media log of late

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 11:57 pm
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
N.K. Jemisin, _The Fifth Season_: Incredibly vivid world in which there is constant seismic and volcanic activity; civilization is problematic thereby. Also, there is magic and consequences and constant difficulty and death and disappeared children and, in addition, really good written structure. She's doing a little stunt writing, but unlike Gael Baudino, there's a purpose and reasons for it, and it works.

(Somehow, I figured out the spoiler was a spoiler ) Without reading any commentary about it beforehand! I don't really know why; intuition poking at things missing, basically.)

So anyway: Orogenes control various natural phenomena, mostly earthquakes, and are hated and feared by most of the population. Some orogenes just hang out and are bad at their powers, and often get killed by the non-orogenes; others get inducted into, basically, Orogene Academy and get subsumed into an abusive relationship with their powers and the hierarchical system of the Fulcrum. There's three narrators, all of them orogenes, one in second person for apparently no good reason until the end of the book, but I put it down to stunt writing and was able to enjoy it anyway. Narrator spoilage )

NK Jemisin, _The Obelisk Gate_: Even more becomes clear. Also, the character throughline is expanded on, so that helps. And the book leveled up, in terms of world building. (The characters didn't, so much, but Much Was Revealed, and the world was expanded.)

A few weeks later, N. K. Jemisin, _The Stone Sky_: This, again, leveled up in the world building. Some spoilers. )

I wasn’t enjoying it as much as a book, because I wasn’t invested in the Very Long Ago past bits, and the narrator was not gripping me, and then I snapped into caring again right near the end, and ouch.

This series was hard. Some slightly spoilery talk about why. ) But really worth reading. (Also, it won three Hugos, and I was going to argue with that, but the books expand and change the context of the world so much and so effectively that I think I won’t. But I’m glad the last one is the one that won a Nebula; it deserved it.)

Jo Walton, _The Just City_: I needed a break from the Jemisin, because it is unrelenting, so I instead read about some Greek Gods being Greek Gods, and trying to see if the Just City from Plato's Republic could be made to actually work. Involves, among other things, consent and lack thereof, the meaning of slavery, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's various theories of syncretistic divinity, what it means to live your best life, and whether machines can be conscious, thinking beings. Also, there is A spoiler being a spoiler )(...of course.)

Jo Walton does not write gorgeous sentences, but she *thinks* about everything very hard. I appreciate this. Also, I was right that it was a relief from the unrelentingness of the Jemisin. It's not *light*, but it is ... optimistic? Certainly less grindy.

Jo Walton, _The Philosopher Kings_: I was unable to read this for whole DAYS due to not being able to get it from the library. (Woe!) And then A spoiler made me sad. )Sadness is.

But, it does mean that in addition to questions of consent, slavery, and the nature of souls and divinity, it gets to talk about grief, grieving, and appropriate and inappropriate vengeance.

Some of the vengeance bits made me acutely uncomfortable, as they were meant to.

I was enjoying this less, in part because of the vengeance factor, and then suddenly, a spoiler appeared! ) and it became 50,000 times better. This scene caused me glee.

I don't like Walton's Athena, but, then I go on about spoilers )Now I wish Walton would write Hera, just so I could start to like *her*, too.

Jo Walton, _Necessity_: In which the trilogy becomes far more overtly SFnal, as opposed to a thought experiment tinged with fantasy elements. (Though, of course, even in the 1st two books, there were sentient machines, so my distinctions possibly aren't so useful.) There's aliens, time travel problems, new and novel ways not to cause time travel paradox, and questions of first contact. Also, found family, confusion, and sudden awesome-tastic resolutions and resistance to Gods. (Well, one specific God.) Which god? )

ALSO! One of the viewpoint characters is one of the aforementioned sentient machines, and he is *the best*. Dry, occasional biting wit, observant, and his own kind of alien. Crocus 4-eva.

I found some of the writing in the non-Crocus bits a little unfocused, though I can’t remember why now that I’m writing this up weeks later.

Zen Cho, _Sorceror To The Crown_: I found myself temporarily unable to acquire the second of Walton's odes to Grecian philosophy (because my local libraries are not open on Sundays), so I read this instead. For awhile, it felt like a fairly standard regency-era fantasy with some romance, but then about 2/3 of the way through I noticed that it was hilarious, biting, incisive, and terrifically fun. (Also, there were dragons. They are best.)

Mind you, even before I let it grab me, it was a regency fantasy with a black ex-slave as the head thaumaturge in a faux 1800s England, so one can imagine it was not precisely standard even before it became exceptionally good. Said head thaumaturge is named Zacharias Wythe; his ward is Prunella Gentlewoman, who has a mysterious past but who was raised by the headmistress of a school for young women whose parents wish to suppress their magic. Proper young ladies should not, you see, use magic. Societal conventions and Prunella don't get along very well, however. Events ensue.

