selenak: (Richard III. by Vexana_Sky)
([personal profile] selenak May. 25th, 2016 06:37 am)
Aka the one with the inevitable compare and contrast. Not only did I watch various versions of the play throughout my life, but I had to write a paper on it decades ago in school, so.

I am determined to play the villain... )
thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey May. 24th, 2016 10:24 pm)
Julia Blackburn, Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske (2015): Craske went to sea, and then he went to WWI and returned unable to do much besides paint and embroider, with considerable support from his wife, Laura. The marriage preceded his dysfunction. I wanted more about his art, but Blackburn's point is that a life is elusive, hence our having mostly her attempts to gather information and feel, via e.g. an acquaintance who could phone an old relative who may or may not have known him. There is much about (Blackburn's sense of) Norfolk and fishing culture, too, and a bit about Blackburn's partner which pertains thematically. (Can one have a spoiler about a dual-threaded remembrance?)

Sylvia Townsend Warner collected Craske's work, unsurprisingly.

Something Craske remembered, which Blackburn ?quotes in italic amidst her narrative:
We used to cure the fish as it came in season. This is the list as far as I can remember:
Haddock, smoked; Codling, smoked; Whiting, smoked; Herring Pouch, smoked; Herring, bloatered; Herring, kippered; Mackerel, kippered; Cod's Roe, smoked; Sprats, smoked; Crabs, boiled; Lobsters, boiled; Crayfish, boiled; Winkles, boiled; Oysters. (p. 53)
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
([personal profile] yhlee May. 24th, 2016 11:05 pm)
Steven Erikson is better known for his doorstopper Malazan epic fantasy novels, some of which I read and liked, although due to the fact that I don't read as fast as I'd like, I fell out of the series and never finished it. Still, I liked his writing. And a couple years ago, when I saw he'd put out a Star Trek parody called Willful Child, I convinced my husband to pick it up. Part of it was curiosity as to whether Erikson could pull it off. While Star Trek parodies are by no means new, it sounded like such a 180 from what I remembered of Malazan that I had to see if it was any good.

It took me a couple years to get around to reading this. This book is over-the-top hilarious, with metacommentary on sf tropes--probably from more sources than just Star Trek, although my lack of pop culture familiarity undoubtedly means that I missed a lot of other references. (I suspect one section is lampooning Farscape, for instance, but have only seen one episode of that show.) Thus we have Ferengi-parodies who attack other starships by flinging junk at them, everything from curbside sofas to lawn gnomes; Terran Marines with names like John "Muffy" Slapp; and what i consider to be the book's crowning achievement, a sequence that manages to parody both "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "The Trouble with Tribbles" at once.

That being said, this won't be for everyone, even people craving a Trek parody fix. While Captain Hadrian Sawback, the novel's protagonist, is both certifiable and a certifiable genius, he's also lecherous, xenocidal, and callous in the extreme. Pretty much every character is a caricature, but whether or not you'll like this novel probably depends pretty heavily on whether you think Hadrian is funny or maddening. I liked the novel for what it was; your mileage may vary.

[cross-post: DW, Patreon]
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
([personal profile] sholio May. 24th, 2016 05:31 pm)
Could someone who uses the Tumblr mobile client please go to on your phone or other mobile device, and tell me if you see a link to the first page of the comic at the top of the page, and if it actually works?

Since Tumblr's mobile theme overrides all other theme settings on the mobile client, my webcomic navigation doesn't work -- you have to scroll through the pages backwards to read it. I've known about this for awhile, but I'm still struggling to figure out what to do about it. This is about the best (stopgap) solution I can think of, but I can't test it since I'm the blog owner and when *I* click on it, it just takes me to a page for editing it. So I need to know if the link is live.

