I actually posted! And since I never do that probably no-one will see it if I don't link, so: Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night is a modern-day-London fantasy novella in which a Hindu woman and a Jewish non-binary person have to find their missing boyfriend, by authors who also write fic (one of them introduced the sedoretu to fandom), so it is extremely relevant to many of your interests. It's great, go check it out.
My new motivational reminder is "be the competence porn you want to see in the world," because I realized that I get the same nice warm glow when I accomplish what I know that I'm capable of. (Shocking, I know.) We'll see how long that is effective.
Meanwhile, rec your favorite competence porn, ideally text because time and access, and ideally not dude-heavy, as I have just finished an Aubrey-Maturin skim/skip re-read and am likely about to embark on a Dick Francis binge.
Also, speaking of Dick Francis, rec me your favorites. I think all I've read is Proof--or at least if I've read more, I don't remember a thing about them. I've already checked rachelmanija's tag and seen skygiants's review of The Edge.
Chris Hemsworth (in recent-Thor mode) would be the perfect Jack Aubrey, y/y?
Maturin . . . look, I think it's important that Maturin be scrawny. And I'm not particularly up on scrawny European dudes? So I've got nothing there.
Going purely off looks, Diana can be Katie McGrath (I haven't actually seen anything she's been in). Sophie's tall, so she can be Elizabeth Debicki, who does a nice coming-into-her-own arc in Widows.
And I spent all afternoon standing outside in the cold and I need to go to sleep now. Please feel free to contribute your own fancasts in comments (and to move the series in space and time so we can racebend).
( SPOILERS for Wein's The Winter Prince; series spoilers in comments )
Oh, and I am trying to update the booklog: here's a pretty short entry about this year's Tiptree winner.
Edit: solved in comments!
and, now in progress:
Enjoy. (I will update this post as needed, to have everything in one place.)
( Read more... )
*goes back to attacking stuckitude*
I'm not sure the technical name for the format she's up to--about 80-120 pages, slightly wider than a standard mass market paperback, an illustration every chapter or so. The series we're just finishing, Beast Quest, says 7-10 years on the back, as does the one before that, Underworlds (Tony Abbott).
Natural disasters, secondary-world fantasy, and portal fantasies are the last three sub-genres she's read, I think, and mystery is okay too. And the female characters have to be the protagonists, not the sidekicks, especially not the sidekicks who keep needing to get rescued.
She has a Franny K. Stein book from her teacher, so if she likes that there's more of those. Oh, and she liked the first Creepella Von Cacklefur book, so I'll get more of those.
Ideally the prose would also be non-awful, but I made it through the Underworlds series, so I can make it through some similar non-grammatical and clunky stuff to get her girl action heroes.
(Note age/format limits, please; i.e., don't recommend Tamora Pierce. And if you're going to say "she's the sidekick but she's cool," please don't.)
I have to start generating draft post link dumps as I post things to G+.
You should be reading Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his movie criticism, regardless of whether you want to see the movies he's writing about. Here he is about the truly appalling Ted 2:
For people of color, some aspect of friendship with white people involves an awareness that you could be dropped through a trapdoor of racism at any moment, by a slip of the tongue, or at a campus party, or in a legislative campaign. But it’s not always anticipated. You don’t expect the young white man who’s been seated alongside you in a house of worship to take your life because you’re black. Nor do you expect that a movie about an obscene teddy bear would invoke a sexual stereotype forced upon you the way Kunta Kinte was forced to become “Toby” [in Roots].
And as a palate cleanser, his review of Magic Mike XXL.
The AV Club's Random Roles series is almost always great. Here's Diana Riggs, who I've never even seen on screen and who I now want to be when I grow up.
I also love their Expert Witness series; here's a recent one on being a second-unit director on Hollywood blockbusters and one I somehow missed on from a camera operator on the Puppy Bowl.
I don't watch Penny Dreadful but glvalentine's recaps of it are worthy of live-blogging on their own. The one about the most recent episode contains such gems as "Somehow opting not to just go full Gothic and have sex in front of the corpse" and "(He had so much trouble just facing his mother’s death that he made three more people. Then he had sex with at least one of them. The man is troubled.)"
This review of For Such a Time by Kate Breslin makes you wonder how on Earth anyone could possibly think that it was a good idea. (Content notes: Holocaust, dubcon.)
Palate cleanser: absolutely hilarious Imperial Radch AU by Rachel Swirsky.
@AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social-Media Experiment, an interesting look at the growth of that Twitter account and what the academic behind it decided to do with the social capital it had.
Yakhchāls: "By 400 BCE, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert."
A Mostly Accurate Norse God Family Tree, in comic form, with research notes. A.K.A., "TIL that Odin's grandparent was a cow."