Its sequel just came out, though apparently it's mostly about other, newer characters.

Visual media: I watched all of Bab5 Season 5 with the Mark Watches crew, and wanted, as per usual, to garrotte Byron, but I really liked Captain Lochley this time, yay! When I first watched it, I only knew Tracey Scoggins from her (really annoying) turn as Cat Grant on _Lois and Clark_, and also I had a grudge because no Ivanova, so I didn’t give her a chance. But she really was good.

And I didn’t think _Sleeping in Light_ was all that maudlin, either. Though even I admit, four different farewell episodes, all in all, was a bit much.

Now the Mark Watches crew is watching Crusade and I suddenly stopped watching things after Sleeping In Light, so I have to catch up this weekend, or anyway, soon.


Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:51 pm
fanweeklymod: (Default)
[personal profile] fanweeklymod posting in [community profile] fandomweekly
Here are the entries for this week's challenge:

List of entries )

In order to vote, please reply to this post using the form provided. All comments are screened, and entries are listed in the order they were submitted. For your vote to qualify, you must fill out your entire voting card (all three spots) in order to be counted. First place votes are worth 3 points, second place votes are worth 2 points, and third place votes are worth 1 point. Meeting the bonus goal on an entry gets an extra point for that submission.

When voting, please copy/paste the ENTRY NUMBER and the FIC TITLE from the list above into the spot you're voting for (this prevents accidentally mis-numbering a vote and casting it for the wrong entry). It should look like this:

First Place: 61. Fic Title Here
Second Place: 88. Another Fic Title
Third Place: 47. Finally a third fic title goes here

Please note that you cannot vote for your own entry, and that votes cannot be made anonymously. You do not have to be a member of the community in order to vote, nor have submitted an entry for this week; everyone is welcome to participate in the voting. IP addresses are logged to prevent duplicate voting.

Voting closes Wednesday, April 24th, at 9:00PM EST.

My office floor is covered in manga O_O

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 10:44 pm
umadoshi: (hands full of books)
[personal profile] umadoshi
...or at least it was when I got home after supper tonight. I've managed to shift it around at least somewhat, so it's not all on the floor ("all" meaning "all the manga that actually lives in my office", since there's another bookcase in the spare room).

After our first scheduled appointment to have heat pumps installed was canceled due to rain, it was rescheduled to today, and for some reason it actually happened even though it rained like hell today. ([personal profile] scruloose theorizes that it's because the first day's rain included a lot of wind and some thunder and lightning, and today's didn't, and ladders were involved.)

I wasn't home for the work being done (thankfully), and the good news is that a) AFAIK it's all looking good (one small component is still on order), b) the overall upheaval was relatively minimal given how much this is going to theoretically change the place (overhaul of the heating system, plus the addition of A/C and dehumidifying), and c) the cats seem to have made it through their day confined to the spare room with minimal upset, although they're clearly not pleased.

But what we had not really expected--because [personal profile] scruloose tried to find out in advance, and it sounded like it ~probably~ wouldn't be a problem--was that my office bookcases would need to be completely unloaded, unbolted from the wall, and moved. (The theory had been that there was enough room above the bookcases for the installers to work.) And thus the manga wound up covering an alarming amount of the floor (under dropcloths). looks like less manga when it's all semi-tidily shelved. On the floor, it appears infinite. And now it's pretty badly out of order (not as badly as it could've been! [personal profile] scruloose took a decent stab at keeping series together despite having several contractors waiting on the shelves being emptied), and there was no good way to preserve the "system" I had going where the volumes lying flat in stacks were the ones I hadn't read. And I've been slowly pruning the collection back further, which I would've sped up had I known I would have to reorganize it all.

I guess now is really the time to decide whether I'm going to shake up my system and separate out all the series I've worked on into their own section of the shelves, rather than keeping them interspersed with everything else.

The day also involved the aforementioned (kinda chilly) rain, my work computer taking an hour to update before I could do anything at the office, and going with [personal profile] scruloose to get our taxes done. (We really like our accountant. We really like the things that result from paying taxes, like roads and education and basically everything. But the actual moment of "we owe HOW much???" [because of how I manage my freelance stuff] is still very, very painful.)

