NYR2017: Roundup

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 02:58 pm
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide
This year's New Year's Resolution collection has 73 works posted by 68 authors in ~79 fandoms, ranging in length from a drabble to a novel.

Full list of fics by fandom below the cut )


Or browse the collection by the tag cloud.

NYR2017 is now closed. The New Year's Resolution collection for 2018 will open on January 1. Works for past Yuletide prompts may be submitted there.

Until I die in a wave of fucking mystery

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 11:14 pm
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
[personal profile] sovay
So while I had known for some time about Dolly Wilde, Oscar's niece, I had somehow never heard of the fellow ambulance driver with whom she had an affair in WWI Paris, Joe Carstairs. I am going to be neutral about their pronouns because I don't want to get them wrong—all the sources I'm finding treat Carstairs as female, and it's pretty narrow to think that short hair, tattoos, tailored suits, and speedboats automatically make a man, or at least not a woman, but when a person renames themselves "Joe" from "Marion" and says of themselves, "I was never a little girl. I came out of the womb queer," I feel I should try to take them at their word. It's easy to see why they attract biographers and Tumblr posts. The part where they ran an all-female driving service in London—"X Garage"—is pretty great. The part where they were the only one of Marlene Dietrich's lovers to call her "babe" and live is amazing. The part where they bought an island in the Bahamas and effectively ruled it for forty years is like something out of Conrad, which is a little harder to enthuse about, but it definitely is different.

Everybody else thought so, so I thought so, too. I would have liked me. )

And twenty minutes ago I'd had no idea. I love the people that history contains.

fiber monday

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 07:38 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Status: resorted to ___Sand's endless icord bindoff because a half-cotton yarn doesn't care about chapped hands. (Fires to the north, general windiness, then the sudden onset of rain plus temperatures chilly enough for the furnace.) Squeezed in a bit of pi shawl with today's good light; began binding off the toddler vest. Finally acquired hand balm for this winter, with thanks to partner. Also, I've bought a woven linen/cotton jacket on deep discount after reading that several reviews complained of ...exactly what I want clothing to accommodate for me. Fits great. It needs every buttonhole reinforced, but then it'll be a solid summerweight jacket that's fancier than I could ever devise for myself. Jacket + ___Sand cardigan = summer layers, check, and nicer than the random buttondown shirts I've used till now.

That's my Slow Fashion October moment for the year: don't buy petroleum-derived clothing anymore (minus waistband elastic/similar and bras, though I'm working on the latter---I mean polyester/nylon/rayon fabric blends; nylon in sock yarns can instead be silk, alpaca, or mohair; even tencel is better in terms of poisoning fish with every laundry load or handwash). Mend things, buy durable things I can't reasonably expect to make if replacing things I've worn out, don't support expensive-for-its-own-sake unless it actually translates to good wages for those in the labor/production chain. I couldn't handle making all my clothes even if I had no outside job time-wise (exacerbating joint pain is a valid limitation), but I'm moving in a direction I prefer. (In a poorer situation I would need to be part of a larger group where it'd be viable to trade intangibles for others' help. I've been pondering this piece alongside this one and the fact that till recently, I haven't had clothes nice enough that mending made sense: when they wear out, they're crap enough that mending would mean substantial remake and/or dyeing.)

The week was upside down due to after-effects of the mild back/pelvic sprain and a new cold, so let's ignore knitting's dismally slow progress in favor of something speculative.

Read more... )

I have become a podcast addict

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 04:02 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Apart from everybody's favorite (right?) comedy/D&D podcast "The Adventure Zone", I mostly prefer history. 

There are a lot of bad -- and beloved, in some cases -- history podcasts in which the author postures, makes bad jokes, and assumes you don't know much and only want to know a little more.    Two exceptions to this are "The History of the Mongols", which is excellent and clear and takes a fair amount of concentration, and "Revolutions",* which takes an in-depth look to various European revolutions starting with the English Civil War.   I've just gotten to Charles I leaving London for the last time (although he doesn't know it).

If there were ever a more shining counterexample to the Divine Right of Kings than Charles I, it has to be one of the monarchs who was actually insane or intellectually disabled.

* Revolutions' podcaster, Mike Duncan, is known for an earlier history of Rome, which I haven't listened to but hear is excellent.

If you like true crime that is dispassionate rather than overblown, I highly, highly recommend "True Crime Japan".   The podcasters are gaijin living in Japan, and they do an excellent job of explaining Japanese customs and cultural aspects that are relevant to how crimes took place.   These are not crimes that have been rehearsed over and over in English-speaking media -- no Ripper, Bundy, Lizzie Borden -- which makes them all the more engrossing.

All of the above are, of course, available on iTunes and other aggregators; I'm linking to the authors' sites.

open up your loving arms

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 11:44 am
musesfool: woman covered in balloons (the joy it brings)
[personal profile] musesfool
Friday night, I took the train to Huntington - the only train they hadn't cancelled, apparently, so it was packed - and met up with my sister, my niece, and my niece's boyfriend's mom, to go see a "Back to the 80s" show with a band called Jessie's Girl at the Paramount.

