Fandom 5K letter

Feb. 25th, 2017 11:55 am
[personal profile] pendrecarc
I'm beyond excited about both writing and reading for this exchange. I love all these fandoms and can’t wait to see what you choose to create. I've included prompts for each fandom, but they're mostly there to give you an idea of the kind of story I like--please feel free to go in a completely different direction.

If you're a writer who likes a lot of detail, you can check out this post on fic preferences. Otherwise, here are some general points:

Read more... )

Specific fandoms:

The Comfortable Courtesan - Madame C- C-: Madame C-, Group: Madame C-/Mr. MacD-

Read more... )

Crossover Fandom - Group: Cordelia Naismith (Vorkosigan Saga) & Rowan (Steerswoman)

Read more... )

The Divine Cities - Robert Jackson Bennett: Shara Komayd

Read more... )

Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch: Group: Thomas Nightingale/Varvara Sidorovna Tamonina

Read more... )

Uprooted - Naomi Novik: Group: Kasia & Sarkan

Read more... )

Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime) - Group: Okukawa Minako/Lilia Baranovskaya; Group: Lilia Baranovskaya & Yuuri Katsuki

Read more... )

Where Have All the Rec Sites Gone?

Feb. 25th, 2017 11:49 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
Used to be, there were a plethora of rec sites and communities on LiveJournal. Now there are only a few. But I know that people haven't stopped writing fanfic, and I know that fic recommendations are needed to skim off the good from the bad and the ugly in the resulting flood -- so where are readers going, these days, to get their intel?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Feb. 25th, 2017 11:03 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
Grey day. And I have definitely got a cold.

In the "count your blessings" department, at least it isn't the fast-and-nasty flu from hell that swept through the household the weekend before Boskone. It is, however, the kind of cold that settles into my sinuses and fills my head with glop. The resulting postnasal drip kept me just uncomfortable enough last night that I was wakeful and restless and prone to squirrel-wheel brain, which of course left me groggy and cranky come morning.

And the weather isn't helping. It's 55°F outside right now, and it's supposed to get down to 31 by tonight and keep sliding on down to 24 by tomorrow morning. Rapid weather changes like that always make me glum and twitchy.

(no subject)

Feb. 25th, 2017 08:44 am
[personal profile] skygiants
Under the Healing Sign, the second book in the Crossroads series about Vets In Fantasyland, does not exactly have a plot or a structure so much as .... like, the first two-thirds of the book is mostly a series of largely nice, occasionally bittersweet anecdotes about Our Heroine BJ's first year as Fantasyland's Official Veterinarian, and then there is a Battle and a Tragedy and suddenly the book is like "PART TWO!!" and all of PART TWO is "OH SHIT WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE."

Stuff that happens in this book )

ON TO BOOK THREE, which is, as I remember, the weirdest of them all.

Oh, it's so beautiful

Feb. 25th, 2017 12:57 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Via [personal profile] robynbender: it seems that Milo Yiannopoulos was brought down by a 16-year-old girl who knew how to Google.

Apparently we are living in a YA dystopian novel, and I for one welcome our new teenage girl leaders.

some things

Feb. 24th, 2017 09:18 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
I tried taking a day off work. I did. Then I worked two extra hours the night before and 2.5 hours the morning of my day off, whereupon my boss told me to take the rest of the day without spending vacation hours formally. And then I checked Slack for direct messages most of the rest of the day while doing other things, to answer questions.

Reason got her special outing---each year for the past four, we go to a nearby botanical garden during her week off and walk until she's tired---but her lingering cough and the cold air made her cranky, and she barely ate lunch because the place where we went last year now puts oregano into everything. (We're mildly to moderately intolerant of oregano. I ate but needed a nap afterwards. Two questions on Slack awoke me from the nap.)

The extra time coincided with a major office deadline, which had slid. Done done done done done. Happy Friday, everyone?

Actually, I find it peculiar (because it's unfamiliar) that a long deadline around here means more than six weeks. To me, long has come to mean nine or ten months. :P

Le Tarot d'Ambre: L'histoire du Tarot

Feb. 24th, 2017 04:03 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Le Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, cont'd

The History of the Tarot

And now we have Surprise Isaac Newton in this...

(methinks the Yoon doth protest too much)

Read more... )
[personal profile] yhlee
More of this list, which is endless!

