did one of the SG clue them in?

[> [> Re: Gone (spoilers): aftereffects -- Slayrunt, 00:09:52 01/10/02 Thu

Warren knew and was the one to tell Jonathan and Andrew.

[> [> Re: Gone (spoilers): aftereffects -- Rattletrap, 04:54:34 01/10/02 Thu

I tend to think they didn't know the full magnitude of it, because they were perfectly willing to use it on themselves.

Just my $.02


[> [> [> Re: Gone (spoilers): aftereffects -- verdantheart, 06:14:26 01/10/02 Thu

It seemed to me that Buffy got an extra dose seeing as the two were fighting over the "invisinator" when she was zapped--I thought I heard something from Warren to that effect. At any rate, the troika have the "invisinator" and could turn themselves visible again at any time, so why not use it on themselves?

[> [> Re: Gone (spoilers): aftereffects -- maddog, 11:57:16 01/10/02 Thu

While it was never proven I'll bet Warren new...he was the one that was going to make Buffy even worse off than she was before Willow figured out what was wrong.

[> Re: Gone (spoilers) -- maddog, 11:40:38 01/10/02 Thu

Well that's a mistake many people make...figuring the only way to stop a habit is cold turkey...it tends not to work. And I'm pretty sure in this case she won't be able too...it's second nature to her.

[> [> Re: Gone (spoilers) -- dream of the consortium, 13:52:59 01/10/02 Thu

Not to pick nits, but cold turkey actually does work, at least more so than other methods for certain types of addiction. Studies from American Lung, American Cancer, etc, have shown found that the majority of people who successfully quit smoking do so cold turkey. (Where does that expression come from anyway?) Smaller percentages use the patch, or hypnosis or group therapy. Cutting down gradually is successful for the smallest group of people.

Of course, quitting "cold turkey" doesn't necessarily mean that you never backslide, but that your intention is to swear off something completely. Whether Willow can afford to be a purist on a Hellmouth is another issue - I assume that she is going to have to find the self-control at some point to use magic when necessary, without letting it take over her life, like learning to work with an ex. Hmmm, maybe the troubling parallel being drawn between Willow's and Buffy's situation is more accurate than I've been giving it credit for. It's not that Buffy's relationship with Spike is like an addiction; it's that Willow's relationship to magic is more like a complicated and misguided romance than like an addiction. Wait, that doesn't sound right, either. Forgive me - I have a one day delay in watching the episodes, and almost everything I would have to say has been said by the time I go on the board, and I have to stretch to keep my toe in.

Buffy becoming more introspective? -- Kerri, 14:01:12 01/09/02 Wed

The end of "Gone" seemed to be a rare moment of self-reflection for Buffy. Most of the time Buffy seems to be too wrapped up with all her responsibility to be concerned with herself. Additionally, Buffy is usually too afraid of what's inside to really look at herself and anything she discovers she usually hides from herself. So, this said, the end of "Gone" was a big step for Buffy not just in reintergrating into the world but also in understanbding herself. In "the Gift" Buffy finally understood her role in the universe-so what's left after that? Understanding herself.

[> Re: Buffy becoming more introspective? -- Sheri, 16:15:13 01/09/02 Wed

My take on the whole interspection thing: Buffy's been trying so hard to hide that something might be wrong with her (and not just the kind of wrong that allows her to have sex with Spike) that she's become a total mask of self control.... but the control is really only on the surface. When she's invisible, her outer shell is no longer visible--not to herself or to those around her. Without being able to show a controlled self--Buffy is better able to present her more wild and unrestricted self.

[> [> Re: Buffy becoming more introspective? -- Kerri, 17:07:11 01/09/02 Wed

I see what ur saying but i was talking more about the end of gone when Buffy tells willow she doesnt want to die. Yes, Buffy has been trying very hard to hide, and i think that was my point-she's beenhiding from herself as much as everyone else. and this just seems like an important step to coming to terms with who Buffy is.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy becoming more introspective? -- Rufus, 21:30:22 01/09/02 Wed

I was happy with the end of the ep. Buffy was faced with the chance of returning to her dead state and she found out to her surprise that she no longer wanted to die. She was afraid of the idea of again dying....which to me is a good thing. Buffy also was able to feel remourse for not seeing just how desperate Willows situation had gotten. In trying to explain away her Spike attraction she missed the fact that the dependable Willow needed real help.

"You came back wrong." - a wildly off topic thought -- Liz, 16:21:13 01/09/02 Wed

Ok. This is way off topic but I thought someone might find it interesting.

Does anyone here read Neil Gaiman's Sandman series? It's a story of the dream king, who is sort of a god and sort of an archetype. That was a pitiful summary but I don't want to bother people needlessly. The series had a defined arc and then ended, but a new series was started that was about the dreaming, which is the land the dream king ruled.

In this one part the narrator describes overhearing one person tell another the story of the dream king. "..and finally the black king had restored the semblance of his kingdom--had recovered those lost parts of himself. But too late he would learn that it was only the semblence of his realm that had been restored, that some vital part of his self had been lost during his captivity.. a vital part of himself, the part that kept his land healhty and sane. And as the years passed, the black king grew ever weaker and ever more preoccupied with his family and the painful misadventures of his.." "[and here, here I begin to recognise the story that the man's telling.. though he has simplified it so that it might pass easily for a child's nursery rhyme: osiris, attis, orpheus, arthur.]"

This is nothing but a bit of playing--certainly the writers do not intend to use this version of the mythic hero story that ends so sadly. But certainly it is an old story. The hero of the people dies and comes back, but comes back wrong.

If some of the magic of the show (and maybe it's just Joss's touch) is gone now, then perhaps this is perversely appropriate.

Just for thought.

[> Re: "You came back wrong." - a wildly off topic thought -- fresne, 17:14:11 01/09/02 Wed

Sandman, that was an incredible series. I can only hope that every series that I like resolves so resplendent with Shakespeare reference. But I digress...

On an up note, the Black King had lost a vital part of himself, but the story ends not with his painful misadventures but with his death and rebirth as the White King, slowly learning to be himself again. Which as I think about it wass oddly pressaged in the story by the death and rebirth of the Corinthian, who makes me think of Spike. Or is it that Spike makes me think of the Corinthian?

Gone: Buffy/Xander/Tucker -- maddy, 16:35:42 01/09/02 Wed

Others have already addressed the major highs and lows of this ep. But I have a few questions/insights.

First, why does Buffy hesistate when the social worker calls Spike her boyfriend? Her response is nothing like I would have expected. She could have said he was a neighbor, friend, relative, etc. There is a very pregnant pause before she says no.

Secondly, Xander has to be the thickest sheep in the herd. He is either really stupid, or in serious denial. I think that he really is too blinded by his hatred/jealousy of Spike to accept that Buffy is with him. (He hated Angel and Spike, and at any moment lets Spike know that.) He is the only one of the Scoobies that is hostile to Spike (maybe with the exception of Giles). Spike has worked along side them, and is no real threat, so why is Xander so hostile? Also, when Spike burst into the kitchen, Willow looked on indifferently, but Xander layed into him when he saw B/S in a clinch. Also, why would a vampire "exercise", they cannot change their appearance once they've been turned. Xander just plain slow. (Bitca... Hello!)

Third, am I the only one who thinks that Tucker has to reiterate who he is because he was once a vamp in Harmony's "gang of minions". I distinctly recall his voice, and he looks similar, but he was in vamp face the entire time. It's the ep when Harmony kidnaps Dawn. Can someone verify this for me.

BTW, I'm new and this is my first post.

[> Re: Gone: Buffy/Xander/Tucker -- Tellab, 17:03:13 01/09/02 Wed

Yeah, I noticed that too. Played by the same actor. Although you're probably refering to Andrew, Tucker's brother. As a minion, his name was Cyrus.

OT: the Wheel of Time -- vampire hunter D, 16:58:05 01/09/02 Wed

Ok, I was at the bookstore the other Day and saw the Wheel of Time series box set. ANd I recognized it as the series several of you mentioned in here a few months back. I was going to buy it, but I held back because I couldn't tell what it's about or if it's the type of stuff I like.

So, to whoever has read these books, what is it about? Is it any good? Is it something I'd like? (for reference, my favorite books are Dune, Lord of the Rings, and the Mars trilogy from Kim Stanley Robinson)

Of course, I might not buy it anyway. I'm kind of broke at the moment, and I have little time to read, am so am already behind on reading the books I already have.

[> Re: OT: the Wheel of Time -- Vickie, 18:02:00 01/09/02 Wed

I like the Wheel of Time, with the following caveats:

The first book starts slow. He's learning his trade, and (IMHO) doesn't switch among his viewpoint characters particularly skilfully.

Later books start to feel like Return of Child of the Kwisach Haderach Miracle Diet from Dune. (Sorry, I know you like Dune. I do too. I didn't like some of the follow-ons.)

The books have immense scope, real good and evil (but not always black and white and often mixed in the same people), a HUGE cast of characters, and an often fascinating fantasy world.

