the immersive reading experience

anonymous asked:

* (1/2) Hi! I’m just curious so I decided to ask: I was wondering how big (or small) does your team’s proofreader/editor change with your (or all TLrs of MS) translations. IIRC you mentioned sometimes your TLs were changed or some were even omitted (like your notes). Sometimes I read different interpretations/translations of the dialogues from other fans (as well as other MS projects like TG) with explanations. I heard that MS is more liberal when it comes to their TLs (or so they say?)

* (2/2) But I’m really grateful with your team’s work. You’re doing the community, the fans great favor of delivering us our favorite manga series for free. I’m just really curious with the process, especially the perspective of the translators (since Japanese is a very context based language). Thank you for reading! (English isn’t my native tongue so I may not express it properly. Sorry. ^^)

-

Hey - It really depends a lot on the week, the chapter, what I “originally wrote” and if that seemed weird to the proofer, or not. If I’m really unhappy about an edit the proofer makes, I’ll usually salt and ask for it to be changed. (Tbh in the past I used to argue a lot about the Bleach proofing changes when I was on Bleach, and I almost got kicked off the team for that HAHA but yeah we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs.)

People always say MS is more “liberal” like it’s a dirty word. I don’t even know if “liberal” should be the correct terminology to describe translation style. In my opinion, taking unwarranted liberties with the translation and making shit up is not what a translator should do. However, translating everything word for word is just as egregious. It loses out on the nuance of the text, loses out on the way a character is portrayed, and loses out on how emotions are conveyed in the new language, if everything is translated word for word to the original text. It sounds unnatural, and it’s a lazy and unskillful way for a translator to do their work. People get so sanctimonious when translating and they say the do the translation literally, but too literal a translation and that just shows a shallow understanding of the base language they are translating from in my opinion. 

Like if I were translating French and I had written “and my ass is made of chicken”, I’m sure that’s really hilarious but it’s only going to be fully appreciated by the people who understand that it’s the french way of calling out someone on a lie - sure, it will make them feel great that they got the “in joke” and understood what the “original text” was, but the “English” way of saying it would be something more like “yeah and pigs are flying”. There is also a Japanese saying that can be translated to ‘a man like fresh split bamboo’. Do you want the Japanese in a translation note, and for the translator to ask the readers to go and google it? If people want to learn a language by reading literally translated text, they are better off actually opening a text book and learning the language rather than getting a language boner every time a Japanese translation satisfies their ego that they understand the original text or whatever.

See here in Haikyuu 241, “chance truly does, favour the prepared mind” is the common english phrase.

The FA version is an attempt at a word-for-word literal translation of the Japanese raws. If you wanted to know how this universally very common phrase is said in Japanese, you should go and pick up a textbook and start studying Japanese. If you liked the FA version because you could learn what the Japanese for it is,.. you should… go and pick up a textbook and start studying Japanese. A professional translation should not sound so awkward and janky imo. 

I used to be more of a “literal” translator, but I guess I’ve slowly shifted my style a bit. The reasons for this is twofold.
  
One is undeniably a little bit related to the proofing - too literal, and I know it’ll definitely get changed, so I try to make it sound better in English (like natural English) in the first place so I can ensure it’s correct and that it won’t get changed into something that has a chance of being incorrect/compromising the nuance and feel of the sentence. 

Secondly, I have come to realise that it’s a waste of Japanese ability to translate everything word for word. It’s also important to be able to capture the nuance of a sentence, make sure it doesn’t sound janky or unnatural in english, and make the experience of reading a chapter immersive - as immersive as it would have been if people were able to read the original text. I want to have style when translating - if I wanted to get a literal translation, I’d just shove the whole thing into google translate. 

Some things that the proofer will edit, is for example, if you remember last week there was the sentence “cool as a pillow”. Now, that phrase is not really in my vernacular. Maybe the proofer honestly says it, or maybe he just wanted to spice things up a bit, I’m not sure. I am not a big fan of the phrase he used, and I understand that people want to know what the Japanese text actually said in this circumstance. I originally did only write “calm” in the text file. 

However, stuff like this part here in 243 this week:

He says “nice game” in the original, but I felt like if he spoke English, he would say ‘good game’ as that is a more common phrase in natural sounding english than ‘nice game’. The word ‘nice’, as in ‘naisu!’ is something that has found it’s way into the Japanese language, and used a bit differently in certain cases to what is natural in English. You also know the phrase ‘gg’ gamers use? ;D That’s also why I felt this would be more common, if you hc that these guys do know gaming terminology to some extent (if they were English speakers). 