BUT after all that, we went out for ramen and things with Ginny, Kas, and Sea, and getting to hang out and have tasty food was lovely, and it was excellent weather for having ramen in.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin and Pooh floating in a upturned  umbrella , with the word Ahoy in the corner (The Brain of Pooh)
[personal profile] forestofglory
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 R and I started watching this with the plan to finish it before WisCon. We’ve watched 4 or 5 episodes so far. At this point this season is goofier and lighter than season 1 and feels a bit more like other Treks I’ve watched. There’s more focus on ethical dilemmas and such witch is very Star Trek focus. Also there are many many awesome older women. Some of them are mothers though none of them raising small children. Still it's good to see more fictional moms. I hope some of the awesome older ladies get to interact with each other.

Golden Kamuy up vol 8 by Satoru Noda This all that’s currently been translated into English so I have to stop here for the moment. I’m still really enjoying the historical setting and all food details. However these volumes got pretty gruesome and also spent a lot of time alway form core character hanging out with less nice people. And there were some villainous tragic queers. So that wasn’t great. But I do like the main characters and will probably read more when it is available.

Yotsuba&!, Vols 8-9 by Kiyohiko Azuma Still very cute! I have few more volumes out form the library.

Not For Use In Navigation: Thirteen Stories by Iona Datt Sharma I am working my way very slowly through this. "Akbar learns to Read and Write" was lovely meditation on learning. I have one novella "Quarter Days", left I've read it before so I know its really good. But I’ve gotten sick and this isn’t the kind of thing I can read when sick -- to much detail to miss. So something to look forward to when I feel better.

I also got a couple of the Hugo shortlisted art books out of the library. I wouldn’t have called The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition an art book but it sure is pretty. Makes me want to do an Earthsea reread. Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History is fun to look at for nostalgia but not really my favorite kind of art.

And I’ve read quite lot of Guardian fic. Maybe I need a way to keep track of the fic that I read? I don’t k

Best JJBA moments of AB

Monday, 22 April 2019 08:00 pm
momijizukamori: (shitty goth dad)
[personal profile] momijizukamori
- The extremely tall Giorno at the Friday shoot (like, easily 6'6". TALL BOY)
- The older couple cosplaying Oldseph and Suzie Q at the shoot
- Honestly, most of the Friday shoot, even if it was chaos (the assigned space was waaaay too small for the number of people who showed up, so there was wrangling)
- Giving all my trash children bucellati
- Kira who organized the shoot: I just took a cookie from Abbaccio and stuffed it in my mouth without questioning or thinking
- Getting distracted like four times on our drunken wander from the Sheraton bar to video gaming by moar jojos
- Very drunk friend who has not reached part 5: *squinting at Doppio and Diavolo cosplayers we ran into* Are they the same character???
Me: ....Yes... and no. You're too drunk for me to explain. Actually I'm not sure I could even if you were sober.
- The Mista who like, clocked themselves in the face attempting to hastily salute us outside video gaming
- Finally meeting one of the other JJBA fans in my local EGL comm (who has excellent taste in characters)
- The Bruno wearing a DARE t-shirt that we ran into
- The way any conversation about JJBA just attracts more jojos fans
- Going to the Gender Bending Fashion exhibit at the MFA on Monday and just picking out what jojos character would wear what

(hopefully I'll post photos eventually but it turns out I'm very bad at selfies and didn't get any myself)


Tuesday, 23 April 2019 06:43 pm
yhlee: ashhawk (black phoenix) in flames (hxx emblem Kel)
[personal profile] yhlee
Does anyone want to suggest me music suitable for listening to while coding a Twine game about Cheris and Kel Academy?

IMPORTANT NOTE: I don't hear lyrics; I respond to the mood of the music. I'm thinking something cinematic. I also prefer music not to be glitchy/noisy/shouty/screamy--there's nothing wrong with genres like punk/metal/etc., but they're not for me.

Right now, as a stopgap, I'm listening to Clamavi De Profundis (hat-tip to [personal profile] telophase).

[ SECRET POST #4491 ]

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 06:43 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #4491 ⌋

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


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 21 secrets from Secret Submission Post #643.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

playtest call for Heretical Geese

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 04:18 pm
yhlee: (hxx geese 1)
[personal profile] yhlee
Hello! [personal profile] ursula and I are entering a cowritten tabletop RPG game jam that is GOOSE-themed (the honking bird kind, not goosing people). We would like to round up a playtest group for either this Saturday or the weekend of May 18 (or both?).

The game is more or less hexarchate- and ethics-themed (specifically Shuos). The rules are two pages long. Play would run either on Discord or Google Hangouts, whatever is agreeable to the group.

Please PM me or email me (requiescat at gmail dot com) if you're interested in volunteering and I'll give you more info.