Read more... )

you don't know dick

Feb. 24th, 2017 11:22 am
[personal profile] musesfool
In news that is both awesome and probably terrible, WB/DC is talking about making a Nightwing movie.

If it's not two hours of dick jokes and gratuitous ass shots while Dick gets tied up and escapes repeatedly, preferably with strategically placed rips to his clothing, then I don't even want to know.


Internet Amusement Comma Minor

Feb. 24th, 2017 11:22 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
Pick an Outfit and We'll Guess Your Age and Height.

I may be close to 5'5" (actually, I'm a tad over), but I haven't been 19 years old for a long long time.

It's a Bright and Sunny Day

Feb. 24th, 2017 10:13 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
And I seem to have a cold.

On the positive side, I've paid the electric bill and the telephone bill, so at least the electricity and the internet will keep on flowing.

On the negative side, the space heater that lives under my desk has decided to get cranky. I think it has a loose connection inside somewhere -- which is annoying, since even a cheap space heater can generally be relied upon to last out at least one winter before it goes toes-up.

Oh, well. So it goes.

Reading Wednesday on Friday

Feb. 24th, 2017 09:48 am
[personal profile] oracne
I'm not unsick yet, but at least I am upright. I wasn't able to read much while home sick for two days, except a little on my Paperwhite.

Your Wicked Heart by Meredith Duran is shorter than a novel but still had her usual excellent characterization.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famous jumps a bit forward from Volume 4, which means I have to find out what happened in between, probably a single issue of yet another comic. Urgh. It remains a great comic, and I love Kamala's family and friends. Also the characterization of Tony Stark.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 2 continues to be complex and wonderful.

Finally, I started Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction by John Rieder (in print), mainly as a result of having read a terrific essay on Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony in Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction, which I'm carrying around on my e-reader.

Post-show treasure hunt results

Feb. 24th, 2017 09:59 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Two quarters, an eerie glass disk and a Kleenex that might have been rolled in a shoggoth.

Someone else found the underwire from a bra but I don't think it was near where I found my trove of artifacts. I feel confident nobody was removed from this space-time continuum while trying to harness forces beyond their ken, leaving behind only a few bits of flotsam to indicate they ever existed.

Hey, you!

Feb. 24th, 2017 08:35 am
[personal profile] telophase
Yes, you!

I believe you are in need of being disdained by a giraffe calf.

You're welcome.
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Apparently at the big Parliament Square demo on Monday, everyone pledged that they would go to Birmingham if Buttercup's state visit is there.

They were invited to do so by a speaker from Birmingham (name could not be recalled by my source but apparently very impressive), who promised that there would be a big street party.
[personal profile] sovay
I had no idea there were Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in attendance at the rally to support trans youth tonight. I think that's fabulous.

At first I didn't see anyone I knew in the crowd. I had mistakenly gotten off the Orange Line at State Street rather than Downtown Crossing, so I was approaching Post Office Square from an unfamiliar and partly conjectural angle and knew I was in the right place mostly because I was suddenly surrounded by signs like "I Stand with Trans Students," "Trans Rights Are Human Rights," "Let My People Go to the Bathroom," and "Donny Knows Dick." There were people wrapped in trans flags and waving them; there were people of every gender presentation, including non-binary and totally indeterminate; the age range spanned queer elders who had evidently been doing this shit for years to parents of school-aged trans children (and trans parents of school-aged children) to toddlers with scribbly, glittery signs. The trees of Post Office Square were lit up purple and there were blue and pink lights in the windows of a building on Pearl Street. I took a blue-and-pink-and-white-striped poster reading "Protect Trans Youth" from a man with a sheaf of them and carried it for the rest of the night. I had a nice exchange with the young trans man next to me and his cis boyfriend who had just bought him some H.G. Wells, as a good boyfriend should; during the portion of the rally when we were encouraged to introduce ourselves to strangers and meet our community, a pink-haired activist from Athens, Georgia and I bonded over our sudden mutual flashback to college orientation. I complimented one protester on his pride flag kippah and another on her trans flag bowtie. (I got compliments on my bisexual unicorn T-shirt.) The executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the couple of hundred people who had shown up on practically no notice to tell the trans youth of Boston and elsewhere that they are not alone; he pointed out the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education on the other side of Congress Street and spoke passionately about intersectionality—making the cogent point that this administration has not just now begun to hurt trans people; trans people who are Black, Muslim, Latinx, and immigrants have already been hurt—and then threw the megaphone open to trans students and teachers, of whom I think my favorite was the tenth-grade trans boy who talked about equality: "We're all human! We're all skeletons!" And then the formal part of the rally broke up into networking and people with signs going off to line both sidewalks of Congress Street, at which point a woman I had met last month at Jewish Voice for Peace came up and greeted me and [personal profile] skygiants, [personal profile] genarti, [personal profile] sandrylene, and [ profile] teenybuffalo all wandered by at once. I could not participate very loudly in the communal call-and-response, but it was important for me to say the words: When trans youth are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back. When trans rights are being denied, resistance is justified. We're here, we're trans, no walls and no bans. People honked in support as they drove by, smiled out the window, gave thumbs-up, Doppler-cheered. I was told later that one man shouted "Trump! Trump! Trump!" as he drove past, but since I didn't even hear him over the activist chanting, I don't think he won.