If you want to compare some bubbles between MS and FA scans (tbh I’m not a fan of the FA translations as they are rn, I miss the casanova translator :( but I went through their scan for you

My translation: It sounds more natural to me that when speaking to a friend, you’d make the language flow with the use of the word “over” and so forth.

FA version - missing the word “over”, but nbd.


My translation: In Japanese, using the person’s name could easily just mean “you”, but I thought I’d include the ‘Daichi’ here. I wanted to convey the nuance and flow of the sentences so it reads well in English too. I don’t feel that I sacrificed the original Japanese meanings, and I did my best to maintain the natural conversational tone and flow. I used “came to our match” to clarify, in the original Japanese it just says “Tashiro-san and Kurokawa-kun came!” which lacks a marker indicating where they “came to” - it’s very obvious by context and sounds natural in Japanese, but sounds unnatural in English to just end a sentence like that.

FA Translation - You can see that they clarified by saying “tashiro and kurokawa are here” instead of “came to the match” which works too. Different choice of working, works too.

My translation:

FA translation:

Again, same deal.

These aren’t the proofer’s doing, these are my choices for what I think sounds most natural and smooth in English.

As for the other discrepancies, like Lazyshima vs Tiredshima, as I’ve talked about last week… well, I don’t like to say this because think it’s in bad taste for me as a translator to badmouth other translations and call them out on their mistakes for no real reason (and I honestly can’t be bothered) but those are FA’s mistakes, to put bluntly. Same for “past students” vs “old boys”, the raws say “old boys”. I was actually tossing between OB and Alumni, but I think the use of the word “old boys” as a direct translation doesn’t lose out when it’s sounded in english - as in it doesn’t sound super weird or janky since ‘old boys’ is a thing in English too - so I just left it as is, direct from the raws.

If you see the display board page this week with all the school’s names - there are discrepancies there too between the two versions, because there is more than one way to read the Kanji. There are many alternatives per place name. That page probably took me the longest to translate,  because I spent a long time considering each of the different readings, and choosing what was the most common and likely reading and gave a lot of thought into it - I hope that pays off, and if there is clarification on the readings in hiragana in future chapters, I hope I could give people the right reading the first time, despite how insignificant that board is.

Another example you can see discrepancies is the chapter title for this week:

sorezore no shosen, and FA has put “the other first matches” or something like that but ‘sorezore’ doesn’t really mean ‘the other’, it means ‘each/respectively’. Nothing in the word ‘sorezore’ could mean ‘other’. Not in the dictionaries, and not colloqually/contextually. Furthermore, even based off context, I think this chapter focuses on not only fukurodani and nekoma’s first matches, but also the wrapping up of karasuno’s first match and some insight into their match - so I wouldn’t translate the title as ‘other’. I would say this was a mistranslation. but I’m going to leave it there now because this could go on forever and I don’t want to just trash FA’s translations. 

To wrap it up - there’s no real way to definitely explain to what extent a translation is liberal, or literal, or which is better, etc. I can tell you too liberal is bad, too literal is also bad. I try to not to be google translation simulator 2.0 - so I do my best to make sentences flow and convey the nuance for an immersive and authentic reading experience (yes, newsflash, you can have an wholesome, different authentic reading experience without having the sentence being word for word translated from the Japanese to please the ego of people who want to feel like they know Japanese without actually putting in the hours and effort to consult a textbook)  .If the proofer changes too much, I will do my best to ask it to be changed. FA goes too literal in my opinion, but their translation has the bare bones and there is a demographic that do enjoy that particular style. However, because I’ve read the raws, I can tell you it’s not like the literal translators don’t have their liberal moments when the inspiration hits. It’s not really fair to ask a translator to explain exactly how literal/liberal their translations are - it’s honestly best to just learn the language yourself, get fluent, and judge for yourself. I know a good translation when I see one, as well as the fact that I can see laziness and mistakes when I see one - but it’s a bit difficult to exhaustively explain. 

