Dear Femslash Creator,

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:45 pm
settiai: (Absinthe/'Nique -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Just to note: my requests include Critical Role, Doctor Who, Dragon Age, Hunger Games, Mass Effect, and Crossovers.

First of all, relax! I'm far from being picky, and I can pretty much guarantee that I'll love whatever you decide to draw or write for me. These are nothing but guidelines, for you to take to heart or ignore to your heart's content. Also, hey! You're drawing and/or writing me femslash! What's not to love? ♥

That said, I thought that I'd elaborate a bit on my requests in case, like me, you're the type of person who likes to have something to work with. Feel free to use and/or ignore as much of this as you want. I've tried to include a mix of vague prompts as well as more detailed ones, to hopefully make things as helpful as possible whether you're drawing art or writing fic.

More details under the cut. )

Requests under the cut. )

uh, ciao!

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:59 pm
tvfission: (Default)
[personal profile] tvfission posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Name: Alicia Joan or AJ
Age: 25
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Describe yourself in five sentences or less: I am an acquired taste but overall very easy to get along with! A friendly, bisexual, karaoke-fiend that loves to write/roleplay, draw, and watch disturbing videos willingly at night. I'm a sucker for being creeped out. Have I mentioned I'm a weirdo? But a weirdo who loves to make friends!

Top 5 fandoms: To be quite honest, it's really only American Horror Story, Preacher, annddd The Office. I am constantly watching The Office. I realize it's been over for quite a while but that means nothing! Nothing, I say!

I mostly post about: My personal life and what-have-you. If not that: an article, new music I've discovered, maybe a selfie here or there, and pix of my pups! I just recently registered on the site so I have very few posts up right now.

I rarely post about: Politics, only because I use FB primarily for that. But I am not opposed to following folks that do, as I like to engage in discussion sometimes - especially if you're looking for one!

My three last posts were about: My loneliness and lack of friends, haha. I promise that will change and is not a constant. I was simply amusing myself. ;)

How often do you post? I will probably start out posting often but it may slow down as I have adult things that need my attention more. I'm taking care of my dad at the moment and that's where most of my focus is at when not here or other social platforms!

How about commenting? I will likely comment more than post. But that's so I keep in touch with everyone. My life doesn't provide a great deal of interesting things to talk about right now, so! I'm also trying this new thing where I don't dwell on negative crap like I used to. It's working out nicely! 

(This doesn't describe my day, but the kid's face cracks me up and I have a similar distaste for vodka myself, haha.)



[me] Update

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:23 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I have made a heap of all my spoons and then set the heap on fire.

Which is to say, I am at a conference. So far it's been a really good conference.

Imma gonna fall over into my bed momentarily.

PFAW Fact Sheets for Recess

Aug. 16th, 2017 07:05 pm
executrix: (Default)
[personal profile] executrix posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
People for the American Way has one-page fact sheets (great for tabling and canvassing!) about, e.g., the Mueller Russia investigation, voter suppression, separation of church and state, and opposing white supremacist hate:

http://act.pfaw.org/go/529?t=3&akid=126%2E3037677%2EcD6eBT

The site has lots of other tools and graphics too.

[ SECRET POST #3878 ]

Aug. 16th, 2017 07:05 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3878 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 19 secrets from Secret Submission Post #555.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
chantefable: ([eagle] gladiator esca)
[personal profile] chantefable
Dear [community profile] fandomgrowthexchange Creator, thank you very much in advance for making something for me. This is my first time participating in this fest and I am brimming with excitement. I am sure I will love everything that you generously choose to make. Thank you so much for offering to write/draw something in one of these fandoms.

I have made some prompts & suggestions, but please feel free to take things in whatever direction you like and/or include other characters. My DNWs are gratuitous violence, abuse and lack of consent (physical, social, sexual, etc.), any sexual situations for characters not of age, on or off-screen. Realism, magical realism & surrealism are all fine. I strongly prefer art with lower ratings; as for fic, wherever the muse takes you.