In WoT, magic is split into two gender-based halves. Years ago, the great enemy poisoned the male side of the magic. Ever since, men who can use magic go slowly insane. Female magicians have formed a kind of religious police force, and rigorously capture and (ew, ugly stuff deleted) prevent any male magicians from damaging society.

You can imagine the kind of society this can be at times. However, magicians of either gender are rare.

And, there is a prophecy that the great enemy will one day escape his prison, and that a male magician will fight him, and that is the only hope of the world....

All that said, I sometimes feel like Jordan is milking his success for all it's worth. The books are loooong. They could use an editor. There are so many separate groups of characters that we often see only a few days adventuring for each of them.

But I still buy 'em and eat 'em up like popcorn. If you are uncertain, and living with a budget, get the first one from the library and see if you like it. Our public library has about six copies, always mostly on loan. Hope yours is as good.

[> [> Re: OT: the Wheel of Time -- Calluna, 18:30:38 01/09/02 Wed

I agree with most of the above post. Especially with the suggestion to find the first book at your local library. Best place to try out books before you shell out money for them.

What I really like about WoT series is that the women of the books are as much the main characters as the guys. Yeah, the character that everything revolves around is male, but as the books go along, the various female characters kind of take over. It's something that is usually missing from epic fantasy, unless it's written by a woman.

IMHO, I kind of like the slow pace. I've gotten tired of books that take the characters 100 miles, on foot, in only a couple of pages. Now that I think about it, the series reminds me alot of the TV series "24". You actually get the feeling of time passing.

So, go to your local library (I work for a library. Can you tell?) and check the series out. It may take you a while, but the books are worth a read.

[> Re: OT: the Wheel of Time -- Wisewoman, 19:08:03 01/09/02 Wed

I agree with the comments above but also, how many books were in the boxed set? Book #9 was published last year and I assume he's working on #10 now, although there's not much indication that #10 is going to be the last one. I'm thinking he'll go to an even dozen. There used to be about one year between each release but lately that has stretched out longer, and it's a pain to wait for the next installment. (Although I do know people who claim to read all of the previous books over again every year, in anticipation of the next one.)

I got hooked on WoT, but I prefer a new series that's now only up to Book #3. It's by George R.R. Martin and the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire. The books are A Game of Houses, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords (I think, I'm doing this without checking). Again though, they're available at the library if you want to check it out before you start spending money on them.


[> [> Thank you for the George R.R. Martin Recommendation! -- Vickie, 19:14:21 01/09/02 Wed

I have loved some of his other work, but somehow missed these. Must run and find out!

[> [> A Game of Throne, not a Game of Houses -- Stranger, a dog's horse, 20:04:16 01/09/02 Wed

[> [> [> Thanks! ;o) -- WW, 08:12:05 01/10/02 Thu

[> [> LOVE George R.R. Martin! -- celticross, 20:21:36 01/09/02 Wed

I just got finished with A Game of Thrones (courtesy of a friend who lent it to me) and now I simply must read them all! This has to be some of the best fiction I've read in a while. A couple of times I had to put the book down because I was getting too involved in the story. Great to see another fan! :)

[> [> Re: OT: the Wheel of Time -- Valhalla, 21:07:38 01/09/02 Wed

I think the library is your best bet, too. I normally much prefer series to lots of stand-alones (Neal Stephenson is an exception). And I'm a big LOTR and Dune fan, too. But somewhere around book 7 I started to get a little bored, and finally gave up around book 10. Maybe when he writes the last book in the series I'll finish it off, but just for completeness. Even saying that, the plot was enough to keep me going, and the characters were interesting. I did have two other criticisms, though. One, he tends to repeat information a lot. With a series this long he almost has to, to make sure the reader's following (although if you're rereading it's a drag). Two, he used one particular plot device way too many times. Much mayhem and bad things seemed to happen because characters (usually the men v. the women) kept key info to themselves, so other characters (even characters all on the same side) made bad choices or did stupid things, causing all sorts of icky effects. But maybe that's something particular to me - I just hate those miscommunication storylines. Also (ok, I know this is actually 3 criticisms), as Vicky alluded to, there's big chunks that are way too Dune-like.

[> [> A song of Fire and Ice -- Arya Stark, 00:46:53 01/10/02 Thu

I just have to chime in here and say that I love the A Song of Fire and Ice saga by George RR Martin. A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords. They are some of the best books I've ever read and the story-telling is amazing.

One small word of caution-- I found that the forst book started out a bit slow. Just get through the slow beginning and you are in for a treat.

[> Getting hooked on WOT -- Shaglio, 05:46:18 01/10/02 Thu

When I recommend reading WOT to anyone I always tell them to at least read up to chapter 5. If they finish the 5th chapter and aren't hooked yet, then they never will be.

If my sources are correct, the 1st 3 books were meant to be a trilogy and that was the end, but then he continued the series with books 4-9 (so far). I have a feeling it will go 12 books since every 3rd book has a HUGE ending. The books do tend to drag in the middle especially when something exciting happens with a group of people and then the next chapter revolves around a diferent group of people, but that might just be my own impatience.

Another series I enjoyed (bad haven't read in a long while) is Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams. The books are The Dragonbone Chair, The Stone Of Fairwell, and To Green Angel Tower (although in paperback the third book is broken into two halves).

[> Re: OT: the Wheel of Time -- Sebastian, 08:58:50 01/10/02 Thu

i have been reading WoT since i was fifteen (that's 10 years folks), so i feel a tad territorial when it comes to defending this series.

now before we all jump on the 'robert jordan copied his series from _dune_' bandwagon let us not forget that the whole concept of "a prophecy concerning a man/child-saving-the-world-from utter darkness" is not a concept herbert developed all by his lonesome. one could easily argue that herbert stole *that* concept from the bible (messiah-like figure,etc, yadda, yadda, yadda....).

and yes - while there are similarities in certain things (aes sedai/bene gessirit, aiel/fremen), one cannot argue that jordan certainly does take these ideas different routes.

AND one cannot argue that he is quite exceptional in writing powerful and pivotal female characters (nyneave, egwene, min, elayne, lanfear, mogheidein, morgase, siuan sanche, alviarin) just to name *a few*.....

(ending rant):-P

so IMHO, vampirehunterD, i think you should give it a go. true, it starts out slow - but its well worth it.

i would also agree that the 'memory, sorrow & thorn' trilogy by tad williams is an excellent read as well.

just my thoughts.

- S

[> Another recommendation,this time Robin Hobb..... -- AurraSing, 09:34:59 01/10/02 Thu

Okay,she is not as prolific as some fantasy writers,but her trilogy "The Farseer",which includes "Assasin's Apprentice","Royal Assassin" and "Assassin's Quest" have proved to be some of the most gripping books I have ever read.(check your library...) It's basically the story of a royal bastard named FitzChivalry who becomes a assassin because it's probably the only way he can stay alive.The moral dilemma is that he hates doing his job and it is a heavy price he has to pay for doing it(shades of Buffy???)......Robin Hobb has a gift for writing about characters that seem so very real and whose suffering really comes across the written page.

I too enjoy the George R.R. Martin series but find it more confusing than the "Farseer" trilogy thanks to all the politics.Co-incidentally Robin Hobb has just released a new book entitled "Fool's Errand" this month as the first in a new trilogy continuing the story of FitzChivalry,the little boy nobody wanted.Needless to say I am eager to get my hands on it soon!

[> [> Great minds think alike? -- matching mole, 09:46:01 01/10/02 Thu

Note my post below written simultaneously with yours.

[> Slightly different OT - Fantasy fiction recommendations wanted -- matching mole, 09:42:52 01/10/02 Thu

First I'll do my threadly duties and comment on the Wheel of Time. While not a huge fan of the modern fantasy series in general I did find the WOT to be better written than average. I enjoyed the first few books the most, probably in part because I am more a fan of small scale action (a few people doing things more or less on their own) rather than epic spectacle when it comes to this type of book. However I gave up in disgust when Jordan became the worst example of drawing out a story to ridiculous lengths. Although I hadn't thought of this until now it does kind of remind me of the Dune books (with the caveat that I read them in the early to mid 70s so my memory is a bit vague).

Thanks to those of you who recommended George R.R. Martin. I've heard good things about him elsewhere so I'll have to give him a try.

I would be interested in any other recommendations of good fantasy novels (or short fiction) either current or older. I've always been a fantasy fan but have often not read very much of the more recent fantasy mostly because there is so much of it and when I sample at random I often find myself reading horrendously poorly written stuff. So I'll briefly describe the kind of thing I like - give you some examples of books I particularly enjoyed (as payment in kind in advance if you will). All suggestions welcome.

