wednesday reads 'n things

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:35 am
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, which is the sequel to Six of Crows, but really it's the second half of the brick it would have been if published together. I loved the additional character revelations and development, but I think that unlike nearly everyone else, I liked the first book a bit more. This book felt as though there was too much shoved into it, particularly in the last third; I found myself getting bored and wanting it to just be over, already, which is not how you want to feel while reading something you otherwise enjoy a lot! Also, it seemed to me that the narrative depended, even more than the first, on holding back information from the reader (as opposed to from the characters), which is fine once or twice but gets tiresome when repeated constantly, especially when there's an air of "look how clever the characters are! Look how clever the author is!" and I got a bit annoyed with this device.

There are some interesting and appealing relationships, both m/f and m/m, but as I mentioned last week, I also ship the noncanonical but subtextual Nina/Inej. But in general I really liked all the main characters, and I liked all the canonical relationships to some degree. Also I am in need of a crossover with Gentleman Bastards or Old Theradane.

What I'm reading now:

The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) by Rick Riordan, YAY! And it's delightful. Though a little odd to be reading with my eyeballs, since I listened to the others as audiobook, especially with Norse terms that are spelled a bit differently than they are pronounced. I was pleased to see my favorite crackship finally making an appearance (skip) Riptide's a babe, apparently! And Jack, true to form, is smitten! Pen/Pendant is best sword ship!! Also, having a Norse name misheard as "Bigly" made me choke laughing.

I read another couple of chapters of Fly By Night but it's mostly on hold until I finish the Magnus Chase.

I'm still listening to Airborn by Kenneth Oppel while pool-running, and I think I might be getting close to the Thrilling Climax, though the waterproof mp3 player I have makes it impossible to tell how far I am into the book. It's very much Boys' Own Adventure (with plucky heroine friend) in Alternate Steampunkish World, a little silly, but entertaining.

What I'm reading next:

Might try to get hold of Provenance by Ann Leckie. I just looked at my to-read list and, gah. So much to read! I still haven't read the currently-last Expanse book.

What I'm watching now:

We have two episodes left of Westworld, which for Reasons we will likely watch tonight and tomorrow night. It's a weird and unsettling show, and I hope that the threads will start tying themselves together next season, because there are so many fascinating ideas and I will be disappointed if they don't GO somewhere.

What I'm watching next:

I am going to be on my own for up to 10 days beginning Friday afternoon, so maybe I should watch something that B wouldn't care for. If you've got a rec for something on Amazon Prime or Crunchyroll (or other free method) that I might get fannish about, I'm open to suggestions. Though...

What I'm playing now:

Still Dragon Age: Origins. I'm a bit put out because I apparently started my romance too late to trigger a necessary conversation in order to make it work right. Also I'm always too full up with inventory. I got bored for a while and only picked at the game. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the quest involving escaping prison, so I'm more excited now, and since as I said I'm going to have a lot of free time next week, I will probably play a lot.

What I'm playing next:

If I lose interest in DA and all the DLC quests I have available, I might fire up Witcher 2 and see how that goes. At least I'll finally be able to understand the half of the fandom that's based on characters from it!

a short break

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:08 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I'm dealing with stomach flu that is keeping me up nights. Not fun. Today I slept like a rock -- until noon. I'm starting to feel better -- but I have no real concentration.

So I'm not doing links again until I feel competent. I used all my competence for today in posting my Stage of Fools story.

But I am reading whatever y'all write, and glad of it.

*hugs flist*

more fest recs

Oct. 17th, 2017 03:38 pm
isis: winged Isis image (wings)
[personal profile] isis
I haven't read everything in Crossovering and Femslashex, but I think I've read everything in fandoms I know and the original works with tropes that appeal to me.

