Sunday, 8 July 2007

Mousetrap - 109

And they all lived happily
Godawful Fan Fiction
Fan fiction is writing by fans of a popular fictional character or book or whatever that uses those characters in their own scenarios. With the web, the genre’s practitioners do not lack for a platform, and for like-minded souls. Of course, not every fan can write for toffee, so the results can be rather, erm, uneven. Authors tend to be rather pleased that people care enough about their creations to want to create more scenarios and stories for them, so tend to not prosecute fan fic authors. (And, besides, these folks aren’t going to endanger future royalties.) This site doesn’t either. What it does is worse: find the worst examples available online and put them up for public scorn. (Warning: not for kids, the Harry Potter section notwithstanding.)

The Count
Dracula Blogged
Bram Stoker's Dracula covers a six-month period. This blog treats the sections of the novel as if they were a blog, and publishes them over the same length of time as the story covers with posts corresponding to the dates indicated in the text, “starting with Jonathan Harker's May 3rd Bistriz journal entry, and finishing up with November 6 and the final Note.” So you’re not too late to the party. Go read it as it happens. Tonight. With the lights out. And the windows open.

’Scuse me
Planning on a night out in different city? Or even in your own? Want to check out what people are saying about restaurants pubs, bars and so on? Check this site out. It’s less than a year old, and has grown to cover Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore and Madras right now (though Bangalore is the only one that it doesn’t refer to by the ‘official’ name). It features reviews and ratings by its members, not professional reviewers. The paying customers, in other words, telling you what they like and what they don’t. It also has a section it calls India’s first lifestyle-focussed online. It’s called blah, and, from the bits I read (and, to be honest, it wasn’t much, so I may be wrong), yawn, the name’s apt. Stick to the reviews, and you’ll get that satisfied, full feeling.

Rickshaw (2)
India On Three Wheels
Last week, this column featured one of the teams in the Rickshaw run (go to the online archive to get the URL if you missed it). And while I was looking around for other team sites, I found this one. It is the account of a journey across the length of The Grand Trunk Road, in, you guessed it, an autorickshaw. The protagonists are a trio of American brothers, and this site describes their journey. Loads of nice pictures and video to go with the text. A nice change, to see one’s own country through foreign eyes.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail The writer blogs at

Published in the Times of India, 8th July, 2007.

Note: This column was actually supposed to run on the 1st July, 2007, but the entire Trends page was dropped, because, I'm told, very few of the writers could deliver, thanks to the floods and the power outages in the city.

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