I did not expect the rally to turn into a march. I'm not sure the rally was expecting it. But first there were protesters with signs on either side of the street, then there were protesters with signs in the street, then there were protesters with signs walking down the street with the trans flag out front, and by the time we turned the corner on Franklin Street we were definitely a march. The call-and-response widened to include Whose streets? Our streets! Whose city? Our city! and We all got to pee, so let's get free, which I had not heard before. There was a brief logjam at Downtown Crossing which occasioned the only violence I saw all night—a bunch of kids on the sidewalk who didn't care about trans rights but were happy to shout "Fuck Trump!" got into some kind of altercation with one of the older protesters; he got slapped or otherwise physically infringed on, but I saw people taking care of him after the kids ran off—but on the whole bystanders were either visibly supportive or took out their phones in a neutral to approving fashion. We marched up Winter Street; one of the loudest voices in the chants near me belonged to a woman with a white cane. A number of protesters including the Sandry contingent peeled off at Park Street, but I guessed the core of the march was heading for the Massachusetts State House and followed them, which is why there may yet surface some footage of me standing outside the locked front gates of our state house and talking about Bill H.97, although since I couldn't remember the number I just said it was co-sponsored by Christine Barber and designed to protect minors from so-called conversion therapies and had been sitting in committee for over a year and could our state representatives just agree that torturing children is bad and pass the damn thing already? Other people spoke before me, more angrily, more lovingly, and more eloquently: a non-binary trans femme MIT professor who had to leave to grade papers, but first reminded the audience that trans people have always existed, that gender has never been binary (it's so true); a working-class male-presenting trans person with a kerchief over their face because they did not feel safe revealing their identity, talking about class and safety and the need for networks in Boston to help homeless trans people like they had been last summer; the H.G. Wells-buying boyfriend I had met first, doing a much less awkward job than he thought expressing love and support for his boyfriend who had been kicked out of his parents' house for coming out as trans when he was sixteen. People talked about statistics, suicides, bashings, murders. People said things to each other like "I love you; you're beautiful." People chanted hey, hey, ho, ho, white supremacy has got to go. For a while there was a police car spinning its lights over the crowd, but it left without arresting anyone. (I hadn't been confident it would.) There were local news crews at Post Office Square and the State House, which I managed to miss completely. There are some nice photographs here. Around eight o'clock everything broke up quietly and I took the Red Line to Davis and met [ profile] derspatchel for a very late dinner when he got out of work. My knee is hurting again and I think I spoke more than I have in a week, but it was worth it.

Oh, and I met a trans woman in the bathroom at Walgreen's on my way over to the rally. The worst thing that happened was we were both in a Walgreen's bathroom.

sketches of the day

Feb. 23rd, 2017 11:25 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
I felt like practicing rendering figures, and Blacklist was handy, so...

Ink: Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot.
Pen: Aurora Optima 75th Anniversary.
Character: Agent Elizabeth Keen (from a scene in 2.1).

Ink: Robert Oster School Blue.
Pen: Aurora Optima blue chrome.
Character: Samar Navabi (from a scene in 2.2). I am already in love with her.