In Crossovering, I want to mention that [personal profile] sovay said that my gift fic Frank & the Phoenix is perfectly readable without knowing David Blaize (it's a crossover with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Frank Maddox/Newt Scamander) and actually, I think that as long as you are familiar with the Harry Potter-verse, it should be fine. Other Crossovering stories I particularly liked:

And Bide the Danger (6764 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling, Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Amelia Bones/Susan Pevensie, Amelia Bones & Edgar Bones, Aslan & Susan Pevensie, Amelia Bones & Alastor Moody, Edgar Bones/Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Crossovers & Fandom Fusions, The Problem of Susan, Temporal Paradox, Department of Mysteries, Dark Character, Deus Ex Machina, Investigations
Summary: Susan Pevensie: former Unspeakable, legendary beauty, possible Dark witch. A young Amelia Bones, eager to make her mark on MLE, has just been assigned to track her down. But the further Amelia proceeds with her investigation, the more questions she uncovers - especially once she meets Susan herself.

The Start of a Long Summer (1676 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Azula (Avatar), Tumnus
Additional Tags: Crossover, Attempted Kidnapping
Summary: Azula steps through a wardrobe to find a kidnapping faun and a wintry kingdom ripe for regime change.

There are also two lovely artworks for due South/Lost Girl, and although I'm not familiar with Lost Girl I certainly can recognize the dS characters in Bob Pays a Visit to the Travelers and Kenzi Meets Diefenbaker. ETA Lost Girl, not Lost! Shows how much I know about either canon...

In the Femslashex collection, I particularly liked these:

The Part of Her Hair (10596 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Bennet/Original Female Character
Characters: Mary Bennet, Original Female Character, Lydia Bennet, Kitty Bennet
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Family Bonding
Summary: Miss Gibson said, “In the spirit of truthful admission, Miss Bennet, I intend to spend some time devising the right question for you. If I may see you again?”

Why did that sound strange? But she always sounded strange to people herself. And it was a familiar kind of strangeness, as if it were something she had heard before, only not like this.

Mary, constrained by the principles of truth, could only admit that she would enjoy that very much.

A Golden Thread Between Hearts (1633 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Seasons of Glass and Iron - Amal El-Mohtar
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Tabitha/Amira
Characters: Tabitha (Seasons of Glass and Iron), Amira (Seasons of Glass and Iron)
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, First Kiss
Summary: Tabitha and Amira travel, and grow, and love.

(The canon for the second is a freely-available short story I recced before: Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar, which is f/f fairytale fantasy with an edge of grimdark.)

There are actually many other excellent stories in both collections, and I encourage you to browse!

My standards are broken

NSFW Oct. 16th, 2017 04:33 pm
petra: A blonde woman with both hands over her face (Britta - Twohanded facepalm)
[personal profile] petra
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

Noir City DC -- first weekend

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:13 pm
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
This weekend I've seen 4 movies as part of the Noir City DC film festival with [personal profile] greenygal. This year's theme: 'Heists, Hold-Ups, and Schemes Gone Wrong.'

Kansas City Confidential )

Criss-Cross )

The Asphalt Jungle )

White Heat )

I am amused that the solution in two of the movies to 'how do we make stolen money untraceable' is 'turn it in for the 25% reward from the insurance company covering the place we stole it from'. That's certainly an interesting way to launder ill-gotten gains.
neotoma: Bunny likes oatmeal cookies [foodie icon] (foodie-bunny)
[personal profile] neotoma
Greek butternut squash salad, tiropita, figs, beef stew cubes, maple breakfast sausage, figs, nittany apples, and yellow bartlett pears.

two fests, two fics!

Oct. 14th, 2017 05:13 pm
isis: (gryffindor sheppard)
[personal profile] isis
On Friday, two of the exchanges I'm participating in - Crossovering and Femslashex - went live! I got two lovely stories, one for each, though I was only able to read one before heading out of town sans laptop for a nonprofit retreat. But now I'm home with a real keyboard and can point to my delightful gifts.

Frank & the Phoenix (6874 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: David Blaize - E. F. Benson, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Frank Maddox/Newt Scamander
Characters: Frank Maddox, Newt Scamander
Additional Tags: Greek Mythology - Freeform, Crossover Pairings
Summary: Frank stumbles across a dangerous--and impossible--beast during one of his trips to Greece.