It was a lot of fun, though there were some things we'd probably do differently if we were to do it again: 1. miss the terrible opening act - it was a DJ who was just really bad at being a DJ despite playing lots of great 80s music. He was just. So. Bad. And I definitely would have gotten at least a bottle of water, since we were upstairs in the seating area and there were so many stairs none of us wanted to go back down to the bar, so I was SO THIRSTY by the time we got back to my sister's, and I woke up with a dehydration headache even though I hadn't had any alcohol. I mean, I hadn't had anything to drink from when I left work at 5 pm to when we got back to Marg's at midnight. That just ain't right.

Anyway, the band was really entertaining, though some of their song choices were puzzling to me (why "Hot for Teacher" of all the Van Halen songs you could have picked?) and there were a few glaring omisions, imo: no Duran Duran! No Pet Shop Boys! No New Order! No "Relax!" No "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!" No "What I Like About You!" And since they did do "A Little Respect," which I think is more obscure than any of the others (I mean, not to me - it was one of the songs of my senior year of high school - but Marg and Alyssa didn't know it, and Alyssa knew almost every song despite not even being alive in the 80s), and "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" while dressed up like the dude from Dead or Alive, I don't think the other songs are too much to ask for. Certainly they could have replaced "Sunglasses at Night" and "Somebody's Watching Me" and "Physical" with better songs! but Alyssa says they do a lot of shows so they probably rotate things in and out of the set list.

While the upstairs where we were never filled in, the dance floor was pretty packed with drunk middle aged white ladies, which is pretty entertaining in and of itself.

So we did a lot of dancing, which my knees were not happy about, especially after all the stairs, so yesterday was kind of a painful day.

But because we cover a wide range of enjoyable activities, we went to tea in Port Jeff at brunchtime, and it was lovely, as it always is. The tea shop was all decked out for fall and our reservation was for when it opened, so we had the place to ourselves for most of our time there, which was nice.

In keeping with the 80s theme (not really but it sounds good), I had the Pretty in Pink tea ("a blend of green tea, pomegranate, flowers, nuts, acai and yumberry make up this fruity pale pink tea") iced, and it was both pretty and pink and also delicious. And the scones of the day were apple raisin walnut, and all of the little sandwiches and tea cakes were delicious (except for the grilled goat cheese rounds, which we felt were a mistake, but if you like goat cheese on toasted wheat bread, you'd probably like them).

By then I was exhausted but all the Port Jeff and Ronkonkoma line trains were screwy because of track work (estimated travel time: 2 hours and 39 minutes one way!!!) so Alyssa dropped me at the Islip station on her way home and I took the Babylon branch instead.

I got home and took a two hour nap, and then went to bed after the Yankees lost, so I feel less exhausted now, but I woke up with a cold. My nose won't stop running and my sinuses ache. Bah. I just really want some soup.

But it was a great weekend. A++ would dance and drink tea again.

***
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Politico: Young subscribers flock to old media

What's particularly fascinating is the way in which it's directly correlated with people wanting to support news organizations as a way to resist Trump:

“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”

Keep up the good work!

If he wants to run away, that's his business

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 11:55 pm
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
Today was very pleasant but very tiring. It has been a sleepless week, most of yesterday was a migraine, and I feel exhausted to the point of stupidity. In lieu of a movie I really need my brain for, here's one I can talk about while wanting to pass out.

Last October I watched but never wrote about Norman Foster's Woman on the Run (1950), a famously near-lost noir painstakingly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Film Noir Foundation and released last year onto home media as a double bill with Byron Haskin's Too Late for Tears (1949). Part of the delay is that I liked but did not love the former film as I did the latter with its stone cold antiheroine and uncompromising final shot; this one suffers more from the congealing sexism of the nascent Fifties and as a result its emotional resolution leaves a tacky taste on my teeth and an inchoate longing for the advent of no-fault divorce. If you can bear with its limitations, however, Woman on the Run is worth checking out as a thoughtfully layered mystery and a fantastic showcase for Ann Sheridan as an unapologetically bitchy, unsentimentally sympathetic protagonist, a rare combination in Hollywood even now.