Anyway, sorry this got so long. This is why it took me a while to reply, because I had to think of a response and set aside the time to write it! But I’m grateful for your interest and appreciate your support. Thank you, I hope you keep an eye on all the translations and enjoy the story. 

my final statement on Kevin’s adaptation

Look I’ve gone my arguments about the inevitability of adaptational impossibility in shifting a narrative from an immersive and intensely imaginative reading experience to a cohesive audio-visual presentation of certain filmmakers’ visions–it’s never gonna get things Exactly Right to Please Everyone

and also Sullivan fucked a fair few things up from the books we can all admit that because it’s on view for all to see and has been for literally decades

but my final argument is this

if X-Men had a TV series in the 90s and yet VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE BITCHING ABOUT HOW THEY KEEP BRINGING OUT NEW FILMS EVERY 1.5 YEARS

HEY LET’S DO THE SAME FOR ANNE OF GODDAMN GREEN GABLES

GIVE ME ALL THE ADAPTATIONS

THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY

THE UTTERLY LACKING PHIL’S GLORIOUS PRESENCE

BRING ME THE BLOCK BUSTERS

THE ACTION FIGURES

THE WEIRD SPIN OFFS NOBODY ASKED FOR BUT WE ALL WATCH ANYWAY

I WATCHED TEN MINUTES OF THE YTV ANNE MOVIES AND WAS TOO DISDAINFUL TO CONTINUE

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I DIDN’T DO

WRITE OP EDS ABOUT HOW IT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN DONE AT ALL BECAUSE KEVIN HAS COMPLETELY SATISFIED EVERYBODY’S BONER FOR STARCHED WHITE PINAFORES AND ‘NOSTALGIA’

NOSTALGIA FOR WHAT BITCH YOU WEREN’T ALIVE IN THE 19TH CENTURY

IF YOUR EXPERIENCE OF SULLIVAN’S WORK SOMEHOW EXACTLY MATCHED HOW YOU ENVISIONED EVERYTHING WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK CONGRATULATIONS YOU’RE A LITTLE FUCKIN DELUSIONAL BUT GOD BLESS ENJOY

BUT QUIT TRYING TO SHOVEL THAT PERSPECTIVE DOWN MY THROAT LIKE IT’S IPECAC AND I’M MINNIE GODDAMN MAY

look I own the first two Sullivan Anne movies on DVD

I watch them I enjoy them I love them for a lot of reasons

but much like my relationship dynamic with my tunnel-visioned conservative-voting father whatever love I feel does not mean I’m gonna DEFEND IT AGAINST ALL COMERS AND IGNORE ITS FLAWS like there’s moments you just gotta go “oh my god, dad, I love you but shut up,” and “Kevin who the fuck told you it was alright to write in a dodgy as fuck aging love interest with smoker’s teeth?”

I’m not going to insist that Anne the Series be everybody’s cup of tea

but I am going to ask all the affronted purists to return the favour

one fan’s grimdark shitshow is another fan’s moving and refreshing new take

one fan’s Definitive Classic is another fan’s “ehh it could have been a lot better”

When You Come Home (Part 2 of 3)

Part One | Masterlist

Pairing: Lin-Manuel x Reader

Summary: Enjoy the ride, kids.

Warnings: Did we mention #pain before? Because #pain is coming.

Word Count: 14,114 (and you thought part one was long lmao)

A/N: We have been absolutely floored by all of the incredibly kind responses to part one and we have been itching to give you this for days. Honestly, we can’t thank you enough for reading this pile of garbage and saying such nice things about it, and we hope that you still like us after you read this. So here we go, part TWO of THREE! (you can get through this, we believe in you)

Also: here’s a playlist that we’ve been making and listening to over the course of writing this fic. You should totally listen to it while you read this part… for the immersive experience.

-Team GTNW-


“This is literally the worst,” he groaned as he lied flat on his back on his mattress, staring up at the stucco ceiling. “Do you know how pathetic this makes us?”

You didn’t know. It wasn’t too big of a deal for you because in your mind, there was always something else that was somehow within reach yet still unbelievably unattainable. But even then, just knowing that you had this regardless of whether or not it was reciprocated was sufficient enough for you.

“I think you’re blowing everything out of proportion,” you huffed as you rolled your eyes, already fed up with his gripe that was lasting more than the five minutes you anticipated it would. With a copy of 1984 opened up and dying to be read in your hands, you just wanted it to be over. “It’s really not that bad.”

Keep reading

From the secret files of Dr. Delphine Cormier, this is the ultimate guide to all the characters, conspiracies, and shadowy organizations in the smart, innovative thriller Orphan Black.

Designed to resemble the classified files and notes of Dr. Delphine Cormier, this in-world book chronicles the inner workings of the mysterious people and organizations at the heart of the TV series Orphan Black. Including classified information on the Dyad Institute, the Neolution clone program, and the notorious Proletheans, the book also features observations of the different clones from their monitors, classified intelligence, breakthroughs in Cosima’s research, and private journal entries detailing Delphine’s experience with the clone club and her own complicated love for Cosima.