The Fugitives - Rosemary Sutcliff
Any characters: Lucian, Centurion, Fugitive, Pilus Prior, Marcipor, Syrius the dog, etc.

I love this short story for its huge potential; the premise could be turned into so many different romance tales and I'm curious about all the variations. What's the story of the young and dashing Centurion? What's in the Fugitive's past, and what are the immediate consequences of his choice? Or does he change his mind and not follow through on surrender? Did he have a more personal relationship with the Centurion looking for him? What about Pilus Prior and his body-slave Marcipor, do they live in each other's pockets like a married couple? Very interested in ten years (or more) later stories, when Lucian grows up: who does he become, what is his profession of choice, if any, and what is he like as a person? I believe there is a huge interest in shipping Centurion/Lucian or Fugitive/Lucian or Centurion/Fugitive in the future, with added richness of character development and events.

Knight's Fee - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

Perhaps a backstory for Herluin and his relationship with Sir Everard?

The Rider of the White Horse - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

What's the deal with Black Tom Fairfax, really?

The Shining Company - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

Adventures in Constantinople, mystery or whodunit, werewolves or vampires, everything's great. Prosper and Faelinn's torrid romance? What about Cynan ap Clydno's fate? What's his version of the events?

Sword Song - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

The Truce of the Games - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

Warrior Scarlet - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

How can Vortix, Drem and Blai navigate a relationship with all of them involved and live happy, fulfilling lives? Also, prehistoric adventures.

Dawn Wind - Rosemary Sutcliff

Is there a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it. Whether they engage in international diplomacy or interstellar travel, alchemy or snorkeling, meet dinosaurs or merpeople, I am sure I will love it.

Perhaps - What happens to Lilla after Owain? Does Lilla ever meet Regina? And what about Vadir?

Frontier Wolf - Rosemary Sutcliff
Alexios Flavius Aquila & Hilarion, Alexios Flavius Aquila/Cunorix, Cunorix/Shula, Hilarion/Lucius and any additional character combinations.

I love all these pairings, though I'd have liked things to have worked out for Cunorix (and also everyone not dying, including Lucius); a canon development or changed events can be equally fascinating. If you write Shula, I am particularly interested in the AU where she was the heiress/chieftain of the tribe, and the potential divergence in the political situation, the attack, and the social and romantic relationships of others. Post-canon fics with the Wolves in Belgica etc. are great, especially if there's Alexios/Hilarion. (Maybe one grieving for Cunorix, another for Lucius? Or Lucius is alive and there is an unexpected Alexios/Hilarion/Lucius love triangle!)

Banter and bickering or push-and-shove, secret pining or awkward matchmaking, anything goes. Any character-centric story is fine, as long as they are ultimately happy (not even necessarily with each other, because it's Sutcliff). I like strong, heartfelt relationships, love for friends, family, life companions, taking care of other people, loyalty, kindness, doing the good thing and/or the right thing, etc. Themes like quests, journeys, transition, and liminal spaces. Reflection, self-improvement, love, generosity. Whether they end up undercover pretending to be married in Gallia Comata or time-travel to prevent an assasination attempt on Emperor Septimius Severus, I just want them to be okay.

and finally, my one non-Sutcliff request:
Assassins (1995)

Miguel Bain/Robert Rath - what happens after and is Miguel really dead? Did Robert not-kill him on purpose? Really interested in 5 or 10 years later stories, who is back in business and how, and what other business can there be? Does Electra move on to a different, high-tech life of espionage given the rise of computer technologies and leave Robert with Pearl? More chess. More sympathetic, tired, hypercompetent Stallone. More sociopathic, validation-seeking, emotional Banderas. Learning and bridging the gap. Perhaps there's a backstory you really want to write? A wild AU that always tickled your fancy? A prequel/sequel/sidequel about a particular character? Go for it.

Nonfiction

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:46 pm
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] rivkat
Peter Weisz, Puzzle Tov!: Short book of Jewish-themed brainteasers, some of them based on pretty old jokes and some requiring mathematical cleverness. I enjoyed it and was stumped by more than a few, but had the appropriate head-slapping reaction when I read the answers. For a puzzle-loving kid (or even adult) in your life.