The 1948 source short story by Sylvia Tate was titled "Man on the Run" and the film begins with one: late-night dog-walker Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) who takes a powder on learning that the murder he conscientiously reported—and witnessed at close enough range to know the killer again—was connected to a high-profile mob trial. A failed artist with a bad heart and a marriage that's been on the rocks almost since it launched, he looks tailor-made for the dark city, a loser coming up on his final throw. The camera doesn't follow him into the night-maze of San Francisco, though, to face or keep running from his demons in the kind of psychomachia at which an expressionist genre like noir so excels; instead the point of view switches almost at once to his estranged wife Eleanor (Sheridan), wearily deflecting the inquiries of the hard-nosed Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith, who will always look like Lieutenant Brannigan to me) with flat sarcastic cracks and an indifference so apparently genuine and total, it can take the audience a beat to recognize the depths of anger and resignation that underlie lines like "No, sometimes he goes to sleep and I walk the dog." Ever since Max Ophüls' The Reckless Moment (1949), I have been wary of assuming the limits of women in noir, but Eleanor still stands out for me in her flippant, abrasive intelligence and her willingness to look bad—she knows it shocks the conservative inspector that she isn't all housewifely concern for her man and she needles him with it, referring to the dog as their "only mutual friend" and dismissing the bare kitchen with "He's not particular and I'm lazy, so we eat out." Faced with the possibility that Frank has taken his brush with the underworld as an excuse to run out on his marriage, she's more than half inclined to let him. But she's not inclined to let him get killed, especially not playing star witness for a police force whose last star witness got whacked while Frank was watching, and so in the best traditions of amateur detecting, complete with dubious Watson in the form of "Legget of the Graphic" (Dennis O'Keefe), the flirty tabloid reporter who offered his services plus a thousand-dollar sweetener in exchange for exclusive rights to Frank's story, Eleanor sets out to find her missing husband before either the killer or a duty-bound Ferris can. He's left her a clue to his whereabouts, a cryptic note promising to wait for her "in a place like the one where I first lost you." In a relationship full of quarrels and frustrations, that could be anywhere, from their favorite Chinese hangout to the wharves of his "social protest period" to the tower viewers at the top of Telegraph Hill. Let the investigations begin.

I like this setup, which gives us the city as memory palace after all: Eleanor's memories of her relationship with Frank, what it was like when it was good and where it failed and how it might be reclaimed again, if she can only find him alive. She is almost being asked to perform a spell. And while I suppose she could have done it on the sympathetic magic of a Hollywood backlot, it is much more satisfying to watch her revisit real statues and sidewalks, real crowds unaware of the private earthquake taking place in their midst. Hal Mohr's cinematography is a street-level document of San Francisco in 1950, with a cameo by our old friend Bunker Hill; he can organize shadows and angles as effectively as the next Oscar-winning DP when he needs to, but he keeps the majority of the action on the daylit side of noir, the lived-in, working-class city with Navy stores and department stores and parks and piers and diners and lots of California sun, which only looks like it shows you everything. The literal roller-coaster climax was filmed at Ocean Park Pier/Pacific Ocean Park, last seen on this blog in Curtis Harrington's Night Tide (1960). Back at the Johnsons' bleak, hotel-like apartment, Eleanor mocked Ferris for "snoop[ing] into the remains of our marriage," but increasingly it seems not to be as cold a case as she thought. Going back over old ground, she discovers new angles on her missing person; nondescript in his introductory scenes and ghostly in his own life, Frank Johnson becomes vivid in absence, hovering over the narrative like Harry Lime in Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) or the title character of Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) until his wife begins to see a curiously attractive stranger in the place of a man whose familiarity had long since bred hopelessness. To fall in love with someone who might already be dead, to find someone in the process of losing them, these are the kinds of irony that noir thrives on and Woman on the Run derives as much tension from the audience's fear that irony will carry the day as it does from the actual unknowns of the plot, the killer's identity, Frank's status, Eleanor's own safety as her sleuthing calls for ever more active deception of the police and reliance on Legget, who keeps saying things like "I'm sorry I was so rude a moment ago, but it's always discouraging to hear a wife say that her husband loves her." He is another unexpected element, not without precedent but nicely handled. In most genres, his pushy charm and his genial stalking of Eleanor would mark him as the romantic hero, or at least an appealing alternative to a husband so avoidant he couldn't even tell his own wife when he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Here, with a triangle already established between Eleanor and the husband she knows and the husband she doesn't, the reporter is a fourth wheel at best and the audience hopes he accepts it. Without a reciprocating spark, it's not as cute as he thinks when he encourages Eleanor to call him "Danny Boy" ("People who like me call me Danny Boy") or leads her casually under the same wooden coaster where he used to bring dates, his contribution perhaps to the film's romantic psychogeography.

Honestly, I don't even dislike the resolution on the strict level of plot. By the time Eleanor realizes that the place where I first lost you isn't a bitter dig at a bad memory but a hopeful allusion to a good one, the audience is sufficiently invested in the reunion of these long-fractured lovers—despite the fact that we've never once seen them together, even in photographs or Frank's sketches and paintings—that to frustrate it would feel deliberately unfair, although of course in noir that never rules anything out. They're both taking chances, not just with their lives but their hearts. Frank who always runs away is standing his ground, risking being found by a gunman and a partner he's disappointed. Eleanor who has built such prickly defenses is lowering them, making herself reach out rather than preemptively rebuff. You want to see that kind of bravery rewarded, even when heart conditions and prowling killers aren't involved. What I dislike in the extreme is the film's attitude toward this conclusion. In its examination of the Johnsons' marriage, the facts of the script assign plenty of blame to Frank, an artist too scared of failure to try for success, a husband who retreated from his wife as soon as he felt that he'd let her down, a man who could talk about his feelings to everyone but the woman he was living with. The dialogue, however, insists repeatedly that the ultimate success or collapse of a marriage is the woman's responsibility—that it must be Eleanor's fault that her marriage went south, that she wasn't patient or understanding or supportive enough, that she has to be the one to change. It's implied in some of her encounters; in others it's stated outright. Inspector Ferris constantly judges her as a wife and a woman, even once asking "Didn't your husband ever beat you?" when she tells him to back off. He's the dry voice of authority, the hard-boiled but honest cop; I want to believe that Eleanor is decoying him when she apologizes for not believing his criticism sooner ("I guess I was the one who was mixed up—a lot of it's my fault anyway—I haven't been much of a wife"), but I fear we're meant to take her at face value. He's too active in the film's ending not to be right. Hence my wistful feelings toward California's Family Law Act of 1969. Sheridan's acting carries her change of heart from resolutely not caring to clear-eyed second chance, but I almost wish it didn't have to. At least she has a good rejoinder when Frank queries their future together, wry as any of her defensive cracks: "If this excitement hasn't killed you, I'm sure I can't."