Things I like/don't like. 1) Philosophical concerns. I tend to favor works that emphasize free will (e.g. Frodo volunteering to be the ring bearer) rather than destiny. 2) Setting. I prefer small scale to grand spectacle (and the everyman to the king). Amount of action is relatively unimportant although I'm not fond of large amounts of graphic violence. 3) Point of view. I prefer a fairly strong one (although it doesn't have to be the same character all the time). All of these elements are less a concern than 4) Good writing. I particularly like well defined (not necessarilly realistic) characters and good dialogue. Plot is less important - I'm quite tolerant of the meandering and slow moving. I also like a strong sense of place and atmosphere - if the characters are walking through a woods it's a big plus for me to able see, smell, and hear it.

Contemporary authors I've particularly enjoyed.

Guy Gavriel Kay - Most of his works are more like historical fiction set on imaginary worlds. The role of magic is usually pretty minimal. Thematically not my favourite author but very good with characterization and world creation. Also tends to write stand alone novels rather than long series which is a plus for me (given time limitations)

Robin Hobb - I've only just read one of her books (Ship of Magic) but am already a big fan. Similar in style to the sf writer Sheri Tepper but Hobb doesn't allow her political concerns to completely overwhelm the story. Very good with characterization. Her fantasy world is fairly standard - imaginary with low level of technology and magic.

Ursula Le Guin - I loved the Earthsea books (haven't read them since I was a kid - should look into them again). I also read a wonderful anti-fantasy in which two lonely people escape to an imaginary world only to reject to return to the real world and each other - forget what it was called.

Peter S. Beagle - The modern master of fantasy in my opinion. Has never written a series - only stand alones. More than any contemporary author conjures up the sense of wonder in the imaginary world that I found in Lord of the Rings (particularly in the first half of the Fellowship of the Rings). His most famous book is The Last Unicorn but I think his more recent novels are even better. Some are set in imaginary worlds and some on contemporary earth.

Gene Wolfe - Really more of a sf writer but has a definite fantasy feel to all of his works. Many people find him difficult (I find him quite readable so that's hard for me to judge). My major caveat with him is that he has a very male biased view of the universe. Most of his female characters are definitely only 'accessories' to the male characters. He can write really good female characters when he wants to, he just doesn't seem to want to very often. His use of language is quite magnificent and he is able to evoke settings and mood in ways that just make my jaw drop. Writes things in series - mostly set in the far future in which technology is basically the same as magic (no one understands it anymore).

Terry Pratchett (the only Brit on my contemporary list surprisingly - I'm generally a big fan of British literature of all sorts) - A great humourist/satirist. Stylistically he is a lot like Douglas Adams with a very whimsical sense of humour. A genius at characterization and dialogue - capable of whipping up an apparently endless series of complex and very funny people to populate his world. Virtually all of his novels (now numbering over 25) are set in the same world (a collection of various fantasy cliches) with large numbers of characters appearing in multiple novels. Each novel is an independent story and they can be read in any order.

Michael Moorcock (O.K. here's another Brit) - Not so much for his most famous works - the Elric books (which are interesting but pretty repetitious) but for his 'Dancers at the End of Time' trilogy. This is probably technically sf but has a definite fantasy flavour. Set in the impossibly far future, Victorian London, and the Paleozoic. A light-hearted but ultimately profound love story.

Ruth Nicholls - A very obscure Canadian who wrote young adult fiction a while back. I only read one book - "The Marrow of the World" which I thought was superb - very atmospheric and full of mystery.

Older writers - Tolkien of course and Mervyn Peake (I can quite understand why many people would find Peake difficult) - two writers with pretty unique visions. Gene Wolfe's predecessors at writng 'very far future' fiction - Clark Ashton Smith and Jack Vance (still living so I guess I should have put him in the contemporary section). Late 19th/early 20th C writers Lord Dunsany and Arthur Machen.

[> [> Off the top of my head..... -- AurraSing, 10:22:19 01/10/02 Thu

Try Raymond E. Fiest/Janny Wurt's trilogy that starts with "Daughter of the Empire" It takes place in his Riftwar Saga universe but can be read as stand-alone books.

J.V Jones' trilogy "The Book of Words" that has "The Baker's Boy" "A Man Betrayed" and "Master and Fool"...kinky in some spots but a good read.

Tim Power's "The Anubis Gates",my absolute favourite single fantasy novel.Hard to find a copy though... Most of my bookshelves are devoted to SF.I would recommend Dan Simmon's "Hyperion" and "Endymion" series,since they are character driven and contain some intriguing philosophical riddles.I love C.J.Cherryh as well.Just finished re-reading Gene Wolfe's "New Urth" series and I must say you are right on about the female characters since they seem to be either bed-mates or killers,nothing in between.

[> [> Three recommendations -- Rahael, 10:45:48 01/10/02 Thu

I cannot stress how much I love these three authors. I love them almost as much as my beloved Austen, Fielding, Sterne and Proust, and they take pride of place with them on the easiest to reach shelf of my book case. Like Buffy, magic and fantasy is a metaphor for some of the more difficult things in life, but it's always done wittily, and with the lightest of touches. In order of preference:

Diana Wynne Jones (she's written adult books too, but definitely try the children's books first. They range from teenage to young, and I love them all.)

Margaret Mahy (the finest is 'Changeover' - another writer for children and teenagers.)

Susan Cooper ('Seaward' is just wonderful)

Unlike a lot of fantasy, they are never boring, ponderous or self important. They are all very 'Buffy'. Real life, but wonkier; serious issues, seriously charming. Diana Wynne Jones once said that writing books for children took much harder work than her books for adults - as adults often read for escapism, and entertainmen. Children on the other hand, want their imaginations to be captured, and don't mind concentrating on complex books. This doesn't always show in children's books - but it certainly does in the work of these authors.

[> [> One suggestion... -- WW, 11:20:20 01/10/02 Thu

I was going to recommend Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry, but I see you've read him.

The other one I'd recommend is Sheri S. Tepper. She wrote three books that stand alone, but really comprise a trilogy. They are: Grass, Raising the Stones, and Sideshow. Tepper's working style varies greatly; some of her books I love and some I'm not so sure about, so I'm just recommending these three specifically.



[> [> [> More suggestions... -- Rob, 12:47:57 01/10/02 Thu

I am a fantasy book buff, and IMO, the best fantasy writer today is Neil Gaiman. He is an absolute genius, with a very unique writing style that combines the archaic with the modern, and the absurd with the...absurder. He is very fun and funny, as well, and most of his books are updates of classic myths and fairy tales. His best work is probably "Stardust," which I finished in one day. His other books, "American Gods," "Smoke and Mirrors," and "Neverwhere," however, are well worth reading. I actually finished every one of his books in under a week. I really enjoy his work.

Charles DeLint is another great fantasy writer. "The Little Country" is, in my opinion, not only his best work, but one of the best fantasy books ever written. It is a story-within-a-story; the tale of a magical book that never contains the same story twice. Further, each person reading it, even if they are doing so simultaneously, will be reading a different story, suited to their personality, dreams, hopes, wishes, etc. A great, great book.

If you like a little bit of sci-fi mixed with your fantasy, I'd recommend Orson Scott Card's classic, "Ender's Game," which is extremely brilliant in the way it presents its story. For the first 3 thirds of the book, it is pure sci-fi, but in the last third, it twists into the fantasy genre, and the change is completely natural. A wonderful melding of the two genres.

And another great epic sci-fi/fantasy work by Tad Williams (who was already mentioned earlier) is "Otherland." It is a four-book series which is complete about the Internet of the future. People plug into their computers and find themselves in a virtual reality world. The very rich however have created a virtual reality world, Otherland, that is so perfect that it is impossible to tell that it is not real, except for the fact that different places from myth and legend are shown in this world. A band of travellers, who, find themselves trapped in Otherland (unplugging themselves will put them into comas), get separated and find themselves going through all of these amazing fantasy worlds. At the same time, however, it is sci-fi, since it is all computerized. A fascinating mix...and a very long read, for those in the mood for a very long read (each of the four volumes is around 700-800 pages!)

I would personally recommend "Otherland" to you over "Wheel of Time," but that's just me.


[> [> [> [> Thumbs up for Ender's Game from me, too! ;o) -- WW, 14:08:12 01/10/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> And if you liked Ender's Game, you'll LOVE 'Snow Crash!' -- vandalia, 19:08:21 01/10/02 Thu

An excellent, excellent book about memes and scifi and dark rather gritty pre-apocalyptic futures. I forget who the author was, but its an excellent read (and I don't even like 'hard' scifi!) I cannot recommend it enough.

Besides, how can you as a Campbell buff resist a book whose main character's name is 'Hiro Protagonist?' ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson -- Brian, 04:41:49 01/11/02 Fri

[> [> Re: Slightly different OT - Fantasy fiction recommendations wanted -- Little One, 13:25:31 01/10/02 Thu

Terry Pratchett also tops my list. His discworld series have me counting my pennies for the latest hardcover since I don't have the willpower to wait for paperback. I feel the same about Neil Gamen. The novel they wrote in collaboration (whose name escapes me right now for some unknown reason) is one of my favourites.