Covering all of the beloved characters on the show and every twist and turn from the newest season, this is a detailed and creative look at this thrilling show. Exclusive concept art, photos, and intriguing removable inserts and ephemera make this a completely immersive reading experience for fans of Orphan Black.

(x)

BS Fic Writers Appreciation Post

Since it’s Fanfiction Writers Appreciation Day, I thought I’d make a post about some of my own favourite authors in Black Sails fandom. :D (This list is in no particular order.)

shirogiku (@shirogiku)

Shiro’s fics are so well-researched and feel so authentic to the time period with clever prose and amazing detail; they’re just the right balance of humour and angst and fluff, and she also blesses this fandom with some silly crack fics that are much needed. She’s a really versatile writer and she’s written a real range of characters and ships, all with excellent characterisation. I absolutely adore the way she writes James/Thomas/Miranda: so unbelievably cute and swoon-worthy! <3

Do check out: Root Causes & Shaky Foundations, a verse filled with delightful OT3 fics, from Thomas and Miranda’s wedding night to James giving Thomas a tour of his ship, finally culminating in a crushingly beautiful post-S2 SilverFlint fic that shows the lasting impact that the Hamiltons have left on James.

ember_firedrake (@hawkbi-pierce)

Ashley is so good at writing blazingly hot porn that really gets the dynamic between Silver and Flint and that explores different facets of their relationship, different ways they might come together in a perfect collision. Every time I read one of Ashley’s fics I feel like I come away with so much more insight into how Silver and Flint work, and that’s really fucking amazing?? 

Do check out: Let me see you in your darkness, a SilverFlint canon D/s verse, charting the development of Silver and Flint’s relationship through S1 and S2 (so far) with some SCORCHING D/s porn that just makes perfect sense and will change the way you see canon forever. Plus the feelings get more and more overwhelming.

ElDiablito_SF (@jadedbirch)

How do I describe El’s fics? She’s co-writing a merman!Silver AU which is ridiculously fun, she’s so good at humour and porn, but she also has the power to destroy me utterly in a few thousand words. I’m in awe. Her Silver voice is one of my faves in this fandom.

Do check outQuicksilver, a SilverFlint fic with tags like ‘Light BDSM’, ‘spanking’, and ‘painplay’ which deceives you into thinking it’s just gonna be some fun porn and it turns out to be AN EXPLOSION OF EMOTIONS, masterfully weaving past and future together with a post-canon happy ending. It makes you feel like you just read an entire, sweeping novel about how two idiot pirates fell in love, lost each other, and found each other again, even though it’s shorter than 3k? I have no idea how the fuck this happened. This was only posted yesterday so I’m still kind of wtf-ing over it. The imagery in this fic is fucking astonishing.

vowelinthug (@vowel-in-thug)

Gemma’s fics make me feel so alive! They’re just so funny and brilliant and hot and the way she writes Silver and Flint is to fucking die for: feelings that run horribly, gorgeously deep under this casual veneer of light-heartedness and bickering. I love her absolute drama queen Flint. <3 Also Gemma’s porn is just. MINDBLOWING. I don’t know how she does it.

Do check out: let us possess one world, a SilverFlint fic which I’m pretty sure is gonna be better than anything in S4 canon tbh. It reads like something that could totally happen in canon, with Silver being fucking terrifying (and consequently ridiculously hot) in his new role as Long John Silver. It’s intense and incredibly atmospheric and also features PRAISE KINK.

natlet (@natlet)

Natlet’s fics give me a stupid amount of feelings. I’m always blown away by the sheer amount of EMOTION in her fics, by the tenderness and hesitance and nervousness of love that she so convincingly depicts, by the way Silver and Flint are constantly learning how to navigate their relationship and how to accept the way they feel about each other against the background of everything around them. It’s truly stunning.

Do check out: the stone house (you are a fever i am learning to live with), an absolutely GORGEOUS post-canon SilverFlint fic that brims with longing and love and makes my heart ache like nothing else ever has.

Craftnarok (@old-long-john)

Laura has killed me and probably all of you multiple times, let’s be honest. Her prose is so evocative and insightful and the feelings are just so real. There’s so much softness and care in everything she writes. Her fics make me feel like I can really understand these complicated, terrible idiots in all their complexity and insecurity and angst. 