Alan Dugatkin & Lyudmila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution: Short but fun book about the Soviet/Russian project to breed tame foxes. Wolves and foxes are related enough to make the attempt plausible, but zebras and horses are also closely related enough to breed, and zebras haven’t been successfully domesticated despite numerous attempts, nor have deer except reindeer (even though they live near humans and aren’t usually aggressive towards us, not to mention being important food animals, all of which suggests domestication would be favored if it were feasible). The Soviets picked the least reactive and aggressive foxes and bred them; calmer foxes appeared within three breeding seasons. And slightly greater tameness also shortened their breeding cycle and raised fertility a bit higher, bolstering the theory that in-bred tameness had complex effects on the whole animal. (Unfortunately, these shorter mating cycles didn’t allow multiple fox generations within the same year—although the scientists had sold the project to the Soviet government on the promise of increasing fur production, the shorter cycles meant that the mothers didn’t produce enough milk for their pups, whom they ignored. The scientists hypothesized that a longer transition might have let milk production catch up with increased fertility, as with dogs and cats and pigs and cows.)

Later generations began to exhibit tail-wagging, whining, licking hands, and rolling over for belly rubs—still later, some of the tame foxes’ tails curled, again like dogs. Tamer foxes retained juvenile behaviors longer than wild foxes—wild fox pups are “curious, playful, and relatively carefree when they are very young,” but that changes at around 45 days, when they become more cautious and anxious. After only a decade of breeding, tamer pups stayed curious and playful twice as long.

Tame foxes began gazing into humans’ eyes, which for wild animals is a challenge that can start an attack. Humans themselves, though they weren’t supposed to interact differently with the foxes, couldn’t resist talking to them, petting them, and loving them. When dogs and owners gaze at one another, both see increased oxytocin, leading to increased interactions/petting, “a chemical lovefest.” Adult foxes began to engage in object play—extended play with objects that are known—which wild animals don’t do. (Birds, chimps, and even ants play (with mock fights), but play is usually skill practice.) The tamest fox one year lived with the main researcher for a while, like a dog, and when she returned to her group, she began seeking out caretakers when other foxes were being aggressive toward her. Tame foxes began to demonstrate loyalty to particular caretakers (unlike simply being calm around humans) and jealousy of other foxes who might take their favorites’ attention. They began to bark like guard dogs when strangers appeared. They learned social intelligence: tame fox pups were as smart as dog pups in interpreting human behavior, and smarter than wild fox pups. So selection acting on tameness brought social intelligence along with it, suggesting that there was no need for humans to have bred dogs to be smarter: it could just happen.

The Soviets also tested their work by creating a line of incredibly aggressive foxes using the same selection procedures. Workers were terrified of the new line. When aggressive fox pups were swapped with tame fox pups and raised by mothers from the other line, the pups behaved like their genetic mothers. Genes clearly played vital roles, though tame foxes’ bonds with individual people also showed the role of learned behaviors. The genetic changes worked by changing production of hormones and neurochemicals, like oxytocin. These chemical pathways might help explain why the changes could happen so fast. Tame foxes had higher levels of serotonin than their wild cousins, as dogs have more than wolves.

The evidence supports a theory of destabilizing selection—genes may be similar, but the activity of those genes is very different as between wolves and dogs, chimps and humans. The dramatic changes of domestication seemed to come not primarily from new genetic mutations that were then favored by selection, though that played a role, but from changes in the expression of existing genes that led to very different results. For example, tame foxes started being born with white stars on their foreheads, which happened because the embryonic cells responsible for coloring hair had been delayed in migrating to their places by two days, causing an error in the production of hair color. The expression of the relevant gene was affected by the other changes caused by selecting for tameness. We may even have selected ourselves for tameness using similar mechanisms—we have lower levels of stress hormones in groups than our chimp cousins, we can breed all year round, and our kids stay juvenile longer, like those of other domestic species. And the bonobo may be in the process of doing the same thing, though I’m not sure they’ll have a planet to inherit when their brains get as big as ours.

