jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2016


I was lucky to get the third Waterfire novel in Warnemünde, Mecklenburg, Germany last summer. Now it's on to getting the finale, which sadly will be a bit of a challenge due to the fact I got banned from foreign holidays (unjustly, long unfair story), I'm the only child of a loving mother, but mostly because Planeta pear-shaped the Waterfire Saga in Spain because of this trope:

No Export for You

This is when a work was not released in a country even though there were good reasons to export it there. It has to meet at least one of the following conditions:
  • It is part of a franchise which has previously proven to be successful in other regions (e.g. Sailor Moon).
  • It was made with the specific intention of being sold overseas (e.g. Sin and Punishment).
  • Its genre and/or sensibilities make it the sort of thing that would be exported in the absence of foreign fans clamouring for it.
The Waterfire Saga fits all three conditions.

But, just because a Vocal Minority believes something from abroad should be released for them, doesn't mean their country is a viable market. The distributors have to think of the money.

So it can be the reason a work isn't released is problems with other parties who worked on it wanting too much money, or being unable to get permission for some of the included songs, or deciding it's too much trouble (or there's considered not enough money to be made in a release) to justify going to the effort and trouble to work out all of the necessary clearances.

May also invoke Screwed by the Network if it's only later seasons of a show that is not being exported and the show has been taken off the air in said markets where the show had been screwed, which may result in a case of Keep Circulating the Tapes.

Indeed, the real culprit in the Spanish/Italian Waterfire case is not Planeta -- but CAPITALISM. The INVISIBLE HAND of the law of supply and demand, as Adam Smith would say.
And here's when I take a little turn to the left.

Yet, considering the implications of both systems, capitalism is the Scylla to five-year-planning's Charybdis.
(For those who don't get the reference to classical myth; Scylla guards the right shore of the strait and ensures you will lose a certain number of men; Charybdis guards the left shore and is a maelström that sucks in all or nothing... and nothing is the outcome in the rarest cases).

Well, maybe this is a self-centered faux-left turn caused by a member of a vocal minority interested in fairytale/early modern fantasy. After all, finding the final Waterfire book outside the Protestant North is a Herculean task compared to, let's say, catching a wild Vaporeon in Pokémon Go! Or a Shiny Dunsparce, for that matter.

Still, with today's primary distribution point being online for music (iTunes, Amazon), games (Steam), movies (Netflix), books (Amazon)and television (Hulu), you gotta wonder about the motivation behind regionally restricted release when manufacture and shipping costs simply don't apply.

After all, Amazon... well, let's say I have always been a bit of a shopping Luddite, even though I now have got a card of my own.

  1. Maybe because of sheer impatience; Instant Home Delivery of printed books is something that only exists in fiction as an Acceptable Break from Reality: 

  1. 1. Instant Home Delivery: When you buy something, it shows up instantly or at least much faster than in Real Life. Waiting for a month for backorders is already frustrating enough in real life, so why would that be included in a game intended to be enjoyed?
  2. Maybe because of the never-to-be-underestimated force of custom (usus tyrannus, the Romans already said). 
  3. Maybe because shipping costs will be added to the prize of the novel. 
  4. And maybe because of my own privacy concerns and fear of giving personal information on the Net in the paying form (what if someone finds out my name, ID number, physical address. et al, and uses these data for sinister purposes?). 
In fact, the real reason for my shopping Luddism is all four of them above.
Seeing the film Storks and regarding how it depicts online shopping (In that film, basically the premise is that the baby-delivering storks are bereft of their usual duties to do Instant Home Delivery for online shopping sites... until two human orphans, a teen and a baby, step into the picture... I won't spoil the ending, but merely give you a clue that it's a pretty pungent and precise satire of online shopping!) confirmed my shopping Luddism even more.

Add this only child's mama hen who would rather jump off a viaduct that see me travel on my own, friendless and unchaperoned, from my hometown of Castellón to the Ruhrgebiet... and you get another hurdle.

Very many shopping malls are in decline (so-called "dead malls") with competition from [···] online shopping  

So I'll still cross my fingers and hope for: 
1) my dad to gift me the book from Amazon
2) an order at Argot to be made and succeed ---Shiny Dunsparce chance, but who dares wins!
3) to get a chaperone --maybe mum herself-- to escort me to the Ruhr ---snowball's chance in Purgatory...
No Export For You / Literature
  • The Norwegian series Phenomena has only been released in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany. It sells well in both Norway and Germany, but still no word of it ever to be given out in other countries.
  • Another Norwegian series Halvgudene has only been translated into Icelandic.

There is a Waterfire wiki, but no trope page (see here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheWaterfireSaga).

Though the Waterfire Saga uses so many tropes that there SHOULD be a trope page, right?
To quote a few: Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, Gotta Catch 'Em All, Aloof Ally, Love Makes You Evil, Magical Girl Warriors, Bastard Bastard, More Than Mind Control, Careful What You Wish For, Rage Against the Heavens... the list is endless.

Maybe a dooming factor in the Spanish/Italian perception of the Waterfire Saga happens to be this sort of Public Medium Ignorance:

Girl Show Ghetto

Mainly, the Double Standard most people have regarding media: that women's entertainment should only be enjoyed by women with no crossover allowed — despite it being okay for women to watch shows primarily marketed towards men — keeping in mind most media is male-focused. Not to mention the stigma that media specifically tailored for women is 100% guaranteed to be of inferior quality, no exceptions.
Women-targeted entertainment has a reputation of being worse than other shows. Common criticisms are that women's media is overly touchy-feely, simplistic, poorly-written, and shallow. This is mostly due to the aesthetics of the media (and not to mention a lot of it is fashion-based). The men can be the badass heroes and problem solvers who go on questsbut women don't do much except entangling themselves in their relationships and wallowing in a soup of hormonal emotions.
Actually, the Waterfire books are a feminist fantasy saga that subvert these stereotypes. And this Girl Show Ghetto perspective led to Waterfire slumping in Romance languages half-way across the saga. While Germany and Denmark have completed the saga. 

Compare this to the similar case of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Not a girl-show, but actually unisex, with an interesting equal-opportunity cast (aside from a Lemony Narrator that hearkens back to the nineteenth century and inspired Yours Truly's narrative style). Suddenly interrupted in Spain, where the last book released was The Hostile Hospital, but which was completed to the very last book, The End, the very last out of 13, in Germanic languages (German, Danish, and Swedish to name three).
Similarly, all three Monster Blood Tattoo books were released in the Anglosphere; second book Lamplighter (introducing both Winstermill [the Academy of Adventure setting, a monster-hunting cadet boarding school] and Threnody Vey [IMOHO, a really badass female character and a true predecessor to Merida Dunbroch of Brave fame]) was released in Sweden and Germany, unlike the trilogy finale Factotum; while the Spanish edition (in detriment of hardass Threnody fans like Yours Truly) never made it past the first book.
The 2010s Little Prince graphic novels and DVD'd episodes were all of them published in France; their Spanish translations halted release after The Planet of the Astronomer, volume 5 out of 24, leaving a lot of exciting adventures which had been screened in Spain never to get a printed (or, for that matter, a DVD) release in the same country and in many others.

Yes, there have been critics ranting and raving against the Waterfire Saga and Monster Blood Tattoo; just like my favourite Sailor Moon series Sailor Stars and my favourite Yu-Gi-Oh series Zexal appear to have far more detractors than they have got fans like me. Add the fact that my mum is a hardcore Jar Jar fan, which makes me think that my preference for obscure and/or criticized fiction runs in the blood.

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