The movies with which Woman on the Run links itself up in my head are Robert Siodmak's Phantom Lady (1944) and Roy William Neill's Black Angel (1946), both stories of investigating women with ambiguous allies and ghostly romantic patterns; Sheridan's Eleanor is a harder, less conventionally likeable protagonist than either Ella Raines' Kansas or June Vincent's Cathy, which may account for why the patriarchy comes down on her with such personified, decisive disapproval, or it may be the distance from wartime, or it may be some other idiosyncratic factor that still annoys me. The fact that I can read the ending as happy rather than rubber-stamped heteronormativity is due almost entirely to Sheridan, who never loses all of Eleanor's edges any more than she slips out of her angular plaid overcoat into something more comfortable, plus the final cutaway to the Laughing Sal on the lit-up midway, rocking back and forth as if a husband and wife embracing is some great joke. Maybe it is. What makes this couple, so fervently clinging to one another, so special? He writes a nice love-note. She climbs out a skylight like nobody's business. They named their dog Rembrandt. This reunion brought you by my particular backers at Patreon.

Woman on the Run

More booky thoughts

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 09:42 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin ranting tonight a bit (charmingly) about wishing his class was broader than just European fairy tales but he also appreciates that it is focused and grounded in particular history.

I was thinking how I came up against that wall around the same age, a bit earlier, and went looking for "world" stuff or just anything not English, US based, "western culture" wanting to see anything possible. Anthologies were good or looking by specific country or ethnicity. I would root through any library or bookstore. Encyclopedias too. The indexes of books were super instructive. It took just years for me to have any real handle on the depth of the problems of histories but it was clear from the beginning that A LOT WAS WRONG. I didn't go into that (right now it is better if I listen to him than talk about my own thoughts)

Anyway! I'm so, so proud of Moomin and his excitement about scholarly things. I feel like no matter what he does in life he will have that kind of love of books and knowledge and stories.

He also really loved Gilgamesh so I am going to show him those awesome debates online between Hoe and Plough, Fish and Bird, etc.

I know it is the nature of things

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 11:31 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
But I am a little surprised there don't seem to be ebooks of the Pliocene Saga. Or a North American edition younger than about twenty years.

see icon: PRIMAL SCREAM

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 07:58 pm
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
I asked Machineries of Tarot what my prognosis was for writing today using the Vidona spread:

Deuce of Gears
A cog in the machine. Pawn of powers beyond your control.

AUGGGGGGGGGGGGH

(Yes, Jedao was being snarkastic when he chose it for his emblem.)

Also, I love my catten but...she's not very bright? She likes to sit on the ping pong table and will remain sprawled on it when the Dragon and I start up a game. The ball hits her in the leg, she remains sprawled. It took the next ball hitting her in the snout for her to skitter-kitter off the table. *facepalm*

That's not the part where she's not very bright. The part where she's not very bright is that she was on the ping pong table during a game yesterday and got hit in the snout by a ball then, causing her to skitter-kitter off the table. You would think she'd figure out that ping pong game in progress = don't sprawl on the table waiting to be hit in the snout?

Back to work...

[ObMeme]

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 07:24 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
From Facebook.

Four things, etc. Read more... )

Back to work...

My FemslashEx story

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 05:18 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I had tons of fun with FemslashEx, and highly recommend browsing the archive.

My recipient was [personal profile] iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:

Female Revolutionary/Princess

Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.

Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.

I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...

Happy Birthday, [personal profile] editrx!

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 07:35 pm
malkingrey: (Birthday Cake)
[personal profile] malkingrey
(Adjust numeral on cake as appropriate.)

Mermaid points

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 04:22 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin convinced me that the HCA Little Mermaid story is actually amazing because she just feels her feelings but isn't an asshole, doesn't get married, and becomes foam on the sea and an air spirit who helps people so basically her story NEVER ENDS and she is a SUPERHERO who flies around with air powers, doing good in the world! I started out with the complete opposite point of view on this story.

Also when he said he thought of me in relation to her feeling like she is walking on knives..... i actually think of that sometimes so that kind of touched me.