ETA: I now have an answer, and unfortunately it's the answer I was hoping it wasn't. (But thank you!) I'm leaving this post up just in case anyone has ideas for getting links at the top of Tumblr's mobile style. I mean, I don't HAVE to (obviously the comic hasn't had it for the last year+) but I hate the idea that I'm in essence shutting out a lot of potential readers by not having that. At the very least I wish I had a way of letting people jump to the start.
Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Book #3)
Author and Illustrator: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 425
Total Page Count: 189,410
Text Number: 560
Read Because: continuing the series, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: While recovering from their last confrontation, Alina risks another encounter with the Darkling to quest after the final amplifier. This is the only book of the series that I became invested in. There's backstory provided in the first half that has interesting consequences for the magic system, and a later twist that I genuinely didn't see coming. Alina and Mal's relationship is, at least, less awful than previous books, less focused on jealousy and miscommunication, and so the characters are more engaging; it's also nice to see background characters developed, despite the clunky dialog and horrific view of "bad" trauma survivors. But the ending doesn't work for me. I'm never a fan of characters spoiler ), and the resolution is too safe, too happy. This lacks the courage of conviction—I'd rather dig into the flexible magic system or see cast and country cope with political repercussions than have the catharsis of a neat, bland ending. It's an above average offering from a middle of the road series, and I don't particularly recommend either.
Title: The Game of Rat and Dragon
Author: Cordwainer Smith
Published: Galaxy Science Fiction, 1955
Rating: 2 of 5
Page Count: 15
Total Page Count: 189,720
Text Number: 557
Read Because: interested in companion animal trope, ebook from Project Gutenberg
Review: In the future, humans cannot undergo the dangerous hyperspace journeys alone. The short story is more concept than narrative or character piece. The speculative elements and style are dated, and what functions as plot is, at best, bizarre. But the core concept is creative, oddball, and an unusual prototype of the companion/magical bond animal trope, as early examples go. This is impossible to take seriously, but it's a harmless way to spend a few minutes.
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
([personal profile] calissa May. 25th, 2016 08:00 am)

Aurealis Awards, Clariel, Garth Nix, tea and books

I am super excited to share that I’ve been selected as a judge for the 2016 Aurealis Awards!

If you’ve previously missed me discussing the Aurealis Awards, they are Australia’s premier juried awards for speculative fiction. They cover¬†fantasy, sci-fi and horror, with categories for Best Novel and Best Short Story for each genre. There are also categories for YA, children’s fiction, graphic novels, and anthologies & collections.

Judging for the awards is something I’ve wanted to do for the last few years but I hesitated because of the workload. It is a lot of reading in addition to the review material for this blog. This year is the first year my reading rate is fast enough for me to¬†feel like I have a chance at keeping up.

I’ll be judging Best YA Novel and Best YA Short Story. This means you won’t be seeing a lot of either on this blog for the time being.

A big thank you to Stephanie Gunn, Gillian Polack, and Rivqa Rafael for giving me the confidence to take this step. I’m really looking forward to it.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

To Helios

Muse, Kalliope, child of Zeus, begin to sing again of Helios,
The radiant one whom ox-eyed Euryphaessa
Brought forth [of her union] with the child of Earth and star-filled Heaven.
For Hyperion took to bed splendid Euryphaessa,
His own full sister, and to him she bore noble children,
Rose-armed Eos and fine-haired Selene and
Tireless Helios, just like the immortal gods.
He [Helios] shines on death-doomed mortals and the deathless gods,
While mounted on his horses: and he - dire-gleaming - flashes with both eyes
Out from under his golden helmet, and vigorous rays shine
Resplendent from his temples, and about his far-shining countenance gracefully fall
The radiant hairs from his head, and his finely-worked garments blaze
Close against his skin in the blowing of winds, and mighty stallions are at his command.
And in that place, there! He stays his gold-yoked chariot and horses, stopping right there on the furthest point of heaven,
Until, divinely decreed, he conducts them back again through the sky to Ocean.
Hail, lord! Willingly grant [me] well-pleasing life,
And now I've started with you, I'll celebrate in song the race of half-divine men, whose inheritance is speech,
And whose works goddesses made known to death-doomed mortals.
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
([personal profile] oursin May. 24th, 2016 11:07 am)

Have got as far as the departure gate,and find that there is some problem with the plane, which may or may not be resolved expeditiously.