Speaking of which, the collapse of the Russian economy nearly led to the fox project’s demise. Many foxes starved or nearly starved; others were selected for sale for fur to keep the project alive, a process that also deeply traumatized their caretakers. In 1999, however, a popular science article about the project came out in the US, and they received enough donations to stay afloat, because humans are sentimental. Maybe someday you’ll be able to get your own tame fox pup.

Duncan Green, How Change Happens: Green works in international anti-poverty programs, and argues for a systems approach in which one iteratively works with groups at different levels of the system, leveraging elite points of entry while taking direction from people on the ground. I thought the concept of “positive deviance” was useful—find people in the group you’re trying to help who’ve overcome the problem you’re trying to solve, and see if you can help other people do the same thing, using the positive deviants as the model.

Sunspots

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:05 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Book-a-day: Day Sixteen

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:00 am
chantefable: ([bbc] naughty in nottingham)
[personal profile] chantefable
16. Can't believe more people haven't read
I am tempted to repeat my entry for Day Five, Perhaps the wind shall carry us to infinity, which happens to be Awesome Serious Literature with Spies, Shape-shifting and Identity Porn by a Great Nobel Prize Nominee, but on the other hand, I understand why it is not very widely read despite Ballester's fame. (But it is the kind of book that amazes with its existence, go read!)


Image from here

Instead, I am going with Malpertuis by Raymundus Joannes Maria de Kremer aka Jean Ray. This Flemish novelist is an icon of noir fantasy and modern gothic horror and all such things, and Malpertuis is the source code that a huge chunk of contemporary popular culture & fiction tropes rest on. For example, Neil Gaiman's American Gods and similar tales. People are widely aware of the whole 'old gods dormant in disguise' thing, and the idea has been hiveminded and frequently done in novels and shows, pulp fiction and visual references. However, few are tracing its current incarnation back to the 1943 novel, Malpertuis, even though the author is a key figure in 20th century fantastic literature, published internationally during his lifetime - including in the Weird Tales in the 1930s, like all the cool guys. (He was also imprisoned over his involvement in smuggling booze to the US during the Prohibition; but that is by-the-by. He did use it to boost his own myth and wow factor after getting out and writing twice as hard for a living!) Of course, there is a lovely Malpertuis film with Orson Welles (1971), which increases the novel's visibility, but the novel is darker, scarier, foggier...

It is very (post-)modern, composed of multiple narratives (supposedly texts with different authors) that come together as a jigsaw puzzle of black metaphor, contemplation of futility, despair, pettiness, etc. There's the juxtaposition of the grand and mythic with the bourgeois and ordinary. The strangeness creeps up slowly, seeping through the cracks in a trivial inheritance plot with taxidermist cousins, spooky extinguished lamps and infatuated goddesses. Most of the action takes place in 19th century Flanders. It's a multiple POV, unreliable narrator(s) tale of how a dying warlock Cassave has ensnared the ageing and depowered gods of Olympus in his crumbling castle, Malpertuis. The gods are trapped in the bodies of regular Flemish citizens: Zeus (Eisengott), Hera (Mother Groulle), Hephaestus (M. Griboin), Aphrodite (Griboin's wife), Apollo (Mathias Krook), a Titan (Tchiek), the Erinyes (the Cormelon sisters) and one of the three Gorgons (Euryale), as well as Prometheus (Lampernisse). There's also Jean-Jacques Grandsire, technically Cassave's descendant. He's just your regular blond melancholic cutie who finds himself in this story of a two-hundred year old warlock, his testament, a bunch of angry mind-addled deities, and liminal spaces beyond time and death. (You can probably guess that the likes of Jean-Jacques are not likely to emerge from this unscathed. Dude is a Gorgon/Erynie/human women magnet. You're too pretty for your own good, Jean-Jacques.) The story has carnivalesque and surrealist themes, and murder by the bucketload. You could read it as a murder mystery, all the people hoping to meet the terms of Cassave's testament and seize his fortune die like flies; you never know who is next and will any of your faves survive to the end. I wonder if this is where Game of Thrones gets it from?

