Serial Saturday: Dao of Magic Chapters 41-60 by Andries Louws

Hey all I’m back for this week’s Serial Saturday and my first post of 2020. It’s Dao of Magic Chapters 41-60 by Andries Louws!

Plot: This is the third set of chapters in Teach’s journey to teach a bunch of illiterate buffoons to wield arcane and immense powers. It’s also the last set of chapters for the first book according to the author. This is a pretty fun set of chapters with Teach really getting down into the nitty gritty portion of teaching his students. Or neglecting them and really half assing his teaching. Honestly it’s a bit of a toss up here. Still I enjoyed these chapters quite a bit and felt that it ends not on a cliffhanger which is makes the author designating chapter 60 actually a good sign that he knows what he’s doing.

Characters: We get to learn more about the students, although Tess is still my favorite. That being said Rhea is slowly climbing the ranks and may eventually supplant her, although she hasn’t gotten nearly enough screen time for me to really consider that for a while yet. Maybe Book 2 will change that.

Overall: A solid and good stopping point for a story arc, these chapters are just a continuation of Teach, well teaching.

Serial Saturday: Dao of Magic Chapters 21-40 by Andries Louws

Hey all I’m back with the second set of chapters of Teach’s adventures for this week’s Serial Saturday. It’s Dao of Magic Chapters 21-40 by Andries Louws!

Plot: This set of chapters really gets us into the thick of the plot and the main cast of characters that revolve around our main character Teach. Honestly it’s a hilarious set of chapters that really makes fun of the Xianxia and Xuanhuan genres as a whole and I loved every chapter of it. The fact that Teach also bursts out into song with Lola singing “I believe I can fly” is just icing on the cake. No really it’s not at all because I found the idea of throwing a rabbit many kilometers funny or anything. Not at all.

Characters: Of the characters I still think Tess is my favorite, mostly because she’s got that skewed moral compass being a thief and is a really good one. That said the entire cast grew on me, with Ket being a new character I might really enjoy in future chapters. Still this is a great set of chapters for character development, although Teach stays relatively the same.

Overall: A hilarious series, this set of chapters just helps cement my opinion that I should’ve been reading this series much sooner. Although I wouldn’t have nearly as many chapters to binge read if I had, so maybe it’s for the best.

Serial Saturday: Eternal Chapters 1-20 by CorpseDead

This week for Serial Saturday I’m covering a series that’s completed by it’s author. It’s What is it like to be Eternal Chapters 1-20 by CorpseDead!

Plot Synopsis: Have you ever thought about what is it like to be Eternal? What does being Eternal even mean? Maybe I can show you what it is that you are desiring. What lies at the center of the universe, when you reach the peak of strength and power? Can love reach that place too, or do you lose your feelings the stronger you get? How long can you travel and hold onto yourself, before feeling that you are starting to fall apart, losing your mind to your strength? How long is your road? Your feelings? What’s going to win over you? The Darkness and the Hate? The Love and the Light? Or maybe none?

Plot: The plot is pretty straight forward and is clearly influenced by Chinese Xuanhuan and Xianxia novels. That being said it doesn’t follow most of the genre’s standards which is really refreshing. The main characters are almost never separated among many other things that seem to get Western readers in a tizzy.

However, I’m NOT going to recommend this series. The main reason is that the author shoves his own bigotry and homophobia down your throat about 70 chapters in. I dropped the series immediately after reading an incredibly bigoted sentence that instantly enraged me. If the author hadn’t done that, I’d probably praise this series endlessly as what I hope to see in most Xianxia or Xuanhuan series for the way the author treats love interests. But they did and frankly it pisses me off that what was turning into a rather awesome series quickly was destroyed by only a single sentence that the author wrote.

Characters: Hiro and Alice are our leads and they are a pretty awesome pair of leads. It’s a pity that the Author decided to utterly destroy his story by including his own prejudices.

Overall: Stay far away from this series. While it’s completed and starts off really strongly, the single homophobic remark the author makes absolutely ruined my impression of the series entirely.

Personal Status: Dropped because the Author is a homophobic bigot.

TNT: Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with some tips and tricks. It’s some Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations!

Web Serializations?: What I generally cover in these columns are Web Serializations, what is known more commonly as Web Novels.

Ok so tips?: Yep I got a few really easy tips to get the most out of every Web Novel you read. This can hold true for any piece of written work, but I find that they are really great for Web Novels in particular.

Tip #1 Stockpile!: Let any Web Novel you read get a good amount of chapters built up before beginning to read. Give yourself at least 3 whole days worth of chapters to read, and by whole days I mean days where you would do nothing but read those chapters. For me that means I often have to wait for at minimum a stockpile of at least 250 chapters worth. I read much too quickly, and if I don’t stockpile at least that much I’m liable to just go through it too quick.

This is for chapters that come out to at least 2,000 words per chapter on average. If they are shorter that means I’ll need to increase the amount of chapters I stockpile. The same is true in reverse, if they are incredibly long chapters I can get away with less chapters.