The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction, an interview with someone whose work was appropriated by Supernatural fandom.
Did my boyfriend just get married? on AskMetaFilter; search the poster's username for updates.
What This Cruel War Was Over, the meaning of the Confederate flag in the plain words of those who bore it.
Back when the news that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman broke, I said elsewhere,
The thing is, I don't really care about casting for Batman because Batman is fundamentally a boring character. All he is, is a vehicle for manpain and an opportunity for more interesting people to aggregate around him. (Usually people who deserve a better protagonist.)
Superman's boring too. So there.
*drops mic, walks offstage*
Know anyone starting law school or thinking about it? Recommend to them A Student's Guide to Law School, freshly-published and written by a co-worker and one of the smarter people and better attorneys I know (and I know a lot of smart people and good attorneys).
A writer at the A.V. Club is dismayed to revisit the first Xanth book (because it may not be obvious if you're not familiar with Piers Anthony's work: trigger warning for discussions of pedophilia):
Here’s how this article was supposed to go down: As a kid, I lived in Florida. Back then I loved the books of Piers Anthony . . . . For this installment of Memory Wipe, I was going to reread A Spell For Chameleon . . . . Then, in poignant prose, I would revisit the magic of my own Floridian childhood, even though that childhood was actually pretty fucked up, but maybe not quite as fucked up as it seemed at the time. The big takeaway: Thanks, Piers Anthony, for the swell book, not mention giving me a tidy epiphany about how fantasy, geography, and nostalgia overlap in the hazy mists of reminiscence.
Instead, this happened: I reread A Spell For Chameleon, and during those excruciating hours all I could think about was what a sad, misogynistic piece of shit it is.
It seems like realizing the awfulness of Piers Anthony is a rite of passage among people who read SFF when young, so I offer it to you all for the sympathetic wince/cathartic rant factor.
Also because of this:
Ultimately, Anthony is the worst kind of misogynist: one who defends his offensive views by saying, in essence, how could he possibly hate women if he’s drooling over them all the time?
I'm not convinced that that's the "worst" kind, but it is a particularly infuriating kind, and it strikes me as relevant to sexual harassment. And that is on my mind because of recent revelations of sexual harassment by Bora Zivkovic, a very prominent man in the science blogging community (context). The most recent report (with links back to others) is by Kathleen Raven. Among other things, this prompted a massive Twitter conversation of people sharing personal tales of self-doubt caused by even much milder forms of harassment (on Storify, or try #ripplesofdoubt if you hate Storify for long things the way I do). Difficult stuff, but worth reading if consistent with your well-being.
(To be clear: Bora is not, at present, using this defense, though I am morally certain that someone somewhere has offered it on his behalf. Reading these links in the same day merely made an association that seemed a useful transition.)
Fallen London players, follow this link for a tiny gift from a Rubbery Man (one not generally available since 2010, can you believe this game has been around that long?), and check out your Lodgings for some seasonal content.
I think about unfollowing Elementary's writers on Twitter every Thursday, when they live-tweet the show that I don't have time to watch. But it doesn't seem worth the effort, and they do things like last week's "feud" with the writers of Sleepy Hollow, which was adorable and hilarious. And then this afternoon they started in with the knock-knock jokes and I gave up and followed @sleepywriters too just so I didn't miss anything . . .
(I have not seen Sleepy Hollow; I appreciate the comparisons everyone's making between it and Elementary regarding the dynamics of the lead pairs, but I've given up trying to watch anything but Elementary and Face Off, and I'm also a little dubious about the mythological elements that abigail_n points out. As for SHIELD and Korra, I'm letting those scroll off the DVR, and if someone tells me they get to be worth watching, I will pick them up from that point.)
A Dark Room is a really neat minimalist web game about discovery and exploration. I hesitate to say too much about it because of those themes, but it's not too long or demanding and has a definite end, and the minimalism works very well for it. (You should run it in a browser tab that can stay open while you're away from your computer.)
ETA: now some spoilers in comments.
ETA 2013-08: apparently there are some content differences in the iOS app which sound very much not my thing.
‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Mother of George,’ and the aesthetic politics of filming black skin, a fascinating article at the Washington Post about the racism embedded in the very "technology and grammar of cinema and photography."
In the movie version of Chicago, the bandleader introduces "When You're Good to Mama" thusly: "And now, ladies and gentlemen—the Keeper of the Keys, the Countess of the Clink, the Mistress of Murderers' Row: Matron Mama Morton!"
Which almost scans to "The Watcher of the Seals. The Flame of Tar Valon. The Amyrlin Seat. Egwene al'Vere!"