Robert Aspirin is also quite good. His Myth series is a bit juvenile, yet hilarious but his Time-Scout novels (though more sci-fi than fantasy) are deep, expansive and quick moving.

L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s Recluse series is up to 11 or 12 books by now but is worth the read, though it does slightly lean more to destiny over free-will. Each book is self-contained yet adds to the series. They aren't in chronological order which I find refreshing, sort of like Pulp Fiction in jumping from one era to another. Her Spellsong Cycle is also excellent. The heroine is a 40-something woman from our time thrust into a politically-charged world where music is magic. So far there are 3 books in this series, with a 4th on it's way.

If you like historical fiction, Morgan Llewyllyn is my favourite for her take on Irish legends: Fin MacCool and Brian Boru among others.

[> [> [> Pratchett + Gaiman = "Good Omens" -- WW, 14:10:28 01/10/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> Thanks, WW! *Slapping myself on the forehead* -- Little One, 22:18:40 01/10/02 Thu

[> [> [> Pratchett is SO Good-Ook! -- Calluna, 16:02:39 01/10/02 Thu

Luckily I'm Pagan, so Pratchett and Joss can both be Gods:)

I started reading Terry Pratchett about two years ago. First I got them from the library, but now I've bought almost all the books (missing Reaper Man). The way he uses words is beautiful. And his social commentary is lovely too. I ended up buying all the books so I could highlight the good lines and paragraphs (and pages and whole sections). I've even gotten ahold of "Nanny Ogg's Cookbook" and "The Science of Discworld". Both are as good as the books. His are about the only books that make me laugh out loud even if I've read the book before. They're kind of like a "I Spy" book. You notice something new everytime you read one. Read Pratchett. Enjoy Pratchett. Convert your friends. Make him a bestselling author here as he is in England (I've read somewhere that he's sold so many books in England that statistically every home in England has a Pratchett book.) The Librarian is my favorite character with Quoth and Death of Rats coming in a close second and third.

I'd recommend "Good Omens" and "American Gods" as well. Also try "Rhapsody" by Elizabeth Haydon (I think).


[> [> [> [> Re: Pratchett is SO Good-Ook! -- matching mole, 16:18:15 01/10/02 Thu

I read that 1% of all books (maybe it was all fiction) sold in the UK were by Pratchett. The British have good taste, that's all I can say.

I pace myself with Pratchett - too much at once can be a bit cloying I find. I only own a few of them - mostly I get them from the library - I figure he's one writer who doesn't need my money.

I'd really like to see what Granny Weatherwax would think of Buffy!

Thanks for the other recommendations - never even heard of Elizabeth Haydon.

[> [> [> [> [> can't...stop...laughing... -- Little One, 22:30:16 01/10/02 Thu

Ok, when I read your comment about Granny Weatherwax I got the strangest vision of Nanny Ogg drunkenly singing the hedgehog song (it's rather, um, naughty) with D'Hoffryn at X/A's wedding reception! I woke up my cats with laughing! Oh, and Death sharing a curry with Giles while discussing scythe styles was the image that toppled me. Help!

[> [> Re: Slightly different OT - Fantasy fiction recommendations wanted -- Stranger, 13:35:11 01/10/02 Thu

Aside from those already mentionned (GRRM and GKK are my favorite fantasy authors, Gaiman and Powers the fantastique ones, Leguin is the reason I study anthropology and Beagle the reason I like fantasy :) You don't want to forget Donaldson and his Thomas The Unbeliever serie, Mary Gentle has a lots of good books, i especially recomands the Book of Ash, Friedman has wrote the wonderful Cold Fire trilogy, very interresting on the subject of moral ambiguity and redemtption, Zelazny has made lots of handsome things, lots of mythic themes, I recomand the cycle of Amber, Lord of Light, Creatures of Light and Darkness..., Orson Scott Card has written a few good fantasy books, especially Harts Hope, and there's also Tanith Lee's Flat Earth cycle.

[> [> [> Re: Slightly different OT - Fantasy fiction recommendations wanted -- JM, 14:44:07 01/10/02 Thu

Really loved the earlier Wheel of Time books. Not as confident about the most recent, though they are never an unenjoyable reading experience. Makes me worry a little that the author may have lost his original vision, don't want to get X-Filesed here. First three were very, very good though. Tight, painful, and scary.

I'd recommend anything by Tad Williams. No one writes decay and disgust so well.

An unusual one I'd recommend is Richard Adams' "Shardik." At least I think that's the title. It's the one about the bear. I think he is the same guy that wrote "Watership Down." It's just very different than any other fantasy I've read. It follows very few of the conventions of fantasy and is less than entirely satisfying (though endings are aren't obligated to be). Still I definitely found it orignal and affecting.

I'd also recommend Mellissa Scott, especially "Dreamships" and her later works. Even though it's really sci-fi, it's more about the closed societies and often their mystical elements than about the technology. And for those with a political slant, she consistently writes a world where slash fiction just wouldn't be subtly subverting the subtext anymore. If you know what I mean.

And lastly, but not least, Robin McKillip. I've read several that I can no longer name, but most memorable is the "Riddle Master of Hed" series. Read it years ago, so don't recall whether it was aimed at adults or children. Reminds me of LeGuin, but more so. Never really quite got it, but have never been able to shake the feeling of almost airless calm and sadness and ancientness I got reading it. May just have been too young.

[> [> [> [> Wow!! (a response to you all) -- matching mole, 16:11:09 01/10/02 Thu

Thank you very much for that outpouring of suggestions. One thing it made me realize was that I am perhaps better read in contemporary fantasy than I thought. And reminded me of several authors I had sampled once long ago and forgotten.

Comments on your selections

Aurrasing - I'll check out the Feist/Wurts books - never read either of them. I have read JV Jones - very entertaining and she seems determined to singlehandedly make up for the almost complete lack of sex in fantasy novels prior to about 1980. I read 'Last Call' by Tim Powers many years ago and thought it was excellent. For some reason never pursued any of his other works. I've read Dan Simmons' books which I thought very good. I almost put CJ Cherryh's fantasy novels (Rusalka, etc.) on my list of favourite fantasy. I actually find them extremely frustrating. They always start off great and about two thirds of the way through all the characters end up running around in the woods for chapters and chapters. I've read a couple of her sf books as well.

Wise Woman - I've read the Sheri Tepper novels you mentioned. Based on her early work (the ones you mentioned and 'After Long Silence' also comes to mind) I would consider her one of the best authors of science fiction currently active. Her later novels have been swallowed up by politics. Now I subscribe to just about everything she pontificates about but the 'campaigning' drowns out the story.

Rob - I've only read 'Good Omens' the Pratchett/Gaiman colllaboration so I'll have to check out his solo work. He sounds very promising. I've also read a little Charles De Lint which I thought was pretty good - I'll try the book you mentioned. I started an Orson Scott Card novel years ago (not Ender's Game) and didn't get very far for some reason. Have to try again. Read Tad Williams other series which I thought competent but unremarkable (which is basically what I think of WOT) - will look into 'Otherland' at some point.

Little One - I've read several of the Recluse books (probably the first four or five). I liked them a lot but eventually got bored (not that I thought they declined in quality I just wanted to read about something else). Spellsong sounds quite interesting. I've never read Robert Apirin at all - add him to the list.

Stranger - I read the early Donaldson (the two Thomas Covenant trilogies) when they first came out and then sort of forgot about him. I assume he's written more since then. I read one Mary Gentle sf book once which was very good although sad. I didn't realize she wrote fantasy - I'll add her to the list as well. I've read Friedman and Zelazny although it has now been so long since I read Zelazny that I can't remember what I read. Someone else to take a second look at.

JM - I read Shardik as young lad and was utterly horrified by it at the time. I should probably read it again - definitely an unconventional book. Melissa Scott and Robin McKillip are unfamiliar to me - you made them both sound very appealing.

Rahael - You win the grand prize by listing three authors whose words have never met my eyes. I also really liked what you had to say about children looking for something that captures their imagination. I know that's what I look for (mostly) when I read or watch. Definitely food for thought. Diana Wynn Jones will go to the top of my list.

Thank you all very much.

A couple more recommendations.

For those of you who like Pratchett/Gaiman try 'Buddy Holly is Alive and Well and Living on Ganymede' by Bradley Denton. You'll probably have to go to a used bookshop or a library to find it but it's worthwhile.

Connie Willis - Very understated literate sf with a strong emphasis on characters. Try Bellwether or Doomsday Book

[> [> [> [> [> If you want a Sheri Tepper without an "agenda"... -- Rob, 18:38:15 01/10/02 Thu

try "Beauty." I read it recently, and I thought it was excellent.


[> [> [> [> [> I can't believe I forgot Connie Willis!! -- WW, 19:40:58 01/10/02 Thu

Absolutely wonderful writer. And I loved her, "To Say Nothing of The Dog" as well, kind of linked to Doomsday Book, but much, much lighter and funnier.