He is also reading Gilgamesh and some Bible stuff for philosophy class and seems to be keeping up in his other math class! So nice to have him here even for a day. <3

(no subject)

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 06:09 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Black-footed kitten in case you need some cute today.

(I'm at an annual party where all our friends congregate and socialize, boardgame, and LAN game for 3 days and it's nice but GAH THERE ARE PEOPLE EVERYWHEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE)

Mousetown

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 12:59 pm
roadrunnertwice: Sigourney Weaver with a trucker 'stache. (Sigourney Weaver with a trucker 'stache)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
Ruth was like "I'm gonna paint that red wall today," and I was like "yeah, gonna redwall like a middle school furry!"

And she was like, "wut?" 😭

hey I just made myself read an important document thing

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 05:14 pm
rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
which I have been hiding from for nearly a year owing to its close temporal (and partially causal) association with my major mood dip at the start of the year.

Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.

I will accept praise and validation.

Shadow Unit: Down the Rabbit Hole

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 09:25 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
[A/N: So I wrote this for Lewis Carroll's birthday in 2009. It's an AU (alternate universe) of Shadow Unit, in which one of the main characters, Chaz Villette, is imagining what his life would be like in an alternate reality where he wasn't quite who he is, and since it currently exists only on LiveJournal in Chaz's blog, I'm posting it here as well, so that it doesn't get lost. I'm very fond of it.

[If you don't know anything about Shadow Unit: (1) this stands on its own; (2) go check it out! Buckets of free fiction from me & Elizabeth Bear & Emma Bull & Amanda Downum & Leah Bobet & Will Shetterly & Steven Brust & Chelsea Polk.]
***
Read more... )

(no subject)

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 08:55 am
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.

[Daily happiness]

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 12:20 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
1. Was in Berkeley for a conference, and it was nice to be around campus again!

2. Had braised meat rice for lunch, then got pastries from the Chinese bakery and pearl milk tea, yum. And the lunch place was playing Cpop and made me slightly homesick for Taiwan.

3. Watched The Snake Prince, a Shaw Brothers movie, with CB and [personal profile] jhameia and it is... quite a thing. Let's just say there was much more disco music and dancing than I had expected.

The Good Place 2.1-2.5

Friday, October 20th, 2017 11:49 pm
yhlee: (AtS no angel (credit: <user name="helloi)
[personal profile] yhlee
spoilers )

It's funny--I adore this show but declined to request it for Yuletide. Besides it being a highly jossable canon, what I really want is bona fide philosophy neepery, and I'm pretty sure 99% of the fandom wants to write about relationships. There's plenty of shipfic I would read for this fandom, but I really really want philosophy neepery. And, I mean, 2.5 was basically my Platonic ideal in terms of episode content.

Query

Friday, October 20th, 2017 10:04 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
All my life I've been niggled by the worry that the Egyptians were right about the afterlife, and that everybody we've excavated is now wandering around naked and hungry.  Anybody else? 

(no subject)

Friday, October 20th, 2017 03:56 pm
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

I know I've been talking about Persona 5 a lot — probably because I can't play it as much as I want, with all the house work going on.

Anyway, another thing I dig about it is the villains so far, and their downfalls. Morgana's original explanation of stealing peoples' "hearts" was a little abstract, but what it's starting to look like is we're really stealing the motivation that lets them internally justify their crimes, leaving them with no psychic defense against their own conscience. Like, the taste they've been chasing turns to sawdust in their mouths.

So far, that means they've been overcome with remorse and shame, and end up confessing their crimes on their own. And... I'm playing with the Japanese audio track enabled, so IDK if the English dub is as good with this, but, damn, those confession scenes are actually kind of gruesome to watch! They're raw as fuck! I have to keep reminding myself that their pain is all self-inflicted and we did the right thing, because, woof.

Poem: “Unsheathe”

Friday, October 20th, 2017 05:45 pm
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter
take your hands out of your pockets
touch the world
let your edges tingle
awake
primed to be

_
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

If All of My Friends Jumped Off a Meme . . .

Friday, October 20th, 2017 03:49 pm
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
. . . I probably would, too. Some of the time, anyhow.

Snagged from [personal profile] rahirah:

Tattoos: No
Surgeries: tonsils out; gall bladder out; plate put in broken arm
Broken bones: See “broken arm”, above
Shot a gun: Yes, once.
Quit a job: Yes
Flown on a plane: Yes
100+ miles in car: The nearest town with a proper stop light is a 100-mile round trip from here, so yes. Often. (Also once across the width of the US from Virginia to California, in midwinter when all the passes north of the southern border were closed due to snow.)
Gone zip lining: No
Watched someone give birth: No, unless doing it myself counts
Watched someone dying: No
Ridden in an ambulance: Yes
... Canada: Yes
... to Europe: Yes (well, England, which counted at the time)
... to Washington D.C: Yes
... to Florida: Yes
... to Colorado: Yes
... to Mexico: Yes
... to Las Vegas: No
Sang karaoke: No
Had a pet: Yes
Been downhill skiing: No
Gone snowboarding: No
Ability to read music: Yes
Rode a motorcycle: No
Rode a horse: Yes, once.
Stayed in a hospital: Yes
Ride in police car: No
Driven a boat: No
Seen a UFO: No
Been on a cruise: No
Run out of gas: Yes
Eaten sushi: Oh, yes.
Seen a ghost: No

The Frightening Friday Five

Friday, October 20th, 2017 02:13 pm
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
https://thefridayfive.dreamwidth.org/73063.html

What book frightened you as a young person?
None I can remember.