(Don't worry; your irregular unscheduled catten will return soon.)
[personal profile] batwrangler
The Diviners, book 2
by Libba Bray
Read by January LaVoy

This is the second book in a projected four-volume series. Book three is due out in the fall. The "monster of the week" mystery wrapped a bit slowly for me, but I'm still interested in the overarching story.
[personal profile] lannamichaels

No, this is not getting A Real Fic Post, it's too absurd and wtf, not to mention did not even reread the whole thing straightthrough before posting. This is not a real thing. I am not here. I have negative amount of shame and am yet probably blushing beyond blushingness while writing this (while also giggling a truly substantial amount).

Let's just say, I am le tired. :P

Pounded In The Butt By The Vorrish Obsession With Horses. (595 words) by Lanna Michaels
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold, Tingleverse - Chuck Tingle
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gregor Vorbarra/Original Sentient Manifestation
Characters: Gregor Vorbarra
Additional Tags: Flash Fic, Crack Fic, not bestiality, Filth, Utter Filth, Ficlet, Humor, idek, love is real, I'm so sorry, Sentient Manifestations, No one was harmed in the making of this fic

Gregor Vorbarra has a tingling encounter.

[hexarchate] Hexarch Nirai Kujen

Feb. 23rd, 2017 07:11 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
I gave up on Ye Fancy Background because apparently I can only learn one thing at a time in Photoshop, two if I stretch, and the two things were Stars and Doing Humans That Look Kind of Like Humans. Anyway, I just have to declare this done because I can't look at it any longer.

Comments welcome; this is very much a learning process.

(I think it was two or three hours on the gloves alone, my God I am inefficient.)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

The Bottle Boys make beautiful music using found instruments:

  • Melodies from blowing across beer bottles (in 10-packs, carefully tuned) and
  • Percussion from shaking pop bottles full of rocks and beating a large, empty carboy.

You can see the many instrumental pop songs they’ve covered at

Combine that with a quartet of three violin & a cello and you’ve got this video:

Stings Strings & Bottles )

[description: All players are white, blond, male Danes. Additional melodies come from

  • a glass harmonica of wine glasses, their rims excited by chopsticks, finger tips, and violin bows
  • an alto pan pipe of test-tubes
  • a tenor pan pipe of wine bottles
  • a bass pan pipe of growlers
  • inserting fingers in bottle neck and swiftly popping them

Percussion includes

  • hand slapping chest
  • hands & chopsticks on the cello
  • a wee plastic egg full of rice]
[personal profile] larryhammer
Since All Knowledge Is Contained On Social Networks, a question for you all:

I'm noticing that most of the narrative poems I reread are by men. This … could stand correcting. There's Goblin Market of course, and Aurora Leigh plus Tighe's Psyche, though those two last are on the long side for casual reading.

What am I missing?

Can be new or old, though I'm more in the mood for older poetry at the moment -- I can save the modern/contemporary poems for another time.


Subject quote from "Gratiana Dancing," Richard Lovelace.

Still Sick

Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:04 pm
[personal profile] oracne
I can't find my thermometer but I definitely have been running a fever. I just took another hot shower and popped some meds. I feel like crap. The end.
[personal profile] yhlee
Continuing through this list.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 23rd, 2017 06:06 pm
[personal profile] telophase
I admit that I sometimes put on too much perfume and apologize to
scent-sensitive people for that, but when you have on so much that it
lingers in a cloying mass in the bathroom for MINUTES after you've left

(no subject)

Feb. 23rd, 2017 09:33 am
[personal profile] telophase
I'm feeling vaguely guilty for just saying "Thanks!" and nothing else on the knitting suggestions but really, that post's for Toby. I just wanted y'all to know I was reading it and appreciated the suggestions. :)

I have also notified Toby of the existence of Meow Yarn, yarn dyed to resemble cat fur colors, and told him when he gets good enough I want something knitted from one of those. Notifying my mother, a weaver, of its existence has not produced anything yet so I am now dependent on my husband. XD
[personal profile] musesfool
Due to reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I've been asked to add 7 biweekly meetings to boss1's calendar through the end of the second quarter, and as you can imagine, this is making me tear my hair out, especially for the next two weeks, which are already overbooked. This lack of understanding of the basics of space-time - that you can't be in two places at once and you can't add extra time just to fit in more meetings (I mean, they are already meeting before 9 and after 5) - is baffling to me. And extremely frustrating because after I work the scheduling magic and manage to fit everybody in somehow, they invariably decide to change things and require more rescheduling. It's stupid and exhausting.