This story is everything I never knew I wanted from this crossover! The author does an amazing job of fitting the two canons together in a logical way, and pulling in all sorts of delicious details from both to build the story. It's from Frank's POV, which I loved because I'm a real sucker for the wizarding world seen through a muggle's eyes.

Illustrious the Return (1562 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Alpennia Series - Heather Rose Jones
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Barbara Lumbiert/Margerit Sovitre
Summary: Their second arrival to Saveze was very different from their first. Instead of arriving riding double on a horse, fleeing with no more than they could carry; now they arrived in a carriage emblazoned with the Saveze crest with servants and carts loaded with trunks full of books and clothes.

The very first Alpennia story on AO3, and it was written for me, hooray! It really feels in tune with their canonical relationship, with great characterization. It's also very grounded in the wonderful details of canon, the mysteries that connect the land and its people.

I also wrote one fic for each of these fests, which I'm sure you can identify as my work FROM SPAAAACE. But I need to go read more in both of them!

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:55 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Rydra Wong has collected links on the horrible ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, many of whom have gone to a refugee camp in Bangladesh, where the locals are welcoming but there is not enough of much of anything. Doctors Without Borders is there. (NYTimes at the last link) Why don't the Myanmar people like them? The Rohingya are Muslim, in a largely Buddhist country. Not all Buddhists are peaceful.

Apparently Roy Moore, fundy judge and Senate candidate, has received at least $180,000 for part-time work at a charity. Um. If that's part-time, I have to wonder how wealthy the charity is.

Trump's people are keeping unaccompanied immigrant minors from getting abortions. So. Be underage, get raped, be forced to have the child -- who, by being born here, would be a citizen. Or would they be born here?

The Ninth Federal Circuit Court has ruled that there is no constitutional right to sell firearms.

Dakota Access Pipeline update: The oil flows, but the fight continues.

Republicans are kicking people off food stamps.

Conservative leaders call on McConnell to resign, in order to resolve the legislative gridlock.

Rose McGowan's Twitter account has been locked since she posted about Harvey Weinstein's abuse.

An old-school pharmacy hand-delivers drugs to Congresspeople. And that includes prescriptions for Alzheimer drugs.

Out of control on contraception.

The growing use of mandatory arbitration, removing from people their right to a jury trial.

***

The photo ark. And more here.

How about conservation efforts for reptiles?

Black Elk, the Lakota medicine man turned Catholic teacher, is being promoted for sainthood. Is this problematic, and to whom?

Congratulations to the 50+ First Nations who defeated Trans-Canada's Energy East pipeline!

111 types of clothing that changed the world.

research question for Yuletide story

Oct. 13th, 2017 01:04 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
In the late 1950s or so, how would a couple go about getting married in France? Was there civil marriage (I think there was but I do not know details)? Where would it be conducted? Would a Catholic marriage be refused to a couple if one was Protestant? Was a license needed, and from whom? In either case, was there a waiting period (such as required by banns elsewhere)? I probably wouldn't need to write the details, but it would help to know then so I wouldn't write the wrong thing.

Thanks very much!

wednesday reads

Oct. 11th, 2017 03:29 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

All Systems Red, book 1 of The Murderbot Diaries, and thoroughly delightful due to Murderbot's entertaining narrative voice. And why are fictional AIs all into soap operas these days? There are several more books in the series lined up, none of which are published yet, but lots of people requested it in Yuletide, so maybe there will soon be more fic to add to the one [personal profile] cathexys pointed me to in my previous books post.

What I'm currently reading:

I started reading Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge, but it's oddly hard going considering it's middle-grade. Not that I don't like it, just that it's kind of densely written. So when a book I had on hold came in at the library, I temporarily abandoned it and started reading...

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, the sequel to Six of Crows. There were a few awkward bits early on, but I'm getting into it. (I'm also sort of shipping Inej/Nina, which...I don't think I'm supposed to do. Definitely shipping Jesper/Wylan.)