HONK! :3

New flashfic: Love Touch (R-rated)

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 08:10 am
china_shop: Zhao Yunlan suggestively biting the tip of his thumb (Guardian - thumb-biting)
[personal profile] china_shop posting in [community profile] sid_guardian
Apparently tentacles weren't enough? Here's some more schmoopy Dixing-powered sex:

Love Touch
~1,570 words, R-rated, Shen Wei/Zhao Yunlan, established relationship. Much thanks to [personal profile] trobadora for beta. No spoilers.

Summary: Along with everything else Shen Wei is, he’s a scientist, and he’s been accumulating Dixing talents for decades. At least some of them have practical applications far beyond fighting bad guys, but as far as Zhao Yunlan knows, he’s had precious few occasions to really try them out.

Zhao Yunlan is more than happy to be his guinea pig. Really, it’s the least he can do.

English Guardian Fic Masterlist

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:32 pm
naye: a handshake: shen wei & zhao yunlan (guardian - hands)
[personal profile] naye posting in [community profile] sid_guardian
With the help of [personal profile] flamebyrd's fantastic bookmarklet I went ahead and pulled all the Guardian fic listed as being in English off AO3 into one single spreadsheet, then manually weeded out all the non-English stories that had ended up in that list.

The curated result might be helpful for those who (like me) want to keep track of what they have and haven't read, and get an overview of all the amazing fics this fandom has to offer:

English Guardian fic on AO3 Masterlist

The curated list currently has 601 stories ranging from 100 to over 90,000 words, for a total wordcount of 2,662,170!

I recommend that those who want to use the spreadsheet go to File > Make a Copy, which should create a copy on your own Google Drive that can be filtered, sorted and edited.

As for updates, I will try to stop by with a new version in a while, but if anyone else feels that they'd like to do more regular upkeep then please do! The spreadsheet is absolutely free to use in any way, including reposting in an edited format.

The Umbrella Academy (Spoilers)

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 03:16 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I finally got around to watching The Umbrella Academy on Netflix, after hearing lots of mostly-positive comments and reviews. Naturally, I must now share ALL OF MY OWN COMMENTS AND REVIEWS. Such is the nature of the internet…

I mostly enjoyed it, though the ending felt empty and unsatisfying.

Details behind the spoiler cut…

Read the rest of this entry » )

Wed Wabbit, by Lissa Evans

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 11:52 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Ten-year-old Fidge is dealing with a lot, from her beloved father's death a year ago to being the only practical person in a flamboyant family to her four-year-old sister Minnie's refusal to pronounce Rs because it's cuter that way and frequent demands that Fitch read her favorite book, The Land of the Wimbley Woos, a cloying picture book written in clunky verse about a magical land of color-coded, dustbin-shaped people.

But when Minnie is hospitalized in an accident, Fidge and her phobic-of-everything cousin get trapped in the Land of the Wimbley Woos... which has been taken over by a monstrous version of Minnie's favorite stuffed animal, Wed Wabbit.

An uneven but often extremely funny children's book. The best parts were Fidge's outrage at having to deal with actual Wimbley Woos and their terrible rhymes and hunger for hugs. The parts where it played the story straight, as a more sophisticated version of the picture book's message of love and learning, were fine but a story I've read a lot. The opening chapters, in which Fidge blames herself for her sister's accident and it looks for a while like Minnie's going to die, felt like they came from a different and much gloomier book than the rest of it; the understated way it dealt with their father's death worked much better with the overall tone.

The book was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and has some interesting reviews on Goodreads as a result from people who normally don't read fantasy ever and were appalled at having to read one if they were supposed to read the entire slate. This surprised me as a number of classic children's fantasies were Carnegie Medal winners or nominees, but I guess it's gone more toward realism, or at least very very serious fantasy lately. A couple rather hopefully suggested that the book could be interpreted as Fidge having a nervous breakdown and imagining the whole thing!

(I don't think this reading is supported by the text, as her cousin is also involved and also has objective personality growth as a result; I guess maybe he could have changed as a result of observing her total breakdown or just coincidentally, but that seems unlikely.)

Wed Wabbit

Requests are revealed

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 11:37 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Umbrella)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] npt_admin
Requests are now revealed, sorted by fandoms. If you've already signed up, you can continue editing until sign ups closed, but now people can see those requests.

Sign ups close on April 30th at 11:59 pm, Eastern Time. How to sign up.

Useful Links
Not Prime Time 2019 (with schedule)
Frequently Asked Questions | AO3 exchange faq for participants | Pinch Hitting faq
2019 nomination tag set
Dear Prime Time Player on DW

Not Prime Time exchange

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 11:32 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Umbrella)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] yuletide

Not Prime Time (AO3 collection)
npt_admin on DW | Not Prime Time tumblr
Frequently Asked Questions

Not Prime Time, is a gen, het, femslash, and slash multifandom secret fiction exchange for medium sized fandoms, including any RPF fandoms with under 20,000 fics.