Speaking of exhausting, they confirmed that my dad has a staph infection, the how and why of which are unknown, but nobody's uttered the terrifying term MRSA so I don't think it's that, at least. He says he feels better and wants to go home, which I guess is something. Dom is supposed to buttonhole the doctor today to get more detailed information. And the social worker has already said that he'll be sent to a rehab facility upon discharge to get him walking again. Keep your fingers crossed!


Wednesday reading, on a Thursday:

What I've just finished
The Cafe La Femme books by Livia Day: A Trifle Dead, The Blackmail Blend, and Drowned Vanilla, all of which I enjoyed very much (Drowned Vanilla even has ice cream recipes I might have to try!), though I really hope the whole situation with Stewart gets resolved satisfactorily (by which I mean, in a poly relationship for Tabitha, rather than her choosing one or the other guy).

What I'm reading now
I just started The Bees by Laline Paull, and I mean literally just started so I have nothing to say about it yet.

What I'm reading next

[personal profile] chomiji

This past weekend was Katsucon, so I have a stack of new manga. Most were recommended by "Year's Best Manga" lists on various sites, but one was something that looked intriguing when Great Big South American River brought it up in response to something else I was buying. As might be expected, I'm finding them a mixed bag.

Nichijou (Nichijou - My Ordinary Life) by Keiichi Arawi, vols. 1 and 2
Um, no. This comedy + slice-of-life high school series was billed as whimsical and surrealistic. It has a blocky, primitive drawing style that I'm presuming is deliberate. This does mean, however, that some of the surrealistic events have to be called out by the characters, or you wouldn't know what was up. When a wooden hand falls from the sky onto someone's head, for instance, it looks just as realistic as any of the characters' hands. And when the school principal tangles with a deer outside a character's classroom window, the student gazes at the spectacle with the same blank look she gives to just about anything.

The killer for me, however, was the treatment of the one character I found sympathetic, a robot schoolgirl who just wants to be a normal human being. Her creator, a child mad scientist, delights in tormenting her creation by refusing to remove the large windup key on the robot's back. She seems to have created the robot for just this purpose, plus some light housework. The whole thing left a bad taste in my brain. This one is going straight into the give-away pile.

Haikyū!! by Haruichi Furudate, vols. 1-3
On the other hand, I pretty much inhaled the first volumes of this shounen sports manga. While short, hyperactive Shōyō Hinata was in middle school, he saw a televised volleyball game featuring a player who was called the "Little Giant" for the way he dominated the game despite his small stature. Shōyō is inspired to nag and cajole his way to the creation of a boys' volleyball team at his own school. Despite their complete lack of a bench or any real experience or coaching, the team manages to avoid completely embarrassing themselves in their first and only real tournament, in which Shōyō encounters cerebral, athletically talented Tobio Kageyama.

In his mind, Shōyō paints Tobio as his nemesis, but when they both start high school, they find they're rookies on the same team. Not only that, but when their contrasting skills are put together, they become something special. At this point the story line kicks in for real as the remaining players on the team are introduced, along with their genial faculty sponsor who knows nothing about volleyball (and thus serves as the viewpoint character for similarly naive readers) and their coolly elegant manager, the only female character to make an appearance thus far. I especially enjoy the sweet senior player who has exiled himself from the team because, after freezing and woofing a key shot in a tournament, he feels he can't support his team mates properly (all the feels, Asahi!). This is probably nothing more than a typical example of its genre, but I'm enjoying the characters and their interactions.

[personal profile] sovay
So I spent my entire day more or less spot-welded to my computer doing three different jobs and did not get a chance to look at the news until quite late, although I did see the exoplanets when I got up. That was lovely.

Not so lovely was the news that the present administration has withdrawn federal protection from trans students.

In just about about twelve hours, there's a rally in support of trans youth in Post Office Square and unless I wipe out after my doctor's appointment in the afternoon, I will be there. I am no good for shouting slogans at present, but I got rid of the cane as of this morning and should therefore be able to handle boots on ground.

I just have to sleep first.