If you had to become a ‘living book’ (i.e. able to recite the contents of a book cover to cover upon request – reference Fahrenheit 451), what book would it be?
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy, poetry

What movie or TV show scared you as a kid?
The Outer Limits. I’d watch with my older sister and she told me when it was safe to lower my hands from my eyes.

What movie (scary or otherwise) will you never ever watch?
Silence of the lambs et seq

Do you have any phobias?
Centipedes, millipedes, and other Myriapodae make me recoil and squeal a little.

Post on Omniscient POV

Friday, October 20th, 2017 01:34 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Posting on the fly here--workshop still going on.

But recently Cat Rambo read my book Inda and asked me
>for a mini-interview on omni POV
. A subject I am always intensely interested in discussing.

i was beaten to death, bleeding to death with regret

Friday, October 20th, 2017 12:34 pm
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
I meant to link to this yesterday: 5 things Obi-Wan should have told Luke instead of lies. #obi-wan's casual relationship with the truth

Leaving aside all Doylistic reasons (i.e., that at the time, Lucas had no idea Obi-Wan was lying about anything!), given canon as it currently stands, I feel like I can only blame Obi-Wan for not clearing up 1 (Darth Vader is your father) and 5 (Princess Leia is your sister). More on that below but first, I will quickly dispatch the others:

- 2. Owen was Anakin's stepbrother and they only met once is irrelevant to Luke's situation, because Owen and Beru raised Luke and loved him and were his family in all ways that matter. Otoh, this part: Obi-Wan could have saved himself a lot of time by just telling the kid that he was hidden away to protect him from the Empire, and now it's time to step out I can agree with. That would have been perfect and not in any way set Owen and Beru up against Luke's father's 'ideals,' whatever those were meant to be at the time/according to Obi-Wan.

- 3. Yeah, it would have been great if Obi-Wan gave Luke some background on the Jedi Order, but I feel like there was time for that later, in ghostly chats during downtime or while training with Yoda. I don't know if you lead with philosophy and history when rescuing the princess and destroying the planet-killing space station are the top two things on your to-do list. And Luke spent a few weeks with Yoda so we don't really know what else he was taught aside from all the running and the handstands. He seemed to be doing all right in RotJ anyway, some Force-choking aside.

- 4. I don't think Obi-Wan was advising Luke to bury his feelings forever and ever. Luke may have interpreted it that way (certainly Anakin seemed to, despite ten years of Jedi training), so much as he was saying, don't let them overwhelm you while you're fighting the Emperor and Vader, because they will use your feelings and Leia against you if they can. And he's not wrong - Luke does get overwhelmed when Vader picks up on the whole 'sister' thing, but then he masters himself and wins out, at least in terms of 1. not dying and 2. bringing Vader back to the light. I feel like Coach Taylor lays it out best: "Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He's gonna fight and he's gonna lose. What makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle, he does not lose himself."

Now, the two lies that actually did some damage and Obi-Wan should have pulled on his big boy pants and told the truth (speaking from an in-text/Watsonian perspective):

1. "Darth Vader is your father" - I absolutely understand to some degree why Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to tell Luke this, especially not early on. And I don't need to rehash all the reasons why for Obi-Wan it was not even really a lie! Why he could weasel around with "from a certain point of view" and still look his ghost-self in the ghost-mirror. I mean, I can if you want me to! I'm happy to discuss Obi-Wan at any time! but I feel like it is, like, 93% irrelevant to this particular discussion, because once Luke was leaving for Bespin, it was CRUCIAL that he have all the facts going into that confrontation, and he didn't and it cost him dearly. It didn't even need to be Obi-Wan who told him! he could have kept on with his "I'm not mad I'm just disappointed" bit as Luke left if he really needed to for his own peace of mind.

But Yoda should have done it instead of being cryptic and discouraging, and while I'm not anti-Yoda as so many people are, I do think he made a huge mistake there, and did so willfully instead of genuinely. I think it shows on both their parts that they continued to misunderstand what drove Anakin Skywalker (despite, on Obi-Wan's part, knowing him really well) and also a real unwillingness to question their own worldviews despite having them upended so terribly. I mean, twenty years of meditating in the desert/the swamp over everything that went wrong (and no doubt with a side order of routine self-flagellation for Obi-Wan, at least), and it never occurred to either of them to think, well, Anakin never did anything the way we expected, so why should he be a Sith in the expected way? (and remember, he's not actually that great at being a Sith.)