Do check out: By the Oath River. Post-3x10 SilverFlint porn! It’s been months and I’m still an incoherent mess over this fic. The imagery in this is exquisite and the porn is so beautifully detailed and hot and the ending leaves me feeling like I’m either in hell or in heaven, maybe both at the same time, I don’t have a clue tbh. It’s just so hopeful and agonising and Flint is a terrible softie and Silver is a man of unexpected depths and they’re fucking perfect for each other and I feel like crying all over again.

DreamingPagan (@dreamingpagan​)

I love the way Meg writes dialogue and her characterisation is just really, really good; her brilliantly clever and complex plots are so impressive too! She’s currently posting a really amazing James/Thomas/Miranda multi-chapter, a fix-it AU where James is taken captive when he goes over to Nassau and Thomas and Miranda rescue him. 

Do check out: The Cure for Sorrow, where Thomas is still alive and meets Flint again; meanwhile Silver is totally in love with Flint. I AM FILLED WITH GLEE EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT THIS FIC. I love the way this fic deals with all that Thomas has gone through and I absolutely LOVE the Thomas and Silver interactions, and there’s a moment at the end of this fic that is simply unforgettable and dazzlingly good. :D

balloonstand (@balloonstand)

Balloonstand hasn’t really posted that much to their AO3 (what’s there is FUCKING AMAZING though) but their tumblr is FILLED with an absolute treasure trove of SilverFlint ficlets. Their fic is just always so incredibly immersive; there’s no reading experience quite like this, visceral and real and warm. And their porn is such a fucking delight every time.

Do check out: Whetstone. Flint shaves Silver, there’s porn and feelings (so many feelings). The way Silver’s emotions are conveyed in this fic is just so impossibly real, their fluctuations are so true to life. And the tension is searing and palpable.


Also, I just thought I should show appreciation for two of my favourite multi-chapters in this fandom (by authors not already mentioned above):

Ithaca by spiderlilies (@manjusaka) - Completed

A fic where James, Thomas and Miranda move to Nassau together and James meets Silver there and falls in love with him too; everything is happy and nothing hurts. Every time I remember this fic exists, I smile. It’s the fluffiest thing ever and the writing is beautiful. I love the way Silver and James’ relationship develops in this fic (the best slow burn ever), I love the way Silver finds belonging with James, Thomas and Miranda, how he really becomes part of the whole family.

The Unexpected Is Always Upon Us by OnForeboding (@parrotsinlondon) - WIP

The Surprisingly Angsty Dog Walker AU, it’s subtitled, and you go in thinking, ‘okay, surprisingly angsty, okay’, but then the fic still surprises the shit out of you. I think the title is really fitting because this fic is just SO unexpected. Everything about it is so unique and intriguing, and it just hooks you in and DOESN’T FUCKING LET GO. I think about this fic all the time and whenever it updates I pretty much scream and fling myself at the new chapter. The porn is so fucking hot too and intense like nothing else.


I obviously can’t mention every single writer in the BS fandom so I’ve just named some of my personal faves, but I really do appreciate all the writers in this fandom. <3 Thanks so much for all that you contribute to our small (but ever-growing) fandom!

6

These Toronto night spots offer whole new worlds to explore

Torontonians are justifiably proud of their bar scene, from its classic dives, like Wheat Sheaf Tavern, to its crafty cocktail lounges, like the Hoof Cocktail Bar, and everything in between — sometimes it’s all under one roof, in the case of the Drake Hotel. For those looking for more than just a well-poured pint or an exquisitely mixed aperitif, Toronto offers a host of night spots that serve up immersive experiences and ambience along with your drink order. Read more

In collaboration with Fiat

impulsivemanneriisms  asked:

☑☑☑☑☑ ☑ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOUR MUSE.

you write insightful para replies in a way that offers tons of content for me to engage with, while still building a solid introspective understanding of how you’ve decided to portray jessica. a maZING.