Let's just say that if you ever wanted to read a story where Apollo is a paint store manager, Malpertuis is the book for you.
havocthecat: (mfmm phryne mac walking)
[personal profile] havocthecat
More 'Miss Fisher' Coming in 2018, As Movie Trilogy Gears Up For Filming

Here's to hoping that this is for real! Also that Dot and Mac are in it! Miss Fisher isn't the same without Dot and Mac (or Bert and Cec and Mr. Butler and Jane, but Dot and Mac are my favorites).

Convincing Voices

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:30 pm
setsuled: (Mouse Sailor)
[personal profile] setsuled


Mitt Romney, many prominent Republican politicians, even both former presidents Bush (though not in as direct language), condemned Donald Trump's words and insensitivity. His failure to immediately condemn and distance himself from his white supremacist and neo-Nazi supporters seemed at best like a cynical calculation and at worst like an implicit endorsement of their views. Trump's tweets and statements were routinely laughably stupid or frightening and vulgar. All of the brightest, funniest, most intelligent, and respected voices in the media were united in condemning, ridiculing, and refuting Trump. It was September, 2016. Maybe some of you are old enough to remember.

To-day, what's different? Well, there's no looming presidential election. No chance to hit a day of revelation where we found out how impotent or possibly disingenuous those voices were.

Sites like 538.com gave the odds of Trump winning the election as slim to none. Hillary Clinton lacked charisma but she was obviously far more qualified for the job than Trump and her worst scandal, e-mails stored on a private server, paled in comparison to the mountains of scandal that had accumulated around Trump for decades, running the gamut from sexual assault to misappropriated charitable donations. Surely, anyone voting for him, even if they didn't approve of most or all of what Trump said, demonstrated they considered these things acceptable. Because Trump promised nothing that could possibly make up for that.

When you look at Breitbart.com, a leading voice of the alt-right, you don't see articles that explicitly endorse white supremacy. The general lack of articles analysing or condemning demonstrations of white supremacy ought to be a disturbing enough indicator. Instead, though, you see headlines like, "NEVER SATISFIED: PRESS DEMANDS MORE, BETTER CONDEMNATION OF CHARLOTTESVILLE". "DALLAS MAN PUSHES TO RE-BRAND FREEWAYS NAMED FOR DEMOCRAT KLANSMAN".

Who are these articles targeting? They're not stridently championing white supremacy. They don't seem to be advocating a philosophy of their own so much as punching holes in the left's rhetoric. Considering the left is busy condemning Nazis, making the left seem wrong or foolish ought to be a hard thing to do.

At the other end of the spectrum, to-day on Huffington Post there's an inconspicuous article about how Senator Al Franken is returning to appear on Bill Maher's HBO show. It was only a few months ago that social media was united in condemning Bill Maher for referring to himself as a "house nigger" in reply to a bizarre comment from a Republican politician suggesting Maher should work in the fields. I didn't think Maher ought to have used the word, but I was surprised when I saw how strident and universal the condemnation of Maher was on social media. Huffington Post ran an article called "Bill Maher is a Dangerous White Man".

Is he?

Maher, who seemed starstruck when he interviewed President Obama last year--Obama claiming at the time that he watched every episode of Maher's show. Maher, who not only routinely mocks Trump but whose show, long ago, brought to public attention the political savvy of the likes of Al Franken and Arianna Huffington, who once co-hosted a regular segment on Maher's show. When we have neo-Nazis marching in the streets, is this really the time to be calling Bill Maher a "dangerous white man"?

And that's exactly the left's problem.

Maybe you're saying I'm splitting hairs. Maybe you're saying I'm a curmudgeon who's still sore because Peter Davison was branded a sexist because he thought there might be some drawbacks to a female Doctor Who even as he enthusiastically supported Jodie Whittaker. But maybe you wouldn't be saying that if we had an election yesterday.

The idea in leftwing media seems to be if people don't take seriously a small problem of rhetoric or an imperfect understanding of civil rights then a bazooka needs to be applied. And that's what makes it all the easier for Trump to say to the millions of disenfranchised, "Look, they're trying to manipulate you and they're insulting you."