Still listening to Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. I kind of want it as a graphic novel or anime, tbh.

What I'm reading next:

Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan, the third Magus Chase book I HOPE.

A version of the big picture

Oct. 11th, 2017 11:09 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
California: Burning. Here are the numbers -- but with the blaze moving at the speed of a football field every 3 seconds, and 0% contained, this isn't the last of it. Before and after photos.

Puerto Ricans are dying for lack of health care, food and water. Don't believe FEMA: they're saying "delivered" means stuff got to the port, not to the people. An eyewitness account from a former US Army staff sergeant and Cavalry scout.

Harvey Weinstein's having a no good very bad time of it. Women are coming out of every closet in NY and Hollywood and everywhere inbetween to talk about how he sexually harassed them, and worse. The list includes Angelina, Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth, and Rosanna Arquette. In each case the situation occurred when they were young and vulnerable actresses at the start of their careers, dealing with a man who could make or break those careers. Gwyneth says more here. And so does Jamie Lee Curtis. And a New Yorker article (reviewed here) does not mince words in its title: "From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein's Accusers Tell Their Stories. Oh, and his wife of 10 years is leaving him.

Yep. We've got a kakistocracy here.

***

In Utah, the cop who arrested and dragged a nurse out of the hospital, because she would not allow him to violate a patient's rights, has been fired.

In Massachusetts, suing Trump over the loss of contraception coverage.

The MacArthur Foundation announces its 2017 Fellows who receive genius grants.

I grew up playing bocce; it was what we all did at some family gatherings. Now Italy is trying to save the game, which dates from the Romans, from extinction -- which would also extinguish dozens of local dialects.

Friends Journal on talking to young people about conscientious objection.

The hidden truth behind Victoria and Abdul -- the relationship the royals didn't want known.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2017 11:37 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Did you ever want to see where the birds migrate to? Watch.

Dear Yuletide Author

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:28 am
norah: Monkey King in challenging pose (Default)
[personal profile] norah
Thank you for offering to write for me! I am so excited.

I like happy endings, gen (at the moment, for these fandoms), humor, politics, friendship, robots & AIs, found family, and things written in third person. I dislike character death and grimdark. Not that I think it would come up with these fandoms but PLEASE NO child harm.

The Martian - Andy Weir. I would love something about Mark maybe solving a problem on Earth, after he's returned? I like anything about Mark Watney, TBH. I would also love something, anything about Rich Purnell - does he actually ever meet Mark? What did his NASA interview process look like? Rich solving another problem, maybe a practical life problem, would be super awesome.

Wayfarers Series - Becky Chambers. I would love ensemble fic, or anything that continues either book on past the ending (AU is fine, Nobody Dies is fine, character redemption is fine, politics is fine). I would love to hear what happens politically after the first book, but anything about the found families in either book would make me so happy. More about how Owl adjusts to her re-found family - and her years of isolation - would also be amazing.

Wonder Woman (2017). I would love Chief's Napi's story, or more of his perspective on the war. Please make as specific as possible to a single First Nation/tribal nation; feel free to use any of Eugene Brave Rock's character details that he talks about in interviews to fill out characterization or backstory. How did he become a smuggler? What is he doing in Europe, so far away from his tribe? What the fuck does he make of all these white people and their sudden interest in how bad war is now that it's happening to them? Or go full AU and make him Wonder Chief, from the isolated continent of the First Nations, come to straighten out a bunch of fucked up Europeans at the behest of the dashing Amelia Earhart, who has crashed in his territory, or Etta Candy, a Women's Airforce Service Pilot. Please please please lots of research to avoid cultural fail and/or find a cultural beta.

I'd love to receive a story in any of the fandoms listed, and if you are in doubt about a story idea you can ask [personal profile] thefourthvine what I would like. Please do know that I have a second and a sixth grader, and so first thing Christmas morning I will be caught up in a frenzy of "wheee presents" and family. I probably won't have time to read the story and give proper feedback until mid-day, for which I apologize.

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