Oh, my heart, part 2

Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:39 am
[personal profile] rydra_wong
LaunchGood: Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery

funded of $20,000 goal

(If the name behind it sounds familiar -- yes, this is the same Linda Sarsour who was one of the Women's March on Washington organizers, among other activist accomplishments.)

"It's so hard to say goodbye"

Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:17 am
[personal profile] rosefox
Kit's developing some separation anxiety (yes, only now, at nearly 14 months!) and started crying tonight when we began the bedtime routine because bedtime means saying goodnight and everyone going away. We still did what we always do: big family hug, two parents say night-night and leave, and the third reads stories and provides cuddles and puts the baby in the crib. They clung to all of us during goodnight hugs, glumly (and sleepily) submitted to storytime, and finally fell asleep after only a little more fussing. Then we all sat around feeling heartbroken because it is so hard to see the baby so sad.

Tonight's bedtime story was No Matter What, by sheer coincidence; I spotted it while Kit was demolishing their bookshelf (a favorite activity) and realized we hadn't read it in ages. I'm never sure how much Kit understands of the actual words we say, but I think the meaning was clear, especially with the way I kept kissing and hugging them as I read. And I think it helped.

They've started getting upset when books end, too. We always have to open the book again to reassure them that the story is still there and they can reread it whenever they want. Sometimes they flip through it to find a favorite page before reluctantly accepting that the book is done. When we let them turn pages, they turn them really fast, without waiting for us to finish reading any text; one long look at the images on the page and then it's on to the next. It's so very like the way I blaze through books and then feel disappointed when they're done that it makes me laugh every time.

Kit endured their first ear infection this week, poor thing, and has been taking amoxicillin for it. As soon as they started on the antibiotics, their fever went away entirely and their vigor and appetite returned. (Their first full day of betterness ended with them not being able to fall asleep until 11 p.m. because all the energy they'd lacked while ill came roaring back with a vengeance. Fortunately that was a one-time thing and they're back on their usual sleep schedule.) I'm so glad for our access to good medical care, and also extremely glad to have a baby who sucks obediently on medication syringes, even when they hate the taste of the medicine, and doesn't appear to have allergies to anything. We were all very relieved that they went back to daycare today, because five days in a row of sick (and then recovering) baby at home was very challenging for all of us, especially as we were dealing with another family crisis at the same time. As always, I have no idea how single and stay-at-home parents do it. No idea whatsoever.

We're all quite convinced that Kit has psychic powers that only activate when they're asleep. Whenever X goes to bed—which doesn't happen at the same time every night—Kit sleep-fusses just enough to set off the monitor. Just now I returned to writing this entry after a while of doing other things, and Kit promptly made a few tiny noises. So I'm thinking at them as hard as I can: See, silly baby, I told you that we think of you even when you're not right in front of us. Rest now. No one is too far away, and we'll always be there when you need us.


Feb. 23rd, 2017 05:00 am
[personal profile] telophase
Suggestions for someone's second-ever knitting project?

Not me: Toby. He wanted something productive/creative to do with his hands while watching TV so he picked knitting. After watching a lot of YouTube videos he has knitted a skein of yarn into a somewhat lumpy scarf that I shall wear with pride, but he now is looking for the next thing to do.

The scarf was entirely the knit stitch. He is cautiously open to learning the purl. XD (He claims it was because he wanted to make sure he had the knit stitch down but whatever.)
[personal profile] yhlee
For the writer, the question of "are there enough women characters" or "did the women characters receive a good enough role" is sometimes a no-win proposition. I'm not talking of books in which there are NOTHING BUT MEN FOR MILES AROUND for no good reason (as opposed to, say, a book set in an all-boys boarding school, in which case it's a natural part of the setting) and none of the women have speaking roles. They exist, they're a problem, they should be called out as such.

But sometimes I see criticisms of books or fiction and I wonder if the critics have thought through the combinatorics, because there actually is no way to win against a certain strand of criticism.

For example, let's take a book in which you have an inexperienced female protagonist struggling to keep up with a vastly older and more experienced male villain. I may have written a book like this.

On the face of it, this is a problem: the woman is being overshadowed.

But let's look at the combinatorial possibilities. For the moment I will confine myself to male and female characters only (but keep reading; I have some things to say about nonbinary characters too).

inexperienced female protagonist vs. more experienced male villain: "Oh noes, the woman is overshadowed by the more experienced male character."