Trump is wrong when he says the left is just as bad as the right. Because the right's problem is institutionalised greed and bigotry while the problem with the left is that it's playing into Trump's hands.

Welcome Blanket

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:09 pm
lavenderspark: (flowers)
[personal profile] lavenderspark posting in [community profile] crochet
"A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.”"

The Smart Museum of Art of Chicago is asking for donations of handmade blankets (40"x40") to welcome families coming to our country (the USA), but also to try and make a GIANT blanket equal to the size of the proposed wall between us and Mexico. As a way to protest the wall.

The museum is going to display the blankets (and notes if you include one) from now until December when the blankets will be delivered to families. The deadline to send blankets to the museum is November 4.

https://www.welcomeblanket.org

Here's the start of my blanket!
IMAG1354.jpg

Reading Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.

Start throwing (metaphorical) rocks.

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:18 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
On taking action against white supremacists as metaphorical rock-paper-scissors.

I'm not going to repeat all the links in the superb posts I'm seeing. Instead, I'm asking you to go read this one by [personal profile] rydra_wong and this one by [personal profile] kore because they're brilliant. And they have good historical info on the way the Klan has moved through the last century of US history, what knocked them down and what's different now. For instance, I don't recall any other time when KKK/white supremacist members rallied without their robes, with their faces uncovered and in bright torchlight so they're identifiable in the camera photos that are posted online -- and then must account to the others in their lives (bosses, families, universities) for their actions.

And yes, Trump did not slip when he said the alt-left in Charlottesville was attacking "us". He did mean that he identifies with the white supremacists/Nazis/KKK. It wasn't a slip-up, no matter what you hear from "unnamed White House sources". Watch the Rachel Maddow videos in [personal profile] kore's post; she puts it together well. Ignore the toadies from the staff. But do take note of them as untrustworthy; they have already sold themselves to Trump.

ETA: [personal profile] rachelmanija is planning to be part of a counterprotest, to oppose Nazis at a rally in Los Angeles this Saturday, and invites those of you who wish to join her to let her know. Be safe, please, and counterprotest while keeping a good distance from people with clubs and other weapons, okay?

In the middle of this hatefulness, I implore you to find something that feeds your spirit, your soul, whatever you want to call the deepest inmost part of yourself, that makes you happy, that gives you joy, and keep doing it. The only way to do this kind of work, opposing hate, and get through it sanely is to fill yourself first with joy and love and peace to give you strength. Whatever it is, let it be your refuge. We will not see the last of this for a long time; best to start now to create your own inner sanctuary that nobody can mess with. For me it is meditation, prayer, shamanic practice, and tai chi. Handwork also helps-- knitting, spinning, weaving. Walking on the woods trails, when my foot is up to it again. Music, always. You can't give to others from your own lack; fill yourself first.

Wednesday is positively summery

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

do you speak persian | kaveh akbar

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:53 pm
carthaginians: ([sw] the force is with me)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
Some days we can see Venus in mid-afternoon. Then at night, stars
separated by billions of miles, light travelling years

to die in the back of an eye.

Is there a vocabulary for this—one to make dailiness amplify
and not diminish wonder?

I have been so careless with the words I already have.

I don’t remember how to say home
in my first language, or lonely, or light.

I remember only
delam barat tang shodeh, I miss you,

and shab bekheir, goodnight.

How is school going, Kaveh-joon?
Delam barat tang shodeh.

Are you still drinking?
Shab bekheir.

For so long every step I’ve taken
has been from one tongue to another.

To order the world:
I need, you need, he/she/it needs.

The rest, left to a hungry jackal
in the back of my brain.

Right now our moon looks like a pale cabbage rose.
Delam barat tang shodeh.

We are forever folding into the night.
Shab bekheir.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Trump reverts to blaming both sides in Charlottesville including 'violent alt-left'

Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:

Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis

Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence

[tumblr.com profile] la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:

ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“

US.

The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.


I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.

The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder comments:

Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.

Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.

In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.

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