5. "Leia is your sister." I mean, I guess he'd been alone in the desert for 19 years, so maybe it wouldn't have occurred to him that cute teenagers in adrenaline-fueled and dangerous situations might end up kissing and stuff! Especially when BOTH of them were Skywalkers. I mean, he knew Anakin met Padme when he was 9 and was like, "She's the one for me!" and ten years later, actually made it happen, so I don't know what he was thinking when he neglected to mention that the girl currently inspiring Luke to radical notions of overthrowing the Empire was none other than his sister. It would have at least avoided some awkward situations and the potential for a very different sort of family tragedy, anyway. ("One more date and we would've had a Greek tragedy on our hands." - Soapdish) I guess he was just really confident in Han Solo's charms to win the princess's heart in the end? *g*

***
lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
[personal profile] lannamichaels
1) make the days REALLY REALLY BIG because of course I need to know the calendar day. But not month...

1a) remove the month from the day heading, because of course I don't need to know what month a day is in (it does this even on the "month changes during the week" weeks, going from 31 (for October) to 1 (for November), whyyyyy)

2) make the time of day REALLY REALLY SMALL because of course I don't need to know what times things are

3) decide to get REALLY REALLY CONFUSED about how to handle dual calendar systems, even though it had no issue with that before



note: the "all day events" section is tall and mostly empty in the Old Google Calendar one because further on in the week, I have a lot of stacked all day things; that's my RL calendar. The new version is the fandom calendar, which has much fewer things cluttering it up


Old google calendar:
google calendar old version


New google calendar:
google calendar new version

World Fantasy 2017

Friday, October 20th, 2017 09:00 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells


Registration for World Fantasy 2017 in San Antonio ends Oct 21, banquet seats still available until Oct 27, and the final program schedule is now online:

http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/programming/program-schedule/


Panels include:

Paging Doctor Tavener and Carnaki: Occult Detectives Old and Newly Reinvented

Beards and Intrigue: Queering the Historical Fantastic

Exceptional Characters in Horrible Times

Metaphors & Metadata: Libraries in Fantasy Literature

Molly Weasley Was a Bad Ass: Aged Protagonists in Fantasy

From Angry Fairy Queens to Flying Lizard People: An Interview with Toastmaster Martha Wells [Spotlight]

Exploration of Gender in Fantasy

Calamity Jane Defeats Conan—the Persistence of American Folklore in Fantasy Literature

Kitsune & Dragon: Thoughtful Approaches to Alternate Eastern Asias

Greg Manchess: Short Take on a Long Career in Illustration [GoH Spotlight]

Hild and Hilt: the Female Monk, the Lone Woman Protagonist

Hidden Secrets [GoH Spotlight] ( Tananarive Due will discuss the role of history, especially hidden history, in her work and in black horror in general, which is emerging as a sub-genre in the wake of Jordan Peele's Get Out. How horror serves as trauma narratives, or even healing narratives, to help artists and readers come to grips with the past.)

Borrowing from History: Intention and Appropriation

The Role of the City in Fantasy Settings

Religions of the African Diaspora: Beyond Zombies, Ancestors, and Giant Apes.

Urban Legends in the Age of Fake News (Engaging Our Theme IV)

Everybody Was There: Diversity in Fantasy Then and Now

Remembering Zenna Henderson: A Centennial Discussion and Appreciation

Women Authors That Men Don't Read --- Or Do They?

Reinventing the Fantastic Other

Pulp Era Influences: the Expiration Date

New Graphic Novels You Should be Reading

Julian Clare May (1931 - 2017)

Friday, October 20th, 2017 10:03 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Angry Robot Books reports the death of Julian May.

Gratitudes

Friday, October 20th, 2017 09:58 am
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
[personal profile] kass
1. Beautiful sunny morning. Beautiful hills. Beautiful skies.

2. A latte. Because latte.

3. Goofy kid-and-kitten shenanigans this morning before school.

4. Shabbat is coming and I get to have Shabbat dinner with some people I love!

5. The Good Place is on On Demand, so last night I watched the two-part S2 premiere and it made me happy.

How are y'all?

dilemma solved!

Friday, October 20th, 2017 09:29 am
the_shoshanna: pleased-as-punch little girl: "Ta-da!" (ta-da!)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Thanks to everyone who offered guest gift suggestions! So many great possibilities I feel silly for not thinking of; sometimes I get stuck on one thing that won't work, and can't wrench my brain away to look beyond it to things that will.

In the end I went to Ten Thousand Villages (well, Dix Mille Villages) and got a couple of paperweights/worrystones, one engraved "Joy" and the other "Peace." They're pretty and friendly, not so expensive or so cheap as to be embarrassing for anyone, and fitting for a church-related function. Plus they won't be degraded by spending ten hours in the car before being presented! Yay.

And I'm supposed to be on the road in two minutes and I'm not ready yet aaaaaa. Happy weekend, all!

In which bold plans go awry.

Friday, October 20th, 2017 08:30 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I gymmed on my lunch hour yesterday, so my evening would be free for either a haircut or a load of laundry, though probably not both.