DARK!JESSICA. do i even need to say more, i mean?? you do it awesome.

your threads with @monstricidal. listen. don’t think i don’t stalk the heck out of that shit because i do. you’re both so amazing.

one of my favourite things is your narrative tone for jessica. it jives super well with her voice, which is always spot on. writers who can really match the narrative to the voice are totally something else and it makes for an immersive reading and rp experience. 

your muse for jessica and understanding of her character is consistent, and that’s incredible. you’re like a solid foundation to my dash, you’re really one of the people who i can always expect solid quality from, whether it’s drafts, or musings or shared meta and headcanon. 

this isn’t about the muse, but you the mun are so freaking nice!! it’s a pleasure to write with you and to read your work, whether it’s our stuff or your plotting and threads with other muns. you’re just amazing, a++ the most excellent. thank you for your jessica jones.

reading the foxhole court was the most weirdly immersive experience of my life, i read all three books in one weekend like i was physically incapable of not reading them. i lived and breathed exy. i ignored every responsibility i had and i am a better person for it tbh

2

Microsoft is launching the HoloLens Developer Experience Showcase, a two month hands-on event next door to its flagship store in Manhattan. This is the first time Microsoft’s let the public play with HoloLens, and hopes to get people excited about it and working on killer apps.

 HoloLens is augmented reality, not virtual reality. It’s a subtle but vital distinction. HoloLens presents a virtual projection of computer-generated “holograms” that look and act like they’re part of the real world and may or may not look like the latest renderings from Redmond. Unlike VR, it isn’t an immersive experience that shuts you off from the world.

 Read more about HoloLens.

if I’m guilty of having gratuitous sex, then I’m also guilty of having gratuitous violence, and gratuitous feasting, and gratuitous description of clothes, and gratuitous heraldry, because very little of this is necessary to advance the plot. But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes.

A novel for me is an immersive experience where I feel as if I have lived it and that I’ve tasted the food and experienced the sex and experienced the terror of battle. So I want all of the detail, all of the sensory things—whether it’s a good experience, or a bad experience, I want to put the reader through it. To that mind, detail is necessary, showing not telling is necessary, and nothing is gratuitous.

Whether you’re at that age right now or you’ve forgotten what it feels like, I’ll Give You the Sun is that rare, immersive teen novel: To read it is a coming-of-age experience in itself. A- - Entertainment Weekly

Man, we love EW’s review of Jandy Nelson's I’ll Give You the Sun! We can’t wait for everybody to read it. Here’s a little sneak peek! I’ll Give You the Sun comes out 9/16!

The Moonlight Sonata

Prompt by darkhowell:
“d/p fucks d/p on the piano like not playing piano, he gets fucked ON the piano, like take this wherever you want I just want to read what I can’t write”

Summary: Phil catches Dan playing the Moonlight Sonata and lets his mind go to inappropriate places, and they end up having sex leaned against Dan’s piano.

Warnings: Smut, pretty graphic butt sex, swearing, and some fluff at the end.

Word Count: 1877

Author’s comment: This was both my first smut and written-from-prompt ph-/fanfiction. I like classical music, as you can probably tell in this - I reccomend listening to the full Moonlight Sonata (15 mins) while reading this: it’ll probably make the experience more immersive, but it’s not a must. Enjoy!

It was a dark winter evening, and Dan was sat playing his old piano, listening to the rain outside. It was calming, but distracted him from the melodies, and he wasn’t even that good before distraction. But he still played. He only knew few songs, so he played them over and over: once at normal speed, then two times fast, one time slowly, one time very slowly, and then he went back to normal speed. He didn’t care that it was the same melody, because as said, he was distracted anyway.

What on Earth is this noise, thought Phil in the other room. He was busy editing a video and had headphones on his ears to listen to music while working, so he hadn’t heard it before now, when he had just taken them off, so he could go to the kitchen, grab a snack and take a break.

Ugh, is Dan playing the piano again, he thought to himself. He chuckled; it didn’t sound that bad, but still not good enough for anyone to enjoy it. Dan always seemed to be able to zone out when he did certain things. Sometimes it was a gift, like when he was doing something uninteresting, but it wasn’t when he was playing the piano – the noise would be terrible and the same thing over and over.

But then Phil heard Dan begin to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”, and he was surprised. He got chills all the way down his spine at the noi- no, it wasn’t noise anymore. It sounded like beautiful angel kisses … Angel kisses from Dan. At the mere thought, Phil got chills again, but this time down from his neck, over his chest and stomach, until it went to his dick. Oh god, could he actually get turned on just by thinking about being kissed by Dan? It seemed so, and his mind didn’t want to stop; his thoughts went to so many inappropriate places, like how he would sit behind Dan on the stool and fuck him so hard, the sonata would get distorted and delayed, until the black keys would turn white when the pleasure became too intense.