Did I get up at a horribly early hour for this?


thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey May. 23rd, 2016 10:55 pm)
Status: 2.Naima is 10 rows from its bottom hem and in need of pockets. It's a bit snug at the shoulder and loose in the body despite my ignorant, tentative efforts to correct for both; since it fits better than most storebought cardigans I've ever met, I shan't rip it back. :P Perhaps I'll adjust the next garment more cleverly. I've also cast on for Reason's Low Tide sleeveless cardi---only 2 cm so that I could see what the yarns look like when held together. There are worse things than producing candy-cane marl in an alpaca/silk blend. (Hey, *I* won't be wearing it.) The paler pink goes bland against the intense one---all I know is it's Miss Babs; it looks like their sugar and either ruby spinel or lady bug. Can't be sure because the fibers differ and this blend has been discontinued. The frog has gained one more toe and been handed over because "I don't care that it needs more toes. I want to hug it," though then she tied its long forelegs and hind legs in knots, which is not much like hugging. Anyway, I pronounce the frog complete at two front toes per leg and three hind ditto; it ought to be four toes per fore leg, five per hind leg.

Locked photo post of recent stuff will follow 2.Naima's completion, since it's a bit of fuss to place images.

This week's pattern crush: my tentative plan to make Leigh, a nearly sleeveless top that's to be knitted bottom-up, has been threatened by the recent release of Asagi, a similarly loose/wide top. That Asagi is top down is preferable; Leigh's slightly longer sleevelets are preferable. The yarn I have for this pattern-space is the purple wool/silk blend reclaimed from the Conic shrug---anshishoku or sumire, perhaps, instead of asagi. I wonder how hard it would be to adapt Leigh to have a small sleeve decoration, less emphatic than Asagi's because it'd be closer to the sleevelet's edge, and perhaps to echo it near the bottom hem. If Leigh's schematic tells truly, I can knit it nearly as written because it's designed with 9" of positive ease; torso + 7 or 8" is what I need for my shoulders to be admitted, I've determined (ugh).
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin May. 24th, 2016 06:51 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] heleninwales and [personal profile] ruudboy!
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
([personal profile] yhlee May. 23rd, 2016 11:29 pm)
Arrow. 1.3. "Lone Gunmen." Read more... )
selenak: (Vanessa Ives by Sakuraberries)
([personal profile] selenak May. 24th, 2016 06:14 am)
In which it's the Eva Green and Rory Kinnear acting hour, and it's marvelous.

Read more... )
yhlee: Moto Maratai and her horse (L5R handle) (Maratai (art by yhlee))
([personal profile] yhlee May. 23rd, 2016 09:30 pm)
Arrow 1.1 "Pilot." Read more... )
sholio: Elizabeth from White Collar, smiling (WhiteCollar-Elizabeth smiling)
([personal profile] sholio May. 23rd, 2016 01:57 pm)
There is a post over at CollarCorner on the next few months' themes and activities, including the possibility of a small, low-pressure, gen White Collar fanworks exchange.

Also, the Vacation prompt at [community profile] starwarsflashmeme is extended for another week ('til Saturday) since SOMEONE (me) forgot to post a new prompt this weekend.

I seem to be mostly talking about fan stuff on Tumblr these days, which isn't something I MEANT to happen, but then interesting pieces of meta come along and I reblog them with notes and, well, yeah. My recent tumblr-reblog meta:

- A gifset and meta on how everyone's reactions to the "suicide mission" in 2x10 are little capsule versions of their personalities
- Daniel's moderating influence on Peggy, and Jack as a cynical balance to their shared idealism

I also stumbled across a tumblr-organized Agent Carter ficathon (not an exchange) with the theme Summer Nights. OF COURSE I signed up, because apparently I now have a Pavlovian reaction to anything with "Agent Carter" and some variation on exchange/ficathon/challenge in the name. >__> Luckily it's only 1000 words and it's not for someone else or anonymous (at least I don't think so), so I can write whatever I want. And just recently I had been wondering if anyone used the word "ficathon" anymore. It's actually very old-school, even though it's on Tumblr! There is a fairly distinctive current style to most fanworks events (run through AO3 exchange-style, anonymous period, fic & art both allowed, etc); either that, or everything is bingo cards. And although I enjoy both of those, it's nice to run across one that's set up differently.