It ended up being neither. Oh, well. Those things will keep.

I did eat some delicious pumpkin and tofu red curry, and read this week's Time magazine while in bed under my weighted blanket.

Tonight, I'm going to hear some Reformation-related music from Piffaro and the Rose Ensemble.

happy music

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:32 pm
yhlee: Texas bluebonnet (text: same). (TX bluebonnet (photo: snc2006 on sxc.hu))
[personal profile] yhlee
Because today has been a Day for uninteresting reasons, I present to you a song that makes me happy: Anne Murray's "I Just Fall in Love Again" [Youtube].

(I'm Texan. I grew up on country, okay? ^_^)

Feel free to link to Youtube versions of songs that make you happy! I expect yours are less mushy than mine. ^_^

Today's ambiguity

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Resent" is both how one might feel about being told an email never arrived and also what one might do in response.

Wait

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The month was only half over last weekend. How can it be almost three quarters over only a week later?

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 09:29 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Dreadnought

4/5. Danny is fifteen and trans and very, very closeted. She happens to be present for the death of a superhero, and when his mantle passes to her, it transitions her.

A lot of this is great. Though in the case of Danny’s deteriorating relationship with her parents, “great” also means scary and infuriating. See also: the greatest transphobic threat to Danny’s safety and happiness in this book is arguably from someone who is supposed to be on her side and who claims the banner of feminism, which is painfully spot on.

I kind of wish this wasn’t a superhero book though? Which is not relevant, I realize, since this book is really just what you’d get if you reimagined a Marvel superhero’s origin story to include transness and queerness then wrote it in prose. That’s not a bad thing! But I am 0% interested in the extended – seriously, lengthy – descriptions of all the punching and kicking nonsense. And only minimally interested in superhero tech. And only a touch more interested in the ethics of superpowers conversation. Been there, done that.

So I guess what I’m saying is that this is a great book from a purely representational perspective – yay straight-faced superhero origin story about a transgirl – but I am not interested in straight-faced superhero origin stories these days.

Phone Blues: Could I Use a Mobile Hotspot Instead?

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 05:25 pm
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
My iPad is always within reach, but it doesn't have cellular service. Could I get a mobile hotspot and use it as a phone?
more details )

My long-delayed trip

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:12 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?

Our worst meal in Japan, 2015

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 05:33 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Stephanie from Glamorous in Retrospect | http://wp.me/p5ldry-7l
(Finishing up a few remaining posts before we start our next trip.)

On my first visit to Japan, with a friend, we had the best meal of the trip and the worst meal of the trip within 24 hours of each other. We'd gone to Koya-san, the temple complex, and stayed in a temple for two nights and




Categories: #Japantrip2014-2015
larryhammer: text: "space/time OTP: because their love is everything" (space/time otp)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Exciting times in astronomy and astrophysics:

Electromagnetic and gravitational waves observed together for the first time, from a nova* called GW170817 caused by the collision of two neutron stars. More. Among other really cool results, a demonstration that as Einstein predicted gravitational waves travel at the speed of light.

Half of the mass of the universe, previously missing, has been found hiding between the seat cushions. More. This is the ordinary ("baryonic") matter we know about and are -- we were pretty sure it had to be somewhere, based on models of the universe, but couldn't see it because it's not hot (i.e., inside stars) and so isn't bright -- as opposed to the still-unobserved "dark matter" that we think is causing other, weirder effects. (via)

New hypothesis about knots in the early universe suggests that they provide an answer to both why the universe is three dimensional (knots can only form in 3D spaces -- they can be unraveled in higher dimensional spaces) and what powered the early inflationary universe. (via)


* Technically a kilonova.


---L.

Subject quote from "Break It Down Again," Tears for Fears.

No excuses every day

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 09:37 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Cannot quite work up the oomph to fix my various Wordpress problems.
Yesterday was a nice office day, tho my face still hurt I had a good afternoon there.
The smoke blew away from here over night and now it's foggy and rainy. I can't find my face mask.

I'm on 100mg neurontin at night for the face nerve pain from shingles. Taking it at 7pm isn't quite early enough (i am still groggy and weird feeling now) I'd like to go off it by the end of next week or decrease the dosage. My face really hurts..... and is cold sensitive. I need one of those microwaveable pillows.... my old one got moldy I think. the actual heating pad is huge (the size of my entire back) and rough textured. My eye is twitching.... it feels tired. I guess all the muscles around my painful face are tensing up. The skin is not too bad now but the pain has moved to a deep ache in my jaw like a toothache.

Working in little fits & starts on my new writing project (a novel)

Actual work still looming though right now I have a little bit of a break. (mid cycle, no dot release so far for 56, the lull before a big push to release 57)

Nazi rally in Gainesville is pissing me off. Hundreds of cops mobilized for this bullshit. It just helps militarize the situation even more.

Reading - Squirrel Girl novel, which was beautiful! Last night read The Lucky Stiff by Craig Rice and this morning The Fourth Postman. Hardboiled detective. But also funny! Craig Rice is Georgiana Craig.

October 2017

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