Phil snapped out of it for a second and looked down – yep, he was hard. The door to Dan’s room wasn’t closed all the way, so he peeked inside. Dan was really feeling the music, and he looked so hot like that, rocking back and forth as he knocked down the keys in the intense and beautiful melody – so heart breaking, yet so graceful. Phil’s mind was brought to the gutter again. That’s how he would fuck Dan. So intensely, beautifully, heartbreakingly, gracefully hot. He almost began to imagine how he would thrust inside him in sync with the music, but he refrained himself from it.

He had decided that he would try to make his sonata fantasies come true - after all, if he wasn’t successful, he could just go masturbate to the continuing of the thoughts from before. It wasn’t like they hadn’t had sex before, it was just in such a different manner that he was afraid Dan wouldn’t be pleased with his suggestion. But he had to try.

His roommate knocked lightly on the door. In fact, he knocked so gently that Dan barely heard it. Besides, he was just in the middle of zoning out with a piece of music he for some reason still remembered. He normally wouldn’t play this piece in front of anyone, he found it embarrassing to actually be genuinely good at something, even though he knew Phil would just be happy about it.

When Phil knocked again, this time a little louder, Dan was jump scared. He did jump a little as he felt his heart pumping an extra load of blood around for one beat during the scare.

Phil noticed. An intense emotion of any kind as a reaction to his presence made him even more turned on. The two guys looked at each other, Dan about to ask what Phil wanted, and Phil about to attempt at getting with Dan on the piano.

- Good evening, Dan.

Phil sounded sinister on purpose. He meant it jokingly, and Dan knew that. Especially when he couldn’t contain his laughter and burst into it. Partly from his “joke” and partly from sheer nervousness – he was trying to hide it.

- Hahah, well good evening Philly, what’s up? How’s the editing going?

- Good. Well, it was, until I was going to grab a snack and heard your beautiful sounds.

Dan blushed.

- Oh, you-… You heard that? Erm… Thank you…

- Yeah I did.

Phil said with a pinch of seductiveness hidden in his voice,

- And it made me want all sorts of things…

Dan’s mind wasn’t in the gutter at the moment, sadly.

- What, like ice cream? I don’t think we ha-, ooohhh.

Dan realised his mistake halfway through his sentence. There was a brief moment of awkward silence, until Phil broke it by walking towards him and gesturing him to scoot over, so they could sit next to each other on the piano stool. Dan did, and they were now sat scarily close – there wasn’t a lot of room on such a stool – they sat so close their arses and thighs not only touched but were aligned with each other, touching until they hit the knees. Phil allowed his hand to slip onto Dan’s thigh, and the dark brown haired boy couldn’t help but tilt his head upwards just a bit, as he let out a quick little breath. Phil led his hand to the inside of the thigh, so softly it almost tickled him, but in that sexy way, he knew he loved. It gave him chills. He looked up at his older companion and leaned in for a kiss. Phil gladly accepted, and the evening began.

Their tongues were fighting a war in there, as they kissed passionately. Dan won by dirty tricks; he bit Phil’s lower lip a few times. His tongue triumphed its victory by dancing down his jaw, shoulder and collarbone, and Phil tugged at his hair while using his hands on his shoulder blades to pull him in tight. By now, they had turned around, so their legs were spread on either side of the stool, sitting face to face and continuously having Dan’s tongue move its way around Phil’s upper chest and in his collarbone notch. He tugged at Phil’s shirt, encouraging him to take it off. Phil got the message, and swiftly pulled his bright coloured tee over his head and threw it onto Dan’s bed. He hoped Dan would understand they weren’t going to need the bed by that, and it was seemingly confirmed after he did the same with his darker coloured sweater.

Both of the boys could feel their cocks growing in their tight jeans to uncomfortable measures – they needed to let them out soon. Dan had this thought, and began to undo Phil’s belt, while Phil was caressing his chest and back, which only made him want it more and sooner. Phil undid Dan’s belt, and they simultaneously stood up and pulled their pants down, still kissing heavily – their tongues were having a rematch.

They were now standing in their boxer briefs, and Phil cut off the kissing for a second and asked,

- Can I put that piece you were playing on?

Dan nodded, so Phil quickly found it on the pianist’s laptop and turned the volume all the way up. The two quickly dropped their underwear and let their already achingly hard dicks spring free into the cold air. But the coolness didn’t matter, since the room was about to get really hot, they thought. Phil turned the wide stool around, so it was sideways against the piano. He dropped his partner onto it, and he caught himself with his hands on the flat surface. He put his hand against the piano, above the keys and bent over, so Phil would have easy access to him. He grabbed the conveniently nearby lube, asked himself if Dan had known the sonata would bring him to him. He decided it didn’t matter, and instead concentrated on getting a good coverage on himself. He wanted to be able to go fast, so Dan could really feel it. He grabbed his shoulders, and whispered in his ear, while nibbling a little on his earlobe,

- Are you ready to be fucked hard on the piano, Dan?