[> [> [> Re: Slightly different OT - Fantasy fiction recommendations wanted -- Shaglio, 05:29:20 01/11/02 Fri

Although I enjoyed Donaldson's "Thomas The Unbeliever" and Zalzny's "Amber" series' on a whole, I found that they tended to drag in places. For Donaldson, it dragged mostly in the second book when he was describing the diferent effects of the diferent suns. For Zalazny, it was when the main character was traveling between the real world and the Amber world. Maybe it's just my TV upbringing that causes me to be impatient with detailed storytelling and to need the action first and foremost. It's not my fault; I'm part of Generation H.

[> [> [> [> Re: Slightly different OT - Fantasy fiction recommendations wanted -- Shaglio, 05:35:22 01/11/02 Fri

"For Donaldson, it dragged mostly in the second book"

Of course, for those who've read the series, I meant the second TRILOGY. It's early in the morning and I didn't get much sleep last night.

Spike's Crypt (Crib) -- maddy, 17:06:18 01/09/02 Wed

Where is Spike getting furniture, lights, hell electricity from? He lives in a graveyard! I know I have to suspend dibelief, but come on... he has a bed. Why does he have a bed, with a head board and sheets. How did he move it in? Also, this is another weirdo, watch-this-show-too-deeply question, but what about hygiene. He doesn't (at least they haven't shown it) have a bathroom, so does he shower, and have normal bodily functions? He didn't look like he was sweating while "exercising".

[> Spike's summer project..... -- AurraSing, 18:37:38 01/09/02 Wed

Spike killed some time over the summer by dressing up the crypt.Unlike most vamps,Spike and Dru always seemed to prefer nice digs,so I can Spike getting bored with 4 grey walls and wanting to dress things up.From the looks of things he trolls the garbage dumps and back alleys for most of his stuff.....He steals the electricity (pretty easy to do,frankly) which is a good thing since rancid pig blood would problem really come back on you,if you know what I mean......As for the bodily habits stuff,if you can give me a plausible explanation as to how a male vampire can get and sustain an erection,then I'm sure I can find some way to prove they use bathrooms....in Spike's case I would imagine he uses a toilet provided for cemetary goers.

Just how did we get on this topic???

[> [> Ahem: "Nesting" in the Vampire Lair: Crypt Interior Design in BtVS:-) -- Gwyn, 03:56:30 01/10/02 Thu

As noted, Spike did decorate over the summer, in a "posh" style, something he drew Buffy's attention to in her first visit to the crypt after her return in Afterlife. He likes his creature comforts and one can assume that he is not above stealing stuff that takes his fancy. Looking at the bed, sheets, and lamps,however, I have to take issue with the proposition that he is 'trolling the garbage dumps"! The decor is looking a little too "posh" for that. Also, when he set up that *date*, staking out the vampire lair in Crush, Spike demonstrated his disgust with the state of the lair. It was a mess, and had no decorative flair at all. Spike clearly believes in keeping up appearances for the sake of the Vamp reputation.

I have to say that, considering he has "cut a swathe" through Europe over a couple of centuries, I am not surprised that he has developed a taste for the somewhat heavy and ornate, and the dark and dank. He clearly has a an obsession with candles, either for their atmospheric affiliation with the crypt motif that he favours, or because of having spent much of his youth in societies without electricity...old habits die hard. Bless his nostalgic little vampire heart! Perhaps, too, he has to be frugal with electricity, if he is not stealing it or, if he is, the supply is not reliable.

I have to say I'm glad his current bedroom design, especially the lamps, have moved on from his days with Drusilla, who was clearly a ruffle and flounces sort of girl. Compare his current bedroom with the one in School Hard.

With regard to hygiene, I'm assuming that since the writers get to pick and choose their mythology for dramatic impact, to wit, some vampires have souls and others not, some apparently can father children (over on Angel), and some cannot, then they can pick and choose bodily functions as well. Er, erections yes, sweating and body odour requiring bathing no. (I have to say that I am a bit concerned that Buffy has not heard of the birth of Angel's son...ahem...she may be holding some wrong assumptions about the need for contraception when sleeping with vampires. But that is another topic for another post.

As for the question as to how we got on this topic...do we need a reason? What we do need is some methodical fan to trawl with painstaking application, frame by frame, through shots of Spike's crypt since the start of this season to see if we can answer some of these pressing questions about interior design and vampire hygiene. One cannot, after all, leave any stone unturned in the pursuit of analytical enlightenment and dedicated research. I for one want to know what that picture is stuck on Spike's fridge. Who knows what metaphoric hint or foreshadowing that could reveal. I mean, this is serious stuff.:-)

[> [> [> comments -- grifter, 04:19:35 01/10/02 Thu

"With regard to hygiene, I'm assuming that since the writers get to pick and choose their mythology for dramatic impact, to wit, some vampires have souls and others not, some apparently can father children (over on Angel), and some cannot, then they can pick and choose bodily functions as well. Er, erections yes, sweating and body odour requiring bathing no. (I have to say that I am a bit concerned that Buffy has not heard of the birth of Angel's son...ahem...she may be holding some wrong assumptions about the need for contraception when sleeping with vampires. "

Vampires cann NOT father children. Darlaīs pregnancy was a wonder, not natural childbirth.

And, if vampires donīt sweat, why is Angel showering all the time? (I mean, sure, to show off his body to the lady-viewers, but thatīs "meta-show-thinking"

[> [> [> [> Maybe Angel just likes water or has a "Lady Macbeth" syndrome. --
bookworm, 07:39:02 01/10/02 Thu

All those deaths on his tortured conscience. He washes and washes and can never get clean. I think vampires probably do "human" things because they FEEL they need to, not necessarily because they really do. Breathing isn't necessary for them; eating isn't necessary for them; it stands to reason that bathing and bathroom facilities aren't either. Either that or Spike has somehow managed to tap into a water source in the cemetery. Maybe it's near a well or a waterline and he can fill a portable tub for his nightly bath.

[> [> [> [> Re: Showers and vampires -- Leeann, 04:58:55 01/11/02 Fri

"And, if vampires donīt sweat, why is Angel showering all the time? (I mean, sure, to show off his body to the lady-viewers, but thatīs "meta-show-thinking"
;)" - grifter

I think Spike should start showering too. For one reason...or another.

[> [> [> Spike the dumpster diver & the fridge (Minor Spoilers) -- Darby,
06:03:09 01/10/02 Thu

In The Replacement, the Scoobies ran into Spike trolling the dump, which explains some of what's in the crypt.

When Spike first moved out of Giles' (or was it Xander's at that point?), the need for electricity / refrigeration was pointed out by Anya, and soon after his cryptwarming it was there. Is there electricity downstairs, though? That might explain the candles. (Although, what I've always wondered is, why can't creatures of the night see in the dark??? Yeah, I know, the lighting constraints of TV - it'd look like the X Files, where we spend large parts of scenes wondering what the Hell is happening. Aside, I think that BtVS has established a new high-water mark in shooting night scenes that feel right but can be easily followed.)

And, since the new room is accessed by a rough hole in the crypt floor and down a ladder, the "Summer Project" suggestion can't be far wrong.

Okay, another pointless question - is this crypt (the "original" construction) "new"? The shots this season are all at new angles in relation to the door, but isn't everything else new, too? No step at the entrance, no Tupperware coffin-holder in the middle of the far half, etc.

[> [> [> [> Re: Spike the dumpster diver & the fridge (Minor Spoilers) --
Laurie, 10:12:23 01/10/02 Thu

I have noticed the differences in Spike's crypt, as far as the angles from the door. For example, in "Crush" when Dawn went over there, in "Into the Woods" when Riley went to threaten Spike, or in "Checkpoint" when Joyce and Spike were discussing Passions, the door seemed to be up on the right side of the crypt. But in "Intervention" with the Spike was kidnapped by Glory's minions, in "OMWF" during Rest In Peace, and in "Gone" it seems to be that the door is over on the left side of the crypt. It could be just different angle of the same room, but it just looks like 2 different places. And the entrance to downstairs seems to be inconsistent to. Is it just the camera angles, or do you think these are 2 different sets?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike the dumpster diver & the fridge (Minor Spoilers) --
fresne, 12:09:09 01/10/02 Thu

Well, for a really bad photo of Spike's script over the summer break...


He had a lot of stuff to choose from, what with ME storing all their stuff there.

[> Re: Spike's Crypt (Crib) -- Rufus, 21:27:39 01/09/02 Wed

I can't think about personal hygiene when all I can think of is cute comfortors and rattles ect, because a crib to me only means the place that babies sleep.:):):) Magic clause for waste elimination and other nasty stuff I'm not going to think about

[> Re: Spike's Crypt (Crib) -- Shaglio, 06:01:17 01/10/02 Thu

Ok, here's what I've summized over the years of hanging out at this board and a litlle bit of reasoning on my own:

Erection: they are facilitated by the blood that he drinks. An eraction, in case anyone doesn't know by now, is caused by blood swelling up the penis.