Inexperienced female protagonist vs. more experienced female villain: "Why do strong women characters never get to be allies and instead always end up enemies?"

Inexperienced male protagonist vs. more experienced male villain: "Why is this nothing but dudes?"

Inexperienced male protagonist vs. more experienced female villain: "Why is the hero yet another dude, and why is it the woman who's evil?"

Once you start objecting to particular combinations in this manner, there is no win condition for the author. Every single combination can be reductively defined as Not Ideologically Pure Enough.

And this isn't even taking into account nonbinary/genderqueer characters. I am late to the party (as usual) so I didn't know about nonbinary-ness until comparatively recently, which is why I didn't start writing nonbinary characters until comparatively recently. But I am pretty damn sure that however terrible you think representation of women characters is, there's even less decent representation of nonbinary characters. Or if you consider cis women characters, trans characters of whatever gender.

And we can still choke the life out of the whole enterprise in, say, writing nonbinary characters. Let's just do combinations with women and nonbinary characters to simplify the combinatorics for this particular hero-villain scenario.

Inexperienced nonbinary protagonist vs. more experienced woman villain: "Why is the nonbinary character being overshadowed? Why did you make the woman evil?"

Inexperienced nonbinary protagonist vs. more experienced nonbinary villain: Honestly probably the safest configuration if you're running into these sorts of complaints. Of course, then you'll get pushback from the other side (the people who say, "It's improbable that there are so many nonbinary characters in this novel when they're so rare in real life, why are both the hero and the villain nonbinary, why didn't you make one of them male or female?").

Inexperienced female protagonist vs. more experienced female villain: Same objection as above--"Why do women always have to be enemies of each other, instead of allies?"

Inexperienced female protagonist vs. more experienced nonbinary villain: "Why is the nonbinary character the evil one?"

The answer (it seems to me) is that one ought to look at the wider context of the entire narrative, and the entire cast of characters (if applicable). Of course, in a short story there might not be space to have two women and two men and two nonbinary characters so that you make sure no one group is all good or all evil or all whatever quality you care to name. It gets even more complicated if you're trying to add representation along other axes (physical and mental health/ability, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class...). It's not that representation is a bad thing. By all means, strive for more representation! I will cheer you on (send any chessmaster trans characters my way, please and thank you). But REPRESENTING ALL THE THINGS AT ONCE IN A SINGLE WORK is probably not possible even if it were desirable (which I'm not completely convinced it is).

In Ninefox Gambit, the heroine, Cheris, is a woman for a couple of reasons: because I wanted it to be a woman who was good at math (to the very limited extent that real math appears in the book, because if you even mention matrix diagonalization in passing, publishers will run away from your book, as I can testify). I went to a high school where the advanced calculus teacher was a woman and yet she only ever called on the guys in the class (I'm excluding myself from that category because no way no how was I out as a trans guy in a Christian high school; she knew me as a girl). Because the guys would be good at math and they would know the answers. I don't know what she thought the girls in the class were doing there, except one of them (not me) got a perfect score on the SAT, so what do you know. I briefly taught high school math and I wanted to encourage girls in particular not to give up on math; when my daughter came along, I made sure to expose her to math and challenge her in it because I was determined that she should be as good at it as her ability allowed (and indeed, she's in the GT program and math is her favorite subject--7th grade and she's in Algebra I, where I only made it to Algebra I in 8th grade, so something's working).

And the other reason the heroine is a woman is because I'm trans, and the whole ghost-and-anchor thing turned out to be a metaphor for being trans, and for me the personal experience is male-mind-female-body, so that's what I wrote.

In Ninefox Gambit, the villain, Jedao, is a man partly because of the trans thing. That ought to be enough reason. I ought to be allowed to write about my own lived experience in the metaphor that makes sense to me. But the other reason was the combinatorics of the thing. I reasoned that if I had a choice between a woman and a man as a villain, I would go with a man. But I was bothered by this, and the combinatorics is why. Because if you break things down into possible combinations, every single possible combination is a minefield. Someone who is determined to find a problem with the protagonist being male or female or, God knows, nonbinary, regardless of the context of other characters in the novel, will always be able to find a problem. It is impossible to win when the game is posed this way.

It's maddening, because people seem to mean well when they level charges like this; but they're doing so in a way that reveals they haven't thought through the damn combinatorics. It comes down to math.