- Mmm…

Dan mumbled. It was a positive answer, and Phil now pressed his tip against his entrance, teasing him by not fully letting it in. He stood like this for a little while, just lightly rocking his abdomen back and forth to the still slow rhythm of the music. It became too much for Dan. He let go of the piano. He knew the muscles in his stomach would have to hold him up, when he proceeded with his plan, but that was good – he could show Phil his strength. So, he let go, and quickly flung his hands behind them both and back again, so they hit Phil’s arse hard, and by that forced him to jet into Dan. It made both of them moan hard. Phil pulled out again only to jam his length inside him again hard and fast. He did this multiple times, and also begun to jack Dan off. He loved the feeling of his cock between his fingers. He could feel the blood flow through it as he enjoyed it and breathed throaty moans. Dan could hardly handle both sensations at once: Phil thrusting in and out of him hard again and again, and at the same time being touched roughly in the front too. His eyes closed hard and sprung wide open multiple times, and sweat was present on his forehead.

Phil was smiling as he moaned and listened to Dan. He had gotten exactly what he wanted, and nothing was better than this. He was tugging at the volume in Dan’s hair, grabbing him, holding him tight and fucking him so rough he could’ve sworn he felt the load flow from point A, his balls, to point B, his dick, and then point C: the tight space in Dan’s arse. As Phil unloaded, Dan moaned very loudly and screamed his name, making him come as well just few moments later.

Just as Phil had imagined, some of the black keys looked white-ish, and he let Dan turn himself around. He spread his legs and sat on his lap. He tongue kissed him slowly and lovingly, as the sonata ended and silence had finally entered the room. The only sounds in the room now were their heartbeats and breaths.

- I love you, do you know that?

Dan said.

- Thank you, I love you too, Dan.

They kissed one last time before Dan said,

- Well, I need a snack too, after that. What do you say we go down to the nearest open café and have something to eat?

Phil smiled and responded,

- Yeah. Let’s go.

The brown and black haired pair left the flat and entered the streets of London, holding hands.

4

If there was a “book of the show” for me at SPX, it was Plus si entente by Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer (co-published by Fremok and Actes Sud). It’s hard to get a sense of this book just from a few snapshots - the style is constantly shifting, and the narrative is fairly disjointed, but the overall experience of reading it is immersive in the best possible way.

4

A comiXologist Recommends

Mirror #2

By Emma Rios and Hwei Lim

My first reading of Mirror was an aesthetic experience, an immersion into the colors and patterns that shift the story in and out of time and place.  Some reviews have called out its Art Nouveau style, which sometimes undulates into organic forms, framing, and shapes.  I would argue that there is also a useful comparison to be drawn between Mirror and the geometric patterning found in many types of Islamic art and architecture.  Conceptually, this motif can be seen as an aniconic nod to the importance of mathematics, astronomy, and science in Islamic culture. The interplay of science and culture, the manipulation of organic forms, these are key threads woven into the central themes of this book.  The design therefore suggests an intellectual underpinning to the story in addition to providing an aesthetically pleasing read.


You’ll want to re-read this series to fully understand the story, to set things straight in your mind and pick up on the details.  But don’t let this suggestion intimidate you.  Beneath the complexity of Mirror’s formal structure, the premise is relatively simple; on a terraformed asteroid, an underclass of animal creatures – some of whom possess magical abilities – are being exploited by a ruling class of colonialist humans embroiled in a war.  These humans, with the help of mages, conduct experiments on the animals in an attempt to develop hybrids with enhanced powers to fight in the war.  The story revolves around a reluctant mage and a fierce hybrid dog-girl turned rebel, childhood friends separated by this conflict.

The characters and world-building in Mirror are well worth the investment of time and thought it takes to parse out its story.  Having now read issue two, things from issue one already seem more clear, and I’m eager for the next issue to reveal more.  There are maps and timelines in the back to help orient things, but take my advice and let the multi-layered, ethereal watercolor artwork draw you into the fantastical world of Ivan and Senna.  Be patient and let the story unfold like magic.  

Tia Vasiliou is a Digital Editor at ComiXology. She is the faithful human subjugate of a Cornish rex cat named Lydia, who looks and (mis)behaves exactly like Mirror’s Phinx.