Bodily waste: I don't think Vampires need to go #2 unless they eat (Spike has a blooming onion every once in a while). They probably go #1 since they drink blood and the kidneys (if they are still functioning in an undead body) filter the impurities out of the blood. And also Spike is often seen having a frosty, cold one at the Bronze.

Sweating: I don't know much about that function other than the body produces sweat to cool itself down. I'm not sure whether or not Vampires experience temperature changes in the body. I'm also not sure if drinking blood would produce the proper amount of liquid to generate sweat.

Well, that's all I have in my notes. Feel free to eloborate on/correct any of my information.

[> [> Vampire Physiology -- Darby, 06:16:42 01/10/02 Thu

Give it up, people - trying to rationalize what's established for vamps in the Buffyverse is a no-win endeavor.

They don't breathe, but can smoke (and talk, for that matter, but can't administer CPR) - and react to being choked, except the rare times that they don't. They have no heartbeat (and, one would think, no circulation) but bleed when cut and develop erections. And whose blood is it, anyway?

Also, their hearts appear to be Grinch-sized (end-of-book, not beginning), so a strike anywhere in the torso does them in (except when it doesn't). They sometimes can kill their victims within seconds, and other times hang them up and feed leisurely as a group. It's almost enough to think that there might be some underlying plan (other than writers' convenience), because they have to notice the discrepancies (how do you set up an special effects staking and not "place" the stakee right?). Uh oh, now I'm starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist...

[> Re: maybe he won all that stuff in kitten poker -- B, 07:03:04 01/10/02 Thu

[> [> It's not real -- Lilac, 07:33:50 01/10/02 Thu

It is not real, so there is no reason to worry about all of this. It is amusing to notice the inconsistencies -- in one of the reruns I watched not to long ago, someone (I forget who) comes across Spike as he is urinating in the cemetery (against a tombstone, of course). I don't remember the episode, or who the other character was, but I remember thinking "vampires need to pee?". Well, if they were real they probably wouldn't need to, but someone wanted that scene set up, so Spike had to.

Maybe Spike wouldn't need to shower on his own, but after as much intimate contact as he has had with human Buffy, I think it would be crucial, or his appeal would be fast diminishing. Besides, he always looks very sharp, and clean, so he must be grooming someplace. Not to mention laundering all of those black clothes. Perhaps he has been sneaking into the Sommer's home for years to run up their water bill.

It's fiction, don't worry about it.

[> [> [> Re: It's not real -- Herself, 12:22:30 01/11/02 Fri

Sure, it's fiction but it's fun to speculate.

In "Fool for Love" Buffy is attacked by a vamp who is dirty and smelly at the beginning . . . which suggested to me that Spike's cleanliness and neatness is deliberate--he's got to work at it a bit, as we all do.

What *I* like to speculate about is ... who bleaches his hair for him?

And does he need to shave?

I also noticed in one of the pan shots in "Gone" that there was a coffin in Spike's crypt, near the bed. Have we ever seen a vamp on Buffy need a coffin to sleep in, other than Dracula?

[> Re: Spike's Crypt (Crib) -- Marie, 08:35:01 01/10/02 Thu

I watched a programme on Sky a few days ago, which was shown as a prelude to today's start of S6 (pause for cheer!), and in which they showed an interview with JM in his new crypt. This is what he said, as far as I can remember it:

"Hey - look at this place! I got a bed. They haven't told me anything, but when I get a bed I usually have a girlfriend! And I have a rug! Gotta be a reason for that."

There was also some more, I think, about the rug area and what he imagined he'd be doing there - and JM had such a naughty twinkle as he spoke!

He doesn't care about stealing - there have been many instances of him nicking things. Why not furniture? As far as electricity is concerned, he has contacts all over the place. I'm sure it wouldn't be so hard to connect his crypt to an electricity line in the cemetery somewhere.

As far as hygiene is concerned, he shrunk his jeans while living in Xander's basement, after Xander made him do the laundry.

Also, they must get pretty dirty and dusty, killing all those demons and vamps (Angel was always getting covered by yellow bodily fluids!), so I'd think Spike's bathing somewhere. Hey, this is Spike - would he hesitate to break in somewhere and use the facilities?!


[> [> Re: Where does Spike go to peroxide his hair? -- LeeAnn, 05:48:09 01/11/02 Fri

[> Re: Spike's Crypt (Crib) -- Dyna, 09:36:58 01/10/02 Thu

When E! showed the pre-season 6 "Buffy's Back" special they spent some time on Spike's new crypt. Later, watching "School Hard," I realized that's not only the same bed, but the bedspread they showed in the E! special is the same one Dru lays out her tarot cards on in WML Part 1. (I'm a textile freak, I notice these things.) Of course, back in Dru's day there was a big crocheted canopy draped over the top and lots of frilly lamps around. The new decor has a bit of nicer, more masculine and modern feel to it. Don't try figuring out where Spike put the bed in during his time in South America, though--that way lies madness.

Given how much fanfic there is out there, I'm surprised I've never seen a story comment on why Spike--who was otherwise clearly in a state of mourning and self-torture about Buffy's death--would simultaneously put so much effort into making his crypt "posh." I guess it could be taken as further evidence of his determination to stay in Sunnydale and look after Dawn, per his promise to Buffy. Though in the fanfic that runs perpetually in my head, I like to toy with the idea that it was more than that--like maybe Spike wasn't counting the days since Buffy died, but on some level he was actually counting the days until she returned. Preparing for her arrival, without consciously knowing it was going to happen.

But then, I'm romance's bitch, so don't mind me.

[> [> Spike's Crypt (Crib) -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 13:19:20 01/10/02 Thu

Where did Spike put his furnishings while he was in South America?

"24 hour self-serve storage. Access anytime."

Hell, I've done it, and I'm not even dead. (Yet.)

[> [> fanfic fan here, please recommend some good sites -- pagangodess, 22:05:42
01/10/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: fanfic fan here, please recommend some good sites -- Hannah,
12:28:33 01/11/02 Fri

Some good stuff here


Also on the same site, search for author Kalima, whose stuff is intense.

[> [> [> [> Thanks, I'll check it out, in the meantime... -- pagangodess,
05:09:23 01/12/02 Sat

I found some good stuff on this site



[> [> [> [> [> OMG! -- Isabel, 11:06:52 01/13/02 Sun

I see I'm not the only one who hangs out at 'Love's Bitch.'

[> Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Can't Go Potty -- Lilac, 10:09:39 01/11/02 Fri

This whole long string of conversation, which I have participated in as well, reminded me of a conversation I had with my son when he was 2 1/2 and just potty training. We were driving some place, always good for kid conversations, and the following ensued:
"Ninja Turtles cannot go potty"
"Ninja Turtles cannot go potty because they can't get their belts off." (Belts, of course, can be tragic to a child at this stage.)
"Uh, maybe Splinter helps them."
"No, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cannot go potty."
"Well, you know it's OK because they are cartoon characters and they don't need to go anyway."

I guess what brought this to mind is that we have all been having pretty much the same conversation. He was 2 1/2 -- I am not sure what our excuse is.

Off Topic-Philosopy Book Recommendations -- Eric, 21:39:16 01/09/02 Wed

Lurking on this board I often eat the Cold Pizza of Regret for not learning more philosophy in college. (Gawd they were dull! And too easily baffled by my BS on written exams). Can anyone recommend a philosophy book that is clear, well written, relatively entertaining, that covers most or all of philosophy's "izms"? Also, are there any similar book recommendations for a particular philosophy?

[> Maybe we could have a "Recommended Reading" page in FC? -- Marie, 08:44:43 01/10/02 Thu

Both for fiction and philosophy, a la the essays and stories sections? Then you could split the philosophy one into "for beginners" and "advanced". Er, I say 'you', when of course I mean Liq!!

Then anyone could recommend anything.


[> Re: Off Topic-Philosopy Book Recommendations -- Rob, 11:51:25 01/10/02 Thu

I was inspired by this site to do some philosophical reading, and the first thing I read was "Sophie's World." It's a "novel about the history of philosophy." Basically, it's about a girl taking a correspondence course in philosophy. The story isn't very strong, and some of the writing in the "novel" sections of the book are awkward, but that is probably mostly due to the fact that this is an English translation of, I believe, a Scandanavian book. But in each chapter, we get to read Sophie's lesson in philosophy for that day, and they are fascinating reads for philosophy beginners. They are clearly written, concise, and repeat the major ideas over and over again, making the concepts much easier to understand and digest. Many times, also, in the "novel" portions of the book, Sophie herself will be mulling over the concepts, making them even easier to understand. I really recommend this book, because it has all the information of a textbook, but written in a much more enjoyable manner and tone. It outlines just about every "ism" in philosophy, and highlights all of the major (and some minor) philosophers throughout history, from Ancient Greece, all the way to the 20th century.