Another way to stockpile is to do it based on Arc or Volume, if there are Arcs or volumes indicated in the table of contents it’s totally doable to just stockpile chapters until an arc or volume is completed. This allows the author to go through a relatively self contained plot thread from beginning to end.

Tip #2 Binge!: Once you’ve stockpiled enough chapters to get a few days worth of solid reading, binge read that story and it alone. Don’t read anything else, unless you are like me you’ll probably confuse yourself if you are reading more than a single story or if you’re really skilled two, at one time. So go through those chapters and enjoy the story.

Tip #3 Once Caught Up Stop Reading!: If you are reading a Web Novel you’ll come to realize that most of the story is so splintered into  small chapters that it’s really hard to appreciate the story if you continue reading every time a new chapter is released. Don’t do this, it’ll ruin the stories for you. Seriously it sounds counter intuitive, but absolutely do not continue reading once caught up. Follow Tips #1 and 2.

Tip #4 Rotate!: In order to allow all the above tips to occur I rotate stories I’ll read. Assuming all series release with similar amount of chapters per week, it’s easy to set up a rotation of different series to read in order to really get the most out of stories. In reality this can’t happen due to how different authors, and by extension translators, work. So you’ll need to build a vast library of different series in order to really get a solid rotation. This might end up being 20+ series, but you’ll be able to get a good amount of chapters stockpiled for binge reading for each series if you go through the rotation.

For me I’ll constantly add new series to my rotation and drop those which I’ve found to be not worth reading in comparison to other stories. I’ve stopped reading stories due to many reasons, sometimes I just find they are inferior to other similar stories and so I’ll drop them in favor of the other. There are plenty of other reasons as well, but the biggest is the one I just mentioned.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday! Hopefully this helps those fellow enthusiasts of Web Novels, and other media, enjoy the stories more!

 

TNT: Qidian Redux

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with another post about some lying, and thieving assholes. It’s Qidian Redux!

What now: God so much has happened since the last post about this two months ago that it’s really quite ridiculous. So I’ll start with what’s happened since. There was more trash talking happening on the novel updates forums and novel translations subreddit. That is pretty much a given, there were obvious throwaway accounts on both sides, although I’ll be straight up and say I saw a hell of a lot more Qidian International throwaway accounts. So they’ve already lost my trust, and were losing more credibility with me as the situation progresses. Their PR person was apparently fired, personally I say good riddance they were a joke and terrible at their job.

Then the community is thrown into upheaval again with the departure of some translators, including one of the most prominent translators in the community CKTalon, jumping ship from Wuxiaworld to Qidian International. According to CK it was just because of the money. Personally I think he’s foolish, they’ve shown that they won’t keep faith and so signing anything with them at this time seems to be incredibly stupid. What doesn’t speak well of him is the fact that he left Gravity Tales, another translation website prior to all this starting up. Him joining Wuxiaworld was part of the initial situation in the first place, so him leaving again isn’t a good sign of his character. Personally while I enjoyed the series he translated, which even included series like I’m Really a Superstar, I couldn’t in good conscience keep supporting such a person.  Not to mention that the Qidian International website still is terrible.

So the community is getting over this, and when we all think this isn’t going to become any more chaotic we have another situation pop up courtesy of Qidian International slinging slander and more lies. They hired another person to be their PR person, u/HighJaystar, and started another war on Wuxiaworld by sending a DMCA request to try to take down the entire website, which failed, and than proceeded to steal all of the Qidian works on Wuxiaworld and copy and paste them onto their own website, which is still terrible to use. I actually asked HighJaystar about trying to fix their website when this was all going down and he was acting as the QI PR person, but I never received another response after that question was brought up. I guess he was too busy making personal remarks with the company account.

These actions gets them banned from the subreddit entirely, which is highly understandable and frankly Novel Updates should just have banned them as well due to their own rules regarding aggregator sites, which QI had clearly become after stealing translations. Those translations are counted as completely different under International Copyright law as far as I know from what I’ve learned since this whole mess has started.  They did implement a filtering option to remove Qidian International works completely, but frankly this seems to be caving in to me.

So that happens just a couple weeks ago, and now just a few days ago we have yet another situation where GGP, the prior owner and operator of Gravity Tales, whom I mentioned above, has apparently signed away most of his rights to the translations and operations of his website to Qidian International. Apparently many of the translators at the website were unaware of this. This all occurs just a couple days after GGP announces they had signed a licensing deal with Qidian. GGP lost a lot of faith from the community after this action. While I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, the fact that he wasn’t sticking with the community against known thieves of translators isn’t helping his image.

There is a lot more that went down, but those were the big incidents and I feel like I’ve wrote enough on the subject. I’ll provide a link to someone’s pretty unbiased timeline of the issue below.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday, personally I ask that everyone boycott Qidian International, or if you were already doing so continue to do so. Their actions have been irrepressible thus far.

QI vs Wuxiaworld Timeline:

Part 1

Part 2

There are more things that occurred, like QI implementing ads that you must interact with on their website to continue reading, which apparently is even more unusable now. But I haven’t gone back to their website since this all started. They’ve also stolen artwork from others as well to use as cover art, but that isn’t anything new.