Write; but write what makes sense to you. Think about representation; but don't box yourself in because "only" certain combinations are allowed.
[personal profile] yhlee
Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, cont'd

The return of Droppa MaPantz

OMG, you guys, there's a swipe at L. Ron Hubbard and Dianetics in this passage! This booklet, it never ceases to delight.


Read more... )
[personal profile] yhlee
Still going through this list, which is way advanced above my level as opposed to nice basic verbs, but the practice is good!

Read more... )

Back to Revenant Gun...

Surely this has been used

Feb. 22nd, 2017 08:22 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
A real estate developer who arranges for superhumans to scuffle in neighborhoods the developer wants leveled so they can buy the properties on the cheap and develop them.

Back from Boskone and Points South

Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:33 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
It was a good trip, and I think (I hope) will ultimately prove to be worth the trouble I had to take to scrape together the funds for it. It looks like Himself has connected with an agent for his stage magic (as usual, nothing is certain until the ink dries on the contract, yadda yadda you know the drill), and while I was on the road I finally managed to get a draft of a short story that's only been occupying my head in the form of a title and a concept for literally years.

Now I'm back in Colebrook with a flat purse and a generalized case of post-convention lassitude and ennui. I've got a short-story editing gig all finished but the LoC, and I'm halfway through a novel, but there's no work on the horizon at present for March. (Shakes tambourine, does the "Attract Work" dance....)

I wonder if I'm also working on a relapse of the cold or whatever that I had the week before Boskone. Or maybe something I brought home from the con.
[personal profile] yhlee
Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, cont'd

Hopscotch + The Game of Goose

(I have to say, as someone who is fascinated by the history of games, this is so fun!)

And meanwhile, this time we have Surprise Cretans and the Phaistos Disk!

(also I am making progress on Revenant Gun I really am!!! don't send in the WRITING POLICE after me lolz)

Read more... )

Two Great Vids from the Festivids

Feb. 22nd, 2017 03:51 pm
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Vidding defined )

Although the annual Festivids discussion and commenting happen on Dreamwidth (mirrored on Livejournal, Tumblr, IRC and so forth), the vids themselves are posted in many places. In my brief experience, the most lasting is Festivids' own site.

For now, all the 2016 Festivids are here

and for the future, visit

The two highlights for me: A Better Son/Daughter and Get Better )

Narnia fanfic

Feb. 22nd, 2017 12:26 pm
[personal profile] rachelmanija
For the Chocolate Box exchange, which focuses on romantic or friendship pairings, I wrote The Gift for [personal profile] aurilly's request for Emeth/Tirian from The Last Battle. If you don't remember him, Emeth was the honorable young Calormene officer, who made a disproportionate impression in a very brief appearance, at least on those of us who like noble warriors.
[personal profile] yhlee
Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, continued

Hey, [personal profile] dhampyresa, in the second passage (Les Marelles stratégiques), there are SURPRISE PHOENICIANS. Mais pas Dido, malheureusement.

I can't tell how much of this material is based on actual games research and how much is fabulism. :p Which is probably the point! Also, I am about to run into serious difficulties as to how to render "la Marelle/les Marelles" because it is being used to represent "Pattern" in a way that "hopscotch" and "Pattern/pattern" don't...really correspond in English.

Read more... )

This I believe

Feb. 22nd, 2017 12:06 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
When an elderly tomcat snuggles up next to a much larger, younger cat and then growls at him, it sends a mixed message.

Wednesday Will Happen on Thursday

Feb. 22nd, 2017 11:51 am
[personal profile] oracne
I will do Wednesday Reading on Thursday, because I have a sore throat and post-nasal drip and am at home today, which means no bench press tonight and my schedule thrown out of whack, which makes me mad.
[personal profile] musesfool
My dad is still in the hospital - they think it's some kind of bacterial infection. His fever was down last night, and hopefully they'll have identified the appropriate antibiotics to treat it soon. *hands*


Did you see that ridiculous save Carey Price made on JT Miller last night in OT? I can't hate Carey Price but ugh, the Habs. And then the fucking shootout. I can and do hate the shootout.


The Flash: Attack on Gorilla City


spoilers )

I keep getting distracted and I can't remember what else I was going to say, so I guess I'll just hit post.


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