"Wow." -- yuri, 23:07:56 01/09/02 Wed

When buffy first heard the news from the answering machine that "wow" was so evocative. I thought it really had a tone of amazement, of awe and intrigue. I thought immediately that she must be thinking "wow, if I just wait this out it could all dissolve again." She could've done it and it wouldn't even really have seemed like her fault. She heard the message on an _answering machine_ so she could have pretended like she didn't know at all. In the arcade, even, I kept expecting her to destroy the gun, or somehow prevent her un-invisibilifyment (heh, I thought about that one for a while). I was genuinely suprised when she said that stuff to Willow at the end. Then I realized the tone of the "wow" could just as easily have been Buffy's response to the unexpected fear and aversion to death welling up inside her. You know, "wow, I actually don't want to die."

Like Warren said, all her troubles could have been over. I guess she's starting to want them, again. (btw, how much longer are the weaker two going to put up with Warren? Will they always be too weak of heart? He's already lied to them several times, about things they seem to have cared about.)

One other thing - Xander was so amazingly on top of things and responsible this episode that I was thuroughly impressed. He told Buffy to focus( (that's been mentioned), he seemed to initiate the research and kept Anya on task, he went to see willow when he thought she had something to do with it, he went to see spike to cover the bases, he went back to the scene of the crime... the ep even starts with him taking Dawn to school, and being very curteous in front of the social services woman. Does he feel like he needs to be the man around since Giles left? I think it's a great development of character, good ol' "I hate books and work and strain of any kind" Xander.

[> Re: "Wow." and Watcher-Xander -- grifter, 04:11:13 01/10/02 Thu

"When buffy first heard the news from the answering machine that "wow" was so evocative. I thought it really had a tone of amazement, of awe and intrigue. I thought immediately that she must be thinking "wow, if I just wait this out it could all dissolve again.""

Yeah, when I heard her "wow" reaction, I thought: uh-oh, that doesn't sound good, almost as if she's considering the option to just fade away, but, obviously, I was wrong. ;)

"Xander was so amazingly on top of things and responsible this episode that I was thuroughly impressed. He told Buffy to focus( (that's been mentioned), he seemed to initiate the research and kept Anya on task, he went to see willow when he thought she had something to do with it, he went to see spike to cover the bases, he went back to the scene of the crime... the ep even starts with him taking Dawn to school, and being very curteous in front of the social services woman. Does he feel like he needs to be the man around since Giles left? I think it's a great development of character, good ol' "I hate books and work and strain of any kind" Xander."

Yes, I found Xander pretty amazing too. A lot of people on another board complained about his "holier-than-though" attitude about the possibility of Willow being the cause for Buffy's blinvisibility. IMHO he was right to ask Willow if she had something to do with it, the way he did it was not smooth, but, hey, he's Xander, not Mr. Perfect...

It all reminded me of "Restless", where he tells dream-Giles that he always wanted to be a Watcher...seems like he's taking over the part now.

[> [> Re: "Wow." and Watcher-Xander -- Rattletrap, 05:07:16 01/10/02 Thu

I like this direction with Xander. Because he didn't go to college and went straight into the working world, he has had to grow up faster than Willow or Buffy. He has become a good voice of reason and moderation in the group. He still jumps too quickly to conclusions (though never without good reason) and forms his judgments without all the information--those are things he will have to move beyond--but he is showing more stability and maturity than anyone else on the show right now, barring maybe Tara.

[> [> Re: "Wow." ( Gone Spoilers) -- Darby, 05:38:43 01/10/02 Thu

Why can't it be the "Wow!" you heard? Wouldn't it be more typical of someone who has sort of wanted something to react that way when it seems they're getting their wish? And isn't it normal, with a want becoming real, that a change of heart could follow?

One of the strategies of the show seems to have been to shoot the episode as if no one was invisible, and maybe this was one way that it didn't work out - had we been able to see SMG, maybe we could have perceived the change in attitude, after the "Wow," without having to be told at the end.

The fun part is trying to figure out what changed Buffy's mind - I can't accept that such a turnaround is all due to boinking Spike. Although the real hope of establishing an honest-to-Osiris relationship could explain it.

[> [> [> Re: "Wow." ( Gone Spoilers) -- Rob, 11:41:29 01/10/02 Thu

I thought that "Wow" was excellent. It can literally be taken both ways, and SMG's delivery of the line was perfect. It is hard to say an exclamation such as that without sounding either positive or negative. She succeeded in maintaining a degree of suspense as to whether "fading away" is still what she really wants to do.


[> Re: Responsible Xander -- t-rex, 15:42:18 01/10/02 Thu

>One other thing - Xander was so amazingly on top of things and responsible this episode that I was thuroughly impressed. He told Buffy to focus( (that's been mentioned), he seemed to initiate the research and kept Anya on task, he went to see willow when he thought she had something to do with it, he went to see spike to cover the bases, he went back to the scene of the crime... the ep even starts with him taking Dawn to school, and being very curteous in front of the social services woman. Does he feel like he needs to be the man around since Giles left? I think it's a great development of character, good ol' "I hate books and work and strain of any kind" Xander.

Xander seems to be one of those people who doesn't like being in charge, but is perfectly capable of taking the reins when it is absolutely necessary. I am kind of like that, so I can relate.

It *was* really nice to see that side of him.

Inconsistencies & the Dork Troika (spoilers for Gone) -- Solitude1056, 23:13:54 01/09/02 Wed

Ah, David Fury's fingers all over the show, again. While I'm sure the guy's got some good points, I'm starting to get cranky about the all-too-clear disagreement between DF and the rest of the writer's gang. I know there's value in having a circuit o' writers who each put their unmistakeable fingerprints on an episode, but DF's obstinance about the Buffy/Spike relationship is starting to sour on me. I'm getting tired of getting jerked around, frankly.

Most of this has to do with his treatment of Spike's character, and the fact that after each DF-written episode, I'm cranky about the fact that I've just spent three or four episodes empathizing and now I get to watch a beloved character get treated like he's an imbecile. Hell, for that matter, to watch Spike get humiliated by an invisible tease is also to implicate Xander, and I honestly have trouble believing that Xander suddenly went completely deaf, dumb, and blind. This is the guy who could take one quick look at Buffy and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that her relationship with Riley was two seconds away from imploding? Enough that without any foreknowledge of the specifics, he was willing to track her down in a dark alley and give her a best-friend-talking-to? No, I really don't believe that Xander could suddenly go so non-perceptive. No matter what others may say about alcoholic households, I consider that a flimsy excuse for the character, since my experience has been that kids from alcoholic households are usually way more perceptive than the usual joe - that has a lot to do with being able to see through the illusions of normality that an alcoholic family attempts to create. So while some children from that background may be good at denial, Xander himself is a character who has never been good at lying... and that's just what denial is. Xander, in fact, is the one who calls folks on things, and the rest of the Scoobies listen - Anya may say what other folks are thinking, but Xander says what they're feeling - that's why those two make a good pair. And for Xander to suddenly go dense at Spike's behavior simply doesn't make sense. I'm left with the uncomfortable conclusion that part of Xander's denseness is to further Spike's discomfort from the invisible tease, and to stretch out a one-note joke on Spike about his incompatibility and inevitable crash-and-burn with any Buffy-relationship... a one-note joke, I might add, that seems only to appear when it's DF writing the scripts. Honestly, I don't mind a little poke at each character, but I think there's ways to do it without having to go so against the grain of a long-standing character like Xander, who we know all too well.

Second, DF's twist in the invisibility ray - and the show's conclusion - seems to effectively end the Troika's short reign of terror. Buffy knows them now, is aware of their incompetence (and ambition), and thanks to Willow, knows their location, knowledge, vehicular transportation, and whatever else Willow saw while poking around. Unless the Troika decide to wear masks for the duration of the season, move their headquarters, and suddenly get smart, I'd say they're now out of the picture. Our Little Bad has, like in seasons 1 through 4, been demoted to Barely Bad at the half-point.

Normally this wouldn't bother me, since it's par for the Jossian course. But this season's Little Bad didn't even rate as a Bad, really. What did they do? Steal a diamond, screw up Buffy's multiple-job day, and uh... let's see. Oh, they were around to check on Spike's chip. What else. Hmm. They stole some money, and sicced a demon on Buffy, which resulted in her brand-new plumbing to get screwed up again. They were barely around for the majority of the episodes so far, to be honest. The whole point of Joss' bait-and-switch maneuver has usually been that the Little Bad appears to be a threat, and these guys never did. Warren's insensitivity to human life may have been an undercurrent in the way he treated both his robot and human girlfriends (as well as the security guard), but it wasn't explicit until this episode. That's a little too late to make him even remotely 'potentially threatening' as our former Little Bads have been. Looking back over the first half of the season, it seems as though the writers have been paying only lipservice to the Jossian Formula, and have instead preferred to focus on side issues (Willow and Tara, Buffy and Spike, Giles leaving).

