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Sentimental yet sardonic [userpic]

The Ultimate Mary-Sue ?

January 16th, 2004 (10:34 am)

During my recent travels or trawls through the filth encrusted treasure that is the Internet, I have been encountering the phenomenom that is the Mary-Sue. This foul creature is indeed mocked and pilloried by dedicated Anti-Sues, whom I salute for their tireless and unceasing mocking. However, research has shown me the shocking truth about one of my favourite published authors and characters.

Look at her stats:

* She's unbelievably beautiful.

*Everyone of either gender who looks at her wants to have sex with her. This is not an exaggeration.

* She has sex with every kind of being on the planet. This would not be Sue-ish... except that one every single occasion that she has sex, she has never known such ecstasy before, and neither have her lovers.

* She is capable of achieving simultaneous orgasm with virtually every person she beds. According to those who study anatomy, simultaneous orgasm on even ONE occasion is virtually impossible.

* She is an American fairy princess. Literally. No, I'm NOT kidding. She is a princess, and she is of faerie stock. Her real name is Princess Meredith NicEssus.

* She is not pure elven. She has some human blood, and one of her grandmothers was a brownie. This has Exposed Her To Prejudice In The Realm Of Faerie, and gives her something to angst about.

* Prior to going home to Faerie, she worked in a magical private detective agency in California, despite the fact that she has no past that can be traced, and has not passed the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs requirements for private investigators: "a combination of education in police science, criminal law, or justice, and experience equaling 3 years (6,000 hours) of investigative experience; pass an evaluation by the Federal Department of Justice and a criminal history background check; and receive a qualifying score on a 2-hour written examination covering laws and regulations. There are additional requirements for a firearms permit."

I know it's a fantasy, but does that mean that she should be utterly unqualified, or that a modern world in which magic exists wouldn't regulate and license magic to some degree?

* Her evil aunt, Andais, High Queen of Air and Darkness, has been trying to find her and kill her for years. Again--feel the angst.

* At the end of the first book, it is decided that if she can conceive and bear a child before her aunt's son Cel sires a child, she will become her evil aunt's heir to the throne.

Because, you know, people who have been trying to kill you for years are SO trustworthy. And conceiving and bearing--or siring--a child is a viable sign of political acumen. Of course it is.

* Merry is given a choice between the above and death. Wow. Woman as sex object/mother or woman as victim/martyr. How revolutionary.

(Thanks to Rhysdux for that.)

On other notes, my best mate has finally had his divorce come through. Only two years for a "quickie" divorce. All told, that might actually be good going for the courts in this country. *shrugs* What do I know?

Now what's the etiquette for this situation? It's the 21st Century after all - we really should have worked these minor details out by now. I'm guessing a "Glad The Bitch Has Gone" flowers and balloons display is out, but are there "Congratulations On Your Divorce" cards available? A "Dude! You Dumped Her!" coffee mug as a present? We need a "Divorce For Dummies" book. That would have a section. Someone want to get one going?

(And crosses fingers that he's managed to work out the cut tags correctly.)


Posted by: houses (houses7177)
Posted at: January 16th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
Ian Insanity [houses]

Oh, hell yes. I so agree with this. That was one of the gripes about this series from the beginning actually. Wish fulfilment fantasy for bored housewives in the ultimate Mary Sue. I think LKH does a brilliant job of creating a new world, the history and a fascinating political system. They mythology is good, the magic is entertaining, and the visual imagery is great. The heroine, however, is shit.

I find this true with the later Anita Blake books. They're attrociously sueish. I really don't know why. I also don't like Anita very much, but I don't find Merry offensive. She's not great, but she's not nearly as much of an unbalanced bitch. So be it.

This is, to me, why fanfic in these universes is so much better. Well rounded characters, a minimalization of sueishness, and the ability to focus away from the central heroine and her 'issues'.

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: January 17th, 2004 08:12 pm (UTC)

One reason why I still enjoy the Anita Blake books is the supporting cast. Some of them (Jason!)are so enjoyable that I put up somewhat with the poor beleagued Anita (She's an animator. No! She's a vampire executioner! No! She's a necromancer! No! She's a servant of the Master of the City! No! She's part of a werewolf pack but not a werewolf! No! She's now a were-hyena! No! She's too bloody much!) Blake.


Edward is my favourite character from the books. No ifs and buts. Now, if only I knew someone doing a fic about him. *innocent look*

Posted by: houses (houses7177)
Posted at: January 17th, 2004 09:19 pm (UTC)

Yes yes, I know. It's still under construction. And the POV is Faith, not Edward, though he's a close second. I"m considering doing a companion bit from his persepective in a bit.

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: January 17th, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC)

*giggles happily*

I like Edward. I love Faith. I'm so looking forward to seeing it. :)

Posted by: Spectacularly Adequate Empress (empressvesica)
Posted at: January 16th, 2004 06:37 pm (UTC)
Hear! Hear!

That was lovely. Rhysdux is brilliant for send that along (or did she write it?). I knew I had seen that somewhere before - over at the No Cookie site it seems.

My big problem with Merry Gentry is somewhere between those last 2 points. IF you are going to have your main character sleep with everyone she meets, for heaven's sake, just have her be a liberated, happy, unrepentant 'ho. Don't invent improbale plot devices to explain why she HAS to sleep with everything that moves. Worse yet don't add drugs and politics on top of that to make her even more 'in heat' and yet explain it all away as just part of the burden of her tortured life. Bronwyn's (sp?) tears and Kitto anyone?!

Honestly - do what houses did, go read Anne Bishop. Better politics, less pointless sex and better characterizations IMHO. Or swing the other way, may I recommend...Thea Divine for smut with an interesting and appropriately marginal plot!

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: January 17th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Hear! Hear!

Rhysdux wrote it in a post I found over on the Godawful Message Board I found during my Mary-Sue investigations. But so totally true that I felt it well worth sharing. I do enjoy the Merry Gentry books, but yes, it does feel like it's a slightly guilty pleasure.

I had a slight query about Anne Bishop with houses7177 before, when she did those lovely drabbles of hers. But I can't find any of her books in the ordinary bookshops here in the UK. Now, I should be raiding a specialist shop in a couple of weeks, so fingers crossed (I really want Paladin of Souls in HB format. Really really want that. And any new David Weber stuff. And.... and.... well, lots basically.). Any particular books of Anne Bishop that you recommend? Or a good place to start?

Posted by: Spectacularly Adequate Empress (empressvesica)
Posted at: January 18th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Hear! Hear!

The Black (or Dark or whatever) Jewels series is much better than her Fae series. Black Jewels starts with Daughter of the Blood. (Followed by Heir to Shadows and Queen of the Darkness). This is also the series that will be expanded next as Anne is already hard at work on three more set in this world.

I will be interested to hear what you think of them. I am dying to get some more written in her 'verse. When you get through the first two I have a great writer to recommend that writes pure Bishop-fic. She's on FF.net but I would not venture over there into this section without being armed with reccommendations - most of it is awful!! ~EV

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