I will leave the resulting filk to someone else, and let you all admire Queen Latifah's everything:
The AV Club has a review. I imagine it's only in limited release, what with the whole "French animated movie about a cat who gains the power of speech by eating a parrot in 1930s Algeria and immediately distresses his owner, a rabbi, by lying" thing, but if it's not playing in your area now would be a good time to check out the absolutely charming graphic novels that it's based on.
and have written it up over at the booklog, which has been dormant so long one might reasonably have thought it defunct, but I really want people to gossip with, so I am taking the moderately-rare step of posting links here: non-spoiler post, spoiler post.
I'll leave comments on here at DW in case of technical glitches at the book log, but please do take substantial discussion there. Thanks.
- I have a Starveling Cat in Echo Bazaar now! Thank you again, yhlee. I can't express how much this amuses me. Anyone who's playing that I don't already know, leave your username in comments and I'll follow you under my game account.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (recorded off cable, half-watched while stitching) is not a very good movie. Granted, it wasn't a very good book. But I wouldn't have thought it possible to make the action sequences of the ending so boring on-screen.
- Reinventing the stitching wheel, part 25 in a series: linen turns out to not be a good fabric for blackwork.
- My car needs major repairs for the second time this year. I will not have put enough money into it to equal the payments I would have made on a new car this year, but I'm worried that I'm on the downward slide (it's a 2003 Prius with almost 94K miles). And I'm sad that I no longer love it. Any suggestions for feeling happy with one's older car again?
- The problem with Horton Hatches the Egg is that Horton is a Mary Sue, specifically the kind where the virtue of the protagonist is demonstrated by piling absurd pain and indignity on top of absurd pain and indignity. (Like an early Mercedes Lackey novel, or an SGA post-"Trinity" fic, except that Horton hasn't blown up a solar system.)
- I haven't done a SteelyKid post in ages, so those of you who don't follow Chad's blog won't have seen this recent picture. I have to point it out because it is so characteristic: open book, bare feet (she will not wear socks if she has a choice about it), random item of clothing she saw and insisted on wearing, stuffed animals, and big grin. That's our toddler.
So I'm trying to actually read some short fiction before nominating for the Hugos this year, partly because I don't have a lot of time and partly because I'm not very enthusiastic about 2009 novels as a whole.
- The Nebula ballot;
- Niall Harrison's draft ballot;
- Abigail Nussbaum's draft ballot and links therein;
- The recommendation thread at Scalzi's.
I have a copy of the anthology Federations which I am slowly working my way through. I've put in a library request for Firebirds Soaring because papersky's story in it is getting a lot of attention.
So: What have you read that you've liked? What have you published that's eligible? (If you're modest, you can post your eligible lists separately from your recommended lists. I want to know what my friends have published.) Either links or names of things I can get from the library, please. I'm not going to go buying back issues of magazines at this point.
Things I've read so far that I've liked—not a draft ballot, note, and I still have a lot of things left to read even from the above-mentioned sources:
- "Carthago Delenda Est," Genevieve Valentine, Federations
- "Bespoke," Genevieve Valentine, Strange Horizons (dilemma! I think I like "Carthago" better, but "Bespoke" is getting more buzz, so, strategy-wise . . . )
- "Different Day," K. Tempest Bradford, Federations
- "Élan Vital," K. Tempest Bradford, Sybil’s Garage No. 6
- "Non-Zero Probabilities," N. K. Jemisin, Clarkesworld
So: go read those, and tell me what to read!
(If you absolutely can't stop yourself, go ahead and rec novels too, but I think I'm pretty well up on the possibilities there (things I have read or am reading but have not booklogged yet are in this LibraryThing collection) and I'd really prefer you focus on short fiction.)
We're still giving away books, though obviously I can't guarantee that they'll be shipped out immediately. I've added a few things, too, including an ARC of J.M. McDermott's Last Dragon (booklog) because I couldn't finish it and I feel guilty.
Request books at the linked post per the directions there.
There are some things I'm pleased about (The Arrival for Best Related Book! *waves rooting flag*), but my principal reaction to the Novel list is to be glad I'm not voting this year. I plan to read The Yiddish Policeman's Union and Brasyl, but my reaction to the other three—Rollback (Sawyer), The Last Colony (Scalzi), and Halting State (Stross)—is a collective "enh, more of the same." For personal, just finishing breakfast values thereof, though I suspect this is also affected by not seeing any of my novel nominees on the list.
(Post-shower clarification about the three S's: I'm allergic to Stross's fiction, and have decided not to read Scalzi's fiction for reasons that—trust me—have no application or relevance to anyone else. I don't think I need to explan about Sawyer.)
- 25% off accessories at the Palm store.
- New hardcover omnibus of Barry Hughart's Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox forthcoming from Subterraenean Press.
(If you just want to read the first draft of Bridge of Birds (narrated by a nineteen-year-old Master Li!), it's available from this fan site.)