This may all be what Joss is intending, but I don't appreciate the strange lingering sensation that DF had to do a few machinations with the characters, at the seasonal half-point, to get the plot to move in the intended direction. It felt almost as though this episode was a "hurry up and move things along so we can get ready for the real Big Bad." Even ignoring the blatant continuity problems mentioned elsewhere on the board (the lighter, the blanket), I have issues with any episode that goes against Joss' past excellence in letting the characters drive the plot. Gone did it the other way around... and that negates much of the pleasure I got from a few small moments in the episode as a whole.

[> Re: Inconsistencies & the Dork Troika (spoilers for Gone) -- Leeann, 23:47:28 01/09/02 Wed

I totally agree and I have come to dread any episode David Fury writes.

[> Warren isn't done yet, wait until ep 6.13. There.... -- MBoone, 02:55:04 01/10/02 Thu

was also an interview with Adam Busch (Warren) in which he asked Joss if it was ok that Warren appeared to be getting more evil, Joss said oh yeah, he's going to do all sorts of f****d up stuff. Also, the trio are contracted for almost half the shows according to Danny Strong in a recent interview. So even though they are known sounds like they are not going anywhere, at least Warren. Noxon commented that Jonathan's dislike of Warren will continue as well, good for him, he was never in this for the same reasons as Warren, who obviously has other issues.

[> Re: Inconsistencies & the Dork Troika (spoilers for Gone) -- Rattletrap, 05:20:03 01/10/02 Thu

I have to disagree with your take here, Sol. I will agree that Fury is not the strongest writer in the bunch, and that he may be out of step with the rest of the writers. But, most of the things that you mention in your post are pretty major plot points that were probably hashed out by the whole group of writers and approved by Marti and Joss, and things that just happened to fall on Fury's ep.

On the subject of Xander's seeming stupidity, I'll rehash an argument I made a few posts down: Xander has all the pieces, but he just hasn't put them together. He _knows_ that Buffy would never be stupid enough to get involved with Spike so he doesn't even consider that as a possibility. That seems, to me, consistently the way his character has behaved to the B+S relationship for a couple of years now, except when faced with absolutely irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

Warren...... -- Rufus, 23:16:55 01/09/02 Wed

Warren.......he is interesting in that we get to see a person, a regular guy stumble his way across from the side of good to that of evil. In IWMTLY he was rather pathetic, a lonely guy willing to build love from plastic and circuts, until I saw the way he spoke to his live girlfriend, Katrina. He had the potential to be evil, a selfish side that was more about his happiness than what is right. Then he got himself a gang. His gang illustrates how three people in the same stiuation, with similar personality types, end up on the wrong side of good and evil. All these guys are geeks. They feel isolated, not wanted. They all start a plan to take over Sunnydale......well at least find a quick way to Chicks, Chicks, Chicks. Warren, however, in Flooded, showed that he was willing to do what was needed to get his ill gotten gain. Willing to let a demon kill Buffy, against the wishes of the other Troika members.

The Troika is changing. They don't all agree on their mission anymore. Jonathon and Andrew still want chicks and goodies......Warren wants to dominate people...except that he has worked past his fellow Troika members to Buffy, who represents his failure over strong women. She embarrassed him, was there to witness his girlfriend toss him aside.....Buffy represents a strong woman,one he could never have without a remote control. I think there is more to his want list than to take over the town, he needs to feel like he has won.

What I await with interest is the time when Jonathon and Andrew finally get the fact that Warren is more than just bad news, but a real bad guy, one willing to do what it takes to keep what he thinks is his.

[> Re: Warren...... -- Valkyrie, 05:48:50 01/10/02 Thu

Warren is defninitely not a benign character. He's creative, brilliant and lacks a regard for humanity- a dangerous combination. Don't forget he also invented a freeze ray that left an innocent in critical condition. "No harm, no foul," he said. It's a game for him. It's also interesting that he has moved from threat by proxy to direct action. I wonder if Warren could become the Biggest Bad of all- an evil human.

[> [> Re: Warren...... -- gypsydance, 07:28:19 01/10/02 Thu

Most of the big bads have been human, created by humans, or other demons dredged up by Angel and Dru. Think Maggie Walsh, the mayor, Faith, Adam...

I still think Warren and Spike's chip will meet again. Good opportunity to Spike to show he is a good guy.

[> [> [> Re: Warren...... -- Wynn, 08:58:36 01/10/02 Thu

If Warren does turn out to be the Big Bad, or at least continue to interefere in Buffy's life, there might be a confrontation between Buffy and Warren. We saw Buffy tackle human muggers in Smashed; but how would she fight a normal, physically weaker human? Buffy didn't have any one-on-one fights with Maggie Walsh or the Mayor (not until he turned invulnerable), and Faith is a Slayer like Buffy is, a little something more than normal human. I'm kind of rambling here. I just think it might be interesting to see how Buffy fights a normal human.

[> [> [> [> Re: Warren...... -- cat, 12:43:03 01/10/02 Thu

I just think it might be interesting to see how Buffy fights a normal human.

Weren't the Templer guys who were after the Key normal humans? And I think she even killed one or two of those guys, though that was well after she had stated that she would do anything to protect Dawn, and may be why no big deal was made about it.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Warren...... -- Wynn, 14:43:04 01/10/02 Thu

True! Shame on me, I had forgotten about them. However, it seemed as though the Knights had some sort of fighting skill, as displayed in Checkpoint. So that's an advantage that Warren doesn't have. But then again, he has technological weapons like the freeze ray and the invisibility ray.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The Knights -- Rufus, 16:57:01 01/10/02 Thu

Were trained fighters that knew that their time could be up at any time. Warren is a guy that hasn't left the parents basement yet. I highly doubt that Warren has any fighting skills other than bitch-slapping Jonathon and Andrew around.

[> [> [> [> Re: Warren...... -- pagangodess, 21:47:02 01/10/02 Thu

It's easy when evil is evil, but when human is evil it's a whole new ball game, for Buffy at least. If there is a confrontation between Warren and Buffy, I can't see her being able to kill him - he's human after all. Though if it comes to that, I can't see her sacrificing herself to him either, he's just not worthy.

Rambling again


[> [> [> [> Re: Warren...... -- maddog, 09:01:22 01/11/02 Fri

I'm sure it wouldn't take much to take Warren out. I'm not saying beat him up, but he's a wimp...I'll bet she could put him some sort of hold long enough to get the cops there.

[> [> [> [> Re: Warren...... -- maddog, 09:02:48 01/11/02 Fri

I'm sure it wouldn't take much to take Warren out. I'm not saying beat him up, but he's a wimp...I'll bet she could put him some sort of hold long enough to get the cops there.

[> [> [> [> [> Sorry for the double post, kept getting error pages -- maddog, 09:06:05 01/11/02 Fri

[> Re: Warren...... -- Caligo, 06:26:45 01/10/02 Thu

I'm right now rooting for Jonothan to become a Scooby. I'm also now thinking Andrew would be a good addition, too.

Fury comment on B/S from the Bronze Beta....spoiler for Gone -- Rufus, 16:28:54 01/10/02 Thu

I just love this guy.......

Fury says: Hey, about the Buffy/Spike thing...My stance is the same as ever. But I'm gold with the context we've been working with. Buffy is in a dark, screwed up place. Boinking her way through it with Spike is supposed to be repellent. And, of course, erotically twisted. We're not making statements here. We're telling stories. And sometimes heroes go through dark, screwed up places before coming out the other side. Just saying...

I say Fury is the trickster of the writer's crew...he keeps me entertained, for that I thank him.

[> He's full of it... (Gone Spoilers) -- Moose, 17:30:29 01/10/02 Thu

I don't know whether his "stance" ever changed or rather he is bowing to the almight Joss story arc.

How much leeway does a single writer (other than Joss) have?

Either he is doing a magic act to hide the real story arc, or he is being reigned in by the powers-that-be-Joss.

Well, I'm voting for the slight-of-hand Fury. "Buffy is in a dark, screwed up place"--yeah, until "Gone" when Buffy reveals that she DOESN'T WANT TO DIE ANYMORE.

And screwing Spike is supposed to be repellent? To whom? Anyone buy that? Maybe to B/A shippers... ;-)

[> [> You go, Moose! ;o) -- WW, 19:31:32 01/10/02 Thu

Couldn't agree more.

[> [> [> Ra! Ra! Ra! Where's my Spike pennant... ;-) -- Moose, 08:58:26 01/11/02 Fri

[> I don't call Fury a "trickster"...I'd say more "pain in the ass." -- Rob, 18:34:19 01/10/02 Thu

[> Go Fury! You stick to your own counsel! -- Masq, 19:15:56 01/10/02 Thu

Just a reminder that not everyone on this board shares the same views about the show.

[> [> Re: Go Fury! You stick to your own counsel! -- Rufus, 19:43:11 01/10/02 Thu

You know I only dislike him when he offers to hand out addresses to shippers......:):):)

[> [> Re: Go Fury! You stick to your own counsel! -- Earl Allison, 02:29:13 01/11/02 Fri

Thanks, Masq! Sometimes I forget there are others with whom I agree :)

Take it and run.

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