I'd been thinking lately that Agent Carter fandom feels very scattered, compared to LJ-based fandoms; it's harder to find out about the events that are going on, or find all the places where people hang out. But actually, thinking about it and reflecting on past fandoms of mine, I don't think that's true. I think it FELT less scattered when fandom was mostly on LJ if you could manage to get hooked into the "where things were happening" places and get to know people who tended to post about events going on around the fandom. But not everyone was able to do that, and not all fandoms had that, and even so, they tended to localize into little pockets of activity centered around a particular ship or shared interest. Like, when I first got into SGA fandom on LJ, it was the gen crowd that I was hanging around with, and while I had a vague idea that things were happening elsewhere in the fandom, I really had no clue about either the het or slash parts of the fandom; aside from a few nexuses like sga_flashfic or the Big Bangs, which involved people from all corners of the fandom, there just wasn't THAT much overlap. Or A:tLA fandom, where the corner of the fandom that I got to know was a small and fairly well-connected one on DW, but I had the vague sense that there was a LOT going on elsewhere, it just wasn't here.

The existence of comms and newsletters did help centralize things, or at least made it easier not to miss events until after they happened. Newsletters don't seem to have made the jump to tumblr and I kinda hope someone will reinvent them someday, though I am certainly not going to be the sucker who has to comb through all the tags to find things. Or maybe they won't; maybe tumblr tags and the fact that most fanfic ends up on AO3 means that newsletters aren't necessary as they once were, just like people don't tend to have dedicated rec sites or directory sites anymore.
I recently completed a Gundam Wing rewatch (my, uh, fourth? maybe?). Liveblogging/overlong essays about each piece are here on my Tumblr. tl;dr: I'd forgotten that the politics get quite so muddled in the second half of the show, and I have an increasing appreciation for the exaggerated scale and tone of franchise; female characters are great and I'm so sad that adolescent Juu encountering this story for the first time didn't appreciate that; why was Heero/Trowa not the cornerstone of fandom?; I care about these interpersonal dynamics in all their wealth and variety so much you guys; wait what, they're making more GW??

This time, revisiting GW meant reading the manga that happened to be on hand, which are as follows:

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Episode Zero
Author: Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Illustrator: Akira Kanbe
Published: San Francisco: Viz, 2002
Rating: 2 of 5
Page Count: 255
Total Page Count: 189,705
Text Number: 556
Read Because: revisiting Gundam Wing, borrowed from Dee
Review: A manga miniseries that explores the early lives of the five Gundam pilots, as well as the events that directly precede Operation Meteor. Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa, the writer of the series, this is the most "official" of the Gundam Wing manga; it's still not great. Some of the backstories work, but they as often undermine or merely reiterate aspects of the show. Condensing angsty backstories into 30 pages makes them both rushed and heavyhanded. But the Operation Meteor chapter is fantastic, well-cut and less redundant, not as far reaching but filling in some interesting missing details.

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Blind Target
Author: Akemi Omode
Illustrator: Sakura Asagi
Rating: 5 of 5
Page Count: 140
Total Page Count: 189,860
Text Number: 558
Read Because: revisiting Gundam Wing, borrowed from Dee
Review: A manga oneshot that occurs between the series and Endless Waltz, Blind Target is a pleasant surprise. The basic premise of reuniting the core cast is repetitive, given the show and movie, but the rest is fantastic. Sakura Asagi's art is faithful and gorgeous; characterization is on point. What benefits this most is its small scale, which constrains the plot to a reasonable interim size and allows for an intimate focus on the relationships between the pilots and how they continue in a time of apparent but imperfect peace. It's interpersonal, thoughtful, and thematically apt—especially the epilogue, which leads directly into Endless Waltz. I loved it.

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Ground Zero
Author and Illustrator: Reku Fuyunagi
Rating: 1 of 5
Page Count: 125
Total Page Count: 189,985
Text Number: 559
Read Because: revisiting Gundam Wing, borrowed from Dee
Review: A(nother) manga oneshot that occurs between the series and Endless Waltz; this time, Heero receives a message from someone who has stolen Wing Zero. This is frankly awful. The plot is a contrived mess that defies suspension of disbelief; the tone is comic, caricatured, and ridiculous. Bobblehead art makes everyone look like children. Under that, the themes (what is a soldier in peacetime?) are apt, and the Relena chapter is less awful. But nothing excuses this; give it a miss.


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