2019 schedule
April 19 to 30 - Sign ups
May 3 - Assignments go out by the latest
May 5 - Madness collection and prompts open
July 3 - Stories due
July 13 - Main collection goes live
July 21 - Author reveals

Sign ups for Not Prime Time are currently open from now until April 30th. Here are the instructions on how to sign up, with nominated fandoms and characters/relationships for the exchange using this tag set. There are plenty of fandoms within the tag set that are also Yuletide eligible.

Hope to see you there!

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
utterly uninspired. What's everybody else cooking?


Read more... )

Requests will be revealed in 1 hour

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 10:23 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Umbrella)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] npt_admin
Requests will be revealed in an hour.

If you're still editing, you'll have an hour before everyone else can see your requests and links to your Dear Prime Time Player letters.

Sign ups close on April 30th at 11:59 pm, Eastern Time. How to sign up.

Useful Links
Not Prime Time 2019 (with schedule)
Frequently Asked Questions | AO3 exchange faq for participants | Pinch Hitting faq
2019 nomination tag set
Dear Prime Time Player on DW
lilysea: (Costume)
[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
Dear Prudie: I am 23 and straight, but I have very short hair and not a single skirt or dress in my closet.

More than a few times, I had my sexuality questioned from my lack of commitment to regular femininity. I am not gay, just physically active and lazy in my grooming habits. (I never wear anything more than lipstick.)

I met my boyfriend's family for the first time. I thought I had packed to impress: sparkly earrings and a pink cardigan. But it wasn't enough. My boyfriend's mother was aghast that I wore nice dress pants to church rather than a skirt. She also made comments that I must have been a tomboy growing up or had a lot of brothers. (I have all sisters and was addicted to romance novels as a teen). Since then, my boyfriend's mother has emailed me a few times about getting together for other family events, and we exchanged recipes.

But she always adds little details like “We should go shopping together and get you looking ladylike" or sends me pictures of dresses and telling me I would “look darling” in them. I know she means well and she has not been anything other than sweet to me, but all the sartorial advice is getting under my skin. It feels petty to tell my boyfriend his mother wants to redo my wardrobe, I just need a script on how to deflect her. Help me!
—Not That Kind of Lady

Oh, she sounds like a treat. I think it’s fine to mention this to your boyfriend—not because it’s time for him to run interference on your behalf, but just so he’s aware of the dynamic and can back you up if you have to repeat yourself with her.

You can stress that it’s not, you know, emotionally destructive, but that it’s getting to be tiresome and that you’re going to politely tell her to stop. For a lot of this, I think cheerfully disagreeing up to the point of playing a little bit dumb is just fine: “No, I don’t have any brothers.” “Funny, no one’s ever considered me a tomboy before.” “What a great color! I don’t wear dresses myself, and it’s not to my taste, but I’m sure someone else would look lovely in it.” “That’s sweet of you to suggest, but I look exactly as ladylike as I want to.”

If that doesn’t register with her, and she keeps it up, I think you can be a bit more direct: “You often mention wanting to change my wardrobe, but I wish you wouldn’t. While I certainly want to dress appropriately for something like church, I’m not a fan of dresses and skirts, and I don’t plan on changing what I wear to seem more ladylike.

I hope you get to dress exactly the way you want and enjoy it immensely, and I’ll do the same.” (Also, for what it’s worth, I think having short hair/wearing lipstick/owning sparkly earrings and cardigans is hardly “lazy,” and you don’t have to apologize for it just because some other women groom themselves differently!)

to serve man

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:01 pm
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
I have no idea how good the Duolingo Welsh course is other than I'm enjoying it, since I have no prior knowledge of the language other than "Nos da" and "cariad." (This is due to some YA sf book involving...a lunar colony maybe? And a girl and a boy? Moon-something? I can't remember; I read it in middle school.)

However, the Korean course has...issues. For one, early on it's weirdly emphatic about denoting plurals. There is a way to pluralize nouns in Korean, but it's completely optional and it frankly sounds kind of weird if you're going to use plurals the way you would in English.

But the hilarious part is that whoever linked up the audio with the text...made an error.

The practice sentence 남자가 멋있습니다 (namja-ga meos-isseumnida), or "The man is cool"

is pronounced

남자가 맛있습니다 (namja-ga masisseumnida), or "Man is delicious." (Korean has no articles, and does not generally mark for number.)

It's not even ambiguous--the pronunciation is completely wrong...


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